Graded Memory Selections
Author: Various
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Arranged by

S. D. WATERMAN, Superintendent of Schools, Berkeley, Cal.

J. W. McCLYMONDS, Superintendent of Schools, Oakland, Cal.

C. C. HUGHES, Superintendent of Schools, Alameda, Cal.

Educational Publishing Company Boston New York Chicago San Francisco

Copyrighted by Educational Publishing Company 1903.


It is unfortunately true that the terms education and culture are not synonymous. Too often we find that the children in our public schools, while possessed of the one, are signally lacking in the other. This is a state of things that cannot be remedied by teaching mere facts. The Greeks, many years ago, found the true method of imparting the latter grace and we shall probably not be able to discover a better one to-day. Their youths learned Homer and the other great poets as a part of their daily tasks, and by thus constantly dwelling upon and storing in their minds the noblest and most beautifully expressed thought in their literature, their own mental life became at once refined and strong.

The basis of all culture lies in a pure and elevated moral nature, and so noted an authority as President Eliot, of Harvard University, has said that the short memory gems which he learned as a boy in school, have done him more good in the hour of temptation than all the sermons he ever heard preached. A fine thought or beautiful image, once stored in the mind, even if at first it is received indifferently and with little understanding, is bound to recur again and again, and its companionship will have a sure, if unconscious, influence. The mind that has been filled in youth with many such thoughts and images will surely bear fruit in fine and gracious actions.

To the teachers who are persuaded of this truth, the present collection of poems has much to recommend it. The selections have been chosen both for their moral influence and for their permanent value as literature. They have been carefully graded to suit the needs of every class from the primary to the high school. Either the whole poem or a sufficiently long quotation has been inserted to give the child a complete mental picture.

The teacher will thus escape the difficulty of choosing among a too great abundance of riches, or the still greater one of finding for herself, with few resources, what serves her purpose. This volume has a further advantage over other books of selections. It is so moderate in price that it will be possible to place it in the hands of the children themselves.

The compilers desire to thank Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Charles Scribner's Sons, Bowen, Merrill & Co., Whittaker & Ray Co., and Doubleday & McClure Co., for their kindness in permitting the use of copyrighted material.




The Baby George Macdonald The Little Plant Anon. Sleep, Baby, Sleep E. Prentiss One, Two, Three Margaret Johnson Three Little Bugs in a Basket Alice Cary Whenever a Little Child is Born Agnes L. Carter Sweet and Low Alfred Tennyson The Ferry for Shadowtown Anon. My Shadow R. L. Stevenson Quite Like a Stocking Anon. The Owl and the Pussy-Cat Edward Lear Forget-me-not Anon. Who Stole the Bird's Nest? Anon. Two Little Hands Anon. The Dandelion Anon. A Million Little Diamonds M. Butts Daisy Nurses Anon. At Little Virgil's Window Edwin Markham Dandelions Anon. Memory Gems Selected


Seven Times One Jean Ingelow Christmas Eve Anon. Morning Song Alfred Tennyson Suppose, My Little Lady Phoebe Cary The Day's Eye Anon. The Night Wind Eugene Field The Blue-bird's Song Anon. Suppose Anon. Autumn Leaves Anon. If I Were a Sunbeam Lucy Larcom Meadow Talk Caroline Leslie The Old Love Charles Kingsley Bed in Summer R. L. Stevenson Three Companions Dinah M. Craik The Wind R. L. Stevenson The Minuet Mary Mapes Dodge Wynken, Blynken and Nod Eugene Field Pretty Is That Pretty Does Alice Cary Lullaby J. G. Holland


Discontent Sarah O. Jewett Our Flag Anon. Song from "Pippa Passes" Robert Browning Little Brown Hands M. H. Krout Winter and Summer Anon. The Brook Alfred Tennyson The Wonderful World W. B. Rands Don't Give Up Phoebe Cary We Are Seven Wordsworth The Land of Counterpane R. L. Stevenson The Brown Thrush Lucy Larcom The Silver Boat Anon. The Dandelion Anon. Afternoon in February Longfellow Nikolina Celia Thaxter Lost Celia Thaxter Robin or I? Sarah E. Sprague


Psalm XXIII Bible The Mountain and the Squirrel Ralph W. Emerson Abou Ben Adhem Leigh Hunt Bugle Song Alfred Tennyson Little Boy Blue Eugene Field Pittypat and Tippytoe Eugene Field Red Riding Hood Whittier The Sandpiper and I Celia Thaxter In School Days Whittier Take Care Alice Cary A Life Lesson James W. Riley


The Village Blacksmith Longfellow Love of Country Scott The Daffodils Wordsworth A Child's Thought of God Mrs. Browning From My Arm-chair Longfellow A Song of Easter Celia Thaxter The Joy of the Hills Edwin Markham In Blossom Time Ina Coolbrith The Stars and the Flowers Longfellow Meadow Larks Ina Coolbrith The Arrow and the Song Longfellow The Fiftieth Birthday of Agassiz Longfellow


Break, Break, Break Alfred Tennyson Columbus—Westward Joaquin Miller The Day is Done Longfellow The Landing of the Pilgrims Mrs. Hemans He Prayeth Best Coleridge Each and All Emerson Paul Revere's Ride Longfellow Battle Hymn of the Republic Julia Ward Howe The Barefoot Boy Whittier Lincoln, the Great Commoner Edwin Markham Opportunity Edward R. Sill A Song James W. Riley To a Friend Halleck


Psalm CXXI Bible Rain in Summer Longfellow A Psalm of Life Longfellow Hymn on the Fight at Concord R. W. Emerson To a Water-fowl William C. Bryant The Heritage James R. Lowell Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard Thomas Gray Gradatim J. G. Holland God Save the Flag O. W. Holmes Life Edward R. Sill


Hymn to the Night Longfellow The Builders Longfellow Polonius' Advice to Laertes Shakespeare Thanatopsis W. C. Bryant The American Flag Jos. R. Drake Speech at the Dedication of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg Abraham Lincoln To a Skylark Shelley The Launching of the Ship Longfellow Recessional Rudyard Kipling The Ladder of St. Augustine Longfellow The Chambered Nautilus O. W. Holmes


First and Second Grades Third and Fourth Grades Fifth and Sixth Grades Seventh and Eighth Grades Poor Richard's Sayings

GRADED Memory Selections



Where did you come from, baby dear? Out of the everywhere into the here. Where did you get your eyes so blue? Out of the sky as I came through.

What makes the light in them sparkle and spin? Some of the starry spikes left in. Where did you get that little tear? I found it waiting when I got here.

What makes your forehead so smooth and high? A soft hand stroked it as I went by. What makes your cheek like a warm, white rose? I saw something better than any one know.

Whence that three-corner'd smile of bliss? Three angels gave me at once a kiss. Where did you get this pearly ear? God spoke, and it came out to hear.

Where did you get those arms and hands? Love made itself into hooks and bands. Feet, whence did you come, you darling things? From the same box as the cherubs' wings.

How did they all come just to be you? God thought of me and so I grew. But how did you come to us, you dear? God thought of you, and so I am here.

George Macdonald.


In the heart of a seed, buried deep, so deep, A dear little plant lay fast asleep. "Wake," said the sunshine, "and creep to the light." "Wake," said the voice of the rain-drops bright. The little plant heard and rose to see What the wonderful outside world might be.



Sleep, baby, sleep! Thy father watches his sheep; Thy mother is shaking the dreamland tree, And down comes a little dream on thee. Sleep, baby, sleep!

Sleep, baby, sleep! The large stars are the sheep; The little stars are the lambs, I guess; And the gentle moon is the shepherdess. Sleep, baby, sleep!

Sleep, baby, sleep! Our Saviour loves His sheep; He is the Lamb of God on high, Who for our sakes came down to die. Sleep, baby, sleep!

E. Prentiss (from the German).


One, two, three, a bonny boat I see, A silver boat and all afloat upon a rosy sea. One, two, three, the riddle tell to me. The moon afloat is the bonny boat, the sunset is the sea.

Margaret Johnson.


Three little bugs in a basket, And hardly room for two; And one was yellow, and one was black, And one like me or you; The space was small, no doubt, for all, So what should the three bugs do?

Three little bugs in a basket, And hardly crumbs for two; And all were selfish in their hearts, The same as I or you. So the strong one said, "We will eat the bread, And that's what we will do!"

Three little bugs in a basket, And the beds but two could hold; And so they fell to quarreling— The white, the black, and the gold— And two of the bugs got under the rugs, And one was out in the cold.

He that was left in the basket, Without a crumb to chew, Or a thread to wrap himself withal, When the wind across him blew, Pulled one of the rugs from one of the bugs, And so the quarrel grew.

So there was war in the basket; Ah! pity 'tis, 'tis true! But he that was frozen and starved, at last A strength from his weakness drew, And pulled the rugs from both the bugs, And killed and ate them, too!

Now when bugs live in a basket, Though more than it well can hold, It seems to me they had better agree— The black, the white, and the gold— And share what comes of beds and crumbs, And leave no bug in the cold.

