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´╗┐Title: The Book of Joyous Children
Author: Riley, James Whitcomb, 1849-1916
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Book of Joyous Children" ***

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THE BOOK OF JOYOUS CHILDREN

[Illustration]

JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY



[Illustration]

THE BOOK OF JOYOUS CHILDREN

JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY


_Illustrated by_

J.W. VAWTER



  NEW YORK
  CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
  1902


     Copyright, 1902, by
    JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY
     ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
  -------------------------
  _Published October, 1902_



THE BOOK OF JOYOUS CHILDREN



[Illustration: "NOT IN CLASSIC LORE, BUT RICH IN THE CHILD-SAGAS OF THE
KITCHEN."]



  GRATEFULLY AND AFFECTIONATELY
  INSCRIBED
  TO
  JOEL CHANDLER HARRIS

       *       *       *       *       *



  _You who to the rounded prime_
    _Of a life of toil and stress_,
  _Still have kept the morning-time_
      _Of glad youth in heart and spirit_,
      _So your laugh, as children hear it_,
    _Seems their own, no less_,--
  _Take this book of childish rhyme_--
        _The Book of Joyous Children_.

  _Their first happiness on earth_
    _Here is echoed--their first glee_:
  _Rich, in sooth, the volume's worth_--
      _Not in classic lore, but rich in_
      _The child-sagas of the kitchen_;--
    _Therefore, take from me_
  _To your heart of childish mirth_
        _The Book of Joyous Children_.

       *       *       *       *       *



[Illustration]

  CONTENTS


  PROEM
  THE BOOK OF JOYOUS CHILDREN
  AN IMPROMPTU FAIRY-TALE
  DREAM-MARCH
  ELMER BROWN
  NO BOY KNOWS
  WHEN WE FIRST PLAYED "SHOW"
  A DIVERTED TRAGEDY
  THE RAMBO-TREE
  FIND THE FAVORITE
  THE BOY PATRIOT
  EXTREMES
  INTELLECTUAL LIMITATIONS
  A MASQUE OF THE SEASONS
  THOMAS THE PRETENDER
  LITTLE DICK AND THE CLOCK
  FOOL-YOUNGENSZ
  THE KATYDIDS
  BILLY AND HIS DRUM
  THE NOBLE OLD ELM
  THE PENALTY OF GENIUS
  EVENSONG
  THE TWINS
  THE LITTLE LADY
  "COMPANY MANNERS"
  IN FERVENT PRAISE OF PICNICS
  THE GOOD, OLD-FASHIONED PEOPLE
  THE BEST TIMES
  "HIK-TEE-DIK!"
  A CHRISTMAS MEMORY
  "OLD BOB WHITE"

  A SESSION WITH UNCLE SIDNEY:

    I ONE OF HIS ANIMAL STORIES
   II UNCLE BRIGHTENS UP
  III SINGS A "WINKY-TOODEN" SONG
   IV AND MAKES NURSERY RHYMES
      1 THE DINERS IN THE KITCHEN
      2 THE IMPERIOUS ANGLER
      3 THE GATHERING OF THE CLANS
      4 "IT"
      5 THE DARING PRINCE

  A DUBIOUS "OLD KRISS"
  A SONG OF SINGING
  THE JAYBIRD
  A BEAR FAMILY

  SOME SONGS AFTER MASTER-SINGERS:
     I SONG
    II TO THE CHILD JULIA
   III THE DOLLY'S MOTHER
    IV WIND OF THE SEA
     V SUBTLETY
    VI BORN TO THE PURPLE

  OLD MAN WHISKERY-WHEE-KUM-WHEEZE
  LITTLE-GIRL-TWO-LITTLE-GIRLS
  A GUSTATORY ACHIEVEMENT
  CLIMATIC SORCERY
  A PARENT REPRIMANDED
  THE TREASURE OF THE WISE MAN

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *



FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS


  NOT IN CLASSIC LOOK, BUT RICH IN THE CHILD-SAGAS OF THE KITCHEN
  KNEEL, ALL GLOWING, TO THE COOL SPRING
  NO BOY KNOWS WHEN HE GOES TO SLEEP
  JAMESY ON THE SLACK-ROPE
  ACROSS THE ORCHARD
  WHILE ALL THE ARMY, FOLLOWING, IN CHORUS CHEERS AND SINGS
  WHERE IT GOES WHEN THE FIRE GOES OUT?
  THE FAIRY QUEEN OF THE SEASONS
  PORE PA! PORE PA!
  SQUINT' OUR EYES AN' LAUGH' AGAIN
  HE'S A-MARCHIN' ROUND THE ROOM
  THE OLD TREE SAYS HE'S ALL OUR TREE
  THEREFORE READ NO LONGER
  SHE'S BUT A RACING SCHOOL-GIRL
  THEY WAS GOD'S PEOPLE
  THEM WUZ THE BEST TIMES EVER WUZ
  HE'S GO' HITCH UP, CHRIS'MUS-DAY, AN' COME TAKE ME BACK AGAIN
  WHEN WE DROVE TO HARMONY
  A BIG, HOLLOW, OLD OAK-TREE, WHICH HAD BEEN BLOWN DOWN BY A STORM
  THE YOUNG FOXES IN IT, ON THE HEARTH BESIDE HER
  AN' ALL BE POETS AN' ALL RECITE
  ALONG THE BRINK OF WILD BROOK-WAYS
  I LIKE TO WATCH HIM
  WHILE KATE PICKS BY, YET LOOKS NOT THERE
  LEND ME THE BREATH OF A FRESHENING GALE
  BOW TO ME IN THE WINDER THERE
  OUR "OLD-KRISS"-MILKMAN
  THE CHILDISH DREAMS IN HIS WISE OLD HEAD

       *       *       *       *       *



THE BOOK OF JOYOUS CHILDREN


  Bound and bordered in leaf-green,
    Edged with trellised buds and flowers
  And glad Summer-gold, with clean
      White and purple morning-glories
      Such as suit the songs and stories
    Of this book of ours,
  Unrevised in text or scene,--
        The Book of Joyous Children.

  Wild and breathless in their glee--
    Lawless rangers of all ways
  Winding through lush greenery
      Of Elysian vales--the viny,
      Bowery groves of shady, shiny
    Haunts of childish days.
  Spread and read again with me
        The Book of Joyous Children.

  What a whir of wings, and what
    Sudden drench of dews upon
  The young brows, wreathed, all unsought,
      With the apple-blossom garlands
      Of the poets of those far lands
    Whence all dreams are drawn
  Set herein and soiling not
        The Book of Joyous Children.

  In their blithe companionship
    Taste again, these pages through,
  The hot honey on your lip
      Of the sun-smit wild strawberry,
      Or the chill tart of the cherry;
    Kneel, all glowing, to
  The cool spring, and with it sip
        The Book of Joyous Children.

  As their laughter needs no rule,
    So accept their language, pray.--
  Touch it not with any tool:
      Surely we may understand it,--
      As the heart has parsed or scanned it
    Is a worthy way,
  Though found not in any School
        The Book of Joyous Children.


[Illustration: "KNEEL, ALL GLOWING, TO THE COOL SPRING."]


  Be a truant--know no place
    Of prison under heaven's rim!
  Front the Father's smiling face--
      Smiling, that _you_ smile the brighter
      For the heavy hearts made lighter,
    Since you smile with Him.
  Take--and thank Him for His grace--
        The Book of Joyous Children.

       *       *       *       *       *



AN IMPROMPTU FAIRY-TALE


[Illustration]


  _When I wuz ist a little bit_
      _o' weenty-teenty kid_
  _I maked up a Fairy-tale,_
      _all by myse'f, I did:--_



  I

  Wunst upon a time wunst
    They wuz a Fairy King,
  An' ever'thing he have wuz _gold--_,
    His clo'es, an' _ever_'thing!
  An' all the other Fairies
    In his goldun Palace-hall
  Had to hump an' hustle--
    'Cause he wuz bosst of all!



  II

  He have a goldun trumput,
    An' when he blow' on that,
  It's a sign he want' his boots,
    Er his coat er hat:
  They's a sign fer ever'thing,--
    An' all the Fairies knowed
  Ever' sign, an' come a-hoppin'
    When the King blowed!


[Illustration]



  III

  Wunst he blowed an' telled 'em all:
    "Saddle up yer bees--
  Fireflies is gittin' fat
    An' sassy as you please!--
  Guess we'll go a-huntin'!"
    So they hunt' a little bit,
  Till the King blowed "Supper-time,"
    Nen they all quit.


[Illustration]



  IV

  Nen they have a Banqut
    In the Palace-hall,
  An' ist et! an' et! an' et!
    Nen they have a _Ball_;
  An' when the _Queen_ o' Fairyland
    Come p'omenadin' through,
  The King says an' halts her,--
    "Guess I'll marry you!"


