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In hub, tire, felloe, in spring or thill,
In panel, or crossbar, or floor or sill,
In screw, bolt, thoroughbrace,-lurking still,
Find it somewhere you must and will,—
Above or below, or within or without,
And that's the reason, beyond a doubt,
A chaise breaks down, but doesn't wear out,
But the Deacon swore (as Deacons do,
With an "I dew vum," or an "I tell you,”)
He would build one shay to beat the taown
'N' the keounty 'n' all the kentry raoun';
It should be so built that it couldn't break daown;
-"Fur," said the Deacon, “'t's mighty plain
Thut the weakes' place mus' stan' the strain;
'N' the way t' fix it, uz I maintain,
'T make that place uz strong uz the rest.”
So the Deacon inquired of the village folk
Where he could find the strongest oak,
That couldn't be split nor bent nor broke,—
That was for spokes and floor and sills;
He sent for lancewood to make the thills;
The crossbars were ash, from the straightest trees;
The panels of whitewood, that cuts like cheese,
But lasts like iron for things like these:
The hubs of logs from the "Settler's ellum,"
Last of its timber,-they couldn't sell 'em,
Never an axe had seen their chips,
And the wedges flew from between their lips,
Their blunt ends frizzled like celery-tips;
Step and prop-iron, bolt and screw,
Spring, tire, axle, and linchpin too,
Steel of the finest, bright and blue;
Thoroughbrace bison-skin, thick and wide;
Boot, top, dasher, from tough old hide
Found in the pit when the tanner died.
That was the way he "put her through."
"There!" said the Deacon, "naow she'll dew!"
Do! I tell you, I rather guess
She was a wonder, and nothing less!
Colts grew horses, beards turned gray,
Deacon and deaconess dropped away,
Children and grandchildren, where were they?
But there stood the stout old one-hoss shay
As fresh as on Lisbon-earthquake-day!
EIGHTEEN HUNDRED;-it came and found
The Deacon's masterpiece strong and sound.
Eighteen hundred increased by ten;-
"Hahnsum kerridge" they called it then.
Eighteen hundred and twenty came;—
Running as usual; much the same.
Thirty and forty at last arrive,
And then come fifty, and FIFTY-FIVE,
Little of all we value here
Wakes on the morn of its hundredth year
Without both feeling and looking queer.
In fact, there's nothing that keeps its youth,
So far as I know, but a tree and truth.
(This is a moral that runs at large;
Take it. You're welcome.-No extra charge.)
FIRST OF NOVEMBER,--the Earthquake-day-There are traces of age in the one-hoss shay,
A general flavor of mild decay,
But nothing local, as one may say.
There couldn't be,--for the Deacon's art
Had made it so like in every part
That there wasn't a chance for one to start.
For the wheels were just as strong as the thills,
And the floor was just as strong as the sills,
And the panels just as strong as the floor,
And the whippletree neither less nor more,
And the back-crossbar as strong as the fore,
And spring and axle and hub encore.
And yet, as a whole, it is past a doubt
In another hour it wili be worn out!
First of November, 'Fifty-five!
This morning the parson takes a drive.
Now, small boys, get out of the way!
Here comes the wonderful one-hoss shay,
Drawn by a rat-tailed, ewe-necked bay,
“Huddup!” said the parson.--Off went they.
The parson was working his Sunday's text,--
Had got to fifthly, and stopped perplexed
At what the-Moses--was coming next.
All at once the horse stood still,
Close by the meet'n'-house on the hill.
--First a shiver, and then a thrill,
Then something decidedly like a spill,--
And the parson was sitting upon a rock,
At half-past nize by the meet'n'-house clock,—
Just the hour of the Earthquake shock!
-What do you think the parson found,
When he got up and stared around?
The poor old chaise in a heap or mound,
As if it had been to the mill and ground!
You see, of course, if you're not a dunce,
How it went to pieces all at once,—
All at once, and nothing first,—
Just as bubbles do when they burst.
End of the wonderful one-hoss shay.
Logic is logic. That's all I say.
Eighty and nine with their captain,
Rode on the enemy's track,
Rode in the gray of the morning-
Nine of the ninety came back.
Siow rose the mist from the river,
Lighter each moment the way;
Careless and tearless and fearless
Galloped they on to the fray.
Singing in tune, how the scabbards
Loud on the stirrup-irons rang,
Clinked as the men rose in saddle,
Fell as they sank, with a clang.
What is it moves by the river,
Jaded and weary and weak?
Gray-backs—a cross on their banner—
Yonder the foe whom they seek.
Silence! They see not, they hear not,
Tarrying there by the marge;
Forward! Draw sabre! Trot! Gallop!
Charge, like a hurricane, charge!
Ah! 'twas a man-trap infernal-
Fire like the deep pit of hell!
Volley on volley to meet them,
Mixed with the gray rebels' yell.
Ninety had ridden to battle;
Tracing the enemy's track—
Ninety had ridden to battle;
Nine of the ninety came back.
Honor the name of the ninety:
Honor the heroes who came
Scathless from five hundred muskets,
Safe from the lead-bearing flame.
Eighty and one of the troopers
Lie on the field of the slain—
Lie on the red field of honor—
Honor the nine who remain!
Cold are the dead there, and gory,
There where their life-blood was spilt
Back from the living, each sabre
Red from the point to the hilt.
Up with three cheers and a tiger!
Let the flags wave as they come!
Give them the blare of the trumpet!
Give them the roll of the drum!
THOS. DUNN ENGLISH.
Without 'twas cold and cheerless, and glooming into night, Within 'twas warm and cheery, the "yule" log burning bright. Beside a cosy table o'erspread with tempting lunch,
Mid appetizing odors from steaming jugs of punch,
Were seated two old veterans who'd served throughout the wars,
And had their soldiers' record engraved in livid scars
Deep in their furrowed faces. The night was Christmas Eve.
Three legs the party counted, beside one empty sleeve.
They smoked their pipes and chatted in a dreamy sort of way.
Of times agone, and present, as two old comrades may.
'Twas "Bob" and "Joe" in private, who forgot the rank they bore,
Nor "recked" they of the symbols which their broad shoulders
Old tales they told and gossiped of strange things they had seen, How each had won his laurels in fights he'd helped to win. "Now tell me, Joe," said Bob at last, "the best thing you have done;
The proudest recollection of all your life that's gone?"
""Tis not as you may think, Bob, an easy thing to tell,
What we have done that': best, we've done so few things well;
For memory will not linger on tragic things to brood,
Nor does she like her pictures bedabbled o'er with blood.
When alone we sit reviewing the pages of our life,
We quickly drop the curtain on scenes o'ercast with strife,
Such as the world, applauding, calls our fields of glory,
But fill your glass, and listen, Bob, and I'll tell you a story.