Wanton droll, whose harmless play
Beguiles the rustic’s closing day,
When drawn the evening fire about,
Sit aged crone and thoughtless lout;
Come, show thy tricks and sportive graces,
Thus circled round with merry faces.
Backward coiled, and crouching low,
With glaring eyeballs watch thy foe.
The house wife’s, spindle whirling round,
Or thread, or straw, that on the ground
Its shadow throws, by urchin sly,
Held out to lure thy roving eye.
Then, onward stealing, fiercely spring
Upon the futile, faithless thing.
Now, wheeling round with bootless skill,
Thy bo-peep tail provokes thee still,
As oft beyond thy curving side
Its jetty tip is seen to glide.
Whence hast thou, then, thou witless puss,
The magic power to charm us thus?
Is it that in thy glaring eye,
And rapid movements we descry—
While we at ease, secure from ill,
The chimney corner snugly fill.