[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *



DREAM-MARCH


  "Wasn't it a funny dream!--perfectly bewild'rin'!--
    Last night, and night before, and night before that,
  Seemed like I saw the march o' regiments o' children,
    Marching to the robin's fife and cricket's rat-ta-tat!
  Lily-banners overhead, with the dew upon 'em,
    On flashed the little army, as with sword and flame;
  Like the buzz o' bumble-wings, with the honey on 'em,
    Came an eerie, cheery chant, chiming as it came:--

[Illustration]

  _Where go the children? Travelling! Travelling_!
    _Where go the children, travelling ahead_?
  _Some go to kindergarten; some go to day-school_;
    _Some go to night-school; and some go to bed_!

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

  Smooth roads or rough roads, warm or winter weather,
    On go the children, tow-head and brown,
  Brave boys and brave girls, rank and file together,
    Marching out of Morning-Land, over dale and down:

[Illustration]

  Some go a-gypsying out in country places--
    Out through the orchards, with blossoms on the boughs
  Wild, sweet, and pink and white as their own glad faces;
    And some go, at evening, calling home the cows.

[Illustration]

  _Where go the children? Travelling! Travelling_!
    _Where go the children, travelling ahead_?
  _Some go to foreign wars, and camps by the firelight_--
    _Some go to glory so; and some go to bed_!

[Illustration]

  Some go through grassy lanes leading to the city--
    Thinner grow the green trees and thicker grows the dust;
  Ever, though, to little people any path is pretty
    So it leads to newer lands, as they know it must.
  Some go to singing less; some go to list'ning;
    Some go to thinking over ever-nobler themes;
  Some go anhungered, but ever bravely whistling,
    Turning never home again only in their dreams.

  _Where go the children? Travelling! Travelling_!
    _Where go the children, travelling ahead_?
  _Some go to conquer things; some go to try them_;
    _Some go to dream them; and some go to bed_!

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *



[Illustration: ELMER BROWN]

ELMER BROWN


[Illustration]

  Awf'lest boy in this-here town
  Er anywheres is Elmer Brown!
  He'll mock you--yes, an' strangers, too,
  An' make a face an' yell at you,--
    "_Here's_ the way _you_ look!"

[Illustration]

  Yes, an' wunst in School one day,
  An' Teacher's lookin' wite that way,
  He helt his slate, an' hide his head,
  An' maked a face at _her_, an' said,--
    "_Here's_ the way _you_ look!"

[Illustration]

  An' sir! when Rosie Wheeler smile
  One morning at him 'crosst the aisle,
  He twist his face all up, an' black
  His nose wiv ink, an' whisper back,--
    "_Here's_ the way _you_ look!"

[Illustration]

  Wunst when his Aunt's all dressed to call,
  An' kiss him good-bye in the hall,
  An' latch the gate an' start away,
  He holler out to her an' say,--
    "_Here's_ the way _you_ look!"

[Illustration]

  An' when his Pa he read out loud
  The speech he maked, an' feel so proud
  It's in the paper--Elmer's Ma
  She ketched him--wite behind his Pa,--
    "_Here's_ the way _you_ look!"

[Illustration]

  Nen when his Ma she slip an' take
  Him in the other room an' shake
  Him good! w'y, he don't care--no-_sir_!--
  He ist look up an' laugh at her,--
    "_Here's_ the way _you_ look!"

       *       *       *       *       *



NO BOY KNOWS


  There are many things that boys may know--
  Why this and that are thus and so,--
  Who made the world in the dark and lit
  The great sun up to lighten it:
  Boys know new things every day--
  When they study, or when they play,--
  When they idle, or sow and reap--
  But no boy knows when he goes to sleep.

  Boys who listen--or should, at least,--
  May know that the round old earth rolls East;--
  And know that the ice and the snow and the rain--
  Ever repeating their parts again--
  Are all just water the sunbeams first
  Sip from the earth in their endless thirst,
  And pour again till the low streams leap.--
  But no boy knows when he goes to sleep.

  A boy may know what a long glad while
  It has been to him since the dawn's first smile,
  When forth he fared in the realm divine
  Of brook-laced woodland and spun-sunshine;--
  He may know each call of his truant mates,
  And the paths they went,--and the pasture-gates
  Of the 'cross-lots home through the dusk so deep.--
  But no boy knows when he goes to sleep.

  O I have followed me, o'er and o'er,
  From the flagrant drowse on the parlor-floor,
  To the pleading voice of the mother when
  I even doubted I heard it then--
  To the sense of a kiss, and a moonlit room,
  And dewy odors of locust-bloom--
  A sweet white cot--and a cricket's cheep.--
  But no boy knows when he goes to sleep.

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "NO BOY KNOWS WHEN HE GOES TO SLEEP."]

       *       *       *       *       *



WHEN WE FIRST PLAYED "SHOW"


  Wasn't it a good time,
      Long Time Ago--
  When we all were little tads
      And first played "Show"!--
  When every newer day
      Wore as bright a glow
  As the ones we laughed away--
      Long Time Ago!

  Calf was in the back-lot;
      Clover in the red;
  Bluebird in the pear-tree;
      Pigeons on the shed;
  Tom a-chargin' twenty pins
      At the barn; and Dan
  Spraddled out just like "The
      'Injarubber'-Man!"

  Me and Bub and Rusty,
      Eck and Dunk and Sid,
  'Tumblin' on the sawdust
      Like the A-rabs did;
  Jamesy on the slack-rope
    In a wild retreat,
  Grappling back, to start again--
    When he chalked his feet!

[Illustration]

  Wasn't Eck a wonder,
    In his stocking-tights?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "JAMESY ON THE SLACK-ROPE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

  Wasn't Dunk--his leaping lion--
    Chief of all delights!
  Yes, and wasn't "Little Mack"
    Boss of all the Show,--
  Both Old Clown and Candy-Butcher--
    Long Time Ago!

  Sid the Bareback-Rider;
    And--oh-me-oh-_my_!--
  Bub, the spruce Ring-master,
    Stepping round so spry!--
  In his little waist-and-trousers
    All made in one,
  Was there a prouder youngster
    Under the sun!

  And NOW--who will tell me,--
    Where are they all?
  Dunk's a sanatorium doctor,
    Up at Waterfall;
  Sid's a city street-contractor;
    Tom has fifty clerks;
  And Jamesy he's the "Iron Magnate"
    Of "The Hecla Works."

  And Bub's old and bald now,
    Yet still he hangs on,--
  Dan and Eck and "Little Mack,"
      Long, long gone!
  But wasn't it a good time,
      Long Time Ago--
  When we all were little tads
      And first played "Show"!

       *       *       *       *       *



A DIVERTED TRAGEDY


[Illustration]

  Gracie wuz allus a _careless_ tot;
    But Gracie dearly loved her doll,
      An' played wiv it on the winder-sill
  'Way up-stairs, when she ought to _not_,
    An' her muvver _telled_ her so an' all;
      But she won't _mind_ what _she_ say--till,
  First thing she know, her dolly fall
    Clean spang out o' the winder plumb
      Into the street! An' here Grace come
  Down-stairs, two at a time, ist wild
  An' a-screamin', "Oh, my child! my child!"

[Illustration]

  Jule wuz a-bringin' their basket o' clo'es
    Ist then into their hall down there,--
      An' she ist stop' when Gracie bawl,
    An' Jule she say "She ist declare
  She's ist in time!" An' what you s'pose?
      She sets her basket down in the hall,
  An' wite on top o' the snowy clo'es
    Wuz Gracie's dolly a-layin' there
      An' ist ain't bu'st ner hurt a-tall!

[Illustration]

  Nen Gracie smiled--ist _sobbed_ an' smiled--
  An' cried, "My child! my precious child!"

       *       *       *       *       *



THE RAMBO-TREE


  When Autumn shakes the rambo-tree--
    It's a long, sweet way across the orchard!--
  The bird sings low as the bumble-bee--
    It's a long, sweet way across the orchard!--
  The poor shote-pig he says, says he:
  "When Autumn shakes the rambo-tree
  There's enough for you and enough for me."--
    It's a long, sweet way across the orchard.

  _For just two truant lads like we_,
  _When Autumn shakes the rambo-tree_
  _There's enough for you and enough for me_--
    _It's a long, sweet way across the orchard_.

  When Autumn shakes the rambo-tree--
    It's a long, sweet way across the orchard!--
  The mole digs out to peep and see--
    It's a long, sweet way across the orchard!--
  The dusk sags down, and the moon swings free,
  There's a far, lorn call, "Pig-_gee_! 'Pig-_gee_!"
  And two boys--glad enough for three.--
    It's a long, sweet way across the orchard.

