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Title: Cradle Songs
Author: Various
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 "Cradle Songs" ***

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produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)







    COPYRIGHT, 1882.



    Sing a song, a brand new song:
    “Sing a song of six-pence,
      A pock-et full of rye.”
    John and Jim-my both picked some,
      So they could have a pie.

    And when they’d filled their pock-ets full,
      Down in the field of rye,
    They found some cun-ning lit-tle birds,
      To put in-to the pie.
    Six pret-ty lit-tle hid-den nests,
      Down in the yel-low rye,
    Held four-and-twen-ty ba-by birds,
      E-nough to fill the pie.

    They set them all with-in the dish,
      Lined with a crust of rye;
    But soon the four-and-twen-ty birds
      Cried out in-side the pie.

    Then Jim-my turned and looked at John,


      And John took up the pie,
    And back the lit-tle lad-dies went
      In-to the field of rye.

    The moth-er bird flew up and shrieked,
      “O, have you baked that pie?
    How can you bring the cru-el dish,
      And eat it in the rye!” John--

      And soon they ate the pie;
    The birds flew out and found their nests
      Down in the yel-low rye.


    Seven happy little chicks walked out one day in June,
    Thought they would enjoy the way by starting up a tune;
    Seven ugly little ducks, whose names I will not mention,
    Made up their minds to follow them, and spoil their good
    Now everybody knows that a duckling’s voice is deep,
    And everybody knows that _quack_ will make more noise than


    So when they found their music drowned, these plucky little chicks
    Made up _their_ minds to cure these ducks of all such naughty
    So they chased them from the barn-yard, on this pleasant day in
    Then started on their walk again, and went on with their tune.
                                                            --_J. S._


    Clover, clover in the field,
      Why do you hang your head?
    Have you done anything unkind?
      Or any cross word said?

    O no, my little maiden, no!
      I only droop with dew;
    And from my lips sweet honey drips;
      Come, I will share with you.
                              --_C. C. B._


    Down in the valley, deep, deep, deep,
    Where little sunbeams wink and peep,
    Under the grasses hiding low--
    There’s where the dear little violets grow.

    Out in the meadow, bright, bright, bright,
    Close by the clovers red and white--
    With heart of gold and a fringe of snow,
    There’s where the dear little daisies grow.

    Up in the older tree, tree, tree,
    Peep, and a tiny nest you’ll see,
    Swung by the breezes to and fro--
    There’s where the dear little birdlings grow.

    Up in the nursery, neat, neat, neat,
    Hear the patter of wee, wee feet--
    Hear little voices chirp and crow--
    There’s where the dear little babies grow!


    What is this, with blue
    Lit-tle shoes, so new--
    Cun-ning lit-tle feet,
    Trot-ting down the street,
    What will mam-ma say?
    Ba-by’s run a-way--
        Ba-by Fay Fer-ny.

    Calls a boy: “Hal-loo!
    See here, lit-tle pop-pet show,
    Come with me!” No, no,
    Ba-by’s do-in’ do
    Ba-by’s own self! Fast
    Round the cor-ner passed
        Ba-by Fay Fer-ny.

[Illustration: BA-BY FAY FER-NY.]

    Stops a great big man
    Hur-ry-ing all he can:
    “Here! what’s this! My!
    Dropped down from the sky?
    Some-bod-y’s to blame!
    Ba-by, what’s your name?”
        “Ba-by Fay Fer-ny.”

    “Where you go-ing? say!”
    “Day-day.” “What’s that, hey?
    See the ba-by fidg-et!
    What d’you want, you midg-et.”
    “Piece o’but-ter-bed,
    Su-gy on it, ’las-ses on it,
    Jam on it,” said
        Ba-by Fay Fer-ny.

    Peo-ple pause to see:
    La-dies, one, two, three;
    A po-lice-man, too;
    But no one that knew
    Whence the ba-by came.
    “What’s your pa-pa’s name?”
        “Pa-pa Fay Fer-ny.”

