Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, VALHALLA INN, by BERTON BRALEY



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VALHALLA INN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Somewhere in valhalla is a double swinging door
Last Line: And trade the purple barroom tales that men tell other men!
Subject(s): Bars & Bartenders; Mythology - Classical; Ulysses; Pubs; Taverns; Saloons; Odysseus


Somewhere in Valhalla is a double swinging door
That leads into a cool retreat with sawdust on the floor.
The Bar-Keep's round of face and form as proper bar-keeps are,
And there's a proper rail of brass that runs along the bar.
The smell of beer is in the air, and blue smoke makes a cloud
About the mighty Flagoneers who gather in a crowd,
A crowd of high adventurers who broke historic trails
Now loafing in Valhalla for to tell their barroom tales!

Somewhere in Valhalla, in that huge heroic place,
The fighters and philosophers can hobnob face to face;
And over good Falernian or mead or ale or beer
Their laughter rings out deep and strong as they make lusty cheer.
Presiding at their revels is good Father Rabelais
Past master of rich barroom wit that never grows passé
And wielders of the ready sword and pushers of the pen
Are roaring forth the pungent tales that Men tell other Men!

Somewhere in Valhalla—to a joyous, careless gang,
Old Homer spills some racy yarns he never wrote or sang,
And Hector and Achilles and Ulysses shake with glee
At antics of the gods and men by land and sky and sea.
Cæsar, Alexander, and Napoleon are there
To hark to tales—and tell a few—that rank as "something rare,"
Boccaccio, Balzac, Twain and Swift, and Jonson—"rare old Ben"—
Are pulling gorgeous azure japes that Men tell other Men!

Somewhere in Valhalla is a dim and smoky Inn
Where heroes of the ages can sit happily and spin
The Yarns That Women Never Know, the bold and boisterous tales,
The healthy, robust "barroom stuff" whose magic never fails.
For men must flock with other men in heaven or on earth
To taste the camaraderie of such full-throated mirth
As goes with sawdust, smoke and beer. So, in Valhalla's bounds
There is a hostel known to all where such broad glee resounds;
Where Pirates, Painters, Soldiers, Bards foregather now and then
And trade the purple Barroom Tales that Men tell other Men!





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