I shall tell you in rhyme how, once on a time,
Three tailors tramped up to the inn Ingleheim,
On the Rhine, lovely Rhine;
They were broke, but the worst of it all, they were curst
With that malady common to tailors--a thirst
For wine, lots of wine.
"Sweet host," quoth the three, "we're hard up as can be,
Yet skilled in the practice of cunning are we,
On the Rhine, genial Rhine;
And we pledge you we will impart you that skill
Right quickly and fully, providing you'll fill
Us with wine, cooling wine."
But that host shook his head, and he warily said:
"Though cunning be good, we take money instead,
On the Rhine, thrifty Rhine;
If ye fancy ye may without pelf have your way
You'll find that there's both host and the devil to pay
For your wine, costly wine."
Then the first knavish wight took his needle so bright
And threaded its eye with a wee ray of light
From the Rhine, sunny Rhine;
And, in such a deft way, patched a mirror that day
That where it was mended no expert could say--
Done so fine 't was for wine.
The second thereat spied a poor little gnat
Go toiling along on his nose broad and flat
Towards the Rhine, pleasant Rhine;
"Aha, tiny friend, I should hate to offend,
But your stockings need darning"--which same did he mend,
All for wine, soothing wine.
And next there occurred what you'll deem quite absurd--
His needle a space in the wall thrust the third,
By the Rhine, wondrous Rhine;
And then all so spry, he leapt through the eye
Of that thin cambric needle--nay, think you I'd lie
About wine--not for wine.
The landlord allowed (with a smile) he was proud
To do the fair thing by that talented crowd
On the Rhine, generous Rhine.
So a thimble filled he as full as could be--
"Drink long and drink hearty, my jolly friends three,
Of my wine, filling wine."