Pray, what's the price of your hat my dear? And what'll you take for your gloves? And how'll you sell each pink kid shoe? And your wonderful dressed-up poodle, too? You're a precious pair of loves.
You're all too fine for us, you know, With your airs and stately tread, From your pretty feet to your pretty dress, And up to your ruffled neck, oh, yes, And on to your feathered head.
So go your way, my Lady Jane, Till you come from Vanity-land again.
To A Little Girl Who Liked To Look In The Glass
Why is my silly girl so vain, Looking in the glass again? For the meekest flower of spring Is a gayer little thing.
Is your merry eye so blue As the violet, wet with dew? Yet it loves the best to hide By the hedge's shady side.
Is your bosom half so fair As the modest lilies are? Yet their little bells are hung Bright and shady leaves among.
When your cheek the brightest glows, Is it redder than the rose? But its sweetest buds are seen Almost hid with moss and green.
Little flowers that open gay, Peeping forth at break of day, In the garden, hedge, or plain, Have more reason to be vain.
The Ragged Girl's Sunday
"Oh, dear Mamma, that little girl Forgets this is the day When children should be clean and neat, And read and learn and pray!
Her face is dirty and her frock, Holes in her stockings, see; Her hair is such a fright, oh, dear! How wicked she must be!
She's playing in the kennel dirt With ragged girls and boys; But I would not on Sunday touch My clean and pretty toys.
I go to church, and sit so still, I in the garden walk, Or take my stool beside the fire, And hear nice Sunday talk.
I read my bible, learn my hymns, My catechism say; That wicked little girl does not— She only cares to play."
"Ah! hush that boasting tone, my love, Repress self-glorying pride; You can do nothing of yourself— Friends all your actions guide."
Hark the rustle of a dress Stiff with lavish costliness! Here comes on whose cheek would flush But to have her garment brush 'Gainst the girl whose fingers thin Wove the weary 'broidery in, Bending backward from her toil, Lest her tears the silk might soil, And in midnight's chill and murk, Stitched her life into the work. Little doth the wearer heed Of the heart-break in the brede; A hyena by her side Skulks, down-looking—it is Pride.
J. R. Lowell
Oh! Fanny was so vain a lass, If she came near a looking-glass, She'd stop right there for many a minute To see how pretty she looked in it.
She'd stand and prink, and fix her hair Around her forehead with great care; And take some time to tie a bow That must, to please her, lie just so.
Her mother's bonnet she'd put on, And all her richest dresses don, And up and down the room parade, And much enjoy her promenade.
She always liked to wear the best She had, and being so much dress'd Could not enjoy the romps with those Who wore much less expensive clothes.
Each day she grew so fond of dress It gave her great unhappiness If every day, and all the while, She wasn't in the latest style.
If asked to turn the jumping-rope Her pretty parasol she'd ope, Lest she should freckle in the sun: And that was her idea of fun!
She didn't dare to take the cat Or poodle-dog from off the mat, Lest they should catch their little toes In laces, frills, or furbelows.
The very things that gave her joy, Her peace and comfort would destroy, For oft an ugly nail would tear The costly dress she chose to wear.
The foolish girl turned up her nose At those who dressed in plainer clothes, And lived in quiet style, for she With wealthy people chose to be
She never was the least inclined With knowledge to enrich her mind; And all the mental food she ate Was served upon a fashion-plate.
As this was so, you'll see at once That Fan grew up a silly dunce: An there was nothing to admire About her, but her fine attire.
[Page 63—Pride Land]
Come, come, Mr. Peacock, You must not be so proud, Although you can boast such a train, For there's many a bird Far more highly endowed, And not half so conceited and vain.
Let me tell you, gay bird, That a suit of fine clothes Is a sorry distinction at most, And seldom much valued Excepting by those Who only such graces can boast.
The nightingale certainly Wears a plain coat, But she cheers and delights with her song; While you, though so vain, Cannot utter a note To please by the use of your tongue.
The hawk cannot boast Of a plumage so gay, But more piercing and clear is her eye; And while you are strutting About all the day, She gallantly soars in the sky.
The dove may be clad In a plainer attire, But she is not so selfish and cold; And her love and affection More pleasure inspire Than all your fine purple and gold.
So, you see, Mr. Peacock, You must not be proud, Although you can boast such a train, For many a bird Is more highly endowed, And not half so conceited and vain.
How proud we are, how fond to shew Our clothes, and call them rich and new, When the poor sheep and silkworm wore That very clothing long before!
The tulip and butterfly Appear in gayer coats than I; Let me be dress'd as fine as I will, Flies, worms, and flowers exceed me.
In a frock richly trimm'd With a beautiful lace, And hair nicely dress'd Hanging over her face, Thus deck'd, Harriet went To the house of a friend, With a large little party The ev'ning to spend.
"Ah! how they will all Be delighted, I guess, And stare with surprise At my elegant dress!" Thus said the vain girl, And her little heart beat, Impatient the happy Young party to meet.
But, alas! they were all To intent on their fun, To observe the gay clothes This fine lady had on; And thus all her trouble Quite lost its design, For they saw she was proud, But forgot she was fine.
'Twas Lucy, tho' only In simple white clad, (Nor trimmings, nor laces, Nor jewels she had,) Whose cheerful good nature Delighted them more, Than all the fine garments That Harriet wore.
'Tis better to have A sweet smile on one's face, Than to wear a rich frock With an elegant lace, For the good-natur'd girl Is lov'd best in the main, If her dress is but decent, Tho' ever so plain.
A little cane, A high-crowned hat, A fixed impression, Rather flat.
A pointed shoe, A scanty coat, A stand-up collar Round his throat
A gorgeous necktie Spreading wide, A small moustache— Nine on a side.
Arms at right angles, Curved with ease, A stilted walk And shaky knees.
A languid drawl, The "English" swing, An air of knowing Everything.
A vacant stare, Extremely rude, And there you have The perfect dude.
