p.21 /


THERE was an old woman had three sons,
Jerry, and James, and John :
Jerry was hung, James was drowned,
John was lost and never was found,
And there was an end of her three sons,
Jerry, and James, and John !


THERE was a man of Newington,
      And he was wondrous wise,
He jump'd into a quickset hedge,
      And scratch'd out both his eyes ;
But when he saw his eyes were out,
      With all his might and main
He jump'd into another hedge,
      And scratch'd 'em in again.


p.22 /

WHEN I was a bachelor, I lived by myself,
And all the bread and cheese I laid upon the shelf ;
The rats and the mice they made such a strife,
I was forc'd to go to London to buy me a wife ;
The roads were so bad, and the lanes were so narrow,
I was forced to bring my wife home in a wheelbarrow.
The wheelbarrow broke, and my wife had a fall ;
Deuce take the wheelbarrow, wife, and all.


ROWSTY dowt, my fire's all out,
My little dame is not at home !
I'll saddle my cock, and bridle my hen,
And fetch my little dame home again!
Home she came, tritty trot,
She asked for the porridge she left in the pot ;
Some she ate and some she shod,
And some she gave to the truckler's dog ;
She took up the ladle and knocked its head,
And now poor Dapsy dog is dead !


p.23 /

ROBIN and Richard
     Were two pretty men ;
They laid in bed
     Till the clock struck ten ;
Then up starts Robin
     And looks at the sky,
Oh ! brother Richard,
     The sun's very high.
You go before with the bottle and bag,
And I will come after on little Jack Nag.
You go first, and open the gate,
And I'll come after, and break your pate.


[From MS. Bib. Reg. 8 A. V. fol. 52, of the time of Henry VIII.]
WE make no spare
Of John Hunkes' mare ;
And now I
Think she will die :
He thought it good
To put her in the wood,
To seek where she might ly dry ;
If the mare should chance to fale,
Then the crownes would for her sale.

p.24 /

I HAD a little dog, and his name was Blue Bell,
I gave him some work, and he did it very well ;
I sent him up stairs to pick up a pin,
He stepped in the coal-scuttle up to the chin.
I sent him to the garden to pick some sage,
He tumbled down and fell in a rage;
I sent him to the cellar, to draw a pot of beer,
He came up again and said there was none there.


       THERE was a little man,
      And he woo'd a little maid,
And he said, little maid, will you wed, wed, wed ?
      I have little more to say,
      Than will you, yea or nay,
For least said is soonest mended—ded, ded, ded.

      The little maid replied,
      Some say a little sighed,
But what shall we have for to eat, eat, eat ?
      Will the love that you're so rich in
      Make a fire in the kitchen ?
Or the little god of Love turn the spit—spit, spit


p.25 /

       I HAD a little moppet,
      I put it in my pocket,
And fed it with corn and hay ;
      Then came a proud beggar,
      And swore he would have her,
And stole little moppet away.


THERE were two birds sat on a stone,
     Fa, la, la, la, lal, de ;
One flew away, and then there was one,
     Fa, la, la, la, lal, de ;
The other flew after, and then there was none,
     Fa, la, la, la, lal, de ;
And so the poor stone was left all alone,
     Fa, la, la, la, lal, de !


THERE was a little Guinea-pig,
Who, being little, was not big,
He always walked upon his feet,
And never fasted when he eat.
p.26 /
When from a place he ran away,
He never at that place did stay ;
And while he ran, as I am told,
He ne'er stood still for young or old.

He often squeak'd, and sometimes vi'lent,
And when he squeak'd he ne'er was silent :
Though ne'er instructed by a cat,
He knew a mouse was not a rat.

One day, as I am certified,
He took a whim and fairly died ;
And, as I'm told by men of sense,
He never has been living since.


DID you not hear of Betty Pringle's pig ?
It was not very little, nor yet very big ;
The pig sat down upon a dunghill,
And then poor piggy he made his will.

Betty Pringle came to see this pretty pig,
That was not very little, nor yet very big ;
This little piggy it lay down and died,
And Betty Pringle sat down and cried.

Then Johnny Pringle buried this very pretty pig,
That was not very little, nor yet very big ;
So here's an end of the song of all three,
Johnny Pringle, Betty Pringle, and the little Piggie.

p.27 /

THREE wise men of Gotham
Went to sea in a bowl :
And if the bowl had been stronger,
My song would have been longer.


     [The following was most probably taken from a poetical tale in the "Choyce Poems," 12mo, Lond. 1662. As it is a very popular nursery song, I shall give the tale to which I allude in No. XLI.]
THREE children sliding on the ice,
      Upon a summer's day,
As it fell out, they all fell in,
      The rest they ran away.

Now had these children been at home,
      Or sliding on dry ground,
Ten thousand pounds to one penny,
      They had not all been drown'd.

You parents all that children have,
      And you that have got none ;
If you would have them safe abroad,
      Pray keep them safe at home.

p.28 /

[From "Ovid de Arte Amandi, &c. Englished, together with Choice Poems, and rare Pieces of Drollery." 1662.]
SOME Christian people all give ear,
    Unto the grief of us,
Caused by the death of three children dear ;
    The which it hap'ned thus.

And eke there befel an accident,
    By fault of a carpenter's son,
Who to saw chips his sharp axe lent,
    Wo woeth the time may Lon—

May London say, wo woeth the carpenter,
    And all such block-head fools,
Would he were hang'd up like a serpent here,
    For jesting with edge-tools.

For into the chips there fell a spark,
    Which put out in such flames,
That it was known in Southwark,
    Which lies beyond the Thames.

For lo, the bridge was wondrous high,
    With water underneath,
O'er which as many fishes fly,
    As birds therein doth breath.

p.29 /
And yet the fire consum'd the bridge,
    Not far from place of landing ;
And though the building was full big,
    It fell down not-with-standing.

And eke into the water fell
    So many pewter dishes,
That a man might have taken up very well
    Both boil'd and roasted fishes.

And that the bridge of London town,
    For building that was sumptuous,
Was all by fire half burnt down,
    For being too contumptious :

And thus you have all but half my song,
    Pray list to what comes after ;
For now I have cool'd you with the fire,
    I'll warm you with the water.

I'll tell you what the river's name is,
    Where these children did slide-a,
It was fair London's swiftest Thames,
    That keeps both time and tide-a.

All on the tenth of January,
    To the wonder of much people,
'Twas frozen o'er, that well 'twould bear
    Almost a country steeple.

p.30 /
Three children sliding thereabouts,
    Upon a place too thin,
That so at last it did fall out,
    That they did all fall in.

A great lord there was that laid with the king,
    And with the king great wager makes :
But when he saw he could not win,
    He seight, and would have drawn stakes.

