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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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[handwritten by Gunn]
Written by O Brien.

[printed song lyrics]
   AT PFAFF S.

 		             

I.
While sitting one night in the cellar so queer
						At Pfaff s,
And eating my bretzel and drinking my beer
						At Pfaff s.
A ditty, perhaps out of solitude bred,
Came suddenly singing itself through my head,
	At Pfaff s, at Pfaff s, at Pfaff s.
	A song to be chanted at Pfaff s.
II.
This song is a sort of Bohemian creed	
						Of Pfaff s,
Where authors are fed and the land lord is fee d
						At Pfaff s.
A little philosophy honest and true,
With drink and good fellowship mixed in it too.
	At Pfaff s, at Pfaff s, at Pfaff s.
	Credo pater omnipotens, Pfaff.

III.
When any good fellow comes down to our place
						At Pfaff s,
With  nary a red  and a bill in his face
						At Pfaff s,
Why don t let us give him a moment to think,
But chase the blue devils with oceans of drink,
	At Pfaff s, at Pfaff s, at Pfaff s.
	Let his bill be receipted at Pfaff s.
IV.
And when there comes down here a gallant comrade
						At Pfaff s,
With a hole in his heart that a woman has made	
						At Pfaff s,
Why we ll close up the wound with good wine and
	good wit,
Till the fellow won t know that he ever was hit
	At Pfaff s, at Pfaff s, at Pfaff s.
	O! the true  culapius is Pfaff!
V.
And when any one of us  hands in his chips, 
						At Pfaff s,
No funeral sermon shall ooze from our lips	
						At Pfaff s,
But we ll drink to his soul in a bottle of wine,
The heavy Hungarian or leathery Rhine
	At Pfaff s, at Pfaff s, at Pfaff s,
	 Tis the neatest of all epithets!
			VI.
So here s to our little republic of wit, 
						At Pfaff s,
And here s to the bright eyes by which it is lit

[handwritten note by Gunn]
Ada Clare

[song continued]
						At Pfaff s,
And here s to the pencil, and here s to the pen,
And here s, if you please, to the Oldest of Men

[handwritten note by Gunn]
Clapp.

[song continued]
	At Pfaff s, at Pfaff s, at Pfaff s,
	The Nestor that reigns over Pfaff s.
			VII.
And here s to our Poet who suffers with blight

[handwritten note by Gunn]
W. Winter.

[song continued]
						At Pfaff s,
Who crumbles to pieces with ruin each night
						At Pfaff s,
His Pegasus travels unfed and unshod
And even his bay-wreath is withered, by God!
	At Pfaff s, at Pfaff s, at Pfaff s,
	Here s our young Coliseum at Pfaff s.
			VIII.
And here s to the genial philosopher, too,

[handwritten note by Gunn]
Walt Whitman.

[song continued]
						At Pfaff s,
Who glows for the many as well as the few
						At Pfaff s,
Who don t want to put a green shade on the sun,
Or try to make two look as if they were one
	At Pfaff s, at Pfaff s, at Pfaff s,
	For nature is nature at Pfaff s.
			IX.
And here s to Pfaff, our redoubtable host,
						At Pfaff s,
Who s equal to cutlet, to soup, and to roast
						At Pfaff s,
And Hermann s an article too in our creed,
Our handsome Teutonic and quick Ganymede
	At Pfaff s, at Pfaff s, at Pfaff s,
	Our Ganymede Hermann at Pfaff s.
			X.
And now your attention I ll solemnly call	
						At Pfaff s,
To the greatest most leathery toast of them all
						At Pfaff s,
I see the air filled with uproarious elves,
Applauding the toast as we drink to ourselves
	At Pfaff s, at Pfaff s, at Pfaff s.
	Here s each fellow s Ego at Pfaff s!
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Thirteen: page eighty-three
Description:Printed song lyrics entitled ''At Pfaff's,'' written by Fitz James O'Brien.
Subject:Bohemians; Clapp, Henry, Jr.; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Hermann; O'Brien, Fitz James; Pfaff; Pfaff�s (New York, N.Y.); Songs; Whitman, Walt; Winter, William
Coverage (City/State):[New York, New York]
Scan Date:2011-01-29

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Thirteen
Description:Includes descriptions of boarding house living, his freelance writing and drawing work, antics of New York literary Bohemians, Frank Cahill fleeing for England after spending money that was meant for ''The New York Picayune,'' visits to the Edwards family, the state of Charles Damoreau's marriage, a sailing excursion to Nyack with the Edwards family and other friends on the Fourth of July, a fight between Fitz James O'Brien and House at Pfaff's, witnessing a fire at Washington Market, the execution of pirate Albert Hicks on Bedloe's Island, an excursion aboard the ship Great Eastern, a vacation at Grafton with the Edwards family, his growing friendship with Sally Edwards, Lotty Granville's behavior with Brentnall and Hill at his boarding house, Frank Bellew's return to England, and visits to dance houses in the Fourth Ward with friends for an article.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Bohemians; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Marriage; Publishers and publishing; Women
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; Grafton, New York
Note:Thomas Butler Gunn was born February 15, 1826, in Banbury, England, and came to New York in 1849. During the Civil War he worked as a correspondent for the New York Tribune and the New York Evening Post. He returned to England in 1863, and died in Birmingham in April 1903. The collection includes twenty-one volumes of his diaries, including newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, sketches, and various other items inserted by Gunn. Diary entries date from July 7, 1849, to April 7, 1863, and include his experiences with the New York publishing and literary world, his descriptions of boarding houses, his travels throughout the United States, and his experiences traveling with the Federal army as a Civil War correspondent.
Publisher:Missouri History Museum
Rights:Copyright 2011 Missouri History Museum.
Source:Page images, transcriptions, and metadata of the Thomas Butler Gunn diaries have been provided by the Missouri History Museum.