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THE DEAD DOLL.
THE DEAD DOLL
AND OTHER VERSES
AUTHOR OF '' LITTLE HELPERS" ETC.
TICKNOR AND, COMPANY
211 Zremont Stret
BY TICKNOR AND COMPANY.
C. J. PETERS & SON, BOSTON,
U. S. A.
MANY of the verses in this book have been published in St.
Nicholas, Harper's Young People, The Youth's Companion, and Wide
Awake, and it gives me pleasure to acknowledge the kindness and
courtesy which have so greatly helped me to gather them up for
publication in this form.
Others are now published for the first time, with the hope that
the children to whom "The Dead Doll" is an old friend, may
welcome the new-comers for her sake, and for the sake of their
THE DEAD DOLL .. .. ... .. .
As You COME UP THE STAIR . ...... 11
THE FATE OF A FACE-MAKER ... . .... 13
THE CAT AND THE FIDDLE .. .. .. .. .... .15
SLUMBER-LAND . .. . . 191
W HICH ? . . .. . . .. 22
THE GALLEY CAT. . .. .. .. ... 25
AT SUNSET . . . . .. 33
A DREAM OF LITTLE WOMEN, AND SOME OTHERS .... .34
WINNING A PRINCESS . . .... . .40
HOPE FOR THE HOPELESS . .. . 45
THE CLOWN'S BABY . . .... . .. 49
THE KING'S DAUGHTERS .. ..... ... .. 57
MARY JANE . .... .. . 59
LADY QUEEN ANNE . ... ... ... 61
THE OLD MAN PICKING HIS GEESE .... . .. .62
WHAT THE BIRDS SAID ... .... ... 64
Two WAYs OF SEEING .... . . ...... 67
ANCIENT HISTORY .. ............ 68
THE SANDMAN. ... . . . 72
JACK-IN-THE-BOX .... . . . 76
PARTNERSHIP .... . . . 78
ENCHANTMENT. . . . . 80
CATCHING THE CAT ... . . 83
A LITTLE SINNER .. . . . 87
A HUNTING MORNING . . ...... 88
MRs. MACusTARD .... . . . 90
A ROMANCE OF THE SEA . .. . 92
THIE LITTLE HERB . . .. . 98
A REFINED TASTE . . . . 99
SHIPWRECK AND PERIL . . . 100
FOR ALL-FOOLS' DAY.. ... . ... .. 103
THE APRIL BABY .. . . .. 104
THE EASTER LOAVES ............... 107
WAYS AND MEANS .. ... . .. 109
A SAD BLUNDER .... . . .. 113
THE STORY OF A QUEER CHILD . ... . 114
SHUCKS ..... . . . 119
FAIR EXCHANGE IS NO ROBBERY . .. .. ... .123
THE DANCING BEAR .... .. .. .125
"BOUND OUT". . . .. 126
MISTLETOE ....... . .. 128
HOLLY .. .... ..... ......... . 129
A SAD CASE... ... .. .. . 131
PIHEBE .. .. . ... .. . 132
NERVOUSNESS AND NERVE . . ..... 134
PUNCH AND THE SERIOUS LITTLE BOY . . 135
AN EXPLANATION. .. . . ... .138
THE THREE SHEIKIS . ... . 143
COM0MON-SENSE IN THE HOUSEHOLD
I. How TO READ . ... . 146
II. How TO SLEEP . . .. 146
III. THE GAS LEAK... ... . ... 152
IV. THE BURGLAR-ALARM . .... .155
SECOND THOUGHTS ARE ALWAYS BEST . . 158
CONSISTENCY . . . . 159
How CRUEL Is FATE! .... . . .. 160
OUT OF STYLE. .... ... . .161
GOING AND COMING . .. . . .. 163
AN ARISTOCRATIC OLD GNU. . . . 164
LEVELLING . ........ .. ..... .. 1. 66
BED-TIME ...... ................ 168
THE DEAD DOLL
AND OTHER POEMS.
THE DEAD DOLL AND OTHER VERSES.
THE DEAD DOLL.
You needn't be trying to comfort me --I tell you my dolly is dead!
There's no use in saying she isn't, with a crack like that in her head.
It's just like you said it wouldn't hurt much to have my tooth out, that
And then, when the man 'most pulled my head off, you hadn't a word
And you must think I'm only a baby, when you say you can mend it
As if I didn't know better than that! Why, just suppose it was
You might make her look all mended but what do I care for looks ?
Why, glue's for chairs and tables, and toys, and the backs of books !
My dolly my own little daughter! Oh, but it's the awfulest crack!
It makes me feel sick to think of the sound when her poor head went
Against that horrible brass thing that holds up the little shelf.
Now, Nursey, what makes you remind me? I know that I did it
10 THE DEAD DOLL.
I think you must be crazy you'll get her another head!
What good would forty heads do her? I tell you my dolly is dead!
And to think I hadn't quite finished her elegant new Spring hat!
And I took a sweet ribbon of hers last night to tie on that horrid cat!
When my mamma gave me that ribbon I was playing out in the
She said to me, most expressly, Here's a ribbon for Hildegarde."
And I went and put it on Tabby, and Hildegarde saw me do it;
But I said to myself, Oh, never mind, I don't believe she knew it! "
But I know that she knew it now, and I just believe, I do,
That her poor little heart was broken, and so her head broke too.
Oh, my baby my little baby! I wish my head had been hit!
For I've hit it over and over, and it hasfi't cracked a bit.
AS YOU COME UP THE STAIR. 11
But since the darling is dead, we must bury her, of course;
We will take my little wagon, Nurse, and you shall be the horse;
And I'll walk behind and cry; and we'll put her in this, you see -
This dear little box and we'll bury her under the maple-tree.
And papa will make me a tombstone, like the one he made for my
And he'll put what I tell him on it yes, every single word!
I shall say: Here lies Hildegarde, a beautiful doll, who is dead;
She died of a broken heart, and a dreadful crack in her head."
AS YOU COME UP THE STAIR.
OH! there's no peace about the house,
There's no rest at all,
There's quiet neither in nor out
While little boys are small!
There's always mud upon their boots;
They will not comb their hair;
They're sliding down the banisters
As you come up the stair.
But let me think. There is a time
When little boys are sweet,
Their hands are clean and quiet, too,
And still the restless feet;
No whistling stirs the rosy lips,
No shouting rends the air,
12 AS YOU COME UP THE STAIR.
And silence reigns throughout the house,
As you come up the stair.
But, like all very pleasant things,
This happy state won't keep, -
It only, I regret to say,
Lasts while they are asleep.
The comfort of it is, you see,
It comes and comes again,
Until, before you think of it,
The little boys are men.
Is this tall, deep-voiced, gentle man
The noisy little lad?
Perhaps small boys- or some of them -
Are not so very bad !
For soon the strong protecting arms
Of loving sons and brothers
Pay back, with interest, the debt
To sisters and to mothers.
And so, in spite of all their "ways,"
The mud and dust and noise,
I think we'll say right heartily,
God bless the little boys !"
For each of us some day must lean
Upon their tender care,
And trust their stout young hands and hearts
As we go down the stair.
1THE FATE OF A PACE-MAKER. 13
THE FATE OF A FACE-MAKER.
IT was once upon a time but what time I cannot say -
That there lived a little girl who had a naughty way
Of making ugly faces whenever anything teased her,
And, to make the matter worse, nearly everything displeased her.
She did not like to get up, and she hated to go to bed;
She did not like to read, and she hated to hear things read;
She did not like it to rain, and she hated the sun to shine;
She was never ready for dinner, and well, she did like to dine.
Her loving parents thought some fairy had bewitched her;
They reasoned with her long, and finally they switched her;
But the more they switched and reasoned, the worse their darling grew,
Until they owned to each other they didn't know what to do!
It was just about this time that she went for a walk one day,
Because she had been told on no account to stray
Outside the palace-garden, you've read in many a rhyme
That folks always lived in palaces, "once upon a time."
So she strayed away from home as far as ever she could,
And found herself at last in a dark and dismal wood,
When all at once she saw, -you may think she was afraid, -
Lying loose among the trees, all the faces she'd ever made.