He said it would bear a man for to slide,
    And laid a hundred pound ;
The king said it would break, and so it did,
    For three children there were drown'd.

Of which one's head was from his should-
    Ers stricken, whose name was John,
Who then cry'd out as loud as he could,
    "O Lon-a, Lon-a, London !

"Oh! tut,-tut,-turn from thy sinful race,"
    Thus did his speech decay :
I wonder that in such a case
    He had no more to say.

And thus being drown'd, alack, alack,
    The water run down their throats,
And stopt their breath three hours by the clock,
    Before they could get any boats.

p.31 /
Ye parents all that children have,
    And ye that have none yet ;
Preserve your children from the grave,
    And teach them at home to sit.

For had they at a sermon been,
    Or else upon dry ground,
Why then I would have never been seen,
    If that they had been drown'd.

Even as a huntsman ties his dogs,
    For fear they should go from him ;
So tie your children with severity's clogs,
    Untie 'em, and you'll undo 'em.

God bless our noble parliament,
    And rid them from all fears !
God bless all the commons of this land,
    And God bless some o' th' peers !


THERE was an old man in a velvet coat,
He kiss'd a maid and gave her a groat ;
The groat was crack'd, and would not go,—
Ah, old man, d'ye serve me so ?


p.32 /

THERE was an old man,
And he had a calf,
      And that's half :
He took him out of the stall,
And put him on the wall;
      And that's all.


    I'LL tell you a story
    About Jack a Nory,
And now my story's begun :
    I'll tell you another
    About Jack his brother,
And now my story's done.


    THE man in the moon,
    Came tumbling down,
And ask'd his way to Norwich.
    He went by the south,
    And burnt his mouth,
With supping cold pease porridge.

p.33 /

[The following is quoted in the song of Mad Tom. See my Introduction to Shakespeare's Mids. Night's Dream, p.55.]
THE man in the moon drinks claret,
    But he is a dull Jack-a-Dandy ;
Would he know a sheep's head from a carrot,
    He should learn to drink cider and brandy.


TOM, Tom, the piper's son,
Stole a pig, and away he run !
The pig was eat, and Tom was beat,
And Tom went roaring down the street !


THERE was an old woman
    Liv'd under a hill,
She put a mouse in a bag,
    And sent it to mill ;

The miller did swear,
    By the point of his knife,
He never took toll
    Of a mouse in his life !

p.34 /

FOUR and twenty tailors went to kill a snail,
The best man among them durst not touch her tail ;
She put out her horns like a little kyloe cow,
Run, tailors, run, or she'll kill you all e'en now.


JACK SPRAT could eat no fat,
    His wife could eat no lean ;
And so, betwixt them both, you see,
    They lick'd the platter clean.


       LITTLE Jack Jingle,
      He used to live single :
But when he got tired of this kind of life,
He left off being single, and liv'd with his wife.


p.35 /

     [The last verse of the following song is popular in our nurseries, and must be of great antiquity, as it is alluded to in MS. Lansd. 762, in a poem of the time of Henry VII. See Reliquiæ Antiquæ, vol. i. p. 288.]
COME all ye brisk young bachelors,
    That wish to have good wives ;
I'd have you be precautious,
    How you spend your lives.
For women they are as various,
    As the fish are in the sea ;
They're ten times more precarious,
    Than a winter or summer's day !

When first you begin to court them,
    They're as mild as any dove,
And you will think them,
    Full worthy of your love ;
But when you do get married,
    The case is altered then ;
For you will find, my friend,
    They can let loose their tongues !

Now Aristotle chose
    A most commodious wife,
As ever was in this land, sir,
    A partner for his life ;

p.36 /
But soon he found out
    'Twas all a hum,
You must not stay to pick them,
    But take them as they come !

Blank or prize 'tis all a chance,
Shut your eyes and then advance!
Whiche'er you touch be pleased at once,
For you must pay, let who will dance.

There was a victim in a cart,
    One day for to be hung :
And his reprieve was granted,
    And the cart was made to stand :
"Come marry a wife and save your life !"
    The judge aloud did cry.
"Oh why should I corrupt my life ?"
    The victim did reply :
"For here's a crowd of every sort,
And why should I prevent the sport ?
The bargain's bad in every part—
The wife's the worst ; drive on the cart !"


p.37 /

        THE lion and the unicorn,
Were fighting for the crown ;
        The lion beat the unicorn,
All round about the town.
        Some gave him white bread,
And some gave him brown ;
        Some gave him plum cake,
And sent him out of town.


DOCTOR Faustus was a good man
He whipt his scholars now and then ;
When he whipp'd them he made them dance
Out of Scotland into France,
Out of France into Spain,
And then he whipp'd them back again !


LITTLE Miss Mopsey,
Sat in the shopsey,
    Eating of curds and whey ;
There came a little spider,
Who sat down beside her,
    And frightened Miss Mopsey away !

p.38 /

TOM married a wife on Sunday,
Beat her well on Monday,
Bad was she on Tuesday,
Middling was she on Wednesday,
Worse was she on Thursday,
Dead was she on Friday ;
Glad was Tom on Saturday night,
To bury his wife on Sunday.


Born on Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday ;
This is the end
Of Solomon Grundy.


p.39 /

THERE was a crooked man, and he went a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile :
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.


LITTLE blue Betty lived in a den,
She sold good ale to gentlemen :
Gentlemen came every day,
And little blue Betty hopp'd away.
She hopp'd up stairs to make her bed,
And she tumbled down and broke her head.


THE fox and his wife they had a great strife,
They never eat mustard in all their whole life ;
They eat their meat without fork or knife,
      And loved to be picking a bone, e-oh !

The fox jumped up on a moonlight night ;
The stars they were shining, and all things bright ;
Oh, ho ! said the fox, it's a very fine night
    For me to go through the town, e-oh !

p.40 /
The fox when he came to yonder stile,
He lifted his lugs and he listened a while !
Oh, ho! said the fox, it's but a short mile
    From this unto yonder wee town, e-oh !

The fox when he came to the farmer's gate,
Who should he see but the farmer's drake ;
I love you well for your master's sake,
    And long to be picking your bone, e-oh !

The gray goose she ran round the hay-stack,
Oh, ho ! said the fox, you are very fat ;
You'll grease my beard and ride on my back
    From this into yonder wee town, e-oh !

The farmer's wife she jump'd out of bed,
And out of the window she popped her head !
Oh, husband ! oh, husband ! the geese are all dead,
    For the fox has been through the town, e-oh !

