(who Left Things About
and was Himself
Permanently Mislaid)

Lesley Gordon
  There are some of you children, without any doubt,
Who share the sad failing of PERCIVAL PROUT,
But I hope and I trust that whatever you do,
What happened to PERCY won't happen to you.
For PERCY, although by his parents adored,
Was a prey to a failing by grown-ups deplored,
And in spite of the protests of poor Mrs. Prout,
Would leave his possessions all lying about.

He'd no use for the tidy, he hated the trim,
A cupboard or drawer had no meaning for him.
His motto, which caused the good lady much pain,
Was, "I'll just put it there, I might want it again."
There were cakes on the mantelpiece, squibs in his boot,
On the window-sill half-eaten portions of fruit;
And poor Mr. Prout was completely unmanned,
To find postage stamps stuck on his wife's baby-grand.

The visitors learned to examine with care
Each sofa they sat on, each cushion and chair,
To avoid the embarrassment caused by reverses
Bespangled with second-hand relics of PERCY'S.
His mother shed many a furrowing tear,
And seventeen maids came and went in a year,
But always the burden of PERCY'S refrain
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