There was the face she made to frighten her little brother;
And a worse one still she made when she would not mind her mother;
And as she looked around they still grew worse and worse, -
There was every single face she had ever made at her nurse!
14 THE FATE OF A FACE-MAKER.
And many more beside she'd done it for years, you see, -
So the place was just as full of faces as it could be.
i? .. ,
She turned and ran, poor thing, as well as she could for fright,
And when she did get home they found she was crazy, quite.
THE CAT AND THE FIDDLE. 15
They sent her to an asylum at once; but there, alas!
By way of amusing her, they gave her a looking-glass.
When they opened her door next day, there was nothing in the place
But a broken looking-glass, and a terribly ugly Face !
THE CAT AND THE FIDDLE.
A CAT of Culture owned a Violin;
So sweetly could she play
That always a large audience she could win
And charm its heart away.
She was in easy circumstances, and
Neither for fame nor pelf
Played she, but at sweet charity's demand,
Or to amuse herself.
Hear now how graciously she used her art,
To help a suffering heart!
In a fair Cabinet, high upon a shelf,
Famous as she could wish,
With the compartment wholly to herself,
Languished a beauteous Dish;
And yet she was not happy, for she sighed,
Morning, and night, and noon,
"Ah, what is all my glory and my pride,
Without my faithful Spoon ?"
And from a distant basket, as she sighed,
A massive Spoon replied.
16 THE CAT AND THE FIDDLE.
'Twas a chance meeting; by a careless maid
Had the bright Spoon, one day,
On the same shelf with the fair Dish been laid,
And given his heart away.
Too soon he was discovered, but before
They missed him, ardent hope
Had bade him whisper, "We shall meet once more,
And then we will elope !"
And the coy Dish, turning more crimson still,
Had sweetly lisped, We will! "
Stern Fate had frowned; the Cabinet was locked,
The frantic Spoon was guarded;
But when has not young love at locksmiths mocked?
Their faith was soon rewarded.
Close by an open window, one bright day,
The Spoon was left awhile,
And at the Dish- although two rooms away -
He gave a brilliant smile.
The smile attracted though I know not how -
The notice of a Cow.
Outside the window pretty Mooly grazed,
And at the smiling Spoon
With artless admiration long she gazed.
"It minds me of the Moon,"
She softly said. The flattered Spoon replied,
"I as the Moon am pale,
I know, because my heart's wish is denied."
And then he told his tale.
The sympathetic Cow, with eyes that glistened,
Patiently to him listened.
THE CAT AND THE FIDDLE: 17
She ruminated long. At last said she,
Hearken to what I say !
If my good friend the Cat will but agree,
You've but to name the day !
While to admiring friends the Dish is shown,
The Cat will steal within
The grounds, and, in her usual charming tone,
Play on her Violin.
Leaving the door unlocked, the company"-
"Oh! cried the Spoon, I see."
"Wait," gently said the Cow, "Iwill be there-
They might return too soon,
So, while the Cat fiddles her sweetest air,
I'll jump across the Moon !
'Twill be a novel sight, I flatter me-
And, while they wondering stay
To see if there be any more to see,
You two can hie away.
'Twill take some time to jump across the Moon."
"Bless you, forever bless you! said the Spoon.
"Ah, but the little Watch-Dog murmured he;
"Tell me, what shall we do
To still his barking?" "Leave all that to me,"
The Cow responded. True,
He is a trusty fellow, but the sight
Will funnier be by half
Than anything he ever saw by night,
And I'll engage he'll laugh!
Those who laugh seldom take it very hard;
He will be off his guard."
18. THE CAT AND THE FIDDLE.
Long plotted they together; they agreed
That at the next full moon
The plan would be most likely to succeed;
The hopeful, happy Spdon
Was borne away at last, the gentle Mooly
Went slowly, being fat,
And told the project, faithfully and truly,
To her good friend the Cat,
Who said, as she agreed her help to lend,
"I have been young, my friend! "
A cloudless night, and strains of music fell
Through windows opened wide.
The Dish's Owner stood, her name to tell,
The Cabinet beside.
Charmed by the music, out upon the lawn
Stepped all the company;
The door was open every one was gone;
The Dish at last was free !
In silence the Spoon joined her, for he lay
Unnoticed, on a tray.
And then that noble Cow across the Moon
Sailed like a drifting cloud;
Out through the door stole softly Dish and Spoon,
While the Dog laughed aloud.
And when the company, still wondering, came
In from the moonlit lawn,
The Watch-Dog howled aloud for very shame -
The Dish and Spoon were gone!
The Owner said,." Poor Watch-Dog, howl no more, -
Ishould have locked the door! "
SL UMBER-LAND. 19
(MAMMA AND ROBBY AT BEDTIME.)
" COME! she said; "it is sleepy time;
I will sing you such a sweet little rhyme -
Something that you can understand -
About what they do in Slumber-Land."
"No," he said, "I will not be good!
I'm a robber, -I live in a great big wood:
It is made of cake-and-candy trees, -
You can go to Slumber-Land if you please !"
"But listen she said; "in Slumber-Town
Everybody is lying down,
And all the creatures, from man to fish,
Have something better than they can wish!"
" Then they don't know how to wish," he said.
"I think it is stupid to lie in bed !
I am going to burn the world all down,
And I don't want to go to your Slumber-Town."
" But listen she said; "in Slumber-Street
You often hear music, low and sweet,
And sometimes, there, you meet face to face
People you'll meet in no other place !"
"Oh, that," he said, "will not make me go;
I like a hand-organ best, you know,
With a monkey; and I do not care
To meet strange people anywhere "
"But listen! she said ; "in Slumber-House
The cat forgets how to catch the mouse;
The naughty boys are never, there,
Stood in a corner or set on a chair !"
Well, that is a little better," said he,
"But I am going, at once, to sea;
I'm a captain, I'm not a little boy,
And this is my trumpet, ship ahoy "
"But listen she said ; "in Slumber-Room
Such beautiful flowers are in bloom;
The best of them all, the very best,
You may pick if you choose- its name is Rest."
Why, that's a queer name for a flower," he said;
But you needn't think I am going to bed
I'm a robber again, a great big, brave,
Splendid robber, and this is my cave "
How quiet the cave grew, presently;
She smiled, and stooped low down to see,
And what she saw was her little brigand
Travelling far into Slumber-Land.
SL UfIMBER-LAND. 21
Two curtains white, with fringes brown,
Had shut him fast into Slumber-Town,
And she knew that the restless little feet
Were walking softly in Slumber-Street.
Breathing quietly, still as a mouse,
He smiled as they smile in Slumber-House,
And on his face was the beautiful bloom
Of the roses growing in Slumber-Room.
He never knew-little sleepy head!-
When he was laid in his snow-white bed,
Nor that the Mother, holding his hand,
Followed him into Slumber-Land.
Oh, it's a beautiful country! Wide,
And silent and sweet, when you're safe inside;
But you only can go a little way,
For you have to come back again next day.
Half of the people -less or more -
Wander inside the Dream-Room door;
And sometimes you'll hear a little scream
From somebody who has met a Dream.
And yet, they don't al--, i-. make one scream;
It is pleasant, sometimes, to meet a Dream;
But even a Dream is not the best;
There is nothing so sweet as the flower, Rest.
IT is very puzzling don't you see -
That this should be me, and that should be me!
That me looks just like a little saint, or
A girl that's never bad, but a painter
Who has so many brushes, and paints, and frames,
And so many books full of long, hard names,
And a head that seems made on purpose to shake
At the stupid things other painters make -
I don't dare to think he's made a mistake!
But I would like to know just what he'd say -
Only I'd rather be out of the way -
If he knew what happened yesterday,
Or the day before, or the day before that!
Bob says I'm a tomboy, and climb like a cat,
And I heard papa say, "Can't she learn to speak?
Her lowest tone is a perfect shriek "
And they all seemed to think-though I don't know why-
That I fell in the duck-pond purposely!
I do not like that picture at all!
I should certainly turn it to the wall
If I didn't think though I'm not a saint -
It would be a pity to waste so much paint;
For it isn't dry, and I know it would smear,
And I'm sure that paint is dreadfully dear;
Yes, only a day or two ago,
When mamma said the house needed painting so,
Papa said, "We'll wait until paint is low."
