Saturday, December 27, 2008

Suitable for Kids (apparently)

I was fossicking around through some of my old books today and came across something my parents gave me when I was quite young. It's called "Coles Funny Picture Book" and was a reprint of a childrens' book that was first published back in 1905. It'd be fair to say there was definitely a much different moral imperative back then - well compared to today anyway.

I give you:

A Deed of Horror - By J.W. Lloyd.

The night was dark,
The rain came down.
Amidst the loud
And roaring wind.

There stood a man
With look as though
Some heavy weight
Was on his mind.

With fearful stare
He gazed around;
He starts and from
His lips then come

These fearful words,
With anguish wild,
"The deed, it must,
And shall be done."

With hurried step
He onward glides,
And soon he reached
The cottage door.

Forth from his pocket
Drew a key,
He enters 'midst
The thunder roar.

He gropes his way
Across the room,
For all inside
Was dark and glum,

Again he groans
Those fearful words,
"The deed, it must,
And shall be done."

He strikes a light
Then round the room,
With stealthy step
Does slowly creep.

He reached the bed,
And thereupon
Three little children
Calmly sleep.

He fondly gazes
On their forms,
Then turns away
Quite overcome.

"I willingly
Would yield, but, no!
The deed, it must,
And shall be done."

He then drew forth
A hideous knife,
And roughly roused
The sleeping babes.

Who all shriek loudly
With affright,
Yet neither one
For mercy craves.

He drags the children
Cross the room,
Again those fearful
Words did utter,

He raised the knife
And cut - for each -
A nice thick slice
Of bread and butter.

Somehow, as much as we might like it, I don't think we could quite get away with this today.


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