Haunts and By-Paths


Haunts and By-Paths is Thorne Smiths only book of poetry. Several of the poems were originally printed in the Naval Reserve Journal, Broadside, while other were printed in the Atlantic and other magazines of the day. Many of the poems tend to deal with Smith's navy days and, while not the best poetry of the time, it serves to show yet another side to his literary style.
Interestingly enough, in Thorne Smith: His Life and Times, Smith makes reference to another collection of poetry he was hoping to get published. Unfortunately, nothing has ever surfaced regarding this. It's also interesting to note that Smith had several of his own poetry scattered throughout his novels. One that comes to mind is Marion's poem, "Mr. Topper Catches the Sun."

A Few Poems from Haunts and By-Paths


Swinging solid on his feet, gaunt beneath his coat of tan
Children hail him in the street--"Hello, Mr. Sailor Man!"
Tom or Larry, Dick or Dan, Ladies think him just too sweet
Sailor, sailor from the fleet, Get your pettings while you can
Primed for laughter, love or loot, money jingling in his jeans,
Gamins give a stiff salute as he pipes the dizzy queens.
Hero of the submarines, "Honest, Mamie, ainít he cute?"
Call that great big devil cute, Why the beggar scrubbed latrines
Golly, what a burley brute, Friendly as the summer sea
Sand street made his nifty suit, Forty-eight ashore has he
Shy at times, a trifle mute, Always with a yarn to spin--
" Naw, I ainít no raw recruit, talk of women talk of gin--
" Now, when I was in Marseilles I could open your eyes"
Anything from the subs to whales Sets him off on salty lies.
Folks can hear them every day, take the tail for what itís worth,
In his honest sailor way heís the salt of all the Earth.
Booming gaily down the street, hat aslant upon his head,
Looking for a place to eat, Earnest searcher for a bed
Comes a sailor from the fleet, Shaved and shorn and shiny red,
Heís a merry sight to meet When heís paid and when heís fed
Sailor, sailor from the sea, Proud beneath your Navy blue,
Bound upon a modest spree, Buddy, Admirals envy you.


Iíve washed me neck
Aní Iíve cashed me check
Aní Iíve got me forty-three.
Aní Iím light and gay
As a mule in May
For Iím bound on liberty.
Aní Iíve got a date with Mamie aní Iíve got a date
With Sue
Aní Iíve got a date with Nancy andí wií Kate
Aní Iím going to be so busy that I wonít know
What to do,
Aní Iím that confounded anxious I canít wait.
So, roll, roll, roll along, roll on, sailor, roll.
Roll, roll, roll along, shove off, blast yer soul!
Good-by Buddy, aní good-by Bo,
Me dogs are itching aní I got to go
So, roll, roll, roll along, roll on, sailor, roll.
Me tapes are white
Aní me boots are bright
Aní me hat is stiff and straight.
Aní Iíve brushed me bean
Aní Iíve shaved blue clean
Aní the list is on the gate.
Oh, Iím going to spend me money aní Iím going
To spend it right
Buying sweeties for me wild Canarise pigs,
Aní sometime in the morning or very late at night
Iím going to a pub and dance some jigs.
So, roll, roll, roll along, roll on, sailor, roll.
Roll on, roll along, shove off, blast yer soul !
So long, Buddy, and good-by Bo.
Am I happy ? Well I tell her so.
So roll, roll, roll along, roll on, sailor, roll.