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The Cardinal rose with a dignified look,
In holy anger and pious grief
He solemnly cursed that rascally thief! Never was heard such a terrible curse!
But what gave rise to no little surprise,
The day was gone, the night came on,
When the şacristan saw, on crumpled claw,
No longer gay, as on yesterday; His feathers all seemed to be turned the wrong way; His pinions drooped, he could hardly stand, His head was as bald as the palm of your hand;
His eye so dim, so wasted each limb, Regardless of grammar, they all cried, "THAT'S HIM! That's the scamp that has done this scandalous thing, That's the thief that has got my Lord Cardinal's ring !"
The poor little Jackdaw, when the monks he saw, Feebly gave vent to the ghost of a caw; And turned his bald head as much as to say, “Pray be so good as to walk this way!”
Slower and slower he limped on before, Till they came to the back of the belfry-door,
Where the first thing they saw,
Midst the sticks and the straw,
Then the great Lord Cardinal called for his book,
The mute expression served in lieu of confession,
When these words were heard, the poor little bird Was so changed in a moment, 'twas really absurd: He grew
slick and fat; in addition to that, A fresh crop of feathers came thick as a mat!
His tail waggled more even than before; But no longer it wagged with an impudent air, No longer he perched on the Cardinal's chair.
He hopped now about with a gait devout; At matins, at vespers, he never was out; And, so far from any more pilfering deeds, He always seemed telling the Confessor's beads. If any one lied, or if any one swore, Or slumbered in prayer-time and happened to snore,
That good Jackdaw would give a great “Caw!” As much as to say, “Don't do so any more!” While many remarked, as his manners they saw, That they never had known such a pious Jackdaw!
He long lived the pride of that country side, And at last in the order of sanctity died:
When, as words were too faint his merits to paint, The Conclave determined to make him a Saint. And on newly made Saints and Popes, as you know, It's the custom at Rome new names to bestow, So they canonized him by the name of Jim Crow!
Jaffar the Barmecide, the good vizier,
Should dare to speak his name on pain of death.
All but the brave Mondeer; he, proud to show
“Bring me this man,” the caliph cried; the man
Haroun, who felt that on a soul like this
JIM BLUDSOE 1
Wall, no! I can't tell where he lives,
Because he don't live, you see; Leastways, he's got out of the habit
Of livin' like you and me. Whar have you been for the last three years,
That you haven't heard folks tell How Jimmy Bludsoe passed in his checks,
The night of the Prairie Belle?
He warn't no saint — them engineers
Is all pretty much alike -
And another one here in Pike.
And an awkward man in a row
I reckon he never knowed how.
And this was all the religion he had
To treat his engine well;
To mind the pilot's bell;
A thousand times he swore,
Till the last soul got ashore.
All boats has their day on the Mississip',
And her day came at last
The Movastar was a better boat,
But the Belle, she wouldn't be passed,
The oldest craft on the line,
And her furnaces crammed, rosin and pine.
The fire burst out as she cleared the bar,
And burnt a hole in the night,
For that willer-bank on the right.
Over all the infernal roar, “I'll hold her nozzle agin the bank
Till the last galoot's ashore.”
Thro' the hot black breath of the burnin' boat
Jim Bludsoe's voice was heard,
And know'd he would keep his word.
Afore the smokestacks fell,
In the smoke of Prairie Belle.
He warn't no saint - but at judgment
I'd run my chance with Jim Longside of some pious gentleman
That wouldn't shook hands with him.
And went fer it thar and then;
On a man that died for men.