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Charlotte Bleh’s Collection of Favourite  Nursery  Rhymes, Poems and Prose Book
Sugar & Spice


My Sugar and Spice
Memory Pages

Times and Rhymes for Sugar and Spice

 The fair maid who, on the First of May,
Goes to the fields at break of day
And washes in dew from the hawthorn tree,
Will from then on fair and lovely be.

(Old Granny from Scotland firmly believed in this – she said she didn’t really consider herself lovely, but she did agree she had a lovely fair complexion!)

***

Elisabeth, Elspeth, Betsy and Bess,
They all went together to find a bird’s nest.
They found the bird’s nest with five eggs in,
They all took one, and left four in.

***

Here’s Sulky Sue –
What shall we do?
Turn her face to the wall,
Until she comes to.

***

There was a little girl who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead;
And when she was good she was very, very good,
But when she was bad, she was horrid!

(My husband, John, had a different comment on how the little girl was when she was bad!)

***

Little missy, pretty missy,
Blessings light upon you!
If I had half a crown a day,
I’d spend it all upon you! 

***

Good morning, Baby Sunshine!
How could you wake so soon?
You scared away the stars that play,
And shined away the moon!

(This is the song I woke my children from their naps to – always seemed to put them in a sweet mood. There’s a second verse to this that I must find.)

***

Little BoPeep has lost her sheep,
And doesn’t know where to find them.
Leave them alone, and they’ll come home
Wagging their tails behind them.

Little Bo Peep fell fast asleep
And dreamed she heard them bleating;
But when she awoke, it was only a joke,
For they were still all fleeting. 

Then up she took her little crook
Determined for sure to find them;
She found them indeed, but it made her heart weep
For they’d left their tails behind them. 

It happened one day, as BoPeep did stray
Into a meadow close by,
There she spied all their tails side by side
And hung on a tree to dry. 

She heaved a sigh, and wiped her eye,
And over the hillocks went rambling.
And tried what she could as a shepherdess should,
To tie each again to its lambkin. 

***

Tommy Trot, a man of law,
Sold his bed and lay on straw;
Sold the straw and slept on grass,
To buy his wife a looking glass. 

***

Bonnie Kilmeny gaed up the glen’
But it wasna’ to meet Duneira’s men,
Nor the rosy monk of the isle to see,
For Kilmeny was pure as pure could be.
It was only to hear the yorlin sing,
And pu’ the cress-flower round the spring;
The scarlet hypp and the hindberrye,
And the nut that hung frae the hazel tree;
For Kilmeny was pure as pure could be.
But lang may her minny look o’er th wa’,
And lang may she seek i’ the green-wood shaw;
Lang the laird o’ Duneira blame,
And lang, lang greet or Kilmeny come hame!
When many a day had come and fled,
When grief grew calm and hope was dead,
When mess for Kilmeny’s sould had been sung,
When the bedesman had pray’d and the dead bell rung,
Late, late in a gloamin’ when all was still,
When the fringe was red on the westlin hill,
The wood was sere, the moon i’ the wane,
The reek o’ the cot hung o’er the plain,
Like a little wee cloud in the world its lane,
When the ingle low’d wi’ an eiry lame,
Late, late in the gloamin’ Kilmeny came hame!
“Kilmeny, Kilmeny, whaur have ye been?
Lang hae we sought baith hold and dean;
By linn, by ford, and green-wood tree,
Yet ye are halesome and fair to see.
Where gat ye that joup o’ the lily scheen?
And these roses, the fairest that ever were seen?
Kilmeny, Kilmeny, where have ye been?”
Kilmeny look’d up with a lovely grace,
But nae smile was seen on Kilmeny’s face;
As still was her look, and as still was her e’e,
As the stillness that lay on the emerant lea,
Or the mist that sleeps on a waveless ea.
For Kilmeny had been, she ken’d not where,
And Kilmeny had seen what she could not declare;
Kilmeny had been where the cock never crew,
Where the rain never fell, and the wind never blew.
But it seem’d as the harp of the sky had rung,
And the airs of heaven play’d round her tongue.
When she spake of the lovely forms she had seen,
And a land where sin had never been:
A land of love and a land of light,
Withouten sun, or moon, or night;
Where the river swa’d a living stream,
And the light a pure celestial beam;
The land of vision, it would seem
A still, an everlasting dream.

(A competition piece that invoked the spoken voice to become a musical instrument – I loved the dream like quality of performing this ballad.)

***


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