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Full Online Book HomePoemsNothing To Eat - Places Where Mortals Dine
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Nothing To Eat - Places Where Mortals Dine Post by :Laurence_Baker Category :Poems Author :Horatio Alger Date :May 2012 Read :3365

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Nothing To Eat - Places Where Mortals Dine

The case, too, was urgent, for there stood a sinner,
Whose fate hung on chance--a chance for his dinner;
A chance for all mortals, with truth I assert,
Who eat where his chance was, to counteract fate,
"To eat during life each a peck of pure dirt"
By eating at once the whole peck from one plate.
For true when I think of the places we eat at,
Or rather the places by hunger when driven
We rush in and swallow our bread and our meat at,
A bushel good measure in life will be given
To those who are living a "boarding-house life,"
Or those who are driven by fortune to journey,
And eat when we must with so dirty a knife,
I wish't could be done by the power of attorney;
Or where you must eat in a place called "saloon;"
Or "coffee-house" synonym of whisky and rum;
(I wish all the breed were sent off to the moon,
And earth was well clear of the coffee-house scum;)
Or where "Restauration" hangs out for sign,
At bar-room or cellar or dirty back room,
Where dishcloths for napkins are thought extra fine,
And table cloths look as though washed with a broom;
Where knives waiters spit on and wipe on their sleeves,
And plates needing polish, with coat tails are cleaned;
Where priests dine with harlots, and judges with thieves,
And mayors with villains his worship has screened.
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And what do you eat in the mess there compounded?For roast beef, the gravy the soap-man should claim--The soup some odd things might turn up if sounded,And other "made-dishes" might turn up the same.Decoctions that puzzle your chemical skill,You get if you call either coffee or tea;And milk that is made with and tastes of the swill,As like milk, as wine is that often we seeIs like to the juice of the grape in perfection,Or like as the candidate after electionIs like the fair thing that we hoped or expectedBefore the base thief was exposed or detected;As like truth and virtue--and
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Now Merdle this day having toss'd with his hornsThe bears that were pulling so hard at the stocks,And gored every bull that was treading his corns,Had lined all his pockets with "plenty of rocks,"And home now was driving at "two forty" speed,Where dinner was waiting--"a jolly good feed."Himself feeling happy, he knew by my looks,A case full of sadness and deep destitutionWas present in person, not read of in books,Appealing in pity for an alms institution.
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