Hark the rustle of a dress Stiff with lavish costliness! Here comes on whose cheek would flush But to have her garment brush 'Gainst the girl whose fingers thin Wove the weary 'broidery in, Bending backward from her toil, Lest her tears the silk might soil, And in midnight's chill and murk, Stitched her life into the work. Shaping from her bitter thought, Heart's-ease and forget-me-not, Satirizing her despair With the emblems woven there, Little doth the wearer heed Of the heart-break in the blede; A hyena by her side Skulks, down-looking—it is Pride.
J. R. Lowell
It surely is not good to see, Lizzie so full of vanity, So fond of dress and show. For when a fine new frock she wears, She gives herself most silly airs, Wherever she may go.
She thinks herself a charming girl; But when folks see her twist and twirl, They stop in every street, They smile, or fairly laugh outright, And say: "She's really quite a sight, Was ever such conceit?"
[Page 64—Naughtiness Land]
Mamma gave our Nelly an apple, So round, and big, and red; It seemed, beside dainty wee Nelly, To be almost as large as her head.
Beside her young Neddie was standing— And Neddie loves apples, too, "Ah! Nelly!" said Neddie, "give brother A bite of your apple—ah! do!"
Dear Nelly held out the big apple; Ned opened his mouth very wide— So wide, that the startled red apple Could almost have gone inside!
And oh! what a bite he gave it! The apple looked small, I declare, When Ned gave it back to his sister, Leaving that big bite there.
Poor Nelly looked frightened a moment, Then a thought made her face grow bright; "Here, Ned, you can take the apple— I'd rather have the bite!"
Eva L. Carson, In "St. Nicholas"
The Biggest Piece Of Pie
Once, when I was a little boy, I sat me down to cry, Because my little brother had The biggest piece of pie.
They said I was a naughty boy, But I have since seen men Behave themselves as foolishly As I behaved then.
For we are often thankless for Rich blessings when we sigh, To think some lucky neighbour has A "bigger piece" of pie.
The Greedy, Impatient Girl
"Oh! I am so hungry, I'm sure I can't wait, For my apple-pudding to cool, So, Mary, be quick now And bring me a plate, For waiting for dinner I always did hate, Tho' forced oft to do it at school.
"But at home, when mamma Is not in the way, I surely will do as I choose; And I do not care for What you please to say— The pudding won't burn me— No longer I'll stay. What business have you to refuse?"
And now a large slice Of the pudding she got, And, fearful she should have no more, She cramm'd her mouth full Of the apple so hot, Which had but a minute Come out of the pot, But quickly her triumph was o'er.
Her mouth and her tongue Were so dreadfully sore, And suffer'd such terrible pain, Her pride and her consequence Soon were all o'er, And she said, now unable To eat any more, "Oh! I never will do so again!"
And thus, by not minding What she had been told, Young Ellinor lost all her treat; Too greedy to wait Till the pudding was cold, By being impatient, Conceited, and bold, Not a mouthful at last could she eat.
A Story Of An Apple
Little Tommy, and Peter, and Archie, and Bob Were walking, one day, when they found An apple: 'twas mellow, and rosy, and red, And lying alone on the ground.
Said Tommy: "I'll have it." Said peter: "'Tis mine." Said Archie: "I've got it; so there!" Said Bobby: "Now, let us divide it in four parts And each of us boys have a share."
"No, no!" shouted Tommy, "I'll have it myself." Said Peter: "I want it, I say." Said Archie: "I've got it, and I'll have it all, I won't give a morsel away."
Then Tommy he snatched it, and Peter he fought, ('Tis sad and distressing to tell!) And Archie held on with his might and his main, Till out from his fingers it fell.
Away from the quarrelsome urchins it flew And then, down a green little hill That apple it roll'd, and it roll'd, and it roll'd As if it would never be still.
A lazy old brindle was nipping the grass, And switching her tail at the flies, When all of a sudden the apple rolled down And stopped just in front of her eyes.
She gave but a bite and a swallow or two— That apple was seen nevermore! "I wish," whimpered Archie, and Peter, and Tom, "We'd kept it and cut it in four."
"I think I want some pies this morning" Said Dick, stretching himself and yawning; So down he threw his slate and books, And saunter'd to the pastry-cook's.
And there he cast his greedy eyes Round on the jellies and the pies, So to select, with anxious care, The very nicest that was there.
At last the point was thus decided: As his opinion was divided 'Twixt pie and jelly, he was loth Either to leave, so took them both.
Now Richard never could be pleas'd To stop when hunger was appeas'd, But he'd go on to eat and stuff, Long after he had had enough.
"I shan't take any more," said Dick, "Dear me, I feel extremely sick: I cannot eat this other bit; I wish I had not tasted it."
Then slowly rising from his seat, He threw the cheesecake in the street, And left the tempting pastry-cook's With very discontented looks.
[Page 65—Greediness Land]
The Plum Cake
"Oh! I've got a plum cake, And a rare feast I'll make, I'll eat, and I'll stuff, and I'll cram; Morning, noontime, and night, It shall be my delight;— What a happy young fellow I am."
Thus said little George, And, beginning to gorge, With zeal to his cake he applied; While fingers and thumbs, For the sweetmeats and plums, Were hunting and digging besides.
But, woeful to tell, A misfortune befell, Which ruin'd this capital fun! After eating his fill, He was taken so ill, That he trembled for what he had done.
As he grew worse and worse, The doctor and nurse, To cure his disorder were sent; And rightly, you'll think, He had physic to drink, Which made him his folly repent.
And while on his bed He roll'd his hot head, Impatient with sickness and pain; He could not but take This reproof from his cake, "Don't be such a glutton again!"
Another Plum Cake
"Oh! I've got a plum cake, And a feast let us make, Come, school-fellows, come at my call; I assure you 'tis nice, And we'll each have a slice, Here's more than enough for us all."
Thus said little Jack, As he gave it a smack, And sharpen'd his knife for the job! While round him a troop, Formed a clamorous group, And hail'd him the king of the mob.
With masterly strength He cut thro' it at length, And gave to each playmate a share; Dick, William, and James, And many more names, Partook of his benevolent care.
And when it was done, And they'd finish'd their fun, To marbles or hoop they went back, And each little boy Felt it always a joy To do a good turn for good Jack.
