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´╗┐Title: Child Songs of Cheer
Author: Stein, Evaleen, 1863-1923
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 "Child Songs of Cheer" ***

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                      [Illustration: DANDELIONS]

           Dandelions, dandelions, shining through the dew,
           Let the Kings have Cloth of Gold, but let _us_ have _you_!

                         CHILD SONGS OF CHEER


                            EVALEEN STEIN

                           ILLUSTRATIONS BY

                          ANTOINETTE INGLIS


                      LOTHROP, LEE & SHEPARD CO.

                       Published, August, 1918

                           COPYRIGHT, 1918,
                    BY LOTHROP, LEE & SHEPARD CO.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Dear Children, all the little words
      These printed pages through,
    They are a flock of little birds
      I bring to sing to you.

    Sometimes they sing of foolish things,
      And other times they try
    To tell their gladness when their wings
      Soar up to seek the sky.

    So, Sweethearts, do but kindly hark!
      If but a sparrow throng,
    Or if among them there's a lark,
      To you their songs belong!_

       *       *       *       *       *


Up, Little Ones!


Our Puppies

The Lost Balloon

The Circus Procession


The Picture-Book Giant

Did You Ever?

Decoration Day

Chu-Chu Cars

Fairy Rings

The Firefly

A Rain Song


The Little Fir-Trees

The Wren-House

The Baby's Ride

An Indian Raid

The First Sleigh-Ride

Sleepy Time

When Bettie and Anne Went Walking

The Bluebird

The Organ-Grinder

The New Moon

Showery Time

Easter Day

The Sandman

Dandelion Curls


The Rash Little Sparrow

What If?

Easter Eggs

The Birds' Bath

November Morning

The Runaway


The Queen's Page

Our Tree-Toad

In the Water-World

Who Was It?

Visiting Day

A Valentine to Catherine


The Rainy Day

The First Red-Bird

The Weather-Vane

The Swan

Baby's Baking

A Sure Sign

Another Sure Sign

The Robin's Bath

The Frosted Pane

The First Snow

Grandfather Knows


The Red-Bird

Wild Beasts

Wherefore Wings?


With a May-Basket for Baby Agnes

The Little Nest

Christmas Candles

A Song of the Christmas-Tree

Our Kittens

In July

A Valentine to a Little Child


A Little Carol


The Three Candles

       *       *       *       *       *



Dandelions, dandelions, shining through the dew,
Let the kings have Cloth of Gold, but let _us_
have _you_!                                   _Frontispiece_


See them dancing, dancing,
While the silver moon
Tips their swiftly glancing
Little silver shoon!


When the sun shines warm and high
Robins cluster round its brink


We can tell Him of our love
If we set a light for Him

       *       *       *       *       *

Child Songs of Cheer


    A robin redbreast, fluting there
      Upon the apple-bough,
    Is telling all the world how fair
      Are apple-blossoms now;
    The honey-dew its sweetness spills
      From cuckoo-cups, and all
    The crocuses and daffodils
      Are drest for festival!

    Such pretty things are to be seen,
      Such pleasant things to do,
    The April earth it is so green,
      The April sky so blue,
    The path from dawn to even-song
      So joyous is to-day,
    Up, little ones! and dance along
      The lilac-scented way!


    Hey-a-day-a-day, my dear! Dandelion time!
    Come, and let us make for them a pretty little rhyme!

    See the meadows twinkling now, beautiful and bright
    As the sky when through the blue shine the stars at night!

    Once upon a time, folks say, mighty kings of old
    Met upon a splendid field called "The Cloth of Gold."

    But, we wonder, could it be there was ever seen
    Brighter gold than glitters now in our meadows green?

    Dandelions, dandelions, shining through the dew,
    Let the kings have Cloth of Gold, but let _us_ have _you_!


    Little ears as soft as silk,
    Little teeth as white as milk,
    Little noses cool and pink,
    Little eyes that blink and blink,
    Little bodies round and fat,
    Little hearts that pit-a-pat,
    Surely prettier puppies never
    Were before nor can be ever!


    O dear! my purple toy balloon
    Has flown away! and very soon
    It will be high up as the moon!

    And don't you think the man up there
    Will wonder what it is, and stare?
    Perhaps hell say, "_Well, I declare!_"

    Or, maybe if it chance there are
    Some little boys in yonder star,
    And if it floats away so far,

    Perhaps they'll jump up very high
    And catch the cord as it goes by!
    At any rate I hope they'll try!


    _Oh, hurry! hurry!_ here they come,
    The band in front with the big bass drum
    And blaring bugles,--there they are,
    On golden thrones in a golden car,
    Tooting and fluting, oh, how grand!
                Hi diddle, diddle!
                The fife and the fiddle!
    _Hurrah, hurrah_ for the circus band!

    And the red-plumed horses, oh, see them prance
    And daintily lift their hoofs and dance,
    While beautiful ladies with golden curls
    Are jingling their bridles of gold and pearls,
                And close behind
                Come every kind
    Of animal cages great and small,
    O how I wonder what's in them all!

    Here's one that's open and glaring there
    Is the shaggiest snow-white polar bear!
    _Woof!_ but I wonder what we'd do
    If his bars broke loose right now, don't you?
                And O dear me!
                Just look and see
    That pink-cheeked lady in skirts of gauze
    And the great big lion with folded paws!
                O me! O my!
                I'm glad that I
    Am not in that lion's cage, because
    _Suppose he'd open his horrible jaws!_
    --But look! the clown is coming! Of course
    Facing the tail of a spotted horse
    And shouting out things to make folks laugh,
    And grinning up at the tall giraffe
    That placidly paces along and looks
    Just like giraffes in the picture-books!

