Imagens da página
PDF

18 THE NEW ENGLAND SABBATH-DAY CHACE.

With his harness and buckles he loom'd very grand,
And was drove by young Darby, a lad of the land,
On land, and on water, most handy was he,
A jockey on shore, and a sailor at sea;
He knew all the roads, he was so very keen,
And the Bible by heart, at the age of fifteen.

As thus I jogg'd on, by my saddle confined,
With Ranger and Darby a distance behind;
At last in full view of a steeple we came
With acock on the spire (I suppose he was game;
A dove in the pulpit may suit your grave people,
But always remember—a cock on the steeple)
Cries Darby—' Dear master, I beg you to stay;
Believe me there's danger in driving this way;
Our deacons on Sundays have power to arrest
And lead us to church, if your honour thinks best,
Though still I must do them the justice to tell,
They would choose you should pay them the fine,

full as well.' 'The fine (said I) Darby, how much may it be— A shilling or sixpence? why, now let me see, Three shillings are all the small pence that remain, And to change a half joe would be rather profane. Is it more than three shillings, the fine that you

speak on; What say you, good Darby—will that serve the

deacon.' 'Threeshillings! (cried Darby) why master, you're

jesting!— Let us luff while we can and make sure of our westingForty shillings, excuse me, is too much to pay; It would take my month's wages—that's all I've to

say. By taking this road that inclines to the right The squire and the sexton may bid us good night. THE NEW ENGLAND SABBATH-DAY CHA6E. 19

If once to old Ranger I give up the rein
The parson himself may pursue us in vain,'

'Not I, my good Darby (1 answer'd the lad) Leave the church on the left! they would think we

were mad; I would sooner rely on the heels of my steed, And pass by them all, like, a Jehu indeed: As long as I'm able to lead in the race Old Ranger, the gelding, will go a good pace, As the deacon pursues he will fly like a swallow, And you in the cart, must, undoubtedly, follow.'

Then approaching the church, as we pass'd by the door The sexton peep'd out, with a saint or two more, A deacon came forward and waved us his hat, A signal to drop him some money—mind that!— 'Now Darby (I halloo'd be ready to skip, Ease off the curb bridle—give Ranger the whip: While you have the rear, and myself lead the way No doctor or deacon can catch us this day.'

By this time the deacon had mounted his poney And chaced for the sake of our souls, and our money: The saint as he followed, cried—' Stop them, halloo!' As swift as he followed, as swiftly we flew.—

'Ah master! (said Darby) I very much fear We must drop him some money to check his career He is gaining upon us and waves with his hat, There's nothing dear master will stop him but that. Remember the Beaver (you well know the fable) Who flying the hunters as long as he's able, When he finds that his efforts can nothing avail, But death and the puppies are close at his tail, Instead of desponding at such a dead lift, Ii\e bites off their object, and make* a free gift—

20 THE BOYS AND THE FROGS.

Since fortune all hope of escaping denies Better give them a little than loose the whole prize.' But scarce had he spoke when we came to a place Whose muddy condition concluded the chace, Down settled the cart, and old Ranger stuck fast 'Aha! (said the saint J have I catch''d ye at last? • •••••

Csetera desunt.

THE BOYS AND THE FROGS.

(PINDAH.)

A Thousand Frogs upon a summer's day,
Were sporting 'midst the sunny ray,
In a large pool, reflecting ev'ry face;—

They show'd their gold-lac'd clothes, with pride;

In harmless sallies, frequent vy'd,
And gambol'd through the water, with a grace.

It happened that a band of boys,

Observant of their harmless joys, Thoughtless resolv'd to spoil their happy sport;

One frenzy seiz'd both Gkkat and Small:

On the poor frogs the rogues began to fall, Meaning to splash them, not to do them hurt.

As Milton quaintly sings, 'the stones 'gan pour,'
Indeed an Otaheite shovv'r!

The consequence was drmdful, let me tell ye;
One's eye was beat out of his head ;—
This limp'd away, that lay for dead,—

Here mourn'd a broken back, and there a belly.

Among the smitten, it was found,

Their beauteous queen receiv'd a wound;

The blow gave ev'ry heart a sigh,

And drew a tear from ev'ry eye; At length King Croak got up, and thus begun— 'My lads, you think this very pretty Tcn!

THE BAT AND THE WEASELS. 21

'Your pebbles round us fly as thick as hops,—

'Have warmly complimented all our chops;

* To you, I guess, that these are pleasant stones.' 'And so they might be to Ms Frogs, * You damn'd young good-for-nothing dogs,

'But that they are so hard—they break our bones.5

THE BAT AND THE WEASELS.

A FABLE.

Of weasels some eat birds. Again
Others eat mice. So says Fontaine.
If I am wrong tho' in this same,
Mark me, the Frenchman is to blame.

A smart young bat for wenching sake, Was out one night upon the rake: (Nay, frown not: bats, as well as men, Must—that they must—sin now and then:!) And while a weasel was at rest Popt by mistake into his nest. t Who's there?' cries small guts: 'wife! my dear! 'Some rogue, some thief's got in I fear. 'Who's there? I say—O, sir! is't you?

< This visit you'll. be apt to rue.

'Ar' n't you a mouse? sneak: are you not? * Speak, sirrah, or you go to pot.

'You know, you dog, I hate you all ;-— 'I say, I hate you, great and small.'

Some trifle fluster'd, quoth th' intriguer, 'Why, my dear sir, you 're vastly eager. 'Sure any bird would think you mad! 'A mouse, too! very high egad! 'Pray have mice wings? look: wingslike these sir'

< Answer me only, if you please, sir: •

[ocr errors]

EPITAPH ON AN OLD HORSE.

(nil. nun.)

Let no facetious mortal laugh,
To see a horse's epitaph:
Lest some old steed, with saucy phiz,
Should have the sense to laugh at his;

4

« AnteriorContinuar »