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Title: Lays of Ancient Babyland - to which are added Small Divers Histories not known to the Ancients
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Lays of Ancient Babyland

_to which are added_

divers small Histories

not known to the



    Lays of Ancient Babyland

    to which are added


    not known to the


    _Dedicated, with much respect, but without
    permission, to the_


    [Illustration: ALDI







                     TO AUGUSTA MARY,

    _for whose amusement the following stories were
               from time to time written,_

                    THIS LITTLE VOLUME,

    _in which they are now collected, is inscribed
              for a memorial of the happy
                  days of her earliest




    Whittington and his Cat          1
    The Three Wishes                33
    Little Red-riding-hood          43
    Jack the Giant-killer           55


    The Vain Mouse                  79
    Cock Robin and Jenny Wren       83
    The Proud Eagle                 87
    Young Lumpkin’s Hyæna           91
    The Young Thrushes              95
    M. P., or the Magpie           101
    The Pigeon and the Hen         105
    The Oyster and the Muscle      109

    The True History of

    _As it is spoken or sung in the streets of the
    great city of London on the ninth
    day of November._


Whittington and his Cat.

    God prosper long our good Lord Mayor,
      And give him wealth and wit!
    A little wisdom too mote well
      His judgement-seat befit.

    Come listen all ye prentice lads,
      Sore set to drudge and fast,
    How that good luck and industrie
      Will make a man at last.

[Sidenote: Whittington,]

    When our third Edward ruled the land,
      A king of glorious fame,
    An humble boy there lived also,
      Dick Whittington by name.

[Sidenote: an orphan boy,]

    His father and his mother too
      Were laid beneath the sod:
    But he was left, and all alone
      The path of misery trod.

[Sidenote: destitute,]

    No woollen hose wore he, nor shoes
      Upon his shivering feet;
    A tatter’d cloak was all he had
      To ward the rain and sleet.

    Yet, though his breast was cold without,
      His heart was warm within;
    And he grumbled not, for well he wot
      That envy is a sin.

[Sidenote: but industrious,]

    And he would fight with all his might
      To earn his daily bread:
    Alas, to think how oft he went
      All supperless to bed!

[Sidenote: had heard great reports of London.]

    Now he had heard of London town,
      And what the folks did there:
    How aldermen did eat and drink,
      And plenty had to spare.

    And how the streets were full of shops,
      And shops were full of food;
    Of beef, and mutton, cheese and ham,
      And every thing that’s good.

    And how the men and women all
      Were lords and ladies there;
    And little boys were rigg’d as smart
      As monkeys at a fair.

    But what most wonderful did seem,
      Of all he had heard told,
    Was how the streets of that great town
      Were paved with solid gold.

[Sidenote: Resolved to get there,]

    Heyday! thought he, if only I
      Could get to that fine place!
    ’Twould not be long ere I would change
      My miserable case.

[Sidenote: he makes his way on foot.]

    Now started off for London town
      Before the break of day,
    He fared beside a waggoner
      Who drove his team that way.

    All day they trudged until the sun
      Had sunk behind the hill;
    And when he rose again next morn
      He saw them trudging still.

[Sidenote: His joy to behold that land of plenty.]

    At length a multitudinous smoke
      Hid half th’ horizon round:
    And such a sight of chimney-pots!
      Dick gaped with joy and stound.

    He thought how often he had lain
      Beneath the cold damp air;
    While here was house-room sure for all,
      And fires i’faith to spare.

    ’Twere hard indeed if one should need
      A chimney-corner here:
    And from the drays that block’d the ways
      Small lack could be of beer.

    ’Twas thus thought Dick, and so full quick
      The waggoner he left;
    And was not long, ere thro’ the throng
      His nimble way he cleft.

[Sidenote: His subsequent disappointment;]

    Thro’ street, thro’ lane, full fast he ran;
      But marvell’d to behold
    The ways all strown with dirt and stone,
      And not with solid gold.

    And folks were not all lords he thought,
      Nor ladies of degree:
    For here were rags, and here were tags,
      As in his own countrie.

[Sidenote: when hungry and cold,]

    Yet, where such plenty seem’d of all
      A hungry lad mote need,
    Tho’ rags were there he did not care:
      He could not fail to speed.

[Sidenote: he is neither fed by the victualler;]

    So at a shop he made a stop:
      Before his well-spread board
    The vict’ller stood, in jolly mood;
      Dick thought he was a lord.

    In cap ydight and waistcoat white
      He beckon’d folks within;
    While fumes arose to tell the nose
      Of all that savoury bin.

    Dick’s joy was great to see the meat;
      So in he ran with haste:
    Alas! roast beef is nought but grief
      To such as may not taste.

    The vict’ller’s eye right scornfully
      Scann’d Dick from foot to head;
    Who begg’d, for love of God above,
      A bit of meat and bread.

    “For one small groat it may be bought;
      “I’faith it is not dear:
    “But no sirloin withouten coin,
      “Nor room for beggars here.”

    Thereat a pamper’d cur rush’d forth
      And bit Dick’s naked feet:
    Who by the wrathful victualler
      Was shoved into the street.

[Sidenote: nor covered by the clothier;]

    Next shivering in his tatter’d dress
      He view’d a clothier’s store;
    But, as he was all penniless,
      They drove him from the door.

    Ah, tradesmen sleek! ah, Christians meek!
      Why will ye swell with pride,
    When ragged want or wretched woe
      Stands shivering at your side?

[Sidenote: nor even heeded by any body.]

    Alas, poor boy! what could he do?
      The busy crowd swept past:
    But all on self intent, or pelf,
      No eye on him was cast.

    He strove to beg: some heard him not,
      And some would not believe:
    Some heard him and believed him too,
      But yet would not relieve.

[Sidenote: Want most grievous in the midst of plenty.]

    Oh! hunger is a galling thing,
      Where nought is there to eat;
    But three times more it galleth sore
      To starve midst bread and meat.

[Sidenote: At last he is noticed by a merchant-citizen,]

    Now just as Dick all spent and sick
      Had laid him down to die,
    A citizen of gentle mien
      It chanced came walking by.

    A merchant he of high degree,
      With ruffles all of lace;
    And Nature’s true nobility
      Was blazon’d in his face.

[Sidenote: who takes him home, and feeds him.]

    He up did pick and home led Dick,
      And gave him food to eat:
    Then sent him to a clean warm bed,
      Not back into the street.

    “Thank God! for that I pass’d that way
      “This night,“ the good man cried;
    “For had I walk’d another way,
      “Poor boy! he might have died.”

    The morning come, Dick early rose,
      And thank’d him from his heart;
    And told him how no friend on earth
      He had to take his part.

[Sidenote: This merchant becomes his friend.]

    “Then I’m your friend,” the kind man cried,
      “And you shall live with me:
    “And you shall tend my merchandize,
      “And keep my granary.”

[Sidenote: and employs him in his granary;]

    How danced for joy the lucky boy,
      To see his alter’d plight!
    He watch’d his granary by day,
      And lock’d it fast by night.

    Now stored within this granary,
      Were corn and wine and oil,
    And cheese and other precious things
      Which rats and mice do spoil.

[Sidenote: where there lived a cat,]

    So there with Dick ydwelt a cat;
      A tabby cat was she:
    As sleek and soft, and eke as fat,
      As any cat could be.

[Sidenote: of social temper,]

    And she about his legs would purr,
      And on his knees would sit;
    And every meal he took, for her
      He saved a dainty bit.

[Sidenote: and high quality.]

    And not a mouse came near her house
      But swallow’d was alive:
    And not a rat but felt her pat:
      No wonder she did thrive!

