Citation
A child's garden of verses

Material Information

Title:
A child's garden of verses
Creator:
Stevenson, Robert Louis, 1850-1894
Smith, Jessie Willcox ( Illustrator )
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Charles Scribner's Sons
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
1905
Language:
English
Physical Description:
113, [1] pages, [1] leaf of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 21 cm

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Children's poetry ( lcsh )
Children's poetry ( fast )
Genre:
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Originally published in 1885.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Robert Louis Stevenson ; with illustrations by Jessie Willcox Smith

Record Information

Source Institution:
|Auraria Library
Holding Location:
|Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
12388963 ( OCLC )
05026237 ( LCCN )
ocm12388963
Classification:
PR5489 .C5 1905 ( lcc )
821.8 ( ddc )

Auraria Membership

Aggregations:
Auraria Library
Literature Collections

Full Text


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A CHILDS GARDEN
OF VERSES


A CHILDS GARDEN OF VHSES
ROBERT LOVIS STEVENSON
WITH ILLVSTRATIONS BY
JESSIE WILLCOX SMITH
CHARLES SCRffiNEIS SOW
HEW YORK' mcmxx


Copyright, 1905, by
Charles Scribners Sons


TO ALISON CUNNINGHAM
FROM HER BOY
TTT^OR the long nights you lay awake
And watched for my unworthy sake;
For your most comfortable hand
That led me through the vmeven land:
For all the story-books you read:
For all the pains you comforted:
M


For all you pitied, all you bore,
In sad and happy days of yore :
My second Mother, my first Wife,
The angel of my infant life
From the sick child, now well and old,
TaJct*, nurse, the little book you hold!
And grant it, Heaven, that all who read
May find as dear a nurse at need,
And every child who lists my rhyme,
In the bright, fireside, nursery clime,
May hear it in as kind a voice
As made my childish days rejoice!
R. L. S.


CONTENTS
PAGE
To Alison Cunningham........................................ v
I Bed in Summer...........................................3
II A Thought..............................................4
III At the Sea-side.........................................5
IV Young Night-Thought.....................................6
V Whole Duty of Children..................................7
VI Bain.................................................. 8
VII Pirate Story............................................9
VIII Foreign Lands..........................................10
IX Windy Nights...........................................12
X Travel................................................13
XI Singing................................................15
XII Looking Forward........................................16
XIII A Good Play............................................17
XIV Where Go the Boats ? ................-............18
XV Aunties Skirts.................................... 19
XVI The Land of Counterpane................................20
XVII The Land of Nod....................................... 21
XVIII My Shadow .............................................23
XIX System.................................................25
XX A Good Boy.............................................26
XXI Escape at Bedtime.................................... 28
XXII Marching Song..........................................30
[vii]


CONTENTS
PAGE
XXIII The Cow..........................................32
XXIV Happy Thought.................................. 34
XXV The Wind ...................................... 35
XXVI Keepsake Mill....................................37
XXVII Good and Bad Children...........................39
XXVIII Foreign Children............................... 41
XXIX The Sun Travels.................................43
XXX The Lamplighter.................................45
XXXI My Bed is a Boat................................46
XXXII The Moon.........................................48
XXXIII The Swing...................................... 49
XXXIV Time to Rise.................................. 51
XXXV Looking-glass River.............................52
XXXVI Fairy Bread.....................................54
XXXVII From a Railway Carriage .........................55
XXXVIII Winter-time..................................... 57
XXXIX The Hayloft.................................... 59
XL Farewell to the Farm............................61
XLI North-west Passage............................. 63
1. Good-Night................................63
2. Shadow March............................ 65
3. In Port.................................. 66
THE CHILD ALONE
I The Unseen Playmate..................................71
II My Ship and I........................................73
III My Kingdom...........................................75
IV Picture-rooks in Winter............................ 77
V My Treasures.........................................79
[ viii ]


