Little Bo Peep nursery rhyme (skip to it)
First appearance in print: 1805
Fact: References to a children's game called "Bo-Peep" are made in Shakespeare's King Lear
True: Author Joseph Martin Kronheim turned Bo-Peep into a story with princesses and elves! You'll find the beginning just below the poem, along with a link to the full text.
Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep,
And can't tell where to find them;
Leave them alone, and they'll come home,
And bring their tails behind them.
Little Bo-Peep fell fast asleep,
And dreamt she heard them bleating;
But when she awoke, she found it a joke,
For still they all were fleeting.
Then up she took her little crook,
Determined for to find them;
She found them indeed, but it made her heart bleed,
For they'd left all their tails behind 'em!
It happened one day, as Bo-peep did stray
Unto a meadow hard by--
There she espied their tails, side by side,
All hung on a tree to dry.
She heaved a sigh and wiped her eye,
And over the hillocks she raced;
And tried what she could, as a shepherdess should,
That each tail should be properly placed.
Little Bo-Peep was a very nice little girl. Her cheeks had a bloom on them like a lovely peach, and her voice sounded like a sweet silver bell.
But though Little Bo-Peep was as good as she was beautiful, she sometimes met with misfortunes that made her very sad. Once, when she lost her sheep, she was very doleful indeed. And this is how it happened.
One summer evening, when the sun was setting, Little Bo-Peep, who had to rise very early in the morning, felt tired, and sat down on a bank covered with daisies. Being very weary she soon fell fast asleep....
Little Bo-Peep's story continues at Project Gutenberg.
Best Children's Books - Find, Read or Write home page.