Every Child Should Know
EDITED BY Mary E. Burt
THE WHAT-EVERY-CHILD- SHOULD-KNOW-LIBRARY
Published by DOUBLEDAY, DORAN & CO., INC., for THE PARENTS' INSTITUTE, INC. Publishers of "The Parents' Magazine" 9 EAST 40th STREET, NEW YORK
COPYRIGHT. 1904, BY DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES AT THE COUNTRY LIFE PRESS, GARDEN CITY, N.Y.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS TO PUBLISHERS AND AUTHORS
It sometimes happens that there are people who do not know that authors are protected by copyright laws. A publisher once cited to me an instance of a teacher who innocently put forth a little volume of poems that she loved and admired, without asking permission of any one. Her annoyance was boundless when she found that she had no right to the poems.
Special permission has been obtained for each copyrighted poem in this volume, and the right to publish has been purchased of the author or publisher, except in those cases where the author or the publisher has, for reasons of courtesy and friendship, given the permission.
In addition to the business arrangements which have been made, we wish to extend our thanks and acknowledgments to those firms which have so kindly allowed us to use their material.
To HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & COMPANY, of Boston, we are indebted for the use of the following poems: From the copyrighted works of Longfellow—"The Arrow and the Song," "A Fragment of Hiawatha's Childhood," "The Skeleton in Armour," "The Wreck of the Hesperus," "The Ship of State," "The Psalm of Life," "The Village Blacksmith." From Whittier—"Barbara Frietchie" and "The Three Bells of Glasgow." From Emerson—"The Problem." From Burroughs—"My Own Shall Come to Me." From Lowell—"The Finding of the Lyre," "The Shepherd of King Admetus," and a fragment of "The Vision of Sir Launfal," From Holmes—"The Chambered Nautilus" and "Old Ironsides." From James T. Fields—"The Captain's Daughter." From Bayard Taylor—"The Song in Camp," From Celia Thaxter—"The Sandpiper." From J.T. Trowbridge—"Farm-Yard Song." From Edith M. Thomas—"The God of Music" and Hermes' "Moly."
To CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS we are indebted for the use of the following poems: From the copyrighted works of Eugene Field—"Wynken Blynken, and Nod," "Krinken," and "The Duel." From Robert Louis Stevenson—"My Shadow." From James Whitcomb Riley's poems—"Little Orphant Annie." From the poems of Sidney Lanier—"Barnacles" and "The Tournament." From "The Poems of Patriotism"—"Sheridan's Ride."
We are further indebted to CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS, as well as to MR. GEORGE W. CABLE, for "The New Arrival," taken from "The Cable Story Book," and to MRS. KATHERINE MILLER and Scribner's Magazine for "Stevenson's Birthday."
To J.B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY we are indebted for the use of "Sheridan's Ride," from the complete works of T. Buchanan Read.
To HARPER & BROTHERS for the use of "Driving Home the Cows," by Kate Putnam Osgood.
To LITTLE, BROWN & COMPANY, of Boston, "How the Leaves Came Down," by Susan Coolidge.
To the WHITAKER & RAY COMPANY, of San Francisco, "Columbus," by Joaquin Miller, from his complete works published and copyrighted by that company.
To D. APPLETON & COMPANY for "The Planting of the Apple-Tree" and "Robert of Lincoln," from the complete works of William Cullen Bryant; also for "Marco Bozzaris," from the works of Fitz-Greene Halleck.
To the MACMILLAN COMPANY for "The Forsaken Merman," by Matthew Arnold, from the complete volume of his poems published by that company.
To the HOWARD UNIVERSITY PRINT, Washington, D.C., for Jeremiah Rankin's little poem, "The Babie," from "Ingleside Rhaims."
To the heirs of MARY EMILY BRADLEY for "A Chrysalis."
To HENRY HOLCOMB BENNETT for "The Flag Goes By."
Is this another collection of stupid poems that children cannot use? Will they look hopelessly through this volume for poems that suit them? Will they say despairingly, "This is too long," and "That is too hard," and "I don't like that because it is not interesting"?
Are there three or four pleasing poems and are all the rest put in to fill up the book? Nay, verily! The poems in this collection are those that children love. With the exception of seven, they are short enough for children to commit to memory without wearying themselves or losing interest in the poem. If one boy learns "The Overland Mail," or "The Recruit," or "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod," or "The Song in Camp," or "Old Ironsides," or "I Have a Little Shadow," or "The Tournament," or "The Duel," nine boys out of ten will be eager to follow him. I know because I have tried it a dozen times. Every boy loves "Paul Revere's Ride" (alas! I have not been able to include it), and is ambitious to learn it, but only boys having a quick memory will persevere to the end. Shall the slower boy be deprived of the pleasure of reading the whole poem and getting its inspiring sentiment and learning as many stanzas as his mind will take? No, indeed. Half of such a poem is better than none. Let the slow boy learn and recite as many stanzas as he can and the boy of quick memory follow him up with the rest. It does not help the slow boy's memory to keep it down entirely or deprive it of its smaller activity because he cannot learn the whole. Some people will invariably give the slow child a very short poem. It is often better to divide a long poem among the children, letting each child learn a part. The sustained interest of a long poem is worth while. "The Merman," "The Battle of Ivry," "Horatius at the Bridge," "Krinken," "The Skeleton in Armour," "The Raven" and "Herve Riel" may all profitably be learned that way. Nevertheless, the child enjoys most the poem that is just long enough, and there is much to be said in favour of the selection that is adapted, in length, to the average mind; for the child hesitates in the presence of quantity rather than in the presence of subtle thought. I make claim for this collection that it is made up of poems that the majority of children will learn of their own free will. There are people who believe that in the matter of learning poetry there is no "ought," but this is a false belief. There is a duty, even there; for every American citizen ought to know the great national songs that keep alive the spirit of patriotism. Children should build for their future—and get, while they are children, what only the fresh imagination of the child can assimilate.
They should store up an untold wealth of heroic sentiment; they should acquire the habit of carrying a literary quality in their conversation; they should carry a heart full of the fresh and delightful associations and memories, connected with poetry hours to brighten mature years. They should develop their memories while they have memories to develop.
Will the boy who took every poetry hour for a whole school year to learn "Henry of Navarre" ever regret it, or will the children who listened to it? No. It was fresh every week and they brought fresh interest in listening. The boy will always love it because he used to love it. There were boys who scrambled for the right to recite "The Tournament," "The Charge of the Light Brigade," "The Star-Spangled Banner," and so on. The boy who was first to reach the front had the privilege. The triumph of getting the chance to recite added to the zest of it. Will they ever forget it?
I know Lowell's "The Finding of the Lyre." Attention, Sir Knights! See who can learn it first as I say it to you. But I find that I have forgotten a line of it, so you may open your books and teach it to me. Now, I can recite every word of it. How much of it can you repeat from memory? One boy can say it all. Nearly every child has learned the most of it. Now, it will be easy for you to learn it alone. And Memory, the Goddess Beautiful, will henceforth go with you to recall this happy hour.
MARY E. BURT.
The John A. Browning School, 1904.
1. The Arrow and the Song 3 HENRY W. LONGFELLOW
2. The Babie 4 JEREMIAH EAMES RANKIN
3. Let Dogs Delight to Bark and Bite 4 ISAAC WATTS
4. Little Things 5 EBENEZER COBHAM BREWER
5. He Prayeth Best 5 SAMUEL T. COLERIDGE
6. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star 6 ANONYMOUS
7. Pippa 6 ROBERT BROWNING
8. The Days of the Month 7 AN OLD SONG
9. True Royalty 7 RUDYARD KIPLING
10. Playing Robinson Crusoe 8 RUDYARD KIPLING
11. My Shadow 9 ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
12. Little White Lily 10 GEORGE MACDONALD
13. How the Leaves Came Down 12 SUSAN COOLIDGE
14. Willie Winkie 13 WILLIAM MILLER
15. The Owl and the Pussy-Cat 15 EDWARD LEAR
16. Wynken, Blynken, and Nod 16 EUGENE FIELD
17. The Duel 18 EUGENE FIELD
18. The Boy Who Never Told a Lie 19 ANONYMOUS
19. Love Between Brothers and Sisters 20 ISAAC WATTS
20. The Bluebell of Scotland 20 ANONYMOUS
21. If I Had But Two Little Wings 21 SAMUEL T. COLERIDGE
22. A Farewell 21 CHARLES KINGSLEY
23. Casabianca 22 FELICIA HEMANS
