A Children's Book of Verse 086112426X, 9780861124268

An anthology of poetry that covers the widest range of children's verse from classic, haunting, humorous, epic and

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A Children's Book of Verse
 086112426X, 9780861124268

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BOOK OF

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ILLUSTRATED BY

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Introduction "The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went

to sea

In a beautiful pea-green boat ..."

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat are just two of the well known characters chosen by Marjorie Rogers and illustrated by Eric Kincaid to guide young people on a voyage poetic discovery in It's

a journey to carry their imaginations

some familiar,

of

A Children's Book of Verse.

others excitingly fresh and

deep into

a

myriad of enchanting worlds;

unknown. With

the turn of every page, a

view opens up, changing from the wilds of the Scottish Highlands to Wordsworth's daffodil-strewn English Lake District and from the cowboy plains of the American West to the lost lands of Eldorado. Showing the way are poets from across the centuries and from many different parts of the world; they include Keats, Burns and Tennyson, as well as modern masters such as Ogden Nash, Roger McGough and Spike Milligan. Their verses roam down the evergreen lanes of romance, adventure, heroism, villainy, magic and rib-tickling different

laughter.

Travel to the end of the rainbow, soar with eagles, fly to the

moon, shiver with old

Jack Frost, delight in the animal kingdom, tremble in the underworld, dance with the

bottom of the garden or watch the seasons change with poetry there no bounds to how far the young eye can see and Eric Kincaid's marvellous illustrations ensure the view is both clear and pleasing. So, where did the Owl and the Pussy-Cat go? fairies at the

.

.

.

are

"They sailed away for a year and a day To the land where the Bong-Tree grows ..." Join them,

and hundreds

of other bewitching characters,

into the magical world of poetry.

ISBN

86112 426 X

© Brimax Books Ltd 1987. All rights reserved Published hv Brimax Books, Newmarket, England 1987 Third printing 1989

Produced by Mandarin Offset Printed and bound in Hong Kong

on a spellbinding journey

A CHILDREN'S BOOK OF

VERSE Illustrated

Poems

selected

by ERIC

by

KINCAID

MARJORIE ROGERS

BRIMAXBOOKS-NEWMARKETENGLAND

Contents The Lonely Scarecrow James Kirkup The Eagle Alfred Lord Tennyson Mr Nobody Anonymous The Highwayman Alfred Noyes On The Ning Nang Nong Spike Milligan

9 10

Jack Frost

19 20

Cecily Pike

Mrs Moon Roger McGough If You Should Meet a Crocodile Anonymous Way Down South Where Bananas Grow Anonymous Up in a Basket Anonymous The Hippopotamus Jack Prelutsky The Duck Ogden Nash The Mermaid/The Merman Alfred Lord Tennyson Sir Nicketty Nox Hugh Chesterman The Balloon Man Rose Fyleman The Three Kings Henry Longfellow Romance Gabriel Setoun Washing John Drinkwater The Witch Percy H Ilott The Big Rock Candy Mountains Anonymous

W

Sea-Fever

John Masefield

Who Has Seen the Wind? The Serpent

Christina Rossetti

Theodore Roethke

He Was a Rat Anonymous The Lobster Quadrille Lewis Carroll The Dustman Anonymous The Table and the Chair Edward Lear Rose Fyleman Father William Lewis Carroll Cat! Eleanor Farjeon The Frog and the Bird Vera Hessey Winter the Huntsman Osbert Sitwell The Traveller Raymond Wilson Nothing Julie Holder The Hag Robert Herrick Fairies

11

12 18

20 20 21 21

21

22 24 25 26 30 32 33 34 36 37 38 39 40 42 44 46 48 50 51

52 53

54 55

The Skippery Boo Earl L Newton The Moon Robert L Stevenson The Witches' Call Clive Sansom

56

Emily Bronte Where Lies the Land? A H Clough The Fairies William Allingham The Butterfly's Ball William Roscoe Meg Merrilees John Keats My Shadow Robert L Stevenson Johnny Crow's Garden L Leslie Brooke Silver Walter de la Mare The Wind Robert L Stevenson The Fly-Away Horse Eugene Field

62

Past, present, future

Bedtime

My

Thomas Hood Heart's in the Highlands

Little Trotty

Calico Pie

Robert Burns John Clare Edward Lear

Wagtail

60 61

63 64

66 68 69 70 72 73

74 76

77 78 79

Lochinvar

Sir

°"

Walter Scott

William Blake The Tiger Eleanor Farjeon TheNight Will Never Stay Robert L Stevenson From a Railway Carriage

^ 86

87

Rodney Bennett William Wordsworth I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud Alfred Lord Tennyson The Owl

88

John Lea The Wind The Cowboy's Lament

91 92

My Dog Spot

Anonymous

Two Witches

Alexander Resnikoff Kenneth Grahame The Song of Mr. Toad Walter de la Mare Someone

The

Walter de

Fly

If

la

Mare

Stevie Smith

Fairy Story

Pigs Could Fly

Windy Nights

}ames Reeves Robert L Stevenson

Anonymous

The Signifying Monkey

James Stephens In the Orchard Lewis Carroll The Walrus and the Carpenter Eugene Field The Sugar-Plum Tree Frutta di

Mare

Geoffrey Scott

-

-

A Fairy Went A-Marketing

Rose Fyleman

Eugene Field The Rock-a-By Lady Anonymous The North Wind Doth Blow Lucy Diamond The Eskimo Baby Anonymous The Kayak ]aynes Kirkup The Kitten in the Falling Snow Robert L Stevenson

Ducks' Ditty

Anonymous Norman Ault Kenneth Grahame

The

Ian Serraillier

Three

The

^02 ^^^ ^^^ l^^

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122 19"^

Eleanor Farjeon

Edward Lear The Owl and the Pussy-Cat Mary Howitt The White Sea-gull Thomas Hardy The Robin Eleanor Farjeon It Was Long Ago Samuel T Coleridge Answer to a Child's Question Christina Rossetti The Sound of the Wind Edward Lear The Pobble who has No Toes Ian Serraillier The Little Wee Man

