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A MAN 's a fool, I 've heard it said,

Or can, at forty, tell
How with his health a thing agrees,

Be it for ill or well.

Why, to be sure! who doubts a fact

So staring plain and clear? Can tell; but does he know, himself?

That is the question here.


Can tell, ay, vow and swear it 's true,

But all the while he 's wrong; Even at twice forty doesn't well know

The colour of his tongue,

Or how he is, or how he isn't,

Or what agrees or well
Or ill with him, but, not the less,

He's certain he can tell;

And sometimes twice as much can tell

And doubts not he tells true: The pill that has agreed with him

Is just the pill for you;

The pill; the creed Come, open wide

Your mouth, and swallow down;
Well done! On earth your bile is cured;

In heaven, yours is the crown.


Idle tongue and busy eyes
Keep you safe, and make you wise;
Idle eyes and busy tongue
Put you ever in the wrong.

“To your argument a truce;
Who can say tongue 's of no use
Who has heard my Lydia speak,
Though she knows no word of Greek,

“Or that eyes can do no harm,
Cupid's direst, deadliest arm?
Lydia's eyes give you the lie;

Shot by Lydia's eyes, I die.”


SEEHAUS, ACHENSEE, Oct. 9, 1861.

"Miguty pleasant to get in,
Hungry, tired, wet to the skin,
And your fool's name enter here,
And drink wine in place of beer,
Dry and brush wet clothes and hat,
Pat the dog and stroke the cat,
Pay your reckoning, read the blatt,
With th’ obliging kellnerin chat,
This surmise, and wonder that,
Most of all why there 's no mat,
And Scholastica less fat
Than she was this time last year
Couldn't we get her to drink beer?
See what comes of living here,
On the shore of Achen lake,
Far from the Pinacothek,
Ruhmeshall' and Glyptothek,
And the Keller in the Thal,
With its great beer and its small;
Positive she must drink beer,
If in Achen Gasthof here
She would live another year,

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See another summer sun
Here on Achen lake go down,
And not have the young May moon
Shining on her grave as soon
As it shines on Achen lake;
Positive she must forsake
Austrian wineslop, white and red,
Bad for stomach, bad for head,
And to kindly hops and malt,
Malt and hops without a fault,
Turn converted, and adhere
Faithful, blameless, without fear."

So he said – no cavalier,
Though without reproach or fear
So he said, the Munich man,
Longing for the Munich can,
And the Keller in the Thal,
With its great beer and its small,
Then turned out, and back again
Trudged through mud, cold, wind and rain,
Which most pleasant he doesn't know –
Well if it doesn't come on to snow!
Dark the clouds and thick and low,
And the lake it 's surging so
Back to Munich straight he 'll go,
Back into the Zollverein,
And drink beer instead of wine,
In the Keller in the Thal,
With its great beer and its small,
And the view of Achen lake
Take in the Pinacothek,
And some fine day, next July,
When the roads tempt, white and dry,

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And the clouds sail light and high,
And smooth Achen waters lie
Mirroring the bright blue sky,
Come again and read the blatt,
Pat the dog and stroke the cat,
With th' obliging kellnerin chat,
This surmise and wonder that,
Has Scholastica grown fat,
And at long and last a mat
Got to wipe the strangers' feet,
And the stube floor keep neat
He 'll be here and so won't I;
Down on me another sky,
Another sun will look, in Rome,
Dresden, or my sea-girt home,
While on Achen lake I think,
And of Memory's chalice drink,
Idly studious, and the times
Criticising in rough rhymes,
Rhymes as little made as these,
Any but myself to please.

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