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´╗┐Title: Love-Songs of Childhood
Author: Field, Eugene, 1850-1895
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 "Love-Songs of Childhood" ***

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LOVE-SONGS OF CHILDHOOD

By Eugene Field



To Mrs. Belle Angler

Dearest Aunt:

Many years ago you used to rock me to sleep, cradling me in your
arms and singing me petty songs.  Surely you have not forgotten
that time, and I recall it with tenderness.  You were very
beautiful then.  But you are more beautiful now; for, in the years
that have come and gone since then, the joys and the sorrows of
maternity have impressed their saintly grace upon the dear face I
used to kiss, and have made your gentle heart gentler still.

Beloved lady, in memory of years to be recalled only in thought,
and in token of my gratitude and affection, I bring you these
little love-songs, and reverently I lay them at your feet.

Eugene Field
Chicago, November 1, 1894



Contents:

     THE ROCK-A-BY LADY
     "BOOH"!
     GARDEN AND CRADLE
     THE NIGHT WIND
     KISSING TIME
     JEST 'FORE CHRISTMAS
     BEARD AND BABY
     THE DINKEY-BIRD
     THE DRUM
     THE DEAD BABE
     THE HAPPY HOUSEHOLD
     So, so, ROCK-A-BY SO!
     THE SONG OF LUDDY-DUD
     THE DUEL
     GOOD-CHILDREN STREET
     THE DELECTABLE BALLAD OF THE WALLER LOT
     THE STORK
     THE BOTTLE TREE
     GOOGLY-GOO
     THE BENCH-LEGGED FYCE
     LITTLE MISS BRAG
     THE HUMMING TOP
     LADY BUTTON-EYES
     THE RIDE TO BUMPVILLE
     THE BROOK
     PICNIC-TIME
     SHUFFLE-SHOON AND AMBER-LOCKS
     THE SHUT-EYE TRAIN
     LITTLE-OH-DEAR
     THE FLY-AWAY HORSE
     SWING HIGH AND SWING LOW
     WHEN I WAS A BOY
     AT PLAY
     A VALENTINE
     LITTLE ALL-ALONEY
     SEEIN' THINGS
     THE CUNNIN' LITTLE THING
     THE DOLL'S WOOING
     INSCRIPTION FOR MY LITTLE SON'S SILVER PLATE
     FISHERMAN JIM'S KIDS
     "FIDDLE-DEE-DEE"
     OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY



THE ROCK-A-BY LADY

      The Rock-a-By Lady from Hushaby street
      Comes stealing; comes creeping;
      The poppies they hang from her head to her feet,
      And each hath a dream that is tiny and fleet--
      She bringeth her poppies to you, my sweet,
      When she findeth you sleeping!

      There is one little dream of a beautiful drum--
      "Rub-a-dub!" it goeth;
      There is one little dream of a big sugar-plum,
      And lo! thick and fast the other dreams come
      Of popguns that bang, and tin tops that hum,
      And a trumpet that bloweth!

      And dollies peep out of those wee little dreams
      With laughter and singing;
      And boats go a-floating on silvery streams,
      And the stars peek-a-boo with their own misty gleams,
      And up, up, and up, where the Mother Moon beams,
      The fairies go winging!

      Would you dream all these dreams that are tiny and fleet?
      They'll come to you sleeping;
      So shut the two eyes that are weary, my sweet,
      For the Rock-a-By Lady from Hushaby street,
      With poppies that hang from her head to her feet,
      Comes stealing; comes creeping.



"BOOH!"

      On afternoons, when baby boy has had a splendid nap,
      And sits, like any monarch on his throne, in nurse's lap,
      In some such wise my handkerchief I hold before my face,
      And cautiously and quietly I move about the place;
      Then, with a cry, I suddenly expose my face to view,
      And you should hear him laugh and crow when I say "Booh"!

      Sometimes the rascal tries to make believe that he is scared,
      And really, when I first began, he stared, and stared, and stared;
      And then his under lip came out and farther out it came,
      Till mamma and the nurse agreed it was a "cruel shame"--
      But now what does that same wee, toddling, lisping baby do
      But laugh and kick his little heels when I say "Booh!"

      He laughs and kicks his little heels in rapturous glee, and then
      In shrill, despotic treble bids me "do it all aden!"
      And I--of course I do it; for, as his progenitor,
      It is such pretty, pleasant play as this that I am for!
      And it is, oh, such fun I and sure that we shall rue
      The time when we are both too old to play the game "Booh!"



GARDEN AND CRADLE

      When our babe he goeth walking in his garden,
      Around his tinkling feet the sunbeams play;
      The posies they are good to him,
      And bow them as they should to him,
      As fareth he upon his kingly way;
      And birdlings of the wood to him
      Make music, gentle music, all the day,
      When our babe he goeth walking in his garden.

      When our babe he goeth swinging in his cradle,
      Then the night it looketh ever sweetly down;
      The little stars are kind to him,
      The moon she hath a mind to him
      And layeth on his head a golden crown;
      And singeth then the wind to him
      A song, the gentle song of Bethlem-town,
      When our babe he goeth swinging in his cradle.



THE NIGHT WIND

      Have you ever heard the wind go "Yooooo"?
      'T is a pitiful sound to hear!
      It seems to chill you through and through
      With a strange and speechless fear.
      'T is the voice of the night that broods outside
      When folk should be asleep,
      And many and many's the time I've cried
      To the darkness brooding far and wide
      Over the land and the deep:
      "Whom do you want, O lonely night,
      That you wail the long hours through?"
      And the night would say in its ghostly way:
          "Yoooooooo!
           Yoooooooo!
           Yoooooooo!"

      My mother told me long ago
      (When I was a little tad)
      That when the night went wailing so,
      Somebody had been bad;
      And then, when I was snug in bed,
      Whither I had been sent,
      With the blankets pulled up round my head,
      I'd think of what my mother'd said,
      And wonder what boy she meant!
      And "Who's been bad to-day?" I'd ask
      Of the wind that hoarsely blew,
      And the voice would say in its meaningful way:
          "Yoooooooo!
           Yoooooooo!
           Yoooooooo!"

      That this was true I must allow--
      You'll not believe it, though!
      Yes, though I'm quite a model now,
      I was not always so.
      And if you doubt what things I say,
      Suppose you make the test;
      Suppose, when you've been bad some day
      And up to bed are sent away
      From mother and the rest--
      Suppose you ask, "Who has been bad?"
      And then you'll hear what's true;
      For the wind will moan in its ruefulest tone:
          "Yoooooooo!
           Yoooooooo!
           Yoooooooo!"



KISSING TIME

      'T is when the lark goes soaring
      And the bee is at the bud,
      When lightly dancing zephyrs
      Sing over field and flood;
      When all sweet things in nature
      Seem joyfully achime--
      'T is then I wake my darling,
      For it is kissing time!

      Go, pretty lark, a-soaring,
      And suck your sweets, O bee;
      Sing, O ye winds of summer,
      Your songs to mine and me;
      For with your song and rapture
      Cometh the moment when
      It's half-past kissing time
      And time to kiss again!

      So--so the days go fleeting
      Like golden fancies free,
      And every day that cometh
      Is full of sweets for me;
      And sweetest are those moments
      My darling comes to climb
      Into my lap to mind me
      That it is kissing time.

      Sometimes, maybe, he wanders
      A heedless, aimless way--
      Sometimes, maybe, he loiters
      In pretty, prattling play;
      But presently bethinks him
      And hastens to me then,
      For it's half-past kissing time
      And time to kiss again!



