HUMOROUS POEMS:

HUMOROUS POEMS:

LITTLE LESSONS, An anonymous poem

THE love I bear you, dearest,
Would make the sweetest tale,
We’d sail upon a sea of bliss,
And I would lift the sail.
Our happiness would be sublime,
Surpassing tongue or pen.
You may as well learn things from me,
As to learn from other men.

“Oh! you have touched me–deeply–“
The young thing whispered low.
He pleaded: “Come! oh! come with me.”
She could not answer: “No.”
She said: “I’ll be your pupil.”
And softly added then:
“I may as well learn things from you
As to learn from other men.”

They dined alone that evening,
And the young man got his wish.
They even broke the unwritten law
Of: “Nevaire before zee feesh.”
At half-past three, next morning,
He staggered home again.
She had taught him tricks he never knew,
That she’d learned from other men.

LORD LUNDY WHO WAS TOO FREELY MOVED TO TEARS, AND THEREBY RUINED HIS POLITICAL CAREER Poetry/Poem by Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)

Lord Lundy from his earliest years
Was far too freely moved to Tears.
For instance if his Mother said,
“Lundy! It’s time to go to Bed!”
He bellowed like a Little Turk.
Or if his father Lord Dunquerque
Said “Hi!” in a Commanding Tone,
“Hi, Lundy! Leave the Cat alone!”
Lord Lundy, letting go its tail,
Would raise so terrible a wail
As moved
His
Grandpapa
the
Duke
To utter the severe rebuke:
“When I, Sir! was a little Boy,
An Animal was not a Toy!”

His father’s Elder Sister, who
Was married to a Parvenoo,
Confided to Her Husband, “Drat!
The Miserable, Peevish Brat!
Why don’t they drown the Little Beast?”
Suggestions which, to say the least,
Are not what we expect to hear
From Daughters of an English Peer.
His grandmamma, His Mother’s Mother,
Who had some dignity or other,
The Garter, or no matter what,
I can’t remember all the Lot!
Said “Oh! that I were Brisk and Spry
To give him that for which to cry!”
(An empty wish, alas! for she
Was Blind and nearly ninety-three).
The Dear Old Butler thought—but there!
I really neither know nor care
For what the Dear Old Butler thought!
In my opinion, Butlers ought
To know their place, and not to play
The Old Retainer night and day
I’m getting tired and so are you,
Let’s cut the Poem into two!
(SECOND CANTO)
It happened to Lord Lundy then,
As happens to so many men:
Towards the age of twenty-six,
They shoved him into politics;
In which profession he commanded
The income that his rank demanded
In turn as Secretary for
India, the Colonies, and War.
But very soon his friends began
To doubt if he were quite the man:
Thus, if a member rose to say
(As members do from day to day),
“Arising out of that reply …!”
Lord Lundy would begin to cry.
A Hint at harmless little jobs
Would shake him with convulsive sobs.

While as for Revelations, these
Would simply bring him to his knees,
And leave him whimpering like a child.
It drove his Colleagues raving wild!
They let him sink from Post to Post,
From fifteen hundred at the most
To eight, and barely six—and then
To be Curator of Big Ben!…
And finally there came a Threat
To oust him from the Cabinet!

The Duke—his aged grand-sire—bore
The shame till he could bear no more.
He rallied his declining powers,
Summoned the youth to Brackley Towers,
And bitterly addressed him thus—
“Sir! you have disappointed us!
We had intended you to be
The next Prime Minister but three:
The stocks were sold; the Press was squared:
The Middle Class was quite prepared.
But as it is!… My language fails!
Go out and govern New South Wales!”

The Aged Patriot groaned and died:
And gracious! how Lord Lundy cried!

LORD ROEHAMPTON Poetry/Poem by Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)

During a late election Lord
Roehampton strained a vocal chord
From shouting, very loud and high,
To lots and lots of people why
The Budget in his own opin-
-Ion should not be allowed to win.

He sought a Specialist, who said:
“You have a swelling in the head:
Your Larynx is a thought relaxed
And you are greatly over-taxed.”

“I am indeed! On every side!”
The Earl (for such he was) replied
In hoarse excitement…. “Oh! My Lord,
You jeopardize your vocal chord!”
Broke in the worthy Specialist.
“Come! Here’s the treatment! I insist!
To Bed! to Bed! And do not speak
A single word till Wednesday week,
When I will come and set you free
(If you are cured) and take my fee.”

