The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood, by Thomas Hood

Tim Turpin.

A Pathetic Ballad.

Tim Turpin he was gravel blind,

And ne’er had seen the skies:

For Mature, when his head was made,

Forgot to dot his eyes.

So, like a Christmas pedagogue,

Poor Tim was forc’d 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 woo’d 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 liv’d a month

In honey with his wife,

A surgeon ope’d his Milton eyes,

Like oysters, with a knife.

But when his eyes were open’d thus,

He wish’d them dark again:

For when he look’d upon his wife,

He saw her very plain.

Her face was bad, her figure worse,

He couldn’t bear to eat:

For she was any thing but like

A Grace before his meat.

Tim he was a feeling man:

For when his sight was thick,

It made him feel for every thing —

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 open’d unto him.

And when the corpse was stiff and cold,

He took his slaughter’d 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 neighbors fetch’d a doctor in:

Said he, this wound I dread

Can hardly be sew’d 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 tho’ 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 reflect upon

The blood that I have spilt,

Just like a button is my soul,

Inscrib’d 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 sentenc’d 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.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:55