View Full Version : The Box

Breni Sue
03-09-02, 02:03 PM
We memorized this poem back in grade school. I remember bits and pieces of the verses, but for the life of me I cannot remember the author's name to look it up anywhere! Anyway, it used to be one of my favorite poems and still is. The 1st verse goes:

Once upon a time in the land of Hushy Pie
'Round about the wonderous days of yore.
I came across a sort of box
Bound up with chains and locked with locks
And labeled "Kindly do not touch, it's WAR!"

If anyone at all can help me find it, or happens to know the poem I am talking about, I would be eternally grateful! :)

03-11-02, 04:14 AM

Once upon a time, in the land of Hush-A-Bye,

Around about the wondrous days of yore,

They came across a kind of box

Bound up with chains and locked with locks

And labeled "Kindly do not touch; it's war."

A decree was issued round about, and all with a flourish and a shout

And a gaily colored mascot tripping lightly on before.

Don't fiddle with this deadly box,Or break the chains, or pick the locks.

And please don't ever play about with war.

The children understood. Children happen to be good

And they were just as good around the time of yore.

They didn't try to pick the locksOr break into that deadly box.

They never tried to play about with war.

Mommies didn't either; sisters, aunts, grannies neither

'Cause they were quiet, and sweet, and pretty

In those wondrous days of yore.

Well, very much the same as now,

And not the ones to blame somehow

For opening up that deadly box of war.

But someone did. Someone battered in the lid

And spilled the insides out across the floor.

A kind of bouncy, bumpy ball made up of guns and flags

And all the tears, and horror, and death that comes with war.

It bounced right out and went bashing all about,

Bumping into everything in store.And what was sad and most unfair

Was that it didn't really seem to care

Much who it bumped, or why, or what, or for.

It bumped the children mainly. And I'll tell you this quite plainly,

It bumps them every day and more, and more,

And leaves them dead, and burned, and dying

Thousands of them sick and crying.

'Cause when it bumps, it's really very sore.

Now there's a way to stop the ball. It isn't difficult at all.

All it takes is wisdom, and I'm absolutely sure

That we can get it back into the box,And bind the chains, and lock the locks.

But no one seems to want to save the children anymore.

Well, that's the way it all appears, 'cause it's been bouncing round

for years and years

In spite of all the wisdom wizzed since those wondrous days of yore

And the time they came across the box,

Bound up with chains and locked with locks,

And labeled "Kindly do not touch; it's war."

-- Lascelles Abercrombie (1881 - 1938)

Breni Sue
03-13-02, 12:21 AM
Oh thank you thank you thank you! *hugs Trixie*

It is a wonderful poem, yes? :)

03-13-02, 12:27 AM
:wah: *sniffle*

03-13-02, 05:48 PM
I'm with Cath!


03-13-02, 08:05 PM
the main point is good, but i don't care for the form (it just seems awkward) and the sexist attitude it takes in the 4th stanza.

Breni Sue
03-14-02, 03:26 AM
I wouldn't really say it was sexist, considering the time period in which it was written. I see it more as a compliment. (but hey, I've never claimed to be a feminist - with all due respect to them, mind you! ;) ) And what is wrong with women being quiet and sweet and pretty? :angel:

03-14-02, 03:38 AM
i don't mind the women being sweet, quiet and pretty, but women have other attributes than just those. i'd like to be known for having opinions and causing positive changes; not just for something as fleeting as beauty.

it is also biased against men, because it's not all men that start wars. there are many peace loving men around right now, and i'm sure there were during the time the poem was written.

i just can't help seeing these things now. i hope i didn't ruin a good memory for you.

Breni Sue
03-14-02, 03:46 AM
Nah, I still think it's a great poem! ;)