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- TWELVE o'clock--a misty night--
- Glimpsing hints of buried light--
- Six years strung in an iron chain--
- Time I stood on the ground again!
- So--by your leave! Slip, easy enough,
- Withered wrists from the rusty cuff,
- The old chain rattles, the old wood groans,
- O the clatter of clacking bones!
- Here I am, uncoated, unhatted,
- Shirt all mildewed, hair all matted,
- Sockets that each have royally
- Fed the crow a precious eye.
- O for slashing Bess the brown!
- Where, old lass, have they earthed thee down?
- Sobb'st beneath a carrier's thong?
- Strain'st a coalman's cart along?
- Shame to foot it!--must be so.
- See, the mists are smitten below;
- Over the moorland, wide away,
- Moonshine pours her watery day.
- There the long white-dusted track,
- There a crawling speck of black.
- The Northern mail, ha, ha! and he
- There on the box is Anthony.
- Coachman I scared him from brown or grey,
- Witness he lied my blood away.
- Haste, Fred! haste, boy! never fail!
- Now or never! catch the mail!
- The horses plunge, and sweating stop.
- Dead falls Tony, neck and crop.
- Nay, good guard, small profit thus,
- Shooting ghosts with a blunderbuss!
- Crash wheel! coach over! How it rains
- Hampers, ladies, wigs, and canes!
- O the spoil! to sack it and lock it!
- But, woe is me, I have never a pocket!
- Richard Garnett
Poets' Corner .
H O M E .