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Then up along the town she hies,
No wonder if her senses fail,
This piteous news so much it shock'd her,
She quite forgot to send the Doctor,
To comfort poor old Susan Gale.
And now she's high upon the down,
And she can see a mile of road ;
“ Oh cruel ! I'm almost threescore ;
“ Such night as this was ne'er before,
“ There's not a single soul abroad.”
She listens, but she cannot hear
The foot of horse, the voice of man ;
The streams with softest sound are flowing,
The grass you almost hear it growing,
You hear it now if e'er you can.
The Owlets through the long blue night
Are shouting to each other still :
Fond lovers ! yet not quite hob nob,
They lengthen out the tremulous sob,
That echoes far from hill to hill,
Poor Betty now has lost all hope,
Her thoughts are bent on deadly sin :
A green-grown pond she just has passid,
And from the brink she hurries fast,
Lest she should drown herself therein.
And now she sits her down and weeps ; Such tears she never shed before ; “ Oh dear, dear Pony! my sweet joy! * Oh carry back
my Idiot Boy! “ And we will ne'er o'erload thee more."
A thought is come into her head : “ The Pony he is mild and good, “ And we have always used him well ;
Perhaps he's gone along the dell, “ And carried Johnny to the wood.”
Then up she springs as if on wings;
She thinks no more of deadly sin ;
If Betty fifty ponds should see,
The last of all her thoughts would be,
To drown herself therein.
O Reader! now that I might tell
What Johnny and his Horse are doing !
What they've been doing all this time,
Oh could I put it into rhyme,
A most delightful tale pursuing !
Perhaps, and no unlikely thought !
He with his Pony now doth roam
The cliffs and peaks so high that are,
To lay his hands upon a star,
And in his pocket bring it home.
Perhaps he's turned himself about,
His face unto his horse's tail,
And still and mute, in wonder lost,
All like a silent Horseman-Ghost,
He travels on along the vale.
And now, perhaps, he's hunting sheep,
A fierce and dreadful hunter he ;
Yon valley, that's so trim and green,
In five months' time, should he be seen,
A desart wilderness will be.
Perhaps, with head and heels on fire,
And like the very soul of evil,
He's galloping away, away,
And so he'll gallop on for aye,
The bane of all that dread the devil.
I to the Muses have been bound
These fourteen years, by strong indentures :
Oh gentle Muses ! let me tell
But half of what to him befel,
He surely met with strange adventures.
Oh gentle Muses ! is this kind ?
Why will ye thus my suit repel?
Why of your further aid bereave me?
And can ye thus unfriended leave me ;
Ye Muses ! whom I love so well,