Let those who're fond of idle tricks,
Of throwing stones, and hurling bricks,
And all that sort of fun,
Now hear a tale of idle Jim,
That warning they may take by him,
Nor do as he has done.
In harmless sport or healthful play
He did not pass his time away,
Nor took his pleasure in it;
For mischief was his only joy:
No book, or work, or even toy,
Could please him for a minute.
A neighbour's house he'd slyly pass,
And throw a stone to break the glass,
And then enjoy the joke!
Or, if a window open stood,
He'd throw in stones, or bits of wood,
To frighten all the folk.
If travellers passing chanced to stay,
Of idle Jim to ask the way,
He never told them right;
And then, quite harden'd in his sin,
Rejoiced to see them taken in,
And laugh'd with all his might.
He'd tie a string across the street,
Just to entangle people's feet,
And make them tumble down:
Indeed, he was disliked so much,
That no good boy would play with such
A nuisance to the town.
At last the neighbours, in despair,
This mischief would no longer bear:
And so to end the tale,
This lad, to cure him of his ways,
Was sent to spend some dismal days
Within the county jail.
Jane Taylor's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (Mischief by Jane Taylor )
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
(8 February 1911 – 6 October 1979)
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(4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926)
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