Travel

^^^

117 118 ^^°

Anonymous

Anonymous The Rainbow Fairies Marjorie Wilson The Little Things That Happen A Nieht With a Wolf Bayard Taylor

A Kitten

'^^

113 114

Gabriel Setoun

Tack Frost

95 96 97 98 QQ

^|^ 112

Edgar Allan Poe My Mother Said Anonymous My Dog Tray Thomas Campbell Leonard Clark Hallowe'en

Eldorado

The Dark House

89 90

Jolly

Huntsmen

Pig's Tail

Squirrel

A Smugglers' Song Sweet and Low

Rudyard Kipling

Alfred Lord Tennyson

124 126 ^2'

128 130 131 132 134 135 136 138 140 |4^

J^ 144 146 148 149 150 152 1^4

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The Lonely Scarecrow My poor old bones — I've only two A broomshank and a broken stave. My ragged gloves are a disgrace. My one peg-foot is in the grave. wear the labourer's old clothes; Coat, shirt and trousers all undone. I bear my cross upon a hill In rain and shine, in snow and sun.

I

I

cannot help the

way

I

look.

My funny hat is full of hay.

— O, wild birds, come and nest in me! Why do you always fly away? James Kirkup

The Eagle He

clasps the crag with crooked hands; Close to the sun in lonely lands, Ring'd with the azure world, he stands

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls; He watches from his mountain walls.

And

like a

thunderbolt he

Alfred, Lord

10

Tennyson

falls.

Mr Nobody I

know

a

funny

As quiet

as a

man, mouse, little

Who does the mischief that

is

everybody's house! There's no one ever sees his

done

In

And

yet

we all

That every plate

face,

agree

we break was cracked

By Mr Nobody. 'Tis

he

who

always tears our books.

Who leaves the door ajar. He pulls the buttons from our shirts. And scatters pins afar; That squeaking door will always squeak For, prithee, don't

you

see.

We leave the oiling to be done By Mr Nobody.

He

puts

damp wood upon

the

fire,

That kettles cannot boil; His are the feet that bring in mud.

And

all

the carpets

soil.

The papers always are mislaid. Who had them last but he? There's not one tosses them about But Mr Nobody. The finger-marks upon the door By none of us are made;

We never leave the blinds unclosed. To let the curtains fade; The ink we never spill; the boots That lying round you see Are not our boots; they

To Mr Nobody.

all

belong

The Highwayman Part

One

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees. The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas. The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor. And the highwayman came riding Riding

— riding

The highwayman came He'd

a

riding,

up

to the old inn-door.

French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch

of lace at his chin,

A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doeskin:

They fitted with never up to the thigh!

And he rode with

a wrinkle; his

boots were

a jewelled twinkle.

His pistol butts a-twinkle. His rapier

hilt

a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.

Over the cobbles he

clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard. And he tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred: He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there But the landlord's black-eyed daughter, Bess, the landlord's daughter. Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

12

And dark

in the

Where Tim,

dark old inn-yard

a

stable-wicket creaked

the ostler, listened; his face

was white

and peaked. His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair

like

mouldy hay; But he loved the landlord's daughter. The landlord's red-lipped daughter: Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say

'One

kiss,

my bonny sweetheart,

I'm after a prize

tonight.

But

I

shall

be back with the yellow gold before the

morning

light.

they press me sharply, and harry the day. Then look for me by moonlight:

Yet

I'll

if

Watch for me by moonlight: come to thee by moonlight, though

me

through

Hell should

bar the way.'

He

rose upright in the stirrups, he scarce could

reach her hand;

But she loosened her hair i' the casement! His face burnt like a brand As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast; And he kissed its waves in the moonlight, (Oh, sweet black waves in the moonlight) Then he tugged at his reins in the moonlight, and galloped away to the West.

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JM 13

Part

He

Two

did not

at

And o'

come

in the

dawning; he did not come

noon; out of the tawny sunset, before the rise the

When

moon.

the road

was

a gypsy's ribbon,

looping

the purple moor,

A red-coat troop came marching



Marching marching King George's men came marching, up

to the

old inn-door.

They said no word

to the landlord,

they drank

his ale instead;

But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed. Two of them knelt at her casement, w^ith muskets at

the side!

There was death

And

at

every window;

Hell at one dark

window;

For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he

would

They had

ride.

tied her

sniggering

up

to attention,

with

many a

jest:

They had bound

a musket beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast! 'Now keep good watch!' and they kissed her. She heard the dead man say Look for me by moonlight; Watch for me by moonlight; I'll come to thee by moonlight, though Hell should bar the way!

14

She twisted her hands behind

her; but

all

the knots

held good!

She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood! They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years; Till, now, on the stroke of midnight. Cold, on the stroke of midnight. The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least

The

was

tip of

hers!

one finger touched

it;

she strove no more

for the rest!

Up, she stood up

to attention, with the barrel beneath her breast. She would not risk their hearing; she would not

strive again;

For the road lay bare in the moonlight, Blank and bare in the moonlight;

And to

the blood of her veins in the moonlight throbbed her Love's refrain.

Tlot-tlot, tlot-tlotl

Had

they heard

it?

The horse-hoofs

ringing clear the distance? Were they deaf that they did not hear? Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of Tlot-tlot, tlot-tlot, in

the

hill.

The highwayman came

riding.

Riding, riding! The red-coats looked to their priming! She stood straight

and

up

still!

15

Tlot-tlot, in

the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot in the

echoing night! Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was Hke a hght! Her eyes grew wide for a moment; she drew one last deep breath. Then her finger moved in the moonlight, Her musket shattered the moonlight. Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him with her death.



