The story of Bonnybelle


Material Information

The story of Bonnybelle
Series Title:
Grimm's series
Physical Description:
11, 1 p., 6 leaves of plates : col. ill. ; 27 cm.
Pollard, Josephine, 1834-1892
McLoughlin Bros., inc ( Publisher )
McLoughlin Bro's
Place of Publication:
New York
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile poetry   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile poetry   ( lcsh )
Courtship -- Juvenile poetry   ( lcsh )
Marriage proposals -- Juvenile poetry   ( lcsh )
Princes -- Juvenile poetry   ( lcsh )
Kings and rulers -- Juvenile poetry   ( lcsh )
Death -- Juvenile poetry   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1883   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
poetry   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- New York -- New York


General Note:
Cover title.
General Note:
Chromolithographed plates.
General Note:
In verse.
General Note:
Publisher's advertisements on back cover.
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002256951
notis - ALK9735
oclc - 32605349
System ID:

Full Text


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THERE was a poor couple who lived near a wood,
They had but one daughter, so lovely and good
That every one spoke of her beauty, and said
With the noblest of men she was worthy to wed.

Her parents were poor, and her home was a cot,
But Bonnybelle never complained of her lot;
For she loved her old father and mother, and they
Were only unhappy when she was away.

Each day in the week she was busy and bright,
In doing her duty she took great delight;
And on Sundays this dear little maiden so good,
Went off to the chapel that stood in the wood.


When she went out of doors a thick piece of gauze
She drew over her face to conceal it, because
She was modest and sweet, and it filled her with shame
To have people stare as they whispered her name.

One day the King's son, being out for a walk
With a servant beside him to whom he could talk,
Was startled at sight of a maiden, who took
Her way very daintily over a brook.

She was neatly arrayed, had a form of much grace,
But the veil so provokingly fell o'er her face,
That the Prince from his station behind the big tree,
Not half of her wonderful beauty could see.

"Who is she, I wonder? and where does she dwell?"
"My lord" said the servant, "her name's Bonnybelle,
And every one speaks of her beauty and worth,
Nor seems to remember how lowly her birth.

"She lives in the cottage you see over there,
With her parents, a homely and hard-working pair,
Who think themselves lucky, and wealthy as well,
In having a treasure like sweet Bonnybelle."




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Said the Prince She's a jewel! a lily! a pearl!
A beautiful, dutiful, sensible girl!
So modest! O never before in my life
Have I seen one to suit me so well for a wife!"

"Come here, my good Rupert; this ring take to her,
And say that she will a great kindness confer
On one who desires to see her, if she
Will meet him this evening beside the big tree.

"Go; praise the rich jewel as much as you can;
And say what you please-so it's good of the man;
But let her not guess 'tis the wish of my life
So lovely a maiden to win for my wife."

Away on his errand went Rupert straightway,
For he knew that his master would stand no delay;
And he found Bonnybelle by the noises he heard,
Like the humming of bees and the song of a bird.

She sat by her spinning-wheel, looking so sweet,
"With her bodice and apron so charmingly neat
That Rupert regretted his master should miss
The sight of so lovely a picture as this.


The man did his errand exactly as told,
And Bonnybelle, neither conceited nor bold,
Imagined his master had work to bestow,
And told him to say she would certainly go.

She went to the tree when her day's work was done,
And there, as expected, she met the king's son,
Who said that her goodness and virtuous life
Had so touched his heart, he would make her his wife.

Surprised, blushing Bonnybelle modestly said,
" I am but a poor girl, and if me you should wed,
Your father would be very angry indeed;
I pray you, kind sir, to his wishes give heed."

The Prince still entreated; her favor besought;
And Bonnybelle said she would give it some thought;
At the end of two days if he came to the tree,
He would know her decision, whatever it should be.

But the Prince was impatient; his haste to excuse,
He sent her a pair of most beautiful shoes
The very next day, with a message that she
Would meet him that evening beside the big tree.



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She went; and when Bonnybelle stood by his side,
The Prince said I'm ready to claim you, my bride!"
But the maiden said Sir, I've had so much to do,
I haven't had time to think much about you.

" I'm a very poor girl, and not fitted to wed
A rich Prince like you, Sir," she modestly said;
"And your father, the King, would be always at strife
With you, if you chose so unworthy a wife."

The Prince was more eager than ever, and bent
His knee like a suitor to win her consent,
'Till she promised her mind on the subject should dwell;
And she'd talk with her parents about it as well.

The very next day the Prince sent her a dress
Of rich cloth-of-gold, his true love to express,
And begged and implored her to meet him again
At the big tree that stood at the head of the lane.

When she came she declared-looking sweet as a pink,-
That she'd been very busy, too busy to think;
There was much work to do; not a chance had she had
To consult with her parents; 'twas really too bad!


But I'm a poor girl, with no dowry to bring,"
Said Bonnybelle. "Surely, your father, the King,
Will be very angry, and with you at strife."
"That's nought," said the Prince, "if you're only my wife!

"For soon you'll be Queen!" And then Bonnybelle knew
His heart was all right, and he meant to be true;
So she whispered a "yes" when he asked her to be
His wife; and she met him quite oft by the tree.

Meanwhile the rich King had heard nothing about
The Prince's adventure; but some one found out
The secret, and hurried away with all speed
To the King, who, enraged, did a horrible deed.

