Estimated reading time: 2 minute(s)

The March 31, 1896 issue of Harper’s Round Table included an amusing children’s poem called Fradie-Cat by Clinton Scollard, a renowed poet of his day. Below, I will re-print Scollard’s Fradie-Cat before concluding with a few notes about the poet.

“Fradie-Cat” by Clinton Scollard (1896)

I sha'n't tell you what's his name!—
When we want to play a game,
Always thinks that he'll be hurt,
Soil his jacket in the dirt,
Tear his trousers, spoil his hat,—
      Fraidie-cat! Fraidie-cat!

Nothing of the boy in him!
Dasn't try to learn to swim;
Says a cow'll hook; if she
Looks at him he climbs a tree;
Scart to death at bee or bat,—
      Fraidie-cat! Fraidie-cat!

Claims there're ghosts all snowy white
Wandering around at night
In the attic; wouldn't go
There for anything I know.
B'lieve he'd run if you said "scat!"—
      Fraidie-cat! Fraidie-cat!
The Cowardly Lion from the Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) - illustrated by W.W. Denslow.
Unlike many of the ninteenth century children’s magazine poems that I have reprinted, Fradie-Cat did not come with an illustration. I looked for a suitable image and found one in the form of W.W. Denslow’s depiction of the cowardly lion in the Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900).

About Clinton Scollard

Clinton Scollard (1860-1932) was a well-known poet and “sometimes novelist” in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He was born in Clinton, Oneida County, New York on September 18, 1860. He graduated from Hamilton College in 1881 and published his first volume of poetry in 1884.

1902 photograph of American poet Clinton Scollard.
Clinton Scollard pictured in 1902. Public Domain.

Scollard taught briefly at Hamilton College, but spent most of his 72 years focusing on his poetry and writing. He died in New Milford, Connecticut, on November 19, 1932. He was survived by his wife, Jessie Rittenhouse Scollard (also a writer), who donated his notebooks and letters to Hamilton College in 1933.

You can find a good selection of Scollard’s work on the Internet Archive.