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John Barleycorn

From The Seattle Star, May 8, 1913.
 (Acknowledgements to Jack London)
 

 He’s just around the corner
     He’s just across the street
 His voice is warm and comradely
     His words are soft and sweet.
 He poses as ADVENTURE
     All debonair and brave
 Though all the deeds of Barleycorn
     Lead only to the grave.
 
 He comes to you with laughter
     He comes to you with song
 With soothing lies to trick the weak
     And glamour for the strong.
 Along the road that you must tread
     Wherever you may fare
 At every turn or resting place
     John Barleycorn is there!
 
 He masquerades as valor
     He swaggers as romance
 And down the road of broken hopes
     He leads the merry dance.
 His eyes are red and gloating
     There’s poison on his breath
 For call him any name you will
     John Barleycorn is death.