In his task and his book, His best pleasures he took, And as he thus wisely began, Since he's been a man grown, He has constantly shown That a good boy will make a good man.
The Great Glutton
'Twas the voice of the glutton, I heard him complain: My waistcoat unbutton, I'll eat once again.
The voice of the glutton I heard with disdain— "I've not eaten this hour, I must eat again; Oh! give me a pudding, A pie, or a tart, A duck or a fowl, Which I love from my heart.
"How sweet is the picking Of capon or chicken! A turkey and chine Are most charming and fine; To eat and to drink All my pleasure is still, I care not who wants So that I have my fill."
Oh! let me not be, Like a glutton, inclined In feasting my body And starving my mind, With moderate viands Be thankful, and pray That the Lord may supply me With food the next day.
Not always a-craving With hunger still raving; But little and sweet Be the food that I eat. To learning and wisdom Oh let me apply. And leave to the glutton His pudding and pie.
Selfish Edith, not to give Her sister one, when she has two! I wouldn't and I couldn't love A selfish girl like her, could you?
Hear Bessie ask in plaintive tone, "Please, Edith, let me play with one!" While naughty Edith shakes her head: I fear she'll have but little fun
With toys unshared so selfishly; But when she tires of lonely play, Perhaps she'll secretly resolve To be more kind another day.
Oh! Henry eats like any pig; He drives his mother mad. She scolds. He does not care a fig, It's really very sad.
She says: "Your sister, little dear, Is always clean and neat; And though she's younger by a year, How nicely she can eat."
It's all in vain. He does not care; He's shocking to behold. The table-cloth and napkin there Are smeared in every fold.
Upon the floor, crumbs thickly lie, As though for chickens laid, Around his mouth and nose, oh fie! Is dirt of every shade.
He looks, bedaubed with smear and stain, Just like some savage wild, His hands as forks are used, it's plain. For shame! You dirty child!
Look at the selfish man! see how he locks Tight in his arms his mortgages and stocks! While deeds and titles in his hand he grasps, And gold and silver close around he clasps. But not content with this, behind he drags A cart well-laden with ponderous bags; The orphan's wailings, and the widow's woe From mercy's fountain cause no tears to flow; He pours no cordial in the wounds of pain; Unlocks no prison, and unclasps no chain; His heart is like the rock where sun nor dew Can rear one plant or flower of heavenly hue. No thought of mercy there may have its birth, For helpless misery or suffering worth; The end of all his life is paltry pelf, And all his thoughts are centred on—himself: The wretch of both worlds; for so mean a sum, First starved in this, then damn'd in that to come.
[Page 66—Lying Land]
Bad Boy having broken a Vase told his Mother that the Dog did it, but when his Mother was going to beat the poor Innocent Dog he felt sorry, and told the truth.
Truthful Dottie; Or The Broken Vase
Nellie and Dottie Both here mamma say, "Pray from the drawing-room Keep away.
Don't take your toys there, Lest someone should call: Run out in the garden With rope, bat and ball."
The garden is lovely, This bright summer day; But Nellie and Dottie Too soon came away.
Into the drawing-room Dottie comes skipping, With her new rope All the furniture flipping:
Down goes the tall vase, So golden and gay, Smashed all to pieces, "What will mamma say?"
Cries Nell with her hands raised, "Oh Dottie, let's run; They'll think it was pussy, Who did it in fun."
Dot answers, through big tears, "But, Nell, don't you see, Though nobody watched us, God knows it was me.
Mamma always says, That, whatever we do, The harm's not so great, If we dare to be true.
So I'll go up and tell her It caught in my rope; Perhaps she won't scold much, At least, so I'll hope."
"That's right!" cries her mother, Who stands by the door, "I would rather have ten vases Were smashed on the floor
Than my children should once break The bright words of truth, The dearest possession Of age or of youth.
The vase can be mended, And scarce show a crack, But a falsehood once spoken Will never come back."
However much grieved for By young folks or old, An untruth once uttered, Forever is told.
The Liar Reclaimed
O! 'tis a lovely thing for youth To walk betimes in wisdom's way; To fear a lie, to speak the truth, That we may trust to all they say.
But liars we can never trust, Tho' they should speak the thing that's true, And he that does one fault at first, And lies to hide it, makes it two.
Why should you fear the truth to tell? Does falsehood ever do you so well? Can you be satisfied to know There's something wrong to hide below No! let your fault be what it may, To own it is the happy way.
So long as you your crime conceal, You cannot light or gladsome feel; Your heart will ever feel oppressed, As if a weight were on your breast: And e'en your mother's eye to meet Will tinge your face with shame and heat.
Little Mary one day most loudly did call, "Mamma! oh, mamma, pray come here! A fall I have had—oh! a very sad fall." Mamma ran in haste and in fear; Then Mary jump'd up, and she laugh'd in great glee, And cried, "Why, how fast you can run! No harm has befallen, I assure you, to me, My screaming was only in fun."
Her mother was busy at work the next day, She heard from without a loud cry, "The big dog has got me! O help me! Oh! pray! He tears me—he bites me—I die!" Mamma, all in terror, quick to the court And there little Mary she found; Who, laughing, said, "Madam, pray how do you do!" And curtsey'd quite down to the ground.
That night little Mary, when long gone to bed, Shrill cries and loud shriekings were heard; "I'm on fire, O mamma, come up or I'm dead!" Mamma she believ'd not a word. "Sleep, sleep, naughty child," she call'd out from below, "How often have I been deceived? You're telling a story, you very well know: Go to sleep, for you can't be believed."
Yet still the child scream'd—now the house fill'd with smoke. That fire is above Jane declares. Alas! Mary's words they soon found were no joke, When ev'ryone hastened upstairs. All burnt and all seam'd is her once pretty face, And how terribly mark'd are her arms, Her features all scarr'd, leave a lasting disgrace, For giving Mamma false alarms.
To A Little Girl That Has Told A Lie
And has my darling told a lie? Did she forget that God was by? That God who saw the thing she did, From whom no action can be hid; Did she forget that God could see, And hear, wherever she might be?
He made you eyes and can discern Whichever way you think to turn; He made your ears, and He can hear When you think nobody is near; In ev'ry place, by night or day, He watches all you do and say.
