"Your absent but devoted husband..."

One of our brothers in song, of strict Saxon upbringing, wrote to his wife at home in Pittsburgh the following poetic letter which we couldn't resist letting our readers in on:

Buffalo - June 24, 1901:

My beloved wife!
You said as I left "don't forget to write"
but now that I'm here, it's more chore than delight.
I've surrendered myself to that festive smile
and it's interfering with my poetic style.
This first letter you receive, don't read it too fast
Forgive me, my dear, but it will be my last.

The most wonderous things man's ever conceived
Are here in sights which are hard to believe.
Everywhere you go there are faces in awe
The eyes don't believe what they just saw.
I tell you, my dear, there's a feeling of bliss
As friends greet friends, embrace, and kiss.
And the beer, oh my, it's as good as any
I drain my mug but my cup's never empty.

The maidens here are awfully pretty too
Why dear, they're almost as lovely as you.
I shouldn't admit this, not even in rhyme
But you wouldn't believe how we spend our time.
We sing and we drink, first songs and then beer
I haven't had coffee since I arrived here.

And rising to greet the sun's dawning light
Forget it, I've yet to sleep through the night.
Everything you want at your beck and call
A good time is being had by all.
Even people as bitter as old sauerkraut
Can't resist the urge to cheer and shout.

Now don't get mad and don't make that face
As long as my money holds out, I'll stay in this place.
I know, I'm ashamed, I've become quite a scamp
But all of my friends are here in this camp.

I'll come back, just wait and see
I've still got my return ticket here with me.
Now you see how I would devolve
Were it not for your sweet yet firm resolve.

I'll be home soon so don't get angry
Then you can instruct, remold, and reform me.
Please keep well and control your wrath
When I get home I'll walk the straight and narrow path!

Your absent but devoted husband...