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THE GALLEY CAT. 25
Don't stare at me so, you horrid child!
You look as if you had never smiled;
If I look at you long, you will drive me wild.
For I feel as if, somehow, by and by,
When I'm old, and things have made me cry,
And I've given up trying to be good,
Because nobody's loved me, or understood
How terribly hard it is, I'll see
How that could be me, and this could be me!
THE GALLEY CAT.
OLD Bob, the sea-cook, late at night,
Sat by the galley fire's warm light,
And talked to the little midshipmite
Of this and that.
There was nobody there to set him right
But the galley cat.
He loved her much, for all she could do
In the way of speech was a well-meant "Mew;"
And old Bob said that he always knew
What she meant by that.
"She never says what I say ain't true,
Don't the galley cat! "
"Well, neither do I," said the midshipmite;
"Come, Bob, we are all by ourselves to-night;
26 THE GALLEY CAT.
Now spin me a yarn, and, honor bright,
And certain, and flat,
I'll be. just as quiet and just as polite
As the galley cat."
"You'll not say, You've give us that before,'
And you'lL,not say, doleful, 'Is there much more?'
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And you'll iinot bre.ik out, anid laugh, and roar,
For I can't stand that!
She never calls me an old smooth-bore,
Don't the galley cat.
"So, if you'll be just as civil as her,
Or as near as you can, without the purr,
THE GALLEY CAT. 29
And not rub me the wrong way of the fur, -
There's a deal in that, -
I'll spin you a first-class yarn, yes, sir,
Of that self-same cat.
"'Twas a pitch-dark night, in the Indian seas;
The wind was blowing a stiffish breeze,
And we weren't exactly taking our ease,
You may bet your hat;
We were rolling about the deck like peas,
All but the cat.
"But you needn't think she had gone below
Because of the racket above; oh, no !
She didn't mind a bit of a blow, -
She was used to that.
She'd a corner on deck where she'd always go,
Had the galley cat.
"A body with half an eye can see
That she's most especially fond of me;
She follows 'round wherever I be.
So there she sat,
With one eye on the men and one on the sea,
Did the galley cat.
"Now, I'll not go wasting the time to tell
How it came about that I slipped, and fell
From the mast to the raging sea, but well,
I'd have drowned like a rat
Before they'd so much as rung the bell,
But for that there cat!
30 THE GALLEY CAT.
"What did she do ? She flung me a line!
I could'see her yellow eyeballs shine,
As she sat in the stern-sheets, wet with brine,
And I steered by that,;
She carried the end to a friend of mine,
Did the galley cat.
"And he hauled me up-but I.make no doubt,
If he hadn't, she would 'a' pulled me out.
For she knew right well what she was about;
She warn't no flat.
But you ought to have heard the sailors shout
For the galley cat !"
"She flung you a rope? gasped the midshipmite,
As if he couldn't have heard aright,
"I'll not say anything impolite-- "
"You stick to that,"
Said Bob; can't you even trust your sight?
Why, there's the cat!"
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AT SUNSET. 33
THE little head, bent, hopeless, o'er her task,
Had fallen on the desk in peaceful sleep;
The help her baby pride disdained to ask
Had come to her in form of slumber deep.
The dreadful sum," more dreadful made by tears,
Was hidden by the twilight's kindly shade;
It came all wrong," 'twas full of scores and smears,
But not less soundly slept the little maid
For that. A dying ray of sunset light
Brightened the tear-stained face and tangled curls,
And sleeping smile, which proved the owner's right
To Dream-Land treasures, making her, in spite
Of waking woes, most blest of little girls.
The night is coming. Weary heads that bend
Toward weighted hearts will soon lie low in sleep,
And the long darkness prove the silent friend
That hideth errors, blots, and tear-stains deep.
The work unfinished, ignorantly wrong,
In death's kind shadow will be seen no more,
Each long, hard day must "ring to even-song,"
The sunset light must shine through every door.
And when we sigh for lack of comfort here,
'Tis but to change our dream of being blest,
And nothing seems so beautiful and dear
As this -that in the darkness drawing near,
And in the silence, we at last shall rest.
34 A DREAM OF LITTLE WOMEN
A DREAM OF LITTLE WOMEN, AND SOME
I SAT one winter night beside the hearth:
Without, the north-wind roundd the chimney screamed;
Within, the fire hummed forth its drowsy mirth,
And I suppose I dreamed!
A little face peeped at me through the gloom -
A smutty little face, all wet with tears;
A timid figure crept across the room,
Crouching with sudden fears, -
And murmuring, "Oh was ever such bad luck?
I've broken my dear sister's best umbrella,
And yesterday I killed the little duck -
A voice cried, Cinderella Are you there ?"
It was the sister's voice, full well I knew it!
The culprit murmured, crouching neathh a chair,
"I didn't go to do it! "
And the voice said, retreating as it spake,
"She knows that if I find her I shall shake her.
There is no telling what she next will break -
Was never such a breaker! "
A DREAMI OF LITTLE WOMEN.N 37
I saw a little maid whose locks of gold
Made sunshine in the darkness of the wood,
Half-hidden as they were within the fold
Of a quaint scarlet hood.
She bore a basket on her chubby arm.
Look she exclaimed, the butter is so good,
It has not melted, though the day is warm -
I am Red Riding-hood! "
"Oh no I said. The wolf-- She pointed back
To where within the swamp the marsh-grass grew.
"The wolf is there," she said. "He kept my track -
I knew not what to do,
"When all at once I thought about the fen;
'Twas dangerous, but, then, I am so light
That I could walk in safety on it, when
The mud would hold him tight.
"I skipped across; he followed after me,
But the black swamp has spoiled his wicked fun -
It has him fast. Yonder is coming, see,
The hunter with his gun."
She tripped away, and in the flickering light
A shadowy procession followed fast,
Taxing at once my memory and my sight
To know them as they passed.
38 A DREAM OF LITTLE WOMEN.
There was the Fair One with the Golden Locks,
Leading the White Cat, who was purring loudly;
Sweet Beauty followed, meekly darning socks;
Her sisters stepping proudly.
The bright Scheherazade, who, as she walked,
Poured forth a wondrous tale with anxious hurry;
The Red Queen, frowning crossly as she talked,
The White Queen in a flurry.
And then, more slowly, with a piteous look,
Driving, with anxious care, some bleating sheep,
A little maiden came, she bore a crook;
I knew she was Bo-Peep.
And she was crying softly as she said:
"I mended them as best I could, but oh!
Although I did it with the finest thread,
The join will always show.
"And everywhere the cruel world will say,
Whenever it shall hear the name Bo-Peep:
'Ah, yes She left the sheep to go astray,
The while she fell asleep !' "
A dismal quawk drowned the sad, faltering words,
And after her, half-flying and half-waddling,
Went past the most forlorn of wretched birds,
With web-feet feebly paddling.
A DREAM OF LITTLE WOMEN. 39
And it was qlii.-vlhiij., "Ah! I have no use-
Me miserable for either wings or legs,
For I am dead,, alas! I was the Goose
That laid the Golden Eggs !"
"And who, poor bird, has killed you? murmured I.
The Goose, with dismal look and hopeless tone,
Quacked forth her answer as she strove to fly:
"Who ?" said she. "Every one "
"I'm sure," I said, I've never With a quack
Full of -disdain, she waddled on her way,
Hissing out angrily, as she looked back,
That's just what they all say!"
Her hissing woke me. Starting up, I said:
I'm glad it was a dream and where's the use
Of questioning who killed her, now she's dead?
But have I killed that goose ?"
40 WINNING A PRINCESS.
THERE was once a little princess who was pretty as a flower,
And in her day a princess must needs live in a tower;
A tower has a look, you know, of majesty and power.
She had many royal suitors, but to all who sought her hand,
" I will wed," she said, who brings me I care not from what land -
A pocketful of water and a basketful of sand."
Men in those days were stupid; it was different from our day;
And when she made this strange demand, they knew not what to say,
So most of them said nothing, which, at that time, was their way..
