Poetry Friday... no, really!

Those of you who know me will be aware that I'm not an enormous poetry fan. I think it mostly comes from writing too much dreadful stuff as a teen. But I make some exceptions, and one of those is children's poetry. And I thought I'd share a poem by one of my favourite children's poets, E.V. Rieu, who is perhaps better known for his Penguin Classics translations of The Odyssey and the Bible.

The Hippopotamus's Birthday
He has opened all his parcels
but the largest and the last;
His hopes are at their highest
and his heart is beating fast.
O happy Hippopotamus,
what lovely gift is here?
He cuts the string. The world stands still.
A pair of boots appear!
O little Hippopotamus,
the sorrows of the small!
He dropped two tears to mingle
with the flowing Senegal;
And the 'Thank you' that he uttered
was the saddest ever heard
In the Senegambian jungle
from the mouth of beast or bird.