Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, OUR VILLAGE, by THOMAS HOOD



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OUR VILLAGE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Our village, that's to say not miss mitford's village, but
Last Line: That's the village poor house!
Subject(s): Villages


'Sweet Auburn, loveliest village of the plain.' -- Goldsmith.

OUR village, that's to say not Miss Mitford's village, but
our village of Bullock Smithy,
Is come into by an avenue of trees, three oak pollards, two
elders, and a withy;
And in the middle, there's a green of about not exceeding
an acre and a half;
It's common to all, and fed off by nineteen cows, six
ponies, three horses, five asses, two foals, seven
pigs, and a calf!
Besides a pond in the middle, as is held by a similar sort
of common law lease,
And contains twenty ducks, six drakes, three ganders, two
dead dogs, four drowned kittens, and twelve geese.
Of course the green's cropt very close, and does famous for
bowling when the little village boys play at cricket;
Only some horse, or pig, or cow, or great jackass, is sure
to come and stand right before the wicket.
There's fifty-five private houses, let alone barns and
workshops, and pigstyes, and poultry buts, and such-like sheds;
With plenty of pablic houses--two Foxes, one Green Man,
three Bunch of Grapes, one Crown, and six King's Heads.
The Green Man is reckoned the best, as the only one that
for love or money can raise
A postilion, a blue jacket, two deplorable lame white
borses, and a ramshackled 'neat postchaise'.
There's one parish church for all the people, whatsoever
may be their ranks in life or their degrees,
Except one very damp, small, dark, freezing-cold, little
Methodist chapel of Ease;
And close by the church-yard there's a stone-mason's yard,
that when the time is seasonable
Will furnish with afllictions sore and marble urns and
cherubims very low and reasonable.
There's a cage, comfortable enough; I've been in it with
old Jack Jeffrey and Tome Pike:
For the Green Man next door will send you in ale, gin, or
anything else you like.
I can't speak of the stocks, as nothing remains of them but
the upright post;
But the pound is kept in repairs for the sake of Cob's
horse, as is always there almost.
There's a smithy of course, where that queer sort of a chap
in his way, Old Joe Bradley.
Perpetually hammers and stammers, for he stutters and shoes
horses very badly.
There's a shop of all sorts, that sells everything, kept by
the widow of Mr. Task;
But when you go there, it's ten to one she's out of
everything you ask.
You'll know her house by the swarm of boys, like flies,
about the old sugary cask:
There are six empty houses, and not so well papered inside as out,
For bill stickers won't beware, but sticks notices of sales
and election placards all about.
That's the Doctor's with a green door, where the garden
pots in the windows is seen;
A weakly monthly rose that don't blow, and a dead geranium,
and a teaplant with five black leaves and one green.
As for hollyoaks at the cottage doors, and honeysuckles and
jasmines, you may go and whisttle;
But the Tailor's front garden grows two cabbages, a dock, a
ha'porth of pennyroyal, two dandelions, and a thistle.
There are three small orchards--Mr. Busby's the
schoolmaster's is the chief--
With two pear-trees that don't bear; one plum and an apple,
that every year is stripped by a thief.
There's another small day-school too, kept by the
respectable Mrs. Gaby.
A select establishment, for six little boys and one big,
and four little girls and a baby;
There's a rectory, with pointed gables and strange odd
chimneys that never smokes,
For the rector don't live on his living like other
Christian sort of folks;
There's a barber's, once a week well filled with rough
black-bearded, shock-headed churls.
And a window with two feminine men's beads, and two
masculine ladies in false curls;
There's a butcher's, and a carpenter's, and a plumber's,
and a small greengrocer's and a baker,
But he won't bake on a Sunday, and there's a sexton that's
a coal-merchant besides, and an undertaker;
And a toyshop, but not a whole one, for a village can't
compare with the London shops;
One window sells drums, dolls, kites, carts, bats, Clout's
balls, and the other sells malt and hops.
And Mrs. Brown, in domestic economy not to be a bit behind
her betters,
Lets her house to a milliner, a watchmaker, a rat-catcher,
a cobbler, Lives in it herself, and it's the
post-office for letters.
Now I've gone through all the village--aye, from end to
end, save and except one more house,
But I haven't come to that--and I hope I never shall--and
that's the Village Poor House!






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