JEST 'FORE CHRISTMAS

      Father calls me William, sister calls me Will,
      Mother calls me Willie, but the fellers call me Bill!
      Mighty glad I ain't a girl--ruther be a boy,
      Without them sashes, curls, an' things that's worn by Fauntleroy!
      Love to chawnk green apples an' go swimmin' in the lake--
      Hate to take the castor-ile they give for bellyache!
      'Most all the time, the whole year round, there ain't no flies on me,
      But jest 'fore Christmas I'm as good as I kin be!

      Got a yeller dog named Sport, sick him on the cat;
      First thing she knows she doesn't know where she is at!
      Got a clipper sled, an' when us kids goes out to slide,
      'Long comes the grocery cart, an' we all hook a ride!
      But sometimes when the grocery man is worrited an' cross,
      He reaches at us with his whip, an' larrups up his hoss,
      An' then I laff an' holler, "Oh, ye never teched me!"
      But jest 'fore Christmas I'm as good as I kin be!

      Gran'ma says she hopes that when I git to be a man,
      I'll be a missionarer like her oldest brother, Dan,
      As was et up by the cannibuls that lives in Ceylon's Isle,
      Where every prospeck pleases, an' only man is vile!
      But gran'ma she has never been to see a Wild West show,
      Nor read the Life of Daniel Boone, or else I guess she'd know
      That Buff'lo Bill an' cow-boys is good enough for me!
      Excep' jest 'fore Christmas, when I'm good as I kin be!

      And then old Sport he hangs around, so solemn-like an' still,
      His eyes they seem a-sayin': "What's the matter, little Bill?"
      The old cat sneaks down off her perch an' wonders what's become
      Of them two enemies of hern that used to make things hum!
      But I am so perlite an' 'tend so earnestly to biz,
      That mother says to father: "How improved our Willie is!"
      But father, havin' been a boy hisself, suspicions me
      When, jest 'fore Christmas, I'm as good as I kin be!

      For Christmas, with its lots an' lots of candies, cakes, an' toys,
      Was made, they say, for proper kids an' not for naughty boys;
      So wash yer face an' bresh yer hair, an' mind yer p's and q's,
      An' don't bust out yer pantaloons, and don't wear out yer shoes;
      Say "Yessum" to the ladies, an' "Yessur" to the men,
      An' when they's company, don't pass yer plate for pie again;
      But, thinkin' of the things yer'd like to see upon that tree,
      Jest 'fore Christmas be as good as yer kin be!



BEARD AND BABY

      I say, as one who never feared
      The wrath of a subscriber's bullet,
      I pity him who has a beard
      But has no little girl to pull it!

      When wife and I have finished tea,
      Our baby woos me with her prattle,
      And, perching proudly on my knee,
      She gives my petted whiskers battle.

      With both her hands she tugs away,
      While scolding at me kind o' spiteful;
      You'll not believe me when I say
      I find the torture quite delightful!

      No other would presume, I ween,
      To trifle with this hirsute wonder,
      Else would I rise in vengeful mien
      And rend his vandal frame asunder!

      But when her baby fingers pull
      This glossy, sleek, and silky treasure,
      My cup of happiness is full--
      I fairly glow with pride and pleasure!

      And, sweeter still, through all the day
      I seem to hear her winsome prattle--
      I seem to feel her hands at play,
      As though they gave me sportive battle.

      Yes, heavenly music seems to steal
      Where thought of her forever lingers,
      And round my heart I always feel
      The twining of her dimpled fingers!



THE DINKEY BIRD

      In an ocean, 'way out yonder
      (As all sapient people know),
      Is the land of Wonder-Wander,
      Whither children love to go;
      It's their playing, romping, swinging,
      That give great joy to me
      While the Dinkey-Bird goes singing
      In the amfalula tree!

      There the gum-drops grow like cherries,
      And taffy's thick as peas--
      Caramels you pick like berries
      When, and where, and how you please;
      Big red sugar-plums are clinging
      To the cliffs beside that sea
      Where the Dinkey-Bird is singing
      In the amfalula tree.

      So when children shout and scamper
      And make merry all the day,
      When there's naught to put a damper
      To the ardor of their play;
      When I hear their laughter ringing,
      Then I'm sure as sure can be
      That the Dinkey-Bird is singing
      In the amfalula tree.

      For the Dinkey-Bird's bravuras
      And staccatos are so sweet--
      His roulades, appoggiaturas,
      And robustos so complete,
      That the youth of every nation--
      Be they near or far away--
      Have especial delectation
      In that gladsome roundelay.

      Their eyes grow bright and brighter,
      Their lungs begin to crow,
      Their hearts get light and lighter,
      And their cheeks are all aglow;
      For an echo cometh bringing
      The news to all and me,
      That the Dinkey-Bird is singing
      In the amfalula tree.

      I'm sure you like to go there
      To see your feathered friend--
      And so many goodies grow there
      You would like to comprehend!
      Speed, little dreams, your winging
      To that land across the sea
      Where the Dinkey-Bird is singing
      In the amfalula tree!



THE DRUM

      I'm a beautiful red, red drum,
      And I train with the soldier boys;
      As up the street we come,
      Wonderful is our noise!
      There's Tom, and Jim, and Phil,
      And Dick, and Nat, and Fred,
      While Widow Cutler's Bill
      And I march on ahead,
      With a r-r-rat-tat-tat
      And a tum-titty-um-tum-tum--
      Oh, there's bushels of fun in that
      For boys with a little red drum!

      The Injuns came last night
      While the soldiers were abed,
      And they gobbled a Chinese kite
      And off to the woods they fled!
      The woods are the cherry-trees
      Down in the orchard lot,
      And the soldiers are marching to seize
      The booty the Injuns got.
      With tum-titty-um-tum-tum,
      And r-r-rat-tat-tat,
      When soldiers marching come
      Injuns had better scat!

      Step up there, little Fred,
      And, Charley, have a mind!
      Jim is as far ahead
      As you two are behind!
      Ready with gun and sword
      Your valorous work to do--
      Yonder the Injun horde
      Are lying in wait for you.
      And their hearts go pitapat
      When they hear the soldiers come
      With a r-r-rat-tat-tat
      And a tum-titty-um-tum-tum!

      Course it's all in play!
      The skulking Injun crew
      That hustled the kite away
      Are little white boys, like you!
      But "honest" or "just in fun,"
      It is all the same to me;
      And, when the battle is won,
      Home once again march we
      With a r-r-rat-tat-tat
      And tum-titty-um-tum-tum;
      And there's glory enough in that
      For the boys with their little red drum!



THE DEAD BABE

      Last night, as my dear babe lay dead,
      In agony I knelt and said:
      "O God! what have I done,
      Or in what wise offended Thee,
      That Thou should'st take away from me
      My little son?

      "Upon the thousand useless lives,
      Upon the guilt that vaunting thrives,
      Thy wrath were better spent!
      Why should'st Thou take my little son--
      Why should'st Thou vent Thy wrath upon
      This innocent?"

      Last night, as my dear babe lay dead,
      Before mine eyes the vision spread
      Of things that might have been:
      Licentious riot, cruel strife,
      Forgotten prayers, a wasted life
      Dark red with sin!

      Then, with sweet music in the air,
      I saw another vision there:
      A Shepherd in whose keep
      A little lamb--my little child!
      Of worldly wisdom undefiled,
      Lay fast asleep!

      Last night, as my dear babe lay dead,
      In those two messages I read
      A wisdom manifest;
      And though my arms be childless now,
      I am content--to Him I bow
      Who knoweth best.



