Treasure Island

Thomas Hood

(1789-1845 / London / England)

Tim Turpin


Tim Turpin he was gravel-blind,
And ne'er had seen the skies :
For Nature, when his head was made,
Forgot to dot his eyes.

So, like a Christmas pedagogue,
Poor Tim was forced to do -
Look out for pupils; for he had
A vacancy for two.

There's some have specs to help their sight
Of objects dim and small :
But Tim had specks within his eyes,
And could not see at all.

Now Tim he wooed a servant maid,
And took her to his arms;
For he, like Pyramus, had cast
A wall-eye on her charms.

By day she led him up and down.
Where'er he wished to jog,
A happy wife, altho' she led
The life of any dog.

But just when Tim had lived a month
In honey with his wife,
A surgeon ope'd his Milton eyes,
Like oysters, with a knife.

But when his eyes were opened thus,
He wished them dark again :
For when he looked upon his wife,
He saw her very plain.

Her face was bad, her figure worse,
He couldn't bear to eat :
For she was anything but like
A grace before his meat.

Now Tim he was a feeling man :
For when his sight was thick
It made him feel for everything -
But that was with a stick.

So, with a cudgel in his hand
It was not light or slim -
He knocked at his wife's head until
It opened unto him.

And when the corpse was stiff and cold,
He took his slaughtered spouse,
And laid her in a heap with all
The ashes of her house.

But like a wicked murderer,
He lived in constant fear
From day to day, and so he cut
His throat from ear to ear.

The neighbours fetched a doctor in :
Said he, "'This wound I dread
Can hardly be sewed up -
his life Is hanging on a thread."

But when another week was gone,
He gave him stronger hope -
Instead of hanging on a thread,
Of hanging on a rope.

Ah ! when he hid his bloody work
In ashes round about,
How little he supposed the truth
Would soon be sifted out.

But when the parish dustman came,
His rubbish to withdraw,
He found more dust within the heap
Than he contracted for !

A dozen men to try the fact
Were sworn that very day ;
But though they all were jurors, yet
No conjurors were they.

Said Tim unto those jurymen,
You need not waste your breath,
For I confess myself at once
The author of her death.

And, oh ! when I refect upon
The blood that I have spilt,
Just like a button is my soul,
Inscribed with double guilt !

Then turning round his head again,
He saw before his eyes,
A great judge, and a little judge,
The judges of a-size !

The great judge took his judgment cap,
And put it on his head,
And sentenced Tim by law to hang
Till he was three times dead.

So he was tried, and he was hung
(Fit punishment for such)
On Horsham-drop, and none can say
It was a drop too much.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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