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The present book, Theragāthā, belongs to the Pāḷi Tipiṭaka, the authorized recension for Theravāda. Theragāthā is perhap
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of Derses OL
by Robert Louis Steuensort Illustrated
by Tasha Tudor
Qwa* fit '(Ls
of Derses by Robert "Louis Steuenson Illustrated
by Tasha Tudor
you never can be old, first your eye I ey d, Such seems your beauty still. fair friend,
For as you were
Shakespeare's Sonnet CIV
Copyright I 1981 Checkerboard Press, >ard Press
of MacmiUan. Inc. 098~65 MacmiUan. Inc All rights reserved
are trademarks of
book may be reproduced or transmitted
any form or by any means,
electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage
writing from the Publisher.
Printed in U.S.A.
TO ALISON CUNNINGHAM From Her Boy For the long nights you lay
For your most comfortable hand
That led For
through the uneven land:
the story-books you read:
the pains you comforted:
pitied, all you bore, and happy days of yore:
The angel of my
the sick child,
Take, nurse, the
And Mav And
well and old, book you hold!
find as dear a nurse at need,
In the bright, fireside, nursery clime.
May hear As made
kind a voice
childish days rejoice! R. L. S.
CONTENTS To Alison Cunningham (Dedication) Bed
Good and Bad Children Foreign Children
At the Sea-Side
Young Night Thought 12 Whole Duty of Children 13
The Moon 35 The Swing 36
Foreign Lands Travel
The Land of Counterpane The Land of Nod 23
My Shadow System
Farewell to the
THE CHILD ALONE 25
The Wind 28 The Cow 29 The Lamplighter Keepsake Mill
North-West Passage 1. Good-Night
Happy Thought 38 Time to Rise 39 From a Railway Carriage
The Unseen Playmate My Ship and I 46 My Kingdom 47
Picture-Books in Winter
My Treasures 49 30
The Land of Story-Books
in the Fire
The Flowers 56 Summer Sun 57 The Dumb Soldier
GARDEN DAYS Night and Day
To To To To To To
and Henrietta My Mother 62
My Name- Child Am* Reader
WHOLE DUTY OF CHILDREN A child should always say what's
And speak when he is spoken to, And behave mannerly at table; At
least as far as
on field and tree, rains on the umbrellas here, And on the ships at sea. It falls
PIRATE STORY ,
Three of us afloat in the meadow by the swing, Three of us aboard in the basket on the lea. Winds are in the air, they are blowing in the spring, And waves are on the meadow like the waves there are at
Where shall we adventure, to-dav that we're afloat, Wary of the weather and steering bv a star? be
of the boat, To Providence, or Babylon, or off to Malabar?
to Africa, a-steering
but here's a squadron a-rowing on the sea Cattle on the meadow a-charging with a roar! Quick, and we'll escape them, they're as mad as they can be, The wicket is the harbour and the garden is the shore.
FOREIGN LANDS Up
into the cherry tree
should climb but little me? I held the trunk with both mv hands And looked abroad on foreign lands.
saw the next door garden lie, Adorned with fl owers, before my And many pleasant places more That I had never seen before.
the dimpling river pass
the sky's blue looking-glass;
The dusty roads go up and down With people tramping
could find a higher tree
Farther and farther
Into the sea
To where the roads on either hand Lead onward into fairy land. Where all the children dine al five, And all the playthings come alive.
the red flamingo
like to rise
fish before his eyes;-
in jungles, near
Where the golden apples grow; Where below another skv
Lying close and giving ear
Parrot islands anchored
Lest the hunt be
And, watched by cockatoos and goats,
drawing near, Or a comer-by be seen
Lonely Crusoes building boats;
Where among the desert sands Some deserted city stands, All its children, sweep and prince,
sunshine reaching out miles about,
Are with mosque and minaret Among sandy gardens set, And the rich goods from near and far
Hang for sale in the bazaar; Where the Great Wall round China goes. And on one side the desert blows, And with bell and voice and drum, Cities on the other hum; Where are forests, hot as fire, Wide
Full of apes
in a palanquin;
Not a foot in street or house, Not a stir of child or mouse,
town no spark of light. There I'll come when I'm a man With a camel caravan; In all the
Light a fire in the
Of some dusty
as a spire,
See the pictures on the walls,
Heroes, fights and festivals;
the negro hunters* huts;
Where the knotty crocodile Lies and blinks in the Nile,
And in a corner find the tovs Of the old Egyptian boys.