  _For just two truant lads like we_,
  _When Autumn shakes the rambo-tree_
  _There's enough for you and enough for me_--
    _It's a long, sweet way across the orchard_.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "ACROSS THE ORCHARD."]

       *       *       *       *       *



FIND THE FAVORITE


  Our three cats is Maltese cats,
    An' they's two that's white,--
  An' bofe of 'em's _deef_--an' that's
    'Cause their _eyes_ ain't right.--

[Illustration]

  Uncle say that _Huxley_ say
    Eyes of _white_ Maltese--
  When they don't match thataway--
    They're deef as you please!

  _Girls, they_ like our white cats best,
    'Cause they're white as snow,
  Yes, an' look the stylishest--
    But they're deef, you know!

  They don't know their names, an' don't
    Hear us when we call
  "Come in, Nick an' Finn!"--they won't
    Come fer us at all!

  But our _other_ cat, _he_ knows
    Mister Nick an' Finn,--
  Mowg's _his_ name,--an' when _he_ goes
    Fer 'em, they come in!

  Mowgli's _all_ his name--the same
    Me an' Muvver took
  Like the Wolf-Child's _other_ name,
    In "The Jungul Book."

  I bet Mowg's the smartest cat
    In the world!--_He's_ not
  _White_, but mousy-plush, with that
    Smoky gloss he's got!

  All's got little bells to ring,
    Round their neck; but none
  Only Mowg _knows_ anything--
    He's the only one!

  I ist 'spect sometimes he hate
    White cats' stupid ways:--
  He won't hardly 'sociate
    With 'em, lots o' days!

  Mowg wants in where _we_ air,--well,
    He'll ist take his paw
  An' ist ring an' ring his bell
    There till me er Ma

  Er _some_body lets him in
    Nen an' shuts the door.--
  An', when he wants out ag'in,
    Nen he'll ring some more.

  Ort to hear our Katy tell!
    She sleeps 'way up-stairs;
  An' last night she hear Mowg's bell
    Ringin' round _some_wheres...

  Trees grows by her winder.--So,
    She lean out an' see
  Mowg up there, 'way out, you know,
    In the clingstone-tree;--

  An'-sir! he ist _hint_ an' _ring_,--
    Till she ketch an' plat
  Them limbs;--nen he crawl an' spring
    In where Katy's at!

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *



THE BOY PATRIOT


  I want to be a Soldier!--
                    A Soldier!--
                        A Soldier!--
  I want to be a Soldier, with a sabre in my hand
  Or a little carbine rifle, or a musket on my shoulder,
  Or just a snare-drum, snarling in the middle of the band;
  I want to hear, high overhead, The Old Flag flap her wings
  While all the Army, following, in chorus cheers and sings;
  I want to hear the tramp and jar
    Of patriots a million,
  As gayly dancing off to war
    As dancing a cotillion.

  _I want to be a Soldier!_--
                    _A Soldier!_--
                        _A Soldier!_--
  _I want to be a Soldier, with a sabre in my hand_
  _Or a little carbine rifle, or a musket on my shoulder_,
  _Or just a snare-drum, snarling in the middle of the band_.

  I want to see the battle!--
                    The battle!--
                        The battle!--
  I want to see the battle, and be in it to the end;--
  I want to hear the cannon clear their throats and catch the prattle
  Of all the pretty compliments the enemy can send!--
  And then I know my wits will go,--and where I _should'nt_ be--
  Well, there's the spot, in any fight, that you may search for me.
  So, when our foes have had their fill,
    Though I'm among the dying,
  To see The Old Flag flying still,
    I'll laugh to leave her flying!

  _I want to be a Soldier!_--
                    _A Soldier!_--
                        _A Soldier!_--
  _I want to be a Soldier, with a sabre in my hand_
  _Or a little carbine rifle, or a musket on my shoulder_,
  _Or just a snare-drum, snarling in the middle of the band_.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "WHILE ALL THE ARMY, FOLLOWING, IN CHORUS CHEERS AND
SINGS."]

       *       *       *       *       *



EXTREMES


[Illustration]


I

  A little boy once played so loud
  That the Thunder, up in a thunder-cloud,
  Said, "Since I can't be heard, why, then
  I'll never, never thunder again!"

[Illustration]


II

  And a little girl once kept so still
  That she heard a fly on the window-sill
  Whisper and say to a lady-bird,--
  "She's the stilliest child I ever heard!"

       *       *       *       *       *



INTELLECTUAL LIMITATIONS


  Parunts knows lots more than us,
    But they don't know _all_ things,--
  'Cause we ketch 'em, lots o' times,
    Even on little small things.

  One time Winnie ask' her Ma,
    At the winder, sewin',
  What's the wind a-doin' when
    It's a-not a-_blowin_'?

  Yes, an' 'Del', that very day,
    When we're nearly froze out,
  He ask' Uncle _where_ it goes
    When the fire goes out?

  Nen _I_ run to ask my Pa,
    That way, somepin' funny;
  But I can't say ist but "Say,"
  When he turn to me an' say,
    "Well, what is it, Honey?"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "WHERE IT GOES WHEN THE FIRE GOES OUT?"]

       *       *       *       *       *



A MASQUE OF THE SEASONS


Scene.--_A kitchen.--Group of Children, popping corn.--The Fairy Queen
of the Seasons discovered in the smoke of the corn-popper.--Waving her
wand, and, with eerie, sharp, imperious ejaculations, addressing the
bespelled auditors, who neither see nor hear her nor suspect her
presence._


QUEEN

  Summer or Winter or Spring or Fall,--
  Which do you like the best of all?


LITTLE JASPER

  When I'm dressed warm as warm can be,
        And with boots, to go
        Through the deepest snow,
  Winter-time is the time for me!


QUEEN

  Summer or Winter or Spring or Fall,--
  Which do you like the best of all?


LITTLE MILDRED

  I like blossoms, and birds that sing;
      The grass and the dew,
      And the sunshine, too,--
  So, best of all I like the Spring.


QUEEN

  Summer or Winter or Spring or Fall,--
  Which do you like the best of all?


LITTLE MANDEVILLE

  O little friends, I most rejoice
      When I hear the drums
      As the Circus comes,--
  So Summer-time's my special choice.


QUEEN

  Summer or Winter or Spring or Fall,--
  Which do you like the best of all?


LITTLE EDITH

  Apples of ruby, and pears of gold,
      And grapes of blue
      That the bee stings through.--
  Fall--it is all that my heart can hold!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "THE FAIRY QUEEN OF THE SEASONS."]

       *       *       *       *       *

QUEEN

  Soh! my lovelings and pretty dears,
  You've _each_ a favorite, it appears,--
  Summer and Winter and Spring and Fall.--
  That's the reason I send them _all_!

       *       *       *       *       *



THOMAS THE PRETENDER


  Tommy's alluz playin' jokes,
  An' actin' up, an' foolin' folks;
    An' wunst one time he creep
  In Pa's big chair, he did, one night,
  An' squint an' shut his eyes bofe tight,
    An' say, "Now I 'm asleep."
  An' nen we knowed, an' Ma know' too,
  He _ain't_ asleep no more 'n you!

[Illustration]

  An' wunst he clumbed on our back'fence
  An' flop his arms an' nen commence
    To crow, like he's a hen;
  But when he failed off, like he done,
  He didn't fool us childern none,
    Ner didn't _crow_ again.
  An' our Hired Man, as he come by,
  Says, "Tom can't _crow_, but he kin _cry_."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "PORE PA! PORE PA!"]

       *       *       *       *       *



LITTLE DICK AND THE CLOCK


  When Dicky was sick
    In the night, and the clock,
  As he listened, said "Tick-
    Atty--tick-atty--tock!"
  He said that _it_ said,
    Every time it said "Tick,"
  It said "Sick," instead,
    And he _heard_ it say "Sick!"
  And when it said "Tick-
    Atty--tick-atty--tock,"
  He said it said "Sick-
    Atty--sick-atty--sock!"
  And he tried to _see_ then,
    But the light was too dim,
  Yet he _heard_ it again--
    And't was _talking_ to him!

  And then it said "Sick-
    Atty--sick-atty--sick
  You poor little Dick-
    Atty--Dick-atty--dock!
  Have you got the hick-
    Atties? Hi! send for Doc
  To hurry up quick
    Atty--quick-atty--quock,
  And heat a hot brick-
    Atty--brick-atty--brock,

[Illustration]

  And rikle-ty wrap it
  And clickle-ty clap it
    Against his cold feet-
      Al-ty--weep-aty--eepaty--
  _There_ he goes, slapit-
    Ty--slippaty--sleepaty!"