Alice Cary.


Whenever a little child is born, All night a soft wind rocks the corn, One more butter-cup wakes to the morn, Somewhere. One more rose-bud shy will unfold, One more grass-blade push through the mould, One more bird's song the air will hold, Somewhere.

Agnes L. Carter.


Sweet and low, sweet and low, Wind of the western sea, Low, low, breathe and blow, Wind of the western sea! Over the rolling waters go, Come from the dying moon, and blow, Blow him again to me; While my little one, while my pretty one, sleeps.

Sleep and rest, sleep and rest, Father will come to thee soon; Rest, rest, on mother's breast, Father will come to thee soon; Father will come to his babe in the nest, Silver sails all out of the west, Under the silver moon; Sleep, my little one, sleep, my pretty one, sleep.

Alfred Tennyson.


Sway to and fro in the twilight gray; This is the ferry for Shadowtown; It always sails at the end of the day, Just as the darkness closes down.

Rest little head, on my shoulder, so; A sleepy kiss is the only fare; Drifting away from the world, we go, Baby and I in the rocking-chair.

See where the fire-logs glow and spark, Glitter the lights of the shadowland, The raining drops on the window, hark! Are ripples lapping upon its strand.

There, where the mirror is glancing dim, A lake lies shimmering, cool and still. Blossoms are waving above its brim, Those over there on the window-sill.

Rock slow, more slow in the dusky light, Silently lower the anchor down: Dear little passenger, say "Good-night." We've reached the harbor of Shadowtown.



I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me, And what can be the use of him is more than I can see. He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head; And I see him jump before me when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow— Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow; For he sometimes shoots up taller like an India-rubber ball, And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play, And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way. He stays so close beside me, he's a coward, you can see; I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up, I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup; But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head, Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

Robert Louis Stevenson.


Just as morn was fading amid her misty rings, And every stocking was stuffed with childhood's precious things, Old Kris Kringle looked round and saw on the elm tree bough High hung, an oriole's nest, lonely and empty now.

"Quite like a stocking," he laughed, "hung up there in the tree, I didn't suppose the birds expected a visit from me." Then old Kris Kringle who loves a joke as well as the best, Dropped a handful of snowflakes into the oriole's empty nest.



The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea In a beautiful pea-green boat; They took some honey, and plenty of money Wrapped up in a five-pound note. The Owl looked up to the moon above, And sang to a small guitar, "O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love! What a beautiful Pussy you are— You are, What a beautiful Pussy you are!"

Pussy said to the owl, "You elegant fowl! How wonderfully sweet you sing! Oh, let us be married—too long we have tarried— But what shall we do for a ring?" They sailed away for a year and a day To the land where the Bong-tree grows, And there in a wood, a piggy-wig stood With a ring in the end of his nose— His nose, With a ring in the end of his nose.

"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling Your ring?" Said the piggy, "I will." So they took it away, and were married next day By the turkey who lives on the hill. They dined upon mince and slices of quince, Which they ate with a runcible spoon, And hand in hand on the edge of the sand They danced by the light of the moon— The moon, They danced by the light of the moon.

Edward Lear.


When to the flowers so beautiful the Father gave a name Back came a little blue-eyed one, all timidly it came; And, standing at the Father's feet and gazing in His face It said, in low and trembling tones and with a modest grace, "Dear God, the name Thou gavest me, alas, I have forgot." The Father kindly looked Him down and said, "Forget-me-not."



"To-whit! To-whit! To-whee! Will you listen to me? Who stole four eggs I laid, And the nice nest I made?"

"Not I," said the cow, "moo-oo! Such a thing I'd never do. I gave you a wisp of hay, But I did not take your nest away: Not I," said the cow, "moo-oo! Such a thing I'd never do."

"Bob-o-link! Bob-o-link! Now, what do you think? Who stole a nest away From the plum tree to-day?"

"Not I," said the dog, "bow-wow! I wouldn't be so mean, I vow. I gave some hairs the nest to make, But the nest I did not take. Not I," said the dog, "bow-wow! I wouldn't be so mean, I vow."

"Coo-oo! Coo-coo! Coo-coo! Let me speak a word or two: Who stole that pretty nest, From little Yellow-breast?"

"Not I," said the sheep; "oh, no, I would not treat a poor bird so; I gave wool the nest to line, But the nest was none of mine. Baa! Baa!" said the sheep; "oh no; I wouldn't treat a poor bird so."

"Caw! Caw!" cried the crow, "I should like to know What thief took away A bird's nest to-day."

"Cluck! Cluck!" said the hen, "Don't ask me again; Why, I haven't a chick Would do such a trick. We all gave her a feather, And she wove them together. I'd scorn to intrude On her and her brood. Cluck! Cluck!" said the hen, "Don't ask me again."

"Chirr-a-whirr! Chirr-a-whirr! All the birds make a stir. Let us find out his name, And all cry, 'For shame!'"

"I would not rob a bird!" Said little Mary Green, "I think I never heard Of anything so mean!"

"It's very cruel, too," Said little Alice Neal, "I wonder if he knew How sad the bird would feel."

A little boy hung down his head, And went and hid behind the bed: For he stole that pretty nest From little Yellow-Breast; And he felt so full of shame He did not like to tell his name.



Two little hands so soft and white, This is the left—this is the right. Five little fingers stand on each, So I can hold a plum or a peach. But if I should grow as old as you Lots of little things these hands can do.



O dandelion yellow as gold, What do you do all day? I just wait here in the tall green grass Till the children come to play. O dandelion yellow as gold, What do you do all night? I wait and wait till the cool dews fall And my hair grows long and white.

And what do you do when your hair is white And the children come to play? They take me up in their dimpled hands And blow my hair away.



A million little diamonds Twinkled on the trees; And all the little maidens said, "A jewel, if you please!"

But while they held their hands outstretched To catch the diamonds gay, A million little sunbeams came And stole them all away.

M. T. Butts.


The daisies white are nursery maids with frills upon their caps; And daisy buds are little babes they tend upon their laps. Sing "Heigh-ho!" while the winds sweep low, Both nurses and babies are nodding JUST SO.

The daisy babies never cry, the nurses never scold; They never crush the dainty frills about their cheeks of gold; But pure and white, in gay sunlight They're nid-nodding—pretty sight.

The daisies love the golden sun, upon the clear blue sky, He gazes kindly down on them and winks his jolly eye; While soft and low, all in a row, Both nurses and babies are nodding JUST SO.



There surely is a gold mine somewhere underneath the grass, For dandelions are popping out in every place you pass. But if you want to gather some you'd better not delay, For the gold will turn to silver soon and all will blow away.



There are three green eggs in a small brown pocket, And the breeze will swing and the gale will rock it, Till three little birds on the thin edge teeter, And our God be glad and our world be sweeter.

Edwin Markham.


Do thy duty, that is best, Leave unto the Lord the rest.

Whene'er a task is set for you, Don't idly sit and view it— Nor be content to wish it done; Begin at once and do it.

Beautiful hands are those that do Work that is earnest, brave and true, Moment by moment, the long day through.




There's no dew left on the daisies and clover, There's no rain left in heaven; I've said my "seven times" over and over, Seven times one are seven.

I am old, so old I can write a letter; My birthday lessons are done; The lambs play always, they know no better— They are only one times one.

O moon! in the night I have seen you sailing And shining so round and low; You were bright, ah bright! but your light is failing,— You are nothing now but a bow.

You moon, have you done something wrong in heaven, That God has hidden your face? I hope, if you have, you will soon be forgiven, And shine again in your place.

O velvet bee, you're a dusty fellow; You've powdered your legs with gold! O brave marshmary buds, rich and yellow, Give me your money to hold!

And show me your nest with the young ones in it,— I will not steal it away; I am old! you may trust me, linnet, linnet,— I am seven times one to-day!

Jean Ingelow.


God bless the little stockings all over the land to-night Hung in the choicest corners, in the glory of crimson light. The tiny scarlet stockings, with a hole in the heel and toe, Worn by the wonderful journeys that the darlings have to go. And Heaven pity the children, wherever their homes may be, Who wake at the first gray dawning, an empty stocking to see.



What does little birdie say In her nest at peep of day? "Let me fly," says little birdie, "Mother, let me fly away."

"Birdie, rest a little longer, Till the little wings are stronger." So she rests a little longer, Then she flies away.

What does little baby say, In her bed at peep of day? Baby says, like little birdie, "Let me rise and fly away."

"Baby, sleep a little longer, Till the little limbs are stronger. If she sleeps a little longer, Baby, too, shall fly away."

Alfred Tennyson.


Suppose, my little lady, Your doll should break her head; Could you make it whole by crying Till your eyes and nose are red?

And wouldn't it be pleasanter To treat it as a joke, And say you're glad 'twas Dolly's, And not your head, that broke?

Suppose you're dressed for walking, And the rain comes pouring down; Will it clear off any sooner Because you scold and frown?

