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Poor Betty, in this sad distemper,
The Doctor's self could hardly spare;
Unworthy things she talked, and wild;
Even he, of cattle the most mild
The Pony had his share.
But now she 's fairly in the town,
And to the Doctor's door she hies;
'Tis silence all on every side;
The town so long, the town so wide,
Is silent as the skies.
And now she's at the Doctor's door,
She lifts the knocker, rap, rap, rap;
The Doctor at the casement shows
His glimmering eyes that peep and doze!
And one hand rubs his old night-cap.
“ Oh Doctor! Doctor! where's my Johnny ?” “ I'm here, what is't you want with me ?” “Oh Sir! you know I 'm Betty Foy, And I have lost my poor dear Boy, You know him-him
often see ;
He's not so wise as some folks be:" “ The devil take his wisdom !” said The Doctor, looking somewhat grim, “What woman! should I know of him ?" And, grumbling, he went back to bed!
“ O woe is me! O woe is me!
Here will I die; here will I die;
I thought to find my lost one here,
But he is neither far nor near,
Oh! what a wretched Mother I !"
She stops, she stands, she looks about;
Which way to turn she cannot tell.
Poor Betty! it would ease her pain
If she had heart to knock again ;
- The clock strikes three-a dismal knell!
Then up along the town she hies,
No wonder if her senses fail ;
This piteous news so much it shocked her,
She quite forgot to send the Doctor
old Susan Gale.
And now she's high upon the down,
And she can see a mile of road;
“ O cruel! I'm almost threescore;
Such night as this was ne'er before,
There 's not a single soul abroad.”
She listens, but she cannot hear
The foot of horse, the voice of man;
The streams with softest sound are flowing,
The grass you almost hear it growing,
You hear it now, if e'er you can.
The owlets through the long blue night
Are shouting to each other still ;
Fond lovers ! yet not quite hob nob,
They lengthen out the tremulous sob,
That echoes far from hill to hill.
Poor Betty now has lost all hope,
Her thoughts are bent on deadly sin,
A green-grown pond she just has past,
And from the brink she hurries fast,
Lest she should drown herself therein.
And now she sits her down and weeps ;
Such tears she never shed before;
“Oh dear, dear Pony! my sweet joy
Oh carry back my Idiot Boy!
And we'll ne'er o'erload thee more."
A thought is come into her head :
The Pony he is mild and good,
And we have always used him well ;
Perhaps he 's gone along the dell,
And carried Johnny to the wood.
Then up she springs as if on wings;
She thinks no more of deadly sin ;
If Betty fifty ponds should see,
The last of all her thoughts would be
To drown herself therein,
O Reader! now that I might tell
What Johnny and his horse are doing !
What they ’ve been doing all this time,
Oh could I put it into rhyme,
A most delightful tale pursuing !
Perhaps, and no unlikely thought!
He with his Pony now doth roam
The cliffs and peaks so high that are,
To lay his hands upon a star,
And in his pocket bring it home.
Perhaps he turn'd himself about,
His face unto his horse's tail,
And, still and mute, in wonder lost,
All silent as a horseman-ghost,
He travels slowly down the vale.
And now, perhaps, is hunting sheep
A fierce and dreadful hunter he;
Yon valley, now so trim and green,
In five months' time, should he be seen,
A desert wilderness will be!
Perhaps, with head and heels on fire,
And like the very soul of evil,
He's galloping away, away,
And so will gallop on for aye,
The bane of all that dread the devil !
I to the Muses have been bound
These fourteen years, by strong indentures:
O gentle Muses ! let me tell
But half of what to him befel;
He surely met with strange adventures.
O gentle Muses ! is this kind ?
Why will ye thus my suit repel?
further aid bereave me? And can ye thus unfriended leave me: Ye Muses! whom I love so well ?
Who's yon, that, near the waterfall,
Which thunders down with headlong force,
Beneath the moon, yet shining fair,
As careless as if nothing were,
Sits upright on a feeding horse?
Unto his horse—there feeding free,
He seems, I think, the rein to give ;
Of moon or stars he takes no heed ;
Of such we in romances read,
—"Tis Johnny! Johnny! as I live.
And that's the very Pony, too!
Where is she, where is Betty Foy?
She hardly can sustain her fears ;
The roaring waterfall she hears,
And cannot find her Idiot Boy.
Your Pony's worth his weight in gold;
Then calm your terrors, Betty Foy!
She's coming from among the trees,
And now all full in view she sees
Him whom she loves, her Idiot Boy.
And Betty sees the Pony too:
Why stand you thus, good Betty Foy?
It is no goblin, 't is no ghost,
'T is he whom you so long have lost,
He whom you love, your Idiot Boy.
She looks again—her arms are up-
She screams—she cannot move for joy;
She darts, as with a torrent's force,
She almost has o'erturned the Horse,
And fast she holds her Idiot Boy.
And Johnny burrs and laughs aloud;
Whether in cunning or in joy
I cannot tell ; but while he laughs,
Betty a drunken pleasure quaffs
To hear again her Idiot Boy.
And now she's at the Pony's tail,
And now is at the Pony's head,
On that side now, and now on this;
Aud, almost stifled with her bliss,
A few sad tears does Betty shed.