MICHAELMAS MATILDA

A new Downside tradition!

Matilda told such Dreadful Lies,
It made one Gasp and Stretch one’s Eyes;
Her Aunt, who, from her Earliest Youth,
Had kept a Strict Regard for Truth,
Attempted to Believe Matilda:
The effort very nearly killed her,
And would have done so, had not She
Discovered this Infirmity…

Hilaire Belloc‘s cautionary verse Matilda, which he wrote in 1907, has now become a new Downside tradition – the Michaelmas Matilda (or the MM for short!). Every year on National Poetry Day (1st October) our new First Formers will be challenged to learn the poem and perform it for fellow pupils and staff.

Belloc‘s son, Louis (C1915), attended Downside and his grandson, Dom Philip Jebb, was a monk and Head Master here.

First Form this term can’t wait until next year’s National Poetry Day and so will be performing Matilda next week on Tuesday 20th October in the Theatre Quad followed by afternoon tea. Good luck to all of you!