Hilaire Belloc

(27 July 1870 – 16 July 1953 / La Celle-Saint-Cloud)

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George


Who played with a Dangerous Toy, and suffered a Catastrophe of considerable Dimensions

When George's Grandmamma was told
That George had been as good as gold,
She promised in the afternoon
To buy him an Immense BALLOON.
And so she did; but when it came,
It got into the candle flame,
And being of a dangerous sort
Exploded with a loud report!
The lights went out! The windows broke!
The room was filled with reeking smoke.
And in the darkness shrieks and yells
Were mingled with electric bells,
And falling masonry and groans,
And crunching, as of broken bones,
And dreadful shrieks, when, worst of all,
The house itself began to fall!
It tottered, shuddering to and fro,
Then crashed into the street below-
Which happened to be Savile Row.

When help arrived, among the dead
Were Cousin Mary, Little Fred,
The Footmen (both of them), the Groom,
The man that cleaned the Billiard-Room,
The Chaplain, and the Still-Room Maid.
And I am dreadfully afraid
That Monsieur Champignon, the Chef,
Will now be permanently deaf-
And both his aides are much the same;
While George, who was in part to blame,
Received, you will regret to hear,
A nasty lump behind the ear.

Moral:
The moral is that little boys
Should not be given dangerous toys.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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  • Rookie - 8 Points Thomas Vaughan Jones (1/24/2014 10:33:00 AM)

    Hilaire Belloc died in the 1950's. He was a Liberal MP for six years but when he lost office he seldom found any significant employment again. He wrote many books and serious papers but the only work which found any popularity and provided him with a slender source of income was fun poetry, supposedly for children, but with great appeal for adults. This is one of his many humorous poems. No political satire intended. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Barjinder Singh Randhawa (1/24/2012 10:33:00 PM)

    the poem can be read through a Marxist perspective...a little mistake by the aristocratic boy led to the demise of many a working class people...what you think? ? ? (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 2,493 Points Pranab K Chakraborty (1/24/2012 5:43:00 AM)

    Nice wit. Poet at last put a moral just to communicate our idiocy. BALLOON...just a globe could be its match. In Chaplins Great Dictator we have experienced it already. A globe is very much like our loving planet. A child...yes, the bosses, in respect of our planet, are child no doubt. We put the right to administrate our social existence to their hand. So should be conscious before selection...How long is poets length, we don't know but his lucid style of fables introducing in poetry, is unique.

    Pranab k chakraborty (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 147 Points Manonton Dalan (1/24/2012 4:48:00 AM)

    oh! i was thinking that earthquake pushed balloon to candle flame as the
    house start to crumble... just a thought from once california kid. md (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 596 Points Paul Brookes (1/24/2012 3:46:00 AM)

    All politicians should be made to raed this everyday then maybe they would think twice about starting wars. Great poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Lesley Merrin (1/27/2010 10:57:00 AM)

    I love this poem because it seems as it is written for me and my two year old grandson. His name is George so I find the poem very amusing. I can't wait for when he understands it. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 294 Points Ramesh T A (1/24/2010 1:38:00 AM)

    Humorous expression of balloon explosion leading to all kinds of destruction shows Hilaire Belloc's skill in descriptive beauty in poetry and he is par excellence in this art no doubt! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Jonathan Horwitz (9/8/2008 2:00:00 AM)

    Someone should read this poem every morning to George W. Bush.

    It should also be read into the Congessional Record, and hand delivered to every senator (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Charley P (7/20/2007 1:43:00 PM)

    This really reminds me of Roald Dahl's poems - same style, same cautionary theme. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Padraig Devlin (1/24/2006 5:29:00 PM)

    Could Belloc see into the future? Did he predict the coming of the idiot to the American presidency? (Report) Reply

Read all 16 comments »

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