On Wednesday week the Doctor hires
A Brand-new Car with Brand-new Tyres
And Brand-new Chauffeur all complete
For visiting South Audley Street.

But what is this? No Union Jack
Floats on the Stables at the back!
No Toffs escorting Ladies fair
Perambulate the Gay Parterre.
A ‘Scutcheon hanging lozenge-wise
And draped in crape appals his eyes
Upon the mansion’s ample door,
To which he wades through heaps of Straw,
And which a Butler drowned in tears,
On opening but confirms his fears:
“Oh! Sir!—Prepare to hear the worst!…
Last night my kind old master burst.
And what is more, I doubt if he
Has left enough to pay your fee.
The Budget——”

With a dreadful oath,
The Specialist, denouncing both
The Budget and the House of Lords,
Buzzed angrily Bayswaterwards.

And ever since, as I am told,
Gets it beforehand; and in gold.

THE EMBARRASSING EPISODE OF LITTLE MISS MUFFET Poetry/Poem by Guy Wetmore Carryl (1873-1904)

LITTLE Miss Muffet discovered a tuffet,
(Which never occurred to the rest of us)
And, as ’twas a June day, and just about noonday,
She wanted to eat–like the rest of us:
Her diet was whey, and I hasten to say
It is wholesome and people grow fat on it.
The spot being lonely, the lady not only
Discovered the tuffet, but sat on it.

A rivulet gabbled beside her and babbled,
As rivulets always are thought to do,
And dragon flies sported around and cavorted,
As poets say dragon flies ought to do;
When, glancing aside for a moment, she spied
A horrible sight that brought fear to her,
A hideous spider was sitting beside her,
And most unavoidably near to her!

Albeit unsightly, this creature politely Said:
“Madam, I earnestly vow to you,
I’m penitent that I did not bring my hat.
I Should otherwise certainly bow to you.”
Thought anxious to please, he was so ill at ease
That he lost all his sense of propriety,
And grew so inept that he clumsily stept
In her plate–which is barred in Society.

This curious error completed her terror;
She shuddered, and growing much paler, not
Only left tuffet, but dealt him a buffet
Which doubled him up in a sailor knot.
It should be explained that at this he was pained:
He cried: “I have vexed you, no doubt of it!
Your fists’s like a truncheon.” “You’re still in my luncheon,”
Was all that she answered. “Get out of it!”

And the Moral is this: Be it madam or miss
To whom you have something to say,
You are only absurd when you get in the curd
But you’re rude when you get in the whey.

DETECTED Poetry/Poem by Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

IN Congress once great Mowther shone,
Debating weighty matters;
Now into an asylum thrown,
He vacuously chatters.

If in that legislative hall
His wisdom still he’d vented,
It never had been known at all
That Mowther was demented.

THE COW Poetry/Poem by Oliver Herford (1863-1935)

THE Cow is too well known, I fear,
To need an introduction here.
If She should vanish from earth’s face
It would be hard to fill her place;
For with the Cow would disappear
So much that everyone holds Dear.
Oh, think of all the Boots and Shoes,
Milk Punches, Gladstone Bags and Stews,
And Things too numerous to count,
Of which, my child, she is the Fount.
Let’s hope, at least, the Fount may last
Until our Generation’s past.

A BUBBLE Poetry/Poem by Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

MRS. Mehitable Marcia Moore
Was a dame of superior mind,
With a gown which, modestly fitting before,
Was greatly puffed up behind.

The bustle she wore was ingeniously planned
With an inspiration bright:
It magnified seven diameters and
Was remarkably nice and light.

It was made of rubber and edged with lace
And riveted all with brass,
And the whole immense interior space
Inflated with hydrogen gas.

The ladies all said when she hove in view
Like the round and rising moon:
“She’s a stuck up thing!” which was partly true,
And men called her the Captive Balloon.

To Manhattan Beach for a bath one day
She went and she said: “O dear!
If I leave of this what will people say?
I shall look so uncommonly queer!”

So a costume she had accordingly made
To take it all nicely in,
And when she appeared in that suit arrayed,
She was greeted with many a grin.

Proudly and happily looking around,
She waded out into the wet;
But the water was very, very profound,
And her feet and her forehead met!

As her bubble drifted away from the shore,
On the glassy billows borne,
All cried: “Why, where is Mehitable Moore?
I saw her go in, I’ll be sworn!”

