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The bright sun folded on his breast
His robes of rosy flame,
And softly over all the west
The shades of evening came.
He slept, and troops of murdered Pigs
Were busy with his dreams;
Loud rang their wild, unearthly shrieks,
Wide yawned their mortal seams.
The clock struck twelve; the Dead hath heard ;
He opened both his eyes,
And sullenly he shook his tail
To lash the feeding flies.
One quiver of the hempen cord,
One struggle and one bound, -
With stiffened limb and leaden eye,
The Pig was on the ground !
And straight towards the sleeper's house
His fearful way he wended;
And hooting owl, and hovering bat,
On midnight wing attended.
Back flew the bolt, up rose the latch,
And open swung the door,
And little mincing feet were heard
Pat, pat along the floor.
Two hoofs upon the sanded floor,
And two upon the bed ;
And they are breathing side by side,
The living and the dead !
“Now wake, now wake, thou butcher man !
What makes thy cheek so pale?
Take hold ! take hold ! thou dost not fear
To clasp a spectre's tail ?”
Untwisted every winding coil;
The shuddering wretch took hold,
All like an icicle it seemed,
So tapering and so cold.
“Thou com’st with me, thou butcher man!”.
He strives to loose his grasp,
But, faster than the clinging vine,
Those twining spirals clasp.
And open, open swung the door,
And, fleeter than the wind,
The shadowy spectre swept before,
The butcher trailed behind.
Fast fled the darkness of the night,
And morn rose faint and dim ;
They called full loud, they knocked full long,
They did not waken him.
Straight, straight towards that oaken beam,
A trampled pathway ran;
A ghastly shape was swinging there,
It was the butcher man.
THE BALLAD OF THE OYSTERMAN. It was a tall young oysterman lived by the river side, His shop was just upon the bank, his boat was on the tide; The daughter of a fisherman, that was so straight and slim, Lived over on the other bank, right opposite to him. It was the pensive oysterman that saw a lovely maid, Upon a moonlight evening, a sitting in the shade; He saw her wave her handkerchief, as much as if to say, “ I'm wide awake, young oysterman, and all the folks away.” Then up arose the oysterman, and to himself said he, “I guess I'll leave the skiff at home, for fear that folks should see; I read it in the story-book, that, for to kiss his dear, Leander swam the Hellespont, -and I will swim this here."
And he has leaped into the waves, and crossed the shining stream, And he has clambered up the bank, all in the moonlight gleam; Oh, there were kisses sweet as dew, and words as soft as rain,But they have heard her father's step, and in he leaps again!
Out spoke the ancient fisherman,—“Oh, what was that, my
daughter ?” "'Twas nothing but a pebble, sir, I threw into the water.” “And what is that, pray tell me, love, that paddles off so fast ? " “It's nothing but a porpoise, sir, that's been a swimming past.”
Out spoke the ancient fisherman,—“Now bring me my harpoon!
I'll get into my fishing-boat, and fix the fellow soon.”
Down fell that pretty innocent, as falls a snow-white lamb,
Her hair drooped round her pallid cheeks, like seaweed on a clam.
Alas for those two loving ones ! she waked not from her swound,
And he was taken with the cramp, and in the waves was drowned;
But Fate has metamorphosed them, in pity of their woe,
And now they keep an oyster-shop for mermaids down below.
THE DEACON'S MASTERPIECE; OR, THE
WONDERFUL “ONE-HOSS SHAY.”
heard of the wonderful one-hoss shay,
That was built in such a logical way
It ran a hundred years to a day,
And then, of a sudden, itah, but stay,
I'll tell you what happened without delay,
Scaring the parson into fits,
Frightening people out of their wits,-
Have you ever heard of that, I say?
Seventeen hundred and fifty-five,
Georgius Secundus was then alive,
Snuffy old drone from the German hive.
That was the year when Lisbon-town
Saw the earth open and gulp her down,
And Braddock's army was done so brown,
Left without a scalp to its crown.
It was on the terrible Earthquake-day
That the Deacon finished the one-hoss shay.
Now in building of chaises, I tell you what,
There is always somewhere a weakest spot, —
In hub, tire, felloe, in spring or thill,
In panel, or crossbar, or floor, or sill,
In screw, bolt, thoroughbrace,- lurking still,
Find it somewhere you must and will,-
Above or below, or within or without,-
And that's the reason, beyond a doubt,
That a chaise breaks down, but doesn't wear out.
But the Deacon swore, (as Deacons do,
With an “I dew vum,” or an “I tell yeou,")
He would build one shay to beat the taown
'n' the keounty 'n' all the kentry raoun’;
It should be so built that it couldn' break daown :
-"Fur," said the Deacon," it's mighty plain
Thut the weakes' place mus' stan' the strain ;
'n' the way t' fix it, uz I maintain,
Is only jest
T' make that place uz strong uz the rest."
So the Deacon inquired of the village folk
Where he could find the strongest oak,
That couldn't be split nor bent nor broke,-
That was for spokes and floor and sills;
He sent for lancewood to make the thills ;
The crossbars were ash, from the straightest trees,
The panels of white-wood, that cuts like cheese,
But lasts like iron for things like these ;
The hubs of logs from the “Settler's ellum,"
Last of its timber,—they couldn't sell 'em,
Never an axe had seen their chips,
And the wedges flew from between their lips,
Their blunt ends frizzled like celery tips;
Step and prop-iron, bolt and screw,
Spring, tire, axle, and linchpin too,
Steel of the finest, bright and blue ;
Thoroughbrace bison-skin, thick and wide;
Boot, top, dasher, from tough old hide
Found in the pit when the tanner died.
That was the way he “put her through.”.
“ There !” said the Deacon, naow she'll dew!"
Do! I tell you, I rather guess
She was a wonder, and nothing less !
Colts grew horses, beards turned grey,
Deacon and deaconess dropped away,
Children and grandchildren—where were they?
But there stood the stout old one-hoss shay
As fresh as on Lisbon-earthquake-day!
EIGHTEEN HUNDRED ;—it came and found
The Deacon's masterpiece strong and sound.
Eighteen hundred increased by ten ;-
“Hahnsum kerridge” they called it then.
Eighteen hundred and twenty came ;-
Running as usual ; much the same.
Thirty and forty at last arrive,
And then come fifty, and FIFTY-FIVE.
Little of all we value here
Wakes on the morn of its hundredth year
Without both feeling and looking queer.
In fact, there's nothing that keeps its youth,
So far as I know, but a tree and truth.
(This is a moral that runs at large;
Take it.—You're welcome.—No extra charge.)
FIRST OF NOVEMBER,-the Earthquake-day-
There are traces of age in the one-hoss shay,
A general flavour of mild decay,
But nothing local, as one may say.