Collected Poems for Children

Ted Hughes; Pictures by Raymond Briggs

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

From Collected Poems for Children
Skunk’s footfall plods padded
            But like the thunder-crash
He makes the night woods nervous
            And wears the lightning-flash –
From nose to tail a zigzag spark
            As warning to us all
That thunderbolts are very like
            The strokes he can let fall.
That cloudburst soak, that dazzling bang
            Of stink he can let drop
Over you like a cloak of tar
            Will bring you to a stop.
O Skunk! O King of Stinkards!
Only the Moon Knows
You are her prettiest, ugliest flower,
            Her blackest, whitest rose!