An A B C, for Baby Patriots

Original Text: 
Mrs. Ernest Ames, An A B C, for Baby Patriots (London: Dean and Son, 1899). George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida.
2    That dies for the Queen;
3It's the very best Army
4    That ever was seen,
5B stands for Battles
6    By which England's name
7Has for ever been covered
8    With glory and fame.
9C is for Colonies.
10    Rightly we boast,
11That of all the great nations
12    Great Britain has most.
13D is the Daring
14    We show on the Field
15Which makes every enemy
16    Vanish or yield.
17E is our Empire
18    Where sun never sets;
19The larger we make it
20    The bigger it gets.
21F is the flag
22    Which wherever you see
23You know that beneath it
24    Your're happy and free.
25G is the Game
26    We preserve with such care
27To shoot, as it gracefully
28    Flies through the air.
29H is for Hunting,
31A thoro bred Hunter,
32    Some hounds and a fox.
33I is for India,
34    Our land in the East
35Where everyone goes
36    To shoot tigers, and feast.
37J's for our Judges
38    Who sit in a row
39And send folks to prison
40    When naughty you know!
41K is for Kings;
42    Once warlike and haughty,
43Great Britain subdued them
44    Because they'd been naughty.
45L is the Lion
46    Who fights for the Crown
47His smile when he's worried
48    Is changed to a frown.
49M is for Magnates
50    So great and so good,
51They sit on gold chairs
52    And eat Turtle for food.
53N is the Navy
55It's a sight that makes foreigners
56    Wish they were dead.
57O is the Ocean
58    Where none but a fool
59Would ever dare question
60    Our title to rule.
61P is our Parliment,
62    Commons and Peers,
63They will talk if permitted
64    For months -- nay for years.
65Q is our Queen!
66    It fills us with pride
67To see the Queen's coach
68    When the Queen is inside!
69R's the Roast Beef
70    That has made England great;
71You see it here pictured
72    Each piece on a plate.
73S is for Scotland
74    The home of the Scot!
75It's wetter than England
76    And isn't so hot.
78    That an Englishman takes
79As a matter of course
80    Just as soon as he wakes.
81U is our Unicorn,
82    Such a nice beast
83His home is here now
84    Though he comes from the East.
85V's Volunteers
86    Who can shoot very straight;
87They are drilled now and then
88    Between seven and eight.
89W is the Word
90    Of an Englishman true;
91When given, it means
92    What he says, he will do.
94    The London Police
95Who are paid by the Country
96    For keeping the peace.
97Y is for youngsters
98    Gilded and gay,
99The newspapers call them
101Z is the Zeal
102    Which is everywhere seen
103When a family practices
104    ."God Save the Queen.."


1] Lynda Mugglestone highlighted this poem in her lecture on "Images of Iconicity in the OED," on August 18, 2009, at the Prescriptivism and Patriotism conference, held at New College, University of Toronto. Ames handsomely illustrates the poem in this children's book made available online by the George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. Back to Line
30] box: a "small country-house; a residence for temporary use while following a particular sport" (OED, "box," n.2, 14). Back to Line
54] Spithead: a protected bay off Portsmouth on the English Channel. Back to Line
77] Tub: for a bath. Back to Line
93] X: the symbol of the London police, crossed batons (Empire Writing, p. 456). Back to Line
100] "Orig. applied in France to the group of fashionable counter-revolutionaries formed after the fall of Robespierre; now gen., young people of wealth and fashion" (OED). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: