Recited by N.S. Salsbury in "The Brook."
Lemme sit down a minute, a stone's got in my shoe;
Don't you commence your cussin', I ain't done nothin' to you.
Yes, I m a tramp. What of it? Folks say we ain't no good,
But tramps has to live, I reckon, tho' folks don't think wo should.
Once I was strong and handsome, had plenty of cash and clothes-
That was afore I tippled, and gin got into my nose.
Down in the Lehigh Valley me and my people grew-
I was a blacksmith, cap'en-yes, and a good one, loo;
Me, and my wife and Nellie- Nellie was just sixteen,
She was the pootiest creeter the Valley had ever seen.
Beaux! why she had a dozen- had 'em from near and far,
But they were mostly farmers- none of 'em suited her.
There was a city stranger- young, handsome and tall,
Darn him- I wish I had him strangled agin that wall.
He was the man for Nellie-she didn't know no ill;
Mother, she tried to stop it, but you know a young gal's will,
Well, it's the same old story-common enough, you'll say,
He was a soft-tongued devil, and got her to run away.
More than a month or after we heard from the poor young thingHe'd gone away and left her without a wedding ring.
Back to her home we brought her, back to her mother's side,
Filled with a raging fever-she fell at my feet and died.
Frantic with shame and trouble, her mother began to sink.
Dead-in less than a fortnight-that's wheu I took to drink.
Gimme one glass, curnel, and then I'll be on my way;
I'll tramp till I find that scoundrel, if it takes till the judgment day.