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The Home Book of Verse, Volume 1 by Burton Egbert Stevenson

Part 2 out of 12

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"I Wandered Lonely as a
Cloud" William Wordsworth
To Daffodils Robert Herrick
To a Mountain Daisy Robert Burns
A Field Flower James Montgomery
To Daisies, Not to Shut so
Soon Robert Herrick
Daisies Bliss Carman
To the Daisy William Wordsworth
To Daisies Francis Thompson
To the Dandelion James Russell Lowell
Dandelion Annie Rankin Annan
The Dandelions Helen Gray Cone
To the Fringed Gentian William Cullen Bryant
Goldenrod Elaine Goodale Eastman
Lessons from the Gorse Elizabeth Barrett Browning
The Voice of The Grass Sarah Roberts Boyle
A Song the Grass Sings Charles G. Blanden
The Wild Honeysuckle Philip Freneau
The Ivy Green Charles Dickens
Yellow Jessamine Constance Fenimore Woolson
Knapweed Arthur Christopher Benson
Moly Edith Matilda Thomas
The Morning-Glory Florence Earle Coates
The Mountain Heart's-Ease Bret Harte
The Primrose Robert Herrick
To Primroses filled with
Morning Dew Robert Herrick
To an Early Primrose Henry Kirke White
The Rhodora Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Rose William Browne
Wild Roses Edgar Fawcett
The Rose of May Mary Howitt
A Rose Richard Fanshawe
The Shamrock Maurice Francis Egan
To Violets Robert Herrick
The Violet William Wetmore Story
To a Wood-Violet John Banister Tabb
The Violet and the Rose Augusta Webster
To a Wind-Flower Madison Cawein
To Blossoms Robert Herrick
"'Tis the Last Rose of
Summer" Thomas Moore
The Death of the Flowers William Cullen Bryant

GOD'S CREATURES

Once on a Time Margaret Benson
To a Mouse Robert Burns
The Grasshopper Abraham Cowley
On the Grasshopper and
Cricket John Keats
To the Grasshopper and the
Cricket Leigh Hunt
The Cricket William Cowper
To a Cricket William Cox Bennett
To an Insect Oliver Wendell Holmes
The Snail William Cowper
The Housekeeper Charles Lamb
The Humble-Bee Ralph Waldo Emerson
To a Butterfly William Wordsworth
Ode to a Butterfly Thomas Wentworth Higginson
The Butterfly Alice Freeman Palmer
Fireflies Edgar Fawcett
The Blood Horse Bryan Waller Procter
Birds Moira O'Neill
Birds Richard Henry Stoddard
Sea-Birds Elizabeth Akers
The Little Beach Bird Richard Henry Dana
The Blackbird Frederick Tennyson
The Blackbird Alfred Edward Housman
The Blackbird William Ernest Henley
The Blackbird William Barnes
Robert of Lincoln William Cullen Bryant
The O'Lincon Family Wilson Flagg
The Bobolink Thomas Hill
My Catbird William Henry Venable
The Herald Crane Hamlin Garland
The Crow William Canton
To the Cuckoo John Logan
The Cuckoo Frederick Locker-Lampson
To the Cuckoo William Wordsworth
The Eagle Alfred Tennyson
The Hawkbit Charles G. D. Roberts
The Heron Edward Hovell-Thurlow
The Jackdaw William Cowper
The Green Linnet William Wordsworth
To the Man-of-War-Bird Walt Whitman
The Maryland Yellow-Throat Henry Van Dyke
Lament of a Mocking-bird Frances Anne Kemble
"O Nightingale! Thou
Surely Art" William Wordsworth
Philomel Richard Barnfield
Philomela Matthew Arnold
On a Nightingale in April William Sharp
To the Nightingale William Drummond
The Nightingale Mark Akenside
To the Nightingale John Milton
Philomela Philip Sidney
Ode to a Nightingale John Keats
Song, 'Tis sweet to hear the
merry lark Hartley Coleridge
Bird Song Laura E. Richards
The Song the Oriole Sings William Dean Howells
To an Oriole Edgar Fawcett
Song: the Owl Alfred Tennyson
"Sweet Suffolk Owl" Thomas Vautor
The Pewee John Townsend Trowbridge
Robin Redbreast George Washington Doane
Robin Redbreast William Allingham
The Sandpiper Celia Thaxter
The Sea-Mew Elizabeth Barrett Browning
To a Skylark William Wordsworth
To a Skylark William Wordsworth
The Skylark James Hogg
The Skylark Frederick Tennyson
To a Skylark Percy Bysshe Shelley
The Stormy Petrel Bryan Waller Procter
The First Swallow Charlotte Smith
To a Swallow Building Under
our Eaves Jane Welsh Carlyle
Chimney Swallows Horatio Nelson Powers
Itylus Algernon Charles Swinburne
The Throstle Alfred Tennyson
Overflow John Banister Tabb
Joy-Month David Atwood Wasson
My Thrush Mortimer Collins
"Blow Softly, Thrush" Joseph Russell Taylor
The Black Vulture George Sterling
Wild Geese Frederick Peterson
To a Waterfowl William Cullen Bryant
The Wood-Dove's Note Emily Huntington Miller

THE SEA

Song for all Seas, all Ships Walt Whitman
Stanzas from "The Triumph
of Time" Algernon Charles Swinburne
The Sea from "Childe
Harold's Pilgrimage" George Gordon Byron
On the Sea John Keats
"With Ships the Sea was
Sprinkled" William Wordsworth
A Song of Desire Frederic Lawrence Knowles
The Pines and the Sea Christopher Pearse Cranch
Sea Fever John Masefield
Hastings Mill C. Fox Smith
"A Wet Sheet and a Flowing
Sea" Allan Cunningham
The Sea Bryan Waller Procter
Sailor's Song from "Death's
Jest Book" Thomas Lovell Beddoes
"A Life on the Ocean Wave" Epes Sargent
Tacking Ship off Shore Walter Mitchell
In Our Boat Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
Poor Jack Charles Dibdin
"Rocked in the Cradle of the
Deep" Emma Hart Willard
Outward John G. Neihardt
A Passer-by Robert Bridges
Off Riviere du Loup Duncan Campbell Scott
Christmas at Sea Robert Louis Stevenson
The Port o' Heart's Desire John S. McGroarty
On the Quay John Joy Bell
The Forging of the Anchor Samuel Ferguson
Drifting Thomas Buchanan Read
"How's My Boy" Sydney Dobell
The Long White Seam Jean Ingelow
Storm Song Bayard Taylor
The Mariner's Dream William Dimond
The Inchcape Rock Robert Southey
The Sea Richard Henry Stoddard
The Sands of Dee Charles Kingsley
The Three Fishers Charles Kingsley
Ballad Harriet Prescott Spofford
The Northern Star Unknown
The Fisher's Widow Arthur Symons
Caller Herrin' Carolina Nairne
Hannah Binding Shoes Lucy Larcom
The Sailor William Allingham
The Burial of the Dane Henry Howard Brownell
Tom Bowling Charles Dibdin
Messmates Henry Newbolt
The Last Buccaneer Charles Kingsley
The Last Buccaneer Thomas Babington Macaulay
The Leadman's Song Charles Dibdin
Homeward Bound William Allingham