He turned; he spurred him westw^ard; he did not know who stood Bowed with her head o'er the musket, drenched with her own red blood! Not till the dawn he heard it, and slowly blanched to

hear

How Bess, the landlord's daughter. The landlord's black-eyed daughter. for her Love in the moonlight; and died

Had watched

in the darkness there.

Back, he spurred like a

madman,

shrieking a curse to

the sky.

With the white road smoking behind him, and

his

rapier brandished high!

Blood-red were his spurs

was

i'

the golden noon; wine-red

his velvet coat;

When they shot him down on the highway, Down like a dog on the highway. And he lay in his blood on the highway, with bunch

16

of lace at his throat.

the

And

still

is in

When

of a winter's night, they say,

when

the

wind

the trees, the

moon

is a

ghostly galleon tossed

upon

cloudy seas. When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,

A highwayman comes Riding

riding

— riding —

A highwayman comes Over the cobbles he

riding,

clatters

up

to the old inn-door.

and clangs

in the

dark

inn-yard;

And he

taps with his

whip on

locked and barred: He whistles a tune to the

the shutters, but

all is

window, and who should be

waiting there But the landlord's black-eyed daughter, Bess, the landlord's daughter. Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair. Alfred Noyes

\

17

On the Ning Nang Nong

7.^

On the Ning Nang Nong Where

the

1^-

Cows go Bong!

And the Monkeys all say Boo! There's a Nong Nang Ning Where the trees go Ping! And

^-

the tea pots Jibber Jabber Joo.

On the Nong Ning Nang All the

mice go Clang!

And you just can't catch 'em when So

it's

they do!

Ning Nang Nong!

Cows go Bong! Nong Nang Ning! :-''^' -f

Trees go Ping!

Nong Ning Nang! The mice go Clang!

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18

What a noisy place to belong. Is the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong!!

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crept out of his hole.

led to the feast his blind brother the mole.

a great distance

— the length of an

ell.

A mushroom their table, and on it was laid A water-dock leaf, which a table-cloth made; The viands were various, to each of their taste. And the bee brought his honey to crown the repast. There, close on his haunches, so solemn and wise. The frog from a corner looked up to the skies; And the squirrel, well pleased such diversions to see, Sat cracking his nuts overhead in a tree.

%(.

66

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Then out came the spider, with fingers so fine, To show his dexterity on the tight Hne; From one branch to another his cobwebs he slung. Then, quick as an arrow, he darted along. But just in the middle, oh! shocking to tell! From his rope in an instant poor Harlequin fell; Yet he touched not the ground, but with talons outspread.

Hung suspended

in air at the

end

of a thread.

Then

the grasshopper came with a jerk and a spring Very long was his leg, though but short was his win He took but three leaps, and was soon out of sight.

Then chirped

his

own

praises the rest of the night.

With step so majestic, the snail did advance. And promised the gazers a minuet to dance; But they all laughed so loud that he pulled in And went in his own little chamber to bed.

his

head

as evening gave way to the shadows of night Their watchman, the glowworm, came out with

Then

his light;

Then home let us hasten while yet we can see, For no watchman is waiting for you and for me. William Roscoe

i'^

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i

67

Meg Merrilees Old Meg she was

And liv'd upon

a Gipsy,

the Moors:

was the brown heath turf, And her house was out of doors.

Her bed

it

Her apples were swart blackberries. Her currants pods o' broom; Her wine was dew o' the wild white Her book a churchyard tomb. Her Brothers were the craggy Her Sisters larchen trees Alone with her great family She liv'd as she did please.

rose.

hills.

No breakfast had she many a mom. No dinner many a noon. And 'stead of supper she would stare Full

hard against the Moon.

But every morn of woodbine fresh She made her garlanding. And every night the dark glen Yew She wove, and she would sing.

And with

her fingers old and brown. o' Rushes, And gave them to the Cottagers She met among the Bushes.

She plaited Mats

Old Meg was brave as Margaret Queen And tall as Amazon:

An old red blanket cloak she wore;

A chip hat had she on. God rest her aged bones somewhere She died John Keats

68

full

long agone!

My Shadow I

have

a little

shadow

that goes in

and out with me.

And what can be the use of him is more than can see. He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head; And see him jump before me, when jump into my bed. I

1

I

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

to

shame

to stick to

nursie as that

shadow

sticks

me!

One morning,

very early, before the sun was up, 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. I

rose and found the shining

Robert Louis Stevenson

J 69

Johnny Crow's Garden i

I-'

''I

Johnny Crow Would dig and sow Till

he nnade a

little

Garden.

And the Lion Had a green and yellow Tie on In

Johnny Crow's Garden.

And

the Rat

Wore

a Feather in his

Hat

But the Bear Had nothing to wear In Johnny Crow's Garden.

So the Ape

Took his Measure with a Tape In Johnny Crow's Garden.

Then

the Crane

Was caught in the Rain In

Johnny Crow's Garden.

And the Beaver Was afraid he had

a

Fever

But the Goat Said: Tt's

In

nothing bu. his Throat'

Johnny Crow's Garden.

And

the Pig

Danced a Jig In Johnny Crow's Garden.

70

?

Then the Stork Gave a Philosophic Talk Till the Hippopotami Said: 'Ask no further "What am While the Elephant Said something quite irrelevant In johnny Crow's Garden.

And

the

Goose



Well,

The Goose was a Goose In Johnny Crow's Garden.

And

the

Mouse

Built himself a

Where

down

Sat In

little

House

the Cat

beside the Mat

Johnny Crow's Garden.

And

the

Whale

Told a very long Tale In Johnny Crow's Garden.

And the Owl Was a funny old Fowl And the Fox Put them In

all

in the Stocks

Johnny Crow's Garden.

Crow He let them go And they all sat down

But Johnny

To In

their dinner in a row Johnny Crow's Garden!

1?

