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Full text of "The Pied Piper of Hamelin : a child's story"

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Copyright, 7010, by 

TO^Nnllg X 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 

ENTERED AT STATIONERS' HALL 

Edition of 1937 




PUBLIC LIP 





'.. 



Illustrations 




Lived to carry . . . 

To Rat-land home his commentary" - 



Half Title 



Frontispiece 



And bit the babies in the cradles 



"At last the people in a body 

To the Town Hall came flocking" 



"Hamelin Town's in Brunswick ' 
They fought the dogs and killed the cats" 
"And licked the soup from the cooks' own 





'"Come in!' the Mayor cried, looking bigger: 
And in did come the strangest figure!" 

"And even spoiled the women's chats 
By drowning their speaking - 

"Into the street the Piper stept" - - - 
"From street to street he piped advancing" 
"And step for step they followed dancing" 
"'Oh rats, rejoice'"! 

"'The world is grown to one vast 
drysaltery ! ' " 

" ' First, if you please, my thousand guilders!" 

"For council dinners make rare havoc 
With Claret, Moselle, Vin-de-grave, 
Hock" - 

"Out came the children running" 
"All the little boys and girls" - 



23 

24 and 25 

28 and 29 

30 

31 

32 

33 

34 and 35 



36 and 37 

40 

41 



1 

i 




"The little boys and girls . . . ran merrily after" 42 

"The wonderful music with shouting and 

laughter" 43 

"To Koppelberg Hill his steps addressed" 44 and 45 

"A wondrous portal opened wide" 47 

"'I can't forget that I'm bereft 

"Of all the pleasant sights they see'" 48 and 49 

"'And never hear of that country more!'" 51 

"Piper and dancers were gone for ever" 52 

"Lawyers never should think their records 

dated duly" 53 

"They wrote the story on a column" 54 

"On the great church- window painted the 

same" - - 55 





14 



Hamelin Town's in Brunswick, 

By famous Hanover city; 
The river Weser, deep and wide, 
Washes its wall on the southern side; 





THEY FOUGHT THE DOGS 




A pleasanter spot you never spied; 

But, when begins my ditty. 
Almost five hundred years ago, 
To see the townsfolk suffer so 

From vermin, was a pity. 




AND KILLED THE CATS" 



II 



Rats! 
They fought the dogs and killed the cats, 

And bit the babies in the cradles, 
And ate the cheeses out of the vats, 

And licked the soup from the cooks' 
own ladles, 



Split open the kegs of salted sprats, 



Made 



ide 



Sunday hats, 



nests inside men 

And even spoiled the women's chats 
By drowning their speaking 
With shrieking and squeaking 

In fifty different sharps and flats* 

III 

At last the people in a body 

To the Town Hall came flocking: 
"'Tis clear," cried they, "our Mayor's 

a noddy; 

"And as for our Corporation shocking 
" To think we buy gowns lined with ermine 
"For dolts that can't or won't determine 
"What's best to rid us of our vermin! 
' You hope, because you're old and obese, 
To find in the furry civic robe ease ? 



4i 









18 



u Rouse up, sirs! Give your brains a rack- 
ing 

( To find the remedy we're lacking, 
u Or, sure as fate, we'll send you packing!" 
At this the Mayor and Corporation 
Quaked with mighty consternation, 

IV 

An hour they sat in council, 

At length the Mayor broke silence: 

"For a guilder I'd my ermine gown sell, 
"I wish I were a mile hence! 
It's easy to bid one rack one's brain- 
I'm sure my poor head aches again, 
I've scratched it so, and all in vain, 
Oh for a trap, a trap, a trap!" 
sst as he said this what should hap 
Lt the chamber door but a gentle tap? 



