English Poems Index

Jim : Who ran away from his Nurse and was eaten by a Lion

There was a Boy whose name was Jim.

His Friends were very good to him.

They gave him Tea, and Cakes, and Jam,

And slices of delicious Ham,

And Chocolate with pink inside

And little Tricycles to ride,

And read him Stories through and through,

An even too him to the Zoo-

But there it was the dreadful Fate him,

Befell him, which I now relate.

You know or at least you ought to know,

For I have often told you so-

That Children never are allowed

To leave their Nurses in a Crowd;

Now this was Jim's especial Foible,

He ran away when he was able,

And on this inauspicious day

He slipped his hand and ran away!

He hadn't gone a yard when-Bang

With open Jaws, a lion sprang,

And hungrily began to eat

The Boy : beginning at his feet.

Now, just imagine how it feels

When first your toes and the your heels,

And then by gradual degrees,

Your skins and ankles, calves and knees

Are slowly eaten, bit by bit.

No wonder Jim detested it!

No wonder that he shouted ‘Hi!’

The Honest Keeper heard his cry,

Though very fat he almost ran

To help the little gentleman.

'Ponto!' he ordered as he came

(For Ponto was the Lion's name),

'Ponto" he cried, with angry Frown,

'Let go, Sir! Down, Sir! Put it down!'

The Lion made a sudden stop,

He let the Dainty Morsel drop,

And slunk reluctant to his Cage,

Snarling with Disappointed Rage.

But when he bent him over Jim,

The Honest Keeper's Eyes were dim.

The Lion having reached his Head,

The Miserable Boy was dead!

When Nurse informed his Parents, they

Were more Concerned than I can say:-

His Mother, as She dried her eyes,

Said, 'Well-it gives me no surprise,

He would not do as he was told’

His Father, who was self-controlled,

Bade all the children round attend

To James's miserable end,

And always keep a-hold of Nurse

For fear of finding something worse.

By Hilaire Belloc

About the Poet :

Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953) was born near Paris. He was educated in England. His first book was a small volume of verse, published in 1896, and from then on a flood of books, pamphlets, letters and more poured from his pen. Belloc is among the great writers of English prose and verse.

Belloc wrote many poems for children. Readers were warned in these poems about various dangers.

In the poems, horrible things usually happen to he children. But the poems are very humorous.

Words to Know :

Bade : (pronounced bad) past tense of bid : told somebody y to do something

Befell : happened by chance or fate

Dainty : delicate, tasty

Foible : a weakness, a fault

Inauspicious : suggesting that the future is not very good

Morsel : a small piece of something, especially food

Slunk : moved in a secretive and quiet way

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