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Silver the moon Slowly, silently, now silver shoon; her in Walks the night peers, and sees she that, and This way, Silver fruit

upon

silver trees;

catch One by one the casements thatch; beams beneath the silvery

Her log. Couched in his kennel, like a sleeps the dog; silver of paws With the whUe From their shadowy cote Of doves

A

m a silver-feathered sleep,by.

harvest

With

And By

mouse goes scampering

silver claws,

moveless

and

silver eye;

fish in the

water gleam.

stream. silver reeds in a silver

Walter de

72

breasts

la

Mare

peep ^

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*/.'

The Wind saw you

I

toss the kites

on high

And blow the birds about the sky; And all around heard you pass, I

Like ladies' skirts across the grass



O wind, a-blowing all day O wind, that sings so loud a song! long,

I

saw

the different things

you

did.

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

O you that are so strong and cold, O blower, are you young or old? Are you

Or just

a beast of field

and

a stronger child than

tree.

me?

O wind, a-blowing all day long, O wind, that sings so loud a song! Robert Louis Stevenson

73

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The Fly- Away Horse wonderful horse is the Fly- Away Horse Perhaps you have seen him before; Perhaps, while you slept, his shadow has swept Through the moonlight that floats on the floor.

Oh,

a

For

it's

only

at night,

when

the stars twinkle bright.

That the Fly-Away Horse, with

And

a

neigh

and a toss of his mane. heels and away!

a pull at his rein

up on his The Moon in the sky. As he gallopeth by, Cries: 'Oh! what a marvellous sight!' And the Stars in dismay Hide their faces away In the lap of old Grandmother Night.

Is

yonder, out yonder, the Fly-Away Horse Speedeth ever and ever away Over meadows and lanes, over mountains and plains.

It is

Over streamlets

And over the And

that sing at their play;

sea like a ghost sweepeth he.

While the ships they go sailing below. he speedeth so fast that the men at the mast Adjudge him some portent of woe. 'What ho, there!' they cry. As he flourishes by With a whisk of his beautiful tail;

And

the fish in the sea

Are as scared as can be.

From

74

the nautilus

up

to the

whale!

And

the

Fly-Away Horse seeks those far-away lands

You little folk dream of at night Where candy-trees grow, and honey-brooks

flow.

And corn-fields with popcorn are white; And the beasts in the wood are ever so good To children who visit them there — What glory astride of a lion to ride. Or to wrestle around with a bear! The monkeys, they say: 'Come on, let us play,'

And

they frisk in the coconut-trees:

While the parrots, that cling To the peanut-vines, sing Or converse with comparative ease!



scamper to bed you shall ride him tonight! soon as you've fallen asleep. With jubilant neigh he shall bear you away Over forest and hillside and deep! But tell us, my dear, all you see and you hear Off!

For, as

In those beautiful lands over there,

Where

the Fly-Away Horse wings his far-away course With the wee one consigned to his care. Then Grandma will cry In amazement: 'Oh, my!'

And

think it could never be only we two

she'll

And Shall

You and Eugene

know it

I,

little

is

so.

true

precious! shall

know!

Field

75

Bedtime The evening is coming. The sun sinks to rest; The rooks are all flying

home to the nest. 'Caw!' says the rook, as he flies overhead 'It's time little people v^ere going to bed!'

Straight

The flowers are closing; The daisy's asleep; The primrose is buried slumber so deep. Shut up for the night is the pimpernel red; It's time little people were going to bed! In

The butterfly, drowsy. Has folded its wing; The bees are returning; No more the birds sing Their labour is over, their nestlings are fed; It's time litfle people were going to bed!

Here comes the pony His work is all done; Down through the meadow He takes a good run; Up go his heels, and down goes his head; It's time little people were going to bed!

Good-night, little people. Good-night, and good-night; Sweet dreams to your eyelids

dawning of light; The evening has come, there's no more to be It's time little people were going to bed! Till

said;

Thomas Hood

^\

76

'V'.

My Heart's in the Highlands My heart's in My heart's in

the Highlands,

my

heart

is

not here;

the Highlands a-chasing the deer;

Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe. My heart's in the Highlands wherever go. I

Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North, The birth-place of valour, the country of worth;

Wherever wander, wherever rove. The hills of the Highlands for ever I love. 1

I

Farewell to the mountains, high covered with snow; Farewell to the straths and green valleys below; Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods; Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods. My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here;

My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer; Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe. the Highlands, wherever go.

My heart's in Robert Burns

I

r r

77

Little Trotty Little trotty wagtail,

And

Wagtail

he went in the

rain,

twittering, tottering sideways he ne'er got straight

again.

He stooped to get a worm, and looked up to get a fly. And then he flew away ere his feathers they were dry. Little trotty wagtail,

he waddled in the mud.

And he left his little footmarks, trample where he w^ould.

He waddled his

And

in the water-pudge,

and waggle went

tail.

chirrupt

up

his

Little trotty wagtail,

wings

to

dry upon the garden

you nimble

all

rail.

about.

And in the dimpling water-pudge you waddle in and out; Your home is nigh

So

little

at hand, and in the warm pig-stye. Master Wagtail, I'll bid you a good-bye.

John Clare

78

Calico Pie Calico Pie,

The

little

Birds ny

Down to the calico tree. Their wings were blue. And they sang 'Tilly-loo!' Till away they flew And they never came back to me! They never came back! They never came back! They never came back to me!



Calico Ban,

The little Mice ran, To be ready in time for

tea,

Flippity flup.

They drank it all up. And danced in the cup, But they never came back to me! They never came back! They never came back! They never came back to me! Calico Jam,

The little Fish swam, Over the syllabub sea.

He

took off his hat.

To the Sole and the

And

Sprat,

the Willeby-wat,

But he never came back to me! He never came back! He never came back! He never came back to me! Calico Drum, The Grasshoppers come. The Butterfly, Beetle, and Bee, Over the ground. Around and around. With a hop and a bound, But they never came back! They never came back! They never came back! They never came back to me! Edivard Lear

79

Lochinvar Oh, young Lochinvar is come out of the West, Through all the wide Border his steed was the best. And save his good broadsword he weapons had none. He rode all unarm'd and he rode all alone. So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war. There never was knight like the young Lochinvar.

