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The Book of Joyous Children
by James Whitcomb Riley
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THE BOOK OF JOYOUS CHILDREN



JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY



THE BOOK OF JOYOUS CHILDREN

JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY

Illustrated by

J.W. VAWTER



NEW YORK CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 1902

Copyright, 1902, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ————————————- Published October, 1902



THE BOOK OF JOYOUS CHILDREN



GRATEFULLY AND AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED TO JOEL CHANDLER HARRIS

* * * * *



You who to the rounded prime Of a life of toil and stress, Still have kept the morning-time Of glad youth in heart and spirit, So your laugh, as children hear it, Seems their own, no less,— Take this book of childish rhymeThe Book of Joyous Children.

Their first happiness on earth Here is echoed—their first glee: Rich, in sooth, the volume's worthNot in classic lore, but rich in The child-sagas of the kitchen;— Therefore, take from me To your heart of childish mirth The Book of Joyous Children.

* * * * *



CONTENTS

PROEM THE BOOK OF JOYOUS CHILDREN AN IMPROMPTU FAIRY-TALE DREAM-MARCH ELMER BROWN NO BOY KNOWS WHEN WE FIRST PLAYED "SHOW" A DIVERTED TRAGEDY THE RAMBO-TREE FIND THE FAVORITE THE BOY PATRIOT EXTREMES INTELLECTUAL LIMITATIONS A MASQUE OF THE SEASONS THOMAS THE PRETENDER LITTLE DICK AND THE CLOCK FOOL-YOUNGENSZ THE KATYDIDS BILLY AND HIS DRUM THE NOBLE OLD ELM THE PENALTY OF GENIUS EVENSONG THE TWINS THE LITTLE LADY "COMPANY MANNERS" IN FERVENT PRAISE OF PICNICS THE GOOD, OLD-FASHIONED PEOPLE THE BEST TIMES "HIK-TEE-DIK!" A CHRISTMAS MEMORY "OLD BOB WHITE"

A SESSION WITH UNCLE SIDNEY:

I ONE OF HIS ANIMAL STORIES II UNCLE BRIGHTENS UP III SINGS A "WINKY-TOODEN" SONG IV AND MAKES NURSERY RHYMES 1 THE DINERS IN THE KITCHEN 2 THE IMPERIOUS ANGLER 3 THE GATHERING OF THE CLANS 4 "IT" 5 THE DARING PRINCE

A DUBIOUS "OLD KRISS" A SONG OF SINGING THE JAYBIRD A BEAR FAMILY

SOME SONGS AFTER MASTER-SINGERS: I SONG II TO THE CHILD JULIA III THE DOLLY'S MOTHER IV WIND OF THE SEA V SUBTLETY VI BORN TO THE PURPLE

OLD MAN WHISKERY-WHEE-KUM-WHEEZE LITTLE-GIRL-TWO-LITTLE-GIRLS A GUSTATORY ACHIEVEMENT CLIMATIC SORCERY A PARENT REPRIMANDED THE TREASURE OF THE WISE MAN



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FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS

NOT IN CLASSIC LOOK, BUT RICH IN THE CHILD-SAGAS OF THE KITCHEN KNEEL, ALL GLOWING, TO THE COOL SPRING NO BOY KNOWS WHEN HE GOES TO SLEEP JAMESY ON THE SLACK-ROPE ACROSS THE ORCHARD WHILE ALL THE ARMY, FOLLOWING, IN CHORUS CHEERS AND SINGS WHERE IT GOES WHEN THE FIRE GOES OUT? THE FAIRY QUEEN OF THE SEASONS PORE PA! PORE PA! SQUINT' OUR EYES AN' LAUGH' AGAIN HE'S A-MARCHIN' ROUND THE ROOM THE OLD TREE SAYS HE'S ALL OUR TREE THEREFORE READ NO LONGER SHE'S BUT A RACING SCHOOL-GIRL THEY WAS GOD'S PEOPLE THEM WUZ THE BEST TIMES EVER WUZ HE'S GO' HITCH UP, CHRIS'MUS-DAY, AN' COME TAKE ME BACK AGAIN WHEN WE DROVE TO HARMONY A BIG, HOLLOW, OLD OAK-TREE, WHICH HAD BEEN BLOWN DOWN BY A STORM THE YOUNG FOXES IN IT, ON THE HEARTH BESIDE HER AN' ALL BE POETS AN' ALL RECITE ALONG THE BRINK OF WILD BROOK-WAYS I LIKE TO WATCH HIM WHILE KATE PICKS BY, YET LOOKS NOT THERE LEND ME THE BREATH OF A FRESHENING GALE BOW TO ME IN THE WINDER THERE OUR "OLD-KRISS"-MILKMAN THE CHILDISH DREAMS IN HIS WISE OLD HEAD

* * * * *



THE BOOK OF JOYOUS CHILDREN

Bound and bordered in leaf-green, Edged with trellised buds and flowers And glad Summer-gold, with clean White and purple morning-glories Such as suit the songs and stories Of this book of ours, Unrevised in text or scene,— The Book of Joyous Children.

Wild and breathless in their glee— Lawless rangers of all ways Winding through lush greenery Of Elysian vales—the viny, Bowery groves of shady, shiny Haunts of childish days. Spread and read again with me The Book of Joyous Children.

What a whir of wings, and what Sudden drench of dews upon The young brows, wreathed, all unsought, With the apple-blossom garlands Of the poets of those far lands Whence all dreams are drawn Set herein and soiling not The Book of Joyous Children.

In their blithe companionship Taste again, these pages through, The hot honey on your lip Of the sun-smit wild strawberry, Or the chill tart of the cherry; Kneel, all glowing, to The cool spring, and with it sip The Book of Joyous Children.

As their laughter needs no rule, So accept their language, pray.— Touch it not with any tool: Surely we may understand it,— As the heart has parsed or scanned it Is a worthy way, Though found not in any School The Book of Joyous Children.



Be a truant—know no place Of prison under heaven's rim! Front the Father's smiling face— Smiling, that you smile the brighter For the heavy hearts made lighter, Since you smile with Him. Take—and thank Him for His grace— The Book of Joyous Children.

* * * * *



AN IMPROMPTU FAIRY-TALE



When I wuz ist a little bit o' weenty-teenty kid I maked up a Fairy-tale, all by myse'f, I did:—



I

Wunst upon a time wunst They wuz a Fairy King, An' ever'thing he have wuz gold—, His clo'es, an' ever'thing! An' all the other Fairies In his goldun Palace-hall Had to hump an' hustle— 'Cause he wuz bosst of all!



II

He have a goldun trumput, An' when he blow' on that, It's a sign he want' his boots, Er his coat er hat: They's a sign fer ever'thing,— An' all the Fairies knowed Ever' sign, an' come a-hoppin' When the King blowed!



III

Wunst he blowed an' telled 'em all: "Saddle up yer bees— Fireflies is gittin' fat An' sassy as you please!— Guess we'll go a-huntin'!" So they hunt' a little bit, Till the King blowed "Supper-time," Nen they all quit.



IV

Nen they have a Banqut In the Palace-hall, An' ist et! an' et! an' et! Nen they have a Ball; An' when the Queen o' Fairyland Come p'omenadin' through, The King says an' halts her,— "Guess I'll marry you!"



