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(27 July 1870 – 16 July 1953 / La Celle-Saint-Cloud)

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The Frog

Be kind and tender to the Frog,
And do not call him names,
As 'Slimy skin,' or 'Polly-wog,'
Or likewise 'Ugly James,'
Or 'Gap-a-grin,' or 'Toad-gone-wrong,'
Or 'Bill Bandy-knees':
The Frog is justly sensitive
To epithets like these.

No animal will more repay
A treatment kind and fair;
At least so lonely people say
Who keep a frog (and, by the way,
They are extremely rare).

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Edited: Friday, November 11, 2011


Read poems about / on: frog, animal, lonely, people

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Comments about this poem (A Trinity by Hilaire Belloc )

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  • Kanniappan Kanniappan (2/28/2014 11:00:00 PM)

    One big frog used to climb
    the front stairs and stays
    under the stair case.

    When I tap with a stick,
    it decently withdraws backward
    under the small gap of the gate!

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Francis Lynch (2/28/2014 6:29:00 AM)

    Somebody didn't like Belloc's take on a frog, and he turned it into an anti-racist poem. Big tongue, little cheek. It's no coincidence that the French are called Frogs.

  • Paul Reed (2/28/2014 2:43:00 AM)

    How perceptive to pick such an unlikely subject and be so sympathetic and humorous whilst keeping an admirable rhythm to the piece.

  • Hakim Akhsan (2/28/2013 4:53:00 AM)

    it's good words, amazing.

  • Manonton Dalan (2/29/2012 4:30:00 AM)

    yes, who keeps frogs? only frog farms.

  • Carlos Echeverria (2/28/2012 2:52:00 PM)

    Brilliantly, Belloc uses condescending verse (ostensibly, a children's poem) to teach adults a life lesson.

  • Terence George Craddock (2/28/2010 7:09:00 AM)

    An alluring poem for children, drawing them in with a tale of the fabled frog. The immediate catch line ‘Be kind and tender to the Frog, ’ and instructing children not to call the frog names, then teaching six names to call the frog, is delightfully exciting for children. Yet as the French are often referred to by the English as the frog, and the French are passionate and take offense at the nickname, a more serious meaning is implied. The truth is, as mothers’ teach their children not to call others names, the poem is an adult reminder, not to call others insulting names; implied in an elevated entertaining, child’s rhyme is witty and wonderfully done.

  • Joseph Poewhit (2/28/2010 2:07:00 AM)

    An eccentric type pet, reflecting the nature of the owner. Though kids around the pond, find them sport to catch.

  • Ramesh T A (2/28/2010 1:43:00 AM)

    What a consolation Hilaire Belloc has for the frog called by many names!

  • Indira Renganathan (2/28/2010 1:41:00 AM)

    Straight with so much care on the frog...but The dictionary gives one more meaning to the word frog as 'a decorative loop of braid or cord '...somebody else might find some different meaning too as I guess...nice to read

Read all 12 comments »

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