[This very charming gentleman]
This very charming gentleman, extremely old and gruff,
He slowly shook his head and took a great big pinch of snuff.
Then he spluttered and he muttered and he loudly shouted “Fie!
To tear your books is wicked sir! and likewise all my eye!”
I don’t know what he meant by that. He had such piercing eyes.
And, he said, “Mark — me — boy! Books will make you wise.”
This very charming gentleman said, “Hum,” and “Hoity, Toit!
A book is not a building block, a cushion or a quoit.
Soil your books and spoil your books? Is that the thing to do?
Gammon, sir! and Spinach, sir! And Fiddle-faddle, too!”
He blinked so quick, and thumped his stick, then gave me such a stare.
And he said, “Mark — me —boy! Books — need — CARE!”
C. J. Dennis. A Book for Kids, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, , [inside back cover]