The farmer he loaded his pistol with lead,
And shot the old rogue of a fox through the head ;
Ah, ha, said the farmer, I think you're quite dead ;
    And no more you'll trouble the town, e-oh !


p.41 /

    [The "Song of the False Fox," printed from a MS. at Cambridge, of the fifteenth century in Reliquiæ Antiquæ, vol. i, p. 4, is here given on account of its similarity to the preceding song.]
THE fals fox camme unto owre croft,
And so oure gese ful fast he sought ;
      With how, fox, how ! With hey, fox, hey !
      Comme no more unto oure howse to bere owre gese aweye.

The fals fox camme unto oure stye,
And toke oure gese there by and by ;
      With how, &c.

The fals fox camme into oure yerde,
And there he made the gese aferde ;
      With how, &c.

The fals fox camme unto oure gate,
And toke our gese there were they sate ;
      With how, &c.

The fals fox camme to owre halle dore,
And shrove oure gese there in the flore ;
      With how, &c.

The fals fox camme into oure halle,
And assoyled oure gese both grete and small ;
      With how, &c.

p.42 /
The fals fox camme unto oure cowpe,
And there he made our gese to stowpe ;
      With how, &c.

He toke a gose fast by the neck,
And the goose thoo begann to quek ;
      With how, &c.

The good wyfe camme out in her smok,
And at the fox she threw hir rok ;
      With how, &c.

The good mann camme out with his flayle,
And smote the fox upon the tayle ;
      With how, &c.

He threw a gose upon his bak,
And furth he went thoo with his pak ;
      With how, &c.

The good man swore, yf that he myght,
He wolde hym slee or it were nyght ;
      With how, &c.

The fals fox went into his denne,
And there he was full mery thenne ;
      With how, &c.

He camme agene the next wek,
And toke awey both henne and chek ;
      With how, &c.

p.43 /
The good man saide unto his wyfe,
This fals fox lyveth a mery lyfe ;
      With how, &c.

The fals fox camme uppon a day,
And with oure gese he made a ffray ;
      With how, &c.

He toke a gose fast by the nek,
And made her to sey wheccumquek ;
      With how, &c.

I pray the, fox, said the goose thoo,
Take of my fethers, but not of my to,
      With how, &c.


THERE was an old man, who lived in a wood,
      As you may plainly see ;
He said he could do as much work in a day,
      As his wife could do in three.
With all my heart, the old woman said,
      If that you will allow,
To-morrow you'll stay at home in my stead,
      And I'll go drive the plough.
p.44 /
But you must milk the Tidy cow,
      For fear that she go dry ;
And you must feed the little pigs
      That are within the sty ;
And you must mind the speckled hen,
      For fear she lay away ;
And you must reel the spool of yarn
      That I spun yesterday.

The old woman took a staff in her hand,
      And went to drive the plough ;
The old man took a pail in his hand,
      And went to milk the cow :
But Tidy hinched, and Tidy flinched,
      And Tidy broke his nose,
And Tidy gave him such a blow,
      That the blood ran down to his toes !

High ! Tidy ! Ho ! Tidy ! high !
      Tidy ! do stand still,
If ever I milk you, Tidy, again,
      'Twill be sore against my will !
He went to feed the little pigs,
      That were within the sty ;
He hit his head against the beam,
      And he made the blood to fly.

He went to mind the speckled hen,
      For fear she'd lay astray ;
And he forgot the spool of yarn
      His wife spun yesterday.

p.45 /
So he swore by the sun, the moon, and the stars,
      And the green leaves on the tree,
If his wife didn't do a day's work in her life,
      She should ne'er be ruled by he.


THERE was a man in our toone, in our toone, in our
There was a man in our toone, and his name was Billy
And he played upon an old razor, an old razor, an old
And he played upon an old razor, with my fiddle fiddle
        fe fum fo.

And his hat it was made of the good roast beef, the
        good roast beef, &c.
And his hat it was made of the good roast beef, and his
        name was Billy Pod ;
And he played upon an old razor, &c. &c.

And his coat it was made of the good fat tripe, the
        good fat tripe, the good fat tripe,
And his coat it was made of the good fat tripe, and his
        name was Billy Pod ;
And he played upon an old razor, &c.

p.46 /
And his breeks they were made of the bawbie baps,
        the bawbie baps, &c.
And his breeks they were made of the bawbie baps, and
        his name was Billy Pod ;
And he played upon an old razor, &c.

And there was a man in tither toone, in tither toone,
        in tither toone,
And there was a man in tither toone, and his name was
        Edrin Drum ;
And he played upon an old laadle, an old laadle, an old
And he played upon an old laadle, with my fiddle
        fiddle fe fum fo.

And he eat up all the good roast beef, the good roast
        beef, &c. &c.
And he eat up all the good fat tripe, the good fat
        tripe, &c. &c.
And he eat up all the bawbie baps, &c. and his name
        was Edrin Drum.


p.47 /

        THERE was a little man,
        And he had a little gun,
And his bullets were made of lead, lead, lead.
        He went to a brook,
        And fired at a duck,
And shot him through the head, head, head.

        He carried it home,
        To his old wife Joan,
And bid her a fire for to make, make make.
        To roast the little duck,
        He'd shot in the brook,
And he'd go and fetch her the drake, drake, drake.

        The drake was a swimming,
        With his curly tail ;
The little man made it his mark, mark, mark.
        He let off his gun,
        But he fired too soon,
And the drake flew away with a quack, quack, quack.


THE little priest of Felton,
The little priest of Felton,
He kill'd a mouse within his house,
And ne'er a one to help him.

p.48 /

LUCY LOCKET lost her pocket,
    Kitty Fisher found it ;
But the devil a penny was there in it,
    Except the binding round it.


JACK and Jill went up the hill,
      To fetch a pail of water ;
Jack fell down, and broke his crown,
      And Jill came tumbling after.


SAYS Aaron to Moses,
Let's cut off our noses:
Says Moses to Aaron,
'Tis the fashion to wear 'em.


SAYS Moses to Aaron,
That fellow's a swearing :
Says Aaron to Moses,
He's drunk I supposes.

p.49 /

AARON said unto Moses,
Let's sit down and fuddle our noses,*
Then said Moses unto Aaron,
'Twill do us more harm than you're aware on,
So lend us your tobacco-box, for I've got ne'er a one.


BESSY BELL and Mary Gray,
    They were two bonnie lasses :
They built their house upon the lea,
    And covered it with rushes.

Bessy kept the garden gate,
    And Mary kept the pantry :
Bessy always had to wait,
    While Mary lived in plenty.


     * See a similar line in Ritson's "Northern Garlands," 8vo, Lond. 1810, p. 39.

p.50 /

MY lady Wind, my lady Wind,
Went round about the house to find
    A chink to get her foot in :
She tried the key-hole in the door,
She tried the crevice in the floor,
    And drove the chimney soot in.

