Treasure Island

Ogden Nash

(August 19, 1902 – May 19, 1971 / New York / United States)

One From One Leaves Two


Higgledy piggledy, my black hen,
She lays eggs for gentlemen.
Gentlemen come every day
To count what my black hen doth lay.
If perchance she lays too many,
They fine my hen a pretty penny;
If perchance she fails to lay,
The gentlemen a bonus pay.

Mumbledy pumbledy, my red cow,
She’s cooperating now.
At first she didn’t understand
That milk production must be planned;
She didn’t understand at first
She either had to plan or burst,
But now the government reports
She’s giving pints instead of quarts.

Fiddle de dee, my next-door neighbors,
They are giggling at their labors.
First they plant the tiny seed,
Then they water, then they weed,
Then they hoe and prune and lop,
They they raise a record crop,
Then they laugh their sides asunder,
And plow the whole caboodle under.

Abracadabra, thus we learn
The more you create, the less you earn.
The less you earn, the more you’re given,
The less you lead, the more you’re driven,
The more destroyed, the more they feed,
The more you pay, the more they need,
The more you earn, the less you keep,
And now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to take
If the tax-collector hasn’t got it before I wake.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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Comments about this poem (One From One Leaves Two by Ogden Nash )

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  • Brian Jani (7/13/2014 3:15:00 AM)

    when i saw the title i just had to read this poem, this is a fantastic piece. (Report) Reply

  • V S (1/12/2007 3:53:00 AM)

    I. Love. It.

    How awesome is this poem? SEROUSLY! (Report) Reply

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