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DEATH OF MASTER TOMMY ROOK, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: A pair of steady rooks

A pair of steady Rooks
Chose the safest of all nooks,
In the hollow of a tree to build their home;
And while they kept within,
They did not care a pin
For any roving sportsman who might come.
Their family of five
Were all happy and alive;
And Mrs. Rook was careful as could be,
To never let them out,
Till she looked all round about;
And saw that they might wander far and free.
She had talked to everyone
Of the dangers of a gun,
And fondly begged that none of them would stir
To take a distant flight,
At morning, noon, or night;
Before they prudently asked leave of her.
But one fine, sunny day,
Toward the end of May,
Young Tommy FRook began to scorn her power,
And said that he would fly
Into the field close by,
And walk among the daisies for an hour.
Stop, stop!" she cried, alarmed,
"I see a man that's armed,
And he will shoot you, sure as you are seen;
Wait till he goes, and then,
Secure from guns and men,
We all will have a ramble on the green."
But Master Tommy Rook,
With a very saucy look,
Perched on a twig, and plumed his jetty breast;
Still talking all the while,
In a very pompous style,
Of doing just what he might like the best.
"I don't care one bit," said he,
"For any gun you see;
I am tired of the cautions you bestow:
I mean to have my way,
Whatever you may say;
And shall not ask when I may stay or go."
"But my son," the mother cried,
"I only wish to guide
Till you are wise, and fit to go alone;
I have seen much more of life,
Of danger, woe, and strife,
Than you, my child, can possibly have known.
"Just wait ten minutes here,
Let that man disappear;
I am sure he means to do some evil thing;
I fear you may be shot,
If you leave this sheltered spot,
So, pray, come back, and keep beside my wing."
But Master Tommy Rook
Gave another saucy look,
And chattered out, "Don't care! don't care! don't care!"
And off he flew with glee,
From his brothers in the tree,
And lighted on the field so green and fair.
He hopped about and found
All pleasant things around;
He strutted through the daisies,-but, alas!
A loud shot-Bang! was heard,
And the wounded, silly bird
Rolled over, faint and dying, on the grass.
"There, there, I told you so,"
Cried his mother in her woe,
"I warned you, with a parent's thoughtful truth;
And you see that I was right,
When I tried to stop your flight,
And said you needed me to guide your youth."
Poor Master Tommy Rook
Gave a melancholy look,
And cried, just as he drew his latest breath:
"Forgive me, mother dear,
And let my brothers hear,
That disobedience caused my cruel death."
Now when his lot was told,
The Rooks both young and old,
All said he should have done as he was bid;
That he well deserved his fate;
And I, who now relate
His hapless story, really think he did.

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