20000 Free eBooks
Library for Free Download eBooks and Read Online

Your last book:

You dont read books at this site.

Total books at library:
about 20000

You can read online and download ebooks for free!

Ebooks by authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 
Patmore, Coventry Kersey Dighton / The Children's Garland from the Best Poets
E-text prepared by Chris Curnow, Katherine Ward, Joseph Cooper, and the
Project Online Distributed Proofreading Team

Note: Project also has an HTML version of this
file which includes the original illustration.
See 27441-h.htm or 27441-h.zip:

Transcriber's note:

Archaic and variable spelling was preserved as printed.

Missing quotation marks were added to standardize usage.
Otherwise, the editor's punctuation style was preserved.

Authors' and First Lines' Indices were updated to match
the poems.

As noted in the Preface, some poems have been altered
from the original by Patmore for content and length.

Special notation:

Text in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_).

Emphasized text within italics is enclosed by plus signs
(+emphasized text+).

Text in bold face is enclosed by equal signs (=bold=).

Golden Treasury Series


Selected and Arranged by



London MacMillan and Co. and New York 1895

_First Edition printed 1861 (dated 1862). Reprinted with corrections,
and Index added, +February+ 1862. Reprinted with corrections, 1863.
Reprinted 1866, 1871, 1874, 1877, 1879, +March+ and +August+ 1882, 1884,
1891, 1892, 1895._


This volume will, I hope, be found to contain nearly all the genuine
poetry in our language fitted to please children,--of and from the age
at which they have usually learned to read,--in common with grown
people. A collection on this plan has, I believe, never before been
made, although the value of the principle seems clear.

The test applied, in every instance, in the work of selection, has been
that of having actually pleased intelligent children; and my object has
been to make a book which shall be to them no more nor less than a book
of equally good poetry is to intelligent grown persons. The charm of
such a book to the latter class of readers is rather increased than
lessened by the surmised existence in it of an unknown amount of power,
meaning and beauty, beyond that which is at once to be seen; and
children will not like this volume the less because, though containing
little or nothing which will not at once please and amuse them, it also
contains much, the full excellence of which they may not as yet be able
to understand.

The application of the practical test above mentioned has excluded
nearly all verse written expressly for children, and most of the poetry
written about children for grown people. Hence, the absence of several
well-known pieces, which some persons who examine this volume may be
surprised at not finding in it.

I have taken the liberty of omitting portions of a few poems, which
would else have been too long or otherwise unsuitable for the
collection; and, in a very few instances, I have ventured to substitute
a word or a phrase, when that of the author has made the piece in which
it occurs unfit for children's reading. The abbreviations I have been
compelled to make in the "Ancient Mariner," in order to bring that poem
within the limits of this collection, are so considerable as to require
particular mention and apology.

No translations have been inserted but such as, by their originality of
style and modification of detail, are entitled to stand as original


A barking sound the shepherd hears 248
A chieftain to the Highlands bound 246
A country life is sweet 31
A fox, in life's extreme decay 171
A fragment of a rainbow bright 41
A lion cub, of sordid mind 301
A Nightingale that all day long 276
A parrot, from the Spanish main 124
A perilous life, and sad as life may be 76
A widow bird sate mourning for her love 329
A wonder stranger ne'er was known 165
Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase) 19
Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight 20
Among the dwellings framed by birds 32
An ancient story I'll tell you anon 159
An old song made by an aged old pate 136
An outlandish knight came from the North lands 221
Art thou the bird whom man loves best 99
As I a fare had lately past 9
As it fell upon a day 169
As in the sunshine of the morn 271
At dead of night, when mortals lose 295
Attend all ye who list to hear our noble England's praise 70

Before the stout harvesters falleth the grain 115
Beside the Moldau's rushing stream 96

Clear had the day been from the dawn 35
Close by the threshold of a door nail'd fast 303
Come dear children, let us away 50
Come listen to me, you gallants so free 44
Come live with me and be my Love 7
Come unto these yellow sands 67

Did you hear of the curate who mounted his mare 304
Do you ask what the birds say? The sparrow, the dove 3

Faintly as tolls the evening chime 81
Fair daffodils, we weep to see 207
Full fathom five thy father lies 57