[Sidenote: The birth of a kitten:]

    Now scarce three moons had waned and fill’d,
      Since Dick’s lone hours she cheer’d,
    When at her side, as Heaven will’d,
      A kitten there appear’d.

[Sidenote: and Dick’s twofold delight thereafter.]

    Then Dick’s delight was doubled quite;
      For one may well avouch,
    Whatever fun there was in one
      In two was twice as much.

[Sidenote: This kitten’s surpassing beauty,]

    All black and red this kitten’s head
      Look’d like a polish’d stone:
    All red and black this kitten’s back
      Like tortoiseshell it shone.

    Full sure I am that well its dam
      Might dote on such a kit:
    The very rats that flee from cats
      Would stand and stare at it.

[Sidenote: and most pleasant humour.]

    Its tail it whisk’d and leapt and frisk’d,
      In weather fair and foul:
    Or cold, or hot, it matter’d not
      To such a merry soul.

    But who could see such joyful glee
      And not be joyous too?
    So Dick forgot his sorry lot
      And laugh’d as others do.

[Sidenote: Dick acquires his first property.]

    Which when the merchant saw, and how
      The kitten it was grown,
    Of his free gift to Whittington
      He gave it for his own.




    Come listen all, both great and small,
      Of high and low degree;
    That ye may know this true story
      And live in charity.

    As wealth by waste and idle taste
      Soon falls to penury,
    So small estate becometh great
      By luck and industry.

    Content then be in poverty,
      In wealth of humble mind;
    Like children of one family
      To one another kind.

[Sidenote: The venture of the merchant]

    This merchant now in foreign parts
      A venture fain would make;
    And all the folk of his household
      Were free to share the stake.

[Sidenote: joined by each of his domestics.]

    One risk’d a shilling, one a groat,
      And one a coin of gold;
    And every one his stake anon
      To the ship’s captain told.

[Sidenote: Dick’s jesting offer]

    Then half in jest, and half in shame,
      Dick fetch’d his kitten down:
    “I too,” he to the captain cried,
      “Will venture all my own.”

[Sidenote: to the surprise of all]

    The servants laugh’d: Dick would have wept,
      And therefore laugh’d the more;
    But soon they stared for wonderment
      Who laugh’d so loud before.

[Sidenote: taken in earnest by the Captain.]

    For now the Captain, “Done,” he cried,
      “A bargain by my fay:”
    And call’d the ship’s-mate in a trice,
      To stow the cat away.

[Sidenote: The cat is taken aboard.]

    He came so quick, no time had Dick
      To countervail his joke:
    So all aboard poor Puss was stored
      Among the sea-going folk.

[Sidenote: The ship sails.]

    Now from her mooring, all ataut,
      Put off at turn of tide,
    Adown the river’s ebbing flood
      The gallant bark did glide.

    And, like some heavenward-soaring bird,
      She faced the open seas;
    And seem’d as sick of land to spread
      Her wings before the breeze.

[Sidenote: The cat at sea.]

    Then, as she flew, Puss fetch’d a mew,
      As if to say--poor me!
    To think that I a land-bred cat
      Should thus be press’d to sea!

    But, ere a week was past and gone,
      He changed this plaintive tone,
    And, like a jolly sailor-boy,
      Purr’d gaily up and down.

    For lean and fat a ship-board cat
      He found hath both to spare;
    And legs by hosts for rubbing posts
      Are always lounging there.

    And then he oft would run aloft,
      And just look out to sea;
    Nor e’er a boy could scream _ahoy_
      In shriller note than he.

[Sidenote: The ship’s course.]

    The fresh wind blew; the light bark flew,
      And clear’d the channel’s mouth;
    Through Biscay’s bay then cut her way,
      And bore towards the South.

[Sidenote: Bound for Africa.]

    For she was bound for Afric ground,
      Where wretched negroes dwell;
    Who waste their days in idle ways,
      As I am loth to tell.

    Nathless the soil withouten toil
      God’s gracious bounty yields;
    And gum drops free from every tree
      Along the sunny fields.

    And we are told how dust of gold
      Stains all the river sands:
    And huge beasts shed their ivory tusks
      About the desert lands.

[Sidenote: The unthriftiness of the negroes.]

    Now what is not with trouble got
      Is seldom kept with care:
    For foresight and economy
      To idlesse strangers are.

    So these poor souls their goodly stores,
      Not needed for the day,
    For trifles and for tromperie
      They barter all away.

[Sidenote: The ship sails past the cape of St. Vincent;]

    Three days, three nights our gallant ship
      Her southward course had steer’d,
    When o’er her larboard at the dawn
      Saint Vincent’s cape appear’d.

    Still southward yet three days three nights
      Her steady prow she bore;
    But when again Sol gilt the main
      Was spied Marocco’s shore.

[Sidenote: anchors off the coast of Marocco.]

    Now shouts of joy and busy noise
      Salute the rising day:
    The coast was made, the ship was stay’d,
      And anchor’d in the bay.

    As when a stranger hawk, that long
      Hath soar’d in middle air,
    Borne earthward on a tree alights,
      And makes his station there;

    The myriad tenants of the grove
      Would fain his purpose know;
    And flock around, yet hold aloof
      For fear to meet a foe:

[Sidenote: The wonderment of the negroes.]

    ’Twas thus the negroes throng’d the beach,
      To view a ship at sea:
    While some drew down their light canoes;
      What mote the strange bark be?

    Or friend--or foe? They long’d to know,
      Yet durst not venture near:
    Till soon the boat was all afloat,
      And off to lay their fear.

[Sidenote: Their king and queen]

    Afront were seen a king and queen,
      Whom all the rest obey’d:
    And all the good things of the land
      Belong’d to them, ’twas said.

[Sidenote: invited by the Captain]

    Which when the captain heard, and how
      They had an ample hoard,
    Their companie requested he
      To dine with him on board.

[Sidenote: go on board.]

    Now, wafted o’er the azure lake,
      The king and eke his queen,
    Behold them seated on the deck:
      The captain sat between.

[Sidenote: Puss salutes his Majesty after European fashion.]

    But ere the dinner it was served,
      While yawn’d the king for meat,
    Just to divert the royal mind,
      Puss rubb’d against his feet.

    Now you must know the royal toe
      It ticklish was to touch:
    But Puss rubb’d he so daintily,
      The king he liked it much.

    Then to his bride he spake aside,
      And e’en was speaking yet,
    When lo!--the platter came,--whereat
      The rest he did forget.

[Sidenote: The dinner.]

    Now both did eat their fill of meat,
      As suiteth royalty:
    No lack was there of the ship’s best fare,
      And grog flow’d copiously.

[Sidenote: Puss joins the carousal,]

    And both did quaff, and both did laugh,
      And both sang merrily:
    Till Puss could stay no more away,
      But came to join the glee.

[Sidenote: his pleasantry.]

    His tail he whisk’d, and leapt and frisk’d,
      As he was wont before:
    Whereat the king and eke the queen
      For very mirth did roar.

[Sidenote: The royal whim]

    Then up he gat, and sware an oath--
      That, for so droll a thing,
    In barter, of his choicest goods
      A shipload he would bring.

[Sidenote: indulged at much cost.]

    Thereat the captain--“Done,” he cried
      “A bargain by my fay!”
    And sent his whole ship’s-company
      To fetch the goods away.

[Sidenote: A merry night.]

    Now laugh’d the king and laugh’d the Queen,
      And laugh’d the captain he:
    A bargain struck at festive board
      Doth please so mightily.

