A Child's Garden of Verses 0689823827, 9780689823824

In "A Child's Garden of Verses" all sorts of curious child's thoughts, quaint ideas and humor are ju

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A Child's Garden of Verses
 0689823827, 9780689823824

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Child's

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by Robert Louis Steuensort Illustrated

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by Tasha Tudor

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Child's

Qarcbri

of Derses by Robert "Louis Steuenson Illustrated

»

by Tasha Tudor

To me,

you never can be old, first your eye I ey d, Such seems your beauty still. fair friend,

when

For as you were

Shakespeare's Sonnet CIV

Copyright I 1981 Checkerboard Press, >ard Press

.

"

of this

and colophon

of MacmiUan. Inc. 098~65 MacmiUan. Inc All rights reserved

a division

are trademarks of

book may be reproduced or transmitted

in

any form or by any means,

electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage

and

retrieval system,

without permission

in

writing from the Publisher.

Printed in U.S.A.

— —

TO ALISON CUNNINGHAM From Her Boy For the long nights you lay

And watched

for

awake

my unworthy

sake:

For your most comfortable hand

That led For

all

me

through the uneven land:

the story-books you read:

For

all

the pains you comforted:

For

all

pitied, all you bore, and happy days of yore:

In sad

My

you

second Mother,

The angel of my

From

infant

the sick child,

Take, nurse, the

And Mav And

my first

grant

it,

Wife,

life

now

little

well and old, book you hold!

Heaven, that

all

who

read

find as dear a nurse at need,

every child

who

lists

my

rhyme,

In the bright, fireside, nursery clime.

May hear As made

it

in as

mv

kind a voice

childish days rejoice! R. L. S.

CONTENTS To Alison Cunningham (Dedication) Bed

A

in

Summer

Thought

Good and Bad Children Foreign Children

10

The

11

At the Sea-Side

32 33

Sun's Travels

My Bed

11

Is

a Boat

34

Young Night Thought 12 Whole Duty of Children 13

The Moon 35 The Swing 36

Rain

Looking-Glass River

13

Fain' Bread

14

Pirate Story

Foreign Lands Travel

16

17

Looking Forward

A Good

The Hayloft

18

20

the Boats?

2.

21

Auntie's Skirts

The Land of Counterpane The Land of Nod 23

My Shadow System

25

A Good

Boy

Escape

at

41

42

Shadow March

3. In

Port

Farewell to the

Farm

44

24

THE CHILD ALONE 25

Bedtime

Marching Song

26

27

The Wind 28 The Cow 29 The Lamplighter Keepsake Mill

22

39

40

North-West Passage 1. Good-Night

19

Play

Where Go

38

Winter-Time

18

Singing

37

Happy Thought 38 Time to Rise 39 From a Railway Carriage

15

Windy Nights

32

31

The Unseen Playmate My Ship and I 46 My Kingdom 47

45

Picture-Books in Winter

48

My Treasures 49 30

Block City

50

The Land of Story-Books

51

Armies

The

in the Fire

Little

Land

52

Xest Eggs

55

The Gardener

59

59

60

ENVOYS

54

The Flowers 56 Summer Sun 57 The Dumb Soldier

Fires

Historical Associations

53

GARDEN DAYS Night and Day

Autumn

58

To To To To To To

and Henrietta My Mother 62

Willie

Auntie

63

Minnie

64

My Name- Child Am* Reader

67

66

61

!V=^

2

WHOLE DUTY OF CHILDREN A child should always say what's

true

And speak when he is spoken to, And behave mannerly at table; At

least as far as

he

is

able.

RAIN The

rain

is

raining

around,

on field and tree, rains on the umbrellas here, And on the ships at sea. It falls

It

all

L3



&

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?

Shall

it

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.

Hi!

rr

14

sea.



-*

V

r

- N

FOREIGN LANDS Up

into the cherry tree



Who

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.

If

I

I

saw

eve,

the dimpling river pass

And be

the sky's blue looking-glass;

The dusty roads go up and down With people tramping

into town.

I

could find a higher tree

Farther and farther

To where

the

Into the sea

I

should see,

grown-up

among

river slips

the ships,

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.

