Red House in Victoria

This poem appeared in the British Times Colonist on February 5, 1863. It’s a wonderful example of poetry in advertising. I kept the punctuation and capital letters as they were printed.

Machine Poetry by Mike Cohen

A miner from the Diggings once came down,
Whose wretched aspect was perceived by all the town;
His boots were soleless, and his pants were torn –
In fact, he looked an object, quite forlorn.
He sought a bed – but where to get that bed
He did not know nor where to rest his head
While pondering this, a good sight met his view;
The El Dorado Beds – price 50 cents and 5 and 20 too.

“Let’s have a quarter’s worth,” our miner said,
And quick as he thought, he soon in bed was laid.
He slept a weary sleep, and the next morn arose,
The more refreshed, for he had doffed his clothes.
Those pants he did not wish again to wear,
And thought perhaps his host would sent out for a pair;

He called out for the landlord, and much surprised was he,
Our friend Mike Cohen, of The Red House, there to see.
“What, Mike, you in this line!” our miner said:
“Then bring me up some pants, and something for my head.”
Mike brought them up, and quick as thought,
Our friend the miner a new suit had bought,
Paid down his money, then, looking in the glass,
His compliments to Mike he thus did pass:
“Whenever a man wants rigging out in something new,
For little money, Mike, I’ll send him straight to you.

And now, friend, Mike, pray tell me where
For breakfast I can get good fare?”
“‘Tis but next door, a Restaurant I keep!”
Says Mike, “and you will find it good and cheap!”
The miner went, and breakfast had,
And said that for a quarter ’twasn’t bad;
For Mike, I see, knows how to do the trade,
And put all the others right into the shade.