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The Precocious Baby - a Very True Tale



An elderly person - a prophet by trade -
With his quips and tips
On withered old lips,
He married a young and a beautiful maid;
The cunning old blade!
Though rather decayed,
He married a beautiful, beautiful maid.

She was only eighteen, and as fair as could be,
With her tempting smiles
And maidenly wiles,
And he was a trifle past seventy-three:
Now what she could see
Is a puzzle to me,
In a prophet of seventy - seventy-three!

Of all their acquaintances bidden (or bad)
With their loud high jinks
And underbred winks,
None thought they'd a family have - but they had;
A dear little lad
Who drove 'em half mad,
For he turned out a horribly fast little cad.

For when he was born he astonished all by,
With their "Law, dear me!"
"Did ever you see?"
He'd a pipe in his mouth and a glass in his eye,
A hat all awry -
An octagon tie -
And a miniature - miniature glass in his eye.

He grumbled at wearing a frock and a cap,
With his "Oh, dear, oh!"
And his "Hang it! 'oo know!"
And he turned up his nose at his excellent pap -
"My friends, it's a tap
Dat is not worf a rap."
(Now this was remarkably excellent pap.)

He'd chuck his nurse under the chin, and he'd say,
With his "Fal, lal, lal" -
"'Oo doosed fine gal!"
This shocking precocity drove 'em away:
"A month from to-day
Is as long as I'll stay -
Then I'd wish, if you please, for to toddle away."

His father, a simple old gentleman, he
With nursery rhyme
And "Once on a time,"
Would tell him the story of "Little Bo-P,"
"So pretty was she,
So pretty and wee,
As pretty, as pretty, as pretty could be."

But the babe, with a dig that would startle an ox,
With his "C'ck! Oh, my! -
Go along wiz 'oo, fie!"
Would exclaim, "I'm afraid 'oo a socking ole fox."
Now a father it shocks,
And it whitens his locks,
When his little babe calls him a shocking old fox.

The name of his father he'd couple and pair
(With his ill-bred laugh,
And insolent chaff)
With those of the nursery heroines rare -
Virginia the Fair,
Or Good Goldenhair,
Till the nuisance was more than a prophet could bear.

"There's Jill and White Cat" (said the bold little brat,
With his loud, "Ha, ha!")
"'Oo sly ickle Pa!
Wiz 'oo Beauty, Bo-Peep, and 'oo Mrs. Jack Sprat!
I've noticed 'oo pat
MY pretty White Cat -
I sink dear mamma ought to know about dat!"

He early determined to marry and wive,
For better or worse
With his elderly nurse -
Which the poor little boy didn't live to contrive:
His hearth didn't thrive -
No longer alive,
He died an enfeebled old dotard at five!

MORAL.

Now, elderly men of the bachelor crew,
With wrinkled hose
And spectacled nose,
Don't marry at all - you may take it as true
If ever you do
The step you will rue,
For your babes will be elderly - elderly too.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:43 min read
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William Schwenck Gilbert

Sir William Schwenck Gilbert was an English dramatist librettist poet and illustrator best known for his fourteen comic operas produced in collaboration with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan of which the most famous include HMS Pinafore The Pirates of Penzance and one of the most frequently performed works in the history of musical theatre The Mikado These as well as most of their other Savoy operas continue to be performed regularly throughout the English-speaking world and beyond by opera companies repertory companies schools and community theatre groups Lines from these works have become part of the English language such as short sharp shock What never Well hardly ever and Let the punishment fit the crime Gilbert also wrote the Bab Ballads an extensive collection of light verse accompanied by his own comical drawings His creative output included over 75 plays and libretti numerous stories poems lyrics and various other comic and serious pieces His plays and realistic style of stage direction inspired other dramatists including Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw According to The Cambridge History of English and American Literature Gilberts lyrical facility and his mastery of metre raised the poetical quality of comic opera to a position that it had never reached before and has not reached since Source - Wikipedia more…

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