Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE BAD CHILD'S BOOK OF BEASTS: INTRODUCTION, by HILAIRE BELLOC

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE BAD CHILD'S BOOK OF BEASTS: INTRODUCTION, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: I call you bad, my little child
Last Line: "and as the owl discreet."
Alternate Author Name(s): Belloc, Joseph Hilaire Pierre Rene
Subject(s): Animals; Cats

I CALL, you bad, my little child,
Upon the title-page,
Because a manner rude and wild
Is common at your age.

The Moral of this priceless work
(If rightly understood)
Will make you—from a little Turk—
Unnaturally good.

Do not as evil children do,
Who on the slightest grounds
Will imitate the Kangaroo,
With wild unmeaning bounds.

Do not, as children badly bred,
Who eat like little Hogs,
And when they have to go to bed
Will whine like Puppy Dogs:

Who take their manners from the Ape,
Their habits from the Bear,
Indulge the loud unseemly jape,
And never brush their hair.

But so control your actions that
Your friends may all repeat,
"This child is dainty as the Cat,
And as the Owl discreet."

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