And wouldn't it be nicer For you to smile than pout, And so make sunshine in the house When there is none without?

Suppose your task, my little man, Is very hard to get; Will it make it any easier For you to sit and fret?

And wouldn't it be wiser, Than waiting like a dunce, To go to work in earnest, And learn the thing at once?

Phoebe Cory.


What does the daisy see In the breezy meadows tossing? It sees the wide blue fields o'er head And the little cloud flocks crossing.

What does the daisy see Round the sunny meadows glancing? It sees the butterflies' chase And the filmy gnats at their dancing.

What does the daisy see Down in the grassy thickets? The grasshoppers green and brown, And the shining, coal-black crickets.

It sees the bobolink's nest, That no one else can discover, And the brooding mother-bird With the floating grass above her.



Have you ever heard the wind go "Yoooooo"? 'Tis a pitiful sound to hear; It seems to chill you through and through With a strange and speechless fear. 'Tis the voice of the wind that broods outside When folks should be asleep, And many and many's the time I've cried To the darkness brooding far and wide Over the land and the deep: "Whom do you want, O lonely night, That you wail the long hours through?" And the night would say in its ghostly way: "Yoooooo! Yoooooooooo! Yoooooooooo!"

My mother told me long ago When I was a little lad That when the night went wailing so, Somebody had been bad; And then when I was snug in bed, Whither I had been sent, With the blankets pulled up round my head, I'd think of what my mother said, And wonder what boy she meant. And, "Who's been bad to-day?" I'd ask Of the wind that hoarsely blew, And the voice would say in its meaningful way: "Yoooooo! Yoooooooooo! Yoooooooooo!"

That this was true, I must allow— You'll not believe it though, Yes, though I'm quite a model now, I was not always so. And if you doubt what things I say, Suppose you make the test; Suppose that when you've been bad some day, And up to bed you're sent away From mother and the rest— Suppose you ask, "Who has been bad?" And then you'll hear what's true; For the wind will moan in its ruefulest tone: "Yoooooo! Yoooooooooo! Yoooooooooo!"

Eugene Field.


Little white snowdrop, I pray you arise: Bright yellow crocus, come, open your eyes: Sweet little violets hid from the cold, Put on your mantles of purple and gold. Daffodils, daffodils, say, do you hear? Summer is coming and springtime is here.



Suppose the little cowslip Should hang its golden cup, And say, "I'm such a tiny flower, I'd better not grow up;" How many a weary traveler Would miss its fragrant smell, And many a little child would grieve To lose it from the dell.

Suppose the little breezes, Upon a summer's day, Should think themselves too small To cool the traveler on his way; Who would not miss the smallest And softest ones that blow, And think they made a great mistake, If they were talking so?

Suppose the little dewdrop Upon the grass should say, "What can a little dewdrop do? I'd better roll away." The blade on which it rested, Before the day was done, Without a drop to moisten it, Would wither in the sun.

How many deeds of kindness A little child can do, Although it has but little strength, And little wisdom, too! It wants a loving spirit, Much more than strength, to prove How many things a child may do For others by its love.



"Come, little leaves," said the wind one day; "Come over the meadows with me, and play, Put on your dresses of red and gold, Summer is gone and the days grow cold."

Soon the leaves heard the wind's loud call, Down they fell fluttering, one and all. Over the brown fields they danced and flew, Singing the soft little songs they knew.

Dancing and flying, the little leaves went; Winter had called them, and they were content. Soon fast asleep in their earthy beds, The snow laid a white blanket over their heads.



"If I were a sunbeam, I know what I'd do: I would seek white lilies Rainy woodlands through: I would steal among them, Softest light I'd shed, Until every lily Raised its drooping head.

"If I were a sunbeam, I know where I'd go: Into lowliest hovels, Dark with want and woe: Till sad hearts looked upward, I would shine and shine; Then they'd think of heaven, Their sweet home and mine."

Art thou not a sunbeam, Child whose life is glad With an inner radiance Sunshine never had? Oh, as God has blessed thee, Scatter rays divine! For there is no sunbeam But must die, or shine.

Lucy Larcom.


A bumble bee, yellow as gold Sat perched on a red-clover top, When a grasshopper, wiry and old, Came along with a skip and a hop. "Good morrow" cried he, "Mr. Bumble Bee, You seem to have come to stop."

"We people that work," said the bee with a jerk, "Find a benefit sometimes in stopping, Only insects like you, who have nothing to do Can keep perpetually hopping." The grasshopper paused on his way And thoughtfully hunched up his knees: "Why trouble this sunshiny day," Quoth he, "with reflections like these? I follow the trade for which I was made We all can't be wise bumble-bees; There's a time to be sad and a time to be glad, A time for both working and stopping, For men to make money, for you to make honey, And for me to keep constantly hopping."

Caroline Leslie.


I once had a sweet little doll, dears, The prettiest doll in the world; Her cheeks were so red and so white, dears, And her hair was so charmingly curled: But I lost my poor little doll, dears, As I played on the heath one day, And I cried for her more than a week, dears, And I never could find where she lay.

I found my poor little doll, dears, As I played on the heath one day; Folks say she is terribly changed, dears, For her paint is all washed away; And her arms trodden off by the cows, dears, And her hair not the least bit curled: Yet for old time's sake, she is still to me The prettiest doll in the world.

Charles Kingsley.


In winter I get up at night And dress by yellow candle-light. In summer, quite the other way, I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see The birds still hopping on the tree, Or hear the grown-up people's feet Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you, When all the sky is clear and blue, And I should like so much to play, To have to go to bed by day?

Robert Louis Stevenson.


We go on our walk together— Baby and dog and I— Three little merry companions, 'Neath any sort of sky: Blue as our baby's eyes are, Gray like our old dog's tail; Be it windy or cloudy or stormy, Our courage will never fail.

Baby's a little lady; Dog is a gentleman brave; If he had two legs as you have, He'd kneel to her like a slave; As it is, he loves and protects her, As dog and gentleman can. I'd rather be a kind doggie, I think, than a cruel man.

Dinah Mulock-Craik.


I saw you toss the kites on high, And blow the birds about the sky; And all around I heard you pass Like ladies' skirts across the grass— O wind, a-blowing all day long, O wind, that sings so loud a song!

I saw the different things you did, But always you yourself you hid. I felt you push, I heard you call, I could not see yourself at all— O wind, a-blowing all day long, O wind, that sings so loud a song!

O you, that are so strong and cold, O blower, are you young or old? Are you a beast of field and tree, Or just a stronger child than me? O wind, a-blowing all day long, O wind, that sings so loud a song!

Robert Louis Stevenson.

Hearts like doors can open with ease To very, very little keys; And ne'er forget that they are these: "I thank you, sir," and "If you please."



Grandma told me all about it, Told me so I couldn't doubt it, How she danced, my grandma danced; long ago— How she held her pretty head, How her dainty skirt she spread, How she slowly leaned and rose—long ago.

Grandma's hair was bright and sunny, Dimpled cheeks, too, oh, how funny! Really quite a pretty girl—long ago. Bless her! why, she wears a cap, Grandma does and takes a nap Every single day: and yet Grandma danced the minuet—long ago.

"Modern ways are quite alarming," Grandma says, "but boys were charming" (Girls and boys she means of course) "long ago." Brave but modest, grandly shy; She would like to have us try Just to feel like those who met In the graceful minuet—long ago.

Mary Mapes Dodge.

[1] From "Along the Way," copyright 1879 by Mary Mapes Dodge, and published by Chas. Scribner's Sons.


Wynken, Blynken and Nod one night Sailed off in a wooden shoe, Sailed on a river of crystal light Into a sea of dew. "Where are you going?" "What do you wish?" The old Moon asked the three. "We come to fish for the herring fish That live in the beautiful sea, Nets of silver and gold have we," Said Wynken, Blynken and Nod.

The old Moon laughed and sang a song As they rocked in the wooden shoe, And the wind that sped them all night long Ruffled the waves of dew. The little stars were the herring fish That lived in that beautiful sea,— "Now cast your nets whenever you wish, Never afeard are we!" So cried the stars to the fishermen three— Wynken, Blynken and Nod.

All night long their nets they threw To the stars in the twinkling foam. Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe Bringing the fishermen home. 'Twas all so pretty a sail it seemed As if it could not be, And some folks thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed Of sailing that beautiful sea. But I can name you the fishermen three— Wynken, Blynken and Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes And Nod is a little head, And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies Is a wee one's trundle bed. So shut your eyes while mother sings Of wonderful sights that be, And you shall see the beautiful things As you rock on the misty sea,— Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three— Wynken, Blynken and Nod.

Eugene Field.

[2] From "Love Songs of Childhood." Copyright, 1894, by Eugene Field. Reprinted by permission of the publishers, Chas. Scribner's Sons.


The spider wears a plain brown dress, And she is a steady spinner; To see her, quiet as a mouse, Going about her silver house, You would never, never, never guess The way she gets her dinner.

