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To Giles he went, and put the case

With circumspect* intention :
« Thou dolt,” cried Giles, “I'll make it clear

To thy dull comprehension.t
“Three children has Tom Long, the smith,

Or cattle-doctor rather;
Tom, Dick, and Harry they are call?d, -

Now who is Harry's father ?"

“Adzooks! I have it,” Hodge replied,

“Right well you know to say it ;
Who's Harry's father ? stop-here goes!

Why long Tom Smith, I lay it.”
Away he ran to find the priest,

With all his might and main,
Who, with good humor instant put

The question once again :

“Noah of old three babies had,

Or grown-up children rather;
Shem, Ham, and Japhet they were called, -

Now who was Japhet's father?”

“I have it now,” Hodge grinning cried,

"I'll answer like a proctor,
Who's Japhet's father ? now I know-

Why, long Tom Smith, the doctor.”

Wanton droll, whose harmless play
Beguiles the rustic's closing day,
When drawn the evening fire about,
Sit aged crone and thoughtless lout,
And child upon his three-foot stool,
Waiting till his supper cool;
And maid, whose cheek outblooms the rose,

As bright the blazing faggot glows, * Circumspect, careful. f Comprehension, understanding.

Proctor, official of a university ; here, a learned man.

Who, bending to the friendly light,
Plies her task with busy sleight;
Come, show thy tricks and sportive graces,
Thus circled round with merry faces.

Backward coil'd and crouching low,
With glaring eyeballs watch thy foe-
The housewife's spindle whirling round,
Or shred, or straw, that on the ground
Its shadow throws, by urchin sly
Heid out to lure thy roving eye-
Then onward stealing, fiercely spring
Upon the futile, faithless thing.
Now, wheeling round with bootless skill,
Tly bo-peep tail provokes thee still,
As oft beyond thy curving side
Its jetty tip is seen to glide;
Till, from thy centre starting fair,
Thou sidelong rear'st, with rump in air
Erected stiff, and gait awry,
Like madam in her tantrums high;
Though ne'er a madam of them all,
Whose silken kirtle sweeps the hall,
More varied trick and whim displays,
To catch the admiring rustics' gaze.

But not alone by cottage fire Do rustics rude thy feats admire : The learned sage whose thoughts explore The wildest range of human lore, Or, with unfetter'd fancy, fly Through airy heights of poesy, Pausing, smiles with alter'd air To see thee climb his elbow chair; Or, struggling on the mat below, Hold warfare with his slipper'd toe. The widow'd dame or lonely maid, Who in the still, but cheerless shade Of home, unsocial, spends her age, And rarely turns a letter'd page, Upon her hearth for thee lets fall The rounded cork, or paper ball; Nor chides thee on thy wicked watch The ends of ravelld skein to catch, But lets thee have thy wayward will, Perplexing oft her sober skill. Even he whose mind, of gloomy bent, In lonely tower or prison pent,

Reviews the coils of former days,
And loathes the world and all its ways,
What time the lamp's unsteady gleam,
Doth rouse him from his moody dream,
Feels, as thou gambol'st round his seat,
His savage heart less fiercely beat,
And smiles, a link in thee to find
That joins him still to living kind.

Whence hast thou, then, thou witless puss,
The magic power to charm us thus ?
Is it that in thy glaring eye
And rapid movements we descry,
While we at ease, sécure from ill,
The chimney-corner snugly fill,
A lion darting on the prey,
A tiger at his ruthless play?
Or is it that in thee we trace,
With all thy varied, wanton grace,
An emblem, view'd with kindred eye,
Of tricksy, restless infancy ?
Ah! many a lightly sportive child,
Who hath, like thee, our wits beguil'd,
To dull and sober manhood grown,
With strange recoil our hearts disown.
Even so, poor Kit! must thou endure
When thou beconi'st a cat demure,
Full many a cuff and angry word,
Chid roughly from the tempting board;
And yet for that thou hast, I ween,
So oft our favor'd playmate been.
Soft be the change which thou shalt prove,
When time hath spoild thee of our love ;-
Still be thou deem'd, by housewife fat,
A comely, careful, mousing cat,
Whose dish is, for the public good,
Replenish'd oft with savory food;
Nor, when thy span of life is past,
Be thou to pond or dunghill cast,
But, gently borne on good man's spade,
Beneath the decent sod be laid ;
And children show, with glist’ning eyes,
The place where poor old pussy lies!

Joanna Baillie.



BEFOREHAND. JOHN GILPIN was a citizen of credit and renown, A trainband* captain eket was he, of famous London town. John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear, “Though wedded we have These twice ten tedious years, yet we no holiday have seen. * To-morrow is our wedding day, and we will then repair Vnto the Bell at Edmonton, all in a chaise and pair." The morning came, the chaise was brought, but yet was not

allow'd To drive up to the door, lest all should say that she was proud. So three doors off the chaise was stay’d, where they did all get

in ; Six precious souls, and all agog, to dash through thick and thin. Smack went the whip, round went the wheels, were never folks

so glad ; The stones did rattle underneath, as if Cheapside were mad.

JOHN GILPIN FOLLOWS ON HORSEBACK. Now see John Gilpin mounted well upon his nimble steed, Full slowly pacing o’er the stones with caution and good heed. But finding soon a smoother road beneath his well-shod feet, The snorting beast began to trot, which gall’d him in his seat. “So, fair and softly!” John he cried; but John he cried in vain : That trot became a gallop soon, in spite of curb and rein. So stooping down, as needs he must who cannot sit upright, He grasp'd the mane with both his hands and eke with all his

might. His horse, which never, in that sort, had handled been before, What thing upon his back had got, did wonder more and more. Away went Gilpin, neck or nought; away went hat and wig; He little dreamt when he set out, of running such a rig.

* Trainband captain, captain of militia. + Eke, also.

The wind did blow, the cloak did fly like streamer long and gay,
Till, loop and button failing both, at last it flew away.
The dogs did bark, the children scream’d, up flew the windows

all, And every soul cried out, “Well done !” as loud as he could

bawl. Away went Gilpin ;—who but he ? his fame soon spread around : “He carries weight !-he rides a race !—'tis for a thousand

pound !" And still, as fast as he drew near, 'twas wonderful to view How, in a trice, the turnpike men the gates wide open threw.

THE HORSE OVERSHOOTS THE MARK. At Edmonton his loving wife from the balcony espied Her tender husband, wondering much to see how he did ride. “Stop, stop, John Gilpin!-Here's the house!”—they all aloud

did cry; "The dinner waits, and we are tired.” Said Gilpin, “So am

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But yet his horse was not a whit inclined to tarry there:
For why ? his owner had a house full ten miles off, at Ware.
So like an arrow swift, he flew, shot by an archer strong;
So did he fly: which brings me to the middle of my song.

The calender, amazed to see his neighbour in such trim,
Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate, and thus accosted him :
“What news? what news ?-Your tidings tell !—Tell me you

must and shall : Say why bare-headed you are come? or why you come at all ?” Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit, and loved a timely joke, And thus unto the calender, in inerry guise, he spoke : “I come because your horse would come; and, if I well forebode, My hat and wig will soon be here,—they are upon the road.” The calender* right glad to find his friend in merry pin, Return'd him not a single word, but to the house went in;

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* Calender, one who calenders (smooths and renews) cloth.

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