Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
Bach’s Fugues (from Tommy Big-Eyes)
By Thomas Edward Brown (1830–1897)
FUGE—dear heart!
What a start!
Well, obsarve! away goes a scrap,
Just a piece of a tune, like a little chap
That runs from his mammy; but mind the row        5
There ’ll be about that chap just now!
Off he goes! but whether or not,
The mother is after him like a shot—
Run, you rascal, the fast you ’re able!
But she nearly nabs him at the gable;        10
But missin’ him after all: and then
He ’ll give her the imperince of sin:
And he ’ll duck and he ’ll dive, and he ’ll dodge and he ’ll dip,
And he ’ll make a run, and he ’ll give her the slip,
And back again, and turnin’ and mockin’,        15
And imitatin’ her most shockin’,
Every way she ’s movin’, you know:
That ’s just the way this tune ’ll go;
Imitatin’, changin’, hidin’,
Doublin’ upon itself, dividin’        20
And other tunes comin’ wantin’ to dance with it,
But haven’t the very smallest chance with it—
It ’s that slippy and swivel—up, up, up!
Down, down, down! the little pup—
Friskin’, whiskin’; and then as solemn,        25
Like marchin’ in a double column,
Like a funeral: or, rather,
If you ’ll think of this imp, it ’s like the father
Comin’ out to give it him, and his heavy feet
Soundin’ like thunder on the street.        30
And he ’s caught at last, and they all sing out
Like the very mischief, and dance and shout,
And caper away there most surprisin’,
And ends in a terrible rejisin’.
That ’s Backs, that ’s fuges—aw, that ’s fine—        35
But never mind! never mind!

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