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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.


By Henry Cuyler Bunner (1855–1896)

From Scribner’s Magazine

I WOULD that all men my hard case might know;

How grievously I suffer for no sin:

I, Adolphe Culpepper Ferguson, for lo!

I of my landlady am lockèd in,

For being short on this sad Saturday,

Nor having shekels of silver wherewith to pay:

She has turned and is departed with my key;

Wherefore, not even as other boarders free,

I sing (as prisoners to their dungeon stones

When for ten days they expiate a spree):

Behold the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!

One night and one day have I wept my woe;

Nor wot I, when the morrow doth begin,

If I shall have to write to Briggs & Co.,

To pray them to advance the requisite tin

For ransom of their salesman, that he may

Go forth as other boarders go alway—

As those I hear now flocking from their tea,

Led by the daughter of my landlady

Piano-ward. This day, for all my moans,

Dry bread and water have been servèd me.

Behold the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!

Miss Amabel Jones is musical, and so

The heart of the young he-boardér doth win,

Playing ‘The Maiden’s Prayer’ adagio

That fetcheth him, as fetcheth the banco skin

The innocent rustic. For my part, I pray

That Badarjewska maid may wait for aye

Ere sits she with a lover, as did we

Once sit together, Amabel! Can it be

That all that arduous wooing not atones

For Saturday shortness of trade dollars three?

Behold the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!

Yea! she forgets the arm was wont to go

Around her waist. She wears a buckle, whose pin

Galleth the crook of the young man’s elbów.

I forget not, for I that youth have been.

Smith was aforetime the Lothario gay.

Yet once, I mind me, Smith was forced to stay

Close in his room. Not calm, as I, was he;

But his noise brought no pleasaunce, verily.

Small ease he got of playing on the bones

Or hammering on his stove-pipe, that I see.

Behold the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!

Thou, for whose fear the figurative crow

I eat, accursed be thou and all thy kin!

Thee will I show up—yea, up will I show

Thy too thick buckwheats, and thy tea too thin.

Ay! here I dare thee, ready for the fray:

Thou dost not “keep a first-class house,” I say!

It does not with the advertisements agree.

Thou lodgest a Briton with a puggaree,

And thou hast harbored Jacobses and Cohns,

Also a Mulligan. Thus denounce I thee!

Behold the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!

Boarders! the worst I have not told to ye:

She hath stolen my trousers, that I may not flee

Privily by the window. Hence these groans.

There is no fleeing in a robe de nuit.

Behold the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!