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From Slams of Life, with Malice for All And Charity Toward None Assembled in Rhyme by J. P. McEvoy, With black and white interruptions by Frank King, Chicago :  P. F. Volland Company; 1919; pp. 10-25.

With Malice for All And Charity
Towards None
Assembled in Rhyme by


With black and white interruptions by

[Part I.]

Cartoon, by Frank King, of a man standing in an empty appearing small in proportion to the rooms.


The grand old colosseum,
       If what is writ is true,
Is spraddled over lots of ground
       And scrapes the starry blue;
But though ’tis vast and spacious
       I humbly rise to say
My six room flat seems twice as large
       When the Missus goes away.

From here to Ursa major
       Is quite a husky hike,
The Lincoln Way from coast to coast
       Is not a puny pike,
But when the wife is visiting,
       And days drag on and on,
My little hall, that once was small,
       Goes clear to Helangon.

The roaming, rolling ranges
       That rove our mighty west,
The Pampas of the Argentine
       Are lonely at their best;
But they are close and crowded
       And riotous and gay
Compared to my little six room flat
       When the Missus goes away.


I sing today the Vampire of the Movie,
       I sing of Sheeza Beara — and she is —
Whose architecture Doric
Is a clutter of caloric
       As she vamps it in her transcalescent biz;
I love to see her zaz a bit in Zaza,
       She writhes, she lures, she palpitates, she quivahs!
You ask me has she got the props? She haza!
       She agitates my very lights and livahs!

              Them eyes of hern,
              Oh how they burn,
              Oh how they sparkle, snap and yearn!
              Them liquid coives,
              Oh how they swoives,
              It’s pretty doggone hard on noives . . .
              She starts . . . she moves . . . she seems to feel
              The thrill of life along her keel . . .
              A rag, a bone, and a hank of hair?
              What do I care?
              She’s a bear! She’s a bear! She’s a bear!

I sing today the Vampire in the Movie
       (Them eyes of hern!)
I tell you she’s a regular Vesuvy.
       (Oh how they burn!)
Her agile architecture is conducive to conjecture,
       (Them sneaky coives!)
Oh lamp this lyric lecture ’fore her luscious lure has
              wrecked your
       Throbbing noives!
On yon Paphian piazza you just ought to see her zaza,
You just ought to see her, Yazza!
Has she got the props? Cazazza!
       But she haza!

[The actress who inspired this verse was Theda Bara. She was the first sex symbol of film, from the silent movie days. The expression "Vamp" comes from her roles of this type. See the Wikipedia entry: Theda Bara — Elf.Ed.]


“Observe my bean,” the Stranger said,
       “Oh slant the bulge of yonder brow.”
“You have,” said I, “a noble head,
       A sterling coco, I’ll allow.”
“Within that dome,” the Stranger cried,
       “Are countless gems of lambent lore,
A flock of wisdom, true and tried,
       A mine of wit, a sapient store.

“Behind my altitudinous brow
       A corrugated thinker sits.
It’s in a state of coma now,
       But gosh, it throws sagacious fits!
For it is crammed with all the dope
       Of ev’ry book on ev’ry shelf.
You get my modest view, I hope?
       I hate to talk about myself.

“I know more art than any Taine,
       More Rome than Gibbon, Greece than Grote,
More law than old Sir Henry Maine,
       More poetry than any pote;
I’ve delved as deep as Darwin did,
       Beside me Euclid is a sham, and
Socrates a weanling kid,
       I know more words than Percy Hammond!”

“From which remarks I glean,” said I,
       “You are a shrewd and wise gazook,
A keen and perspicacious guy,
       A shining light, a gumptious gook.”
“You’re right,” he sighed. “My wondrous brain
       Is hep indeed to all the ropes,
But still my heart is full of pain:
       I cannot pick good cantaloupes.


When wifie drives my little bus
She throws the gears in something thus:
              BLAM!  BANGO!!  BRRRRRRR!!!
              KERBINGO!  GRRRRRRR!!!
We crowhop then across the street,
And amputate a copper’s feet,
And what he says is something neat.

“Oh have a care,” I say to her,
She shifts the gears: KERBANGO!  GRRRRRRR!!
And tries for third, but slides in low,
And runs in that a mile or so.

At last in third the auto rolls,
And peaceful peds climb up the poles;
The children see us run amuck
And get away — if they have luck,
While horse, mules and dogs and cats
Disperse unto their sundry flats.

                           we glide
And drivers glare and coppers swear,
But wifie doesn’t care a care.
Soon to the crowded Loop we snoop,
[15] Wherecarsarethickasonionsoup
        they        theirs             get mine
And          get            and I
                   Cartoon of letters spelling 'And then she turns around right there' typed to form a square.
.erehwyna tsom ssorca skcab dna
Of course I go to court next day,
                      But first
                      I drive
                      Straight home
                      This way.