    The goods were brought, the ship was fraught,
      And stow’d away full tight.
    The king and queen, they drank till e’en,
      And slept on board that night.

[Sidenote: The next morning.]

    The captain rose at early dawn
      And call’d to th’ king anon:
    “This cat is thine, this cargo’s mine;
      And now I must begone.”

    The king awoke and waked the queen,
      Who slept so heavily,
    That full ten minutes pass’d away,
      Before that she could see.

[Sidenote: The king’s maudlin humour.]

    Then clasping Puss within her arms
      She nursed him like a child.
    The king his humour now was sad;
      Nathless the monarch smiled.

[Sidenote: The king and queen depart with puss.]

    Then down the vessel’s side he stepp’d,
      And down the queen stepp’d she.
    And Puss was handed down perforce
      To join their company.

    Alongside lay the king’s canoe,
      Well mann’d with negroes ten;
    Who swift row’d off the royal pair,
      With Puss all snug between.

[Sidenote: The ship weighs anchor,]

    Then sung the Captain--“all hand’s up,
      The anchor haul amain:
    Unfurl the sails, and point the prow
      For British lands again.”

[Sidenote: and sails homeward.]

    Tis done: from out the tranquil bay
      Our goodly vessel glides;
    And, homeward bound, on Ocean’s back
      Right gallantly she rides.



[Sidenote: Dick’s whole estate.]

    NOW when the merchant gave to Dick
      That kitten for his own,
    No thing he had alive or dead
      On earth save it alone.

[Sidenote: His regret at its loss;]

    And so enamour’d had he grown
      Of this his property,
    That sooth his heart did sorely smart
      When Puss was sent to sea.

[Sidenote: His melancholy vein,]

    Then all was lonely as before;
      Again he rued his plight:
    He moped in solitude all day,
      And lay awake all night.

[Sidenote: and wayward fancy.]

    So dismal and so desolate
      The granary now it seem’d,
    He long’d in the green fields to be,
      And where the sunshine gleam’d.

[Sidenote: He deserts his trust,]

    Alas! how weak our nature is
      Its cravings to resist:
    For Dick betray’d his master’s trust
      To follow his own list.

[Sidenote: and wanders into the fields.]

    He stroll’d abroad into the fields,
      He knew not where nor why;
    Regardless of his duty quite
      About the granary.

[Sidenote: The Lord Mayor’s day.]

    Now as it chanced the new Lord Mayor
      Of London, that same day,
    To meet the king at Westminster
      In state had ta’en his way.

[Sidenote: Bow bells]

    With such a charge the city-barge
      Did proudly flaunt along:
    And the bells of Bow were nothing slow
      To greet him with--_ding, dong_.

[Sidenote: heard by Dick.]

    While truant Dick all sad and sick
      Was wandering in despair,
    Hark! hark! the music of Bow-bells
      Came wafted on the air.

[Sidenote: What they seemed to say.]

    They seem’d to say--_Turn Whit-ting-ton_:
      _Again turn Whit-ting-ton_:
    And when he listen’d still, they said--
      _Lord May-or of Lon-don_.

    Again he heard the self-same words
      Repeated by the chimes;
    Yet trusted not, till he had heard
      The same an hundred times.

[Sidenote: His repentance and return.]

    “It must be so: and I will go
      Back to my granary.
    Oh shame! to be so false while he
      Was true and kind to me.”

    He turn’d, and reach’d the granary
      Before the fall of day:
    And not a living soul e’er knew
      That he had run away.

[Sidenote: his good resolves,]

    This foolish prank he sorely rued;
      But now that it was o’er,
    And he all right again, he vow’d
      He ne’er would do so more.

[Sidenote: rewarded by peace of mind.]

    And so that night in peace he slept,
      And so to joy he rose:
    But while he slept, he thought he trod
      Upon the Lord Mayor’s toes.

[Sidenote: His prophetic dream.]

    Patience--patience! my little boy;
      Take heed to save your skin:
    The Lord Mayor is a portly man,
      And thou but small and thin.

    Beware of cage, beware of cat
      That tails hath three times three:
    For he may strip, and he may whip,
      And he may ’mprison thee.

    All in his sleep this sage advice
      Seem’d whisper’d to his ear:
    Nathless right on the Lord Mayor’s toe
      He stood withouten fear.

[Sidenote: A visiter]

    Again the day had pass’d away,
      And night was creeping o’er,
    When such a knock as mote him shock
      Was thunder’d at his door.

[Sidenote: brings tidings of his luck.]

    “Hallo! hallo! why batter so?”
      In trembling voice he sung:
    Whereat wide-open flew the door,
      And in the Captain sprung.

    “Good luck, good luck! my jolly buck!
      Why whimper there and whine?
    Cheer up now Maister Whittington,
      For--all the cargo’s thine.”

[Sidenote: His incredulity.]

    But Dick was so much used to woe,
      He dared not trust on weal:
    Nor had he zest to point a jest
      To rouse the sailor’s peal.

[Sidenote: The congratulations of the household.]

    Till soon the household made aware
      Came rattling at the door,
    And greeted Maister Whittington,
      Who was poor Dick before.

    They led him forth a man of worth,
      And humbly call’d him _Sire_;
    And placed him in a huge arm-chair
      Before the merchant’s fire.

    The good man heard the rumour’d word
      And eke his daughter fair;
    And both ran straight to where he sate
      All in this huge arm-chair.

    ’Twas then the merchant laugh’d aloud,
      And then the maiden smiled:
    And then the servants bow’d to him
      They had before reviled.

[Sidenote: The virtue of riches.]

    For Poverty may blameless be,
      Yet is an unblest thing;
    And wealth, for all that good men preach,
      Doth sure obeisance bring.

    This truth found Dick, who grew full quick
      Into an honour’d man;
    Yet was he loth to let his luck
      Abide where it began.

[Sidenote: His active industry,]

    So join’d he jolly venturers
      In every good emprise;
    It was no niggard share he staked
      In all their argosies.

[Sidenote: rewarded.]

    All lucky he came off at sea;
      But luckier far on land,
    Whenas the merchant’s daughter fair
      Gave him her heart and hand.

[Sidenote: His honours.]

    Next he became an Alderman,
      And Lord Mayor before long:
    And then--oh! how the bells of Bow
      Did greet him with _ding-dong_.

    E’en on that day they seem’d to say
      _Lord May-or of Lon-don_:
    But when he listen’d still they said
      _Sir Rich-ard Whit-ting-ton_.

[Sidenote: His charity.]

    Then thought he on the luckless lad
      That swept the granary floor;
    Nor ever in the pride of wealth
      Did he forget the poor.

    And so God save our good Lord Mayor,
      And give him wealth and wit:
    But never let a prentice-lad
      Dick Whittington forget.




_A Lay sung in small Families during the Moon which follows next to
that which is known as the Honey-moon._



The Three Wishes.

    IN wedlock once (’twas years agone)
      Were join’d a simple pair;
    The man in sooth was wondrous poor,
      The woman wondrous fair.

[Sidenote: Love is not covetous,]

    What wonder then that they should love,
      As none e’er loved before;
    And tho’ few worldly goods they had,
      They coveted no more.

[Sidenote: but, whether woman’s, or man’s,]

    For woman is a generous thing,
      And loves for love alone;
    And man he loves for beauty’s sake,
      And dotes on flesh and bone.

[Sidenote: consists not with starvation;]

    But flesh and bone they must be fed,
      As all the world doth know;
    Withouten food the loveliest flesh
      Most hideous soon doth grow.

    Nor bone will thrive on love alone,
      If bread and meat it lacks;
    Withouten food, the stronger love,
      The weaker bone doth wax.