/

— ————



And

the red flamingo

Hunting I

should

like to rise

Where

and go

flies

fish before his eyes;-

in jungles, near

Man-devouring

and

Where the golden apples grow; Where below another skv

Lying close and giving ear

Parrot islands anchored

Lest the hunt be

far,

tigers are,

And, watched by cockatoos and goats,

drawing near, Or a comer-by be seen

Lonely Crusoes building boats;

Swinging

Where

Where among the desert sands Some deserted city stands, All its children, sweep and prince,

in

Eastern

lie,

sunshine reaching out miles about,

cities,

Are with mosque and minaret Among sandy gardens set, And the rich goods from near and far

Grown

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

as England,

Full of apes

And

tall

to

in a palanquin;

manhood

Not a foot in street or house, Not a stir of child or mouse,

And when

kindly

falls

the night,

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,

and cocoa-nuts

gloom

dining room;

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.

iS^n&B* 16

{

ages since,

r-g«

I

JI

j

ii

M

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

when

the fires are out,

Why does he gallop and gallop Whenever the

And

about?

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.

By,

17

speckled eggs the birdie sings

And

nests

among

sailor sings

ships

upon

the trees;

of ropes and things the seas.

children sing in far Japan,

The children sing

in Spain;

organ with the organ singing in the rain.

LOOKING FORWARD When am I

I

shall

And Xot

be very proud and great,

tell

to

tfrown to man's estate

the other girls

meddle with



and boys

my tors.

-'A^ 18

man



We built All

upon the stairs made of the back-bedroom

And

filled

To go

We

)'

a ship

it

full

a-sailing

took a

chairs,

of sofa pillows

on the billows.

saw and

several nails,

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.

We

sailed along for days

And had But

Tom

me

and days,

the very best of plays; fell

out

and hurt

So there was no one

left

his knee,

but me.

L9



WHERE GO THE BOATS? Dark brown is the river, Golden is the sand. It

flows along for ever,

With

on either hand.

trees

Green leaves a-floating, Castles of the foam, Boats of mine a-boating

Where

will all

come home?

On goes the river And out past the mill, Away down the valley, Away down the hill.

>•i

Away down

ft

Other

A

the river,

hundred miles or more, little

children

Shall bring

my boats

" ^s~^ '

20

ashore.

AUNTIE'S SKIRTS Whenever Auntie moves around, Her dresses make a curious sound; They trail behind her up the floor.

And

trundle after through the door.

2\

^>

'

^

> .

THE LAND OF COUNTERPANE When was

sick

I

and

lav a-bed,

at mv head, mv toys beside me lay To keep me happv all the day. I

had two pillows

And

all

And sometimes

for

an hour or so

watched mv leaden soldiers go, With different uniforms and drills, I

Among

the bed-clothes, through the hills

And sometimes sent my ships in fleets All up and down among the sheets; Or brought

And I

was

That

mv trees

planted

the giant great sits

and houses

cities all

upon the

out,

about.

and

still

pillow-hill,

And

sees before him, dale and plain The pleasant Land of Counterpane.

22



THE LAND OF NOD From

breakfast on through

At home among

all

my friends

I

the day

stay,

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

to

I

do

I

All alone beside the streams

And up The

the mountain-sides of dreams.

strangest things are there for

me,

Both things to eat and things to see, sights abroad Till morning in the Land of Nod.

And many frightening Try as

I

like to find the

way,

never can get back by day, Nor can remember plain and clear The curious music that hear. I

I

s&l

23

\V

N

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

have a

little

that goes in

what can be the use of him

is

7

The funniest thing about him Not

at all like

the

is

way he

proper children, which

is

likes to

grow

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

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

at all.

to

me!

was up,

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.

I

rose

But

my lazy little

24

^



SYSTEM my prayers say, my dinner every day;

Every night

And And I

get

get

I

every day that I've been good,

an orange

after food.

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

woke before

I

never said

was happy all the dav, an ugly word, but smiled and stuck to play. the morning,

I

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.

My bed

is

waiting cool and fresh, with linen smooth and

And I must

off to sleepsin-by,

and not

forget

my

fair,

prayer.

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

And

me

tightly

till

hear the thrushes singing

I

waken

in the

in the lilacs

25

eyes.

dawn.

round the lawn.

*

.'I

##'

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.

,*2V$*

V

»lNL 26

MARCHING SONG Bring the

comb and

plav

upon

it!

Marching, here we come! Willie cocks his highland bonnet.

..

I

Johnnie beats the drum.

Man' Jane commands

the party,

Peter leads the rear: Feet in time, alert

and

hearty.

