Backblock Ballads and Later Verses/The Bore

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The Bore

Ah, prithee, friend, if them hast aught
    Of love and kind regard for me,
Tell not yon bore the stories droll
    That yesternight I told to thee.

Nor tell him stories of thine own,
    Nor chestnut of antiquitee;
Nor quip nor crank, nor anything
    If thou hast aught of love for me.

For sense of humour hath he none,
    No gift for telling tales hath he;
Yet thinks himself, within his heart,
    A wit of wondrous drolleree.

And in the golden summer-time
    With ear a-cock he roameth free,
Collecting quibble, quip, and crank;
    And anecdotes collecteth he.

Then in the dreary winter nights
    He sits him down 'neath my rooftree,
And in a coarse, ungentle voice
    He fires those stories back at me.

He hath no wit for telling tales,
    He laughs where ne'er a point there be;
But sits and murders honest yarns,
    And claims them as his propertee.

And when he laughs I rock and roar,
    And vow he'll be the death o' me.
For, mark thou, friend, my martyrdom—
    He is a creditor to me.

Ay, prithee, friend, if thou hast love
    For goodly jests or care for me,
Then tell him not the merry tale
    That yesternight I told to thee.