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 Ho! speed the Macys, neck or naught,—
The river-course was near;
The plashing on its pebbled shore
Was music to their ear.
A gray rock, tasselled o'er with birch,
Above the waters hung,
And at its base, with every wave,
A small light wherry swung.
A leap—they gain the boat—and there
The goodman wields his oar;
‘Ill luck betide them all,’ he cried,
‘The laggards on the shore.’
Down through the crashing underwood,
The burly sheriff caine:—
“Stand, Goodman Macy, yield thyself;
Yield in the King's own name.”
‘Now out upon thy hangman's face!’
Bold Macy answered then,—
“Whip women, on the village green,
But meddle not with men.”
The priest came panting to the shore,
His grave cocked hat was gone;
Behind him, like some owl's nest, hung
His wig upon a thorn.
‘Come back,—come back!’ the parson cried,
‘The church's curse beware.’
‘Curse, an' thou wilt,’ said Macy, “but
Thy blessing prithee spare.”
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