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"AND LICKED THE SOUP 



"Bless us/' cried the Mayor, "what's that? 
(With the Corporation as he sat, 
Looking little though wondrous fat; 
Nor brighter was his eye, nor moister 
Than a too-long-opened oyster, 



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FROM THE COOKS' OWN LADLES" /"age 17 

Save when at noon his paunch grew mutinous 
For a plate of turtle green and glutinous) 
"Only a scraping of shoes on the mat? 
"Anything like the sound of a rat 
" Makes my heart go pit-a-pat !" 



V 

"Come in!" the Mayor cried, looking bigger: 
And in did come the strangest figure! 
His queer long coat from heel to head 
Was half of yellow and half of red, 
And he himself was tall and thin, 
With sharp blue eyes, each like a pin, 
And light loose hair, yet swarthy skin, 
No tuft on cheek nor beard on chin, 
But lips where smiles went out and in; 
There was no guessing his kith and kin: 
And nobody could enough admire 
The tall man and his quaint attire. 
Quoth one: "It's as my great-grandsire, 
"Starting up at the Trump of Doom's tone, 
"Had walked this way from his painted 
tombstone!" 




"AND EVEN SPOILED THE WOMEN'S CHATS 

VI 

He advanced to the council-table: 
And, "Please your honours/' said he, "I'm able, 
By means of a secret charm, to draw 
"All creatures living beneath the sun, 
'That creep or swim or fly or run, 



u 



never saw 
charm 







A scarf of red and yellow stripe, 
To match with his coat of the self -same cheque j 

And at the scarf's end hung a pipe; 
And his fingers, they noticed, were ever straying 
As if impatient to be playing 
Upon this pipe, as low it dangled 
Over his vesture so old-fangled,) 
( Yet, n said he, "poor piper as I am, 
"In Tartary I freed the Cham, 

"Last June, from his huge swarms of gnats ; 
"I eased in Asia the Nizam 

"Of a monstrous brood of vampyre-bats : 
"And as for what your brain bewilders, 

"If I can rid your town of rats 
"Will you give me a thousand guilders?' 
"One ? fifty thousand ! " was the exclamation 
Of the astonished Mayor and Corporation, 



VII 

Into the street the Piper stept, 

Smiling first a little smile, 
As if he knew what magic slept 

In his quiet pipe the while ; 
Then, like a musical adept, 
To blow the pipe his lip he wrinkled, 
And green and blue his sharp eyes twinkled, 
Like a candle-flame where salt is sprinkled; 
And ere three shrill notes the pipe uttered, 
You heard as if an army muttered; 
And the murmuring grew to a grumbling; 
And the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling; 
And out of the houses the rats came tumbling* 
Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats, 
Brown rats, black rats, gray rats, tawny rats, 
Grave old plodders, gay young friskers, 




"INTO THE STREET 

Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins, 
Cocking tails and pricking whiskers, 

Families by tens and dozens, 
Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives 
Followed the Piper for their lives, 
*K\ From street to street he piped advancing, 
And step for step they followed dancing, 




THE PIPER STEPT."Page 27 

Until they came to the river Weser, 
Wherein all plunged and perished I 
Save one who, stout as Julius Caesar, 
Swam across and lived to carry 
(As he the manuscript he cherished) 
To Rat-land home his commentary: 
Which was, "At the first shrill notes of the pipe, 





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31 





" ' 0# #,47*5, REJOICE! 

"I heard a sound as of scraping tripe, 
"And putting apples, wondrous ripe, 
"Into a cider-press's gripe: 
"And a moving away of pickle-tub-boards, 
"And a leaving ajar of conserve-cupboards, 
"And a drawing the corks of train-oil-flasks, 
; And a breaking the hoops of butter-casks: 



32 




THE WORLD IS GROWN TO ONE VAST DRYSALTERY 1' 

y/ 

rj "And it seemed as if a voice 

("Sweeter far than by harp or by psaltery 
"Is breathed) called out, 'Oh rats, rejoice! 