[Sidenote: and is perill’d by idleness,]

    Now three weeks wedded had they been,
      And though he was so poor,
    The man, who had no goods within,
      Scarce passed without the door.

    The woman loved him still so much,
      She wish’d for nought instead;
    Yet did she pine, each night to go
      All supperless to bed.

    One night as o’er the hearth they sat,
      The embers glowing bright,
    My dear, quoth he, most fair by day
      Thou’rt fairer still by night!

[Sidenote: which induces want,]

    I too, quoth she, do love thee now
      As ne’er I loved before;
    Yet, were I not so hungry, I
      Methinks should love thee more.

[Sidenote: discontent,]

    Alas, said he, that poverty
      Should such fond hearts betide!
    I fain would work,--but love thee so,
      I cannot leave thy side:

[Sidenote: and unavailing wishes:]

    I wish that we were very rich!
      She answer’d,--I am thine:
    And, though I never cared for wealth,
      Thy wishes shall be mine.

    Scarce had they spoke when on the hearth
      Appear’d a little fay:
    So beautiful she was, the room
      It shone as bright as day.

[Sidenote: of which even the full indulgence]

    Then waving thrice her lily hand,
      In silver tones she spake;—
    Thrice may ye wish what wish ye please,
      And thrice your wish shall take.

    I am your guardian fay, she said,
      And joy to see your love:
    What would ye more to make you blest
      As spirits are above?

    The beauteous fay then vanishing,
      The man he kiss’d his wife;
    And swore he never was before
      So happy in his life.

    Now shall I be a lord, said he,
      A bishop, or a king?
    We’ll think it o’er to night, nor wish
      In haste for any thing.

[Sidenote: would end in folly.]

    Be it, said she; to-morrow then
      We’ll wish one wish, my dear:
    In the meantime, I only wish
      We had some pudding here.

    Ah! luckless wish! upon the word,
      A pudding straightway came:
    At which the man wax’d high with rage,
      The woman low with shame.

[Sidenote: Then folly begets anger;]

    And as she hid her blushing eyes,
      And crouch’d upon a stool;
    The man he rose and stamp’d his foot,
      And cursed her for a fool.

    He stamp’d his foot, and clench’d his fist,
      And scarce refrain’d from blows:
    A pudding! zounds, cried he, I wish
      You had it at your nose!

    Up rose the pudding as he spake,
      And, like an air-balloon,
    Was borne aloft in empty space,
      But oh! it settled soon:

[Sidenote: and anger strife,]

    Too soon it settled on the nose
      Of his unhappy wife:
    Alas! how soon an angry word
      Turns harmony to strife!

    For now the woman sobb’d aloud
      To feel the pudding there;
    And in her turn was angry too,
      And call’d the man a bear.

[Sidenote: followed by remorse and shame.]

    But when their anger had burnt out,
      Its ash remain’d behind;
    Remorse and shame that they had been
      So foolish and so blind.

    The man brake silence first, and said,—
      Two wishes now are gone,
    And nothing gain’d; but one remains,
      And much may still be done.—

    Oh were it so! but I have gain’d
      What much I wish to lose--
    The woman blurted, as she saw
      The pudding at her nose.

    Then off the pudding flew amain,
      And roll’d into the dish:
    For she in sooth unwittingly
      Had wish’d the other wish.

    Now when the man saw what was done,
      His choler quick return’d;
    But when he look’d into her face,
      With love again he burn’d.

[Sidenote: But love consists with a lowly estate,]

    For now she smiled as she was wont,
      And seem’d so full of charms,
    That all unmindful of the past
      He rush’d into her arms.

    Oh! how I joy thou’rt not, she said,
      Nor bishop, king, nor lord!
    I love thee better as thou art,
      I do, upon my word!

    And I, said he, do dote on thee:
      For now the pudding’s gone,
    There’s not a face in any place
      So pretty as thine own!

[Sidenote: so there be contentment,]

    But as we have the pudding here,
      ’Tis all we want,--said she,
    Suppose we just sit down awhile
      And eat it merrily.

[Sidenote: and industry.]

    With all my heart, my love, said he,
      For I am hungry too:
    From this time forth, I’ll strive to earn
      Enough for me and you.

[Sidenote: Moral.]

    The fay then reappear’d, and spake
      The moral of my song:—
    “Man wants but little here below,
      Nor wants that little long.”

    Love is a heavenly prize in sooth,
      But earthborn flesh and bone,
    If they would love, must live as well,
      And cannot love alone.

    Then strive to earn the bread of life,
      And guard your body’s health;
    But mark--enough is all you want,
      And competence is wealth.

    And to that happy soul, who love
      With competency blends,
    Contentment is a crown of joy!—
      And here the moral ends.


A brief Account of the sad Accident which befel


showing plainly what brought about the same.

_A Lay of the Nursery, as chanted to simple Music by the
lady-governesses of the olden time._



Little Red-riding-hood.

    A LITTLE girl once lived in a cottage near a tree,
    A pretty little girl she was, and good as she could be.
    Her father often kiss’d her; and her mother loved her so,
    That if the king had pledged his crown for her, she had said--no.
    Her grandmother, who lived in a village through a wood,
    Had made her little granddaughter a nice red riding-hood,
    This riding-hood she used to wear whenever she walk’d out;
    It was so smart, the boys and girls would follow her about.
    And all the neighbours loved her, and to see her often came;
    And little Dame Red-riding-hood they call’d her for her name.

    One beautiful fine morning when her mother had been churning,
    This little girl upon the hearth some nice sweet cakes was turning:
    And whisper’d softly to herself, how well our oven bakes!
    Oh, how I wish that grandmamma could taste these nice sweet cakes!
    Her mother who was close behind, and heard her little mutter,
    Then you shall take her some, she said, with some of my fresh butter.
    But loiter not upon the road, nor from the footpath stray,
    For many wicked folks there be might harm thee by the way.
    As soon as she had heard these words, oh! how she jump’d for joy!
    For she old granny loved as much as most love a new toy.
    She put on her red-riding-hood, and started off in haste;
    All eager for her grandmother her nice sweet cakes to taste.
    And thus as on she trotted with her basket on her arm,
    She little thought that any one would wish to do her harm.

    Now when she came into the wood, through which the footpath lay,
    The birds were singing all around, the flowers were blooming gay.
    Such yellow buttercups she saw, such violets white and blue,
    Such primroses, such sweet-briars, and honey-suckles too;
    That, oh! she thought within herself, I wish Mamma were here:
    I’m sure she’d let me stop awhile; there can be nought to fear:
    I must just pick these pretty flowers which smell so fresh and sweet:
    ’Twill be so nice to take her home a nose-gay for a treat.
    She told me not to loiter here, nor from the footpath stray;
    And so I wont stop very long, nor wander far away.
    And so she stopp’d, nor thought of harm, because she knew not what:
    Enough it should have been to know--Mamma had told her not.
    And from the path she stray’d away, and pick’d a thousand flowers;
    And all the birds did welcome her within their leafy bowers.
    But, as it so fell out, a wolf was basking in the grass,
    And soon with his sharp hazel eyes espied the little lass.
    And then he trotted up to her, and right before her stood:
    How do you do, my dear? said he; what brings you to my wood?
    Now though his coat was very rough, his words were soft and kind;
    And not a single thought of fear e’er cross’d her simple mind.
    And so she freely said,--I go to see my Granny, Sir,
    Who lives in yonder village in the cottage near the fir.
    I am her little pet, you know, and take her nice sweet cakes--
    Good bye; said he, and brush’d away thro’ bushes and thro’ brakes.
    And not five minutes had pass’d by since he had quitted her,
    Before he reach’d the village and the cottage near the fir.