Then the bulb it swelled as the sun grew hot,
Till it burst with a sullen roar,
And the sea like oil closed over the spot–
Farewell, O Mehitable Moore!

THE BACHELOR’S SOLILOQUY Poetry/Poem by Anonymous

TO wed, or not to wed;–that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in a man to suffer
The slings and sorrows of that blind young archer;
Or fly to arms against a host of troubles,
And at the altar end them. To woo–to wed–
No more; and by this step to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand hopes and fears
The single suffer–’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To woo–to wed;–
To wed–perchance repent!–ay, there’s the rub;
For in that wedded state, what woes may come
When we have launched upon that untried sea
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes celibacy of so long life;
For who would bear the quips and jeers of friends,
The husband’s pity, and the coquette’s scorn,
The vacant hearth, the solitary cell,
The unshared sorrow, and the void within,
When he himself might his redemption gain
With a fair damsel. Who would beauty shun
To toil and plod over a barren heath;
But that the dread of something yet beyond–
The undiscovered country, from whose bourne
No bachelor returns–puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of!
Thus forethought does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And numberless flirtations, long pursued,
With this regard, their currents turn awry
And lose the name of marriage.

REBECCA

WHO SLAMMED DOORS FOR FUN AND PERISHED MISERABLY Poetry/Poem by Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)

A Trick that everyone abhors
In Little Girls is slamming Doors.
A Wealthy Banker’s Little Daughter
Who lived in Palace Green, Bayswater
(By name Rebecca Offendort),
Was given to this Furious Sport.
She would deliberately go
And Slam the door like Billy-Ho!
To make her Uncle Jacob start.
She was not really bad at heart,
But only rather rude and wild:
She was an aggravating child….

It happened that a Marble Bust
Of Abraham was standing just
Above the Door this little Lamb
Had carefully prepared to Slam,
And Down it came! It knocked her flat!
It laid her out! She looked like that.

Her funeral Sermon (which was long
And followed by a Sacred Song)
Mentioned her Virtues, it is true,
But dwelt upon her Vices too,
And showed the Dreadful End of One
Who goes and slams the door for Fun.

The children who were brought to hear
The awful Tale from far and near
Were much impressed, and inly swore
They never more would slam the Door.
—As often they had done before.

TABLE MANNERS Poetry/Poem by Gelett Burgess (1866-1951)

THE Goops they lick their fingers,
And the Goops they lick their knives;
They spill their broth on the tablecloth–
Oh, they lead disgusting lives!
The Goops they talk while eating,
And loud and fast they chew;
And that is why I’m glad that I
Am not a Goop–are you?

THE YAK Poetry/Poem by Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)

As a friend to the children commend me the Yak.
You will find it exactly the thing:
It will carry and fetch, you can ride on its back,
Or lead it about with a string.

The Tartar who dwells on the plains of Tibet
(A desolate region of snow)
Has for centuries made it a nursery pet.
And surely the Tartar should know!

Then tell your papa where the Yak can be got,
And if he is awfully rich
He will buy you the creature – or else he will not.
(I cannot be positive which.)

MATILDA Poetry/Poem by Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)

WHO TOLD LIES, AND WAS BURNED TO DEATH

MATILDA told such Dreadful Lies,
It made one Gasp and Stretch one’s Eyes;
Her Aunt, who, from her Earliest Youth,
Had kept a Strict Regard for Truth,
Attempted to Believe Matilda:
The effort very nearly killed her,
And would have done so, had not She
Discovered this Infirmity.
For once, towards the Close of Day,
Matilda, growing tired of play,
And finding she was left alone,
Went tiptoe to the Telephone
And summoned the Immediate Aid
Of London’s Noble Fire-Brigade.
Within an hour the Gallant Band
Were pouring in on every hand,
From Putney, Hackney Downs, and Bow.
With Courage high and Hearts a-glow,
They galloped, roaring through the Town,
‘Matilda’s House is Burning Down!’
Inspired by British Cheers and Loud
Proceeding from the Frenzied Crowd,
They ran their ladders through a score
Of windows on the Ball Room Floor;
And took Peculiar Pains to Souse
The Pictures up and down the House,
Until Matilda’s Aunt succeeded
In showing them they were not needed;
And even then she had to pay
To get the Men to go away!