He stay'd not for brake, and he stopp'd not for stone. He swam the Eske river where ford there was none. But ere he alighted at Netherby gate. The bride had consented, the gallant came For a laggard in love and a dastard in war

Was

80

to

wed

late;

the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar.

So boldly he cnter'd the Ncthcrby hall, 'Mong bridesmen and kinsmen and brothers and all. Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword (For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word), 'Oh, come ye in peace here, or come ye in war. Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?'



long woo'd your daughter my suit you denied; Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide; And now am I come, with this lost love of mine To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine. There are maidens in Scotland more lovely, by far. That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar.' 'I

,.,i

81

The bride kissed the goblet, the knight took it up, He quaff'd off the wine and he threw down the cup. She look'd down to blush, and she look'd up to sigh. With a smile on her lips and a tear in her eye. He took her soft hand ere her mother could bar: 'Now tread we a measure,' said young Lochinvar. So stately his form, and so lovely her face. That never a hall such a galliard did grace. While her mother did fret, and her father did fume. And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume. And the bridesmaids whisper'd, 'Twere better by far To have match'd our fair cousin with young Lochinvar.

82

One

touch to her hand, and one word in her ear, they reach'd the hall-door, and the charger stood near; So light to the croup the fair lady he swung. So light to the saddle before her he sprung! 'She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush, and scaur;

When

They'll have fleet steeds that follow,' quoth

young

Lochinvar.

There was mounting 'mong Graemes of the Netherby clan; Forsters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode and they ran; There was racing and chasing on Cannobie Lee, But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see. So daring in love, and so dauntless in war. Have ye e'er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar? Sir

Walter Scott

83

Tiger! Tiger!

burning bright

In the forests of the night.

What immortal hand Could frame thy In

or eye

fearful

symmetry?

what distant deeps or

Burnt the

fire of

skies

thine eyes?

On what wings dare he aspire? What

the

hand dare

seize the fire?

And what

shoulder, and what art Could twist the sinews of thy heart? And, when thy heart began to beat.

What dread hand

forged thy dread feet?

the hammer? what the chain? what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? what dread grasp

What In

Dare

its

deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears. And watered heaven with their tears. Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee? Tiger! Tiger!

burning bright

In the forests of the night.

What immortal hand Dare frame thy William Blake

84

or eye

fearful

symmetry?

85

26.^

K^y

;,

;//^J^.^

0mm

The Night will Never Stay The night will never stay. The night will still go by.

Though with a million stars You pin it to the sky; Though you bind it with the blowing wind And buckle it with the moon. The night will slip away Like sorrow or a tune. Eleanor Farjeon

86

From a Railway Carriage Faster than fairies, faster than witches,

Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches; And charging along hke troops in a battle. All

through the

meadows

All of the sights of the hill

and and the plain

the horses

cattle:

Fly as thick as driving rain;

And

ever again, in the wink of an eye. Painted stations whistle by.

Here is a child who clambers and scrambles. by himself and gathering brambles; Here is a tramp who stands and gazes; All

And

there

is

the green for stringing the daisies!

run away in the road Lumping along with man and load;

Here

is

a cart

And

here

Each

a

is a mill,

and there

glimpse and gone

is a river:

for ever!

Robert Louis Stevenson

87

My Dog, Spot I

have

a

white dog

Whose name is Spot, And he's sometimes white And he's sometimes not. But whether he's white

Or whether he's

not.

There's a patch on his ear

That makes him Spot.

L

'

|K

^

«J

He has a tongue That is long and pink. And he lolls it out When he wants to think. He seems

to think

most

When the weather is hot He's a wise sort of dog. my dog. Spot.

Is

He likes a bone And he likes a ball, ,

t

..

f,

\'

.' •it


'-

89

c^

^

The Owl When cats run home and Hght 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. Alfred, Lord

90

Tennyson

i

J

The Wind Some one tapped

at

the

window pane

A little while ago.

V the house.

Some one runs around

And whistles loud and low. Some one shakes the garden gate, And climbs the garden wall. — 'Who's that out there?' Yet when say:

/'

I

It's

nobody

He's calling

at

all.

down

the

chimney now.

a noisy roar;

With quite

He's piping through the key-hole.

And 'Come I

he's knocking in!

Come

peep into the

And though

I

in!'

on the door.

But no one comes.

hall,

feel a

puff of wind.

There's no one there

at all.

J51

]ohn Lea

91

The Cowboy's Lament As walked out As I walked out I

I

spied a poor

Wrapped up

in the streets of Laredo, in

in

in white linen. white linen as cold as the clay.

Oh beat the drum Play the

Laredo one day,

cowboy wrapped up

slowly and play the

Dead March

as

you

carry

fife

lowly.

me along;

me to the green valley, there lay the sod o'er me. For I'm a young cowboy and I know I've done wrong.

Take

I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy These words he did say as I boldly stepped by.

Come sit down beside me and hear my sad story, am shot in the breast and I know I must die. I

92

come handle my coffin. cowboys come sing me a song. me. Take me to the graveyard and lay the sod o'er wrong. done I've know and cowboy For Lm a poor Let sixteen gamblers Let sixteen

I

relations they live in the Nation, not where their boy has gone. to Texas and hired to a ranchman.

My friends and They know I

first

Oh

came young cowboy and

I'm a

1

know

I've

done wrong.

used to go dashing. used to go gay. to the card-house. First to the dram-house and then I am dying today. and breast the in Got shot

was once It was once

It

in the saddle

I

in the saddle

I

93

Get six jolly cowboys to carry my coffin. Get six pretty maidens to bear up my pall. Put bunches of roses all over my coffin. Put roses to deaden the sods as they fall.

