Katherine Mansfield

(14 October 1888 – 9 January 1923 / Wellington)

Song of the Little White Girl


Cabbage tree, cabbage tree, what is the matter?
Why are you shaking so? Why do you chatter?
Because it is just a white baby you see,
And it's the black ones you like, cabbage tree?

Cabbage tree, cabbage tree, you're a strange fellow
With your green hair and your legs browny-yellow.
Wouldn't you like to have curls, dear, like me?
What! No one to make them? O poor cabbage tree!

Never mind, cabbage tree, when I am taller,
And if you grow, please, a little bit smaller,
I shall be able by that time, bay be,
To make you the loveliest curls, cabbage tree.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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