Whenever the moon and stars are set, Whenever the wind is high, All night long in the dark and wet
A man goes riding by. Late in the night
the fires are out,
Why does he gallop and gallop Whenever the
trees are crying aloud,
ships are tossed at sea,
on the highway, low and loud, By at the gallop goes he. By at the gallop he goes, and then By he comes back at the gallop again.
speckled eggs the birdie sings
of ropes and things the seas.
children sing in far Japan,
The children sing
organ with the organ singing in the rain.
LOOKING FORWARD When am I
be very proud and great,
tfrown to man's estate
the other girls
We built All
upon the stairs made of the back-bedroom
of sofa pillows
on the billows.
And water in the nursery pails; And Tom said, "Let us also take An apple and a slice of cake;" Which was enough for Tom and To go a-sailing on, till tea.
sailed along for days
And had But
the very best of plays; fell
So there was no one
WHERE GO THE BOATS? Dark brown is the river, Golden is the sand. It
flows along for ever,
on either hand.
Green leaves a-floating, Castles of the foam, Boats of mine a-boating
On goes the river And out past the mill, Away down the valley, Away down the hill.
hundred miles or more, little
" ^s~^ '
AUNTIE'S SKIRTS Whenever Auntie moves around, Her dresses make a curious sound; They trail behind her up the floor.
trundle after through the door.
THE LAND OF COUNTERPANE When was
at mv head, mv toys beside me lay To keep me happv all the day. I
had two pillows
an hour or so
watched mv leaden soldiers go, With different uniforms and drills, I
the bed-clothes, through the hills
And sometimes sent my ships in fleets All up and down among the sheets; Or brought
the giant great sits
sees before him, dale and plain The pleasant Land of Counterpane.
THE LAND OF NOD From
breakfast on through
At home among
But every night I go abroad Afar into the Land of Nod.
by myself I have to go, With none to tell me what
All alone beside the streams
And up The
the mountain-sides of dreams.
strangest things are there for
Both things to eat and things to see, sights abroad Till morning in the Land of Nod.
And many frightening Try as
like to find the
never can get back by day, Nor can remember plain and clear The curious music that hear. I
MY SHADOW shadow
and out with me, more than I can see. And He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head; And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed. I
that goes in
what can be the use of him
The funniest thing about him Not
at all like
proper children, which
always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes
none of him
He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to plaw 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; f d think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks One morning,
very early, before the sun
and found the shining dew on even' buttercup; shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head, Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.
my lazy little
SYSTEM my prayers say, my dinner every day;
And And I
every day that I've been good,
The child that is not clean and neat, With lots of toys and things to eat, He is a naughty child, I'm sure Or else his dear papa is poor.
A GOOD BOY I
was happy all the dav, an ugly word, but smiled and stuck to play. the morning,
And now at last the sun is going down behind the wood, And I am very happy, for I know that I've been good.
waiting cool and fresh, with linen smooth and
And I must
off to sleepsin-by,
know that, till to-morrow I shall see the sun arise. No ugly dream shall fright my mind, no ugly sight my I
But slumber hold
hear the thrushes singing
in the lilacs
round the lawn.
ESCAPE AT BEDTIME
The lights from the parlour and kitchen shone out Through the blinds and the windows and bars; And high overhead and all moving about, There were thousands of millions of stars. There ne'er were such thousands of leaves on a tree, Nor of people in church or the Park, As the crowds of the stars that looked down upon me, And that glittered and winked in the dark.
