Saturday, April 28, 2001

Nursery Rhymes: Literal and Scholastic

Story source: The Nursery Rhyme Book edited by Andrew Lang and illustrated by L. Leslie Brooke (1897).


Nursery Rhymes: Literal and Scholastic




GREAT A, little a,
Bouncing B!
The cat's in the cupboard,
And can't see me.

~ ~ ~

    IF ifs and ands,
 Were pots and pans,
There would be no need for tinkers!

~ ~ ~

TELL tale, tit!
Your tongue shall be slit,
And all the dogs in the town
Shall have a little bit.

~ ~ ~

BIRCH and green holly, boys,
Birch and green holly.
If you get beaten, boys,
'Twill be your own folly.

~ ~ ~

COME when you're called,
Do what you're bid,
Shut the door after you,
Never be chid.


~ ~ ~




A WAS an Archer, and shot at a frog,
B was a Butcher, and had a great dog.
C was a Captain, all covered with lace,
D was a Drunkard, and had a red face.
E was an Esquire, with pride on his brow,
F was a Farmer, and followed the plough.
G was a Gamester, who had but ill luck,
H was a Hunter, and hunted a buck.
I was an Innkeeper, who loved to bouse,
J was a Joiner, and built up a house.
K was King William, once governed this land,
L was a Lady, who had a white hand.
M was a Miser, and hoarded up gold,
N was a Nobleman, gallant and bold.
O was an Oyster Wench, and went about town,
P was a Parson, and wore a black gown.
Q was a Queen, who was fond of good flip,
R was a Robber, and wanted a whip.
S was a Sailor, and spent all he got,
T was a Tinker, and mended a pot.
U was an Usurer, a miserable elf,
V was a Vintner, who drank all himself.
W was a Watchman, and guarded the door,
X was expensive, and so became poor.
Y was a Youth, that did not love school,
Z was a Zany, a poor harmless fool.

~ ~ ~

A WAS an apple-pie;
B bit it;
C cut it;
D dealt it;
E ate it;
F fought for it;
G got it;
H had it;
J joined it;
K kept it;
L longed for it;
M mourned for it;
N nodded at it;
O opened it;
P peeped in it;
Q quartered it;
R ran for it;
S stole it;
T took it;
V viewed it,
W wanted it;
X, Y, Z, and amperse-and,
All wish'd for a piece in hand.

~ ~ ~

PAT-A-CAKE, pat-a-cake, baker's man!
(So I will, master), as fast as I can:
Pat it, and prick it, and mark it with T,
Put in the oven for Tommy and me.

~ ~ ~

MULTIPLICATION is vexation,
Division is as bad;
The Rule of Three doth puzzle me,
And Practice drives me mad.

~ ~ ~





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!

~ ~ ~

A DILLER, a dollar,
A ten o'clock scholar,
What makes you come so soon?
You used to come at ten o'clock,
But now you come at noon.

~ ~ ~

WHEN V and I together meet,
They make the number Six compleat.
When I with V doth meet once more,
Then 'tis they Two can make but Four.
And when that V from I is gone,
Alas! poor I can make but One.

~ ~ ~

THIRTY days hath September,
April, June, and November;
February has twenty-eight alone,
All the rest have thirty-one,
Excepting leap-year, that's the time
When February's days are twenty-nine.


~ ~ ~




Mistress Mary, quite contrary
MISTRESS MARY, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With cockle-shells, and silver bells,
And pretty maids all a row.

~ ~ ~

IN fir tar is,
In oak none is.
In mud eel is,
In clay none is.
Goat eat ivy,
Mare eat oats.

~ ~ ~

 CROSS patch,
Draw the latch,
Sit by the fire and spin;
Take a cup,
And drink it up,
Then call your neighbours in.

~ ~ ~

I LOVE my love with an A, because he's Agreeable.
I hate him because he's Avaricious.
He took me to the Sign of the Acorn,
And treated me with Apples.
His name's Andrew,
And he lives at Arlington.

~ ~ ~

ONE, two,
Buckle my shoe;
Three, four,
Shut the door;
Five, six,
Pick up sticks;
Seven, eight,
Lay them straight;
Nine, ten,
A good fat hen;

Eleven, twelve,
Who will delve?
Thirteen, fourteen,
Maids a-courting;
Fifteen, sixteen,
Maids a-kissing;
Seventeen, eighteen,
Maid a-waiting;
Nineteen, twenty,
My stomach's empty.





(600 words)





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