by Joseph Martin Cunningham
Dry Andy had a horrid dream —
Too bad if it e’er comes true —
He dreamed he went to Paradise,
As good men often do.
Saint Peter met him at the gate;
He raised commanding hand —
“You cannot enter here, my friend,
Till we know your favorite brand.
In Heaven, here, we give to each
The drink he likes the best —
Such is the great reward, you see,
For those by Heaven blest.”
Dry Andrew smiled, he raised his voice
To answer good Saint Peter —
“I always drink ice-water, sir;
I know of nothing sweeter.”
Saint Peter scowled, his lowered brows
Left Andy somewhat puzzled.
“Do you mean to say,” Saint Peter asked,
“That you’ve really never guzzled?”
Then Andy bowed, while saccharine smile
Beamed in his upturned eye.
“Perhaps, you did not know, but I’m
A well-known, moral Dry.”
With saying this proud Andy stood
Expecting Saint less saintly,
Since he had introduced himself
Thus modestly and quaintly.
“No doubt the angels all”, he thought,
“In one long fine procession
Will do high honor to the man
Who sponsored ‘World Progression’.
Perhaps, they’ll even send me up
As counsel to the Lord
To help make over Heaven’s Laws
To with my code accord.”
This happy dream within a dream
Was spoiled by saintly glower
So stern that man half blind could see
The Saint had turned quite sour.
For long he spoke not any word —
His arm came slowly lower
Till proud Dry Andy found himself
Looking straight through Hades’ door.
“There’s your place!” Saint Peter roared,
And the greasy smoke flashed high
To the very gates of Heaven where
There stood our famous Dry.
Despite the heat he had a chill
As he gazed in the saintly eye —
“There’s some mistake, I’m sure,” he said.
“If not, please, tell me why.”
“There’s no mistake,” the Saint replied,
“You’re slated for below;
Bemoan yourself just all you wish —
You can do no else but go.
You were Earth’s great egotist;
Against you sin is scored;
You took from man the wine God gave —
Thus you defied the Lord!”
Again the scorching blast from Hell
Made high-hung stairway quake.
This time the Dry did not pretend
To hide his fear-born shake —
He bent his knees before the Saint,
He loudly did implore
That he be not sent down Heaven’s stair,
Or through Hell’s awful door.
“Whate’er you say, I’ll gladly do,
If only you’ll let me stay —
I really would not like to roast
Forever and a day!”
Thus did Andy speak to Saint,
And thus did the Saint reply,
“Of course it may be hot down there,
But happily, it’s dry.”
Again the Saint’s arm pointed down
To the fiery red crevasse —
“There is the place where sinning souls
Their afterlife must pass.”
The poor Dry quaked like an autumn leaf
In a gust of winter wind;
His soul was torn with the sad regret
That he had ever sinned.
“Oh Heaven! Oh Lord! Oh goodly Saint!
It is hard that one mistake
Should be the cause that erring man
Must ever, ever bake!
Don’t send me down! I’ll do your will!
I’ll scrub! I’ll wash your sink!
Oh, worse than that — Oh, worse by far —
I’ll even take a drink!!”
This supplication had effect,
It made Saint Peter grin;
He opened wide the pearly gates,
And let Dry Andy in.
They straightway lined up at a bar,
Saint Peter jingled pass-keys:
“Please, hurry, Barkeep, serve us here
Two good old mellow whiskeys.”
The Saint then had a great surprise
When his friend drank the liquid sun
That had aged in wood for ninety years —
He ordered another one!
A joyous light removed the blight
The Dry wore on his face;
Removed the cloud, the moral self,
And lent him finer grace.
Thus it was that Andy passed
His great baptismal test,
And entered into Heaven high
To dwell among the blest.
But Andy could not happy be
Even in Paradise,
For he never could escape the fact
That he had led the DRYS.
This great regret, this deep remorse
Has welled full many a tear
In Andy’s eyes, though there he dwelt
In Heaven for many a year.
Perhaps, in time this sadness will
Because, you see, where Andy went
There is no dearth of beer.
So ended Andy’s horrid dream —
Too bad if it e’er comes true —
Too bad for Bone Dry Andy V–––––––
But not for me or you.