Then swing your rope slowly and

rattle

your spurs

lowly.

And And

give a wild whoop as you carry me along. in the grave throw me and roll the sod o'er me.

For I'm a young

cowboy and I know I've done wrong.

Oh bury beside me my knife and six-shooter. My spurs on my heel, as you sing me a song. And over my coffin put a bottle of brandy That the cowboys may drink as they carry me along. Go bring me a cup, To

cool

Before

I

a

cup of cold water

my parched lips, the cowboy then said; returned his soul had departed.

And gone to

the round-up, the

cowboy was dead.

We beat the drum slowly and played the fife lowly. And bitterly wept as we bore him along; For we all loved our comrade, so brave, young, and handsome.

We all loved our comrade although he'd done wrong. Afwnipijous

94

Two Witches There was a witch The witch had an itch

^y-^

The itch was so itchy Gave her a twitch.

it

Another witch

Admired

the twitch

So she started twitching Though she had no itch.

Now both of them twitch So it's hard to tell which Witch has the itch and Which witch has the twitch. Alexander Resnikoff

L

The Song of Mr. Toad The world has held great Heroes, As history books have showed; But never a name to go down to fame

Compared with

that of Toad!

clever men at Oxford Know all that there is to be knowed,

The

But they none of them know one half as As intelligent Mr. Toad!

The animals

sat in the

Ark and

much

cried.

Their tears in torrents flowed. Who was it said, 'There's land ahead'? Encouraging Mr. Toad!

The Army all saluted As they marched along the road. Was it the King? Or Kitchener? No. It was Mr. Toad! The Queen and her Ladies-in-waiting Sat at the window and sewed. She cried, 'Look! who's that handsome man?' They answered, 'Mr. Toad.' Kenneth Grahame

96

Someone Someone came knocking At

my

wee, small door;

Someone came knocking, I'm sure

— sure — sure;

1 opened, looked to left and right. But nought there was a-stirring In the still dark night. I

listened,

I

Only the busy beetle Tap-tapping in the wall. Only from the forest

U

The screech-owl's call. Only the cricket whistling While the dewdrops fall. So know not who came knocking. I

At

all,

J

at all, at all.

/

^t^^'

97

The Fly How large unto the tiny fly Must

little

things appear!

A rosebud like a feather bed. Its

prickle like a spear;

A dewdrop like a looking-glass, A hair like golden wire; The smallest grain of mustard-seed As fierce as coals of fire;

A loaf of bread, a lofty hill; A wasp, a cruel leopard; And

specks of salt as bright to see to a shepherd.

As lambkins Walter de

98

la

Mare

^.--

Fairy Story I

went

And

wood one day walked and lost my way

into the

there

I

When it was so dark A little creature came

I

could not see to

me

He said if would sing a song The time would not be very long I

But

first

Or else

1

must

the

let

him hold my hand

wood would

give

me

sang a song, he let me go But now I am home again there

tight

a fright

I

is

nobody know. I

Stcvie Smith

a

^'

!

T^

1

99

If If

Pigs Could Fly

pigs could

fly, I'd fly a

pig

To foreign countries small and big To Italy and Spain, To Austria, where cowbells ring. To Germany, where people sing And then come home again. I'd see the I'd visit

Ganges and the

Madagascar's

And Persia and

Nile;

isle.

Peru.

People would say they'd never seen So odd, so strange an air-machine

As

that

on which

I

flew.

Why, everyone would

raise a

shout

and his snout Come floating from the sky; And I would be a famous star Well known in countries near and

To see

If

100

his trotters

only pigs could

fly!

far-

Windy Nights Whenever the moon and stars are Whenever the wind is high.

set.

All night long in the

A man

dark and wet, goes riding by.

Late in the night

when

the fires are out.

Why does he gallop and gallop about? Whenever the

trees are crying aloud, ships are tossed at sea. By, on the highway, low and loud. By at the gallop goes he. By at the gallop he goes, and then

And

By he comes back

at the gallop again.

Robert Louis Stevenson

101

The Signifying Monkey The Monkey and the Lion Got to talking one day. Monkey looked down and

said, 'Lion

hear you're king in every way. But I know somebody Who do not think that is true He told me he could whip The living daylights out of you.' Lion said, 'Who?' I

Monkey said, 'Lion, He talked about your mama And talked about your grandma,

And I'm too polite to

tell

too.

you

What he

said about you.' Lion said, 'Who said what? Who?'

\~

'^

)!il/%y"

4

Monkey in

the tree.

Lion on the ground. Monkey kept on signifying But he didn't come down.

Monkey said, 'His name is Elephant He stone sure is not your friend.' Lion said, 'He don't need to be Because today will be his end.' Lion took off through the jungle Lickity-split,

Meaning

to

grab Elephant

And tear him bit to bit. Full stop! He came across Elephant copping a Under a

righteous

shady tree. Lion said, 'You big old no-good so-and-so. It's either you or me.' fine cool

r^i

102

nod

Lion

let

out a solid roar

And bopped

Elephant with his paw. Elephant just took his trunk And busted old Lion's jaw. Lion let out another roar, Reared up six feet tall. Elephant just kicked him in the belly And laughed to see him drop and fall. Lion rolled over, Copped Elephant by the throat. Elephant just shook him loose And butted him like a goat. Then he tromped him and he stomped him Till the Lion yelled, 'Oh, no!' And it was near-nigh sunset When Elephant let Lion go.

~^./g%

/I

^^ The signifying Monkey

Was

still

sitting in his tree

When he looked down and saw the Lion. Said, 'Why, Lion, who can that there be?' Lion said, 'Monkey, I don't want To hear your jive-end jive.' Monkey just kept on signifying, 'Lion, you for sure caught hell Mister Elephant's whipped you

To

^v

f

a fare-thee-well!

You

ain't

Fact

don't think that you even as much as roar

Can

And

is,

if

no king

to

me.

