William Makepeace Thackeray

(1811-1863 / India)

Peg Of Limavaddy - Poem by William Makepeace Thackeray

Riding from Coleraine
(Famed for lovely Kitty),
Came a Cockney bound
Unto Derry city;
Weary was his soul,
Shivering and sad, he
Bumped along the road
Leads to Limavaddy.

Mountains stretch'd around,
Gloomy was their tinting,
And the horse's hoofs
Made a dismal clinting;
Wind upon the heath
Howling was and piping,
On the heath and bog,
Black with many a snipe in.
Mid the bogs of black,
Silver pools were flashing,
Crows upon their sides
Picking were and splashing.
Cockney on the car
Closer folds his plaidy,
Grumbling at the road
Leads to Limavaddy.

Through the crashing woods
Autumn brawld and bluster'd,
Tossing round about
Leaves the hue of mustard
Yonder lay Lough Foyle,
Which a storm was whipping,
Covering with mist
Lake, and shores and shipping.
Up and down the hill
(Nothing could be bolder),
Horse went with a raw
Bleeding on his shoulder.
'Where are horses changed?'
Said I to the laddy
Driving on the box:
'Sir, at Limavaddy.'

Limavaddy inn's
But a humble bait-house,
Where you may procure
Whiskey and potatoes;
Landlord at the door
Gives a smiling welcome—
To the shivering wights
Who to his hotel come.

Landlady within
Sits and knits a stocking,
With a wary foot
Baby's cradle rocking.
To the chimney nook
Having, found admittance,
There I watch a pup
Playing with two kittens;
(Playing round the fire,
Which of blazing turf is,
Roaring to the pot
Which bubbles with the murphies.
And the cradled babe
Fond the mother nursed it,
Singing it a song
As she twists the worsted!

Up and down the stair
Two more young ones patter
(Twins were never seen
Dirtier nor fatter).
Both have mottled legs,
Both have snubby noses,
Both have— Here the host
Kindly interposes:
'Sure you must be froze
With the sleet and hail, sir:
So will you have some punch,
Or will you have some ale, sir?'

Presently a maid
Enters with the liquor
(Half a pint of ale
Frothing in a beaker).
Gads! didn't know
What my beating heart meant:
Hebe's self I thought
Entered the apartment.
As she came she smiled,
And the smile bewitching,
On my word and honor,
Lighted all the kitchen!

With a curtsy neat
Greeting the new comer,
Lovely, smiling Peg
Offers me the rummer;
But my trembling hand
Up the beaker tilted,
And the glass of ale
Every drop I spilt it:
Spilt it every drop
(Dames, who read my volumes,
Pardon such a word)
On my what-d'ye-call-'ems!

Witnessing the sight
Of that dire disaster,
Out began to laugh
Missis, maid, and master;
Such a merry peal
'Specially Miss Peg's was,
(As the glass of ale
Trickling down my legs was,)
That the joyful sound
Of that mingling laughter
Echoed in my ears
Many a long day after.

Such a silver peal!
In the meadows listening,
You who've heard the bells
Ringing to a christening;
You who ever heard
Caradori pretty,
Smiling like an angel,
Singing 'Giovinetti;'
Fancy Peggy's laugh,
Sweet, and clear, and cheerful,
At my pantaloons
With half a pint of beer full!

When the laugh was done,
Peg, the pretty hussy,
Moved about the room
Wonderfully busy;
Now she looks to see
If the kettle keep hot;
Now she rubs the spoons,
Now she cleans the teapot;
Now she sets the cups
Trimly and secure:
Now she scours a pot,
And so it was I drew her.

Thus it was I drew her
Scouring of a kettle,
(Faith! her blushing cheeks
Redden'd on the metal!)
Ah! but 'tis in vain
That I try to sketch it;
The pot perhaps is like,
But Peggy's face is wretched.
No the best of lead
And of indian-rubber
Never could depict
That sweet kettle-scrubber!

See her as she moves
Scarce the ground she touches,
Airy as a fay,
Graceful as a duchess;
Bare her rounded arm,
Bare her little leg is,
Vestris never show'd
Ankles like to Peggy's.
Braided is her hair,
Soft her look and modest,
Slim her little waist
Comfortably bodiced.

This I do declare,
Happy is the laddy
Who the heart can share
Of Peg of Limavaddy.
Married if she were
Blest would be the daddy
Of the children fair
Of Peg of Limavaddy.
Beauty is not rare
In the land of Paddy,
Fair beyond compare
Is Peg of Limavaddy.

Citizen or Squire,
Tory, Whig, or Radi-
cal would all desire
Peg of Limavaddy.
Had I Homer's fire,
Or that of Serjeant Taddy,
Meetly I'd admire
Peg of Limavaddy.
And till I expire,
Or till I grow mad I
Will sing unto my lyre
Peg of Limavaddy!


Comments about Peg Of Limavaddy by William Makepeace Thackeray

There is no comment submitted by members..



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?



Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010



[Report Error]