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Limerick-Poems.com
 

A famous from our database of over 100,000 Poems by famous and some not so famous people.

<< A Brilliant Poem by : Hilaire Belloc >>

Verses from The Bad Child's Book of Beasts by Hilaire Belloc

Introduction
I call you bad, my little child,
Upon the title page,
Because a manner rude and wild
Is common at your age.

The Moral of this priceless work
(If rightly understood)
Will make you -- from a little Turk --
Unnaturally good.

Do not as evil children do,
Who on the slightest grounds
Will imitate the Kangaroo,
With wild unmeaning bounds:

Do not as children badly bred,
Who eat like little Hogs,
And when they have to go to bed
Will whine like Puppy Dogs:

Who take their manners from the Ape,
Their habits from the Bear,
Indulge the loud unseemly jape,
And never brush their hair.

But so control your actions that
Your friends may all repeat.
'This child is dainty as the Cat,
And as the Owl discreet.'


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Yak
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 Thibet
(A desolate region of snow)
Has for centuries made it a nursery pet,
And surely the Tartar should know!
Then tell you 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.)


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Dromedary
The Dromedary is a cheerful bird:
I cannot say the same about the Kurd.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Elephant
When people call this beast to mind,
They marvel more and more
At such a little tail behind,
So large a trunk before.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Whale

The Whale that wanders round the Pole
Is not a table fish.
You cannot bake or boil him whole
Nor serve him in a dish;

But you may cut his blubber up
And melt it down for oil.
And so replace the colza bean
(A product of the soil).

These facts should all be noted down
And ruminated on,
By every boy in Oxford town
Who wants to be a Don.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Hippopotamus
I shoot the Hippopotamus
With bullets made of platinum,
Because if I use leaden ones
His hide is sure to flatten 'em.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Marmozet
The species Man and Marmozet
Are intimately linked;
The Marmozet survives as yet,
But Men are all extinct.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Big Baboon
The Big Baboon is found upon
The plains of Cariboo:
He goes about with nothing on
(A shocking thing to do).

But if he dressed up respectably
And let his whiskers grow,
How like this Big Baboon would be
To Mister So-and-so!


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Frog
Be kind and tender to the Frog,
And do not call him names,
As 'Slimy skin,' or 'Polly-wog,'
Or likewise 'Ugly James,'
Or 'Gap-a-grin,' or 'Toad-gone-wrong,'
Or 'Bill Bandy-knees':
The Frog is justly sensitive
To epithets like these.

No animal will more repay
A treatment kind and fair;
At least so lonely people say
Who keep a frog (and, by the way,
They are extremely rare).


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Lion
The Lion, the Lion, he dwells in the Waste,
He has a big head and a very small waist;
But his shoulders are stark, and his jaws they are grim,
And a good little child will not play with him.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Tiger
The tiger, on the other hand,
Is kittenish and mild,
And makes a pretty playfellow
For any little child.
And mothers of large families
(Who claim to common sense)
Will find a tiger well repays
The trouble and expense.


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