'The world is grown to one vast drysaltery! 
'So munch on, crunch on, take your nuncheon, 
'Breakfast, supper, dinner, luncheon V 
And just as a bulky sugar-puncheon, 



" 




33 



SMIII 1 






J 



" ' FIRST, IF YOU PLEASE, 

" All ready staved, like a great sun shone 

u Glorious scarce an inch before me, 

'Just as methought it said, 'Come, bore 

me!' 
" I found the Weser rolling o'er me." 

VIII 

You should have heard the Hamelm people 
Ringing the bells till they rocked the steeple. 



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THOUSAND GUILDERS!' ' 



" 



Go/' cried the Mayor, "and get long poles, 
"Poke out the nests and block up the holes! 
44 Consult with carpenters and builders, 
"And leave in our town not even a trace 
"Of the rats!" when suddenly, up the face 
Of the Piper perked in the market-place, 
With a, "First t if you please, my thousand 
guilders !" 






35 





"FOR COUNCIL DINNERS MAKE RARE HAVOC 

IX 

A thousand guilders ! The Mayor looked blue ; & 

So did the Corporation too. 

For council dinners make rare havoc 

With Claret, Moselle, Vin-de-Grave, Hock; 

And half the money would replenish 



V. 



WITH CLARET, MOSELLE, VIN-tE-GRAVE. HOCK." 

Their cellar^ biggest butt with Rhenish* 
To pay this sum to a wandering fellow 
With a gypsy coat of red and yellow! 
"Beside/' quoth the Mayor with a knowing wink, 
"Our business was done at the river's brink; 
"We saw with our eyes the vermin sink, 



"And what's dead can't come to life, I think. 
[ 'So, friend, we're not the folks to shrink 
u From the duty of giving you something for drink, 
"And a matter of money to put in your poke; 
"But as for the guilders, what we spoke 
"Of them, as you very well know, was in joke, 
"Beside, our losses have made us thrifty. 
"A thousand guilders! Come, take fifty!" 

X 

The Piper's face fell, and he cried 
"No trifling! I can't wait, beside! 
"I've promised to visit by dinnertime 
"Bagdat, and accept the prime 
"Of the Head-Cook's pottage, all he's rich in, 
"For having left, in the Caliph's kitchen, 
"Of a nest of scorpions no survivor: 
"With him I proved no bargain-driver, 






"With you, don't think Pll bate a stiver! 
"And folks who put me in a passion 
"May find me pipe after another fashion/' 

XI 

"How?" cried the Mayor, "d'ye think I brook | 
"Being worse treated than a Cook? 
"Insulted by a lazy ribald 
'With idle pipe and vesture piebald? 
'You threaten us, fellow? Do your worst, 
"Blow your pipe there till you burst !" 

XII 
Once more he stept into the street 

And to his lips again 

Laid his long pipe of smooth straight cane ; 
And ere he blew three notes (such sweet 
Soft notes as yet musician's cunning 

Never gave the enraptured air) 



v,* 



V 




" OUT CAME THE CHILDREN RUNNING. 



There was a rustling that seemed like a bustling 
Of merry crowds justling at pitching and hustling ; 
Small feet were pattering, wooden shoes clattering, 
Little hands clapping and little tongues chattering 
And, like fowls in a farm-yard when barley 
is scattering, 



I ' - ' W J v! ** 

fei&lM 




ALL THE LITTLE BOYS AND GIRLS." 

Out came the children running. 

All the little boys and girls, 

With rosy cheeks and flaxen curls, 

And sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls, 

Tripping and skipping, ran merrily after 

The wonderful music with shouting and laughter. 