THE HAPPY HOUSEHOLD

      It's when the birds go piping and the daylight slowly breaks,
      That, clamoring for his dinner, our precious baby wakes;
      Then it's sleep no more for baby, and it's sleep no more for me,
      For, when he wants his dinner, why it's dinner it must be!
      And of that lacteal fluid he partakes with great ado,
        While gran'ma laughs,
        And gran'pa laughs,
        And wife, she laughs,
        And I--well, I laugh, too!

      You'd think, to see us carrying on about that little tad,
      That, like as not, that baby was the first we'd ever had;
      But, sakes alive! he isn't, yet we people make a fuss
      As if the only baby in the world had come to us!
      And, morning, noon, and night-time, whatever he may do,
        Gran'ma, she laughs,
        Gran'pa, he laughs,
        Wife, she laughs,
        And I, of course, laugh, too!

      But once--a likely spell ago--when that poor little chick
      From teething or from some such ill of infancy fell sick,
      You wouldn't know us people as the same that went about
      A-feelin' good all over, just to hear him crow and shout;
      And, though the doctor poohed our fears and said he'd pull him through,
        Old gran'ma cried,
        And gran'pa cried,
        And wife, she cried,
        And I--yes, I cried, too!

      It makes us all feel good to have a baby on the place,
      With his everlastin' crowing and his dimpling, dumpling face;
      The patter of his pinky feet makes music everywhere,
      And when he shakes those fists of his, good-by to every care!
      No matter what our trouble is, when he begins to coo,
        Old gran'ma laughs,
        And gran'pa laughs,
        Wife, she laughs,
        And I--you bet, I laugh, too!



SO, SO, ROCK-A-BY SO!

      So, so, rock-a-by so!
      Off to the garden where dreamikins grow;
      And here is a kiss on your winkyblink eyes,
      And here is a kiss on your dimpledown cheek
      And here is a kiss for the treasure that lies
      In the beautiful garden way up in the skies
      Which you seek.
      Now mind these three kisses wherever you go--
      So, so, rock-a-by so!

      There's one little fumfay who lives there, I know,
      For he dances all night where the dreamikins grow;
      I send him this kiss on your droopydrop eyes,
      I send him this kiss on your rosyred cheek.
      And here is a kiss for the dream that shall rise
      When the fumfay shall dance in those far-away skies
      Which you seek.
      Be sure that you pay those three kisses you owe--
      So, so, rock-a-by so!

      And, by-low, as you rock-a-by go,
      Don't forget mother who loveth you so!
      And here is her kiss on your weepydeep eyes,
      And here is her kiss on your peachypink cheek,
      And here is her kiss for the dreamland that lies
      Like a babe on the breast of those far-away skies
      Which you seek--
      The blinkywink garden where dreamikins grow--
      So, so, rock-a-by so!



THE SONG OF LUDDY-DUD

      A sunbeam comes a-creeping
      Into my dear one's nest,
      And sings to our babe a-sleeping
      The song that I love the best:
      "'T is little Luddy-Dud in the morning--
      'T is little Luddy-Dud at night;
      And all day long
      'T is the same sweet song
      Of that waddling, toddling, coddling little mite,
      Luddy-Dud."

      The bird to the tossing clover,
      The bee to the swaying bud,
      Keep singing that sweet song over
      Of wee little Luddy-Dud.
      "'T is little Luddy-Dud in the morning--
      'T is little Luddy-Dud at night;
      And all day long
      'T is the same dear song
      Of that growing, crowing, knowing little sprite,
      Luddy-Dud."

      Luddy-Dud's cradle is swinging
      Where softly the night winds blow,
      And Luddy-Dud's mother is singing
      A song that is sweet and low:
      "'T is little Luddy-Dud in the morning--
      'T is little Luddy-Dud at night;
      And all day long
      'T is the same sweet song
      Of my nearest and my dearest heart's delight,
      Luddy-Dud!"



THE DUEL

      The gingham dog and the calico cat
      Side by side on the table sat;
      'T was half-past twelve, and (what do you think!)
      Nor one nor t' other had slept a wink!
      The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate
      Appeared to know as sure as fate
      There was going to be a terrible spat.
      (I wasn't there; I simply state
      What was told to me by the Chinese plate!)

      The gingham dog went "bow-wow-wow!"
      And the calico cat replied "mee-ow!"
      The air was littered, an hour or so,
      With bits of gingham and calico,
      While the old Dutch clock in the chimney place
      Up with its hands before its face,
      For it always dreaded a family row!
      (Now mind: I'm only telling you
      What the old Dutch clock declares is true!)

      The Chinese plate looked very blue,
      And wailed, "Oh, dear! what shall we do!"
      But the gingham dog and the calico cat
      Wallowed this way and tumbled that,
      Employing every tooth and claw
      In the awfullest way you ever saw--
      And, oh! how the gingham and calico flew!
      (Don't fancy I exaggerate--
      I got my news from the Chinese plate!)

      Next morning, where the two had sat
      They found no trace of dog or cat;
      And some folks think unto this day
      That burglars stole that pair away!
      But the truth about the cat and pup
      Is this: they ate each other up!
      Now what do you really think of that!
      (The old Dutch clock it told me so,
      And that is how I came to know.)



GOOD-CHILDREN STREET

      There's a dear little home in Good-Children street--
      My heart turneth fondly to-day
      Where tinkle of tongues and patter of feet
      Make sweetest of music at play;
      Where the sunshine of love illumines each face
      And warms every heart in that old-fashioned place.

      For dear little children go romping about
      With dollies and tin tops and drums,
      And, my! how they frolic and scamper and shout
      Till bedtime too speedily comes!
      Oh, days they are golden and days they are fleet
      With little folk living in Good-Children street.

      See, here comes an army with guns painted red,
      And swords, caps, and plumes of all sorts;
      The captain rides gaily and proudly ahead
      On a stick-horse that prances and snorts!
      Oh, legions of soldiers you're certain to meet--
      Nice make-believe soldiers--in Good-Children street.

      And yonder Odette wheels her dolly about--
      Poor dolly! I'm sure she is ill,
      For one of her blue china eyes has dropped out
      And her voice is asthmatic'ly shrill.
      Then, too, I observe she is minus her feet,
      Which causes much sorrow in Good-Children street.

      'T is so the dear children go romping about
      With dollies and banners and drums,
      And I venture to say they are sadly put out
      When an end to their jubilee comes:
      Oh, days they are golden and days they are fleet
      With little folk living in Good-Children street!

      But when falleth night over river and town,
      Those little folk vanish from sight,
      And an angel all white from the sky cometh down
      And guardeth the babes through the night,
      And singeth her lullabies tender and sweet
      To the dear little people in Good-Children Street.

      Though elsewhere the world be o'erburdened with care,
      Though poverty fall to my lot,
      Though toil and vexation be always my share,
      What care I--they trouble me not!
      This thought maketh life ever joyous and Sweet:
      There's a dear little home in Good-Children street.



THE DELECTABLE BALLAD OF THE WALLER LOT

      Up yonder in Buena Park
      There is a famous spot,
      In legend and in history
      Yclept the Waller Lot.

      There children play in daytime
      And lovers stroll by dark,
      For 't is the goodliest trysting-place
      In all Buena Park.

      Once on a time that beauteous maid,
      Sweet little Sissy Knott,
      Took out her pretty doll to walk
      Within the Waller Lot.

      While thus she fared, from Ravenswood
      Came Injuns o'er the plain,
      And seized upon that beauteous maid
      And rent her doll in twain.

      Oh, 't was a piteous thing to hear
      Her lamentations wild;
      She tore her golden curls and cried:
      "My child! My child! My child!"