CONTENTS
PAGE
VI Block City.........................................81
VII The Land of Story-books............'................83
VIII Armies in the Fire..................................85
IX The Little Land......................................87
GARDEN DAYS
I Night and Day...................................... 93
II Nest Eggs......................................... 96
III The Flowers ...................................... 98
IV Summer Sun........................................ 100
V The Dumb Soldier...................................102
VI Autumn Fires....................................... 104
VII The Gardener........................................106
VIII Historical Associations.............................108
ENVOYS
I To Willie and Henrietta............................116
II To My Mother.......................................115
III To Auntie...........................................116
IV To Minnie............................................H?
V To My Name-Child............................... 121
VI To Any Reader.......................................124
[ix]


ILLUSTRATIONS
FROM DRAWINGS IN COLOURS
BY JESSIE WILLCOX SMITH
FACING
PAGE
Bed in Summer . ............................................... 4
In -winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
Foreign Lands............................................. 10
I held the trunk with both my hands
And looked abroad on foreign lands.
The Land of Counterpane.................................................20
I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,,
My Shadow...............................................................24
He stays so close beside me, hes a coward you can see;
Id think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!
Foreign Children ..................................................... 42
Little Indian, Sioux or Crow,
Little frosiy Eskimo,
Little Turk or Japanee,
Oh! dont you wish that you were me ?
Looking-glass River................................................... 52
We can see our coloured faces
Floating on the shaken pool


ILLUSTRATIONS
FACING*
PAGE
The Hayloft...............................................................60
Oh, what a joy to clamber there,
Oh, what a place for play,
With the sweet, the dim, the dusty air,
The happy hills of hay !
North-west Passage........................................................64
And face with an undaunted tread
The long black passage up to bed.
Picture-books in Winter...................................................78
Water now is turned to stone
Nurse and I can walk upon;
Still we find the flowing brooks
In the picture story-books.
The Little Land..........................................................88
I have just to shut my eyes
To go sailing through the skies
To go sailing far away
To the pleasant Land of Play ;
The Flowers............................................................. 98
All the names I know from nurse:
Gardeners garters, Shepherds purse,
Bachelors buttons, Ladys smock,
And the Lady Hollyhock.
To Auntie............................................................... 116
What did the other children do ?
And what were childhood, wanting you ?
The text illustrations are from drawings in black and white bn Jessie WUlcox Smith
[xii]




I
BED IN SUMMER
N winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light,
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.
I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up peoples feet
Still going past me in the street.
And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?
[31


II
A THOUGHT
IT is very nice to think
The world is full of meat and drink,
With little children .saying grace
In every Christian kind of place.


WHEN I was down beside the sea
A wooden spade they gave to me
To dig the sandy shore.
My holes were empty like a cup.
In every hole the sea came up,
Till it could come no more.
[5]


YOUNG NIGHT-THOUGHT
ALL night long and every night,
When my mama puts out the light,
I see the people marching by,
As plain as day, before my eye.
Armies and emperors and kings,
All carrying different kinds of things,
And marching in so grand a way,
You never saw the like by day.
So fine-a show was never seen
At the great circus on the green;
For every kind of beast and man
Is marching in that caravan.
At first they move a little slow,
But still the faster on they go,
And still beside them close I keep
Until we reach the town of Sleep.


V
WHOLE DUTY OF CHILDREN

CHILD should always say whats true
And speak when he is spoken to,
And behave mannerly at table;
At least as far as he is able.


