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Category: Funny Burlesque Poems
       Classic humorous and funny poems using comic imitation and exaggeration in an absurd way.

  THE WILLOW-TREE  

         ANOTHER VERSION


Long by the willow-trees
    Vainly they sought her,
Wild rang the mother's screams
    O'er the gray water:
Where is my lovely one?
    Where is my daughter?

"Rouse thee, Sir Constable--
    Rouse thee and look;
Fisherman, bring your net,
    Boatman, your hook.
Beat in the lily-beds,
    Dive in the brook!"

Vainly the constable
    Shouted and called her;
Vainly the fisherman
    Beat the green alder;
Vainly he flung the net,
    Never it hauled her!

Mother beside the fire
    Sat, her nightcap in;
Father, in easy chair,
    Gloomily napping,
When at the window-sill
    Came a light tapping!

And a pale countenance
    Looked through the casement,
Loud beat the mother's heart,
    Sick with amazement,
And at the vision which
    Came to surprise her,
Shrieked in an agony--
    "Lor'! it's Elizar!"

Yes, 'twas Elizabeth--
    Yes, 'twas their girl;
Pale was her cheek, and her
    Hair out of curl.
"Mother," the loving one,
    Blushing exclaimed,
"Let not your innocent
    Lizzy be blamed.

"Yesterday, going to Aunt
    Jones's to tea,
Mother, dear mother, I
    Forgot the door-key!
And as the night was cold
    And the way steep,
Mrs. Jones kept me to
    Breakfast and sleep."

Whether her Pa and Ma
    Fully believed her,
That we shall never know,
    Stern they received her;
And for the work of that
    Cruel, though short, night
Sent her to bed without
    Tea for a fortnight.

                     MORAL

        Hey diddle diddlety,
        Cat and the fiddlety,
Maidens of England, take caution by she!
        Let love and suicide
        Never tempt you aside,
And always remember to take the door-key.

                                             W. M. Thackeray.


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