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Rhymes Old and New : collected by M.E.S. Wright   By:

Rhymes Old and New : collected by M.E.S. Wright by M. E. S. [Compiler] Wright

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Collected by M. E. S. WRIGHT




In making this little collection, my aim has been to bring together rhymes old and new, which for the greater part are not included in other books for the nursery or schoolroom.

Some of the old friends appear with local variations, many of the others have been repeated to me by people who do not know whence they come, and, indeed, in many cases it has been impossible to discover the authors.

I have done my best to avoid infringing copyrights, but should I have inadvertently done so, I hope my humble apologies will be accepted.

The complete version of "The Ram of Derby," is taken from Jewitt's "Reliquary"; "A Dutch Lullaby," from "A Little Book of Western Verse," is included by kind permission of Messrs Harper; and I acknowledge with gratitude that I have been allowed to select from "Notes and Queries" from "Popular Rhymes," published by Messrs Chambers, from "Northall's Folk Rhymes," published by Messrs Kegan Paul Trench & Co., and "Halliwell's Nursery Rhymes of England," published by Messrs Warne.

Some rhymes have been taken from those never failing sources of delight, J. and A. Taylor, C. and M. Lamb, E. Turner, and M. Howitt, some from "Poor Robin's Almanac," "The Poetical Aviary," Ross's Juvenile Library, 1813 1816, etc., etc.

That others besides "Gladys, Helen, and Jack," including "children of a larger growth," may find pleasure in my little collection is the sincere wish of



Page Couplets 1 Weather and Season Rhymes 8 Baby Songs 23 Men, Women, and Children 35 Beasts, Birds, etc. 51 Alphabets 86 Games 90 Miscellaneous Rhymes 96


If the grass grow in Janiveer, 'Twill be the worse for't all the year.

If Janiveer calends be summerly gay, 'Twill be wintry weather till the calends of May.


Winter thunder, and summer flood, Bode England no good.

A bushel of March dust is a thing Worth the ransom of a king.

A cold April Is the poor man's fill.


A wet Good Friday and Easter Day Brings plenty of grass, but little good hay.

At Easter let your clothes be new, Or else be sure you will it rue.

'Tis like to be a good year for corn When the cuckoo comes to the bare thorn.

Sunshine and rain bring cuckoos from Spain, But the first cock of hay flays the cuckoo away.


Cuckoo oats and Michaelmas hay, Will make the farmer run away.

A shower of rain in July, when the corn begins to fill, Is worth a plough of oxen, and all belongs theretill.

'Tis time to cock your hay and corn When the old donkey blows his horn.

'Tween Martinmas and Yule, Water's wine in every pool.


Farmers' wives! when the leaves do fall, 'Twill spoil your milk, and butter, and all.

St Thomas gray, St Thomas gray, The longest night and the shortest day.

If Christmas Day on a Monday fall, A troublous winter we shall have all.

If Christmas Day a Monday be, A wintry winter you shall see.

Friday's a day as'll have his trick, The fairest or foulest day o' the wik.

A blue and white sky, Never four and twenty hours dry.

DATE 1600

Saturday new, and Sunday full, It never was fine, and never wool.

Red sky at night, is the shepherd's delight, Red sky at morning, is the shepherd's warning.

Rain, rain, go to Spain, And never, never, come again.

Rain, rain, rattle stone, Pray, hold up till I get home.

If the cat washes her face o'er the ear, 'Tis a sign that the weather'll be fine and clear.

A robin red breast in a cage Puts all Heaven in a rage... Continue reading book >>

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