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Quompegan is a town some ten miles | Wherein a constant snuffle you might south
hear, From Jethro, at Nagumscot river-mouth, As if with him 't were winter all the A sea port town, and makes its title good
year. With Jumber and dried fish and eastern At pew-head sat he with decorous pains, wood.
In sermon-time could foot his weekly Here Deacon Bitters dwelt and kept the gains, . Store,
Or, with closed eyes and heaven-abThe richest man for many a mile of stracted air, shore;
Could plan a new investment in longIn little less than everything dealt he,
prayer. From meeting-houses to a chest of tea; A pious man, and thrifty too, he made So dextrous therewithal a flint to skin, The psalms and prophets partners in his He could make profit on a single pin ;
trade, In business strict, to bring the balance And in his orthodoxy straitened more true
As it enlarged the business at his store; He had been known to bite a fig in two, He honored Moses, but, when gain he And change a board-nail for a shingle planned, nail.
Had his own notion of the Promised All that he had he ready held for sale,
Land. His house, his tomb, whate'er the law allows,
“Soon as the winter made the sledding And he had gladly parted with his spouse.
good, His one ambition still to get and get, From far around the farmers hauled him He would arrest your very ghost for debt. wood, His store looked righteous, should the For all the trade had gathered 'neath his Pargon come,
thumb. But in a dark back-room he peddled rum, He paid in groceries and New England And eased Ma'am Conscience, if she e'tr would scold,
Making two profits with a conscience By christening it with water ere he sold. clear, — A small, dry man he was, who wore a Cheap all he bought, and all he raid with queue,
dear. And one white neckcloth all the week-With his own mete-wand measuring evdays through,
ery load, On Monday white, by Saturday as dun Each somehow had diminished on the As that worn homeward by the prodigal
An honest cord in Jethro still would fail His frosted earlocks, striped with foxy By a good foot upon the Deacon's scale, brown,
And, more to abate the price, his gimlet Were braided up to hide a desert crown; eye His coat was brownish, black perhaps of Would pierce to cat-sticks that none else yore;
could spy : In summer-time a banyan loose he wore; / Yet none dared grumble, for no farmer His trousers short, through many a season true,
But New Year found him in the DeaMade no pretence to hide his stockings con's debt.
blue; A waistcoat buff his chief adornment was, “While the first snow was mealy unIts porcelain buttons rimmed with dusky der feet, brass.
A team drawled creaking down QuomA deacon he, you saw it in each limb,
pegan street. And well he knew to deacon-off a hymn, Two cords of oak weighed down the Or lead the choir through all its wander grinding sled, ing woes
And cornstalk fodder rustled overhead ; With voice that gathered unction in his The oxen's muzzles, as they shouldered nose,
Were silver-fringed; the driver's own ( Fore this he 's treasurer of a fund to train was blue
Young imps as missionaries; hopes to As the coarse frock that swung below
gain his knee.
That way a contract that he has in view Behind his load for shelter waded he; For fireproof pitchforks of a pattern new. His mittened hands now on his chest he It must have tickled him, all drawbacks beat,
weighed, Now stamped the stiffened cowhides of To think he stuck the Old One in a his feet,
trade; Hushed as a ghost's; his armpit scarce His soul, to start with, was n't worth a could hold
carrot, The walnut whipstock slippery-bright And all he'd left 'ould hardly serve to with cold.
swear at.' What wonder if, the tavern as he past, He looked and longed, and stayed his “By this time Obed had his wits beasts at last,
thawed out, Who patient stood and veiled themselves And, looking at the other half in doubt, in steam
Took off his fox-skin cap to scratch his While he explored the bar-room's ruddy head, gleam ?
Donned it again, and drawled forth,
Mean he's dead ?' “Before the fire, in want of thought Jesso; he's dead and t’ other d that profound,
follers There sat a brother-townsman weather- With folks that never love a thing but bound
dollars. A sturdy churl, crisp-headed, bristly. He pulled up stakes last evening, fair and eared,
square, Red as a pepper; '.wixt coarse brows And ever since there's been a row Down and beard
There, His eyes lay ambushed, on the watch for The minute the old chap arrived, you see, fools,
Comes the Boss-devil to him, and says he, Clear, gray, and glittering like two bay. “What are you good at? Little enough, edged pools;
I fear; A shifty creature, with a turn for fun, We callilate to make folks useful here." Could swap a poor horse for a better “ Well,” says old Bitters, “I expect I
one, He'd a high-stepper always in his stall ; Scale a fair load of wood with e'er a Liked far and near, and dreaded there man." withal.
