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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

William Brighty Rands 1823–80

Topsy-Turvy World

IF the butterfly courted the bee,

And the owl the porcupine;

If churches were built in the sea,

And three times one was nine;

If the pony rode his master,

If the buttercups ate the cows,

If the cats had the dire disaster

To be worried, sir, by the mouse;

If mamma, sir, sold the baby

To a gypsy for half a crown;

If a gentleman, sir, was a lady,—

The world would be Upside-down!

If any or all of these wonders

Should ever come about,

I should not consider them blunders,

For I should be Inside-out!


Ba-ba, black wool,

Have you any sheep?

Yes, sir, a packfull,

Creep, mouse, creep!

Four-and-twenty little maids

Hanging out the pie,

Out jump’d the honey-pot,

Guy Fawkes, Guy!

Cross latch, cross latch,

Sit and spin the fire;

When the pie was open’d,

The bird was on the brier!