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[175] of the ballad was pure fancy. I am glad for the sake of truth and justice that the real facts are given in thy book. I certainly would not knowingly do injustice to any one, dead or living.

I am very truly thy friend,

of all the rides since the birth of time,
     Told in story or sung in rhyme,—
On Apuleius's Golden Ass,
     Or one-eyed Calender's horse of brass,
Witch astride of a human back,
     Islam's prophet on Al-Borak,—
The strangest ride that ever was sped
     Was Ireson's, out from Marblehead!
Old Floyd Ireson, for his hard heart,
     Tarred and feathered and carried in a cart
By the women of Marblehead!

Body of turkey, head of owl,
     Wings a-droop like a rained — on fowl,
Feathered and ruffled in every part,
     Skipper Ireson stood in the cart.
Scores of women, old and young,
     Strong of muscle, and glib of tongue,
Pushed and pulled up the rocky lane,
     Shouting and singing the shrill refrain:
“Here's Flud Oirson, fur his horrd horrt,
     Torr'd an' futherr'd an' corr'd in a corrt
By the women oa Morble'ead!”

Wrinkled scolds with hands on hips,
     Girls in bloom of cheek and lips,
Wild-eyed, free-limbed, such as chase
     Bacchus round some antique vase,

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Marblehead (Massachusetts, United States) (2)

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