VI
RAIN
THE rain is raining all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.
[8]


VII
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 sea.
Where shall we adventure, to-day that were afloat,
Wary of the weather and steering by a star?
Shall it be to Africa, a-steering of the boat,
To Providence, or Babylon, or off to Malabar?
Hi! but heres a squadron a-rowing on the sea
Cattle on the meadow a-charging with a roar!
Quick, and well escape them, theyre as mad as they can be,
The wicket is the harbour and the garden is the shore.
[9]


VIII
FOREIGN LANDS
UP into the cherry tree
Who should climb but little me?
I held the trunk with both my hands
And looked abroad on foreign lands.
I saw the next door garden lie,
Adorned with flowers, before my eye,
And many pleasant places more
That I had never seen before.
I saw the dimpling river pass
And be the skys blue looking-glass;
The dusty roads go up and down
With people tramping in to town.
If I could find a higher tree
Farther and farther I should see,
To where the grown-up river slips
Into the sea among the ships,
[10]


FOREIGN LANDS


To where the roads on either hand
Lead onward into fairy land,
Where all the children dine at five,
And all the playthings come alive.
111 i


\
IX
WINDY NIGHTS
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 about?
Whenever the trees are crying aloud,
And ships are tossed at sea,
By, on the highway, low and loud,
By at the gallop goes he.
By at the gallop he goes, and then
By he comes back at the gallop again.
I 1*1


X
TRAVEL
I SHOULD like to rise and go
Where the golden apples grow;
Where below another sky
Parrot islands anchored he,
And, watched by cockatoos and goats,
Lonely Crusoes building boats;
Where in sunshine reaching out
Eastern cities, miles about,
Are with mosque and rpinaret
Among sandy gardens set,
And the rich goods from near and far
Hang for sale in the bazaar;
Where the Great Wall round China goes,
And on one side the desert blows,
And with bell and voice and drum,
Cities on the other hum;
Where are forests, hot as fire,
Wide as England, tall as a spire,
Full of apes and cocoa-nuts
And the negro hunters huts;
[13]


Where the knotty crocodile
Lies and blinks in the Nile,
And the red flamingo flies
Hunting fish before his eyes;*
Where in jungles, near and far,
Man-devouring tigers are,
Lying close and giving ear
Lest the hunt be drawing near,
Or a comer-by be seen
Swinging in a palanquin;
Where among the desert sands
Some deserted city stands,
All its children, sweep and prince,
Grown to manhood ages since,
Not a foot in street or house,
Not a stir of child or mouse,
And when kindly falls the night,
In all the town no spark of fight.
There Ill come when Im a man
With a camel caravan;
Light a fire in the gloom
Of some dusty dining-room ;
See the pictures on the walls,
Heroes, fights, and festivals;
And in a comer find the toys
Of the old Egyptian boys.


XI
SINGING
OF speckled eggs the birdie sings
And nests among the trees;
The sailor sings of ropes and things
In ships upon the seas.
The children sing in far Japan,
The children sing in Spain;
The organ with the organ man
Is singing in the rain.
[15]


XII
LOOKING FORWARD
HEN I am grown to mans estate
I shall be very proud and great,
And tell the other girls and boys
Not to meddle with my toys.
[16]


XIII
A GOOD PLAY
WE built a ship upon the stairs
All made of the hack-bedroom chairs,
And filled it full of sofa pillows
To go a-sailing on the billows.
We took a 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 me
To go a-sailing on, till tea.
We sailed along for days and days,
And had the very best of plays;
But Tom fell out and hurt his knee.
So there was no one left but me.
m
[17]


XIV
WHERE GO THE BOATS?
DARK brown is the river,
Golden is the sand.
It flows along for ever,
With trees on either hand.
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.
Away down the river,
A hundred miles or more,
Other little children
Shall bring my boats ashore.
-f!8l


XV
AUNTIES SKIRTS
HENEVER Auntie moves around,
Her dresses make a curious sound,
They trail behind her up the floor,
And trundle after through the door,
f 19 1


XVI
THE LAND OF COUNTERPANE
WHEN I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay
To keep me happy all the day.
And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;
And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.
I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.
[20]


THE LAND OF COUNTERPANE


XVII
THE LAND OF NOD
FROM breakfast on through all the day
At home among my friends I stay,
But every night I go abroad
Afar into the land of Nod.
All by myself I have to go,
With none to tell me what to do
All alone beside the streams
And up the mountain-sides of dreams.
The strangest things are there for me,
Both things to eat and things to see,
And many frightening sights abroad
Till morning in the land of Nod.
r*n


Try as I like to find the way,
I never can get back by day,
Nor can remember plain and clear
The curious music that I hear.


