|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.