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This flower she stopped at, finger on lip,

Stooped over, in doubt, as settling its claim; Till she gave me, with pride to make no slip,

Its soft meandering Spanish name. What a name! Was it love, or praise ?

Speech half-asleep, or song half-awake? I must learn Spanish, one of these days,

Only for that ow, sweet name's sake.

Roses, if I live and do well,

I may bring her, one of these days, To fix you fast with as fine a spell,

Fit you each with his Spanish phrase ! But do not detain me now; for she lingers

There, like sunshine over the ground, And ever I see her soft white fingers

Searching after the bud she found.

Flower, you Spaniard, look that you grow not,

Stay as you are and be loved forever! Bud, if I kiss you 't is that you blow not,

Mind, the shut pink mouth opens never ! For while thus it pouts, her fingers wrestle,

Twinkling the audacious leaves between, Till round they turn and down they nestle, –

Is not the dear mark still to be seen?

Where I find her not, beauties vanish;

Whither I follow her, beauties flee;
Is there no method to tell her in Spanish

June's twice June since she breathed it with me? Come, bud, show me the least of her traces,

Treasure my lady's lightest footfall – Ah, you may flout and turn up your faces, –

Roses, you are not so fair after all !



By famous Hanover city ;
The river Weser, deep and wide,
Washes its wall on the southern side;

A pleasanter spot you never spied;
But, when begins my ditty,

Almost five hundred years ago,
To see the townsfolk suffer so

From vermin, was a pity.

They fought the dogs, and killed the cats,

And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,

And licked the soup from the cook's own ladles, Split open the kegs of salted sprats, Made nests inside men's Sunday hats, And even spoiled the women's chats,

By drowning their speaking

With shrieking and squeaking In fifty different sharps and flats.

At last the people in a body

To the Town Hall came flocking : «'T is clear,” cried they, “our Mayor 's a noddy;

And as for our Corporation, — shocking
To think we buy gowns lined with ermine
For dolts that can't or won't determine
What's best to rid us of our vermin !
You hope, because you 're old and obese,
To find in the furry civic robe ease ?
Rouse up, Sirs ! Give your brains a racking
To find the remedy we ’re lacking,
Or, sure as fate, we 'll send you packing !”

At this the Mayor and Corporation
Quaked with a mighty consternation.

An hour they sat in counsel,

At length the Mayor broke silence :
“ For a guilder I'd my ermine gown sell;

I wish I were a mile hence !
It's easy to bid one rack one's brain, -
I'm sure my poor head aches again
I've scratched it so, and all in vain.
O for a trap, a trap, a trap!”
Just as he said this, what should hap
At the chamber door but a gentle tap ?
“ Bless us,” cried the Mayor, “what's that?
(With the Corporation as he sat,
Looking little, though wondrous fat;
Nor brighter was his eye, nor moister
Than a too long-opened oyster,
Save when at noon his paunch grew mutinous
For a plate of turtle green and glutinous)

Only a scraping of shoes on the mat?
Anything like the sound of a rat
Makes my heart go pit-a-pat!”


• Come in!” — the Mayor cried, looking bigger:
And in did come the strangest figure !
His queer long coat from heel to head
Was half of yellow and half of red ;
And he himself was tall and thin,
With sharp blue eyes, each like a pin,
And light loose hair, yet swarthy skin,
No tuft on cheek nor beard on chin,
But lips where smiles went out and in,
There was no guessing his kith and kin!
And nobody could enough admire
The tall man and his quaint attire :
Quoth one: “ It's as my great-grandsire,
Starting up at the Trump of Doom's tone,
Had walked this way from his painted tomb-stone !”

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He advanced to the council-table :
And, “ Please your honors,” said he, “I'm able,
By means of a secret charm, to draw
All creatures living beneath the sun,
That creep, or swim, or fly, or run,
After me so as you never saw !
And I chiefly use my charm
On creatures that do people harm,
The mole, and toad, and newt, and viper;
Ånd people call me the Pied Piper.”
(And here they noticed round his neck
A scarf of red and yellow stripe,

To match with his coat of the selfsame check ;
And at the scarfs end hung a pipe;
And his fingers, they noticed, were ever straying
As if impatient to be playing
Upon this pipe, as low it dangled
Over his vesture so old-fangled.)

Yet,” said he, “poor piper as I am, In Tartary I freed the Cham Last June from his huge swarms of gnats ; I eased in Asia the Nizam Of a monstrous brood of vanipyre-buts : And, as for what your brain bewilders, If I can rid your town of rats Will you give me a thousand guilders ? “One ? fifty thousand !” – was the exclamation Of the astonished Mayor and Corporation.

Into the street the Piper stept,

Smiling first a little smile,
As if he new what magic slept

In his quiet pipe the while;
Then, like a musical adept,
To blow the pipe his lips he wrinkled,
And green and blue his sharp eyes twinkled
Like a candle flame where salt is sprinkled ;
And ere three shrill notes the pipe uttered,
You heard as if an army muttered ;

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And the muttering grew to a grumbling;
And the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling,
And out of the houses the rats came tumbling.
Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats,
Brown rats, black rats, gray rats, tawny rats,
Grave old plodders, gay young friskers,

Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins,

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