    He rubb’d and scratch’d against the door; but she was ill in bed;
    And when he tried to make a knock, she feebly raised her head;
    And cried, who knocks at Martha’s door, and poor old Martha wakes?
    It is your little pet, said he, who brings you nice sweet cakes.
    God help you, dearest child, she cried, so pull the string you know;
    And up the latch will go, my love, and you may enter so.
    Then up he jump’d to reach the string, and open flew the door;
    And in he walk’d, and fasten’d it, just as it was before.
    Alas! alas!--as you or I on bread and milk would sup,
    The greedy wolf this poor old dame he gobbled fairly up.

    But now, ashamed of what he’d done, he jump’d into her bed;
    And put her gown upon his back, her cap upon his head.
    But ere he long had lain, there came the very little pet,
    Who long’d to tell her Granny of the kind wolf she had met.
    And gently tapping at the door, she whisper’d soft and still;
    And the false wolf spake huskily, as he were very ill:
    Who knocks at Martha’s door, he cried, and poor old Martha wakes?
    It is her little pet, said she, who brings her nice sweet cakes.
    God help you, dearest, cried the wolf, so pull the string you know;
    And up the latch will go, my love, and you may enter so.
    Then up she jump’d to reach the string, and open flew the door;
    And in she stepp’d, and fasten’d it, just as it was before.

    Now take off your red riding-hood, and come to me in bed:
    He spake with an affected voice, and cover’d up his head.
    The little damsel, as he spoke, just saw his hairy nose:
    Yet now she did as she was bid, and so pull’d off her clothes.

    Oh! Granny, what rough arms you’ve got! I’m not afraid, cried she:
    Rough arms? my dearest child, he said; better for hugging thee.
    Oh! Granny, what sharp eyes you’ve got! I’m half afraid, cried she:
    Sharp eyes? my dearest child, he said; better for seeing thee.
    Oh! Granny, what long ears you’ve got! I’m quite afraid, cried she:
    Long ears? my dearest child, he said; better for hearing thee.
    Oh! Granny, what wide lips you’ve got! I think you’ll swallow me:
    Wide lips? my dearest child, he said; better for kissing thee.
    Thus having said, he kisses gave her one--two--three--and four;
    And then--he would have eat her up, but he could eat no more.

    So little people all take heed, and do as you are bid;
    Lest you some day should meet a wolf, as this poor maiden did.



    A Passage in the Life of


    _A Lay formerly sung about the South-western
    coast of England and the Principality of
    Wales, but known in more remote
    parts since the spread
    of Learning._



Jack the Giant-killer.

_Monstrum horrendum, informe, ingens._

    OLD Cormoran of Michael’s mount
      By all his teeth he swore,
    That he would eat more butcher’s meat,
    Than a whole host from Cornwall’s coast
      Of ten or fifteen score.

    In Arthur’s reign this Giant lived;
      A Giant huge was he:
    His name was known in every town,
    From Devon’s border to Land’s-end,
      And eke from sea to sea.

    Six fingers on each hand he bore,
      Six toes upon each foot:
    An ox’s hide his glove supplied;
    And three times ten stout Cornish men
      Could sleep within his boot.

    And while he bathed his monstrous legs,
      And straddled in the seas,
    The bravest ship of Arthur’s fleet
      Might sail between his knees.

    His breath was like a gale of wind
      As now-a-days it blows:
    His sneeze was like a hurricane;
    And leagues around was heard the sound
      When he did blow his nose.

    His laugh was like a thunderclap
      If e’er in jest he spoke;
    And the waves that lay in Michael’s bay
    Shook, like a merry company,
      Responsive to his joke.

    Thrice every day he gorged his fill,
      And thrice he drank as well:
    One herd at least of salted swine,
    One hundred fatted beeves in brine,
    And eke a thousand casks of wine,
      Were stow’d within his cell.

    On every sabbath day at morn,
      While Church-bells toll’d for prayer,
    He took his club and took his horn,
    And took his belt with iron welt,
      And through the sea did fare.

    Then foraging the country round
      He pillaged every farm;
    And hogs and sheep and oxen too
      Were fell’d by his strong arm:
    And then he bound them in his belt,
    And round his waist huge loads did pack,
    And swung the rest across his back,
      And sought his isle again:
    And not a man of all who dwelt
    Or high or low within that shire,
    Or peasant, parson or esquire,
      But dreaded Cormoran.

    The very magistrates themselves,
    Who once a fortnight did dispense
    King Arthur’s justice at Penzance,
    Despite of justice and of law
    He made them cater for his maw:
      And tho’ they lived in rusty pride,
    Nor took their country’s pay,
    He spared them not for that a jot,
    But used to say the balance lay
      Upon the country’s side.

    In sooth it was a grievous sight,
      And sad it is to tell,
    When Cormoran came o’er the sea,
      What fearful things befel:
    He had no shame of his ill name,
      No sneaking thief was born;
    But standing stiff on the main cliff
      Nine times he wound his horn.

    Oh then I ween you might have seen
      All nature in despair!
    The bird soar’d high toward the sky,
      The wild beast sought his lair.

    The sheep ran huddling to a nook,
      As they had seen a wolf:
    The snorting colt defied the brook,
      Or plunged into the gulf.

    The lazy-grouping steers, that grazed
      Upon the mountain fell,
    Forgot their pasture all amazed,
      And pour’d into the dell.

    The pigs that buried in the straw
      Lay grunting snug and warm,
    Now helter-skelter scurried off,
      As if they smelt a storm.

    The watch-dog tore against his chain,
    As he would choke with rage:
      But when he listen’d once agen,
    He knew the voice of Cormoran,
      And skulk’d into his den.

    From every steeple on the coast,
      And eke from every tower,
    The village bells right merrily
      Did chime the matins-hour;
    But when they heard th’ accursed blast,
    Each sturdy sexton stood aghast;
    The rope it glided from his grasp,
      And silence reign’d around:
    Save here and there where sudden jerk
    Had follow’d interrupted work,
    Like dying man’s convulsive gasp,
      There came a jangling sound.

    The lads and lasses, who that morn
      Had donn’d their high-day trim,
    Were pacing solemnly to prayer,
      In modest guise and prim.
    Apart they walk’d in decent pride,
    And scarcely ventured side by side:
      But hark! it was--it was--
    ’Twas Cormoran! they knew the sound
    That paralysed the country round,
      And hurried off in mass.
    Forgetful now of prayer and pride
    In groups they thrid the forest wide,
      Or lurk in caves together:
    And here and there a plighted pair
    Wander aloof in mute despair,
      Or crouch upon the heather.



_Ingentes animos angusto in pectore._

    IN Cornwall then there lived a youth,
      (Such may that land ne’er lack)
    His mother call’d him “Johnny dear,”
      His father call’d him Jack.

    In sooth he was of gentle mien,
      And of a nature kind:
    And though his body it was small,
      It held a mighty mind.

    For he had read of fairy tales,
      And deeds of high emprize;
    And envied knights who died in fights,
      Or lived in ladies’ eyes.

    And not a wrestling match there was,
      But Jack would try his skill;
    And not a fair but Jack was there
      To wreak his merry will.

    And while he sat upon some rock,
      And watch’d his sheep by day,
    His eyes were with his silly flock,
      His soul was far away.

    Sometimes he went to beard intent
      A Giant in his den;
    Sometimes he thought he singly fought
      With twice two hundred men:

    And when he found himself aground,
      Not caring to be slain
    He sprang afoot, and off he shot
      Till he might breathe again.

