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]
Miss Hooper was a little girl,
whose head was always in a whirl;
For she had hoop upon the head —
"My precious, precious hoop!" she said.
Trundling a hoop was her delight
From breakfast time to nearly night,
She loved it so! and, truth to tell,
At last she drove her hoop too well.
That hoop began to go one day
as if it never meant to stay;
Of course the girl would not give in,
But followed it through thick and thin.
The King and Queen came out to see
what sort of hoop this hoop might be;
My lady said, "I think, my Lord,
That hoop goes of its own accord"
This vexed the little girl, and so
She gave the hoop another blow,
And off it eent — oh, just like mad —
She ran with all the strength she had.
Her hat-strings slipped, her hat hung back,
And soon she felt her waistband crack,
Her dear long hair flew out behind her,
Her parents sent forth scouts to find her.
The King leapt on his swiftest horse,
And followed her with all his force;
Her father cried " A thousand pound
To get my girl back, safe and sound!"
Some people came and made a dash
To pull her backward by the sash,
But all in vain — she did not stop —
At last she fainted with a flop.
When she came to she sighed, with pain,
"I'll never touch a hoop again!"
Is it not sad when girls and boys
Go to excess like this with toys?
As for the hoop, the people say
It kept on going, night and day,
Turning the corners, quite correct -
A thing which you would not expect.
And so it lived, a hoop at large,
Which no one dared to take in charge;
Of course it thinned, but kept its shape,
A sort of hoop of wooden tape.
It thinned till people took a glass
To see the ghostly circle pass,
And only stopped — the facts are so —
When there was nothing left to go.