Precious Nonsense (1895) ("Hen Reward Beecher" poem)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Apr 18 00:23:13 UTC 2005

At 3:11 AM -0400 4/17/05, Bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:
>There once was an eloquent preacher
>Who said to a hen, "You dear creature!"
>When she, just for that,
>Laid three eggs in his hat.
>And thus did the Henry Ward Beecher.
>(This one is famous. I was searching for "hen" and "eggs" and "Henry Ward
>Beecher" when the computer died--ed.)

A more familiar (at least to me) version is along these lines:

The Reverend Henry Ward Beecher
Called his hen a most elegant creature.
The hen, pleased with that,
Laid an egg in his hat,
And thus did the hen reward Beecher.

(with some variation on whether he called her a most elegant or
glorious creature, and whether she responded with one egg or two)

I have no idea which version claims primacy, and whether 1895 can be beaten.


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