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Thus reading on – the longer They read, of course, their childish faith grew stronger In Gnomes, and Hags, and Elves, and Giants grim,If talking trees and birds revealed to him, She saw the flight of Fairyland's fly-wagons,

And magic fishes swim In puddle ponds, and took old crows for dragons,— Both were quite drunk from the enchanted flagons ; When, as it fell upon a summer's day, As the old man sat a feeding

On the old babe-reading, Beside his open street-and-parlor door,

A hideous roar
Proclaimed a drove of beasts was coming by the way.
Long-horned, and short, of many a different breed.
Tall, tawny brutes, from famous Lincoln-levels,

Or Durham feed,
With some of those unquiet black dwarf devils,

From nether side of Tweed,

Or Firth of Forth ;
Looking half wild with joy to leave the North, -
With dusty hides, all mobbing on together, -
When,– whether from a fly's malicious comment
Upon his tender flank, from wbich he shrank;

Or whether
Only in some enthusiastic moment,
However, one brown monster, in a frisk,
Giving his tale a perpendicular whisk,
Kicked out a passage through the beastly rabble;
And after a pas seul, — or, if you will, a
Hornpipe before the basket-maker's villa,

Leapt o'er the tiny pale,-
Backed his beef-steaks against the wooden gable,
And thrust his brawny bell-rope of a tail

Right o'er the page

Wherein the sage
Just then was spelling some romantic fable.
The old man, half a scholar, half a dunce,
Could not peruse — who could ? — two tales at once;

And being huffed
At what he knew was none of Riquet's Tuft,

Banged-to the door,
But most unluckily enclosed a morsel
Of the intruding tail, and all the tassel :-

The monster gave a roar,
And bolting off with speed, increased by pain,
The little house became a coach once more,
And, like Macheath, “ took to the road” again!
Just then, by fortune's whimsical decree,
The ancient woman stooping with her crupper
Towards sweet home, or where sweet home should be
Was getting up some household herbs for supper :
Thoughtful of Cinderella, in the tale,
And quaintly wondering if magic shifts
Could o'er a common pumpkin so prevail,
To turn it to a coach,— what pretty gifts
Might come of cabbages, and curly kale :
Meanwhile she never heard her old man's wail,
Nor turned, till home had turned a corner, quite

Gone out of sight!
At last, conceive her, rising from the ground,
Weary of sitting on her russet clothing;

And looking round

Where rest was to be found, There was no house — no villa there — no nothing !

No house!

The change was quite amazing ;
It made her senses stagger for a minute,
The riddle’s explication seemed to harden ;
But soon her superannuated nous
Explained the horrid mystery ; — and raising
Her hand to heaven, with the cabbage in it,

On which she meant to sup, —
"Well ! this is Fairy Work! I'll bet a farden,
Little Prince Silverwings has ketched me up,
And set me down in some one else's garden ! »


A FABLE. “The rage of the vulture, the love of the turtle.”— BYRON. One day, it was before a civic dinner,

Two London Aldermen, no matter which,Cordwainer, Girdler, Pattern-maker, Skinner,

But both were florid, corpulent, and rich,
And both right fond of festive demolition,

Set forth upon a secret expedition.
Yet not, as might be fancied from the token,

To Pudding Lane, Pie Corner, or the Street
Of Bread, or Grub, or anything to eat,
Or drink, as Milk, or Vintry, or Portsoken,
But eastward to that more aquatic quarter,

Where folks take water,
Or, bound on voyages, secure a berth
For Antwerp or Ostend, Dundee or Perth,
Calais, Boulogne, or any port on earth!

Jostled and jostling, through the mud,

Peculiar to the town of Lud, Down narrow streets and crooked lanes they dived, Past many a gusty avenue, through which

Came yellow fog, and smell of pitch, From barge, and boat, and dusky wharf derived ; With darker fumes, brought eddying by the draught,

From loco-smoko-motive craft; Mingling with scents of butter, cheese, and gammons,

Tea, coffee, sugar, pickles, rosin, wax,

Hides, tallow, Russia-matting, hemp and flax Salt-cod, red-herrings, sprats, and kippered salmons,

Nuts, oranges, and lemons,
Each pungent spice, and aromatic gum,
Gas, pepper, soaplees, brandy, gin, and rum;
Alamode-beef and greens — the London soil —
Glue, coal, tobacco, turpentine, and oil,
Bark, asafoetida, squills, vitriol, hops,
In short, all whiffs, and sniffs, and puffs, and snuffs,
From metals, minerals, and dyewood stuffs,
Fruits, victual, drink, solidities, or slops —
In flasks, casks, bales, trucks, wagons, taverns, shops
Boats, lighters, cellars, wharfs, and warehouse-tops,
That, as we walk upon the river's ridge,

Assault the nose — below the bridge.
A walk, however, as tradition tells,
That once a poor blind Tobit used to choose,
Because, incapable of other views,

He met with “such a sight of smells."

But on, and on, and on,
In spite of all unsavory shocks,

Progress the stout Sir Peter and Sir John,
Steadily steering ship-like for the docks —
And now they reach a place the Muse, unwilling,
Recalls for female slang and vulgar doing,

The famous Gate of Billing
That does not lead to cooing –

And now they pass that house that is so ugly
A customer to people looking smuggl’y-
And now along that fatal hill they pass
Where centuries ago an Oxford bled,
And proved — too late to save his life, alas ! —

That he was “off his head.”
At last before a lofty brick-built pile
Sir Peter stopped, and with mysterious smile
Tinkled a bell that served to bring
The wire-drawn genius of the ring,
A species of commercial Samuel Weller -
To whom Sir Peter, tipping him a wink,

And something else to drink,

“Show us the cellar.”
Obsequious bowed the man, and led the way
Down sundry flights of stairs, where windows small,
Dappled with mud, let in a dingy ray —
A dirty tax, if they were taxed at all.
At length they came into a cellar damp,
With venerable cobwebs fringed around,

A cellar of that stamp
Which often harbors vintages renowned,
The feudal Hock, or Burgundy the courtly,

With sherry, brown or golden,

Or port, so olden, Bereft of body 't is no longer portly — But old or otherwise — to be veracious -That cobwebbed cellar, damp, and dim, and spacious

Held nothing crusty — but crustaceous.

Prone on the chilly floor,
Five splendid turtles — such a five !
Natives of some West Indian shore,

Were flapping all alive,

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