       *       *       *       *       *



FOOL-YOUNGENS


  Me an' Bert an' Minnie-Belle
  Knows a joke, an' we won't tell!
  No, we don't--'cause we don't know
  _Why_ we got to laughin' so;
  But we got to laughin' so,
      "We ist kep' a-laughin'.

  Wind wuz blowin' in the tree--
  An' wuz only ist us three
  Playin' there; an' ever' one
  Ketched each other, like we done,
  Squintin' up there at the sun
      Like we wuz a-laughin'.

  Nothin' funny anyway;
  But I laughed, an' so did they--
  An' we all three laughed, an' nen
  Squint' our eyes an' laugh' again:
  Ner we didn't ist _p'ten'_--
      We wuz _shore-'nough_ laughin'.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "SQUINT' OUR EYES AN' LAUGH' AGAIN"]

       *       *       *       *       *

  "We ist laugh' an' laugh', tel Bert
  Say he _can't_ quit an' it hurt.
  Nen I _howl_, an' Minnie-Belle
  She tear up the grass a spell
  An' ist stop her yeers an' _yell_
      Like she'd _die_ a-laughin'.

  Never sich fool-youngens yit!
  Nothin' funny,--not a bit!--
  But we laugh' so; tel we whoop'
  Purt'-nigh like we have the croup--
  All so hoarse we'd wheeze an' whoop
      An' ist _choke_ a-laughin'.

       *       *       *       *       *



THE KATYDIDS


  Sometimes I keep
  From going to sleep,
  To hear the katydids "cheep-cheep!"
  And think they say
  Their prayers that way;
  But _katydids_ don't have to _pray_!

[Illustration]

  I listen when
  They cheep again
  And so, I think, they're _singing_ then!
  But, no; I'm wrong,--
  The sound's too long
  And all-alike to be a song!

  I think, "Well, there!
  I do declare,
  If it is neither song nor prayer,
  It's _talk_--and quite
  Too vain and light
  For me to listen to all night!"

  And so, I smile,
  And think,--"Now I'll
  Not listen for a little while!"--
  Then, sweet and clear,
  Next "_cheep_" I hear
  'S a _kiss_.... Good morning, Mommy dear!

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *



BILLY AND HIS DRUM


  Ho! it's come, kids, come!
  "With a bim! bam! bum!
  Here's little Billy bangin' on his big bass drum!
  He's a-marchin' round the room,
  With his feather-duster plume
  A-noddin' an' a-bobbin' with his bim! bom! boom!

  Looky, little Jane an' Jim!
  Will you only look at him,
  A-humpin' an' a-thumpin' with his bam! bom! bim!
  Has the Day o' Judgment come
  Er the New Mi-len-nee-um?
  Er is it only Billy with his bim! bam! bim!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "HE'S A-MARCHIN' ROUND THE ROOM."]

       *       *       *       *       *

  I 'm a-comin'; yes, I am--
  Jim an' Sis, an' Jane an' Sam!
  We'll all march off with Billy an' his bom! bim! bam!
  Come _hurrawin'_ as you come,
  Er they'll think you're deef-an'-dumb
  Ef you don't hear little Billy an' his big bass drum!

       *       *       *       *       *



THE NOBLE OLD ELM


  O big old tree, so tall an' fine,
    Where all us childern swings an' plays,
  Though neighbers says you're on the line
    Between Pa's house an' Mr. Gray's,--
  Us childern used to almost fuss,
    Old Tree, about you when we 'd play.--
  We'd argy you belonged to _us_,
    An' them Gray-kids the other way!

  Till _Elsie_, one time _she_ wuz here
    An' playin' wiv us--Don't you mind,
  Old Mister Tree?--an' purty near
    She scolded us the hardest kind
  Fer quar'llin' 'bout you thataway,
    An' say _she'll_ find--ef we'll keep still--
  Whose tree you air _fer shore_, she say,
    An' settle it _fer good_, she will!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "THE OLD TREE SAYS HE'S ALL OUR TREE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

  So all keep still: An' nen she gone
    An' pat the Old Tree, an' says she,--
  "Whose air you, Tree?" an' nen let on
    Like she's a-list'nin' to the Tree,--
  An' nen she say, "It's settled,--'cause
    The Old Tree says he's _all_ our tree--
  His _trunk_ belongs to bofe your Pas,
    But _shade_ belongs to you an' me."

       *       *       *       *       *



THE PENALTY OF GENIUS

[Illustration]


  "When little 'Pollus Morton he's
    A-go' to speak a piece, w'y, nen
  The Teacher smiles an' says 'at she's
    Most proud, of all her little men
  An' women in her school--'cause 'Poll
  He allus speaks the best of all.

  An' nen she'll pat him on the cheek,
    An' hold her finger up at you
  _Before_ he speak'; an' _when_ he speak'
    It's ist some piece _she_ learn' him to!
  'Cause he's her favorite.... An' she
  Ain't pop'lar as she _ust_ to be!

  When 'Pollus Morton speaks, w'y, nen
    Ist all the other childern knows
  They're smart as him an' smart-again!--
    Ef they _can't_ speak an' got fine clo'es,
  Their Parunts loves 'em more 'n 'Poll-
  Us Morton, Teacher, speech, an' all!

       *       *       *       *       *



EVENSONG


  Lay away the story,--
    Though the theme is sweet,
  There's a lack of something yet,
    Leaves it incomplete:--
  There's a nameless yearning--
    Strangely undefined--
  For a story sweeter still
    Than the written kind.

  Therefore read no longer--
    I've no heart to hear
  But just something you make up,
    O my mother dear.--
  With your arms around me,
    Hold me, folded-eyed,--
  Only let your voice go on--
    I'll be satisfied.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "THEREFORE READ NO LONGER."]

       *       *       *       *       *



[Illustration: The TWINS]


"IGO AND AGO"


  We're The Twins from Aunt Marinn's,
            Igo and Ago.
  When Dad comes, the show begins!--
            Iram, coram, dago.

  Dad he says he named us two
            Igo and Ago
  For a poem he always knew,
            Iram, coram, dago.

  _Then_ he was a braw Scotchman--
            Igo and Ago.--
  _Now_ he's Scotch-Amer-i-can.
            Iram, coram, dago.

  "Hey!" he cries, and pats his knee,
            "Igo and Ago,
  My twin bairnies, ride wi' me--
            Iram, coram, dago!"

[Illustration]

  "Here," he laughs, "ye've each a leg,
            Igo and Ago,
  Gleg as Tam O'Shanter's 'Meg'!
            Iram, coram, dago!"

  Then we mount, with shrieks of mirth--
            Igo and Ago,--
  The two gladdest twins on earth!
            Iram, coram, dago.

  Wade and Silas-Walker cry,--
            "Igo and Ago--
  Annie's kissin' 'em 'good-bye'!"--
            Iram, coram, dago.

  Aunty waves us fond farewells.--
            "Igo and Ago,"
  Granny pipes, "tak care yersels!"
            Iram, coram, dago.

       *       *       *       *       *



THE LITTLE LADY


  O The Little Lady's dainty
    As the picture in a book,
  And her hands are creamy-whiter
    Than the water-lilies look;
  Her laugh's the undrown'd music
    Of the maddest meadow-brook.--
  Yet all in vain I praise The Little Lady!

  Her eyes are blue and dewy
    As the glimmering Summer-dawn,--
  Her face is like the eglantine
    Before the dew is gone;
  And were that honied mouth of hers
    A bee's to feast upon,
  He'd be a bee bewildered, Little Lady!

  Her brow makes light look sallow;
    And the sunshine, I declare,
  Is but a yellow jealousy
    Awakened by her hair--
  For O the dazzling glint of it
    Nor sight nor soul can bear,--
  So Love goes groping for The Little Lady.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "SHE'S BUT A RACING SCHOOL-GIRL."]

       *       *       *       *       *

  And yet she's neither Nymph nor Fay,
    Nor yet of Angelkind:--
  She's but a racing school-girl, with
    Her hair blown out behind
  And tremblingly unbraided by
    The fingers of the Wind,
  As it wildly swoops upon The Little Lady.

       *       *       *       *       *



"COMPANY MANNERS"


  When Bess gave her Dollies a Tea, said she,--
  "It's unpolite, when they's Company,
  To say you've drinked _two_ cups, you see,--
  But say you've drinked _a couple_ of tea."

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *



IN FERVENT PRAISE OF PICNICS


[Illustration]

[Illustration]

  Picnics is fun 'at's purty hard to beat.
  I purt'-nigh ruther go to them than _eat_.
  I purt'-nigh ruther go to them than go
  With our Char_lot_ty to the Trick-Dog Show.

