There be three Badgers on a mossy stone,1
Beside a dark and covered way ;2
Each dreams himself a monarch on his throne,3
And so they stay, and stay4
Though their old father languishes alone,5
They stay, and stay, and stay.6
There be three Herrings loitering around,7
Longing to share that mossy seat ;8
Each Herring tries to sing what she has found9
That makes life seem so sweet.10
Thus with a grating and uncertain sound,11
They bleat, and bleat, and bleat.12
The Mother-Herring on the salt sea wave,13
Sought vainly for her absent ones :14
The Father-Badger, writhing in a cave,15
Shrieked out, ‘ Return, my sons !16
You shall have buns,’ he shrieked, ‘if you
Yea, buns, and buns, and buns !’18
I fear,’ said she, ‘ your sons have gone astray.19
My daughters left me while I slept.’20
Yes ’m,’ the Badger said, ‘ it’s as you say ;21
They should be better kept.’22
Thus the poor parents talked the time away,23
And wept and wept and wept.24


Gently the Badgers trotted to the shore25
The sandy shore that fringed the bay ;26
Each in his mouth a living Herring bore27
Those aged ones waxed gay ;28
Clear rang their voices through the ocean’s roar,29
Hooray, hooray, hooray !’ ”30