Can you complete this poem?
March 4, 2014 3:23 PM   Subscribe

When I was a kid I had a book in which there was a poem that started 'A slug-a-bed snuggled in somnolent sloom / When a sobersides slithered right into the room'. I've searched the web for the rest of the poem and while I can find some of the verses I can't locate the whole thing. There was a substance called 'slibber sauce' involved, I remember that, but because none of the online versions mention it I know they can't be the poem in its entirety. Can anyone help? And who was the poem written by?
posted by zozimus to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Sleepy Slug

A slug-a-bed snuggled
In somnolent sloom,
When a sobersides slithered
Right into the room,
A frightful slangwhanger
Who banged on the bed
And harangued him and snibbed
At his poor slimsy head,
Squalling:”Time you were spiffy
and slippy and sprack
You slubberdegullion,
You sprag, off your back!”

(from here)
posted by Houstonian at 3:36 PM on March 4

Thanks for the quick reply, Houstonian. I found the same excerpt by googling, but unfortunately it's not the complete poem, which is quite a bit longer (maybe three times the length?). It doesn't seem to have any special connection with gardening, in spite of the fact that sections of the poem appear on a number of horticultural websites.
posted by zozimus at 3:49 PM on March 4

Here's a little more, plus stanza breaks (hopefully this helps others finish it off):

A slug-a-bed snuggled
In somnolent gloom,
When a sobersides slithered
Right into the room

A frightful slangwanger
Who banged on the bed
And harangued him and snibbed
At his poor slimsy head,

Squalling:'Time you were spiffy
And slippy and sprack
You slubberdegullion,
You sprag, off your back!

Or forsooth, you are sick,
When I must-yes-perforce,
I must skink you a spoonful
Of black slibber-sauce'

Now slibber-sauce, certe,
Is so sozzle- a skinker
Who slips you a spoonful
Of that, is a stinker.

'Oh snick up, O slid, 'slife
Not slibber-sauce- NO!
And the slug-a-bed spanged
From his bed in one go,

And skelped the said skellum,
(Quite rightly, I'd say),
So the sobersides sloped off-
He just slived away.
posted by Houstonian at 3:53 PM on March 4 [3 favorites]

(attributed to Bronnie Cunningham, Ode to Forgotten English Words)
posted by Houstonian at 3:54 PM on March 4

Fantastic! Thank you so much. Now to see if my own kids like it...
posted by zozimus at 4:23 PM on March 4

I had a book with that poem in it too! It was a very odds-and-ends book that I've wondered about off and on for years. Yours was probably a different one anyway, but I don't suppose you remember anything else about the book itself?
posted by redfoxtail at 5:56 PM on March 4

Oh gee! It was by Bronnie Cunningham herself and I include it here in case it was the same book you read as a child (it might well have been, I now think): Funny Business, with cover and illustrations by Quentin Blake.
posted by redfoxtail at 6:01 PM on March 4

That's the very same book I had as a child. I wonder what happened to it. I think the large-nosed man was called Mr. Jinks, but I forget the dog's name now. There are used copies of 'Funny Business' available online, I see, so I'll get hold of one as I'm certain my son would like it. Thanks for your help, Houstonian and redfoxtail!
posted by zozimus at 4:25 PM on March 5

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