      Alas, what cared those Injun chiefs
      How bitterly wailed she?
      They never had been mothers,
      And they could not hope to be!

      "Have done with tears," they rudely quoth,
      And then they bound her hands;
      For they proposed to take her off
      To distant border lands.

      But, joy! from Mr. Eddy's barn
      Doth Willie Clow behold
      The sight that makes his hair rise up
      And all his blood run cold.

      He put his fingers in his mouth
      And whistled long and clear,
      And presently a goodly horde
      Of cow-boys did appear.

      Cried Willie Clow: "My comrades bold,
      Haste to the Waller Lot,
      And rescue from that Injun band
      Our charming Sissy Knott!"

      "Spare neither Injun buck nor squaw,
      But smite them hide and hair!
      Spare neither sex nor age nor size,
      And no condition spare!"

      Then sped that cow-boy band away,
      Full of revengeful wrath,
      And Kendall Evans rode ahead
      Upon a hickory lath.

      And next came gallant Dady Field
      And Willie's brother Kent,
      The Eddy boys and Robbie James,
      On murderous purpose bent.

      For they were much beholden to
      That maid--in sooth, the lot
      Were very, very much in love
      With charming Sissy Knott.

      What wonder? She was beauty's queen,
      And good beyond compare;
      Moreover, it was known she was
      Her wealthy father's heir!

      Now when the Injuns saw that band
      They trembled with affright,
      And yet they thought the cheapest thing
      To do was stay and fight.

      So sturdily they stood their ground,
      Nor would their prisoner yield,
      Despite the wrath of Willie Clow
      And gallant Dady Field.

      Oh, never fiercer battle raged
      Upon the Waller Lot,
      And never blood more freely flowed
      Than flowed for Sissy Knott!

      An Injun chief of monstrous size
      Got Kendall Evans down,
      And Robbie James was soon o'erthrown
      By one of great renown.

      And Dady Field was sorely done,
      And Willie Clow was hurt,
      And all that gallant cow-boy band
      Lay wallowing in the dirt.

      But still they strove with might and main
      Till all the Waller Lot
      Was strewn with hair and gouts of gore--
      All, all for Sissy Knott!

      Then cried the maiden in despair:
      "Alas, I sadly fear
      The battle and my hopes are lost,
      Unless some help appear!"

      Lo, as she spoke, she saw afar
      The rescuer looming up--
      The pride of all Buena Park,
      Clow's famous yellow pup!

      "Now, sick'em, Don," the maiden cried,
      "Now, sick'em, Don!" cried she;
      Obedient Don at once complied--
      As ordered, so did he.

      He sicked'em all so passing well
      That, overcome by fright,
      The Indian horde gave up the fray
      And safety sought in flight.

      They ran and ran and ran and ran
      O'er valley, plain, and hill;
      And if they are not walking now,
      Why, then, they're running still.

      The cow-boys rose up from the dust
      With faces black and blue;
      "Remember, beauteous maid," said they,
      "We've bled and died for you!"

      "And though we suffer grievously,
      We gladly hail the lot
      That brings us toils and pains and wounds
      For charming Sissy Knott!"

      But Sissy Knott still wailed and wept,
      And still her fate reviled;
      For who could patch her dolly up--
      Who, who could mend her child?

      Then out her doting mother came,
      And soothed her daughter then;
      "Grieve not, my darling, I will sew
      Your dolly up again!"

      Joy soon succeeded unto grief,
      And tears were soon dried up,
      And dignities were heaped upon
      Clow's noble yellow pup.

      Him all that goodly company
      Did as deliverer hail--
      They tied a ribbon round his neck,
      Another round his tail.

      And every anniversary day
      Upon the Waller Lot
      They celebrate the victory won
      For charming Sissy Knott.

      And I, the poet of these folk,
      Am ordered to compile
      This truly famous history
      In good old ballad style.

      Which having done as to have earned
      The sweet rewards of fame,
      In what same style I did begin
      I now shall end the same.

      So let us sing: Long live the King,
      Long live the Queen and Jack,
      Long live the ten-spot and the ace,
      And also all the pack.



THE STORK

      Last night the Stork came stalking,
      And, Stork, beneath your wing
      Lay, lapped in dreamless slumber,
      The tiniest little thing!
      From Babyland, out yonder
      Beside a silver sea,
      You brought a priceless treasure
      As gift to mine and me!

      Last night my dear one listened--
      And, wife, you knew the cry--
      The dear old Stork has sought our home
      A many times gone by!
      And in your gentle bosom
      I found the pretty thing
      That from the realm out yonder
      Our friend the Stork did bring.

      Last night a babe awakened,
      And, babe, how strange and new
      Must seem the home and people
      The Stork has brought you to;
      And yet methinks you like them--
      You neither stare nor weep,
      But closer to my dear one
      You cuddle, and you sleep!

      Last night my heart grew fonder--
      O happy heart of mine,
      Sing of the inspirations
      That round my pathway shine!
      And sing your sweetest love-song
      To this dear nestling wee
      The Stork from 'Way-Out-Yonder
      Hath brought to mine and me!



THE BOTTLE TREE

      A bottle tree bloometh in Winkyway land--
      Heigh-ho for a bottle, I say!
      A snug little berth in that ship I demand
      That rocketh the Bottle-Tree babies away
      Where the Bottle Tree bloometh by night and by day
      And reacheth its fruit to each wee, dimpled hand;
      You take of that fruit as much as you list,
      For colic's a nuisance that doesn't exist!
      So cuddle me and cuddle me fast,
      And cuddle me snug in my cradle away,
      For I hunger and thirst for that precious repast--
      Heigh-ho for a bottle, I say!

      The Bottle Tree bloometh by night and by day!
      Heigh-ho for Winkyway land!
      And Bottle-Tree fruit (as I've heard people say)
      Makes bellies of Bottle-Tree babies expand--
      And that is a trick I would fain understand!
      Heigh-ho for a bottle to-day!
      And heigh-ho for a bottle to-night--
      A bottle of milk that is creamy and white!
      So cuddle me close, and cuddle me fast,
      And cuddle me snug in my cradle away,
      For I hunger and thirst for that precious repast--
      Heigh-ho for a bottle, I say!



GOOGLY-GOO

      Of mornings, bright and early,
      When the lark is on the wing
      And the robin in the maple
      Hops from her nest to sing,
      From yonder cheery chamber
      Cometh a mellow coo--
      'T is the sweet, persuasive treble
      Of my little Googly-Goo!

      The sunbeams hear his music,
      And they seek his little bed,
      And they dance their prettiest dances
      Round his golden curly head:
      Schottisches, galops, minuets,
      Gavottes and waltzes, too,
      Dance they unto the music
      Of my googling Googly-Goo.

      My heart--my heart it leapeth
      To hear that treble tone;
      What music like thy music,
      My darling and mine own!
      And patiently--yes, cheerfully
      I toil the long day through--
      My labor seemeth lightened
      By the song of Googly-Goo!

      I may not see his antics,
      Nor kiss his dimpled cheek:
      I may not smooth the tresses
      The sunbeams love to seek;
      It mattereth not--the echo
      Of his sweet, persuasive coo
      Recurreth to remind me
      Of my little Googly-Goo.

      And when I come at evening,
      I stand without the door
      And patiently I listen
      For that dear sound once more;
      And oftentimes I wonder,
      "Oh, God! what should I do
      If any ill should happen
      To my little Googly-Goo!"

      Then in affright I call him--
      I hear his gleeful shouts!
      Begone, ye dread forebodings--
      Begone, ye killing doubts!
      For, with my arms about him,
      My heart warms through and through
      With the oogling and the googling
      Of my little Googly-Goo!



