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THERE were three kings into the East,
Three kings, both great and high,
An' they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn should die.
They took a plough and ploughed him down
Put clods upon his head,
An' they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn was dead.
But the cheerful spring came kindly on,
And showers began to fall,
And Barleycorn got up again,
And sore surprised them all.
The sultry suns of summer came,
And he grew thick and strong,
His head well armed with pointed spears,
That no one should him wrong.
The sober autumn entered mild,
When he grew wan and pale,
His bending joints and drooping head
Showed he began to fail.
His color sickened more and more,
He faded into age;
And then his enemies began
To show their deadly rage.
They’ve ta'en a weapon long and sharp,
And cut him by the knee;
Then tied him fast upon a cart,
Like a rogue for forgery.
They laid him down upon his back,
And cudgelled him full sore;
They hung him up before the storm,
And turned him o'er and o'er.
They filled up a darksome pit
With water to the brim,
They heaved in John Barleycorn,
There let him sink or swim.
They laid him out upon the floor,
To work him further woe,
And still, as signs of life appeared,
They tossed him to and fro.
They wasted o'er a scorching flame
The marrow of his bones;
But a miller used him worst of all,
For he crushed him 'tween two stones.
And they have ta'en his very heart's blood, And drunk it round and round;
And still the more and more they drank, Their joy did more abound
THE GREAT-GRANDFATHER... — Miss Lamb.
MoTHER's grandfather lives still, -
His age is fourscore years and ten;
He looks a monument of time,
The agedest of aged men.
Though years lie on him like a load,
A happier man you will not see
Than he, whenever he can get
His great-grandchildren on his knee.
When we our parents have displeased,
He stands between us as a screen;
By him our good deeds in the sun,
Our bad ones in the shade, are seen.
His love's a line that's long drawn out,
Yet lasteth firm unto the end;
His heart is oak, yet unto us
It like the gentlest reed can bend.
A fighting soldier he has been,--
Yet by his manners you would guess
That he his whole long life had spent
In scenes of country quietness.
His talk is all of things long past,
For modern facts no pleasure yield, –
Of the famed year of forty-five,
Of William, and Culloden's field.
The deeds of this eventful age,
Which princes from their thrones have hurled,
Can no more interest wake in him
Than stories of another world.
When I his length of days revolve,
How like a strong tree he hath stood,
It brings into my mind almost
Those patriarchs old before the flood.
THE WIND IN A FROLIC. — William Howitt.
THE wind one morning sprang up from sleep,
Saying, “Now for a frolic now for a leap !
Now for a madcap galloping chase !
I'll make a commotion in every place!”
So it swept with a bustle right through a great town.
Creaking the signs, and scattering down
Shutters, and whisking, with merciless squalls,
Old women's bonnets and gingerbread stalls.
There never was heard a much lustier shout,
As the apples and oranges tumbled about;
And the urchins, that stand with their thievish eyes
Forever on watch, ran off each with a prize.
Then away to the fields it went blustering and
And the cattle all wondered whatever was coming.
it plucked by their tails the grave, matronly cows,
And tossed the colts' manes all about their brows,
Till, offended at such a familiar salute,
They all turned their backs and stood silently mute.
So on it went, capering and playing its pranks;
Whistling with reeds on the broad river banks:
Puffing the birds, as they sat on the spray,
Or the traveller grave on the king's highway.
It was not too nice to bustle the bags
Of the beggar, and flutter his dirty rags.
"T was so bold that it feared not to play its joke
With the doctor's wig, and the gentleman's cloak.
Through the forest it roared, and cried gayly, “Now
You sturdy old oaks, I’ll make you bow !”
And it made them bow without more ado,
Or it cracked their great branches through and through.
Then it rushed like a monster o'er cottage and farm,
Striking their inmates with sudden alarm;
And they ran out like bees in a midsummer swarm.
There were dames with their kerchiefs tied over their
To see if their poultry were free from mishaps;
The turkeys they gobbled, the geese screamed aloud,
And the hens crept to roost in a terrified crowd;
There was rearing of ladders, and logs laying on,
Where the thatch from the roof threatened soon to be
But the wind had passed on, and had met in a ane
With a schoolboy, who panted and struggled in vain,
For it tossed him, and twirled him, then passed, and
With his hat in a pool, and his shoe in the mud.
THE NORTHERN SEAS. – William Howitt.
Up! up ! let us a voyage take;
Why sit we here at ease ?
Find us a vessel tight and snug,
Bound for the Northern Seas.