My worthy friend, A. Gordon Knott,

From business snag withdrawn, Was ranch contented with a lot Which would contain a Tudor cot 'Twixt twelve feet square of garden-plot And twelve feet more of lawn.

He had laid business on (he shelf

To give his taste expansion, And, since no man, retired with pelf,

The building mania can shun, Knott being middle-aged himself, Resolved to build, (unhappy elf!)

A mediaeval mansion.

He called an architect in counsel;

"I want," said he, "a - -you know what, (You are a builder, I am Knott,) A thing complete from chimney-pot

Down to the very groundsel;

Here's a half acre of good land;

Just have it nicely mapped and planned,

And make your workmen drive on; Meadow there is, and upland too, And I should like a water-view,

D'you think you could contrive one?

(Perhaps the pump and trough would do, If painted a judicious blue?) The woodland I've attended to;" (He meant three pines stuck up askew,

Two dead ones and a live one.)

"A pocket-full of rocks 'twould take

To build a house of freestone, But then it is not hard to make

What now-a-days is the stone; The cunning painter in a trice Your house's outside petrifies, And people think it very gneiss

Without inquiring deeper;

My money never shall be thrown Away on such a deal of stone,

When stone of deal is cheaper."

And so the greenest of antiques

Was reared for Knott to dwell in;

The architect worked hard for weeks Inventing all his private peaks Upon the roof, whose crop of leaks Had satisfied Fluellen.

Whatever anybody had

Out of the common, good or bad, Knott had it all worked well in,

A don-jon keep where clothes might dry,

A porter's lodge that was a sty,

A campanile slim and high,

Too small to hang a bell in;

All up and down and here and there,

With Lord-knows-whats of round and square

Stuck on at random everywhere;

It was a house to make one stare,

All comers and all gables; Like dogs let loose upon a bear, Ten emulous styles staboyed with care, The whole among them seemed to bear, And all the oddities to spare,

Were set upon the stables.

Knott was delighted with a pile

Approved by fashion's leaders; (Only he made the builder smile, By asking, every little while, Why that was called the Twodoor style,

Which certainly had three doors?) Yet better for this luckless man If he had put a downright ban

Upon the thing in limine; For, though to quit affairs his plan, Ere many days, poor Knott began Perforce accepting draughts that ran

All ways - except up chimney; The house, though painted stone to mock, With nice white lines round every block,

Some trepidation stood in, When tempests (with petrific shock, So to speak) made it really rock,

Though not a whit less wooden; And painted stone, howe'er well done, Will not take in the prodigal sun Whose beams are never quite at one

With our terrestrial lumber; So the wood shrank around the knots, And gaped in disconcerting spots, And there were lots of dots and rots

And crannies without-number, Where through, as you may well presume, The wind, like water through a flume,

Came rushing m ecstatic, Leaving in all three floors, no room

That was not a rheumatic; And what, with points and squares and rounds,

Grown shaky on their poises, The house at night was full of pounds, Thumps, bumps, creaks, scratchings, raps. - till

"zounds," Cried Knott, "this goes beyond all bounds, I do not deal in tongues and sounds, Nor have I let my house and grounds,

To a family of Noyeses!"