[from Collected Works, T.E.Brown]


STORIES ! stories ! nothin’ but stories
Spinnin’ away to the height of your glories!
And if I must, I suppose I must,
And you suspectin’, I wouldn’ trust,1
And sittin’ there all the time, and thinkin’—
Is it true he’s tellin’ ? and nudgin’ and winkin’.
Now, bless my soul ! what for would I go
To tell you lies ? You’re foolish though!
And there’s odds of lies, for the matter of that,
For there’s lies that’s skinny, and lies that’s fat
And lies in fustian, and lies in silk,
And lies like verjuice, and lies like milk;
And lies that’s free, and lies for sale,
And rumpy lies, without a tail;
Grew in the garden and picked in the woods,
Bubbles blew with the divil’s suds;
Lies that’s sweet, and lies with a stink at 2 them;
Lies like the dew that’ll go if you wink at them,
And some as hard you couldn’ break them
With a sledge 3—aw, my lad knows well how to make them!
Haven’ he got the tools to his hand
Down there ? And the fire ! Aw, he works them grand!
For it isn’ every fool that’s fit
To make a rael good lie, that’ll sit
On her keel, and answer her helm—no ! no!
Just try it, Bob ! Just try it though
Well put together ! you’re took on the sudden?
You couldn’ ? Didn’t I tell ye ye couldn’?


1 I rather think. 2 To. 3 Hammer.


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