Was Herod Such a Nasty Chap?

Herod the Great - also known as Herod the Paranoid
Herod the Great - also known as Herod the Paranoid
He told his men, Go kill a child... and a few more"
He told his men, Go kill a child... and a few more"


Was Herod such a nasty chap;

Not raised well by his mother?

He told his men, “Go kill a child;

Then go and kill another”.


His men ranged far and wide, they say,

In search of little infants

But not to pat their little heads

But remove them in an instant.

The Mums and Dads were cross, of course.
The Mums and Dads were cross, of course.


They roamed around the countryside

As Herod had so ordered;

Cutting off each little head

Which they with knife and sword did.


The Mums and Dads were cross, of course

And, really, who could blame them?

“You’ve massacred these Innocents

And that is how we’ll name them.”

In chalk and charcoal; ink and paint; Especially the latter.
In chalk and charcoal; ink and paint; Especially the latter.


The Murder of the Innocents

Became the subject matter

In chalk and charcoal; ink and paint;

Especially the latter.


Renaissance painters did a lot

On canvas and on wood.

Let’s face it, nothing’s really bad

That can’t produce some good.

The National Gallery
The National Gallery


I guess the parents did feel peeved,

But everyone agrees;

Think of the lovely paintings

That hang in galleries.


The Louvre and the Guggenheim,

The National, the Tate

Are full of paintings, every one,

These acts commemorate.



So if you’d like to show your taste

And so impress your friends

The Murder of the Innocents

Does all that it intends.



The subject is an easy one

To recognise, of course,

Unlike portraits of a foreign bloke

Sitting on a horse,


Or battles full of symbolism

In places you’ve not heard of

Or explanations in the catalogue

You don’t understand a word of.

Show your taste.  Impress your friends.
Show your taste. Impress your friends.


So get you to a gallery

And please do not dismiss

King Herod as a nasty chap

And just remember this:


Sing Yay! For Herod, Yay! again,

Remembering what he’s done

I think he patronised the Arts

In early A.D. 1




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Comments 25 comments

Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

Ha, ha! How have you made such a horrendous act (if indeed it occurred) so darn funny...and beneficial. Thoroughly enjoyable. (I don't think you'll be invited to teach Bible class anytime soon though.)


Candie V profile image

Candie V 5 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

Bible class.. nope.. art history.. yep! You are a rare one TL!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I hoped you'd like it Christoph. So close to Christmas. Just to give you a bit of inspiration, in case you needed it, for your Christmas card production. You're right about the bible class, though, Sister Mary Perpetua of the Little Sisters of Selective Charity, has asked me to turn in my cassock. I wonder why.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Hi Candie. I was thinking of doing a series of mini talks about how much fun it was to live in Judea around the First Century A.D. (With colour slides, and a complementary booklet). Would you mind if I tried it out on the parents of the little angels from your school bus (children welcome: half price)?

I'm sure the word would spread, and they'd be knocking on our door to come in.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Mark, maybe you think of another,

Was it he shagged the wife of his brother?

It’s a family I’d steer clear of, rather.

But was the son worse than the father?


Jan Holt 5 years ago

Poor Herod must have had such a large chip on his shoulders and who can blame him - someone trying to take over as King! No wonder he took revenge, but do think it may have been in AD1 that the Child Protection Team was formed!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thanks for taking the time to read my hub, Jan. Yes, they were most probably around, but you know what the Romans were like... too much red tape. They most probably put down the Massacre as a clerical error.


Jan Holt 5 years ago

....but I bet in this case, no-one got the chop (well adults anyway LOL!)


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Well, as John the Baptist said, "LMHO". Tee Hee!


Candie V profile image

Candie V 5 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

Knocking down your door - no doubt about it! You can use my intercom mic and maybe set up a projector to show your slides on the roof? I can't allow popcorn to be shared - the darlings are just plain messy.. but who knows? You may have just created a new niche for yourself!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Wonderful. You cheered me up no end. I've got the worst cold I've ever had in my short and beautiful life... and now I'm not only spluttering with that, I'm spluttering with laughter. Thanks, Candie.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California

LOL pretty daring to make light of such things, and yet, somehow you managed to pull it off. Very nice. Just goes to show what good writing can achieve. Cheers to you, although I'm not so sure I'm going to cheer Herod, despite my appreciating all the art. lol.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

You could raise a pretty noncommittal "Yay!" and hope that your friends think you understand the art you are viewing. But then again, I have a feeling that you most probably do.

Thanks for the comment about "good writing". It was much appreciated.


IntimatEvolution profile image

IntimatEvolution 5 years ago from Columbia, MO USA

You're so talented!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

You're so lovely. Thank you. It's great to be appreciated.


Shinkicker profile image

Shinkicker 5 years ago from Scotland

Marvellous poem TL

Had me laughing. Time for some revisionist thinking about poor old Herod, the Patron Saint of Contraception :-)


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Dat's my man! Thanks for dropping by. It's always good to read your jaded comments and to smile at them.


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

The content of your poem is best discussed by more scholarly members. But the rhythm is so perfectly implemented that it has a hypnotic effect that all rhyming poetry should possess. Rhyming poetry is often regarded as the poor relation to other forms, but this offering quashes that notion like a massive cliche. Cheers


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

You obviously enjoyed it, my friend. I'm glad. And thanks for that commendation.

But I feel, as has been pointed out, that Sunday School class is out of the question... well with me teaching it, anyway.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 5 years ago from UK

This reminds me of 'The Lion and Albert'. Fabulous, dark, dark humour. And it all rhymes!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I take it that is a "Yes!"?

Stanley Holloway, was it? Yung Albert, with never an article, if I remember. Yung Albert looked at lion...Ee bai gum (Or was it goom?)

Ah! Memories, Amanda.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 5 years ago from UK

"Then Pa, who had seen the occurrence,

And didn't know what to do next,

Said 'Mother! Yon Lion's 'et Albert',

And Mother said 'Well, I am vexed!'

My Mum had Stanley Holloway reading this on an old '78'. Perhaps you could read your poem aloud and put it on YouTube for us? Of course we wouldn't have all the fun of turning the handle, but I'm sure we'd enjoy it just the same!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I was perplexed when I spoke to Nellieanna the other day, and she said that I had "no accent". i told my chum, and he said, "No, you don't have an English accent... It sounds Posh, but it isn't English".

If must be due to living in different countries since I was first hatched.

There's a bit of British India in there; some West Australian (EA); some Maharathi and Hindi and Urdu (although I don't speak it any more; the Welsh i spke when I was a little boy, and a bit of that other stuff... er... English.


steve of ian fame profile image

steve of ian fame 5 years ago from Essex

Well Ian...I did not think you would have the courage to share this on the internet but you have. It might offend someone but that has never bothered you in a negative way now has it?


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Now who could it offend? have a look at the comments from all these worth folk above, and I don't think even one of them was offended.

Anyway, what is offence? It's a new word in my vocabulary.

I'll have to look into this concept... it might be fun.

Thanks for coming and having a snuffle around, Steve. You are most welcome to come again.

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