Rhymes and Jingles
Mary Mapes Dodge
Children
2:59 h
Level 1
Mary Elizabeth Mapes Dodge was an American children's author and editor, best known for her novel Hans Brinker. She was the recognized leader in juvenile literature for almost a third of the nineteenth century. Rhymes and Jingles is a collection of nursery rhymes, published in 1874. From the first issue, its success was almost as great as that of Hans Brinker. The collection includes more than 200 simple poems.

Rhymes and Jingles

by
Mary Mapes Dodge


Elfin Jack, the Giant-Killer

             Do not think the story
             Of the giant-killer’s glory
Is known and cherished only by yourselves,
             O, my dears;

            For his deeds so daring,
            And his trick of scaring
All his foes, are quite familiar to the elves,
                      It appears.

              In the starlight, tender —
              In the moonlight’s splendor
Do they gather and recount every deed,
                            It is said;
              How he met a hornet,
              Who was playing on a cornet,
Out of tune; and he slew him with a reed, —
                            Slew him dead!

              How, growing ever bolder,
              With his reed upon his shoulder,
And an acorn-shield upon his little arm
                            Well equipped —
              He sought a mighty giant,
              Who was known as “Worm, the pliant,”
And after giving battle, fierce and warm,
                           Left him whipped.

              How he saw a spider
              With her victim, dead, inside her,
Told her, in a voice of fury, to begone
                           From his sight;
             How he killed her when she'd risen
             To her cruel, fatal prison,
And nobly freed her captives, so forlorn,—
                            Gallant knight!

              Ah, but the elves are proudest,
              And ring his praises loudest,
When telling of a snail, grim and hoary,
                           In his mail.

              With those fearful horns before him,
              Jack gallantly upbore him,
And killed him with a thrust (to his glory)
                           In the tail!

             List in the starlight, tender, —
             List in the moonlight’s splendor, —
For a whirring, like hurrahing, in the glen,
                            Far and near.
’Tis the elves who, looking back
             To their giant-killer, Jack,
Tell his story to each other, funny men!
                            With a cheer.


The Mayor of Scuttleton

The Mayor of Scuttleton burned his nose
Trying to warm his copper toes;
He lost his money and spoiled his will
By signing his name with an icicle-quill;
He went bare-headed, and held his breath,
And frightened his grandame most to death;
He loaded a shovel, and tried to shoot,
And killed the calf in the leg of his boot;
He melted a snow-bird, and formed the habit
Of dancing jigs with a sad Welsh rabbit;
He lived on taffy, and taxed the town;
And read his newspaper upside down;
Then he sighed, and hung his hat on a feather,
And bade the townspeople come together;
But the worst of it all was, nobody knew
What the Mayor of Scuttleton next would do.


Fire in the Window