When tke sentinel mastiff keepeth guard,
And all is dark in the farmer’s yard,
Ere the early cock hath begun to crow,
Abroad with the owl and the bat we go:
Thirst is mighty–hunger is strong–
Our sticks are stout, and our arms are long–
And woe to the chicken–ah, woe, to the hen
That flappeth her wings on our pathway then!
No cautious latchet–no bolted door,
Receiveth at night the gipsy’s store;
No wealthy hoards hath he to guard–
His only store is the farmer’s yard:
And to visit that store whene’er he can,
Is the roving gipsy’s nightly plan.
Weep, Hodge, weep, and scratch thy head,
Thy dog is bribed, and thy poultry fled!