It happened that a few Weeks later
Her Aunt was off to the Theatre
To see that Interesting Play
The Second Mrs. Tanqueray.
She had refused to take her Niece
To hear this Entertaining Piece:
A Deprivation Just and Wise
To Punish her for Telling Lies.
That Night a Fire did break out–
You should have heard Matilda Shout!
You should have heard her Scream and Bawl,
And throw the window up and call
To People passing in the Street–
(The rapidly increasing Heat
Encouraging her to obtain
Their confidence) — but all in vain!
For every time she shouted ‘Fire!’
They only answered ‘Little Liar!’
And therefore when her Aunt returned,
Matilda, and the House, were Burned.

HYMN TO THE BELLY Poetry/Poem by Ben Jonson (1572-1637)

ROOM! room! make room for the bouncing Belly,
First father of sauce and deviser of jelly;
Prime master of arts and the giver of wit,
That found out the excellent engine, the spit,
The plough and the flail, the mill and the hopper,
The hutch and the boulter, the furnace and copper,
The oven, the bavin, the mawkin, the peel,
The hearth and the range, the dog and the wheel.
He, he first invented the hogshead and tun,
The gimlet and vice too, and taught ’em to run;
And since, with the funnel and hippocras bag,
He’s made of himself that now he cries swag;
Which shows, though the pleasure be but of four inches,
Yet he is a weasel, the gullet that pinches
Of any delight, and not spares from his back
Whatever to make of the belly a sack.
Hail, hail, plump paunch! O the founder of taste,
For fresh meats or powdered, or pickle or paste!
Devourer of broiled, baked, roasted or sod!
And emptier of cups, be they even or odd!
All which have now made thee so wide i’ the waist,
As scarce with no pudding thou art to be laced;
But eating and drinking until thou dost nod,
Thou break’st all thy girdles and break’st forth a god.

GEORGE

WHO PLAYED WITH A DANGEROUS TOY AND SUFFERED A CATASTROPHE OF CONSIDERABLE DIMENSIONS Poetry/Poem by Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)

When George’s Grandmamma was told
That George had been as good as Gold,
She Promised in the Afternoon
To buy him an Immense BALLOON.
And so she did; but when it came,
It got into the candle flame,
And being of a dangerous sort
Exploded with a loud report!

The Lights went out! The Windows broke!
The Room was filled with reeking smoke.
And in the darkness shrieks and yells
Were mingled with Electric Bells,
And falling masonry and groans,
And crunching, as of broken bones,
And dreadful shrieks, when, worst of all,
The House itself began to fall!
It tottered, shuddering to and fro,
Then crashed into the street below—
Which happened to be Savile Row.

When Help arrived, among the Dead
Were Cousin Mary, Little Fred,
The Footmen (both of them), The Groom,
The man that cleaned the Billiard-Room,
The Chaplain, and The Still-Room Maid.
And I am dreadfully afraid
That Monsieur Champignon, the Chef,
Will now be permanently deaf—
And both his aides are much the same;
While George, who was in part to blame,
Received, you will regret to hear,
A nasty lump behind the ear.

MORAL

The moral is that little Boys
Should not be given dangerous Toys.

HEAVEN Poetry/Poem by Rupert Brooke (1887-1915)

FISH (fly-replete, in depth of June,
Dawdling away their wat’ry noon)
Ponder deep wisdom, dark or clear,
Each secret fishy hope or fear.
Fish say, they have their Stream and Pond;
But is there anything Beyond?
This life cannot be All, they swear,
For how unpleasant, if it were!
One may not doubt that, somehow, Good
Shall come of Water and of Mud;
And, sure, the reverent eye must see
A Purpose in Liquidity.
We darkly know, by Faith we cry,
The future is not Wholly Dry.
Mud unto mud! — Death eddies near —
Not here the appointed End, not here!
But somewhere, beyond Space and Time.
Is wetter water, slimier slime!
And there (they trust) there swimmeth One
Who swam ere rivers were begun,
Immense, of fishy form and mind,
Squamous, omnipotent, and kind;
And under that Almighty Fin,
The littlest fish may enter in.
Oh! never fly conceals a hook,
Fish say, in the Eternal Brook,
But more than mundane weeds are there,
And mud, celestially fair;
Fat caterpillars drift around,
And Paradisal grubs are found;
Unfading moths, immortal flies,
And the worm that never dies.
And in that Heaven of all their wish,
There shall be no more land, say fish.