24. The Captain's Daughter 23 JAMES T. FIELDS
25. The Village Blacksmith 25 HENRY W. LONGFELLOW
26. Sweet and Low 27 ALFRED TENNYSON
27. The Violet 27 JANE TAYLOR
28. The Rainbow (a fragment) 28 WILLIAM WORDSWORTH
29. A Visit From St. Nicholas 29 CLEMENT CLARKE MOORE
30. The Star-Spangled Banner 31 FRANCIS SCOTT KEY
31. Father William 33 LEWIS CARROLL
32. The Nightingale and the Glow-worm 34 WILLIAM COWPER
33. The Frost 39 HANNAH FLAGG GOULD
34. The Owl 40 ALFRED TENNYSON
35. Little Billee 41 WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY
36. The Butterfly and the Bee 42 WILLIAM LISLE BOWLES
37. An Incident of the French Camp 43 ROBERT BROWNING
38. Robert of Lincoln 44 WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT
39. Old Grimes 47 ALBERT GORTON GREENE
40. Song of Life 48 CHARLES MACKAY
41. Fairy Song 50 JOHN KEATS
42. A Boy's Song 50 JAMES HOGG
43. Buttercups and Daisies 51 MARY HOWITT
44. The Rainbow 53 THOMAS CAMPBELL
45. Old Ironsides 53 OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES
46. Little Orphant Annie 54 JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY
47. O Captain! My Captain! 57 WALT WHITMAN
48. Ingratitude 58 WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
49. The Ivy Green 59 CHARLES DICKENS
50. The Noble Nature 60 BEN JONSON
51. The Flying Squirrel 60 MARY E. BURT
52. Warren's Address 63 JOHN PIERPONT
53. The Song in Camp 64 BAYARD TAYLOR
54. The Bugle Song 66 ALFRED TENNYSON
55. The Three Bells of Glasgow 67 JOHN G. WHITTIER
56. Sheridan's Ride 68 THOMAS BUCHANAN READ
57. The Sandpiper 71 CELIA THAXTER
58. Lady Clare 72 ALFRED TENNYSON
59. The Lord of Burleigh 75 ALFRED TENNYSON
60. Hiawatha's Childhood 79 HENRY W. LONGFELLOW
61. I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud 82 WILLIAM WORDSWORTH
62. John Barleycorn 83 ROBERT BURNS
63. A Life on the Ocean Wave 85 EPES SARGENT
64. The Death of the Old Year 86 ALFRED TENNYSON
65. Abou Ben Adhem 89 LEIGH HUNT
66. Farm-Yard Song 90 J.T. TROWBRIDGE
67. To a Mouse 92 ROBERT BURNS
68. To a Mountain Daisy 94 ROBERT BURNS
69. Barbara Frietchie 96 JOHN G. WHITTIER
70. Lochinvar 103 SIR WALTER SCOTT
71. Lord Ullin's Daughter 105 THOMAS CAMPBELL
72. The Charge of the Light Brigade 107 ALFRED TENNYSON
73. The Tournament 110 SIDNEY LANIER
74. The Wind and the Moon 111 GEORGE MACDONALD
75. Jesus the Carpenter 114 CATHERINE C. LIDDELL
76. Letty's Globe 115 CHARLES TENNYSON TURNER
77. A Dream 116 WILLIAM BLAKE
78. Heaven Is Not Reached at a Single Bound 117 J.G. HOLLAND
79. The Battle of Blenheim 117 ROBERT SOUTHEY
80. Fidelity 120 WILLIAM WORDSWORTH
81. The Chambered Nautilus 122 OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES
82. Crossing the Bar 124 ALFRED TENNYSON
83. The Overland-Mail 125 RUDYARD KIPLING
84. Gathering Song of Donald Dhu 126 SIR WALTER SCOTT
85. Marco Bozzaris 128 FITZ-GREENE HALLECK
86. The Death of Napoleon 131 ISAAC MCCLELLAN
87. How Sleep the Brave 133 WILLIAM COLLINS
88. The Flag Goes By 133 HENRY HOLCOMB BENNETT
89. Hohenlinden 134 THOMAS CAMPBELL
90. My Old Kentucky Home 136 STEPHEN COLLINS FOSTER
91. Old Folks at Home 137 STEPHEN COLLINS FOSTER
92. The Wreck of the Hesperus 138 HENRY W. LONGFELLOW
93. Bannockburn 142 ROBERT BURNS
94. The Inchcape Rock 145 ROBERT SOUTHEY
95. The Finding of the Lyre 148 JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL
96. A Chrysalis 149 MARY EMILY BRADLEY
97. For a' That 151 ROBERT BURNS
98. The New Arrival 152 GEORGE W. CABLE
99. The Brook 153 ALFRED TENNYSON
100. The Ballad of the Clampherdown 154 RUDYARD KIPLING
101. The Destruction of Sennacherib 158 LORD BYRON
102. I Remember, I Remember 159 THOMAS HOOD
103. Driving Home the Cows 160 KATE PUTNAM OSGOOD
104. Krinken 162 EUGENE FIELD
105. Stevenson's Birthday 164 KATHERINE MILLER
106. A Modest Wit 165 SELLECK OSBORNE
107. The Legend of Bishop Hatto 166 ROBERT SOUTHEY
108. Columbus 160 JOAQUIN MILLER
109. The Shepherd of King Admetus 171 JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL
110. How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to 173 Aix ROBERT BROWNING
111. The Burial of Sir John Moore at Corunna 176 C. WOLFE
112. The Eve of Waterloo 177 LORD BYRON
113. Ivry 179 THOMAS B. MACAULAY
114. The Glove and the Lions 184 LEIGH HUNT
115. The Well of St. Keyne 186 ROBERT SOUTHEY
116. The Nautilus and the Ammonite 188 ANONYMOUS
117. The Solitude of Alexander Selkirk 190 WILLIAM COWPER
118. The Homes of England 192 FELICIA HEMANS
119. Horatius at the Bridge 193 THOMAS B. MACAULAY
120. The Planting of the Apple-Tree 211 WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT
121. June 217 JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL
122. A Psalm of Life 218 HENRY W. LONGFELLOW
123. Barnacles 219 SIDNEY LANIER
124. A Happy Life 220 SIR HENRY WOTTON
125. Home, Sweet Home 220 JOHN HOWARD PAYNE
126. From Casa Guidi Windows 222 ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING
127. Woodman, Spare That Tree! 222 GEORGE POPE MORRIS
128. Abide With Me 223 HENRY FRANCIS LYTE
129. Lead, Kindly Light 224 JOHN HENRY NEWMAN
130. The Last Rose of Summer 225 THOMAS MOORE
131. Annie Laurie 226 WILLIAM DOUGLAS
132. The Ship of State 227 HENRY W. LONGFELLOW
133. America 228 SAMUEL FRANCIS SMITH
134. The Landing of the Pilgrims 229 FELICIA HEMANS
135. The Lotos-Eaters 231 ALFRED TENNYSON
136. Moly 233 EDITH M. THOMAS
137. Cupid Drowned 234 LEIGH HUNT
138. Cupid Stung 234 THOMAS MOORE
139. Cupid and My Campasbe 235 JOHN LYLY
140. A Ballad for a Boy 236 ANONYMOUS
141. The Skeleton in Armour 240 HENRY W. LONGFELLOW
142. The Revenge 246 ALFRED TENNYSON
143. Sir Galahad 253 ALFRED TENNYSON
144. A Name in the Sand 256 HANNAH FLAGG GOULD
145. The Voice of Spring 259 FELICIA HEMANS
146. The Forsaken Merman 260 MATTHEW ARNOLD
147. The Banks o' Doon 265 ROBERT BURNS
148. The Light of Other Days 266 THOMAS MOORE
149. My Own Shall Come to Me 267 JOHN BURROUGHS
150. Ode to a Skylark 268 PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY
151. The Sands of Dee 271 CHARLES KINGSLEY
152. A Wish 272 SAMUEL ROGERS
153. Lucy 272 WILLIAM WORDSWORTH
154. Solitude 273 ALEXANDER POPE
155. John Anderson 274 ROBERT BURNS
156. The God of Music 275 EDITH M. THOMAS
157. A Musical Instrument 275 ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING
158. The Brides of Enderby 277 JEAN INGELOW
159. The Lye 283 SIR WALTER RALEIGH
160. L'Envoi 285 RUDYARD KIPLING
161. Contentment 286 EDWARD DYER
162. The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls 287 THOMAS MOORE
163. The Old Oaken Bucket 288 SAMUEL WOODWORTH
164. The Raven 289 EDGAR ALLAN POE
165. Arnold von Winkleried 296 JAMES MONTGOMERY
166. Life, I Know Not What Thou Art 299 A.L. BARBAULD
167. Mercy 300 WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
168. Polonius' Advice 301 WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
169. A Fragment from "Julius Caesar" 301 WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
170. The Skylark 302 THOMAS HOGG
171. The Choir Invisible 303 GEORGE ELIOT
172. The World Is Too Much With Us 304 WILLIAM WORDSWORTH
173. On His Blindness 304 JOHN MILTON
174. She Was a Phantom of Delight 305 WILLIAM WORDSWORTH
175. Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard 306 THOMAS GRAY
176. Rabbi Ben Ezra 312 ROBERT BROWNING
177. Prospice 320 ROBERT BROWNING
178. Recessional 321 RUDYARD KIPLING
179. Ozymandias of Egypt 322 PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY
180. Mortality 323 WILLIAM KNOX
181. On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer 326 JOHN KEATS
182. Herve Riel 326 ROBERT BROWNING
183. The Problem 333 RALPH WALDO EMERSON
184. To America 335 ALFRED AUSTIN
185. The English Flag 337 RUDYARD KIPLING
186. The Man With the Hoe 342 EDWIN MARKHAM
187. Song of Myself 344 WALT WHITMAN
INDEX OF AUTHORS
ANONYMOUS Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, 6 The Days of the Month, 7 The Boy who Never Told a Lie, 19 The Bluebell of Scotland, 20 The Nautilus and the Ammonite, 188 A Ballad for a Boy, 236 ARNOLD, MATTHEW The Forsaken Merman, 260 AUSTIN, ALFRED To America, 335
BARBAULD, A.L. Life, I Know Not What Thou Art, 299 BENNETT, HENRY HOLCOMB The Flag Goes By, 133 BLAKE, WILLIAM A Dream, 116 BOWLES, WILLIAM LISLE The Butterfly and the Bee, 42 BRADLEY, MARY EMILY A Chrysalis, 149 BREWER, EBENEZER COBHAM Little Things, 5 BROWNING, ELIZABETH BARRETT From Casa Guidi Windows, 222 A Musical Instrument, 275 BROWNING, ROBERT Pippa, 6 An Incident of the French Camp, 43 How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix, 173 Rabbi Ben Ezra, 312 Prospice, 320 Herve Riel, 326 BRYANT, WILLIAM CULLEN Robert of Lincoln, 44 The Planting of the Apple Tree, 211 BURNS, ROBERT John Barleycorn, 83 To a Mouse, 92 To a Mountain Daisy, 94 Bannockburn, 142 For a' That, 151 The Banks o' Doon, 265 John Anderson, 274 BURROUGHS, JOHN My Own Shall Come to Me, 267 BURT, MARY E. The Flying Squirrel, 60 BYRON, LORD The Destruction of Sennacherib, 158 The Eve of Waterloo, 177