When a hearty fellow hails me in the cold and clang-
              ing mart,
And slaps me on the scapula, and hugs me to his heart,
And cries, “Your amaranthine verse will live for ever-
And when you larrup on your lute poetic shades get
And Homer hangs his humble head — he knows he
              has no chance —
And Shakespeare’s ghost goes out and kicks its prim
              Plutonian pants — ”

I say, if any geezer deals me chatter like to this,
I do not press upon his brow a cacophonic kiss,
Nor do I weep with sheer delight, nor fluctuate his fin —
I coldly look him in the eye and kick him on the shin,
And calmly beat it on my way, because I know full
This gonnif has Insurance, Books, or Real Estate to sell.

Oh, oftentimes a goof will come and lean against my
And tell me I’m a Curly Wolf, a Woof-Woof, and a
And tell me that my smallest squib commands his
              eager glance,
And ditto with his cousins and his sisters and his
And he has pasted all my gems in scrapbooks rich
              and rare,
And would I give him just one lock of my ambrosial

Or if not that, my autograph; or if not that, a smile —
A smile from one as great as I he’d treasure for a
A long, long while, and when in after years upon his
His great-grandchildren sat he’d say I smole a smile
              for he.
But I don’t smole a single smile, I bounce upon his
              bell —
I know he has Insurance, Books, or Real Estate to

Some day a cunning coot will come with convoluted
And drape himself upon my desk and sweetly he will
“I do not like your line of dope, I think it’s awful
Your prose is quite putrescent and your verse is worse
              than punk;
You’ve no excuse for living as you do, a worthless
Why don’t you quit this life of crime and do some
              honest work?’

I say, some day a cunning coot will warble thus to me,
And I’ll be flabbergasted sir, so diff’rent it will be.
And if he works me fast he’ll sell me all he has in
Before I’ll have recovered from this unaccustomed
I’ll have to kill him then, or else the secret he would
To others with Insurance, Books, or Real Estate to sell.


They’re cleaning house at my house,
       They’re clarifying things,
The rugs have beat it thither
       And the drapes have taken wings,
The bed is in the cellar,
       And the chairs are in the yard.
I’m sitting in the alley
       And the alley’s awful hard.

They’re cleaning house at my house,
       And all our treasure trove,
They’re waxing up the hardwood
       And blacking up the stove,
They’re tinting all the ceilings
       A blue — or maybe pink —
It has a wistful odor
       That has put us on the blink.

They’re cleaning house at my house,
       I guess it’s for the best;
The only clothes that I could find
       This morning was a vest:
I guess I should be patient, still
       I do object, I think,
To sleeping in the bathtub
       And eating in the sink.

(Dedicated to Sheridan McCabe)

My old schoolmate is sick today,
       Back home here in our little town,
And though around me children play,
       And lilac blooms are tumbling down,
And blossoms spray the apple bough,
       And I can hear the honey bee,
Somehow my heart is heavy now,
       It doesn’t seem like Spring to me.

In spring we used to hook from school
       And fish all day in Sugar Crick
Beside some cool and yellow pool
       Where the grass was long and the willows
Or we’d hunt frogs, would Sherd and I,
       And cook their legs in meal, you see,
But now he’s sick — I guess that’s why
       It doesn’t seem like Spring to me.

If we could only tramp the hills
       Together as we used to do,
Or dream beside the pleasant rills
       I guess I wouldn’t feel so blue;
But though the fields are green and gay
       With birds to hear and blooms to see,
My boyhood pal is sick today —
       It doesn’t seem like Spring to me.

New Burnside, Ill.

(Hibernian slang for Kelly)

O, straw chapeau, when you were new,
A crown of pristine beauty you,
An argent cloud of shimmering sheen,
A kelly fit for any bean,
A nimbus on my raven fuzz,
A luscious lid — that’s what you wuz,
But now your glory’s one with Greece,
Your grandeur is of Rome’s a piece;
Your primal pulchritude has blewed
To vague innocuous desuetude.

In other words, O straw Caubeen,
You’re on the fritz — that’s what I mean;
An evanescent charm you had,
Too brief a time you made me glad;
Like to the poet’s poppies spread,
I touched the bloom, the flower was dead;
A gem of snowy charm today,
Tomorrow just a piece of hay —
O, adios, farewell to thee,
Good-bye, good luck, and R.I.P.

Out yonder stands a sad-eyed cow
Who’ll make a nifty meal of thou,
And thou, a one time snappy dud,
Will presto be a juicy cud.
A common fate is that, alas!
We die, and fertilize the grass
On which in sweet contentment browse
A multitude of grateful cows
Which give us milk which once was we,
And to ourselves, we drink us — see?
Straw hat, good-bye and R.I.P.


