Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Gnome

When my children were very young, I found a book of chilren's stories at a yard sale. It had the cutest poem in it and I memorized it. Unfortunately, the book went missing and I have been unable to find the name of the author anywhere. If anyone out there has this book, or knows who wrote this, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due.

ONCE there lived a little gnome
Who had made his little home
Right down in the middle of the earth, earth, earth.

He was full of fun and frolic,
But his wife was melancholic,
and he never could divert her into mirth, mirth, mirth.

He had tried her with a monkey,
And a parrot, and a donkey,
And a pig that squealed whene'r he pulled it's tail, tail, tail.

But though he laughed himself
Into fits, the jolly elf,
Still his wifey's melancholy did not fail, fail, fail.

"I will hie me" said the gnome
"From my worthy earthy home;
I will go among the dwellings of the men, men, men.

"Something funny there must be,
That will make her say he-he!
I will find it and will bring it her again, 'gain, 'gain."

So he Traveled here and there,
And he saw the blinking bear,
And the platypool whose eyes are in his tail, tail, tail.

He saw the Linking Gloon
Who was playing the bassoon.
And the octopus a waltzing with the whale, whale, whale.

He saw the Chingo Chee,
And what a lovely sight was he
with a ringlet and a ribbon in his nose, nose, nose.

And the Baggle and the
Wog, and the Cantinuar Dog
who was throwing cotton flannel at his foes, foes, foes.

All these the little gnome
transported to his home,
and sat them down before his weeping wife, wife, wife.

But she only cried, and cried,
And she sobbywobbed and sighed
'Till she really was in danger of her life, life, life.

Oh the gnome was in despair,
And he tore his purple hair,
And he sat him down in sorrow on a stone, stone, stone.

"I, too" he said "will cry
'Till I tumble down, and die,
For I've had enough of laughing all alone, 'lone, 'lone."

His tears, they flowed away
Like a rivulet at play
With a bubble gubble rubble o'er the ground, ground, ground.

But with this his wifey saw,
She loudly cried "Haw! Haw!
Here at last is something funny you have found, found, found!"

She said "Ho! Ho! He! He!"
And she chuckled loud with glee,
And she wiped away her little husbands tears, tears, tears.

And since then, through wind, and weather,
they have said "He! He!" together
for several hundred thousand merry years, years, years!


Anonymous said...

This poem is my wife's and my favorite but sadly neither of us know who wrote it. The only place I've ever found it (since we lost the book about 35 years ago) is your blog. Thank you!
Interestingly, in the version in our kid's book instead of:
She said "Ho! Ho! He! He!"
it was:
She said "Ho! Ho! Tee! He!"

Thanks again, Blessed Be,

John Irving
in Kandahar, Afghanistan

John Irving said...

Thank you!!!

The Gnome is my wife's and my favorite nursery tale, maybe our favorite poem of all time. We (sadly) do not remember who wrote it. We had it in a childrens book of poetry about 35 years ago and gave the book away when the kids got to 6 or so.

In our version, when the gnome began to cry, instead of:
She said "Ho! Ho! He! He!"

I'm sure ours was:
She said "Ho! Ho! Tee! He!"

or maybe I have remembered it wrong, all these years.

Thank you! Love your blog

Blessed Be,

John Irving
in Kandahar, Afghanistan

Lingua Loria said...

This comment is a little late...but I have this poem in a book and it's attributed to one Laura Richards.

Anonymous said...

yeah. Laura Richards is correct, but it's very hard to find any collections of her poetry with this one in it. My father used to recite this one regularly, and when I was in college, I realized he was missing part of a verse, the " I too, said he, will cry..." segment. I found the poem someplace while I was at the University of Iowa working on my Masters and got him straight on the whole poem. Soon after, I memorized it, and have recited it many times to sundry delighted children. Glad to find this on your site. Charlie

Anonymous said...

I loved this poem! As a child my mother used to read it to me. It was in a book called "In My Nursery" by Laura E Richards.

Dusty Chenille said...

I've found this as an e-Book on Project Gutenberg.

Unknown said...

My father used to recite this to me as well. Thank you so much for sharing!

Dawn Chadwick said...

Have there been any updates as to the book you originally remember this poem from? I have searched and searched and come up with nothing. My dad used to read it to my sister and I from an old Storybook collection. The storybook had detailed illustrations with tiny gnomes and houses hidden in the pictures. It was beautiful and unique, and I really want to find a copy.