Gentlefolks, in my time, I've made many a rhyme 149
Good-bye, good-bye to Summer 106
Good people all, of every sort 241

Hail, beauteous stranger of the grove 43
Half a league, half a league 174
Hamelin Town's in Brunswick 150
Happy insect! what can be 117
Her arms across her breast she laid 200
Here lies, whom hound did ne'er pursue 18
Ho, sailor of the sea 68
How beautiful is the rain 15

I am monarch of all I survey 86
I come from haunts of coot and hern 4
I had a dove, and the sweet dove died 125
I sail'd from the Downs in the _Nancy_ 74
I sprang to the stirrup, and Joris and he 38
I wander'd by the brook-side 322
If all the world was apple-pie 339
In ancient times, as story tells 254
In distant countries have I been 317
In her ear he whispers gaily 119
In the hollow tree in the grey old tower 107
Into the sunshine 226
It chanced upon a winter's day 281
It is an ancient Mariner 58
It is not growing like a tree 340
It was a summer evening 184
It was the schooner _Hesperus_ 78
I've watch'd you now a full half-hour 291

Jaffar, the Barmecide, the good Vizier 96
Jenny Wren fell sick 336
John Bull for pastime took a prance 242
John Gilpin was a citizen 138

King Lear once ruled in this land 265

Lady Alice was sitting in her bower window 220
Laid in my quiet bed in study as I were 339
Little Ellie sits alone 320
Little white Lily 238
Lord Thomas he was a bold forester 258

Mary-Ann was alone with her baby in arms 30
My banks they are furnished with bees 118
My heart leaps up when I behold 341

Napoleon's banners at Boulogne 178
No stir in the air, no stir in the sea 23
Now ponder well, you parents dear 100
Now the bright morning star, day's harbinger 2
Now the hungry lion roars 2
'Now, woman, why without your veil?' 296

O Mary, go and call the cattle home 55
O listen, listen, ladies gay 82
O say what is that thing called Light 126
O sing unto my roundelay 239
O then, I see, Queen Mab hath been with you 261
O where have ye been, Lord Randal, my son? 26
O where have you been, my long, long, love 273
O, young Lochinvar is come out of the west 262
Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray 13
Oh, hear a pensive prisoner's prayer 116
Oh, to be in England 88
Oh! what's the matter? what's the matter 127
Old stories tell how Hercules 292
On his morning rounds the master 264
On the green banks of Shannon when Sheelah was nigh 243
Once on a time a rustic dame 147
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary 191
One day, it matters not to know 218
One morning (raw it was and wet) 186
Open the door, some pity to show 49
Our bugles sang truce, for the night-cloud had lower'd 182

Piping down the valleys wild 1
Proud Maisie is in the wood 305

Remember us poor Mayers all 233

See the Kitten on the wall 8
Seven daughters had Lord Archibald 197
Shepherds all, and maidens fair 123
Sir John got him an ambling nag 287
Some will talk of bold Robin Hood 284
Spring, the sweet Spring, is the year's pleasant king 223

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold 328
The boy stood on the burning deck 35
The cock is crowing 25
The crafty Nix, more false than fair 196
The fox and the cat, as they travell'd one day 251
The gorse is yellow on the heath 314
The greenhouse is my summer seat 244
The hollow winds begin to blow 37
The Knight had ridden down from Wensley Moor 108
The mountain and the squirrel 122
The noon was shady, and soft airs 252
The ordeal's fatal trumpet sounded 215
The post-boy drove with fierce career 312
The stately homes of England 208
The stream was as smooth as glass, we said, 'Arise and let's away' 84
The summer and autumn had been so wet 133
The warm sun is failing, the bleak wind is wailing 190
The Wildgrave winds his bugle horn 200
There came a ghost to Margaret's door 224
There came a man, making his hasty moan 187
There was a jovial beggar 131
There was a little boy and a little girl 339
There was an old woman, as I've heard tell 338
There was three kings into the East 27
There were three jovial Welshmen 337
There's that old hag Moll Brown, look, see, just past 335
They glide upon their endless way 6
They grew in beauty side by side 315
Three fishers went sailing away to the west 311
Three times, all in the dead of night 98
Thou that hast a daughter 76
Tiger, tiger, burning bright 158
To grass, or leaf, or fruit, or wall 302
To sea! to sea! the calm is o'er 248
Toll for the brave 56
Tread lightly here, for here, 'tis said 254
'Twas in the prime of summer time 88
'Twas on a lofty vase's side 170