The Dog, and the Plough, and the Hunter, and all, And the star of the sailor, and Mars, These shone in the sky, and the pail by the wall Would be half full of water and stars. The\' saw me at last, and they chased me with cries, And they soon had me packed into bed; But the glory kept shining and bright in my eyes, And the stars going round in my head.
MARCHING SONG Bring the
Marching, here we come! Willie cocks his highland bonnet.
Johnnie beats the drum.
Man' Jane commands
Peter leads the rear: Feet in time, alert
Each a Grenadier!
most martial manner Marching double-quick: While the napkin like a banner Waves upon the stick!
All in the
Here's enough of fame
been round the
toss the kites
blow" the birds about the sky all
heard you pass,
Like ladies' skirts across the grass
O O I
wind, a-blowing all day long, wind, that sings so loud a song!
the different things
But always you yourself you hid.
could not see yourself at
wind, a-blowing all day long, wind, that sings so loud a song
O you that are so strong and cold, O blower, are you young or old? Are you a beast of field and
child than me? wind, a-blowing all dav long, wind, that sings so loud a song!
Or just a stronger
tea is nearly ready and the sun has left the sky; time to take the window to see Leerie going by; For every night at teatime and before you take your seat, With lantern and with ladder he comes posting up the street. It's
Now Tom would be
and Maria go
And my papa's a banker and as rich as he can be; But I, when I am stronger and can choose what I'm
lamps with you
For we are very lucky, with a lamp before the door, And Leerie stops to light it as he lights so many more; And O! before you hurry bv with ladder and with light, O Leerie, see a little child and nod to him to-night!
KEEPSAKE MILL M Over the borders, a sin without pardon, Breaking the branches and crawling below. Out through the breach in the wall of the garden, Down bv the banks of the river. we go. Here is the mill with the humming of thunder, Here is the weir with the wonder of foam, Here is the sluice with the race running underMarvellous places, though hand} to home! 7
Sounds of the
the note of the birds on the hill; and dim are the eyes of the miller, Deaf are his ears with the moil of the mill.
may go by, and
the wheel in the river
Wheel as it wheels for us, children, to-day, Wheel and keep roaring and foaming for ever Long after all of the bovs are away.
Heroes and soldiers Still
and home from
shall find the old mill
Turning and churning that
bean that I gave when we quarrelled, I with your marble of Saturday last. Honoured and old and all gaily apparelled, Here we shall meet and remember the past.
GOOD AND BAD CHILDREN Children, you are very
your bones are very
If you would grow great and stately, You must try to walk sedately.
be bright and quiet,
And content with simple diet; And remain, through all bewildYing, Innocent and honest children.
Happy hearts and happy faces, Happv play in grassy places That was how, in ancient ages, Children grew to kings and sages.
But the unkind and the unruly,
They must never hope Theirs
quite a different storv!
Turk or Japanee, O! don't you wash that vou were me?
Cruel children, crying babies, All
Sioux or Crow,
You have seen the
Hated, as their age increases, By their nephews and their nieces.
the lions over seas;
You have eaten
turned the turtles off their
Such a But
life is very? fine,
not so nice as mine:
You must often, as you trod, Have wearied not to be abroad. You have curious things
on proper meat; You must dwell beyond the foam, But I am safe and live at home. Little Indian, Sioux or Crow, Little frosty Eskimo, Little Turk or Japanee, O! don't vou wish that vou were me? I
THE SUN'S TRAVELS The sun
not a -bed,
At night upon my pillow lie; Still round the earth his wav he takes, And morning after morning makes. While here at home, in shining daw the sunny garden play,
We round Each Is
being kissed and put to bed.
at eve I rise from tea Dav dawns bevond the Atlantic Sea; And all the children in the West Are getting up and being dressed.
The moon has a
face like the clock in the hall;
She shines on thieves on the gardei wall, On streets and fields and harbour quays, And birdies asleep in the forks of the trees.