THE SIMPLE LIFE

The Lake Isle of Innisfree William Butler Yeats
A Wish Samuel Rogers
Ode on Solitude Alexander Pope
"Thrice Happy He" William Drummond
"Under the Greenwood Tree" William Shakespeare
Coridon's Song John Chalkhill
The Old Squire Wilfrid Scawen Blunt
Inscription in a Hermitage Thomas Warton
The Retirement Charles Cotton
The Country Faith Norman Gale
Truly Great William H. Davies
Early Morning at Bargis Hermann Hagedorn
The Cup John Townsend Trowbridge
A Strip of Blue Lucy Larcom
An Ode to Master Anthony
Stafford Thomas Randolph
"The Midges Dance Aboon the
Burn" Robert Tannahill
The Plow Richard Hengist Horne
The Useful Plow Unknown
"To One Who has Been Long in
City Pent" John Keats
The Quiet Life William Byrd
The Wish Abraham Cowley
Expostulation and Reply William Wordsworth
The Tables Turned William Wordsworth
Simple Nature George John Romanes
"I Fear no Power a Woman
Wields" Ernest McGaffey
A Runnable Stag John Davidson
Hunting Song Richard Hovey
"A-Hunting We Will Go" Henry Fielding
The Angler's Invitation Thomas Tod Stoddart
The Angler's Wish Izaak Walton
The Angler John Chalkhill

WANDERLUST

To Jane: the Invitation Percy Bysshe Shelley
"My Heart's in the
Highlands" Robert Burns
"Afar in the Desert" Thomas Pringle
Spring Song in the City Robert Buchanan
In City Streets Ada Smith
The Vagabond Robert Louis Stevenson
In the Highlands Robert Louis Stevenson
The Song my Paddle Sings E. Pauline Johnson
The Gipsy Trail Rudyard Kipling
Wanderlust Gerald Gould
The Footpath Way Katherine Tynan
A Maine Trail Gertrude Huntington McGiffert
Afoot Charles G. D. Roberts
From Romany to Rome Wallace Irwin
The Toil of the Trail Hamlin Garland
"Do You Fear the Wind?" Hamlin Garland
The King's Highway John S. McGroarty
The Forbidden Lure Fannie Stearns Davis
The Wander-Lovers Richard Hovey
The Sea-Gipsy Richard Hovey
A Vagabond Song Bliss Carman
Spring Song Bliss Carman
The Mendicants Bliss Carman
The Joys of the Road Bliss Carman
The Song of the Forest
Ranger Herbert Bashford
A Drover Padraic Colum
Ballad of Low-lie-down Madison Cawein
The Good Inn Herman Knickerbocker Viele
Night for Adventures Victor Starbuck
Song, "Something calls and
whispers" Georgiana Goddard King
The Voortrekker Rudyard Kipling
The Long Trail Rudyard Kipling

PART IV

FAMILIAR VERSE, AND POEMS HUMOROUS AND SATIRIC

Ballade of the Primitive Jest Andrew Lang

THE KINDLY MUSE

Time to be Wise Walter Savage Landor
Under the Lindens Walter Savage Landor
Advice Walter Savage Landor
To Fanny Thomas Moore
"I'd be a Butterfly" Thomas Haynes Bayly
"I'm not a Single Man" Thomas Hood
To ----- Winthrop Mackworth Praed
The Vicar Winthrop Mackworth Praed
The Belle of the Ball-room Winthrop Mackworth Praed
The Fine Old English
Gentleman Unknown
A Ternerie of Littles, upon
a Pipkin of Jelly Sent to
a Lady Robert Herrick
Chivalry at a Discount Edward Fitzgerald
The Ballad of Bouillabaisse William Makepeace Thackeray
To my Grandmother Frederick Locker-Lampson
My Mistress's Boots Frederick Locker-Lampson
A Garden Lyric Frederick Locker-Lampson
Mrs. Smith Frederick Locker-Lampson
The Skeleton in the Cupboard Frederick Locker-Lampson
A Terrible Infant Frederick Locker-Lampson
Companions Charles Stuart Calverley
Dorothy Q Oliver Wendell Holmes
My Aunt Oliver Wendell Holmes
The Last Leaf Oliver Wendell Holmes
Contentment Oliver Wendell Holmes
The Boys Oliver Wendell Holmes
The Jolly Old Pedagogue George Arnold
On an Intaglio Head of
Minerva Thomas Bailey Aldrich
Thalia Thomas Bailey Aldrich
Pan in Wall Street Edmund Clarence Stedman
Upon Lesbia - Arguing Alfred Cochrane
To Anthea, who May Command
Him Anything Alfred Cochrane
The Eight-Day Clock Alfred Cochrane
A Portrait Joseph Ashby-Sterry
"Old Books are Best" Beverly Chew
Impression Edmund Gosse
"With Strawberries" William Ernest Henley
Ballade of Ladies' Names William Ernest Henley
To a Pair of Egyptian
Slippers Edwin Arnold
Without and Within James Russell Lowell
"She was a Beauty" Henry Cuyler Bunner
Nell Gwynne's Looking-Glass Laman Blanchard
Mimnermus in Church William Johnson-Cory
Clay Edward Verrall Lucas
Aucassin and Nicolete Francis William Bourdillon
Aucassin and Nicolette Edmund Clarence Stedman
On the Hurry of This Time Austin Dobson
"Good-Night, Babette" Austin Dobson
A Dialogue from Plato Austin Dobson
The Ladies of St. James's Austin Dobson
The Cure's Progress Austin Dobson
A Gentleman of the Old
School Austin Dobson
On a Fan Austin Dobson
"When I Saw You Last, Rose" Austin Dobson
Urceus Exit Austin Dobson
A Corsage Bouquet Charles Henry Luders
Two Triolets Harrison Robertson
The Ballad of Dead Ladies Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Ballade of Dead Ladies Andrew Lang
A Ballad of Dead Ladies Justin Huntly McCarthy
If I Were King Justin Huntly McCarthy
A Ballade of Suicide Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Chiffons! William Samuel Johnson
The Court Historian Walter Thornbury
Miss Lou Walter de La Mare
The Poet and the Wood-louse Helen Parry Eden
Students Florence Wilkinson
"One, Two, Three" Henry Cuyler Bunner
The Chaperon Henry Cuyler Bunner
"A Pitcher of Mignonette" Henry Cuyler Bunner
Old King Cole Edwin Arlington Robinson
The Master Mariner George Sterling
A Rose to the Living Nixon Waterman
A Kiss Austin Dobson
Biftek aux Champignons Henry Augustin Beers
Evolution Langdon Smith
A Reasonable Affliction Matthew Prior
A Moral in Sevres Mildred Howells
On the Fly-leaf of a Book of
Old Plays Walter Learned
The Talented Man Winthrop Mackworth Praed
A Letter of Advice Winthrop Mackworth Praed
A Nice Correspondent Frederick Locker-Lampson
Her Letter Bret Harte
A Dead Letter Austin Dobson
The Nymph Complaining for
the Death of her Fawn Andrew Marvell
On the Death of a Favorite
Cat Drowned in a Tub of
Goldfishes Thomas Gray
Verses on a Cat Charles Daubeny
Epitaph on a Hare William Cowper
On the Death of Mrs.
Throckmorton's Bullfinch William Cowper
An Elegy on a Lap-Dog John Gay
My Last Terrier John Halsham
Geist's Grave Matthew Arnold
"Hold" Patrick R. Chalmers

