The shades of night was fallin’ slow
As through New York a guy did go
And nail on ev’ry barroom door
A card that this here motter bore:
“No beer, no work.”

His brow was sad, his mouth was dry;
It was the first day of July,
And where, all parched and scorched it hung,
These words was stenciled on his tongue:
“No beer, no work.”

“Oh, stay,” the maiden said, “and sup
This malted milk from this here cup.”
A shudder passed through that there guy,
But with a moan he made reply:
“No beer, no work.”

At break of day, as through the town
The milkman put milk bottles down,
Onto one stoop a sort of snore
Was heard, and then was heard no more-
“No beer, no work.”

The poor old guy plumb dead was found
And planted in the buryin’ ground,
Still graspin’ in his hand of ice
Them placards with this sad device:
“No beer, no work.”

Analysis, meaning and summary of Ellis Parker Butler's poem No Beer, No Work

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