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Her broozled flesh and broken banes

Are weel as flesh and banes can be;
She beats the toads that live in stanes,

An' fatten in vacuity!
They die when they 're exposed to air,
They canna thole the atmosphere-
But her! expose her onywhere,

She lives for her annuity.

If mortal means could nick her thread,

Sma' crime it wad appear to me-
Ca't murder-or ca't homicide-

I'd justify 'man' do it tae.
But how to fell a withered wife
That 's carved out o' the tree of life-
The timmer limmer dares the knife

To settle her annuity.

I'd try a shot_but whar's the mark ?

Her vital parts are hid frae me; Her backbone wanders through her sark

In an unkenn'd corkscrewity. She 's palsified, an' shakes her head Sae fast about, ye scarce can see it, It 's past the power o' steel or lead

To settle her annuity.

She might be drowned; but go she 'll not

Within a mile o' loch or sea;
Or hanged—if cord could grip a throat

O'siccan exiguity.
It 's fitter far to hang the rope-
It draws out like a telescope;
'T wad tak’ a dreadfu' length o' drop

To settle her annuity.

Will poison do it ? It has been tried,

But be 't in hash or fricassee,



That 's just the dish she can't abide,

Whatever kind o' gout it hae.
It 's needless to assail her doubts,
She gangs by instinct, like the brutes,
An' only eats an' drinks what suits

Hersel' and her annuity.

The Bible


o' man
Threescore and ten, perchance, may be;
She 's ninety-four. Let them who can,

Explain the incongruity.
She should hae lived afore the flood-
She 's come o' patriarchal blood,
She's some auld Pagan mummified

Alive for her annuity.

She 's been embalmed inside and oot

She 's sauted to the last degree-
There 's pickle in her very snooth

Sae caper-like an' cruety.
Lot's wife was fresh compared to her-
They ’ve kyanized the useless knir,
She canna decompose-nae mair

Than her accursed annuity.

The water-drop wears out the rock,

As this eternal jaud wears me;
I could withstand the single shock,

But not the continuity.
It 's pay me here, an' pay me there,
An' pay me, pay me, evermair-
I'll gang demented wi' despair-
I 'm charged for her annuity.


The Forging of the Anchor.

Come, see the Dolphin's anchor forged; 't is at a white heat


The bellows ceased, the flames decreased; though on the

forge's brow The little flames still fitfully play through the sable mound; And fitfully you still may see the grim smiths ranking

round, All clad in leathern panoply, their broad hands only bare; Some rest upon their sledges here, some work the windlass


The windlass strains the tackle-chains, the black mound

heaves below, And red and deep a hundred veins burst out at every throe; It rises, roars, rends all outright,-0 Vulcan, what a glow! 'T is blinding white, 't is blasting bright, the high sun shines

not so! The high sun sees not, on the earth, such fiery fearful

show,The roof-ribs swarth, the candent hearth, the ruddy, lurid


Of smiths that stand, an ardent band, like men before the

foe; As, quivering through his fleece of flame, the sailing mon

ster slow Sinks on the anvil,—all about the faces fiery grow,“ Hurrah!” they shout, “leap out, leap out:" bang, bang,

the sledges go; Hurrah! the jetted lightnings are hissing high and low; A hailing fount of fire is struck at every squashing blow; The leathern mail rebounds the hail; the rattling cinders

strew The ground around; at every bound the sweltering fount

ains flow; And thick and loud the swinking crowd, at every stroke,

pant “Ho!"



Leap out, leap out, my masters; leap out and lay on load!
Let 's forge a goodly anchor, a bower, thick and broad;
For a heart of oak is hanging on every blow, I bode,
And I see the good ship riding, all in a perilous road;
The low reef roaring on her lee, the roll of ocean poured
From stem to stern, sea after sea, the mainmast by the

board; The bulwarks down, the rudder gone, the boats stove at the

chains, But courage still, brave mariners, the bower still remains, And not an inch to flinch he deigns save when ye pitch sky

high, Then moves his head, as though he said, “ Fear nothing,

here am I!" Swing in your strokes in order, let foot and hand keep time, Your blows make music sweeter far than any steeple's

chime! But while you sling your sledges, sing; and let the burden

be, The Anchor is the Anvil King, and royal craftsmen we; Strike in, strike in, the sparks begin to dull their rustling

red! Our hammers ring with sharper din, our work will soon be

sped; Our anchor soon must change his bed of fiery rich array For a hammock at the roaring bows, or an oozy couch of


Our anchor soon must change the lay of merry craftsmen

here, For the Yeo-heave-o, and the Heave-away, and the sighing

seaman's cheer; When, weighing slow, at eve they go far, far from love and

home, And sobbing sweethearts, in a row, wail o'er the ocean foam.

In livid and obdurate gloom, he darkens down at last.
A shapely one he is, and strong as e'er from cạt was cast.

O trusted and trustworthy guard, if thou hadst life like me, What pleasures would thy toils reward beneath the deep

green sea!

O deep sea-diver, who might then behold such sights as

thou? The hoary monsters' palaces! methinks what joy 't were


To go plumb plunging down amid the assembly of the

whales, And feel the churned sea round me boil beneath their

scourging tails ! Then deep in tangle-woods to fight the fierce sea unicorn, And send him foiled and bellowing back, for all his ivory

horn; To leave the subtle sworder-fish of bony blade forlorn; And for the ghastly-grinning shark, to laugh his jaws to

scorn; To leap down on the kraken's back, where 'mid Norwegian

isles He lies, a lubber anchorage for sudden shallowed miles, Till snorting, like an under-sea volcano, off he rolls; Meanwhile to swing, a-buffeting the far astonished shoals Of his black-browsing ocean-calves, or haply in a cove Shell-strown, and consecrate of old to some Undine's love, To find the long-haired mermaidens; or, hard by icy lands, To wrestle with the sea-serpent, upon cerulean sands.

O broad-armed fisher of the deep, whose sports can equal

thine? The Dolphin weighs a thousand tons, that tugs thy cable


And night by night 't is thy delight, thy glory day by day,
Through sable sea and breaker white, the giant game to play.
But, shamer of our little sports, forgive the name I gave!
A fisher's joy is to destroy—thine office is to save.
O lodger in the sea-kings' halls, couldst thou but understand

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