Under the green hedges after the snow 48
Under the greenwood tree 12
Underneath an old oak tree 41
Up the airy mountain 163
Up, Timothy, up with your staff and away 324
Up! up! ye dames, ye lasses gay 327
Upon a time a neighing steed 216

When Arthur first in court began 306
When as King Henry ruled this land 228
When I remember'd again 289
When I was still a boy and mother's pride 127
When icicles hang by the wall 22
When shall we three meet again 214
When the British warrior queen 180
Whither, 'midst falling dew 283
Who is yonder poor maniac, whose wildly fixed eyes 210
Will you hear a Spanish lady 234
With farmer Allan at the farm abode 329
Within a thick and spreading hawthorn bush 316

Ye mariners of England 176
Year after year unto her feet 325
'You are old, Father William,' the young man cried 173
You beauteous ladies great and small 277
You spotted snakes with double tongue 257
Young Henry was as brave a youth 183


I The Child and the Piper
II On May Morning
III The Approach of the Fairies
IV Answer to a Child's Question
V The Brook
VI Stars
VII The Shepherd to his Love
VIII The Kitten and Falling Leaves
IX The Ferryman, Venus, and Cupid
X Song
XI Lucy Gray, or Solitude
XII Rain in Summer
XIII Epitaph on a Hare
XIV Abou Ben Adhem and the Angel
XV La Belle Dame sans Mercy
XVI Winter
XVII The Inchcape Rock
XVIII Written in March
XIX Lord Randal
XX John Barleycorn
XXI Mary-Ann's Child
XXII The Useful Plough
XXIII A Wren's Nest
XXIV A Fine Day
XXV Casabianca, a True Story
XXVI Signs of Rain
XXVII How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix
XXVIII The Rainbow
XXIX The Raven and the Oak
XXX Ode to the Cuckoo
XXXI Robin Hood and Allin a Dale
XXXII Violets
XXXIII The Palmer
XXXIV The Forsaken Merman
XXXV The Sands o' Dee
XXXVI The Loss of the Royal George
XXXVII A Sea Dirge
XXXVIII The Ancient Mariner
XXXIX Song of Ariel
XL How's my Boy?
XLI The Spanish Armada
XLII The Tar for all Weathers
XLIII The Fisherman
XLIV The Sailor
XLV The Wreck of the Hesperus
XLVI A Canadian Boat Song
XLVII Rosabelle
XLVIII The Ballad of the Boat
XLIX Verses, supposed to be written by Alexander Selkirk
L Home Thoughts from Abroad
LI The Dream of Eugene Aram
LII The Beleaguered City
LIII Jaffar
LIV Colin and Lucy
LV The Redbreast Chasing the Butterfly
LVI The Children in the Wood
LVII Robin Redbreast
LIX Hart Leap Well
LX The Summer Shower
LXI The Mouse's Petition
LXII The Grasshopper
LXIII The Shepherd's Home
LXIV The Lord of Burleigh
LXV The Mountain and the Squirrel
LXVI Evening
LXVII The Parrot
LXIX The Blind Boy
LXX False Friends-like
LXXI Goody Blake and Harry Gill
LXXII The Jovial Beggar
LXXIII Bishop Hatto
LXXIV The Old Courtier
LXXV John Gilpin
LXXVI The Milkmaid
LXXVII Sir Sidney Smith
LXXVIII The Pied Piper of Hamelin
LXXIX The Tiger
LXXX King John and the Abbot of Canterbury
LXXXI The Fairies
LXXXII The Suffolk Miracle
LXXXIII The Nightingale
LXXXIV On a favourite Cat drowned in a Tub of Goldfishes
LXXXV The Fox at the Point of Death
LXXXVI The Old Man's Comforts and how he gained them
LXXXVII The Charge of the Light Brigade
LXXXVIII Ye Mariners of England
LXXXIX Napoleon and the Sailor
XC Boadicea, an Ode
XCI The Soldier's Dream
XCII Love and Glory
XCIII After Blenheim
XCIV The Sailor's Mother
XCV Mahmoud
XCVI Autumn, a Dirge
XCVII The Raven
XCIX The Seven Sisters, or the Solitude of Binnorie
C The Beggar Maid
CI The Wild Huntsman
CII To Daffodils
CIII The Homes of England
CIV Mary the Maid of the Inn
CV The Witches' Meeting
CVI Adelgitha
CVII The Council of Horses
CVIII St. Romuald
CIX Lady Alice
CX The Outlandish Knight
CXI Spring
CXII Sweet William's Ghost
CXIII The Fountain
CXIV Fair Rosamund
CXV The Hitchen May-Day Song
CXVI The Spanish Lady's Love
CXVII Little White Lily
CXVIII Minstrel's Song in Ella
CXIX An Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog
CXX Nongtongpaw
CXXI Poor Dog Tray
CXXII The Faithful Bird
CXXIII Lord Ullin's Daughter
CXXV Fidelity
CXXVI The Fox and the Cat
CXXVII The Dog and the Water-Lily
CXXVIII An Epitaph on a Robin Redbreast
CXXIX Baucis and Philemon
CXXX Lullaby for Titania
CXXXI Lord Thomas and Fair Ellinor
CXXXII Queen Mab
CXXXIII Young Lochinvar
CXXXIV Incident Characteristic of a Favourite Dog
CXXXV King Lear and his Three Daughters
CXXXVI The Butterfly and the Snail
CXXXVII The Dæmon Lover
CXXXVIII The Nightingale and the Glow-worm
CXXXIX The Lady turned Serving-Man
CXL Pairing Time Anticipated
CXLI To a Water Fowl
CXLII Robin Hood and the Bishop of Hereford
CXLIII Sir John Suckling's Campaign
CXLIV The Nun's Lament for Philip Sparrow
CXLV To a Butterfly
CXLVI The Dragon of Wantley
CXLVII The Ungrateful Cupid
CXLVIII The King of the Crocodiles
CXLIX The Lion and the Cub
CL The Snail
CLI The Colubriad
CLII The Priest and the Mulberry-Tree
CLIII The Pride of Youth
CLIV Sir Lancelot du Lake
CLV The Three Fishers
CLVI Alice Fell, or Poverty
CLVII The First Swallow
CLVIII The Graves of a Household
CLIX The Thrush's Nest
CLX The Last of the Flock
CLXI The Romance of the Swan's Nest
CLXIII Timothy
CLXIV The Sleeping Beauty
CLXV Choral Song of Illyrian Peasants
CLXVI The Destruction of Sennacherib
CLXVII The Widow Bird
CLXIX A Witch, Spoken by a Countryman
CLXX Nursery Rhymes
CLXXI The Age of Children Happiest
CLXXII The Noble Nature
CLXXIII The Rainbow

