Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, J.K.; SOLDIER OF FORTUNE, by BERTON BRALEY



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J.K.; SOLDIER OF FORTUNE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: How shall I fitly delineate jimmy
Last Line: Of mirth!
Subject(s): Soldiers


How shall I fitly delineate Jimmy,
Jimmy the fanciful, fickle and funny,
Bold as a lion and girlishly whimmy,
Faithful with friendship—and faithless with money?
Fighter and liar of boundless capacity;
Living a life stranger far than his lies,
Fool—with a quaint and uncanny sagacity,
Quips on his lips and unrest in his eyes!

Jimmy the gambler
World-rambler
And scout 15ms
Questing, where strife is,
What Life is
About!

Money to Jimmy is only for squandering,
Any you lend you will never get back.
Over the face of the map he goes wandering,
Joining lost causes in fruitless attack.
True to all women—and sticking to none of them,
Blithely returning each come-hither glance;
Nevertheless he is faithful to one of them
—Leal Cavalier to our Lady Romance!

Jimmy, unstable
Yet able
To thrill
Judy O'Gradys
Or ladies
At will!

Payment for raiment or other necessities
He lets his creditors wait for in vain,
Yet when a comrade encounters distress it is
Jimmy who eases the fret and the strain.
Sheriffs and bailiffs come trailing him legally
Armed with attachments to force him to pay.
Jimmy bemuses and buncoes them regally,
Borrows their money—and goes on his way!

Jimmy, whose prattle
Would rattle
A Jew;
Runs up some new bills
When due bills
Come due!

Wholly at home with the folk intellectual,
Equally facile with brows that are low,
Razzing the wits with a wit more effectual,
Life of the party with Sadie and Joe,
Outlying liars with vim and variety,
Capping true stories with truer tales still;
Though you must pay for his sparkling society
Only a niggard would kick at the bill!

Jimmy, the rover
All over
The earth,
Waster and spender
But blender
Of Mirth!





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