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Poem by Eugene Field
Ed was a man that played for keeps, 'nd when he tuk the notion, You cudn't stop him any more'n a dam 'ud stop the ocean; For when he tackled to a thing 'nd sot his mind plum to it, You bet yer boots he done that thing though it broke the bank to do it! So all us boys uz knowed him best allowed he wuzn't jokin' When on a Sunday he remarked uz how he'd gin up smokin'. Now this remark, that Ed let fall, fell, ez I say, on Sunday— Which is the reason we wuz shocked to see him sail in Monday A-puffin' at a snipe that sizzled like a Chinese cracker An' smelt fur all the world like rags instead uv like terbacker; Recoverin' from our first surprise, us fellows fell to pokin' A heap uv fun at "folks uz said how they had gin up smokin'." But Ed—sez he: "I found my work cud not be done without it— Jes' try the scheme yourselves, my friends, ef any uv you doubt it! It's hard, I know, upon one's health, but there's a certain beauty In makin' sackerfices to the stern demands uv duty! So, wholly in a sperrit uv denial 'nd concession, I mortify the flesh 'nd smoke for the sake uv my perfession!"
Eugene Field's other poems:
English Poetry. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org