Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PLAIN LANGUAGE FROM TRUTHFUL JAMES, by FRANCIS BRET HARTE



Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

Rhyming Dictionary Search
PLAIN LANGUAGE FROM TRUTHFUL JAMES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Which I wish to remark
Last Line: Which the same I am free to maintain.
Alternate Author Name(s): Harte, Bret
Variant Title(s): The Heathen Chinee;plain Talk From Truthful James
Subject(s): Asian Americans - Chinese; Gambling; Chinese In The United States; Wagering; Betting


WHICH I wish to remark --
And my language is plain --
That for ways that are dark
And for tricks that are vain,
The heathen Chinee is peculiar:
Which the same I would rise to explain.

Ah Sin was his name;
And I shall not deny
In regard to the same
What that name might imply;
But his smile it was pensive and childlike,
As I frequent remarked to Bill Nye.

It was August the third,
And quite sort was the skies,
Which it might be inferred
That Ah Sin was likewise;
Yet he played it that day upon William
And me in a way I despise.

Which we had a small game,
And Ah Sin took a hand:
It was euchre. The same
He did not understand,
But he smiled, as he sat by the table,
With the smile that was childlike and bland.

Yet the cards they were stocked
In a way that I grieve,
And my feelings were shocked
At the state of Nye's sleeve,
Which was stuffed full of aces and bowers,
And the same with intent to deceive.

But the hands that were played
By that heathen Chinee,
And the points that he made,
Were quite frightful to see, --
Till at last he put down a right bower,
Which the same Nye had dealt unto me.

Then I looked up at Nye,
And he gazed upon me;
And he rose with a sigh,
And said, "Can this be?
We are ruined by Chinese cheap labor," --
And he went for that heathen Chinee.

In the scene that ensued
I did not take a hand,
But the floor it was strewed,
Like the leaves on the strand,
With the cards that Ah Sin had been hiding
In the game "he did not understand."

In his sleeves, which were long,
He had twenty-four jacks, --
Which was coming it strong,
Yet I state but the facts.
And we found on his nails, which were taper, --
What is frequent in tapers, -- that's wax.

Which is why I remark,
And my language is plain,
That for ways that are dark,
And for tricks that are vain,
The heathen Chinee is peculiar, --
Which the same I am free to maintain.




Other Poems of Interest...



Home: PoetryExplorer.net