Helen, a recent blog visitor, asked me where to find this poem. As a favor to her, I’m providing the first few stanzas here. I never read this poem as a child because the illustrations by Thomas Handforth frightened me. I didn’t like the bad guy slinking around on the back of a panther.
This is from Childcraft: Storytelling and Other Poems.
A Ballad of China
Her name was Dilliki Dolliki Dinah;
Niece she was to the Empress of China;
Fair she was as a morning of May,
When Hy Kokolorum stole her away.
He was a wizard, I’d have you know;
Wicked as weasels and back as a crow;
Lived in a castle a-top of a hill;
Had a panther whose name was Bill;
Used to ride him around and around,
Creeping and peeping close to the ground;
Working mischief wherever he could;
Nothing about him in any way good!
Richards wrote other nonsense verses which also appeared in this volume. My favorites were Eletelephony and Antonio. She also published several children’s books.
Take a quiz about the poems in this volume of Childcraft.