She looks as if no thought of ill In all her life had stirred her; But while she moves with careful tread, And while she spins her silken thread, She is planning, planning, planning still The way to do some murder.

My child, who reads this simple lay, With eyes down-dropt and tender, Remember the old proverb says That pretty is which pretty does, And that worth does not go nor stay For poverty nor splendor.

'Tis not the house, and not the dress, That makes the saint or sinner. To see the spider sit and spin, Shut with her walls of silver in, You would never, never, never guess The way she gets her dinner.

Alice Cary.


Over the cradle the mother hung, Softly crooning a slumber song: And these were the simple words she sung All the evening long.

"Cheek or chin, or knuckle or knee Where shall the baby's dimple be? Where shall the angel's finger rest When he comes down to the baby's nest? Where shall the angel's touch remain When he awakens my babe again?"

Still as she bent and sang so low, A murmur into her music broke: And she paused to hear, for she could but know The baby's angel spoke.

"Cheek or chin, or knuckle or knee, Where shall the baby's dimple be? Where shall my finger fall and rest When I come down to the baby's nest? Where shall my finger touch remain When I awaken your babe again?"

Silent the mother sat and dwelt Long in the sweet delay of choice, And then by her baby's side she knelt, And sang with a pleasant voice:

"Not on the limb, O angel dear! For the charm with its youth will disappear; Not on the cheek shall the dimple be, For the harboring smile will fade and flee; But touch thou the chin with an impress deep, And my baby the angel's seal shall keep."

J. G. Holland.

[3] From "The Complete Poetical Writings of J. G. Holland," copyright 1879-1881 by Charles Scribner's Sons.



Down in a field one day in June, the flowers all bloomed together, Save one who tried to hide herself, and drooped that pleasant weather. A robin who had flown too high, and felt a little lazy, Was resting near this buttercup who wished she was a daisy.

For daisies grow so slim and tall! She always had a passion For wearing frills about her neck in just the daisies' fashion. And buttercups must always be the same old tiresome color; While daisies dress in gold and white, although their gold is duller.

"Dear Robin," said the sad young flower, "Perhaps you'd not mind trying To find a nice white frill for me, some day when you are flying." "You silly thing!" the Robin said, "I think you must be crazy; I'd rather be my honest self, than any made-up daisy.

"You're nicer in your own bright gown; the little children love you. Be the best buttercup you can, and think no flower above you. Though swallows leave me out of sight, we'd better keep our places: Perhaps the world would all go wrong with one too many daisies. Look bravely up into the sky and be content with knowing That God wished for a buttercup, just here where you are growing."

Sarah Orne Jewett.


There are many flags in many lands, There are flags of every hue, But there is no flag in any land Like our own Red, White and Blue. I know where the prettiest colors are, I'm sure, if I only knew How to get them here, I could make a flag Of glorious Red, White and Blue.

I would cut a piece from the evening sky Where the stars were shining through, And use it just as it was on high For my stars and field of Blue. Then I want a part of a fleecy cloud And some red from a rainbow bright, And I'd put them together, side by side For my stripes of Red and White.

Then "Hurrah for the Flag!" our country's flag, Its stripes and white stars too; There is no flag in any land Like our own "Red, White and Blue."



The year's at the spring, And day's at the morn; Morning's at seven; The hill-side's dew-pearled; The lark's on the wing; The snail's on the thorn: God's in his heaven— All's right with the world.

Robert Browning.


They drive home the cows from the pasture, Up through the long shady lane, Where the quail whistles loud in the wheat-fields, That are yellow with ripening grain. They find, in the thick, waving grasses, Where the scarlet-lipped strawberry grows. They gather the earliest snowdrops, And the first crimson buds of the rose.

They toss the new hay in the meadow; They gather the elder-bloom white; They find where the dusky grapes purple In the soft-tinted October light. They know where the apples hang ripest, And are sweeter than Italy's wines; They know where the fruit hangs the thickest On the long, thorny blackberry-vines.

They gather the delicate sea-weeds, And build tiny castles of sand; They pick up the beautiful sea-shells— Fairy barks that have drifted to land. They wave from the tall, rocking tree-tops Where the oriole's hammock-nest swings; And at night-time are folded in slumber By a song that a fond mother sings.

Those who toil bravely are strongest; The humble and poor become great; And so from these brown-handed children Shall grow mighty rulers of state. The pen of the author and statesman— The noble and wise of the land— The sword, and the chisel, and palette, Shall be held in the little brown hand.

M. H. Krout.


Oh, I wish the Winter would go, And I wish the Summer would come, Then the big brown farmers will hoe, And the little brown bee will hum.

Then the robin his fife will trill, And the wood-piper beat his drum; And out of their tents on the hill The little green troops will come.

Then around and over the trees With a flutter and flirt we'll go, A rollicking, frolicking breeze, And away with a frisk ho! ho!



I come from haunts of coot and hern, I make a sudden sally, And sparkle out among the fern, To bicker down the valley.

By thirty hills I hurry down, Or slip between the ridges, By twenty thorps, a little town, And half a hundred bridges.

Till last by Philip's farm I flow To join the brimming river; For men may come, and men may go, But I go on forever.

I chatter over stony ways, In little sharps and trebles; I bubble into eddying bays; I babble on the pebbles.

With many a curve my bank I fret By many a field and fallow, And many a fairy foreland set With willow-weed and mallow.

I chatter, chatter as I flow To join the brimming river, For men may come, and men may go, But I go on forever.

I wind about, and in and out, With here a blossom sailing, And here and there a lusty trout, And here and there a grayling,

And here and there a foamy flake Upon me as I travel, With many a silvery waterbreak Above the golden gravel,

And draw them all along and flow To join the brimming river, For men may come, and men may go, But I go on forever.

I steal by lawns and grassy plots, I slide by hazel covers, I move the sweet forget-me-nots That grow for happy lovers.

I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance, Among my skimming swallows; I make the netted sunbeam dance Against my sandy shallows.

I murmur under moon and stars In brambly wildernesses; I linger by my shingly bars; I loiter round my cresses;

And out again I curve and flow To join the brimming river, For men may come and men may go But I go on forever.



Great, wide, beautiful, wonderful World, With the wonderful water around you curled, And the wonderful grass upon your breast— World, you are beautifully dressed.

The wonderful air is over me, And the wonderful wind is shaking the tree, It walks on the water, and whirls the mills, And talks to itself on the tops of the hills.

You, friendly Earth, how far do you go, With the wheatfields that nod and the rivers that flow, With cities and gardens, and cliffs, and isles, And people upon you for thousands of miles?

Ah, you are so great, and I am so small, I tremble to think of you, World, at all; And yet, when I said my prayers, to-day, A whisper inside me seemed to say, "You are more than the earth, though you are such a dot: You can love and think, and the Earth can not!"

W. B. Rands.


If you've tried and have not won, Never stop for crying; All that's great and good is done Just by patient trying.

Though young birds, in flying, fall, Still their wings grow stronger; And the next time they can keep Up a little longer.

Though the sturdy oak has known Many a blast that bowed her, She has risen again, and grown Loftier and prouder.

If by easy work you beat, Who the more will prize you? Gaining victory from defeat, That's the test that tries you!

Phoebe Cary.


—A simple child, That lightly draws its breath, And feels its life in every limb, What should it know of death?

I met a little cottage girl: She was eight years old, she said; Her hair was thick with many a curl That clustered round her head.

She had a rustic, woodland air, And she was wildly clad: Her eyes were fair, and very fair— Her beauty made me glad.

"Sisters and brothers, little Maid, How many may you be?" "How many? Seven in all," she said, And wondering looked at me.

"And where are they? I pray you tell." She answered, "Seven are we; And two of us at Conway dwell, And two are gone to sea.

"Two of us in the churchyard lie, My sister and my brother; And in the churchyard cottage, I Dwell near them with my mother."

"You say that two at Conway dwell, And two are gone to sea, Yet ye are seven! I pray you tell, Sweet Maid, how this may be."

Then did the little maid reply, "Seven boys and girls are we; Two of us in the churchyard lie, Beneath the churchyard tree."

"You run about, my little Maid, Your limbs they are alive; If two are in the churchyard laid Then ye are only five."

"Their graves are green, they may be seen," The little Maid replied, "Twelve steps or more from my mother's door, And they are side by side.

"My stockings there I often knit, My kerchief there I hem; And there upon the ground I sit And sing a song to them.

"And often after sunset, sir, When it is light and fair, I take my little porringer, And eat my supper there.

"The first that died was sister Jane; In bed she moaning lay, Till God released her of her pain; And then she went away.

"So in the churchyard she was laid; And when the grass was dry, Together round her grave we played, My brother John and I.

"And when the ground was white with snow And I could run and slide, My brother John was forced to go, And he lies by her side."

"How many are you, then," said I, "If they two are in heaven?" Quick was the little Maid's reply, "O master! we are seven."

"But they are dead; those two are dead! Their spirits are in heaven!" 'Twas throwing words away: for still The little Maid would have her will, And said, "Nay, we are seven!"



