Archives for posts with tag: A E Housman

Image result for hilaire belloc lion

The Lion

The Lion, the Lion, he dwells in the Waste,

He has a big head and a very small waist:

But his shoulders are stark, and his jaws they are grim,

And a good little child will not play with him.


Image result for hilaire belloc tiger

The Tiger

The Tiger, on the other hand,

Is kittenish and mild,

And makes a pretty playfellow

For any little child.

And mothers of large families

(Who claim to common sense)

Will find a tiger well repays

The trouble and expense.

Following on from my last post (see A.E. Housman The African Lion), I had forgotten Hilaire Belloc’s poems about lions (and tigers) see above. He also wrote the story of Jim, who if you remember, got eaten by a lion. See separate post.  I always did like cats.


Image result for quentin blake lion


To meet a bad lad on the African waste

Is a thing that a lion enjoys;

But he rightly and strongly objects to the taste

Of good and uneatable boys.

When he bites off a piece of a boy of that sort

He spits it right out of his mouth,

And retires with a loud and dissatisfied snort

To the east, or the west, or the south.

So lads of good habits, on coming across

A lion, need feel no alarm,

For they know they are sure to escape with the loss

Of a leg, or a head, or an arm.


The above illustration is by Maurice Sendak of Where the Wild Things Are fame. I think it suits very well. The poem comes from The New Oxford Book of Children’s Verse (1998) that I recently found on my shelves and have been perusing. I thought it rather fun. On looking at my poetry entries on this blog, it seems I have a ‘thing’ for small children being eaten by lions. It is most peculiar. Perhaps I should do a book of them.