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Nursery Rhymes for the Tender-Hearted
by
Christopher Morley


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(Dedicated to Don Marquis)
Scuttle, scuttle, little roach—
How you run when I approach:
Up above the pantry shelf,
Hastening to secrete yourself.
Most adventurous of vermin,
How I wish I could determine
How you spend your hours of ease,
Perhaps reclining on the cheese.
Cook has gone, and all is dark—
Then the kitchen is your park:
In the garbage heap that she leaves
Do you browse among the tea leaves?
How delightful to suspect
All the places you have trekked:
Does your long antenna whisk its
Gentle tip across the biscuits?
Do you linger, little soul,
Drowsing in our sugar bowl?
Or, abandonment most utter,
Shake a shimmy on the butter?
Do you chant your simple tunes
Swimming in the baby’s prunes?
Then, when dawn comes, do you slink
Homeward to the kitchen sink?
Timid roach, why be so shy?
We are brothers, you and I.
In the midnight, like yourself,
I explore the pantry shelf!
From Hide and Seek. (George H. Doran Company, 1921)
This poem is now in the public domain.
Purchase a framed print of this poem.

Christopher Morley (1890 - 1957) was born in Pennsylvania, raised in Maryland, and lived in Long Island, New York for most of his adult life. A Rhodes Scholar who started his literary career as a newspaper reporter, Christopher briefly edited the Ladies’ Home Journal. He also did a short stint as a columnist for the New York Evening Post and edited two editions of Barlett’s Quotations. During his life, he wrote more than a hundred books of essays, poetry, and novels. To learn more about Christopher and the legacy he left behind, click here.

 


Post New Comment:
rhonasheridan:
Gets better the more you read it!
Posted 01/27/2015 01:12 AM
transitions:
Loved it, such clever rhymes! 'biscuits' - 'whisk it'? Wonderful poem ~
Posted 01/26/2015 02:11 PM
plgoodman:
Wonderful. The last line really got me!
Posted 01/26/2015 01:59 PM
pwax:
I loved it!
Posted 01/26/2015 11:49 AM
Dorcas:
Terrific, especially for anyone who has ever had a roach in the pantry.
Posted 01/26/2015 10:21 AM
Katrina:
I cannot help smiling at this.
Posted 01/26/2015 07:40 AM


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