Breitmann in Kansas

A poem by Charles G. Leland

Vonce oopon a dimes, goot vhile afder der var vas ofer, der Herr Breitmann vent oud Vest, drafellin’ apout like efery dings “circuivit terram et perambulavit eam,” ash der Teufel said ven dey ask him: “How vash you und how you has peen?”

Von efenings he vas drafel mit some ladies und shendlemans, und he shtaid incognitus. Und dey singed songs, dill py und py one of de ladies say: “Ish any podies here ash know de crate pallad of Hans Breitmann’s Barty?” Den Hans say: “Ecce Gallus! I am dat rooster!” Den der Hans dook a trink und a let-bencil und a biece of baper, und goes indo himself a little dimes und den coomes out again mit dis boem:

Hans Breitmann vent to Kansas:
He drafel fast und far;
He rided shoost drei dousand miles
All in von rail-roat car.
He knowed foost rate how far he goed
He gounted all de vile,
Dere vash shoost one bottle of champagne,
Dat bopped at efery mile.

Hans Breitmann vent to Kansas;
I dell you vot, my poy,
You bet dey hat a pully dimes
In crossin’ Illinoy.
Dey speaked deir speaks to all de folk
A shtandin’ in de car;
Den ask dem in to dake a trink,
Und corned em gans und gar.

Hans Breitmann vent to Kansas;
By shings! dey did it prown.
When he got into Leafenvort,
He found himself in town.
Dey dined him at de Blanter’s House,
More goot as man could dink;
Mit efery dings on eart’ to eat,
Und dwice as mooch to trink.

Hans Breitmann vent to Kansas;
He vent it on de loud.
At Ellsvort, in de prairie land,
He foundt a pully crowd.
He looked for bleedin’ Kansas,
But dat’s “blayed out,” dey say;
De vhiskey keg’s de only ding
Dat’s bleedin’ dere to-day.

Hans Breitmann vent to Kansas,
To see vot he could hear.
He foundt soom Deutschers dat exisdt
Py makin’ lager beer.
Says he: “Wie gehts du Alt Gesell?”
But nodings could be heard;
Dey’d growed so fat in Kansas
Dat dey couldn’t speak a vord.

Hans Breitmann vent to Kansas;
Py shings! I dell you vot,
Von day he met a crisly bear
Dat rooshed him down, bei Gott!
Boot der Breitmann took und bind der bear
Und bleased him fery much
For efery vordt der crisly growled
Vas goot Bavarian Dutch!

Hans Breitmann vent to Kansas!
By donder dat is so!
He ridet oout upon de blains
To shase de boofalo.
He fired his rifle at de bools,
Und gallop droo de shmoke,
Und shoomp de canyons shoost as if
Der teufel vas a choke!

It’s hey de trail to Santa Fé;
It’s ho! agross de plain;
It’s lope along de Denver road,
Until ve toorn again.
Und de railroad drafel after us
Apout as quick as ve;
Dis Kansas ish de fastest land
Ash efer I did see.

Hans Breitmann vent to Kansas;
He have a pully dime;
But ’twas in old Missouri
Dat dey rooshed him up subline.
Dey took him to der Bilot Nob,
Und all der nobs around;
Dey shpreed him und dey tea’d him
Dill dey roon him to de ground.

Hans Breitmann vent to Kansas,
Und made his carpine pop!
Ven he shooted at a drifer man
To make de wagon shdop.
A noble Tribune shendleman
Shoost dodged dat pullet’s bore,
Und de driver shwore dat soosh a crowd
He nefer druv pefore.

Hans Breitmann vent to Kansas;
Droo all dis earthly land,
A vorkin’ out life’s mission here
Soobyectifly und grand.
Some beoplesh runs de beautiful,
Some vorks philosophie;
Der Breitmann solfe de infinide
Ash von eternal shpree!

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