William Makepeace Thackeray ( )


Peg of Limavaddy


RIDING from Coleraine
  (Famed for lovely Kitty),
Came a Cockney bound
  Unto Derry city;
Weary was his soul,
  Shivering and sad, he
Bumped along the road
  Leads to Limavaddy.

Mountains stretched around,
  Gloomy was their tinting,
And the horses hoofs
  Made a dismal clinting;
Wind upon the heath
  Howling was and piping,
On the heath and bog,
  Black with many a snipe in.

Mid the bogs of black,
  Silver pools were flashing,
Crows upon their sides
  Picking were and splashing.
Cockney on the ear
  Closer folds his plaidy,
Grumbling at the road
  Leads to Limavaddy.

Through the crashing woods
  Autumn brawled and blustered,
Tossing round about
  Leaves the hue of mustard;
Yonder lay Lough Foyle,
  Which a storm was whipping,
Covering with mist
  Lake and shores and shipping.
Up and down the hill
  (Nothing could be bolder),
Horse went with a raw
  Bleeding on his shoulder.
Where are horses changed?
  Said I to the laddy
Driving on the box:
  Sir, at Limavaddy.

Limavaddy inn s
  But a humble bait-house,
Where you may procure
  Whiskey and potatoes;
Landlord at the door
  Gives a smiling welcome
To the shivering wights
  Who to his hotel come.
Landlady within
  Sits and knits a stocking,
With a wary foot
  Babys cradle rocking.
To the chimney nook
  Having found admittance,
There I watch a pup
  Playing with two kittens,
(Playing round the fire,
  Which of blazing turf is,
Roaring to the pot
  Which bubbles with the murphies).
And the cradled babe
  Fond the mother nursed it,
Singing it a song
  As she twists the worsted!

Up and down the stair
  Two more young ones patter
(Twins were never seen
  Dirtier nor fatter).
Both have mottled legs,
  Both have snubby noses,
Both have Here the host
  Kindly interposes:
Sure you must be froze
  With the sleet and hail, sir:
So will you have some punch,
  Or will you have some ale, sir?
Presently a maid
  Enters with the liquor
(Half a pint of ale
  Frothing in a beaker).
Gads! I did nt know
  What my beating heart meant:
Hebes self I thought
  Entered the apartment.
As she came she smiled,	
  And the smile bewitching,
On my word and honor,
  Lighted all the kitchen!

With a courtesy neat
  Greeting the new-comer,
Lovely, smiling Peg
  Offers me the rummer;
But my trembling hand
  Up the beaker tilted,
And the glass of ale
  Every drop I spilt it:
Spilt it every drop
  (Dames, who read my volumes,
Pardon such a word)
  On my what-d-ye-call-ems!

Witnessing the sight
  Of that dire disaster,
Out began to laugh
  Missis, maid, and master;
Such a merry peal
  Specially Miss Pegs was,
(As the glass of ale
  Trickling down my legs was,)
That the joyful sound
  Of that mingling laughter
Echoed in my ears
  Many a long day after.

Such a silver peal!
  In the meadows listening,
You who ve heard the bells
  Ringing to a christening;
You who ever heard
  Caradori pretty,
Smiling like an angel,
  Singing Giovinetti;
Fancy Peggys laugh,
  Sweet and clear and cheerful,
At my pantaloons
  With half a pint of beer full!

When the laugh was done,
  Peg, the pretty hussy,
Moved about the room
  Wonderfully busy;
Now she looks to see
  If the kettle keep hot;
Now she rubs the spoons,
  Now she cleans the teapot;
Now she sets the cups
  Trimly and secure:
Now she scours a pot,
  And so it was I drew her.

Thus it was I drew her
  Scouring of a kettle,
(Faith! her blushing cheeks
  Reddened on the metal!)
Ah! but t is in vain
  That I try to sketch it;
The pot perhaps is like,
  But Peggys face is wretched.
No! the best of lead
  And of Indian-rubber
Never could depict
  That sweet kettle-scrubber!

See her as she moves!
  Scarce the ground she touches,
Airy as a fay,
  Graceful as a duchess;
Bare her rounded arm,
  Bare her little leg is,
Vestris never showed
  Ankles like to Peggys.
Braided is her hair,
  Soft her look and modest,
Slim her little waist
  Comfortably bodiced.

This I do declare,
  Happy is the laddy
Who the heart can share
  Of Peg of Limavaddy.
Married if she were,
  Blest would be the daddy
Of the children fair
  Of Peg of Limavaddy.
Beauty is not rare
  In the land of Paddy,	
Fair beyond compare
  Is Peg of Limavaddy.

Citizen or Squire,
  Tory, Whig, or Radi-
cal would all desire
  Peg of Limavaddy.
Had I Homers fire,
  Or that of Sergeant Taddy,
Meetly I d admire
  Peg of Limavaddy.
And till I expire,
  Or till I grow mad, I
Will sing unto my lyre
  Peg of Limavaddy!



William Makepeace Thackeray's other poems:
  1. - The Yankee Volunteers
  2. Larry OToole
  3. The Rocks
  4. The Chaplet
  5. On a Very Old Woman


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