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Would love the gleams of good that broke
From either side, nor veil his eyes :
And if some dreadful need should rise Would strike, and firmly, and one stroke :
To-morrow yet would reap to-day,
As we bear blossom of the dead ;
Earn well the thrifty months, nor wed Raw Haste, half-sister to Delay.
I KNEW an old wife lean and poor,
Her rags scarce held together ; There strode a stranger to the door,
And it was windy weather.
He held a goose upon his arm,
He utter'd rhyme and reason, “ Here, take the goose, and keep you warm,
It is a stormy season.”
III. She caught the white goose by the leg,
A goose—'twas no great matter. The goose let fall a golden egg
With cackle and with clatter.
IV. She dropt the goose, and caught the pelf,
And ran to tell her neighbours ; And bless'd herself, and cursed herself,
And rested from her labours.
And feeding high, and living soft,
Grew plump and able-bodied ; Until the grave churchwarden doff'd,
The parson smirk' and nodded.
So sitting, served by man and maid,
She felt her heart grow prouder : But ah ! the more the white goose laid
It clack'd and cackled louder.
It stirr'd the old wife's mettle :
And hurl'd the pan and kettle.
“ A quinsy choke thy cursed note !”
Then wax'd her anger stronger. “Go, take the goose, and wring her throat,
I will not bear it longer.”
Then yelp'd the cur, and yawl'd the cat ;
Ran Gaffer, stumbled Gammer.
And fill’d the house with clamour.
As head and heels upon the floor
They flounder'd all together, There strode a stranger to the door,
And it was windy weather :
He took the goose upon his arm,
He utter'd words of scorning ; “So keep you cold, or keep you warm,
It is a stormy morning.”
And round the attics rumbled,
And half the chimneys tumbled.
The blast was hard and harder.
And a whirlwind clear'd the larder ;
And while on all sides breaking loose
Her household fled the danger, Quoth she, “ The Devil take the goose,
And God forget the stranger !”