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Short poem

Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923)

A Few Rules for Beginners

              1Babies must not eat the coal
              2And they must not make grimaces,
              3Nor in party dresses roll
              4And must never black their faces.

              5They must learn that pointing's rude,
              6They must sit quite still at table,
              7And must always eat the food
              8Put before them -- if they're able.

              9If they fall, they must not cry,
            10Though it's known how painful this is;
            11No -- there's always Mother by
            12Who will comfort them with kisses.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Katherine Mansfield, Poems (London: Constable, 1923): 77. 11647.e.58 British Library
First publication date: 1923
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/4

Composition date note: among "Child Verses 1907" and "written when Katherine Mansfield was still at Queen's College" (xii)
Rhyme: abab

Other poems by Katherine Mansfield