The Children's Garland from the Best Poets


Piping down the valleys wild,
Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud I saw a child,
And he, laughing, said to me,

'Pipe a song about a lamb,'
So I piped with merry cheer;
'Piper, pipe that song again,'
So I piped, he wept to hear.

'Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe,
Sing thy songs of happy cheer.'
So I sang the same again,
While he wept with joy to hear.

'Piper, sit thee down and write
In a book that all may read.'
So he vanish'd from my sight;
And I pluck'd a hollow reed,

And I made a rural pen,
And I stain'd the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs
Every child may joy to hear.

_W. Blake_



Now the bright morning star, day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
The flow'ry May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that doth inspire
Mirth and youth and warm desire!
Woods and groves are of thy dressing,
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.

_J. Milton_



Now the hungry lion roars,
And the wolf behowls the moon;
Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,
All with weary task foredone.
Now the wasted brands do glow,
Whilst the scritch owl, scritching loud,
Puts the wretch that lies in woe,
In remembrance of a shroud.
Now it is the time of night
That the graves, all gaping wide,
Every one lets forth his sprite,
In the churchway paths to glide:
And we fairies, that do run,
By the triple Hecate's team,
From the presence of the sun,
Following darkness like a dream,
Now are frolic; not a mouse
Shall disturb this hallowed house:
I am sent with broom before,
To sweep the dust behind the door.

