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Nursery Tales

Nursery Tales

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Written by Hunter   
Sunday, 28 December 2008 16:09

Girls and boys come out to play,
The moon is shining bright as day;
Leave your supper and leave your sleep,
And come with your playfellows into the street;
Come with a whoop, and come with a call,
Come with a good will, or come not at all.
Come, let us dance on the open green,
And she who holds longest shall be our queen.

Little Bo-peep has lost her sheep,
And cannot tell where to find 'em;
Leave them alone, and they'll come home,
And bring their tails behind 'em.

Little Bo-peep fell fast asleep,
And dreamt she heard them bleating;
When she awoke, she found it a joke,
For still they all were 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 their tails behind them.

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

She heaved a sigh, and wiped her eye,
And over the hillocks she raced;
And tried what she could, as a shepherdess should,
That each tail should be properly placed.

A carrion crow sat upon an oak,
Fol de rol, de rol, de rol, de ri do,
Watching a tailor cutting out his cloak
Sing heigh ho! the carrion crow,
Fol de rol, de rol, de rol, de ri do.

Wife, wife! bring me my bow,
Fol de rol, de rol, de rol, de ri do,
That I may shoot yon carrion crow;
Sing heigh ho! the carrion crow,
Fol de rol, de rol, de rol, de ri do.

The tailor he shot and miss'd his mark,
Fol de rol, de rol, de rol, de ri do;
And shot his own sow quite through the heart;
Sing heigh ho! the carrion crow,
Fol de rol, de rol, de rol, de ri do.

Wife, wife! bring me brandy in a spoon;
Fol de rol, de rol, de rol, de ri do,
For our old sow has fall'n down in a swoon,
Sing heigh ho! the carrion crow,
Fol de rol, de rol, de rol, de ri do.

Three children sliding on the ice,
Upon a summer's day;
It so 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 that have children dear,
And eke you that have none,
If you would have them safe abroad,
Pray keep them safe at home.

Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard,
To give her poor dog a bone;
But when she came there
The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.
She went to the baker's
To buy him some bread,
And when she came back
Poor doggy was dead.
She went to the joiner's
To buy him a coffin,
And when she came back
The dog was a-laughing.
She took a clean dish
To get him some tripe,
And when she came back
He was smoking his pipe.
She went to the ale-house
To get him some beer,
And when she came back
Doggy sat in a chair.[Pg 154]
She went to the tavern
For white wine and red,
And when she came back
The dog stood on his head.
She went to the hatter's
To buy him a hat,
And when she came back
He was feeding the cat.
She went to the barber's
To buy him a wig,
And when she came back
He was dancing a jig.
She went to the fruiterer's
To buy him some fruit,
And when she came back
He was playing the flute.
She went to the tailor's
To buy him a coat,
And when she came back
He was riding a goat.
[Pg 155]
She went to the tailor's
To buy him a coat,
And when she came back
He was riding a goat.
She went to the sempstress
To buy him some linen,
And when she came back
The dog was a-spinning.
She went to the hosier's
To buy him some hose,
And 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!”
[Pg 156]

Simple Simon met a pieman
Going to the fair:
Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
“Let me taste your ware.”

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 get a piece of meat;
He would not buy a calf's head,
Because it had no feet.

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.

Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye,
Four-and-twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened the birds began to sing,
And was not that a dainty dish to set before the king?

The king was in the parlour, counting out his money;

The queen was in the pantry, eating bread and honey
The maid was in the garden, hanging out the clothes;
There came a little blackbird and peck'd off her nose.

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

There came a little pedler, his name it was Stout,
He cut off her petticoats all round about;
He cut off her petticoats up to her knees,
Until her poor knees began for to freeze.

When the little old woman began to awake,
She began to shiver, and she began to shake;
Her knees began to freeze, and she began to cry,
“Oh lawk! oh mercy on me! this surely can't be I.

If it be not I, as I suppose it be,
I have a little dog at home, and he knows me;
If it be I, he will wag his little tail,
But if it be not I, he'll bark and he'll rail.”

Up jump'd the little woman, all in the dark,
Up jump'd the little dog, and he began to bark;
The dog began to bark, and she began to cry,
“Oh lawk! oh mercy on me! I see it is not I.”

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.”

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?”

I had a little wife, the prettiest ever seen,
She wash'd all the dishes and kept the house clean
She went to the mill to fetch me some flour,
She brought it home safe in less than an hour;
She baked me my bread, she brew'd me my ale,
She sat by the fire and told a fine tale.

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 there 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 little Piggy.

Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard,
To give her poor dog a bone;
But when she came there
The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.
The queen of hearts,
She made some tarts,
All on a summer's day;
The knave of hearts
He stole those tarts,
And with them ran away:
The king of hearts
Call'd for those tarts,
And beat the knave full sore;
The knave of hearts
Brought back those tarts,
And said he'd ne'er steal more.
The king of spades
He kiss'd the maids,
Which vex'd the queen full sore;
The queen of spades
She beat those maids
And turn'd them out of door;
The knave of spades
Grieved for those jades,
And did for them implore;
The queen so gent,
She did relent,
And vow'd she'd ne'er strike more.

The king of clubs
He often drubs
His loving queen and wife;
The queen of clubs
Returns him snubs,
And all is noise and strife:
The knave of clubs
Gives winks and rubs,
And swears he'll take her part;
For when our kings
Will do such things,
They should be made to smart.
The diamond king
I fain would sing,
And likewise his fair queen,
But that the knave,
A haughty slave,
Must needs step in between.
“Good diamond king,
With hempen string
This haughty knave destroy,
Then may your queen,
With mind serene,
Your royal love enjoy.”


There was a little guinea-pig,
Who, being little, was not big;
He always walk'd upon his feet,
And never fasted when he eat.

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, was sometimes violent,
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.

The king of France, with twenty thousand men,
March'd up the hill, and then—march'd back again.

When good King Arthur ruled this land,
He was a goodly king;
He stole three pecks of barley-meal,
To make a bag-pudding.

A bag-pudding the king did make,
And stuff'd it well with plums:
And in it put great lumps of fat,
As big as my two thumbs.

The king and queen did eat thereof,
And noblemen beside;
And what they could not eat at night,
The queen next morning fried.

My dears, do you know
That a long time ago,
Two poor little children,
Whose names I don't know,
Were stolen away on a fine summer's day,
And left in a wood, so I've heard people say.

And when it was night,
How sad was their plight!
The sun it went down,
And the moon gave no light!
They sobb'd and they sigh'd, and they bitterly cried,
And the poor little things they lay down and died.

And when they were dead,
The Robins so red
Brought strawberry leaves,
And over them spread;
And all the day long,
They sung them this song,
“Poor babes in the wood! poor babes in the wood!
Ah! don't you remember the babes in the wood?”

When I was a bachelor,
I lived by myself,
And all the bread and cheese I got
I put upon the shelf.
But the rats and the mice
They made such a strife,
I was forced to go to London
To get myself 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,
Down came the wheelbarrow,
My wife, and all.

Kettles and pans,
Say the bells of St. Ann's.

Old Father Baldpate,
Say the slow bells of Aldgate.

You owe me ten shillings,
Say the bells of St. Helen's.

When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.

When I grow rich,
Say the bells of Shoreditch.

Pray when will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney.

I do not know,
Says the great bell of Bow.

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head.

We're all dry with drinking on't,
We're all dry with drinking on't;
The piper kiss'd the fiddler's wife,
And I can't sleep for thinking on't.

I have a little sister, they call her Peep, Peep,
She wades in the water, deep, deep, deep,
She climbs up the mountains, high, high, high;
My poor little sister—she has but one eye!

(A Star.)

Old King Cole
Was a merry old soul,
And a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe,
And he called for his bowl,
And he called for his fiddlers three.
Every fiddler, he had a fiddle,
And a very fine fiddle had he;
Twee tweedle dee, tweedle dee, went the fiddlers.
Oh, there's none so rare,
As can compare
With King Cole and his fiddlers three!

Old Mother Goose, when
She wanted to wander,
Would ride through the air
On a very fine gander.

Mother Goose had a house,
'Twas built in a wood,
Where an owl at the door
For sentinel stood.

This is her son Jack,
A plain-looking lad,
He is not very good,
Nor yet very bad.

She sent him to market,
A live goose he bought;
“Here, mother,” says he,
“It will not go for nought.”

Jack's goose and her gander
Grew very fond,
They'd both eat together,
Or swim in one pond.

Jack found one morning,
As I have been told,
His goose had laid him
An egg of pure gold.

Jack rode to his mother,
The news for to tell;
She call'd him a good boy,
And said it was well.

Jack sold his gold egg
To a rogue of a Jew,
Who cheated him out of
The half of his due.

Then Jack went a-courting
A lady so gay,
As fair as the lily
And sweet as the May.

The Jew and the Squire
Came close at his back,
And began to belabour
The sides of poor Jack.

They threw the gold egg
In the midst of the sea;
But Jack he jump'd in,
And got it back presently.

The Jew got the goose,
Which he vow'd he would kill,
Resolving at once
His pockets to fill.

Jack's mother came in,
And caught the goose soon,
And, mounting its back,
Flew up to the moon.

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