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The Story of the Two Bulls   By:

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NEW YORK: Daniel Burgess & Co.



In former times, my story tells, There lived one Deacon R., And not the worst man in the world, Nor best was he, by far.

His fields were rich, his acres broad, And cattle were his pride; Oxen and sheep, and horses, too, And what you please, beside.

His brindle cow, the highest prize Won at the county fair, For taper limbs and rounded form, And short and shining hair.

Old Bonny Gray, a noble steed Of sure, majestic pace, Before the deacon purchased him, Was famous at a race.

This story he would sometimes tell, And at the end would say, "Alas! such sports are far from right; But Bonny won the day!"

Still, more than all, the spotted bull Had filled the deacon's mind; His back so straight, his breast so broad, So perfect of his kind.

And when 'twas said that Moses Grimes, A justice of the peace, Had got the likeliest bull in town, The deacon had no ease.

So off he rode to see the squire, And put this question straight: "Say, don't you want another bull, And don't yours want a mate?"

The squire, perceiving at a glance All that the man was after, "Just forty pounds will buy my bull," Quoth he, with ready laughter.

And when the beast was brought to view, And carefully surveyed, Of deepest red, its every point Of excellence displayed.

"I'll take him at your price," said he "Please drive him down to morrow, And you shall have the money, sir, If I the cash can borrow."

So saying, turned he on his steed, The nimble footed Bonny; To morrow came, and came the bull The deacon paid the money.

The sun was hid behind the hills The next day would be Sunday; "You'll put him in the barn," said he, "And leave him there till Monday."

The deacon was a man of peace, For so he claimed, albeit When there was war among the beasts, He always liked to see it.

"How will the bulls together look, And which will prove the stronger? 'Twere sin to wish the time to pass 'Twould only make it longer."

Such thoughts as these, on Sabbath morn, Like birds of evil token, Flew round and round the deacon's mind Its holy peace was broken.

Beyond the hills the steeple rose, Distant a mile or two. Our deacon's house and barns and bulls Were well concealed from view.

"Be ready all, to meeting go; Perhaps I may not come A curious fluttering near my heart Calls me to stay at home."

As thus he spake, his careful wife Replied with anxious tone, "I'll stay with you; 'twere dangerous To leave you all alone."

"No," answered he "go, every one; I've had the same before, And, with a little medicine, No doubt 'twill soon be o'er.

"Run, Peter, run for Bonny Gray, Nor tarry till you find him; I've often heard his own or say He'd carry all behind him."

The carriage stands before the door; They enter one, two, three; The deacon says, "There's room for more Enough for Parson G."

The parson was a portly man The deacon loved to joke; But afterwards, as it befell, Was sorry that he spoke.

They move to join the gathering throng Within the house of prayer. Now ceased the bell its solemn peal The deacon was not there.

Where was he, then? Perhaps you'll say In easy chair reclining, The glimmer of his spectacles, Upon his Bible shining.

Ah, no! See you that earnest man, With air so bold and free, Driving a spotted, warlike bull? That very man is he.

Left to himself, the deacon grave Tarried not long within, And, thinking of his sturdy beasts, Forgot his medicine.

"I hope the meeting will be full, And I shall not be missed," Softly he breathed, and, looking round, He murmured, "All is whist!"

Thus on he drove that spotted bull, And near the gateway placed him, And when the other one came out, It happened so, he faced him.

"When Greek meets Greek," the deacon said, "Then comes the tug of war;" But such another tug, I ween, The deacon never saw... Continue reading book >>

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