Richard Harris Barham
British writer and priest
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- The jackdaw sat on the Cardinal’s chair!
- And the priests, with awe,
As such freaks they saw,
Said, “The Devil must be in that little Jackdaw!”
- And six little Singing-boys,—dear little souls!
In nice clean faces, and nice white stoles,
Came in order due,
Two by two,
Marching that grand refectory through.
- The Cardinal rose with a dignified look,
He call’d for his candle, his bell, and his book:
In holy anger, and pious grief,
He solemnly curs’d that rascally thief!
He curs’d him at board, he curs’d him in bed,
From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head!
He curs’d him in sleeping, that every night
He should dream of the devil, and wake in a fright;
He curs’d him in eating, he curs’d him in drinking,
He curs’d him in coughing, in sneezing, in winking;
He curs’d him in sitting, in standing, in lying;
He curs’d him in walking, in riding, in flying;
He curs’d him in living, he curs’d him in dying!
Never was heard such a terrible curse!
But what gave rise
To no little surprise,
Nobody seem’d one penny the worse!
- His eye so dim,
So wasted each limb,
That, heedless of grammar, they all cried,
“THAT ’S HIM!
That ’s the scamp that has done this scandalous thing!
That ’s the thief that has got my Lord Cardinal’s Ring!”
- Next morning I was up betimes -- I sent the Crier round,
All with his bell and gold-laced hat to say I'd give a pound
To find that little vulgar Boy, who'd gone and used me so;
But when the Crier cried, 'O Yes!' the people cried, 'O No!'
- He smiled and said, 'Sir, does your mother know that you are out?'