       *       *       *       *       *



THE GOOD, OLD-FASHIONED PEOPLE


  When we hear Uncle Sidney tell
    About the long-ago
  An' old, old friends he loved so well
    When _he_ was young--My-oh!--
  Us childern all wish _we'd 'a'_ bin
    A-livin' then with Uncle,--so
  We could a-kindo' happened in
    On them old friends he used to know!--
      The good, old-fashioned people--
      The hale, hard-working people--
      The kindly country people
        'At Uncle used to know!

  They was God's people, Uncle says,
    An' gloried in His name,
  An' worked, without no selfishness,
    An' loved their neighbers same
  As they was kin: An' when they biled
    Their tree-molasses, in the Spring,
  Er butchered in the Fall, they smiled
    An' sheered with all jist ever'thing!--

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "THEY WAS GOD'S PEOPLE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

      The good, old-fashioned people--
      The hale, hard-working people--
      The kindly country people
        'At Uncle used to know!

  He tells about 'em, lots o' times,
    Till we'd all ruther hear
  About 'em than the Nurs'ry Rhymes
    Er Fairies--mighty near!--
  Only sometimes he stops so long
    An' then talks on so low an' slow,
  It's purt'-nigh sad as any song
    To listen to him talkin' so
      Of the good, old-fashioned people--
      The hale, hard-working people--
      The kindly country people
        'At Uncle used to know!

       *       *       *       *       *



THE BEST TIMES


[Illustration]

  _When Old Folks they wuz young like us_
  _An' little as you an' me_,--

[Illustration]

  _Them wuz the best times ever wuz_
  _Er ever goin' to be_!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "THEM WUZ THE BEST TIMES EVER WUZ."]

       *       *       *       *       *



"HIK-TEE-DIK!"

THE WAR-CRY OF BILLY AND BUDDY


[Illustration]

  When two little boys--renowned but for noise--
    Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!--
  May hurt a whole school, and the head it employs,
    Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!
  Such loud and hilarious pupils indeed
  Need learning--and yet something further they need,
  Though fond hearts that love them may sorrow and bleed.
    Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!

  O the schoolmarm was cool, and in no wise a fool;
    Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!
  And in ruling her ranks it was _her_ rule to _rule_;
    Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!
  So when these two pupils conspired, every day,
  Some mad piece of mischief, with whoop and hoo-ray,
  That hurt yet defied her,--how happy were they!--
    Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!

  At the ring of the bell they 'd rush in with a yell--
    Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!
  And they'd bang the school-door till the plastering fell,
    Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!
  They'd clinch as they came, and pretend not to see
  As they knocked her desk over--then, _My!_ and _O-me!_
  How awfully sorry they'd both seem to be!
    Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!

[Illustration]

  This trick seemed so neat and so safe a conceit,--
    Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!--
  They played it three times--though the third they were beat;
    Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!
  For the teacher, she righted her desk--raised the lid
  And folded and packed away each little kid--
  Closed the incident so--yes, and locked it, she did--
    Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *



A CHRISTMAS MEMORY


  Pa he bringed me here to stay
    'Til my Ma she's well.--An' nen
  He's go' hitch up, Chris'mus-day,
    An' come take me back again
  Wher' my Ma's at! Won't I be
  Tickled when he comes fer me!

  My Ma an' my A'nty they
    'Uz each-uvver's sisters. Pa--
  A'nty telled me, th' other day,--
    He comed here an' married Ma....
  A'nty said nen, "Go run play,
    I must work now!" ... An' I saw,
  When she turn' her face away,
    She 'uz cryin'.--An' nen I
    'Tend-like I "run play"--an' cry.

  This-here house o' A'nty's wher'
  They 'uz borned--my Ma an' her!--
  An' her Ma 'uz my Ma's Ma,
  An' her Pa 'uz my Ma's Pa--

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "HE'S GO' HITCH UP, CHRIS'MUS-DAY, AN' COME TAKE ME BACK
AGAIN."]

       *       *       *       *       *

  Ain't that funny?--An' they're dead:
  An' this-here's "th' ole Homestead."--
  An' my A'nty said, an' cried,
  It's mine, too, ef my Ma died--
  Don't know what she mean--'cause my
  Ma she's nuvver go' to die!

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

  When Pa bringed me here 't 'uz night--
    'Way dark night! An' A'nty spread
  Me a piece--an' light the light
    An' say I must go to bed.--
    I cry not to---but Pa said,
  "Be good boy now, like you telled
    Mommy 'at you're go' to be!"
    An', when he 'uz kissin' me
      My good night, his cheeks' all wet
  An' taste salty.--An' he held
    Wite close to me an' rocked some
    An' langhed-like--'til A'nty come
      Git me while he's rockin' yet.

  A'nty he'p me, 'til I be
  Purt'-nigh strip-pud--nen hug me
  In bofe arms an' lif' me 'way
  Up in her high bed--an' pray
    Wiv me,--'bout my Ma--an' Pa--
  An' ole Santy Claus--an' Sleigh--
    An' Reindeers an' little Drum--
    Yes, an' Picture-books, "Tom Thumb,"
  An' "Three Bears," an' ole "Fee-Faw"--

      Yes, an' "Tweedle-Dee" an' "Dum,"
      An' "White Knight" an' "Squidjicum,"
  An' most things you ever saw!--
      An' when A'nty kissed me, she
      'Uz all cryin' over me!

  Don't want Santy Claus--ner things
  Any kind he ever brings!--
  Don't want A'nty!--Don't want Pa!--
  I ist only want my Ma!

       *       *       *       *       *



"OLD BOB WHITE"


  Old Bob White's a funny bird!--
  Funniest you ever heard!--
    Hear him whistle,--"Old--Bob--_White_!"
  You can hear him, clean from where
  He's 'way 'crosst the wheat-field there,
  Whistlin' like he didn't care--
            "Old-Bob-_White_!"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: WHEN WE DROVE TO HARMONY]

       *       *       *       *       *

  Whistles alluz ist the same--
  So's we won't fergit his name!--
    Hear him say it?--"Old--Bob--_White_!"
  _There!_ he's whizzed off down the lane--
  Gone back where his folks is stayin'--
  Hear him?--There he goes again,--
            "Old--Bob--_White_!"

  When boys ever tries to git
  Clos't to him--how quick he'll quit
    Whistlin' his "Old-Bob--_White_!"
  "_Whoo-rhoo-rhoo!_" he's up an' flew,
  Ist a-purt'-nigh skeerin' you
  Into fits!--'At's what he'll do.--
            "Old-Bob--_White_!"

  Wunst our Hired Man an' me,
  When we drove to Harmony,
    Saw one, whistlin' "Old--Bob--_White_!"
  An' we drove _wite clos't_, an' I
  Saw him an' he didn't fly,--
  Birds likes horses, an' that's why.
            "Old--Bob--_White_!"

  One time, Uncle Sidney says,
  Wunst he rob' a Bob White's nes'
    Of the eggs of "Old Bob White";
  Nen he hatched 'em wiv a hen
  An' her little chicks, an' nen
  They ist all flewed off again!
            "Old--Bob--_White_!"

       *       *       *       *       *



A SESSION WITH UNCLE SIDNEY

[1869]


I

ONE OF HIS ANIMAL STORIES


  Now, Tudens, you sit on _this_ knee--and 'scuse
  It having no side-saddle on;--and, Jeems,
  You sit on _this_--and don't you wobble so
  And chug my old shins with your coppertoes;--
  And, all the rest of you, range round someway,--
  Ride on the rockers and hang to the arms
  Of our old-time splint-bottom carryall!--
  Do anything but _squabble_ for a place,
  Or push or shove or scrouge, or breathe _out loud_,
  Or chew wet, or knead taffy in my beard!--
  Do _any_thing almost--act _any_way,--
  Only _keep still_, so I can hear myself
  Trying to tell you "just one story more!"

  One winter afternoon my father, with
  A whistle to our dog, a shout to us--
  His two boys--six and eight years old we were,--
  Started off to the woods, a half a mile
  From home, where he was chopping wood. We raced,
  We slipped and slid; reaching, at last, the north
  Side of Tharp's corn-field.--There we struck what seemed
  To be a coon-track--so we all agreed:
  And father, who was not a hunter, to
  Our glad surprise, proposed we follow it.
  The snow was quite five inches deep; and we,
  Keen on the trail, were soon far in the woods.
  Our old dog, "Ring," ran nosing the fresh track
  With whimpering delight, far on ahead.
  After following the trail more than a mile
  To northward, through the thickest winter woods
  We boys had ever seen,--all suddenly
  He seemed to strike _another_ trail; and then
  Our joyful attention was drawn to
  Old "Ring"--leaping to this side, then to that,
  Of a big, hollow, old oak-tree, which had
  Been blown down by a storm some years before.
  There--all at once--out leapt a lean old fox
  From the black hollow of a big bent limb,--
  Hey! how he scudded!--but with our old "Ring"
  Sharp after him--and father after "Ring"--
  We after father, near as we could hold!
  And father noticed that the fox kept just
  About four feet ahead of "Ring"--just _that_--
  No farther, and no nearer! Then he said:--
  "There are young foxes in that tree back there,

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "A BIG, HOLLOW, OLD OAK-TREE, WHICH HAD BEEN BLOWN DOWN
BY A STORM."]

