On our shelves is an inconspicuous little volume entitled simply, Verses. The poems are by Hilaire Belloc [821 BEL], and the effusive introduction was written by Joyce Kilmer, of "Trees" fame ("I THINK that I shall never see/A poem lovely as a tree.") Verses was published in 1916, and within its pages I discovered a poem called "Dedication on the Gift of a Book to a Child." It could have been written by a librarian!
Child! do not throw this book about!Nice little twist at the end there, don't you think?
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.
Visit Poetry for Children for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.