Note from Joe: This is a parody of the famous original by the same name. For maximum pleasure, be sure to read that poem before reading this one.
Just think of it! Moss on the vessel that lifted
The water I drank in the days called to mind;
Ere I knew what professors and scientists gifted
In the waters of wells by analysis find;
The rotting wood-fiber, the oxide of iron,
The algae, the frog of unusual size,
The water as clear as the verses of Byron,
Are things I remember with tears in my eyes.
Oh, had I but realized in time to avoid them —
The dangers that lurked in that pestilent draft —
I’d have tested for organic germs and destroyed them
With potassic permanganate ere I had quaffed.
Or perchance I’d have boiled it, and afterwards strained it
Through filters of charcoal and gravel combined;
Or, after distilling, condensed and regained it
In potable form with its filth left behind.
How little I knew of the enteric fever
Which lurked in the water I ventured to drink,
But since I’ve become a devoted believer
In the teachings of science, I shudder to think.
And now, far removed from the scenes I’m describing,
The story of warning to others I tell,
As memory reverts to my youthful imbibing
And I gag at the thought of that terrible well,
And the old oaken bucket, the fungus-grown bucket,
In fact, the slop-bucket — that hung in the well.