THE BENCH-LEGGED FYCE

      Speakin' of dorgs, my bench-legged fyce
      Hed most o' the virtues, an' nary a vice.
      Some folks called him Sooner, a name that arose
      From his predisposition to chronic repose;
      But, rouse his ambition, he couldn't be beat--
      Yer bet yer he got thar on all his four feet!

      Mos' dorgs hez some forte--like huntin' an' such,
      But the sports o' the field didn't bother him much;
      Wuz just a plain dorg, an' contented to be
      On peaceable terms with the neighbors an' me;
      Used to fiddle an' squirm, and grunt "Oh, how nice!"
      When I tickled the back of that bench-legged fyce!

      He wuz long in the bar'l, like a fyce oughter be;
      His color wuz yaller as ever you see;
      His tail, curlin' upward, wuz long, loose, an' slim--
      When he didn't wag it, why, the tail it wagged him!
      His legs wuz so crooked, my bench-legged pup
      Wuz as tall settin' down as he wuz standin' up!

      He'd lie by the stove of a night an' regret
      The various vittles an' things he had et;
      When a stranger, most likely a tramp, come along,
      He'd lift up his voice in significant song--
      You wondered, by gum! how there ever wuz space
      In that bosom o' his'n to hold so much bass!

      Of daytimes he'd sneak to the road an' lie down,
      An' tackle the country dorgs comin' to town;
      By common consent he wuz boss in St. Joe,
      For what he took hold of he never let go!
      An' a dude that come courtin' our girl left a slice
      Of his white flannel suit with our bench-legged fyce!

      He wuz good to us kids--when we pulled at his fur
      Or twisted his tail he would never demur;
      He seemed to enjoy all our play an' our chaff,
      For his tongue 'u'd hang out an' he'd laff an' he'd laff;
      An' once, when the Hobart boy fell through the ice,
      He wuz drug clean ashore by that bench-legged fyce!

      We all hev our choice, an' you, like the rest,
      Allow that the dorg which you've got is the best;
      I wouldn't give much for the boy 'at grows up
      With no friendship subsistin' 'tween him an' a pup!
      When a fellow gits old--I tell you it's nice
      To think of his youth and his bench-legged fyce!

      To think of the springtime 'way back in St. Joe--
      Of the peach-trees abloom an' the daisies ablow;
      To think of the play in the medder an' grove,
      When little legs wrassled an' little han's strove;
      To think of the loyalty, valor, an' truth
      Of the friendships that hallow the season of youth!



LITTLE MISS BRAG

      Little Miss Brag has much to say
      To the rich little lady from over the way
      And the rich little lady puts out a lip
      As she looks at her own white, dainty slip,
      And wishes that she could wear a gown
      As pretty as gingham of faded brown!
      For little Miss Brag she lays much stress
      On the privileges of a gingham dress--
          "Aha,
           Oho!"

      The rich little lady from over the way
      Has beautiful dolls in vast array;
      Yet she envies the raggedy home-made doll
      She hears our little Miss Brag extol.
      For the raggedy doll can fear no hurt
      From wet, or heat, or tumble, or dirt!
      Her nose is inked, and her mouth is, too,
      And one eye's black and the other's blue--
          "Aha,
           Oho!"

      The rich little lady goes out to ride
      With footmen standing up outside,
      Yet wishes that, sometimes, after dark
      Her father would trundle her in the park;--
      That, sometimes, her mother would sing the things
      Little Miss Brag says her mother sings
      When through the attic window streams
      The moonlight full of golden dreams--
          "Aha,
           Oho!"

      Yes, little Miss Brag has much to say
      To the rich little lady from over the way;
      And yet who knows but from her heart
      Often the bitter sighs upstart--
      Uprise to lose their burn and sting
      In the grace of the tongue that loves to sing
      Praise of the treasures all its own!
      So I've come to love that treble tone--
          "Aha,
           Oho!"



THE HUMMING TOP

      The top it hummeth a sweet, sweet song
      To my dear little boy at play--
      Merrily singeth all day long,
      As it spinneth and spinneth away.
      And my dear little boy
      He laugheth with joy
      When he heareth the monotone
      Of that busy thing
      That loveth to sing
      The song that is all its own.

      Hold fast the string and wind it tight,
      That the song be loud and clear;
      Now hurl the top with all your might
      Upon the banquette here;
      And straight from the string
      The joyous thing
      Boundeth and spinneth along,
      And it whirrs and it chirrs
      And it birrs and it purrs
      Ever its pretty song.

      Will ever my dear little boy grow old,
      As some have grown before?
      Will ever his heart feel faint and cold,
      When he heareth the songs of yore?
      Will ever this toy
      Of my dear little boy,
      When the years have worn away,
      Sing sad and low
      Of the long ago,
      As it singeth to me to-day?



LADY BUTTON-EYES

      When the busy day is done,
      And my weary little one
      Rocketh gently to and fro;
      When the night winds softly blow,
      And the crickets in the glen
      Chirp and chirp and chirp again;
      When upon the haunted green
      Fairies dance around their queen--
      Then from yonder misty skies
      Cometh Lady Button-Eyes.

      Through the murk and mist and gloam
      To our quiet, cozy home,
      Where to singing, sweet and low,
      Rocks a cradle to and fro;
      Where the clock's dull monotone
      Telleth of the day that's done;
      Where the moonbeams hover o'er
      Playthings sleeping on the floor--
      Where my weary wee one lies
      Cometh Lady Button-Eyes.

      Cometh like a fleeting ghost
      From some distant eerie coast;
      Never footfall can you hear
      As that spirit fareth near--
      Never whisper, never word
      From that shadow-queen is heard.
      In ethereal raiment dight,
      From the realm of fay and sprite
      In the depth of yonder skies
      Cometh Lady Button-Eyes.

      Layeth she her hands upon
      My dear weary little one,
      And those white hands overspread
      Like a veil the curly head,
      Seem to fondle and caress
      Every little silken tress;
      Then she smooths the eyelids down
      Over those two eyes of brown--
      In such soothing, tender wise
      Cometh Lady Button-Eyes.

      Dearest, feel upon your brow
      That caressing magic now;
      For the crickets in the glen
      Chirp and chirp and chirp again,
      While upon the haunted green
      Fairies dance around their queen,
      And the moonbeams hover o'er
      Playthings sleeping on the floor--
      Hush, my sweet! from yonder skies
      Cometh Lady Button-Eyes!



THE RIDE TO BUMPVILLE

      Play that my knee was a calico mare
      Saddled and bridled for Bumpville;
      Leap to the back of this steed, if you dare,
      And gallop away to Bumpville!
      I hope you'll be sure to sit fast in your seat,
      For this calico mare is prodigiously fleet,
      And many adventures you're likely to meet
      As you journey along to Bumpville.

      This calico mare both gallops and trots
      While whisking you off to Bumpville;
      She paces, she shies, and she stumbles, in spots,
      In the tortuous road to Bumpville;
      And sometimes this strangely mercurial steed
      Will suddenly stop and refuse to proceed,
      Which, all will admit, is vexatious indeed,
      When one is en route to Bumpville!

      She's scared of the cars when the engine goes "Toot!"
      Down by the crossing at Bumpville;
      You'd better look out for that treacherous brute
      Bearing you off to Bumpville!
      With a snort she rears up on her hindermost heels,
      And executes jigs and Virginia reels--
      Words fail to explain how embarrassed one feels
      Dancing so wildly to Bumpville!

