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Poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes


Reflections of a Proud Pedestrian


I SAW the curl of his waving lash,
And the glance of his knowing eye,
And I knew that he thought he was cutting a dash,
As his steed went thundering by.

And he may ride in the rattling gig,
Or flourish the Stanhope gay,
And dream that he looks exceeding big
To the people that walk in the way;

But he shall think, when the night is still,
On the stable-boy's gathering numbers,
And the ghost of many a veteran bill
Shall hover around his slumbers;

The ghastly dun shall worry his sleep,
And constables cluster around him,
And he shall creep from the wood-hole deep
Where their spectre eyes have found him!

Ay! gather your reins, and crack your thong,
And bid your steed go faster;
He does not know, as he scrambles along,
That he has a fool for his master;

And hurry away on your lonely ride,
Nor deign from the mire to save me;
I will paddle it stoutly at your side
With the tandem that nature gave me!



Oliver Wendell Holmes


Oliver Wendell Holmes's other poems:
  1. A Sentiment (A TRIPLE health to Friendship, Science, Art,)
  2. The Moral Bully
  3. Daily Trials
  4. The Stethoscope Song
  5. The Treadmill Song


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