XVIII
MY SHADOW
I HAVE a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can
see.
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.
The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that theres none of him at alL
He hasnt got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
[23]


He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;
Id think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to
me!
One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.
[24]


MY SHADOW


SYSTEM
EVERY night my prayers I say,
And get my dinner every day;
And every day that I Ve been good,
I get 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, Im sure
Or else his dear papa is poor.
[25]


XX
A GOOD BOY
I WOKE before the morning, I was happy all the day,
I never said an ugly word, but smiled and stuck to
play.
And now at last the sun is going down behind the wood,
And I am very happy, for I know that Ive been good.
My bed is waiting cool and fresh, with linen smooth and fail
And I must be off to sleepsin-by, and not forget my prayer.
[26]


I know that, till to-morrow I shall see the sun arise,
No ugly dream shall fright my mind, no ugly sight my eyes.
But slumber hold me tightly till I waken in the dawn,
And hear the thrushes singing in the lilacs round the lawn.
[27]


XXI
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 neer 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.
[28]


They 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.


XXII
MARCHING SONG
BRING the comb and play upon it!
Marching, here we come!
Willie cocks his highland bonnet,
Johnnie beats the drum.
Mary Jane commands the party,
Peter leads the rear;
Feet in time, alert and hearty,
Each a Grenadier!
[80]


All in the most martial manner
Marching double-quick;
While the napkin, like a banner,
Waves upon the stick!
Heres enough of fame and pillage,
Great commander Jane!
Now that weve been round the village,
Lets go home again.
[SI]


XXIII
THE COW
HE friendly cow all red and white,
I love with all my heart:
She gives me cream with all her might,
To eat with apple-tart.
She wanders lowing here and there,
And yet she cannot stray,
All in the pleasant open air,
' The pleasant light of day;


And blown by all the winds that pass
And wet with all the showers,
She walks among the meadow grass
And eats the meadow flowers.
131
[38]


XXIV
HAPPY THOUGHT
HE world is so full of a number of things,
Im sure we should all be as happy as kings.
rs4i


XXV
THE WIND
I SAW you toss the kites on high
And blow the birds about the sky
And all around I heard you pass,
Like ladies skirts across the grass
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!
I saw the different things you did,
But always you yourself you hid.
I felt you push, I heard you call,
I could not see yourself at all
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!
O you that are so strong and cold,
O blower, are you young or old?
Are you a beast of field and tree,
[35]


Or just a stronger child than me?
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song l
[36]


XXVI
KEEPSAKE MILL
OVER the borders, a sin without pardon,
Breaking the branches and crawling below,
Out through the breach in the wall of the garden,
Down by 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 under
Marvellous places, though handy to home!
Sounds of the village grow stiller and stiller,
Stiller the note of the birds on the hill; *
Dusty and dim are the eyes of the miller,
Deaf are his ears with the moil of the mill.
Years 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 boys are away.
[37]


Home from the Indies and home from the ocean,
Heroes and soldiers we all shall come home;
Still we shall find the old mill wheel in motion,
Turning and churning that river to foam.
You with the 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.