CABLE, GEORGE W. The New Arrival, 152 CAMPBELL, THOMAS The Rainbow, 53 Lord Ullin's Daughter, 105 Hohenlinden, 134 CARROLL, LEWIS Father William, 33 COLERIDGE, SAMUEL T. He Prayeth Best, 5 If I Had But Two Little Wings, 21 COLLINS, WILLIAM How Sleep the Brave, 133 COOLIDGE, SUSAN How the Leaves Came Down, 12 COWPER, WILLIAM The Nightingale and the Glow-worm, 34 The Solitude of Alexander Selkirk, 190
DICKENS, CHARLES The Ivy Green, 59 DOUGLAS, WILLIAM Annie Laurie, 226 DYER, EDWARD Contentment, 286
ELIOT, GEORGE The Choir Invisible, 303 EMERSON, RALPH WALDO The Problem, 333
FIELD, EUGENE Wynken, Blynken and Nod, 16 The Duel, 18 Krinken, 162 FIELDS, JAMES T. The Captain's Daughter, 23 FOSTER, STEPHEN COLLINS My Old Kentucky Home, 136 Old Folks at Home, 137
GOULD, HANNAH FLAGG The Frost, 39 A Name in the Sand, 256 GRAY, THOMAS Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, 306 GREENE, ALBERT GORTON Old Grimes, 47
HALLECK, FITZ-GREENE Marco Bozzaris, 128 HEMANS, FELICIA Casabianca, 22 The Homes of England, 192 The Landing of the Pilgrims, 229 The Voice of Spring, 259 HOOD, THOMAS I Remember, I Remember, 159 HOGG, JAMES A Boy's Song, 50 The Skylark, 302 HOLLAND, J.G. Heaven is Not Reached at a Single Bound, 117 HOLMES, OLIVER WENDELL Old Ironsides, 53 The Chambered Nautilus, 122 HOWITT, MARY Buttercups and Daisies, 51 HUNT, LEIGH Abou Ben Adhem, 89 The Glove and the Lions, 184 Cupid Drowned, 234
INGELOW, JEAN The Brides of Enderby, 277
JONSON. BEN The Noble Nature, 60
KEATS, JOHN Fairy Song, 50 On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer, 326 KEY, FRANCIS SCOTT The Star-Spangled Banner, 31 KINGSLEY, CHARLES A Farewell, 21 The Sands of Dee, 271 KIPLING, RUDYARD True Royalty, 7 Playing Robinson Crusoe, 8 The Overland Mail, 125 The Ballad of the Clampherdown, 154 L'Envoi, 285 Recessional, 321 The English Flag, 337 KNOX, WILLIAM Mortality, 323
LANIER, SIDNEY The Tournament, 110 Barnacles, 219 LEAR, EDWARD The Owl and the Pussy-Cat, 15 LIDDELL, CATHERINE C. Jesus the Carpenter, 114 LONGFELLOW, HENRY W. The Arrow and the Song, 3 The Village Blacksmith, 25 Hiawatha's Childhood, 79 The Wreck of the Hesperus, 138 A Psalm of Life, 218 The Ship of State, 227 The Skeleton in Armour, 240 LOWELL, JAMES RUSSELL The Finding of the Lyre, 148 The Shepherd of King Admetus, 171 June, 217 LYLY, JOHN Cupid and My Campasbe, 235 LYTE, HENRY FRANCIS Abide With Me, 223
MACAULAY, THOMAS B. Ivry, 179 Horatius at the Bridge, 193 MACDONALD, GEORGE Little White Lily, 10 The Wind and the Moon, 111 MACKAY, CHARLES Song of Life, 48 MARKHAM, EDWIN The Man With the Hoe, 342 MCCLELLAN, ISAAC The Death of Napoleon, 131 MILLER, JOAQUIN Columbus, 169 MILLER, KATHERINE Stevenson's Birthday, 164 MILLER, WILLIAM Willie Winkie, 13 MILTON, JOHN On His Blindness, 304 MONTGOMERY, JAMES Arnold von Winkleried, 296 MOORE, CLEMENT CLARKE A Visit from St. Nicholas, 29 MOORE, THOMAS The Last Rose of Summer, 234 Cupid Stung, 234 The Light of Other Days, 266 The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls, 287 MORRIS, GEORGE POPE Woodman, Spare That Tree, 222
NEWMAN, JOHN HENRY Lead, Kindly Light, 224
OSBORNE, SELLECK A Modest Wit, 165 OSGOOD, KATE PUTNAM Driving Home the Cows, 160
PAYNE, JOHN HOWARD Home, Sweet Home, 220 PIERPONT, JOHN Warren's Address, 63 POE, EDGAR ALLAN The Raven, 289 POPE, ALEXANDER Solitude, 273
RALEIGH, SIR WALTER The Lye, 283 RANKIN. JEREMIAH EAMES The Babie, 4 READ, THOMAS BUCHANAN Sheridan's Ride, 68 RILEY, JAMES WHITCOMB Little Orphant Annie, 54 ROGERS, SAMUEL A Wish, 272
SARGENT, EPES A Life on the Ocean Wave, 85 SCOTT, SIR WALTER Lochinvar, 103 The Gathering Song of Donald Dhu, 126 SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM Ingratitude, 58 Mercy, 300 Polonius' Advice, 301 A Fragment from Julius Caesar, 301 SHELLEY, PERCY BYSSHE Ode to a Skylark, 268 Ozymandias in the Desert, 322 SMITH, SAMUEL FRANCIS America, 228 SOUTHEY, ROBERT The Battle of Blenheim, 117 The Inchcape Rock, 145 The Legend of Bishop Hatto, 166 The Well of St. Keyne, 186 STEVENSON, ROBERT LOUIS My Shadow, 9
TAYLOR, BAYARD The Song in Camp, 64 TAYLOR, JANE The Violet, 27 TENNYSON, ALFRED Sweet and Low, 27 The Owl, 40 The Bugle Song, 66 Lady Clare, 72 The Lord of Burleigh, 75 The Death of the Old Year, 86 The Charge of the Light Brigade, 107 Crossing the Bar, 124 The Brook, 153 The Lotos Eaters, 231 The REVENGE, 246 Sir Galahad, 253 THACKERAY, WILLIAM MAKEPEACE Little Billee, 41 THAXTER, CELIA The Sandpiper, 71 THOMAS, EDITH Moly, 233 The God of Music, 275 TROWBRIDGE, J.T. Farmyard Song, 90 TURNER, CHARLES TENNYSON Letty's Globe, 115
WATTS, ISAAC Let Dogs Delight to Bark and Bite, 4 Love Between Brothers and Sisters, 20 WHITMAN, WALT O Captain! My Captain! 57 Song of Myself, 344 WHITTIER, JOHN G. The Three Bells of Glasgow, 67 Barbara Frietchie, 96 WOLFE, C. The Burial of Sir John Moore at Corunna, 176 WOODWORTH, SAMUEL The Old Oaken Bucket, 288 WORDSWORTH, WILLIAM The Rainbow (a fragment), 28 I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, 82 Fidelity, 120 Lucy, 272 The World is Too Much With Us, 304 She Was a Phantom of Delight, 305 WOTTON, SIR HENRY A Happy Life, 220
The Budding Moment
Poems That Every Child Should Know
THE ARROW AND THE SONG.
"The Arrow and the Song," by Longfellow (1807-82), is placed first in this volume out of respect to a little girl of six years who used to love to recite it to me. She knew many poems, but this was her favourite.
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.
HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.
I found "The Babie" in Stedman's "Anthology." It is placed in this volume by permission of the poet, Jeremiah Eames Rankin, of Cleveland (1828-), because it captured the heart of a ten-year-old boy whose fancy was greatly moved by the two beautiful lines:
"Her face is like an angel's face, I'm glad she has no wings."
Nae shoon to hide her tiny taes, Nae stockin' on her feet; Her supple ankles white as snaw, Or early blossoms sweet.
Her simple dress o' sprinkled pink, Her double, dimplit chin, Her puckered lips, and baumy mou', With na ane tooth within.
Her een sae like her mither's een, Twa gentle, liquid things; Her face is like an angel's face: We're glad she has nae wings.
JEREMIAH EAMES RANKIN.
LET DOGS DELIGHT TO BARK AND BITE.
"Let Dogs Delight to Bark and Bite," by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), and "Little Drops of Water," by Ebenezer Cobham Brewer (1810-97), are poems that the world cannot outgrow. Once in the mind, they fasten. They were not born to die.
Let dogs delight to bark and bite, For God hath made them so; Let bears and lions growl and fight, For 'tis their nature too.
But, children, you should never let Such angry passions rise; Your little hands were never made To tear each other's eyes.
Little drops of water, Little grains of sand, Make the mighty ocean And the pleasant land.
Thus the little minutes, Humble though they be, Make the mighty ages Of eternity.
EBENEZER COBHAM BREWER.
HE PRAYETH BEST.
These two stanzas, the very heart of that great poem, "The Ancient Mariner," by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), sum up the lesson of this masterpiece—"Insensibility is a crime."
Farewell, farewell! but this I tell To thee, thou Wedding-Guest! He prayeth well who loveth well Both man and bird and beast.
He prayeth best who loveth best All things, both great and small: For the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all.
SAMUEL T. COLERIDGE.
TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE STAR.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star! How I wonder what you are, Up above the world so high, Like a diamond in the sky.
When the glorious sun is set, When the grass with dew is wet, Then you show your little light, Twinkle, twinkle all the night.
In the dark-blue sky you keep, And often through my curtains peep, For you never shut your eye, Till the sun is in the sky.
As your bright and tiny spark Guides the traveller in the dark, Though I know not what you are, Twinkle, twinkle, little star!
"Spring's at the Morn," from "Pippa Passes," by Robert Browning (1812-89), has become a very popular stanza with little folks. "All's right with the world" is a cheerful motto for the nursery and schoolroom.
The year's at the spring, The day's at the morn; Morning's at seven; The hillside'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!
THE DAYS OF THE MONTH.
"The Days of the Month" is a useful bit of doggerel that we need all through life. It is anonymous.
Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November; February has twenty-eight alone. All the rest have thirty-one, Excepting leap-year—that's the time When February's days are twenty-nine.
"True Royalty" and "Playing Robinson Crusoe" are pleasing stanzas from "The Just So Stories" of Rudyard Kipling (1865-).
There was never a Queen like Balkis, From here to the wide world's end; But Balkis talked to a butterfly As you would talk to a friend.
There was never a King like Solomon, Not since the world began; But Solomon talked to a butterfly As a man would talk to a man.
