Slovenly Betsy

A poem by Heinrich Hoffmann

Betsy would never wash herself
When from her bed she rose,
But just as quickly as she could
She hurried on her clothes.
To keep her clothes all nice and clean
Miss Betsy took no pains;
In holes her stockings always were,
Her dresses filled with stains.
Sometimes she went day after day
And never combed her hair,
While little feathers from her bed
Stuck on it here and there.
The schoolboys, when they Betsy saw,
Would point her out, and cry,
"Oh! Betsy, what a sight you are!
Oh! Slovenly Betsy, fie!"

One rainy day her parents went
Some pleasant friends to meet.
They took Betsy along with them,
All dressed so clean and neat.
Nice little boys and girls were there,
With whom our Betsy played,
Until of playing she grew tired,
And to the garden strayed.
Out in the rain she danced awhile,
But 'twas not long before
Flat down she tumbled in the mud,
And her best clothes she tore.


Oh! what a sight she was, indeed,
When in the room she came;
The guests all loudly laughed at her,
And she almost died with shame.
She turned, and to her home she ran,
And then, as here you see,
She washed her clothes, and since has been
As neat as she could be.

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