Heinrich Hoffmann

(13 June 1809 - 20 September 1894 / Frankfurt am Main)

The Little Glutton - Poem by Heinrich Hoffmann

Oh! how this Mary loved to eat,-
It was her chief delight;
She would have something, sour or sweet,
To munch from morn till night.
She to the pantry daily stole,
And slyly she would take
Sugar, and plums, and sweetmeats, too,
And apples, nuts, and cake.


Her mother Mary oft reproved,
But, ah! it did no good;
Munch, nibble, chew, from morn to night,
The little glutton would.


One day, upon some bee-hives near
She chanced to cast her eyes;
'How nice that honey there must taste!'
She cried, and off she flies.
On tiptoe now the hives she nears,
Close up to them she creeps,
And through the little window panes
Quite cautiously she peeps.
'Oh, dear! how good it looks!' she cries,
As she the honey sees;
'I must, I will, indeed, have some;
It cannot hurt the bees.'
And then a hive she gently lifts,-
Oh, foolish, foolish child,-
Down, down it falls-out swarm the bees
Buzzing with fury wild.
With fright she shrieks, and tries to run,
But ah! 'tis all in vain;
Upon her light the angry bees,
And make her writhe with pain.


Four weeks and more did Mary lie
Upon her little bed,
And, ah! instead of honey, she
On medicine was fed.
Her parents grieved so much at first
Their child so sick to see;
But once more well, with joy they found
Her cured of gluttony.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 25, 2012



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