Chairley Burke

A poem by James Whitcomb Riley

It's Chairley Burke's in town, b'ys! He's down til "Jamesy's Place,"
Wid a bran'-new shave upon 'um, an' the fhwhuskers aff his face;
He's quit the Section-Gang last night, and yez can chalk it down
There's goin' to be the divil's toime, sence Chairley Burke's in town.

It's treatin' iv'ry b'y he is, an' poundin' on the bar
Till iv'ry man he's drinkin' wid must shmoke a foine cigar;
An' Missus Murphy's little Kate, that's coomin' there for beer,
Can't pay wan cint the bucketful, the whilst that Chairley's here!

He's joompin' oor the tops o' sthools, the both forninst an' back!
He'll lave yez pick the blessed flure, an' walk the straightest crack!
He's liftin' barrels wid his teeth, and singin "Garry Owen,"
Till all the house be strikin' hands, sence Chairley Burke's in town.

The Road-Yaird hands coomes dhroppin' in, an' niver goin' back;
An' there's two freights upon the switch--the wan on aither track--
An' Mr. Gearry, from The Shops, he's mad enough to swear,
An' durstn't spake a word but grin, the whilst that Chairley's there!

Och! Chairley! Chairley! Chairley Burke! ye divil, wid yer ways
O' dhrivin' all the throubles aff, these dhark an' ghloomy days!
Ohone! that it's meself, wid all the graifs I have to dhrown,
Must lave me pick to resht a bit, sence Chairley Burke's in town.

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