When I was sick and lay abed, I had two pillows at my head, And all my toys beside me lay To keep me happy all the day.

And sometimes for an hour or so I watched my leaden soldiers go, With different uniforms and drills, Among the bedclothes, through the hills;

And sometimes sent my ships in fleets All up and down among the sheets; Or brought my trees and houses out, And planted cities all about.

I was the giant great and still, That sits upon the pillow-hill, And sees before him, dale and plain, The pleasant land of counterpane.

Robert Louis Stevenson.


There's a merry brown thrush sitting up in the tree, "He's singing to me! He's singing to me!" And what does he say, little girl, little boy? "Oh, the world's running over with joy! Don't you hear? Don't you see? Hush! Look! In my tree, I'm as happy as happy can be!"

And the brown thrush keeps singing, "A nest do you see, And five eggs hid by me in the juniper tree? Don't meddle! Don't touch! little girl, little boy, Or the world will lose some of its joy! Now I'm glad! Now I'm free! And I always shall be, If you never bring sorrow to me."

So the merry brown thrush sings away in the tree, To you and to me, to you and to me: And he sings all the day, little girl, little boy, "Oh, the world's running over with joy! But long it won't be, Don't you know? don't you see? Unless we are as good as can be!"

Lucy Larcom.


There is a boat upon a sea; It never stops for you or me. The sea is blue, the boat is white; It sails through winter and summer night.

The swarthy child in India land Points to the prow with eager hand; The little Lapland babies cry For the silver boat a-sailing by.

It fears no gale, it fears no wreck; It never meets a change or check Through weather fine or weather wild. The oldest saw it when a child.

Upon another sea below Full many vessels come and go; Upon the swaying, swinging tide Into the distant worlds they ride.

And strange to tell, the sea below, Where countless vessels come and go, Obeys the little boat on high Through all the centuries sailing by.



Bright little dandelion, Downy, yellow face, Peeping up among the grass With such gentle grace; Minding not the April wind Blowing rude and cold; Brave little dandelion, With a heart of gold.

Meek little dandelion, Changing into curls At the magic touch of these Merry boys and girls. When they pinch thy dainty throat, Strip thy dress of green, On thy soft and gentle face Not a cloud is seen.

Poor little dandelion, Now all gone to seed, Scattered roughly by the wind Like a common weed. Thou hast lived thy little life Smiling every day; Who could do a better thing In a better way?



The day is ending, The night is descending; The marsh is frozen, The river dead.

Through clouds like ashes, The red sun flashes On village windows That glimmer red.

The snow recommences; The buried fences Mark no longer The road o'er the plain;

While through the meadows, Like fearful shadows, Slowly passes A funeral train.

The bell is pealing, And every feeling Within me responds To the dismal knell.

Shadows are trailing, My heart is bewailing And tolling within Like a funeral bell.



Oh, tell me, little children, have you seen her— The tiny maid from Norway, Nikolina? Oh, her eyes are blue as corn-flowers 'mid the corn, And her cheeks are rosy red as skies of morn.

Oh, buy the baby's blossoms if you meet her, And stay with gentle looks and words to greet her; She'll gaze at you and smile and clasp your hand, But not one word of yours can understand.

"Nikolina!" Swift she turns if any call her, As she stands among the poppies, hardly taller; Breaking off their flaming scarlet cups for you, With spikes of slender larkspur, brightly blue.

In her little garden many a flower is growing— Red, gold and purple, in the soft wind blowing; But the child that stands amid the blossoms gay Is sweeter, quainter, brighter, lovelier even than they.

Oh, tell me, little children, have you seen her— This baby girl from Norway, Nikolina? Slowly she's learning English words to try And thank you if her flowers you buy.

Celia Thaxter.

[4] Copyrighted by Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Reprinted by permission of the publishers.


"Lock the dairy door!" Oh, hark, the cock is crowing proudly! "Lock the dairy door!" and all the hens are cackling loudly. "Chickle, chackle, chee!" they cry; "we haven't got the key," they cry, "Chickle, chackle, chee! Oh, dear! wherever can it be?" they cry.

Up and down the garden walks where all the flowers are blowing, Out about the golden fields where tall the wheat is growing, Through the barn and up the road, they cackle and they clatter; Cry the children, "Hear the hens! Why, what can be the matter?"

What scraping and what scratching, what bristling and what hustling, The cock stands on the fence, the wind his ruddy plumage rustling. Like a soldier grand he stands, and like a trumpet glorious, Sounds his shout both far and near, imperious and victorious.

But to the Partlets down below who cannot find the key, they hear, "Lock the dairy door;" that's all his challenge says to them, my dear. Why they had it, how they lost it, must remain a mystery; I that tell you, never heard the first part of the history.

But if you listen, dear, next time the cock crows proudly "Lock the dairy door!" you'll hear him tell the biddies loudly: "Chickle, chackle, chee!" they cry; "we haven't got the key!" they cry; "Chickle, chackle, chee! Oh, dear! wherever can it be?" they cry.

Celia Thaxter.

[5] Copyrighted by Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Reprinted by permission of the publishers.


Robin comes with early spring, Dressed up in his very best; Very pretty is his suit— Brownish coat and reddish vest.

Robin takes my cherry tree For his very, very own; Never asking if he may— There he makes his dainty home.

Robin eats my cherries, too, In an open, shameless way; Feeds his wife and babies three— Giving only songs for pay.

Bolder thief than robin is Would be hard, indeed, to find; But he sings so sweet a tune That I really do not mind!

"Cheer up! Cheer up!" Robin sings; "Cheer up! Cheer up!" all day long; Shine or shower, all the same, "Cheer up! Cheer up!" is his song.

Eating, singing, Robin lives There within my cherry tree; When I call him "robber!" "thief!" Back he flings a song to me!

"May I have some cherries, please?" Robin never thinks to say; Yet, who has the heart—have you? Saucy Rob to drive away?

Sarah E. Sprague.

[6] All rights reserved.



1. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.

3. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

4. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me, Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.

5. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.



The Mountain and the Squirrel Had a quarrel, And the former called the latter "Little Prig."

Bun replied: "You are doubtless very big; But all sorts of things and weather Must be taken in together, To make up a year, And a sphere;

And I think it no disgrace To occupy my place. If I'm not so large as you, You're not so small as I, And not half so spry.

I'll not deny you make A very pretty squirrel track. Talents differ; all is well and wisely put: If I cannot carry forests on my back, Neither can you crack a nut."

Ralph Waldo Emerson.


Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!) Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace, And saw, within the moonlight in his room, Making it rich and like a lily in bloom, An angel writing in a book of gold; Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold, And to the presence in the room he said, "What writest thou?" The vision raised its head, And, with a look made of all sweet accord, Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord." "And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so," Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low, But cheerly still; and said, "I pray thee, then, Write me as one who loves his fellow-men."

The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night It came again, with a great wakening light, And showed the names whom love of God had blest; And, lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.

James Henry Leigh Hunt.


The splendor falls on castle walls And snowy summits old in story; The long light shakes across the lakes, And the wild cataract leaps in glory. Blow, bugle, blow! set the wild echoes flying; Blow, bugle; answer, echoes—dying, dying, dying!

O hark, O hear! how thin and clear, And thinner, clearer, farther going! O sweet and far, from cliff and scar, The horns of Elfland faintly blowing! Blow! let us hear the purple glens replying; Blow, bugle; answer, echoes—dying, dying, dying!

O love! they die in yon rich sky: They faint on hill, or field or river; Our echoes roll from soul to soul, And grow forever and forever. Blow, bugle, blow! set the wild echoes flying; And answer, echoes, answer—dying, dying, dying.



The little toy dog is covered with dust, But sturdy and stanch he stands; And the little toy soldier is red with rust, And his musket moulds in his hands. Time was when the little toy dog was new, And the soldier was passing fair; And that was the time when our Little Boy Blue Kissed them and put them there.

"Now, don't you go till I come," he said; "And don't you make any noise!" So toddling off to his trundle-bed He dreamed of the pretty toys; And as he was dreaming, an angel's song Awakened our Little Boy Blue— Oh, the years are many, the years are long, But the little toy friends are true.

Ay, faithful to Little Boy Blue they stand, Each in the same old place, Awaiting the touch of a little hand, The smile of a little face. And they wonder, as waiting these long years through, In the dust of that little chair, What has become of our Little Boy Blue Since he kissed them and put them there.

Eugene Field.

[7] From "Love Songs of Childhood." Copyright, 1894, by Eugene Field. Reprinted by permission of the publishers, Chas. Scribner's Sons.


All day long they come and go— Pittypat and Tippytoe; Footprints up and down the hall; Playthings scattered on the floor, Finger marks along the wall, Tell-tale smudges on the door;— By these presents you shall know Pittypat and Tippytoe.

How they riot at their play; And a dozen times a day In they troop demanding bread— Only buttered bread will do, And that butter must be spread Inches thick, with sugar, too; And I never can say "No, Pittypat and Tippytoe."

