Friday, September 01, 2006

A Little Poetry For You (Guy Wetmore Carryl)

My selection for Poetry Friday comes from a book I read many times as a child, called 100 More Story Poems. The following was by far one of my favorite poems when I was growing up, and even as an adult I've been seen reciting this at a party or coffee-house on occasion.

I hope you enjoy this! Some other Friday, I may offer another poem from the same book, entitled "God's Judgement on a Wicked Bishop," which is wonderfully gruesome and was another of my childhood favorites. For now though, something a little lighter....

(My favorite lines are the last two before the "moral.")

The Embarrassing Episode of Little Miss Muffet

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 best 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."

Though anxious to please, he was so ill at ease
That he lost all 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 fist’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!

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