Monday, 21 April 2008

Mute Monday - Poetry

(who told lies and was burned to death)

by Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)
(Illustration by Edward Lear)

Matilda told such Dreadful Lies,
It made one Gasp and Stretch one's Eyes;
Her Aunt, who, from her Earliest Youth,
Had kept a Strict Regard for Truth,

Attempted to Believe Matilda:
The effort very nearly killed her,
And would have done so, had not She
Discovered this Infirmity.
For once, towards the Close of Day,
Matilda, growing tired of play,

And finding she was left alone
Went tiptoe to the Telephone
And summoned the Immediate Aid
Of London's Noble Fire-Brigade,
Within an hour the Gallant Band
Were pouring in on every hand,
From Putney, Hackney Downs and Bow,
With Courage high and Hearts a-glow
They galloped, roaring through the Town,

'Matilda's House is Burning Down!'
Inspired by British Cheers and Loud
Proceeding from the Frenzied Crowd,
They ran their ladders through a score
Of windows on the Ball Room Floor;
And took Peculiar Pains to Souse
The Pictures up and down the House,

Until Matilda's Aunt succeeded
In showing them they were not needed
And even then she had to pay
To get the Men to go away!

. . . . . . . .

It happened that a few Weeks later
Her Aunt was off to the Theatre
To see that Interesting Play

The Second Mrs Tanqueray.
She had refused to take her Niece
To hear this Entertaining Piece:
A Deprivation Just and Wise
To Punish her for Telling Lies.
That Night a Fire did break out -
You should have heard Matilda Shout!
You should have heard her Scream and Bawl,

And throw the window up and call
To People passing in the Street -
(The rapidly increasing Heat
Encouraging her to obtain
Their confidence) - but all in vain!
For every time She shouted 'Fire!'
They only answered 'Little Liar!'
And therefore when her Aunt returned,

Matilda, and the House, were Burned.

Ode to Ruf

Subordinate, Me




she said...

matilda!! i remember this nonsense! grrrerhahahha.i read what you wrote about "stan" ....i like "quitter"
happy MM!!!

Leigh said...

LOL! I expected no less from you than something interesting. You succeeded. (Smile)

The Troll said...

I like the pictures. Never heard of Lear. Seems like a tamer version of Angus Oblong?

Happy Mute Monday!

2 Dollar Productions said...

Good MM. I like the spin on this one quite a bit.

moi said...

Very nice. I read Matilda to my own niece when she was young. It's good to be the Aunt :o)

Happy MM!

Vi said...

I met Spike Milligan as a kid. He patted me on the head. (Well, I was about 13, and felt very stupid him patting me on my head)

having my cake said...

She - It's weird, cos when you see the lyrics written down, it just doesnt work. But hear him sing them and the rhymes are all there.

Leigh - Thank you x

Troll - Never heard of Angus Oblong. Will google.

2$ - Ive never been much of a one for sentimental poetry, except for the stuff from the First World War - Wilfred Owen. Nonsense has always been my thang...

Moi - The times Im having atm, I sometimes wish I could just be the Aunt too!

Vi - LOL! I can imagine! Oh, the indignity. Actually they showed a clip on Jonathan Ross recently of a 13 yo Kirsty Gallagher doing a promo for young golf with Nick Faldo. She went to hit the ball, missed, backswung one-handed with the club all embarrassed, hit the ball by mistake and drilled it into Nick Faldo's ankle. Priceless :)

Helga Hansen said...

I can't believe Troll has never heard of the Edward Lear!! As it happens, The Owl & The Pussycat is my favourite Lear poem... and I very nearly joined the Mute Monday club with this very poem... but then I forgot... and I had to go back to work today... darn!

SeaRabbit said...

Wonderful idea!!
Happy MM!

Aunty Belle said...

Hilaire Belloc! Oh Cakey-Pie girl!
Love love this!!

Anonymous said...

What fun! Happy MM!

Amorous Rocker said...

Oh I loved this post! Happy Mute Monday. =)

ThursdayNext said...

I love your interpretation!

Fat Controller said...

I love Belloc. Fave line: 'Always keep a hold of nurse/For fear of finding something worse'

having my cake said...

Helga - This one was just impossible for me to do without words.

Searabbit/Aunty Belle/Kate/Amorous Rocker/Thursdaynext - Thank you.

FC - My kids grew up with Belloc but they preferred Spike. Lots of fun to be had with him :)