A First Series of Hymns and Songs/Descriptive Songs/The Cork Leg
57. The Cork Leg.
You all, no doubt, have heard or read
Of the great Dutch merchant, Mynheer Van Gled,
Who grew so wondrous rich, 'tis said,
His wealth could scarce be credited,
Ri-too-ral-loo-ral-loo-ral-loo, loo-ral-loo-loo-ral, ri-too-loo-lala.
A poor relation came to crave
His bounty,—what d'ye think he gave?
He gave him a kick for daring to beg,
And kick'd him so hard that he broke—his own leg.
He very much wished to preserve his limb,
But the doctor, on seeing it, said to him,
This leg must come off—but don't look glum,
It still may be preserv'd—in rum.
Now Mynheer was proud, and could not decide
'Twixt a mortified leg and a mortified pride
But consented at last, not liking it half
For he felt quite cow'd for the loss of his calf.
A cork leg he determin'd to have complete
An artist engaged to do the feat,
With springs and screws, and clock-work within,
That the loss of his leg did not matter a pin.
He put on his leg to take a walk.
His new leg stepp'd as light as cork;
He put out his hand when an old friend met him,
And wanted to stop, but his leg would not let him.
Through streets and squares, wherever he pass'd,
Folks wonder'd at seeing him walk so fast;
He clung to a lamp-post in his alarms.
But his leg proved stronger than both his arms.
On—on he went,—he knew not where,
Till night brought on a dark despair;
A robber, meeting him in a wood,
Cried Stop!—said he, I wish I could!
For home and friends he began to pine.
He thought of his dinner and bottle of wine,
But instead of drawing the cork, 'twould seem,
The cork was bent on drawing of him.
He had nought to drink but of misery's cup,
And from not lying down he was soon knock'd up;
His strength it decay'd, he grew faint and ill,
He died—but his leg kept walking on still.
He left no will! 'tis very well known
His leg never left him a will of his own;
Yet no man e'er died by land or by sea
Who left behind such a leg as he.