And then one night when it was dark,
She blew up such a tiny spark,
    That all the house was pothered :
From it she raised up such a flame,
As flamed away to Belting Lane,
    And White Cross folks were smothered.

And thus when once, my little dears,
A whisper reaches itching ears,
    The same will come, you'll find :
Take my advice, restrain the tongue,
Remember what old nurse has sung
    Of busy lady Wind !


p.51 /

UP street and down street,
    Each window's made of glass ;
If you go to Tommy Tickler's house,
    You'll find a pretty lass :

Hug her and kiss her,
    And take her on your knee ;
And whisper very close,
    Darling girl, do you love me?


ROBIN the Bobbin, the big-bellied Ben,
He eat more meat than fourscore men;
He eat a cow, he eat a calf,
He eat a butcher and a half;
He eat a church, he eat a steeple,
He eat the priest and all the people !


PEG, Peg, with a wooden leg,
    Her father was a miller :
He tossed the dumpling at her head,
    And said he could not kill her.


p.52 /

    [The tale of Jack Horner has long been appropriated to the nursery. The four lines which follow are the traditional ones, and they form part of "The pleasant History of Jack Horner, containing his witty Tricks and pleasant Pranks, which he plaied from his Youth to his riper Years," 12mo; a copy of which is in the Bodleian Library. I have reprinted it at the end of this volume.]
LITTLE Jack Horner sat in the corner,
    Eating a Christmas pie:
He put in his thumb, and he took out a plum,
    And said, "What a good boy am I !"


     [This nursery song may probably commemorate a part of Tom Thumb's history, extant in a little Danish work, treating of "Swain Tomling, a man no bigger than a thumb, who would be married to a woman three ells and three quarters long." See Mr. Thoms' Preface to Tom à Lincoln, p.xi.]
I HAD a little husband,
    No bigger than my thumb ;
I put him in a pint pot,
    And there I bade him drum :
I bridled him, and saddled him,
    And sent him out of town :
I gave him a pair of garters
    To tie up his little hose ;
And a little silk handkerchief,
    To wipe his little nose.

p.53 /

THERE was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
She had so many children she didn't know what to do ;
She gave them some broth without any bread,
She whipped them all well and put them to bed.


[Another version, from "Infant Institutes," 8vo, Lon. 1797, p. 31.]
THERE was an old woman, and she liv'd in a shoe,
She had so many children, she didn't know what to do :
She crumm'd 'em some porridge without any bread,
And she borrow'd a beetle, and she knock'd 'em all o'th'head.


[The following is a Scotch version of the same song. The concluding stanzas appear to be borrowed from "Mother Hubbard."]
THERE was a wee bit wifie,
    Who lived in a shoe ;
She had so many bairns,
    She kenn'd na what to do.
p.54 /
She gaed to the market
    To buy a sheep-head ;
When she came back
    They were a'lying dead.
She went to the wright
    To get them a coffin ;
When she came back
    They were a'lying laughing.
She gaed up the stair,
    To ring the bell ;
The bell-rope broke,
    And down she fell.


AS I went over the water,
    The water went over me,
I heard an old woman crying,
    Will you buy some furmity ?


TAFFY was a Welchman [lit.], Taffy was a thief ;
Taffy came to my house and stole a piece of beef :
I went to Taffy's house, Taffy was not at home ;
Taffy came to my house, and stole a marrow-bone.
p.55 /
I went to Taffy's house, Taffy was not in ;
Taffy came to my house, and stole a silver pin :
I went to Taffy's house, Taffy was in bed,
I took up a poker and flung it at his head.


OLD Dr. Foster * went to Gloster,
    To preach the word of God :
When he came there, he sat in his chair,
    And gave all the people a nod.


    [The following lines, slightly altered, in a little black-letter book by W. Wager, printed about the year 1560; See also a whole song, ending with these lines, in Ritson's "North Country Chorister," 8vo, Durham, 1802, p.1.]
BRYAN O'LIN, and his wife, and wife's mother,
All went over a bridge together :
The bridge was loose, and they all tumbled in,
What a precious concern ! cried Bryan O'Lin.


* Perhaps the clergyman mentioned by Pope:
"Let modest Foster, if he will, excel
Ten metropolitans in preaching well."

p.56 /

THE carrion crow, he sat upon an oak,
And he called the tailor a cheating folk ;
"Sing heigho, the carrion crow,
Fol de rol, de rol, de rol, de rhino."

Wife, fetch me my good strong bow,
That I may kill the carrion crow.
"Sing heigho," &c.

The tailor shot, and missed his mark,
And shot the old sow through the heart.
"Sing heigho," &c.


[Another version]
A carrion crow sat on an oak,
Watching a tailor shape his cloak :
Wife, said he, bring me my bow,
That I may shoot yon carrion crow.

The tailor shot and miss'd his mark,
And shot his own sow through the heart ;
Wife, bring me some brandy in a spoon,
For our old sow is in a swoon.

p.57 /

[Another version from MS. Sloane, 1489, fol. 17, written about the year 1600.]
HIC hoc, the carrion crow,
For I've shot something too low :
I have quite missed my mark,
And shot the poor sow to the heart ;
Wife, bring treacle in a spoon,
Or else the poor sow's heart will down.


THERE was an old woman sat spinning,
And that's the first beginning ;
She had a calf,
And that's half ;
She took it by the tail,
And threw it over the wall,
And that's all.


SOME little mice sat in a barn to spin ;
Pussy came by, and she popped her head in ;
"Shall I come in, and cut your threads off ?"
"Oh! no, kind sir, you will snap our heads off ?"

p.58 /

THREE blind mice, see how they run !
They all ran after the farmer's wife,
Who cut off their tails with the carving-knife,
Did you ever see such fools in your life ?
                                 Three blind mice.


ST. DUNSTAN, as the story goes,
Once pulled the devil by the nose,
With red-hot tongs, which made him roar,
That he was heard ten miles or more.


AS I was walking o'er little Moorfields,
I saw St. Paul's a running on wheels,
                           With a fee, fo, fum.
Then for further frolics I'll go to France,
While Jack shall sing and his wife shall dance,
                          With a fee, fo, fum.


p.59 /

[From Worcestershire.]
     THERE was a little nobby colt,
His name was Nobby Grey ;
      His head was made of pouce straw,
His tail was made of hay ;
          He could ramble, he could trot,
          He could carry a mustard-pot,
          Round the town of Woodstock.


TOMMY TROT, a man of law,
Sold his bed and lay upon straw :
Sold the straw and slept on grass,
To buy his wife a looking-glass.