    And there are the elephants, two and two,
    Lumbering on as they always do!
    The men who lead them look so small
    I wonder the elephants mind at all
                As they wag their queer
                Long trunks, and peer
    Through their beady eyes,--folks say they know
    No end of things, and I'm sure it's so!
    And you never must do a thing that's bad
    Or that possibly might make an elephant mad,
    For he'll never forgive you, it appears,
    And will punish you sure, if it takes him _years!_
                So do not stare
                But take good care
    To mind your manners, and always try
    To smile politely as they go by!

    But the camels don't care if you laugh at them
    With their bumpy humps like a capital M,
                They lurch and sway
                And seem to say,
    As they wrinkle their noses, long and gray,
    "This swaggering stride is quite the plan,
    It's the way we walked in the caravan!"

    And now more cages come rumbling by
    With glittering people throned on high;
    So many spangles and precious things,
    They surely must all be queens and kings!
                They look so proud
                Above the crowd,
    O my, how fine it must feel to ride
    On golden wagons that hide inside
    Strange animals caught in cannibal isles
    And brought in ships for a million miles!
                But hark! it's near
                The end, for hear
    That sudden screeching in piercing key!
    The steaming, screaming _cal-li-o-pe_!
    Just plain pianos sound terribly tame
    Beside this one with the wonderful name,
    And wouldn't you love some day to sit
    In a circus wagon and play on it?


    Let us take our baskets early
      To the meadows green,
    While the wild-flowers still are pearly
      With the dewdrops' sheen.

    Fill them full of blossoms rosy,
      Violets and gay
    Cowslips, every pretty posy
      Welcoming the May.

    Then our lovely loads we'll carry
      Down the village street,
    On each door, with laughter merry,
      Hang a basket sweet.

    Hey-a-day-day! It is spring now,
      Lazy folks, awake!
    See the pretty things we bring now
      For the May-day's sake!


    Once there was a fierce, defiant,
    Greedy, grumpy, grizzly giant
      In the pages of a picture-book, and he
    Sometimes screamed, in sudden rages,
    "I must jump out from these pages,
      For this life's a much too humdrum one for me!
      Yes, this life's a quite too quiet one for me!"

    So one rainy day he did it,
    Took the picture-book and hid it,
      Stamped his foot, and shouting loudly,
          "Now I'm free!"
    Boldly started out, forgetting
    That he could not stand a wetting!
    He was just a paper giant, don't you see?
              Dearie me!
    Just a gaudy, picture giant, don't you see?


    Did you ever see a fairy in a rose-leaf coat and cap
    Swinging in a cobweb hammock as he napped his noonday nap?

    Did you ever see one waken very thirsty and drink up
    All the honey-dew that glimmered in a golden buttercup?

    Did you ever see one fly away on rainbow-twinkling wings?
    If you did not, why, how comes it that you never see such things?


    See the soldiers, little ones!
      Hark the drummers' beat!
    See them with their flags and guns
      Marching down the street!

    Tattered flags from out the wars,
      Let us follow these
    To the little stripes and stars
      Twinkling through the trees.

    Watch them waving through the grass
      Where the heroes sleep!
    Thither gently let us pass
      On this day we keep.

    Let us bring our blossoms, too,
      All our gardens grow;
    Lilacs honey-sweet with dew,
      And the lilies' snow.

    Every posy of the May,
      Every bloomy stem,
    Every bud that breaks to-day
      Gather now for them.

    Lay the lilies o'er them thus,
      Lovingly, for so
    Down they laid their lives for us,
      Long and long ago.

    Heap above them bud and bough;
      Softly, ere we cease,
    God, we pray Thee, gently now
      Fold them in Thy peace!


    Turn the chairs down in a row
    Each behind the other, so;
    _Chu-chu! Chu-chu!_ there they are,
    Passenger and baggage-car,
    _Chu-chu-chu!_ the Morris chair
    Is the engine puffing there,
    _Chu-chu! Chu-chu! Ting-a-ling!_
    Don't you hear its big bell ring?
    All aboard! Jump on! if you
    Want to take this train. _Chu-chu!!_
    Off we start now, rushing fast
    Through the fields and valleys, past
    Noisy cities, over bridges,
    Hills and plains and mountain ridges,
    _Chu-chu! Chu-chu! Chu-chu-chu!!_
    At such speed it must be true
    Since we started we have come
    Most a million miles from home!
    Jump off, some one! Quick! and go
    To the pantry, for, you know,
    We must have the cookie-jar
    For our Pullman dining-car!


    Softly in the gloaming
      Flitting through the vale,
    Fairy folk are roaming
      Over hill and dale.

    Pixies in the hollow,
      Elves upon the height,
    Let us follow, follow
      Through the paling light.

    Follow, all unbidden,
      To the grassy glade
    Wrapped around and hidden
      In the forest shade.

    Hark the elfin tinkle
      Of their little lutes!
    Mark the golden twinkle
      Of their fairy flutes!

[Illustration: FAIRY RINGS]

    See them dancing, dancing,
      While the silver moon
    Tips their swiftly glancing
      Little silver shoon!

    Tripping, tripping lightly,
      Where their footprints fall,
    Look! the grass is brightly
      Growing green and tall!

    Springing close, unbroken,
      In a fairy ring,
    For to-morrow's token
      Of their frolicking!


    Flash and flicker and fly away,
      Trailing light as you flutter far,
    Are you a lamp for the fairies, say?
      Or a flake of fire from a falling star?


              Tinkle, tinkle,
                Lightly fall
      On the peach buds, pink and small;
    Tip the tiny grass, and twinkle
      On the clover, green and tall.

