Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE GRETNA GREEN BLACKSMITH, by JAMES SMITH (1775-1839)



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THE GRETNA GREEN BLACKSMITH, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Though my face is all smutty not fit to be seen
Last Line: With his rang, tang, hammer and nail.
Subject(s): Blacksmiths; Life; Tears


THOUGH my face is all smutty not fit to be seen,
I'm the tinkering parson of Gretna Green,
With my rang, tang, hammer and nail.
To look like the ladies is always my plan,
So I roll up my sleeves as high as I can,
In spite of my vice, and though I am lame,
I make the sparks fly, and myself raise a flame,
With my rang, tang, hammer and nail.

In chaises-and-four lovers fly to my cot,
With folly remembered, and prudence forgot,
With a rang, tang, hammer and nail.
Down hill, helter-skelter they fearlessly move,
For who ever thinks of a hind wheel in love?
So, while the young lady her passion reveals,
I tack them together -- then hammer the wheels,
With my rang, tang, hammer and nail.

"Oh dear," says Miss Lucy, a delicate fright in,
"I was all over rust till they took me to Brighton,
With my rang, tang, hammer and nail.
Indeed, Mr. Parson, you'll find me no fool,
I'm a great deal too old to be sent back to school;
Captain Shark of the Fourth is the man I adore,
My Pa is a bear, and my Ma is a bore,
With their rang, tang, hammer and nail."

But alas! ten to one, ere they got back to town,
My lady is up, and the carriage breaks down,
With a rang, tang, hammer and nail.
Of tears my young Madam dissolves in a flood,
Her head in the clouds, and her feet in the mud,
Till both recollecting the cause of the evil,
Wish carriage, and marriage, and me at the devil,
With my rang, tang, hammer and nail.

I can make a jack-chain, a pattern, a knife,
I forge heavy fetters for husband and wife,
With my rang, tang, hammer and nail.
Here Venus and Vulcan their compact renew,
A partner for life or a tenpenny screw,
A wedlock, a padlock, I do not care which --
So the tinker of Gretna is sure to grow rich,
With his rang, tang, hammer and nail.





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