THERE was a lady lov'd a swine,
    Honey, quoth she,
Pig, Hog, wilt thou be mine?
    Hoogh, quoth he.

I'll build thee a silver sty,
    Honey, quoth she ;
And in it thou shalt lie :
    Hoogh, quoth he.

p.60 /
Pinn'd with a silver pin,
    Honey, quoth she ;
That you may go out and in :
    Hoogh, quoth he.

Wilt thou have me now,
    Honey? quoth she ;
Hoogh, hoogh, hoogh, quoth he,
    And went his way.


THERE was an old woman, as I've heard tell,
She went to market her eggs for to sell ;
She went to market all on a market-day,
And she fell asleep on the king's highway.

There came by a pedlar whose name was Stout,
He cut her petticoats all round about ;
He cut her petticoats up to the knees,
Which made the old woman to shiver and freeze.

When this little woman first did wake,
She began to shiver and she began to shake,
She began to wonder and she began to cry,
"Lauk a mercy on me, this is none of I !

p.61 /
"But if it be I, as I do hope it be,
I've a little dog at home, and he'll know me ;
If it be I, he'll wag his little tail,
And if it be not I, he'll loudly bark and wail !"

Home went the little woman all in the dark,
Up got the little dog, and he began to bark ;
He began to bark, so she began to cry
'Lauk a mercy on me, this is none of I !"


LITTLE Jack Dandy-prat was my first suitor ;
He had a dish and a spoon, and he'd some pewter ;
He'd linen and woollen, and woollen and linen,
A little pig in a string cost him five shilling.


       LITTLE Mary Ester,
      Sat upon a tester,
Eating of curds and whey ;
      There came a little spider,
      And sat him down beside her,
And frightened Mary Ester away.


p.62 /

    [This nursery rhyme is quoted in Beaumont and Fletcher's "Bonduca," Act v, sc.2. It is probable also that Sir Toby alludes to this song in "Twelfth Night," Act ii, sc.3, when he says, "Come on; there is sixpence for you; let's have a song."
SING a song of sixpence,
    A bag full of rye ;
Four and twenty blackbirds
    Baked in a pie ;

When the pie was open'd,
    The birds began to sing ;
Was not that a dainty dish,
    To set before the king ?

The king was in his counting-house
    Counting out his money ;
The queen was in the parlour
    Eating bread and honey ;

The maid was in the garden
    Hanging out the clothes,
There came a little blackbird,
    And snapt off her nose.

Jenny was so mad,
    She didn't know what to do ;
She put her finger in her ear,
    And crackt it right in two.


p.63 /

THE cock's on the dunghill a blowing his horn ;
The bull's in the barn a thrashing of corn ;
The maids in the meadow are making of hay ;
The ducks in the rivers are swimming away.


YANKEE DOODLE came to town,
     How do you think they serv'd him ?
One took his bag, another his scrip,
     The quicker for to starve him.


LITTLE Jenny Wren fell sick upon a time,
When in came Robin Red-breast, and brought her bread and wine ;
" Eat, Jenny, drink, Jenny, all shall be thine !"
Then Jenny she got better, and stood upon her feet,
And says to little Robin, "I love thee not a bit !"
Then Robin he was angry and flew upon a twig,
" Hoot upon thee, fie upon thee, ungrateful chit !"


p.64 /

[Another version.]
JENNY WREN fell sick
     Upon a merry time ;
In came Robin Red-breast,
     And brought her sops and wine.

Eat well of the sop, Jenny,
     Drink well of the wine ;
Thank you, Robin, kindly,
     You shall be mine.

Jenny, she got well,
     And stood upon her feet,
And told Robin plainly,
     She lov'd him not a bit.

Robin being angry,
     Hopped upon a twig,
Saying, out upon you,
     Fy upon you, bold fac'd jig !


p.65 /


    [As related by an old nurse, aged eighty-one. The story is of oriental origin ; but the song, as recited, was so very imperfect, that a few necessary additions and alterations have been made.]
THERE once was a gentleman grand,
    Who lived at his country seat ;
He wanted an heir to his land,
    For he'd nothing but daughters yet.

His lady's again in the way,
    So she said to her husband with joy ;
"I hope some or other fine day,
    To present you, my dear, with a boy."

The gentleman answered gruff,
    "If't should turn out a maid or a mouse,
For of both we have more than enough,
    She shan't stay to live in my house."

The lady at this declaration,
    Almost fainted away with pain ;
But what was her sad consternation,
    When a sweet little girl came again !

p.66 /
She sent her away to be nurs'd,
    Without seeing her gruff papa ;
And when she was old enough,
    To a school she was packed away.

Fifteen summers are fled,
    Now she left good Mrs. Jervis ;
To see home she was forbid,—
    She determined to go and seek service.

Her dresses so grand and so gay,
    She carefully rolled in a knob ;
Which she hid in a forest away,
    And put on a Catskin robe.

She knock'd at a castle gate,
    And pray'd for charity ;
They sent her some meat on a plate,
    And kept her a scullion to be.

My lady look'd long in her face,
    And prais'd her great beauty ;
I'm sorry I've no better place,
    And you must our scullion be.

So Catskin was under the cook,
    A very sad life she led,
For often a ladle she took,
    And broke poor Catskin's head.

p.67 /
There is now a grand ball to be,
    When ladies their beauties show ;
"Mrs. Cook," said Catskin, "dear me !
    How much I should like to go."

"You go with your Catskin-robe,
    You dirty impudent slut !
Among the fine ladies and lords,
    A very fine figure you'd cut !"

A basin of water she took,
    And dash'd in poor Catskin's face :
But briskly her ears she shook,
    And went to her hiding-place.

She washed every stain from her skin,
     In some crystal waterfall ;
Then put on a beautiful dress,
     And hasted away to the ball.

When she entered, the ladies were mute,
    Overcome by her figure and face ;
But the lord, her young master, at once
    Fell in love with her beauty and grace !

He pray'd her his partner to be,
    She said, "Yes," with a sweet smiling glance ;
All night with no other lady
    But Catskin, our young lord would dance.

p.68 /
"Pray tell me, fair maid, where you live,"
    For now was the sad parting time;
But she no other answer would give,
    Than this distich of mystical rhyme,—

"Kind sir, if the truth I must tell,
At the sign of the Basin of Water I dwell."

Then she flew from the ball-room, and put
    On her Catskin robe again ;
And slipt in unseen by the cook,
    Who little thought where she had been.

The young lord the very next day,
    To his mother his passion betray'd,
And declared he never would rest,
    Till he'd found out his beautiful maid !

There's another grand ball to be,
    Where ladies their beauty show ;
"Mrs. Cook," said Catskin, "dear me,
    How much I should like to go."

