To John J. Knickerbocker, Jr.

A poem by Eugene Field

Whereas, good friend, it doth appear
You do possess the notion
To his awhile away from here
To lands across the ocean;
Now, by these presents we would show
That, wheresoever wend you,
And wheresoever gales may blow,
Our friendship shall attend you.

What though on Scotia's banks and braes
You pluck the bonnie gowan,
Or chat of old Chicago days
O'er Berlin brew with Cowen;
What though you stroll some boulevard
In Paris (c'est la belle ville!),
Or make the round of Scotland Yard
With our lamented Melville?

Shall paltry leagues of foaming brine
True heart from true hearts sever?
No--in this draught of honest wine
We pledge it, comrade--never!
Though mountain waves between us roll,
Come fortune or disaster--
'Twill knit us closer soul to soul
And bind our friendships faster.

So here's a bowl that shall be quaff'd
To loyalty's devotion,
And here's to fortune that shall waft
Your ship across the ocean,
And here's a smile for those who prate
Of Davy Jones's locker,
And here's a pray'r in every fate--
God bless you, Knickerbocker!

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