Of the two hundred fellows at School I'm no fool, So I flatter myself, yet confess My cunning is less Than a new boy's whose virulent blows Brought blood to my nose. When the term was young at its birth, And no dearth Of money perplexed us, I saw Bear-sullen and raw A new boy uncombed and uncouth, An ink-spotted youth. Whose visage suggestive of woe Attracted me so That I went to him full of good feeling, An angel of healing Self-appointed, and said ' 'Tis relief To pour out one's grief To one whose experience immense Has given him sense.' He drying his eyes on his cuff Pluckt heart up, enough To answer, all snivel and snuffling: 'Some beggars were scuffling And hurt him' (I think 'twas his knee Suffered most in the spree.) Then fled. Now it chanced I'd a share In that little affair, Hit some one, who knows? Did I care For the how, when or where? Then I asked him, 'Describe me this youth, With spirit and truth; ' He produced a description, full, fervid, In speech unreserved, Of myself as I stood at the time Of that Corridor crime: Wound up his long speech, with a vow, (I've forgotten it now— The words in their fullness and flavour) To instruct in behaviour The person who smote him; then I With eagle-grey eye, In manner most melodramatic Transfixed the lunatic And said, 'I am he, do your worst O Urchin accursed!' And he glared at me hard for a space, Then full in my face Threw himself, laying hold of my throat He fixed there and smote.— Tho' I beat on his head with my fist He would not desist; This continued, not much to my glory. To finish my story— I was pummelled, kicked, scratched, torn, and smitten, Bemauled and bebitten, Till I gave up the field, and departed, Upset and downhearted.
With a new boy you don't know, don't quarrel, Is my long-winded anecdote 's moral.