The twelve nouns to be introduced—Bill, lute, attempt, bead,
lamp, crocodile, tower, railway, halfpenny, song, apron, duck.
In old Billboa’s ancient town,1
A lady singing to her lute,2
Bade knights attempt to win renown,3
Or be to her for ever mute.4
Yet always at the Vesper hour5
A prayer arose as one bead fell,6
That never death or Paynim power7
Would dim the eyes she loved so well.8
She trimmed his lamp before the shrine9
Of Mary Mother every day,10
Thought of her knight in Palestine,11
And sang her love in many a lay.12
Alas ! that prayers, and songs, and sighs,13
And dreams, and thoughts, and love, and smiles,14
Should be but air, and sound, and lies,15
And tears be all like crocodile’s.16
It wasn’t long before there came17
Another lover to her tower18
A man of no chivalric name,19
And but the creature of an’ hour !20
A man who had a fortune made21
By railways, as a great contractor ;22
But now retired out of trade,23
He for her heart and hand attack’d her.24
His suit her parents patronise,25
For there’s no hesitation which is26
The proper man, when choosing lies,27
’Twixt high-born poor or low-bred riches !28
He told her if she’d marry him29
He’d settle lots of cash upon her30
Alfonzo’s image grew more dim31
He’d but a halfpenny, and honour !32
He said he didn’t care for songs33
Save getting what he could for old ones34
Cared for no honour that belongs35
To aught but speculations—bold ones.36
And so at last she quite forgot37
Her once eternal love, Alfonzo.38
Poor man ! he little knew his lot,39
Or dream’t his love could have gone on so.40
She wiped away the last fond tear41
’Twas with her apron’s softest corner42
Forgot the distant for the near,43
And chose the plums, like Jacky Horner !44
So they were wed, and blessed their luck45
Thus riches to contentment pander !46
He, pleased at winning “ such a duck”—47
She, such a golden “ goosey gander” !48