David Rands has kindly shared with readers of the Victorian Web his site about the life and works of W. B. Rands, the prolific writer of children's literature and originator of The Boy's Own Paper. Readers may wish to consult this site for more information about this little-known figure who had an immense influence upon Victorian children. [GPL]

There was a boy whose name was Phinn,
And he was fond of fishing;
His father could not keep him in,
Nor all his mother's wishing.

His life's ambition was to land
A fish of several pound weight;
The chief thing he could understand
Was hooks, or worms for ground-bait.

The worms crept out, the worms crept in,
From every crack and pocket;
He had a worm-box made of tin,
With proper worms to stock it.

His gave his mind to breeding worms
As much as he was able;
His sister spoke in angry terms
To see them on the table.

You found one walking up the stairs
You found one in a bonnet,
Or, in the bedroom, unawares,
You set your foot upon it.

Worms, worms, worms for bait!
Roach and dace and gudgeon!
With rod and line to Twickenham Ait
Tomorrow he is trudging!

O worms and fishes day and night!
Such was his sole ambition;
I'm gad to think you are not quite
So very fond of fishing!

Last modified 21 August 2005