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The Herdsman

Illustration 010

The Herdsman

A herdsman , who lived at a time and a place

Which, should you not know, is but little disgrace,

Discover'd one morning, on counting his stock,

That a sheep had been stolen that night from the flock.

"Oh, I wish I had caught ye, whoever ye be,

I'd have soon let you know, I'd have soon let ye see,

What he had to expect," said the herdsman, "I trow;

But I've thought of a scheme that will trouble you now."

So what did he do, sir, but put up a board,

Describing the thief, and proposed a reward

Of a lamb, to the man who would give information

Concerning the thief, and his true designation.

The project succeeded; for soon there applied

A certain near neighbor, with others beside.

"But tell me the thief," said the herdsman, "at least;"

"Come hither," said they, "and we'll show you the beast!"

"The beast !" said the rustic, who thought he should die on

The spot, when he found that the thief was a lion!

"Ill luck to my hurry, what now shall I do?

I promised a lamb to detect you 'tis true;

But now I'd consent all  my substance to pay,

If I could but with safety get out of your way."


Silly people ask things that would ruin, if sent;

They demand them in haste, and at leisure repent.

Illustration 012