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The stars are rolling in the sky,
    The earth rolls on below,
And we can feel the rattling wheel
    Revolving as we go.
Then tread away, my gallant boys,
    And make the axle fly;
Why should not wheels go round about,
    Like planets in the sky?

Wake up, wake up, my duck-legged man,
    And stir your solid pegs!
Arouse, arouse, my gawky friend,
    And shake your spider legs;
What though you're awkward at the trade,
    There's time enough to learn,—
So lean upon the rail, my lad,
    And take another turn.

They've built us up a noble wall,
    To keep the vulgar out;
We've nothing in the world to do
    But just to walk about;
So faster now, you middle men,
    And try to beat the ends,—
It's pleasant work to ramble round
    Among one's honest friends.

Here, tread upon the long man's toes,
    He sha'n't be lazy here,—
And punch the little fellow's ribs,
    And tweak that lubber's ear,—
He's lost them both, — don't pull his hair,
    Because he wears a scratch,
But poke him in the further eye,
    That isn't in the patch.

Hark! fellows, there's the supper-bell,
    And so our work is done;
It's pretty sport, — suppose we take
    A round or two for fun!
If ever they should turn me out,
    When I have better grown,
Now hang me, but I mean to have
    A treadmill of my own!

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.