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About this Poem 

From Ballads and Songs (London: Cassell and Company, 1896).

 

A Tragic Story

  BY ADELBERT VON CHAMISSO.

 "—'s war Einer, dem's zu Herzen gieng."

  There lived a sage in days of yore
  And he a handsome pigtail wore;
  But wondered much and sorrowed more
       Because it hung behind him.

  He mused upon this curious case,
  And swore he'd change the pigtail's place,
  And have it hanging at his face,
       Not dangling there behind him.

  Says he, "The mystery I've found,—
  I'll turn me round,"—he turned him round;
       But still it hung behind him.

  Then round, and round, and out and in,
  All day the puzzled sage did spin;
  In vain—it mattered not a pin,—
       The pigtail hung behind him.

  And right, and left, and round about,
  And up, and down, and in, and out,
  He turned; but still the pigtail stout
       Hung steadily behind him.

  And though his efforts never slack,
  And though he twist, and twirl, and tack,
  Alas! still faithful to his back
       The pigtail hangs behind him.

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

William Makepeace Thackeray

William Makepeace Thackeray, born July 18, 1811, was an English writer best known for his novels, particularly The History of Henry Esmond, Esq. (The Mershon Company Publishers, 1852) and Vanity Fair (Bradbury and Evans, 1848). While in school, Thackeray began writing poems, which he published in a number of magazines, chiefly Fraser and Punch. He died on December 24, 1863.

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    Ye Genii of the nation,
    Who look with veneration.
  And Ireland's desolation onsaysingly deplore;
    Ye sons of General Jackson,
    Who thrample on the Saxon,
  Attend to the thransaction upon Shannon shore,

    When William, Duke of Schumbug,
    A tyrant and a humbug,
  With cannon and with thunder
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  There's in the Vest a city pleasant
    To vich King Bladud gev his name,
  And in that city there's a Crescent
    Vere dwelt a noble knight of fame.

  Although that galliant knight is oldish,
    Although Sir John as gray, gray air,
  Hage has not made his busum coldish,
    His Art still beats tewodds the
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  I.

  For the sole edification
  Of this decent congregation,
  Goodly people, by your grant
  I will sing a holy chant—
       I will sing a holy chant.
  If the ditty sound but oddly,
  'Twas a father, wise and godly,
       Sang it so long ago—
  Then sing as Martin Luther sang,
  As Doctor