* * * * *



DREAM-MARCH

"Wasn't it a funny dream!—perfectly bewild'rin'!— Last night, and night before, and night before that, Seemed like I saw the march o' regiments o' children, Marching to the robin's fife and cricket's rat-ta-tat! Lily-banners overhead, with the dew upon 'em, On flashed the little army, as with sword and flame; Like the buzz o' bumble-wings, with the honey on 'em, Came an eerie, cheery chant, chiming as it came:—



Where go the children? Travelling! Travelling! Where go the children, travelling ahead? Some go to kindergarten; some go to day-school; Some go to night-school; and some go to bed!



Smooth roads or rough roads, warm or winter weather, On go the children, tow-head and brown, Brave boys and brave girls, rank and file together, Marching out of Morning-Land, over dale and down:



Some go a-gypsying out in country places— Out through the orchards, with blossoms on the boughs Wild, sweet, and pink and white as their own glad faces; And some go, at evening, calling home the cows.



Where go the children? Travelling! Travelling! Where go the children, travelling ahead? Some go to foreign wars, and camps by the firelightSome go to glory so; and some go to bed!



Some go through grassy lanes leading to the city— Thinner grow the green trees and thicker grows the dust; Ever, though, to little people any path is pretty So it leads to newer lands, as they know it must. Some go to singing less; some go to list'ning; Some go to thinking over ever-nobler themes; Some go anhungered, but ever bravely whistling, Turning never home again only in their dreams.

Where go the children? Travelling! Travelling! Where go the children, travelling ahead? Some go to conquer things; some go to try them; Some go to dream them; and some go to bed!



* * * * *



ELMER BROWN



Awf'lest boy in this-here town Er anywheres is Elmer Brown! He'll mock you—yes, an' strangers, too, An' make a face an' yell at you,— "Here's the way you look!"



Yes, an' wunst in School one day, An' Teacher's lookin' wite that way, He helt his slate, an' hide his head, An' maked a face at her, an' said,— "Here's the way you look!"



An' sir! when Rosie Wheeler smile One morning at him 'crosst the aisle, He twist his face all up, an' black His nose wiv ink, an' whisper back,— "Here's the way you look!"



Wunst when his Aunt's all dressed to call, An' kiss him good-bye in the hall, An' latch the gate an' start away, He holler out to her an' say,— "Here's the way you look!"



An' when his Pa he read out loud The speech he maked, an' feel so proud It's in the paper—Elmer's Ma She ketched him—wite behind his Pa,— "Here's the way you look!"



Nen when his Ma she slip an' take Him in the other room an' shake Him good! w'y, he don't care—no-sir!— He ist look up an' laugh at her,— "Here's the way you look!"

* * * * *



NO BOY KNOWS

There are many things that boys may know— Why this and that are thus and so,— Who made the world in the dark and lit The great sun up to lighten it: Boys know new things every day— When they study, or when they play,— When they idle, or sow and reap— But no boy knows when he goes to sleep.

Boys who listen—or should, at least,— May know that the round old earth rolls East;— And know that the ice and the snow and the rain— Ever repeating their parts again— Are all just water the sunbeams first Sip from the earth in their endless thirst, And pour again till the low streams leap.— But no boy knows when he goes to sleep.

A boy may know what a long glad while It has been to him since the dawn's first smile, When forth he fared in the realm divine Of brook-laced woodland and spun-sunshine;— He may know each call of his truant mates, And the paths they went,—and the pasture-gates Of the 'cross-lots home through the dusk so deep.— But no boy knows when he goes to sleep.

O I have followed me, o'er and o'er, From the flagrant drowse on the parlor-floor, To the pleading voice of the mother when I even doubted I heard it then— To the sense of a kiss, and a moonlit room, And dewy odors of locust-bloom— A sweet white cot—and a cricket's cheep.— But no boy knows when he goes to sleep.



* * * * *



* * * * *



WHEN WE FIRST PLAYED "SHOW"

Wasn't it a good time, Long Time Ago— When we all were little tads And first played "Show"!— When every newer day Wore as bright a glow As the ones we laughed away— Long Time Ago!

Calf was in the back-lot; Clover in the red; Bluebird in the pear-tree; Pigeons on the shed; Tom a-chargin' twenty pins At the barn; and Dan Spraddled out just like "The 'Injarubber'-Man!"

Me and Bub and Rusty, Eck and Dunk and Sid, 'Tumblin' on the sawdust Like the A-rabs did; Jamesy on the slack-rope In a wild retreat, Grappling back, to start again— When he chalked his feet!



Wasn't Eck a wonder, In his stocking-tights?

* * * * *



* * * * *

Wasn't Dunk—his leaping lion— Chief of all delights! Yes, and wasn't "Little Mack" Boss of all the Show,— Both Old Clown and Candy-Butcher— Long Time Ago!

Sid the Bareback-Rider; And—oh-me-oh-my!— Bub, the spruce Ring-master, Stepping round so spry!— In his little waist-and-trousers All made in one, Was there a prouder youngster Under the sun!

And NOW—who will tell me,— Where are they all? Dunk's a sanatorium doctor, Up at Waterfall; Sid's a city street-contractor; Tom has fifty clerks; And Jamesy he's the "Iron Magnate" Of "The Hecla Works."

And Bub's old and bald now, Yet still he hangs on,— Dan and Eck and "Little Mack," Long, long gone! But wasn't it a good time, Long Time Ago— When we all were little tads And first played "Show"!

* * * * *



A DIVERTED TRAGEDY



Gracie wuz allus a careless tot; But Gracie dearly loved her doll, An' played wiv it on the winder-sill 'Way up-stairs, when she ought to not, An' her muvver telled her so an' all; But she won't mind what she say—till, First thing she know, her dolly fall Clean spang out o' the winder plumb Into the street! An' here Grace come Down-stairs, two at a time, ist wild An' a-screamin', "Oh, my child! my child!"



Jule wuz a-bringin' their basket o' clo'es Ist then into their hall down there,— An' she ist stop' when Gracie bawl, An' Jule she say "She ist declare She's ist in time!" An' what you s'pose? She sets her basket down in the hall, An' wite on top o' the snowy clo'es Wuz Gracie's dolly a-layin' there An' ist ain't bu'st ner hurt a-tall!



Nen Gracie smiled—ist sobbed an' smiled— An' cried, "My child! my precious child!"

* * * * *



THE RAMBO-TREE

When Autumn shakes the rambo-tree— It's a long, sweet way across the orchard!— The bird sings low as the bumble-bee— It's a long, sweet way across the orchard!— The poor shote-pig he says, says he: "When Autumn shakes the rambo-tree There's enough for you and enough for me."— It's a long, sweet way across the orchard.

For just two truant lads like we, When Autumn shakes the rambo-tree There's enough for you and enough for meIt's a long, sweet way across the orchard.

When Autumn shakes the rambo-tree— It's a long, sweet way across the orchard!— The mole digs out to peep and see— It's a long, sweet way across the orchard!— The dusk sags down, and the moon swings free, There's a far, lorn call, "Pig-gee! 'Pig-gee!" And two boys—glad enough for three.— It's a long, sweet way across the orchard.

