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The Cap and Bells, or, The Jealousies, Page 17
by John Keats (November-December, 1819).

    "Ah, cursed Bellanaine!" "Don't think of her,"
    Rejoin'd the Mago, "but on Bertha muse;
    For, by my choicest best barometer,
    You shall not throttled be in marriage noose;
    I've said it, Sire; you only have to choose
    Bertha or Bellanaine." So saying, he drew
    From the left pocket of his threadbare hose,
    A sampler hoarded slyly, good as new,
Holding it by his thumb and finger full in view.

    "Sire, this is Bertha Pearl's neat handy-work,
    Her name, see here, Midsummer, ninety-one."
    Elfinan snatch'd it with a sudden jerk,
    And wept as if he never would have done,
    Honouring with royal tears the poor homespun;
    Whereupon were broider'd tigers with black eyes,
    And long-tail'd pheasants, and a rising sun,
    Plenty of posies, great stags, butterflies
Bigger than stags,—a moon,—with other mysteries.

    The monarch handled o'er and o'er again
    Those day-school hieroglyphics with a sigh;
    Somewhat in sadness, but pleas'd in the main,
    Till this oracular couplet met his eye
    Astounded—Cupid, I do thee defy!
    It was too much. He shrunk back in his chair,
    Grew pale as death, and fainted—very nigh!
    "Pho! nonsense!" exclaim'd Hum, "now don't despair;
She does not mean it really. Cheer up, hearty—there!

PAGE 17 OF 29.

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