Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. I. Of Home: of Friendship
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume I. Of Home: of Friendship.  1904.
 
Poems of Home: III. Fun for Little Folk
“Max and Maurice”: Trick Third
Wilhelm Busch (1832–1908)
 
Translated by Charles Timothy Brooks

THROUGH the town and country round
Was one Mr. Buck renowned.
Sunday coats, and week-day sack-coats,
Bob-tails, swallow-tails, and frock coats,
Gaiters, breeches, hunting-jackets;        5
Waistcoats, with commodious pockets,—
And other things, too long to mention,
Claimed Mr. Tailor Buck’s attention.
Or, if any thing wanted doing
In the way of darning, sewing,        10
Piecing, patching—if a button
Needed to be fixed or put on,—
Any thing of any kind,
Anywhere, before, behind,—
Master Buck could do the same,        15
For it was his life’s great aim.
Therefore all the population
Held him high in estimation.
Max and Maurice tried to invent
Ways to plague this worthy gent.        20
Right before the Sartor’s dwelling
Ran a swift stream, roaring, swelling.
This swift stream a bridge did span,
And the road across it ran.
Max and Maurice (naught could awe them!)        25
Took a saw, when no one saw them:
Ritze-ratze! riddle-diddle!
Sawed a gap across the middle.
When this feat was finished well,
Suddenly was heard a yell:        30
“Hallo, there! Come out, you buck!
Tailor, Tailor, muck! muck! muck!”
Buck could bear all sorts of jeering,
Jibes and jokes in silence hearing;
But this insult roused such anger,        35
Nature couldn’t stand it longer.
Wild with fury, up he started,
With his yard-stick out he darted;
For once more that frightful jeer,
“Muck! muck! muck!” rang loud and clear.        40
On the bridge one leap he makes;
Crash! beneath his weight it breaks.
Once more rings the cry, “Muck! muck!”
In, headforemost, plumps poor Buck!
While the scared boys were skedaddling,        45
Down the brook two geese came paddling.
On the legs of these two geese,
With a death-clutch, Buck did seize;
And, with both geese well in hand,
Flutters out upon dry land.        50
For the rest he did not find
Things exactly to his mind.
Soon it proved poor Buck had brought a
Dreadful belly-ache from the water.
Noble Mrs. Buck! She rises        55
Fully equal to the crisis;
With a hot flat-iron, she
Draws the cold out famously.
Soon ’t was in the mouths of men,
All through town: “Buck ’s up again!”        60
 
This was the bad boys’ third trick,
But the fourth will follow quick.
*        *        *        *        *
 
 
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