Woodbine Sally

(A Memory of Eighty-Six)
By James Stanley Gilbert

 

In a low and rambling shanty

Outside the stable gate,

Where woolly-heady "aunty"

With wash-bills used to wait,

All the boys were wont to rally

For cocktails every night;

And 'twas there that I first saw Sally,

Poor Sallyalmost white!

 

By day or night she took delight

In greeting every guest

That came her way, and made him pay

For the glass she'd quaff with zest!

But she left us one dry season

To glut her appetite

With a misture called Ambrosia

Poor Sallyalmost white!

 

Her hair was like dried seaweed,

Her eyes were faded blue;

Her limbs, they say, were knock-kneed,

Her skin was saffron hue!

Her features were not classic,

But her teeth were snowy bright,

And her speech was somewhat drastic

Poor Sallyalmost white!

 

Much drink she'd try to sell you

With manner frank and free,

And any one will tell you

She was quick with repartee!

For her own or for the bar's sake

She never shirked a fight!

She was handy with a car-stake

Poor Sallyalmost white!

 

But, oh, one hot December,

Things snapped inside her head!

Some old folks may remember

How she looked when she was dead!

And they've torn the "woodbine" roots up

Till there's not a sprig in sight,

Yet sometime a memory shoots up

Of Sallyalmost white!