Jack And Jill.

A poem by Clara Doty Bates

Little boys, sit still--
Girls, too, if you will--
And let me tell you of Jack and Jill;
For I think another
Such sister and brother
Were never the children of one mother!

For an idle lad,
As he was, Jack had
No traits, after all, that were very bad.
He, was simply Jack,
With the coat on his back
Patched up in all colors from gray to black.

Both feet were bare;
And I do declare
That he never washed his face; and his hair
Was the color of straw--
You never saw
Such a crop--as long as the moral law!

When he went to school,
It was the rule
(Though 'twas hard to say he was really a fool)
To send him at once,
So thick was his sconce,
To the block that was kept for the greatest dunce.

And Jill! no lass
Scarce ever has
Made bigger tracks on the country grass;
For her only fun
Was to romp and run,
Bare-headed, bare-footed, in wind and sun.

Wherever went Jack,
Close on his track,
With hair unbraided and down her back,
Loud-voiced and shrill,
She followed, until
No one said "Jack" without saying "Jill."

But to succeed
In teaching to read
Such a harum-scarum, was work indeed!
And I'm forced to tell
That her way to spell
Her name was with only a single 'l.'

Yet they were content.
One day they were sent
To the hill for water, and they went.
They did not drown,
But Jack fell down,
With a pail in his hand, and broke his crown!

And Jill, who must go
And always do
Exactly as Jack did, tumbled too!
Just think, if you will,
How they rolled down hill--
Straw-headed Jack and bare-footed Jill!

But up Jack got,
And home did trot,
Nor cared whether Jill was hurt or not;
While his poor bruised knob
Did burn and throb,
Tear falling on tear, sob following sob!

He could run the faster,
So a paper plaster
Had bound up the sight of his disaster
Before Jill came;
And the thoughtful dame,
For a break in her head, had fixed the same.

But Jill came in,
With a saucy grin
At seeing the plight poor Jack was in;
And when she saw
That bundle of straw
(His hair) bound up with a cloth, and his jaw

Tied up in white,
The comical sight
Made her clap her hands and laugh outright!
The dame, perplexed
And dreadfully vexed,
Got a stick and said, "I'll whip her next!"

How many blows fell
I will not tell,
But she did it in earnest, she did it well,
Till the naughty back
Was blue and black,
And Jill needed a plaster as much as Jack!

The next time, though,
Jack has to go
To the hill for water, I almost know
That bothering Jill
Will go up the hill,
And if he falls again, why, of course she will!

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