Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1123. Praise-God Barebones
 
By Ellen Mackay Hutchinson Cortissoz
 
 
I AND my cousin Wildair met
  And tossed a pot together;—
Burnt sack it was that Molly brewed,
  For it was nipping weather.
’Fore George! To see Dick buss the wench        5
  Set all the inn folk laughing!
They dubbed him pearl of cavaliers
  At kissing and at quaffing.
 
“Oddsfish!” says Dick, “the sack is rare,
  And rarely burnt, fair Molly;        10
’T would cure the sourest Crop-ear yet
  Of Pious Melancholy.”
“Egad!” says I, “here cometh one
  Hath been at ’s prayers but lately.”
—Sooth, Master Praise-God Barebones stepped        15
  Along the street sedately.
 
Dick Wildair, with a swashing bow,
  And touch of his Toledo,
Gave Merry Xmas to the rogue
  And bade him say his Credo;        20
Next crush a cup to the King’s health,
  And eke to pretty Molly;
“’T will cure your Saintliness,” says Dick,
  “Of Pious Melancholy.”
 
Then Master Barebones stopped and frowned;        25
  My heart stood still a minute:
Thinks I, both Dick and I will hang,
  Or else the devil’s in it!
For me, I care not for old Noll,
  Nor all the Rump together.        30
Yet, faith! ’t is best to be alive
  In pleasant Xmas weather.
 
His worship, Barebones, grimly smiled;
  “I love not blows nor brawling;
Yet will I give thee, fool, a pledge!”        35
  And, zooks! he sent Dick sprawling!
When Moll and I helped Wildair up,
  No longer trim and jolly,—
“Feel’st not, Sir Dick,” says saucy Moll,
  “A Pious Melancholy?”        40
 

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