Through the house give glimmering light;
By the dead and drowsy fire,
Every elf and fairy sprite,
Hop as light as bird from brier;
And this ditty after me,
Sing and dance it trippingly.
First rehearse this song by rote,
To each word a warbling note,
Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
We will sing, and bless this place.

_W. Shakespeare_



Do you ask what the birds say? The sparrow, the dove,
The linnet, and thrush say 'I love, and I love!'
In the winter they're silent, the wind is so strong;
What it says I don't know, but it sings a loud song.
But green leaves, and blossoms, and sunny warm weather,
And singing and loving--all come back together.
But the lark is so brimful of gladness and love,
The green fields below him, the blue sky above,
That he sings, and he sings, and forever sings he,
'I love my Love, and my Love loves me.'

_S. T. Coleridge_



I come from haunts of coot and hern,
I make a sudden sally,
And sparkle out among the fern,
To bicker down a valley.

By thirty hills I hurry down,
Or slip between the ridges,
By twenty thorps, a little town,
And half a hundred bridges.

Till last by Philip's farm I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come, and men may go,
But I go on forever.

I chatter over stony ways,
In little sharps and trebles,
I bubble into eddying bays,
I babble on the pebbles.

With many a curve my bank I fret
By many a field and fallow,
And many a fairy foreland set
With willow-weed and mallow.

I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come, and men may go,
But I go on forever.

I wind about, and in and out,
With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lusty trout,
And here and there a grayling,

And here and there a foamy flake
Upon me as I travel,
With many a silvery waterbreak
Above the golden gravel,

And draw them all along and flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come, and men may go,
But I go on forever.

I steal by lawns and grassy plots,
I slide by hazel covers,
I move the sweet forget-me-nots
That grow for happy lovers.

I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeam dance
Against my sandy shallows.

I murmur under moon and stars
In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars;
I loiter round my cresses;

And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come, and men may go,
But I go on forever.

_A. Tennyson_



They glide upon their endless way,
For ever calm, for ever bright;
No blind hurry, no delay,
Mark the Daughters of the Night:
They follow in the track of Day,
In divine delight.

Shine on, sweet orbed Souls for aye,
For ever calm, for ever bright:
We ask not whither lies your way,
Nor whence ye came, nor what your light.
Be--still a dream throughout the day,
A blessing through the night.

_B. Cornwall_



Come live with me and be my Love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dale and field,
And all the craggy mountains yield.

There will we sit upon the rocks
And see the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

There will I make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle.

A gown made of the finest wool,
Which from our pretty lambs we pull,
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold.

A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my Love.

Thy silver dishes for thy meat
As precious as the gods do eat,
Shall on an ivory table be
Prepared each day for thee and me.

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Come live with me and be my Love.

_C. Marlowe_



See the Kitten on the wall,
Sporting with the leaves that fall,
Withered leaves--one--two--and three--
From the lofty elder tree!
Through the calm and frosty air
Of this morning bright and fair,
Eddying round and round they sink
Softly, slowly: one might think
From the motions that are made,
Every little leaf conveyed
Sylph or Fairy hither tending,
To this lower world descending,
Each invisible and mute,
In his wavering parachute.
--But the Kitten, how she starts,
Crouches, stretches, paws, and darts!
First at one, and then its fellow,
Just as light and just as yellow;
There are many now--now one--
Now they stop and there are none:
What intenseness of desire
In her upward eye of fire!
With a tiger-leap half-way
Now she meets the coming prey,
Lets it go as fast, and then
Has it in her power again:
Now she works with three or four,
Like an Indian conjuror;
Quick as he in feats of art,
Far beyond in joy of heart.
Were her antics played in the eye
Of a thousand standers-by,
Clapping hands with shouts and stare,
What would little Tabby care
For the plaudits of the crowd?
Over happy to be proud,
Over wealthy in the treasure
Of her own exceeding pleasure!

