THE MISER
by
T. W. Connor
Billy Bennett
Up in a frowsy garret,
Alone in the darkness and gloom, 
A miser had cut off his whiskers 
And used them to mend the broom!

He's swallowed the furniture polish 
And now he sits sucking the cork. 
Not even, a bone for the mongrel, 
For there's no bones in filleted pork!

No furniture-save a piano
The mice are all moving away!
Even the flies have tears in their eyes,
And the clock's going round the wrong way!

Once a bird flew in at his window
It had flown all the way from Irak
But he plucked it of every feather, 
And it had to walk all the way back !

To-night he is counting his money, 
The money he's saved on soap,
And he's looking at fourpence ha'p'ny 
Through a powerful. microscope...

The midnight hour is striking,
By the watch that he wears on his wrist, 
And he still sits counting his golden coins, 
The bit that America's missed !

Though in politics he's a Conservative, 
His nose has long since joined the 'Reds'! 
He's had the same ears for the last fifty years, 
And his eyes are like winkle-heads.

To-night he's that nervous and shaky, 
He couldn't pick up half-a-crown.
He's been reading, 'The House That Jack Built ' 
And he's frightened it might fall down!

He's thinking of selling his body
He will if he gets the chance,
But you know what these medical students are, 
They might want a bit in advance!

Ten years ago, 'as the crow flies,'
He remembers the farmer's daughter
And his hated rival, the plumber's mate
Who used to bore holes in the water.

And he's thinking of Monte Carlo 
And the thousands he gave to the poor 
And the millions he won at the tables 
Before he woke up on the floor... 

He pictures the comely maiden, 
The beautiful Sarah Bloggs, 
He met her in a meadow
She was milking the cow in clogs.

And he?... Just a wild young rover, 
As wild as the mountain goats, 
He'd sown all his scarlet runners, 
Now he's sowing his Quaker Oats!

It was love at first sight... they got married
'Love at first sight' and a fall; 
If he had looked at her a second time 
They'd never have married at all.

The night before the wedding
His father took him aside,
Said, ' There's something I have to tell you, 
Your mother will tell the bride.

'I know it's a delicate matter '...
Then this secret he let fall
'It was I put the toys in your stocking! 
Not Santa Claus at all!'

For three weeks they lived very happy, 
The reason's not far to seek 
He went away for a fortnight, 
And she went away for a week.

And it might have gone on till it finished,
But one day she started to think,
When he asked her to crawl through the drain-pipe 
For the penny he'd dropped down the sink.

They didn't exactly quarrel,
Just a jangle, a tear and a sigh;
When it finished she had a lump in her throat 
And he had a lump on his eye.

Then he started to squander his money,
And soon went beyond his means,
What with Shilling all day's on the tram-cars 
And Penny's in weighing machines.

He stood on the bridge at midnight,
His head was beginning to spin,
He couldn't make up his mind to jump, 
So a p'liceman pushed him in!

A tramp sleeping on the Embankment
Hearing his cries of pain,
Jumped up and threw him a tram-line 
And pulled him out again.

But fed up with life's indigestion,
And down to his last liver-pill
And then the Boy Scouts refused him! 
So he sat down to make his will.

And he left all his cigarette-pictures
To the man who had saved his life,
All the money he'd got he left to himself, 
All the money he owed-to his wife.

Then he gave up backing horses
And took the advice of a friend,
And made a fresh start-backing greyhounds! 
So he went to the 'dogs' in the end. 
The end