HOW RUDENESS AND KINDNESS WERE JUSTLY REWARDED Poetry/Poem by Guy Wetmore Carryl (1873-1904)

ONCE on a time, long years ago
(Just when I quite forget),
Two maidens lived beside the Po,
One blonde and one brunette.
The blonde one’s character was mild,
From morning until night she smiled,
Whereas the one whose hair was brown
Did little else than pine and frown.
(I think one ought to draw the line
At girls who always frown and pine!)

The blonde one learned to play the harp,
Like all accomplished dames,
And trained her voice to take C sharp
As well as Emma Eames;
Made baskets out of scented grass,
And paper-weights of hammered brass,
And lots of other odds and ends
For gentleman and lady friends.
(I think it takes a deal of sense
To manufacture gifts for gents!)

The dark one wore an air of gloom,
Proclaimed the world a bore,
And took her breakfast in her room
Three mornings out of four.
With crankiness she seemed imbued,
And everything she said was rude:
She sniffed, and sneered, and, what is more,
When very much provoked, she swore!
(I think that I could never care
For any girl who’d learned to swear!)

One day the blonde was striding past
A forest, all alone,
When all at once her eyes she cast
Upon a wrinkled crone,
Who tottered near with shaking knees,
And said: “A penny, if you please!”
And you will learn with some surprise
This was a fairy in disguise!
(I think it must be hard to know
A fairy who’s incognito!)

The maiden filled her trembling palms
With coinage of the realm.
The fairy said: “Take back your alms!
My heart they overwhelm.
Henceforth at every word shall slip
A pearl or ruby from your lip!”
And, when the girl got home that night, –
She found the fairy’s words were right!
(I think there are not many girls
Whose words are worth their weight in pearls!)

It happened that the cross brunette,
Ten minutes later, came
Along the self-same road, and met
That bent and wrinkled dame,
Who asked her humbly for a sou.
The girl replied: “Get out with you!”
The fairy cried: “Each word you drop,
A toad from out your mouth shall hop!”
(I think that nothing incommodes
One’s speech like uninvited toads!)

And so it was, the cheerful blonde
Lived on in joy and bliss,
And grew pecunious, beyond
The dreams of avarice
And to a nice young man was wed,
And I have often heard it said
No other man who ever walked
Most loved his wife when most she talked!
(I think this very fact, forsooth,
Goes far to prove I tell the truth!)

The cross brunette the fairy’s joke
By hook or crook survived,
But still at every word she spoke
An ugly toad arrived,
Until at last she had to come
To feigning she was wholly dumb,
Whereat the suitors swarmed around,
And soon a wealthy mate she found.
(I think nobody ever knew
The happier husband of the two!)

The Moral of the tale is: Bah!
Nous avons change tout cela.
No clear idea I hope to strike
Of what our nicest girl is like,
But she whose best young man I am
Is not an oyster, nor a clam!

HOW LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD CAME TO BE EATEN Poetry/Poem by Guy Wetmore Carryl (1873-1904)

MOST worthy of praise
Were the virtuous ways
Of Little Red Riding Hood’s Ma,
And no one was ever
More cautious and clever
Than Little Red Riding Hood’s Pa.
They never mislead,
For they meant what they said,
And would frequently say what they meant:
And the way she should go
They were careful to show,
And the way that they showed her, she went.
For obedience she was effusively thanked,
And for anything else she was carefully spanked.

It thus isn’t strange
That Red Riding Hood’s range
Of virtues so steadily grew,
That soon she was prizes
Of different sizes,
And golden encomiums, too!
As a general rule
She was head of her school,
And at six was so notably smart
That they gave her a cheque
For reciting, “The Wreck
of the Hesperus,” wholly by heart!
And you all will applaud her the more, I am sure,
When I add that this money she gave to the poor.

At eleven this lass
Had a Sunday-school class,
At twelve wrote a volume of verse,
At thirteen was yearning
For glory, and learning
To be a professional nurse.
To a glorious height
The young paragon might
Have grown, if not nipped in the bud,
But the following year
Struck her smiling career
With a dull and a sickening thud!
(I have shed a great tear at the thought of her pain,
And must copy my manuscript over again!)

Not dreaming of harm
One day on her arm
A basket she hung. It was filled
With jellies, and ices,
And gruel, and spices,
And chicken-legs, carefully grilled,
And a savory stew,
And a novel or two
She’d persuaded a neighbor to loan,
And a hot-water can,
And a Japanese fan,
And a bottle of eau-de-cologne,
And the rest of the things that your family fill
Your room with, whenever you chance to be ill!

