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The Pied Piper of Hamelin - 7

A thousand guilders! The Mayor looked blue;
So did the Corporation too.
For council dinners made rare havock
With Claret, Moselle, Vin-de-Grave, Hock;
And half the money would replenish
Their cellar's biggest butt with Rhenish.


To pay this sum to a wandering fellow
With a gipsy coat of red and yellow!
„Beside," quoth the Mayor, with a knowing wink,
„Our business was done at the river's brink;
We saw with our eyes the vermin sink,
And what's dead can't come to life, I think.


So, friend, we're not the folks to shrink
From the duty of giving you something for drink,
And a matter of money to put in your poke;
But, as for the guilders, what we spoke
Of them, as you very well know, was in joke.
Beside, our losses have made us thrifty;
A thousand guilders! Come, take fifty!"

The Piper's face fell, and he cried,
„No trifling! I can't wait, beside!
I've promised to visit, by dinner-time
Bagdad, and accept the prime
Of the Head Cook's pottage, all he's rich in,
For having left, in the Caliph's kitchen,
Of a nest of scorpions no survivor -


With him I proved no bargain-driver,
With you, don't think I'll bait a stiver!
And folks who put me in a passion
May find me pipe to another fashion."

„How?" cried the Mayor, "d'ye think I'll brook
Being worse treated than a cook?
Insulted by a lazy ribald
With idle pipe and vesture piebald?
You threaten us, fellow? Do your worst,
Blow your pipe there till you burst!"

Abb

Once more he stept into the street;
And to his lips again
Laid his long pipe of smooth straight cane;

Abb

The Pied Piper of Hamelin - 8 ...

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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