    Now Jack while he sat thoughtfully
      One glorious sabbath morn,
    It so befel, as I did tell,
      That Cormoran wound his horn.

    The ewes were browsing o’er the downs,
      And scatter’d far away;
    The lusty lambs had drain’d their dams,
      And gamboll’d off to play.

    Now all did prick their ears right quick
      Astounded at the blast;
    As if a kite had soar’d in sight,
      Or fox had skulken past.

    And then they scour’d about the lay,
      And piteously did bleat,
    Till in the throng that rush’d along
      Each one its own might meet.

    Cried Jack--It is a shame, I wis,
      A burning shame to see
    This Cormoran, a single man,
      Defy the whole countrie!

    What! tho’ no hand on Cornish land
      Can wield the giant’s axe:
    One heart there is as stout as his,
      And that one heart is Jack’s.

    And, if I know a trick or two
      May serve me in good stead,
    This very night my mark I’ll write
      Upon the giant’s head.

    That day pass’d by most tediously,
      And Jack the hours did count,
    Till night came on and he was gone
      Alone to Michael’s mount.

    His horn was at his collar hung,
      His hatchet in his hand;
    Adown his side his spade was tied;
    A pickaxe at his back was slung;
      And thus he left the land.

    Across the bay he held his way,
      And swam with all his might;
    It was so dark he scarce could mark
      The mountain’s frowning height.

    But soon he gain’d the rocky land,
      And dripping from the wave
    He peer’d around, till he had found
      The hateful giant’s cave.

    There right afore the giant’s door
      He dug a huge big hole;
    Full deep and wide on every side
      He scoop’d it like a mole.

    With muchel toil he moved the soil;
      And then, to hide his tricks,
    Above the cavern’s gaping mouth
      He wove a frame of sticks.

    A frame of sticks just strong enough
      To bear the living sward;
    Which he so laid o’er as it was before,
      Not a trace of the hole appear’d.

    Then pickaxe, spade, and hatchet too
      Upon the ground he cast:
    And he took his horn to salute the morn
      And blew a jolly blast.

    Now how he danced, and how he pranced,
      To think what he had done!
    But when he heard what then he heard,
      He well nigh burst for fun.

    “Holloa--Yaugh! Holloa--Yaugh!
      Who dares wake Cormoran?
    As I am good, by my father’s blood,
      I smell a breathing man!”

    Then he rubb’d his eyes and drove to rise,
      But woke so tardily,
    That while he yawn’d the morning dawn’d,
      And Jack bethought to flee.

    But while yet slumber his lids did cumber
      He blew another blast;
    And the giant rush’d out and blink’d about,
      Till Jack he spied at last.

    What whipster is that scarce as tall as a cat?
      He’ll do to broil or bake:
    But he’s too small for me withal
      This long night’s fast to break.

    Tis Jack, I swear! ah Jack, mon cher,
      This is a merry bout!
    I’ll pay your score--and all before
      Your mother knows you’re out.

    So on he strode: but soon he trod
      Aboon Jack’s handywork;
    When in he fell, and roll’d pell-mell
      Blaspheming like a Turk.

    Then Jack peep’d in, and rubb’d his chin,
      While thus he spake his foe:—
    Now, as you’re good, by your father’s blood,
      Dear giant, swear not so.

    Why thus perplex’d and sorely vex’d,
      Kind heart! for me and mine?
    My mother knows I’m out;--but does
      Your father know you’re in?

    At Jack’s keen wit the giant bit
      His flesh with grief and pain:
    Then with mock glee--Bravo! cried he:
      Now help me out again.

    Jack quick replied: on either side
      With both your hands hold tight:
    While I take care to seize your hair,
      And pull with all my might.

    The Giant did as he was bid;
      When Jack his humour spoke:
    For though so brave and seeming grave
      He dearly loved a joke.

    “Stay, stay: the air is cold up here,
      And you are delicate:
    It sure were best to breakfast first;
      I well can spare to wait.

    But broil not me, who am you see
      Scarce taller than a cat:
    Not half enough, besides I’m tough;
      Do pray instead take--that:”—

    Whereat a thump he dealt so plump,
      Upon the Giant’s head,
    That down he roll’d upon the mould,
      And there he lay like dead.

    Then Jack jump’d down and kneeling on
      Him pull’d his clasp-knife out;
    And here he gash’d, and there he slash’d,
      As one would crimp a trout.

    Now such a flood of giant’s blood
      Came rushing from each wound,
    Jack well had need to off with speed,
      Or sooth he had been drown’d.

    Then up he sprang, and, like a cock
      That dead hath struck his foe,
    He stood aloof upon a rock,
      And thus began to crow.

    The deed is done! the game is won!
      Great Cormoran is slain!
    Now frisk and leap, my pretty sheep,
      All merrily again.

    The deed is done! the game is won!
      Right glorious Jack will be:
    All Cornwall’s coast his fame shall boast
      For this great victory!

    But who can know who struck the blow,
      Since none were here to see?
    What boots to Jack if he go back
      Without some true trophee?

    For men in sooth are wondrous loth
      To spend a word of praise:
    Though great and small are prodigal
      Of evil words always.

    But off to bear the Giant’s gear
      Jack was too weak of limb:
    He scarce could stand the weight on land;
      Then how with it to swim?

    Wherefor he felt beneath his belt;
      Perchance he there mote wear
    A signet, or some love-token,
      Or lock of lady’s hair.

    For who so fierce, but love may pierce
      His breast, to all unknown?
    What heart so sere, but springs a tear
      In secret and alone?

    But Cormoran was not the man
      To rue his lonely couch:
    Nor pledge nor plight of lady bright
      Was there within his pouch.

    There lay alone a steer’s thigh-bone,
      Sharp pointed, huge, and thick;
    Wherewith he used (for tell’t I must)
      His monstrous teeth to pick.

    Now this took Jack, and on his back
      He slung the ugly spoil:
    And thus again he swam the main,
      Sore sick of blood and toil.

    The morn was bright, the breeze was light,
      Jack stemm’d the wave meanwhile:
    And all Penzance came forth to see
      Who left the Giant’s isle.

    They mark’d him ride the buoyant tide,
      As one of stubborn mind;
    And how he cleft his way and left
      A blood-red track behind.—

    Now Jack once more on Cornwall’s shore
      Unslung his huge trophee:
    And all flock’d round, and mark’d with stound
      What this strange thing mote be.

    So thick! so long! so sharp! so strong!
      They saw the truth full quick:
    For who but he its lord could be?
      ’Twas Cormoran’s own tooth-pick!

    And who could seize that pocket-piece,
      Nor pay for’t with his head?
    And who e’er felt beneath that belt?
      It must be he was dead!

    Then did they shout with joyous rout,
      And Jack bore off amain:
    Right up Penzance they led their dance,
      Then led it down again.

    It chanced that morn the Ealdorman
      Sat there in civic state;
    On matters high of polity
      For to deliberate.

    So when this noise of men and boys
      Resounded through the street,
    He felt the weight of high estate
      And trembled in his seat.

    But soon a scout who had peep’d out
      These welcome tidings told:—
    “They bring a lad--some thief, or pad!”
      Whereat he waxed more bold.

    For though he had no heart to beard
      A burglar stout and tall,
    He yet was glad to trounce a lad,
      Because he was so small.

    But threats soon turn to promises,
      And punishment to praise,
    When Jack walks in and on the board
      The giant’s tooth-pick lays!

