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I KNEW an old wife lean and poor,
Her rags scarce held together ; There strode a stranger to the door,
And it was windy weather.
He held a goose upon his arm,
He utter'd rhyme and reason, “ Here, take the goose, and keep you warm,
It is a stormy season."
She caught the white goose by the leg,
A goose—'twas no great matter. The goose let fall a golden egg With cackle and with clatter.
She dropt the goose, and caught the pelf,
And ran to tell her neighbours ;
And rested from her labours.
And feeding high, and living soft,
Grew plump and able-bodied ;
The parson smirk'd and nodded.
So sitting, served by man and maid,
She felt her heart grow prouder : But ah! the more the white
laid It clack'd and cackled louder.
It clutter'd here, it chuckled there ;
It stirr'd the old wife's mettle : She shifted in her elbow-chair,
And hurld the pan and kettle.
“A quinsy choke thy .cursed note !"
Then wax'd her anger stronger. “Go, take the goose, and wring her throat,
I will not bear it longer.”
Then yelp'd the cur, and yawl'd the cat ;
Ran Gaffer, stumbled Gammer.
And fill'd the house with clamour.
As head and heels upon the floor
They flounder'd all together,
He took the goose upon his arm,
He utter'd words of scorning; “So keep you cold, or keep you warm,
It is a stormy morning."
The wild wind rang from park and plain,
And round the attics rumbled, Till all the tables danced again,
And half the chimneys tumbled.
The glass blew in, the fire blew out,
The blast was hard and harder. Iler cap blew off, her gown blew up,
And a whirlwind clear'd the larder;
And while on all sides breaking loose
Her household Aed the danger, Quoth she, “ The Devil take the goose,
And God forget the stranger !"
BREAK, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea! And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.
O well for the fisherman's boy,
That he shouts with his sister at play! O well for the sailor lad, That he sings in his boat on the bay!