              Tinkle, tinkle,--
                Faster now,
      Little rain-drops, smite and sprinkle
    Cherry-bloom and apple-bough!
    Pelt the elms, and show them how
              You can dash!
                And splash! splash! splash!
    While the thunder rolls and mutters,
      And the lightnings flash and flash!
              Then eddy into curls
              Of a million misty swirls,
    And thread the air with silver, and embroider it with pearls!

    And patter, patter, patter
    To a quicker time, and clatter
      On the streaming window-pane;
              Rain, rain,
                On the leaves,
                  And the eaves,
      And the turning weather-vane!

    Rush in torrents from the tip
    Of the gable-peak, and drip
      In the garden-bed, and fill
        All the cuckoo-cups, and pour
              More and more
      In the tulip-bowls, and still
      In a crystal tide until
      Every yellow daffodil
    Is flooded to its golden rim, and brimming o'er and o'er!

    Then as gently as the low
      Muffled whir of robin wings,
      Or a sweep of silver strings,
                Even so,
        Take your airy April flight
        Through the merry April light,
    And melt into a mist of rainy music as you go!


    Grandfather says that sometimes,
      When stars are twinkling and
    A new moon shines, there come times
      When folks see fairy-land!

    So when there's next a new moon,
      I mean to watch all night!
    Grandfather says a blue moon
      Is best for fairy light,

    And in a peach-bloom, maybe,
      If I look I shall see
    A little fairy baby
      No bigger than a bee!


    Hey! little evergreens,
      Sturdy and strong!
    Summer and autumn time
      Hasten along;
    Harvest the sunbeams, then,
      Bind them in sheaves,
    Range them, and change them
      To tufts of green leaves.
    Delve in the mellow mold,
      Far, far below,
            And so,
      Little evergreens, grow!
            Grow, grow!
    Grow, little evergreens, grow!

    Up, up so airily
      To the blue sky,
    Lift up your leafy tips
      Stately and high;
    Clasp tight your tiny cones,
      Tawny and brown;
    By and by, buffeting
      Rains will pelt down;
    By and by, bitterly
      Chill winds will blow;
            And so,
      Little evergreens, grow!
            Grow, grow!
    Grow, little evergreens, grow!

    Gather all uttermost
      Beauty, because,--
    Hark, till I tell it now!
      How Santa Claus,
    Out of the northern land,
      Over the seas,
    Soon shall come seeking you,
      Evergreen trees!
    Seek you with reindeer soon,
      Over the snow;
            And so,
      Little evergreens, grow!
            Grow, grow!
    Grow, little evergreens, grow!

    What if the maples flare
      Flaunting and red,
    You shall wear waxen white
      Tapers instead!
    What if now, otherwhere,
      Birds are beguiled,
    You shall yet nestle
      The little Christ-child!
    Ah! the strange splendor
      The fir-trees shall know!
            And so,
      Little evergreens, grow!
            Grow, grow!
    Grow, little evergreens, grow!


    Yesterday I took my saw
      And some bits of wood,
    And I made a little house
      Nicely as I could.

    I put on a mossy-green
      Little pointed roof,
    And I cut a tiny door
      That is pussy-proof.

    For I hope some little wrens
      To our yard will come
    And will choose my little house
      For their little home.

    I shall hang it in the boughs
      Of the apple-tree,
    And I'm sure as rent for it
      They will sing to me!


    Chee! Chee! Chickadee!
      Sing-time and sun!
    Aye, aye, baby-bye,
      Springtime has begun!

       *       *       *       *       *

    In the little willow cart,
      On a downy bed,
    Pretty parasol of silk
      Swinging overhead,

    Let us go along the lane
      Where a baby sees
    Mighty tufts of grass, and weeds
      Tall as forest trees!

    Bluebird on the apple-bough,
      Sing and sing and sing!
    Sing your very sweetest now
      For babyhood and spring!

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Bah! Bah!" from the pasture,
      And "Caw! Caw!" from the crow,
    And bleating from the little calf
      That has not learned to low.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Apple-buds, apple-buds breaking apart,
      The baby looks upward with love-laden gaze;
    Oh, shower some petals down here in his cart,
      One honey-sweet cluster of pretty pink sprays!

    Apple-buds, apple-buds, scornful and too
      Vain of your loveliness, stay where you are!
    The cheeks of the baby are pinker than you,
      And finer and softer and sweeter by far!

       *       *       *       *       *

    See the pretty little lambs,
      How they frisk and play!
    See their silky fleeces shine
      White as buds in May!

    White as are the fleecy clouds
      Softly blowing by--
    What if they were little lambs
      Playing in the sky?

       *       *       *       *       *

    Robin on the peach-bough,
      Swinging overhead,
    Sing a little song and say
      Why is your breast so red?

    Why is your voice so sweet, and
      Your song so merry, say?
    And wherefore do you spread your wings
      And quickly fly away?

       *       *       *       *       *

    Ho, ho! see the queer little prints there
      That cover the road, baby, look!
    At the web-footed tangle that hints where
      The ducks have gone down to the brook!

    The Muscovy mammas that waddled
      Zigzag, you can trace in their tracks,
    And the dear little ducklings that toddled
      And tumbled sometimes on their backs!

       *       *       *       *       *

    Buttercup, buttercup, buttercup gold,
    O give us a handful of riches to hold!

    Ho, ho! laughs the baby, and grasps in his glee
    His wealth, but soon shows what a spend-thrift is he!
    --Nay, nay, he is king, though he never was crowned,
    And royally scatters his gold on the ground!

