SAM'S THREE WISHES
Then, sudden, a soft little wind puffed by,
'Twixt the thick-thatched roof and the star-sown sky;
And died. And then
That deep, dead, wonderful silence again.
Then — soft as a rattle a-counting her seeds
In the midst of a tangle of withered-up weeds —
Came a faint, faint knocking, a rustle like silk,
And a breath at the keyhole as soft as milk —
Still as the flit of a moth. And then . . .
That infinitesimal knocking again.
Sam lifted his chin from his fists. He listened.
His wandering eyes in the candle glistened.
Then slowly, slowly, rolled round by degrees —
And there sat a mouse on the top of his cheese.
He stared at this Midget, and it at him,
Over the edge of his mug's round rim.
And — as if it were Christian — he says, "Did 'ee hear
A faint little tap-tap-tap-tapping, my dear?
Vou was at supper and me in a maze,
'Tis dark for a caller in these lone days,
There's nowt in the larder. We're both of us old.
And all of my loved ones sleep under the mould.
And yet — and yet — as I've told 'ee before. . ."
But if Sam's story youd read to the end,
Turn back to page 1, and press onward, dear friend;