43 




"TO KOPPELBERG HILL 



XIII 

The Mayor was dumb, and the Council stood 

As if they were changed into blocks of wood, 

Unable to move a step, or cry 

To the children merrily skipping by, 

Could only follow with the eye 

That joyous crowd at the Piper's back* 




HIS STEPS ADDRESSED. ' ' 



But how the Mayor was on the rack. 
And the wretched Council's bosoms beat, 
As the Piper turned from the High Street 
To where the Weser rolled its waters 
Right in the way of their sons and daughters! 
However he turned from South to West, 
And to Koppelberg Hill his steps addressed, 



And after him the children pressed; 

Great was the joy in every breast, 

u He never can cross that mighty top! 

u He's forced to let the piping drop, 

u And we shall see our children stop!" 

When, lo, as they reached the mountain-side, 

A wondrous portal opened wide, 

As if a cavern was suddenly hollowed; 

And the Piper advanced and the children followed, 

And when all were in to the very last, 

The door in the mountain-side shut fast* 

Did I say, all? No! One was lame, 

And could not dance the whole of the way; 
And in after years, if you would blame 

His sadness, he was used to say, 
"It's dull in our town since my playmates left! 
"I can't forget that I'm bereft 




47 




" '/ CAN'T FORGET THAT FM BEREFT 

"Of all the pleasant sights they see, 
"Which the Piper also promised me* 
"For he led us, he said, to a joyous land, 
"Joining the town and just at hand, 
"Where waters gushed and fruit-trees grew 
"And flowers put forth a fairer hue, 







OF ALL THE PLEASANT SIGHTS THEY SEE.'" 



n. 



And everything was strange and new; 

The sparrows were brighter than peacocks here, Ifij 

And their dogs outran our fallow deer, 

And honey-bees had lost their stings, 

And horses were born with eagle's wings: 

And just as I became assured 



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49 



"My lame foot would be speedily cured, 
'The music stopped and I stood still, 
"And found myself outside the Ml, 
u Left alone against my will, 
( To go now limping as before, 
"And never hear of that country more!' 1 

XIV 

Alas, alas for Hamelin! 

There came into many a burgher's pate 

A text which says that heaven's gate 

Opes to the rich at as easy rate 
As the needle's eye takes a camel in! 
The Mayor sent East, West, North, and South,] 
To offer the Piper, by word of mouth, 

Wherever it was men's lot to find him. 
Silver and gold to his heart's content, 
If he'd only return the way he went, 



50 



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51 




"PIPER AND DANCERS WERE GONE FOR EVER/' 

And bring the children behind him. 
But when they saw 'twas a lost endeavour. 
And Piper and dancers were gone for ever, 
They made a decree that lawyers never 

Should think their records dated duly 
If, after the day of the month and year, 
These words did not as well appear, 




"LAWYERS NEVER SHOULD THINK THEIR RECORDS 

DATED DULY" 

"And so long after what happened here 

u On the Twenty-second of July, 
( Thirteen hundred and seventy-six : t: 
And the better in memory to fix 

w The place of the children's last retreat, 
ejk 

g i They called it, the Pied Piper's Street 
Where any one playing on pipe or tabor 














"THEY WROTE THE STORY ON A COLUMN. 

Was sure for the future to lose his labour* 
Nor suffered they hostelry or tavern 

To shock with mirth a street so solemn; 
But opposite the place of the cavern 

They wrote the story on a column, 
And on the great church-window painted 
The same, to make the world acquainted 







r/ffi 1 GREAT CHURCH-WINDOW PAINTED THE SAME." 

How their children were stolen away, 

And there it stands to this very day. 

And I must not omit to say 

That in Transylvania there's a tribe 

Of alien people who ascribe 

The outlandish ways and dress 

On which their neighbours lay such stress, 




$ 



To their fathers and mothers having risen 

Out of some subterraneous prison 

Into which they were trepanned 

Long time ago in a mighty band 

Out of Hamelin town in Brunswick land, 

But how or why, they don't understand. 

XV 

So, Willy, let me and you be wipers 

Of scores out with all men especially pipers! 

And, whether they pipe us free from rats or 

from mice, 
If weVe promised them aught, let us keep 

our promise! 



1