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Now, if poor Pilgrims they had been,
My good little women and men,
This tale of the Cock and the Hen.
For the Innkeepers they had a daughter,
Sad to say, who was just such another, As Potiphar's daughter, I think, would have been
If she follow'd the ways of her mother.
This wicked woman to our Pierre
Behaved like Potiphar's wife;
She resolved to take his life.
So she pack'd up a silver cup
In his wallet privily;
She raised a hue and cry.
The Pilgrims were overtaken,
The people gather'd round,
The silver cup was found.
They dragg’d him before the Alcayde ;
A hasty Judge was he, “ The theft,” he said, “ was plain and proved,
And hang'd the thief must be.”
Was hurried instantly.
If I should now relate
The piteous lamentation,
My little friends, I am afraid
But Pierre in Santiago still
His constant faith profess'd ;
When to the gallows he was led, “'T was a short way to Heaven,” he said,
“Though not the pleasantest."
And from their pilgrimage he charged
His parents not to cease, Saying that unless they promised this,
He could not be hang'd in peace.
They promised it with heavy hearts;
Pierre then, therewith content, Was hang’d: and they upon their way
To Compostella went.
FOUR weeks they travell'd painfully,
To La Calzada's fatal town
The Mother would not be withheld,
But go she must to see Where her poor Pierre was left to hang
Upon the gallows tree.
Oh tale most marvellous to hear,
Most marvellous to tell ! Eight weeks had he been hanging there,
And yet was alive and well !
“Mother,” said he, “I am glad you 're return'd,
It is time I should now be released :
neck does not ache in the least.
“ The Sun has not scorch'd me by day,
The Moon has not chilld me by night; And the winds have but help'd me to swing,
As if in dream of delight.
“Go you to the Alcayde,
That hasty Judge unjust,
Now, you must know the Alcayde,
About to begin his dinner.
His knife was raised to carve,
The dish before him then ;
A Cock and his faithful Hen.
In came the Mother wild with joy;
“ A miracle ! ” she cried ;
Repell’d her in his pride.
• “ Think not,” quoth he, “ to tales like this
That I should give belief !
And pointing to the Fowls, o'er which
He held his ready knife, ;
“ As easily might I believe These birds should come to life!”
The good Saint would not let him thus
The Mother's true tale withstand;
So up rose the Fowls in the dish,
The Cock would have crow'd if he could ;
To cackle the Hen had a wish;
Before they got out of the dish.
And when each would have open'd its eyes,
They saw they had no eyes to open,
All this was to them a great wonder ;
And either to guess where they were,
Alas ! they were wholly unable: