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Alan Alexander Milne
1882-1956


BOOKS on-line

 

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Happiness
The Three Foxes
The End
Cradle Song
Sneezles
Twice Times
KING HILARY AND THE BEGGARMAN
THE FOUR FRIENDS
WIND ON THE HILL
THE DORMOUSE AND THE DOCTOR
BEFORE TEA
WATER-LILIES

The Three Foxes

Once upon a time there were three little foxes
Who didnt wear stockings, and they didnt wear sockses,
But they all had handkerchiefs to blow their noses,
And they kept their handkerchiefs in cardboard boxes.

And they lived in forest in three little houses,
And they didnt wear coats, and they didnt wear trousies.
They ran through the woods on theirlittle bare tootsies,
And they played Touch Last with a family of mouses.

They didnt go shopping in the High Street shopses,
But caught what they wanted in the woods and copses.
They all went fishing, and they caught three wormses,
They went out hunting, and they caught three wopses.

They wen to a Fair, and they all won prizes
Tree plum-puddingses and three mince-pieses.
They rode on elephants and swang on swingses,
And hirt three coco-nuts at coco-nut shieses.

Thats all I know of three little foxes
Who kept their handkerchiefs in three little boxes.
They lived in the forest in three little houses,
But they didnt wear coats and they didnt wear trousies,
And they didnt wear stockings and they didnt wear sockses.

Happiness

John had
Great Big
Waterproof
Boots on;
John had a
Great Big
Waterproof
Hat;
John had a
Great Big
Waterproof
Mackintosh
And that
(Said John)
Is
That.

The End

When I was One
I had just begun.

When I was Two,
I was nearly new.

When I was Three,
I was hardly Me.

When I was Four,
I was not much more.

When I was Five,
I was just alive.

But now I am six, Im as clever as clever.
So I think Ill be six now for ever and ever.


Cradle Song

O Timothy Tim
Has ten pink toes
And ten pink toes
Has Timothy Tim
They go with him
Wherever he goes,
And wherever he goes
They go with him.

O Timothy Tim
Has two blue eyes
And two blue eyes
Has Timothy Tim
They cry with him
Whenever he cries
And whenever he cries
They cries with him

O Timothy Tim
Has one red head
And one red head
Has Timothy Tim
It sleeps with him
In Timothys bed
Sleep well, red head
Of Timothy Tim

Twice Times

There were Two little Bears, who lived in a Wood,
And one of them was Bad and the other was Good.
Good Bear learnt his Twice Times One
But Bad left all his buttons undone.

They lived in a Tree when the weather was hot,
And one of them was Good, and the other was Not.
Good Bear learnt his Twice Times Two
But Bad Bears thingummies were worn right through.

They lived in a Cave when the weather was cold,
And they Did, and they Didnt Do what them were told.
Good Bear learnt his Twice Times Three
But bad Bear never had his hand-ker-chee.

They lived in a Wood with a Kind Old Aunt,
And one said Yesm and the other said Shant!
Good Bear learnt his Twice Times Four
But Bad Bears knicketies were terrible tore.

And then quite suddenly (just like Us)
One got Better and the other got Wuss.
Good Bear muddled his Twice Times Three
But Bad Bear coughed in his hand-ker-chee!

Good Bear muddled his Twice Times Two-
But Bad Bears thingummies looked like new.
Good Bear muddled his Twice Times One
But Bad Bear never left his buttons undone!

There may be a Moral, though some say not;
I think theres a moral though I dont know what.
But if one gets better, as the other gets wuss,
These Two little Bears are just like Us.
For Christopher remembers up to Twicw Times Ten
But I keep forgetting where Ive put my pen.
(So I have had to write this one in pencil.)


Sneezles

Christopher Robin had wheezles and sneezles
They bundled him into his bed.
They gave him what goes with cold in the nose,
And some more for cold in the head.
They wondered if wheezles could turn into measles,
If sneezles would turn into mumps;
They examined his chest for a rash, and the rest
Of his body for swelling and lumps.
They sent for some doctors in sneezles and wheezles
To tell them what ought to be done.
All sorts and conditions of famous physicians
Came hurrying round at a run.
They all made a note of state of his throat,
They asked if he suffered from thirst;
They asked if the sneezles came after the wheezles,
Or if the first sneezles came first.
They say If you teasle a sneezle or wheezle,
A measle may easily grow.
But humour or pleazle the wheezle or snezle,
The measle will certainly go.

They expounded the reazles for sneezles and wheezles,
The manner of measles when new.
They said, If he freezles in draughts and in breezles,
The PHTHEEZLES may even ensue.

Christopher Robin got up in the morning,
The sneezles had vanished away.
And the look of his eye seemed to say to the sky,
Now, how to amuse them today?

KING HILARY AND THE BEGGARMAN

Of Hilary the Great and Good
They tell a tale at Christmas time
I 've often thought the story would
Be prettier but just as good
If almost anybody should
Translate it into rime.
So I have done the best I can
For lack of some more learned man.

Good King Hilary
Said to his Chancellor
(Proud Lord Willoughby,
Lord High Chancellor):
"Run to the wicket-gate
Quickly, quickly,
Run to the wicket-gate
And see who is knocking.

It may be a rich man,
Sea-borne from Araby,
Bringing me peacocks,
Emeralds and ivory;
It may be poor man,
Travel-worn and weary,
Briging me oranges
To put in my stocking."

Proud Lord Willoughby,
Lord High Chancellor
Laughed both loud and free:*
"I've served Your Majesty, man to man,
Since first Your Majesty's reign began,
And I've often walked, but I never, never ran,
Never, never, never," quoth he.

Good King Hilary
Said to his Chancellor
(Proud Lord Willoughby,
Lord High Chancellor):
Walk to the wicket-gate
Quickly, quickly,
Walk to the wicket-gate
And see who is knocking.

It may be a captain,
Hawk-nosed, bearded,
Bringing me gold-dust,
Spices, and sandalwood:

It may be a scullion,
Care-free, whisting,
Bringing me sugar-plums
To put in my stocking."

Proud Lord Willoughby,
Lord High Chancellor
Laughed both loud and free:
"I've served in the Palace since i was four,
And I'll serve in the Palace a-many years more,
And I've opened a window, but never a door,
Never, never, never," quoth he.

Good King Hilary
Said to his Chancellor
(Proud Lord Willoughby,
Lord High Chancellor):
"Open the window
Quickly, quickly,
Open the window
And see who is knocking.

It may bee a waiting-maid,
Apple-cheeked, dimpled,
Sent by her mistress
To bring me greeting;

It may be children,
Anoxious, whispering,
Bringing me cobnuts,
To put in my stocking."

Proud Lord Willoughby,
Lord High Chancellor
Laughed both loud and free:
"I'll serve Your Majesty till I die -
As Lord Chancellor, not as spy
To peep from lattices; no, not I,
Never, never, never," quoth he.

Good King Hilary
Looked at his Chancellor
(Proud Lord Willoughby,
Lord High Chancellor):
He said no word
To his stiff-set Chancellor,
But ran to the wicket-gate
To see who was knocking.

He found no rich man,
Tradinge from Araby;
He found no captain,
Blue-eyed, weather-tanned;
He found no waiting-maid,
Sent by her mistress;
But only a beggarman
With one red stocking.

Good King Hilary
Looked at the beggarman,
And laughed him three times three;
And he turned that beggarman round about:

"Your thews are strong, and your arm is stout;
Come, throw me a Lord High Chancellor out
And take his place," quoth he.

Of Hilary the Good and Great
Old wives at Christmas time relate
This tale, which points, at any rate,
Two morals on the way.
The first: "Whatever Fortune brings,
Don't be afraid of doing things."

(Especially, of course, for Kings.)
It also seems to say
(But not so wisely): "He who begs
With one red stocking on his legs
Will be, as sure as eggs are eggs,
A Chancellor some day."

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*Haw! Haw! Haw!


THE FOUR FRIENDS

Ernst was an elephant, a great big fellow,
Leonard was a lion with a six-foot tail,
George was a goat, and his beard was yellow,
And James was a very small snail.

Leonard had a stall, and a great big strong one,
Ernest had a manger, and its wall were thick,
George found a pen, but I think it was the wrong one,
And James sat down on a brick.

Ernest started trumpeting, and cracked his manger,
Leonard started roaring, and shivered his stall,
James gave the huffle of a snail in danger
And nobody heard him at all.

Ernest started trumpeting, and raised such a rumpus,
Leonard started roaring and trying to kick,
James went a journey with the goat's new compass
And he reached the end of his brick.

Ernst was an elephant and very well-intentioned,
Leonard was a lion with a brave new tail,
George was a goat, as I think I have mentioned,
But James was only a snail.


WIND ON THE HILL

No one can tell me
Nobody knows,
Where the wind comes from,
Where the wind goes.

It's flying from somewhere
As fast as it can,
I couldn't keep up with it
Not if I ran.

But if I stopped holding
The string of my kite,
It would blow wihth the wind
For a day and a night.

And then when I found it,
Wherever it blew,
I should know that the wind
Had been going there too.

So then I could tell them
Where the wind goes...
But where the wind comes from
Nobody knows.


THE DORMOUSE AND THE DOCTOR

There once was a Dormouse who lived in a bed
Of delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red),
And all the day long he'd a wonderful view
Of geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue).

A Doctor came hurrying round, and he said:
"Tut-tut, I am sorry to find you in bed.
Just say 'Ninety-nine,' while I look at your chest...
Don't you find that chrysanthemums answer the best?"

The Dormouse looked round at the view and replied
(When he'd said "Ninety-nine") that he'd tried and he'd tried
And much the most answering things that he knew
Were geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue).

The Doctor stood frowning and shaking his head,
And he took up his shiny silk hat as he said:
"What the patient requires is a change," and he went
To see some chrysanthemum people in Kent.

The Dormouse lay there, and he gazed at the view
Of geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue),
And he knew there was nothing he wanted instead
Of delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red).

The Doctor came back and, to show what he meant,
He had brought some chrysanthemums cuttings from Kent.
"Now these," he remarked, "give a much better view
Than geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue)."

They took out their spades and they dug up the bed
Of delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red),
And they planted chrysanthemums (yellow and white).
"And now," said the Doctor, "We'll soon have you right."

The Dormouse looked out, and he said with a sigh:
"I suppose all these people know better than I.
It was silly, perhaps, but I did like the view
Of geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue)."

The Doctor came round and examined his chest,
And ordered him Nourishment, Tonics, and Rest,
"How very effective," he said as he shook
The thermometer, "all these chrysanthemums look!"

The Dormouse turned over to shut out the sight
Of the endless chrysanthemums (yellow and white).
"How lovely," he thought, "to be back in a bed
Of delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red).

The Doctor said, "Tut! It's another attack!"
And order him Milk and Massage-of-the-back,
And Freedom-form-worry and Drives-in-a-car,
And murmured, "How sweet your chrysanthemums are!"

The Dormouse lay there with his paws to his eyes
And imagined himself such a pleasant surprise:
"I'll pretend the chrysanthemums turn to a bed
Of delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red)!"

The Doctor next morning was rubbing his hands,
And saying, "There's nobody quite understands
These cases as I do! The cure has begun!
How fresh the chrysanthemums look in the sun!"

The Dormouse lay happy, his eyes were so tight
He could see no chrysanthemums, yellow and white,
And all that he felt at the back of his head
Were delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red).

And that is the reason (Aunt Emily said)
If a Dormouse gets in a chrysanthemum bed,
You will find (so Aunt Emily said) that he lies
Fast asleep on his front with his paws to his eyes.


BEFORE TEA

Emmeline
Has not been seen
For more than a week. She slipped between
The tow tall trees at the end of the green...
We all went after her. "Emmeline!"

"Emmeline,
I didn't mean -
I only said that your hand weren't clean."
We went to the trees at the end of the green...
But Emmeline
Was not to be seen.

Emmeline
Came slipping between
The tow tall trees at the end of the green.
We all ran to her. "Emmeline!
Where have you been?
Where have you been?
Why, it's more than a week!" And Emmeline
Said, "Sillies, I went and saw the Queen.
She says my hands are purfickly clean!"


WATER-LILIES

Where the water-lilies go
To and fro,
Rocking in the ripples of the water,
Lazy on a leaf lies the Lake King's daughter,
And the faint winds shake her.
Who will come and take her?
I will! I will!
Keep still! Keep still!
Sleeping on a leaf lies the Lake King's daughter...
Then the wind comes skipping
To the lillies on the water;
And the kind winds wake her.
Now who will take her?
With a laugh she is slipping
Through the lilies on the water.
Wait! Wait!
Too late, too late!
Only the water-lilies go
To and fro,
Dipping, dipping,
To the ripples of the water.


Alan Alexander Milne


BOOKS on-line

 

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2000 Elena and Yacov Feldman