Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WANDERERS, by CHARLES STUART CALVERLEY

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WANDERERS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: As o'er the hill we roam'd at will
Last Line: That chickens had been miss'd at syllabub farm.
Subject(s): Wandering & Wanderers; Wanderlust; Vagabonds; Tramps; Hoboes

AS o'er the hill we roam'd at will,
My dog and I together,
We mark'd a chaise, by two bright bays
Slow-moved along the heather:

Two bays arch neck'd, with tails erect
And gold upon their blinkers;
And by their side an ass I spied;
It was a travelling tinker's.

The chaise went by, nor aught cared I;
Such things are not in my way;
I turn'd me to the tinker, who
Was loafing down a by-way:

I ask'd him where he lived -- a stare
Was all I got in answer,
As on he trudged: I rightly judged
The stare said, "Where I can, sir."

I ask'd him if he'd take a whiff
Of 'bacco; he acceded;
He grew communicative too,
(A pipe was all he needed,)
Till of the tinker's life, I think,
I knew as much as he did.

"I loiter down by thorp and town,
For any job I'm willing;
Take here and three a dusty brown,
And here and there a shilling.

"I deal in every ware in turn,
I've rings for buddin' Sally
That sparkle like those eyes of her'n;
I've liquor for the valet.

"I steal from th' parson's strawberry-plots,
I hide by th' squire's covers;
I teach the sweet young housemaids what's
The art of trapping lovers.

"The things I've done 'neath moon and stars
Have got me into messes:
I've seen the sky through prison bars,
I've torn up prison dresses:

"I've sat, I've sigh'd, I've gloom'd, I've glanced
With envy at the swallows
That through the window slid, and danced
(Quite happy) round the gallows;

"But out again I come, and show
My face nor care a stiver
For trades are brisk and trades are slow,
But mine goes on for ever."

Thus on he prattled like a babbling brook.
Then I, "The sun hath slipt behind the hill,
And my aunt Vivian dines at half-past six."
So in all love we parted; I to the Hall,
They to the village. It was noised next noon
That chickens had been miss'd at Syllabub Farm.

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