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

Great

Now

pillage.

commander Jane!

that we've

Let's

and

WTf'^

go

home

been round the

village.

again.

-

— —

I

saw you

And And

toss the kites

on high

blow" the birds about the sky all

around

I

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!

saw

the different things

you did,

But always you yourself you hid.

you push,

heard you

I

felt

I

could not see yourself at

O O

I

call,

all

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

O O

tree,

\

28

-

2!)

-

J-i

THE LAMPLIGHTER

il

My

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

a driver

and Maria go

to sea,

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

O

Leerie, 111

go round

at night

and

light the

to do,

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!

30



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

village

grow

stiller

and

stiller,

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.

Stiller

Dust\

Years

7

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.

Home from

the Indies

Heroes and soldiers Still

we

and home from

we

all shall

shall find the old mill

Turning and churning that

wheel

motion. foam.

in

river to

the

/*****

31

4 4

come home;

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.

You with

&

the ocean,

E

ra

ii

GOOD AND BAD CHILDREN Children, you are very

And

little,

your bones are very

brittle;

If you would grow great and stately, You must try to walk sedately.

You must

still

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.

FOREIGN CHILDREN

But the unkind and the unruly,

And

the sort

who

eat unduly,

They must never hope Theirs

is

Little Indian,

for glory

Little frosty

quite a different storv!

grow up

as geese

and

Eskimo,

Turk or Japanee, O! don't you wash that vou were me?

Little

Cruel children, crying babies, All

Sioux or Crow,

gabies,

You have seen the

Hated, as their age increases, By their nephews and their nieces.

And

the lions over seas;

You have eaten

And

ostrich eggs,

turned the turtles off their

Such a But

scarlet trees

it's

legs.

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

to eat,

am fed

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

GHlJKL

Am

It 32

y

l

THE SUN'S TRAVELS The sun

is

not a -bed,

when

I

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

little

Indian sleepy-head

being kissed and put to bed.

And when

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.

1

*

\

«t>

34

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;

But

mB

And

all

Till

flowers and children close their eyes

up

in the

morning

35

the sun shall arise.





THE SWING * i

*>

.,#

..

S

*-

^

'

How

do you

Up

Vvjfr*

1^.

v

O\

Oh.

I

like to

go up in a swing,

in the air so blue?

do think

it

the pleasantest thing

E\ er a child can do! r

Up

in the air

Till

Rivers

I

and over the

wall.

can see so wide.

and

trees

and

cattle

and

all

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

I

I

36

green,

LOOKING-GLASS RIVER Smooth

it

slides

upon

travel,

its

Here a wimple, there a gleam

O O

the clean gravel! the

smooth stream!

Sailing blossoms, silver fishes,

Paven pools as clear as

How a

child wishes

To

down

live

air

there!

We

can see our coloured faces' Floating on the shaken pool

Down in cool places. Dim and very cool; Till

a

wind

or water wrinkle,

Dipping marten, plumping Spreads in a twinkle

And

blots

all

trout,

out.

See the rings pursue each other;

below grows black as night. Just as if mother Had blown out the light!

All

Patience, children, jusl

.1

minute

See the spreading circles die;

The stream and

all in

will clear by-and-by.

it

/ FAIRY BREAD Come up

here,

Here Here in

fairy

O

dusty

feet!

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.
ni

'

V

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.

His

He He

lies in

He

loves to

the laurels, he runs

on the

grass,

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!

be

little,

he hates

to

be

big,

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.

9*

-

M \v

MY SHIP AND I O

it's I

that

am

the captain of a tidy

little

ship,

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

sailing

on beyond.

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

O

I

it's

then you'll see

And you'll hear

me

sailing

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

And

to fire

where no dolly was before, the penny cannon in the bow. the island

5*K

46

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

called the

The »4

For

I

I f.

&

V

I

« S

I

little

little hills

made

red.

pool a sea;

were big

to

me;

am very small. a boat,

I

made

a town,

searched the caverns up and down And named them one and all.

And

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

For

£££*&»

me

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.

To

call

me home

to tea.

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

I

How very big my nurse appeared. How great and cool the room-:

-J

7

'!



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

we

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

things are

Seas

and

And

the flying fairies' looks,

cities,

near and

far,

In the picture story-books.

How am

I

to sing

your praise,

Happy chimney-corner **