Eugene Field

(2 September 1850 - 4 November 1895 / St Louis / Missouri / United States)

How Salty Win Out - Poem by Eugene Field

I used to think that luck wuz luck and nuthin' else but luck--
It made no diff'rence how or when or where or why it struck;
But sev'ral years ago I changt my mind, an' now proclaim
That luck's a kind uv science--same as any other game;
It happened out in Denver in the spring uv '80 when
Salty teched a humpback an' win out ten.

Salty wuz a printer in the good ol' Tribune days,
An', natural-like, he fell into the good ol' Tribune ways;
So, every Sunday evenin' he would sit into the game
Which in this crowd uv thoroughbreds I think I need not name;
An' there he'd sit until he rose, an', when he rose, he wore
Invariably less wealth about his person than before.

But once there came a powerful change; one sollum Sunday night
Occurred the tidal wave that put ol' Salty out o' sight.
He win on deuce an' ace an' Jack--he win on king an' queen--
Clif Bell allowed the like uv how he win wuz never seen.
An' how he done it wuz revealed to all us fellers when
He said he teched a humpback to win out ten.

There must be somethin' in it, for he never win afore,
An' when he told the crowd about the humpback, how they swore!
For every sport allows it is a losin' game to luck
Agin the science uv a man who's teched a hump f'r luck;
And there is no denyin' luck wuz nowhere in it when
Salty teched a humpback an' win out ten.

I've had queer dreams an' seen queer things, an' allus tried to do
The thing that luck apparently intended f'r me to;
Cats, funerils, cripples, beggers have I treated with regard,
An' charity subscriptions have hit me powerful hard;
But what's the use uv talkin'? I say, an' say again:
You've got to tech a humpback to win out ten!

So, though I used to think that luck wuz lucky, I'll allow
That luck, for luck, agin a hump aint nowhere in it now!
An' though I can't explain the whys an' wherefores, I maintain
There must be somethin' in it when the tip's so straight an' plain;
For I wuz there an' seen it, an' got full with Salty when
Salty teched a humpback an' win out ten!


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010



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