I

you

try I'm liable

r1?*

To come down out of this tree and Whip your tail some more.' The Monkey started laughing And jumping up and down.

103

But he jumped so hard the Hmb broke And he landed bam! on the ground When he went to run, his foot slipped And he fell flat down. Grrr-rrr-rr-r! The Lion was on him



With

his front feet



and his hind.

Monkey hollered, 'Ow! didn't mean it. Mister Lion!' 1

Lion said, 'You

Why,

I'll

eat

little

you up

flea-bag you!

alive.

1 wouldn't a-been in this fix at all Wasn't for your signifying jive.'

'Please,' said If 1

I

Monkey, 'Mister Lion,

you'll just let

me go,

got something to

tell you, please, think you ought to know.'

Lion

let

the

Monkey loose

To see what

his tale could be

And Monkey jumped

right back

on up

Into his tree.

'What I was gonna tell you,' said Monkey, 'Is you square old so-and-so. If you fool with me I'll get Elephant to whip your head some more.' 'Monkey,' said the Lion, Beat to his unbooted knees, 'You and all your signifying children Better stay up in them trees.' Which is why today Monkey does his signifying A-way-up out of the way.

Anonymous vV^^

104

V_A''»'

f

In the Orchard There was a giant by the Orchard Wall Peeping about on this side and on that.

And As

He was

feeling in the trees.

as

the big apple tree, and twice as

His beard poked out,

Were

tall

fat:

and there

bristly-black,

all

leaves and gorse and heather in his hair.

He held a blackthorn club in his right hand. And plunged the other into every tree.



You could stand Searching for something Beside him and not reach up to his knee. I trembled lest he should So big he was Come trampling, round-eyed, down to where





I

stood.

tried to get away But, as slid Under a bush, he saw me, and he bent

I

Down deep at me, and I

I

said, 'Where

pointed over there, and

But, while he searched,

Round by the

lilac

I

off

is

she hid?'

he went

turned and simply flew to you.

I -\

bushes back

]ames Stephens

105

i^fiBki£^

The Walrus and the Carpenter The sun was shining on the

sea.

Shining with all his might: He did his very best to make

The billows smooth and bright this was odd, because it was The middle of the night.

And

The moon was shining

sulkily.

Because she thought the sun Had got no business to be there After the day 'It's

was done

very rude of him,' she said,

'To

come and

spoil the fun!'

The sea was wet as wet could The sands were dry as dry.

be.

You could not see a cloud, because No cloud was in the sky:

No

birds were flying overhead There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter Were walking close at hand: They wept like anything to see Such quantities of sand: this were only cleared away,' They said, 'it would be grand!'

'If

seven maids with seven mops Swept it for half a year, Do you suppose,' the Walrus said, 'If

'That they could get 'I

106

it

clear?'

doubt it,' said the Carpenter, And shed a bitter tear.

come and walk with The Walrus did beseech.

'O, Oysters,

us!'

'A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk. Along the briny beach: We cannot do with more than four, To give a hand to each.'

The eldest Oyster looked at him, But never a word he said: The eldest Oyster winked his eye.

And shook

his

heavy head



Meaning to say he did not choose To leave the oyster-bed.

,2^But four young Oysters hurried up, All eager for the treat: Their coats were brushed, their faces washed. Their shoes were clean and neat And this was odd, because, you know. They hadn't any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them. And yet another four; And thick and fast they came at last. And more, and more, and more All hopping through the frothy waves. And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter Walked on a mile or so. And then they rested on a rock Conveniently low:

And all the little Oysters And waited in a row.

stood

'The time has come,' the Walrus said, 'To talk of



many things:



Of shoes and ships and Of cabbages and kings



sealing

And why the sea is boiling hot And whether pigs have wings.'

wax

ji^

— i

'^^^ii.

^'^ 107

'But wait a bit/ the Oysters cried, 'Before we have our chat;

For some of us are out of breath. And all of us are fat!' 'No hurry!' said the Carpenter.

They thanked him much

for that.

'A loaf of bread,' the Walrus said, 'Is what we chiefly need: Pepper and vinegar besides Are very good indeed Now, if you're ready. Oysters dear. We can begin to feed.'

on us!' the Oysters cried. Turning a little blue. 'After such kindness, that would be

'But not

A dismal thing to do!' 'The night is fine,' the Walrus said. 'Do you admire the view?

'It

was

so kind of you to come! are very nice!'

And you

The Carpenter said nothing but 'Cut us another I

.V

M

slice.

wish you were not quite so deaf I've had to ask you twice!'

'It

seems

a

shame,' the Walrus said,

them such a trick. After we've brought them out so far. And made them trot so quick!' The Carpenter said nothing but 'To play

'The butter's spread too thick!'

108

'I

weep

for you,' the

Walrus

said:

deeply sympathise.' With sobs and tears he sorted out 'I

Those of the largest size, Holding his pocket-handkerchief Before his streaming eyes. 'O, Oysters,' said the Carpenter, 'You've had a pleasant run!

we be trotting home again?' But answer came there none And this was scarcely odd, because They'd eaten every one.

Shall

Lewis Carroll

109

The Sugar-Plum Tree Have you ever heard

of the Sugar-Plum Tree? marvel of great renown! blooms on the shore of the Lollipop sea In the garden of Shut-Eye Town; 'Tis a

It

The

fruit that

(As those

That good

Of that

bears

it

is

so wondrously sweet it say)

who have tasted

little

children have only to eat be happy next day.

fruit to

When you've got to the tree, you would

have

a

hard time

To capture the fruit which I sing; The tree is so tall that no person could climb To the boughs where the sugar-plums swing' But up m that tree sits a chocolate cat.