THE BARB OF SATIRE

The Vicar of Bray Unknown
The Lost Leader Robert Browning
Ichabod John Greenleaf Whittier
What Mr. Robinson Thinks James Russell Lowell
The Debate in the Sennit James Russell Lowell
The Marquis of Carabas Robert Brough
A Modest Wit Selleck Osborn
Jolly Jack William Makepeace Thackeray
The King of Brentford William Makepeace Thackeray
Kaiser & Co A. Macgregor Rose
Nongtongpaw Charles Dibdin
The Lion and the Cub John Gay
The Hare with Many Friends John Gay
The Sycophantic Fox and the
Gullible Raven Guy Wetmore Carryl
The Friend of Humanity and
the Knife-Grinder George Canning
Villon's Straight Tip to all
Cross Coves William Ernest Henley
Villon's Ballade Andrew Lang
A Little Brother of the Rich Edward Sandford Martin
The World's Way Thomas Bailey Aldrich
For My Own Monument Matthew Prior
The Bishop Orders His Tomb
at Saint Praxed's Church Robert Browning
Up at a Villa - Down in the
City Robert Browning
All Saints' Edmund Yates
An Address to the Unco Guid Robert Burns
The Deacon's Masterpiece Oliver Wendell Holmes
Ballade of a Friar Andrew Lang
The Chameleon James Merrick
The Blind Men and the
Elephant John Godfrey Saxe
The Philosopher's Scales Jane Taylor
The Maiden and the Lily John Fraser
The Owl-Critic James Thomas Fields
The Ballad of Imitation Austin Dobson
The Conundrum of the
Workshops Rudyard Kipling
The V-a-s-e James Jeffrey Roche
Hem and Haw Bliss Carmen
Miniver Cheevy Edwin Arlington Robinson
Then Ag'in Sam Walter Foss
A Conservative Charlotte Perkins Stetson Gilman
Similar Cases Charlotte Perkins Stetson Gilman
Man and the Ascidian Andrew Lang
The Calf-Path Sam Walter Foss
Wedded Bliss Charlotte Perkins Stetson Gilman
Paradise: A Hindoo Legend George Birdseye
Ad Chloen, M. A. Mortimer Collins
"As Like the Woman as
You Can" William Ernest Henley
"No Fault in Women" Robert Herrick
"Are Women Fair" Francis Davison (?)
A Strong Hand Aaron Hill
Women's Longing John Fletcher
Triolet Robert Bridges
The Fair Circassian Richard Garnett
The Female Phaeton Matthew Prior
The Lure John Boyle O'Reilly
The Female of the Species Rudyard Kipling
The Woman with the Serpent's
Tongue William Watson
Suppose Anne Reeve Aldrich
Too Candid by Half John Godfrey Saxe
Fable Ralph Waldo Emerson
Woman's Will Unknown
Woman's Will John Godfrey Saxe
Plays Walter Savage Landor
Remedy Worse than the
Disease Matthew Prior
The Net of Law James Jeffrey Roche
Cologne Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Epitaph on Charles II John Wilmot
Certain Maxims of Hafiz Rudyard Kipling
A Baker's Duzzen uv
Wise Sawz Edward Rowland Sill
Epigram Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Epigram Unknown
Epigram Richard Garnett
Epigram Richard Garnett
Epigram Walter Savage Landor
Epigram William Erskine
Epigram Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Epigram Alexander Pope
Epigram Samuel Johnson
Epigram John Gay
Epigram Alexander Pope
Epigram Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Epigram Unknown
Epigram Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Epigram Unknown
Epigram Matthew Prior
Epigram George Macdonald
Epigram Jonathan Swift
Epigram Byron's epitaph for Pitt
Epigram David Garrick
Epigram John Harington
Epigram John Byrom
Epigram Richard Garnett
Epigram Thomas Moore
Epigram Unknown
Epigram Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Epigram John Dryden
Epigram Thomas Hood
Written on a Looking-glass Unknown
An Epitaph George John Cayley
On the Aristocracy of
Harvard John Collins Bossidy
On the Democracy of Yale Frederick Scheetz Jones
A General Summary Rudyard Kipling

THE MIMICS

An Omar for Ladies Josephine Daskam Bacon
"When Lovely Woman" Phoebe Cary
Fragment in Imitation of
Wordsworth Catherine M. Fanshaw
Only Seven Henry Sambrooke Leigh
Lucy Lake Newton Mackintosh
Jane Smith Rudyard Kipling
Father William Lewis Carroll
The New Arrival George Washington Cable
Disaster Charles Stuart Calverley
'Twas Ever Thus Henry Sambrooke Leigh
A Grievance James Kenneth Stephen
"Not a Sou Had he Got" Richard Harris Barham
The Whiting and the Snail Lewis Carroll
The Recognition William Sawyer
The Higher Pantheism in a
Nutshell Algernon Charles Swinburne
The Willow-tree William Makepeace Thackeray
Poets and Linnets Tom Hood, the Younger
The Jam-pot Rudyard Kipling
Ballad Charles Stuart Calverley
The Poster-girl Carolyn Wells
After Dilletante Concetti Henry Duff Traill
If Mortimer Collins
Nephilidia Algernon Charles Swinburne
Commonplaces Rudyard Kipling
The Promissory Note Bayard Taylor
Mrs. Judge Jenkins Bret Harte
The Modern Hiawatha George A. Strong
How Often Ben King
"If I should Die To-night" Ben King
Sincere Flattery James Kenneth Stephen
Culture in the Slums William Ernest Henley
The Poets at Tea Barry Pain
Wordsworth James Kenneth Stephen

PART I

POEMS OF YOUTH AND AGE

THE HUMAN SEASONS

Four Seasons fill the measure of the year;
There are four seasons in the mind of man:
He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
Takes in all beauty with an easy span:

He has his Summer, when luxuriously
Spring's honeyed cud of youthful thought he loves
To ruminate, and by such dreaming high
Is nearest unto Heaven: quiet coves

His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings
He furleth close; contented so to look
On mists in idleness - to let fair things
Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook: -

He has his Winter too of pale misfeature,
Or else he would forego his mortal nature.

