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When, lo, attracted by the luscious gale,
And somewhat elevated with strong ale,
John popp'd into the kitchen.
“What, cookee, got a goose! Well, come, that's nice:
Faith, cookee, I should like to have a slice.
And apple-sauce, too! There's a darling Peg !
Do take a knife, and cut me off a leg.”
“ Cut off a leg! that would be pretty fun ;
What, serve it up to squire with only one?”
“ Aye, to be sure ; why, master dursn't kill you ;
I'll cut it off.” “ Have done with you now, will you ?”
What arguments he used I cannot say ;
But Love, whose sceptre's all-commanding sway
Cookmaids, as well as countesses obey,
Ordain'd it so, that, spite of all her reasoning,
John stole the leg, with lots of sauce and seasoning.
Though Peg, poor wench! was rather vex'd
At this unlooked-for sad disaster,
She was not quite so much perplex'd
As you may think ; she had been used to gull
The squire, and knew the thickness of his skull;
And consequently to this conclusion fell,
They who could do a goose so well
Would not be troubled much to cheat her master
Home came the squire, to the moment true,
And rang for dinner in a hurry; She browned the mutilated side anew,
And put it on the table in a flurry. Soon as it met his eye, the squire Exclaim'd, with wonderment and ire, “Why, what on earth do you call this, Peg? Zounds, huzzy! where is t'other leg ?" Peg curtsied and replied in modest tone, “ An't please you, sir, it never had but one !" “Only one leg ! where did you buy it, pray ?'' “At Farmer Bumpkin's, sir, across the way ; And if to-night, sir, you will go with me, I'll pledge my life that you shall see A number of the farmer's geese Which, like this bird, have only one a-piece." “Well, prove it, and that alters quite the case ; But if you don't, mind, you shall lose your place." He ate his dinner, and began to doubt it,
And grumbled most terribly about it.
The place was brown'd, like all the rest, he saw ;
“ Confound it, she surely never ate it raw !”
Evining arrives, Peg puts her bonnet on,
And with her master to the farm is gone ;
With expectation big they softly creep
Where Farmer Bumpkin's geese are fast asleep.
Now to your recollection I would bring,
That when these pretty creatures go to roost
Ther draw up one leg close beneath their wing, And stand upon the other like a post. * There, sir, cries Peg, “now pray, sir, cease your pother; There, sir, there's one ; and there, sir, is another !” "Pooh, nonsense, stuff!" exclaims the squire. “Now look ye; St, st—there, now, they've got two legs, cookee." * Aye, sir," cried Peg, - had you said that at home, Yor you, nor I, had e'er had cause to roam; But recollect, sir, ere von think I'm beaten, You didn't say si, st, to the one you've eaten.”
A KYOCKING at the castle gate,
When the bloom was on the tree,
And the youthful master, all elate,
Himself came forth to see.
A jocund lady waited there,
Gay was her robe, of colours rare,
Her tresses bright to the zephyr streamed,
And the car on its silver axle gleamed,
Like the gorgeous barge of that queen of yore
Whose silken sail and flashing oar
Sparkling Cydnus proudly bore.
The youth, enraptured at the smile,
And won by her enchanting wile
And flatteries vain,
Welcomed her in, with all her train,
Placing her in the chiefest seat,
While as a vassal at her feet
He knelt, and paid her homage sweet.
MAN'S THREE GUESTS.
275 She decked his halls with garlands gay, Bidding the sprightly viol play,
Till by magic power
Day turned to night and night to day,
For every fleeting hour
Bowed to Pleasure as its queen.
And so that syren guest, of mirthful mien, Lingered till the vernal ray, And summer's latest rose had sighed itself away.
A knocking at the gate ! And the lordling of the hall,
A strong and bearded man withal,
Held parley at the threshold-stone
In the pomp of his estate.
And then the warder's horn was blown,
The ponderous bolts drawn one by one,
And slowly in, with sandals torn,
Came a pilgrim, travel-worn;
A burden at his back he bare,
And coldly said, "My name is Care !"
Plodding and weary years he brought,
And a pillow worn with ceaseless thought ;
And bade his votary ask of Fame,
Or Wealth, or wild Ambition's claim,
Payment for the toil he taught.
But dark with dregs was the cup he quaff'd,
And 'mid his harvest proud
The mocking tare looked up and laugh'd
• Till his haughty heart was bow'd,
And wrinkles on his forehead hung, and o'er his path
Again, a knocking at the gate . . .
At the wintry eventide;
And querulous was the voice that cried,
“Who cometh here so late ?”
“Ho ! rouse the sentinel from his sleep,
Strict guard at every loop-hole keep !
And “man the towers !” he would have said,
But alas ! his early friends were dead,
And his eagle glance was awed,
And a frost that never thaw'd
Had settled on his head.
THE TIME I'VE LOST IN WOOING.
But that thundering at the gate
From morn to midnight late
Knew no rest,
And a boding cry of fate,
Like an owlet's cry of hate,
Chill'd his breast.
Yet he raised the palsied hand,
And, eager, gave command
To repel the threatening guest.
So the Esculapian band,
In their armour old and tried,
Were summon'd to his side ;
And the watchful nurses came,
Whose lamp, like vestal flame,
But the tottering bulwarks their trust betray'd,
And the old man groan'd as a breach was made ;
Then through the chasm a skeleton foot
Forced its way,
And a fleshless hand to a shaft was put,
And he was clay.
THE TIME I'VE LOST IN WOOING.
The time I've lost in wooing,
In watching and pursuing
The light that lies
In woman's eyes,
Has been my heart's undoing.
Tho' Wisdom oft has sought me,
I scorn'd the lore she brought me ;
My only books
Were woman's looks,
And folly's all they've taught me.
Her smile when Beauty granted,
I hung with gaze enchanted,
Like him the sprite
Whom maids by night
Oft meet in the glen that's haunted.
No stir in the air, no stir in the sea,
The ship was as still as she could be ;
Her sails from heaven received no motion,
Her keel was steady in the ocean.
Without either sign or sound of their shocl:,
The waves flow'd over the Inchcape Rock;
So little they rose, so little they fell,
They did not move the Inchcape bell.
The good Abbot of Aberbrothok
Had placed that bell on the Inchcape Rock;
On a buoy in the storm it floated and swung,
And over the waves its warning rung.
When the rock was hid by the surge's swell,
The mariners heard the warning bell;
And then they knew the perilous rock,
And blest the Abbot of Aberbrothok.