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Title: The Life of Jack Sprat

Date of first publication:

Author: Anonymous

Date first posted: February 28, 2014

Date last updated: February 28, 2014

Faded Page eBook #20140226

This ebook was produced by: De2164, kappa28 & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net


Jack Sprat could eat no fat,

  His wife could eat no lean;

And so, between them both,

  They lick'd the platter clean.


For Jack eat all the lean,

  And Joan eat all the fat;

The bone they picked clean,

  Then gave it to the cat.

When neat Jack Sprat was young,

  He dressed very smart;

He courted Joany Cole,

  And he did gain her heart.


In fine leather doublet,

  And an old greasy hat,

Oh! what a smart fellow

  Was our hero Jack Sprat.

Joan Cole had a hole

  In her petticoat;

Jack Sprat, for a patch,

  Did give her a groat:


The groat bought a patch,

  Which stopped Joan's hole:

"I thank you, Jack Sprat!"

  Says little Joan Cole.

Jack Sprat the bridegroom,

  Joan Cole was the bride;

Jack said, from the church,

  His Joan home should ride:


But no coach could take her,

  The lane was so narrow;

Said Jack, "Then I'll shake her

  Home in a wheel-barrow."

Jack Sprat was wheeling

  His wife by the ditch,

Barrow turn'd over,

  And in she did pitch.


Says Jack--"She'll be drown'd!"

  But Joan did reply,

"I don't think I shall,--

  The ditch is quite dry!"

Jack brought home his Joan,

  She sat in a chair;

When in came his cat,

  That had but one ear.


Says Joan, "I'm come home,

  Puss, how do you do?"

The cat wagg'd her tail,

  Said nothing but "Mew."

Jack Sprat took his gun,

  And went to the brook;

He shot at the drake,

  But killed the duck:


He brought it to Joan,

  She a fire did make,

To roast the fat duck;

  He went for the drake.

The drake was swimming,

  With his curly tail;

Jack tried to shoot him,

  But happen'd to fail:


He let off his gun,

  But, missing his mark,

The drake flew away,

  Crying, "Quack, quack, quack!"


Jack to live pretty,

  Now bought him a pig;

Not very little,

  Nor yet very big;

Was not very lean,

  Was not very fat;

Very fine grunter!

  For little Jack Sprat.


Joan went to market

  As Jack did propose;

She bought a large frog,

  And a couple of crows:


The frog was not white,

  The crows were both black;

"They'll never agree,"

  Says little Joan Sprat.

Jack Sprat bought a cow,

  His dear Joan to please,

For Joan she could make

  Both butter and cheese;


Pancakes, or pudding,

  Without any fat;

A careful house-wife

  Was little Joan Sprat.

Joan Sprat was brewing

  A barrel of ale,

She put in some hops,

  It might not turn stale;


But as for the malt,

  Forgot to put that,

"Brave sober liquor!"

  Said little Jack Sprat.

Jack went to market,

  And bought him a mare,

Was lame of three legs,

  And blind, I declare;


Her ribs they were bare,

  The mare had no fat,

"She's a fine racer!"

  Says little Jack Sprat.

Jack and Joan went abroad,

  Puss took care of the house;

When she caught a large rat,

  And a very small mouse:


So she caught a small mouse,

  And a very large rat;

"An excellent hunter!"

  Says little Jack Sprat.

I've told you the story

  Of the famous Jack Sprat,

And of little Joan Cole,

  And the poor one-ear'd cat:


Now Jack has got riches,

  He has plenty of pelf,

If you'd have any more,

  You must tell it yourself.

When Jack Sprat was young,

  He was not so big;

But now he is old,

  And fat as a pig.


If Jack Sprat were lean,

  He would not be fat--

I think my reader

  Will not dispute that.

[The end of The Life of Jack Sprat by Anonymous]