I never saw a girl or boy
So prone as Sophie to destroy
Whate'er she laid her hands upon,
Though tough as wood, or hard as stone;
With Sophie it was all the same,
No matter who the thing might claim,
No matter were it choice or rare,
For naught did the destroyer care.
Her playthings shared the common lot;
Though hers they were, she spared them not,
Her dolls she oft tore limb from limb,
To gratify a foolish whim.

'Fie!' said her mother, 'don't you know,
That if you use your playthings so,
Kriss Kringle will in wrath refuse
To give you what you might abuse?
Remember, how in times gone by,
You've always found a rich supply
Of Christmas presents; but beware,
You'll find no more another year.'

You'd think such words would surely tend
To make this child her ways amend.
But no; she still her course pursued,
Regardless of advice so good.
But when her mother sees 'tis plain
That all her arguments are vain,
Says she, 'Since I have done my best,
I'll let experience do the rest.'
Meantime the season of the year
For Christmas gifts was drawing near,
And Sophie doubted not that she
An ample store of them would see.
At length the happy hour was come.
The children, led into the room,
Behold, with wonder and surprise,
Three tables set before their eyes.
One is for Nelly, one for Ned,
And both with choicest treasures spread.


About Heinrich Hoffmann


Heinrich Hoffmann was a German psychiatrist, who also wrote some short works including Der Struwwelpeter, an illustrated book portraying children misbehaving. Early Life and Education Hoffmann was born in Frankfurt on Main to an architect father, Philipp Hoffmann, who was responsible for the city's streets and waterways. Hoffmann's mother died when he was a baby. His father later married her sister, Antoinette Lausberg, who was a loving and more than adequate mother to him. Lazy and easily distracted, Hoffmann at first struggled at school, but became a successful student after conforming to the strict discipline imposed by his demanding father.... Read more...

Poet of the day

George Canning PC, FRS was a British statesman and politician who served as Foreign Secretary and briefly Prime Minister.

Early life: 1770–1793

Canning was born into an Anglo-Irish family at his parents' home in Queen Anne Street, Marylebone, London. Canning described himself as "an Irishman born in London". His father,...
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Poem of the day


Daß Dir zum Ernste des Lebens die Lust an den Spielen der Musen
Freundliche Götter gewährt, Schönes dem Guten gesellt:
Nicht die schlechteste Gabe der Himmlischen ist′s, und Du selber
Freue Dich deß, in der Brust blüht Dir ein ewiger Lenz!
Früchte des Herbstes gewinnt auch...
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