       *       *       *       *       *

  And the mother-fox is drawing 'Ring' and us
  Away from their nest there!" "Oh, le' 's go back!--
  Do le' 's go back!" we little vandals cried,--
  "Le' 's go back, quick, and find the little things--
  _Please_, father!--Yes, and take 'em home for pets--
  'Cause 'Ring' he'll kill the old fox anyway!"
  So father turned at last, and back we went,
  And father chopped a hole in the old tree
  About ten feet below the limb from which
  The old fox ran, and--Bless their little lives!--
  There, in the hollow of the old tree-trunk--
  There, on a bed of warm dry leaves and moss--
  There, snug as any bug in any rug--
  We found--one--two--three--four, and, yes-sir, _five_
  Wee, weenty-teenty baby-foxes, with
  Their eyes just barely opened--_Cute_?--my-oh!--
  _The_ cutest--the most cunning little things
  Two boys ever saw, in all their lives!
  "Raw weather for the little fellows _now_!"
  Said father, as though talking to himself,--
  "Raw weather, and no home _now_!"--And off came
  His warm old "waumus"; and in that he wrapped
  The helpless little animals, and held
  Them soft and warm against him as he could,--
  And home we happy children followed him.--
  _Old "Ring"_ did not reach home till nearly dusk:
  The mother-fox had led him a long chase--

  "Yes, and a fool's chase, too!" he seemed to say,
  And looked ashamed to hear us _praising_ him.
  But, _mother_--well, we _could not_ understand
  _Her_ acting as she did--and we so _pleased_!
  I can see yet the look of pained surprise
  And deep compassion of her troubled face
  When father very gently laid his coat,
  With the young foxes in it, on the hearth
  Beside her, as she brightened up the fire.
  She urged--for the old fox's sake and theirs--
  That they be taken back to the old tree;
  But father--for _our_ wistful sakes, no doubt--
  Said we would keep them, and would try our best
  To raise them. And at once he set about
  Building a snug home for the little things
  Out of an old big bushel-basket, with
  Its fractured handle and its stoven ribs:
  So, lining and padding this all cosily,
  He snuggled in its little tenants, and
  Called in John Wesley Thomas, our hired man,
  And gave him in full charge, with much advice
  Regarding the just care and sustenance of
  _Young_ foxes.--"John," he said, "you feed 'em _milk_--
  _Warm_ milk, John Wesley! Yes, and _keep 'em by_
  _The stove_--and keep your stove _a-roarin'_, too,
  Both night and day!--And keep 'em _covered_ up--
  Not _smothered_, John, but snug and comfortable.--

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "THE YOUNG FOXES IN IT, ON THE HEARTH BESIDE HER."]

       *       *       *       *       *

  And now, John Wesley Thomas, first and last,--
  You feed 'em _milk_--_fresh_ milk--and always _warm_--
  Say five or six or seven times a day--
  Of course we'll grade that by the way they _thrive_."
  But, for all sanguine hope, and care, as well,
  The little fellows _did not_ thrive at all.--
  Indeed, with _all_ our care and vigilance,
  By the third day of their captivity
  The last survivor of the fated five
  Squeaked, like some battered little rubber toy
  Just clean worn out.--And that's just what it was!

  And--nights,--the cry of the mother-fox for her young
  Was heard, with awe, for long weeks afterward.
  And we boys, every night, would go to the door
  And, peering out in the darkness, listening,
  Could hear the poor fox in the black bleak woods
  Still calling for her little ones in vain.
  As, all mutely, we returned to the warm fireside,
  Mother would say: "How would you like for _me_
  To be out there, this dark night, in the cold woods,
  Calling for _my_ children?"

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *



II

UNCLE BRIGHTENS UP--


[Illustration]

  Uncle he says 'at 'way down in the sea
  Ever'thing's ist like it _used_ to be:--
  He says they's mermaids, an' mermens, too,
  An' little merchildern, like me an' you--
  Little merboys, with tops an' balls,
  An' little mergirls, with little merdolls.

[Illustration]

  Uncle Sidney's vurry proud
    Of little Leslie-Janey,
  'Cause she's so smart, an' goes to school
    Clean 'way in Pennsylvany!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "AN' ALL BE POETS AN' ALL RECITE."]

       *       *       *       *       *

  She print' an' sent a postul-card
    To Uncle Sidney, telling
  How glad he'll be to hear that she
    "Toock the onners in Speling."

  Uncle he learns us to rhyme an' write
  An' all be poets an' all recite:
  His little-est poet's his little-est niece,
  An' this is her little-est poetry-piece.

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *



III

SINGS A "WINKY-TOODEN" SONG--


[Illustration]

  O here's a little rhyme for the Spring- or Summer-time--
    An a-ho-winky-tooden-an-a-ho!--
  Just a little bit o' tune you can twitter, May or June,
    An a-ho-winky-tooden-an-a-ho!
  It's a song that soars and sings,
  As the birds that twang their wings
  Or the katydids and things
    Thus and so, don't you know,
    An a-ho-winky-tooden-an-a-ho!

  It's a song just broken loose, with no reason or excuse--
    An a-ho-winky-tooden-an-a-ho!
  You can sing along with it--or it matters not a bit--
    An a-ho-winky-tooden-an-a-ho!
  It's a lovely little thing
  That 'most any one could sing
  With a ringle-dingle-ding,
    Soft and low, don't you know,
    An a-ho-winky-tooden-an-a-ho!

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration]



IV

AND MAKES NURSERY RHYMES



1

THE DINERS IN THE KITCHEN


[Illustration]

  Our dog Fred
  Et the bread.

[Illustration]

  Our dog Dash
  Et the hash.

[Illustration]

  Our dog Pete
  Et the meat.

[Illustration]

  Our dog Davy
  Et the gravy.

[Illustration]

  Our dog Toffy
  Et the coffee.

[Illustration]

  Our dog Jake
  Et the cake.

[Illustration]

  Our dog Trip
  Et the dip.

  And--the worst,
  From the first,--

[Illustration]

  Our dog Fido
  Et the pie-dough.

       *       *       *       *       *



2

THE IMPERIOUS ANGLER


  Miss Medairy Dory-Ann
  Cast her line and caught a man,

[Illustration]

  But when he looked so pleased, alack!
  She unhooked and plunked him back.--
  "I never like to catch what I can,"
  Said Miss Medairy Dory-Ann.

       *       *       *       *       *



3

THE GATHERING OF THE CLANS


[_Voice from behind high board-fence_.]

[Illustration]

  "Where's the crowd that dares to go
  Where I dare to lead?--you know!"

[Illustration]

  "Well, here's _one_!"
  Shouts Ezry Dunn.

[Illustration]

  "Count me _two_!"
  Yells Cootsy Drew.

[Illustration]

  "Here's yer _three_!"
  Sings Babe Magee.

[Illustration]

  "Score me _four_!"
  Roars Leech-hole Moore.

[Illustration]

  "Tally--_five_!"
  Howls Jamesy Clive.

[Illustration]

  "I make _six_!"
  Chirps Herbert Dix.

[Illustration]

  "Punctchul!--_seven_!"
  Pipes Runt Replevin.

[Illustration]

  "Mark me _eight_!"
  Grunts Mealbag Nate.

[Illustration]

  "I'm yet _nine_!"
  Growls "Lud'rick" Stein.

[Illustration]

  "Hi! here's _ten_!"
  Whoops Catfish Ben.

[Illustration]

  "And now we march, in daring line,
  For the banks of Brandywine!"

       *       *       *       *       *



4

"IT"


  A wee little worm in a hickory-nut
    Sang, happy as he could be,--

[Illustration]

  "O I live in the heart of the whole round world,
    And it all belongs to me!"

       *       *       *       *       *



5

THE DARING PRINCE


  A daring prince, of the realm Rangg Dhune,
  Once went up in a big balloon

[Illustration]

  That caught and stuck on the horns of the moon,
  And he hung up there till next day noon--
  When all at once he exclaimed, "Hoot-toot!"
  And then came down in his parachute.

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *



A DUBIOUS "OLD KRISS"


[Illustration]

  Us-folks is purty _pore_--but Ma
  She's waitin'--two years more--tel Pa
  He serve his term out. Our Pa he--
  _He's in the Penitenchurrie_!

