Tommy Smith

A poem by John Charles McNeill

When summer's languor drugs my veins
And fills with sleep the droning times,
Like sluggish dreams among my brains,
There runs the drollest sort of rhymes,
Idle as clouds that stray through heaven
And vague as if they were a myth,
But in these rhymes is always given
A health for old Bluebritches Smith.

Among my thoughts of what is good
In olden times and distant lands,
Is that do-nothing neighborhood
Where the old cider-hogshead stands
To welcome with its brimming gourd
The canny crowd of kin and kith
Who meet about the bibulous board
Of old Bluebritches Tommy Smith.

In years to come, when stealthy change
Hath stolen the cider-press away
And the gnarled orchards of the grange
Have fallen before a slow decay,
Were I so cunning, I would carve
From some time-scorning monolith
A sculpture that should well preserve
The fame of old Bluebritches Smith.

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