THE COW AND
The Parson !
'Twas near?town as stories go,?
(I can't say whether true or no ;)
There lived a swain of low degree,
Yet with contentment bless'd and free,
In a small cottage of his own,
Some distance 'twas from?town ;
But e'er I any further go,
'Twill proper be to let you know,
Two cows is number were I ween :
That us'd to graze at?Green:
But some sly thief, as people say,
In dead of night stole one away !
But stole or stray'd it matters none,
'Twas plain to Jem his cow was gone,
Poor Jemmy went, resolv'd with speed
To find her out alive or dead,
With that he travell'd but in vain,
O'er every pasture field and lane ;
O'er hedge and ditch his cow he sought
'Till to an orchard he was brought,
When fruit of most delicious taste,
The laden boughs alluring grace,
Says Jem, they're pleasant to the sight,
But pleasanter by far to bite ;
With that, assur'd that none could see,
He instantly climb'd up the tree,
My bashful muse would here have done
But truth commands she must go on?
The parson, if I tell it must,
Was flesh and blood as well as us,
A thousand loving words express'd ;
Her snowy bosom kiss'd and press'd ;
Then laid his hands?I'll say not where
Let Jemmy to the muse declare,
Crying, my love, what do I feel ?
I must, my dear, ring love's first peal?
Says she, I don't know what you mean,
And I'm afraid we shall be seen ;
Besides, a man of your cloth,
'Twill bring a curse upon us both,
The cloth, he cried, then let it go,
There's ne'er a priest but will do so ;
With that he caught her in his arms,
And rifled all her blooming charms.
This peal being o'er with kisses sweet,
He did a second peal repeat !
While Jem sat silent in the tree,
Ye gods ! what sights were those to see
The pleasures they were both possessing
Are past a mortal tongue's expressing,
Their pleasure being now almost o'er,
The parson he could ring no more,
But said love, since our pleasure's done,
I'll see the place where it begun.
This said, and raising from the ground,
He view'd her lovely person round,
With every hidden charm beside ;
While thus the damsel smiling, cried,
Now sir, since you so free have been,
Inform me truly what you've seen,
Seen, child, he answer d with a sneer,
Why?I've seen all the world my dear !
Then, sir, cry'd Jemmy from the bough
Pray tell me it you've seen my cow ?
The parson started with surprise,
And up the tree he cast his eyes,
Then faintly cried, ' twixt hope and fear,
Pray sir, how long have you been there?
Says Jem, "If the truth I must reveal,
I was here before you rang th' first peal."
Come down, my friend, the parson said;
And tha the same may ne'er be spread,
This purse of yellow, shining ore,
Be thine !?be sure thou says no more !
Jem took the money, well content,
Forgot his cow?and home he went.
The red moon is up on the moss-coverd mountain,
The hour is at hand when I promised to rove,
With the turf-cutters daughter, by Logan's bright water
And tell her how truly her Donald can love,
I ken there's a miller wi' plenty o' siller,
Would fain win a glance from her beautiful e'e,
But my ain bonny Mary, the star of Glengary,
Keeps a' her sweet smiles and soft kisses for me.
"Tis long sin we both trod the Highland together,
Two frolicsome bairns gaily starting the deer,
When I ca'd her my life, my ain bonny wee wife,
Ne'er was sic joys seen as when Mary was near,
And still she's the blossom, I'll wear in my bosom?
A blossom I'll cherish and wear till I die,
For my ain bonny Mary, the star of Glengary,
She's health, and she's wealth, and a good wife to me.
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Probable period of publication:
1850-1870 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.178.A.2(299)
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