For just two truant lads like we, When Autumn shakes the rambo-tree There's enough for you and enough for meIt's a long, sweet way across the orchard.

* * * * *



* * * * *



FIND THE FAVORITE

Our three cats is Maltese cats, An' they's two that's white,— An' bofe of 'em's deef—an' that's 'Cause their eyes ain't right.—



Uncle say that Huxley say Eyes of white Maltese— When they don't match thataway— They're deef as you please!

Girls, they like our white cats best, 'Cause they're white as snow, Yes, an' look the stylishest— But they're deef, you know!

They don't know their names, an' don't Hear us when we call "Come in, Nick an' Finn!"—they won't Come fer us at all!

But our other cat, he knows Mister Nick an' Finn,— Mowg's his name,—an' when he goes Fer 'em, they come in!

Mowgli's all his name—the same Me an' Muvver took Like the Wolf-Child's other name, In "The Jungul Book."

I bet Mowg's the smartest cat In the world!—He's not White, but mousy-plush, with that Smoky gloss he's got!

All's got little bells to ring, Round their neck; but none Only Mowg knows anything— He's the only one!

I ist 'spect sometimes he hate White cats' stupid ways:— He won't hardly 'sociate With 'em, lots o' days!

Mowg wants in where we air,—well, He'll ist take his paw An' ist ring an' ring his bell There till me er Ma

Er somebody lets him in Nen an' shuts the door.— An', when he wants out ag'in, Nen he'll ring some more.

Ort to hear our Katy tell! She sleeps 'way up-stairs; An' last night she hear Mowg's bell Ringin' round somewheres...

Trees grows by her winder.—So, She lean out an' see Mowg up there, 'way out, you know, In the clingstone-tree;—

An'-sir! he ist hint an' ring,— Till she ketch an' plat Them limbs;—nen he crawl an' spring In where Katy's at!



* * * * *



THE BOY PATRIOT

I want to be a Soldier!— A Soldier!— A Soldier!— I want to be a Soldier, with a sabre in my hand Or a little carbine rifle, or a musket on my shoulder, Or just a snare-drum, snarling in the middle of the band; I want to hear, high overhead, The Old Flag flap her wings While all the Army, following, in chorus cheers and sings; I want to hear the tramp and jar Of patriots a million, As gayly dancing off to war As dancing a cotillion.

I want to be a Soldier!A Soldier!A Soldier!I want to be a Soldier, with a sabre in my hand Or a little carbine rifle, or a musket on my shoulder, Or just a snare-drum, snarling in the middle of the band.

I want to see the battle!— The battle!— The battle!— I want to see the battle, and be in it to the end;— I want to hear the cannon clear their throats and catch the prattle Of all the pretty compliments the enemy can send!— And then I know my wits will go,—and where I should'nt be— Well, there's the spot, in any fight, that you may search for me. So, when our foes have had their fill, Though I'm among the dying, To see The Old Flag flying still, I'll laugh to leave her flying!

I want to be a Soldier!A Soldier!A Soldier!I want to be a Soldier, with a sabre in my hand Or a little carbine rifle, or a musket on my shoulder, Or just a snare-drum, snarling in the middle of the band.

* * * * *



* * * * *



EXTREMES



I

A little boy once played so loud That the Thunder, up in a thunder-cloud, Said, "Since I can't be heard, why, then I'll never, never thunder again!"



II

And a little girl once kept so still That she heard a fly on the window-sill Whisper and say to a lady-bird,— "She's the stilliest child I ever heard!"

* * * * *



INTELLECTUAL LIMITATIONS

Parunts knows lots more than us, But they don't know all things,— 'Cause we ketch 'em, lots o' times, Even on little small things.

One time Winnie ask' her Ma, At the winder, sewin', What's the wind a-doin' when It's a-not a-blowin'?

Yes, an' 'Del', that very day, When we're nearly froze out, He ask' Uncle where it goes When the fire goes out?

Nen I run to ask my Pa, That way, somepin' funny; But I can't say ist but "Say," When he turn to me an' say, "Well, what is it, Honey?"

* * * * *



* * * * *



A MASQUE OF THE SEASONS

Scene.—A kitchen.—Group of Children, popping corn.—The Fairy Queen of the Seasons discovered in the smoke of the corn-popper.—Waving her wand, and, with eerie, sharp, imperious ejaculations, addressing the bespelled auditors, who neither see nor hear her nor suspect her presence.

QUEEN

Summer or Winter or Spring or Fall,— Which do you like the best of all?

LITTLE JASPER

When I'm dressed warm as warm can be, And with boots, to go Through the deepest snow, Winter-time is the time for me!

QUEEN

Summer or Winter or Spring or Fall,— Which do you like the best of all?

LITTLE MILDRED

I like blossoms, and birds that sing; The grass and the dew, And the sunshine, too,— So, best of all I like the Spring.

QUEEN

Summer or Winter or Spring or Fall,— Which do you like the best of all?

LITTLE MANDEVILLE

O little friends, I most rejoice When I hear the drums As the Circus comes,— So Summer-time's my special choice.

QUEEN

Summer or Winter or Spring or Fall,— Which do you like the best of all?

LITTLE EDITH

Apples of ruby, and pears of gold, And grapes of blue That the bee stings through.— Fall—it is all that my heart can hold!

* * * * *



* * * * *

QUEEN

Soh! my lovelings and pretty dears, You've each a favorite, it appears,— Summer and Winter and Spring and Fall.— That's the reason I send them all!

* * * * *



THOMAS THE PRETENDER

Tommy's alluz playin' jokes, An' actin' up, an' foolin' folks; An' wunst one time he creep In Pa's big chair, he did, one night, An' squint an' shut his eyes bofe tight, An' say, "Now I 'm asleep." An' nen we knowed, an' Ma know' too, He ain't asleep no more 'n you!



An' wunst he clumbed on our back'fence An' flop his arms an' nen commence To crow, like he's a hen; But when he failed off, like he done, He didn't fool us childern none, Ner didn't crow again. An' our Hired Man, as he come by, Says, "Tom can't crow, but he kin cry."

* * * * *



* * * * *



LITTLE DICK AND THE CLOCK

When Dicky was sick In the night, and the clock, As he listened, said "Tick- Atty—tick-atty—tock!" He said that it said, Every time it said "Tick," It said "Sick," instead, And he heard it say "Sick!" And when it said "Tick- Atty—tick-atty—tock," He said it said "Sick- Atty—sick-atty—sock!" And he tried to see then, But the light was too dim, Yet he heard it again— And't was talking to him!

And then it said "Sick- Atty—sick-atty—sick You poor little Dick- Atty—Dick-atty—dock! Have you got the hick- Atties? Hi! send for Doc To hurry up quick Atty—quick-atty—quock, And heat a hot brick- Atty—brick-atty—brock,



And rikle-ty wrap it And clickle-ty clap it Against his cold feet- Al-ty—weep-aty—eepaty— There he goes, slapit- Ty—slippaty—sleepaty!"