“ Wood we don't deal in; but perhaps To him the in-comer, Perez, how d’ye you 'll suit, do?!
Because we buy our brimstone by the Jest as I'm mind to, Obed; how do foot: you ?'
Here, take this measurin' rod, as smooth Then, his eyes twinkling such swift as sin, gleams as run
And keep a reckonin' of what loads Along the levelled barrel of a gun
comes in. Brought to his shoulder by a man you You 'll not want business, for we need a
know Will bring his game down, he continued, To keep the Yankees that you send us So,
hot; I s'pose you 're haulin' wood ? But At firin' up they 're barely half as spry you 're too late ;
| As Spaniards or Italians, though they're The Deacon 's off ; Old Splitfoot could n't dry ; wait;
At first we have to let the draught on He made a bee-line las' night in the storm
stronger. To where he won't need wood to keep Bat, heat 'em through, they seem to hold him warm.
“, Bitters he took the rod, and pretty | That in five minntes they had drawed a soon
crowd, A teamster comes, whistling an ex-psalm And afore long the Buss, who heard the tune.
row, A likelier chap you would n't ask to see, Comes elbowin' in with “ What's to pay No different, but his limp, from you or here now?” me'
Both parties heard, the measurin'-rod he 'No different, Perez! Don't your mem
takes, ory fail ?
And of the load a careful survey makes. Why, where in thunder was his horns “ Sence I have bossed the business here,” and tail??
says he, "They 're only worn by some old-fash-“No fairer load was ever seen by me." ioned pokes;
Then, turnin' to the Deacon, “ You mean They mostly aim at looking just like cus,
None of your old Quompegan tricks with Sech things are scarce as queues and top
us! boots here;
They won't do here : we're plain old'T would spoil their usefulness to look fashioned folks, too queer.
And don't quite understand that kind o' Ef you could always know 'em when jokes. they come,
I know this teamster, and his pa afore They 'd get no purchase on you : now be him, mum.
And the hard-working Mrs. D. that bore On come the teamster, smart as Davy him ; Crockett.
He would n't soil his conscience with a Jinglin' the red-hot coppers in his pocket, lie, And clost behind, ('t was gold-dust, you 'd Though he might get the custom-house ha' sworn,)
thereby. A load of sulphur yallower 'n seed-corn ; Here, constable, take Bitters by the To see it wasted as it is Down There
queue, Would make a Friction-Match Co. tear And clap hin into furnace ninety-two, its hair!
And try this brimstone on him; if he's “ Hold on!” says Bitters, “stop right bright, where you be;
He'll find the masure honest afore night. You can't go in athout a pass from me.” He is n't worth his fuel, and I'll bet "All right,” says t other, “only step The parish oven has to take him yet!”
round smart; I must be home by noon-time with the “This is my tale, heard twenty years cart.”
ago Bitters goes round it sharp-eyed as a rat, From Uncle Reuben, as the logs burned Then with a scrap of paper on his hat
low, Pretends to cipher. “By the public staff, Touching the walls and ceiling with that That load scarce rises twelve foot and a
That makes a rose's calyx of a room. “ There's fourteen foot and over,” says I could not give his language, wherethe driver,
through ran “ Worth twenty dollars, ef it's worth a The gamy flavor of the bookless man stiver;
Who shapes a word before the fancy Good fourth-proof brimstone, that 'll cools, make 'em squirm,
As lonely Crusoe improvised his tools. I leave it to the Headman of the Firm; I liked the tale, - 't was like so many After we masure it, we always lay
told Some on to allow for settlin' by the way. By Rutebruf and his brother Trouvères Imp and full-grown, I've carted sulphur bold; here,
Nor were the hearers much unlike to And gi'n fair satisfaction, thirty vear."
theirs, With that they fell to quarrellin so loud Men unsophisticate, rude-nerved as bears.
Ezra is gone and his large-hearted kind, Excuse me!” snatched his stick, and so
With the next gap, Mars said, “ For me An inn is now a vision of the past; Don't wait, — naught could be finer, One yet-surviving host my mind re- But I'm engaged at half past three, calls,
A fight in Asia Minor !
These duty-calls are vip'rous;
To see about in Cyprus."
Then Bacchus, — “I must say good bye,
I meet a man at four, to try
His words woke Herines. “Ah!” he said, 'Tis said, to keep from idleness
“I so love moral theses !” Or flirting, those twin curses,
Then winked at Hebe, who turned red, She spent her leisure, more or less,
And smoothed her apron's creases. In writing porno, verses.