_W. Wordsworth_



As I a fare had lately past,
And thought that side to ply,
I heard one, as it were, in haste,
A boat! a boat! to cry;
Which as I was about to bring,
And came to view my fraught,
Thought I, what more than heavenly thing
Hath fortune hither brought?
She, seeing mine eyes still on her were,
Soon, smilingly, quoth she,
Sirrah, look to your rudder there,
Why look'st thou thus at me?
And nimbly stepp'd into my boat
With her a little lad,
Naked and blind, yet did I note
That bow and shafts he had,
And two wings to his shoulders fixt,
Which stood like little sails,
With far more various colours mixt
Than be your peacocks' tails!
I seeing this little dapper elf
Such arms as these to bear,
Quoth I, thus softly to myself,
What strange things have we here?
I never saw the like, thought I,
'Tis more than strange to me,
To have a child have wings to fly,
And yet want eyes to see.
Sure this is some devised toy,
Or it transform'd hath been,
For such a thing, half bird, half boy,
I think was never seen.
And in my boat I turn'd about,
And wistly view'd the lad,
And clearly I saw his eyes were out,
Though bow and shafts he had.
As wistly she did me behold,
How lik'st thou him? quoth she.
Why, well, quoth I, the better should,
Had he but eyes to see.
How sayst thou, honest friend, quoth she,
Wilt thou a 'prentice take?
I think, in time, though blind he be,
A ferryman he'll make.
To guide my passage-boat, quoth I,
His fine hands were not made;
He hath been bred too wantonly
To undertake my trade.
Why, help him to a master, then,
Quoth she, such youths be scant;
It cannot be but there be men
That such a boy do want.
Quoth I, when you your best have done,
No better way you'll find,
Than to a harper bind your son,
Since most of them are blind.
The lovely mother and the boy
Laugh'd heartily thereat,
As at some nimble jest or toy,
To hear my homely chat.
Quoth I, I pray you let me know,
Came he thus first to light,
Or by some sickness, hurt, or blow,
Deprived of his sight?
Nay, sure, quoth she, he thus was born.
'Tis strange, born blind! quoth I;
I fear you put this as a scorn
On my simplicity.
Quoth she, thus blind I did him bear.
Quoth I, if't be no lie,
Then he's the first blind man, I'll swear,
E'er practis'd archery.
A man! quoth she, nay, there you miss,
He's still a boy as now,
Nor to be elder than he is
The gods will him allow.
To be no elder than he is!
Then sure he is some sprite,
I straight reply'd. Again at this
The goddess laugh'd outright.
It is a mystery to me,
An archer, and yet blind!
Quoth I again, how can it be,
That he his mark should find?
The gods, quoth she, whose will it was
That he should want his sight,
That he in something should surpass,
To recompense their spite,
Gave him this gift, though at his game
He still shot in the dark,
That he should have so certain aim,
As not to miss his mark.
By this time we were come ashore,
When me my fare she paid,
But not a word she utter'd more,
Nor had I her bewray'd.
Of Venus nor of Cupid I
Before did never hear,
But that a fisher coming by
Then told me who they were.

_M. Drayton_



Under the greenwood tree,
Who loves to lie with me,
And tune his merry note
Unto the sweet bird's throat,
Come hither, come hither, come hither;
Here shall we see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.
Who doth ambition shun,
And loves to live in the sun,
Seeking the food he eats,
And pleased with what he gets,
Come hither, come hither, come hither;
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

_W. Shakespeare_



_Or Solitude_

Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray:
And, when I crossed the wild,
I chanced to see at break of day
The solitary child.

No mate, no comrade Lucy knew;
She dwelt on a wide moor,
--The sweetest thing that ever grew
Beside a human door!

You yet may spy the fawn at play,
The hare upon the green;
But the sweet face of Lucy Gray
Will never more be seen.

'To-night will be a stormy night--
You to the town must go;
And take a lantern, child, to light
Your mother through the snow.'

'That, Father, will I gladly do!
'Tis scarcely afternoon--
The minster-clock has just struck two,
And yonder is the moon!'

At this the Father raised his hook,
And snapped a faggot-band;
He plied his work;--and Lucy took
The lantern in her hand.

Not blither is the mountain roe:
With many a wanton stroke
Her feet disperse the powdery snow,
That rises up like smoke.

The storm came on before its time:
She wandered up and down;
And many a hill did Lucy climb;
But never reached the town.

The wretched parents all that night
Went shouting far and wide;
But there was neither sound nor sight
To serve them for a guide.

