Greatrex Newman & Fred Cecil (1915)
Billy Bennett
This meetin' of the partners in the firm of Broom an' Co.,
Is 'eld because the cash in 'and 'as run exceedin' low,
In fact the firm is stoney broke, they've neither crumb not crust, 
They've tried to raise the wind, but found they've only raised the dust.
Ten years ago a crossin' sweeper easy earned 'is keep, 
But now, wi' naught but motor cars, there's only smells to sweep. 
Besides, it's no use me an' you abreakin' of our 'earts,
We can't compete against them swagger Corporation carts. 
The truth is mate, we're past it, yes, we'll 'ave to shut up shop,
We're growin' old,—why both of us is nearly bald on top. 
When you was young, an' trim, an' smart, why then you'd almost brains,
You was a marvel then at fetchin' fag-ends out o' drains, 
An' if a stray cigar stump should be chucked down by a gent,
You dashed off with your 'ead down like a blood 'ound on the scent.

I'll bet you ain't forgot the day you found that shillin'? No—
The share 'olders got dividends that night from Broom an' Co. 
Sometimes our luck 'as bin right in, an' sometimes, well, it ain't, 
But you've kep' always cheerful though—no grousin', nor complaint.
An' when at times I've 'ad the 'ump, an' felt fed-up or ill, 
You've seemed to kind o' smile at me, an' whisper, "stick it Bill." 
For years you've swep' that crossin'—rain or sunshine, every day,
You've never wanted overtime nor struck for 'igher pay; 
While ev'ry Sunday mornin' you was always to be found, 
In a churchyard, gently sweepin', round a little raised up mound; 
An' while you've quietly swept about, I've sent to 'Eaven a prayer-
That we might pass them Golden Gates-an' sweep a crossin' there.
The end