The New Boots

‘They are his new boots,’ she pursued;
‘They have not been worn at all:
They stay there hung on the wall,
And are getting as stiff as wood.
He bought them for the wet weather,
And they are of waterproof leather.’

‘Why does her husband,’ said I,
‘Never wear those boots bought new?’
To a neighbour of hers I knew;
Who answered: ‘Ah, those boots. Aye,
He bought them to wear whenever
It rained. But there they hang ever.

‘“Yes,” he laughed, as he hung them up,
“I've got them at last—a pair
I can walk in anywhere
Through rain and slush and slop.
For many a year I've been haunted
By thoughts of how much they were wanted.”

‘And she's not touched them or tried
To remove them. . . . Anyhow,
As you see them hanging now
They have hung ever since he died
The day after gaily declaring:
“Ha-ha! Now for wet wayfaring.
They're just the chaps for my wearing!”’
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