John Keats [1795-1821]

THE BABY

"ONLY A BABY SMALL"

Only a baby small,
Dropped from the skies,
Only a laughing face,
Two sunny eyes;
Only two cherry lips,
One chubby nose;
Only two little hands,
Ten little toes.

Only a golden head,
Curly and soft;
Only a tongue that wags
Loudly and oft;
Only a little brain,
Empty of thought;
Only a little heart,
Troubled with naught.

Only a tender flower
Sent us to rear;
Only a life to love
While we are here;
Only a baby small,
Never at rest;
Small, but how dear to us,
God knoweth best.

Matthias Barr [1831-?]

ONLY

Something to live for came to the place,
Something to die for maybe,
Something to give even sorrow a grace,
And yet it was only a baby!

Cooing, and laughter, and gurgles, and cries,
Dimples for tenderest kisses,
Chaos of hopes, and of raptures, and sighs,
Chaos of fears and of blisses.

Last year, like all years, the rose and the thorn;
This year a wilderness maybe;
But heaven stooped under the roof on the morn
That it brought them only a baby.

Harriet Prescott Spofford [1835-1921]

INFANT JOY

"I have no name;
I am but two days old."
What shall I call thee?
"I happy am,
Joy is my name."
Sweet joy befall thee!

Pretty joy!
Sweet joy, but two days old.
Sweet joy I call thee;
Thou dost smile,
I sing the while;
Sweet joy befall thee!

William Blake [1757-1827]

BABY
From "At the Back of the North Wind"

Where did you come from, baby dear?
Out of the everywhere into the here.

Where did you get those eyes so blue?
Out of the sky as I came through.

What makes the light in them sparkle and spin?
Some of the starry spikes left in.

Where did you get that little tear?
I found it waiting when I got here.

What makes your forehead so smooth and high?
A soft hand stroked it as I went by.

What makes your cheek like a warm white rose?
I saw something better than any one knows.

Whence that three-cornered smile of bliss?
Three angels gave me at once a kiss.

Where did you get this pearly ear?
God spoke, and it came out to hear.

Where did you get those arms and hands?
Love made itself into bonds and bands.

Feet, where did you come, you darling things?
From the same box as the cherubs' wings.

How did they all just come to be you?
God thought about me, and so I grew.

But how did you come to us, you dear?
God thought about you, and so I am here.

George Macdonald [1824-1905]

TO A NEW-BORN BABY GIRL

And did thy sapphire shallop slip
Its moorings suddenly, to dip
Adown the clear, ethereal sea
From star to star, all silently?
What tenderness of archangels
In silver, thrilling syllables
Pursued thee, or what dulcet hymn
Low-chanted by the cherubim?
And thou departing must have heard
The holy Mary's farewell word,
Who with deep eyes and wistful smile
Remembered Earth a little while.

Now from the coasts of morning pale
Comes safe to port thy tiny sail.
Now have we seen by early sun,
Thy miracle of life begun.
All breathing and aware thou art,
With beauty templed in thy heart
To let thee recognize the thrill
Of wings along far azure hill,
And hear within the hollow sky
Thy friends the angels rushing by.
These shall recall that thou hast known
Their distant country as thine own,
To spare thee word of vales and streams,
And publish heaven through thy dreams.
The human accents of the breeze
Through swaying star-acquainted trees
Shall seem a voice heard earlier,
Her voice, the adoring sigh of her,
When thou amid rosy cherub-play
Didst hear her call thee, far away,
And dream in very Paradise
The worship of thy mother's eyes.

Grace Hazard Conkling [1878-

TO LITTLE RENEE ON FIRST SEEING HER LYING IN HER CRADLE

Who is she here that now I see,
This dainty new divinity,
Love's sister, Venus' child? She shows
Her hues, white lily and pink rose,
And in her laughing eyes the snares
That hearts entangle unawares.
Ah, woe to men if Love should yield
His arrows to this girl to wield
Even in play, for she would give
Sore wounds that none might take and live.
Yet no such wanton strain is hers,
Nor Leda's child and Jupiter's
Is she, though swans no softer are
Than whom she fairer is by far.
For she was born beside the rill
That gushes from Parnassus' hill,
And by the bright Pierian spring
She shall receive an offering
From every youth who pipes a strain
Beside his flocks upon the plain.
But I, the first, this very day,
Will tune for her my humble lay,
Invoking this new Muse to render
My oaten reed more sweet and tender,
Within its vibrant hollows wake
Such dulcet voices for her sake
As, curved hand at straining ear,
I long have stood and sought to hear
Borne with the warm midsummer breeze
With scent of hay and hum of bees
Faintly from far-off Sicily....

Ah, well I know that not for us
Are Virgil and Theocritus,
And that the golden age is past
Whereof they sang, and thou, the last,
Sweet Spenser, of their god-like line,
Soar far too swift for verse of mine
One strain to compass of your song.
Yet there are poets that prolong
Of your rare voice the ravishment
In silver cadences; content
Were I if I could but rehearse
One stave of Wither's starry verse,
Weave such wrought richness as recalls
Britannia's lovely Pastorals,
Or in some garden-spot suspire
One breath of Marvell's magic fire
When in the green and leafy shade
He sees dissolving all that's made.
Ah, little Muse still far too high
On weak, clipped wings my wishes fly.
Transform them then and make them doves,
Soft-moaning birds that Venus loves,
That they may circle ever low
Above the abode where you shall grow
Into your gracious womanhood.
And you shall feed the gentle brood
From out your hand - content they'll be
Only to coo their songs to thee.

William Aspenwall Bradley [1878-

RHYME OF ONE

You sleep upon your mother's breast,
Your race begun,
A welcome, long a wished-for Guest,
Whose age is One.

A Baby-Boy, you wonder why
You cannot run;
You try to talk - how hard you try! -
You're only One.

Ere long you won't be such a dunce:
You'll eat your bun,
And fly your kite, like folk who once
Were only One.

You'll rhyme and woo, and fight and joke,
Perhaps you'll pun!
Such feats are never done by folk
Before they're One.

Some day, too, you may have your joy,
And envy none;
Yes, you, yourself, may own a Boy,
Who isn't One.

He'll dance, and laugh, and crow; he'll do
As you have done:
(You crown a happy home, though you
Are only One.)

But when he's grown shall you be here
To share his fun,
And talk of times when he (the Dear!)
Was hardly One?

Dear Child, 'tis your poor lot to be
My little Son;
I'm glad, though I am old, you see, -
While you are One.

Frederick Locker-Lampson [1821-1895]

TO A NEW-BORN CHILD

Small traveler from an unseen shore,
By mortal eye ne'er seen before,
To you, good-morrow.
You are as fair a little dame
As ever from a glad world came
To one of sorrow.