* * * * *



FOOL-YOUNGENS

Me an' Bert an' Minnie-Belle Knows a joke, an' we won't tell! No, we don't—'cause we don't know Why we got to laughin' so; But we got to laughin' so, "We ist kep' a-laughin'.

Wind wuz blowin' in the tree— An' wuz only ist us three Playin' there; an' ever' one Ketched each other, like we done, Squintin' up there at the sun Like we wuz a-laughin'.

Nothin' funny anyway; But I laughed, an' so did they— An' we all three laughed, an' nen Squint' our eyes an' laugh' again: Ner we didn't ist p'ten'— We wuz shore-'nough laughin'.

* * * * *



* * * * *

"We ist laugh' an' laugh', tel Bert Say he can't quit an' it hurt. Nen I howl, an' Minnie-Belle She tear up the grass a spell An' ist stop her yeers an' yell Like she'd die a-laughin'.

Never sich fool-youngens yit! Nothin' funny,—not a bit!— But we laugh' so; tel we whoop' Purt'-nigh like we have the croup— All so hoarse we'd wheeze an' whoop An' ist choke a-laughin'.

* * * * *



THE KATYDIDS

Sometimes I keep From going to sleep, To hear the katydids "cheep-cheep!" And think they say Their prayers that way; But katydids don't have to pray!



I listen when They cheep again And so, I think, they're singing then! But, no; I'm wrong,— The sound's too long And all-alike to be a song!

I think, "Well, there! I do declare, If it is neither song nor prayer, It's talk—and quite Too vain and light For me to listen to all night!"

And so, I smile, And think,—"Now I'll Not listen for a little while!"— Then, sweet and clear, Next "cheep" I hear 'S a kiss.... Good morning, Mommy dear!



* * * * *



BILLY AND HIS DRUM

Ho! it's come, kids, come! "With a bim! bam! bum! Here's little Billy bangin' on his big bass drum! He's a-marchin' round the room, With his feather-duster plume A-noddin' an' a-bobbin' with his bim! bom! boom!

Looky, little Jane an' Jim! Will you only look at him, A-humpin' an' a-thumpin' with his bam! bom! bim! Has the Day o' Judgment come Er the New Mi-len-nee-um? Er is it only Billy with his bim! bam! bim!

* * * * *



* * * * *

I 'm a-comin'; yes, I am— Jim an' Sis, an' Jane an' Sam! We'll all march off with Billy an' his bom! bim! bam! Come hurrawin' as you come, Er they'll think you're deef-an'-dumb Ef you don't hear little Billy an' his big bass drum!

* * * * *



THE NOBLE OLD ELM

O big old tree, so tall an' fine, Where all us childern swings an' plays, Though neighbers says you're on the line Between Pa's house an' Mr. Gray's,— Us childern used to almost fuss, Old Tree, about you when we 'd play.— We'd argy you belonged to us, An' them Gray-kids the other way!

Till Elsie, one time she wuz here An' playin' wiv us—Don't you mind, Old Mister Tree?—an' purty near She scolded us the hardest kind Fer quar'llin' 'bout you thataway, An' say she'll find—ef we'll keep still— Whose tree you air fer shore, she say, An' settle it fer good, she will!

* * * * *



* * * * *

So all keep still: An' nen she gone An' pat the Old Tree, an' says she,— "Whose air you, Tree?" an' nen let on Like she's a-list'nin' to the Tree,— An' nen she say, "It's settled,—'cause The Old Tree says he's all our tree— His trunk belongs to bofe your Pas, But shade belongs to you an' me."

* * * * *



THE PENALTY OF GENIUS



"When little 'Pollus Morton he's A-go' to speak a piece, w'y, nen The Teacher smiles an' says 'at she's Most proud, of all her little men An' women in her school—'cause 'Poll He allus speaks the best of all.

An' nen she'll pat him on the cheek, An' hold her finger up at you Before he speak'; an' when he speak' It's ist some piece she learn' him to! 'Cause he's her favorite.... An' she Ain't pop'lar as she ust to be!

When 'Pollus Morton speaks, w'y, nen Ist all the other childern knows They're smart as him an' smart-again!— Ef they can't speak an' got fine clo'es, Their Parunts loves 'em more 'n 'Poll- Us Morton, Teacher, speech, an' all!

* * * * *



EVENSONG

Lay away the story,— Though the theme is sweet, There's a lack of something yet, Leaves it incomplete:— There's a nameless yearning— Strangely undefined— For a story sweeter still Than the written kind.

Therefore read no longer— I've no heart to hear But just something you make up, O my mother dear.— With your arms around me, Hold me, folded-eyed,— Only let your voice go on— I'll be satisfied.

* * * * *



* * * * *



"IGO AND AGO"

We're The Twins from Aunt Marinn's, Igo and Ago. When Dad comes, the show begins!— Iram, coram, dago.

Dad he says he named us two Igo and Ago For a poem he always knew, Iram, coram, dago.

Then he was a braw Scotchman— Igo and Ago.— Now he's Scotch-Amer-i-can. Iram, coram, dago.

"Hey!" he cries, and pats his knee, "Igo and Ago, My twin bairnies, ride wi' me— Iram, coram, dago!"



"Here," he laughs, "ye've each a leg, Igo and Ago, Gleg as Tam O'Shanter's 'Meg'! Iram, coram, dago!"

Then we mount, with shrieks of mirth— Igo and Ago,— The two gladdest twins on earth! Iram, coram, dago.

Wade and Silas-Walker cry,— "Igo and Ago— Annie's kissin' 'em 'good-bye'!"— Iram, coram, dago.

Aunty waves us fond farewells.— "Igo and Ago," Granny pipes, "tak care yersels!" Iram, coram, dago.

* * * * *



THE LITTLE LADY

O The Little Lady's dainty As the picture in a book, And her hands are creamy-whiter Than the water-lilies look; Her laugh's the undrown'd music Of the maddest meadow-brook.— Yet all in vain I praise The Little Lady!

Her eyes are blue and dewy As the glimmering Summer-dawn,— Her face is like the eglantine Before the dew is gone; And were that honied mouth of hers A bee's to feast upon, He'd be a bee bewildered, Little Lady!

Her brow makes light look sallow; And the sunshine, I declare, Is but a yellow jealousy Awakened by her hair— For O the dazzling glint of it Nor sight nor soul can bear,— So Love goes groping for The Little Lady.

* * * * *



* * * * *

And yet she's neither Nymph nor Fay, Nor yet of Angelkind:— She's but a racing school-girl, with Her hair blown out behind And tremblingly unbraided by The fingers of the Wind, As it wildly swoops upon The Little Lady.

* * * * *



"COMPANY MANNERS"

When Bess gave her Dollies a Tea, said she,— "It's unpolite, when they's Company, To say you've drinked two cups, you see,— But say you've drinked a couple of tea."



* * * * *



IN FERVENT PRAISE OF PICNICS



Picnics is fun 'at's purty hard to beat. I purt'-nigh ruther go to them than eat. I purt'-nigh ruther go to them than go With our Charlotty to the Trick-Dog Show.

* * * * *



THE GOOD, OLD-FASHIONED PEOPLE

When we hear Uncle Sidney tell About the long-ago An' old, old friends he loved so well When he was young—My-oh!— Us childern all wish we'd 'a' bin A-livin' then with Uncle,—so We could a-kindo' happened in On them old friends he used to know!— The good, old-fashioned people— The hale, hard-working people— The kindly country people 'At Uncle used to know!