       *       *       *       *       *

    Bough of the willow-tree
      Over the brook,
    Down darts a kingfisher,
      Look, baby, look!

    Back on the willow-bough,
      Fishing is done;
    Happy and nappy now
      There in the sun.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Happy and nappy the baby is, too,
    Softly his eyelids droop over the blue,
    Golden his curls on the white pillow lie,
    Sleep, baby, sleep, baby, hush-a-by-bye.


    Did you see some Indians passing,
      Just a short while back?
    Looks as if they must be massing
      For a fierce attack!

    Buckskin fringes, turkey-feather
      Huge head-dresses and
    Bows and arrows, altogether
      Quite a frightful band!

    From the lilac-bushes springing,
      See them rushing! Ugh!
    Awful war-whoops wildly ringing!
      There'll be scalping, too!

    In their fearful frenzy leaping,
      It is very plain
    Soon around us they'll be heaping
      Mountains of the slain!

    Soon their victims will be falling--
      But, above the noise,
    Hark! I hear somebody calling,
      "Come to dinner, boys!"


    O happy time of fleecy rime
      And falling flakes, and O
    The glad surprise in baby eyes
      That never saw the snow!

    Down shining ways the flying sleighs
      Go jingling by, and see!
    Beside the gate the horses wait
      And neigh for you and me!


    Hey, baby! Ho, baby! here upon my knee,
    See the firelight flicker over you and me!

    See the tiny people basking in the glow,
    Peering through the ruddy little coals, and so

    How they dance and scamper! Merry fairy folk!
    Little sparks for spangles, little wings of smoke!

    Come baby, come baby, nestle in my arms;
    Hear the purring flames now sing their sleepy charms.

    All the firelight fairies, all the drowsy elves,
    In the downy ashes cover up themselves.

    And I fold the little blanket over you;
    Bye baby, my baby, let us slumber too.


        When they took their dollies walking,
        They were both so busy talking,
    (They had not met for half an hour and so had much to say)
        That they heedlessly kept going
        Down the shady streets, not knowing,
    Till they wanted to come back again, they could not find the way!

        In their fright they felt forlorner
        Every time they turned a corner,
    And they wailed to one another, "Oh, whatever shall we do?
        A big bear might come to bite us,
        Or a dreadful dog to fight us,
    Or the wicked gipsies get us! _Oh, boo-hoo! Boo-hoo! Boo-hoo!_"

        But this story, though a sad one,
        Has an end that's not a bad one,
    For at last somebody found them as they bade the world good-by;
        They took their dollies home again,
        And vowed they'd never roam again,
    And their mothers hugged and kissed them, saying, "There, my dears,
            don't cry!"


    To-day at dawn there twinkled through
    The pearly mist a flash of blue
      So dazzling bright I thought the sky
      Shone through the rifted clouds on high,
              Till, by and by,
    A note so honey-sweet I heard,
    I knew that bright flash was a bird!


    Hark! I hear the organ-grinder
      Coming down the street,
    And the sudden clatter-patter
      Of the children's feet!

    Come, oh, let us run to meet him!
      Did you ever hear
    Tunes so gay as he is playing,
      Or so sweet and clear?

    See the brown-faced little monkey,
      Impudent and bold,
    With his little scarlet jacket
      Braided all in gold!

    And his tiny cap and tassel
      Bobbing to and fro,
    Look, oh, look! he plucks it off now,
      Bowing very low.

    And he's passing it politely--
      Can it be for _pay_?
    O dear me! I have no penny!
      Let us run away!


    Pretty new moon, little new moon,
      Now, as first I look at you,
    I must make a wish, for wise folks
      Say it surely will come true!

    Little new moon, pretty new moon,
      I wish--but I must not tell!
    For if any one should hear it,
      Wise folks say it breaks the spell!


    The April rain-drops tinkle
      In cuckoo-cups of gold,
    And warm south winds unwrinkle
      The buds the peach-boughs hold.

    In countless fluted creases
      The little elm-leaves show,
    While white as carded fleeces
      The dogwood blossoms blow.

    A rosy robe is wrapping
      The early red-bud trees;
    But still the haws are napping,
      Nor heed the honey-bees.

    And still in lazy sleeping
      The apple-buds are bound,
    But tulip-tips are peeping
      From out the garden ground.

    And yonder, gayly swinging
      Upon the turning vane,
    A robin redbreast singing
      Makes merry at the rain!


    Christ the Lord is risen to-day!
    Angels rolled the stone away
    From the tomb wherein He lay!

    Little children, come and sing,
    "Glory, glory to the King,
    Christ the Lord of everything!"


    The Sandman! hark, I hear him!
      He's coming up the stair,
    And everybody near him
      Is nodding, I declare!

    He's peeping in the door now,
      And first of all he spies,
    As he has done before now,
      The little children's eyes!

    Then quickly does he throw it,
      His golden sleepy-sand,
    And all, before they know it,
      Are off for sleepy-land!


    Ah, ha, ha, now! who comes here
    Wreathed in flowers of gold and queer
    Tiny tangled curls of green
    Gayly bobbing in between?

    Pretty token of the spring!
    Hark! we hear the bluebirds sing
    When we thus see little girls
    Decked in dandelion curls.


             _Pop! Pop!--Poppetty-pop!_
    Shake and rattle and rattle and shake
    The golden grains as they bounce and break
    To fluffy puffiness--_Poppetty-pop!_
    Bursting and banging the popper's top!
                  Pop! Pop!_

    The yellow kernels, oh, see them grow
    White as cotton or flakes of snow!
               _Pop! Pop!_
    O-ho, how they frolic and fly about
    And turn themselves suddenly inside out!
    _Pop-pop-poppetty! Pop-pop-pop!_
    The popper's full and we'll have to stop;
    Pile the bowl with the tempting treat,
    Children, come, it is time to eat!