"You go with your Catskin robe,
    You dirty, impudent slut !
Among the fine ladies and lords,
    A very fine figure you'd cut !"

In a rage the ladle she took,
    And broke poor Catskin's head ;
But off she went shaking her ears,
    And swift to her forest she fled.

p.69 /
She washed every blood stain off
    In some crystal waterfall ;
Put on a more beautiful dress,
    And hasted away to the ball.

My lord at the ball-room door,
    Was waiting with pleasure and pain ;
He longed to see nothing so much,
    As the beautiful Catskin again.

When he asked her to dance, she again
    Said "Yes," with her first smiling glance ;
And again all the night my young lord,
    With none but fair Catskin did dance !

"Pray tell me," said he, "where you live ;"
    For now 'twas the parting-time ;
But she no other answer would give,
    Than this distich of mystical rhyme,—

"Kind sir, if the truth I must tell,
At the sign of the Broken-Ladle I dwell."

Then she flew from the ball, and put on
    Her Catskin robe again ;
And slipt in unseen by the cook,
    Who little thought where she had been.

My lord did again the next day,
    Declare to his mother his mind,
That he never more happy should be,
    Unless he his charmer should find.

p.70 /
Now another grand ball is to be,
    When ladies their beauty show :
"Mrs. Cook," said Catskin, "dear me,
    How much I should like to go."

"You go with your Catskin robe,
    You impudent, dirty slut !
Among the fine ladies and lords,
    A very fine figure you'd cut !"

In a fury she took the skimmer,
    And broke poor Catskin's head !
But heart-whole and lively as ever,
    Away to her forest she fled !

She washed the stains of blood
    In some crystal waterfall ;
Then put on her most beautiful dress,
    And hasted away to the ball.

My lord at the ball-room door,
    Was waiting with pleasure and pain ;
He longed to see nothing so much,
    As the beautiful Catskin again.

When he asked her to dance, she again
    Said "Yes," with her first smiling glance ;
And all the night long, my young lord
    With none but fair Catskin would dance !

p.71 /
"Pray tell me, fair maid, where you live ;"
    For now was the parting time :
But she no other answer would give,
    Than this distich of mystical rhyme,—

Kind sir, if the truth I must tell,
At the sign of the Broken-Skimmer I dwell."

Then she flew from the ball, and threw on
    Her catskin-cloak again ;
And slipt in unseen by the cook,
    Who little thought where she had been.

But not by my lord unseen,
    For this time he follow'd too fast ;
And hid in the forest green,
    Saw the strange things that past !

Next day he took to his bed,
    And sent for the doctor to come ;
And begg'd him no other than Catskin,
    Might come into his room !

He told him how dearly he lov'd her,
    Not to have her his heart would break ;
Then the doctor kindly promis'd,
    To the proud old lady to speak.

There's a struggle of pride and love,
    For she fear'd her son would die ;
But pride at the last did yield,
    And love had the mastery !

p.72 /
Then my lord got quickly well,
    When he was his charmer to wed ;
And Catskin before a twelvemonth,
    Of a young lord was brought to bed.

To a way-faring woman and child,
    Lady Catskin one day sent an alms ;
The nurse did the errand, and carried
    The sweet little lord in her arms.

The child gave the alms to the child,
    This was seen by the old lady-mother ;
"Only see," said that wicked old woman,
     "How the beggars' brats take to each other !"

This throw went to Catskin's heart,
    She flung herself down on her knees,
And pray'd her young master and lord
    To seek out her parents would please.

They set out in my lord's own coach,
    And travell'd ; but nought befel,
Till they reach'd the town hard by,
    Where Catskin's father did dwell.

They put up at the head inn,
    Where Catskin was left alone ;
But my lord went to try if her father
    His natural child would own.

p.73 /
When folks are away, in short time
    What great alterations appear!
For the cold touch of death had all chill'd
    The hearts of her sisters dear.

Her father repented too late,
    And the loss of his youngest bemoan'd ;
In his old and childless state,
    He his pride and cruelty own'd !

The old gentleman sat by the fire,
    And hardly looked up at my lord;
He had no hopes of comfort,
    A stranger could afford.

But my lord drew a chair close by,
    And said, in a feeling tone,
"Have you not, sir, a daughter, I pray,
    You never would see or own?"

The old man alarm'd, cried aloud,
    "A hardened sinner am I !
I would give all my worldly goods,
    To see her before I die !"

Then my lord brought his wife and child,
    To their home and parent's face;
Who fell down and thanks return'd
    To God, for his mercy and grace !

p.74 /
The bells, ringing up in the tower,
    Are sending a sound to the heart ;
There's a charm in the old church bells,
    Which nothing in life can impart !


LITTLE Robin Red-breast
      Sat upon a rail ;
Niddle naddle went his head,
      Wiggle waggle went his tail.


THE cock's on the dunghill a blowing his horn ;
The bull's in the barn a threshing of corn ;
The maids in the meadows are making of hay;
The ducks in the river are swimming away.


[The tale of Simple Simon forms one of the chap-books, but the following verses are those generally sung in the nursery.]
SIMPLE Simon met a pieman,
    Going to the fair :
Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
    "Let me taste your ware."
p.75 /
Says the pieman to Simple Simon,
    "Show me first your penny."
Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
    "Indeed I have not any."

Simple Simon went to town,
    To buy a piece of meat :
He tied it to his horse's tail,
    To keep it clean and sweet.

Simple Simon went a fishing
    For to catch a whale :
All the water he had got
    Was in his mother's pail.

Simple Simon went to look
    If plums grew on a thistle ;
He pricked his fingers very much,
    Which made poor Simon whistle.


THERE was an old woman of Norwich,
Who lived upon nothing but porridge !
      Parading the town,
      She turned cloak into gown ;
This thrifty old woman of Norwich.

p.76 /

BARNABY BRIGHT he was a sharp cur,
He always would bark if a mouse did but stir ;
But now he's grown old, and can no longer bark,
He's condemn'd by the parson to be hang'd by the clerk.


THERE was an old woman of Leeds
Who spent all her time in good deeds ;
      She worked for the poor,
      Till her fingers were sore,
This pious old woman of Leeds !


OLD mother Hubbard,
Went to the cupboard,
      To get her poor dog a bone ;
But when she came there,
      The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.
p.77 /
She went to the baker's
      To buy him some bread,
But when she came back
      The poor dog was dead.

She went to the joiner's
      To buy him a coffin,
But when she came back
      The poor dog was laughing. *

She took a clean dish
      To get him some tripe,
But when she came back
      He was smoking his pipe.