And a gingerbread dog prowls below— And this is the way you contrive to get at Those sugar-plums tempting you

so:

You say but

the word to that gingerbread dog barks with such terrible zest That the chocolate cat is at once all agog. As her swelling proportions attest. And the chocolate cat goes cavorting around

And he

From

this leafy

limb unto

that,

And

the sugar-plums tumble, of'course, to the Hurrah for that chocolate cat!

ground-

There are marshmallows, gumdrops, and peppermint canes With stnpings of scarlet or gold.

And you carry away of the treasure As much as your apron can hold!

that rains

So come, little child, cuddle closer to me In your dainty white nightcap and gown.

And I'll

In the

Eugene

no

rock you

away to that Sugar-Plum Tree garden of Shut-Eye Town.

Field

Mare

Frutta di

am a sea shell flung Up from the ancient sea; Now lie here, among I

I

Roots of a tamarisk tree; No one listens to me. all day husky voice, quite low. Things the great fishes say And you must need to know; I

sing to myself

In a

All night

I

sing just so.

me from the ground. hearken at my rim; Only your sorrow's sound Amazed, perplexed and dim. Comes coiling to the brim;

But

lift

And

For what the wise whales ponder Awaking out from sleep.

The key to all your wonder. The answers of the deep. These

to

myself

I

keep.

Geoffrey Scott

111

c Eldorado '^

>: Gaily bedight, A gallant knight. In sunshine

and

in

shadow.

Had journeyed long. Singing a song. In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old This knight so bold

And o'er his heart a shadow Fell, as

he found

No spot of ground That looked

And,

like Eldorado.

as his strength him at length.

Failed

He met a pilgrim shadow 'Shadow,' said he, 'Where can it be This land of Eldorado?'

'Over the Mountains

Of the Moon,

Down the Valley of the Shadow, Ride, boldly ride,'

'If

The shade replied, you seek for Eldorado!'

Edgar Allan Poe

L 112

%. ''UX

fi,

^

i j?.^

148

A'

>

Ducks' Ditty All along the backwater,

Through the rushes tall. Ducks are a-dabbling.

Up

tails all!

Ducks' tails, drakes' tails. Yellow feet a-quiver. Yellow bills all out of sight Busy in the river! Slushy green undergrowth the roach swim Here we keep our larder. Cool and full and dim.



Where

Every one for what he We like to be

Heads down, Dabbling

High

tails

Up

up.

free!

in the blue

Swifts whirl and YJe are

likes!

above call

down a-dabbling.

tails all!

Kenneth Grahame

149

The

Squirrel

Among the fox-red fallen leaves Up the chestnut bole he leapt.

I

surprised him. Snap

The brown leaper, clawing up-swept: Turned on the first bough and scolded me roundly. That's right, load

me with reviling. shame me if you can.

Spit at me, swear horrible,

But scared of my smiling Off and up he scurries. Now Jack's up the beanstalk Among the dizzy giants. He skips Along the highest branches, along Tree-fingers slender as string. Fur tail following, to the very tips:

Then

leaps the aisle

Oh fear he fall A hundred times his little length! He's over! clings, swings on a spray. lightly, the ghost of a mouse, against the sky traces For me his runway of rare wonder, races Helter-skelter without pause or break hr w long would he take?) (I think of the snail On and onward, not done yet His errand? Some nut-plunder, you bet. Oh he's gone! I peer and search and strain for him, but he's gone.

Then



150

wait and watch at the giants' feet, among The fox-red fallen leaves. One drop Of rain lands with a smart tap I

On the drum, on parchment leaf. And

wait and shiver and forget

.

I

wait

.

.

fancy: suppose these trees, so ancient, so Venerable, so rock-rooted, suddenly Heaved up their huge elephantine hooves (O the leaves, how they'd splutter and splash

A

Like a waterfall, a red waterfall)

— suppose

They trudged away! What would the squirrel say? laii

Serraillicr

151

A Smugglers' Song you wake at midnight and hear a horse's feet, Don't go drawing back the bUnd, or looking in the

If

street.

Them that asks no questions isn't told Watch the goby!

wall,

a lie

my darling, while the Gentlemen

Five and twenty ponies. Trotting through the dark Brandy for the Parson, 'Baccy for the Clerk;

Laces for a lady;

And watch

the wall,

letters for a spy.

my darling, while the Gentlemen

goby!

Running round the woodlump if you chance to find Little barrels, roped and tarred, all full of brandy-wine; Don't you shout to come and look, nor take 'em for your play; Put the brushwood back again next day!

— and

they'll

be gone

you see the stableyard setting open wide; you see a tired horse lying down inside; If your mother mends a coat cut about and tore; don't you ask no more! If the lining's wet and warm

If

If



152

'^

^

^F'

you meet King George's men, dressed

If

in blue

and

red.

You be If

they

what you

careful call

you

say,

'pretty maid',

and mindful what is said. and chuck you 'neath the

chin,

Don't you been!

tell

where no one

is,

nor yet where no one's

Knocks and footsteps round the house— whistles

after

dark You've no call for running out till the housedogs bark. Trusty's here and Pincher's here, and see how dumb they lie They don't fret to follow when the Gentlemen go by!

you do as you've been told, likely there's a chance. You'll be give a dainty doll, all the way from France, With a cap of Valenciennes, and a velvet hood If



A

present from the Gentlemen, along Five and twenty ponies. Trotting through the dark

Brandy

o'

being good!

for the Parson,

'Baccy for the Clerk.

Them

that asks

Watch the goby!

no questions

wall,

isn't told a lie

my darling, while the Gentlemen

Rudi/ard Kipling

153

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 dying moon, and blow. Blow him again to me; While my little one, while my pretty one

sleeps.

Sleep and rest, sleep and rest. Father will come to thee soon; Rest, rest, on mother's breast. Father will come to thee soon;

Father will

come

Silver sails

all

Under the Sleep

to his

babe

in the nest.

out of the west

silver

moon;

my little one, sleep my pretty one,

Alfred, Lord

sleep.

Tennyson

-4f^"

rf^

154

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