A Song About Myself

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A Song About Myself
by John Keats
'In a letter to his sister, Keats makes a fresh start with -- "since I scribbled the Song we have walked through a beautiful Country to Kirkcudbright -- at which place I will write you a song about myself." He then proceeds with the very curious piece of doggerel now first given from the manuscript, and excuses himself on the plea of fatigue. My chief purpose in including these verses here is that students may note the variety of the pieces of this class addressed to different correspondents. Compare this with the Devon pieces sent to Haydon, and more particularly with The Gadfly, sent to Tom Keats a little later than this. I presume this piece should be dated the 3rd of July 1818." --Poetical Works of John Keats, ed. H. Buxton Forman, Crowell publ. 1895.

1

 There was a naughty Boy,
 A naughty boy was he,
 He would not stop at home,
 He could not quiet be -
  He took
  In his Knapsack
  A Book
  Full of vowels
  And a shirt
  With some towels -
  A slight cap
  For night cap -
  A hair brush,
  Comb ditto,
  New Stockings
  For old ones
  Would split O!
  This Knapsack
  Tight at's back
  He rivetted close
 And followed his Nose
  To the North,
  To the North,
 And follow'd his nose
  To the North.

2

 There was a naughty boy
  And a naughty boy was he,
 For nothing would he do
  But scribble poetry -
  He took
  An ink stand
  In his hand
  And a pen
  Big as ten
  In the other,
  And away
  In a Pother
  He ran
  To the mountains
  And fountains
  And ghostes
  And Postes
  And witches
  And ditches
  And wrote
  In his coat
  When the weather
  Was cool,
  Fear of gout,
  And without
  When the weather
  Was warm -
  Och the charm
  When we choose
 To follow one's nose
  To the north,
  To the north,
 To follow one's nose
  To the north!

3

 There was a naughty boy
  And a naughty boy was he,
 He kept little fishes
  In washing tubs three
    In spite
    Of the might
    Of the maid
    Nor afraid
    Of his Granny-good-
    He often would
    Hurly burly
    Get up early
    And go
    By hook or crook
    To the brook
    And bring home
    Miller's thumb,
    Tittlebat
    Not over fat,
    Minnows small
    As the stall
    Of a glove,
    Not above
    The size
    Of a nice
    Little Baby's
    Little fingers-
    O he made
    'Twas his trade
  Of Fish a pretty Kettle
    A Kettle-
    A Kettle
  Of Fish a pretty Kettle
    A Kettle!

4

 There was a naughty Boy,
  And a naughty Boy was he,
 He ran away to Scotland
  The people for to see -
    There he found
    That the ground
    Was as hard,
    That a yard
    Was as long,
    That a song
    Was as merry,
    That a cherry
    Was as red -
    That lead
    Was as weighty,
    That fourscore
    Was as eighty,
    That a door
    Was as wooden
    As in England -
  So he stood in his shoes
    And he wonder'd,
    He wonder'd,
  He stood in his shoes
     And he wonder'd.

This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.