At midnight, on his Gumbo claim,
The Major dreamed of that bright hour,
When he could toot the trump of fame
And twist the caudal end of power;
In dreams on Empyrean wings
He soared above these sordid things—
Above pay ads and legals too,
Job work and back subscriptions due—
Above the trials small and great,
Which form the editor’s estate—
He trod the nation’s quarter-deck.
Gave to the rope his rival’s neck;
Councils and mayors and police
Spoke at his beck or held their peace—
Cooley no more his thoughts might vex,
Egan or Carley no more perplex,
In that bright realm his vision saw
His word was edict, his nod was law.

At midnight in the beer saloon,
Tom Coffey, Cook and Owens Jim,
Caucussed in darkness’ silent noon,
And fixed the slate in fighting trim,
At midnight, while the major snored.
This plotting trio, wide awake,
Set up the pins on which he floored
And named the dose which he would take.

The days passed on—the major woke—
From that bright dream—too bright to last—
He woke at Sancho Panza’s shriek;
"We’re lost, we’re lost! They’ve made a sneak,"
He woke and looked about dismayed,
Coffey and Co., on dress parade,
He woke and rushing forth to Hughes
Poured in his ears the direful news.
Bade Fisher haste and get his gun,
Sent telegrams to Dorrington,
Buckled his armor on and drew
His sword—and then the—sponge he threw.

Quarrels in camp have curious ends,
Particularly between "friends."


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