|Gid Fluke has turned evangelist,
The devil's tail he likes to twist;
He tells upon the street each day
How he was once a cast-away.
And thousands come as he exhorts,
Who shed big tears when he cavorts,
And wonder at the change that's come
O'er such a booze-besotted bum.
This world is full of sin and woe,
And ministers are scarce, I know;
I might go out and snatch the brands
That now are grasped in Satan's hands,
But, sad to say, when I was young
No cuss-words slid from off my tongue,
I did not fall a prey to drink
And down into the gutter sink,
Nor patronize a gambling hell,
That I in later years might tell
The story of my early woes,
And proudly show my flaming nose.
For I was taught that what we sowed
When starting out upon life's road,
The same we'd reap in after years;
That vice would bring us bitter tears.
While, if we walked in virtue's ways,
A plenteous peace would bless our days.
And so I went to Sunday School
And tried to live the Golden Rule;
Quite confident when I was grown
A long-tailed coat should be my own;
That in the pulpit I should stand
And sound the gospel through the land;
While Gid, with other sinful chaps,
Was in a box car shooting craps.
But now I toil for meager pay
At humble tasks the livelong day,
While Gid is hoarding big, fat rolls
By saving countless sinners' souls.
Verdigris Valley Verse
(Coffeyville, Kansas: The Journal Press. 1917)