Mother Goose for Grownups/The Harmonious Heedlessness of Little Boy Blue
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|This poem was published in Carryl’s 1900 anthology Mother Goose for Grownups, of poems that are parodies of Mother Goose nursery rhymes.|
Composing scales beside the rails
That flanked a field of corn,
A farmer’s boy with vicious joy
Performed upon a horn:
The vagrant airs, the fragrant airs
Around that field that strayed,
Took flight before the flagrant airs
That noisome urchin played.
He played with care “The Maiden’s Prayer;”
He played “God Save the Queen,”
“Die Wacht am Rhein,” and “Auld Lang Syne,”
And “Wearing of the Green:”
With futile toots, and brutal toots,
And shrill chromatic scales,
And utterly inutile toots,
And agonizing wails.
The while he played, around him strayed,
And calmly chewed the cud,
Some thirty-nine assorted kine,
All ankle-deep in mud:
They stamped about and tramped about
That mud, till all the troupe
Made noises, as they ramped about,
Like school-boys eating soup.
Till, growing bored, with one accord
They broke the fence forlorn:
The field was doomed. The cows consumed
Two-thirds of all the corn,
And viciously, maliciously,
Went prancing o’er the loam.
That landscape expeditiously
“Most idle ass of all your class,”
The farmer said with scorn:
“Just see my son, what you have done!
The cows are in the corn!”
“Oh, drat,” he said, “the brat!” he said.
The cowherd seemed to rouse.
“My friend, it’s worse than that,” he said.
“The corn is in the cows.”
The moral lies before our eyes.
When tending kine and corn,
Don’t spend your noons in tooting tunes
Upon a blatant horn:
Or scaling, and assailing, and
With energy immense,
Your cows will take a railing, and
The farmer take offense.