They was God's people, Uncle says, An' gloried in His name, An' worked, without no selfishness, An' loved their neighbers same As they was kin: An' when they biled Their tree-molasses, in the Spring, Er butchered in the Fall, they smiled An' sheered with all jist ever'thing!—

* * * * *



* * * * *

The good, old-fashioned people— The hale, hard-working people— The kindly country people 'At Uncle used to know!

He tells about 'em, lots o' times, Till we'd all ruther hear About 'em than the Nurs'ry Rhymes Er Fairies—mighty near!— Only sometimes he stops so long An' then talks on so low an' slow, It's purt'-nigh sad as any song To listen to him talkin' so Of the good, old-fashioned people— The hale, hard-working people— The kindly country people 'At Uncle used to know!

* * * * *



THE BEST TIMES



When Old Folks they wuz young like us An' little as you an' me,—



Them wuz the best times ever wuz Er ever goin' to be!

* * * * *



* * * * *



"HIK-TEE-DIK!"

THE WAR-CRY OF BILLY AND BUDDY



When two little boys—renowned but for noise— Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!— May hurt a whole school, and the head it employs, Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy! Such loud and hilarious pupils indeed Need learning—and yet something further they need, Though fond hearts that love them may sorrow and bleed. Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!

O the schoolmarm was cool, and in no wise a fool; Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy! And in ruling her ranks it was her rule to rule; Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy! So when these two pupils conspired, every day, Some mad piece of mischief, with whoop and hoo-ray, That hurt yet defied her,—how happy were they!— Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!

At the ring of the bell they 'd rush in with a yell— Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy! And they'd bang the school-door till the plastering fell, Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy! They'd clinch as they came, and pretend not to see As they knocked her desk over—then, My! and O-me! How awfully sorry they'd both seem to be! Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!



This trick seemed so neat and so safe a conceit,— Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!— They played it three times—though the third they were beat; Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy! For the teacher, she righted her desk—raised the lid And folded and packed away each little kid— Closed the incident so—yes, and locked it, she did— Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!



* * * * *



A CHRISTMAS MEMORY

Pa he bringed me here to stay 'Til my Ma she's well.—An' nen He's go' hitch up, Chris'mus-day, An' come take me back again Wher' my Ma's at! Won't I be Tickled when he comes fer me!

My Ma an' my A'nty they 'Uz each-uvver's sisters. Pa— A'nty telled me, th' other day,— He comed here an' married Ma.... A'nty said nen, "Go run play, I must work now!" ... An' I saw, When she turn' her face away, She 'uz cryin'.—An' nen I 'Tend-like I "run play"—an' cry.

This-here house o' A'nty's wher' They 'uz borned—my Ma an' her!— An' her Ma 'uz my Ma's Ma, An' her Pa 'uz my Ma's Pa—

* * * * *



* * * * *

Ain't that funny?—An' they're dead: An' this-here's "th' ole Homestead."— An' my A'nty said, an' cried, It's mine, too, ef my Ma died— Don't know what she mean—'cause my Ma she's nuvver go' to die!



When Pa bringed me here 't 'uz night— 'Way dark night! An' A'nty spread Me a piece—an' light the light An' say I must go to bed.— I cry not to—-but Pa said, "Be good boy now, like you telled Mommy 'at you're go' to be!" An', when he 'uz kissin' me My good night, his cheeks' all wet An' taste salty.—An' he held Wite close to me an' rocked some An' langhed-like—'til A'nty come Git me while he's rockin' yet.

A'nty he'p me, 'til I be Purt'-nigh strip-pud—nen hug me In bofe arms an' lif' me 'way Up in her high bed—an' pray Wiv me,—'bout my Ma—an' Pa— An' ole Santy Claus—an' Sleigh— An' Reindeers an' little Drum— Yes, an' Picture-books, "Tom Thumb," An' "Three Bears," an' ole "Fee-Faw"—

Yes, an' "Tweedle-Dee" an' "Dum," An' "White Knight" an' "Squidjicum," An' most things you ever saw!— An' when A'nty kissed me, she 'Uz all cryin' over me!

Don't want Santy Claus—ner things Any kind he ever brings!— Don't want A'nty!—Don't want Pa!— I ist only want my Ma!

* * * * *



"OLD BOB WHITE"

Old Bob White's a funny bird!— Funniest you ever heard!— Hear him whistle,—"Old—Bob—White!" You can hear him, clean from where He's 'way 'crosst the wheat-field there, Whistlin' like he didn't care— "Old-Bob-White!"

* * * * *



* * * * *

Whistles alluz ist the same— So's we won't fergit his name!— Hear him say it?—"Old—Bob—White!" There! he's whizzed off down the lane— Gone back where his folks is stayin'— Hear him?—There he goes again,— "Old—Bob—White!"

When boys ever tries to git Clos't to him—how quick he'll quit Whistlin' his "Old-Bob—White!" "Whoo-rhoo-rhoo!" he's up an' flew, Ist a-purt'-nigh skeerin' you Into fits!—'At's what he'll do.— "Old-Bob—White!"

Wunst our Hired Man an' me, When we drove to Harmony, Saw one, whistlin' "Old—Bob—White!" An' we drove wite clos't, an' I Saw him an' he didn't fly,— Birds likes horses, an' that's why. "Old—Bob—White!"

One time, Uncle Sidney says, Wunst he rob' a Bob White's nes' Of the eggs of "Old Bob White"; Nen he hatched 'em wiv a hen An' her little chicks, an' nen They ist all flewed off again! "Old—Bob—White!"

* * * * *



A SESSION WITH UNCLE SIDNEY

[1869]

I

ONE OF HIS ANIMAL STORIES

Now, Tudens, you sit on this knee—and 'scuse It having no side-saddle on;—and, Jeems, You sit on this—and don't you wobble so And chug my old shins with your coppertoes;— And, all the rest of you, range round someway,— Ride on the rockers and hang to the arms Of our old-time splint-bottom carryall!— Do anything but squabble for a place, Or push or shove or scrouge, or breathe out loud, Or chew wet, or knead taffy in my beard!— Do anything almost—act anyway,— Only keep still, so I can hear myself Trying to tell you "just one story more!"

