You've quizzed me often and puzzled
You've asked me to cipher
You've called me a dunce if I
Or a dolt if I failed to
Just when to say lie and when
to say lay,
Or what nine sevens may
Or the longitude of Kamschatka Bay,
So I think it's about my turn,
To ask a question or so of you.
The schoolmaster grim, he opened his
But said not a word for sheer
Can you tell what "phen-dubs" means?
Can you say all off by
The "onery twoery ickery ann,"
Or tell "alleys" and
Can you fling a top, I would
like to know,
Till it hums like a
Can you make a kite yourself that
'Most as high as the eye
Till it sails and soars like a hawk
on the wing,
And the little birds come and light
on its string?
The schoolmaster looked oh! very
But his mouth was twitching, I'm
Can you tell where the nest of the
Or the color its eggs may
Do you know the time when the
Its young from their nest
in the tree?
Can you tell when the chestnuts are
ready to drop
Or where the best
Can you climb a high tree to the very
Then gaze without
Can you swim and dive, can you jump
Or do anything else we boys call fun?
The master's voice trembled as he
"You are right, my lad, I'm the
dunce," he sighed.