  Now don't you never _tell_!--'cause _Sis_,
  The _baby_, _she_ don't know he is.--
  'Cause she wuz only four, you know,
  He kissed her last an' hat to go!

  Pa alluz liked Sis best of all
  Us childern.--'Spect it's 'cause she fall
  "When she'uz ist a _child_, one day--
  An' make her back look thataway.

  Pa--'fore he be a burglar--he's
  A locksmiff, an' maked locks, an' keys,
  An' knobs you pull fer bells to ring,
  An' he could ist make _anything_!--

[Illustration]

  'Cause our Ma say he can!--An' this
  Here little pair o' crutches Sis
  Skips round on--Pa maked _them_--yes-sir!--
  An' silivur-plate-name here fer her!

  Pa's out o' work when Chris'mus come
  One time, an' stay away from home,
  An' 's drunk an' 'buse our Ma, an' swear
  They ain't no "Old Kriss" anywhere!

  An' Sis she alluz say they wuz
  A' Old Kriss--an' she alluz does.
  But ef they is a' Old Kriss, why,
  When's Chris'mus, Ma she alluz cry?

  This Chris'mus _now_, we live here in
  Where Ma's rent's alluz due ag'in--
  An' she "_ist slaves_"--I heerd her say
  She did--ist them words thataway!

[Illustration]

  An' th'other night, when all's so cold
  An' stove's 'most out--our Ma she rolled
  Us in th'old feather-bed an' said,
  "To-morry's Chris'mus--go to bed,

  "An' thank yer blessed stars fer this--
  We don't _'spect_ nothin' from Old Kriss!"
  An' cried, an' locked the door, an' prayed,
  An' turned the lamp down.... An' I laid

  There, thinkin' in the dark ag'in,
  "Ef _wuz_ Old Kriss, he can't git in,
  'Cause ain't no chimbly here at all--
  Ist old stovepipe stuck frue the wall!"

  I sleeped nen.--An' wuz dreamin' some
  When I waked up an' morning's come,--
  Fer our Ma she wuz settin' square
  Straight up in bed, a-readin' there

  Some letter 'at she 'd read, an' quit,
  An' nen hold like she's huggin' it.--
  An' diamon' ear-rings she don't _know_
  Wuz in her ears tel I say so--

  An' wake the rest up. An' the sun
  In frue the winder dazzle-un
  Them eyes o' Sis's, wiv a sure-
  Enough gold chain Old Kriss bringed to 'er!

  An' _all_ of us git gold things!--Sis,
  Though, say she know it "_ain't_ Old Kriss--
  He kissed her, so she waked an' saw
  Him skite out--an' it wuz her Pa."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "ALONG THE BRINK OF WILD BROOK-WAY."]

       *       *       *       *       *



A SONG OF SINGING


  Sing! gangling lad, along the brink
    Of wild brook-ways of shoal and deep,
  Where killdees dip, and cattle drink,
    And glinting little minnows leap!
  Sing! slimpsy lass who trips above
    And sets the foot-log quivering!
  Sing! bittern, bumble-bee, and dove--
    Sing! Sing! Sing!

  Sing as you will, O singers all
    Who sing because you _want_ to sing!
  Sing! peacock on the orchard wall,
    Or tree-toad by the trickling spring!
  Sing! every bird on every bough--
    Sing! every living, loving thing--
  Sing any song, and anyhow,
    But Sing! Sing! Sing!

       *       *       *       *       *



THE JAYBIRD


  The Jaybird he's my _favorite_
    Of all the birds they is!
  I think he's quite a stylish sight
    In that blue suit of his:
  An' when he' lights an' shuts his wings,
    His coat's a "cutaway"--
  I guess it's only when he sings
    You'd know he wuz a jay.

  I like to watch him when he's lit
    In top of any tree,
  'Cause all birds git wite out of it
    When _he_ 'lights, an' they see
  How proud he act', an' swell an' spread
    His chest out more an' more,
  An' raise the feathers on his head
    Like it's cut pompadore!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "I LIKE TO WATCH HIM."]

       *       *       *       *       *



A BEAR FAMILY


[Illustration]

  Wunst, 'way West in Illinoise,
  Wuz two Bears an' their two boys:
  An' the two boys' names, you know,
  Wuz--like _ours_ is,--Jim an' Jo;
  An' their _parunts'_ names wuz same's,
  All big grown-up people's names,--
  Ist _Miz_ Bear, the neighbers call
  'Em, an' _Mister_ Bear--'at's all.
  Yes--an' Miz Bear scold him, too,
  Ist like grown folks _shouldn't_ do!

[Illustration]

  Wuz a grea'-big river there,
  An', 'crosst that, 's a mountain where
  Old Bear said some day he'd go,
  Ef she don't quit scoldin'so!
  So, one day when he been down
  The river, fishin', 'most to town,
  An' come back 'thout no fish a-tall,
  An' Jim an' Jo they run an' bawl
  An' tell their ma their pa hain't fetch'
  No fish,--she scold again an' ketch
  Her old broom up an' biff him, too.--

[Illustration]

  An' he ist cry, an' say, "_Boo-hoo_!
  I _told_ you what I 'd do some day'."
  An' he ist turned an' runned away
  To where's the grea'-big river there,
  An' ist _splunged_ in an' swum to where
  The mountain's at, 'way th'other side,
  An' clumbed up there. An' Miz Bear _cried_--
  An' little Jo an' little Jim--
  Ist like their ma--bofe cried fer him!--
  But he clumbed on, _clean out o' sight_,
  He wuz so mad!--An' served 'em right!

  Nen--when the Bear got 'way on top
  The mountain, he heerd somepin' flop
  Its wings--an' somepin' else he heerd
  A-rattlin'-like.--An' he wuz _skeerd_,
  An' looked 'way up, an'--_Mercy sake!_--

[Illustration]

  It wuz a' Eagul an' a SNAKE!
  An'-sir! the Snake, he bite an' kill'
  The Eagul, an' they bofe fall till
  They strike the ground--_k'spang-k'spat!_--
  Wite where the Bear wuz standin' at!
  An' when here come the Snake at him,
  The Bear he think o' little Jim
  An' Jo, he did--an' their ma, too,--
  All safe at home; an' he ist flew
  Back down the mountain--an' could hear
  The old Snake rattlin', sharp an' clear,
  Wite clos't behind!--An' Bear he's so
  All tired out, by time, you know,
  He git down to the river there,
  He know' he can't _swim_ back to where
  His folks is at. But ist wite nen
  He see a boat an' six big men

[Illustration]

  'At's been a-shootin' ducks: An' so
  He skeerd them out the boat, you know,
  An' ist jumped in--an' Snake _he_ tried
  To jump in, too, but failed outside
  Where all the water wuz; an' so
  The Bear grabs one the things you row
  The boat wiv an' ist whacks the head
  Of the old Snake an' kills him dead!--

  An' when he's killed him dead, w'y, nen
  _The old Snake's drownded dead again_!
  Nen Bear set in the boat an' bowed
  His back an' rowed--an' rowed--an' rowed--
  Till he's safe home--so tired he can't
  Do nothin' but lay there an' pant
  An' tell his childern, "Bresh my coat!"
  An' tell his wife, "Go chain my boat!"
  An' they're so glad he's back, they say
  "They _knowed_ he's comin' thataway
  To ist surprise the dear ones there!"
  An' Jim an' Jo they dried his hair

[Illustration]

  An' pulled the burrs out; an' their ma
  She ist set there an' helt his paw
  Till he wuz sound asleep, an' nen
  She tell' him she won't scold again--
      Never--never--never--
      Ferever an' ferever!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SOME SONGS AFTER MASTER SINGERS]



SOME SONGS AFTER MASTER SINGERS


I

SONG

[W.S.]


  With a hey! and a hi! and a hey-ho rhyme!
      O the shepherd lad
      He is ne'er so glad
  As when he pipes, in the blossom-time,
      So rare!
  While Kate picks by, yet looks not there.
      So rare! so rare!
  _With a hey! and a hi! and a ho!_
  _The grasses curdle where the daisies blow!_

  With a hey! and a hi! and a hey-ho vow!
      Then he sips her face
      At the sweetest place--
  And ho! how white is the hawthorn now!--
      So rare!--
  And the daisied world rocks round them there.
      So rare! so rare!
  _With a hey! and a hi! and a ho!_
  _The grasses curdle where the daisies blow!_

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "WHILE KATE PICKS BY, YET LOOKS NOT THERE."]

       *       *       *       *       *



II

TO THE CHILD JULIA

[R.H.]