      Rash little sparrow
        Up in the nest;
    Feathers not long enough,
    Wee wings not strong enough!
        Poor little sparrow!
        Poor little breast!


    When I see the new moon lightly
     Through cloud ripples slip,
    Then I'm sure that shining brightly
     It's a fairy ship!

    What if in it we were sailing
     Far and far away,
    With a wake of silver trailing,
     Till the golden day?

    Why, we'd fly back home together
     Safely from the sky,
    For the moon's a fairy feather
     When the sun is high!


    Seven little nests of hay
    We have made, for Easter day
    Is to-morrow, and you know
    We must have them ready, so
    When the Rabbit comes she'll see
    We expected her, that we
    Children tried our very best
    Each to make the nicest nest.

    One is in the lilac-bush,
    Near the ground--last year a thrush
    Built a nest there--let me see,
    Two are by the apple-tree,
    In the clover--that makes three--
    One beside the playhouse door,
    --Three plus one, that must be four--
    Two are in the tulip-bed--
    Was it seven that I said?
    Oh, yes! six I've counted, and
    One is in our pile of sand.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Come and see! Oh, hurry, hurry!
    For the Rabbit, kind and furry,
    Has been here again and laid
    Eggs in every nest we made!
    Purple, orange, red, and blue,
    Pink and green and yellow, too,
    Like a bunch of finest flowers
    Ever seen, and all are ours!
    And oh, _look!_ What _do_ you think!
    Here our names are in white ink,
    All spelled nicely so we know
    Just where every egg should go!
    Is it not surprising, quite,
    How well Easter Rabbits write?


    In our garden we have made
      Such a pretty little pool,
    Lined with pebbles neatly laid,
      Filled with water clean and cool.

    [Illustration: THE BIRDS' BATH]

    When the sun shines warm and high
      Robins cluster round its brink,
    Never one comes flying by
      But will flutter down to drink.

    Then they splash and splash and splash,
      Spattering little showers bright
    All around, till off they flash
      Singing sweetly their delight.


    A tingling, misty marvel
      Blew hither in the night,
    And now the little peach-trees
      Are clasped in frozen light.

    Upon the apple-branches
      An icy film is caught,
    With trailing threads of gossamer
      In pearly patterns wrought.

    The autumn sun, in wonder,
      Is gayly peering through
    This silver-tissued network
      Across the frosty blue.

    The weather-vane is fire-tipped,
      The honeysuckle shows
    A dazzling icy splendor,
      And crystal is the rose.

    Around the eaves are fringes
      Of icicles that seem
    To mock the summer rainbows
      With many-colored gleam.

    Along the walk, the pebbles
      Are each a precious stone;
    The grass is tasseled hoarfrost,
      The clover jewel-sown.

    Such sparkle, sparkle, sparkle
      Fills all the frosty air,
    Oh, can it be that darkness
      Is ever anywhere!


    A frantic clatter of horses' feet!
    A runaway's coming down the street!
          Flurry, scurry,
          Children, hurry!
    Drop your playthings! Quick! don't wait!
    Run and get within the gate!
    Push the baby in the door,
    Scramble in yourselves before
          --_Whoa! Whoa!_
          There they go!
    Pell-mell rushing, snorting, quaking,
    Wagon rumbling, harness breaking,
    Frightened so they cannot know
    Everybody's shrieking "_Whoa!_"
          O my, don't cry!
      Whiz, bang, they've galloped by!
    No one hurt, but horses dashed
    Round a post and wagon smashed!
          Dear me! Dear me!
      When a runaway we see,
    Children, too, must run, oh, fast!
    Run and hide as it goes past!


    "Peep! Peep! Peep!" Poor little chick!
      Little cry so weak and small,
    Meadow grass so tall and thick,
      And the clover tufts so tall!

    Little heart in sore distress,
      Longing for the mother wing;
    Through the weedy wilderness
      Searching for its sheltering!


    Once I was a little page
      To a May-day queen,
    And I wore a little coat
      Made of Lincoln green.

    Oh, the queen was beautiful!
      And she had a bright
    Crown of golden cuckoo-buds
      And violets blue and white.

    On the step beside her throne
      I sat very still,
    Ready, as a page should be,
      To obey her will.

    And before us little girls,
      Each with garlands gay,
    Round a May-pole danced and sang
      Almost all the day.


    Grandfather says the tree-toad,
      That to our yard has come,
    Is just a little wee toad
      No bigger than his thumb!

    And that his coat's so queer it
      Can turn from green to blue!
    Whatever color's near it,
      Why, that's its color, too!

    And then Grandfather snickers
      And says, "Would you suppose
    He climbs with little stickers
      On all his little toes?

    "And don't you wish your toes now
      Were fixed like his? For, see,
    Right up the elm he goes now
      And sticks tight to the tree!"

    "But then," he says, "O dear me!
      If all the little boys
    Could _screech_ as loud, I fear me
      There'd be a dreadful noise!"


    Down among the water-weeds,
      Darting through the grass,
    Round about the tasseled reeds,
      See the minnows pass!
    See the little turtles there,
      Hiding, half asleep,
    Tucked in tangled mosses where
      Tiny crayfish creep!

    Watch the trailing grasses string
      Strands of purple shells
    That the lazy ripples ring,
      Sweet as silver bells;
    Watch the sunshine sift and drift
      Down the eddy whirls,
    Whence the laden whiteweeds lift
      Loads of blossom pearls;

    While the limpid shadows slip
      Softly in between,
    And the pussy-willows dip
      Lightly in the green
    Of the mocking trees that grow
      Down the water-sky,
    Flecked with fleecy clouds that blow
      Where the reed-birds fly.

