Who notified the selectmen
To call a meeting there and then.
“Some kind of steps,” they said, “are needed ;
They don't come on so fast as we did :
Let's dock their tails; if that don't make 'em
Frogs by brevet, the Old One take 'em !
That boy that came the other day
To dig some flag-root down this way
His jack-knife left, and 'tis a sign.
That Heaven approves of our design :
'Twere wicked not to urge the step on,
When Providence has sent the weapon.”

Old croakers, deacons of the mire,
That led the deep batrachian choir,
Uk! Uk ! Carouk ! with bass that might
Have left Lablache's out of sight,
Shook nobby heads, and said, “No go !
You'd better let 'em try to grow :
Old Doctor Time is slow, but still
He does know how to make a pill.”
But vain was all their hoarsest bass,
Their old experience out of place,
And spite of croaking and entreating,
The vote was carried in marsh-meeting.

“Lord knows,” protest the polliwogs,
“We're anxious to be grown-up frogs ;
But do not undertake the work
Of Nature, till she prove a shirk ;
'Tis not by jumps that she advances,
But wins her way by circumstances.
Pray, wait awhile, until you know
We're so contrived as not to grow.
Let Nature take her own direction,
And she'll absorb our imperfection ;
You mightn't like 'em to appear with,
But we must have the things to steer with.”

“No,” piped the party of reform,
"All great results are ta'en by storm ;
Fate holds her best gifts till we show
We've strength to make her let them go.
No more reject the Age's chrism,
Your queues are an anachronism;
No more the Future's promise mock,
But lay your tails upon the block,
Thankful that we the means have voted
To have you thus to frogs promoted.”

The thing was done, the tails were cropped,
And home each philotadpole hopped,
In faith rewarded to exult,
And wait the beautiful result.
Too soon it came ; our pool, so long
The theme of patriot bull-frogs' song,
Next day was reeking, fit to smother,
With heads and tails that missed each other,
Here snoutless tails, there tailless snouts :
The only gainers were the pouts.


From lower to the higher next,
Not to the top, is Nature's text;
And embryo Good, to reach full stature,
Absorbs the Evil in its nature.

God makes sech nights, all white an' still

Fur’z you can look or listen,
Moonshine an' snow on field an' hill,

All silence an' all glisten.

Zekle crep' up quite unbeknown,

An' peeked in thru' the winder;
An' there sot Huldy all alone,

’Ith no one nigh to hender.

A fireplace filled the room's one side

With half a cord o' wood in-
There warn't no stoves (tell comfort died)

To bake ye to a puddin'.

The wa’nut logs shot sparkles out

Towards the pootiest, bless her,
An' leetle flames danced all about

The chiny on the dresser.

Again the chimbley crook-necks hung,

An' in amongst 'em rusted
The ole queen's-arm thet gran’ther Young

Fetched back from Concord busted.

i This version of the poem appears in the Biglow Papers, and series, being just double the length of a different version given in the 1st series. I prefer the last-named ; but have thought it more befitting to abide by the author's own decision.-W. M. R.

The very room, coz she was in,

Seemed warm from floor to ceilin', An' she looked full ez rosy again

Ez the apples she was peelin'.
'Twas kin' o' kingdom-come to look

On sech a blessed cretur ;
A dogrose blushin' to a brook

Ain't modester nor sweeter.

He was six foot o' man, A I,

Clean grit an' human natur';
None couldn't quicker pitch a ton,

Nor dror a furrer straighter.
He'd sparked it with full twenty gals,

He'd squired 'em, danced 'em, druv 'em, Fust this one, an' then thet, by spells,

All is, he couldn't love 'em.

But long o' her his veins ’ould run

All crinkly like curled maple ;
The side she breshed felt full o' sun

Ez a south slope in Ap'il.
She thought no vice hed sech a swing

Ez hisn in the choir :
My! when he made Ole Hunderd ring,

She knowed the Lord was nigher.

An' she'd blush scarlet, right in prayer,

When her new meetin'-bunnet Felt somehow thru' its crown a pair

O'blue eyes sot upon it.

Thet night, I tell ye, she looked some!

She seemed to've gut a new soul, For she felt sartin-sure he'd come,

Down to her very shoe-sole.

