Phoebe Ann, The Proud Girl

A poem by Heinrich Hoffmann

This Phoebe Ann was a very proud girl,
Her nose had always an upward curl.


She thought herself better than all others beside,
And beat even the peacock himself in pride.


She thought the earth was so dirty and brown,
That never, by chance, would she look down;
And she held up her head in the air so high
That her neck began stretching by and by.
It stretched and it stretched; and it grew so long
That her parents thought something must be wrong.
It stretched and stretched, and they soon began
To look up with fear at their Phoebe Ann.


They prayed her to stop her upward gaze,
But Phoebe kept on in her old proud ways,
Until her neck had grown so long and spare
That her head was more than her neck could bear--
And it bent to the ground, like a willow tree,
And brought down the head of this proud Phoebe,
Until whenever she went out a walk to take,
The boys would shout, "Here comes a snake!"


Her head got to be so heavy to drag on,
That she had to put it on a little wagon.
So don't, my friends, hold your head too high,
Or your neck may stretch, too, by and by.

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