Louis MacNeice

Children’s Games

Touch me not forget me not, touch me forget me. 
Throw salt over your shoulder when you walk under a ladder^ 
Fly away, Peter, they are waiting in the Vatican, 
Come back, Paul, to your Macedonian runaround. 

Hop scotch and somersault ring a ring of raspberries. 
Who shall we send to fetch her away? Touch wood and turn again. 
I'm the king of the barbican, come down you dirty charlatan. 
When you see a magpie put salt upon her tail. 

He knows I know you know catchum 
Nigger by his whatnot round and round the launching site. 
Boar's tusks and phonies say the bells of Saint Adonis, 
Up Guards and Jenkins and all fall down. 

The grand old Duke of York is just about to turn about, 
Keep your fingers crossed when Tom Tiddler's ground is over you, 
I'll beat you in a canter say the bells of Atalanta; 
Touch me not forget me, touch me forget me not.