Monday, March 03, 2008

To: Who’e'r named “the Bar.”

The place wherein these revelers go
To drink their beer (then wail with woe)
Is recognized both far and wide,
Called by that what’s found inside.

The Public House’s now called the “pub”
(One slept and drank and got some grub);
The “ταβέρνα” [tavern] came from the Greeks
(“the shop” or “shed” for woodwork geeks).
“Saloon” comes from “salon” or “suite,”
Or a car to hold four-to-six a seat.

No “Pub,” “tavern” or “saloon” by far
Is called by any other name (but “bar.”)
“But what’s ‘bar’ mean?” you ask yourself.
Friend, the bar’s not more than a shelf.

The shelf’s a place on which “things” sit,
(“it” looks at you, you look at “it.”)
Makes one wonder who’s more the fool,
The one on the shelf, or the one on the stool?

The first bar-shelf came from a door
(There were no locks in days of yore).
The bar kept people in or out,
Now it’s holding wine and stout.

“But whoever named it, named it well:
A bar to heaven, a door to hell;
A bar to manliness and wealth;
A door to want and broken health.

A bar to honor, pride and fame;
A door to grief and sin and shame.
A bar to home and a bar to prayer;
A door to darkness, and despair.

A bar to honored, useful life;
A door to brawling, senseless strife,
A bar to all that's true and brave;
A door to every drunkard's grave.

A bar to joys that home imparts;
A door to tears and aching hearts.
A bar to heaven, a door to hell;
Whoever named it, named it well.”

(Stanza’s 1-5 are an original poem. The final stanzas in quotes are from a public domain gospel tract of the GOSPEL TRACT AND BIBLE SOCIETY.)

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