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Blind Mans Buff

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Written by: William Blake | Biography
| Poems
 | Quotes |
 When silver snow decks Susan's clothes,
And jewel hangs at th' shepherd's nose,
The blushing bank is all my care,
With hearth so red, and walls so fair;
`Heap the sea-coal, come, heap it higher,
The oaken log lay on the fire.
' The well-wash'd stools, a circling row, With lad and lass, how fair the show! The merry can of nut-brown ale, The laughing jest, the love-sick tale, Till, tir'd of chat, the game begins.
The lasses prick the lads with pins; Roger from Dolly twitch'd the stool, She, falling, kiss'd the ground, poor fool! She blush'd so red, with sidelong glance At hob-nail Dick, who griev'd the chance.
But now for Blind man's Buff they call; Of each encumbrance clear the hall-- Jenny her silken 'kerchief folds, And blear-eyed Will the black lot holds.
Now laughing stops, with `Silence! hush!' And Peggy Pout gives Sam a push.
The Blind man's arms, extended wide, Sam slips between:--`O woe betide Thee, clumsy Will!'--but titt'ring Kate Is penn'd up in the corner straight! And now Will's eyes beheld the play; He thought his face was t'other way.
`Now, Kitty, now! what chance hast thou, Roger so near thee!--Trips, I vow!' She catches him--then Roger ties His own head up--but not his eyes; For thro' the slender cloth he sees, And runs at Sam, who slips with ease His clumsy hold; and, dodging round, Sukey is tumbled on the ground!-- `See what it is to play unfair! Where cheating is, there's mischief there.
' But Roger still pursues the chase,-- `He sees! he sees!' cries, softly, Grace; `O Roger, thou, unskill'd in art, Must, surer bound, go thro' thy part!' Now Kitty, pert, repeats the rimes, And Roger turns him round three times, Then pauses ere he starts--but Dick Was mischief bent upon a trick; Down on his hands and knees he lay Directly in the Blind man's way, Then cries out `Hem!' Hodge heard, and ran With hood-wink'd chance--sure of his man; But down he came.
-- Alas, how frail Our best of hopes, how soon they fail! With crimson drops he stains the ground; Confusion startles all around.
Poor piteous Dick supports his head, And fain would cure the hurt he made.
But Kitty hasted with a key, And down his back they straight convey The cold relief; the blood is stay'd, And Hodge again holds up his head.
Such are the fortunes of the game, And those who play should stop the same By wholesome laws; such as all those Who on the blinded man impose Stand in his stead; as, long a-gone, When men were first a nation grown, Lawless they liv'd, till wantonness A 1000 nd liberty began t' increase, And one man lay in another's way; Then laws were made to keep fair play.

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