Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/49

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39
THE READING-CLUB.

THE VILLAGE CHOIR.

Half a bar, half a bar,
Half a bar onward!
Into an awful ditch,
Choir and precentor hitch,
Into a mess of pitch,
They led the Old Hundred.
Trebles to right of them,
Tenors to left of them,
Basses in front of them,
Bellowed and thundered.
Oh, that precentor's look,
When the sopranos took
Their own time and hook,
From the Old Hundred!

Screeched all the trebles here,
Boggled the tenors there,
Raising the parson's hair,
While his mind wandered;
Theirs not to reason why
This psalm was pitched too high:
Theirs but to gasp and cry
Out the Old Hundred.
Trebles to right of them,
Tenors to left of them,
Basses in front of them,
Bellowed and thundered.
Stormed they with shout and yell,
Not wise they sang, nor well,
Drowning the sexton's bell,
While all the church wondered.

Dire the precentor's glare,
Flashed his pitchfork in air,
Sounding the fresh keys to bear
Out the Old Hundred.
Swiftly he turned his back,
Reached he his hat from rack,
Then from the screaming pack
Himself he sundered.