    Comes a breath-less maid:
    “O dear! I’m a-fraid
    Ba-by’s lost and gone--
    Ba-by Fer-gu-son!
    No--there down the street!
    O, you naugh-ty sweet
        Ba-by Fay Fer-ny!”


    One day when grandma was making some pies,
    She wished to give Tommy a pleasant surprise;
    So she made a puppy-dog out of some dough,
    And baked it, and marked it, and named it Bruno.
    This wonderful dog could stand on its feet,

[Illustration: BRUNO.]

    Its body was chubby, and cunning and neat,
    Its little dough-head was spotted with black,
    And its little dough-tail curled over its back.
    And when Tommy saw it he shouted with glee,
    “How good grandma was to make that for me!”
    And he played with the puppy-dog day after day,
    Till its head and its tail were both worn away.
                          --_M. E. N. H._


    A li-on gazed down at his shad-ow one day;
    Said he, “I look fierce, I de-clare!
    No won-der my neigh-bors keep out of my way,
    And wish they were birds of the air!


    “And I own that real-ly I feel a-fraid
    Some-times when I hear my-self roar!”
    And he wished as he went and lay down in the shade
    That he need be a li-on no more.


    Look! how they meas-ure,
      Dai-sy and Rose;
    Naught-y Dai-sy _will_ stand
      On the tips of her toes!

    If I was in her place
      I’d try to act fair!
    And Rose _is_ the tall-est
      For all, I de-clare!



    Take care, lit-tle mas-ter,
      Or you’ll fall in!
    That wa-ter is up
      To your ver-y chin.

    Please don’t! please don’t,
      My mas-ter dear--
    O, I wish your moth-er
      Wouldn’t send you here!

    For oh! lit-tle mas-ter,
      What could I do,
    If you should fall in,
      But jump in too?



    Nine little birdies rocked by the breeze:
    First birdie said, “I’m tired of these trees;”
    Next birdie said, “Where shall we go?”
    Third birdie said, “Where red cherries grow!”
    Fourth birdie said, “Are they ripe, do you think?”
    Fifth birdie laughed with a rogue’s own wink;
    Sixth birdie said, “I’m sure that they are;”
    Seventh birdie said, “Is it very far?”
    Eighth birdie said, “Who’ll leader be?”
    Ninth birdie said, “I’m off, follow me!”
    Whew! Whew!
    And away they all flew
    Into Mr. John Lee’s
    Choice cherry trees!



    What do you think the ba-by did?
    Why, Ba-by did as he was bid!

    The dar-ling took a pen, and wrote--
    A lit-tle in-vi-ta-tion note,

    To all the aunts, and grand-mam-ma,
    To un-cles all, and grand-pa-pa,

    To all the ba-by kin ar-ray,
    To come to din-ner Christ-mas Day.

[Illustration: HE WRITES IT.]

    He wrote it ver-y black and plain,
    Criss-crossed and marked it all a-gain;

[Illustration: HE MAILS IT.]

    And though he had not had his nap
    He next was seen in cloak and cap,

    And go-ing up the crowd-ed street,
    Safe in his hand the mis-sive sweet,

    To drop it in the box him-self,
    The aw-ful lit-tle dar-ling elf!


    Whith-er a-way,
    Lit-tle la-dies so gay?
    “O, o-ver the hill
    To Grand-moth-er Dill!”
    And what have you there
    In your bas-ket square?
    “O, pud-dings and pies,
    A lit-tle sur-prise!”
    Why such good-will
    To Grand-moth-er Dill?
    “O, ev-er-y one should
    On Christ-mas do good!”
    Lit-tle maids, good day!
    Flow-ers strew your way!



    You poor little birds,
      It’s happened again--
    In the midst of your play
      Down patters the rain.

    You were caught in a shower
      Just so last week,
    And I thought that morning
      I ought to speak;

    I hear you all up
      A-singing at dawn,
    I know you have tried
      Each tree on the lawn,

    Yet not one of you all
      Have picked up a straw--
    Such improvident birds
      I ne’er before saw.

    But I hope you see now
      That it would be best
    To let your play go
      And build you a nest.



