ONE day a shameless and impudent wight Went into a shop full of steel wares bright, Arranged with art upon ev'ry shelf. He fancied they were all meant for himself; And so, while the patient owner stood by, The shining goods needs must handle and try, And valued,--for how should a fool better know?-- The bad things high, and the good ones low, And all with an easy self-satisfied face; Then, having bought nothing, he left the place.
The tradesman now felt sorely vex'd, So when the fellow went there next, A lock of steel made quite red hot. The other cried upon the spot: "Such wares as these, who'd ever buy? the steel is tarnish'd shamefully,"-- Then pull'd it, like a fool about, But soon set up a piteous shout. "Pray what's the matter?" the shopman spoke; The other scream'd: "Faith, a very cool joke!"