Page images
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The battle—that with horror grim,
Had madly ravag'd life and limb,
Had scuppers drench'd with human gore,
And widow’d many a wife—was o'er:

When Jack, to his companions dear,
First paid the tribute of a tear,
Then, as his 'bacco-box he held,
Restor'd his comfort as he spell’d,
“If you loves I as I loves you,
No pair so happy as we two.”


The voyage—that had been long and hard,
But that had yielded full reward;
That brought each sailor to his friend,
Happy and rich—was at an end :

When Jack, his toils and perils o'er,
Beheld his Nancy on the shore,
He then the 'bacco-box display'd,
And cried, and seiz'd the willing maid;
“If you loves I as I loves you,
No pair so happy as we two.”




THE Barleycorns throughout our isle
Are a numerous family,

And, if thou’lt listen for a while,
Their fame my theme shall be.

[ocr errors]

But of that branch I tell alone,
Which in a village fair,

For truth and honesty were known
By all the dwellers there.

3 John Barleycorn, of whom I speak, A servant long had been,

And none could say, e'en in a freak,
He e'er got drunk with him.


The Clergyman, the Justice too,
As well I understand,

Familiarly, John was so true,
Would take him by the hand.

[ocr errors]

Plump in his make, in russet coat,
And what but strange appear'd,

When of ripe age, you well might note
He wore a long stiff beard.

[ocr errors]

John's master said he was so pleas'd
With services so rare,

So much his toils and cares he'd eas'd,
He should his substance share.

[ocr errors]

Ten acres of new-broken land
He did assign him then,

And said there waited his command
His horses, carts and men.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

The sun, the wind, the rain and dew,
All seem'd as for them giv'n,
And, while in health and strength they grew,
They rais’d their heads to Heav'n.


Meanwhile his master, still intent
To serve and do him good,

Near him a house prepar'd, and sent
To say how matters stood.

11 The village all, with joy elate To see John once more come,

Repair'd th' event to celebrate,
And, shouting, brought him home.


Here John, beneath his master's eye,
Secure and happy dwelt,

His master could his faults espy,
But all his virtues felt.

13 The richest ears have still their straw, Its chaff the fairest grain, With chastening hand he'd vice withdraw, And virtue would retain.


Thenceforth was John a better wight,
Of greater worth confest;

In his own phrase, he was clean dight,
His neighbours said well drest.

At length a flood assail'd good John,
For two long nights and days,
No harm it did, he thriv'd thereon,
This truth th' Exciseman says.


Without a figure I would say,
That John was fairly steep’d,

And a warm man he grew, but lay
Longer, and soundly slept.


But this indulgence, it is said,
From sloth did not arise,

“Early at morn, early to bed”
His maxim was most wise.


Another truth is, as I’ve heard,
Tho' John was highly tac'd,

He never spoke a grumbling word,
Nor's loyalty relax’d.


A fire, then, both fierce and strong,
In threat'ning aspect rose,

But, timely quench'd, there nought was wrong,
It sheeten’d his repose

« PreviousContinue »