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[171]

I copy below one of my latest poems. I have attempted to complete a fine old-ballad fragment, how successfully you must judge. It has been very popular with the small public for whom it was specially intended.

Lady Bird, lady bird, fly away home!
Your house is on fire, your children will burn!
Send for the engines, and send for the men,
Perhaps we can put it out agen;
Send for the ladders, and send for the hose,
Perhaps we can put it out, nobody knows;
Sure, nobody's case was ever sadder,
To the nursery-window clap the ladder,
If they are there, and not done brown,
They'll open the window and hopple down!

Thus far, you perceive, the material instinct gets the upper hand, but now the Lady Bird arrives at the scene of desolation, and the house-keeping qualities of mind are electrified into morbid activity. The word “hopple” is finely local, being in the Mab dialect. It means to scramble down confusedly.

Splish, splash! fizz and squirt!
All my things ruined with water and dirt,
All my new carpets torn to finders,
Trodden in with mud and cinders!

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