    Oh, such marvels manifold
      Fill the summer stream,
    Such enticing things untold
      Through the ripples gleam,
    If you could a moment turn
      Into what you wish,
    Would it not be fun to be
      Yonder little fish?


    Of course I've heard the moon's green cheese,
    But will somebody tell me, please,
    Who was it took so big a bite
    There's scarcely any left to-night?


    I'll wear the striped skirt that trails,
      And you the flowered one,
    And we will take our parasols
      And walk out in the sun.

    We'll leave our dolly-carts at home,
      For ladies, when they call,
    Must not have children with them, no,
      That would not do at all.

    And I'll be "Mrs. Wilkinson,"
      And you'll be "Mrs. Brown,"
    And we will call and call and call
      On every one in town!


    If you will be my True-Love,
      I'll tell you what I'll do,
    I'll ask a little bluebird
      To sing a song to you.

    When first you see a violet
      And softly pricking through
    The garden-bed come crocuses
      And golden tulips, too,

    Then watch! for he'll be coming,
      The little bird of blue;
    He'll sing, "I love you, Sweetheart,
      It's true, true, true!"


    Look! Look down in the garden how
    The firefly lights are flitting now!
    A million tiny sparks I know
    Flash through the pinks and golden-glow,
    And I am very sure that all
    Have come to light a fairy ball,
    And if I could stay up I'd see
    How gay the fairy folks can be!


    Let's sail all day, away, away
      To the splendid Spanish Main
    And the sultry seas of the Caribbees
      And skies that never rain!

    As pirates bold with bags of gold
      And cutlasses and things,
    We'll pack doubloons and silver spoons
      In chests with iron rings.

    And these we'll carry and secretly bury
      In cannibal isles afar;
    Like Captain Kidd, when they're safely hid
      We won't tell where they are.

    Let's sail all day, away, away
      To the splendid Spanish Main
    And the sultry seas of the Caribbees
      --But at night sail home again!


    I heard a song at daybreak,
      So honey-sweet and clear,
    The essence of all joyous things
      Seemed mingling in its cheer.

    The frosty world about me
      I searched with eager gaze,
    But all was slumber-bound and wrapped
      In violet-tinted haze.

    Then suddenly a sunbeam
      Shot slanting o'er the hill,
    And once again from out the sky
      I heard that honied trill.

    And there upon a poplar,
      Poised at its topmost height,
    I saw a little singer clad
      In scarlet plumage bright.

    The poplar branches quivered,
      By dawn winds lightly blown,
    And like a breeze-swept poppy-flower
      The red-bird rocked and shone.

    The blue sky, and his feathers
      Flashed o'er by golden light,
    Oh, all my heart with rapture thrilled,
      It was so sweet a sight!


    Turn, turn, when pelting rain
    Rushes down the window-pane;
    Turn, turn, and turn again
    When the sun shines, weather-vane!

      Fie! Fie! to always be
      Emblem of uncertainty!
      Followed by the restless sea,
    Changeful moons may wax and wane,
      Yet the moons and sea-tides, too,
      Constant are compared to you!
    Fickle still you must remain
    Long as winds blow, weather-vane!


    Stately swan, so proud and white
    Glistening in the morning light,
    Come and tell me is it true
    That a snow-white swan like you,
    Guided by bright golden chains
    In his beak for bridle reins,
    Once upon a time from far
    Fabled lands where fairies are
    Brought a magic boat wherein
    Rode the brave knight Lohengrin?

    Stately swan, so proud and white
    Glistening in the morning light,
    If you only wore a gold
    Harness, like that swan of old,
    And if trailing in your wake
    Sailing on the silver lake
    Was a boat of magic and
    You could float to fairy-land,
    Then I'd jump in and begin
    Traveling like Lohengrin!


    So, so, spade and hoe,
      Little pile of sand;
    See it turning into dough
      In the baby's hand!

    Little pie with crimpy crust,
      Set it in the sun;
    Sugar it with powdered dust,
      And bake it till it's done.


    When you see upon the walk
    Circles newly made of chalk,
    And around them all the day
    Little boys in eager play
    Rolling marbles, agates fine,
    Banded, polished, red as wine,
    Marbles crystal as the dew,
    Each with rainbows twisted through,
    Marbles gay in painted clay,
    Flashing, twinkling in your way,
    When the walk has blossomed so,
    Surely every one must know
    None need wonder who has heard
    Robin, wren, or Peter-bird;
    Sure the sign as song or wing,
          It is spring!


    When pink-cheeked on every hand
    Little girls are seen to stand
    Turning skipping ropes,--_swish-swash!_--
    While their laughing playmates run
    Jumping over,--oh, what fun!--
      _Swish-swash! Swish-swash!_
    Two and two now, see them dash!
      _One, two, one, two,_
    Round they scamper, safely through,
    _Swish-swash!_ such merry skipping,
    _One, two,_--some one is tripping!
    Ah, she's out now and must pay
    Turning rope while others play!
    See the bobbing golden curls,
    Little skirts in rhythmic swirls
    Rising, falling, to the beat
    Of the little skipping feet!
    When these pretty sights appear,
    It is surely very clear
            April's here!


    A flash and flicker of dripping wings,
      A wet red breast that glows
    Bright as the newly opened bud
      The first red poppy shows,
    A sparkle of flying rainbow drops,
      A glint of golden sun
    On ruffled feathers, a snatch of song,
      And the robin's bath is done.