You thought, because you were alone, Your falsehood never could be known, But liars always are found out, Whatever ways they wind about; And always be afraid, my dear, To tell a lie,—for God can hear!
I wish, my dear, you'd always try To act as shall not need a lie; And when you wish a thing to do, That has been once forbidden to you, Remember that, and never dare To disobey—For God is there!
Why should you fear to tell me true? Confess, and then I'll pardon you: Tell me you're sorry, and you'll try To act the better by and bye, And then whate'er your crime has been, It won't be half so great a sin.
But cheerful, innocent, and gay, As passes by the smiling day, You'll never have to turn aside, From any one your faults to hide; Nor heave a sigh, nor have a fear, That either God or I should hear.
The Blind Man reading to the Deaf and Dumb Man after business hours, and their wicked Dog looking out.
[Page 67—Laziness Land]
Oh, Mary, this will never do! This work is sadly done, my dear, And such little of it too! You have not taken pains, I fear.
On no, your work has been forgotten, Indeed you've hardly thought of that; I saw you roll your ball of cotton About the floor to please the cat.
See, here are stitches straggling wide, And others reaching down so far; I'm very sure you have not tried At all to-day to please mamma.
The little girl who will not sew Should never be allowed to play; But then I hope, my love, that you Will take more pains another day.
A lazy, lazy, lazy girl! Her hair forever out of curl, Her feet unshod, her hands unclean, Her dress in tatters always seen.
Lounging here and dawdling there, Lying out 'most anywhere About the barn-yard. Not a thought Of studying lessons as she ought;
But happiest when in sunny weather She and "the other pig" together Are playing tricks. No wonder, then, The farmer, jolliest of men,
Is apt to say, when tired out With seeing her sprawling round about, "Beats all what ails that lazy gal! Why, piggy's twice as smart as Sal!"
To Jane her aunt a work-bag gave, Of silk with flowers so gay, That she a place might always have To put her work away.
And then 'twas furnished quite complete With cotton, silk and thread, And needless in a case so neat, Of all the sizes made.
A little silver thimble, too, Was there among the rest; And a large waxen doll, quite new, That waited to be dress'd.
But Jane was very fond of play, And loved to toss her ball; An I am quite ashamed to say, She scarcely worked at all.
But if at any time she did, 'Twas but a stitch or two; And though she often has been bid, But little more would do.
The pretty little bag, indeed, Was hung upon her chair; But cotton, needles, silk, and thread Were scattered here and there.
Her aunt, by chance, came in that day, And asked if the doll was dress'd; Miss Jane has been engaged in play, And careless of the rest.
The silk, to make her little dress, Was on the table laid, And, with an equal carelessness, The cap had also strayed.
With gauze and lace the floor was strewed, All in disorder lay, When, bounding in with gesture rude, Came Jane, returned from play.
She little thought her aunt to find, And blushed to see her there; It brought her carelessness to mind, And what her doll should wear.
"Well, Jane, and where's your doll, my dear? I hope you've dress'd her now; But there is such a litter here, You best know when and how."
So spoke her aunt, and, looking round The empty bag she spied; Poor Jane, who no excuse had found, Now hid her face and cried.
"Since," said her aunt, "no work, you do, But waste your time in play; The work-bag, of no use to you, I now shall take away."
But now, with self-conviction, Jane Her idleness confessed, And ere her aunt could come again, Her doll was neatly dressed.
The Two Gardens
When Harry and Dick Had been striving to please, Their father (to whom it was known) Made two little gardens, And stocked them with trees, And gave one to each for his own.
Harry thank'd his papa, And with rake, hoe, and spade, Directly began his employ; And soon such a neat Little garden was made, That he panted with labour and joy.
There was always some bed Or some border to mend, Or something to tie or stick: And Harry rose early His garden to tend, While snoring lay indolent Dick.
The tulip, the rose, And the lily so white, United their beautiful bloom! And often the honey-bee Stoop'd from his flight, To sip the delicious perfume.
A neat row of peas In full blossom was seen, French beans were beginning to shoot! And his gooseb'ries and currents, Tho' yet they were green, Foretold of plenty of fruit.
But Richard loved better In bed to repose, And snug as he curl'd himself round, Forgot that not tulip, Nor lily, nor rose, Nor plant in his garden was found.
Rank weeds and tall nettles Disfigur'd his beds, Nor cabbage nor lettuce was seen, The slug and the snail Show'd their mischievous heads, And eat ev'ry leaf that was green.
Thus Richard the idle, Who shrank from the cold, Beheld his trees naked and bare; Whilst Harry the active Was charmed to behold The fruit of his patience and care.
I asked a lad what he was doing; "Nothing, good sir," said he to me. "By nothing well and long pursuing, Nothing," said I, "you'll surely be."
I asked a lad what he was thinking; "Nothing," said he. "I do declare." "Many," said I, "in vile inns drinking, By idle minds were carried there."
There's nothing great, there's nothing wise, Which idle hands and minds supply; Those who all thought and toil despise, Mere nothings live, and nothings die.
A thousand naughts are not a feather, When in a sum they all are brought; A thousand idle lads together Are still but nothings joined to naught.
And yet of merit they will boast, And sometimes pompous seem, and haughty, But still 'tis very plain to most, That "nothing" boys are mostly naughty.
[Page 68—Laziness Land]
There was a lazy boy named Sam, The laziest ever known, Who spent his time in idleness, Like any other drone. He loved to lie in bed till noon, With covers closely drawn, And when he managed to get up He'd yawn, and yawn, and yawn.
If asked to do a simple task He always would refuse, And say that he was lame or sick, His action to excuse, And over pretty picture-books— Twas really very odd— This lazy boy would soon begin To nod, and nod, and nod.
If on an errand forced to go, He'd slowly, slowly creep, Just like a snail; you might suppose That he was half asleep. And those who would despatch in haste A note, or telegram, Would chose a swifter messenger Than such a lazy Sam.
If he was caught out in a storm 'Twould drench him to the skin, Because he was too indolent To hurry to get in. Deep in his trouser's pockets he His idle hands would cram, And children crowded to the doors To look at lazy Sam.