XXVII
GOOD AND BAD CHILDREN
CHILDREN, you are very little,
And 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 bewildring,
Innocent and honest children.
[39]


Happy hearts and happy faces,
Happy play in grassy places
That was how, in ancient ages,
Children grew to kings and sages.
But the unkind and the unruly,
And the sort who eat unduly,
They must never hope for glory
Theirs is quite a different story!
Cruel children, crying babies,
All grow up as geese and gabies,
Hated, as their age increases,
By their nephews and their nieces.
I 40 J


XXVIII
FOREIGN CHILDREN
LITTLE Indian, Sioux or Crow,
Little frosty Eskimo,
Little Turk or Japanee,
Oh! dont you wish that you were me?
You have seen the scarlet trees
And the lions over seas;
You have eaten ostrich eggs,
And turned the turtles off their legs.
[411


Such a life is very fine,
But its not so nice as mine:
You must often, as you trod,
Have wearied not to be abroad.
You have curious things' to eat,
I 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,
Oh! dont you wish that you were me



FOREIGN CHILDREN
*
J
V I


XXIX
THE SUN TRAVELS
THE sun is not a-bed, when I
At night upon my pillow lie;
Still round the earth his way he takes,
And morning after morning makes.
While here at home, in shining day,
We round the sunny garden play,
Each little Indian sleepy-head
Is being kissed and put to bed.
tl


And when at eve I rise from tea,
Day dawns beyond the Atlantic Sea
And all the children in the West
Are getting up and being dressed.


XXX
THE LAMPLIGHTER
MY tea is nearly ready and the sun has left the sky.
Its time to take the window to see Leerie going
For every night at teatime and before you take your seat,
With lantern and with ladder he comes posting up the street.
Now Tom would be a driver and Maria go to
sea,
And my papas a banker and as rich as he can
be;
But I, when I am stronger and .can choose what
Im to do,
O Leerie, Ill go round at night and light the
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 oh! before you hurry by with ladder and
with light;
O Leerie, see a little child and nod to him to-
night !
[45]


XXXI
MY BED IS A BOAT
MY bed is like a little boat;
Nurse helps me in when I emWrk
She girds me in my sailors coat
And starts me in the dark.
At night, I go on board and say
Good-night to all my friends on shore;
I shut my eyes and sail away
And see and hear no more.


And sometimes things to bed I take,
As prudent sailors have to do;
Perhaps a slice of wedding-cake,
Perhaps a toy or two.
All night across the dark we steer;
But when the day returns at last,
Safe in my room, beside the pier,
I find my vessel fast.
[471


XXXII
THE MOON
THE moon has a face like the clock in the hall;
She shines on thieves on the garden 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 by the door of the house,
The bat that lies in bed at noon,
All love to be out by the light of the moon.
But all of the things that belong to the day
Cuddle to sleep to be out of her way;
And flowers and children close their eyes
Till up in the morning the sun shall arise.


XXXIII
THE SWING
HOW do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside
1*1
[49]


Till 1 look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down 1
/
[50]


XXXIV
TIME TO RISE
BIRDIE with a yellow bill
Hopped upon the window sill,
Cocked his shining eye and said:
Aint you shamed, you sleepy-headi
[51]


XXXV
LOOKING-GLASS RIVER
SMOOTH it glides upon its travel,
Here a wimple, there a gleam
O the clean gravel !
O the smooth stream!
Sailing blossoms, silver fishes,
Paven pools as clear as air
How a child wishes
To live down there!
We can see our coloured faces
Floating on the shaken pool
Down in cool places,
Dim and very cool;


LOOKING-GLASS RIVER


Till a wind or water wrinkle,
Dipping marten, plumping trout,
Spreads in a twinkle
And blots all out.
See the rings pursue each other;
All below grows black as night,
Just as if mother
Had blown out the light!
Patience, children, just a minute
See the spreading circles die;
The stream and all in it
Will clear by-and-by.


XXXVI
FAIRY BREAD
COME up here, O dusty feet!
Here is fairy bread to eat.
Here in my retiring room,
Children, you may dine
On the golden smell of broom
And the shade of pine;
And when you have eaten well,
Fairy stories hear and tell.
r 54* t



XXXVII
FROM A RAILWAY CARRIAGE
FSTER than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle
through the meadows the horses and cattle:
of the sights of the hill and the plain
as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Fainted stations whistle by.
I SSI


Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles;
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;
And there is the green for stringing the daisies!
Here is a cart run away in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill, and there is a river:
Each a glimpse and gone for everl


XXXVIII
WINTER-TIME
I ATE lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then*
A blood-red orange, sets again.
Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.
Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.
[57]


When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.
Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding-cake.


