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A Hobo Voluntary
by [?]

Oh, the hobo’s life is a roving life;
It robs pretty maids of their heart’s delight–
It causes them to weep and it causes them to mourn
For the life of a hobo, never to return.

The hobo’s heart it is light and free,
Though it’s Sweethearts all, farewell, to thee!–
Farewell to thee, for it’s far away
The homeless hobo’s footsteps stray.

In the morning bright, or the dusk so dim,
It’s any path is the one for him!
He’ll take his chances, long or short,
For to meet his fate with a valiant heart.

Oh, it’s beauty mops out the sidetracked-car,
And it’s beauty-beaut’ at the pigs-feet bar;
But when his drinks and his eats is made
Then the hobo shunts off down the grade.

He camps near town, on the old crick-bank,
And he cuts his name on the water-tank–
He cuts his name and the hobo sign,–
“Bound for the land of corn and wine!”

(Oh, it’s I like friends that he’ps me through,
And the friends also that he’ps you, too,–
Oh, I like all friends, ‘most every kind
But I don’t like friends that don’t like mine.)

There’s friends of mine, when they gits the hunch,
Comes a swarmin’ in, the blasted bunch,–
“Clog-step Jonny” and “Flat-wheel Bill”
And “Brockey Ike” from Circleville.

With “Cooney Ward” and “Sikes the Kid”
And old “Pop Lawson”–the best we had–
The rankest mug and the worst for lush
And the dandiest of the whole blame push.

Oh, them’s the times I remembers best
When I took my chance with all the rest,
And hogged fried chicken and roastin’ ears, too,
And sucked cheroots when the feed was through.

Oh, the hobo’s way is the railroad line,
And it’s little he cares for schedule time;
Whatever town he’s a-striken for
Will wait for him till he gits there.

And whatever burg that he lands in
There’s beauties there just thick for him–
There’s beauty at “The Queen’s Taste Lunch-stand,” sure,
Or “The Last Chance Boardin’ House” back-door.

He’s lonesome-like, so he gits run in,
To git the hang o’ the world ag’in;
But the laundry circles he moves in there
Makes him sigh for the country air,–

So it’s Good-by gals! and he takes his chance
And wads hisself through the workhouse-fence:
He sheds the town and the railroad, too,
And strikes mud roads for a change of view.

The jay drives by on his way to town,
And looks on the hobo in high scorn,
And so likewise does the farmhands stare–
But what the haids does the hobo care!

He hits the pike, in the summer’s heat
Or the winter’s cold, with its snow and sleet–
With a boot on one foot, and one shoe–
Or he goes barefoot, if he chooses to.

But he likes the best, when the days is warm,
With his bum Prince-Albert on his arm–
He likes to size up a farmhouse where
They haint no man nor bulldog there.

Oh, he gits his meals wherever he can,
So natchurly he’s a handy man–
He’s a handy man both day and night,
And he’s always blest with an appetite!

A tin o’ black coffee, and a rhuburb pie–
Be they old and cold as charity–
They’re hot-stuff enough for the pore hobo,
And it’s “Thanks, kind lady, for to treat me so!”

Then he fills his pipe with a stub cigar
And swipes a coal from the kitchen fire,
And the hired girl says, in a smilin’ tone,–
“It’s good-by, John, if you call that goin’!”

Oh, the hobo’s life is a roving life,
It robs pretty maids of their heart’s delight–
It causes them to weep and it causes them to mourn
For the life of a hobo, never to return.