Matilda told such Dreadful Lies

It made one Gasp and Stretch one’s Eyes

Her Aunt, who, from her Earliest Youth

Had kept a Strict Regard for Truth

Attempted to Believe Matilda:

The effort very nearly killed her

And would have done so, had not She

Discovered this Infirmity.

For once, towards the Close of Day

Matilda, growing tired of play

And finding she was left alone

Went tiptoe to the Telephone

And summoned the Immediate Aid

Of London’s Noble Fire-Brigade.

Within an hour the Gallant Band

Were pouring in on every hand

From Putney, Hackney, Downs, and Bow

With Courage high and Hearts a-glow

They galloped, roaring through the Town

‘Matilda’s House is Burning Down!

They ran their ladders through a score

Of windows on the Ball Room Floor

And took Peculiar Pains to Souse

The Pictures up and down the House

Until Matilda’s Aunt succeeded

In showing them they were not needed

And even then, she had to pay

To get the Men to go away


It happened that a few Weeks later

Her Aunt was off to the Theatre

To see that Interesting Play

The Second Mrs. Tanqueray

She had refused to take her Niece

To hear this Entertaining Piece:

A Deprivation Just and Wise

To Punish her for Telling Lies

That Night a Fire did break out-

You should have heard Matilda Shout!

You should have heard her Scream and Bawl

And throw the window up and call

To People passing in the Street-

For every time she shouted ‘Fire! ‘

They only answered ‘Little Liar!

And therefore, when her Aunt returned,

Matilda, and the House, were Burned.