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Category: Funny Satire Poems
       Classic humorous and funny poems using irony, exaggeration and ridicule, to expose and criticize stupidity and vices.

  THE THREE BLACK CROWS  

Two honest tradesmen meeting in the Strand,
One took the other briskly by the hand;
"Hark-ye," said he, "'tis an odd story, this,
About the crows!" "I don't know what it is,"
Replied his friend. "No! I'm surprised at that;
Where I came from it is the common chat;
But you shall hear--an odd affair indeed!
And that it happened, they are all agreed.
Not to detain you from a thing so strange,
A gentleman, that lives not far from 'Change,
This week, in short, as all the alley knows,
Taking a puke, has thrown up three black crows."
"Impossible!" "Nay, but it's really true;
I have it from good hands, and so may you."
"From whose, I pray?" So, having named the man,
Straight to inquire his curious comrade ran.
"Sir, did you tell"--relating the affair.
"Yes, sir, I did; and, if it's worth your care,
Ask Mr. Such-a-one, he told it me.
But, by the bye, 'twas two black crows--not three."
Resolved to trace so wondrous an event,
Whip, to the third, the virtuoso went;
"Sir"--and so forth. "Why, yes; the thing is fact,
Though, in regard to number, not exact;
It was not two black crows--'twas only one;
The truth of that you may depend upon;
The gentleman himself told me the case."
"Where may I find him?" "Why, in such a place."
Away goes he, and, having found him out,
"Sir, be so good as to resolve a doubt."
Then to his last informant he referred,
And begged to know if true what he had heard.
"Did you, sir, throw up a black crow?" "Not I."
"Bless me! how people propagate a lie!
Black crows have been thrown up, three, two, and one;
And here, I find, all comes, at last, to none.
Did you say nothing of a crow at all?"
"Crow--crow--perhaps I might, now I recall
The matter over." "And pray, sir, what was't?"
"Why, I was horrid sick, and, at the last,
I did throw up, and told my neighbor so,
Something that was--as black, sir, as a crow."

                                                                 John Byrom.


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