We smile above you, but you fret;
We call you gentle names, and yet
Your cries redouble.
'Tis hard for little babes to prize
The tender love that underlies
A life of trouble.

And have you come from Heaven to earth?
That were a road of little mirth,
A doleful travel.
"Why did I come?" you seem to cry,
But that's a riddle you and I
Can scarce unravel.

Perhaps you really wished to come,
But now you are so far from home
Repent the trial.
What! did you leave celestial bliss
To bless us with a daughter's kiss?
What self-denial!

Have patience for a little space,
You might have come to a worse place,
Fair Angel-rover.
No wonder now you would have stayed,
But hush your cries, my little maid,
The journey's over.

For, utter stranger as you are,
There yet are many hearts ajar
For your arriving,
And trusty friends and lovers true
Are waiting, ready-made for you,
Without your striving.

The earth is full of lovely things,
And if at first you miss your wings,
You'll soon forget them;
And others, of a rarer kind
Will grow upon your tender mind -
If you will let them -

Until you find that your exchange
Of Heaven for earth expands your range
E'en as a flier,
And that your mother, you and I,
If we do what we should, may fly
Than Angels higher.

Cosmo Monkhouse [1840-1901]

BABY MAY

Cheeks as soft as July peaches,
Lips whose dewy scarlet teaches
Poppies paleness - round large eyes
Ever great with new surprise,
Minutes filled with shadeless gladness,
Minutes just as brimmed with sadness,
Happy smiles and wailing cries,
Crows and laughs and tearful eyes,
Lights and shadows swifter born
Than on wind-swept Autumn corn,
Ever some new tiny notion
Making every limb all motion -
Catching up of legs and arms,
Throwings back and small alarms,
Clutching fingers - straightening jerks,
Twining feet whose each toe works,
Kickings up and straining risings,
Mother's ever new surprisings,
Hands all wants and looks all wonder
At all things the heavens under,
Tiny scorns of smiled reprovings
That have more of love than lovings,
Mischiefs done with such a winning
Archness, that we prize such sinning,
Breakings dire of plates and glasses,
Graspings small at all that passes,
Pullings off of all that's able
To be caught from tray or table;
Silences - small meditations,
Deep as thoughts of cares for nations,
Breaking into wisest speeches
In a tongue that nothing teaches,
All the thoughts of whose possessing
Must be wooed to light by guessing;
Slumbers - such sweet angel-seemings,
That we'd ever have such dreamings,
Till from sleep we see thee breaking,
And we'd always have thee waking;
Wealth for which we know no measure,
Pleasure high above all pleasure,
Gladness brimming over gladness,
Joy in care - delight in sadness,
Loveliness beyond completeness,
Sweetness distancing all sweetness,
Beauty all that beauty may be -
That's May Bennett, that's my baby.

William Cox Bennett [1820-1895]

ALICE

Of deepest blue of summer skies
Is wrought the heaven of her eyes.

Of that fine gold the autumns wear
Is wrought the glory of her hair.

Of rose leaves fashioned in the south
Is shaped the marvel of her mouth.

And from the honeyed lips of bliss
Is drawn the sweetness of her kiss,

'Mid twilight thrushes that rejoice
Is found the cadence of her voice,

Of winds that wave the western fir
Is made the velvet touch of her.

Of all earth's songs God took the half
To make the ripple of her laugh.

I hear you ask, "Pray who is she?" -
This maid that is so dear to me.

"A reigning queen in Fashion's whirl?"
Nay, nay! She is my baby girl.

Herbert Bashford [1871-1928]

SONGS FOR FRAGOLETTA

I

Fragoletta, blessed one!
What think you of the light of the sun?
Do you think the dark was best,
Lying snug in mother's breast?
Ah! I knew that sweetness, too,
Fragoletta, before you!
But, Fragoletta, now you're born,
You must learn to love the morn,
Love the lovely working light,
Love the miracle of sight,
Love the thousand things to do -
Little girl, I envy you! -
Love the thousand things to see,
Love your mother, and - love me!
And some night, Fragoletta, soon,
I'll take you out to see the moon;
And for the first time, child of ours,
You shall - think of it! - look on flowers,
And smell them, too, if you are good,
And hear the green leaves in the wood
Talking, talking, all together
In the happy windy weather;
And if the journey's not too far
For little limbs so lately made,
Limb upon limb like petals laid,
We'll go and picnic in a star.

II

Blue eyes, looking up at me,
I wonder what you really see,
Lying in your cradle there,
Fragrant as a branch of myrrh?
Helpless little hands and feet,
O so helpless! O so sweet!
Tiny tongue that cannot talk,
Tiny feet that cannot walk,
Nothing of you that can do
Aught, except those eyes of blue.
How they open, how they close! -
Eyelids of the baby-rose.
Open and shut - so blue, so wise,
Baby-eyelids, baby-eyes.

III

That, Fragoletta, is the rain
Beating upon the window-pane;
But lo! The golden sun appears,
To kiss away the window's tears.
That, Fragoletta, is the wind,
That rattles so the window-blind;
And yonder shining thing's a star,
Blue eyes - you seem ten times as far.
That, Fragoletta, is a bird
That speaks, yet never says a word;
Upon a cherry tree it sings,
Simple as all mysterious things;
Its little life to peck and pipe,
As long as cherries ripe and ripe,
And minister unto the need
Of baby-birds that feed and feed.
This, Fragoletta, is a flower,
Open and fragrant for an hour,
A flower, a transitory thing,
Each petal fleeting as a wing,
All a May morning blows and blows,
And then for everlasting goes.

IV

Blue eyes, against the whiteness pressed
Of little mother's hallowed breast,
The while your trembling lips are fed,
Look up at mother's bended head,
All benediction over you -
O blue eyes looking into blue!

Fragoletta is so small,
We wonder that she lives at all -
Tiny alabaster girl,
Hardly bigger than a pearl;
That is why we take such care,
Lest some one run away with her.

Richard Le Gallienne [1866-

CHOOSING A NAME

I have got a new-born sister:
I was nigh the first that kissed her.
When the nursing-woman brought her
To papa, his infant daughter,
How papa's dear eyes did glisten!
She will shortly be to christen;
And papa has made the offer,
I shall have the naming of her.

Now I wonder what would please her, -
Charlotte, Julia, or Louisa?
Ann and Mary, they're too common;
Joan's too formal for a woman;
Jane's a prettier name beside;
But we had a Jane that died.
They would say, if 'twas Rebecca,
That she was a little Quaker.
Edith's pretty, but that looks
Better in old English books;
Ellen's left off long ago;
Blanche is out of fashion now.
None that I have named as yet
Is so good as Margaret.
Emily is neat and fine;
What do you think of Caroline?
How I'm puzzled and perplexed
What to choose or think of next!
I am in a little fever
Lest the name that I should give her
Should disgrace her or defame her; -
I will leave papa to name her.