One winter afternoon my father, with A whistle to our dog, a shout to us— His two boys—six and eight years old we were,— Started off to the woods, a half a mile From home, where he was chopping wood. We raced, We slipped and slid; reaching, at last, the north Side of Tharp's corn-field.—There we struck what seemed To be a coon-track—so we all agreed: And father, who was not a hunter, to Our glad surprise, proposed we follow it. The snow was quite five inches deep; and we, Keen on the trail, were soon far in the woods. Our old dog, "Ring," ran nosing the fresh track With whimpering delight, far on ahead. After following the trail more than a mile To northward, through the thickest winter woods We boys had ever seen,—all suddenly He seemed to strike another trail; and then Our joyful attention was drawn to Old "Ring"—leaping to this side, then to that, Of a big, hollow, old oak-tree, which had Been blown down by a storm some years before. There—all at once—out leapt a lean old fox From the black hollow of a big bent limb,— Hey! how he scudded!—but with our old "Ring" Sharp after him—and father after "Ring"— We after father, near as we could hold! And father noticed that the fox kept just About four feet ahead of "Ring"—just that— No farther, and no nearer! Then he said:— "There are young foxes in that tree back there,

* * * * *



* * * * *

And the mother-fox is drawing 'Ring' and us Away from their nest there!" "Oh, le' 's go back!— Do le' 's go back!" we little vandals cried,— "Le' 's go back, quick, and find the little things— Please, father!—Yes, and take 'em home for pets— 'Cause 'Ring' he'll kill the old fox anyway!" So father turned at last, and back we went, And father chopped a hole in the old tree About ten feet below the limb from which The old fox ran, and—Bless their little lives!— There, in the hollow of the old tree-trunk— There, on a bed of warm dry leaves and moss— There, snug as any bug in any rug— We found—one—two—three—four, and, yes-sir, five Wee, weenty-teenty baby-foxes, with Their eyes just barely opened—Cute?—my-oh!— The cutest—the most cunning little things Two boys ever saw, in all their lives! "Raw weather for the little fellows now!" Said father, as though talking to himself,— "Raw weather, and no home now!"—And off came His warm old "waumus"; and in that he wrapped The helpless little animals, and held Them soft and warm against him as he could,— And home we happy children followed him.— Old "Ring" did not reach home till nearly dusk: The mother-fox had led him a long chase—

"Yes, and a fool's chase, too!" he seemed to say, And looked ashamed to hear us praising him. But, mother—well, we could not understand Her acting as she did—and we so pleased! I can see yet the look of pained surprise And deep compassion of her troubled face When father very gently laid his coat, With the young foxes in it, on the hearth Beside her, as she brightened up the fire. She urged—for the old fox's sake and theirs— That they be taken back to the old tree; But father—for our wistful sakes, no doubt— Said we would keep them, and would try our best To raise them. And at once he set about Building a snug home for the little things Out of an old big bushel-basket, with Its fractured handle and its stoven ribs: So, lining and padding this all cosily, He snuggled in its little tenants, and Called in John Wesley Thomas, our hired man, And gave him in full charge, with much advice Regarding the just care and sustenance of Young foxes.—"John," he said, "you feed 'em milkWarm milk, John Wesley! Yes, and keep 'em by The stove—and keep your stove a-roarin', too, Both night and day!—And keep 'em covered up— Not smothered, John, but snug and comfortable.—

* * * * *



* * * * *

And now, John Wesley Thomas, first and last,— You feed 'em milkfresh milk—and always warm— Say five or six or seven times a day— Of course we'll grade that by the way they thrive." But, for all sanguine hope, and care, as well, The little fellows did not thrive at all.— Indeed, with all our care and vigilance, By the third day of their captivity The last survivor of the fated five Squeaked, like some battered little rubber toy Just clean worn out.—And that's just what it was!

And—nights,—the cry of the mother-fox for her young Was heard, with awe, for long weeks afterward. And we boys, every night, would go to the door And, peering out in the darkness, listening, Could hear the poor fox in the black bleak woods Still calling for her little ones in vain. As, all mutely, we returned to the warm fireside, Mother would say: "How would you like for me To be out there, this dark night, in the cold woods, Calling for my children?"



* * * * *



II

UNCLE BRIGHTENS UP—



Uncle he says 'at 'way down in the sea Ever'thing's ist like it used to be:— He says they's mermaids, an' mermens, too, An' little merchildern, like me an' you— Little merboys, with tops an' balls, An' little mergirls, with little merdolls.



Uncle Sidney's vurry proud Of little Leslie-Janey, 'Cause she's so smart, an' goes to school Clean 'way in Pennsylvany!

* * * * *



* * * * *

She print' an' sent a postul-card To Uncle Sidney, telling How glad he'll be to hear that she "Toock the onners in Speling."

Uncle he learns us to rhyme an' write An' all be poets an' all recite: His little-est poet's his little-est niece, An' this is her little-est poetry-piece.



* * * * *



III

SINGS A "WINKY-TOODEN" SONG—



O here's a little rhyme for the Spring- or Summer-time— An a-ho-winky-tooden-an-a-ho!— Just a little bit o' tune you can twitter, May or June, An a-ho-winky-tooden-an-a-ho! It's a song that soars and sings, As the birds that twang their wings Or the katydids and things Thus and so, don't you know, An a-ho-winky-tooden-an-a-ho!

It's a song just broken loose, with no reason or excuse— An a-ho-winky-tooden-an-a-ho! You can sing along with it—or it matters not a bit— An a-ho-winky-tooden-an-a-ho! It's a lovely little thing That 'most any one could sing With a ringle-dingle-ding, Soft and low, don't you know, An a-ho-winky-tooden-an-a-ho!



* * * * *



IV

AND MAKES NURSERY RHYMES



1

THE DINERS IN THE KITCHEN



Our dog Fred Et the bread.



Our dog Dash Et the hash.



Our dog Pete Et the meat.



Our dog Davy Et the gravy.



Our dog Toffy Et the coffee.



Our dog Jake Et the cake.



Our dog Trip Et the dip.

And—the worst, From the first,—



Our dog Fido Et the pie-dough.

* * * * *



2

THE IMPERIOUS ANGLER

Miss Medairy Dory-Ann Cast her line and caught a man,



But when he looked so pleased, alack! She unhooked and plunked him back.— "I never like to catch what I can," Said Miss Medairy Dory-Ann.

* * * * *



3

THE GATHERING OF THE CLANS

[Voice from behind high board-fence.]



"Where's the crowd that dares to go Where I dare to lead?—you know!"



"Well, here's one!" Shouts Ezry Dunn.



"Count me two!" Yells Cootsy Drew.



"Here's yer three!" Sings Babe Magee.



"Score me four!" Roars Leech-hole Moore.



"Tally—five!" Howls Jamesy Clive.



"I make six!" Chirps Herbert Dix.



"Punctchul!—seven!" Pipes Runt Replevin.



"Mark me eight!" Grunts Mealbag Nate.



"I'm yet nine!" Growls "Lud'rick" Stein.



"Hi! here's ten!" Whoops Catfish Ben.



"And now we march, in daring line, For the banks of Brandywine!"

* * * * *



4

"IT"

A wee little worm in a hickory-nut Sang, happy as he could be,—



"O I live in the heart of the whole round world, And it all belongs to me!"

* * * * *



5

THE DARING PRINCE

A daring prince, of the realm Rangg Dhune, Once went up in a big balloon



That caught and stuck on the horns of the moon, And he hung up there till next day noon— When all at once he exclaimed, "Hoot-toot!" And then came down in his parachute.



* * * * *



A DUBIOUS "OLD KRISS"



Us-folks is purty pore—but Ma She's waitin'—two years more—tel Pa He serve his term out. Our Pa he— He's in the Penitenchurrie!

Now don't you never tell!—'cause Sis, The baby, she don't know he is.— 'Cause she wuz only four, you know, He kissed her last an' hat to go!

Pa alluz liked Sis best of all Us childern.—'Spect it's 'cause she fall "When she'uz ist a child, one day— An' make her back look thataway.