XXXIX
THE HAYLOFT
THROUGH all the pleasant meadow-side
The grass grew shoulder-high,
Till the shining scythes went far and wide
And cut it down to dry.
Those green and sweetly smelling crops
They led in waggons home;
And they piled them here in mountain tops
For mountaineers to roam.


Here is Mount Clear, Mount Rusty-Nail,
Mount Eagle and Mount High;
The mice that in these mountains dwell,
No happier are than I!
Oh, what a joy to clamber there,
Oh, what a place for play,
With the sweet, the dim, the dusty air,
The happy hills of hay 1
J60]




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XL
FAREWELL TO THE FARM
HE coach is at the door at last;
The eager children, mounting fast
And kissing hands, in chorus sing:
Good-bye, good-bye, to everything!
To house and garden, field and lawn,
The meadow-gates we swang upon,
To pump and stable, tree and swing,
Good-bye, good-bye, to everything!
And fare you well for evermore,
O ladder at the hayloft door,
O hayloft where the cobwebs cling,
Good-bye, good-bye, to everything!
f 611


Crack goes the whip, and off we go;
The trees and houses smaller grow;
Last, round the woody turn we swing
Good-bye, good-bye, to everything!


XLI
NORTH-WEST PASSAGE
1. GOOD-NIGHT
THEN the bright lamp is carried in,
The sunless hours again begin;
Oer all without, in field and lane,
The haunted night returns again.
Now we behold the embers flee
About the firelit hearth; and see
Our faces painted as we pass,
Like pictures, on the window-glass.
[68]


Must we to bed indeed? Well then,
Let us arise and go like men,
And face with an undaunted tread
The long black passage up to bed.
Farewell, O brother, sister, sire!
O pleasant party round the fire!
The songs you sing, the tales you tell,
Till far to-morrow, fare ye well!
[64J




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NORTI-I-WEST PASSAGE
i


2. SHADOW MARCH
All round the house is the jet-black night;
It stares through the window-pane;
It crawls in the corners, hiding from the light,
And it moves with the moving flame.
Now my little heart goes a-beating like a drum,
With the breath of the Bogie in my hair;
And all round the candle the crooked shadows come,
And go marching along up the stair.
The shadow of the balusters, the shadow of the lamp,
The shadow of the child that goes to bed
All the wicked shadows coming, tramp, tramp, tramp,
With the black night overhead.


Last, to the chamber where I lie
My fearful footsteps patter nigh,
And come from out the cold and gloom
Into my warm and cheerful room.
There, safe arrived, we turn about
To keep the coming shadows out,
And close the happy door at last
On all the perils that we past.
f661


Then, when mamma goes by to bed.
She shall come in with tip-toe tread,
And see me lying warm and fast
And in the Land of Nod at last.
\
[671
t


The Child Alone


Â¥
THE UNSEEN PLAYMATE
HEN children are playing alone on the green,
In comes the playmate that never was seen.
When children are happy and lonely and good,
The Friend of the Children comes out of the
wood.
Nobody heard him and nobody saw,
His is a picture you never could draw,
But hes sure to be present, abroad or at home,
When children are happy and playing alone.
He lies in the laurels, he runs on the grass,
He sings when you tinkle the musical glass;
Wheneer you are happy and cannot tell why,
The Friend of the Children is sure to be by!
f


He loves to be little, he hates to be big,
T is he that inhabits the caves that you dig;
5T is he when you play with your soldiers of tin
That sides with the Frenchmen and never can win.
Tis he, when at night you go off to your bed,
Bids you go to your sleep and not trouble your head
For wherever they re lying, in cupboard or shelf,
Tis he will take care of your playthings himself!


