The Mishap

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"Why art thou weeping, sister? Why is thy cheek so pale?Look up, dear Jane, and tell me What is it thou dost ail?

"I know thy will is froward, Thy feelings warm and keen,And that that Augustus Howard For weeks has not been seen.

"I know how much you loved him; But I know thou dost not weepFor him; -- for though his passion be, His purse is noways deep.

"Then tell me why those teardrops; What means this woful mood?Say, has the tax-collector Been calling, and been rude?

"Or has that hateful grocer, The slave! been here to-day?Of course he had, by morrow's noon, A heavy bill to pay!

"Come, on thy brother's bosom Unburden all thy woes;Look up, look up, sweet sister; There, dearest, blow your nose."

"Oh, John, 'tis not the grocer, For his account; althoughHow ever he is to be paid, I really do not know.

"'Tis not the tax-collector; Though by his fell command,They've seized our old paternal clock, And new umbrella-stand:

"Nor that Augustus Howard, Whom I despise almost, --But the soot's come down the chimney, John, And fairly spoiled the roast!"

© Aytoun William Edmonstoune