She heered a foot, and knowed it tu,

A-rasping on the scraper,
All ways to once her feelins flew,

Like sparks in burnt-up paper.

He kin' o' l'itered on the mat

Some doubtfle o' the sekle; His heart kep' goin' pity-pat,

But hern went pity Zekle.

An' yit she gin her cheer a jerk

Ez though she wished him furder, An' on her apples kep' to work,

Parin' away like murder.

“You want to see my Pa, I s'pose ?”.

“Wal .. no .... I come dasignin?"“To see my Ma? She is sprinklin' clo’es

Agin to-morrer's i’nin'.”

To say why gals acts so or so,

Or don't, 'ould be presumin'; Mebbe to mean yes an' say no

Comes nateral to women.

He stood a spell on one foot fust,

Then stood a spell on t'other, An' on which one he felt the wust

He couldn't ha' told ye nuther.

Says he, “I'd better call agin;"

Says she, “ Think likely, Mister ;” Thet last word pricked him like a pin,

An'.... Wal, he up an' kist her.

When Ma bimeby upon 'em slips,

Huldy sot pale ez ashes,
All kin' o'smily roun' the lips,

An' teary roun' the lashes.

For she was jes' the quiet kind

Whose naturs never vary, Like streams that keep a summer mind

Snowhid in Jenooary.

The blood clost roun' her heart felt glued

Too tight for all expressin',
Tell mother see how metters stood,

And gin 'em both her blessin’.

Then her red come back like the tide

Down to the Bay o’ Fundy ; An' all I know is they was cried

In meetin' come nex' Sunday.


I. This kind o' sogerin' aint a mite like our October trainin'; A chap could clear right out from there ef’t only looked like

rainin'; An' th’ Cunnles, tu, could kiver up their shappoes with bandan

ners, An' send the insines skootin' to the bar-room with their banners (Fear o'gittin' on 'em spotted), an' a feller could cry quarter Ef he fired away his ramrod arter tu much rum an’ water, Recollect wut fun we hed, you'n' I an' Ezry Hollis, Up there to Waltham plain last fall, along o' the Cornwallis ? This sort o' thing aint jest like thet,- I wish thet I wuz furder,Nimepunce a day fer killin' folks comes kind o' low fer murder, (Wy I've worked out to slarterin' some fer Deacon Cephas Billins, An' in the hardest times there wuz I ollers tetched ten shillins). There's sutthin' gits into my throat thet makes it hard to swaller, It comes so nateral to think about a hempen collar ; It's glory,—but, in spite o' all my tryin' to git callous, I feel a kind o’ in a cart, aridin' to the gallus. But wen it comes to bein' killed, -I tell ye I felt streaked The fust time ’tever I found out wy baggonets wuz peaked. IIere's how it wuz : I started out to go to a fandango, The sentinul he ups an' sez, “Thet's furder 'an you can go.' “None o' your sarse,

sez I; sez he, “Stan' back !" a buster?" Sez I; “ I'm up to all thet air, I guess I've ben to muster ; I know wy sentinuls air sot; you aint agoin' to eat us ; Caleb haint no monopoly to court the seenoreetas; My folks to hum air full ez good ez hisn be, by golly!" An' so ez I wuz goin' by, not thinkin' wut would folly, The everlastin' cus he stuck his one-pronged pitchfork in me, An' made a hole right thru my close ez ef I wuz an in'my. Wal, it beats all how big I felt hoorawin' in ole Funnel Wen Mister Bolles he gin the sword to our Leftenant Cunnle, (It's Mister Secondary Bolles, thet writ the prize peace essay; Thet's why he didn't list himself along o' us, I dessay). An' Rantoul, tu, talked pooty loud, but don't put his foot in it, Coz human life's so sacred thet he's principled agin it, Though I myself can't rightly see it's any wus achokin' on 'em Than puttin' bullets thru their lights, or with a bagnet pokin' on

'em. How dreffle slick he reeled it off (like Blitz at our lyceum Ahaulin' ribbins from his chops so quick you skeercely see 'em) About the Anglo-Saxon race (an' saxons would be handy To du the buryin' down here upon the Rio Grandy),

1 The reader should understand B. Sawin to be a private in the United States Army, in the war against Mexico waged in 1847.

" Aint you

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