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THE STOKY OF WEB-SPINNER.
Web-spinner was a miser old,
Who came of low degree;
And he kept bad company;
Of a black felon grim;
But none spoke well of him.
His house was seven stories high,
In a corner of the street, And it always had a dirty look.
When other homes were neat; Up in his garret dark he lived,
And from the windows high, Looked out in the dusky evening
Upon the pasBers-bye.
Most people thought he lived alone,
Yet many have averred
Were often loudly heard;
Although a few went in;
And stripped him to the skin.
And though he prayed for mercy,
Yet mercy ne'er was shown— The miser cut his body up,
And picked him bone from bone.
The dismal story true;
I tell it so to you:—
There was an ancient widow—
One Madgy de la Moth,
Had ne'er gone there in troth:
But she was poor, and wandered out
At night-fall in the street, To beg from rich men's tables
Dry scraps of broken meat.
So she knocked at old Web-Spinner's door,
With a modest tap, and low, And down stairs came he speedily
Like an arrow from a bow.
And shut the door behind—
That he was wondrous kind.
But ere the midnight clock had tolled,
Like a tiger of the wood
And drunk of her heart's blood!
A little season's space,
Was riding from the chase.
The sport was dull, the day was hot,
The sun was sinking down,
Into the dusty town.
At the first house I come to;"
Came suddenly in view.
Loud was the knock the Baron gave—
Down came the churl with glee;
I ask your courtesy;
My friends are far behind." "You may need them all," said Web-Spinner.
"It runneth in my mind."
"A Baron am I," said Bluebottle;
"From a foreign land I come ;" "I thought as much," said Web-Spinner,
"Pools never stay at home!" Says the Baron, " Churl, what meaneth this?
I defy you, villain base!" And he wished the while in his inmost heart,
He was safely from the place.
Web-spinner ran and locked the door,
And a loud laugh laughed he,
And they wrestled furiously.
A swordsman of renown;
And kept the Baron down.
Then out he took a little cord,
From a pocket at his side,
His hands and feet he tied;
And said, in savage jest,
So, Baron, take your rest!"
Then up and down his house he went,
Arranging dish and platter,
As if nothing were the matter.
That strong and burly man, And with many and many a desperate tug,
To hoist him up began.
And step by step, and step by step,
He went with heavy tread;
Poor Bluebottle was dead!
New all this while, a magistrate,
Had watched Web-Spinner's cruelty.
So in he bursts, through bolts and bars,
With a loud and thundering sound,
And level it with the ground;
Had looked for such a day,
And took himself away.
But where he went, no man could tell;
'Twas said that under ground
But his body ne'er was found.
"For a caitiff vile as he,"
Shall not a dweller be!"—Mary Howitt.
Clamorous, noisy. Dappled, spotted with different colors.
THE FAKENHAM GHOST.
The lawns were dry in Euston park:
(Here truth inspires my tale,) The lonely footpath, still in dark,
Led over hill and dale.
Benighted was an ancient dame,
And fearful haste she made To gain the vale of Fakenham,
And hail its willow shade.
Her footsteps knew no idle stops,
But followed faster still;
That whispered on the hill.
Where clamorous rooks, yet scarcely hushed,
Bespoke a peopled shade;
And hovering circuits made.
The dappled herd of grazing deer,
That sought the shadeB by day,
And gave the stranger way.
Darker it grew, and darker fears
Came o'er her troubled mind;
Come patting close behind.
She turned, it stopped ; nought could she see
Upon the gloomy plain;
She heard the same again.
Now terror seized her quaking frame,
For, where the path was bare,
She muttered many a prayer.
Yet once again, amidst her fright,
She tried what sight could do; When, through the cheating glooms of night,
A Monster ! stood in view.
Regardless of whate'er she felt,
It followed down the plain;
And said her prayers again.
Then on she sped, and hope grew strong,
The white park-gate in view;
That ghost and all passed through!
Loud fell the gate against the post,
For much she feared the grisly ghost