The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood, by Thomas Hood

Lieutenant Luff.

All you that are too fond of wine,

Or any other stuff,

Take warning by the dismal fate

Of one Lieutenant Luff.

A sober man he might have been,

Except in one regard,

He did not like soft water,

So he took to drinking hard!

Said he, “Let others fancy slops,

And talk in praise of Tea,

But I am no Bohemian,

So do not like Bohea.

If wine’s a poison, so is Tea,

Though in another shape:

What matter whether one is kill’d

By canister or grape!”

According to this kind of taste

Did he indulge his drouth,

And being fond of Port, he made

A port-hole of his mouth!

A single pint he might have sipp’d

And not been out of sorts,

In geologic phrase — the rock

He split upon was quarts!

To “hold the mirror up to vice”

With him was hard, alas!

The worse for wine he often was,

But not “before a glass.”

No kind and prudent friend had he

To bid him drink no more —

The only chequers in his course

Where at a tavern door!

Full soon the sad effects of this

His frame began to show,

For that old enemy the gout

Had taken him in toe!

And join’d with this an evil came

Of quite another sort —

For while he drank, himself, his purse

Was getting “something short.”

For want of cash he soon had pawn’d

One half that he possessed,

And drinking showed him duplicates

Beforehand of the rest!

So now his creditors resolved

To seize on his assets;

For why — they found that his half-pay

Did not half pay his debts.

But Luff contrived a novel mode

His creditors to chouse;

For his own execution he

Put into his own house!

A pistol to the muzzle charged

He took devoid of fear;

Said he, “This barrel is my last,

So now for my last bier!”

Against his lungs he aimed the slugs,

And not against his brain,

So he blew out his lights — and none

Could blow them in again!

A Jury for a Verdict met,

And gave in it these terms:—

“We find as how as certain slugs

Has sent him to the worms!”

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:55