Abner Cosens Poems >>
Rursery Rhymes

Ten Little Slackers

    Ten little slackers standing in a line,
    One went to U. S., then there were nine.
    Nine little slackers out for a skate,
    One broke his leg and then there were eight.
    Eight little slackers playing odd and even,
    Got in a mix up and then there were seven.
    Seven little slackers sucking sugar sticks,
    One got dyspepsia, then there were six.
    Six little slackers only half alive,
    One got married and then there were five.
    Five little slackers were such a bore
    The fool killer got one, then there were four.
    Four little slackers out on a spree,
    Auto turned turtle, and then there were three.
    Three little slackers in a canoe,
    Simpleton rocked the boat, then there were two.
    Two little slackers, one was a Hun,
    He got imprisoned, then there was one.
    One little slacker, war nearly won,
    He got conscripted, then there were none.
    One little, two little, three little slackers,
    Four little, five little, six little slackers,
    Seven little, eight little, nine little slackers,
    Ten little slacker men.

      *      *      *      *      *

    Jack Sprat can eat no fat,
      His wife can eat no lean,
    Because upon their platter now
      No meat is ever seen.

    Make a cake, make a cake, my good man,
      Make it of treacle and cornmeal and bran,
    Tick it and pick it and mark it with B,
      And eat it for breakfast and dinner and tea.

    Little deeds and mortgages,
      Little bonds and stocks,
    Help amid financial storms
      To keep us off the rocks.

    Little loads of stove wood,
      Little jags of coal,
    Make our pocket books look sick,
      And put us in the hole.

    Little Jack Horner sat in a corner,
      Eating his whole wheat pie,
    He looked pretty glum for he found not a plum,
      And he said, I don't like this old pie.

    Little Tommy Tucker sang for his supper,
    What did he sing for? White bread and butter;
    But he had to take corn-cake instead of white bread,
    With oleomargarine on it to spread.

    Farmer Dingle had a little pig,
    Not very little and not very big;
    It weighed two hundred or a few pounds over
    And brought fifty dollars when sold to a drover.
      Then Farmer Dingle stood up and lied,
      And Mrs. Dingle sat down and cried,
    "Hogs eat so much valuable feed," said he,
      "They need," said he,
      "Good feed," said she,
    So there's really no money in pigee wigee wee.

    One little man went to battle,
    One little man stayed at home,
    One little man got white bread and butter,
    One little man got none,
    One little man cried see, see, see,
      You'll eat brown bread
      Till the war is done.

    Tom, Tom, the piper's son,
    Stole a pig and away he run,
      "High cost of meat
      I've got you beat,"
    Said Tom, while making his retreat.

    Jack, Nick and Jill went after Bill,
      And fought on land and water,
    Till Nick fell down and lost his crown,
      And Bill went tumbling after.

    There was a crooked man
      Who wore a crooked smile,
    And built a crooked railroad
      O'er many a crooked mile,
    He got some crooked statesmen
      To play his crooked games,
    And they all got crooked titles
      Before their crooked names.

      *      *      *      *      *

    Sing a song of sixpence,
      Country going dry,
    Four and twenty booze shops
      Selling no more rye.

    When the bars were open,
      Whiskey had its fling,
    Now we ride the water cart,
      Along with George, our king.

    Once dad, in the bar room,
      Counted out his money,
    Weary mother sat at home,
      Patching clothes for sonny.

    Now dad's in the garden
      Wearing out his clothes,
    Money in his pocket,
      Bloom all off his nose.