The squalling cat and the squeaking mouse. The howling dog bv the door of the house. The bat that lies in bed at noon. All love to be out by the light of the moon. of the things that belong to the day Cuddle to sleep to be out of her way;
flowers and children close their eyes
the sun shall arise.
THE SWING * i
go up in a swing,
in the air so blue?
the pleasantest thing
E\ er a child can do! r
in the air
and over the
can see so wide.
O'er the countrvside look down on the garden Down on the roof so brown Up in the air go flying again, Up in the air and down! Till
LOOKING-GLASS RIVER Smooth
Here a wimple, there a gleam
the clean gravel! the
Sailing blossoms, silver fishes,
Paven pools as clear as
can see our coloured faces' Floating on the shaken pool
Down in cool places. Dim and very cool; Till
or water wrinkle,
Dipping marten, plumping Spreads in a twinkle
See the rings pursue each other;
below grows black as night. Just as if mother Had blown out the light!
Patience, children, jusl
See the spreading circles die;
The stream and
will clear by-and-by.
/ FAIRY BREAD Come up
Here Here in
bread to eat. mv retiring room, Children, you may dine On the golden smell of broom And the shade of pine; And when vou have eaten well, Fairy stories hear and tell.
THE UNSEEN PLAYMATE ' -
When .. N
children are playing alone on the green
comes the playmate that never was seen. P1 - When children are happy and lonely and good, * The Friend of the Children comes out of the wood. In
Nobody heard him and nobody saw, "-v
is a picture you never could draw. But he's sure to be present, abroad or at home, When children are happy and playing alone.
the laurels, he runs
sings when you tinkle the musical glass; Whene'er you are happy and cannot tell why, The Friend of the Children is sure to be by!
he that inhabits the caves that you dig; 'Tis he when vou play with your soldiers of tin That sides with the Frenchmen and never can win. 'Tis
Tis he, when at night you go off to your bed. Bids vou go to your sleep
and not trouble
your head; For wherever they're King, in cupboard or shelf, 'Tis he will take care of your playthings himself.
MY SHIP AND I O
the captain of a tidy
Of a ship that goes a-sailing on the pond; And mv ship it keeps a-turning all around and all about; But when I'm a little older, I shall find the secret out
How to send my vessel
mean to grow as little as the dolly at the helm, And the dolly I intend to come alive; And with him beside to help me, it's a-sailing I shall go It's a-sailing on the water, when the jolly breezes blow And the vessel goes a divie-divie-dive. For
then you'll see
And you'll hear
through the rushes and the reeds,
the water singing at the prow;
For beside the dolly sailor, I'm to voyage and explore,
To land upon
where no dolly was before, the penny cannon in the bow. the island
MY KINGDOM Down by a
shining water well
found a very little dell.. No higher than mv head. The heather and the gorse about In summer bloom were coming out, I
Some yellow and some I
pool a sea;
am very small. a boat,
searched the caverns up and down And named them one and all.
about was mine, I said. The little sparrows overhead, all
The little minnow s too. This was the world and I was king; For me the bees came by to sing. r
the swallows flew.
plaved there were no deeper seas. Nor any wider plains than these. I
Nor other kins;s than me. At last I heard my mother call Out from the house at evenfall.
And must rise and leave my dell. And leave my dimpled water well. And leave mv heather blooms. Alas! and as my home neared. I
How very big my nurse appeared. How great and cool the room-:
PICTURE-BOOKS IN WINTER Summer Frost}'
comes mornings, tingling thumbs fading, winter
Window robins, winter rooks, And the picture story-books. Water now is turned to stone Nurse and I can walk upon; Still
find the flowing brooks
In the picture story-books. All the pretty things put by,
Wait upon the children's eve, Sheep and shepherds, trees and crooks/ In the picture story-books.
We may see how all
the flying fairies' looks,
In the picture story-books.
Happy chimney-corner **