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O my pleasant garden-plot!

A shrubbery was beside it,
And an old and mossy Apple-tree,

With a woodbine wreathed to hide it.

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Oft-times I sat within my bower,

Like a king in all his glory;
Oft-times I read, and read for hours,

Some pleasant wondrous story.

I read of Gardens in old times,

Old, stately Gardens, kingly,
Where people walk'd in gorgeous crowds,

Or for silent musing, singly.
I raised up visions in my brain,

The noblest and the fairest;
But still I loved my Garden best,

And thought it far the rarest.

And all among my flowers I walk'd,

Like a miser 'mid his treasure ;
For the pleasant plot of Garden ground
Was a world of endless pleasure.

HOWITT.

THE TRUE STORY OF WEB-SPINNER.

WEB-SPINNER was a miser old,

Who came of low degree;
His body was large, his legs were thin,

And he kept bad company;

And his visage had the evil look

Of a black felon grim; To all the country he was known,

But none spoke well of him.

His house was seven stories high,

In a corner of the street,
And it always had a dirty look,

When other homes weré neat;

Up in his garret dark he lived,

And from the windows high Look'd out in the dusky evening

Upon the passers by. Most people thought he lived alone;

Yet many have averr'd, That dismal cries from out his house Were often loudly heard ;

And that none living left his gate,

Although a few went in, For he seized the very beggar old,

And stripp'd him to the skin;

And though he pray'd for mercy,

Yet mercy ne'er was shown The miser cut his body up,

And pick'd him bone from bone.

Thus people said, and all believed

The dismal story true;
As it was told to me, in truth,

I tell it so to you.
There was an ancient widow-

One Madgy, de la Moth,
A stranger to the man, or she

Had not gone there in troth;

But she was poor, and wander'd out

At nightfall in the street,
To beg from rich men's tables

Dry scraps of broken meat.

So she knock'd at old Web-Spinner's door,

With a modest tap, and low,
And down stairs came he speedily,

Like an arrow from a bow.

“Walk in, walk in, mother!" said he,

And shut the door behind
She thought for such a gentleman,

That he was wondrous kind;

But ere the midnight clock had toll'd, .

Like a tiger of the wood, He had eaten the flesh from off her bones,

And drank of her heart's blood !

Now after this fell deed was done,

A little season's space,
The burly Baron of Bluebottle
Was riding from the chase :

The sport was dull, the day was hot,

The sun was sinking down, When wearily the Baron rode

Into the dusty town.

Says he, “ I'll ask a lodging

At the first house I come to;" With that the gate of Web-Spinner

Came suddenly in view;

Loud was the knock the Baron gave

Down came the churl with glee, Says Bluebottle, “ Good sir, to-night

I ask your courtesy ;

I'm wearied with a long day's chase

My friends are far behind.” “You may need them all,” said Web-Spinner,

“It runneth in my mind.”

“ A Baron am I," says Bluebottle;

“From a foreign land I come.” “ I thought as much,” said Web-Spinner, .

"Fools never stay at home!" Says the Baron, “Churl, what meaneth this?

I defy ye, villain base!" And he wish'd the while in his inmost heart

He was safely from the place.

Web-Spinner ran and lock'd the door,

And a loud laugh, laughed he;
With that each one on the other sprang,

And they wrestled furiously.
The Baron was a man of might,

A swordsman of renown;
But the Miser had the stronger arm,

And kept the Baron down:

Then out he took a little cord,

From a pocket at his side,
And with many a crafty, cruel knot

His hands and feet he tied ;

And bound him down unto the floor,

And said in savage jest, “There's heavy work in store for you ;

So, Baron, take your rest!"

Then up and down his house he went,

Arranging dish and platter, With a dull heavy countenance,

As if nothing were the matter.

At length he seized on Bluebottle,

That strong and burly man,
And with many and many a desperate tug,

To hoist him up began:
And step by step, and step by step,

He went with heavy tread;
But ere he reach'd the garret door,

Poor Bluebottle was dead!

Now all this while, a Magistrate,

Who lived the house hard by,
Had watch'd Web-Spinner's cruelty

Through a window privily:
So in he burst, through bolts and bars,
And vow'd to burn the house with fire,

And level it with the ground;

undering sound.

But the wicked churl, who all his life

Had look'd for such a day,
Pass'd through a trap-door in the wall,

And took himself away:

But where he went no man could'tell;

'T was said that underground, He died a miserable death,

But his body ne'er was found.

Chey pull’d his house down stick and stone,

“For a caitiff vile as he,” Said they," within our quiet town Shall not a dweller be!"

HOWITT.

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