Home > Literature > Mother Goose > Rhymes >
"There was an old man, who lived in a wood..."
by Mother Goose

There we an old man, who lived in a wood,
As you may plainly see;
He said he could do as much work in a day,
As his wife could do in three.
"With all my heart," the old woman said,
"If that you will allow,
Tomorrow you'll stay at home in my stead,
And I'll go drive the plow.

"But you must milk the Tidy cow,
For fear that she go dry;
And you must feed the little pigs
That are within the sty;
And you must mind the speckled hen,
For fear she lay away;
And you must reel the spool of yarn,
That I spun yesterday."

The old woman took a staff in her hand,
And went to drive the plow.
The old man took a pail in his hand,
And went to milk the cow;
But Tidy hinched, and Tidy flinched,
And Tidy broke his nose,
And Tidy gave him such a blow,
That the blood ran down to his toes.

"High! Tidy! ho! Tidy! high!
Tidy! do stand still;
If ever I milk you, Tidy, again,
'Twill be against my will!"

He went to feed the little pigs
That were within the sty;
He his his head against the beam,
And he made the blood to fly.
He went to mind the speckled hen,
For fear she'd lay astray,
And he forgot the spool of yarn
His wife spun yesterday.

So he swore by the sun, the moon, and the stars,
And the green leaves on the tree,
"If my wife doesn't do a day's work in her life,
She shall ne'er be ruled by me."


Back to Mother Goose rhymes...

Page last updated: 10 November 1998
©1998-1999, Richard J. Yanco