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An Alphabet of Old Friends   By: (1845-1915)

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by Walter Crane

An alphabet of old friends originally published 1874;



A carrion crow sat on an oak, Watching a tailor shape his cloak. "Wife, bring me my old bent bow, That I may shoot yon carrion crow." The tailor he shot and missed his mark, And shot his own sow quite through the heart. "Wife, wife, bring brandy in a spoon, For our old sow is in a swoon."


Ba, ba, black sheep, Have you any wool? Yes, marry, have I, Three bags full. One for my master, One for my dame, But none for the little boy That cries in the lane.


Hen. Cock, cock, I have la a ayed! Cock. Hen, hen, that's well sa a ayed! Hen. Although I have to go bare footed every day a ay! Cock. ( Con spirito. ) Sell your eggs and buy shoes! Sell your eggs and buy shoes!


Dickery, dickery, dock, The mouse ran up the clock. The clock struck one, Down the mouse ran, Dickery, dickery, dock.

[Illustration: ABCD]


Elizabeth, Elspeth, Betsy, and Bess, They all went together to seek a bird's nest They found a bird's nest with five eggs in; They all took one, and left four in.


Father, father, I've come to confess. O, yes, dear daughter, what have you done?


Gang and hear the owl yell, Sit and see the swallow flee, See the foal before its mither's e'e, 'Twill be a thriving year wi' thee.


Hush a bye, baby, on the tree top; When the wind blows the cradle will rock; When the wind ceases the cradle will fall, And down will come baby and cradle and all.

[Illustration: EFGH]


I had a little husband No bigger than my thumb; I put him in a pint pot, And there I bade him drum. I bought a little horse That galloped up and down; 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.


Jack Sprat would eat no fat, His wife would eat no lean; Was not that a pretty trick To make the platter clean?


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 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!


Little Bo peep has lost her sheep, And can't tell where to find them. Let them alone and they'll come home, And bring their tails behind them, &c.


Mistress Mary, Quite contrary, How does your garden grow? With silver bells, And cockle shells. And cowslips all of a row.


[Illustration: IJKLM]

[Illustration: NOPQR]


Needles and pins, needles and pins, When a man marries his trouble begins.


Once I saw a little bird, Come hop, hop, hop; So I cried, "Little bird, Will you stop, stop, stop?" And was going to the window, To say, "How do you do?" When he shook his little tail, And far away he flew.


Pease pudding hot, pease pudding cold; Pease pudding in the pot, nine days old.


Queen was in the parlour, eating bread and honey.


Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross, To see an old woman get up on her horse; Rings on her fingers and bells at her toes, And so she makes music wherever she goes.


Simple Simon met a pieman, Going to the fair; Says Simple Simon to the pieman, "Let me taste your ware!"


Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief, Taffy came to my house, And stole a leg of beef.

I went to Taffy's house, Taffy was not at home; Taffy came to my house, And stole a marrow bone.

I went to Taffy's house, Taffy was in bed; I took the marrow bone, And broke Taffy's head.


[Illustration: STUV]


Up hill and down dale, Butter is made in every vale; And if Nancy Cock Is a good girl, She shall have a spouse, And make butter anon, Before her old grandmother Grows a young man.


Valentine, Oh, Valentine, Curl your locks as I do mine; Two before and two behind; Good morrow to you, Valentine.


"Where are you going, my pretty maid?" "I'm going a milking, sir," she said. "May I go with you, my pretty maid?" "You're kindly welcome, sir," she said. "What is your father, my pretty maid?" "My father's a farmer, sir," she said. "Say will you marry me, my pretty maid?" "Yes, if you please, kind sir," she said. "What is your fortune, my pretty maid?" "My face is my fortune, sir," she said. "Then, I won't marry you, my pretty maid!" "Nobody asked you, sir," she said.

[Illustration: WXYZ]


Cross X patch, Draw the latch, Sit by the fire and spin: Take a cup And drink it up, Then call the neighbours in.


You know that Monday is Sunday's brother; Tuesday is such another; Wednesday you must go to church and pray; Thursday is half holiday; On Friday it is too late to begin to spin, And Saturday is half holiday again.



The ram, the bull, the heavenly twins, And next the crab, the lion shines, The virgin and the scales, The scorpion, archer, and the goat, The man who holds the watering pot, And fish with glittering scales.


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