Sometimes there are griefs to soothe, Sometimes ruffled brows to smooth, For (I much regret to say) Tippytoe and Pittypat Sometimes interrupt their play With an internecine spat; Fie, for shame; to quarrel so— Pittypat and Tippytoe.

Oh, the thousand worrying things Every day recurrent brings; Hands to scrub and hair to brush, Search for playthings gone amiss, Many a wee complaint to hush, Many a little bump to kiss; Life seems one vain fleeting show To Pittypat and Tippytoe.

And when day is at an end There are little duds to mend; Little frocks are strangely torn, Little shoes great holes reveal, Little hose but one day worn, Rudely yawn at toe and heel; Who but you could work such woe, Pittypat and Tippytoe?

But when comes this thought to me "Some there are who childless be," Stealing to their little beds, With a love I cannot speak, Tenderly I stroke their heads— Fondly kiss each velvet cheek. God help those who do not know A Pittypat and Tippytoe.

On the floor and down the hall, Rudely smutched upon the wall, There are proofs of every kind Of the havoc they have wrought; And upon my heart you'd find Just such trade marks, if you sought; Oh, how glad I am 'tis so, Pittypat and Tippytoe.

Eugene Field.

[8] From "Love Songs of Childhood." Copyright, 1894, by Eugene Field. Reprinted by permission of the publishers, Chas. Scribner's & Sons.


On the wide lawn the snow lay deep, Ridged o'er with many a drifty heap; The wind that through the pine trees sung The naked elm-boughs tossed and swung; While through the window, frosty-starred, Against the sunset purple barr'd, We saw the somber crow flit by, The hawks gray flock along the sky, The crested blue-jay flitting swift, The squirrel poising on the drift, Erect, alert, his broad gray tail, Set to the north wind like a sail.

It came to pass, our little lass, With flattened face against the glass, And eyes in which the tender dew Of pity shone, stood gazing through The narrow space her rosy lips Had melted from the frost's eclipse. "Oh, see!" she cried, "The poor blue-jays! What is it that the black crow says? The squirrel lifts his little legs Because he has no hands, and begs; He's asking for nuts, I know; May I not feed them on the snow?"

Half lost within her boots, her head Warm-sheltered in her hood of red, Her plaid skirt close about her drawn, She floundered down the wintry lawn; Now struggling through the misty veil Blown round her by the shrieking gale; Now sinking in a drift so low Her scarlet hood could scarcely show Its dash of color on the snow.

She dropped for bird and beast forlorn Her little store of nuts and corn, And thus her timid guests bespoke: "Come, squirrel, from your hollow oak— Come, black old crow; come, poor blue-jay, Before your supper's blown away! Don't be afraid, we all are good! And I'm mamma's Red Riding-Hood!"

O Thou whose care is over all, Who heedest even the sparrow's fall, Keep in the little maiden's breast The pity, which is now its guest! Let not her cultured years make less The childhood charm of tenderness. But let her feel as well as know, Nor harder with her polish grow! Unmoved by sentimental grief That wails along some printed leaf, But, prompt with kindly word and deed To own the claims of all who need, Let the grown woman's self make good The promise of Red Riding-Hood!


[9] Copyrighted by Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Reprinted by permission of the publishers.


Across the lonely beach we flit, One little sandpiper and I, And fast I gather, bit by bit, The scattered driftwood, bleached and dry. The wild waves reach their hands for it, The wild wind raves, the tide runs high, As up and down the beach we flit, One little sandpiper and I.

I watch him as he skims along, Uttering his sweet and mournful cry; He starts not at my fitful song, Nor flash of fluttering drapery. He has no thought of any wrong, He scans me with a fearless eye; Stanch friends are we, well-tried and strong, The little sandpiper and I.

Comrade, where wilt thou be to-night, When the loosed storm breaks furiously? My driftwood fire will burn so bright! To what warm shelter can'st thou fly? I do not fear for thee, though wroth The tempest rushes through the sky; For are we not God's children, both, Thou, little sandpiper, and I?

Celia Thaxter.

[10] Copyrighted by Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Reprinted by permission of the publishers.


Still sits the school-house by the road, A ragged beggar sleeping; Around it still the sumachs grow And blackberry vines are creeping.

Within, the master's desk is seen, Deep-scarred by raps official; The warping floor, the battered seats, The jack-knife's carved initial.

The charcoal frescoes on the wall, Its door's worn sill, betraying The feet that, creeping slow to school, Went storming out to playing.

Long years ago a winter's sun Shone over it at setting; Lit up its western window-panes, And low eaves' icy fretting.

It touched the tangled golden curls, And brown eyes full of grieving Of one who still her steps delayed, When all the school were leaving.

For near her stood the little boy Her childish favor singled; His cap pulled low upon his face Where pride and shame were mingled.

Pushing with restless feet the snow To right, to left, he lingered— As restlessly her tiny hands The blue-checked apron fingered.

He saw her lift her eyes; he felt The soft hand's light caressing, And heard the tremble of her voice, As if a fault confessing.

"I'm sorry that I spelt the word, I hate to go above you, Because"—the brown eyes lower fell— "Because, you see, I love you."

Still memory to a gray-haired man That sweet child-face is showing. Dear girl! the grasses on her grave Have forty years been growing.

He lives to learn in life's hard school How few who pass above him Lament their triumph and his loss, Like her—because they love him.


[11] Copyrighted by Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Reprinted by permission of the publishers.


Little children, you must seek Rather to be good than wise, For the thoughts you do not speak Shine out in your cheeks and eyes.

If you think that you can be Cross and cruel and look fair, Let me tell you how to see You are quite mistaken there.

Go and stand before the glass, And some ugly thought contrive, And my word will come to pass Just as sure as you're alive!

What you have and what you lack, All the same as what you wear, You will see reflected back; So, my little folks, take care!

And not only in the glass Will your secrets come to view; All beholders, as they pass, Will perceive and know them, too.

Goodness shows in blushes bright, Or in eyelids dropping down, Like a violet from the light; Badness in a sneer or frown.

Out of sight, my boys and girls, Every root of beauty starts; So think less about your curls, More about your minds and hearts.

Cherish what is good, and drive Evil thoughts and feelings far; For, as sure as you're alive, You will show for what you are.

Alice Cary.


There! little girl; don't cry! They have broken your doll, I know; And your tea-set blue, And your play-house, too, Are things of the long ago; But childish troubles will soon pass by. There! little girl; don't cry!

There! little girl; don't cry! They have broken your slate, I know; And the glad wild ways Of your school-girl days Are things of the long ago; But life and love will soon come by. There! little girl; don't cry!

There! little girl; don't cry! They have broken your heart, I know; And the rainbow gleams Of your youthful dreams Are things of the long ago; But heaven holds all for which you sigh. There! little girl; don't cry!

James Whitcomb Riley.

[12] From "Afterwhiles," copyrighted 1887, by Bowen-Merrill Co. Must not be reprinted without permission from the publishers.



Under a spreading chestnut-tree The village smithy stands; The smith, a mighty man is he, With large and sinewy hands; And the muscles of his brawny arms Are strong as iron bands.

His hair is crisp, and black, and long; His face is like the tan; His brow is wet with honest sweat; He earns whate'er he can, And looks the whole world in the face, For he owes not any man.

Week in, week out, from morn to night, You can hear his bellows blow; You can hear him swing his heavy sledge, With measured beat and slow, Like a sexton ringing the village bell When the evening sun is low.

And children, coming home from school, Look in at the open door; They love to see the flaming forge, And hear the bellows roar, And catch the burning sparks that fly Like chaff from a threshing-floor.

He goes on Sunday to the church, And sits among his boys; He hears the parson pray and preach, He hears his daughter's voice Singing in the village choir, And it makes his heart rejoice.

It sounds to him like her mother's voice, Singing in Paradise! He needs must think of her once more— How in the grave she lies; And, with his hard, rough hand, he wipes A tear out of his eyes.

Toiling, rejoicing, sorrowing, Onward through life he goes; Each morning sees some task begin, Each evening sees its close; Something attempted, something done, Has earned a night's repose.

Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend, For the lesson thou hast taught! Thus at the flaming forge of life, Our fortunes must be wrought; Thus, on its sounding anvil, shaped Each burning deed and thought!



Breathes there a man with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said, This is my own, my native land! Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd, As home his footsteps he hath turn'd, From wandering on a foreign strand! If such there breathe, go, mark him well; For him no Minstrel raptures swell; High though his titles, proud his name, Boundless his wealth as wish can claim; Despite those titles, power, and pelf, The wretch, concenter'd all in self, Living, shall forfeit fair renown, And doubly dying, shall go down To the vile dust, from whence he sprung, Unwept, unhonor'd, and unsung.



I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they Outdid the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not but be gay, In such a jocund company: I gazed—and gazed—but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.



They say that God lives very high: But if you look above the pines You cannot see God. And why?

And if you dig down in the mines You never see him in the gold, Though, from him, all that's glory shines.