Some argued thus: "A princess who would set this foolish task
Might ask us, next, to bring her some fire within a flask,
Or some thunder in a tea-pot -there's no telling what she'd ask! "
WINNING A PRINCESS. 41
A few, more daring, tried it, but
of course 'twas but to fail,
For it was a tropic country, and
their pockets were but frail;
But a number of them offered to
bring water in a pail,
And if she wished for sand, they
said they'd bring it in a casket,
A casket set with precious stones
--'twas foolishness to ask it,
That any one should even try to i
bring it in a basket!
These princes, to my thinking,
had a great deal of excuse,
For they were but fragile
things of reed, the bas- !
Sets then in use, 1
And there rose a dreadful
whisper, that the princess
was a goose! k !
And that, in spite of beauty, in
spite of rank and pelf,
It seemed probable this princess (
would be laid upon the shelf,
And she began, poor darling!
to. think so of herself!
At this crisis came a stranger-prince, from far and foreign land;
He had come, he said, to sue for the princess's fair hand;
And then they found he'd never heard of the water and the sand!
42 WINNING A PRINCESS.
Among all those who offered advice,
that summer day,
Not a single one advised the prince
h/ in the capital to stay;
No they every one said earnestly,
But the prince was very different
from these people. Not a wink
Did he sleep that night for thinking.
V She's as pretty as a pink !"
Ran his thoughts, and "Having
Offered, is it princely thus to
,i ~ shrink ?
It is not caprice, I know it, what-
ever they may say:
No, she wishes for a wooer whose
love can find a way
Rl-\ To the meaning of her problem, and
her heart -and I shall stay !"
So he thought and thought till morn-
S ing; then, with heart as light as
'" i 'He hied him to a cobbler, and
S bought a piece of leather.
The cobbler asked him what 'twas
for ; he said, It's pleasant
WINNING A PRINCESS. 43
Then he bought an osier basket oh, these princes are so rich!-
And a little ball of cobbler's wax, and a great big ball of pitch;
He took them home, and locked his door, and straight began to stitch.
He had never learned to sew, of course, and did it clumsily;
He wore his thimble on his thumb, and missed one stitch in three,
And he stuck his royal fingers, too -yes, stuck them terribly!
But you see he'd made his mind up, so at. last the pouch was done;
He took the pitch, which, meanwhile, had been melting in the sun,
And smeared his osier basket, and this work was mere fun.
44 WINNING A PRINCESS.
It is always a good plan, you know, beginning with the worst
Of all one's tasks; the others will seem nothing to the first.
He chuckled, "With this pocket, one need never die of thirst!"
His second task was finished, and with eager, trembling haste,
The sand, which he had ready, he in the basket placed,
And he filled his pouch with water, and strapped it to his waist.
Then he hastened to the palace, and he saw the princess fair,
As she stood beneath a linden, with white rose-buds in her hair,
And he whispered, "Ah, I'll guard her. She shall never know a care."
A herald led him forward, and he knelt and kissed her hand,
S.~ ,-';-, "Fairest, sweetest lady, I have brought, at your command,
A pocketful of water and a basketful of sand !"
Of course the little princess was married to the prince.
And were they happy? Bless you, they've been happy ever since
And they live? Upon some hangings made of very ancient chintz.
But I am not sure -I fancy that once in a long while
I meet them, for I recognize the princess by her smile,
And the prince by deeds of valor, and a certain princely style.
HOPE FOR THE HOPELESS 45
HOPE FOR THE HOPELESS.
THERE were four of them, said to be just alike,
As to hair, and nose, and eyes,
And within six inches of being alike
As to their size;
And they all of them wanted to know,
And they all of them wanted to grab,
From the fat little boy who could tell his name,
To the baby, whose nearest attempt at the same
Was a gurgled Bab-bab-bab "
And when that poor mother sat down each day
To her never-ending sewing,
Eight eyes, and eight hands, and four double-hung tongues
Were incessantly going.
It was "Oh, give me this, M..ii.,,, "
Oh, what is that, Mamma ? "
" Oh, Mamma, is it something good to eat?"
And then the Baby, with hands and feet
Both at work, said, "Goo-goo-ga-ah! "
She sewed one of her children fast, one day, -
Quite by accident, of course, -
To a linen thing she was trying to make,
To cover the horse.
He was gathered up in it
And carried away to the stable;
And another, stitched fast to the ironing-sheet,
Was found, in a state of unpleasant heat,
Under the ironing-table.
46 HOPE FOR THE HOPELESS.
And one got hemmed to the pudding-bag,
And one to her father's cloak;
The former was found but just in time -
She'd begun to smoke!
But the other went down town,
And was only found, at last,
When Papa came home in the omnibus.
It was full, and she made a dreadful fuss
Because she was sticking fast!
When it came to this, the distracted mother
Began to cast about
For a place where those children could be put
That had no way out.
She never, in all her worried life,
I fear, could have thought of one,
But the children, without the least intention,
Directed her mind to a bright invention
By some of their innocent fun.
The three who were large enough to walk
.-Had crawled into three large bags.
One had held meal, one had held wool,
And one had held rags.
The darlings had poured the contents out
Carefully, on the floor-
But the tender mother forbore to whip,
A joyful smile curved her happy lip,
Her tribulations were o'er!
She bought some wide, long, strong, striped stuff,
Enough to make four bags,
HOPE FOR TTHE HOPELESS. 47
And cut them like those which had held the meal,
And wool, and rags.
She ran a good stout rope
--._- I =---
i -* ^ r-_- I
Into each, for a drawing-string,
Then she caught her eldest, and second, and next;
No longer sad, no more perplexed,
She murmured, "'Tis just the thing!"
48 HOPE FOR THE HOPELESS.
But her gentle heart reproached her so,
When she came to her little baby,
That she said, I can think of some other way
To arrange him, maybe!"
So she carried, by all their drawing-strings,
At once, each little dear,
And hung them up in an apple-tree -
It was near enough for her to see,
But not for her to hear !
Of course they screamed awhile at first,
And struggled with hands and feet,
But within an hour they all three fell
Into a slumber sweet.
And there they hung all day,
Swayed gently by the breeze,
And the happy mother, free at last,
Paddled away at her sewing, fast,
Gayly, and at her ease.
For her mind, left free likewise,
Had invented a beautiful way
To arrange her innocent baby so
That he thought it a brand-new play.
She set a horse-collar, clean and new,
Close by her on the floor;
She put her babe in its midst, and then
She smeared with syrup, once and again,
His tiny fingers o'er.
And then a pile of downy feathers
She placed within his reach -
THE CLOWVN'S BABY. 49
She has since found one at a time enough;
It takes a day for each !
'Twas a touching sight to see
The smile that would come and linger
On that infant's face, as the feather would stick,
And guilelessly back and forth he'd pick,
With his little thumb and finger.
Now that happy mother sits and sings
At her easy task all day,
After she's fed the pretty things
And put them all away.
Her work is almost done;
She begins to hope, indeed,
Though she trembles such rash hope to say,
She may have time to think, some day,
And even time to read!
THE CLOWN'S BABY.
IT was out on the Western frontier -
The miners, rugged and brown,
Were gathered around the posters;
The circus had come to town!
The great tent shone in the darkness,
Like a wonderful palace of light,
And rough men crowded the entrance-
Shows didn't come every night!
50 THE CLOWN'S BABY.
Not a woman's face among them;
Many a face that was bad,
And some that were only vacant,
And some that were very sad.
And behind a canvas curtain,
In a corner of the place,
The clown, with chalk and vermilion,
Was "making up his face.
A weary-looking woman,
With a smile that still was sweet,
Sewed on a little garment,
With a cradle at her feet.
Pantaloon stood ready and waiting;
It was time for the going on,
But the clown in vain searched wildly;
The "property-baby" was gone!
He murmured, impatiently hunting;
"It's strange that I cannot find -
There! I've looked in every corner;
It must have been left behind "
The miners were stamping and shouting,
They were not patient men.
The clown bent over the cradle -
"I must take you, little Ben! "
The mother started and shivered,
But trouble and want were near;
She lifted her baby gently;
"You'll be very careful, dear ?"
. ._______,-' ___ ,_ ,- __,,._ __,,_:-., __ ,__T,__-__-.,..__-___----_______
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r.~s~~ *i"-* ,/ ^ .:^** v '*I-1'I 1 ^ 1 1 -** *.- 1.1 *
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d /. -=ll jI; "
THE CLOWN'S BABY. 53
"Careful? You foolish darling -
How tenderly it was said!
