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OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES
Thoroughbrace bison-skin, thick and wide; | And the parson was sitting upon a rock,
At half past nine by the meet'n'-house clock, — Found in the pit when the tanner died.
Just the hour of the Earthquake shock ! That was the way he “put her through." - - What do you think the parson found, “ There !' said the Deacon, “naow she'lldew !" When he got up and stared around ?
The poor old chaise in a heap or mound, Do! I tell you, I rather guess
As if it had been to the mill and ground ! She was a wonder, and nothing less !
You see, of course, if you 're not a dunce, Colts grew horses, beards turned gray,
How it went to pieces all at once, Deacon and deaconess dropped away,
All at once, and nothing first, — Children and grandchildren, -- where were they? just as bubbles do when thev
| Just as bubbles do when they burst. But there stood the stout old one-hoss shay As fresh as on Lisbon-earthquake-day !
End of the wonderful one-hoss shay.
Logic is logic. That's all I say.
SINGING through the forests, Thirty and forty at last arrive,
Rattling over ridges ; And then come fifty, and FIFTY-FIVE.
Shooting under arches, Little of all we value here
Rumbling over bridges ; Wakes on the mom of its hundredth year
Whizzing through the mountains, Without both feeling and looking queer.
Buzzing o'er the vale, In fact, there's nothing that keeps its youth,
Bless me! this is pleasant, So far as I know, but a tree and truth.
Riding on the rail ! (This is a moral that runs at large ; Take it. — You 're welcome. — No extra charge.)
Men of different “stations"
In the eye of fame, FIRST OF NOVEMBER, — the Earthquake-day. - 1
Here are very quickly There are traces of age in the one-hoss shay,
Coming to the same ; A general flavor of mild decay,
High and lowly people, But nothing local as one may say.
Birds of every feather, There could n't be, — for the Deacon's art
On a common level,
Gentleman in shorts,
Looming very tall ; And the panels just as strong as the floor,
Gentleman at large, And the whippletree neither less nor more,
Talking very small; And the back-crossbar as strong as the fore,
Gentleman in tights, And spring and axle and hub encore.
With a loose-ish mien ; And yet, as a whole, it is past a doubt
Gentleman in gray, In another hour it will be worn out !
Looking rather green ; First of November, 'Fifty-five !
Gentleman quite old, This morning the parson takes a drive.
Asking for the news ; Now, small boys, get out of the way!
Gentleman in black, Here comes the wonderful one-hoss shay,
In a fit of blues ; Drawn by a rat-tailed, ewe-necked bay.
Gentleman in claret, *Huddup!" said the parson. -- Off went they.
Sober as a vicar; The parson was working his Sunday's text,
Gentleman in tweed,
Dreadfully in liquor !
Stranger on the right
Looking very sunny, - First a shiver, and then a thrill,
Obviously reading Then something decidedly like a spill,
Something rather funny.
But when he called on Nelly Gray,
She made him quite a scoff ;
Began to take them off.
“O Nelly Gray ! 0 Nelly Gray !
Is this your love so warm ?
Should be more uniform."
Said she, “I loved a soldier once,
For he was blithe and brave; But I will never have a man
With both legs in the grave.
“Before you had those timber toes
Your love I did allow ;
Another footing now.”
“O Nelly Gray ! 0 Nelly Gray!
For all your jeering speeches, At duty's call I left my legs
In Badajos's breaches."
“Why, then," said she, “you've lost the feet
Of legs in war's alarms,
Upon your feats of arms!"
“O false and fickle Nelly Gray !
I know why you refuse :
Is standing in my shoes.
“I wish I ne'er had seen your face ;
But, now, a long farewell ! For you will be my death ;
alas! You will not be my Nell!”
Now when he went from Nelly Gray
His heart so heavy got,
It made him take a knot.
So round his melancholy neck
A rope he did intwine,
Enlisted in the Line.
One end he tied around a beam,
And then removed his pegs ;
He soon was off his legs.
And there he hung till he was dead
As any nail in town ;
It could not cut him down.
A dozen men sat on his corpse,
To find out why he died,
But, 0, lack-a-day!
How time slips away !-
ing these tricks
“I care not a whit, A LEGEND OF A SHIRT.
He's not grown a bit," I sing of a Shirt that never was new !
Says my Aunt ; “it will still be a very good fit.” In the course of the year Eighteen hundred and two
So Janet and She,
Now about thirty-three,
(The maid had been jilted by Mr. Magee,)
"Felling the Seams," and “whipping the Frill,"– A hobble-de-hoy,
For, twenty years since, though the Rufile had A fat, little, punchy concern of sixteen,
vanished, Just beginning to flirt
A Frill like a fan had by no means been banished; And ogle, --- so pert,
People wore them at playhouses, parties, and I'd been whipt every day had I had my desert, —
churches, And Aunt Fan volunteered to make me a shirt! Like overgrown fins of overgrown perches. I've said she began it, –
Now, then, by these two thus laying their caps Some unlucky planet
Together, my“Shirt” had been finished, perhaps, No doubt interfered, — for, before she and Janet But for one of those queer little three-cornered Completed the “cutting-out,” “ hemming," and
Which the ladies call “ Side-bits,” that sever A tall Irish footman appeared in the kitchen;
Here unlucky Janet
Took her needle, and ran it
cuss it! Cornet Jones of the Tenth (then the Prince's) I've spoiled myself now by that'ere nasty Gusset!"
For a month to come
Poor dear Janet's thumb And the ostrich plume worked on the corps' Was in that sort of state vulgar people call “Rum." sabre-taches,
At the end of that time, She had even resolved to say "Yes" should he
A youth, still in his prime, ask it,
The Doctor's fat Errand-boy — just such a dolt And I - and my Shirt - were both left in the basket.
Kept to mix draughts, and spread plasters and
poultices, To her grief and dismay
Who a bread-cataplasm each morning had carried She discovered one day
her Cornet Jones of the Tenth was a little too gay; Sighed, - ogled, — proposed,
- was accepted, For, besides that she saw him — he could not
and married her! say mayWink at one of the actresses capering away
Ten years, or nigh, In a Spanish bolero, one night at the play,
Had again gone by,
Took it down to explore it, — she didn't know why.
Within, a pea-soup-colored fragment she spied, All her powers to forget him, - and finish my Of the hue of a November fog in Cheapside, Shirt.
Or a bad piece of gingerbread spoilt in the baking.