She expected to find
Her decrepit but kind
Old Grandmother waiting her call,
But the visage that met her
Completely upset her:
It wasn’t familiar at all!
With a whitening cheek
She started to speak,
But her peril she instantly saw: —
Her Grandma had fled,
And she’d tackled instead
Four merciless Paws and a Maw!
When the neighbors came running, the wolf to subdue,
He was licking his chops, (and Red Riding Hood’s, too!)

At this terrible tale
Some readers will pale,
And others with horror grow dumb,
And yet it was better,
I fear, he should get her:
Just think what she might have become!
For an infant so keen
Might in future have been
A woman of awful renown,
Who carried on fights
For her feminine rights
As the Mare of an Arkansas town.
She might have continued the crime of her ‘teens,
And come to write verse for the Big Magazines!

The Moral: There’s nothing much glummer
Than children whose talents appall:
One much prefers those who are dumber,
But as for the paragons small,
If a swallow cannot make a summer
It can bring on a summary fall!

HOW BEAUTY CONTRIVED Poetry/Poem by Guy Wetmore Carryl (1873-1904)

HOW BEAUTY CONTRIVED TO GET SQUARE WITH THE BEAST Poetry/Poem by Guy Wetmore Carryl (1873-1904)

MISS Guinevere Platt
Was so beautiful that
She couldn’t remember the day
When one of her swains
Hadn’t taken the pains
To send her a mammoth bouquet.
And the postman had found,
On the whole of his round,
That no one received such a lot
Of bulky epistles
As, waiting his whistles,
The beautiful Guinevere got!

A significant sign
That her charm was divine
Was seen in society, when
The chaperons sniffed
With their eyebrows alift:
“Whatever’s got into the men?”
There was always a man
Who was holding her fan,
And twenty that danced in details,
And a couple of mourners,
Who brooded in corners,
And gnawed their mustaches and nails.

John Jeremy Platt
Wouldn’t stay in the flat,
For his beautiful daughter he missed:
When he’d taken his tub,
He would hie to his club,
And dally with poker or whist.
At the end of a year
It was perfectly clear
That he’d never computed the cost,
For he hadn’t a penny
To settle the many
Ten thousands of dollars he’d lost!

F. Ferdinand Fife
Was a student of life:
He was coarse, and excessively fat,
With a beard like a goat’s,
But he held all the notes
Of ruined John Jeremy Platt!
With an adamant smile
That was brimming with guile,
He said: “I am took with the face
Of your beautiful daughter,
And wed me she ought ter,
To save you from utter disgrace!”

Miss Guinevere Platt
Didn’t hesitate at
Her duty’s imperative call.
When they looked at the bride
All the chaperons cried:
“She isn’t so bad, after all!”
Of the desolate men
There were something like ten
Who took up political lives,
And the flower of the flock
Went and fell off a dock,
And the rest married hideous wives!

But the beautiful wife
Of F. Ferdinand Fife
Was the wildest that ever was known:
She’d grumble and glare,
Till the man didn’t dare
To say that his soul was his own.
She sneered at his ills,
And quadrupled his bills,
And spent nearly twice what he earned;
Her husband deserted,
And frivoled, and flirted,
Till Ferdinand’s reason was turned.

He repented too late,
And his terrible fate
Upon him so heavily sat,
That he swore at the day
When he sat down to play
At cards with John Jeremy Platt.
He was dead in a year,
And the fair Guinevere
In society sparkled again,
While the chaperons fluttered
Their fans, as they muttered:
“She’s getting exceedingly plain!”
The Moral: Predicaments often are found
That beautiful duty is apt to get round:
But greedy extortioners better beware
For dutiful beauty is apt to get square!

GENTLE ALICE BROWN Poetry/Poem by W.S. Gilbert (1836-1911)

IT was a robber’s daughter, and her name was Alice Brown.
Her father was the terror of a small Italian town;
Her mother was a foolish, weak, but amiable old thing;
But it isn’t of her parents that I’m going for to sing.

As Alice was a-sitting at her window-sill one day,
A beautiful young gentleman he chanced to pass that way;
She cast her eyes upon him, and he looked so good and true,
That she thought, “I could be happy with a gentleman like you!”

