Page:Poets of John Company.djvu/106

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The Adjutant and the Crow.

Once on a time, the story goes,
A flock of noisy idle crows,
Of what to do, for very want.
Got round about an Adjutant,
And tried who most could tease this king
Of all the birds, that ply the wing
From muddy Hooghly's swampy shores.
To Delhi's princely halls and doors.
At first, the crows, at distance due,
Around the stately giant drew,
And hopp'd, and caw'd their very best
To break their sovereign's noon-tide rest:
But he, unmindful of such fry.
With in-drawn neck, and half-closed eye
And only one leg on the ground,
Enjoy'd the creaking hackery's sound,
Which reach'd him on the sunny bank,
Loll-diggee of thy spacious tank:
And, every now and then, he'd wake,
And just a dainty morsel take
Of a dead cat, which he had found
That morning near the burying ground.
By suff 'ranee, soon much bolder grown.
The crows thought all the fun their own.
One, at his tail, began the attack,
Another perch'd upon his back;
And while a third beside him sat,
A fourth was trying to steal his cat.