Hilaire Belloc

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

On The Gift Of A Book To A Child - Poem by Hilaire Belloc

Child! do not throw this book about!
Refrain from the unholy pleasure
Of cutting all the pictures out!
Preserve it as your chiefest treasure.

Child, have you never heard it said
That you are heir to all the ages?
Why, then, your hands were never made
To tear these beautiful thick pages!

Your little hands were made to take
The better things and leave the worse ones:
They also may be used to shake
The Massive Paws of Elder Persons.

And when your prayers complete the day,
Darling, your little tiny hands
Were also made, I think, to pray
For men that lose their fairylands.


Comments about On The Gift Of A Book To A Child by Hilaire Belloc

  • Kim Barney (7/31/2015 8:42:00 PM)


    Finally, someone who loves books as much as I do, and expressed it in the perfect-sized poem. For me, a poem of 16 lines is the ideal size, though I admit that many of mine are much shorter than that. My latest, The Best Poem Ever, has exactly sixteen lines. (Report) Reply

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  • Jeresi Katusime (7/31/2015 11:13:00 AM)


    wow.its a really moving piece (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (7/31/2015 8:46:00 AM)


    Chiefest treasure! Nice work. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (7/31/2015 2:31:00 AM)


    Nice poem of Hilaire Belloc to divert the attention of a child from tearing a book to greater use of hands for living better in the world! (Report) Reply

  • (7/31/2015 1:18:00 AM)


    its awesome poem. a good book is equal to hundred friends. (Report) Reply

    Stephen W (7/31/2015 1:13:00 PM)

    A good friend is worth 10,000 books.

Read all 6 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 3, 2010



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