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“You are so cross, and sharp, and thin,”
Replied the poor, insulted Pin,
“I hardly dare a word to say,
And wish, indeed, you were away.
That golden eye in your poor head
Was only made to hold a thread;
All your fine airs are foolish fudge,
For you are nothing but a drudge ;
But I, in spite of your abuse,
Am made for pleasure and for use.
I fasten the bouquet and sash,
And help the ladies make a dash;
I go abroad and gaily roam,
While you are rusting here at home.”
“Stop!” cried the Needle, “you’re too much ;
You’ve brass enough to beat the Dutch: .
Do I not make the ladies' clothes,
Ere I retire to my repose ?
Then who, forsooth, the glory wins ?
Alas ! t is finery and pins.
This is the world’s unjust decree,
But what is this vain world to me !
I’d rather live with my own kin,
Than dance about like you, vain Pin.
I’m taken care of every day;
You're used a while, then thrown away;
Or else you get all bent up double,
And a snug crack for all your trouble.”
“True,” said the Pin, “I am abused,
And sometimes very roughly used;
I often get an ugly crook,
Or fall into a dirty nook;
But there I lie, and never mind it;
Who wants a pin is sure to find it.
In time I am picked up, and then
I lead a merry life again.
You keep up such an odious creaking,
That where you are there is no speaking;
And then your lackey Emery's called,
And he, poor thing, is pricked and mauled
Until your daintiness—O, shocking !—
Is fit for what? — To mend a stocking !”
The Needle now began to speak, -
They might have quarrelled for a week, -
But here the Scissors interposed,
And thus the warm debate was closed.
“You angry Needle foolish Pin
How did this nonsense first begin 2
You should have both been better taught,
But I will cut the matter short.
You both are wrong and both are right,
And both are very impolite.
F’en in a work-box, 't will not do
To talk of everything that’s true.
All personal remarks avoid,
For every one will be annoyed
At hearing disagreeable truth;
Besides, it shows you quite uncouth,
And sadly wanting in good taste.
But what advantages you waste .
Think, Pins and Needles, while you may,
How much you hear in one short day;
No servants wait on lordly man
Can hear one half of what you can. -
'T is not worth while to mince the matter;
Nor men nor boys like girls can chatter.
All now are learning, forward moving,
E’en Pins and Needles are improving;
And in this glorious, busy day,
All have some useful part to play.
Go forth, ye Pins, and bring home news
Ye Needles, in your cases muse !
And take me for your kind adviser,
And only think of growing wiser;
Then, when you meet again, no doubt,
Something you’ll have to talk about,
And need not get into a passion,
And quarrel in this vulgar fashion.
Less of yourselves you 'll think, and more
Of others, than you did before.
You'll learn that, in their own right sphere,
All things with dignity appear,
And have, when in their proper place,
Peculiar use, intrinsic grace.”
Methought the polished Scissors blushed
To have said so much, – and all was hushed,
A SIMPLE child,
That lightly draws its breath,
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death?
I met a little cottage girl;
She was eight years old, she said;
Her hair was thick with many a curl,
That clustered round her head.
She had a rustic, woodland air,
And she was wildly clad ;
Her eyes were fair and very fair,
Her beauty made me glad.
“Sisters and brothers, little maid,
How many may you be *
“How many ? Seven in all,” she said,
And wondering looked at me.
“And where are they, I pray you tell ?”
She answered, “Seven are we;
And two of us at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea.
“Two of us in the churchyard lie,
My sister and my brother;
And, in the churchyard cottage, I
Dwell near them, with my mother.”
“You say that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea,
Yet ye are seven; – I pray you tell,
Sweet maid, how this may be.”
Then did the little maid reply, -
“Seven boys and girls are we'
Two of us in the churchyard lie,
Beneath the churchyard tree.”
“You run about, my little maid,
Your limbs they are alive;
If two are in the churchyard laid,
Then ye are only five.”
“Their graves are green, they may be seen,”
The little maid replied,
“Twelve steps or more from my mother's door,
And they are side by side.
“My stockings there I often knit,
o, kerchief there I hem;
And there upon the ground I sit,
I sit and sing to them.
“And often, after sunset, sir,
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.
“The first that died was little Jane;
In bed she moaning lay
Till God released her from her pain,
“So in the churchyard she was laid;
And when the grass was dry,
Together round the grave we played,
My brother John and I.
“And when the ground was white with snow,
And I could run and slide,
My brother John was forced to go,
And he lies by her side.”
“How many are you, then,” said I,
“If they two are in heaven?”
The little maiden did reply,
“Q master, we are seven.”
“But they are dead, those two are dead!
Their spirits are in heaven.”
*T was throwing words away; for still
The little maid would have her will,
And said, “Nay, we are seven.”