Since I’m hunting through ancient history today, here’s a poem from 2000.
‘Tick-tock,’ said the clock. ‘Up yer bum an’ down yer cock.’
Little legs lifting – one at a time –
It waddled along with nary a chime,
Just a pendulous knock with every rock of its aged frame.
I stared in shock. ‘’Ere, what’s your game?’ I said at last,
Baffled to find in a plain this vast a grandfather.
‘Hickory dickory dock,’ it said, with a creak of teak,
Pausing to frown at my tattered gown and single threadbare sock.
‘The mouse ran up the clock,’ I completed happily.
‘Do you mock me, sir?’ Angrily the clock struck one
And set such a pace that I had to race – ’Twas a merry chase.
‘What fun!’ I cried when we wound up in the park.
All was dark.
All but the lights of the merry-go-round
With its prancing ponies (and other phonies)
But darkest of all was the haunted hall…
‘Bollocks,’ said the clock,
Brass hands raised at the sight of this fright.
Its brass keys turned uneasily in its brass locks.
Gagging at the boiling cauldrons’ stink,
Amidst the shades of oil and ink we crept,
Drew near, despite our fear, to peer
At snakes and spiders, headless riders,
Trolls hulking and goblins skulking,
At ghosts and ghouls, and werewolves baying,
At vampires preying…
I woke with a scream – ’Twas only a dream.