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THE BLACKEST MAN I KNOW
by
Clifford Grey & Cuthbert Clarke

The blackest man I know was a sweep in Pimlico
He had quite the blackest face you've ever seen
But for all his dirty hide, he was white, clean white inside
I'm sorry, my mistake... that's Gunga Din
I loved him to the last, though he'd had a sooty past
But he kept it dark as only he could do
Till one evening very late came his final brush with fate
Between ourselves he'd had just one or two
It was near a fish-shop door, as he passed a face he saw
With a pair of eyes that held a frightened stare
"Twas a cod-fish on the ice, but it gripped him like a vice
For it seemed to him that she was standing there
How the chord of mem'ry stirs, those eyes were just like hers
That woman who had vowed to be his wife
To the blackest man I know she had said long years ago
He must wash his face or vanish from her life
Well, his manly pride was hurt, for he loved his honest dirt
And for him there was only one thing left to do
For the Blackest Man I know guessed he'd got the sack
He said "Good-bye", took up his brush - and flue
Then he woke - the vision flown by that fish-shop- all alone
And he wandered on, his mind a fitful dream
To the turgid river side, plunged headlong in the tide
And floated with his flue-brush down the stream
He was never seen again, he may be in some drain
And the world still laughs and no one calls it odd
The Blackest Man I know, I'll tell what made him go
'Twas the Green Eye of the Little Yellow COD.
 
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