What a smile shone through the chalk and paint -
'I love each hair of his head! "
The noise rose into an uproar,
Misrule for the time was king;
The clown, with a foolish chuckle,
Bolted into the ring.
But as, with a squeak and flourish,
The fiddles closed their tune,
"You'll hold him as if he was made of glass ?"
Said the clown to pantaloon.
The jovial fellow nodded;
"I've a couple myself," he said,
"I know how to handle 'em, bless you!
Old fellow, go ahead! "
The fun grew fast and furious,
And not one of all the crowd
Had guessed that the baby was alive,
When he suddenly laughed aloud.
Oh, that baby-laugh! It was echoed
From the benches with a ring,
And the roughest customer there sprang up
With: Boys, it's the real thing "
The ring was jammed in a minute,
Not a man that did not strive
For "a shot at holding the baby "-
The baby that was "alive "
54 THE CLO N'S BABY.
He was thronged by kneeling suitors
In the midst of the dusty ring,
And he held his court right royally -
The fair little baby-king -
Till one of the shouting courtiers,
A man with a bold, hard face,
The talk, for miles, of the country,
And the terror of the place,
..,,,,;--_ -.:- 4 "" ;'
Raised the little king to his shoulder,
And chuckled, "Look at that! "
As the chubby fingers clutched his hair,
Then, "Boys, hand round the hat! "
There never was such a hatful
Of silver, and gold, and notes;
People are not always penniless
Because they don't wear coats !
And then, "Three cheers for the baby!"
I tell you, those cheers were meant,
And the way in which they were given
Was enough to raise the tent.
~-.i: '~~j~~R 20t~~;
A JCr E
~~j~j tjA :i.~-
THE KING'S DAUGHTERS. 57
And then there was sudden silence,
And a gruff old miner said,
"Come, boys, enough of this rumpus!
It's time it was put to bed."
So, looking a little sheepish,
But with faces strangely bright,
The audience, somewhat lingeringly
Flocked out into the night.
And the bold-faced leader chuckled,
He wasn't a bit afraid !
Ile's as game as he is good-looking -
Boys, that was a show that paid!"
THE KING'S DAUGHTERS.
THE King's three little daughters, neathh the palace windows straying,
Had fallen into earnest talk that put an end to playing,
And the weary King smiled once again to hear what they were saying.
"It is I who love our father best! the eldest daughter said -
"I am the oldest Princess and her pretty face grew red;
" What is there none can do without? I love him more than bread "
Then said the second Princess, with her bright blue eyes aflame,
"Than bread? A common thing like bread! Thou hast not any
Glad am I it is I, not thou, called by our mother's name.
58 iTHE KING'S DAUGHTERS.
"I love him with a better love than one so tame as thine -
More than oh, what then shall I say that is both bright and fine,
And is not common ? Yes, I know I love him more than wine "
Then the little youngest daughter, whose speech would sometimes halt
For her dreamy way of tli !n.:;_, said, "You are both in fault,
'Tis I who love our father best I love him more than salt."
Shrill little shrieks of laughter greeted her latest word,
As the two joined hands, exclaiming, "But this is most absurd."
And the King, no longer smiling, was grieved that he had heard.
For the little youngest daughter, with her eyes of steadfast gray,
Could always move his tenderness, and charm his care away.
" She grows more like her mother dead," he whispered, "day by day.
"But she is very little, and I will find no fault
That, while her sisters strive to see who most shall me exalt,
She holds me nothing dearer than a common thing like salt."
The portly cook was standing in the courtyard by the spring;
He winked and nodded to himself, That little quiet thing
Knows more than both the others, as I will show the King."
That afternoon at dinner there was nothing fit to eat;
The King turned, frowning angrily, from soup and fish and meat,
And he found a cloying sweetness in the dishes that were sweet.
"And yet," he muttered, musing, "I cannot find the fault;
Not a thing has tasted like itself but this honest cup of malt."
Said the youngest Princess, shyly, "Dear father, they want salt."
MAR Y JANE 59
A sudden look of tenderness shone on the King's dark face,
As he set his little daughter in the dead Queen's vacant place;
And he thought, "She has her mother's heart-aye, and her mother's
"Great love through smallest channels will find its surest way;
It waits not state occasions, which may not come, or may ;
It comforts and it blesses, hour by hour, and day by day."
I HAVE said it a great many times,
But I think I will say it again;
There is no one, except my mamma and papa,
That I love as I love Mary Jane.
Antoinette has most lovely real hair,
And is dressed in the very last style,
But I somehow could shake her (and sometimes I do! )
For her one everlasting old smile.
If I squeeze Baby Belle, she will cry -
Or she thinks so; I call it a squeak -
And Dolores' mantilla is made of black lace,
And my pretty French Lulu can speak.
But who, of them all, do you think,
Stayed in bed with me when I was ill?
Oh, you needn't deny it? She did make a face,
Whenever they gave me a pill!
60 MAR Y JANE.
And I know that, whatever they say,
It was hearing me gasp with that cough,
And trying, the darling, to help hold my head,
That made her poor arms both come off.
And she didn't so much as once squirm,
When mamma sewed them on, though I know
It must have hurt dreadfully that's how she is!
She always considers me so !
She knew I was ready to cry,
So she just held as still as a mouse.
If a needle'd gone into me so, only once,
You'd have heard me all over the house!
LADY QUEEN ANNE. 61
I think I will put her to sleep;
It is time little girls were in bed.
There, hushaby, darling, lie still in my arms -
You are sleepy, you're nodding your head !
Hush, hushaby baby, hush, hush I
Your mother is holding you tight;
She will hear you, my darling, and hug you right off,
If you wake up afraid in the night.
I think she is nearly asleep !
Yes, precious, your mother is here.
You can go to sleep safely for she'll stay awake,
And will not let go of you dear!
LADY QUEEN ANNE.
"Lady Queen Anne, sits in the sun,
As fair as a lily, as brown as a bun."
You can never find a prettier cat don't tell me that you can -
A lady-liker, longer-haired, and yellower-eyed one than
My beauty here on the window-sill; her name is Lady Queen Anne.
The Lady part of it fits her, because she is so polite,
And then the Queen part fits her, because she likes to fight,
And the fair as a lily fits her, because her white is so white.
And the brown as a bun part fits her, because what's that you say ?
" There's nothing brown about her? Where she isn't white she's gray?"
When Igo interrupting folks, they send me straight away !
62 THE OLD MAN PICKING G IIS GEESE.
If you had not interrupted, I was very nearly done.
When things won't fit the verses, it is all the greater fun -
I know a way to make them fit--you'd like to hear of one?
I will not give it to you; it is only just a lend;
And I think I'd rather whisper, if you're not too stiff to bend-
I make myself say to myself, quite fiercely, Let's pretend "
THE OLD MAN PICKING HIS GEESE.
MY darling stood at the window,
Watching the quiet fall
Of the snow, which spread o'er the tired old earth
Its soft white pall;
And as the flakes whirled downward
As if they never would cease,
I heard her murmur softly:
"The Old Man's picking his geese!
"Who was the Old Man, mamma?" she said,
With her face against the pane;
"Will he pick them all to-day, do you think,
And never again?
Tell me a story about him, please -
It needn't be true, you know,
I'll pretend it's true if I like it -
Whenever I see it snow."
THE OLD MAN PICKING HIS GEESE. 63
"The Old Man lives in the Moon," I said,
"And his geese, when they are at play,
Go flying about in long white flocks -
That's the Milky Way!
He has ever so many gray geese, beside,
But of them he isn't proud;
You often see them on summer days -
They pass in a great gray cloud."
"But why does he pick his geese, mamma? "
"Because the flowers all said,
That they wouldn't sleep in winter
Without a feather-bed
They have very little voices indeed;
But, somehow, up in the sky,
The Man in the Moon has to stop. his ears
When he hears the flowers cry "
"But.did he come down too soon, Mamma,
To inquire the way to Norwich ? "
" Yes, he left his dinner half-cooked you know
It was plum porridge.
He'd invited a friend to dine with him,
A colored man from the south,
Named Night; and the porridge was so cold,
That it burned the poor man's mouth."