At day-break on a hill they stood
That overlooked the moor;
And thence they saw the bridge of wood,
A furlong from their door.

They wept, and, turning homeward, cried,
'In heaven we all shall meet!'
--When in the snow the mother spied
The print of Lucy's feet.

Then downward from the steep hill's edge
They tracked the footmarks small;
And through the broken hawthorn hedge,
And by the long stone wall;

And then an open field they crossed;
The marks were still the same;
They tracked them on, nor ever lost;
And to the bridge they came.

They followed from the snowy bank
Those footmarks, one by one,
Into the middle of the plank;
And further there were none!

--Yet some maintain that to this day
She is a living child;
That you may see sweet Lucy Gray
Upon the lonesome wild.

O'er rough and smooth she trips along,
And never looks behind;
And sings a solitary song
That whistles in the wind.

_W. Wordsworth_



How beautiful is the rain!
After the dust and the heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
In the narrow lane,
How beautiful is the rain!

How it clatters along the roofs,
Like the tramp of hoofs!
How it gushes and struggles out
From the throat of the overflowing spout!
Across the window-pane
It pours and pours;
And swift and wide,
With a muddy tide,
Like a river down the gutter roars
The rain, the welcome rain!

The sick man from his chamber looks
At the twisted brooks;
He can feel the cool
Breath of each little pool;
His fevered brain
Grows calm again,
And he breathes a blessing on the rain.

From the neighbouring school
Come the boys,
With more than their wonted noise
And commotion;
And down the wet streets
Sail their mimic fleets,
Till the treacherous pool
Engulfs them in its whirling
And turbulent ocean.

In the country on every side,
Where far and wide,
Like a leopard's tawny and spotted hide
Stretches the plain,
To the dry grass and the drier grain
How welcome is the rain!

In the furrowed land
The toilsome and patient oxen stand;
Lifting the yoke-encumbered head,
With their dilated nostrils spread,
They silently inhale
The clover-scented gale,
And the vapours that arise
From the well-watered and smoking soil.
For this rest in the furrow after toil
Their large and lustrous eyes
Seem to thank the Lord,
More than man's spoken word.

Near at hand,
From under the sheltering trees,
The farmer sees
His pastures and his fields of grain,
As they bend their tops
To the numberless beating drops
Of the incessant rain.
He counts it as no sin
That he sees therein
Only his own thrift and gain.

_H. W. Longfellow_



Here lies, whom hound did ne'er pursue
Nor swifter greyhound follow,
Whose foot ne'er tainted morning dew,
Nor ear heard huntsman's hallo!

Old Tiney, surliest of his kind,
Who, nurs'd with tender care,
And to domestic bounds confined,
Was still a wild Jack-hare.

Though duly from my hand he took
His pittance every night,
He did it with a jealous look,
And, when he could, would bite.

His diet was of wheaten bread,
And milk, and oats, and straw;
Thistles, or lettuces instead,
With sand to scour his maw.

On twigs of hawthorn he regaled,
On pippin's russet peel,
And when his juicy salads failed,
Sliced carrot pleased him well.

A Turkey carpet was his lawn,
Whereon he loved to bound,
To skip and gambol like a fawn,
And swing himself around.

His frisking was at evening hours,
For then he lost his fear,
But most before approaching showers,
Or when a storm drew near.

Eight years and five round-rolling moons
He thus saw steal away,
Dozing out all his idle noons,
And every night at play.

I kept him for his humours' sake,
For he would oft beguile
My heart of thoughts that made it ache,
And force me to a smile.

But now, beneath this walnut shade,
He finds his long last home,
And waits, in snug concealment laid,
Till gentler Puss shall come.

He, still more aged, feels the shocks
From which no care can save,
And, partner once of Tiney's box,
Must soon partake his grave.

_W. Cowper_



Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace
And saw within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold:--
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said,
'What writest thou?'--The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answer'd, 'The names of those who love the Lord.'
'And is mine one?' said Abou.

Pages: | 1 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 | | 5 | | 6 | | 7 | | 8 | | 9 | | 10 | | 11 | | Next |

Library mainpage -> Patmore, Coventry Kersey Dighton -> The Children's Garland from the Best Poets