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The Pied Piper of Hamelin - 6

Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins,
Cocking tails and pricking whiskers,
Families by tens and dozens,
Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives -
Followed the Piper for their lives.


From street to street he piped, advancing,
And step for step, they followed, dancing,
Until they came to the River Weser
Wherein all plunged and perished
- Save one who, stout as Julius Caesar,
Swam across and lived to carry
(As he the manuscript he cherished)
To Rat-land home his commentary,
Which was, „At the first shrill notes of the pipe,
I heard a sound as of scraping tripe,
And putting apples, wondrous ripe,
Into a cider press's gripe:


And a moving away of pickle-tub boards,
And a leaving ajar of conserve-cupboards,
And the drawing the corks of train-oil flasks,
And a breaking the hoops of butter-casks;
And it seemed as if a voice
(Sweeter far than by harp or by psaltery
Is breathed) called out, Oh rats, rejoice!


The world is grown to one vast drysaltery!
So munch on, crunch on, take your nuncheon,
Breakfast, supper, dinner, luncheon!
And just as a bulky sugar-puncheon,
All ready staved, like a great sun shone
Glorious scarce an inch before me,
Just as methought it said, Come, bore me!
- I found the Weser rolling o'er me."

You should have heard the Hamelin people
Ringing the bells till they rocked the steeple;
„Go," cried the Mayor, "and get long poles!
Poke out the nests and block up the holes!

Abb

Consult with carpenters and builders,
And leave in our town not even a trace
Of the rats!" - when suddenly up the face
Of the Piper perked in the market-place,
With a „First, if you please, my thousand guilders!"

Abb

The Pied Piper of Hamelin - 7 ...

Quelle:
The Pied Piper of Hamelin / By Robert Browning; Illustrated by Kate Greenaway. London; New York: Frederick Warne and Co., [1910].

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