God is so good, he wears a fold Of heaven and earth across his face— Like secrets kept for love untold.

But still I feel that his embrace Slides down by thrills, through all things made, Through sight and sound of every place:

As if my tender mother laid On my shut lids her kisses' pressure, Half waking me at night; and said, "Who kissed you through the dark, dear guesser?"

Mrs. Browning.


Am I a king that I should call my own This splendid ebon throne? Or by what reason or what right divine, Can I proclaim it mine?

Only, perhaps, by right divine of song It may to me belong: Only because the spreading chestnut tree Of old was sung by me.

Well I remember it in all its prime, When in the summer time The affluent foliage of its branches made A cavern of cool shade.

There by the blacksmith's forge, beside the street, Its blossoms white and sweet Enticed the bees, until it seemed alive, And murmured like a hive.

And when the winds of autumn, with a shout, Tossed its great arms about, The shining chestnuts, bursting from the sheath, Dropped to the ground beneath.

And now some fragments of its branches bare, Shaped as a stately chair, Have, by a hearth-stone found a home at last, And whisper of the past.

The Danish king could not in all his pride Repel the ocean tide. But, seated in this chair, I can in rhyme Roll back the tide of time.

I see again, as one in vision sees, The blossoms and the bees, And hear the children's voices call, And the brown chestnuts fall.

I see the smithy with its fires aglow, I hear the bellows blow, And the shrill hammers on the anvil beat The iron white with heat.

And thus, dear children, have ye made for me This day a jubilee, And to my more than three-score years and ten Brought back my youth again.

The heart hath its own memory, like the mind And in it are enshrined The precious keepsakes, into which is wrought The giver's loving thought.

Only your love and your remembrance could Give life to this dead wood, And make these branches, leafless now so long, Blossom again in song.


[13] Copyrighted by Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Reprinted by permission of the publishers.


Sing, children, sing, And the lily censers swing; Sing that life and joy are waking and that Death no more is king. Sing the happy, happy tumult of the slowly bright'ning Spring; Sing, little children, sing, Sing, children, sing, Winter wild has taken wing.

Fill the air with the sweet tidings till the frosty echoes ring. Along the eaves, the icicles no longer cling; And the crocus in the garden lifts its bright face to the sun; And in the meadow, softly the brooks begin to run; And the golden catkins, swing In the warm air of the Spring— Sing, little children, sing.

Sing, children, sing, The lilies white you bring In the joyous Easter morning, for hopes are blossoming, And as earth her shroud of snow from off her breast doth fling, So may we cast our fetters off in God's eternal Spring; So may we find release at last from sorrow and from pain, Soon may we find our childhood's calm, delicious dawn again. Sweet are your eyes, O little ones, that look with smiling grace, Without a shade of doubt or fear into the future's face.

Sing, sing in happy chorus, with happy voices tell That death is life, and God is good, and all things shall be well. That bitter day shall cease In warmth and light and peace, That winter yields to Spring— Sing, little children, sing.

Celia Thaxter.

[14] Copyrighted by Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Reprinted by permission of the publishers.


I ride on the mountain tops, I ride; I have found my life and am satisfied. Onward I ride in the blowing oats, Checking the field lark's rippling notes— Lightly I sweep from steep to steep; O'er my head through branches high Come glimpses of deep blue sky; The tall oats brush my horse's flanks: Wild poppies crowd on the sunny banks; A bee booms out of the scented grass; A jay laughs with me as I pass.

I ride on the hills, I forgive, I forget Life's hoard of regret— All the terror and pain of a chafing chain. Grind on, O cities, grind! I leave you a blur behind. I am lifted elate—the skies expand; Here the world's heaped gold is a pile of sand. Let them weary and work in their narrow walls; I ride with the voices of waterfalls. I swing on as one in a dream—I swing. Down the very hollows, I shout, I sing. The world is gone like an empty word; My body's a bough in the wind,—my heart a bird.

Edwin Markham.

[15] By permission from Edwin Markham's "Joy of the Hills and Other Poems," copyright by Doubleday & McClure, New York.


Its O my heart, my heart, To be out in the sun and sing, To sing and shout in the fields about, In the balm and blossoming.

Sing loud, O bird in the tree; O bird, sing loud in the sky, And honey-bees, blacken the clover-beds; There are none of you as glad as I.

The leaves laugh low in the wind, Laugh low with the wind at play; And the odorous call of the flowers all Entices my soul away.

For oh, but the world is fair, is fair, And oh, but the world is sweet; I will out in the old of the blossoming mould, And sit at the Master's feet.

And the love my heart would speak, I will fold in the lily's rim, That the lips of the blossom more pure and meek May offer it up to Him.

Then sing in the hedgerow green, O thrush, O skylark, sing in the blue; Sing loud, sing clear, that the King may hear, And my soul shall sing with you.

Ina Coolbrith.


Spake full well, in language quaint and olden, One who dwelleth by the castled Rhine, When he called the flowers so blue and golden Stars that in earth's firmament do shine.

Stars they are wherein we read our history, As astrologers and seers of eld; Yet not wrapped about with awful mystery, Like the burning stars that they beheld.

Wondrous truths and manifold as wondrous, God hath written in those stars above; But not less in the bright flowerets under us Stands the revelation of His love.

Bright and glorious is that revelation, Written all over this great world of ours Making evident our own creation, In these stars of earth, these golden flowers.

And the poet, faithful and far-seeing, Sees, alike in stars and flowers, a part Of the selfsame universal Being, Which is throbbing in his brain and heart.

Gorgeous flowerets in the sunlight shining, Blossoms flaunting in the eye of day, Tremulous leaves, with soft and silver lining; Buds that open only to decay;

Brilliant hopes, all woven in gorgeous tissues, Flaunting gaily in the golden light; Large desires with most uncertain issues, Tender wishes blossoming at night.

These in flowers and men are more than seeming, Workings are they of the selfsame powers, Which the poet, in no idle dreaming, Seeth in himself and in the flowers.

Everywhere about us are they glowing, Some like stars to tell us Spring is born: Others, their blue eyes with tears o'erflowing, Stand like Ruth amid the golden corn.

Not alone in Spring's armorial bearing, And in summer's green-emblazoned field, But in arms of brave old Autumn's wearing, In the center of his blazoned shield.

Not alone in meadows and green alleys On the mountaintop and by the brink Of sequestered pool in woodland valleys, Where the slaves of nature stoop to drink;

Not alone in her vast dome of glory, Not on graves of birds or beasts alone, But in old cathedrals, high and hoary, On the tombs of heroes carved in stone;

In the cottage of the rudest peasant, In ancestral homes whose crumbling towers, Speaking of the Past unto the Present, Tell us of the ancient Games of Flowers.

In all places, then, and in all seasons, Flowers expand their light and soul-like wings; Teaching us, by most persuasive reasons, How akin they are to human things.

And with childlike, credulous affection We behold their tender buds expand; Emblems of our own great resurrection, Emblems of the bright and better land.


[16] Copyrighted by Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Reprinted by permission of the publishers.


Sweet, sweet, sweet! Oh, happy that I am! (Listen to the meadow-larks, across the fields that sing!) Sweet, sweet, sweet! O subtle breath of balm, O winds that blow, O buds that grow, O rapture of the spring!

Sweet, sweet, sweet! O skies, serene and blue, That shut the velvet pastures in, that fold the mountain's crest! Sweet, sweet, sweet! What of the clouds ye knew? The vessels ride a golden tide, upon a sea at rest.

Sweet, sweet, sweet! Who prates of care and pain? Who says that life is sorrowful? O life so glad, so fleet! Ah! he who lives the noblest life finds life the noblest gain, The tears of pain a tender rain to make its waters sweet.

Sweet, sweet, sweet! O happy world that is! Dear heart, I hear across the fields my mateling pipe and call Sweet, sweet, sweet! O world so full of bliss, For life is love, the world is love, and love is over all!

Ina Coolbrith.


I shot an arrow into the air, It fell to earth, I knew not where; For, so swiftly it flew, the sight Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air, It fell to earth, I knew not where; For who has sight so keen and strong, That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak I found the arrow, still unbroke; And the song, from beginning to end, I found again in the heart of a friend.



It was fifty years ago, In the pleasant month of May, In the beautiful Pays de Vaud, A child in its cradle lay.

And Nature, the old nurse, took The child upon her knee, Saying: "Here is a story-book Thy Father has written for thee."

"Come, wander with me," she said, "Into regions yet untrod; And read what is still unread In the manuscripts of God."

And he wandered away and away With Nature, the dear old nurse, Who sang to him night and day The rhymes of the universe.

And whenever the way seemed long, Or his heart began to fail, She would sing a more wonderful song, Or tell a more marvelous tale.

So she keeps him still a child, And will not let him go, Though at times his heart beats wild For the beautiful Pays de Vaud;

Though at times he hears in his dreams The Ranz des Vaches of old, And the rush of mountain streams From glaciers clear and cold;

And the mother at home says, "Hark! For his voice I listen and yearn; It is growing late and dark, And my boy does not return!"