Mary Lamb [1764-1847]

WEIGHING THE BABY

"How many pounds does the baby weigh -
Baby who came but a month ago?
How many pounds from the crowning curl
To the rosy point of the restless toe?"

Grandfather ties the 'kerchief knot,
Tenderly guides the swinging weight,
And carefully over his glasses peers
To read the record, "only eight."

Softly the echo goes around:
The father laughs at the tiny girl;
The fair young mother sings the words,
While grandmother smooths the golden curl.

And stooping above the precious thing,
Nestles a kiss within a prayer,
Murmuring softly "Little one,
Grandfather did not weigh you fair."

Nobody weighed the baby's smile,
Or the love that came with the helpless one;
Nobody weighed the threads of care,
From which a woman's life is spun.

No index tells the mighty worth
Of a little baby's quiet breath -
A soft, unceasing metronome,
Patient and faithful until death.

Nobody weighed the baby's soul,
For here on earth no weights there be
That could avail; God only knows
Its value in eternity.

Only eight pounds to hold a soul
That seeks no angel's silver wing,
But shrines it in this human guise,
Within so frail and small a thing!

Oh, mother! laugh your merry note,
Be gay and glad, but don't forget
From baby's eyes looks out a soul
That claims a home in Eden yet.

Ethel Lynn Beers [1827-1879]

ETUDE REALISTE
I

A baby's feet, like seashells pink,
Might tempt, should heaven see meet,
An angel's lips to kiss, we think,
A baby's feet.

Like rose-hued sea-flowers toward the heat
They stretch and spread and wink
Their ten soft buds that part and meet.

No flower-bells that expand and shrink
Gleam half so heavenly sweet,
As shine on life's untrodden brink
A baby's feet.

II

A baby's hands, like rosebuds furled,
Where yet no leaf expands,
Ope if you touch, though close upcurled, -
A baby's hands.

Then, even as warriors grip their brands
When battle's bolt is hurled,
They close, clenched hard like tightening bands.

No rosebuds yet by dawn impearled
Match, even in loveliest lands,
The sweetest flowers in all the world, -
A baby's hands.

III

A baby's eyes, ere speech begin,
Ere lips learn words or sighs,
Bless all things bright enough to win
A baby's eyes.

Love, while the sweet thing laughs and lies,
And sleep flows out and in,
Sees perfect in them Paradise!

Their glance might cast out pain and sin,
Their speech make dumb the wise,
By mute glad godhead felt within
A baby's eyes.

Algernon Charles Swinburne [1837-1909]

LITTLE FEET

Two little feet, so small that both may nestle
In one caressing hand, -
Two tender feet upon the untried border
Of life's mysterious land.

Dimpled, and soft, and pink as peach-tree blossoms,
In April's fragrant days,
How can they walk among the briery tangles,
Edging the world's rough ways?

These rose-white feet, along the doubtful future,
Must bear a mother's load;
Alas! since Woman has the heavier burden,
And walks the harder road.

Love, for a while, will make the path before them
All dainty, smooth, and fair, -
Will cull away the brambles, letting only
The roses blossom there.

But when the mother's watchful eyes are shrouded
Away from sight of men,
And these dear feet are left without her guiding,
Who shall direct them then?

How will they be allured, betrayed, deluded,
Poor little untaught feet!
Into what dreary mazes will they wander,
What dangers will they meet?

Will they go stumbling blindly in the darkness
Of Sorrow's tearful shades?
Or find the upland slopes of Peace and Beauty,
Whose sunlight never fades?

Will they go toiling up Ambition's summit,
The common world above?
Or in some nameless vale, securely sheltered,
Walk side by side with Love?

Some feet there be which walk Life's track unwounded,
Which find but pleasant ways:
Some hearts there be to which this life is only
A round of happy days.

But these are few. Far more there are who wander
Without a hope or friend, -
Who find their journey full of pains and losses,
And long to reach the end.

How shall it be with her, the tender stranger,
Fair-faced and gentle-eyed,
Before whose unstained feet the world's rude highway
Stretches so fair and wide?

Ah! who may read the future? For our darling
We crave all blessings sweet,
And pray that He who feeds the crying ravens
Will guide the baby's feet.

Elizabeth Akers [1832-1911]

THE BABIE

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, an' 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.

She is the buddin' of our luve,
A giftie God gied us:
We maun na luve the gift owre weel,
'Twad be nae blessin' thus.

We still maun luve the Giver mair,
An' see Him in the given;
An' sae she'll lead us up to Him,
Our babie straight frae Heaven.

Jeremiah Eames Rankin [1828-1904]

LITTLE HANDS

Soft little hands that stray and clutch,
Like fern fronds curl and uncurl bold,
While baby faces lie in such
Close sleep as flowers at night that fold,
What is it you would, clasp and hold,
Wandering outstretched with wilful touch?
O fingers small of shell-tipped rose,
How should you know you hold so much?
Two full hearts beating you inclose,
Hopes, fears, prayers, longings, joys and woes, -
All yours to hold, O little hands!
More, more than wisdom understands
And love, love only knows.

Laurence Binyon [1869-

BARTHOLOMEW

Bartholomew is very sweet,
From sandy hair to rosy feet.

Bartholomew is six months old,
And dearer far than pearls or gold.

Bartholomew has deep blue eyes,
Round pieces dropped from out the skies.

Bartholomew is hugged and kissed:
He loves a flower in either fist.

Bartholomew's my saucy son:
No mother has a sweeter one!

Norman Gale [1862-

THE STORM-CHILD

My child came to me with the equinox,
The wild wind blew him to my swinging door,
With flakes of tawny foam from off the shore,
And shivering spindrift whirled across the rocks.
Flung down the sky, the wheeling swallow-flocks
Cried him a greeting, and the lordly woods,
Waving lean arms of welcome one by one,
Cast down their russet cloaks and golden hoods,
And bid their dancing leaflets trip and run
Before the tender feet of this my son.

Therefore the sea's swift fire is in his veins,
And in his heart the glory of the sea;
Therefore the storm-wind shall his comrade be,
That strips the hills and sweeps the cowering plains.
October, shot with flashing rays and rains,
Inhabits all his pulses; he shall know
The stress and splendor of the roaring gales,
The creaking boughs shall croon him fairy tales,
And the sea's kisses set his blood aglow,
While in his ears the eternal bugles blow.

May Byron [1861-

"ON PARENT KNEES"

On parent knees, a naked new-born child,
Weeping thou sat'st while all around thee smiled:
So live, that, sinking to thy life's last sleep,
Calm thou may'st smile, while all around thee weep.

William Jones [1746-1794]

"PHILIP, MY KING"
"Who bears upon his baby brow the round and top of sovereignty."

Look at me with thy large brown eyes,
Philip, my king!
Round whom the enshadowing purple lies
Of babyhood's royal dignities.
Lay on my neck thy tiny hand
With love's invisible scepter laden;
I am thine Esther to command
Till thou shalt find a queen-handmaiden,
Philip, my king.

