It was many and many a year ago,
In a city by the sea,
That a man there lived whom I happened to know
By the name of Andrew M'Crie;
And this man he slept in another room,
But ground and had meals with me.
I was an ass and he was an ass,
In this city by the sea;
But we ground in a way which was more than a grind,
I and Andrew M'Crie;
In a way that the idle semis next door
Declared was shameful to see.
And this was the reason that, one dark night,
In this city by the sea,
A stone flew in at the window, hitting
The milk-jug and Andrew M'Crie.
And once some low-bred tertians came,
And bore him away from me,
And shoved him into a private house
Where the people were having tea.
Professors, not half so well up in their work,
Went envying him and me--
Yes!--that was the reason, I always thought
(And Andrew agreed with me),
Why they ploughed us both at the end of the year,
Chilling and killing poor Andrew M'Crie.
But his ghost is more terrible far than the ghosts
Of many more famous than he--
Of many more gory than he--
And neither visits to foreign coasts,
Nor tonics, can ever set free
Two well-known Profs from the haunting wraith
Of the injured Andrew M'Crie.
For at night, as they dream, they frequently scream,
'Have mercy, Mr. M'Crie!'
And at morn they will rise with bloodshot eyes,
And the very first thing they will see,
When they dare to descend to their coffee and rolls,
Sitting down by the scuttle, the scuttle of coals,
With a volume of notes on its knee,
Is the spectre of Andrew M'Crie.