This lazy boy would lounge about The docks, and often wish That he could carry home to cook A string of nice, fresh fish; But though he was provided with A reel extremely fine, Said Sam "I do not think 'twill pay To wet my fishing line!"
Oh, Sam was always late at meals, And always late at school, And everybody said that he Would be a first-class fool. For boys not half so old as he Above him swiftly pass, While Sam, the great big dunce! remains The lowest in the class.
In every way, and every day This lazy boy would shirk, And never lift his hand to do A bit of useful work. His clothes were always on awry, His shoe-strings left untied, His hair uncombed, his teeth uncleaned, Alas, he had no pride!
And so he went from bad to worse— The good-for-nothing scamp!— Until he settled down to be A ragged, dirty tramp. Through cities, towns, and villages, He begged his daily bread, And slept at night wherever he Could chance to find a bed.
Men shuddered as they passed him by, And murmured sadly, "Oh! How can a human being sink So very, very low?" And e'en the jackass pricks his ears, And brays aloud "I am Not such a donkey, I declare As yonder lazy Sam!"
The Beggar Man
Abject, stooping, old, and wan, See you wretched beggar-man; Once a father's hopeful heir, Once a mother's tender care. When too young to understand, He but scorched his little hand, By the candle's flaming light Attracted—dancing, spiral, bright. Clasping fond her darling round, A thousand kisses healed the wound, Now abject, stooping, old and wan, No mother tends the beggar-man.
Then nought too good for him to wear, With cherub face and flaxen hair, In fancy's choicest gauds arrayed, Cap of lace with rose to aid, Milk-white hat and feather blue, Shoes of red, and coral too, With silver bells to please his ear, And charm the frequent ready tear. Now abject, stooping, old, and wan, Neglected is the beggar-man.
See the boy advance in age, And learning spreads her useful page; In vain! for giddy pleasure calls, And shows the marbles, tops, and balls, What's learning to the charms of play? The indulgent tutor must give way. A heedless, wilful dunce, and wild, The parents' fondness spoil'd the child; The youth in vagrant courses ran; Now abject, stooping, old, and wan, Their fondling is the beggar-man.
Good-for-nothing Lazy Man
A good for nothing lazy lout, Wicked within and ragged without. Who can bear to have him about? Turn him out! Turn him out!
The Old Beggar Man
I see an old man sitting there, His withered limbs are almost bare, And very hoary is his hair.
Old man, why are you sitting so? For very cold the wind doth blow: Why don't you to your cottage go?
Ah, master, in the world so wide, I have no home wherein to hide, No comfortable fire-side.
When I, like you, was young and gay, I'll tell you what I used to say, That I would nothing do but play.
And so, instead of being taught Some useful business as I ought, To play about was all I sought.
An now that I am old and grey, I wander on my lonely way, And beg my bread from day to day.
But oft I shake my hoary head, And many a bitter tear I shed, To think the useless life I've led.
Three travellers wandered along the strand, Each with a staff in his feeble hand; And they chanted low: "We are go-o-o- Ing slow-o-ow- Ly to Lazyland.
"They've left off eating and drinking there; They never do any thinking there; They never walk, And they never talk, And they fall asleep without winking there.
"Nobody's in a hurry there; They are not permitted to worry there; 'Tis a wide, still place And not a face Shows any symptom of flurry there.
"No bells are rung in the morning there, They care not at all for adorning there; All sounds are hushed, And a man who rushed Would be treated with absolute scorning there.
"They do not take any papers there; No politicians cut capers there; They have no 'views,' And they tell no news, And they burn no midnight tapers there.
"No lovers are ever permitted there; Reformers are not admitted there; They argue not In that peaceful spot, And their clothes all come ready-fitted there.
"Electricity has not been heard of there; And steam has been spoken no word of there; They stay where they are, And a coach or a car They have not so much as a third of there.
"Oh, this world is a truly crazy land; A worrying, hurrying, mazy land; We cannot stay, We must find the way— If there is a way—to Lazyland."
[Page 69—Laziness Land]
Oh! Willie is a lazy boy, A "Sleepy Head" is he, "Wake up!" his little sister cries, "Wake up and talk to me."
The birds are singing in the trees, The sun is shining bright, But sleepy Willie slumbers on As though it yet were night.
Oh! lazy boys will never grow To clever manhood, you must know, So lift your eyelids, sleepy head, Wake up, and scramble out of bed.
The Lazy Boy
The lazy boy! and what's his name? I should not like to tell; But don't you think it is a shame, That he can't read or spell.
He'd rather swing upon a gate, Or paddle in a brook, Than take his pencil and his slate, Or try to con a book.
There, see! he's lounging down the street, His hat without a brim, He rather drags than lifts his feet— His face unwashed and grim.
He's lolling now against a post; But if you've seen him once, You'll know the lad among a host For what he is—a dunce.
Don't ask me what's the urchin's name; I do not choose to tell; But this you'll know—it is the same As his who does not blush for shame That he don't read or spell.
'Tis the voice of the sluggard; I heard him complain, "You have waked me too soon, I must slumber again." As the door on it's hinges, So he on his bed Turns his sides, and his shoulders, And his heavy head.
"A little more sleep And a little more slumber;" Thus he wastes half his days And his hours without number, And when he gets up He sits folding his hands, Or walking about sauntering, Or trifling he stands.
I pass'd by his garden, And saw the wild brier, The thorn and the thistle Grow broader and higher; The clothes that hung on him Are turning to rags, And his money still wastes Till he starves or he begs.
I made him a visit, Still hoping to find That he took better care For improving his mind; He told me his dreams, Talked of eating and drinking, But he scarce reads his Bible, And never loves thinking.
Said I then to my heart, "Here's a lesson for me; This man's but a picture Of what I might be; But thanks to my friends For their care in my breeding, Who taught me bedtimes To love working and reading."
Idle Dicky And The Goat
John Brown is a man Without houses or lands, Himself he supports By the work of his hands. He brings home his wages Each Saturday night, To his wife and his children, A very good sight.