    Who can hear the grass talk?
      Very few, I know;
    Yet it whispers every day,
      Sweet and soft and low.

    And one day I heard it;
      Shall I tell you when?
    I lay on the grass to read,
      And I heard it then.

    Everything was pleasant;
      Bright the sun did shine;
    Dew lay in the flowers’ eyes,
      Heavy sleep in mine;

    So I gently shut them;
      Soon they opened wide;
    For I heard the grasses talk
      Fast on every side!

    This is what they talked about:
      “Oh, what pleasant weather!
    Lift your heads up to the sun,
      Nod and wave together!

    “We’re so glad that we are grass,
      Cool and soft and green;
    Oh, how sad the earth would look
      If no grass were seen!


    “And we love the summer warm,
      But, oh, dear! oh, dear!
    What will little grasses do
      When winter cold is here?

    “How the wind will whistle
      Round about our heads!
    Oh it’s very hard to have
      No covers on our beds!”

    Then the wise red-rose bush
      Tall, and rough and old,
    Shook his head, and kindly said,
      “You will not be cold,

    “For God sends a blanket warm
      For every blade of grass,
    Soft and light, and white as wool;
      Not a blade He’ll pass!”

    “What’s the blanket made of?
      Quick! we want to know!”
    “Why, my dears,” the rose-bush said,
      “God’s blanket is the snow.”
                                --_J. S._


      Now this side, now that!
      Keep clean and grow fat!

    Four lit-tle ears,
      And eight lit-tle paws,
    Two small nos-es,
      And for-ty sharp claws,

    Give moth-er’s tongue
      A great deal to do.
    So hush! keep still,
      And I’ll sing to you:

    _Purr-r! purr-r!
      In a sil-ver house,
    Moth-er once saw
      A lit-tle white mouse,_

    _Soft white fur,
      And lit-tle pink eyes,
    So round and plump,
      And so ver-y wise._

      Now hold up your chin.


    Me-ow! don’t you scratch--
      To scratch is a sin.

    Me-ow! Me-ow!
      You _bad_ lit-tle cat,
    You mustn’t bite;
      Moth-er won’t stand that!

    Purr-r! purr-r!
      Now shut up your eyes;
    Moth-er will make
      You some cat-nip pies.

    Purr-r! purr-r!
      Lit-tle balls of fur,
    Purr-r! purr-r!
      Lie still, and don’t stir.

      Lit-tle balls of fur!
      Purr-r! purr-r!


      “I, I, I,”
    Some little people cry:
      “I won’t, I can’t,
      I shall, I shan’t--”
    Oh, what a naughty I;

      “I, I, I,”
    Now hear them passing by:
      “I han’t, I be,
      I are, I see--”
    Oh, what a naughty I.


    A gay lit-tle bird
      That want-ed some fun
    Flew in and light-ed
      On the ba-by’s bun.

    He pecked at a cur-rant,
      He sipped from the cup,
    Then hopped on the loaf,
      And thus piped up:

    “_Peep-sy weeps!_ Ba-by, say,
    What’ll you give if I will stay?
    _Peep-sy weeps!_ Ba-by, O,
    What’ll you give if I will go?”

[Illustration: AN AS-TON-ISHED BA-BY.]

    He splashed the milk,
      He nib-bled the bread,
    He spread both wings,
      He stood on his head.

    But still the ba-by
      Said nev-er a word--
    And out of the win-dow
      Flashed the bird!

    “_Peep-sy weeps!_” loud sang he,
    “Such a stu-pid ba-by I nev-er did see!
    Nev-er a smile, nev-er a word--
    _Peep-sy weeps!_ I’m glad I’m a bird!”


    She sits in the porch with her sau-cer;
      Smeared are her fin-gers and thumbs;
    While a-round with nois-y clat-ter
      Old hen, with her chick-ens comes.

