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THE ONE-HOSS SHAY ; | Step and prop-iron, bolt and screw,
Spring, tire, axle, and linchpin too,
Steel of the finest, bright and blue;
Thorough brace bison-skin, thick and wide ;
Boot, top, dasher, from tough old hide HAVE you heard of the wonderful one-hoss shay,
Found in the pit when the tanner died. That was built in such a logical way
That was the way he “put her through." It ran a hundred years to a day,
“ There !" said the Deacon, “naow she 'll dew!" And then of a sudden, it — ah, but stay, I'll tell you what happened without delay,
Do ! I tell you, I rather guess Scaring the parson into fits,
She was a wonder, and nothing less ! Frightening people out of their wits, —
Colts grew horses, beards turned gray, Have you ever heard of that, I say?
Deacon and deaconess dropped away,
Children and grandchildren, — where were they ! Seventeen hundred and fifty-five.
But there stood the stout old one-hoss shay Georgius Secundus was then alive,
As fresh as on Lisbon-earthquake-day !
EIGHTEEN HUNDRED ; - it came and found Saw the earth open and gulp her down,
The Deacon's inasterpiece strong and sound. And Braddock's army was done so brown, Eighteen hundred increased by ten ;Left without a scalp to its crown.
“Hahnsum kerridge" they called it then. It was on the terrible Earthquake-day
Eighteen hundred and twenty came ; That the Deacon finished the one-hoss shay.
Running as usual ; much the same.
Thirty and forty at last arrive,
And then came fifty, and FIFTY-FIVE.
Little of all we value here
Wakes on the morn of its hundredth year In screw, bolt, thoroughbrace, -- lurking still, Without both feeling and looking queer. Find it somewhere you must and will, -- In fact, there's nothing that keeps its youth, Above or below, or within or without,
So far as I know, but a tree and truth. And that's the reason, beyond a doubt,
(This is a moral that runs at large ; A chaise breaks down, but does n't wear out. Take it. -- You 're welcome. - No extra charge.)
But the Deacon swore (as Deacons do,
| FIRST OF NOVEMBER, — the Earthquake-day. With an “I dew vum,” or an “I tell yeou,")
There are traces of age in the one-hoss shay, He would build one shay to beat the taown
A general flavor of mild decay, . 'n' the keounty 'n' all the kentry raoun’;
But nothing local as one may say. It should be so built that it could n' break daown;! There could n't be. – for the Deacon's art - “Fur," said the Deacon, "'t's mighty plain | Had made it so like in every part Thut the weakes' place mus' stan' the strain ; That there was n't a chance for one to start. 'n' the way t' fix it, uz I maintain,
For the wheels were just as strong as the thills, Is only jest
And the floor was just as strong as the sills, T make that place uz strong uz the rest.”
And the panels just as strong as the floor,
And the whippletree neither less nor more, So the Deacon inquired of the village folk
And the back-cross bar as strong as the fore, Where he could find the strongest oak,
And spring and axle and hub encore. That could n't be split nor bent nor broke, –
And yet, as a whole, it is past a doubt
In another hour it will be worn out !
“Huddup!” said the parson. — Off went they And the wedges flev from between their lips, The parson was working his Sunday's text, — : Their blunt ends frizzled like celery-tips; | Had got to fifthly, and stopped perplexed
At what the - Moses — was coming next. Hang the Almanac's cheat and the Catalogue's All at once the horse stood still,
spite ! Close by the meet'n'-house on the hill.
Old Time is a liar! We're twenty to-night! - First a shiver, and then a thrill, Then something decidedly like a spill,
We're twenty! We're twenty! Who says we And the parson was sitting upon a rock,
are more ? At half past nine by the meet'n'-house clock, - He's tipsy, - young jackanapes !-- show him the Just the hour of the Earthquake shock !
door! - What do you think the parson found, “Gray temples at twenty ?" — Yes ! white, if we When he got up and stared around ?
please ; The poor old chaise in a heap or mound, Where the snow-flakes fall thickest there's nothAs if it had been to the mill and ground !
ing can freeze ! You see, of course, if you 're not a dunce, How it went to pieces all at once,
Was it snowing I spoke of ? Excuse the misAll at once, and nothing first, –
take ! Just as bubbles do when they burst.
Look close, — you will see not a sign of a flake!
We want some new garlands for those we have End of the wonderful one-hoss shay.
shed, Logic is logic. That's all I say.
And these are white roses in place of the red.
We've a trick, we young fellows, you may have
Of talking (in public) as if we were old :
That boy we call “Doctor," and this we call RUDOLPH, professor of the headsman's trade,
“Judge ;" — Alike was famous for his arm and blade.
It's a neat little fiction, – of course it's all One day a prisoner Justice had to kill
fudge. Knelt at the block to test the artist's skill. Bare-armed, swart-visaged, gaunt, and shaggy- That fellow's the “Speaker," — the one on the browed,
right; Rudolph the headsman rose above the crowd. “Mr. Mayor," my young one, how are you toHis falchion lightened with a sudden gleam,
night? As the pike's armor flashes in the stream. That's our “Member of Congress," we say when He sheathed his blade ; he turned as if to go ;
we chaff; The victim knelt, still waiting for the blow. There's the “ Reverend " What's his name?,“Why strikest not ? Perform thy murderous don't make me laugh!
act," The prisoner said. (His voice was slightly That boy with the grave mathematical look cracked.)
Made believe he had written a wonderful book, “Friend, I have struck," the artist straight re. And the ROYAL SOCIETY thought it was true! plied ;
So they chose him right in, — a good joke it was “Wait but one moment, and yourself decide."
too ! He held his snuff-box, — “Now then, if you please!"
There's a boy, we pretend, with a three-decker The prisoner sniffed, and, with a crashing sneeze, brain, Off his head tumbled, bowled along the foor, That could harness a team with a logical chain ; Bounced down the steps ; – the prisoner said no When he spoke for our manhood in syllabled more !
fire, OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.
We called him “ The Justice," but now he's ·
And there's a nice youngster of excellent pith,
Fate tried to conceal him by naming him Smith, Has there any old fellow got mixed with the But he shouted a song for the brave and the boys?
free, — if there has, take him out, without making a Just read on his medal, “My country," "of. uoise.