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And truly 'twas a gallant thing to see that crowning show,

Valour and love, and a king above, and the royal beasts below.

The lions and the tigers roar'd with horrid laughing jaws;

They bit, they glared, gave blows like beams, a wind went with their paws:

With wallowing might and stifled roar they roll'd on one another,

'Till all the pit with sand and mane was in a thund'rous smother.

The bloody foam above the bars came whisking through the air :

Saith Francis then, "Faith, gentlemen, we're better here than there."

De Loye's love overheard the king, a beauteous, lively dame,

With smiling lips and sharp bright eyes, which always seem'd the same;

She thought,-The count, my love, is brave as brave can be;

He surely would do wond'rous things to show his love of me:

King, ladies, lovers, all look on, the occasion is


I'll drop my glove, to prove his love; great glory

will be mine.

She dropp'd the glove, to prove his love, she look'd at him, and smiled;

He bow'd, and in a moment leap'd among the lions


"You drank of the well I warrant betimes ?"

He to the Cornish-man said:

But the Cornish-man smiled as the stranger spake, And sheepishly shook his head.

"I hasten'd as soon as the wedding was done, I left my wife in the porch;

But i'faith she had been wiser than I,

For she took a bottle to church."


The Well of Wisdom.

IN Suabia there stood of old a town of honest


A sparkling fountain in the midst had gain'd a wondrous name;

For in its waters lay a power to make the foolish


The Well of Wisdom it was call'd, a rare and welcome prize.

Free access to that stream was had by all within the town;

No matter what their thirst might be, uncheck'd they drank it down:

But strangers, ere they dared to taste, must first permission gain

Of the mayor and his councillors, of such an honour



A horseman once pass'd through the town, and saw that fountain play,

And stopp'd to let his thirsty steed drink of it by

the way.

Meanwhile the rider gazed around on many a structure fair;

Turret and spire of olden times that pierced the quiet air.

Such boldness soon attracted round the gaze of passers by

The mayor ran in his robes of state, so quick was rumour's cry,

That man and horse were at the well, the latter drinking down

The precious gifts of Wisdom's Well, unsanction'd by the town.

How swell'd the mayor's wrath! how loud his tones, as thus he spoke,

"What's this I see? Who's this that hath our civic mandate broke?

What wickedness mine eyes behold! what wisdom wasted so

Upon a brute! as punishment, from this you shall

not go,

But stop a prisoner until our council's mind we


The rider stared; but, wiser grown, his steed prick'd up his ear,

And, turning round, he left the town more quickly than he came,

While watch and ward were gone to guard his exit from the same.

Forgetting what the horse had drunk, they all had gone in state,

To keep their prisoner secure, by guarding the

wrong gate.

Henceforward 'twas a law declared by solemn wig and gown,

No rider with a thirsty horse should e'er pass through the town.


The Muffin-man.

A LITTLE man, who muffins sold
When I was little too,
Carried a face of giant mould,

But tall he never grew.

His arms were legs for length and size,
His coat-tail touch'd his heels;
His brows were forests o'er his eyes,
His voice like waggon-wheels.

When fallen leaves together flock,
And gusts begin to squall,
And suns go down at six o'clock,
You heard his muffin-call.

Borne in the equinoctial blast,
He came and shook his bell;
And with the equinox he pass'd,
But whither none could tell.

Some thought the monster turn'd to dow
When muffins ceased to reign,

And lay in buds the summer through,
Till muffin-time again;

Or satyr, used the woods to rove,
Or even old Caliban,

Drawn by the lure of oven-stove

To be a muffin-man.

The dwarf was not a churlish elf,
Who thought folk stared to scoff;
But used deformity itself

To set his muffins off.

He stood at doors, and talk'd with cooks,
While strangers took his span,
And grimly smiled at childhood's looks
On him, the muffin-man.

When others fled from nipping frost,
And hid from drenching skies,
And when in fogs the street was lost,
You saw his figure rise.

One night his tinkle did not sound,
He fail'd each 'custom'd door;

'Twas first of an eternal round,
Of nights he walk'd no more.

When, borne in arms, my infant eyo
Its restless search began;

The nursery-maid was wont to cry,


See, John the muffin-man!"

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