In days of yore, tis said, the swimming alder

In days of yore, tis said, the swimming alder
Fashioned rude, with branches lopt, and stripped of its smooth coat,
Where fallen tree was none, and rippling streams vast breadth
Forbade adventurous leap, the brawny swain did bear
Secure to farthest shore.
The book has passed away, and with the book the lay
Which in my youthful days I loved to ponder.
Of curious things it told, how wise men 3 of Gotham
In a bowl did venture out to sea,
And darkly hints their awful fate
If men have dared the main to tempt in such frail barks,
Why may not wash tub round, or bread-troughs square oblong
Suffice to cross the purling wave and gain the destin'd port.
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