Oh! what's befallen Bessy Brown,
She stands so squalling in the street;
She's let her pitcher tumble down,
And all the water's at her feet!
The little school-boys stood about,
And laugh'd to see her pumping, pumping;
Now with a curtsey to the spout,
And then upon her tiptoes jumping.
Long time she waited for her neighbors,
To have their turns: - but she must lose
The watery wages of her labors, -
Except a little in her shoes!
Without a voice to tell her tale,
And ugly transport in her face;
All like a jugless nightingale,
She thinks of her bereavèd case.
At last she sobs - she cries - she screams!
And pours her flood of sorrows out,
From eyes and mouth, in mingled streams,
Just like the lion on the spout.
For well poor Bessy knows her mother
Must lose her tea, for water's lack,
That Sukey burns - and baby-brother
Must be dryrubb'd with huck-a-back!