O the day when thou goest a-wooing,
Philip, my king!
When those beautiful lips are suing,
And some gentle heart's bars undoing,
Thou dost enter, love-crowned, and there
Sittest love-glorified. Rule kindly,
Tenderly, over thy kingdom fair,
For we that love, ah! we love so blindly,
Philip, my king.

Up from thy sweet mouth, - up to thy brow,
Philip, my king!
The spirit that there lies sleeping now
May rise like a giant and make men bow
As to one heaven-chosen among his peers.
My Saul, than thy brethren taller and fairer,
Let me behold thee in future years! -
Yet thy head needeth a circlet rarer,
Philip, my king.

- A wreath not of gold, but palm. One day,
Philip, my king!
Thou too must tread, as we trod, a way
Thorny and cruel and cold and gray:
Rebels within thee, and foes without,
Will snatch at thy crown. But march on, glorious,
Martyr, yet monarch! till angels shout,
As thou sittest at the feet of God victorious,
"Philip, the king!"

Dinah Maria Mulock Craik [1826-1887]

THE KING OF THE CRADLE

Draw back the cradle curtains, Kate,
While watch and ward you're keeping,
Let's see the monarch in his state,
And view him while he's sleeping.
He smiles and clasps his tiny hand,
With sunbeams o'er him gleaming, -
A world of baby fairyland
He visits while he's dreaming.

Monarch of pearly powder-puff,
Asleep in nest so cosy,
Shielded from breath of breezes rough
By curtains warm and rosy:
He slumbers soundly in his cell,
As weak as one decrepid,
Though King of Coral, Lord of Bell,
And Knight of Bath that's tepid.

Ah, lucky tyrant! Happy lot!
Fair watchers without number,
Who sweetly sing beside his cot,
And hush him off to slumber;
White hands in wait to smooth so neat
His pillow when its rumpled -
A couch of rose leaves soft and sweet,
Not one of which is crumpled!

Will yonder dainty dimpled hand -
Size, nothing and a quarter -
E'er grasp a saber, lead a band
To glory and to slaughter?
Or, may I ask, will those blue eyes -
In baby patois, "peepers" -
E'er in the House of Commons rise,
And try to catch the Speaker's?

Will that smooth brow o'er Hansard frown,
Confused by lore statistic?
Or will those lips e'er stir the town
From pulpit ritualistic?
Will e'er that tiny Sybarite
Become an author noted?
That little brain the world's delight,
Its works by all men quoted?

Though rosy, dimpled, plump, and round
Though fragile, soft, and tender,
Sometimes, alas! it may be found
The thread of life is slender!
A little shoe, a little glove -
Affection never waning -
The shattered idol of our love
Is all that is remaining!

Then does one chance, in fancy, hear,
Small feet in childish patter,
Tread soft as they a grave draw near,
And voices hush their chatter;
'Tis small and new; they pause in fear,
Beneath the gray church tower,
To consecrate it with a tear,
And deck it with a flower.

Who can predict the future, Kate -
Your fondest aspiration!
Who knows the solemn laws of fate,
That govern all creation?
Who knows what lot awaits your boy -
Of happiness or sorrow?
Sufficient for to-day is joy,
Leave tears, Sweet, for to-morrow!

Joseph Ashby-Sterry [1838-1917]

THE FIRSTBORN

So fair, so dear, so warm upon my bosom,
And in my hands the little rosy feet.
Sleep on, my little bird, my lamb, my blossom;
Sleep on, sleep on, my sweet.

What is it God hath given me to cherish,
This living, moving wonder which is mine -
Mine only? Leave it with me or I perish,
Dear Lord of love divine.

Dear Lord, 'tis wonderful beyond all wonder,
This tender miracle vouchsafed to me,
One with myself, yet just so far asunder
That I myself may see.

Flesh of my flesh, and yet so subtly linking
New selfs with old, all things that I have been
With present joys beyond my former thinking
And future things unseen.

There life began, and here it links with heaven,
The golden chain of years scarce dipped adown
From birth, ere once again a hold is given
And nearer to God's Throne.

Seen, held in arms and clasped around so tightly, -
My love, my bird, I will not let thee go.
Yet soon the little rosy feet must lightly
Go pattering to and fro.

Mine, Lord, all mine Thy gift and loving token.
Mine - yes or no, unseen its soul divine?
Mine by the chain of love with links unbroken,
Dear Saviour, Thine and mine.

John Arthur Goodchild [1851-

NO BABY IN THE HOUSE

No baby in the house, I know,
'Tis far too nice and clean.
No toys, by careless fingers strewn,
Upon the floors are seen.
No finger-marks are on the panes,
No scratches on the chairs;
No wooden men setup in rows,
Or marshaled off in pairs;
No little stockings to be darned,
All ragged at the toes;
No pile of mending to be done,
Made up of baby-clothes;
No little troubles to be soothed;
No little hands to fold;
No grimy fingers to be washed;
No stories to be told;
No tender kisses to be given;
No nicknames, "Dove" and "Mouse";
No merry frolics after tea, -
No baby in the house!

Clara Dolliver [18 -

OUR WEE WHITE ROSE
From "The Mother's Idol Broken"

All in our marriage garden
Grew, smiling up to God,
A bonnier flower than ever
Sucked the green warmth of the sod;
O, beautiful unfathomably
Its little life unfurled;
And crown of all things was our wee
White Rose of all the world.

From out a balmy bosom
Our bud of beauty grew;
It fed on smiles for sunshine,
On tears for daintier dew:
Aye nestling warm and tenderly,
Our leaves of love were curled
So close and close about our wee
White Rose of all the world.

With mystical faint fragrance
Our house of life she filled;
Revealed each hour some fairy tower
Where winged hopes might build!
We saw - though none like us might see -
Such precious promise pearled
Upon the petals of our wee
White Rose of all the world.

But evermore the halo
Of angel-light increased,
Like the mystery of moonlight
That folds some fairy feast.
Snow-white, snow-soft, snow-silently
Our darling bud uncurled,
And dropped in the grave - God's lap - our wee
White Rose of all the world.

Our Rose was but in blossom,
Our life was but in spring,
When down the solemn midnight
We heard the spirits sing,
"Another bud of infancy
With holy dews impearled!"
And in their hands they bore our wee
White Rose of all the world.

You scarce could think so small a thing
Could leave a loss so large;
Her little light such shadow fling
From dawn to sunset's marge.
In other springs our life may be
In bannered bloom unfurled,
But never, never match our wee
White Rose of all the world.

Gerald Massey [1828-1907]

INTO THE WORLD AND OUT

Into the world he looked with sweet surprise;
The children laughed so when they saw his eyes.

Into the world a rosy hand in doubt
He reached - a pale hand took one rosebud out.

"And that was all - quite all!" No, surely! But
The children cried so when his eyes were shut.

Sarah M. B. Piatt [1836-1919]

"BABY SLEEPS"
She is not dead, but sleepeth. - Luke viii. 52.

