Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/67

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57
THE READING-CLUB.

So you're old friend Isaac's nephew?
Born in Granville! Sho! Well, well!
—What! Policeman! Did you call me?
That a rascal going there?
Well, sir, do you know, I thought so,
And I played him pretty fair;
Hundred-dollar bill I gave him,—
Counterfeit,—and got his ten!
Ten ahead! No! You don't tell me!
This bad too? Sho! Sold again!

THE RAJAH'S CLOCK.

Rajah Balpoora, Prince of Jullinder,
Reigned in the land where the Five Rivers ran;
A lordly tyrant, with none to hinder
His wildest pleasure or maddest plan.
His hall was beauty, his throne was splendor,
His meat was dainties of every zone;
Nor ever a joy that wealth can render,
His whimsical fancy left unknown.
For afar, in sight of his palace windows,
His realm was gardens on every hand;
And the feet of a hundred thousand Hindoos
Came and went at his least command.
But one thing, worthy his pride to show it,
Among his treasures, eclipsed them all;
'Twas the marvel of sage and the praise of poet,—
The wonderful clock in his palace hall.
Brain and fingers of matchless cunning
Patiently planned the strange machine,—
Framed, and balanced, and set it running,
With a living heart in its wheels unseen.
Behind the dial, the iron pallet
Counted the seconds; and just below
Hung a silver gong, and a brazen mallet
For every hour had a brazen blow;
And near, like windrowed leaves in the weather,
Or battle-wrecks at a charnel door,
Lay mock men's limbs all huddled together
In a shapeless heap on a marble floor.