Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, QUITE A HISTORY, by ARLO BATES



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QUITE A HISTORY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Where have you been, lysander pratt?
Last Line: "not wholly good was even that!"
Subject(s): Children; Childhood


"WHERE have you been, Lysander Pratt?"
"In Greedy Land, Philander Sprat."
"What did you there to grow so fat?"

"I built myself a little house
In which I lived snug as a mouse."

"Well, very, very good was that!"
"Not wholly good, Philander Sprat."
"Now, wherefore not, Lysander Pratt?"

"A bear came raging from the wood,
And tumbled down my cottage good."

"Alas! how very bad was that!"
"Not wholly bad, Philander Sprat."
"Not bad? Why not, Lysander Pratt?"

"I killed the bear, and of his skin
I made a coat to wrap me in."

"Well done! Now surely good was that!"
"Yet not so good, Philander Sprat."
"Now, why not good, Lysander Pratt?

"A wicked hound tore up my coat
Until it was not worth a groat."

"Ah, what an evil thing was that!"
"Not wholly bad, Philander Sprat."
"What good was there, Lysander Pratt?"

"He caught for me a great wild boar,
That made me sausages good store."

"What luck! How very good was that!"
"Good? Not all good, Philander Sprat."
"Why not all good, Lysander Pratt?"

"A cat stole in on velvet paw,
And ate them all with greedy maw."

"Now surely wholly bad was that!"
"Not wholly bad, Philander Sprat."
"Then tell me why, Lysander Pratt."

"Of Pussy's fur with silken hair,
I made of gloves a noble pair."

"Trust you! No wonder you are fat!
You found your good account in that,
As in all else, Lysander Pratt."

"Yes, in the closet hang they now,
Yet they are full of holes, I vow,

Gnawed by some thievish long-tailed rat;
And so, you see, Philander Sprat,
Not wholly good was even that!"





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