II
MY SHIP AND I
OIT S I that am the captain of a tidy little ship,
Of a ship that goes a-sailing on the pond;
And my ship it keeps a-turning all around and all
about;
But when Im a little older, I shall find the secret out
How to send my vessel sailing on beyond.
[731


For I 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, its a-sailing I shall go,
Its a-sailing on the water, when the jolly breezes blow
And the vessel goes a divie-divie-dive.
O its then you ll see me sailing through the rushes and the
reeds,
And you ll hear the water singing at the prow;
For beside the dolly sailor, Im to voyage and explore,
To land upon the island where no dolly was before,
And to fire the penny cannon in the bow.


Ill
MY KINGDOM
DOWN by a shining water well
I found a very little dell,
No higher than my head.
The heather and the gorse about
In summer bloom were coming out,
Some yellow and some red.
[75 J


I called the little pool a sea;
The little hills were big to me;
For I am very small.
I made a boat, I made a town,
I searched the caverns up and down,
And named them one and all.
And all about was mine, I said,
The little sparrows overhead,
The little minnows too.
This was the world and I was king;
For me the bees came by to sing,
For me the swallows flew.
I played there were no deeper seas,
Nor any wider plains than these,
Nor other kings than me.
At last I heard my mother call
Out from the house at evenfall, *
To call me home to tea.
And I must rise and leave my dell,
And leave my dimpled water well,
And leave my heather blooms.
Alas and as my home I neared,
How very big my nurse appeared.
How great and cool the rooms!
[76]


IV
PICTURE-BOOKS IN WINTER
SUMMER fading, winter comes
Frosty mornings, tingling thumbs,
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.
f77]


All the pretty things put by,
Wait upon the childrens eye,
Sheep and shepherds, trees and crooks,
In the picture story-books.
We may see how all things are
Seas and cities, near and far,
And the flying fairies looks,
In the picture story-books.
How am I to sing your praise,
Happy chimney-corner days,
Sitting safe in nursery nooks,
Reading picture story-books?


PICTURE-BOOKS IN WINTER


V
MY TREASURES
THESE nuts, that I keep in the back of the nest,
Where all my lead soldiers are lying at rest,
Were gathered in autumn by nursie and me
In a wood with a well by the side of the sea.
This whistle we made (and how clearly it sounds!)
By the side of a field at the end of the grounds.
Of a branch of a plane, with a knife of my own,
It was nursie who made it, and nursie alone 1
[79J


The stone, with the white and the yellow and grey,
We discovered I cannot tell how far away;
And I carried it back although weary and cold,
For though father denies it, Im sure it is gold.
But of all my treasures the last is the king,
For theres very few children possess such a thing;
And that is a chisel, both handle and blade,
Which a man who was really a carpenter made.
|S.
[801


VI
BLOCK CITY
HAT are you able to build with your blocks ?
Castles and palaces, temples and docks.
Rain may keep raining, and others go roam,
But I can be happy and building at home.
Let the sofa be mountains, the carpet be sea,
There I ll establish a city for me:
A kirk and a mill and a palace beside,
And a harbour as well where my vessels may ride.
f 811


Great is the palace with pillar and wall,
A sort of a tower on the top of it all,
And steps coming down in an orderly way
To where my toy vessels lie safe in the bay.
This one is sailing and that one is moored:
Hark to the song of the sailors on board!
And see, on the steps of my palace, the kings
Coming and going with presents and things 1
Now I have done with it, down let it go 1
All in a moment the town is laid low.
Block upon block lying scattered and free,
What is there left of my town by the sea
Yet as I saw it, I see it again,
The kirk and the palace, the ships and the men,
And as long as I live and whereer I may be,
i ll always remember my town by the sea.

1 S 1