The Old Roller Towel
the use of roller towels.
How sad to our hearts was the old roller towel,
That hung on the walls at the hotel each day.
A place for the grime and the sweat of our bread
It furnished for all who were passing that way.
It held all the suds of the hasty in washing,
It showed that the blacksmith was boarding
And we rolled it around and around in our efforts
To get at a place not all covered with sweat.
The old roller towel,
The dirty old towel,
The old greasy towel
All covered with sweat.
How often at noon as we came for our rations,
We grabbed and we tugged at this rag on the
Some hands that were clean and some more that
Yet all of the hungry ones gave it a call.
Yes, sad to our hearts was this old dirty towel,
But now it has joined those who cannot come
The black on its linen has proved its undoing,
Like him the once hero, our old Jeffries Jack.
So farewell old towel,
You old roller towel,
You dirty old towel,
That cannot come back.
(Boston: The Gorham Press. 1914)