Breitmann About Town

A poem by Charles G. Leland

Der Schwackenhammer coom to down,
Pefore de Fall vas past,
Und by der Breitmann drawed he in
Ash dreimals honored gast.
“Led’s see de sighdts! In self und worldt,
Dere’s ‘sighdts’ for him, to see,
Who Selbstanschauungsvermögen hat,”
Said Breitemann, said he.

Dey vented to de Opera Haus,
Und dere dey vound em blayin’,
Of Offenbach (der open brook),
His show spiel Belle Heléne.
“Dere’s Offenbach, Sebastian Bach,
Mit Kaulbach, dat makes dree:
I alvays like sooch brooks ash dese;”
Said Breitemann, said he.

Dey vented to de Bibliothek,
Vhich Mishder Astor bilt:
Some pooks vere only en broschure,
Und some vere pound und gilt.
“Dat makes de gold dat makes de sinn,
Mit pooks, ash men, ve see,
De pest tressed vellers guilt de most:”
Said Breitemann, said he.

Dey vent to see an edidor,
Who’d shanged his flag und doon,
Und crowed oopon der oder side,
Dat very afdernoon.
“De anciends vorshipped wettercocks,
To wetter fanes pent de knee;
Pow down, mein Schwackenhammer, pow!”
Said Breitemann, said he.

Dey vented by a panker’s hause,
Und Schwackenhammer shvore,
He only vant a pig red shield
Hoong oop pefore de toor;
One side of red, one side of gold,
Like de knighds in hisdorie
“De schildern of dat schild is rich,”
Said Breitemann, said he.

Dey vent oonto a bicture sale.
Of frames wort’ many a cent,
De broperty of a shendleman,
Who oonto Europe vent.
“Don’t gry he’ll soon pe pack again
Mit anoder gallerie:
He sells dem oud dwelf dimes a year,”
Said Breitemann, said he.

Dey vented to dis berson’s house,
To see his furnidure,
Sold oud at aucdion rite afay,
Beremdory und sure.
“He geeps six houses all at vonce,
Each veek a sale dere pe,
Gotts! vot a dime his vife moost hafe!”
Said Breitemann, said he.

Dey vent to vind a goot cigar,
Long dimes dey roamed apout,
Von veller had a pran new sort,
De fery latest out
“Mein freund I dinks you errs yourself
De shmell ish oldt to me;
Dat Infamias Stinkadores brand,”
Said Breitemann, said he.

Dey vented to de virst hotel,
De prandy make dem creep,
A trop of id’s enough to make
A brazen monkey veep.
“Dey say a viner house ash dis,
Vill soon ge-bildet pe,
Crate Gott! vot can dey mean to trink?”
Said Breitemann, said he.

Dey vented droo de Irish shtreeds,
Dey saw vrom haus to haus,
Und gountet oop, ‘pout more or less,
Vive hoondred awful rows.
“If all dese liddle vights dey waste,
Could von crate pattle pe,
Gotts! how de Fenian funds vouldt rise!”
Said Breitmann, said he.

Dey vent to see de Ridualisds,
Who vorship Gott mit vlowers,
In hobes he’ll lofe dem pack again,
In winter among de showers.
“Vhen de Pacific railroat’s done,
Dis dings imbrofed vill pe,
De joss-sticks vill pe santal vood,”
Said Breitemann, said he.

Dey vent to hear a breecher of
De last sensadion shtyle,
’Twas ’nough to make der teufel weep
To see his “awful shmile.”
“Vot bities dat der Fechter ne’er
Vas in Théologie,
Dey’d make him pishop in his shoorsh,”
Said Breitemann, said he.

Dey vent indo a shpordin’ crib,
De rowdies cloostered dick,
Dey ashk him dell dem vot o’glock,
Und dat infernal quick.
Der Breitmann draw’d his ’volver oud,
Ash gool ash gool couldt pe,
“Id’s shoost a goin’ to shdrike six,”
Said Breitemann, said he.

Dey vent polid’gal meedins next
Dey hear dem rant and rail,
Der bresident vas a forger,
Shoost bardoned oud of jail.
He does it oud of cratitood,
To dem who set him vree:
“Id’s Harmonie of Inderesds,”
Said Breitemann, said he.

Dey vent to a clairfoyand witch,
A plack-eyed handsome maid,
She wahrsagt all deir vortunes denn
“Fife dollars, gents!” she said.
“Dese vitches are nod of dis eart’,
Und yed are on id, I see,
Der Shakesbeare knew de preed right vell,”
Said Breitemann, said he.

Dey vented to a restaurand,
Der vaiter coot a dash;
He garfed a shicken in a vink,
Und serfed id at a vlash.
“Dat shap knows vell shoost how to coot
Und roon mit poulderie,
He vas copitain oonder Turchin vonce,”
Said Breitemann, said he.

Dey vented to de Voman’s Righds,
Vhere laties all agrees,
De gals should all pe voters,
Und deir beaux all de votees.
“For efery man dat nefer vorks,
Von frau should vranchised pe:
Dat ish de vay I solfe dis ding,”
Said Breitemann, said he.

Dey vented oop, dey vented down,
‘Tvas like a roarin’ rifer,
De sighds vere here de sighds vere dere-
Und de vorldt vent on forefer.
“De more ve trinks, de more ve sees,
Dis vorldt a derwisch pe;
Das Werden’s all von whirling droonk,”
Said Breitemann, said he.

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