The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #10073 Message #3392868
Posted By: Jim Dixon
20-Aug-12 - 04:42 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: a poem called 'Mr. Nobody'
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: a poem called 'Mr. Nobody'
The attribution to Walter de la Mare must be bogus—unless he wrote only the verse beginning "He puts the damp wood on the fire." De la Mare was born in 1873 but this poem was published in 1870 (if not earlier) in Willson's Intermediate Fifth Reader by Marcius Willson (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1870), page 202:
I know a funny little man,
As quiet as a mouse,
That does the mischief that is done,
In every body's house.
There's no one ever sees his face,
And yet we all agree,
That every plate we break was cracked
By Mr. No-bod-ee.
'Tis he who always tears our books,
Who leaves our doors ajar;
He pulls the buttons from our shirts,
And scatters pins afar.
That squeaking door will always squeak,
For, prithee, don't you see,
We leave the oiling to be done
By Mr. No-bod-ee?
The finger-marks upon the doors
By none of us are made;
We never leave the blinds unclosed
To let the curtains fade;
The ink we never spill; the boots
That lying round you see,
Are not our boots! They all belong
To Mr. No-bod-ee.