Peg Of Limavaddy

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Riding from Coleraine
 (Famed for lovely Kitty),
Came a Cockney bound
 Unto Derry city;
Weary was his soul,
 Shivering and sad, he
Bumped along the road
 Leads to Limavaddy.

Mountains stretch'd around,
 Gloomy was their tinting,
And the horse's hoofs
 Made a dismal clinting;
Wind upon the heath
Howling was and piping,
On the heath and bog,
 Black with many a snipe in.
Mid the bogs of black,
 Silver pools were flashing,
Crows upon their sides
 Picking were and splashing.
Cockney on the car
 Closer folds his plaidy,
Grumbling at the road
 Leads to Limavaddy.

Through the crashing woods
 Autumn brawld and bluster'd,
Tossing round about
 Leaves the hue of mustard
Yonder lay Lough Foyle,
 Which a storm was whipping,
Covering with mist
 Lake, and shores and shipping.
Up and down the hill
 (Nothing could be bolder),
Horse went with a raw
 Bleeding on his shoulder.
"Where are horses changed?"
 Said I to the laddy
Driving on the box:
 "Sir, at Limavaddy."

Limavaddy inn's
 But a humble bait-house,
Where you may procure
 Whiskey and potatoes;
Landlord at the door
 Gives a smiling welcome—
To the shivering wights
 Who to his hotel come.

Landlady within
 Sits and knits a stocking,
With a wary foot
 Baby's cradle rocking.
To the chimney nook
 Having, found admittance,
There I watch a pup
 Playing with two kittens;
(Playing round the fire,
 Which of blazing turf is,
Roaring to the pot
 Which bubbles with the murphies.
And the cradled babe
 Fond the mother nursed it,
Singing it a song
 As she twists the worsted!

Up and down the stair
 Two more young ones patter
(Twins were never seen
 Dirtier nor fatter).
Both have mottled legs,
 Both have snubby noses,
Both have— Here the host
 Kindly interposes:
"Sure you must be froze
 With the sleet and hail, sir:
So will you have some punch,
 Or will you have some ale, sir?"

Presently a maid
 Enters with the liquor
(Half a pint of ale
 Frothing in a beaker).
Gads! didn't know
 What my beating heart meant:
Hebe's self I thought
 Entered the apartment.
As she came she smiled,
 And the smile bewitching,
On my word and honor,
 Lighted all the kitchen!

With a curtsy neat
 Greeting the new comer,
Lovely, smiling Peg
 Offers me the rummer;
But my trembling hand
 Up the beaker tilted,
And the glass of ale
 Every drop I spilt it:
Spilt it every drop
 (Dames, who read my volumes,
Pardon such a word)
 On my what-d'ye-call-'ems!

Witnessing the sight
 Of that dire disaster,
Out began to laugh
 Missis, maid, and master;
Such a merry peal
 'Specially Miss Peg's was,
(As the glass of ale
 Trickling down my legs was,)
That the joyful sound
 Of that mingling laughter
Echoed in my ears
 Many a long day after.

Such a silver peal!
 In the meadows listening,
You who've heard the bells
 Ringing to a christening;
You who ever heard
 Caradori pretty,
Smiling like an angel,
 Singing "Giovinetti;"
Fancy Peggy's laugh,
 Sweet, and clear, and cheerful,
At my pantaloons
 With half a pint of beer full!

When the laugh was done,
 Peg, the pretty hussy,
Moved about the room
 Wonderfully busy;
Now she looks to see
 If the kettle keep hot;
Now she rubs the spoons,
 Now she cleans the teapot;
Now she sets the cups
 Trimly and secure:
Now she scours a pot,
 And so it was I drew her.

Thus it was I drew her
 Scouring of a kettle,
(Faith! her blushing cheeks
 Redden'd on the metal!)
Ah! but 'tis in vain
 That I try to sketch it;
The pot perhaps is like,
 But Peggy's face is wretched.
No the best of lead
 And of indian-rubber
Never could depict
 That sweet kettle-scrubber!

See her as she moves
 Scarce the ground she touches,
Airy as a fay,
 Graceful as a duchess;
Bare her rounded arm,
 Bare her little leg is,
Vestris never show'd
 Ankles like to Peggy's.
Braided is her hair,
 Soft her look and modest,
Slim her little waist
 Comfortably bodiced.

This I do declare,
 Happy is the laddy
Who the heart can share
 Of Peg of Limavaddy.
Married if she were
 Blest would be the daddy
Of the children fair
 Of Peg of Limavaddy.
Beauty is not rare
 In the land of Paddy,
Fair beyond compare
 Is Peg of Limavaddy.

Citizen or Squire,
 Tory, Whig, or Radi-
cal would all desire
 Peg of Limavaddy.
Had I Homer's fire,
 Or that of Serjeant Taddy,
Meetly I'd admire
 Peg of Limavaddy.
And till I expire,
 Or till I grow mad I
Will sing unto my lyre
 Peg of Limavaddy!

© William Makepeace Thackeray