1818 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Wordsworth

Anonymous, "A Simple Story, after the Manner of Wordsworth" New British Lady's Magazine 1 (November 1818) 230.



I once beheld a very aged man
Eating hog's-pudding at his cottage-door;
His gallygaskins were of corderoy—
And waistcoat he had none. His tatter'd coat
A lonely button fasten'd o'er his breast,
Seam'd was his face with scars, and on his head,
Close shorn by time, he wore a woollen cap,
A small red night-cap of a reverend age.
Grey were his little eyes; and his sharp teeth
Tho' dark of hue, straggling in array,
Were nimble in their motion. As I pass'd
His long hog-puddings vanished one by one,
A dog was near him, on whose shaggy hide
He wip'd his greasy fingers; and methought
A wond'rous mortal was this ancient man.
I ask'd him of his history, and he
Did, with a stern and alter'd countenance,
Look steadily upon me, and reply—
"What's that to you."