(Poem #562) The King's Breakfast
The King asked The Queen, and The Queen asked The Dairymaid: "Could we have some butter for The Royal slice of bread?" The Queen asked the Dairymaid, The Dairymaid Said, "Certainly, I'll go and tell the cow Now Before she goes to bed." The Dairymaid She curtsied, And went and told the Alderney: "Don't forget the butter for The Royal slice of bread." The Alderney said sleepily: "You'd better tell His Majesty That many people nowadays Like marmalade Instead." The Dairymaid Said "Fancy!" And went to Her Majesty. She curtsied to the Queen, and She turned a little red: "Excuse me, Your Majesty, For taking of The liberty, But marmalade is tasty, if It's very Thickly Spread." The Queen said "Oh!" And went to his Majesty: "Talking of the butter for The royal slice of bread, Many people Think that Marmalade Is nicer. Would you like to try a little Marmalade Instead?" The King said, "Bother!" And then he said, "Oh, deary me!" The King sobbed, "Oh, deary me!" And went back to bed. "Nobody," He whimpered, "Could call me A fussy man; I only want A little bit Of butter for My bread!" The Queen said, "There, there!" And went to The Dairymaid. The Dairymaid Said, "There, there!" And went to the shed. The cow said, "There, there! I didn't really Mean it; Here's milk for his porringer And butter for his bread." The queen took the butter And brought it to His Majesty. The King said "Butter, eh?" And bounced out of bed. "Nobody," he said, As he kissed her Tenderly, "Nobody," he said, As he slid down The banisters, "Nobody, My darling, Could call me A fussy man - BUT I do like a little bit of butter to my bread!"
There is surely no body of verse in which strong rhythm has been more effectively and enthusiastically used than in children's poetry, and Milne is in this regard (as in several others) one of the very best. Today's poem needs no real commentary, except to say that I find it no less delightful today than I did as a child. Links: To see the illustrated version of the poem: [broken link] http://www.crocker.com/~slinberg/poems/milne/kingsbreakfast.html For another nice Milne poem, and a biography, see poem #463 Afterthought: I was going to write a piece on why rhythmic verse is so appealing to children, but realised that I didn't know too much about it myself. Perhaps someone could comment with greater authority? -martin