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The Music-Grinders

Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. (1838-1915). Yale Book of American Verse.  1912.
Oliver Wendell Holmes. 1809-1894
96. The Music-Grinders

THERE are three ways in which men take  
  One's money from his purse,  
And very hard it is to tell  
  Which of the three is worse;  
But all of them are bad enough          5
  To make a body curse.
You 're riding out some pleasant day,  
  And counting up your gains;  
A fellow jumps from out a bush,  
  And takes your horse's reins,   10
Another hints some words about  
  A bullet in your brains.  
It 's hard to meet such pressing friends  
  In such a lonely spot;  
It 's very hard to lose your cash,   15
  But harder to be shot;  
And so you take your wallet out,  
  Though you would rather not.  
Perhaps you 're going out to dine,