Friday, February 16, 2007

A load of Bellocs

A Belloc quote having popped into my mind when posting yesterday, I've been thinking about adding some verse - perhaps from his Cautionary Tales - to the New Ninja Bomber's out-of-school martial, fine and liberal arts syllabus. (My Dad used to read me poems from time to time in lieu of a bedtime story and they've stayed with me ever since.)

Something along the lines of this might be a good introduction to English metrical rhythms:

The Chief Defect of Henry King
Was chewing little bits of String.
At last he swallowed some which tied
Itself in ugly Knots inside.

Physicians of the Utmost Fame
Were called at once; but when they came
They answered, as they took their Fees,
"There is no Cure for this Disease.

"Henry will very soon be dead.''
His Parents stood about his Bed
Lamenting his Untimely Death,
When Henry, with his Latest Breath,

Cried, "Oh, my Friends, be warned by me,
That Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, and Tea
Are all the Human Frame requires...''
With that, the Wretched Child expires.

Why no place for Belloc in the National Curriculum List of writers and poets? Here's a clue:

The world is full of double beds
And most delightful maidenheads,
Which being so, there’s no excuse
For sodomy or self-abuse.

Old School.

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