  Little Julia, since that we
  May not as our elders be,
  Let us blithely fill the days
  Of our youth with pleasant plays.
  First we'll up at earliest dawn,
  While as yet the dew is on
  The sooth'd grasses and the pied
  Blossomings of morningtide;
  Next, with rinsed cheeks that shine
  As the enamell'd eglantine,
  We will break our fast on bread
  With both cream and honey spread;
  Then, with many a challenge-call,
  We will romp from house and hall,
  Gypsying with the birds and bees
  Of the green-tress'd garden trees.
  In a bower of leaf and vine
  Thou shalt be a lady fine
  Held in duress by the great
  Giant I shall personate.
  Next, when many mimics more
  Like to these we have played o'er,

[Illustration]

  We'll betake us home-along
  Hand in hand at evensong.

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *



III

THE DOLLY'S MOTHER

[W.W.]


  A little maid, of summers four--
    Did you compute her years,--
  And yet how infinitely more
    To me her age appears:

  I mark the sweet child's serious air,
    At her unplayful play,--
  The tiny doll she mothers there
    And lulls to sleep away,

  Grows--'neath the grave similitude--
    An infant real, to me,
  And _she_ a saint of motherhood
    In hale maturity.

[Illustration]

  So, pausing in my lonely round,
    And all unseen of her,
  I stand uncovered--her profound
    And abject worshipper.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "LEND ME THE BREATH OF A FRESHENING GALE."]

       *       *       *       *       *



IV

WIND OF THE SEA

[A.T.]


  Wind of the Sea, come fill my sail--
  Lend me the breath of a freshening gale
    And bear my port-worn ship away!
  For O the greed of the tedious town--
  The shutters up and the shutters down!
    Wind of the Sea, sweep over the bay
      And bear me away!--away!

  Whither you bear me, Wind of the Sea,
  Matters never the least to me:
    Give me your fogs, with the sails adrip,
  Or the weltering path thro' the starless night--
  On, somewhere, is a new daylight
    And the cheery glint of another ship
      As its colors dip and dip!

[Illustration]

  Wind of the Sea, sweep over the bay
    And bear me away!--away!

       *       *       *       *       *



V

SUBTLETY

[R.B.]


  Whilst little Paul, convalescing, was staying
  Close indoors, and his boisterous classmates paying

[Illustration]

    Him visits, with fresh school-notes and surprises,--
  With nettling pride they sprung the word "Athletic,"
  With much advice and urgings sympathetic
    Anent "Athletic exercises." Wise as
  Lad might look, quoth Paul: "I've pondered o'er that
  'Athletic,' but I mean to take, before that,
    Downstairic and outdooric exercises."

       *       *       *       *       *



VI

BORN TO THE PURPLE

[W.M.]


  Most-like it was this kingly lad
  Spake out of the pure joy he had
  In his child-heart of the wee maid
  Whose eerie beauty sudden laid
  A spell upon him, and his words
  Burst as a song of any bird's:--

  A peerless Princess thou shalt be,
  Through wit of love's rare sorcery:
  To crown the crown of thy gold hair
  Thou shalt have rubies, bleeding there
  Their crimson splendor midst the marred
  Pulp of great pearls, and afterward

[Illustration]

  Leaking in fainter ruddy stains
  Adown thy neck-and-armlet-chains
  Of turquoise, chrysoprase, and mad
  Light-frenzied diamonds, dartling glad
  Swift spirts of shine that interfuse
  As though with lucent crystal dews
  That glance and glitter like split rays
  Of sunshine, born of burgeoning Mays
  When the first bee tilts down the lip
  Of the first blossom, and the drip
  Of blended dew and honey heaves
  Him blinded midst the underleaves.
  For raiment, Fays shall weave for thee--
  Out of the phosphor of the sea
  And the frayed floss of starlight, spun
  With counterwarp of the firm sun--
  A vesture of such filmy sheen
  As, through all ages, never queen
  Therewith strove truly to make less
  One fair line of her loveliness.
  Thus gowned and crowned with gems and gold,
  Thou shalt, through centuries untold,
  Rule, ever young and ever fair,
  As now thou rulest, smiling there.

       *       *       *       *       *



OLD MAN WHISKERY-WHEE-KUM-WHEEZE


  Old Man Whiskery-Whee-Kum-Wheeze
  Lives 'way up in the leaves o' trees.
  An' wunst I slipped up-stairs to play
  In Aunty's room, while she 'uz away;
  An' I clumbed up in her cushion-chair
  An' ist peeked out o' the winder there;
  An' there I saw--wite out in the trees--
  Old Man Whiskery-Whee-Kum-Wheeze!

  An' Old Man Whiskery-Whee-Kum-Wheeze
  Would bow an' bow, with the leaves in the breeze,
  An' waggle his whiskers an' raggledy hair,
  An' bow to me in the winder there!
  An' I 'd peek out, an' he'd peek in
  An' waggle his whiskers an' bow ag'in,
  Ist like the leaves'u'd wave in the breeze--
  Old Man Whiskery-Whee-Kum-Wheeze!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "BOW TO ME IN THE WINDER THERE!"]

       *       *       *       *       *

  An' Old Man Whiskery-Whee-Kum-Wheeze,
  Seem-like, says to me: "See my bees
  A-bringin' my dinner? An' see my cup
  O' locus'-blossoms they've plum' filled up?"
  An' "_Um-yum, honey!_" wuz last he said,
  An' waggled his whiskers an' bowed his head;
  An' I yells, "Gimme some, won't you, please,
  Old Man Whiskery-Whee-Kum-Wheeze?"

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration]



LITTLE-GIRL-TWO-LITTLE-GIRLS


  I'm twins, I guess, 'cause my Ma say
    I'm two little girls. An' one o' me
    Is _Good_ little girl; an' th'other 'n' she
    Is _Bad little girl as she can be!_
  An' Ma say so, 'most ever' day.

  An' she's the _funniest_ Ma! 'Cause when
    My Doll won't mind, an' I ist cry,
    W'y, nen my Ma she sob an' sigh,
    An' say, "Dear _Good_ little girl, good-bye!--
  _Bad_ little girl's comed here again!"

  Last time 'at Ma act' thataway,
    I cried all to myse'f awhile
    Out on the steps, an' nen I smile,
    An' git my Doll all fix' in style,
  An' go in where Ma's at, an' say:
    _"Morning to you, Mommy dear_!
    _Where's that Bad little girl wuz here_?
    _Bad little girl's goned clean away_,
    _An' Good little girl's comed back to stay."_

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *



A GUSTATORY ACHIEVEMENT


  Last Thanksgivin'-dinner we
  Et at Granny's house, an' she

[Illustration]

  Had--ist like she alluz does--
  Most an' best pies ever wuz.

  Canned _black_ burry-pie an' _goose_
  Burry, squshin'-full o' juice;
  An' _roz_burry--yes, an' plum--
  Yes, an' _churry_-pie--_um-yum_!

  Peach an' punkin, too, you bet.
  Lawzy! I kin taste 'em yet!
  Yes, an' _custard_-pie, an' _mince!_

       *       *       *       *       *

  An'--I--_ain't_--et--no--pie--since!

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *



CLIMATIC SORCERY


  When frost's all on our winder, an' the snow's
  All out-o'-doors, our "Old-Kriss"-milkman goes
  A-drivin' round, ist purt'-nigh froze to death,
  With his old white mustache froze full o' breath.

  But when it's summer an' all warm ag'in,
  He comes a-whistlin' an' a-drivin in
  Our alley, 'thout no coat on, ner ain't cold,
  Ner his mustache ain't white, ner he ain't old.

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "OUR 'OLD-KRISS'-MILKMAN."]

       *       *       *       *       *



A PARENT REPRIMANDED


  Sometimes I think 'at Parents does
  Things ist about as bad as _us_--

[Illustration]

    Wite 'fore our vurry eyes, at that!
  Fer one time Pa he scold' my Ma
    'Cause he can't find his hat;
  An' she ist _cried_, she did! An' I
    Says, "Ef you scold my Ma
  Ever again an' make her cry,
    Wy, you sha'n't _be_ my Pa!"
  An' nen he laugh' an' find his hat
  Ist wite where Ma she said it's at!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "THE CHILDISH DREAMS IN HIS WISE OLD HEAD."]

       *       *       *       *       *



THE TREASURE OF THE WISE MAN


  O the night was dark and the night was late,
    And the robbers came to rob him;
  And they picked the locks of his palace-gate,
    The robbers that came to rob him--
  They picked the locks of his palace-gate,
  Seized his jewels and gems of state,
  His coffers of gold and his priceless plate,--
    The robbers that came to rob him.

  But loud laughed he in the morning red!--
    For of what had the robbers robbed him?--
  Ho! hidden safe, as he slept in bed,
    When the robbers came to rob him,--
  They robbed him not of a golden shred
  Of the childish dreams in his wise old head--
  "And they're welcome to all things else," he said,
    When the robbers came to rob him.

[Illustration]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration]





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Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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