Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Voices from the Past: Charles Heddon (1920)

The following poem was written by none other than Charles Heddon--he of bait making and billiards fame--and was published in the November 1920 issue of The American Angler in, of all things, an article on thread-line fishing. It's an interest doggerel and shows that Charlie was a mean hand at a number of things, including poetry. (By the way, pelf = wealth or money).


by Charles Heddon

It's easy enough to bully and bluff
    And jostle and fool the crowd, 

To cheat the game; to win a name
    And hold your head up proud. 

To beat the rush, to mush and gush,
    And cash in for the pelf; 

But the question comes, and ever runs,
    How do you stand with yourself?

Many a man can tie the can
    On every opposition; 

Can double the woe of every foe
    And rise to high position. 

Can steal the dough and make it go—
    But with honor on the shelf.
What hope have you, my wise "gazoo,"
    Of being a friend of yourself?

Material things so rarely bring
    The happiness we sought; 

The cherished prize, before our eyes.
    Proves not the thing we sought. 

To stack the cards against your pards,
    To betray some fair commission,
Brings but the grief of meanest thief;
    But woe, and self-derision.

So use good care to play it fair,
    Cheat not yourself or others;
The blow we aim to kill and maim
    Wounds us, much less our brothers. 

To play is square and always dare
    Be firm and fair and true, 

Is the only way to win the day,
    An' make you a friend of you.

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