    The Ealdorman is all astound,
      And scarce his eyes believes;
    For ’twas long syne that he did dine
      Upon his own fat beeves.

    As fitting meed for such brave deed,
      He fain would wealth bestow:
    But money there was then as rare
      As now-a-days, I trow.

    But honour shone more bright than coin
      Before Jack’s noble eyes:
    Awake--asleep--he still might keep
      Untarnish’d this fair prize.

    The Ealdorman then rising up,
      While Jack before him knelt,
    In Arthur’s name he dubb’d him knight,
      And girt him with a belt.

    The belt it was of good leather,
      With letters stamp’d of gold;
    And all the world might read thereon
      This simple history told:—

        =This is the valiant Cornish man
        Who slew the giant Cormoran!=




_not known to the Ancients_.



The Vain Mouse.

    UPON a river side
      A Frog had built his house;
    And in a hole close by
      There lived a little Mouse.

    Now as they lived so near,
      And went out in fine weather,
    They used to meet sometimes,
      And laugh and talk together.

    Thus as they jogg’d along
      So happily through life,
    The neighbours often said,
      They must be man and wife.

    Now Mouse was rather gay,
      While Froggy was most proper;
    And so he said one day,
      ’Tis time for me to stop her.

[Sidenote: A fair offer,]

    That very afternoon,
      As they were taking tea,
    I love you, Mouse, said he;
      Pray will you marry me?

    But Mouse was very vain;
      And, though mice are so rife,
    I’m sure she thought herself
      The prettiest mouse in life.

[Sidenote: rejected with disdain.]

    So looking grave at Frog
      That he should dare to woo,
    She said,--how can I love
      A cold, damp thing, like you?

    Then jumping from her seat,
      As if to shew her spite,
    She whisk’d him with her tail,
      Nor wish’d him once good-night.

    But, as it so fell out,
      Old Pussy had been walking,
    And stopp’d to listen there
      While Frog and Mouse were talking:

[Sidenote: Vanity meets its deserts.]

    And just as this vain Mouse
      Was trotting home to bed,
    Old Pussy cried,--Stop, stop!
      And seized her by the head.

    Then Froggy who peep’d out
      And saw how she was treated,
    It serves her right, said he,
      For being so conceited.

    So Pussy took poor Mouse,
      And gave her to her kittens,
    Who supp’d upon her flesh,
      But saved her skin for mittens.



Cock Robin and Jenny Wren.

    “GOOD morning, dear Robin!” said sweet Jenny Wren:
    “Good morning, sweet Jenny!” said Robin again.
    Then chirping and flirting and hopping and bobbing
    Together sat down Jenny Wren and Cock Robin.

    Then Jenny broke silence:—“Ah me! if you knew,
    Dear Robin, how this little heart beats for you,
    It hardly would happen that poor Jenny Wren
    Must always give place to Dame Robin your hen.”

    “Sweet Jenny!” said he, “you don’t surely suppose
    That Robins can trifle like jackdaws and crows!
    You know birds of my quality must be decorous;
    Though between you and me, sweet, it may sometimes bore us.”

    “Then come, my dear Robin! then come to my bower,
    Now the trees are all leaf and the fields are all flower:
    The world may tell stories,--I don’t care a fig,
    While pretty Cock Robin is perch’d on my twig.”

    Cock Robin was tickled, and thrice chirp’d aloud,
    And thrice wagg’d his tail and thrice graciously bow’d:
    Then he bustled and rustled and whittled so high,
    That he woke a dull owl who was dozing close by.

    “Whit-a-whoo!” cried the owl, as he blink’d with surprise:
    “Where is he?--this sun is too bright for my eyes.”
    But a cloud passing over, as if fate was in it,
    He pounced upon Robin at that very minute.

    Poor Cock Robin! alas, that he should be so frail!
    How could he give ear to her flattering tale!
    The Owl minced him for supper: but, had he been wise,
    He had still supp’d himself on Dame Robin’s mince-pies.



The Proud Eagle.

    AN eagle dwelt upon a rock,
      And perch’d upon the topmost stones:
    Whence he would pounce on bird and beast
      And bear them off to pick their bones.

    He was a proud and cruel bird,
      And boasted of his beak and claw;
    His eye could reach both far and near,
      And hunger was his only law.

    One morning in the month of May
      A lamb was bleating on the lawn:
    “A fig for lambs,” said he; “to-day
      I’ll breakfast on a pretty fawn.”

    But every pretty fawn that day
      Was shelter’d by its careful dam:
    So as he could not breakfast there,
      He turn’d again to find the lamb.

    And though he might have caught a hare
      Who hurried off towards her brue;
    “Nay think not, silly puss” he cried
      “That I would stoop to lunch on you.”

    But now the shepherd watch’d his lambs,
      And, as he dared not venture there,
    Away he flew, and swore aloud
      He’d gobble up alive the hare.

    He pass’d a little mouse just then,
      Nor deigned to touch such paltry food:
    But soon he found the prudent hare
      Had stole away into the wood.

    Then in a passion back he flew
      To swallow whole the little mouse:
    But little mouse her danger knew,
      And so had crept into her house.

    And now the evening dews were rising:
      And as the light was waxing pale,
    This proud bird (deem it not surprising)
      Was glad to sup upon a snail.



Young Lumpkin’s Hyæna.

    IT was once on a time people said a hyæna
      Lived close by the village and had a snug lair;
    They were sure ’twas a real one, young Lumpkin had seen her,
      With a head like a wolf and a tail like a bear.

    Old Gaffer moreover, who used to sit quaffing,
      One night heard a scuffle and found a goose dead;
    And dame Slipperslopper had often heard laughing,
      While folks were, or ought to have been, all abed.

    So with common consent they determined to stop her,
      For hyænas they said were a mischievous race:
    So Gaffer and Lumpkin and Dame Slipperslopper
      Sallied forth one fine morning all girt for the chase.

    They soon reach’d the hole where they reckon’d to find her,
      And all took their posts as they gather’d round close;
    And the Dame she peep’d in, though no mole could be blinder,
      As she settled her spectacles over her nose.

    But just at that moment our old friend the fox,
      (For no more and no less was Young Lumpkin’s Hyæna)
    Was starting to visit old Gaffer’s fat cocks,
      And he brush’d past her face just as if he’d not seen her.

    She started--her glasses fell into the hole;
      And backward she tumbled and shriek’d like a child.
    Young Lumpkin stood silent and look’d like a fool;
      Old Gaffer ran homeward, as if he was wild.

    But before he got home he had lost a fine chicken,
      And Dame Slipperslopper came back in chagrin:
    But the Fox grinn’d with joy while his chops he sat licking,
      And put on the glasses, to pick the bones clean.

[Sidenote: Moral.]

    When a fool prates of wonders--a ghost or a dragon,
      Believe not his story, albeit he may swear;
    For be sure, that as usual the world will still wag on,
      And never a dragon nor ghost will be there.



The Young Thrushes.


    A PRETTY thrush with speckled breast
    Within a yew had made her nest,
      And laid her five eggs there:
    Five pretty eggs so smooth and blue,
    And, like herself all speckled too,
      She brooded with much care.

    By day, by night, so close she sat,
    No babbling dog, no crafty cat,
      No boy her secret knew:
    Nor bird--save one, who sat apart
    And whistled to console her heart,—
      Her gentle mate, and true.

    Thus time pass’d cheerily away;
    Meanwhile her bosom day by day
      With kindling fondness yearn’d:
    Till, on the morn when it befel
    Her callow nestlings burst the shell,
      With mother’s love it burn’d.