        When I wakened, very early,
        All my window-pane was pearly
    With a sparkling little picture traced in lines of shining white;
        Some magician with a gleaming
        Frosty brush, while I was dreaming,
    Must have come and by the starlight worked through all the quiet night.

        He had painted frosty people,
        And a frosty church and steeple,
    And a frosty bridge and river tumbling over frosty rocks;
        Frosty mountain peaks that glimmered,
        And fine frosty ferns that shimmered,
    And a frosty little pasture full of frosty little flocks.

        It was all touched in so lightly
        And it glittered, oh, so whitely,
    That I gazed and gazed in wonder at the lovely painted pane;
        Then the sun rose high and higher
        With his wand of golden fire
    Till, alas, my picture vanished and I looked for it in vain!


    The snow! the snow! Whoop! Hooray! Ho! Ho!
    Plunge in the deep drifts and toss it up so!
      Rollick and roll in the feathery fleece
      Plucked out of the breasts of the marvelous geese
    By the little old woman who lives in the sky;
    Have ever you seen her? No, neither have I!


    Grandfather says of all things
      The silliest he's heard
    Is that some children call things
      They've never seen, "absurd!"
    And have their doubts of true things,
      And won't believe, because
    They say, "If you but knew things,
      There _is_ no Santa Claus!"

    Grandfather says he _knows_ him,
      And sees him every year,
    And Santa often shows him
      The playthings he brings here;
    He says, too, Santa told him
      If any girls and boys
    Laugh at and won't uphold him,
      They'll not get any toys!


    Tinkle, tinkle, tinkle!
      Happy winter-time!
    Baby's eyes a-twinkle,
      Hear the sleigh-bells chime!

    Each one rings a merry
    For a sleigh-bell fairy
      Hides inside to sing.

    See them quake and quiver,
      Up and downward tossed,
    Seems as if they shiver
      In the nipping frost!

    Shiver into laughter,
      Jolly little elves!
    Till we laugh thereafter,
      Merry as themselves!


    Swept lightly by the south wind
      The elm-leaves softly stirred,
    And in their pale green clusters
      There straightway bloomed a bird!

    His glossy feathers glistened
      With dyes as richly red
    As any tulip flaming
      From out the garden bed.

    But ah, unlike the tulips,
      In joyous strain, ere long,
    This red-bird flower unfolded
      A heart of golden song!


    I will be a lion
      And you shall be a bear,
    And each of us will have a den
      Beneath a nursery chair;
    And you must growl and growl and growl,
      And I will roar and roar,
    And then--why, then--you'll growl again,
      And I will roar some more!


    Heigho, sparrow! Reckless of the rain;
      When chill the cheerless wind grows,
    Chirping might and main!
      Is it naught, then, when the rose
                Blows again?

    Beating, sleeting on your draggled coat!
      Surely, 'tis enough to drown
    Any happy note
      Nestling in that downy brown
                Little throat.

    Ah me, sparrow! Had I but your power,
      Think you in the freezing sleet
    I would waste an hour?
      --I'd sing my sweetest to a sweet
                Orange flower!


    Frosty winter chased away
      By the blessed sun,
    Down upon the garden walks
      Basking has begun.

    Oh, the happy, happy heat!
      How the pulses stir,
    How it warms the hearts beneath
      Little coats of fur!

    Oh, the happy pussy-cats!
      Days to doze and doze,
    And what pleasant dreams they dream
      Only pussy knows.


              Peach-buds to meet thee,
              Robins to greet thee,
    Hey, little Sweetheart! and May morning, hey!
              Sunbeam and sing time,
              Bluebird and wing time,
    This time is kiss time for sweethearts, I say!

              Dearest, God bless thee,
              Fold and caress thee,
    Unto thy cradle may good fairies fly!
              Fortune be fair for thee,
              This is my prayer for thee,
    Lullaby, little one, hush-a-by-bye!

              So for a love now
              Token thereof now,
    Sweet, see this tiny May-basket I bring;
              Posies to play with,
              Pinks to be gay with,
    Dear little baby of sunshine and spring!


    A little picture haunts me;
      It comes and comes again;
    It is a tiny bird's-nest,
      All ragged from the rain.

    It clings within a birch-tree
      Upon the moorland's edge,
    Between the barren branches,
      Above the swaying sedge.

    The sky is gray behind it,
      And when the north winds blow,
    The birch-tree bends and shivers,
      And tosses to and fro.

    I wonder, does it haunt them,
      The birds that flew away?
    And will they come to seek it,
      Some sunny summer day?

    I wonder, does some redbreast
      Upon an orange-bough,
    Still picture it as plainly
      As I can see it now?

    Ah me! I would forget it,
      Yet still, with sense of pain,
    I see this little bird's-nest
      Within the driving rain.


    When the Christ-child comes again
      Softly down the street to-night,
    Twinkling through the window pane
      Let our candles shed their light.

    Though the clouds are dark above
      And the golden stars are dim,
    We can tell Him of our love
      If we set a light for Him.

    Oh, the blessed Christ-child dear,
      In His robe of shining white,
    Let our candles give Him cheer
      As He passes by to-night!



    We can tell Him of our love
      If we set a light for Him.

