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Dressing the Doll

William Brighty Rands 1823 (Chelsea, Middlesex) – 1882 (East Dulwich, London)

THIS is the way we dress the Doll:—
You may make her a shepherdess, the Doll,
If you give her a crook with a pastoral hook,
But this is the way we dress the Doll.
 
  Chorus

Bless the Doll, you may press the Doll,
But do not crumple and mess the Doll!
This is the way we dress the Doll.
 
First, you observe, her little chemise,
As white as milk, with ruches of silk;
And the little drawers that cover her knees,
As she sits or stands, with golden bands,
And lace in beautiful filagrees.
 
  Chorus

Now these are the bodies: she has two,
One of pink, with rouches of blue,
And sweet white lace; be careful, do!
And one of green, with buttons of sheen,
Buttons and bands of gold, I mean,
With lace on the border in lovely order,
The most expensive we can afford her!
 
  Chorus

Then, with black at the border, jacket
And this—and this—she will not lack it;
Skirts? Why, there are skirts, of course,
And shoes and stockings we shall enforce,
With a proper bodice, in the proper place,
(Stays that lace have had their days
And made their martyrs); likewise garters,
All entire. But our desire
Is to show you her night attire,
At least a part of it. Pray admire
This sweet white thing that she goes to bed in!
It ’s not the one that ’s made for her wedding:
That is special, a new design,
Made with a charm and a countersign,
Three times three and nine times nine:
These are only her usual clothes.
Look, there ’s a wardrobe! gracious knows
It ’s pretty enough, as far as it goes!
 
So you see the way we dress the Doll:
You might make her a shepherdess, the Doll,
If you gave her a crook with pastoral hook,
With sheep, and a shed, and a shallow brook,
And all that, out of the poetry-book.
 
  Chorus

Bless the Doll, you may press the Doll,
But do not crumple and mess the Doll!
This is the way we dress the Doll;
If you had not seen, could you guess the Doll?

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:48 min read
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William Brighty Rands

William Brighty Rands (24 December 1823, Chelsea, Middlesex — 23 April 1882, East Dulwich, London) was a British writer and one of the major authors of nursery rhymes of the Victorian era.  more…

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