Pa—'fore he be a burglar—he's A locksmiff, an' maked locks, an' keys, An' knobs you pull fer bells to ring, An' he could ist make anything!—



'Cause our Ma say he can!—An' this Here little pair o' crutches Sis Skips round on—Pa maked them—yes-sir!— An' silivur-plate-name here fer her!

Pa's out o' work when Chris'mus come One time, an' stay away from home, An' 's drunk an' 'buse our Ma, an' swear They ain't no "Old Kriss" anywhere!

An' Sis she alluz say they wuz A' Old Kriss—an' she alluz does. But ef they is a' Old Kriss, why, When's Chris'mus, Ma she alluz cry?

This Chris'mus now, we live here in Where Ma's rent's alluz due ag'in— An' she "ist slaves"—I heerd her say She did—ist them words thataway!



An' th'other night, when all's so cold An' stove's 'most out—our Ma she rolled Us in th'old feather-bed an' said, "To-morry's Chris'mus—go to bed,

"An' thank yer blessed stars fer this— We don't 'spect nothin' from Old Kriss!" An' cried, an' locked the door, an' prayed, An' turned the lamp down.... An' I laid

There, thinkin' in the dark ag'in, "Ef wuz Old Kriss, he can't git in, 'Cause ain't no chimbly here at all— Ist old stovepipe stuck frue the wall!"

I sleeped nen.—An' wuz dreamin' some When I waked up an' morning's come,— Fer our Ma she wuz settin' square Straight up in bed, a-readin' there

Some letter 'at she 'd read, an' quit, An' nen hold like she's huggin' it.— An' diamon' ear-rings she don't know Wuz in her ears tel I say so—

An' wake the rest up. An' the sun In frue the winder dazzle-un Them eyes o' Sis's, wiv a sure- Enough gold chain Old Kriss bringed to 'er!

An' all of us git gold things!—Sis, Though, say she know it "ain't Old Kriss— He kissed her, so she waked an' saw Him skite out—an' it wuz her Pa."

* * * * *



* * * * *



A SONG OF SINGING

Sing! gangling lad, along the brink Of wild brook-ways of shoal and deep, Where killdees dip, and cattle drink, And glinting little minnows leap! Sing! slimpsy lass who trips above And sets the foot-log quivering! Sing! bittern, bumble-bee, and dove— Sing! Sing! Sing!

Sing as you will, O singers all Who sing because you want to sing! Sing! peacock on the orchard wall, Or tree-toad by the trickling spring! Sing! every bird on every bough— Sing! every living, loving thing— Sing any song, and anyhow, But Sing! Sing! Sing!

* * * * *



THE JAYBIRD

The Jaybird he's my favorite Of all the birds they is! I think he's quite a stylish sight In that blue suit of his: An' when he' lights an' shuts his wings, His coat's a "cutaway"— I guess it's only when he sings You'd know he wuz a jay.

I like to watch him when he's lit In top of any tree, 'Cause all birds git wite out of it When he 'lights, an' they see How proud he act', an' swell an' spread His chest out more an' more, An' raise the feathers on his head Like it's cut pompadore!

* * * * *



* * * * *



A BEAR FAMILY



Wunst, 'way West in Illinoise, Wuz two Bears an' their two boys: An' the two boys' names, you know, Wuz—like ours is,—Jim an' Jo; An' their parunts' names wuz same's, All big grown-up people's names,— Ist Miz Bear, the neighbers call 'Em, an' Mister Bear—'at's all. Yes—an' Miz Bear scold him, too, Ist like grown folks shouldn't do!



Wuz a grea'-big river there, An', 'crosst that, 's a mountain where Old Bear said some day he'd go, Ef she don't quit scoldin'so! So, one day when he been down The river, fishin', 'most to town, An' come back 'thout no fish a-tall, An' Jim an' Jo they run an' bawl An' tell their ma their pa hain't fetch' No fish,—she scold again an' ketch Her old broom up an' biff him, too.—



An' he ist cry, an' say, "Boo-hoo! I told you what I 'd do some day'." An' he ist turned an' runned away To where's the grea'-big river there, An' ist splunged in an' swum to where The mountain's at, 'way th'other side, An' clumbed up there. An' Miz Bear cried— An' little Jo an' little Jim— Ist like their ma—bofe cried fer him!— But he clumbed on, clean out o' sight, He wuz so mad!—An' served 'em right!

Nen—when the Bear got 'way on top The mountain, he heerd somepin' flop Its wings—an' somepin' else he heerd A-rattlin'-like.—An' he wuz skeerd, An' looked 'way up, an'—Mercy sake!



It wuz a' Eagul an' a SNAKE! An'-sir! the Snake, he bite an' kill' The Eagul, an' they bofe fall till They strike the ground—k'spang-k'spat!— Wite where the Bear wuz standin' at! An' when here come the Snake at him, The Bear he think o' little Jim An' Jo, he did—an' their ma, too,— All safe at home; an' he ist flew Back down the mountain—an' could hear The old Snake rattlin', sharp an' clear, Wite clos't behind!—An' Bear he's so All tired out, by time, you know, He git down to the river there, He know' he can't swim back to where His folks is at. But ist wite nen He see a boat an' six big men



'At's been a-shootin' ducks: An' so He skeerd them out the boat, you know, An' ist jumped in—an' Snake he tried To jump in, too, but failed outside Where all the water wuz; an' so The Bear grabs one the things you row The boat wiv an' ist whacks the head Of the old Snake an' kills him dead!—

An' when he's killed him dead, w'y, nen The old Snake's drownded dead again! Nen Bear set in the boat an' bowed His back an' rowed—an' rowed—an' rowed— Till he's safe home—so tired he can't Do nothin' but lay there an' pant An' tell his childern, "Bresh my coat!" An' tell his wife, "Go chain my boat!" An' they're so glad he's back, they say "They knowed he's comin' thataway To ist surprise the dear ones there!" An' Jim an' Jo they dried his hair



An' pulled the burrs out; an' their ma She ist set there an' helt his paw Till he wuz sound asleep, an' nen She tell' him she won't scold again— Never—never—never— Ferever an' ferever!

* * * * *



SOME SONGS AFTER MASTER SINGERS

I

SONG

[W.S.]

With a hey! and a hi! and a hey-ho rhyme! O the shepherd lad He is ne'er so glad As when he pipes, in the blossom-time, So rare! While Kate picks by, yet looks not there. So rare! so rare! With a hey! and a hi! and a ho! The grasses curdle where the daisies blow!

With a hey! and a hi! and a hey-ho vow! Then he sips her face At the sweetest place— And ho! how white is the hawthorn now!— So rare!— And the daisied world rocks round them there. So rare! so rare! With a hey! and a hi! and a ho! The grasses curdle where the daisies blow!

* * * * *



* * * * *



II

TO THE CHILD JULIA

[R.H.]

