“Calf!” sneered the riders. “O
Mount and away with us, we must speed.
All Gosh is agog for the coming of Sym.
Garlands and greatness are waiting for him:
Garlands of roses, and garments of red
And a chaplet for crowning a conqueror’s head.”
“Listen,” quoth Sym, as he stirred his
“Once in my life have I known desire.
Then, Oh, but the touch of her kindled a flame
That burns as a sun by the candle of fame.
And a blessing and boon for a poor tinker man
Looks out from the eyes of my Emily Ann.”
Then they said to him, “Fool! Do you cast
Promise of honour, and place, and pride,
Gold for the asking, and power o’er men-
Working your will with the stroke of a pen?
Vexed were the King if you ride not with us.”
But Sym, he said to them, “Answer him thus:
’Ease and honour and leave to live—
These are the gifts that a king may give
’Twas over the meadow I saw her first;
And my lips grew parched like a man athirst
Oh, my treasure was ne’er in the gift of man;
For the gods have given me Emily Ann.”
“Listen,” said they, “O you crazy
Roses perish, and eyes grow dim.
Lustre fades from the fairest hair.
Who weds a woman links arms with care.
But women there are in the city of Gosh—
Ay, even the daughters of good King Splosh. . .”
“Care,” said Sym, “is a weed that
Even to-day in the gardens of kings.
And I, who have lived ’neath the tent of the skies,
Know of the flowers, and which to prize . . .
Give you good even! For now I must jog.”
And he whistled him once to his little red dog.
Into the meadow and over the stile,
Off went the tinker man, singing the while;
Down by the bracken patch, over the hill,
With the little red dog at the heel of him still.
And back, as he soberly sauntered along,
There came to the riders the tail of his song.
“Kettles and pots! Kettles and pans!
Strong is my arm if the cause it be man’s.
But a fig for the cause of a cunning old king;
For Emily Ann will be mine in the Spring.
Then nought shall I labour for Splosh or his plans;
Tho’ I’ll mend him a kettle. Ho, kettles and pans!”
XIII. THE LITTLE RED DOG
The Glugs still live in the land of Gosh,
Under the rule of the great King Splosh.
And they climb the trees in the Summer and Spring,
Because it is reckoned the regular thing.
Down in the valley they live their lives,
Taking the air with their aunts and wives.
And they climb the trees in the Winter and Fall,
And count it improper to climb not at all.