She went to the ale-house
      To get him some beer,
But when she came back
      The dog sat in a chair.

She went to the tavern
      For white wine and red,
But when she came back
      The dog stood on his head.

     *   Probably loffing or loffin', to complete the rhyme. So in Shakspeare's "Mids. Night's Dream," Act ii, Sc.1—

"And then the whole quire hold their hips, and loffe."

p.78 /
She went to the hatter's
      To buy him a hat,
But when she came back
      He was feeding the cat.

She went to the barber's
      To buy him a wig,
But when she came back
      He was dancing a jig,

She went to the fruiterer's
      To buy him some fruit,
But when she came back
      He was playing the flute.

She went to the tailor's
      To buy him a coat,
But when she came back,
      He was riding a goat.

She went to the cobbler's
      To buy him some shoes,
But when she came back
      He was reading the news.

She went to the sempstress
      To buy him some linen,
But when she came back
      The dog was spinning.

p.79 /
She went to the hosier's
      To buy him some hose,
But when she came back
      He was dress'd in his clothes.

The dame made a curtsey,
      The dog made a bow;
The dame said, your servant,
      The dog said, bow, wow.


OLD mother Widdle Waddle jumpt out of bed,
And out of the casement she popt out her head;
Crying, the house is on fire, the gray goose is dead,
And the fox he is come to the town, oh !


TOM *   he was a piper's son,
He learn'd to play when he was young,
And all the tunes that he could play,
Was "Over the hills and far away;"
Over the hills, and a great way off,
And the wind will blow my top-knot off.

      *   Mr. Ker (p.249) reads "Jockey." This writer only gives the first six lines.

p.80 /
Now Tom with his pipe made such a noise,
That he pleas'd both the girls and boys,
And they stopp'd to hear him play,
" Over the hills and far away."

Tom with his pipe did play with such skill,
That those who heard him could never keep still ;
Whenever they heard they began for to dance,
Even pigs on their hind legs would after him prance.

As Dolly was milking her cow one day,
Tom took out his pipe and began for to play ;
So Doll and the cow danced "the Cheshire round,"
Till the pail was broke and the milk ran on the ground.

He met old dame Trot with a basket of eggs,
He used his pipe and she used her legs ;
She danced about till the eggs were all broke,
She began for to fret, but he laughed at the joke.

He saw a cross fellow was beating an ass,
Heavy laden with pots, pans, dishes and glass ;
He took out his pipe and played them a tune,
And the jackass's load was lightened full soon.


p.81 /

THERE was a lady all skin and bone,
Sure such a lady was never known :
This lady went to church one day,
She went to church all for to pray.

And when she came to the church stile,
She sat her down to rest a little while :
When she came to the churchyard,
There the bells so loud she heard.

When she came to the church door,
She stopt to rest a little more ;
When she came the church within,
The parson pray'd 'gainst pride and sin.

On looking up, on looking down,
She saw a dead man on the ground :
And from his nose unto his chin,
The worms crawl'd out, the worms crawl'd in. *

      *   This line has been adopted in the modern ballad of "Alonzo and the fair Imogene." The version given above was obtained from Lincolnshire, and differs slightly from the one in "Gammer Gurton's Garland," 8vo. Lond. 1810, p.29-30.

p.82 /
Then she unto the parson said,
Shall I be so when I am dead?
Oh yes ! oh yes ! the parson said,
You will be so when you are dead.


LITTLE John Jiggy Jag,
He rode a penny nag,
      And went to Wigan to woo :
When he came to a beck,
He fell and broke his neck,—
      Johnny, how dost thou now ?

I made him a hat,
Of my coat-lap,
      And stockings of pearly blue :
A hat and a feather,
To keep out cold weather ;
      So, Johnny, how dost thou now ?


p.83 /

SATURDAY night my wife did die,
    I buried her on the Sunday,
I courted another a coming from church,
    And married her on the Monday.
On Tuesday night I stole a horse,
    On Wednesday was apprehended,
On Thursday I was tried and cast,
    And on Friday I was hanged.


LITTLE Tom Trigger,
Before he was bigger,
    Thought he would go out with his gun;
Left off bow and arrows,
With which he shot sparrows,
    And said he would have some fun.

He shot at a pig,
That was not very big,
    But pig away did run;
Says he, to be sure,
I am not very poor,
    I'll put some more shot in my gun.

p.84 /
He shot at a cat,
That had caught a rat,
    And hit her right on the pate;
I'll have your furry skin
To put my powder in,
    Your venison, no matter for that.

He started a hare,
The people did stare,
    Says he, I'll have you for my dinner;
It being almost dark,
He missed his mark,
    For he was a young beginner.

He came to a stile,
A man all the while
    A pitchfork had in his hand;
Says he, give me the gun,
But he began to run,
    All over the ploughed land.

Unhappy was his lot,
Into a hedge he got,
    The man came behind to beat him;
Tom cannot get through,
He had the man in view,
    But he contrived to cheat him.

p.85 /
A house was in the vale,
And Margery sold ale,
    Says he, I'll have some beer;
Soon it will be night,
And not a bit of light,
    My roundabout way home to cheer.

A sow in the sty,
As Tommy came by,
    Was calling her pigs to repose;
Says Tom, I love fun,
And at the pigs did run,
    But fell down and hurt his nose.

Margery came out,
To see what it was about,
    And she said, Master Tommy, O fye !
He took up his gun,
And he began to run,
    From the pigs that were in the sty.

Tom at last got home,
He would no longer roam,
    And his mother began to scold;
Now he plays at taw,
Sometimes at see-saw,
    And is not quite so bold.

p.86 /
Tom and his dog Tray,
In the month of May,
    Went to play with a ball,
Which he threw up to the sky,
Yet not so very high,
    It soon came down with a fall.

He had a little stick,
It was not very thick,
    He hit the ball to make it go faster;
His little dog Tray,
Soon scampered away,
    To bring the ball back to his master.

He got up a tree,
As high as may be,
    Some eggs from a nest to obtain;
A bough bent in two,
(You see it in the view),
    And he fell to the ground in great pain.

A doctor they did call
To cure him of the fall,
    A long while he kept his bed;
At last he got well
Of all that him befel,
    So this time he shall not be dead.

p.87 /
Tom has now got better,
Writes a pretty letter,
    And is always reading his book;
He is not quite so wild,
As when he was a child
    And no pains with his learning he took.


THERE was a frog liv'd in a well,
     Kitty alone, Kitty alone,
There was a frog liv'd in a well,
     Kitty alone, and I.
There was a frog liv'd in a well,
And a farce* mouse in a mill, [*merry.
     Cock me cary, Kitty alone,
     Kitty alone and I.

