Jean le Rat

TILL eighteen seventy-seven or eight-
I’m never exact as regards a date-
A cobbler sat on his bench all day,
And rapped, and cobbled, and stitched away
At the foot of the old West Gate,
In state–

Poor waxy Jean le Rat!

His eye was bright with the light of fight,
As he welted and heeled from morn till night,
And almost the only words he’d say
Were “Garratt-ow-dat” as he hammered away
At the foot of the old West Gate,
till late –

Laconic Jean le Rat.

Now school-boys might, when the days were bright,
And summer’s exams not quite in sight,
Have kinder been to poor old Jack,
As he waxed wax-end or drove a tack,
As he sat at the old West Gate,

Forgive us, Jean le Rat!

But Jean Ie Rat was a testy cuss,
And he told us to go be blowed, or wuss.
As he drove a peg, or drank a few
With Con Soho and a friend or two,
At the foot of the old West Gate,

At times was Jean le Rat.

But when one day in his cellar he lay,
Where the sun endeavoured his swiftest ray,
He turned up his eyes to the distant skies.
“I’ve stuck to my last,” to Heaven he cries,
And then, at the old West Gate,
Kind fate l

Took poor old Jean le Rat.

Likewise, if we, when our task is done,
When the field is fought and the fight is won,
With poor old Jack as humbly cry,
“Twas ours to work, ’tis ours to die,”
In trust at the Golden Gate
We’ll wait

Along with Jean le Rat.

Written by C. J. Boland.