Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Poem.

Enjoy this? Share it!

Breitmann’s Going To Church
by [?]


“Vides igitur, Collega carissime, visitationem canonicam esse rem haud ita periculosam, sed valde amoenam, si modo vinum, groggio et cibi praesto sunt.” – Novissimae Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum, Berolini F. Berggold, 1869. Epistola xxiii., p. 63.

D’VAS near de state of Nashfille,
In de town of Tennessee,
Der Breitmann vonce vas quarderd
Mit all his cavallrie.
Der Sheneral kept him glose in gamp,
He vouldn’t let dem go;
Dey couldn’t shdeal de first plack hen,
Or make de red cock crow.

Und virst der Breitmann vildly shmiled,
Und denn he madly shvore;
“Crate h–l, mit shpoons und shinsherbread,
Can dis pe makin war?
Verdammt pe all der discipline!
Verdammt der Shenerál!
Vere I vonce on de road, his will,
Vere wurst mir und egâl. [1]

“Oh vhere ish all de plazin roofs
Dat claddened vonce mine eyes?
Und vhere de crand plantaschions
Vhere ve gaddered many a brize?
Und vhere de plasted shpies ve hung
A howlin loud mit fear?
Und vhere de rascal push-whackers
Ve shashed like vritened deer?

“De roofs are shtandin fast and firm
Mit repels blottin oonder;
De crand blantaschions lie round loose
For Morgan’s men to ploonder!
De shpies go valkin out und in,
Ash sassy ash can pe;
Und in de voods de push-whackers
Are makin foon of me!

“Oh vere I on my schimmel grey
Mein sabre in mein hand,
Dey should drack me py de ruins
Of de houses troo de land.
Dey should drack me py de puzzards
High sailen ofer head,
A vollowin der Breitmann’s trail
To claw de repel dead.”

Outspoke der bold Von Stossenheim,
Who had théories of Gott:
“O Breitmann, dis ish shoodgement on
De vays dat you hafe trot.
You only lifes to joy yourself,
Yet you, yourself moost say,
Dat self-defelopment requires
De réligiös Idée.”

Dey sat dem down and argued id,
Like Deutschers vree from fear,
Dill dey schmoke ten pounds of knaster,
Und drinked drei fass of bier.
Der Breitmann go py Schopenhauer,
Boot Veit he had him denn;
For he dook him on de angles
Of de moral oxygen.

Der Breitmann ‘low, dat ‘pentence,
Ish known in efery glime,
Und dat to grin und bear it
Vas healty und soopline.
“For mine Sout German Catolicks,
Id vas pe goot, I know;
Likevise dem Nordland Luterans,
If vonce to shoorsh dey go.

“Boot how vas id mit oders
Who dinks philosophie?
I don’t begreif de matter,”
Said Stossenheim: “Denn see.
De more dat shoorsh disgoostet you,
Und make despise und bain,
De crater merid ish to go,
Und de crater ish your gain.

“I know a liddle shoorsh mineself,
Oopon de Bole Jack road:
(De rebs vonce shot dree Federals dere,
Ash into shoorsh dey goed.)
Dere you might make a bilcrimage,
Und do id in a tay:
Gott only knows vot dings you mighdt
Bick oop, oopon de vay.”

Denn oop dere shpoke a contrapand,
Vas at de tent id’s toor-
“Dere’s twenty bar’ls of whiskey, hid,
In dat tabernacle, shore.
A rebel he done gone and put
It in de cellar, true,
No libin man dat secret knows,
‘Cept only me an’ you.”

Der Stossenheim, he grossed himself,
Und knelt peside de fence,
Und gried: “O Coptain Breitmannn, see,
Die finger Providence.”
Der Breitmann droed his hat afay,
Says he, “Pe’t hit or miss,
I’fe heard of miragles pefore,
Boot none so hunk ash dis.”