Stalky Jack

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I knew a boy who took long walks,
Who lived on beans and ate the stalks;
To the Giants' Country he lost his way;
They kept him there for a year and a day.
But he has not been the same boy since;
An alteration he did evince;
For you may suppose that he underwent
A change in his notions of extent!

He looks with contempt on a nice high door,
And tries to walk in at the second floor;
He stares with surprise at a basin of soup,
He fancies a bowl as large as a hoop;
He calls the people minikin mites;
He calls a sirloin a couple of bites!
Things having come to these pretty passes,
They bought him some magnifying glasses.

He put on the goggles, and said "My eyes!
The world has come to its proper size!"
But all the boys cry, "Stalky John!
There you go with your goggles on!"
What girl would marry him - and quite right -
To be taken for three times her proper height?
So this comes of taking extravagant walks,
And living on beans, and eating the stalks.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.


The author died in 1882, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 99 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.