And every morning passed her house that cream of gentlemen,
She knew she might expect him at a quarter unto ten,
A sorter in the Custom-house, it was his daily road
(The Custom-house was fifteen minutes’ walk from her abode.)

But Alice was a pious girl, who knew it wasn’t wise
To look at strange young sorters with expressive purple eyes;
So she sought the village priest to whom her family confessed,
The priest by whom their little sins were carefully assessed.

“Oh, holy father,” Alice said, “‘t would grieve you, would it not?
To discover that I was a most disreputable lot!
Of all unhappy sinners I’m the most unhappy one!”
The padre said, “Whatever have you been and gone and done?”

“I have helped mamma to steal a little kiddy from its dad,
I’ve assisted dear papa in cutting up a little lad.
I’ve planned a little burglary and forged a little check,
And slain a little baby for the coral on its neck!”

The worthy pastor heaved a sigh, and dropped a silent tear–
And said, “You mustn’t judge yourself too heavily, my dear–
It’s wrong to murder babies, little corals for to fleece;
But sins like these one expiates at half-a-crown apiece.

“Girls will be girls–you’re very young, and flighty in your mind;
Old heads upon young shoulders we must not expect to find:
We mustn’t be too hard upon these little girlish tricks–
Let’s see–five crimes at half-a-crown–exactly twelve-and-six.”

“Oh, father,” little Alice cried, “your kindness makes me weep,
You do these little things for me so singularly cheap–
Your thoughtful liberality I never can forget;
But O there is another crime I haven’t mentioned yet!

“A pleasant-looking gentleman, with pretty purple eyes,
I’ve noticed at my window, as I’ve sat a-catching flies;
He passes by it every day as certain as can be–
I blush to say I’ve winked at him and he has winked at me!”

“For shame,” said Father Paul, “my erring daughter! On my word
This is the most distressing news that I have ever heard.
Why, naughty girl, your excellent papa has pledged your hand
To a promising young robber, the lieutenant of his band!

“This dreadful piece of news will pain your worthy parents so!
They are the most remunerative customers I know;
For many many years they’ve kept starvation from my doors,
I never knew so criminal a family as yours!

“The common country folk in this insipid neighborhood
Have nothing to confess, they’re so ridiculously good;
And if you marry any one respectable at all,
Why, you’ll reform, and what will then become of Father Paul?”

The worthy priest, he up and drew his cowl upon his crown,
And started off in haste to tell the news to Robber Brown;
To tell him how his daughter, who now was for marriage fit,
Had winked upon a sorter, who reciprocated it.

Good Robber Brown, he muffled up his anger pretty well,
He said, “I have a notion, and that notion I will tell;
I will nab this gay young sorter, terrify him into fits,
And get my gentle wife to chop him into little bits.

“I’ve studied human nature, and I know a thing or two,
Though a girl may fondly love a living gent, as many do–
A feeling of disgust upon her senses there will fall
When she looks upon his body chopped particularly small.”

He traced that gallant sorter to a still suburban square;
He watched his opportunity and seized him unaware;
He took a life-preserver and he hit him on the head,
And Mrs. Brown dissected him before she went to bed.

And pretty little Alice grew more settled in her mind,
She nevermore was guilty of a weakness of the kind,
Until at length good Robber Brown bestowed her hand
On the promising young robber, the lieutenant of his band.

THE PURPLE COW: SUITE Poetry/Poem by Gelett Burgess (1866-1951)

AH, Yes! I Wrote the “Purple Cow” —
I’m Sorry, now, I Wrote it!
But I can Tell you Anyhow,
I’ll Kill you if you Quote it!

THE PURPLE COW Poetry/Poem by Gelett Burgess (1866-1951)

I NEVER saw a Purple Cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one.

THE POBBLE WHO HAS NO TOES Poetry/Poem by Edward Lear (1812-1888)

THE Pobble who has no toes
Had once as many as we;
When they said, “Some day you may lose them all,”
He replied, “Fish fiddle de-dee!”
And his Aunt Jobiska made him drink
Lavender water tinged with pink;
For she said, “The World in general knows
There’s nothing so good for a Pobble’s toes!”

The Pobble who has no toes
Swam across the Bristol Channel;
But before he set out he wrapped his nose
In a piece of scarlet flannel.
For his Aunt Jobiska said, “No harm
Can come to his toes if his nose is warm;
And it’s perfectly known that a Pobble’s toes
Are safe–provided he minds his nose.”

