Charles Godfrey Leland

(15 August 1824 - 20 March 1903 / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Breitmann As An Uhlan. - Poem by Charles Godfrey Leland

O HEAR a wondrous shdory
Vot soundet like romance,
How Breitmann mit four Uhlans
Vas dake de town of Nantz.
De Frantschmen call it Nancy,
Und dey say its fery hard
Dat Nancy mit her soldiers
Vas getook py gorpral's guard.

Dey dink id vas King Wilhelm
Ash Hans ride in de down,
Und like Odin in his glorie
Gazed derriply aroun'.
Denn mit awfool condesenchen
He at de Frantschmen shtare,
Und say, 'Ye wretsched shildren?
Abbortez mir vodre mere!'

Hans mean de city Syndic,
Whom maire de Frantschmen call;
So mit a tousand soldiers
Dey 'scort him to de Hall;
In de shair of shtade dey sot him,
Der maire coom to pe heard,
Und Hans glare at him fife minutes
Pefore he shbeak a word.

Den in iron dones he ootered:
'Ich temand que rentez fous:
Shai dreisig mille soldaten
Bas loin l'ici, barploo!
Aber tonnez-moi Champagner;
Shai an soif exdrortinaire-
Apout one douzaine cart-loads;
Und dann je fous laisse faire.'

Denn he say to Schwackenhammer,
His segretaire - 'Read
A liddle exdra liste
Of dings de army need,
Und dell dem in Franzosisch
Dey moost shell de neetfool down
In less dan dwendy minudes,
Or, py Gott, I'll purn de town.'

'Item - one tousand vatches
Of purest gold so fair;
Dazu funf tousand silbern,
For de gommon soldiers' wear;
Und tree dousand diamant ringe
Dey moost make tirectly come,
We need dem for our schweethearts
Ven we write to em at home!

'Von million cigarren
Ve'll accept ash extra boons
For not squeezin dem seferely,
Dazu dwelf tousand shboons.'
Here der maire fell down in schwoonin,
Denn all dat he could say
Vas ,'O mon dieu, de dieu, dieu!
Nous voila ruinees!'

No wort der Breitmann ootered,
He only make a sgratch,
Calm and silend on de daple,
Mit a liddle friction match.
De maire versteh de motion,
So went him to de task
Of raisin mong de peoples
Vot it vas der Breitmann ask.

So kam he mit de ringe,
Dey vind dem pooty soon;
So kam he mit de vatches,
Und avery silber spoon.
Boot ash for de champagner,
He wept and loudly call
Dat par dieu! he hadn't any,
For de Deutsch hafe troonk it all.

Ja! - de gorporal's guart have trinket
Efery pottle in de down,
Vhile dese negotiations
Oop-stairs vere written down.
Boot der Breitmann sooplimely,
Like von who nodings felt,
Said, 'Instet of le champagner
Nous brentirons du gelt.'

Ja wohl! Donnes cent mille franken,
C'est mir egal, you know;
Pid dem pring id in a horry,
For 'tis dime for oos to go.'
Der maire he pring de money,
Und der Breitmann squeeze his hand,-
'Leb wohl, dou nople brickbat,
Herzbruder in Frankenland!

'Boot it griefes my soul to larmen,
Und I sympathize mit dein,
To pense of you, mon ami,
Sans le champagner wein.
Dere will oder Deutsch pe gomin,
Und it preak mine heart to dink
De vay dey'll bang and slang you
If dere's no champagne to trink!

'Cela fous fera misere
Que she ne feux bas see;
So, vollow mes gonseilles,
Et brenez mon afis.
Shai, moi, deux mille boutelles,
De meilleur dat man can ashk,
Vich I will gladly sell-
Sheap as dirt - ten franks a flask.'

De maire look oop to heafen,
Wohl nodings could he say,
Vhile oud indo de mitnight
Der Breitmann rode afay.
Away - atown de falley,
Till noding more abbears
Boot de glitter of de moonlight,
De moonlight on deir spears.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, October 14, 2010

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