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Tom Cricket by William Allingham









Tom Cricket

by William Allingham

Tom Cricket he sat in his hole in the wall,

Close to the kitchen fire,

Up and down ran the Cockroaches all,

Red coats and black coats, great and small;

"Ho, Tom! our hearts are set on a ball,

And your music we desire!"

Tom sat in his hole, his horns hung out,

He play'd away on his fiddle;

The Cockroaches danced in a rabble rout,

Scrambling and scurrying all about,

Tho' they had their own steps and figures no doubt,

Hands across, and down the middle.

Till, "Stay!" says a Fat One,—"We're no Elves,

To dance all night without stopping!

Now for supper!" They help'd themselves,

For the servants were gone to bed; on shelves

And tables they quested by tens and twelves,

And quick to the floor kept dropping.

As a Cockroach ran by, says Tom Cricket to him,

"Fetch me up a piece of potato,

Good Sir!—to mix in the crowd I'm too slim."

Says Jack Cockroach, "I see you are proud and prim;

To eat alone is merely your whim,—

Which I never will give way to!"

"Come down," says he, "and look out for your share!"

"I won't do that," says Tom Cricket.

And when for another dance they care,

And call upon Tom for a lively air,

They find he has drawn himself back in his lair.

"How shameful," they cry, "How wicked!"

"Let's fill up the mouth of his cave with soot,

Because he's behaved so badly!"

They ran up and down the wall to do't;

But ere half-done—a dreadful salute!

In came the Cook, and the Scullion to boot,

And off they all scampered madly.