She was Queen of Sabaea— And he was Asia's Lord— But they both of 'em talked to butterflies When they took their walks abroad.
(In "The Just So Stories.")
PLAYING ROBINSON CRUSOE.
Pussy can sit by the fire and sing, Pussy can climb a tree, Or play with a silly old cork and string To 'muse herself, not me. But I like Binkie, my dog, because He knows how to behave; So, Binkie's the same as the First Friend was, And I am the Man in the Cave.
Pussy will play Man-Friday till It's time to wet her paw And make her walk on the window-sill (For the footprint Crusoe saw); Then she fluffles her tail and mews, And scratches and won't attend. But Binkie will play whatever I choose, And he is my true First Friend.
Pussy will rub my knees with her head, Pretending she loves me hard; But the very minute I go to my bed Pussy runs out in the yard.
And there she stays till the morning light; So I know it is only pretend; But Binkie, he snores at my feet all night, And he is my Firstest Friend!
(In "The Just So Stories.")
"My Shadow," by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94), is one of the most popular short poems extant. I have taught it to a great many very young boys, and not one has ever tried to evade learning it. Older pupils like it equally well.
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.
LITTLE WHITE LILY.
This poem (George Macdonald, 1828-) finds a place in this volume because, as a child, I loved it. It completely filled my heart, and has made every member of the lily family dear to me. George Macdonald's charming book, "At the Back of the North Wind," also was my wonder and delight.
Little White Lily Sat by a stone, Drooping and waiting Till the sun shone. Little White Lily Sunshine has fed; Little White Lily Is lifting her head.
Little White Lily Said: "It is good Little White Lily's Clothing and food." Little White Lily Dressed like a bride! Shining with whiteness, And crowned beside!
Little White Lily Drooping with pain, Waiting and waiting For the wet rain. Little White Lily Holdeth her cup; Rain is fast falling And filling it up.
Little White Lily Said: "Good again, When I am thirsty To have the nice rain. Now I am stronger, Now I am cool; Heat cannot burn me, My veins are so full."
Little White Lily Smells very sweet; On her head sunshine, Rain at her feet. Thanks to the sunshine, Thanks to the rain, Little White Lily Is happy again.
HOW THE LEAVES CAME DOWN.
"How the Leaves Came Down," by Susan Coolidge (1845-), appeals to children because it helps to reconcile them to going to bed. "I go to bed by day" is one of the crosses of childhood.
"I'll tell you how the leaves came down," The great Tree to his children said: "You're getting sleepy, Yellow and Brown, Yes, very sleepy, little Red. It is quite time to go to bed."
"Ah!" begged each silly, pouting leaf, "Let us a little longer stay; Dear Father Tree, behold our grief! 'Tis such a very pleasant day, We do not want to go away."
So, for just one more merry day To the great Tree the leaflets clung, Frolicked and danced, and had their way, Upon the autumn breezes swung, Whispering all their sports among—
"Perhaps the great Tree will forget, And let us stay until the spring, If we all beg, and coax, and fret." But the great Tree did no such thing; He smiled to hear their whispering.
"Come, children, all to bed," he cried; And ere the leaves could urge their prayer, He shook his head, and far and wide, Fluttering and rustling everywhere, Down sped the leaflets through the air.
I saw them; on the ground they lay, Golden and red, a huddled swarm, Waiting till one from far away, White bedclothes heaped upon her arm, Should come to wrap them safe and warm.
The great bare Tree looked down and smiled. "Good-night, dear little leaves," he said. And from below each sleepy child Replied, "Good-night," and murmured, "It is so nice to go to bed!"
"Wee Willie Winkie," by William Miller (1810-72), is included in this volume out of respect to an eight-year-old child who chose it from among hundreds. We had one poetry hour every week, and he studied and recited it with unabated interest to the end of the year.
Wee Willie Winkie rins through the town, Up-stairs and doon-stairs, in his nicht-gown, Tirlin' at the window, cryin' at the lock, "Are the weans in their bed?—for it's now ten o'clock."
Hey, Willie Winkie! are ye comin' ben? The cat's singin' gay thrums to the sleepin' hen, The doug's speldered on the floor, and disna gie a cheep; But here's a waukrife laddie that winna fa' asleep.
Onything but sleep, ye rogue! glow'rin' like the moon, Rattlin' in an airn jug wi' an airn spoon, Rumblin' tumblin' roun' about, crowin' like a cock, Skirlin' like a kenna-what—wauknin' sleepin' folk.
Hey, Willie Winkie! the wean's in a creel! Waumblin' aff a body's knee like a vera eel, Ruggin' at the cat's lug, and ravellin' a' her thrums,— Hey, Willie Winkie!—See, there he comes!
Wearie is the mither that has a storie wean, A wee stumpie stoussie that canna rin his lane, That has a battle aye wi' sleep before he'll close an ee; But a kiss frae aff his rosy lips gies strength anew to me.
THE OWL AND THE PUSSY-CAT.
"The Owl and the Pussy-Cat," by Edward Lear (1812-88), is placed here because I once found that a timid child was much strengthened and developed by learning it. It is a song that appeals to the imagination of children, and they like to sing it.
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 wonderful 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.
WYNKEN, BLYNKEN, AND NOD.
"Wynken, Blynken, and Nod," by Eugene Field (1850-95), pleases children, who are all by nature sailors and adventurers.
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, and what do you wish?" The old moon asked the three. "We have come to fish for the herring-fish That live in this 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 the beautiful sea. "Now cast your nets wherever 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 folk thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed Of sailing that beautiful sea; But I shall 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.
"The Duel," by Eugene Field (1850-95), is almost the most popular humorous poem that has come under my notice. In making such a collection as this it is not easy to find poems at once delicate, witty, and graphic. I have taught "The Duel" hundreds of times, and children invariably love it.
The gingham dog and the calico cat Side by side on the table sat; 'Twas half-past twelve, and (what do you think!) Nor one nor t'other had slept a wink! The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate Appeared to know as sure as fate There was going to be a terrible spat. (I wasn't there; I simply state What was told to me by the Chinese plate!)
The gingham dog went "bow-wow-wow!" And the calico cat replied "mee-ow!" The air was littered, an hour or so, With bits of gingham and calico, While the old Dutch clock in the chimney-place Up with its hands before its face, For it always dreaded a family row! (Now mind: I'm only telling you What the old Dutch clock declares is true!)
The Chinese plate looked very blue, And wailed, "Oh, dear! what shall we do!" But the gingham dog and the calico cat Wallowed this way and tumbled that, Employing every tooth and claw In the awfullest way you ever saw— And, oh! how the gingham and calico flew! (Don't fancy I exaggerate! I got my views from the Chinese plate!)
Next morning where the two had sat They found no trace of the dog or cat; And some folks think unto this day That burglars stole the pair away! But the truth about the cat and the pup Is this: They ate each other up! Now what do you really think of that! (The old Dutch clock it told me so, And that is how I came to know.)
THE BOY WHO NEVER TOLD A LIE.
"The Boy Who Never Told a Lie" (anonymous), as well as "Whatever Brawls Disturb the Street," by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), are real gems. A few years ago they were more in favour than the poorer verse that has been put forward. But they are sure to be revived.
Once there was a little boy, With curly hair and pleasant eye— A boy who always told the truth, And never, never told a lie.
And when he trotted off to school, The children all about would cry, "There goes the curly-headed boy— The boy that never tells a lie."
And everybody loved him so, Because he always told the truth, That every day, as he grew up, 'Twas said, "There goes the honest youth."
And when the people that stood near Would turn to ask the reason why, The answer would be always this: "Because he never tells a lie."
LOVE BETWEEN BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
Whatever brawls disturb the street, There should be peace at home; Where sisters dwell and brothers meet, Quarrels should never come.
Birds in their little nests agree; And 'tis a shameful sight, When children of one family Fall out and chide and fight.
THE BLUEBELL OF SCOTLAND.
Oh where! and oh where! is your Highland laddie gone? He's gone to fight the French for King George upon the throne; And it's oh! in my heart how I wish him safe at home.
Oh where! and oh where! does your Highland laddie dwell? He dwells in merry Scotland at the sign of the Bluebell; And it's oh! in my heart that I love my laddie well.
IF I HAD BUT TWO LITTLE WINGS.
"If I Had But Two Little Wings," by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), is recommended by a number of teachers and school-girls.
If I had but two little wings And were a little feathery bird, To you I'd fly, my dear! But thoughts like these are idle things And I stay here.
But in my sleep to you I fly: I'm always with you in my sleep! The world is all one's own. And then one wakes, and where am I? All, all alone.
SAMUEL T. COLERIDGE.
"A Farewell," by Charles Kingsley (1819-75), makes it seem worth while to be good.
My fairest child, I have no song to give you; No lark could pipe to skies so dull and gray; Yet, ere we part, one lesson I can leave you For every day.
Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever; Do noble things, not dream them all day long: And so make life, death, and that vast forever One grand, sweet song.
"Casabianca," by Felicia Hemans (1793-1835), is the portrait of a faithful heart, an example of unreasoning obedience. It is right that a child should obey even to the death the commands of a loving parent.
The boy stood on the burning deck, Whence all but him had fled; The flame that lit the battle's wreck Shone round him o'er the dead.
Yet beautiful and bright he stood, As born to rule the storm; A creature of heroic blood, A proud though childlike form.
The flames rolled on—he would not go Without his father's word; That father, faint in death below, His voice no longer heard.
He called aloud, "Say, father, say If yet my task is done?" He knew not that the chieftain lay Unconscious of his son.
"Speak, father!" once again he cried, "If I may yet be gone!" And but the booming shots replied, And fast the flames rolled on.
Upon his brow he felt their breath, And in his waving hair; And looked from that lone post of death In still, yet brave despair.
And shouted but once more aloud "My father! must I stay?" While o'er him fast, through sail and shroud, The wreathing fires made way.
They wrapt the ship in splendour wild, They caught the flag on high, And streamed above the gallant child Like banners in the sky.
Then came a burst of thunder sound— The boy—oh! where was he? —Ask of the winds that far around With fragments strew the sea;
With mast, and helm, and pennon fair. That well had borne their part— But the noblest thing that perished there Was that young, faithful heart.
THE CAPTAIN'S DAUGHTER.
"The Captain's Daughter," by James T. Fields (1816-81), carries weight with every young audience. It is pointed to an end that children love—viz., trust in a higher power.
We were crowded in the cabin, Not a soul would dare to sleep,— It was midnight on the waters, And a storm was on the deep.
'Tis a fearful thing in winter To be shattered by the blast, And to hear the rattling trumpet Thunder, "Cut away the mast!"
So we shuddered there in silence,— For the stoutest held his breath, While the hungry sea was roaring And the breakers talked with Death.
As thus we sat in darkness, Each one busy with his prayers, "We are lost!" the captain shouted As he staggered down the stairs.
But his little daughter whispered, As she took his icy hand, "Isn't God upon the ocean, Just the same as on the land?"
Then we kissed the little maiden. And we spoke in better cheer, And we anchored safe in harbour When the morn was shining clear.
JAMES T. FIELDS.
["The 'village smithy' stood in Brattle Street, Cambridge. There came a time when the chestnut-tree that shaded it was cut down, and then the children of the place put their pence together and had a chair made for the poet from its wood."]
THE VILLAGE BLACKSMITH.
Longfellow (1807-82) is truly the children's poet. His poems are as simple, pathetic, artistic, and philosophical as if they were intended to tell the plain everyday story of life to older people. "The Village Blacksmith" has been learned by thousands of children, and there is no criticism to be put upon it. The age of the child has nothing whatever to do with his learning it. Age does not grade children nor is poetry wholly to be so graded. "Time is the false reply."
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 till 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 it 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.
HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.
SWEET AND LOW.
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 dropping 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.
"The Violet," by Jane Taylor (1783-1824), is another of those dear old-fashioned poems, pure poetry and pure violet. It is included in this volume out of respect to my own love for it when I was a child.
Down in a green and shady bed A modest violet grew; Its stalk was bent, it hung its head, As if to hide from view.
And yet it was a lovely flower, No colours bright and fair; It might have graced a rosy bower, Instead of hiding there.
Yet there it was content to bloom, In modest tints arrayed; And there diffused its sweet perfume, Within the silent shade.
Then let me to the valley go, This pretty flower to see; That I may also learn to grow In sweet humility.
"The Rainbow," by William Wordsworth (1770-1850), accords with every child's feelings. It voices the spirit of all ages that would love to imagine it "a bridge to heaven."
My heart leaps up when I behold A rainbow in the sky; So was it when my life began, So is it now I am a man, So be it when I shall grow old, Or let me die! The child is father of the man; And I could wish my days to be Bound each to each by natural piety.
A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS.
"A Visit From St. Nicholas," by Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863) is the most popular Christmas poem ever written. It carries Santa Claus on from year to year and the spirit of Santa Claus.
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there; The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap, When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below, When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer. With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: "Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!" As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky; So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas, too. And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack. His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow; The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread; He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down on a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."
CLEMENT CLARKE MOORE.
THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER.
O! say, can you see, by the dawn's early light, What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming— Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming! And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there; O! say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?
On that shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep, Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam, In full glory reflected now shines on the stream; 'Tis the star-spangled banner; O long may it wave O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion A home and a country should leave us no more? Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps, pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave; And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.
O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand Between their loved homes and the war's desolation! Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation. Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just, And this be our motto—"In God is our trust": And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.
FRANCIS SCOTT KEY.
"Father William" a parody by Lewis Carroll (1833-), is even more clever than the original. Harmless fun brightens the world. It takes a real genius to create wit that carries no sting.
"You are old, Father William," the young man said, "And your hair has become very white; And yet you incessantly stand on your head— Do you think, at your age, it is right?"
"In my youth," Father William replied to his son, "I feared it might injure the brain; But now that I'm perfectly sure I have none, Why, I do it again and again."
"You are old," said the youth, "as I mentioned before, And have grown most uncommonly fat; Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door— Pray, what is the reason of that?"
"In my youth," said the sage, as he shook his gray locks, "I kept all my limbs very supple By the use of this ointment—one shilling the box— Allow me to sell you a couple."
"You are old," said the youth, "and your jaws are too weak For anything tougher than suet; Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak: Pray, how did you manage to do it?"
"In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law, And argued each case with my wife; And the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw Has lasted the rest of my life."
"You are old," said the youth; "one would hardly suppose That your eye was as steady as ever; Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose— What made you so awfully clever?"
"I have answered three questions, and that is enough," Said his father, "don't give yourself airs! Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff? Be off, or I'll kick you down-stairs!"
("Alice in Wonderland.")
THE NIGHTINGALE AND THE GLOW-WORM.
"The Nightingale," by William Cowper (1731-1800), is a favourite with a teacher of good taste, and I include it at her request.
A nightingale, that all day long Had cheered the village with his song, Nor yet at eve his note suspended, Nor yet when eventide was ended, Began to feel, as well he might, The keen demands of appetite; When, looking eagerly around, He spied far off, upon the ground, A something shining in the dark, And knew the glow-worm by his spark; So, stooping down from hawthorn top, He thought to put him in his crop. The worm, aware of his intent, Harangued him thus, right eloquent: "Did you admire my lamp," quoth he, "As much as I your minstrelsy, You would abhor to do me wrong, As much as I to spoil your song; For 'twas the self-same power divine, Taught you to sing and me to shine; That you with music, I with light, Might beautify and cheer the night." The songster heard his short oration, And warbling out his approbation, Released him, as my story tells, And found a supper somewhere else.
The Little Child
"Jack Frost," by Hannah Flagg Gould (1789-1865), is perhaps a hundred years old, but he is the same rollicking fellow to-day as of yore. The poem puts his merry pranks to the front and prepares the way for science to give him a true analysis.
The Frost looked forth, one still, clear night, And whispered, "Now I shall be out of sight; So through the valley and over the height, In silence I'll take my way: I will not go on with that blustering train, The wind and the snow, the hail and the rain, Who make so much bustle and noise in vain, But I'll be as busy as they."
Then he flew to the mountain and powdered its crest; He lit on the trees, and their boughs he dressed In diamond beads—and over the breast Of the quivering lake he spread A coat of mail, that it need not fear The downward point of many a spear That hung on its margin far and near, Where a rock could rear its head.
He went to the windows of those who slept, And over each pane, like a fairy, crept; Wherever he breathed, wherever he slept, By the light of the moon were seen Most beautiful things—there were flowers and trees; There were bevies of birds and swarms of bees; There were cities with temples and towers, and these All pictured in silver sheen!
But he did one thing that was hardly fair; He peeped in the cupboard, and finding there That all had forgotten for him to prepare— "Now just to set them a-thinking, I'll bite this basket of fruit," said he, "This costly pitcher I'll burst in three, And the glass of water they've left for me Shall 'tchich!' to tell them I'm drinking."
HANNAH FLAGG GOULD.
When cats run home and light is come, And dew is cold upon the ground, And the far-off stream is dumb, And the whirring sail goes round, And the whirring sail goes round; Alone and warming his five wits, The white owl in the belfry sits.
When merry milkmaids click the latch, And rarely smells the new-mown hay, And the cock hath sung beneath the thatch Twice or thrice his roundelay, Twice or thrice his roundelay; Alone and warming his five wits, The white owl in the belfry sits.
"Little Billee," by William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-63), finds a place here because it carries a good lesson good-naturedly rendered. An accomplished teacher recommends it, and I recollect two young children in Chicago who sang it frequently for years without getting tired of it.
There were three sailors of Bristol city Who took a boat and went to sea. But first with beef and captain's biscuits And pickled pork they loaded she.
There was gorging Jack and guzzling Jimmy, And the youngest he was little Billee. Now when they got so far as the Equator They'd nothing left but one split pea.
Says gorging Jack to guzzling Jimmy, "I am extremely hungaree." To gorging Jack says guzzling Jimmy, "We've nothing left, us must eat we."
Says gorging Jack to guzzling Jimmy, "With one another, we shouldn't agree! There's little Bill, he's young and tender, We're old and tough, so let's eat he."
"Oh! Billy, we're going to kill and eat you, So undo the button of your chemie." When Bill received this information He used his pocket-handkerchie.
"First let me say my catechism, Which my poor mammy taught to me." "Make haste, make haste," says guzzling Jimmy While Jack pulled out his snickersnee.
So Billy went up to the main-topgallant mast, And down he fell on his bended knee. He scarce had come to the Twelfth Commandment When up he jumps, "There's land I see.
"Jerusalem and Madagascar, And North and South Amerikee: There's the British flag a-riding at anchor, With Admiral Napier, K.C.B."
So when they got aboard of the Admiral's He hanged fat Jack and flogged Jimmee; But as for little Bill, he made him The Captain of a Seventy-three.
WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY.
THE BUTTERFLY AND THE BEE.
"The Butterfly and the Bee," by William Lisle Bowles (1762-1850), is recommended by some school-girls. It carries a lesson in favour of the worker.
Methought I heard a butterfly Say to a labouring bee: "Thou hast no colours of the sky On painted wings like me."
"Poor child of vanity! those dyes, And colours bright and rare," With mild reproof, the bee replies, "Are all beneath my care.
"Content I toil from morn to eve, And scorning idleness, To tribes of gaudy sloth I leave The vanity of dress."
WILLIAM LISLE BOWLES.
AN INCIDENT OF THE FRENCH CAMP.
"An Incident of the French Camp," by Robert Browning (1812-89), is included in this volume out of regard to a boy of eight years who did not care for many poems, but this one stirred his heart to its depths.
You know, we French storm'd Ratisbon: A mile or so away On a little mound, Napoleon Stood on our storming-day; With neck out-thrust, you fancy how, Legs wide, arms lock'd behind, As if to balance the prone brow Oppressive with its mind.
Just as perhaps he mus'd "My plans That soar, to earth may fall, Let once my army leader Lannes Waver at yonder wall,"— Out 'twixt the battery smokes there flew A rider, bound on bound Full-galloping; nor bridle drew Until he reach'd the mound.
Then off there flung in smiling joy, And held himself erect By just his horse's mane, a boy: You hardly could suspect— (So tight he kept his lips compress'd, Scarce any blood came through) You look'd twice ere you saw his breast Was all but shot in two.