[17] Copyrighted by Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Reprinted by permission of the publishers.



Break, break, break, On thy cold gray stones, O Sea! And I would that my tongue could utter The thoughts that arise in me.

Oh, well for the fisherman's boy, That he shouts with his sister at play! Oh, well for the sailor lad, That he sings in his boat on the bay!

And the stately ships go on To their haven under the hill; But oh, for the touch of a vanished hand, And the sound of a voice that is still!

Break, break, break, At the foot of thy crags, O Sea! But the tender grace of a day that is dead Will never come back to me.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson.


Behind him lay the gray Azores, Behind the Gates of Hercules; Before him not the ghost of shores, Before him only shoreless seas. The good mate said: "Now we must pray, For lo, the very stars are gone. Brave Adm'r'l speak; what shall I say?" "Why say: 'Sail on! sail on! sail on!'"

"My men grow mutinous day by day; My men grow ghastly wan and weak." The stout mate thought of home; a spray Of salt wave washed his swarthy cheek. "What shall I say, brave Adm'r'l, say, If we sight naught but seas at dawn?" "Why you shall say at break of day: 'Sail on! sail on! sail on! sail on!'"

They sailed and sailed, as the winds might blow, Until at last the blanched mate said: "Why, not even God would know Should I and all my men fall dead. These very winds forget their way, For God from these dread seas is gone. Now speak, brave Adm'r'l; speak and say"— He said: "Sail on! sail on! sail on!"

They sailed. They sailed. Then spake the mate: "This mad sea shows its teeth to-night. He curls his lips, he lies in wait, With lifted teeth, as if to bite! Brave Adm'r'l, say but one good word; What shall we do when hope is gone?" The words leapt as a leaping sword: "Sail on! sail on! sail on! sail on!"

Then, pale and worn, he kept his deck, And peered through darkness. Ah, that night Of all dark nights! And then a speck— A light! A light! A light! A light! It grew, a starlit flag unfurled! It grew to be Time's burst of dawn. He gained a world; he gave that world Its grandest lesson: "On! sail on!"

Joaquin Miller.

[18] In a recent critical article, in the London Athenaeum is the sentence: "In point of power, workmanship and feeling, among all the poems written by Americans, we are inclined to give first place to the 'Port of Ships' (or 'Columbus') by Joaquin Miller."


The day is done, and the darkness Falls from the wings of Night, As a feather is wafted downward From an eagle in his flight.

I see the lights of the village Gleam through the rain and the mist, And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me, That my soul cannot resist:

A feeling of sadness and longing, That is not akin to pain, And resembles sorrow only As the mist resembles the rain.

Come, read to me some poem, Some simple and heartfelt lay, That shall soothe this restless feeling, And banish the thoughts of day.

Not from the grand old masters, Not from the bards[19] sublime, Whose distant footsteps echo Through the corridors of Time.

For, like strains of martial music, Their mighty thoughts suggest Life's endless toil and endeavor; And to-night I long for rest.

Read from some humbler poet, Whose songs gushed from his heart, As showers from the clouds of summer, Or tears from the eyelids start;

Who, through long days of labor; And nights devoid of ease, Still heard in his soul the music Of wonderful melodies.

Such songs have power to quiet The restless pulse of care, And come like the benediction[20] That follows after prayer.

Then read from the treasured volume The poem of thy choice, And lend to the rhyme of the poet The beauty of thy voice.

And the night shall be filled with music, And the cares that infest the day, Shall fold their tents like the Arabs, And as silently steal away.


[19] bards, ancient poets.

[20] benediction, blessing.


The breaking waves dashed high on a stern and rock-bound coast, And the woods against a stormy sky their giant branches tossed; And the heavy night hung dark the hills and waters o'er, When a band of exiles moored their bark on the wild New England shore.

Not as the conqueror comes, they the true-hearted, came; Not with the roll of stirring drums, and the trumpet that sings of fame; Not as the flying come, in silence and in fear; They shook the depths of the desert gloom with their hymns of lofty cheer.

Amidst the storm they sang, and the stars heard, and the sea; And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang with the anthems of the free! The ocean eagle soared from his nest by the white wave's foam, And the rocking pines of the forest roared—this was their welcome home!

There were men with hoary hair amidst that pilgrim band; Why had they come to wither there away from their childhood's land? There was woman's fearless eye, lit by her deep love's truth; There was manhood's brow serenely high, and the fiery heart of youth.

What sought they thus afar? Bright jewels of the mine? The wealth of seas, the spoils of war? They sought a faith's pure shrine! Ay, call it holy ground, the soil where first they trod: They left unstained, what there they found, Freedom to worship God.

Mrs. Hemans.


"He prayeth best, who loveth best All things both great and small; For the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all."



Little thinks, in the field, yon red-cloaked clown, Of thee from the hilltop looking down; The heifer that lows in the upland farm, Far heard, lows not thine ear to charm, The sexton, tolling his bell at noon, Deems not that great Napoleon Stops his horse, and lists with delight, Whilst his files sweep round yon Alpine height; Nor knowest thou what argument Thy life to thy neighbor's creed has lent. All are needed by each one; Nothing is fair or good alone. I thought the sparrow's note from heaven, Singing at dawn on the alder bough; I brought him home, in his nest, at even, He sings the song, but it cheers not now, For I did not bring the river and sky; He sang to my ear, they sang to my eye. The delicate shells lay on the shore; The bubbles of the latest wave Fresh pearls to their enamel gave, And the bellowing of the savage sea Greeted their safe escape to me. I wiped away the weeds and foam, I fetched my sea-born treasures home; But the poor, unsightly, noisome things Had left their beauty on the shore With the sun and the sand and the wild uproar. The lover watched his graceful maid, As mid the virgin train she strayed, Nor knew her beauty's best attire Was woven still by the snow-white quire. At last she came to his hermitage, Like the bird from the woodlands to the cage; The gay enchantment was undone, A gentle wife, but fairy none. When I said, "I covet truth; Beauty is unripe childhood's cheat; I leave it behind with the games of youth." As I spoke, beneath my feet The ground pine curled its pretty leaf, Running over the club-moss burrs; I inhaled the violet's breath; Around me stood the oaks and firs, Pine-cones and acorns lay on the ground. Over me soared the eternal sky, Full of light and of deity; Again I saw, again I heard, The rolling river, the morning bird; Beauty through my senses stole: I yielded myself to the perfect whole.



Listen, my children, and you shall hear Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere. On the eighteenth of April in Seventy-five; Hardly a man is now alive Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, "If the British march By land or sea from the town[21] to-night, Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch Of the North Church tower as a signal light— One if by land, and two if by sea, And I on the opposite shore[22] will be, Ready to ride and spread the alarm Through every Middlesex village and farm, For the country folk to be up and to arm."

Then he said "Good-night!" and with muffled oar Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore, Just as the moon rose over the bay, Where swinging wide at her moorings lay The Somerset, British man-of-war; A phantom ship, with each mast and spar Across the moon like a prison bar, And a huge black hulk that was magnified By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend, through alley and street, Wanders and watches with eager ears, Till in the silence around him he hears The muster of men at the barrack door, The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet, And the measured tread of the grenadiers[23] Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed to the tower of the church, Up the wooden stairs with stealthy tread, To the belfry chamber overhead, And startled the pigeons from their perch, On the sombre rafters, that round him made Masses and moving shapes of shade— Up the light ladder, slender and tall, To the highest window in the wall, Where he paused to listen and look down A moment on the roofs of the town, And the moonlight flowing over all.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride, Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere Now he patted his horse's side, Now gazed at the landscape far and near, Then, impetuous, stamped the earth, And turned and tightened his saddle girth; But mostly he watched with eager search The belfry-tower of the old North Church, As it rose above the graves on the hill, Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.

And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height A glimmer, and then a gleam of light! He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns, But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight A second lamp in the belfry burns!

* * * * *

A hurry of hoofs in the village street, A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark, And beneath from the pebbles, in passing, a spark Struck out by a steed that flies fearless and fleet; That was all! And yet through the gloom and the light, The fate of a nation was riding that night.

It was twelve by the village clock When he crossed the bridge into Medford town. He heard the crowing of the cock, And the barking of the farmer's dog, And felt the damp of the river fog, That rises when the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock, When he rode into Lexington. He saw the gilded weathercock Swim in the moonlight as he passed, And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare, Gaze at him with a spectral stare, As if they already stood aghast At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock, When he came to the bridge in Concord town. He heard the bleating of the flock, And the twitter of the birds among the trees, And felt the breath of the morning breeze Blowing over the meadows brown.

* * * * *

So through the night rode Paul Revere; And so through the night went his cry of alarm To every Middlesex village and farm— A cry of defiance and not of fear, A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door, And a word that shall echo forever more! For, borne on the night-wind of the Past, Through all our history, to the last, In the hour of darkness and peril and need, The people will waken and listen to hear The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed, And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

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