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Cellar Sobs

From the Omaha Daily Bee, February 15, 1915.

Listen, friends, and you shall hear
Of a story sad and drear,
And you’ll shed a briny tear,
    That I know;
For it maketh strong men weep,
Gives them spooks and loss of sleep,
Makes the nerves go creepy creep
    With its woe.

Once there lived a maiden fair,
Blue of eye and brown of hair,
Tall she was, a height most rare,
    Monstrous big;
For the state she went to work,
Not to dawdle or to shirk,
Nor to gossip or to smirk,
    But to dig.

Faithfully she worked and well
Did this long and lanky belle,
That is why I hate to tell
    How she fared.
For they chucked her in the cellar,
Where she daily grew more yeller.
Did she weep and wail and beller?
    No one cared!

So she went from day to day
Down the smelly hall and gray
And met spectres on her way
    Black and grim;
Odors, spider-webs and bats,
Dust and damp, and weird black cats,
Lizards, bugs and sewer rats,
    Lean and slim.

Germs she swallowed by the peck,
Big, fat, juicy germs, by heck!
And became a nervous wreck
    Pale with fear.
She who used to be a winner
Thinner grew, ye gods, still thinner,
Till you’d swear she had no dinner
    For a year.

Well, at last the family’s pride
Lay her down upon her side
And one dreary night she died
    All alone.
Came the state house rats in flocks
And they chewed her dark brown locks,
Ate her clothes e’en to her socks,
    Gnawed her bones.

When the janitors appeared
In the morn, a thing more weird
Then they’d ever seen or heered
    Struck their sight;
For the girl who once was Belle
Sure enough had gone to hell,
Bones alone were left to tell,
    Stark and white.

So they gathered up the mess
That once sported a blue dress
And with fitting solemness
    Laid her low.
They took out a few big stones
From the floor and put her bones
There, and with some sighs and moans
    Let her go.

Now they say that it is true
That at night time dressed in blue
Does she walk the long hall through
    And she shrieks;
And calls curses on the head
Of the ones that made her dead,
Gives them nightmares in their bed,
    Weeks and weeks.

And so every wretched feller
Who helped send her to the cellar
Where that gruesome fate befell her
    Pays his due.
For she’s taking out her spite
And they’re seein’ things at night
Long and hairy things that bite
    And that chew.

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