Little People: An Alphabet

A poem by Thomas William Hodgson Crosland

A for Arab.

This Arab is upset, I fear;
Look at his pretty shield and spear.
He's stuck two pistols in his sash,
And, dear me, how his eyes do flash!

At home he has a horse to ride;
To "scour the desert" is his pride.
His horse is of the purest breed;
Some people call his horse a steed.

B for Boer.

Here is your little brother Boer,
Of course, you've heard of him before;
He has a naughty Uncle Paul,
Who used to want to eat us all.

Although he does not wear a tie
He's just as white as you or I,
And just as fond of cake and fruit;
The difference is that he can shoot.

C for Chinaboy.

Li has a pigtail and a fan,
And yet he's not a Chinaman;
In fact, he is his mother's joy,
A merry little Chinaboy.

His father is a Mandarin,
His father's name is Loo Too Sin.
They put no sugar in his tea,
Yet he's as good as good can be.

D for Dutch.

Miss Gretchen Groople! She is Dutch:
In Holland there are many such.
Her shoes are wooden, like the floor;
How nice she keeps her pinafore!

She says that there is nothing finer
Than the Dutch Queen, Wilhelmina;
She says that she has never seen a
Sweeter Queen than Wilhelmina.

E for English.

The English are a splendid race,
Sturdy of limb, honest of face;
They own (this is geography)
Much of the land and all the sea.

That is to say, they rule the waves,
They never, never will be slaves.
They're brave, but do not want to fight,
And if you're English you're all right.

F for French.

The French can cook, and fence, and dance,
They're fond of shouting "Long live France!"
They make the prettiest hats and frocks,
Also French pickles and French clocks.

They shave their poodles, drink much wine,
And laugh a great deal when they dine.
French boys play soldiers now and then,
And must be soldiers when they're men.

G for German.

Hans, as you see, to town has been;
His waistcoat's red, his sunshade green.
He lives beside the river Iser,
And calls his emperor the Kaiser.

In Germany, no end of toys
Are made for English girls and boys.
The English children merely break them;
Hans sits at home and helps to make them.

H for Hungarian.

In Hungary they hunt and fish;
Between ourselves, I often wish
I lived there, for it must be grand;--
I've heard the Blue Hungarian Band.

In Hungary a boy wears white
Blouses, his knickers fit him tight,
He has top boots of patent leather,
And in his hat a peacock's feather.

I for Indian.

The Indian boy is neatly dressed;
He has no shirt, he wears a crest
Of eagle's feathers on his head,
His skin is of a coppery red.

If you said to him, "You and I
Will run and catch a butterfly,"
The Indian boy would say, "No! No!
I wish to chase the buffalo."

J for Japanese.

The little Japs are rather small,
Even their fathers are not tall;
They're very fond of parasols,
They dress themselves just like their dolls.

They live beneath the sunniest skies,
Their hair is black to match their eyes;
Their robes are black to match their hair,
And, O! what tiny shoes they wear.

K for Kaffir.

This Kaffir looks a trifle sly,
He smiles and smiles, I wonder why?
Perhaps he's playing at a game,
Or thinking of his long, long name.

His name, you know, is Washington
Neb-u-chad-nez-zar Solomon
Sambo Snowball Timothy Jack
Adolphus Rule Britannia Black.

L for Laplander.

I think the Laplander is nice,
He lives among the snow and ice;
The reindeer drags his sledge for him,
And gives him meat and milk to skim.

His spears are sharp--they shine like steel;
He hunts the walrus and the seal.
Often, when he has time to spare,
He hunts the white or polar bear.

M for Mexican.

The plucky little Mexican
Rides on the pampas like a man;
His horse may kick, and plunge, and rear,
He does not feel the least bit queer.

If he should see an old grey goose
Or a young turkey running loose,
You may be pretty certain that
He'd catch it with his lariat.

N for Neapolitan.

The Neapolitan is wise,
He plays the pipes for pence, and buys
Ice-cream and candy every day
To help him on his weary way.

His tunes are chiefly of one note,
He has a sheepskin for a coat,
His water-bottle's painted yellow,
He is a handsome little fellow.

O for Odalisque.

O pretty little Odalisque,
I know you want to dance and frisk
And play at hide and seek with me;
And yet, you know, it cannot be,

Unless--unless, my dear, you choose
To put away those curious shoes,
Also your coat, and cap, and veil:
They'd hang up nicely on a nail.

P for Persian.

The Persian has a funny hat,
He often sits upon a mat;
He hears the bulbul sing, and roves
Through rose-gardens and lemon groves.

Child, if by any chance you meet
A little Persian in the street,
Do not be rude and cry "Yah-yah!"
But ask him if he's seen the Shah.

Q for Quakeress.

I like the little Quakeress,
She is so quaint; I like her dress,
Her very, very plain white bonnet,
Her stuff gown with no trimming on it.

Her hands are pink, and soft, and small,
They peep out from her dark green shawl.
She lives on milk, and bread, and honey,
She must be saving pots of money.

R for Russian.

Russia is noted for its tar,
Its leather, and its great, white Czar.
A Russian wears his clothes quite loose,
And drinks his tea with lemon juice.

The Russian boys have chubby faces,
They play at marbles and run races;
The climate sometimes makes them cough,
They've names like Shuffski and Poppoff.

S for Scotch.

The Scotch wear kilts--both boys and men,
When they don't know, they "dinna ken."
They love the thistle, we the rose,
They're fond of oatmeal, kail, and brose.

In war the Scotch are very bold.
Burns was a Scot, who, I am told,
Wrote verses and ploughed fields by turns,
So every Scot is proud of Burns.

T for Tyrolean.

The Tyrol has a splendid air
And mountains, mountains everywhere;
The mountains are all tops and sides,
You climb them best with ropes and guides.

The Tyrolean's hat is smart,
He yodels and is light of heart;
His yodelling is very sweet;
His stockings haven't any feet.

U for United States.

The States are full of mush and pie
And houses twenty stories high,
Saw-mills and millionaires and bustle;
The people there "have got to hustle."

The business of the States is done
Ex-clu-sive-ly by telephone;
And that is why the people say,
"I guess we're 'cute in U. S. A."

V for Valencian.

Valencia's a little town
In Spain. It's dusty and baked brown,
And full of dirt and mules and fleas,
And all around are orange trees.

This well-fed boy, as you may see,
Has been dressed very carefully;
His garments show that he's a Don,
He knows that he has got them on.

W for Welshman.

Taffy, my boy, I've heard with grief
That shocking tale about the beef;
But Taffy, between me and you,
I really don't believe it's true.

I'm told that there are pretty vales
And hills with sheep on them in Wales;
O Taffy, Taffy, don't be put on,
You can't want beef while you've Welsh mutton.

Z for Zany.

A zany is a kind of clown
Who wanders idly up and down,
And wags his head, and shakes his bells,
And chortles at the tales he tells.

He'll joke with you in sun or show'r,
And keep you laughing by the hour.
Some zanies are a trifle mad:
Now we have finished--and I'm glad.

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