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Poem by Lewis Carroll

The Wandering Burgess

(Our Willie was Mr. Gladstone, who had been defeated at Oxford in 1865, and had since represented South Lancashire and Greenwich.)

Our Willie had been sae lang awa
	Frae bonnie Oxford toon,
The townsfolk they were greeting a
	As they went up and doon.

He hadna been gane a year, a year,
	A year but barely ten,
When word cam unto Oxford toon,
	Our Willie wad come agen.

Willie he stude at Thomas Gate,
	And made a lustie din;
And who so blithe as the gate-porter
	To rise and let him in?

Now enter, Willie, now enter, Willie,
	And look around the place,
And see the pain that we have taen
	Thomas his Quad to grace.

The first look that out Willie cast,
	He leuch loud laughters three,
The neist look that our Willie cast,
	The tear blindit his ee.

Sae square and stark the Tea-chest frowned
	Athwart the upper air,
But when the Trench out Willie saw,
	He thoucht the Tea-chest fair.

Sae murderous-deep the Trench did gape
	The parapet aboon,
But when the Tunnell Willie saw,
	He loved the Trench aftersoon. 

Twas mirk beneath the tane archway,
	Twas mirk beneath the tither:
Ye wadna ken a man therein,
	Thought it were your ain dear brither.

He turned him round and round about,
	And looked upon the Three; 
And dismal grew his countenance,
	And drumlie grew his ee.

What cheer, what cheer, my gallant knight?
	The gate-porter gan say.
Saw ever ye sae fair a sight
	As ye have seen this day?

Now haud your tongue of your prating, man:
	Of your prating now let me be. 
For, as Im a true knight, a fouler sight
	Ill never live to see.

Before Id be the ruffian dark 
	Who planned this ghastly show,
Id serve as secretarys clerk 
	To Ayrton or to Lowe.

Before-Id own the loathly thing 
	That Christ Church Quad reveals,
Id serve as shoeblacks underling 
	To Odger and to Beales!

Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll's other poems:
  1. The Elections to the Hebdomadal Council
  2. Theme with Variations
  3. Photography Extraordinary
  4. Melancholetta
  5. Hiawatha's Photographing

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