His eldest boy, Dicky, On errands when sent, To loiter and chatter Was very much bent; The neighbours all call'd him An odd little trout, His shoes they were broke, And his toes they peep'd out.
To see such old shoes All their sorrows were rife; John Brown he much grieved, And so did his wife, He kiss'd his boy Dicky, And stroked his white head, "You shall have a new pair, My dear boy," he then said.
"I've here twenty shillings, And money has wings; Go first get this note changed, I want other things." Now here comes the mischief— This Dicky would stop At an ill-looking, mean-looking Greengrocer's shop.
For here lived a chattering Dunce of a boy; To prate with this urchin Gave Dicky great joy. And now, in his boasting, He shows him his note, And now to the green-stall Up marches a goat.
The laughed, for it was This young nanny-goat's way With those who pass'd by her To gambol and play. All three they went on In their frolicsome bouts, Till Dick dropt the note On a bunch of green sprouts.
Now what was Dick's wonder To see the vile goat, In munching the green sprouts, Eat up his bank note! He crying ran back To John Brown with the news, And by stopping to idle He lost his new shoes.
Idleness and Mischief
How doth the little busy bee Improve each shining hour, And gather honey all the day From every opening flower.
How skilfully she builds her cell; How neat she spreads the wax; And labours hard to store it well; With the sweet food she makes.
In works of labour or of skill I would be busy too; For Satan finds some mischief still For idle hands to do.
In books, or work, or healthful play Let my first years be passed; That I may give you every day Some good account at last.
Come and Go.
Dick Dawdle had land Worth two hundred a year, Yet from debt and from dunning He never was free, His intellect was not Surprisingly clear, But he never felt satisfied How it could be.
The raps at his door, And the rings at his gate. And the threats of a gaol He no longer could bear: So he made up his mind To sell half his estate, Which would pay all his debts, And leave something to spare.
He leased to a farmer The rest of his land For twenty-one years; And on each quarter-day The honest man went With his rent in his hand, His liberal landlord Delighted to pay.
Before half the term Of the lease had expired, The farmer, one day With a bagful of gold, Said, "Pardon me, sir, But I long have desired To purchase my farm, If the land can be sold.
"Ten years I've been blest With success and with health, With trials a few— I thank God, not severe— I am grateful. I hope, Though not proud of my wealth, But I've managed to lay By a hundred a year."
"Why how," exclaimed Dick, "Can this possibly be?" (With a stare of surprise, And a mortified laugh,) "The whole of my farm Proved too little for me, And you it appears, Have grown rich upon half."
"I hope you'll excuse me," The farmer replies, "But I'll tell you the cause, If your honor would know; In two little words All the difference lies, I always say Come, And you used to say Go."
"Well, and what does that mean, My good fellow?" he said. "Why this, sir, that I Always rise with the sun; You said 'Go' to your man, As you lay in your bed, I say 'Come, Jack, with me,' And I see the work done."
R. S. Sharpe
[Page 70—Cruelty Land]
The Tables turned—Instead of the Bad Boys setting the poor Dogs fighting, the bad Dogs are setting the poor Boys fighting.
The Cruel Boy
Tom sat at the kitchen window Watching the folks go by, But what he was really doing Was pulling the legs from a fly.
Yes, there he sat in the twilight, Tormenting the tiny things; First pulling their legs from their sockets, And afterwards pulling their wings.
He knew not that his father Was standing behind his back; And very much wished to be giving His cruel young fingers a crack.
But he waited till after dinner, When Tommy was having a game; Then he thought he would give him a lesson, And treat him a little the same.
So catching his son of a sudden, And giving his elbow a twist; He pulled his two ears till he shouted, Then hit him quite hard with his fist.
And did he not roll on the carpet? And did he not cry out in pain? But, when he cried out "Oh, you hurt me!" His father would hit him again.
"Why, Tom, all this is quite jolly, You don't seem to like it, my boy; And yet, when you try it on others, You always are singing with joy;
"It seems very strange," said his father, And this time his nose had a pull; But Tommy could stand it no longer; He bellowed and roared like a bull.
"Hush! hush! while I pull your right leg off, And scrape off the flesh from your shin; What you often yourself do to others, Sure you do not think harm or a sin.
"Now, Tommy, my boy," said his father, "You'll leave these poor things alone, If not, I go on with my lesson." "I will," cried poor Tom, with a groan.
But hark! from the woodlands the sound of a gun, The wounded bird flutters and dies; Where can be the pleasure for nothing but fun, To shoot the poor thing as it flies?
Or you, Mr. Butcher, and Fisherman, you May follow your trades, I must own: So chimneys are swept when they want it—but who Would sweep them for pleasure alone?
If men would but think of the torture they give To creatures that cannot complain, They surely would let the poor animals live, And not make a sport of their pain.
Turn, turn thy hasty foot aside, Nor crush that helpless worm The frame thy wayward looks decide Required a God to form.
The common Lord of all that move, From whom thy being flow'd, A portion of His boundless love On that poor worm bestow'd.
The sun, the moon, the stars He made To all the creatures free; And spreads o'er earth the grassy blade For worms as well as thee.
Let them enjoy their little day, Their lowly bliss receive; Oh, do not lightly take away The life thou canst not give.
Story Of Cruel Frederick
Here is cruel Frederick, see! A horrid wicked boy was he: He caught the flies, poor little things, And tore off their tiny wings;
He kill'd the birds, and broke the chairs, And threw the kitten down the stairs; And Oh! far worse than all beside, He whipp'd his Mary till she cried.
The trough was full, and faithful Tray Came out to drink one sultry day; He wagg'd his tail, and wet his lip, When cruel Fred snatch'd up a whip, And whipp'd poor Tray till he was sore, And kick'd and whipp'd him more and more.
At this, good Tray grew very red, And growl'd and bit him till he bled; Then you should only have been by, To see how Fred did scream and cry!
So Frederick had to go to bed, His leg was very sore and red! The doctor came and shook his head And made a very great to-do, And gave him nasty physic too.
Don't Throw Stones
Boys, don't throw stones! That kitten on the wall, Sporting with leaves that fall, Now jumping to and fro, Now crouching soft and low, Then grasps them with a spring, As if some living thing. As happy as can be, Why cause her misery? It is foolish stones to fling Boys, do as you'd be done by.
