DANDLE, v.t. To set an unresisting child upon one’s knee and jolt its teeth loose in a transport of affection. A grown girl may be similarly outraged, but her teeth being more firmly secure, there can be no object in doing so, and the custom is a mere mechanical survival of a habit acquired by practice on babes and sucklings.
If you care not for the scandal
You can hold a girl and dandle
Her upon your knee all night;
But the game’s not worth the candle —
When ’tis played by candle light.
But whene’er you feel the yearning,
And the candle isn’t burning —
Or at least not very bright,
Then the little game concerning
Which I sing is very quite.