Vonda Stanley's collection of early Australian bush poems


"Hoity-toity! Hop-o'-my-thumb!

Tweedledee and Tweedledum!

All hobgoblins come to me,

Over the mountains, over the sea:

Come in a hurry, come in a crowd,

Flying, chattering, shrieking loud;

I and my broomstick fidget and call ---

Come, hobgoblins, we want you all!

I have a pot of a mischievous brew;

You must do what I tell you to;

Blow through the keyholes, hang to the eaves,

Litter the garden with dead brown leaves;

Into the houses hustle and run,

Here is mischevous and here is fun!

Break the china and slam the doors,

Crack the windows and scratch the floors,

Let in the cockroaches, mice and rats,

Sit on the family's Sunday hats;

Hiding and stealing everything little,

Smashing everything thin and brittle;

Teasing the children,

Tickling their heels ---

Look at them jumping! Hark to their squeals!

Pinch their elbows and pull their hair,

Then out again to the gusty air!

Flutter the birds in their sheltered nests,

Pluck the down from the ducklings' breasts,

Steal the eggs from the clucking hen,

Ride the pigs round and round the pen!

Here is mischief to spare for all ---

Hoity-toity, Come at my call!

Tweedledum and Tweedledee,

Come at my summons --- Come to me!"

Thus said a witch on a windy night,

Then sailed on her broomstick out of sight.

Ruth Bedford.


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