Friday, September 13, 2013

"Boots and Shoes" by M.W. Dodge's Boot and Shoe Store (1864)

                        Boots and Shoes.

               A STORY OF MODERN TIMES.

        The shades of night were falling fast,

        As through our Trojan city passed

        A youth who bore, mid snow and ice,

        A banner with this strange device—

                Boots, Boots and Shoes!

        In his sojourning, this young man had heard that M.W. DODGE kept the best stock of boots and shoes in the city; thitherward he bent his steps.

        His toes were peeping with the blues

        From without a pair of defunct shoes,

        And like a fish-horn clearly rang

        The accents of that unknown tongue—

                Boots, Boots and Shoes!

    Nothing daunted by the present dilapidated condition of his understanding, he presses vigorously on, cheered by the hope of better days:

        He passed where stands the Boot o'erhead,

        "No further go," an old man said,

        You'll find no better far nor wide,"

        And loud that sax-horn voice replied,—

                Boots, Boots and Shoes!"

    For the benefit of the uninitiated, I will here mention that "Boot o'erhead" is in front of M.W. DODGE'S Boot and Shoe Store, 366 River street, Troy, N.Y.

        And now he stands within the store

        Where boots are seen from wall to floor,

        And, with a smile and a wink of his eye,

        He calls in accents clear and high,—

                Boots, Boots and Shoes!

    Nor did he forget to inquire the prices, which were found to be cheaper than he ever dreamed of. He pitched in to a marvelous extent, the result of which was—

        At break of day, towards the brook

        His way the thirsty farmer took;

        He heard a voice of wild despair

        Ring clearly through the startled air,—"

                Boots, Boots and Shoes!

    A most unaccountable mystery which shall be cleared up soon.

        A traveler, by the faithful hound,

        All buried in boots and shoes was found:

        Still in his hand as in a vice,

        The banner with that strange device,—

                Boots, Boots and Shoes!

    The fact is, (as is always the case at DODGE'S,) he got too many boots and shoes for his money.

        I fear the youth who bravely bore

        The Excelsior flag in days of yore,

        Of DODGE'S boots had nary a pair,

        Or he might now this motto bear,—

                Boots, Boots and Shoes!

    The Monks of Saint Bernard have since ordered one hundred cases of DODGE'S boots, which are to be distributed among the ambitious youths who aspire to high positions, at extremely low prices.

        Our hero lived, and lives this day;

        If you'd like to know I'll tell you the way:

        His boots were tight and his feet were warm,

        And he was only singing amid the storm—

                Boots, Boots and Shoes!

    He was immediately rescued from his perilous position and soon he gladdened the hearts of his neighbors and friends by a plentiful supply of boots, shoes, gaiters, &c.

        And now with boots in his arms and hands,

        Boots on his back, and in boots he stands!

        In his pocket shots with "copper tips"—

        The well-known sound comes forth from his lips—

                Boots, Boots and Shoes!

    It has been intimated that this worthy young man, of so enterprising a nature, had been hired to "blow" for DODGE; but it is a bootless assertion, as he will tell you, when from motives of sure generosity he informs you that he can buy anything in the line of Boots, Shoes, Gaiters, Salmorals or Cacks of a better quality and at lower prices at DODGE's than at any other place in the world. DODGE'S Custom Departmeat is under the direction of Messrs Sawyer and Courtney, who understand how to fit to a charm.


The ad-poem plays off of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "Excelsior." To give but the first stanza:

The shades of night were falling fast,

As through an Alpine village passed

A youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice,

A banner with the strange device,


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