Sagittulae, Random Verses eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 66 pages of information about Sagittulae, Random Verses.

  MORAL.

  My friends, I believe we shall none of us quarrel
  If I try from this story to draw out a moral;
  Tom Smith, I am told, has now taken the pledge;
  Let us hope he will keep the right side of the hedge.

  But because men like Tom find it hard to refrain,
  It’s hard that we temperate folk should abstain;
  Tea and coffee no doubt are most excellent cheer
  But a hard-working man likes his one glass of Beer.

  What with ’chining [2] and hoeing and ploughing and drill,
  A glass of good beer will not make a man ill;
  But one glass, like poison, you never must touch—­
  It’s the glass which is commonly called one too much!

[1] Muddle.

[2] Machining, i.e. threshing by machinery.

BEDFORDSHIRE BALLAD.—­III.

  FRED AND BILL.

  Two twins were once born in a Bedfordshire home;
  Such events in the best managed households may come;
  Tho’, as Tomkins remarked in a voice rather gruff,
  “One child at a time for poor folks is enough.”

  But it couldn’t be helped, so his wife did her best;
  The children were always respectably drest;
  Went early to school; were put early to bed;
  And had plenty of taters and bacon and bread.

  Now we all should suppose that the two, being twins,
  Resembled each other as much as two pins: 
  But no—­they as little resembled each other
  As the man in the moon is “a man and a brother.”

  Fred’s eyes were dark brown, and his hair was jet black;
  He was supple in body, and straight in the back,
  Learnt his lessons without any trouble at all;
  And was lively, intelligent, comely, and tall.

  But Willy was thick-set; and freckled and fair;
  Had eyes of light blue, and short curly red hair;
  And, as I should like you the whole truth to know,
  The schoolmaster thought him “decidedly slow.”

  But the Parson, who often came into the school,
  Had discovered that Willy was far from a fool,
  And that tho’ he was not very quick in his pace,
  In the end “slow and steady” would win in the race.

  Years passed—­Fred grew idle and peevish and queer;
  Took to skittles, bad language, tobacco, and beer: 
  Grew tired of his work, when it scarce was begun;
  Was Jack of all trades and the master of none.

  He began as a labourer, then was a clerk;
  Drove a hansom in London by way of a “lark;”
  Enlisted, deserted, and finally fled
  Abroad, and was thought by his friends to be dead.

  But Willy meanwhile was content with his lot;
  He was slow, but he always was found on the spot;
  He wasted no money on skittles and ale,
  But put by his pence, when he could, without fail.

  To the Penny Bank weekly his savings he took,
  And soon had a pretty round sum in his book: 
  No miser was he, but he thought it sound sense
  In the days of his youth to put by a few pence.

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Sagittulae, Random Verses from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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