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Ruthless Rhymes

Edwardian not-quite-nonsense, light verse but with a more cutting edge than Belloc. Colonel H.J.C. Graharn wrote several other collections of verse: but it is the Ruthless Rhymes we remember

Light in form and rhyme scheme, the Ruthless Rhymes for Heartless Homes have something of the distilled nastiness of Saki lurking underneath. Not so much as to make them unpleasant, fortunately, but certainly enough to give them a bit of an edge. Two samples ...

Billy, in one of his nice new sashes,
fell in the fire and was burned to ashes;
now, although the room grows chilly,
I haven't the heart to poke poor Billy.

Late last night I slew my wife,
stretched her on the parquet flooring;
I was loth to take her life,
but I had to stop her snoring!