"Well," cried he, "Emperor, by God's grace We've got you Ratisbon! The Marshal's in the market-place, And you'll be there anon To see your flag-bird flap his vans Where I, to heart's desire, Perched him!" The chief's eye flashed; his plans Soared up again like fire.
The chief's eye flashed; but presently Softened itself, as sheathes A film the mother-eagle's eye When her bruised eaglet breathes; "You're wounded!" "Nay," the soldier's pride Touched to the quick, he said: "I'm killed, Sire!" And his chief beside, Smiling the boy fell dead.
ROBERT OF LINCOLN.
"Robert of Lincoln," by William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), is one of the finest bird poems ever written. It finds a place here because I have seen it used effectively as a memory gem in the Cook County Normal School (Colonel Parker's school), year after year, and because my own pupils invariably like to commit it to memory. With the child of six to the student of twenty years it stands a source of delight.
Merrily swinging on brier and weed, Near to the nest of his little dame, Over the mountain-side or mead, Robert of Lincoln is telling his name. Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link, Spink, spank, spink, Snug and safe is this nest of ours, Hidden among the summer flowers. Chee, chee, chee.
Robert of Lincoln is gayly dressed, Wearing a bright, black wedding-coat; White are his shoulders, and white his crest, Hear him call in his merry note, Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link, Spink, spank, spink, Look what a nice, new coat is mine; Sure there was never a bird so fine. Chee, chee, chee.
Robert of Lincoln's Quaker wife, Pretty and quiet, with plain brown wings, Passing at home a patient life, Broods in the grass while her husband sings, Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link, Spink, spank, spink, Brood, kind creature, you need not fear Thieves and robbers while I am here. Chee, chee, chee.
Modest and shy as a nun is she; One weak chirp is her only note; Braggart, and prince of braggarts is he, Pouring boasts from his little throat, Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link, Spink, spank, spink, Never was I afraid of man, Catch me, cowardly knaves, if you can. Chee, chee, chee.
Six white eggs on a bed of hay, Flecked with purple, a pretty sight: There as the mother sits all day, Robert is singing with all his might, Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link, Spink, spank, spink, Nice good wife that never goes out, Keeping house while I frolic about. Chee, chee, chee.
Soon as the little ones chip the shell, Six wide mouths are open for food; Robert of Lincoln bestirs him well, Gathering seeds for the hungry brood: Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link, Spink, spank, spink, This new life is likely to be Hard for a gay young fellow like me. Chee, chee, chee.
Robert of Lincoln at length is made Sober with work, and silent with care, Off is his holiday garment laid, Half forgotten that merry air, Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link, Spink, spank, spink, Nobody knows but my mate and I, Where our nest and our nestlings lie. Chee, chee, chee.
Summer wanes; the children are grown; Fun and frolic no more he knows; Robert of Lincoln's a hum-drum drone; Off he flies, and we sing as he goes, Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link, Spink, spank, spink, When you can pipe that merry old strain, Robert of Lincoln, come back again. Chee, chee, chee.
WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.
"Old Grimes" is an heirloom, an antique gem. We learn it as a matter of course for its sparkle and glow.
Old Grimes is dead; that good old man, We ne'er shall see him more; He used to wear a long, black coat, All buttoned down before.
His heart was open as the day, His feelings all were true; His hair was some inclined to gray, He wore it in a queue.
He lived at peace with all mankind, In friendship he was true; His coat had pocket-holes behind, His pantaloons were blue.
He modest merit sought to find, And pay it its desert; He had no malice in his mind, No ruffles on his shirt.
His neighbours he did not abuse, Was sociable and gay; He wore large buckles on his shoes, And changed them every day.
His knowledge, hid from public gaze, He did not bring to view, Nor make a noise town-meeting days, As many people do.
His worldly goods he never threw In trust to fortune's chances, But lived (as all his brothers do) In easy circumstances.
Thus undisturbed by anxious cares His peaceful moments ran; And everybody said he was A fine old gentleman.
ALBERT GORTON GREENE.
SONG OF LIFE.
A traveller on a dusty road Strewed acorns on the lea; And one took root and sprouted up, And grew into a tree. Love sought its shade at evening-time, To breathe its early vows; And Age was pleased, in heights of noon, To bask beneath its boughs. The dormouse loved its dangling twigs, The birds sweet music bore— It stood a glory in its place, A blessing evermore.
A little spring had lost its way Amid the grass and fern; A passing stranger scooped a well Where weary men might turn. He walled it in, and hung with care A ladle on the brink; He thought not of the deed he did, But judged that Toil might drink. He passed again; and lo! the well, By summer never dried, Had cooled ten thousand parched tongues, And saved a life beside.
A nameless man, amid the crowd That thronged the daily mart, Let fall a word of hope and love, Unstudied from the heart, A whisper on the tumult thrown, A transitory breath, It raised a brother from the dust, It saved a soul from death. O germ! O fount! O word of love! O thought at random cast! Ye were but little at the first, But mighty at the last.
Shed no tear! O shed no tear! The flower will bloom another year. Weep no more! O, weep no more! Young buds sleep in the root's white core. Dry your eyes! Oh! dry your eyes! For I was taught in Paradise To ease my breast of melodies— Shed no tear.
Overhead! look overhead! 'Mong the blossoms white and red— Look up, look up. I flutter now On this flush pomegranate bough. See me! 'tis this silvery bell Ever cures the good man's ill. Shed no tear! O, shed no tear! The flowers will bloom another year. Adieu, adieu—I fly, adieu, I vanish in the heaven's blue— Adieu, adieu!
A BOY'S SONG
"A Boy's Song," by James Hogg (1770-1835), is a sparkling poem, very attractive to children.
Where the pools are bright and deep, Where the gray trout lies asleep, Up the river and o'er the lea, That's the way for Billy and me.
Where the blackbird sings the latest, Where the hawthorn blooms the sweetest, Where the nestlings chirp and flee, That's the way for Billy and me.
Where the mowers mow the cleanest, Where the hay lies thick and greenest, There to trace the homeward bee, That's the way for Billy and me.
Where the hazel bank is steepest, Where the shadow falls the deepest, Where the clustering nuts fall free. That's the way for Billy and me.
Why the boys should drive away, Little sweet maidens from the play, Or love to banter and fight so well, That's the thing I never could tell.
But this I know, I love to play, Through the meadow, among the hay; Up the water and o'er the lea, That's the way for Billy and me.
BUTTERCUPS AND DAISIES.
Buttercups and daisies, Oh, the pretty flowers, Coming ere the spring time, To tell of sunny hours. While the tree are leafless, While the fields are bare, Buttercups and daisies Spring up here and there.
Ere the snowdrop peepeth, Ere the crocus bold, Ere the early primrose Opes its paly gold, Somewhere on the sunny bank Buttercups are bright; Somewhere 'mong the frozen grass Peeps the daisy white.
Little hardy flowers, Like to children poor, Playing in their sturdy health By their mother's door, Purple with the north wind, Yet alert and bold; Fearing not, and caring not, Though they be a-cold!
What to them is winter! What are stormy showers! Buttercups and daisies Are these human flowers! He who gave them hardships And a life of care, Gave them likewise hardy strength And patient hearts to bear.
Triumphal arch, that fills the sky When storms prepare to part, I ask not proud Philosophy To teach me what thou art.
Still seem, as to my childhood's sight, A midway station given, For happy spirits to alight, Betwixt the earth and heaven.
"Old Ironsides," by Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-94), is learned readily. Children are untouched by the commercial spirit which is the reproach of this age. "Ingratitude is the vice of republics," and this poem puts to shame the love of money and the spirit of ingratitude that could let a national servant become a wreck.
Ay, tear her tattered ensign down! Long has it waved on high, And many an eye has danced to see That banner in the sky; Beneath it rung the battle shout, And burst the cannon's roar;— The meteor of the ocean air Shall sweep the clouds no more.
Her deck, once red with heroes' blood, Where knelt the vanquished foe, When winds were hurrying o'er the flood And waves were white below. No more shall feel the victor's tread, Or know the conquered knee; The harpies of the shore shall pluck The eagle of the sea!
O, better that her shattered hulk Should sink beneath the wave; Her thunders shook the mighty deep, And there should be her grave; Nail to the mast her holy flag, Set every threadbare sail, And give her to the god of storms, The lightning and the gale!
OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.
LITTLE ORPHANT ANNIE.
"Little Orphant Annie" certainly earns her "board and keep" when she has "washed the dishes," "swept up the crumbs," "driven the chickens from the porch," and done all the other odds and ends of work on a farm. The poet, James Whitcomb Riley (1853-), has shown how truly a little child may be overtaxed and yet preserve a brave spirit and keen imagination. Children invariably love to learn this poem.
Little Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay, An' wash the cups and saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away, An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth, an' sweep, An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board-an'-keep; An' all us other children, when the supper things is done, We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest fun A-list'nin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about, An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you Ef you Don't Watch Out!
Onc't they was a little boy wouldn't say his pray'rs— An' when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs, His mammy heerd him holler, an' his daddy heerd him bawl, An' when they turn't the kivvers down, he wasn't there at all! An' they seeked him in the rafter-room, an' cubby hole, an' press, An' seeked him up the chimbly flue, an' ever'-wheres, I guess; But all they ever found was thist his pants an' roundabout! An' the Gobble-uns'll git you Ef you Don't Watch Out!
An' one time a little girl 'ud allus laugh an' grin, An' make fun of ever' one, an' all her blood-an'-kin; An' onc't when they was "company," an' ole folks was there, She mocked 'em an' shocked 'em, an' said she didn't care! An' thist as she kicked her heels, an' turn't to run an' hide, They was two great big Black Things a-standin' by her side, An' they snatched her through the ceilin' 'fore she knowed what she's about! An' the Gobble-uns'll git you Ef you Don't Watch Out!
An' little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue, An' the lampwick sputters, an' the wind goes woo-oo! An' you hear the crickets quit, an' the moon is gray, An' the lightnin'-bugs in dew is all squenched away,— You better mind yer parents, an' yer teachers fond an' dear, An' churish them 'at loves you, an' dry the orphant's tear, An' he'p the pore an' needy ones 'at clusters all about, Er the Gobble-uns'll git you Ef you Don't Watch Out!
JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY.
O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!
"O Captain! My Captain!" by Walt Whitman (1819-92), is placed here out of compliment to a little boy aged ten who wanted to recite it once a week for a year. This song and Edwin Markham's poem on Lincoln are two of the greatest tributes ever paid to that hero.
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won, The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring; But O heart! heart! heart! O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills, For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding, For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning; Here Captain! dear father! This arm beneath your head! It is some dream that on the deck You've fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still, My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will. The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done, From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won; Exult O shores, and ring O bells! But I, with mournful tread, Walk the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.
"Ingratitude," by William Shakespeare (1564-1616), is an incisive thrust at a refined vice. It is a part of education to learn to be grateful.
Blow, blow, thou winter wind, Thou are not so unkind As man's ingratitude; Thy tooth is not so keen Because thou are not seen, Although thy breath be rude.
Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky, Thou dost not bite so nigh As benefits forgot; Though thou the waters warp, Thy sting is not so sharp As friend remembered not.
THE IVY GREEN.
"The Ivy Green," by Charles Dickens (1812-70), is a hardy poem in honour of a hardy plant. There is a wonderful ivy growing at Rhudlan, in northern Wales. Its roots are so large and strong that they form a comfortable seat for many persons, and no one can remember when they were smaller. This ivy envelops a great castle in ruins. Every child in that locality loves the old ivy. It is typical of the ivy as seen all through Wales and England.
O, a dainty plant is the ivy green, That creepeth o'er ruins old! Of right choice food are his meals, I ween, In his cell so lone and cold. The walls must be crumbled, the stones decayed. To pleasure his dainty whim; And the mouldering dust that years have made Is a merry meal for him. Creeping where no life is seen, A rare old plant is the ivy green.
Fast he stealeth on, though he wears no wings, And a staunch old heart has he! How closely he twineth, how tight he clings To his friend, the huge oak tree! And slyly he traileth along the ground, And his leaves he gently waves, And he joyously twines and hugs around The rich mould of dead men's graves. Creeping where no life is seen, A rare old plant is the ivy green.
Whole ages have fled, and their works decayed, And nations have scattered been; But the stout old ivy shall never fade From its hale and hearty green. The brave old plant in its lonely days Shall fatten upon the past; For the stateliest building man can raise Is the ivy's food at last. Creeping where no life is seen, A rare old plant is the ivy green.
THE NOBLE NATURE.
"The Noble Nature," by Ben Jonson (1574-1637), needs no plea. A small virtue well polished is better than none.
It is not growing like a tree In bulk doth make man better be; Or standing long an oak, three hundred year To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sear A lily of a day Is fairer far in May, Although it fall and die that night,— It was the plant and flower of light. In small proportions we just beauties see; And in short measures life may perfect be.
THE FLYING SQUIRREL.
"The Flying Squirrel" is an honest account of a live creature that won his way into scores of hearts by his mad pranks and affectionate ways. It is enough that John Burroughs has commended the poem.
Of all the woodland creatures, The quaintest little sprite Is the dainty flying squirrel In vest of shining white, In coat of silver gray, And vest of shining white.
His furry Quaker jacket Is trimmed with stripe of black; A furry plume to match it Is curling o'er his back; New curved with every motion, His plume curls o'er his back.
No little new-born baby Has pinker feet than he; Each tiny toe is cushioned With velvet cushions three; Three wee, pink, velvet cushions Almost too small to see.
Who said, "The foot of baby Might tempt an angel's kiss"? I know a score of school-boys Who put their lips to this,— This wee foot of the squirrel, And left a loving kiss.
The tiny thief has hidden My candy and my plum; Ah, there he comes unbidden To gently nip my thumb,— Down in his home (my pocket) He gently nips my thumb.
How strange the food he covets, The restless, restless wight;— Fred's old stuffed armadillo He found a tempting bite, Fred's old stuffed armadillo, With ears a perfect fright.
The Lady Ruth's great bureau, Each foot a dragon's paw! The midget ate the nails from His famous antique claw. Oh, what a cruel beastie To hurt a dragon's claw!
To autographic copies Upon my choicest shelf,— To every dainty volume The rogue has helped himself. My books! Oh dear! No matter! The rogue has helped himself.
And yet, my little squirrel, Your taste is not so bad; You've swallowed Caird completely And psychologic Ladd. Rosmini you've digested, And Kant in rags you've clad.
Gnaw on, my elfish rodent! Lay all the sages low! My pretty lace and ribbons, They're yours for weal or woe! My pocket-book's in tatters Because you like it so.
MARY E. BURT.
WARREN'S ADDRESS TO THE AMERICAN SOLDIERS.
There is never a boy who objects to learning "Warren's Address," by John Pierpont (1785-1866). To stand by one's own rights is inherent in every true American. This poem is doubtless developed from Robert Burns's "Bannockburn." (1785-1866.)
Stand! the ground's your own, my braves! Will ye give it up to slaves? Will ye look for greener graves? Hope ye mercy still? What's the mercy despots feel? Hear it in that battle-peal! Read it on yon bristling steel! Ask it,—ye who will.
Fear ye foes who kill for hire? Will ye to your homes retire? Look behind you! they're afire! And, before you, see Who have done it!—From the vale On they come!—And will ye quail?— Leaden rain and iron hail Let their welcome be!
In the God of battles trust! Die we may,—and die we must; But, O, where can dust to dust Be consigned so well, As where Heaven its dews shall shed On the martyred patriot's bed, And the rocks shall raise their head, Of his deeds to tell!
THE SONG IN CAMP.
"The Song in Camp" is Bayard Taylor's best effort as far as young boys and girls are concerned. It is a most valuable poem. I once heard a clergyman in Chicago use it as a text for his sermon. Since then "Annie Laurie" has become the song of the Labour party. "The Song in Camp" voices a universal feeling. (1825-78.)
"Give us a song!" the soldiers cried, The outer trenches guarding, When the heated guns of the camps allied Grew weary of bombarding.
The dark Redan, in silent scoff, Lay, grim and threatening, under; And the tawny mound of the Malakoff No longer belched its thunder.
There was a pause. A guardsman said, "We storm the forts to-morrow; Sing while we may, another day Will bring enough of sorrow."
They lay along the battery's side, Below the smoking cannon: Brave hearts, from Severn and from Clyde, And from the banks of Shannon.
They sang of love, and not of fame; Forgot was Britain's glory: Each heart recalled a different name, But all sang "Annie Laurie."
Voice after voice caught up the song, Until its tender passion Rose like an anthem, rich and strong,— Their battle-eve confession.
Dear girl, her name he dared not speak, But, as the song grew louder, Something upon the soldier's cheek Washed off the stains of powder.
Beyond the darkening ocean burned The bloody sunset's embers, While the Crimean valleys learned How English love remembers.
And once again a fire of hell Rained on the Russian quarters, With scream of shot, and burst of shell, And bellowing of the mortars!
And Irish Nora's eyes are dim For a singer, dumb and gory; And English Mary mourns for him Who sang of "Annie Laurie."
Sleep, soldiers! still in honoured rest Your truth and valour wearing: The bravest are the tenderest,— The loving are the daring.
THE BUGLE SONG.
"The Bugle Song" (by Alfred Tennyson, 1809-90), says Heydrick, "has for its central theme the undying power of human love. The music is notable for sweetness and delicacy."
The splendour 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 "THREE BELLS" OF GLASGOW.
"The Three Bells of Glasgow," by Whittier (1807-92), cannot be praised too highly for its ethical value. Children always love to learn it after hearing it read correctly and by one who understands and appreciates it. "Stand by" is the motto. My pupils teach it to me once a year and learn it themselves, too.
Beneath the low-hung night cloud That raked her splintering mast The good ship settled slowly, The cruel leak gained fast.
Over the awful ocean Her signal guns pealed out. Dear God! was that Thy answer From the horror round about?
A voice came down the wild wind, "Ho! ship ahoy!" its cry: "Our stout Three Bells of Glasgow Shall stand till daylight by!"
Hour after hour crept slowly, Yet on the heaving swells Tossed up and down the ship-lights, The lights of the Three Bells!
And ship to ship made signals, Man answered back to man, While oft, to cheer and hearten, The Three Bells nearer ran:
And the captain from her taffrail Sent down his hopeful cry. "Take heart! Hold on!" he shouted, "The Three Bells shall stand by!"
All night across the waters The tossing lights shone clear; All night from reeling taffrail The Three Bells sent her cheer.
And when the dreary watches Of storm and darkness passed, Just as the wreck lurched under, All souls were saved at last.
Sail on, Three Bells, forever, In grateful memory sail! Ring on, Three Bells of rescue, Above the wave and gale!
Type of the Love eternal, Repeat the Master's cry, As tossing through our darkness The lights of God draw nigh!
JOHN G. WHITTIER.
There never was a boy who did not like "Sheridan's Ride," by T. Buchanan Read (1822-72). The swing and gallop in it take every boy off from his feet. The children never teach this poem to me, because they love to learn it at first sight. It is easily memorised.
Up from the South at break of day, Bringing to Winchester fresh dismay, The affrighted air with a shudder bore, Like a herald in haste, to the chieftain's door, The terrible grumble, and rumble, and roar, Telling the battle was on once more, And Sheridan twenty miles away.
And wider still those billows of war Thundered along the horizon's bar; And louder yet into Winchester rolled The roar of that red sea uncontrolled, Making the blood of the listener cold As he thought of the stake in that fiery fray, And Sheridan twenty miles away.
But there is a road from Winchester town, A good, broad highway leading down; And there, through the flush of the morning light, A steed as black as the steeds of night Was seen to pass as with eagle flight; As if he knew the terrible need, He stretched away with his utmost speed; Hills rose and fell; but his heart was gay, With Sheridan fifteen miles away.
Still sprung from those swift hoofs, thundering South, The dust, like smoke from the cannon's mouth; Or the trail of a comet, sweeping faster and faster, Foreboding to traitors the doom of disaster. The heart of the steed and the heart of the master Were beating like prisoners assaulting their walls, Impatient to be where the battle-field calls; Every nerve of the charger was strained to full play, With Sheridan only ten miles away.
