Merry Milly Mollycot

by Solveig Paulson Russell

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    Merry Milly Mollycot,

    Upon the first of May,

    Shook out her sheets and swept the floor

    And then was heard to say,

    “My work is done, I’ll do no more;

    I’m tired of toil and taskets.

    I’m off into the forest lands

    To make some May Day baskets!”

    And off she went a-tripping light

    Where trees stood all around,

    And various things and sundry

    Were growing from the ground.

    She took some bark, she took some moss,

    She took some leaves and tendrils;

    She took some threads from fern fronds

    And tender willow bendrils.

    And these she wove this way and that

    And shaped them square and rounded,

    Then piled them high with posies sweet

    That in the grass she founded.

    Then Merry Milly Mollycot,

    She hung her baskets high

    Upon the lamp posts of the town

    Where every passerby

    Could see them and admire them

    And say with smiling eyes,

    “These must be Merry Milly’s work—

    A First-of-May surprise!”

    Merry Milly Mollycot,

    She grinned a Cheshire grin

    And chuckled so her dimples

    Kept ducking out and in.

    Then up she danced a hornypipe

    And sang, “I am the lady

    Who made these bits of handiwork

    To welcome in sweet May Day!”

    And then she bowed and curtsied,

    Turned a cartwheel on the spot,

    While all the people laughed and cheered

    For Milly Mollycot.

    Illustrated by Phyllis Luch