Last weekend I went to a friend’s family’s cabin and was introduced to the “Little Willy” poems, which I’d never heard. Evidently, they were first written in the late 19th century and published in the early 20th. They consist of little Willy doing some ghastly violent act and are followed with a ho hum response.
Into the cistern little Willie
Pushed his little sister Lily.
Father couldn’t find his daughter,
Now we sterilize our water.
Willie in his roguish way
Tipped Grandpa on the fire one day.
Mother said “My dear that’s cruel!
But of course it does save fuel.”
Little Willie from his mirror
Sucked the mercury all off,
Thinking, in his childish error,
It would cure his whooping-cough.
At the funeral, Willie’s mother
Smartly said to Mrs. Brown,
“T was a chilly day for William
When the mercury went down.”
“‘Ah, ah, ah!’ said Willie’s mother.
‘Oh, oh, oh!” said Mrs. Brown.
‘ ‘T was a chilly day for William
When the mercury went down.’”
Have you ever heard these? Do you know of any other old nonsense poems?