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Colonel John Hay.

(Colonel Hay was born about 1830, and his “Pike County Ballads” was published sometime

in the 1870's. One poem, "Little Breeches,” is singularly powerful, but like “ Jim Bludso " is a trifle strong for British tastes.)


Fytte ye Firste : wherein it shall be shown how ye Truth is too mightie a

Drugge for such as be of feeble temper.
THE King was sick. His cheek was red

And his eye was clear and bright;
He ate and drank with a kingly zest,

And peacefully snored at night.
But he said he was sick, and a king should know,

And doctors came by the score.
They did not cure him. He cut off their heads,

And sent to the schools for more.

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Together they looked at the royal tongue,

As the King on his couch reclined ;
In succession they thumped his august chest,

But no trace of disease could find.

The old sage said, “ You're as sound as a nut.”

“Hang him up,” roared the King in a galeIn a ten-knot gale of royal rage ;

The other leech grew a shade pale ;

But he pensively rubbed his sagacious nose,

And thus his prescription ran--
The King will be well if he sleeps one night

In the Shirt of a Happy Man.

Fytle yo Seconde : telleth of ye search for ye Shirte and how it was righe

founde but was no'te, for reasons qu: are sayd or sung.

Wide o'er the realm the couriers rode,

And fast their horses ran,
And many they saw, and to many they spokc,

But they found no Happy Man.

They found poor men who would fain be rich,

And rich who thought they were poor,
And men who twisted their waists in stays,

And women that short hose wore.

They saw two men by the roadside sit,

And both bemoaned their lot ;
For one had buried his wife, he said,

And the other one had not.

At last they came to a village gate,

A beggar lay whistling there;
He whistled and sang and laughed and rolled

On the grass in the soft June air.

The weary couriers paused and looked

At the scamp so blithe and gay;
And one of them said, “Heaven save you, friend!

You seem to be happy to-day.”

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“ This is our man,” the courier said;

“Our luck has led us aright.
“I will give you a hundred ducats, friend,

For the loan of your shirt to-night.”

The merry blackguard lay back on the grass,

And laughed till his face was black;
“I would do it, God wot,” and he roared with the fun,

“But I haven't a shirt to my back.”

Fytte ye Third : Shewing how Hys Majestie ye King came at last to sleepe in a

Happie Man his Shirte.

Each day to the King the reports came in

Of his unsuccessful spies,
And the sad panorama of human woes

Passed daily under his eyes.

And he grew ashamed of his useless life,

And his maladies hatched in gloom ;
He opened his windows and let the air

Of the free heaven into his room.

And out he went in the world and toiled

In his own appointed way;
And the people blessed him, the land was glad,

And the King was well and gay.

Imaginashun, tew mutch indulged in, soon iz tortured into reality; this iz one way that good hoss thiefs are made, a man

over a fence all day, and imagines the hoss in the lot belongs tew him, and sure enuff, the fust dark night, the hoss does.


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'Twas a hard case, that which happened in Lynn.
Haven't heard of it, eh? Well then, to begin,
There's a Jew down there whom they call “ Old Mose,”
Who travels about, and buys old clothes.

Now Mose—which the same is short for Moses-
Had one of the biggest kind of noses :
It had a sort of an instep in it,
And he fed it with snuff about once a minute.

One day he got in a bit of a row
With a German chap who had kissed his frau,
And, trying to punch him d la Mace,
Had his nose cut off close up to his face.

He picked it up from off the ground,
And quickly back in its place 'twas bound,
Keeping the bandage upon his face
Until it had fairly healed in place.

Alas for Mose! 'Twas a sad mistake
Which he in his haste that day did make;
For, to add still more to his bitter cup,
He found he had placed it wrong side up.

“There's no great loss without some gain;"
And Moses says, in a jocular vein,
He arranged it so for taking snuff,
As he never before could get enough.

One thing, by the way, he forgets to add,
Which makes the arrangement rather bad :
Although he can take his snuff with ease,
He has to stand on his head to sneeze !

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