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THE STOKY OF WEB-SPINNER.

Web-spinner was a miser old,

Who came of low degree;
His body was large, his legs were thin,

And he kept bad company;
And his visage had the evil look

Of a black felon grim;
To all the country he was known,

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
That dismal c ies from out his house

Were often loudly heard;
And that none living left his gate,

Although a few went in;
For he seized the very beggar old,

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.
Thus people said, and all believed

The dismal story true;
As it was told to me, in truth,

I tell it so to you:—

There was an ancient widow—

One Madgy de la Moth,
A stranger to the man, or she

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.
"Walk in, walk in, mother," said he,

And shut the door behind—
She thought, for such a gentleman,

That he was wondrous kind.

But ere the midnight clock had tolled,

Like a tiger of the wood
He had eaten the flesh from off her bones,

And drunk of her heart's blood!
Now after this fell deed was done,

A little season's space,
The burly Baron of Bluebottle

Was riding from the chase.

The sport was dull, the day was hot,

The sun was sinking down,
When wearily the baron rode

Into the dusty town.
Says he, "I'll ask a lodging,

At the first house I come to;"
With that, the gate of Web-Spinner

Came suddenly in view.

Loud was the knock the Baron gave—

Down came the churl with glee;
Says Bluebottle, "Good Sir, to-night

I ask your courtesy;
I am wearied with a long day's chase—

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,
With that, each one on the other sprang,

And they wrestled furiously.
The Baron was a man of might,

A swordsman of renown;
But the Miser had the stronger arm,

And kept the Baron down.

Then out he took a little cord,

From a pocket at his side,
And with many a crafty, cruel knot,

His hands and feet he tied;
And bound him down unto the floor,

And said, in savage jest,
"There is heavy work for you in store :—

So, Baron, take your rest!"

Then up and down his house he went,

Arranging dish and platter,
With a dull and heavy countenance,

As if nothing were the matter.
At length he seized on Bluebottle,

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;
But ere he reached the garret door,

Poor Bluebottle was dead!

New all this while, a magistrate,
Who lived in house hard bye,

Had watched Web-Spinner's cruelty.
Through a window privily:

So in he bursts, through bolts and bars,

With a loud and thundering sound,
And vowed to burn the house with fire,

And level it with the ground;
But the wicked churl, who all his life

Had looked for such a day,
Passed throngh a trap-door in the wall,

And took himself away.

But where he went, no man could tell;

'Twas said that under ground
He died a miserable death—

But his body ne'er was found.
They pulled his house down, stick and stone,

"For a caitiff vile as he,"
Said they, "within our quiet town

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;
And echoed to the darksome copse

That whispered on the hill.

Where clamorous rooks, yet scarcely hushed,

Bespoke a peopled shade;
And many a wing the foliage brushed,

And hovering circuits made.

The dappled herd of grazing deer,

That sought the shadeB by day,
Now started from their paths with fear,

And gave the stranger way.

Darker it grew, and darker fears

Came o'er her troubled mind;
When now, a short, quick step she hears,

Come patting close behind.

She turned, it stopped ; nought could she see

Upon the gloomy plain;
But as she strove the sprite to flee,

She heard the same again.

Now terror seized her quaking frame,

For, where the path was bare,
The trotting ghost kept on the same—

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;
She owned her sins, and down she knelt,

And said her prayers again.

Then on she sped, and hope grew strong,

The white park-gate in view;
Which pushing hard, so long it swung,

That ghost and all passed through!

Loud fell the gate against the post,
Her heart-strings like to crack;

For much she feared the grisly ghost
Would leap upon her back.

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