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-o!
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.
This poem is in the public domain.
Hilaire Belloc (1870 - 1953) was born in France to a French attorney and an English feminist writer. The family moved to England while Hilaire was still a toddler. A friend of sci-fi writer H. G. Wells and playwright George Bernard Shaw, Hilaire was a devout Catholic and successful journalist who also wrote inspirational poetry, cautionary tales, nonfiction, and children's verse, authoring more than 150 books during his lifetime. Considered one of the brilliant thinkers of the 20th century, his essays and observations on history remain in great esteem even today.
Not looking at the author's name, I read this poem as though it was a recent writing... It is as pertinent today as it was over a century ago.
Hooray for the author.
Posted 10/25/2018 09:16 AM
A delightful old poem. Three cheers for Hilaire.
Posted 10/24/2018 04:49 PM
I'll read this one to my grandchildren!
Posted 10/24/2018 04:45 PM
I wonder if that's what kids did to be bratty in his time. Big wooden doors...rebellion when children were told to be seen and not heard. A fun poem.
Posted 10/24/2018 09:38 AM
Another great find.
Posted 10/24/2018 09:19 AM
Appreciate so much, Jayne, this poet's excellent example of winsomeness rhyme.
Posted 10/24/2018 09:11 AM