The further the little girl leaped and ran, The further she longed to be; The white, white fields of jonquil flowers Danced up as high as her knee And flashed and sparkled before her eyes Until she could hardly see. So into the wood went she.
It was quiet in the wood, It was solemn and grave; A sound like a wave Sighed in the tree-tops And then sighed no more. But she was brave, And the sky showed through A bird's-egg blue, And she saw A tiny path that was running away Over the hills to--who can say? She ran, too. But then the path broke, Then the path ended And wouldn't be mended.
A little old man Sat on the edge, Hugging the hedge. He had a fire And two eggs in a pan And a paper poke Of pepper and salt; So she came to a halt To watch and admire: Cunning and nimble was he! "May I help, if I can, little old man?" "Bravo!" he said, "You may dine with me. I've two old eggs From two white hens and a loaf from a kind ladie: Some fresh nutmegs, Some cutlet ends In pink and white paper frills: And--I've--got A little hot-pot From the town between the hills."
He nodded his head And made her a sign To sit under the spray Of a trailing vine.
But when the little girl joined her hands And said the grace she had learned to say, The little old man gave two dreadful squeals And she just saw the flash of his smoking heels As he tumbled, tumbled, With his two old eggs From two white hens, His loaf from a kind ladie, The fresh nutmegs, The cutlet-ends In the pink and white paper frills. And away rumbled The little hot-pot, So much too hot, From the ton between the hills.