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Chanson de Boheme

Lives of great men all remind us
Rose is red and violet's blue;
Johnny's got his gun behind us
'Cause the lamb loved Mary too.

—Robert Burns' "Hocht Time in the aud Town."

I'd rather write this, as bad as it is
Than be Will Shakespeare's shade;
I'd rather be known as an F. F. V.
Than in Mount Vernon laid.
I'd rather count ties from Denver to Troy
Than to head Booth's old programme;
I'd rather be special for the New York World
Than to lie with Abraham.

For there's stuff in the can, there's Dolly and Fan,
And a hundred things to choose;
There's a kiss in the ring, and every old thing
That a real live man can use.

I'd rather fight flies in a boarding house
Than fill Napoleon's grave,
And snuggle up warm in my three slat bed
Than be André the brave.
I'd rather distribute a coat of red
On the town with a wad of dough
Just now, than to have my cognomen
Spelled "Michael Angelo."

For a small live man, if he's prompt on hand
When the good things pass around,
While the world's on tap has a better snap
Than a big man under ground.




O Henry

Short Stories