This frog he would a wooing ride,
    Kitty alone, &c.
This frog he would a wooing ride,
And on a snail he got astride,
     Cock me cary, &c.

p.88 /
He rode till he came to my Lady Mouse hall,
     Kitty alone, &c.
He rode till he came to my Lady Mouse hall,
And there he did both knock and call,
     Cock me cary, &c.

Quoth he, Miss Mouse, I'm come to thee,
     Kitty alone, &c.
Quoth he, Miss Mouse, I'm come to thee,
To see if thou canst fancy me,
     Cock me cary, &c.

Quoth she, answer I'll give you none,
     Kitty alone, &c.
Quoth she, answer I'll give you none,
Until my uncle Rat come home,
     Cock me cary, &c.

And when her uncle Rat came home,
     Kitty alone, &c.
And when her uncle Rat came home,
Who's been here since I've been gone?
     Cock me cary, &c.

Sir, there's been a worthy gentleman,
     Kitty alone, &c.
Sir, there's been a worthy gentleman,
That's been here since you've been gone,
     Cock me cary, &c.

p.89 /
The frog he came whistling through the brook,
     Kitty alone, &c.
The frog he came whistling through the brook,
And there he met with a dainty duck,
     Cock me cary, &c.

This duck she swallow'd him up with a pluck,
     Kitty alone, Kitty alone,
This duck she swallow'd him up with a pluck,
So there's an end of my history book.
     Cock me cary, Kitty alone,
     Kitty alone and I.


LITTLE Tom Tucker
Sings for his supper ;
What shall he eat ?
White bread and butter.
How shall he cut it
Without e'er a knife ?
How will he be married
Without e'er a wife ?


THERE was an old woman toss'd up in a blanket,
    Ninety-nine times as high as the moon :
But where she was going no mortal could tell,
    For under her arm she carried a broom.
p.90 /
Old woman, old woman, old woman, said I,
    Whither, ah ! whither, whither so high ?
Oh ! I'm sweeping the cobwebs off the sky,
    And I'll be with you by and by.


[Another version, from 'Infant Institutes,' 8vo, London, 1797, p.15.]
I SAW an old woman toss'd up in a basket,
      Nineteen times as high as the moon ;
Where she was going I couldn't but ask it,
      For in her hand she carried a broom.

Old woman, old woman, old woman, quoth I,
      O whither, O whither, O whither, so high ?
To brush the cobwebs off the sky !
      Shall I go with thee ? Aye, by and by.


THERE was an old woman
      Lived under a hill ;
And if she's not gone,
      She lives there still.


p.91 /

THERE was an old woman,
      And she sold puddings and pies :
She went to the mill,
      And the dust flew in her eyes :
Hot pies and cold pies to sell !
Wherever she goes,
You may follow her by the smell.


OLD Mother Niddity Nod swore by the pudding-bag
      She would go to Stoken Church fair ;
And then old Father Peter, said he would meet her,
      Before she got half way there.


GILES COLLINS he said to his old mother,
    Mother, come bind up my head ;
And send to the parson of our parish,
    For to-morrow I shall be dead, dead,
         For to-morrow I shall be dead.
p.92 /
His mother she made him some water-gruel,
    And stirred it round with a spoon ;
Giles Collins he ate up his water-gruel,
    And died before 'twas noon,
          And died before 'twas noon.

Lady Anna was sitting at her window,
    Mending her night-robe and coif ;
She saw the very prettiest corpse,
    She'd seen in all her life, life,
          She'd seen in all her life.

What bear ye there, ye six strong men,
    Upon your shoulders so high ?
We bear the body of Giles Collins,
    Who for love of you did die, die,
         Who for love of you did die.

Set him down ! set him down ! Lady Anna, she cry'd,
    On the grass that grows so green ;
To-morrow before the clock strikes ten,
    My body shall lie by his'n, his'n,
         My body shall lie by his'n.

Lady Anna was buried in the east,
    Giles Collins was buried in the west ;
There grew a lily from Giles Collins,
    That touch'd Lady Anna's breast, breast,
         That touch'd Lady Anna's breast.

p.93 /
There blew a cold north-easterly wind,
    And cut this lily in twain ;
Which never there was seen before,
    And it never will again, again,
         And it never will again.


LITTLE Bo-peep has lost her sheep,
    And can't tell where to find them :
Leave them alone, and they'll come home,
    And bring their tails behind them.

Little Bo-peep fell fast asleep,
    And dreamt she heard them bleating :
But when she awoke, she found it a joke,
    For they still were all fleeting.

Then up she took her little crook,
    Determin'd for to find them ;
She found them indeed, but it made her heart bleed,
    For they'd left all their tails behind 'em.

It happen'd one day, as Bo-peep did stray,
    Under a meadow hard by :
There she espy'd their tails side by side,
    All hung on a tree to dry.

p.94 /
She heav'd a sign and wip'd her eye,
    And over the hillocks went stump-o ;
And tried what she could, as a shepherdess should,
    To tack again each to its rump-o.


JOHN COOK had a little grey mare ; he, haw, hum !
Her back stood up, and her bones they were bare ; he, haw, hum.

John Cook was riding up Shuter's bank ; he, haw, hum.
And there his nag did kick and prank ; he, haw, hum.

John Cook was riding up Shuter's hill ; he haw, hum.
His mare fell down, and she made her will ; he, haw, hum.

The bridle and saddle were laid on the shelf ; he, haw, hum.
If you want any more you may sing it yourself ; he, haw, hum.


p.95 /

THERE was a mad man and he had a mad wife,
    And they liv'd in a mad town :
And they had children three at a birth,
    And mad they were every one.

The father was mad, the mother was mad,
    And the children mad beside ;
And they all got on a mad horse,
    And madly they did ride.

They rode by night and they rode by day,
    Yet never a one of them fell ;
They rode so madly all the way,
    Till they came to the gates of hell.

Old Nick was glad to see them so mad,
    And gladly let them in :
But he soon grew sorry to see them so merry,
    And let them out again.


p.96 /

THERE was an old man, and he liv'd in a wood ;
    And his lazy son Jack would snooze till noon :
Nor followed his trade, although it was good,
    With a bill and stump for making of brooms, green brooms ;
    With a bill and a stump for making of brooms.

One morn in a passion, and sore with vexation,
    He swore he would fire the room,
If he did not get up and go to his work,
    And fall to the cutting of brooms, green brooms, &c.

Then Jack arose and slipt on his clothes,
    And away to the woods very soon,
Where he made up his pack, and put it on his back,
    Crying, Maids, do you want any brooms? green brooms, &c.


        JACK SPRAT
       Had a cat,
It had but one ear ;
       It went to buy butter,
When butter was dear.