Books > Old Books >The Elson Readers Book Six (1910)


Page 191

SERVICE AND THRIFT
THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN by ROBERT BROWNING

Hamelin Town's in Brunswick,
By famous Hanover city;
The river Weser deep and wide
Washes its wall on the southern side;
A pleasanter spot you never spied;
But, when begins my ditty,
Almost five hundred years ago,
To see the townsfolk suffer so
From vermin, was a pity.

Rats !
They fought the dogs and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cooks' own ladles,
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women's chats,
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.

At last the people in a body
To the Town Hall came flocking.
" 'Tis clear," cried they, "our Mayor's a noddy;
And as for our Corporation-shocking

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