Page images


8c. &c.

56 He little dreamt, when he set out,

Of running such a rig.”

[ocr errors]


JOHN OLDSTOCK was a store-keeper,

In far-fam'd Seven-Dials;
An ebon nymph grac'd his shop-door-

He dealt in rags and phials.

John was not young, nor was he old:

His years twice two-and-twenty; His form was cast in roughest mould;

But good to all e'er meant he.

He was a sober, careful man,

And constant at his labour;
He'd seen fair days, ere foul began-

Was first to serve a neighbour.

His spouse was fair as spouse could be

To Oldstock quite a treasure : A prudent helpmate—wise as he

But lov'd a little pleasure.

She lovd a little gentle jaunt,

To Highgate or to Hampstead; And sometimes visited an aunt,

Who livd quite snug at Flamstead.

While John, good soul, still plodded on ;

To pleasure's walks a stranger; “ There's nought to me like home," thought John;

6 I ne'er shall be a ranger.”

But men are wayward creatures, sure,

The best of them are fickle; But time can resolution cure

For time's the best of pickle,

So, as at supper sat the pair,

After the day's exertion, Dame spoke so well John told the fair,

He'd take a day's excursion.

And thus he thought, and thus he said,

66 To-morrow we'll rise early; And spend a day with Ann and Fred,

And Mister and Mistress Shirley.

“ We've seen but nought of life you

know; For once we'll have a glimmer; So, love, get ready-we will go

To Gravesend, by the steamer.”

The dame return'd him many smiles

For she did never grumble;
As ten was booming thro' Saint Giles',

They into bed did tumble.


'Twas six o'clock (they rose at five)—

The sun was up and brightning; The parlour ready-friends arrive,

The cat and kitten frightning.

For John, as soon as he awoke,

Set off to fetch the party;
And when he'd found the street and folk,

Invited them right hearty.

Few friends had John-but these were true, And

merry ones beside: For all his other friends--the crew

Had turn'd with fortune's tide.

Well, now at breakfast sit the lot,

And joy beams round each feature; They talk of Gravesend, and what not;

And all are full of glee, sure.

[ocr errors]

And now the hour is drawing near

The time for them to sally;
The hamper fill’d with goodly cheer-

No longer need they dally.

A coach is calld—they mean to ride,

And quickly all are seated,
Save John, who meant to sit outside,

Lest he should be o’erheated.

Well, now the door is clos’d at last,

Up bustles Mister Crottles;
The dealer cries, “Friend, not so fast !

I want a few good bottles !”

John Oldstock was not pleas'd to find

A hindrance to his jaunting;
But wisely thought he'd stay behind-

In prudence seldom wanting.

Fain would his friends have stay'd for John,

But this he'd not allow:
He told the coachman to drive on,

And he would quickly follow.

« PreviousContinue »