"But what did he want in Norwich, mamma ? "
He had heard of a little girl
Who cried one day, just because her hair
Would never curl.
64 WHAT THE BIRDS SAID.
He wished to make a shadow
That every one could see,
And he said : Such a cross little girl as this is "
0, mamma will you stop for a thousand kisses ?
It was me! It was me! "
WHAT THE BIRDS SAID.
IN the frozen ivy, where the ice hung glittering,
Forty little sparrows were perching, swinging, twittering;
In his gilded prison, like a palace for a fairy,
Singing his blithe heart out, was a pretty, tame canary.
But his song grew silent as he watched the sparrows playing.
"Ah, you little free birds! I could fancy he was saying,
"You can use your light wings, you can play together,
You are not afraid of cats, nor of the winter weather.
"I'd not mind the weather, if they'd but let me out,
Surely I could warm myself in flying all about;
All those lovely crumbs, too, that the people throw, -
Must I eat naught but bird-seed, I should like to know?"
Then a little sparrow hopped upon the sill,
"What a lucky fellow! piped he, loud and shrill;
Oh, my senses Crinkle-toes, Feather-head, just look,
There's his dinner set for him, as if he kept a cook!
WHAT THE BIRDS SAID. 65
~------ ~---- ----
.. ....... .....
"Bless my heart! a bath-tub, and some sugar, too !
No one thinks of building a house for me or you;
No they think they're very kind if they but throw us crumbs, -
Well, some folks's puddings really seem all plums! "
Yello-feathers'-mistress, in her haste, next day, .
Left the cage-door open, and he got away;
66 WHAT THE BIRDS SAID.
Through the open window joyfully he flew,
"Now," he sang, "for once I've had a dream that's coming true "
Ah, the cold was cruel, ah, the wind was fierce !
Through his pretty feathers needles seemed to pierce,
Till, tired out with flying, he hid his little head
In the frozen ivy-vine, whence he soon fell- dead!
Little Master Tommy set a trap that noon,
When he came from school, and caught three sparrows very soon;
"There! he said to Polly, "didn't I engage
That, if you'd stop crying, I would fill the cage ?"
Polly danced for pleasure, and forgot her tears;
Then the little sparrows, quaking with new fears,
Ruffling up their feathers in their tiny rage,
All at once discovered they were in the gilded cage.
Crinkle-toes, and Feather-head, and little Mr. Pert,
There they were in safety, not a feather hurt,
But the warm air stifled them, and the cage was small,
And they thought the bird-seed was not good at all.
TWO WAYS OF SEEING.
When the bright spring weather came, each pretty head
Drooped in such a piteous way that gentle Polly said:
" These are little wild birds, and can't belong to me,
As my dear canary did, so I '11 set them free !"
Open flew the window, open flew the door,
Out the sparrows darted, and were seen no more;
But Polly has a fancy that they whistled as they went,
"Never grumble, darling! Always be content!"
TWO WAYS OF SEEING.
"THE blossoms fall, the pretty spring-flowers die,
The first fair grass is ready for the mowing;
The grub has swallowed up the butterfly,
And everything that isn't gone is going! "
The tiny apples cluster on the bough;
The bees have gone to work, instead of humming;
The seed is up, where lately ran the plough,
And everything that hasn't come is coming!
"The birds have ceased their merry spring-tide lay;
No more the blackbird on the tree-top whistles;
The frogs no longer croak at close of day,
And thorns are where the down was on the thistles."
The birds don't think they have the time to sing;
The blackbird has to feed his wife and babies;
You'll see what Summer's making out of Spring -
The woods and fields and trees are full of may-be's.
68 ANCIENT HISTORY Y.
Courage! Look up! The spirit of the Spring
Should long outlast and overlive the letter;
Change means advance, in almost everything,
Good does not die -it only turns to better.
(A PROSE STORY IN RHYME.)
I SUPPOSE they heard the reading-lesson
Which their older brother read that day,
For I was not asked to tell them "something
New and funny, mamma, to play."
But when I happened into the nursery,
Both were reclining in regal state,
By a table furnished with two bananas,
And a vast amount of gilt-paper plate.
Johnny was looking anxiously upward,
But May, apparently quite at ease,
Announced, from a shawl and two sofa-pillows,
"We are Mr. and Mrs. Damocles!"
And I never, certainly, had encountered
Such a sword as hung above Johnny's head;
It was six feet long, and swayed, suspended
From a cap-pin, by a single thread.
r : i i : Ci "----
.;~ -~ *~.,,. f .......i t.-
ANCIENT HISTORY Z 71
I must admit the horror was lessened -
Though it seems too bad their romance to spoil-
By the fact that the pasteboard showed in places,
Through its lavish covering of tin-foil!
Johnny and May were dressed in togas,
Each composed of a single sheet,
Draped in a highly classic manner,
And pasteboard sandals adorned their feet.
I took my work to a distant window,
And began to sew at a rapid rate,
And the revellers, not at all embarrassed,
Went on with the banquet in all their state.
"My dear, will you have a piece of peacock ? "
Said Mrs. Damocles, tenderly.
His Highness, groaning deeply, answered:
"There's no use offering peacock to me !
"Do you think I can ever enjoy my dinner,
When that old sword may drop any minute?"
Said Mrs. D., in her gentlest accents:
"Do take some pudding, there's raisins in it!"
And Damocles made heroic answer,
"Well, give me some peacock, and pudding, and all!
I s'pose I might as well eat my dinner,
If that old thing is going to fall! "
72 THE SANDIMAN.
A light breeze wandered in at the window,
And swayed the sword on its single thread;
The treacherous cap-pin left the ceiling,
And down came the sword on Damocles' head.
I laughed at myself for being startled,
And May gave a horrified little squeak,
But Damocles, as became his station,
And heroic soul, was first to speak.
He eyed the sword with contempt and anger,
Then "I don't even know where the old thing hit!
I'll not play Damocles any longer -
Why, it didn't hurt me a single bit! "
THE rosy clouds float overhead,
The sun is going down,
And now the Sandman's gentle tread
Comes stealing through the town.
"White sand, white sand," he softly cries,
And, as he shakes his hand,
Straightway there lies on babies' eyes
His gift of shining sand.
Blue eyes, gray eyes, black eyes and brown,
As shuts the rose, they softly close, when he goes through the town.
-- /,I I
.._. -, '-r' -'' .- i -- -- :. :H '*
THE SANDMAN. 75
From sunny beaches far away,
Yes, in another land,
He gathers up, at break of day,
His store of shining sand.
No tempests beat that shore remote,
No ships may sail that way;
His little boat alone may float
Within that lovely bay.
Blue eyes, gray eyes, black eyes and brown,
As shuts the rose, they softly close, when he goes through the town'.
He smiles to see the eyelids close
Above the happy eyes,
And every child right well he knows-
Oh, he is very wise !
But if, as he goes through the lana,
A naughty baby cries,
His other hand takes dull gray sand
To close the wakeful eyes.
Blue eyes, gray eyes, black eyes and brown,
As shuts the rose, they softly close, when he goes through the town.
So when you hear the Sandman's song
Sound through the twilight sweet,
Be sure you do not keep him long
Awaiting in the street.
Lie softly down, dear little head,
Rest quiet, busy hands,
Till by your bed when good-night" 's said,
He strews the shining sands.
Blue eyes, gray eyes, black eyes and brown,
As shuts the rose, they softly close, when he goes through the town.
76 JA CK-IN-THE-B OX.
You want a story, another story,
One you have never heard before ?
Stories don't come when you call them, always;
I do not know any more.
Jack and the Bean-Stalk," "Goldilocks,"
"Bright Prince Charming," Reynard the Fox,"
And now you ask for a spandy-new one,
About your Jack-In-The-Box!
Poor little Jack-In-The-Box, who never
Can open his door himself;
Whose house is so small that it almost pinches,
With neither cupboard nor shelf.
Dark, beside, with a varnishy smell,
Enough to keep him from feeling well,
And a crick in his back that must surely hurt him,
If he could only tell
Now, let's pretend; when he first was finished,
This rosy-cheeked little Jack,
He stood up straight, with his hands beside him,
And never a crick in his back.
Oh, what a beautiful world of toys !
Little doll-girls and little doll-boys;
Drums and trumpets, and everything lovely
For making a splendid noise !
JA CK-I-N-THE-B OX 77
Ah, but wait he is not quite finished;
Poor little rosy Jack !
A knife, some glue, some muslin, some paper, -
Now there's a crick in his back !
Oh, but the hot glue made him smart;
And how the sharp knife went to his heart;
And for five dreadful, dreadful minutes,
His head and feet were apart !
Now for the box, it is very pretty,
Painted a charming red.
In he goes, and his feet are fastened;
Down comes the lid on his head !
Oh, he knew he was going to smother !
He'd have called mamma if he'd owned a mother,
But he'd nobody nearer than distant cousins,
Neither sister nor brother.
Frantic his struggles for fifteen minutes,
But it seemed, the more he tried,
The tighter his house grew; then his courage
Failed, and he cried and cried.
Then he heard laughter, soft and low;
His door flew up, and he heard an Oh !"
And a dear little face was bent above him, -
Your little face, you know.
Over and over the darkness caught him,
The lid came down on him tight;
But he soon found out that after the darkness
Always would come the light.
He was a hero! Up he went
Whenever the lid rose; not content
With merely rising, he came up smiling,
Though all of his strength was spent.
That was the story. Grave and silent
Sat my small Goldilocks,
Looking down, with a tender pity,
At brave Jack-In-The-Box.
Thank you, auntie," was all she said.
But I found that night, when she'd gone to bed,
Jack's box in the grate, and Jack on her pillow,
Close to the golden head.
You need not be looking around at me so;
She's my kitten, as much as your kitten, you know,
And I'll take her wherever I wish her to go!
You know very well that, the day she was found,
If I hadn't cried, she'd have surely been drowned,
And you ought to be thankful she's here safe and sound !
She is only just crying because she's a goose;
I'm not squeezing her- look, now!- my hands are quite loose;
And she may as well hush, for it's not any use.
And you may as well get right down and go 'way!
You're not in the thing we are going to play,
And, remember, it isn't your half of the day.
You're forgetting the bargain we made and so soon!
In the morning she's mine, and yours all afternoon,
And you couldn't teach her to eat with a spoon!
So don't let me hear you give one single mew.
Do you know what will happen, right off, if you do?
She'll be my kitten mornings and afternoons too!
She'll be my kitten mornings and afternoons too !
FRno my hammock I look toward the old willow-tree,
And I feel like a bird, while I lie there swinging,
And when nobody's near to listen to me,
I mock the'cat-bird, whistling and singing.
I had my fairy-book yesterday,
--'-- --=-- ;2 .--Z ---- "'--
Reading Tom Thumb and all the others,
And I cried when he took the crowns away,
And made that poor old Blunderbore slay
The princesses, thinking he had the brothers.
I lay there thinking, and singing a hymn,
Because I felt sad, and the church-bell was ringing,
Till the twilight made everything round me grow dim,
A little wind blew, and the hammock was swinging.
It was not the fence- they may say what they will,
There was a fence there, with the top cut all pointed,
But fences don't bow -they stand perfectly still,
They do not have voices, all mournful and shrill,
And they don't look like dolls, half alive and stiff-jointed.
c- -- & "L C'-. ^ '*-".----- ..--
-- =-' --- - -'
And fences don't sing oh! I heard them quite plainly,
Their sad little music came over the street,
They had all pointed crowns, though they looked so ungainly,
And though they weren't pretty, their singing was sweet!
At first it all jumbled, but after a while
I found out the words that each princess was wailing,
And, though I was sorry, I could not but smile,
For they sang, Oh, who has nailed us up in this style ?
What, what is life worth, if one's fast to a railing?"
82 E NC iHANT/1ENT.
The cat-bird flew over to comfort them--he
Sang better than they did -much louder and clearer.
He sang to one poor little princess, "Just see !
Don't look at the dusty road, see what is nearer,
A wild rose is woven all over your crown,
And a daisy is growing right here at your feet;
A velvety mullein has made you a gown."
But the poor little princess sobbed out, with a frown :
Life, fast to a railing, can never be sweet! "
He tried the next princess: "Your highness perceives
How this beautiful tree makes a bower above you;
You can listen all day to the whispering leaves,
And they touch you so gently, they surely must love you.
Then this blackberry-bush, with its wreath of white flowers -
But the princess broke in, with her sad little wailing:
Oh, don't talk to me of your flowers and bowers,
They are nothing to me "- here her tears fell in showers-
"Less than nothing at all, while I'm fast to this railing! "
The cat-bird, discouraged, came back to his nest,
And the princesses still kept on sighing and weeping;
They must have said more, but I don't know the rest-
A great big black ant on my elbow was creeping,
And lie was the wizard, I really believe,
Who had kept the poor princesses fast to the railing;
For when I had shaken him out of my sleeve,
I looked over the way, and I couldn't but grieve;
There was nothing at all but that old pointed paling.
But to-day, when the schoolroom was dusty and hot,
And I thought of my hammock, and wished I was in it,
CATCHING G THE CAT.
Till I missed in my spelling, because I forgot;
I felt like those princesses, just for a minute.
Then I happened to think of that dear cat-bird's song,
And I thought, everybody is fast to some railing;
But the flowers and cat-birds and trees can't be wrong,
The time will seem only more tiresome and long
If we spend it complaining, and weeping, and wailing.
CATCHING THE CAT.
THE mice had met in council;
They all looked haggard and worn,
For the state of affairs was too terrible
To be any longer borne.
Not a family out of mourning -
There was crape on every hat.
They were desperate something must be done,
And done at once, to the cat.
An elderly member rose and said:
"It might prove a possible thing
To set the trap which they set for us -
That one with the awful spring "
The suggestion was applauded
Loudly, by one and all,
Till somebody squeaked: That trap would be
About ninety-five times too small! "
84 CATCHING THE CAT.
Then a medical mouse suggested -
A little under his breath -
They should confiscate the very first mouse
That died a natural death,
And he'd undertake to poison the cat,
If they'd let him prepare that mouse.
"There's not been a natural death," they shrieked,
"Since the cat came into the house! "
The smallest mouse in the council
Arose with a solemn air,
And, by way of increasing his stature,
Rubbed up his whiskers and hair.
He waited until there was silence
All along the pantry shelf,
And then he said with dignity,
"I will catch the cat myself!
"When next I hear her coming,
Instead of running away,
I shall turn and face her boldly,
And pretend to be at play;
She will not see her danger,
Poor creature I suppose;
But as she stoops to catch me,
I shall catch her, by the nose !"
The mice began to look hopeful,
Yes, even the old ones, when
A gray-haired sage said slowly,
"And what will you do with her then ?"
CATCHIN- G THE CAT. 85
The champion, disconcerted,
Replied with dignity, Well,
I think if you'll all excuse me,
'Twould be wiser not to tell!
"We all have our inspirations -"
This produced a general smirk -
"But we are not all at liberty
To explain just how they'll work.
I ask you, then, to trust me;
You need have no farther fears -
Consider our enemy done for "
The council gave three cheers.
"I do believe she's coming! "
Said a small mouse, nervously.
" Run, if you like," said the champion,
But Ishall wait and see "'
And sure enough she was coming-
The mice all scampered away
Except the noble champion,
Who had made up his mind to stay.
The mice had faith, of course they had-
They were all of them noble souls,
But a sort of general feeling
Kept them safely in their holes,
Until some time in the evening;
Then the boldest ventured out,
And saw, happily in the distance,
The cat prance gayly about!
86 CATCHING THE CAT.
There was dreadful consternation,
Till some one at last said, Oh,
He's not had time to do it,
Let us not prejudge him so!"
"I believe in him, of course I do,"
Said the nervous mouse, with a sigh,
"But the cat looks uncommonly happy,
And I wish I did know why!"
The cat, I regret to mention,
Still prances about that house,
And no message, letter, or telegram
Has come from the champion mouse.
The mice are a little discouraged;
The demand for crape goes on;
They feel they'd be happier if they knew
Where the champion mouse has gone.
This story has a moral -
It is very short, you see;
So no one, of course, will skip it,
For fear of offending me.
