THE DADDY LONG-LEGS AND THE FLY.

I.

Once Mr. Daddy Long-legs,

Dressed in brown and gray,Walked about upon the sands

Upon a summer's day:And there among the pebbles,

When the wind was rather cold,He met with Mr. Floppy Fly,

All dressed in blue and gold;And, as it was too soon to dine,

They drank some periwinkle-wine,

And played an hour or two, or more,

At battlecock and shuttledore.

II.

Said Mr. Daddy Long-legs

To Mr. Floppy Fly,"Why do you never come to court?

I wish you 'd tell me why.All gold and shine, in dress so fine,

You'd quite delight the court.Why do you never go at all?

I really think you ought.And, if you went, you'd see such sights!

Such rugs and jugs and candle-lights!

And, more than all, the king and queen,—

One in red, and one in green."

III.

"O Mr. Daddy Long-legs!"

Said Mr. Floppy Fly,"It's true I never go to court;

And I will tell you why.If I had six long legs like yours,

At once I'd go to court;But, oh! I can't, because my legs

Are so extremely short.And I'm afraid the king and queen

(One in red, and one in green)

Would say aloud, 'You are not fit,

You Fly, to come to court a bit!'"

IV.

"Oh, Mr. Daddy Long-legs!"

Said Mr. Floppy Fly,"I wish you 'd sing one little song,

One mumbian melody.You used to sing so awful well

In former days gone by;But now you never sing at all:

I wish you'd tell me why:For, if you would, the silvery sound

Would please the shrimps and cockles round,

And all the crabs would gladly come

To hear you sing, 'Ah, Hum di Hum!'"

V.

Said Mr. Daddy Long-legs,

"I can never sing again;And, if you wish, I'll tell you why,

Although it gives me pain.For years I cannot hum a bit,

Or sing the smallest song;And this the dreadful reason is,—

My legs are grown too long!My six long legs, all here and there,

Oppress my bosom with despair;

And, if I stand or lie or sit,

I cannot sing one single bit!"

VI.

So Mr. Daddy Long-legs

And Mr. Floppy FlySat down in silence by the sea,

And gazed upon the sky.They said, "This is a dreadful thing!

The world has all gone wrong,Since one has legs too short by half,

The other much too long.One never more can go to court,

Because his legs have grown too short;

The other cannot sing a song,

Because his legs have grown too long!"

VII.

Then Mr. Daddy Long-legs

And Mr. Floppy FlyRushed downward to the foamy sea

With one sponge-taneous cry:And there they found a little boat,

Whose sails were pink and gray;And off they sailed among the waves,

Far and far away:They sailed across the silent main,

And reached the great Gromboolian Plain;

And there they play forevermore

At battlecock and shuttledore.

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