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,