Chairley Burke.

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

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 comin' 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
He's liftin' barrels wid his teeth, and singin' "Garry Owen,"
Till all the house be strikin' hands, sence Chairley Burke's in

The Road-Yaird hands comes 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' durst n't spake a word but grin, the whilst that Chairley's

Oh! Chairley! Chairley! Chairley Burke! ye divil, wid yer ways
O' dhrivin' all the throubles aff, these dark an' gloomy days!
Ohone! that it's meself, wid all the griefs I have to drown,
Must lave me pick to resht a bit, sence Chairley Burke's in town!

"Before we turn back, now," said the smiling Major, as I stood
lingering over the indefinable humor of the last refrain, "before we
turn back I want to show you something eminently characteristic. Come
this way a half dozen steps."

As he spoke I looked up, to first observe that we had paused before a
handsome square brick residence, centering a beautiful smooth lawn,
its emerald only littered with the light gold of the earliest autumn
leaves. On either side of the trim walk that led up from the gate to
the carved stone ballusters of the broad piazza, with its empty easy
chairs, were graceful vases, frothing over with late blossoms, and
wreathed with laurel-looking vines; and, luxuriantly lacing the border
of the pave that turned the further corner of the house, blue, white
and crimson, pink and violet, went fading in perspective as my gaze
followed the gesture of the Major's.

"Here, come a little further. Now do you see that man there?"

Yes, I could make out a figure in the deepening dusk--the figure of a
man on the back stoop--a tired looking man, in his shirt-sleeves, who
sat upon a low chair--no, not a chair--an empty box. He was leaning
forward with his elbows on his knees, and the hands dropped limp. He
was smoking, too, I could barely see his pipe, and but for the odor of
very strong tobacco, would not have known he had a pipe. Why does the
master of the house permit his servants to so desecrate this beautiful
home? I thought.

"Well, shall we go now?" said the Major.

I turned silently and we retraced our steps. I think neither of us
spoke for the distance of a square.

"Guess you didn't know the man there on the back porch?" said the

"No; why?" I asked dubiously.

"I hardly thought you would, and besides the poor fellow's tired, and
it was best not to disturb him," said the Major.

"Why; who was it--some one I know?"

"It was Tommy."

"Oh," said I, inquiringly, "he's employed there in some capacity?"

"Yes, as master of the house."

"You don't mean it?"

"I certainly do. He owns it, and made every cent of the money that
paid for it!" said the Major proudly. "That's why I wanted you
particularly to note that 'eminent characteristic' I spoke of. Tommy
could just as well be sitting, with a fine cigar, on the front piazza
in an easy chair, as, with his dhudeen, on the back porch, on an empty
box, where every night you'll find him. Its the unconscious dropping
back into the old ways of his father, and his father's father, and his
father's father's father. In brief, he sits there the poor lorn symbol
of the long oppression of his race."
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