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Lieutenant Luff
by [?]

All you that are too fond of wine,
Or any other stuff,
Take warning by the dismal fate
Of one Lieutenant Luff.
A sober man he might have been,
Except in one regard,
He did not like soft water,
So he took to drinking hard!

Said he, “Let others fancy slops,
And talk in praise of Tea,
But I am no Bohemian,
So do not like Bohea.
If wine’s a poison, so is Tea,
Though in another shape:
What matter whether one is kill’d
By canister or grape!”

According to this kind of taste
Did he indulge his drouth,
And being fond of Port, he made
A port-hole of his mouth!
A single pint he might have sipp’d
And not been out of sorts,
In geologic phrase–the rock
He split upon was quarts!

To “hold the mirror up to vice”
With him was hard, alas!
The worse for wine he often was,
But not “before a glass.”
No kind and prudent friend had he
To bid him drink no more,–
The only chequers in his course
Where at a tavern door!

Full soon the sad effects of this
His frame began to show,
For that old enemy the gout
Had taken him in toe!
And join’d with this an evil came
Of quite another sort–
For while he drank, himself, his purse
Was getting “something short.”

For want of cash he soon had pawn’d
One half that he possessed,
And drinking showed him duplicates
Beforehand of the rest!
So now his creditors resolved
To seize on his assets;
For why,–they found that his half-pay
Did not half pay his debts.

But Luff contrived a novel mode
His creditors to chouse;
For his own execution he
Put into his own house!
A pistol to the muzzle charged
He took devoid of fear;
Said he, “This barrel is my last,
So now for my last bier!”

Against his lungs he aimed the slugs,
And not against his brain,
So he blew out his lights–and none
Could blow them in again!
A Jury for a Verdict met,
And gave in it these terms:–
“We find as how as certain slugs
Has sent him to the worms!”