    Ba-by shoos and shoos, and strikes them
      With the spoon that spills the crumbs:
    “_Do ’way chick-ies! ’ou s’an’t hab em--
      My nice bwead an’ las-ses tums!_”

    But the chick-ies sly will pick them
      When Miss Dim-ple’s not on the watch;
    And old moth-er hen comes bold-ly


      With her mind made up for a snatch.
    Take care, Mrs. Hen-ny-pen-ny!
      One good rap is what you catch,
    With Miss Dim-ple’s sharp ad-vise-ment:
      “_’Ou la-zy ol’ fing--go scwatch!_”


    How the wind whistles and roars!
    How he blows, he blows, and he blows!
    But what does he say at the doors?
    Nobody knows, nobody knows.

    The ground is covered with white,
    For it snows, it snows, and it snows;
    But it falls so silent at night
    That nobody knows, nobody knows.

    The grass is springing again,
    And it grows, it grows, and it grows,
    In the sunshine and the rain--
    How, nobody knows, nobody knows.

    Hear the black cock flap his wings!
    And he crows, he crows, and he crows;
    But whether he laughs or he sings,
    Why, nobody knows, nobody knows.

    The brook runs sparkling along,
    And it flows, it flows, and it flows;
    But what is its rippling song,
    Why, nobody knows, nobody knows.

    The cow comes down through the lane,
    And she lows, she lows, and she lows;
    But what she says it is plain
    That nobody knows, nobody knows.

    Over the fields and away
    Fly the crows, the crows, the crows;
    They caw, they caw, but they say
    What nobody knows, nobody knows.
                            --_E. B._


    “CLUCK, cluck! cluck, cluck!” called the mother-hen,
      “Some harm has come to my chickens, I fear;
    I counted this morning, and then there were ten;
      Now four are gone, and but six are here.”

[Illustration: “ALL SAFE AND SOUND.”]

    “Peep, peep! peep, peep!” four chickens replied,
      As they sipped the dew from a burdock leaf;
    “We must hurry back to our mother’s side,
      She is calling us now with a voice of grief.”

    Then away to her side they ran again,
      Leaving the dainty drink they had found;
    “Cluck, cluck! cluck, cluck!” said the mother-hen,
      “Here are my ten, all safe and sound.”
                        --_M. E. N. H._


    I’m going to make a dolly,
      Just like the baby there;
    I’m going to take some sunshine
      And twist it up for hair.

    I’m going to take the bluest speck
      In all the great blue skies,
    And make a bright blue pretty pair
      Of little winking eyes.

    I’m going to take some roses,
      The sweetest, brightest pink,
    To make her little darling cheeks,
      The very thing, I think!

    But, oh dear me! I surely am
      Forgetting all the while,
    I cannot find a single thing
      To make baby’s smile.


    Mother’s busy washing;
      Jack has gone to school;
    Baby’s in the garden;
      Kitty has a spool.

    Every one is busy
      This bright summer day,
    None more so than Baby,
      Working hard to play.


    Hat stuck full of daisies,
      Dolls are daisy-crowned--
    Daisies, daisies everywhere
      Lying on the ground.

    Out comes little pussy
      Tossing them about;
    Baby calls, “Go way now!”
      With a little pout.

    Summer sun grows warmer;
      Baby tires with play;
    Down upon the green grass
      Fast asleep she lay;

    Daisies all about her,
      Sunshine overhead,
    Pussy nestled closely
      In this summer bed.

    Mother from her washing
      Comes, and finds her there
    With the wide-eyed daisies
      Nestling in her hair.

    Then was Baby christened
      In the summer sweet;
    Now, no longer “Baby,”
      But sweet Marguerite.


    With her warm little finger,
        Gold Locks wrote
    On the icy window-pane
        A note.

    “Make me a Christmas-tree,”
        It read;
    It was signed with a flourish,
        “Yours, Gold Head.”

    Then out came the sunlight’s
        Sparkling ray;
    It melted the message
        All away.

    But the very next morning,
        Lo! behold!
    On the glass of the window,
        White and cold,

    Was a tapering fir-tree,
        Weighed with snow,
    Spire-like at the top,
        And broad below.

