Have you been catching [of]1 fish, Tom Noddy? Have you snared a weeping hare? Have you whistled "No Nunny" and gunned a poor bunny, Or blinded a bird of the air? Have you trod like a murderer through the green woods, Through the dewy deep dingles and glooms, While every small creature screamed shrill to Dame Nature "He comes - and he comes!"? Wonder I very much do, Tom Noddy, If ever, when [you are a-roam]2, An Ogre from space will stoop a lean face, And lug you home: Lug you home over his fence, Tom Noddy, Of thorn-sticks nine yards high, With your bent knees strung round his old iron gun And your head a dan-dangling by: And hang you up stiff on a hook, Tom Noddy, From a stone-cold pantry shelf, Whence your eyes will glare in an empty stare, Till [you're]3 cooked yourself!
1 omitted by Britten.
2 Britten: "off you roam"
3 Britten: "you are"
- by Walter De la Mare (1873 - 1956), "Tit for tat", appears in Peacock Pie: A Book of Rhymes, in 5. Beasts, no. 7, first published 1913 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by (Edward) Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976), "Tit for tat", published 1969 [voice and piano], from Tit for tat, no. 5. [text verified 1 time]
- by Freda Mary Swain (1902 - 1985), "Tit for tat", 1949-50 [baritone and piano], from From "Peacock Pie" [text not verified]
Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Un prêté pour un rendu", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "Wie du mir, so ich dir", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 20
Word count: 146