There once was a gentleman grand

This old nursery rhyme is called “There once was a gentleman grand” — enjoy your reading!

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There once was a gentleman grand,
Who lived at his country seat;
He wanted an heir to his land,
For he'd nothing but daughters yet.

His lady's again in the way,
So she said to her husband with joy,
"I hope some or other fine day,
To present you, my dear, with a boy."

The gentleman answered gruff,
"If 't should turn out a maid or a mouse,
For of both we have more than enough,
She shan't stay to live in my house."

The lady, at this declaration,
Almost fainted away with pain;
But what was her sad consternation,
When a sweet little girl came again.

She sent her away to be nurs'd,
Without seeing her gruff papa;
And when she was old enough,
To a school she was packed away.

Fifteen summers are fled,
Now she left good Mrs. Jervis;
To see home she was forbid,--
She determined to go and seek service.

Her dresses so grand and so gay,
She carefully rolled in a knob;
Which she hid in a forest away,
And put on a Catskin robe.

She knock'd at a castle gate,
And pray'd for charity;
They sent her some meat on a plate,
And kept her a scullion to be.

My lady look'd long in her face,
And prais'd her great beauty;
I'm sorry I've no better place,
And you must our scullion be.

So Catskin was under the cook,
A very sad life she led,
For often a ladle she took,
And broke poor Catskin's head.

There is now a grand ball to be,
When ladies their beauties show;
"Mrs. Cook," said Catskin, "dear me,
How much I should like to go!"

"You go with your Catskin robe,
You dirty impudent slut!
Among the fine ladies and lords,
A very fine figure you'd cut."

A basin of water she took,
And dash'd in poor Catskin's face;
But briskly her ears she shook,
And went to her hiding-place.

She washed every stain from her skin,
In some crystal waterfall;
Then put on a beautiful dress,
And hasted away to the ball.

When she entered, the ladies were mute,
Overcome by her figure and face;
But the lord, her young master, at once
Fell in love with her beauty and grace;

He pray'd her his partner to be,
She said, "Yes!" with a sweet smiling glance;
All night with no other lady
But Catskin, our young lord would dance.

"Pray tell me, fair maid, where you live?"
For now was the sad parting time;
But she no other answer would give,
Than this distich of mystical

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