      It's bumpytybump and it's jiggytyjog,
      Journeying on to Bumpville
      It's over the hilltop and down through the bog
      You ride on your way to Bumpville;
      It's rattletybang over boulder and stump,
      There are rivers to ford, there are fences to jump,
      And the corduroy road it goes bumpytybump,
      Mile after mile to bumpville!

      Perhaps you'll observe it's no easy thing
      Making the journey to Bumpville,
      So I think, on the whole, it were prudent to bring
      An end to this ride to Bumpville;
      For, though she has uttered no protest or plaint,
      The calico mare must be blowing and faint--
      What's more to the point, I'm blowed if I ain't!
      So play we have got to Bumpville!



THE BROOK

      I looked in the brook and saw a face--
      Heigh-ho, but a child was I!
      There were rushes and willows in that place,
      And they clutched at the brook as the brook ran by;
      And the brook it ran its own sweet way,
      As a child doth run in heedless play,
      And as it ran I heard it say:
      "Hasten with me
      To the roistering sea
      That is wroth with the flame of the morning sky!"

      I look in the brook and see a face--
      Heigh-ho, but the years go by!
      The rushes are dead in the old-time place,
      And the willows I knew when a child was I.
      And the brook it seemeth to me to say,
      As ever it stealeth on its way--
      Solemnly now, and not in play:
      "Oh, come with me
      To the slumbrous sea
      That is gray with the peace of the evening sky!"

      Heigh-ho, but the years go by--
      I would to God that a child were I!



PICNIC-TIME

      It's June ag'in, an' in my soul I feel the fillin' joy
      That's sure to come this time o' year to every little boy;
      For, every June, the Sunday-schools at picnics may be seen,
      Where "fields beyont the swellin' floods stand dressed in livin' green";
      Where little girls are skeered to death with spiders, bugs, and ants,
      An' little boys get grass-stains on their go-to meetin' pants.
      It's June ag'in, an' with it all what happiness is mine--
      There's goin' to be a picnic, an' I'm goin' to jine!

      One year I jined the Baptists, an' goodness! how it rained!
      (But grampa says that that's the way "baptizo" is explained.)
      And once I jined the 'Piscopils an' had a heap o' fun--
      But the boss of all the picnics was the Presbyteriun!
      They had so many puddin's, sallids, sandwidges, an' pies,
      That a feller wisht his stummick was as hungry as his eyes!
      Oh, yes, the eatin' Presbyteriuns give yer is so fine
      That when they have a picnic, you bet I'm goin' to jine!

      But at this time the Methodists have special claims on me,
      For they're goin' to give a picnic on the 21st, D. V.;
      Why should a liberal universalist like me object
      To share the joys of fellowship with every friendly sect?
      However het'rodox their articles of faith elsewise may be,
      Their doctrine of fried chick'n is a savin' grace to me!
      So on the 21st of June, the weather bein' fine,
      They're goin' to give a picnic, and I'm goin' to jine!



SHUFFLE-SHOON AND AMBER-LOCKS

      Shuffle-shoon and Amber-Locks
      Sit together, building blocks;
      Shuffle-Shoon is old and gray,
      Amber-Locks a little child,
      But together at their play
      Age and Youth are reconciled,
      And with sympathetic glee
      Build their castles fair to see.

      "When I grow to be a man"
      (So the wee one's prattle ran),
      "I shall build a castle so--
      With a gateway broad and grand;
      Here a pretty vine shall grow,
      There a soldier guard shall stand;
      And the tower shall be so high,
      Folks will wonder, by and by!"

      Shuffle-Shoon quoth: "Yes, I know;
      Thus I builded long ago!
      Here a gate and there a wall,
      Here a window, there a door;
      Here a steeple wondrous tall
      Riseth ever more and more!
      But the years have leveled low
      What I builded long ago!"

      So they gossip at their play,
      Heedless of the fleeting day;
      One speaks of the Long Ago
      Where his dead hopes buried lie;
      One with chubby cheeks aglow
      Prattleth of the By and By;
      Side by side, they build their blocks--
      Shuffle-Shoon and Amber-Locks.



THE SHUT-EYE TRAIN

      Come, my little one, with me!
      There are wondrous sights to see
      As the evening shadows fall;
      In your pretty cap and gown,
      Don't detain
      The Shut-Eye train--
      "Ting-a-ling!" the bell it goeth,
      "Toot-toot!" the whistle bloweth,
      And we hear the warning call:
      "All aboard for Shut-Eye Town!"

      Over hill and over plain
      Soon will speed the Shut-Eye train!
      Through the blue where bloom the stars
      And the Mother Moon looks down
      We'll away
      To land of Fay--
      Oh, the sights that we shall see there!
      Come, my little one, with me there--
      'T is a goodly train of cars--
      All aboard for Shut-Eye Town!

      Swifter than a wild bird's flight,
      Through the realms of fleecy light
      We shall speed and speed away!
      Let the Night in envy frown--
      What care we
      How wroth she be!
      To the Balow-land above us,
      To the Balow-folk who love us,
      Let us hasten while we may--
      All aboard for Shut-Eye Town!

      Shut-Eye Town is passing fair--
      Golden dreams await us there;
      We shall dream those dreams, my dear,
      Till the Mother Moon goes down--
      See unfold
      Delights untold!
      And in those mysterious places
      We shall see beloved faces
      And beloved voices hear
      In the grace of Shut-Eye Town.

      Heavy are your eyes, my sweet,
      Weary are your little feet--
      Nestle closer up to me
      In your pretty cap and gown;
      Don't detain
      The Shut-Eye train!
      "Ting-a-ling!" the bell it goeth,
      "Toot-toot!" the whistle bloweth
      Oh, the sights that we shall see!
      All aboard for Shut-Eye Town!



LITTLE-OH DEAR

      See, what a wonderful garden is here,
      Planted and trimmed for my Little-Oh-Dear!
      Posies so gaudy and grass of such brown--
      Search ye the country and hunt ye the town
      And never ye'll meet with a garden so queer
      As this one I've made for my Little-Oh-Dear!

      Marigolds white and buttercups blue,
      Lilies all dabbled with honey and dew,
      The cactus that trails over trellis and wall,
      Roses and pansies and violets--all
      Make proper obeisance and reverent cheer
      When into her garden steps Little-Oh-Dear.

      And up at the top of that lavender-tree
      A silver-bird singeth as only can she;
      For, ever and only, she singeth the song
      "I love you--I love you!" the happy day long;--
      Then the echo--the echo that smiteth me here!
      "I love you, I love you," my Little-Oh-Dear!

      The garden may wither, the silver-bird fly--
      But what careth my little precious, or I?
      From her pathway of flowers that in spring time upstart
      She walketh the tenderer way in my heart
      And, oh, it is always the summer-time here
      With that song of "I love you," my Little-Oh-Dear!



THE FLY-AWAY HORSE

      Oh, a wonderful horse is the Fly-Away Horse--
      Perhaps you have seen him before;
      Perhaps, while you slept, his shadow has swept
      Through the moonlight that floats on the floor.
      For it's only at night, when the stars twinkle bright,
      That the Fly-Away Horse, with a neigh
      And a pull at his rein and a toss of his mane,
      Is up on his heels and away!
      The Moon in the sky,
      As he gallopeth by,
      Cries: "Oh! what a marvelous sight!"
      And the Stars in dismay
      Hide their faces away
      In the lap of old Grandmother Night.