Little Julia, since that we May not as our elders be, Let us blithely fill the days Of our youth with pleasant plays. First we'll up at earliest dawn, While as yet the dew is on The sooth'd grasses and the pied Blossomings of morningtide; Next, with rinsed cheeks that shine As the enamell'd eglantine, We will break our fast on bread With both cream and honey spread; Then, with many a challenge-call, We will romp from house and hall, Gypsying with the birds and bees Of the green-tress'd garden trees. In a bower of leaf and vine Thou shalt be a lady fine Held in duress by the great Giant I shall personate. Next, when many mimics more Like to these we have played o'er,



We'll betake us home-along Hand in hand at evensong.



* * * * *



III

THE DOLLY'S MOTHER

[W.W.]

A little maid, of summers four— Did you compute her years,— And yet how infinitely more To me her age appears:

I mark the sweet child's serious air, At her unplayful play,— The tiny doll she mothers there And lulls to sleep away,

Grows—'neath the grave similitude— An infant real, to me, And she a saint of motherhood In hale maturity.



So, pausing in my lonely round, And all unseen of her, I stand uncovered—her profound And abject worshipper.

* * * * *



* * * * *



IV

WIND OF THE SEA

[A.T.]

Wind of the Sea, come fill my sail— Lend me the breath of a freshening gale And bear my port-worn ship away! For O the greed of the tedious town— The shutters up and the shutters down! Wind of the Sea, sweep over the bay And bear me away!—away!

Whither you bear me, Wind of the Sea, Matters never the least to me: Give me your fogs, with the sails adrip, Or the weltering path thro' the starless night— On, somewhere, is a new daylight And the cheery glint of another ship As its colors dip and dip!



Wind of the Sea, sweep over the bay And bear me away!—away!

* * * * *



V

SUBTLETY

[R.B.]

Whilst little Paul, convalescing, was staying Close indoors, and his boisterous classmates paying



Him visits, with fresh school-notes and surprises,— With nettling pride they sprung the word "Athletic," With much advice and urgings sympathetic Anent "Athletic exercises." Wise as Lad might look, quoth Paul: "I've pondered o'er that 'Athletic,' but I mean to take, before that, Downstairic and outdooric exercises."

* * * * *



VI

BORN TO THE PURPLE

[W.M.]

Most-like it was this kingly lad Spake out of the pure joy he had In his child-heart of the wee maid Whose eerie beauty sudden laid A spell upon him, and his words Burst as a song of any bird's:—

A peerless Princess thou shalt be, Through wit of love's rare sorcery: To crown the crown of thy gold hair Thou shalt have rubies, bleeding there Their crimson splendor midst the marred Pulp of great pearls, and afterward



Leaking in fainter ruddy stains Adown thy neck-and-armlet-chains Of turquoise, chrysoprase, and mad Light-frenzied diamonds, dartling glad Swift spirts of shine that interfuse As though with lucent crystal dews That glance and glitter like split rays Of sunshine, born of burgeoning Mays When the first bee tilts down the lip Of the first blossom, and the drip Of blended dew and honey heaves Him blinded midst the underleaves. For raiment, Fays shall weave for thee— Out of the phosphor of the sea And the frayed floss of starlight, spun With counterwarp of the firm sun— A vesture of such filmy sheen As, through all ages, never queen Therewith strove truly to make less One fair line of her loveliness. Thus gowned and crowned with gems and gold, Thou shalt, through centuries untold, Rule, ever young and ever fair, As now thou rulest, smiling there.

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OLD MAN WHISKERY-WHEE-KUM-WHEEZE

Old Man Whiskery-Whee-Kum-Wheeze Lives 'way up in the leaves o' trees. An' wunst I slipped up-stairs to play In Aunty's room, while she 'uz away; An' I clumbed up in her cushion-chair An' ist peeked out o' the winder there; An' there I saw—wite out in the trees— Old Man Whiskery-Whee-Kum-Wheeze!

An' Old Man Whiskery-Whee-Kum-Wheeze Would bow an' bow, with the leaves in the breeze, An' waggle his whiskers an' raggledy hair, An' bow to me in the winder there! An' I 'd peek out, an' he'd peek in An' waggle his whiskers an' bow ag'in, Ist like the leaves'u'd wave in the breeze— Old Man Whiskery-Whee-Kum-Wheeze!

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An' Old Man Whiskery-Whee-Kum-Wheeze, Seem-like, says to me: "See my bees A-bringin' my dinner? An' see my cup O' locus'-blossoms they've plum' filled up?" An' "Um-yum, honey!" wuz last he said, An' waggled his whiskers an' bowed his head; An' I yells, "Gimme some, won't you, please, Old Man Whiskery-Whee-Kum-Wheeze?"



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LITTLE-GIRL-TWO-LITTLE-GIRLS

I'm twins, I guess, 'cause my Ma say I'm two little girls. An' one o' me Is Good little girl; an' th'other 'n' she Is Bad little girl as she can be! An' Ma say so, 'most ever' day.

An' she's the funniest Ma! 'Cause when My Doll won't mind, an' I ist cry, W'y, nen my Ma she sob an' sigh, An' say, "Dear Good little girl, good-bye!— Bad little girl's comed here again!"

Last time 'at Ma act' thataway, I cried all to myse'f awhile Out on the steps, an' nen I smile, An' git my Doll all fix' in style, An' go in where Ma's at, an' say: "Morning to you, Mommy dear! Where's that Bad little girl wuz here? Bad little girl's goned clean away, An' Good little girl's comed back to stay."



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A GUSTATORY ACHIEVEMENT

Last Thanksgivin'-dinner we Et at Granny's house, an' she



Had—ist like she alluz does— Most an' best pies ever wuz.

Canned black burry-pie an' goose Burry, squshin'-full o' juice; An' rozburry—yes, an' plum— Yes, an' churry-pie—um-yum!

Peach an' punkin, too, you bet. Lawzy! I kin taste 'em yet! Yes, an' custard-pie, an' mince!

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An'—I—ain't—et—no—pie—since!



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CLIMATIC SORCERY

When frost's all on our winder, an' the snow's All out-o'-doors, our "Old-Kriss"-milkman goes A-drivin' round, ist purt'-nigh froze to death, With his old white mustache froze full o' breath.

But when it's summer an' all warm ag'in, He comes a-whistlin' an' a-drivin in Our alley, 'thout no coat on, ner ain't cold, Ner his mustache ain't white, ner he ain't old.



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A PARENT REPRIMANDED

Sometimes I think 'at Parents does Things ist about as bad as us



Wite 'fore our vurry eyes, at that! Fer one time Pa he scold' my Ma 'Cause he can't find his hat; An' she ist cried, she did! An' I Says, "Ef you scold my Ma Ever again an' make her cry, Wy, you sha'n't be my Pa!" An' nen he laugh' an' find his hat Ist wite where Ma she said it's at!

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THE TREASURE OF THE WISE MAN

O the night was dark and the night was late, And the robbers came to rob him; And they picked the locks of his palace-gate, The robbers that came to rob him— They picked the locks of his palace-gate, Seized his jewels and gems of state, His coffers of gold and his priceless plate,— The robbers that came to rob him.

But loud laughed he in the morning red!— For of what had the robbers robbed him?— Ho! hidden safe, as he slept in bed, When the robbers came to rob him,— They robbed him not of a golden shred Of the childish dreams in his wise old head— "And they're welcome to all things else," he said, When the robbers came to rob him.



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THE END

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