Page:Collected poems vol 2 de la mare.djvu/160

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

FOUR QUEER TALES

Till morning found him come into a country
Where none his Bad Face knew.

Past Mountain, River, Forest, River, Mountain —
That Thief's lean shanks sped on,
Till Evening found him knocking at a Dark House,
His breath now well-nigh gone.

There came a little maid and asked his business;
A Cobbler dwelt within;
And though she much misliked the Bag he carried,
She led the Bad Man in.

He bargained with the Cobbler for a lodging
And soft laid down his Sack —
In the Dead of Night, with none to spy or listen —
From off his weary back.

And he taught the little Chicks to call him Father,
And he sold his stolen Pelf,
And bought a Palace, Horses, Slaves, and Peacocks
To ease his wicked self.

And though the children never really loved him,
He was rich past all belief;
While Robin and his Dame o'er Delf and Pewter

Spent all their days in Grief.

144