Lesley Gordon

William Montgomery Entwistle-Gubby
Was upturned of nose and inclined to be tubby
Sole heir of a family well known in Hove
Whose blood, if not blue, was at any rate mauve
One would doubtless describe William Gubby as nice
Were it not for his one most regrettable vice
For William Montgomery Entwistle-Gubby
On week-days and Sundays was terribly grubby.

There were ink splashes here, there were finger-prints there
There was jam on his trousers and mud on the stair
By the dirt tracks he left could be easily seen
Where the pride of the Gubby's had recently been
The laundress who washed all the linen he soiled
Thought that Bill, like his clothes, should be frequently boiled
And the parlour-maid said, "Well, if I'm any judge
That young Master Bill will turn into a smudge."

The parlour-maid's prophecy one day came true
Oh, you can imagine, there was a to-do
Mrs Entwistle-Gubby was out paying calls
It was Alice's morning for 'doing the halls'
When she noticed a mark on the dining-room door
She declared 'hadn't been there ten minutes afore'
She tried with her duster, the mark wouldn't budge
"Oh dear" grumbled Alice, "This is a bad smudge."

(If you've not by now guessed, still you probably will
That the dark-looking smudge on the door was young Bill.
"I'll teach you to come when today's my half-day,"
Said she breathing hard as she scrubbed Bill away.
And that is the end of my sorrowful tale
They searched in the soda, the mop and the pail
But never again was the poor infant seen
"Though I says it," said Alice, "I do like things clean."

"Well Alice, I'm sure you were doing your best,"
Said poor Mrs Gubby (though sadly distressed)
"But tell me... I fear we must forfeit all hope
Did you really require such a large cake of soap?"
The end