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Spotlight Poetry – Matilda Who Told Lies, and was Burned to Death – A poem by Hilaire Belloc

Art, Photography and Poetry

© Hilaire Belloc, Original cover for Cautionary Tales for Children, illustrated by Basil T. Blackwood, 1898

Matilda Who Told Lies, and was Burned to Death – A poem by Hilaire Belloc

Matilda told such Dreadful Lies,
It made one Gasp and Stretch one’s Eyes;

Her Aunt, who, from her Earliest Youth,
Had kept a Strict Regard for Truth,
Attempted to Believe Matilda:
The effort very nearly killed her,

And would have done so, had not She
Discovered this Infirmity.
For once, towards the Close of Day,
Matilda, growing tired of play,

And finding she was left alone,
Went tiptoe to the Telephone
And summoned the Immediate Aid
Of London’s Noble Fire-Brigade.

Within an hour the Gallant Band
Were pouring in on every hand,
From Putney, Hackney Downs, and Bow.
With Courage high and Hearts a-glow,

They galloped, roaring through the Town,
‘Matilda’s House is Burning Down!’
Inspired by British Cheers…

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