Boys, don't throw stones! That squirrel in the tree, Frisking in fun and glee, Is busy in his way, Although it looks all play, Picking up nuts—a store Against the winter hour Frisking from tree to tree, So blithe and merrily, It is cruel stones to fling, Boys, do as you'd be done by.
Boys, don't throw stones! That bird upon the wing, How sweet its song this Spring, Perchance it seeks the food, To feed its infant brood, Whose beaks are open wide, Until they are supplied; To and fro to and fro, The parent bird must go. It is sinful stones to throw Boys, do as you'd be done by.
Boys, don't throw stones! That stray dog in the street, Should with your pity meet, And not with shout and cry, And brick-bat whirling by: The dog's a friend to man, Outvie him if you can: So faithful, trusty, true, A pattern unto you; It is wicked stones to throw, Boys, do as you'd be done by.
Boys, don't throw stones! It can no pleasure give To injure things that live; That beauteous butterfly, The bird that soars on high, The creatures every day That round our pathway play; If you thought of your cruelty; You wouldn't wish even one to die. Only cowards stones will throw Boys, do as you'd be done by.
Instead of the Bad Boys Beating the Poor Dog, the Bad Dogs are beating the poor Boy.
[Page 71—Stealing Land]
No One Will See Me
"No one will see me," Said little John Day, For his father and mother Were out of the way, And he was at home All alone;
"No one will see me," So he climbed on a chair, And peeped in the cupboard To see what was there, Which of course he ought Not to have done.
There stood in the cupboard, So sweet and so nice, A plate of plum-cake In full many a slice, And apples so ripe, And so fine;
"Now no one will see me," Said John to himself, As he stretched out his arm To reach up to the shelf; "This apple, at least, Shall be mine."
John paused and put back The nice apple so red, For he thought of the words His kind mother had said, When she left all these Things in his care;
"And no one will see me," Thought he, "'tis not true; For I've read that God sees us In all that we do, And is with us Everywhere."
Well done, John; Your father and mother obey, Try ever to please them; And mind what they say, Even when they Are absent from you;
And never forget that, Though no one is nigh, You cannot be hid from The Glance of God's eye, Who notices all That you do.
Principle Put To The Test
A youngster at school, More sedate than the rest, Had once his integrity Put to the test:— His comrades had plotted The orchard to rob, And asked him to go And assist in the job.
He was very much shocked, And answered, "Oh no! What! rob our poor neighbour! I pray you don't go; Besides, the man's poor, His orchard's his bread; Then think of his children, For they must be fed."
"You speak very fine, And you look very grave, But apples we want, And apples we'll have; If you will go with us, We'll give you a share, If not, you shall have Neither apple nor pear."
They spoke, and Tom pondered— "I see they will go; Poor man! What a pity To injure him so! Poor man! I would save him His fruit if I could, But staying behind Will do him no good.
"If this matter depended Alone upon me, His apples might hang Till they dropped from the tree; But since they will take them, I think I'll go too, He will lose none by me, Though I get a few."
His scruples this silenced, Tom felt more at ease, And went with his comrades The apples to seize; He blamed and protested But joined in the plan, He shared in the plunder, But pitied the man.
Who steals a pin Commits a sin Who tells a lie Has cause to sigh.
When ask'd to go And sin, say, No! The guilty breast Is ne'er at rest.
You must not sin A world to win Why should you go The way to woe.
The Boy And His Mother
In Aesop, we are told, a boy, Who was his mother's pride and joy, At school a primer stole one day, And homeward then did wend his way.
He told his mother of the theft, While she, of principle bereft, Patted him on the head and smil'd. And said, "You are my own dear child."
She praised him for the cunning feat, And gave him a nice apple sweet. In course of years the boy grew fast, Till he became a man at last;
But all the time he slyly stole— Sometimes a piece—sometimes the whole, Till, finally, he grew so bold, He kill'd a man and took his gold.
The day on which he had to swing Did a large crowd together bring. Among the rest his mother came, And called him fondly by his name.
The sheriff gave him leave to tell The broken-hearted dame farewell! About his neck her arms she flung, And cried, "Why must my child be hung?"
He answered, "Call me not your dear." And by one stroke bit off her ear; While all the crowd cried, "Oh! for shame! Not satisfied to blast her name.
You add this violence to one Whose happiness you have undone!" "Good people," he replied, "I'll vow I would not be a felon now.
If my mother had only tried To win me to the better side. But when in infancy I took What was not mine, a small torn book,
Instead of punishing the feat She gave to me an apple sweet; She prais'd me too, and softly smil'd, And said, 'You are my own dear child!'
I tell you here, both foe and friend, This is the cause of my sad end."
[Page 72—Stealing Land]
The Boys And The Apple Tree
As Billy and Tommy Were walking one day, They came by a fine orchard side; They'd rather eat apples Than spell, read, or play, And Tommy to Billy then cried,
"O brother, look! see What fine clusters hang there, I'll jump and climb over the wall; I will have an apple, I will have a pear, Or else it shall cost me a fall."
Said Billy to Tommy, "To steal is a sin, Mamma has oft told this to thee; O never yet stole, Nor now will begin, So red apples hang on the tree."
"You are a good boy, As you ever have been," Said Tommy; let's walk on, my lad; We'll call on our school-fellow Little Bob Green, And to see us I know he'll be glad."
They came to a house, And they rang at the gate, And asked, "Pray, is Bobby at home?" But Bobby's good manners Did not let them wait; He out of the parlour did come.
Bob smil'd, and he laughed, And he caper'd with joy, His little companions to view. "We call'd in to see you," Said each little boy. Said Bobby, "I'm glad to see you.
"Come walk in our garden, So large and so fine; You shall, for my father gives leave; And more, he insists That you'll stay here to dine: A rare jolly day we shall have!"
But when in the garden, They found 'twas the same They saw as they walk'd in the road; And near the high wall, When these little boys came, They started, as if from a toad.
