Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SHANAHAN'S OULD QUEEN, by GERALD BRENNAN



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SHANAHAN'S OULD QUEEN, by            
First Line: This is the tale that cassidy told
Last Line: For the taste o' a mornin's mornin' in shanahan's ould shebeen!
Variant Title(s): The Mornin's Mornin'
Subject(s): Adventure & Adventurers


THIS IS THE TALE that Cassidy told
In his halls a-sheen with purple and gold;
Told as he sprawled in an easy chair,
Chewing cigars at a dollar a pair;
Told with a sigh, and perchance a tear,
As the rough soul showed through the cracked veneer;
Told as he gazed on the walls near by,
Where a Greuze and a Millet were hung on high,
With a rude little print in a frame between --
A picture of Shanahan's ould shebeen.

I'm drinkin' me mornin's mornin' -- but it doesn't taste th' same,
Tho' the glass is iv finest crystal, an' th' liquor slips down like crame,
An' me Cockney footman brings it on a soort of a silver plate --
Sherry an' bitters it is, whiskey is out iv date.
In me bran-new brownstone mansion -- Fift' Av'noo over th' way --
The cathaydral round th' corner, an' the Lord Archbishop to tay.
Sure I ought to be sthiff wid grandeur, but me tastes are mighty mean,
An' I'd rather a mornin's mornin' at Shanahan's ould shebeen.

Oh, well do I mind th' shanty -- th' rocks an' th' field beyant,
The dirt floor yellow wid sawdust, an' th' walls on a three-inch slant;
There's a twelve-story flat on the site now -- 'twas meself that builded the same,
An' they called it the Mont-morincy, tho' I wanted th' good ould name.
Me dinner pail under me oxther before th' whistle blew,
I'd banish the drames from me eyelids wid a noggin or maybe two;
An' oh, 'twas th' illigant whiskey -- its like I have never seen
Since I went for me mornin's mornin' to Shanahan's ould shebeen.

I disremember th' makers -- I couldn't tell you the brand,
But it smiled like the golden sunlight, an' it looked an' tasted gr-rand.
When me throat was caked wid mortar an' me head was cracked wid a blast,
One drink o' Shanahan's dewdrops an' all me troubles was past.
That's why, as I squat on th' cushins, wid divil a hap'orth to do,
In a mornin' coat wid velvit, an' a champagne lunch at two,
Th' memory comes like a banshee, meself an' me wealth between,
An' I long for a mornin's mornin' in Shanahan's ould shebeen.

A mornin' coat lined wid velvit -- an' me ould coat used to do
Alike for mornin' an' evenin', (an' sometimes I slep' in it, too!)
An' 'twas divil a sup iv sherry that Shanahan kept -- no fear.
If you can't afford good whiskey he'd take you on trust fer beer.
Th' dacintist gang I knew there -- McCarthy, (Sinathor since,)
An' Murphy that mixed the morthar, (sure the Pope has made him a prince).
You should see 'em, avic, o' Sundays, wid faces scraped an' clean,
When th' boss stood a mornin's mornin' round Shanahan's ould shebeen.

Whist! here comes His Grace's carriage, 'twill be lunch time by and by,
An' I dasn't drink another -- though me throat is powerful dry;
For I've got to meet th' Archbishop -- I'm a laborer now no more,
But ohone, those were fine times then, lad, an' to talk o' 'em makes me sore.
An' whisper -- there's times, I tell you, when I'd swap this easy chair,
An' the velvit coat an' the footman, wid his Sassenach nose in the air,
An' the' Lord Archbishop himself, too, for a drink o' the days that ha' been,
For the taste o' a mornin's mornin' in Shanahan's ould shebeen!





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