The Pobble swam fast and well,
And when boats or ships came near him,
He tinkledy-blinkledy-winkled a bell
So that all the world could hear him.
And all the Sailors and Admirals cried,
When they saw him nearing the farther side,
“He has gone to fish for his Aunt Jobiska’s
Runcible Cat with crimson whiskers!”

But before he touched the shore–
The shore of the Bristol Channel,
A sea-green Porpoise carried away
His wrapper of scarlet flannel.
And when he came to observe his feet,
Formerly garnished with toes so neat,
His face at once became forlorn
On perceiving that all his toes were gone!

And nobody ever knew,
From that dark day to the present,
Whoso had taken the Pobble’s toes,
In a manner so far from pleasant.
Whether the shrimps or crawfish gray,
Or crafty mermaids stole them away,
Nobody knew; and nobody knows
How the Pobble was robbed of his twice five toes!

The Pobble who has no toes
Was placed in a friendly Bark,
And they rowed him back and carried him up
To his Aunt Jobiska’s Park.
And she made him a feast at his earnest wish,
Of eggs and buttercups fried with fish;
And she said, “It’s a fact the whole world knows,
That Pobbles are happier without their toes.”

THE PLATYPUS Poetry/Poem by Oliver Herford (1863-1935)

MY child, the Duck-billed Platypus
A sad example sets for us:
From him we learn how Indecision
Of character provokes Derision.
This vacillating Thing, you see,
Could not decide which he would be,
Fish, Flesh or Fowl, and chose all three.
The scientists were sorely vexed
To classify him; so perplexed
Their brains, that they, with Rage at bay,
Called him a horrid name one day,–
A name that baffles, frights and shocks us,
Ornithorhynchus Paradoxus.

THE OWL AND THE PUSSY-CAT Poetry/Poem by Edward Lear (1812-1888)

THE Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
In a beautiful Pea-green boat:
They took some honey, and plenty of money
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
“Oh, lovely Pussy, oh, Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!”

Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl,
How charmingly sweet you sing!
Oh, let us be married; too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away for a year and a day,
To the land where the bong-tree grows;
And there in the wood a Piggy-wig stood,
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

ON A TIRED HOUSEWIFE, An anonymous poem

HERE lies a poor woman who was always tired,
She lived in a house where help wasn’t hired:
Her last words on earth were: ‘Dear friends, I am going
To where there’s no cooking, or washing, or sewing,
For everything there is exact to my wishes,
For where they don’t eat there’s no washing of dishes.
I’ll be where loud anthems will always be ringing,
But having no voice I’ll be quit of the singing.
Don’t mourn for me now, don’t mourn for me never,
I am going to do nothing for ever and ever.’

THE NAMELESS MAIDEN , An anonymous poem

A MAID, I dare not tell her name;
For fear I should disgrace her,
Tempted a young man for to come
One night for to embrace her.
When at the door he made a stop, he made a stop,
Then she lay still, and snoring cry’d,
“The latch will up, the latch will up.”

This young man, hearing of her words,
Pull’d up the latch and entered;
But in the room unfortunately
To her mother’s bed he ventured.
When the poor maid was sore afraid,
And almost dead, and almost dead;
Then she lay still, and snoring cry’d,
“To the truckle bed, to the truckle bed.”

Unto the truckle bed he went,
But as this youth was a-going,
The unlucky cradle stood in his way,
Which had almost spoil’d his wooing.
When after this the maid he spy’d, the maid he spy’d,
Here she lay still, and snoring cry’d,
“To th’other side, to th’other side.”

Unto the other side he went,
To show the love he meant her;
Pull’d off his clothes courageously,
And fell to the work he was sent for.
And the poor maid made no reply, made no reply,
But she lay still, and snoring cry’d,
“A little too high, a little too high.”

This lusty lover half ashamed,
Of her gentle admonition,
He thought to charge her home again,
As e’er a girl could wish him.
“Why now my love, I’m right I know, I’m right I know.”
Then she lay still, and snoring cry’d,
“A little too low, a little too low.”

But by mistake, at length this youth
His business so well ‘tended,
He hit the mark so cunningly,
He defy’d all the world to mend it.
“Well now, my love, I’m right I swear, I’m right I swear.”
Then she lay still, and snoring cry’d,
“Oh there! just there! O there! just there!”

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