      It is yonder, out yonder, the Fly-Away Horse
      Speedeth ever and ever away--
      Over meadows and lanes, over mountains and plains,
      Over streamlets that sing at their play;
      And over the sea like a ghost sweepeth he,
      While the ships they go sailing below,
      And he speedeth so fast that the men at the mast
      Adjudge him some portent of woe.
      "What ho there!" they cry,
      As he flourishes by
      With a whisk of his beautiful tail;
      And the fish in the sea
      Are as scared as can be,
      From the nautilus up to the whale!

      And the Fly-Away Horse seeks those faraway lands
      You little folk dream of at night--
      Where candy-trees grow, and honey-brooks flow,
      And corn-fields with popcorn are white;
      And the beasts in the wood are ever so good
      To children who visit them there--
      What glory astride of a lion to ride,
      Or to wrestle around with a bear!
      The monkeys, they say:
      "Come on, let us play,"
      And they frisk in the cocoanut-trees:
      While the parrots, that cling
      To the peanut-vines, sing
      Or converse with comparative ease!

      Off! scamper to bed--you shall ride him tonight!
      For, as soon as you've fallen asleep,
      With a jubilant neigh he shall bear you away
      Over forest and hillside and deep!
      But tell us, my dear, all you see and you hear
      In those beautiful lands over there,
      Where the Fly-Away Horse wings his faraway course
      With the wee one consigned to his care.
      Then grandma will cry
      In amazement: "Oh, my!"
      And she'll think it could never be so;
      And only we two
      Shall know it is true--
      You and I, little precious! shall know!



SWING HIGH AND SWING LOW

      Swing high and swing low
      While the breezes they blow--
      It's off for a sailor thy father would go;
      And it's here in the harbor, in sight of the sea,
      He hath left his wee babe with my song and with me:
      "Swing high and swing low
      While the breezes they blow!"

      Swing high and swing low
      While the breezes they blow--
      It's oh for the waiting as weary days go!
      And it's oh for the heartache that smiteth me when
      I sing my song over and over again:
      "Swing high and swing low
      While the breezes they blow!"

      "Swing high and swing low "--
      The sea singeth so,
      And it waileth anon in its ebb and its flow;
      And a sleeper sleeps on to that song of the sea
      Nor recketh he ever of mine or of me!
      "Swing high and swing low
      While the breezes they blow--
      'T was off for a sailor thy father would go!"



WHEN I WAS A BOY

      Up in the attic where I slept
      When I was a boy, a little boy,
      In through the lattice the moonlight crept,
      Bringing a tide of dreams that swept
      Over the low, red trundle-bed,
      Bathing the tangled curly head,
      While moonbeams played at hide-and-seek
      With the dimples on the sun-browned cheek--
      When I was a boy, a little boy!

      And, oh! the dreams--the dreams I dreamed!
      When I was a boy, a little boy!
      For the grace that through the lattice streamed
      Over my folded eyelids seemed
      To have the gift of prophecy,
      And to bring me glimpses of times to be
      When manhood's clarion seemed to call--
      Ah! that was the sweetest dream of all,
      When I was a boy, a little boy!

      I'd like to sleep where I used to sleep
      When I was a boy, a little boy!
      For in at the lattice the moon would peep,
      Bringing her tide of dreams to sweep
      The crosses and griefs of the years away
      From the heart that is weary and faint to-day;
      And those dreams should give me back again
      A peace I have never known since then--
      When I was a boy, a little boy!



AT PLAY

      Play that you are mother dear,
      And play that papa is your beau;
      Play that we sit in the corner here,
      Just as we used to, long ago.
      Playing so, we lovers two
      Are just as happy as we can be,
      And I'll say "I love you" to you,
      And you say "I love you" to me!
      "I love you" we both shall say,
      All in earnest and all in play.

      Or, play that you are that other one
      That some time came, and went away;
      And play that the light of years agone
      Stole into my heart again to-day!
      Playing that you are the one I knew
      In the days that never again may be,
      I'll say "I love you" to you,"
      And you say "I love you" to me!
      "I love you!" my heart shall say
      To the ghost of the past come back to-day!

      Or, play that you sought this nestling-place
      For your own sweet self, with that dual guise
      Of your pretty mother in your face
      And the look of that other in your eyes!
      So the dear old loves shall live anew
      As I hold my darling on my knee,
      And I'll say "I love you" to you,
      And you say "I love you" to me!
      Oh, many a strange, true thing we say
      And do when we pretend to play!



A VALENTINE

      Go, Cupid, and my sweetheart tell
      I love her well.
      Yes, though she tramples on my heart
      And rends that bleeding thing apart;
      And though she rolls a scornful eye
      On doting me when I go by;
      And though she scouts at everything
      As tribute unto her I bring--
      Apple, banana, caramel--
      Haste, Cupid, to my love and tell,
      In spite of all, I love her well!

      And further say I have a sled
      Cushioned in blue and painted red!
      The groceryman has promised I
      Can "hitch" whenever he goes by--
      Go, tell her that, and, furthermore,
      Apprise my sweetheart that a score
      Of other little girls implore
      The boon of riding on that sled
      Painted and hitched, as aforesaid;--
      And tell her, Cupid, only she
      Shall ride upon that sled with me!
      Tell her this all, and further tell
      I love her well.



LITTLE ALL-ALONEY

      Little All-Aloney's feet
      Pitter-patter in the hall,
      And his mother runs to meet
      And to kiss her toddling sweet,
      Ere perchance he fall.
      He is, oh, so weak and small!
      Yet what danger shall he fear
      When his mother hovereth near,
      And he hears her cheering call:
      "All-Aloney"?

      Little All-Aloney's face
      It is all aglow with glee,
      As around that romping-place
      At a terrifying pace
      Lungeth, plungeth he!
      And that hero seems to be
      All unconscious of our cheers--
      Only one dear voice he hears
      Calling reassuringly:
      "All-Aloney!"

      Though his legs bend with their load,
      Though his feet they seem so small
      That you cannot help forebode
      Some disastrous episode
      In that noisy hall,
      Neither threatening bump nor fall
      Little All-Aloney fears,
      But with sweet bravado steers
      Whither comes that cheery call:
      "All-Aloney!"

      Ah, that in the years to come,
      When he shares of Sorrow's store,--
      When his feet are chill and numb,
      When his cross is burdensome,
      And his heart is sore:
      Would that he could hear once more
      The gentle voice he used to hear--
      Divine with mother love and cheer--
      Calling from yonder spirit shore:
      "All, all alone!"



SEEIN' THINGS

      I ain't afeard uv snakes, or toads, or bugs, or worms, or mice,
      An' things 'at girls are skeered uv I think are awful nice!
      I'm pretty brave, I guess; an' yet I hate to go to bed,
      For, when I'm tucked up warm an' snug an' when my prayers are said,
      Mother tells me "Happy dreams!" and takes away the light,
      An' leaves me lyin' all alone an' seein' things at night!

      Sometimes they're in the corner, sometimes they're by the door,
      Sometimes they're all a-standin' in the middle uv the floor;
      Sometimes they are a-sittin' down, sometimes they're walkin' round
      So softly an' so creepylike they never make a sound!
      Sometimes they are as black as ink, an' other times they're white--
      But the color ain't no difference when you see things at night!

      Once, when I licked a feller 'at had just moved on our street,
      An' father sent me up to bed without a bite to eat,
      I woke up in the dark an' saw things standin' in a row,
      A-lookin' at me cross-eyed an' p'intin' at me--so!
      Oh, my! I wuz so skeered that time I never slep' a mite--
      It's almost alluz when I'm bad I see things at night!

