tended to represent a story, or a series of questions and answers, such as I have first mentioned, to a mere collection of nonsense verses, from which it is impossible to evolve any connected thread or idea whatever.
The following is often said by boys and girls as a general rhyme, but in some districts of Dorset it is adopted as a nursery one, when the nurse or other person on taking off a child’s boots pretends to knock nails into its foot, saying:
“ ‘[John Smith] fellow fine,
Can you shoe this horse of mine?’
‘Yes, good sir, that I can,
As well as any other man.
Here’s a nail and here’s a prod,
And now, good sir, your horse is shod.’ ”
The next is common, with its variants, to many countries:
Buckle my shoe;
Open the door;
Pick up sticks;
Lay them straight;
A good fat hen;
Let them delve;
[Maids in the kitchen;]
My stomach’s empty;
Please, mother, give me some dinner.”
- Conf. two variants of this rhyme in Gregor’s Folklore of North East of Scotland.
- Conf. similar lines in Gregor’s Folklore of North East of Scotland, p. 20. Also Halliwell’s Nursery Rhymes (ed. 1846), No. xxxv.