Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/92

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THE MARE'S NEST

Jane Austen Beecher Stowe de Rouse
Was good beyond all earthly need;
But, on the other hand, her spouse
Was very, very bad indeed.
He smoked cigars, called churches slow,
And raced—but this she did not know.


For Belial Machiavelli kept
The little fact a secret, and,
Though o'er his minor sins she wept,
Jane Austen did not understand
That Lilly—thirteen-two and bay—
Absorbed one half her husband's pay.


She was so good she made him worse
(Some women are like this, I think);
He taught her parrot how to curse,
Her Assam monkey how to drink.
He vexed her righteous soul until
She went up, and he went down hill.


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