It is well to be courageous,
And valiant, and all that,
But if'you are mice-- you'd better think twice,
Before you catch the cat.
A LITTLE SINNER. 87
A LITTLE SINNER.
I wrsH you would just let me be !
No -I'm not at all sick, and I didn't get hurt,
And I do not see why you are calling me "pert "-
It was you spoke to me !
Oh, yes! I suppose I must go -
You're a great big tall lady, and I'm very small,
And I couldn't put you in the closet, at all,
But there's one thing I know-
If Ihad a dear little girl,
I'd not make a face when she just tore her dress,
Or called old rice-pudding a horrible mess,
Or her hair wouldn't curl!
Now you needn't look so any more -
I am 'most to the closet, and I don't care a bit,
But I hope I'll be all -. i.--1...1 up in a fit
When you open the door!
(After an interval of ten minutes.)
Mamma will you open it now?
I'm a little bit sorry-please let me come out!
I 'most forget what I was naughty about,
But I won't, ,,. ,1.-- !
88 A HUNTING MORNING.
(After an interval of twenty minutes.)
Mamma! dear mamma, do you hear ?
I am ever so sorry I know I was bad,
I'll forgive that old pudding for making me mad -
I'll be good, mamma dear!
Mamma may I just have my dolly?
It's so lonesome in here 0 mamma! won't you please ?
I am sitting right down by the door on my knees -
I'm your own little Polly!
(The door opens.)
0 my preciousest best little mother !
I will never be naughty, no, never again;
My heart was all broken -it gave me a pain,
And I thought I should smother!
A HUNTING MORNING.
SAID the cook to the farmer's wife, Ma'am, if you please,
The mice have been nibbling the new skim-milk cheese
It is only this morning I've found what they're at,
And I've wasted a whole hour in calling the cat."
Just then came the dairy-maid, giving a scream,
"The cat's in the dairy, a-stealing the cream !
I shoo'd her and scatted her, missus, but laws!
She scared me to death, just a-showing her claws! "
A HUNTING MORNING. 89
"Never mind," said the wife, "she's a famous good mouser,
We'll soon have her out of the dairy call Towzer."
So they whistled until they could whistle no more,
But no sign of Towzer appeared at the door.
Then a farm-hand ran in like a fury let loose,
Shouting, "Towzer's made off with the very best goose! "
Said the farmer's wife, grimly, "I'll shorten his joy!
Just cut a good stick, and then find me that boy."
For the boy they all shouted, and hunted around,
But, strangely enough, he was not to be found,
Till the dairy-maid, going the dairy to close,
Was struck by a pear on her sensitive nose.
The farmer's wife, grasping the newly cut stick,
To the pear-tree adjourned at a brisk double-quick,
And the boy, wakened up to the state of affairs,
Set off to catch Towzer he'd had enough pears.
After vainly pretending the goose was a rat,
Towzer all of a sudden remembered the cat,
So, hiding the goose in a well sheltered place,
He scented the cat out and gaily gave chase.
The cat's sense of duty awoke in a trice;
She persuaded herself she was hunting for mice;
And the mice, though they would not admit that they stole,
Found they had an engagement, and whisked to their hole.
90 MRS. MA CMUSTA1RD.
So no one was caught, you'll suppose, after all?
The cat was not caught she went over the wall.
The dog was not caught, and he barked for pure joy,
But a striking example was made of the boy.
Perhaps you will ask, is this story or song?
Whichever you call it, you'll not be far wrong.
But if you've a fancy to sing 't, you'll see
It will go very nicely to Bonnie Dundee."
THEY called her Mrs. Macmustard,
And said they could not tell
How she ever managed to get there,
But that she lived in the well,
And always came when they called her,
Wherever she might be;
"And sometimes she looks like Johnny,
And sometimes she looks like me."
It was May who told me about her,
But Johnny found her out;
It is always Johnny who "finds things,"
Whatever they are about!
And May is his faithful follower -
It makes me shiver to know
She would stick to Johnny, wherever
His lordship pleased to go.
MRS. MAJCMIUSTARD. 91
The popular Mrs. Macmustard
1, I. never-ending fun;
They had always something to tell me
Of what she had said and done.
And the day that Johnny "blacked his eye,"
I heard him softly say,
" My poor dear Mrs. Macmustard !
You don't look well to-day "
A pump is a modern invention,
And I regret to tell
That papa saw fit to have a pump
Put in the barnyard well.
There rose a wail from the children
As the platform was nailed down,
"Papa how can you do it?
Don't you know that she will drown?"
I felt so sorry for them
That I said, If you will but look,
You'll find that Mrs. Macmustard
Has only moved to the brook."
They rushed away, delighted,
But Johnny shook his head
When he came back, saying sadly,
"Mrs. Macmustard's dead "
" There are plenty of people down there -
Perhaps they are her cousins -
We saw them under the willows;
I should think there might be dozens!
92 A ROMANCE OF THE SEA.
But some have pebbles in their hair,
And some have bits of sky,
And our dear Mrs. Macmustard's hair
Was as black as well, as my eye "
I found a card on the pump-box
With a woful mourning border,
Made out of black galloon;
And some very crooked writing,
Done with a pencil-stump,
Said "Here Lies Mrs. Macmustard,
Who Was Killed By a Wicked Pump."
A ROMANCE OF THE SEA.
THERE were three little children, once,
Who were cast away on an island -
All I know about it quite certainly
Is, that it was somewhere in the sea,
And that, as we live on a continent,
It was neither your nor my land.
They were greedy little children,
Who liked five meals a day;
They'd only had three, breakfast, dinner, and tea,
The day they were cast away.
So before they changed their clothes
A ROMANCE. OF THE SEA. 93
Or their shoes, or dried their hair,
They began to wail for something to eat;
They looked on the ground for bread and meat;
There was not any there!
But the island was inhabited -
As wildly about they ran
'^ ; -- -- '." ; .'"
They met a small, but respectable
Alas, those wicked children !
They sliced his legs and fried them,
And when they had eaten up .his legs
They boiled his hair, and with hard-boiled eggs
94 A ROMANCE OF THE SEA.
And melted butter they dressed it:
And as for his ears they dried them.
His head they made into three large pies,
And his body and arms they ate likewise,
When the rest of him was digested.
He lasted them two days.
On the third, whom should they meet
But an innocent Oyster-Man
Crying, Oysters-oh! in the street.
They made short work of him,
For, as geology tells,
For, as geology tells,
A ROMANCE OF THE SEA. 95
In a period sadly brief
There was nothing left but shells!
So it went from day to day,
With various sorts of luck -
Tried to show a little pluck;
He got in such a heat
That they burnt their mouths, all three,
But they held him fast, and blew him cool,
And ate him at last, for tea.
The Peach-Man was delicious,
But the Ice-Man was too cold,
And they all agreed that the Cheese-Man
Was growing much too old.
But ah, the Ice-Cream-Man
Looked so lovely, that they thought
There was not enough of him for all,
So these wicked children fought
To see which one should have him--
They fought, I regret to say,
Till they all had beaten each other well,
And then they found that the Ice-Cream-Man
Had melted quite away!
They had thoughtlessly taken him out of his mould
Before they began to fight and scold,
And of course, as the weather was not cold,
The poor man could not-stay!
But a dreadful fate awaited them,
Before so very long.
96 A ROMANCE OF THE SEAA.
The Last Man on the island
Was a Needy Knife-Grinder strong.
He had wondered for some time
What was going with his friends,
And at last he went to seek them
He found various odds and ends,
Such as peach-stones, oyster-shells,
The Ice-Cream-and-Muffin-Men's bells,
A ROMANCE OF THE SEA. 97
The shells of the hard-boiled eggs,
And then three pairs of legs
Which were dangling from a tree
Where the children had climbed, you see,
When they saw the Knife-Grinder coming,
For they knew, by the painful fact
That he had not any wheel,
He would do some desperate act.
And he did. He pulled the largest child
Out of the tree by one heel;
He tied her hair to her toes, and made her -
Wrong-side-out, too! into a wheel.
He stood the next one up on his head
And fastened the wheel on top
Of his feet. The third was so very small,
He could scarcely make use of him at all,
But he oiled him well, and made him into
What he called a "razor-strop !"