John L. Sullivan (Howard)

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John L. Sullivan
by Robert Ervin Howard
First published in The Right Hook (vol. 1, #2), an amateur boxing magazine created by Howard and friends, 1925.

Bellowing, blustering, old John L.
Fearing nothing 'tween sky and hell!
Rushing, roaring, swinging his right.
Smashing, crashing, forcing the fight.
Battering foes until they fell,
Tilt your glasses to old John L.!

Mitchell he knocked, from the ring clear out!
Dropped Kilrain with a single clout!
Laflin he beat and Burke he flayed,
Knocked out the Maori Giant, Slade!
Packed in each fist, damnation and hell!
Tilt your glasses to old John L.!

Old John L.'s in town today
He's hitting it down the Great White way.
Look at his swallow tail coat, silk hat!
Mustache too, say he's on a bat!
Living it in, that you can tell,
Tilt your glasses to old John L.!

He's cleaned out the roughest, toughest saloon,
He's licked O'Rourke and Jem McClune,
Sampled every saloon on the streets,
Buying drinks for all he meets,
He's taking the bowery in pell-mell!
Tilt your glasses to old John L.!

Stick in your head in the grog-shop door,
Look at him! Listen to his roar!
"Set out eh whiskey. Jimmy, ye bum!
Belly the bar, ye half bred scum!
I can lick any guy from here to hell!"
Tilt your glasses to old John L.!

The world moves on and the ring moves too
Old fighters have long given way to new.
But here;s a health to the olden days,
To the wild old, mad old, bad old ways,
When a fight was a fight and not a sell,
And tilt your glasses to old John L.