Queer Ebenezer By Edgar Albert Guest

Queer Ebenezer

The strangest man I ever knew
Is Ebenezer Pettigrew;
Dropped in on him last night t’ chat
Of politics an’ this an’ that,
An’ when he’d showed me to a seat
He brung some apples in t’ eat,
An’ tuk one up, an’ stroked its side
An’ fondled it t’ show his pride.
Says I t’ him: ‘It’s plain t’ me
Thet things ain’t what they orter be;
Men ain’t as honest as they wuz,
Vice profits more’n virtue does,
The weak are downtrod by the strong,
The whole world’s overrun by wrong.’
An’ then I showed him facts t’ prove
Thet we air gettin’ in a groove
O’ wickedness, an’ steeped in sin,
But all he did wuz work his chin
A-chewin’ on his apple core
An’ lookin’ at his parlor floor,
An’ then, says he, right slow t’ me:
‘Some things ain’t what they orter be,
But still I ain’t inclined to pine,
Apples this year air mighty fine.’

He tuk another pippin then
An’ started in t’ chew again.
‘Now Eb,’ says I, ‘Ye’ve got t’ say
Thet we air in a dreadful way;
Thet life is full o’ pain an’ woe,
An’ rough air roads thet we must go.
The iron heels of lust and greed
Air on our necks, an’ if you read
The papers nowadays, you’ll note
Thet rumors dreadful air afloat;
Our judges ain’t exactly just
In matters that affect a trust.’
I put it to him good an’ strong,

Expectin’ that he’d come erlong
An’ jine with me by nod or sign,
But nary nod or move t’ jine
He made, but turnin’ in his chair
An’ reachin’ fer the table, where
An old brown pitcher stood, says he:
‘Come on an’ have a drink with me;
I ain’t denyin’ what you say,
It mebbe things air thataway,
But here’s yer glass, now ain’t that clear?
The cider’s mighty fine this year.’

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