My mother said, I never should
Play with the Gypsies in the wood;
If I did, she would say,
Naughty little girl to disobey.
Your hair shan't curl,
Your shoes shan't shine,
You gypsy girl, you shan't be mine.
And my father said if I did,
he'd rap my head with the teapot lid.
The wood was dark, the grass was green,
In came Sally with a tambourine.
I went to sea - no ship to get across,
I paid ten shillings for a blind white horse,
I up on his back,
and was off in a crack -
Sally, tell my mother I shall never come back.
Another old favourite. This poem has the allure of the forbidden. It moves and dances with its own freedom, as it develops from repression to mystery and new beginnings.
Growing up in New Zealand the idea of Gypsies seemed as exotic and enticing as fairies and I have to admit I was surprised to find that this poem wasn't so easy to find as I thought. There was nothing in particular dedicated to it, just some blogs with versions that didn't seem quite right. This mash-up seems to be the closest to my rememberings although I'm sure other people will have their own favourite versions.
A..J. Ponder - author page