Under his spurning feet the road Like an arrowy Alpine river flowed, And the landscape sped away behind Like an ocean flying before the wind. And the steed, like a bark fed with furnace fire, Swept on, with his wild eye full of ire. But lo! he is nearing his heart's desire; He is snuffing the smoke of the roaring fray, With Sheridan only five miles away.
The first that the General saw were the groups Of stragglers, and then the retreating troops. What was done—what to do? A glance told him both, Then striking his spurs, with a terrible oath, He dashed down the line, mid a storm of huzzas, And the wave of retreat checked its course there, because The sight of the master compelled it to pause. With foam and with dust the black charger was gray; By the flash of his eye, and the red nostrils' play, He seemed to the whole great army to say: "I have brought you Sheridan all the way From Winchester down to save the day!"
Hurrah! hurrah for Sheridan! Hurrah! hurrah for horse and man! And when their statues are placed on high, Under the dome of the Union sky, The American soldiers' Temple of Fame, There with the glorious General's name Be it said, in letters both bold and bright: "Here is the steed that saved the day, By carrying Sheridan into the fight From Winchester, twenty miles away!"
THOMAS BUCHANAN READ.
"The Sandpiper," by Celia Thaxter (1836-94), is placed here because a goodly percentage of the children who read it want to learn it.
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.
Above our heads the sullen clouds Scud, black and swift, across the sky; Like silent ghosts in misty shrouds Stand out the white lighthouses high. Almost as far as eye can reach I see the close-reefed vessels fly, As fast we flit along the beach, 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 canst 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?
Girls always love "Lady Clare" and "The Lord of Burleigh." They like to think that it is enough to be a splendid woman without title or wealth. They want to be loved, if they are loved at all, for their good hearts and graces of mind. Tennyson (1809-92) makes this point repeatedly through his poems.
It was the time when lilies blow And clouds are highest up in air; Lord Ronald brought a lily-white doe To give his cousin, Lady Clare.
I trow they did not part in scorn: Lovers long-betroth'd were they: They too will wed the morrow morn: God's blessing on the day!
"He does not love me for my birth, Nor for my lands so broad and fair; He loves me for my own true worth, And that is well," said Lady Clare.
In there came old Alice the nurse; Said: "Who was this that went from thee?" "It was my cousin," said Lady Clare; "To-morrow he weds with me."
"O God be thank'd!" said Alice the nurse, "That all comes round so just and fair: Lord Ronald is heir of all your lands, And you are not the Lady Clare."
"Are ye out of your mind, my nurse, my nurse," Said Lady Clare, "that ye speak so wild?" "As God's above," said Alice the nurse, "I speak the truth: you are my child.
"The old Earl's daughter died at my breast; I speak the truth, as I live by bread! I buried her like my own sweet child, And put my child in her stead."
"Falsely, falsely have ye done, O mother," she said, "if this be true, To keep the best man under the sun So many years from his due."
"Nay now, my child," said Alice the nurse, "But keep the secret for your life, And all you have will be Lord Ronald's When you are man and wife."
"If I'm a beggar born," she said, "I will speak out, for I dare not lie. Pull off, pull off the brooch of gold, And fling the diamond necklace by."
"Nay now, my child," said Alice the nurse, "But keep the secret all ye can." She said: "Not so: but I will know If there be any faith in man."
"Nay now, what faith?" said Alice the nurse, "The man will cleave unto his right," "And he shall have it," the lady replied, "Tho' I should die to-night."
"Yet give one kiss to your mother dear! Alas! my child, I sinn'd for thee." "O mother, mother, mother," she said, "So strange it seems to me.
"Yet here's a kiss for my mother dear, My mother dear, if this be so, And lay your hand upon my head, And bless me, mother, ere I go."
She clad herself in a russet gown, She was no longer Lady Clare: She went by dale, and she went by down, With a single rose in her hair.
The lily-white doe Lord Ronald had brought Leapt up from where she lay, Dropt her head in the maiden's hand, And follow'd her all the way.
Down stept Lord Ronald from his tower: "O Lady Clare, you shame your worth! Why come you drest like a village maid, That are the flower of the earth?"
"If I come drest like a village maid, I am but as my fortunes are: I am a beggar born," she said, "And not the Lady Clare."
"Play me no tricks," said Lord Ronald, "For I am yours in word and in deed. Play me no tricks," said Lord Ronald, "Your riddle is hard to read."
O and proudly stood she up! Her heart within her did not fail: She look'd into Lord Ronald's eyes, And told him all her nurse's tale.
He laugh'd a laugh of merry scorn: He turn'd and kiss'd her where she stood: "If you are not the heiress born? And I," said he, "the next in blood—
"If you are not the heiress born, And I," said he, "the lawful heir, We two will wed to-morrow morn, And you shall still be Lady Clare."
THE LORD OF BURLEIGH.
In her ear he whispers gaily, "If my heart by signs can tell, Maiden, I have watched thee daily, And I think thou lov'st me well." She replies, in accents fainter, "There is none I love like thee." He is but a landscape-painter, And a village maiden she.
He to lips, that fondly falter, Presses his without reproof; Leads her to the village altar, And they leave her father's roof.
"I can make no marriage present; Little can I give my wife. Love will make our cottage pleasant, And I love thee more than life."
They by parks and lodges going See the lordly castles stand; Summer woods, about them blowing, Made a murmur in the land.
From deep thought himself he rouses, Says to her that loves him well, "Let us see these handsome houses Where the wealthy nobles dwell."
So she goes by him attended, Hears him lovingly converse, Sees whatever fair and splendid Lay betwixt his home and hers.
Parks with oak and chestnut shady, Parks and order'd gardens great, Ancient homes of lord and lady, Built for pleasure and for state.
All he shows her makes him dearer; Evermore she seems to gaze On that cottage growing nearer, Where they twain will spend their days.
O but she will love him truly! He shall have a cheerful home; She will order all things duly When beneath his roof they come.
Thus her heart rejoices greatly Till a gateway she discerns With armorial bearings stately, And beneath the gate she turns; Sees a mansion more majestic Than all those she saw before; Many a gallant gay domestic Bows before him at the door.
And they speak in gentle murmur When they answer to his call, While he treads with footstep firmer, Leading on from hall to hall.
And while now she wanders blindly, Nor the meaning can divine, Proudly turns he round and kindly, "All of this is mine and thine."
Here he lives in state and bounty, Lord of Burleigh, fair and free. Not a lord in all the county Is so great a lord as he. All at once the colour flushes Her sweet face from brow to chin; As it were with same she blushes, And her spirit changed within.
Then her countenance all over Pale again as death did prove: But he clasp'd her like a lover, And he cheer'd her soul with love.
So she strove against her weakness, Tho' at times her spirits sank; Shaped her heart with woman's meekness To all duties of her rank; And a gentle consort made he, And her gentle mind was such That she grew a noble lady, And the people loved her much. But a trouble weigh'd upon her And perplex'd her, night and morn, With the burden of an honour Unto which she was not born.
Faint she grew and ever fainter. As she murmur'd, "Oh, that he Were once more that landscape-painter Which did win my heart from me!"
So she droop'd and droop'd before him, Fading slowly from his side; Three fair children first she bore him, Then before her time she died.
Weeping, weeping late and early, Walking up and pacing down, Deeply mourn'd the Lord of Burleigh, Burleigh-house by Stamford-town.
And he came to look upon her, And he look'd at her and said, "Bring the dress and put it on her That she wore when she was wed."
Then her people, softly treading, Bore to earth her body, drest In the dress that she was wed in, That her spirit might have rest.
"Hiawatha" needs no commendation. Hundreds of thousands of children in our land know snatches of it It is a child's poem, every line of it. One summer in Boston more than 50,000 people went to take a peep at the poet's house. (1807-82.)
By the shores of Gitche Gumee, By the shining Big-Sea-Water, Stood the wigwam of Nokomis, Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis. Dark behind it rose the forest, Rose the black and gloomy pine-trees, Rose the firs with cones upon them; Bright before it beat the water, Beat the clear and sunny water, Beat the shining Big-Sea-Water.
There the wrinkled old Nokomis Nursed the little Hiawatha, Rocked him in his linden cradle, Bedded soft in moss and rushes, Safely bound with reindeer sinews; Stilled his fretful wail by saying, "Hush! the Naked Bear will hear thee!" Lulled him into slumber, singing, "Ewa-yea! my little owlet! Who is this that lights the wigwam? With his great eyes lights the wigwam? Ewa-yea! my little owlet!"
Many things Nokomis taught him Of the stars that shine in heaven; Showed him Ishkoodah, the comet, Ishkoodah, with fiery tresses; Showed the Death-Dance of the spirits, Warriors with their plumes and war-clubs, Flaring far away to northward In the frosty nights of winter; Showed the broad, white road in heaven, Pathway of the ghosts, the shadows, Running straight across the heavens, Crowded with the ghosts, the shadows.
At the door, on summer evenings, Sat the little Hiawatha; Heard the whispering of the pine-trees, Heard the lapping of the water, Sounds of music, words of wonder; "Minnie-wawa!" said the pine-trees, "Mudway-aushka!" said the water; Saw the fire-fly, Wah-wah-taysee, Flitting through the dusk of evening, With the twinkle of its candle Lighting up the brakes and bushes, And he sang the song of children. Sang the song Nokomis taught him: "Wah-wah-taysee, little fire-fly, Little, flitting, white-fire insect, Little, dancing, white-fire creature, Light me with your little candle, Ere upon my bed I lay me, Ere in sleep I close my eyelids!"
Saw the moon rise from the water Rippling, rounding from the water, Saw the flecks and shadows on it, Whispered, "What is that, Nokomis?" And the good Nokomis answered: "Once a warrior, very angry, Seized his grandmother, and threw her Up into the sky at midnight; Right against the moon he threw her; 'Tis her body that you see there."
Saw the rainbow in the heaven, In the eastern sky, the rainbow, Whispered, "What is that, Nokomis?" And the good Nokomis answered: "Tis the heaven of flowers you see there; All the wild-flowers of the forest, All the lilies of the prairie, When on earth they fade and perish, Blossom in that heaven above us."