    Hurrah! Hurrah! for the Christmas-tree
    With its glory and glitter and mystery!
    Its twinkling candles that bud and bloom
    Like strange bright flowers in the darkened room,
    Its glistening gold and silver balls,
    Its candy canes and its blue-eyed dolls,
    The sugary fruits it bears,--for oh,
    Where else do such wonderful sweetmeats grow?--
    Its tasseled horns and its pop-corn strings
    And all its myriad marvelous things!
                O-ho! and ah-ha!
                  And a hip hurrah!
    For our dear and beautiful tree, because
    It grew in the gardens of Santa Claus

    And he brought it here in his reindeer sleigh
    From ever and ever so far away!
      _So, children, come, let us make a ring
      And all clasp hands as we dance and sing
      To the blessed tree and the blessed night
      When the Christ-child walks in the candles' light!_

    Hurrah! Hurrah! for the Christmas-tree
    That Santa Claus brought to you and me!
    He cut it down with a silver axe--
    There's a tree in each of his million packs!--
    And carried it safely over the snow
    And down our chimney and here, you know;
    Its golden cobwebs that glint and gleam
    He took from a lovely Christmas dream
    And tangled them over it till, behold,
    It shines like the fabled Fleece of Gold!

                Oh, Santa Claus, here's
                  A thrice three cheers
    For garlands green and berries of red,
    And mistletoe clustering overhead,
    For the joy of our Christmas festival!
    But our beautiful tree, it is best of all!
      _And circling still in a merry ring
      We'll still clasp hands as we dance and sing
      To the blessed tree and the blessed night
      When the Christ-child walks in the candles' light!_

    Hurrah! Hurrah! for the Christmas-tree!
    And look, O look to its tip and see
    The feathery slim fir leaves and where,
    In the topmost boughs, is the image fair
    Of the Christ-child nestling amid the green
    And the little brown cones that peep between!

    And high above Him glittering bright
    A gold star sparkles with golden light,
    And we children think, as we gaze on them,
    Of the wonderful Star of Bethlehem,
                Of the lovely Star
                  And the Kings who far,
    Oh, far, came seeking a Babe and brought
    Their love and worship to Him they sought,
    And made Him gifts, as the gifts we make
    With loving hearts for that Baby's sake.
      _Oh, come, come all, and join the ring!
      Let all clasp hands as we dance and sing
      To the blessed tree and the blessed night
      When the Christ-child walks in the candles' light!_


    Our kittens have the softest fur,
    And the sweetest little purr,
    And such little velvet paws
    With such cunning little claws,
    And blue eyes, just like the sky!
    (_Must_ they turn green, by and by?)
    Two are striped like tigers, three
    Are as black as black can be,
    And they run so fast and play
    With their tails, and are so gay,
    Is it not a pity that
    Each must grow into a cat?


    Let us find a shady wady
      Pretty little brook;
    Let us have some candy handy,
      And a picture-book.

    There all day we'll stay and play and
      Never mind the heat,
    While the water gleaming, streaming,
      Ripples round our feet.

    And we'll gather curly pearly
      Mussel-shells while bright
    Frightened minnows darting, parting,
      Scurry out of sight.

    What if, what if,--heigho! my oh!--
      All the "ifs" were true,
    And the little fishes wishes,
      Now, what would you do?


    Dear heart, on this thrice-blessed day,
      An thou my sweetheart be,
    The rose of love shall bide alway
      Upon the red-rose tree.

    And in the garden of my heart
      So ceaselessly shall shine,
    The little birds will know thou art
      Mine own true Valentine.

    And I will bid them wing and sing
      To all good winds that blow,
    That to thy little feet they bring
      All blessings, even so.

    And o'er thy cradle I will coax,
      By every lucky charm,
    The friendship of the fairy folks
      To fold thee from all harm.

    So may they hover round thy head
      And gently thereupon,
    As doth the April sunshine, shed
      Most gracious benison.

    And all fair gifts that Fortune hath,
      I'll pray she promise these,
    And that she loose about thy path
      All sweet influences.

    Then here's a kiss! and there's a kiss!
      And kisses, one, two, three!
    I seal them in the folds of this,
      And speed them unto thee!


    When we went to drive the cows home
      Down the lane to-day,
    There was such a funny bunny
      Jumped across the way!

    All we saw as he ran past us,
      Faster than a quail,
    Was his snow-white fuzzy-wuzzy
      Little cotton tail!


    Welcome, little Brother!
      Lowly, holy One!
    Hail thee, Virgin Mother,
    More than any other
      Blessed in thy Son!

    Child, since the poor manger
      Once thou didst not scorn,
    Rest thee, little Stranger,
    Folded from all danger,
      In our hearts new-born!

    Nestle thus, we pray thee,
      In our love's caress;
    Fain we are to pay thee
    Worship, and obey thee,
      Babe, and Prince no less!


    Honey-dew drippity-drops for a feast,
    Dreams of delight when the feasting has ceased,
                Poppy and rose,
                Drain them and doze;
    This is a song that the butterfly knows.


    When the Christmas-tide drew nigh,
    On a shelf three candles bright,
    Two were red and one was white,
    Waited for who came to buy.

    Said the first one, "I shall be
    Chosen for a Christmas-tree!"
    Said the second, "I shall light
    Christ Jesus on His way to-night!"
    Then the third one sighed, "Ah me,
    I know not what my lot will be!"

    When the dark fell, bright and gay
    The first candle burned away,
    Red as all the berries red
    On the holly overhead,
    While the children in their glee
    Danced around the Christmas-tree.

    And the second, twinkling bright,
    Poured forth all its golden light
    Through a window decked with green
    Garlands and red ribbons' sheen,
    So the Christ-child when He came
    Might be guided by its flame.

    But the third one in the gloom
    Of a bare and cheerless room
    Softly burned where long had lain
    A poor little child in pain,
    And the baby in its bed
    By the light was comforted.

    When the Christ-child passed that night
    All three candles gave Him light,
    But the brightest was the spark
    By the baby in the dark.


*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Child Songs of Cheer" ***

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