From The Wit and Humor of America, edited by Marshall P. Wilder, Volume III, New York and London: Funk and Wagnalls and Company, 1911; pp. 519-521.
THE BOHEMIANS OF BOSTON
BY GELETT BURGESS
The “Orchids” were as tough a crowd
As Boston anywhere allowed;
It was a club of wicked men —
The oldest, twelve, the youngest, ten;
They drank their soda colored green,
They talked of “Art,” and “Philistine,”
They wore buff “wescoats,” and their hair
It used to make the waiters stare!
They were so shockingly behaved
And Boston thought them so depraved,
Policemen, stationed at the door,
Would raid them every hour or more!
They used to smoke (!) and laugh out loud (!)
They were a very devilish crowd!
They formed a Cult, far subtler, brainier,
Than ordinary Anglomania,
For all as Jacobites were reckoned,
And gaily toasted Charles the Second!
(What would the Bonnie Charlie say,
If he could see that crowd to-day?)
Was Regent of the Orchids’ Club;
A wild Bohemian was he,
And spent his money fast and free.520
He thought no more of spending dimes
On some debauch of pickled limes,
Than you would think of spending nickels
To buy a pint of German pickles!
The Boston maiden passed him by
With sidelong glances of her eye,
She dared not speak (he was so wild),
Yet worshipped this Lotharian child.
Fitz-Willieboy was so blase,
He burned a Transcript up one day!
The Orchids fashioned all their style
On Flubadub’s infernal guile.
That awful Boston oath was his —
He used to ’jaculate, “Gee Whiz!”
He showed them that immoral haunt,
The dirty Chinese Restaurant;
And there they’d find him, even when
It got to be as lat as ten!
He ate chopped suey (with a fork)
You should have heard the villain talk
Of one reporter that he knew (!)
An artist, and an actor, too !!!
The Orchids went from bad to worse,
Made epigrams — attempted verse!
Boston was horrified and shocked
To hear the way those Orchids mocked;
For they made fun of Boston ways,
And called good men Provincial Jays!
The end must come to such a story,
Gone is the wicked Orchids’ glory;
The room was raided by police,
One night, for breaches of the Peace
(There had been laughter, long and loud,
In Boston this is not allowed),521
And there, the sergeant of the squad
Found awful evidence — my God! —
The Regent of the Orchids’ Club,
Had written on the window-sill,
This shocking outrage — “Beacon H—ll!”