Where Are My Dollars Gone? [poem by P. Luftig]

[Editor: This poem by P. Luftig (Peter Airey) was published in The Bulletin Reciter, 1901.]

Where Are My Dollars Gone?

Where is my cash ? With this eternal query
I ’m pestered all my moments, grave and gay ;
It haunts me in the midnight dark and dreary,
It dogs me at the dawn and close of day.
Where is my cash ? My watch, I know, reposes
Safe at my Uncle’s, tightly held in pawn ;
My bills are known to all the tribe of Moses —
But, where the mischief are my dollars gone ?

I lead a virtuous life. A trifle glorious
I may get, now and then, with comrades gay,
And paint the town vermilion, when uproarious,
And turn the gloomy night to crimson day ;
But, when at home at duty’s call diurnal,
I pass my days as peaceably as John,
Our cabbage-vendor, at his toil eternal —
Again I ask : Where are my dollars gone ?

The dice-box — gambling ? Goodness knows I hate it,
And if at nap I linger now and then
And wander home with friends a bit belated,
’T is but as man who loves his fellow-men.
My winnings are but scant ; with melancholy
I own Dame Fortune’s golden smile hath shone
But seldom on the hands my comrades jolly
Have dealt me — but where are my dollars gone ?

I drink but little. Am abstemious — very !
Though midnight suppers sometimes cost me dear ;
My bill for Bass and Guinness, cham. and sherry —
I cut it down a dozen times a year.
’Tis not my fault that oysters through the season
Don’t grow on hedges, and the price of yon
Choice wines has waxed entirely out of reason . . .
Again I ask — where are my dollars gone ?

The girls — God bless ’em — Bellas, Janes, and Bessies,
They cost me little— now and then a glove,
A summer hat, a parasol expresses
To Maud a fraction of her poet’s love ;
A lady’s watch inscribed in fashion tender,
A bracelet which she sometimes deigns to don,
A brooch that gleams in simple jewelled splendor, —
Poor trifles these ! Where are my dollars gone ?

P. Luftig.

A.G. Stephens (editor). The Bulletin Reciter: A Collection of Verses for Recitation from “The Bulletin” [1880-1901], The Bulletin Newspaper Company, Sydney, 1902 [first published 1901], pages 77-78

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