top of page

Quothe the Barkeep

by Chris Gray

Chance upon a place so cheery, walking through the woods I'm weary

And stumbling up the ramp found a lock on the door

Bar keep now was nearly napping, after eight long hours of tapping

Caught his attention by sharply rapping, rapping, rapping on his bar room door

"'Tis a customer," he murmured, "rapping on my bar room door.

All day long I only pour."

October!  Distinctly remember ... or September or November

Walking through the piney timber, cast my shadow on the door

I'd not come this way to borrow, cold hard cash I'd pay ... tomorrow

Bark keep's brow began to furrow, furrow at the thought of more,

For a lost and thirsty traveler, who was knocking at his door.

Oh bless his soul, I think he's going to pour!

Entering and giving thanks, as I looked upon the tanks

Thrilled me - filled me with delight that I'd never felt before

"So" he said, without much malice, "have you come to fill your chalice,

Arriving late and now relieved that I've opened up my door?"

Yes, I thought, I am relieved that he's opened up his door.

Now if you will; please pour

Suddenly his will grew stronger; hesitate not one tic longer,

"Sir, I will" he said, "do just as you implore.

It's a fact that I was napping, when so surely you came rapping,

Oh--your constant tap tap tapping, on my well latched bar room door"

"No doubt you know I hear you" - "and shall do as you implore."

"If you're certain ...?  I shall pour"

Suddenly I found me fearing, as the bar keep stood there peering,

Why had I come alone, down Crawford's lonesome misty shore?

Silence finally broken, when this chilling words were spoken,

Those self same words were spoken, "I Shall Pour ..."

These he whispered, yet they echoed off the floor

"If you're certain ...?  I shall pour."

Back to the long bar turning, the bar keep I was learning,

Might slight begrudge that I'd come late rapping on his door.

Surely he was surly and perhaps somewhat threatening;

As he held the pint glass nimbly and glanced over at the door --

Oh my heart did skip a beat, when with a snarl he said once more;

Certain true for you I shall now pour!

Seven stanzas this will go, not eleven more as writ by Poe

As it is said by wiser ones that sometimes less is truly more;

Now back to the tale you came to hear, of craven man in search of beer;

Lean in close and heed my warning - fore you pass through that red door

Think twice I say 'bout passing through that door.

And asking yon barkeep again to pour.

bottom of page