An Alphabet of Famous Goops

Original Text: 
The Burgess Nonsense Book Being a Complete Collection of the Humorous Masterpieces of Gelett Burgess, Esq. (New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1901): 226-39.
Which you 'll Regard with Yells and Whoops.
     Futile Acumen!
For you Yourselves are Doubtless Dupes
Of Failings Such as Mar these Groups --
     We all are Human!
1ABEDNEGO was Meek and Mild; he Softly Spoke, he Sweetly Smiled.
2He never Called his Playmates Names, and he was Good in Running Games;
3But he was Often in Disgrace because he had a Dirty Face!
4BOHUNKUS would Take Off his Hat, and Bow and Smile, and Things like That.
5His Face and Hair were Always Neat, and when he Played he did not Cheat;
6But Oh! what Awful Words he Said, when it was Time to Go to Bed!
7The Gentle CEPHAS tried his Best to Please his Friends with Merry Jest;
8He tried to Help Them, when he Could, for CEPHAS, he was Very Good;
9And Yet -- They Say he Used to Cry, and Once or Twice he Told a Lie!
10DANIEL and DAGO were a Pair who Acted Kindly Everywhere;
11They studied Hard, as Good as Gold, they Always did as They were Told;
12They Never Put on Silly Airs, but They Took Things that were Not Theirs.
13EZEKIEL, so his Parents said, just Simply Loved to Go to Bed;
14He was as Quiet as could Be whenever there were Folks to Tea;
15And yet, he had a Little Way of Grumbling, when he should Obey.
16When FESTUS was but Four Years Old his Parents Seldom had to Scold;
17They never Called him "FESTUS DON'T!" he Never Whined and said "I Won't!"
18Yet it was Sad to See him Dine. His Table Manners were Not Fine.
19GAMALIEL took Peculiar Pride in Making Others Satisfied.
20One Time I asked him for his Head. "Why, Certainly! GAMALIEL Said.
21He was Too Generous, in Fact. But Bravery he Wholly Lacked.
22HAZAEL was (at Least he Said he Was) Exceedingly Well Bred;
23Forbidden Sweets he would not Touch, though he might Want them very Much.
24But Oh, Imagination Fails to quite Describe his Finger Nails!
25How Interesting ISAAC Seemed! He never Fibbed, he Seldom Screamed;
26His Company was Quite a Treat to all the Children on the Street;
27But Nurse has Told me of his Wrath when he was Made to Take a Bath!
28Oh, Think of JONAH when you 're Bad; Think what a Happy Way he had
29Of Saying "Thank You! -- "If you Please" -- "Excuse Me, Sir," and Words like These.
30Still, he was Human, like Us All. His Muddy Footprints Tracked the Hall.
31Just fancy KADESH for a Name! Yet he was Clever All the Same;
32He knew Arithmetic, at Four, as Well as Boys of Nine or More!
33But I Prefer far Duller Boys, who do Not Make such Awful Noise!
34Oh, Laugh at LABAN, if you Will, but he was Brave when he was Ill.
35When he was Ill, he was so Brave he Swallowed All his Mother Gave!
36But Somehow, She could never Tell why he was Worse when he was Well!
37If MICAH's Mother Told him "No" he Made but Little of his Woe;
38He Always Answered, "Yes, I'll Try!" for MICAH Thought it Wrong to Cry.
39Yet he was Always Asking Questions and Making quite Ill-timed Suggestions.
40I Fancy NICODEMUS Knew as Much as I, or even You;
41He was Too Careful, I am Sure, to Scratch or Soil the Furniture;
42He never Squirmed, he never Squalled; he Never Came when he was Called!
43Some think that OBADIAH'S Charm was that he Never Tried to Harm
44Dumb Animals in any Way, though Some are Cruel when they Play.
45But though he was so Sweet and Kind, his Mother found him Slow to Mind.
46When PELEG had a Penny Earned, to Share it with his Friends he Yearned.
47And if he Bought a Juicy Fig, his Sister's Half was Very Big!
48Had he not Hated to Forgive, he would have been Too Good to Live!
49When QUARTO'S brother QUARTO Hit, was QUARTO Angry? Not a Bit!
50He Called the Blow a Little Joke, and so Affectionately Spoke,
51That Everybody Loved the Lad. Yet Oh, What Selfish Ways he had!
52Was REUBEN Happy? I should Say! He laughed and Sang the Livelong Day.
53He Made his Mother Smile with Joy to See her Sunny-Tempered Boy.
54However, she was Not so Gay when REUB Refused to Stop his Play!
55When SHADRACH Cared to be Polite, they Called him Gentlemanly, Quite;
56His Manners were Correct and Nice; he Never Asked for Jelly Twice!
57Still, when he Tried to Misbehave, O, how Much Trouble SHADRACH Gave!
58Don't Think that TIMOTHY was Ill because he Sometimes Kept so Still.
59He knew his Mother Did Not Care to Hear him Talking Everywhere.
60He did not Tease, he did Not Cry, but he was Always Asking "WHY?"
61URIAH Never Licked his Knife, nor Sucked his Fingers, in his Life.
62He Never Reached, to Help Himself, the Sugar Bowl upon the Shelf.
63He Never Popped his Cherry Pits; but he had Horrid Sulky Fits!
64To See young VIVIUS at his Work, you Knew he 'd Never Try to Shirk.
65The Most Unpleasant Things he 'd Do, if but his Mother Asked him To.
66But when young Vivius Grew Big, it Seems he was a Norful Prig!
67Why WABAN always Seemed so Sweet, was that he Kept so Clean and Neat.
68He never Smooched his Face with Coal, his Picture Books were Fresh and Whole.
69He washed His Hands Ten Times a Day; but, Oh, what Horrid Words he 'd Say!
70What shall I say of XENOGOR, Save that he Always Shut the Door!
71He always Put his Toys Away when he had Finished with his Play.
72But here his List of Virtues Ends. A Tattle-Tale does not Make Friends.
73YERO was Noted for the Way with which he Helped his Comrades Play;
74He 'd Lend his Cart, he 'd Lend his Ball, his Marbles, and his Tops and All!
75And Yet (I Doubt if you' ll Believe), he Wiped his Nose upon his Sleeve!
76The Zealous ZIBEON was Such as Casual Callers Flatter Much.
77His Maiden Aunts would Say, with Glee, "How Good, how Pure, how Dear is He!"
78And Yet, he Drove his Mother Crazy -- he was so Slow, he was so Lazy!
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.