The baby wept;
The mother took it from the nurse's arms,
And hushed its fears, and soothed its vain alarms,
And baby slept.

Again it weeps,
And God doth take it from the mother's arms,
From present griefs, and future unknown harms,
And baby sleeps.

Samuel Hinds [1793-1872]

BABY BELL

I

Have you not heard the poets tell
How came the dainty Baby Bell
Into this world of ours?
The gates of heaven were left ajar:
With folded hands and dreamy eyes,
Wandering out of Paradise,
She saw this planet, like a star,
Hung in the glistening depths of even -
Its bridges, running to and fro,
O'er which the white-winged Angels go,
Bearing the holy Dead to heaven.
She touched a bridge of flowers - those feet,
So light they did not bend the bells
Of the celestial asphodels,
They fell like dew upon the flowers:
Then all the air grew strangely sweet.
And thus came dainty Baby Bell
Into this world of ours.

II

She came and brought delicious May;
The swallows built beneath the eaves;
Like sunlight, in and out the leaves
The robins went, the livelong day;
The lily swung its noiseless bell;
And on the porch the slender vine
Held out its cups of fairy wine.
How tenderly the twilights fell!
Oh, earth was full of singing-birds
And opening springtide flowers,
When the dainty Baby Bell
Came to this world of ours.

III

O Baby, dainty Baby Bell,
How fair she grew from day to day!
What woman-nature filled her eyes,
What poetry within them lay -
Those deep and tender twilight eyes,
So full of meaning, pure and bright
As if she yet stood in the light
Of those oped gates of Paradise.
And so we loved her more and more:
Ah, never in our hearts before
Was love so lovely born:
We felt we had a link between
This real world and that unseen -
The land beyond the morn;
And for the love of those dear eyes,
For love of her whom God led forth,
(The mother's being ceased on earth
When Baby came from Paradise,) -
For love of Him who smote our lives,
And woke the chords of joy and pain,
We said, Dear Christ! - our hearts bowed down
Like violets after rain.

IV

And now the orchards, which were white
And pink with blossoms when she came,
Were rich in autumn's mellow prime;
The clustered apples burnt like flame,
The folded chestnut burst its shell,
The grapes hung purpling, range on range;
And time wrought just as rich a change
In little Baby Bell.
Her lissome form more perfect grew,
And in her features we could trace,
In softened curves, her mother's face.
Her angel-nature ripened too:
We thought her lovely when she came,
But she was holy, saintly now ...
Around her pale angelic brow
We saw a slender ring of flame.

V

God's hand had taken away the seal
That held the portals of her speech;
And oft she said a few strange words
Whose meaning lay beyond our reach.
She never was a child to us,
We never held her being's key;
We could not teach her holy things
Who was Christ's self in purity.

VI

It came upon us by degrees,
We saw its shadow ere it fell -
The knowledge that our God had sent
His messenger for Baby Bell.
We shuddered with unlanguaged pain,
And all our hopes were changed to fears,
And all our thoughts ran into tears
Like sunshine into rain.
We cried aloud in our belief,
"Oh, smite us gently, gently, God!
Teach us to bend and kiss the rod,
And perfect grow through grief."
Ah! how we loved her, God can tell;
Her heart was folded deep in ours.
Our hearts are broken, Baby Bell!

VII

At last he came, the messenger,
The messenger from unseen lands:
And what did dainty Baby Bell?
She only crossed her little hands,
She only looked more meek and fair!
We parted back her silken hair,
We wove the roses round her brow -
White buds, the summer's drifted snow -
Wrapped her from head to foot in flowers ...
And thus went dainty Baby Bell
Out of this world of ours.

Thomas Bailey Aldrich [1837-1907]

IN THE NURSERY

MOTHER GOOSE'S MELODIES

-----------

Mistress Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With cockle-shells, and silver bells,
And pretty maids all in a row.

-----------

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
She had so many children she didn't know what to do;
She gave them some broth without any bread;
Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.

-----------

Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater,
Had a wife and couldn't keep her;
He put her in a pumpkin shell
And there he kept her very well.

-----------

Run-a-dub-dub,
Three men in a tub,
And who do you think they be?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick-maker;
Turn 'em out, knaves all three!

-----------

I'll tell you a story
About Jack a Nory -
And now my story's begun;
I'll tell you another
About Johnny, his brother -
And now my story is done.

-----------

Hickory, dickory, dock,
The mouse ran up the clock;
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down,
Hickory, dickory, dock.

-----------

A dillar, a dollar,
A ten o'clock scholar,
What makes you come so soon?
You used to come at ten o'clock
But now you come at noon.

-----------

There was a little man,
And he had a little gun,
And his bullets were made of lead, lead, lead;
He shot Johnny Sprig
Through the middle of his wig,
And knocked it right off his head, head, head.

-----------

There was an old woman, and what do you think?
She lived upon nothing but victuals and drink:
Victuals and drink were the chief of her diet:
Yet this little old woman could never be quiet.

She went to a baker to buy her some bread,
And when she came home, her husband was dead;
She went to the clerk to toll the bell,
And when she came back her husband was well.

-----------

If I had as much money as I could spend,
I never would cry old chairs to mend;
Old chairs to mend, old chairs to mend;
I never would cry old chairs to mend.

If I had as much money as I could tell,
I never would cry old clothes to sell;
Old clothes to sell, old clothes to sell;
I never would cry old clothes to sell.

-----------

One misty, moisty morning,
When cloudy was the weather,
I met a little old man
Clothed all in leather;
He began to bow and scrape,
And I began to grin, -
How do you do, and how do you do,
And how do you do again?

-----------

If all the world were apple-pie,
And all the sea were ink,
And all the trees were bread and cheese,
What should we have to drink?

-----------

Pease-pudding hot,
Pease-pudding cold,
Pease-pudding in the pot,
Nine days old.
Some like it hot,
Some like it cold,
Some like it in the pot,
Nine days old.

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Hey, diddle, diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon;
The little dog laughed
To see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

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Little Jack Horner sat in the corner
Eating a Christmas pie;
He put in his thumb, and pulled out a plum,
And said, "What a good boy am I!"

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Little Miss Muffet,
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating of curds and whey;
There came a great spider
That sat down beside her,
And frightened Miss Muffet away.

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There was a crooked man, and he went a crooked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile:
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

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Little Polly Flinders,
Sat among the cinders,
Warming her pretty little toes;
Her mother came and caught her,
And whipped her little daughter
For spoiling her nice new clothes.

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Barber, barber, shave a pig,
How many hairs will make a wig?
"Four-and-twenty, that's enough."
Give the barber a pinch of snuff.

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Little Boy Blue, come blow up your horn,
The sheep's in the meadow, the cow's in the corn;
But where is the boy that looks after the sheep?
He's under a hay-cock, fast asleep.
Will you awake him? No, not I;
For if I do, he'll be sure to cry.

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