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THE LEGEND.

PART IV.

And now, my little listening dears
With
open

mouths and open ears,
Like a rhymer whose only art is
That of telling a plain unvarnish'd tale,
To let

you

know I must not fail, What became of all the parties.

Pierre went on to Compostella

To finish his pilgrimage, His parents went back with him joyfully, After which they returned to their own country ; And there, I believe, that all the three

Lived to a good old age.

For the gallows on which Pierre

So happily had swung,
It was resolved that never more

On it should man be hung.

To the Church it was transplanted,

As ancient books declare :
And the people in commotion,
With an uproar of devotion,
Set it up for a relic there.

What became of the halter I know not,

Because the old books show not;
But we may suppose

and hope,
That the city presented Pierre
With that interesting rope.

For in his family, and this

The Corporation knew,
It rightly would be valued more
Than

any

cordon bleu.

The Innkeeper's wicked daughter

Confess'd what she had done,
So they put her in a Convent,
And she was made a Nun.

The Alcayde had been so frighten'd

That he never ate fowls again ;
And he always pull'd off his hat
When he saw a Cock and Hen.

Wherever he sat at table

Not an egg might there be placed ; And he never even muster'd courage for a custard,

Though garlic tempted him to taste

Of an omelet now and then.

But always after such a transgression
He hasten'd away to make confession;

And not till he had confess'd,
And the Priest had absolved him, did he feel

His conscience and stomach at rest.

The twice-born Birds to the Pilgrim's Church,

As by miracle consecrated,
Were given ; and there unto the Saint

They were publicly dedicated.

At their dedication the Corporation

A fund for their keep supplied ; And after following the Saint and his banners, This Cock and Hen were so changed in their manners,

That the Priests were edified.

Gentle as any.

turtle-dove,
Saint Cock became all meekness and love ;

Most dutiful of wives,
Saint Hen she never peck'd again,

So they led happy lives.

The ways of ordinary fowls
You must know they had clean forsaken ;
And if every Cock and Hen in Spain

Had their example taken,
Why then ... the Spaniards would have had

No eggs to eat with bacon.

These blessed Fowls, at seven years end,

In the odour of sanctity died ;
They were carefully pluck'd, and then

They were buried, side by side.

And lest the fact should be forgotten,

(Which would have been a pity,) ’T was decreed, in honour of their worth, That a Cock and Hen should be borne thenceforth

In the arms of that ancient City.

Two
eggs

Saint Hen had laid, no more;
The chicken were her delight ;

A Cock and Hen they proved,
And both, like their parents, were virtuous and white.

The last act of the Holy Hen
Was to rear this precious brood ; and, when

Saint Cock and she were dead,
This couple, as the lawful heirs,

Succeeded in their stead.

They also lived seven years,

And they laid eggs but two,
From which two milk-white chicken
To Cock and Henhood grew;

And always their posterity
The self-same course pursue.

Not one of these eggs ever addled,

(With wonder be it spoken!) Not one of them ever was lost, Not one of them ever was broken.

Sacred they are; neither magpie, nor rat, Snake, weasel, nor marten approaching them :

And woe to the irreverent wretch Who should even dream of poaching them !

Thus then is this great miracle

Continued to this day;
And to their Church all Pilgrims go,

When they are on the way ;
And some of the feathers are given them ;

For which they always pay.

No price is set upon them,
And this leaves all persons at ease ;
The Poor give as much as they can,
The Rich as much as they please.

But that the more they give the better,

Is very well understood;
Seeing whatever is thus disposed of,

Is for their own souls' good;

For Santiago will always

Befriend his true believers ;
And the money is for him, the Priests

Being only his receivers.

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