A servant went down at his royal command,
And Bonnybelle's home set on fire with a brand,
Expecting that she and her parents, 'twas plain,
Would perish, and trouble him never again.

But, on seeing the fire, up sprang Bonnybelle,
And running out-doors hid herself in a well
That was empty and dry, while her parents so old,
Were devoured by the flames that could not be controlled.


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Overcome with her sorrowful loss, Bonnybelle
Remained for some time in the moss-covered well,
Then slowly crawled out, and tears rained down her face
At sight of her home, now a desolate place.

She searched amongg the ruins and found-strange to tell-
A few things of value she managed to sell,
And bought with the money some clothes; to her joy
With her hair cut off short, she looked just like a boy!

She went to the King, and in accents of grace
Besought him to find in his household a place
For such a young servant; 'twas not a strange thing
For lads thus to offer themselves to the King.

The King asked his name. "Donizel," said the boy.
The King liked his looks, and soon found him employ,
And before many days it was easily guessed
The new servant pleased him above all the rest.

As soon as the faithful and loving Prince found
That Bonnybelle's house had been burned to the ground.
Ah, then he was sad, and most bitterly grieved,
For that she was burned up in the flames he believed.


The King believed also that this was the truth,
And said, as if anxious to comfort the youth,
That to marry a Princess would be a good thing,
The daughter, forsooth, of a neighboring King.

It soon was arranged by the two Kings, who said
Twould be very nice if their children should wed;
And the Prince and the Princess had nothing to say,
Except to consent to the choice of the day.

It then was proclaimed when the wedding would be,
And every one said they must be there to see;
And all the townspeople were filled with delight,
At the prospect of seeing so splendid a sight.

The servants in costumes of various tints,
Made up the procession that followed the Prince;
And while others made merry, and showed themselves glad,
Poor Donizel only was drooping and sad.

He walked at the end of the line, and he sang
So clearly his voice like a bugle-note rang,
"Oh once, long ago, I was called Bonnybelle,
But now, through misfortune, I'm called Donizel!"


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The Prince heard the voice, and he turned with a start,
For memory sent a quick throb through his heart,
And he said to his father, "O tell, I entreat,
Whose voice is that ringing so clearly and sweet?"

"It must be a servant of mine," said the King;
" He's a clever young lad; like a bird he can sing."
"Are you sure ?" asked the Prince, who kept turning about;
" Oh yes," said the King. It is he beyond doubt."

So they moved in procession, and as they drew near
The castle, the voice rose again loud and clear:
"Oh once, long ago, I was called Bonnybelle,
But now, through misfortune, I'm called Donizel !"

The Prince, who was listening, as soon as he heard
The song thus repeated his horse quickly spurred,
And rode at a gallop the length of the line,
Till he found Bonnybelle, and he made her a sign

By which she might know that, despite her disguise,
He knew her and loved her, and had a surprise
In store for the people who gathered to see
Him marry a Princess of noble degree.


Then back again, taking his place at the head
Of the splendid procession, as bridegroom he led,
And reaching the castle they passed through the gates,
Where the Princess already their presence awaits.

When the guests were assembled, and servants and all
Had stationed themselves with their backs to the wall,
To have a fine view of the bridal array,
The Prince made it known he had something to say.

"Noble King, ere your daughter I marry," said he,
"I've a riddle I wish you'd unravel for me;
It is this: I'd a casket I prized beyond cost,
And one day the key, to my sorrow, I lost.

"I purchased a new one; and afterwards found
The old one. O King! 'tis for you to expound
The riddle, and tell me which key I shall use;
For one I must keep, and the other refuse."

"By all means the old one!" the King made reply;
"For that one in honor should rank very high;
And he has a heart that is cruel and cold,
Who lets a new friend take the place of the old!"

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"Very well," said the Prince; "you will then be resigned
If to wed with your daughter I am not inclined;
For I've not a heart that is cruel and cold,
And she is the new key, and there is the old!"

Then he led Bonnybelle to his father, and said,
"See, this is my bride! and 'tis her I will wed!"
And the old King exclaimed as his arms he upraised
"Why that is my servant! my son, I'm amazed!"

Then all the townspeople who knew the young lad,
Cried, "That's Donizel! The King's son has gone mad!"
"No, no!" said the Prince, the disturbance to quell,
"My bride you behold; and her name's Bonnybelle!"

To his own charming castle he led his dear mate,
And there as his Princess she lived in great state,
And when the King died, our beloved Bonnybelle
Was duly crowned Queen; and she reigned long and well.


O who can tell where the Fairies dwell
That weave around us their magic spell?
On what high shelves do the gnomes and elves,
And all the fairy-folks hide themselves?

Has any one seen the Fairy Queen
Who rules her subjects with royal mien?
And in digging around about under ground
Are fairy-palaces ever found?

Search where you will, in forest or hill,
The fairies you never will find until
You fall asleep, in sweet slumbers deep,
And then around you they'll swarm and leap.

The beautiful throng, with dance and song,
From every quarter will haste along,
Like birds on wing, and rich treasures bring,
And weave around you their fairy-ring.

With elf or gnome you then may roam,
And find your way to the fay-queen's home;
And awake to tell, as you break the spell,
That Fairies only in dream-land dwell.


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