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Short poem

Eugene Field (1850-1895)

Pittypat and Tippytoe

              1All day long they come and go--
              2Pittypat and Tippytoe;
              3    Footprints up and down the hall,
              4        Playthings scattered on the floor,
              5    Finger-marks along the wall,
              6        Tell-tale smudges on the door--
              7By these presents you shall know
              8Pittypat and Tippytoe.

              9How they riot at their play!
            10And a dozen times a day
            11    In they troop, demanding bread--
            12        Only buttered bread will do,
            13    And the butter must be spread
            14        Inches thick with sugar too!
            15And I never can say "No,
            16Pittypat and Tippytoe!"

            17Sometimes there are griefs to soothe,
            18Sometimes ruffled brows to smooth;
            19    For (I much regret to say)
            20        Tippytoe and Pittypat
            21    Sometimes interrupt their play
            22        With an internecine spat;
            23Fie, for shame! to quarrel so--
            24Pittypat and Tippytoe!

            25Oh the thousand worrying things
            26Every day recurrent brings!
            27    Hands to scrub and hair to brush,
            28        Search for playthings gone amiss,
            29    Many a wee complaint to hush,
            30        Many a little bump to kiss;
            31Life seems one vain, fleeting show
            32To Pittypat and Tippytoe!

            33And when day is at an end,
            34There are little duds to mend;
            35    Little frocks are strangely torn,
            36        Little shows great holes reveal,
            37    Little hose, but one day worn,
            38        Rudely yawn at toe and heel!
            39Who but you could work such woe,
            40Pittypat and Tippytoe!

            41On the floor and down the hall,
            42Rudely smutched upon the wall,
            43    There are proofs in every kind
            44        Of the havoc they have wrought,
            45    And upon my heart you'd find
            46        Just such trade-marks, if you sought;
            47Oh, how glad I am 'tis so,
            48Pittypat and Tippytoe!


22] internecine: deadly.

42] smutched: smudged

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Eugene Field, Lullaby-Land: Poems of Childhood (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1904): 139-44.
First publication date: 1904
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1997.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/27

Rhyme: aabcbcdd

Other poems by Eugene Field