Just then Zeus snored, — the Eagle drew How nice they were ! to rhyme with far His head the wing from under; A kind star did not carry;
Zeus spored, -o'er startled Greece there The metre, too, was regular
flew As schoolboy's dot and carry ;
The many-volumed thunder. And full they were of pious plums, Some augurs counted nine, some, ten; So extra-super-moral,
Some said 't was war, some, famine, For sucking Virtue's tender gums And all, that other-minded men Most tooth-enticing coral.
Would get a precious —
A clean, fair copy she prepares,
Proud Pallas sighed, " It will not do; Makes sure of moods and tenses,
Against the Muse I've sinned, oh!”. With her own hand, - for prudence And her torn rhymes sent flying through spares
Olympus's back window. A man- (or woman-) -uensis;
Then, packing up a peplus clean, Complete, and tied with ribbons proud, She took the shortest path thence, She hinted soon how cosy a
And opened, with a mind serene, Treat it would be to read them loud A Sunday-school in Athens. After next day's Ambrosia.
The verses? Some in ocean swilled, The Gods thought not it would amuse Killed every fish that bit to 'cm; So much as Homer's Odyssees,
Some Galen caught, and, when distilled, But could not very well refuse
Found morphine the residuum ; The properest of Goddesses :
But some that rotted on the earth So all sat round in attitudes
Sprang up again in copies, Of various dejection,
And gave two strong narcotics birth, As with a hem ! the queen of prudes Didactic verse and poppies. Began her grave prelection.
Years after, when a poet asked At the first pause Zeus said, “Well The Goddess's opinion, sung !–
As one whose soul'its wings had tasked I mean ask Phæbus, - he knows." In Art's clear-aired dominion, Says Phoebus,“ Zounds! a wolf's among “Discriminate," she said, “betimes; Admetus's merinos!
| The Muse is unforgiving ; Fine! very fine ! but I must go;
| Put all your beauty in your rhymes, They stand in need of me there ; Your morals in your living."
TIE FLYING DUTCHMAN. In the pulpit I've known of his preach
ing, Don't believe in the Flying Dutchman ? Out of hearing behind the time,
I've known the fellow for years; Some statement of Balaam's impeachMy button I've wrenched from his clutch, ing, man :
Giving Eve a due sense of her crime. I shudder whenever he nears !
I have seen him some poor ancient thrashHe's a Rip van Winkle skipper,
ing A wandering Jew of the sea,
Into something (God save us !) more Who sails his bedevilled old clipper
dry, In the wind's eye, straight as a bee. With the Water of Life itself washing
The life out of earth, sea, and sky. Back topsails ! you can't escape him ;
The man-ropes stretch with his weight, О dread fellow-mortal, get newer And the queerest old toggeries drape Despatches to carry, or none ! him,
We're as quick as the Greek and the Jew The Lord knows how long out of were date!
At knowing a loaf from a stone, Like a long-disembodied idea,
Till the couriers of God fail in duty, (A kind of ghost plentiful now,)
We sha'n't ask a mummy for news, He stands there ; you fancy you see a Nor sate the soul's hunger for beauty Coeval of Teniers or Douw.
With your drawings from casts of a He greets you ; would have you take let
ters : You scan the addresses with dread, CREDIDIMUS JOVEM REGNARE. While he mutters his donners and wetters, –
| O days endeared to every Muse, They 're all from the dead to the dead! | When nobody had any Views,
| Nor, while the cloudscape of his mind You seem taking time for reflection, By every breeze was new designed, But the heart fills your throat with a Insisted all the world should see jam,
(amels or whales where none there be ! As you spell in each faded direction O happy days, when men received An ominous ending in dam.
From sire to son what all believed,
And left the other world in bliss,
Beset by doubts of every breed No, thank you! I've found out which in the last bastion of my creed, wedge-end
With shot and shell for Sabbath-chime, Is meant for the head of a block. I watch the storming-party climb,
Panting (their prey in easy reach), The fellow I have in my mind's eye To pour triumphant through the breach Plays the old Skipper's part here on In walls that shed like snowflakes tons shore,
Of missiles from old-fashioned guns, And sticks like a burr, till he finds I But crumble 'neath the storm that pours Have got just the gauge of his bore. All day and night from bigger bores.
There, as I hopeless watch and wait This postman 'twixt one ghost and t | The last life-crushing coil of Fate, other,
Despair finds solace in the praise With last dates that smell of the Of those serene dawn-rosy days mould,
Ere microscopes had made us heirs I have met hím (O man and brother, To large estates of doubts and snares,
Forgive me !) in azure and gold. | By proving that the title-deeds,