      Lucky thing I ain't a girl, or I'd be skeered to death!
      Bein' I'm a boy, I duck my head an' hold my breath;
      An' I am, oh! so sorry I'm a naughty boy, an' then
      I promise to be better an' I say my prayers again!
      Gran'ma tells me that's the only way to make it right
      When a feller has been wicked an' sees things at night!
      An' so, when other naughty boys would coax me into sin,
      I try to skwush the Tempter's voice 'at urges me within;
      An' when they's pie for supper, or cakes 'at 's big an' nice,
      I want to--but I do not pass my plate f'r them things twice!
      No, ruther let Starvation wipe me slowly out o' sight
      Than I should keep a-livin' on an' seein' things at night!



THE CUNNIN' LITTLE THING

      When baby wakes of mornings,
      Then it's wake, ye people all!
      For another day
      Of song and play
      Has come at our darling's call!
      And, till she gets her dinner,
      She makes the welkin ring,
      And she won't keep still till she's had her fill--
      The cunnin' little thing!

      When baby goes a-walking,
      Oh, how her paddies fly!
      For that's the way
      The babies say
      To other folk "by-by";
      The trees bend down to kiss her,
      And the birds in rapture sing,
      As there she stands and waves her hands--
      The cunnin' little thing!

      When baby goes a-rocking
      In her bed at close of day,
      At hide-and-seek
      On her dainty cheek
      The dreams and the dimples play;
      Then it's sleep in the tender kisses
      The guardian angels bring
      From the Far Above to my sweetest love--
      You cunnin' little thing!



THE DOLL'S WOOING

      The little French doll was a dear little doll
      Tricked out in the sweetest of dresses;
      Her eyes were of hue
      A most delicate blue
      And dark as the night were her tresses;
      Her dear little mouth was fluted and red,
      And this little French doll was so very well bred
      That whenever accosted her little mouth said
      "Mamma! mamma!"

      The stockinet doll, with one arm and one leg,
      Had once been a handsome young fellow;
      But now he appeared
      Rather frowzy and bleared
      In his torn regimentals of yellow;
      Yet his heart gave a curious thump as he lay
      In the little toy cart near the window one day
      And heard the sweet voice of that French dolly say:
      "Mamma! mamma!"

      He listened so long and he listened so hard
      That anon he grew ever so tender,
      For it's everywhere known
      That the feminine tone
      Gets away with all masculine gender!
      He up and he wooed her with soldierly zest
      But all she'd reply to the love he professed
      Were these plaintive words (which perhaps you have guessed):
      "Mamma! mamma!"

      Her mother--a sweet little lady of five--
      Vouchsafed her parental protection,
      And although stockinet
      Wasn't blue-blooded, yet
      She really could make no objection!
      So soldier and dolly were wedded one day,
      And a moment ago, as I journeyed that way,
      I'm sure that I heard a wee baby voice say:
      "Mamma! mamma!"



INSCRIPTION FOR MY LITTLE SON'S SILVER PLATE

      When thou dost eat from off this plate,
      I charge thee be thou temperate;
      Unto thine elders at the board
      Do thou sweet reverence accord;
      And, though to dignity inclined,
      Unto the serving-folk be kind;
      Be ever mindful of the poor,
      Nor turn them hungry from the door;
      And unto God, for health and food
      And all that in thy life is good,
      Give thou thy heart in gratitude.



FISHERMAN JIM'S KIDS

      Fisherman Jim lived on the hill
      With his bonnie wife an' his little boys;
      'T wuz "Blow, ye winds, as blow ye will--
      Naught we reck of your cold and noise!"
      For happy and warm were he an' his,
      And he dandled his kids upon his knee
      To the song of the sea.

      Fisherman Jim would sail all day,
      But, when come night, upon the sands
      His little kids ran from their play,
      Callin' to him an' wavin' their hands;
      Though the wind was fresh and the sea was high,
      He'd hear'em--you bet--above the roar
      Of the waves on the shore!

      Once Fisherman Jim sailed into the bay
      As the sun went down in a cloudy sky,
      And never a kid saw he at play,
      And he listened in vain for the welcoming cry.
      In his little house he learned it all,
      And he clinched his hands and he bowed his head--
      "The fever!" they said.

      'T wuz a pitiful time for Fisherman Jim,
      With them darlin's a-dyin' afore his eyes,
      A-stretchin' their wee hands out to him
      An' a-breakin' his heart with the old-time cries
      He had heerd so often upon the sands;
      For they thought they wuz helpin' his boat ashore--
      Till they spoke no more.

      But Fisherman Jim lived on and on,
      Castin' his nets an' sailin' the sea;
      As a man will live when his heart is gone,
      Fisherman Jim lived hopelessly,
      Till once in those years they come an' said:
      "Old Fisherman Jim is powerful sick--
      Go to him, quick!"

      Then Fisherman Jim says he to me:
      "It's a long, long cruise-you understand--
      But over beyont the ragin' sea
      I kin see my boys on the shinin' sand
      Waitin' to help this ol' hulk ashore,
      Just as they used to--ah, mate, you know!--
      In the long ago."

      No, sir! he wuzn't afeard to die;
      For all night long he seemed to see
      His little boys of the days gone by,
      An' to hear sweet voices forgot by me!
      An' just as the mornin' sun come up--
      "They're holdin' me by the hands!" he cried,
      An' so he died.



"FIDDLE-DEE-DEE"

      There once was a bird that lived up in a tree,
      And all he could whistle was "Fiddle-dee-dee"--
      A very provoking, unmusical song
      For one to be whistling the summer day long!
      Yet always contented and busy was he
      With that vocal recurrence of "Fiddle-dee-dee."

      Hard by lived a brave little soldier of four,
      That weird iteration repented him sore;
      "I prithee, Dear-Mother-Mine! fetch me my gun,
      For, by our St. Didy! the deed must be done
      That shall presently rid all creation and me
      Of that ominous bird and his 'Fiddle-dee-dee'!"

      Then out came Dear-Mother-Mine, bringing her son
      His awfully truculent little red gun;
      The stock was of pine and the barrel of tin,
      The "bang" it came out where the bullet went in--
      The right kind of weapon I think you'll agree
      For slaying all fowl that go "Fiddle-dee-dee"!

      The brave little soldier quoth never a word,
      But he up and he drew a straight bead on that bird;
      And, while that vain creature provokingly sang,
      The gun it went off with a terrible bang!
      Then loud laughed the youth--"By my Bottle," cried he,
      "I've put a quietus on 'Fiddle-dee-dee'!"

      Out came then Dear-Mother-Mine, saying: "My son,
      Right well have you wrought with your little red gun!
      Hereafter no evil at all need I fear,
      With such a brave soldier as You-My-Love here!"
      She kissed the dear boy.
      (The bird in the tree
      Continued to whistle his "Fiddle-dee-dee")



OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY

      Over the hills and far away,
      A little boy steals from his morning play
      And under the blossoming apple-tree
      He lies and he dreams of the things to be:
      Of battles fought and of victories won,
      Of wrongs o'erthrown and of great deeds done--
      Of the valor that he shall prove some day,
      Over the hills and far away--
      Over the hills, and far away!

      Over the hills and far away
      It's, oh, for the toil the livelong day!
      But it mattereth not to the soul aflame
      With a love for riches and power and fame!
      On, O man! while the sun is high--
      On to the certain joys that lie
      Yonder where blazeth the noon of day,
      Over the hills and far away--
      Over the hills, and far away!

      Over the hills and far away,
      An old man lingers at close of day;
      Now that his journey is almost done,
      His battles fought and his victories won--
      The old-time honesty and truth,
      The trustfulness and the friends of youth,
      Home and mother-where are they?
      Over the hills and far away--
      Over the years, and far away!





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