    Cried out little Gold Locks,
        “See, oh, see!
    Jack Frost has painted
        My Christmas-tree!”



    Come now, little birds,
      You must stop in your play,
    The snow’s coming down,
      You must hide you away.

    You must huddle together
      And keep yourselves warm,
    In snug nooks and corners
      Shut out from the storm.

    Be patient and wait,
      The clouds will go by,
    And sunshine once more
      Will brighten the sky.


    In the woods and the fields
      Where summer-plants grew,
    The buds and the seeds
      Are stored up for you.

    You can seek them for food
      When the weather is fair,
    And chirp your sweet songs
      In the clear pleasant air.


    Three funny little travellers
      Set out to leave the town;
    And all they wore to keep them warm
      Was one white, ruffled gown.

    I asked these little travellers
      If far they meant to roam.
    “Oh, no,” they all together said;
      “We’ll not go far from home.”

    The first brave one who started out
      Was our sweet Baby May;
    She said, “I’m going to By-lo-Land,”
      In such a sleepy way.

    The second one, in gown of white,
      Was Alice, six years old;
    She said, “I go to Shutty-eye-town,”
      And on she went, both fast and bold.

    And Lottie, eldest one of all,
      Said, “On this road I plod,
    To 76, Old Blanket street,
      Bedfordshire, the Land of Nod.”

    I wondered where these towns could be,
      When mamma softly said,
    “Good night, good night, my children dear!
      Now hurry off to _bed_!”      --_J. S._


    A bot-tle of ink on the ta-ble,
      A lit-tle girl on the floor--
    And now I don’t think I’ll be a-ble
      To tell you an-y-thing more.

    The lit-tle girl up to the ta-ble,
      Mam-ma look-ing in at the door--
    And now I don’t think I’ll be a-ble
      To tell you an-y-thing more.

    The lit-tle girl runs from the ta-ble,
      Bot-tle rolls down to the floor--
    And now I don’t think I’ll be a-ble
      To tell you an-y-thing more.

    Then mam-ma runs up to the ta-ble,
      Lit-tle girl runs for the door--
    And now I don’t think I’ll be a-ble
      To tell you an-y-thing more.

[Illustration: A ROGUE.]

    Mam-ma runs a-way from the ta-ble,
      And catch-es the girl at the door--
    And now, oh! I _know_ I’m not a-ble
      To tell you an-y-thing more.


      O, a wonderful scholar
        Is our little Kate!
    She reads in a primer;
      She writes on a slate;
    Her lines are not even;
      Her O’s are not round;
    And her words in the reader
      Could not be found.

      Her sewing--what puckers!
        What stitches! what knots!
    And along the whole hem,
      There are tiny red spots.
    Her weekly reports
      Tell how oft she has spoken;
    And there’s not a rule
      That she never has broken.


    Yet she comes to mamma
      For a smile and a kiss,
    As if a “bad mark,”
      Should be paid for by this.

    And she cries in delight,
      While she swings round her hat:
    “I’m a wonderful scholar,
      For I can spell ‘cat!’
                C-A-T, _Cat_!”
                              --_K. L._


    What do you think I saw to-day
    Out in the meadow bright,
    It tripped along on four little feet
    In a coat all woolly and white;

    I said “Good morning, you pretty thing!”
    And it raised its gentle head
    As if it wanted to chat awhile;
    But, “_Baa-Baa_,” was all it said!

    What do you think I led with me,
    Blue eyed, dimpled, and sweet?
    It hardly bent the daisies down
    With _two_ little toddling feet;

    She laughed and chattered at Woolly-back,
    She patted his little head;
    But he talked almost as well as she,
    For “_ma-ma_” was all _she_ said!

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber’s Notes:

_April Rain_, “thelawn” changed to “the lawn” (tree on the lawn)

_Tab-by’s Lull-a-by_, after comparing text to original poem in
“Babyland,” the word “A” was added to start of line of poetry (A great
deal to do)

_Some Naughty I’s_, “NAUGHY” changed to “NAUGHTY” in poem’s title.

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