Uncle Arly

I

O! My aged Uncle Arly!
Sitting on a heap of Barley
      Thro' the silent hours of night,---
Close beside a leafy thicket:---
On his nose there was a Cricket,---
In his hat a Railway-Ticket;---
      (But his shoes were far too tight.)

 

II

Long ago, in youth, he squander'd
All his goods away, and wander'd
      To the Tiniskoop-hills afar.
There on golden sunsets blazing,
Every morning found him gazing,---
Singing---"Orb! you're quite amazing!
      How I wonder what you are!"

 

III

Like the ancient Medes and Persians,
Always by his own exertions
      He subsisted on those hills;---
Whiles,---by teaching children spelling,---
Or at times by merely yelling,---
Or at intervals by selling
      "Propter's Nicodemus Pills."

 

IV

Later, in his morning rambles
He perceived the moving brambles---
      Something square and white disclose;---
"Twas a First-class Railway Ticket;
But, on stooping down to pick it
Off the ground,---a pea-green Cricket
      settled on my uncle's Nose.

 

V

Never---never more,---Oh! never,
Did that Cricket leave him ever,---
      Dawn or evening, day or night;---
Clinging as a constant treasure,---
Chirping with a cheerious measure,---
Wholly to my uncle's pleasure
      (Though his shoes were far too tight.)

 

VI

So for three-and-forty winters,
Till his shoes were worn to splinters,
      All those hills he wander'd o'er,---
Sometimes silent;---sometimes yelling;---
Till he came to Borley-Melling,
Near his old ancestral dwelling;---
      (But his shoes were far too tight.)

 

VII

On a little heap of Barley
Died my aged uncle Arly,
      And they buried him one night;---
Close beside the leafy thicket;---
There,---his hat and Railway-Ticket;---
There,---his ever-faithful Cricket;---
      (But his shoes were far too tight.)


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