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From Half-Hours With The Best Humorous Authors, selected and arranged by Charles Morris, Vol. II. American; J. B. Lippincott Company; Philadelphia; 1889, pp. 10-15.




[The following poem, which has gone the round of humorous literature for the last sixty years, has, like the old clock which it celebrates, go in it still, and is well worthy of preservation as a specimen of Yankee humor.]

TWO Yankee wags, one summer day,
Stopped at a tavern on their way,
Supped, frolicked, late retired to rest,
And woke to breakfast on the best.

The breakfast over, Tom and Will
Sent for the landlord and the bill;
11 Will looked it over: “Very right:
But hold! what wonder meets my sight? —
Tom, the surprise is quite a shock!” —
“What wonder? where?” — “The clock! the clock!”

Tom and the landlord in amaze
Stared at the clock with stupid gaze,
And for a moment neither spoke;
At last the landlord silence broke:

“You mean the clock that’s ticking there?
I see no wonder, I declare,
Though maybe, if the truth were told,
’Tis rather ugly, — somewhat old;
Yet time it keeps to half a minute:
But, if you please, what wonder’s in it?”

“Tom, don’t you recollect,” said Will,
“The clock at Jersey near the mill,
The very image of this present,
With which I won the wager pleasant?”
Will ended with a knowing wink.
Tom scratched his head and tried to think.
“Sir, begging pardon for inquiring,”
The landlord said, with grin admiring,
“What wager was it?”

“You remember

It happened, Tom, in last December.
In sport I bet a Jersey Blue
That it was more than he could do,
To make his finger go and come
In keeping with the pendulum,
12 Repeating, till one hour should close,
Still ‘Here she goes — and there she goes.
He lost the bet in half a minute.”

“Well, if I would, the deuce is in it!”
Exclaimed the landlord: “try me yet,
And fifty dollars be the bet.”
“Agreed; but we will play some trick
To make you of the bargain sick!”
“I’m up to that!”

“Don’t make us wait.

Begin: the clock is striking eight.”
He seats himself, and left and right
His finger wags with all his might,
And hoarse his voice and hoarser grows,
With “Here she goes — and there she goes!

“Hold!” said the Yankee; “plank the ready!”
The landlord wagged his finger steady,
While his left hand, as well as able,
Conveyed a purse upon the table.
“Tom, with the money let’s be off!”
This made the landlord only scoff;
He heard them running down the stair,
But was not tempted from his chair:
Thought he, “The fools! I’ll bite them yet!
So poor a trick shan’t win the bet.”
Of “Here she goes — and there she goes!
While right and left his finger swung,
In keeping to his clock and tongue.

His mother happened in, to see
Her daughter. “Where is Mrs. B——?
13 When will she come, as you suppose?

Here she goes — and there she goes!

“Here! — where?” — the lady in surprise
His finger followed with her eyes;
“Son, why that steady gaze and sad?
Those words, — that motion, — are you mad?
But here’s your wife: perhaps she knows,
And ——”

Here she goes — and there she goes!

His wife surveyed him with alarm,
And rushed to him and seized his arm;
He shook her off, and to and fro
His fingers persevered to go,
While curled his very nose with ire
That she against him should conspire,
And with more furious tone arose
The “Here she goes — and there she goes!

“Lawks!” screamed the wife, “I’m in a whirl!
Run down and bring the little girl:
She is his darling, and who knows
But ——

Here she goes — and there she goes!

Lawks! he is mad! what made him thus?
Good Lord! what will become of us?
Run for a doctor! — run, — run, — run! —
For Doctor Brown, and Doctor Dun,
And Doctor Black, and Doctor White,
And Doctor Gray, with all your might.”
14 The doctors came, and looked and wondered,
And shook their heads, and paused and pondered,
Till one proposed he should be bled;
“No; leeched, you mean,” the other said.
“Clap on a blister,” roared another;
“No, cup him,” — “No, trepan him, brother!”
A sixth would recommend a purge,
The next would an emetic urge;
The eighth, just come from a dissection,
The verdict gave for an injection;
The last produced a box of pills,
A certain cure for earthly ills:
“I had a patient yesternight,”
Quoth he, “and wretched was her plight,
And, as the only means to save her,
Three dozen patent pills I gave her,
And by to-morrow I suppose

Here she comes — and there she goes!

“You are all fools,” the lady said,
“The way is, just to shave his head.
Run, bid the barber come anon ——”
“Thanks, mother,” thought her clever son:
You help the knaves that would have bit me,
But all creation shan’t outwit me!”
Thus to himself, while to and fro
His finger perseveres to go,
And from his lips no accent flows
But “Here she goes — and there she goes!

The barber came: “Lord help him! what
A queerish customer I’ve got!
15 But we must do our best to save him:
So hold him, gemmen, while I shave him!”
But here the doctors interpose:
“A woman never ——”

There she goes!

“A woman is no judge of physic,
Not even when her baby is sick.
He must be bled.” — “No, no! a blister!” —
“A purge, you mean!” “I say a clyster!”
“No, cup him!” — “Leech him!” — “Pills! pills! pills!”
And all the house uproar fills.

What means that smile? what means that shiver?
The landlord’s limbs with rapture quiver,
And triumph brightens up his face, —
His finger yet shall win the race!
The clock is on the stroke of nine,
And up he starts: “’Tis mine! ’tis mine!”
“What do you mean?”

“I mean the fifty!”

I never spent an hour so thrifty;
But you, who tried to make me lose,
Go, burst with envy, if you choose!
But how is this? where are they?”


“The gentlemen, — I mean the two
Came yesterday: are they below?”
“They galloped off an hour ago.”
“Oh, purge me! blister! shave and bleed!
For, hang the knaves, I’m mad indeed!”


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