My soul once was cluttered with gladness and joy,
       My heart was a haven of glee;
Each syllable uttered was larded and buttered
       With gayfulness airy and free.
My garret cephalic with japeries Gallic
       Was crammed to exclusion of cares,
But all this has passed on the wings of the blast —
       There’s a player-piano upstairs.

And now ev’ry morning when faint for repose
       I hear its matutinal fuss,
Which when I no longer may slumber grows stronger
       And stronger till madly I cuss,
Yea, bitterly cuss the sarcophagus ghoul
       Who chauffeurs with murderous fin
Insane permuations of sad syncopations
       Accented, I’d say, on the “sin.”

It tortures the Poet and Peasant all day,
       And Rubinstein’s Melody F,
And C. Rusticana that ghoulish pian-a
       Abuses in every clef.
The Rosary, too, from its wallops is blue,
       And Killarney it tatters and tears —
O, words are inutile and puerile and futile
       To limn that piano upstairs.

And that’s why my soul, once a clutter of joy,
       And my heart once a haven of glee,
Are sadly senescent, with sorrow liquescent,
       A dunnage of dreary debris.
My onion cephalic once gayfully Gallic
       Is now an asylum of cares,
My loony medulla, alas! is the fool-a
       That player-piano upstairs.


I do not like the gentle Spring — 
To me it doesn’t mean a thing
But pests who snoop around our flat
And look at this and finger that
And question us on things that be
Peculiar to our family tree.

All day they gawp at me and mine,
And criticize and carp and whine,
And open every private door,
And pass remarks about the floor,
Or rummage through the pantry shelves
And wonder how we feed ourselves.

“Do you get heat and lots of air?”
And “Will they put new paper there?”
And “What’s inside that other room?”
And “Ain’t the kitchen like a tomb?”
And “How many children have you got?
They’re such a care” — and all that rot.

They count our silver, lift our rugs,
And speak of roaches, flies and — other forms
              of animal life,
And when they leave, they send their friends —
The dam procession never ends.
That’s why I sadly rise and sing —
I do not like the gentle Spring.

Cartoon, by Frank King, of a two woman and a child inspecting a kitchen with a frowning couple in the room behind them.


We talk a curious language, now, around our happy home;
The casual stranger thinks that we’re gaflooey in the dome.
The neighbors say: “Those McEvoys are going off
              their nut;
They pull the durndest line of talk.” And we admit it; but
We have to dress our parlance now in baby-proof
We have to watch our step these days; our child is
              getting wise.

When shades of night are falling fast, as some one
              quaintly said,
I used to blurt it out like this: “Let’s put the kid to bed.”
But now I dare not say them words, them words I
              dare not say,
For when she hears me mention “bed,” there’s simply
And so I have to do it thus — I speak in accents clear:
“Let’s p-u-t B-a-b-y to b-e-d, my dear.”

“Please pass the s-u-g-a-r,” conserves a lot of spunk.
If we said “sugar,” Dorothy May would have to have
              a hunk.
I dare not say, “Let’s beat it out and see a movie show.”
I spell: “M-o-v-i-e-s; let’s you and me g-o.”
And visitors are startled some at our peculiar cry:
“H-a-v-e some g-u-m or c-a-n-d-y.”

It’s shameful how her mother puts it over one so wise
With “G-o-i-n-g today to s-t-o-r-e,”
Or “W-a-t-c-h her pout; she’s going to c-r-y.”
I think that she suspects us now; she’s getting pretty sly.
At any rate this spelling stuff has grown on me, I
For yesterday to “Have a drink?” I answered, “Y-e-s.”


I differ with the prophet who declares we’re on the bum,
That when it comes to fighting we’re the residue and
We many not have a navy that amounts to 30 cents,
Our army may be full of prunes and apertures and
But what care we for armies or for navies or for guns?
For ammunition, strategy, or even sturdy sons?
No enemy would dare to harm our humble habitats;
We’d tell our William Farnum and he’d kick ’em in the

For have you seen our Farnum slap an engine off the
And chase a mob to helangon and sometimes half-way
And have you seen him stand a king upon his royal ear,
And beat a faithful army to a palpitating smear?
How gracefully he hits a big gazabo on the nose
And presto! undertakers and some flowers and repose!
So do not fear the English or the German or the Jap,
Just notify Bill Farnum and he’ll chase ’em off the

Then let us offer up our thanks that this is even thus,
Let’s thank a kindly Providence for taking care of us,
For handing us a Farnum to protect our kith and kin,
A Farnum who can give the foe a swift one on the
For should a foreign country grow pernickity or raw,
We’ll laugh our girlish tee hee hee and likewise haw
              haw haw.
Have we not William Farnum to defend the mountain
We have, and William Farnum, girls, can run ’em out
              of gas.

[William Farnum was a movie actor in the early days of film. He was in one of the best fight scenes of all time, fighting Tom Santschi in The Spoilers. See the Wikipedia entry: William Farnum — Elf.Ed.]

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