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In every case of argumentation

It is full because it is hollow.
For, not having a top, and no inside things,
It turns top-heavy when Tiger springs,
And, making a kind of balancing pause,
Keeps holding the animal up by his claws,

In a manner that seems to fret it;
While Short-and-stout, in a state of doubt,
Keeps on his belly a sharp lookout;
And Tall-and-thin, with an impudent grin,

Exults in his way,

As much as to say,
“I only wish you may get it!
But much as I may respect your ability,
I don't see at present the great probability."

The Tiger has leapt up, heart and soul.
It 's clear he meant to go the whole
Hog, in his hungry efforts to seize
The two defianceful Bengalese.

But the Tub! the Tub!
Ay, there 's the rub!
At present he 's balanced atop of the Tub,
His fore legs inside,

And the rest of his hide,
Not weighing so much as his head and his legs,

And having no hand in

A pure understandin'
Of the just equilibrium of casks and of kegs,

Not bred up in attics,

Nor taught mathematics, To work out the problems of Euclid with pegs,He has plunged with the impetus wild of a lover, And the Tub has loomed large, balanced, paused, and

turned over.

The Tiger at first had a hobby-horse ride,
But now he is decently quartered inside;

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And the question is next, long as fortune may frown or

him, How the two Bengalese are to keep the Tub down on


'Bout this there 's no blunder,
The Tiger is under

The Tub!
My verse need not run

To the length of a sonnet,
To tell how the Bengalese

Both jumped upon it,
While the beautiful barrel

Keeps acting as bonnet
To the Tiger inside,

Who no more in his pride
Can roam over jungle and plain,
But sheltered alike from the sun and the rain,

Around its interior his sides deigns to rub

With a fearful hub-bub,
And longs for his freedom again.

The two Bengalese,
Not at all at their ease,
Hear him roar,
And deplore

Their prospects as sore,
Forgetting both picnic and flask;

Each, wondering, dumb,

What of both will become,
Helps the other to press on the cask;

Resigned to their fate,

But increasing their weight
By action of muscle and sinew,
In order that forcibly you, Mr. Tub,

Whom their niggers this morning
Rolled here with their grub,
May still keep the Tiger within you.

On the top of the Tub,
In the warmest of shirts,

The thin man stands,
While the fat by his skirts
Holds, anxiously puffing and blowing;

And the thin peers over the top of the cask,
“Is there any hope for us?”

As much as to ask,
With a countenance cunning and knowing;
And just as he mournfully 'gins to bewail,

In a grief-song that ought to be sung whole,
He twigs the long end of the old Tiger's tail
As it twists itself out of the bung-hole.

Then, sharp on the watch,
He gives it a catch,
And shouts to the Tiger,

“You ’ve now got your match;
You may rush and may riot, may wriggle and roar,
But I 'm blest if I 'll let your tail gc any more!”
It 's as safe as a young roasted pig in a larder,
And no two Bengalese could hold on by it harder.
With the Tiger's tail clenched fast in his fist,
And his own coat-tail grasped fast to assist,
Stands Tall-and-thin with Short-and-stout,
Both on the top of the Tub to scout,
Tiger within and they without,

And both in a pretty pickle.
The Tiger begins by giving a bound;
The Tub 's half turned, but the men are found
To have very carefully jumped to the ground-

At trifles they must not stickle.
It 's no use quaking and turning pale,
Pluck and patience must now prevail,
They must keep a hold on the Tiger's tail,

And neither one be fickle.
There they must pull, if they pull for weeks,
Straining their stomachs and bursting their cheeks,

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While Tiger alternately roars and squeaks,

Trying to break away from 'em;
They must keep the Tub turned over his back,
And never let his long tail get slack,

For fear he should win the day from 'em.
Yes, yes, they must hold him tight,
From night till morning, from morn till night,
Must n't stop to eat, must n't stop to weep,
Must n't stop to drink, must n't stop to sleep, —
No cry, no laugh, no rest, no grub,
Till they starve the Tiger under the Tub,

Till the animal dies,

To his own surprise,
With two Bengalese in a deadly quarrel,
And his tail thrust through the hole of a barrel.

Oh dear! oh dear! it's very clear
They can't live so; but they dare n't let go
Fate for a pitying world to wail,
Starving behind a Tiger's tail.
If Invention be Necessity's son,
Now let him tell them what's to be done.
What 's to be done! ha! I see a grin
Of joy on the face of Tall-and-thin,
Some new device he has hit in a trice,
The which he is telling all about
To the gratified gentleman, Short-and-stout.
What 's to be done! what precious fun!
Have n't they found out what 's to be done!
Seel see! what glorious glee!
Notel mark] what a capital lark !
Tiger and Tub, and bung-hole and all,
Bafiled by what is about to befall.
Excellent! marvelous! beautiful! 01
Is n't it now an original go!
What, stop! I'm ready to drop.
Hold! stay! I 'm fainting away.

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Laughter I 'm certain will kill me to-day;
And Short-and-stout is bursting his skin,
And almost in fits is Tall-and-thin,
And Tiger is free, yet they do not quail,

Though temper has all gone wrong with him
Nol they 've tied a knot in the Tiger's tail,

And he carried the Tub along with him;
Ile 's a freehold for life, with a tail out of joint,
And has made his last climax a true knotty point.


The Old Sexton.

NIGR to a grave that was newly made,
Leaned a sexton old on his earth-worn spade;
His work was done, and he paused to wait
The funeral-train at the open gate.
A relic of by-gone days was he,
And his locks were gray as the foamy sea;
And these words came from his lips so thin:
“I gather them in—I gather them in-
Gather-gather-I gather them in.

“I gather them in; for man and boy,
Year after year of grief and joy,
I've builded the houses that lie around
In every nook of this burial ground.
Mother and daughter, father and son,
Come to my solitude one by one;
But come they stranger, or come they kin,
I gather them in—I gather them in.

"Many are with me, yet I 'm alone;
I'm King of the Dead, and I make my throne
On a monument slab of marble cold-
My sceptre of rule is the spade I hold.

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