    Now all seem’d brighter to her eye,
    The earth more green, more blue the sky,
      For all with love was dyed:
    And while she flitted round for food,
    And pick’d it for her helpless brood,
      She wish’d no joy beside.

    Alas, that joy so sweet and pure
    Should be on earth so little sure!
      But such is Heaven’s decree.
    Puss mark’d where she was wont to fly,
    And watch’d her with a yellow eye,
      And noted well the tree.

    Now stealthily she crept beneath,
    And there she crouch’d as still as death,
      Till home the thrush might go:
    But mother’s eyes are open wide;
    And soon the cautious parent spied
      The ambush of her foe.

    Wherefore she went not near the yew,
    But quite another way she flew;
      And Pussy’s game seem’d lost:
    For all in vain she strove to find
    The nest which lay so close and blind,
      Where two thick stems were cross’d.

    Then basking in the sunny ray,
    She soon began to purr and play,
      As all on love intent:
    And mildness, like the velvet paw
    Which cloked the terrors of her claw,
      Belied her natural bent.

    Twas thus, whenas the senseless brood,
    Who miss’d awhile their custom’d food,
      Began to chirp complaints;
    As if their mother knew not best,
    Or would not charge her careful breast
      With all their little wants.

    Full soon their folly did they rue;
    (As foolish children always do;)
      But ah! they rued too late:
    For Pussy heard their silly wail,
    And prick’d her ears, and lash’d her tail,
      And grinn’d with scorn and hate.

    Then up the tree amain she sprung,
    From branch, to bough, she leapt, she clung,
      Till right within the nook,
    Where lay the nestlings snug and warm,
    She planted her terrific form,
      And all the yew-tree shook!

    How then they trembled in despair,
    And long’d to have their Mother there,
      Most grievous is to tell:
    And how Puss scorn’d such unripe meat,
    And fiercely spurn’d them with her feet.
      Till on the ground they fell!

    Alas! poor birds! had they been still,
    Nor chirp’d their little plaints of ill,
      While all was for the best,
    The unheeding cat had walk’d away;
    And they had lived secure that day
      Within their happy nest.



M. P. or The Magpie.

[Sidenote: A blockhead]

    A MAGPIE once was such a dunce,
      That all the people said,
    More bricks would lie in a fish’s eye,
      Than learning in his head.

    And though his mother herself did bother
      And every trouble took,
    Yet not one word could that dull bird
      Repeat without his book.

    Till once he saw a young jackdaw
      Who dearly loved his letters;
    Though not so much his taste was such,
      As ’twas to ape his betters.

    Howe’er this be the jackdaw he
      Could tell a funny story;
    And many a bird his prattle heard
      And envied him his glory.

[Sidenote: may emulate eloquence;]

    But when he shew’d the wond’ring crowd
      How he could spout and swell,
    The Magpie tried for very pride
      If he could do as well.

[Sidenote: and, by practice,]

    And every night by candlelight
      He conn’d his lessons o’er,
    And every morn with the herdsman’s horn
      He rose and practised more.

[Sidenote: learn to speak with fluency,]

    Full soon he thought himself well taught,
      And then began to chatter:
    And the careful dame, his mother, came
      To see what was the matter.

[Sidenote: plausibility,]

    Like Miller Peel he smiled a deal,
      And cull’d the fairest diction;
    And look’d quite true though well he knew
      That every word was fiction.

[Sidenote: and grimace,]

[Sidenote: so as to satisfy himself,—]

    Then to his nose he raised his toes,
      And gravely look’d askew;
    And thought himself a clever elf:—
      And his mother thought so too.

[Sidenote: and his mother,]

    “Caw, caw!” quoth she; “he sure must be
      An orator or poet:
    I’ll have him sent to Parliament,
      That all the world may know it.”

[Sidenote: --but not the Commons of England.]

    But though he shone so much alone,
      And made his mother stare,
    “The Members” swore he was a bore,
      And had no business there.

    Yet there he is, and there I wis,
      He’s likely still to be;
    As, should you call at Stephen’s hall,
      Yourself may chance to see.


The Pigeon and the Hen,


[Sidenote: Fortune puffeth up the heart,]

    A MILK-WHITE pigeon (records state)
    Was wedded to a milk-white mate:
    Nor envied prince nor potentate
        This dainty dove,
    While crouching to her lord she sate,
        And coo’d her love.

[Sidenote: to judge others.]

    Indulged in all her heart’s desire
    She felt no spark of lawless fire;
    So plumed herself throughout the shire
        A pattern wife:
    And chid dame Partlet, as in ire,
        For her loose life.

    A scandal to our sex, I vow,
    Those cackling ladies of the mow!
    Or black, or red, or high, or low,
        They have no care;
    So he’s a Cock--’tis quite enow
        For welcome there!

    Dame Partlet heard, but felt no shame;
    And let alone the vaunty dame,
    To nurse her pride of wedded fame;
        Herself content
    That conscience whisper’d her no blame
        Of evil bent.

    A shot!--the dove--she knew the sound!
    Her milk-white mate has ta’en a wound:
    He languishes upon the ground:
        His swimming eyes
    Heed not his comrades hovering round:
        He gasps--he dies.

[Sidenote: Altered circumstances]

    Oh! what can stint a widow’s grief!
    Our pattern wife defied relief:
    No grain pick’d she, no sprouting leaf,
        --As folks could see:
    A pattern widow (to be brief)
        She fain would be.

    So trimly prinn’d she sat alone,
    And lean’d her breast against a stone,
    As one for ever woe-begone;
        And would not coo:
    No wonder that a suitor soon
        Came down to woo.

    A vulgar bluerock by my fay!
    Without the gentle pouting way
    Of him that died the other day:
        Alas! he’s gone!
    And sore it is for one to stay,
        And live alone!

[Sidenote: induce altered feelings.]

    This bluerock press’d his suit so close,
    Now strutting up upon his toes,
    Now whispering something nose to nose,—
        Our milk-white dove
    Crouch’d to him, as the story goes,
        And coo’d her love.

[Sidenote: Few can afford to indulge a fine taste, though many may have

    Dame Partlet eyed the scene askaunt,
    And spake:--The pamper’d few may vaunt
    Their dainty taste o’er such as want;
        But coarser bread
    Is good enough to one who can’t
        Get fine instead.


The Oyster and the Muscle,


    AN Oyster, full of health and pride,
    Once heard a Muscle by his side
      O’er cruel fate repine;
    Driv’n by the tyrant flood to roam
    An outcast from his river-home,
      And sicken in the brine.

    While faint lay one and gaped half-dead,
    The other hugg’d his native bed,
      And snuggled in his shell:
    “Poor paltry child of ooze!” he spake,
    “From Ocean’s sons example take,
      “And dare to laugh at ill.”

    E’en as he spake, the dredgers came,
    And fish’d him from his depth amain,
      And stow’d him in the boat:
    To London thence he found his way,
    Where high and dry with more he lay,—
      A dozen for a groat.

    The play was o’er, the people throng’d;
    Yet fear’d he nought, howe’er he long’d
      In Ocean’s sand to delve:
    But now a Captain of the Blues
    Dropt in at Arthur’s to carouse,
      And call’d for oysters twelve.

    The word went out, the knife went in;
    Our Oyster naked to the skin
      Was brought upon a plate:
    The Captain saw, the Captain seized,
    And quick three drops of lemon squeezed
      Upon his smarting pate.

    The pride of the Ocean then gave way;
    He crisp’d his beard, (as people say)
      And fetch’d a heavy groan:
    Ah me! he thought; how light to bear
    The troubles of our neighbours are;
      How grievous are our own!

[Illustration: FINIS.]



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