"That large ring of iron, Which lies on the ground, With terrible teeth like a saw," Said Bobby, "the guard Of our garden is found; It keeps wicked robbers in awe.
"The warning without, If they should set an nought, This trap tears their legs—O! so sad!" Said Billy to Tommy, "So you'd have been caught, A narrow escape you have had."
Cried Tommy, I'll mind What my good mamma says, And take the advice of a friend; I never will steal To the end of my days, I've been a bad boy, but I'll mend."
With honest heart go on your way, Down to your burial sod, And never for a moment stray Beyond the path of God; And everything along your way In colours bright shall shine; The water from the jug of clay Shall taste like costly wine!
Thou Shalt Not Steal
On the goods that are not thine, Little child, lay not a finger; Round thy neighbour's better things Let no wistful glances linger.
Pilfer not the smallest thing; Touch it not, howe'er thou need it, Though the owner have enough, Though he know it not, nor need it.
Taste not the forbidden fruit, Though resistance be a trial; Grasping hand and roving eye, Early teach them self-denial.
Upright heart and honest name To the poorest are a treasure; Better than ill-gotten wealth, Better far than pomp and pleasure.
Poor and needy though thou art, Gladly take what God has given; With clean hands and humble heart, Passing through this world to heaven.
Why should I deprive my neighbour Of his goods against his will? Hands were meant for honest labour, Not to plunder, nor to steal.
'Tis a foolish self-deceiving By such tricks to hope for gain: All that's ever got by thieving Turns to sorrow, shame, and pain.
Oft we see the young beginner Practice little pilfering ways, Till grown up a hardened sinner, Then the gallows ends his days.
Theft will not be always hidden, Though we fancy none can spy; When we take a thing forbidden, God holds it with His eye.
Guard my heart, O God of heaven, Lest is covet what's not mine; Lest I take what is not given, Guard my heart and hands from sin.
[Page 73—Stealing Land]
The Thieves' Ladder
The girls were helping in the house, With bustle and with show, And told the boys to go away, And not disturb them so. And the boys went whistling down the streets, And looking in the shops At tempting heaps of oranges, And piles of sugar-drops.
"Here, Willie, to the grocer's run; Be sharp, now—there's a man, And bring me home a pound of plums As quickly as you can! "Don't touch a plum—be sure you don't; To-morrow you shall eat." "I won't." he said, and, like a top, Went spinning down the street.
The grocer weigh'd them in his scales, And there was one too much; He took it out, and all was right, The scale was to a touch. He wrapp'd them up in whitey-brown, And tied them with a string, And put the money in the till, As 'twere a common thing.
Young Willie watched, with greedy eyes, As this affair went on. The plums—they look'd so very nice! He wouldn't take but one. So going quick behind a post, He tore the paper so That he could take out two or three, And nobody would know.
There was a little voice that said, Close by, in Willie's heart, "Don't tear the hole—don't take the plum— Don't play a thievish part!" The little voice—it spoke in vain! He reach'd his mother's door; She did not see the hole he'd made, His trouble then was o'er.
And what a trifling thing it seem'd, To take one single plum! A little thing we hold between Our finger and out thumb. And yet upon that Christmas eve, That period so brief, Young Willie set his foot upon "The ladder of the thief!"
And as he lay awake that night, He heard his parents speak; He heard distinctly what they said, The blood rush'd to his cheek. He lay and listn'd earnestly; They might have found him out, And he might get a flogging too, 'Twas that he thought about.
A guilty person cannot rest, He always is in fear; Not knowing what may happen next To make his guilt appear. So, when he heard his mother speak, He rose up in his bed, And did not lose a syllable Of every word she said:—
"We have not any turnips, John, I could not spare the pence; But you can go and get us some Through Farmer Turner's fence. "There's nobody to see you now, The folks are off the road; The night looks dark and blustering, And no one is abroad.
"It is not far—you'll soon be back— I'll stand outside to hear; The watchman now is off his track, And won't be coming near." The father he went softly out, And down the lane he crept, And stole some turnips from the field Whilst honest people slept!
'Tis not the words that parents say, It is their very deed; Their children know the difference, And follow where they lead. How often, if their lives are good, Their children's are the same; Whilst, if they're thievish, drunken, Their children come to shame!
Now, Willie laid him down in bed, His conscience found relief; "I'm not the only one," he said— "My father is a thief! "How foolish 'twas to be afraid About a little plum!" He pull'd the bed-clothes o'er his head, And dream'd of feasts to come.
On Christmas-day they had the pies. The turnips, and the beef; And Willie's foot was firm upon The ladder of the thief. And ere the snow was on the plain, And Christmas-day came round, And boys were sliding, once again, Upon the frozen ground,
He, step by step, had further gone Upon that dreadful road That brings a man to misery, And takes him far from God. He cheated with his marbles first, And then at other play; He pilfered any little thing That came within his way.
His parents did not punish him; He went from bad to worse, Until he grew so confident, He stole a lady's purse. Then he was seized, and brought before The city magistrate; And the police and lady came The robbery to state.
And Willie he was proved a thief, And nothing had to say; So to the dreadful prison-house He soon was led away. In vain he cried, and pleaded hard They would not take him there; He would not do such things again If they would hear his prayer.
It was too late! The prison door, With bolt, and bar, and chain, Was opened to take Willie in, And then was shut again. He saw the handcuffs on the wall, The fetters on the floor; And heavy keys with iron rings To lock the dungeon door.
He saw the little, lonely cells Where prisoners were kept, And all the dreary passages, And bitterly he wept. And through the strong-barred iron grate, High up and far away, He saw a piece of clear blue sky Out in the blessed day.
And "Oh!" he said, "my brothers now Are out of school again, And playing marbles on the path, Or cricket on the plain. "And here am I, shut up so close Within this iron door; If ever I get out again I'll give this business o'er."
And Willie went to sleep that night In his dark cell alone; But often in his troubled dreams He turned with heavy moan. What sound is that at early morn That breaks upon his ear? A funeral bell is tolling slow, It tolls so very near.
And in the court he sees a crowd, So haggard and so pale, And they are whispering fearfully A sad and awful tale. And all seem looking at a man Who stands with fetters bound, And guards and executioner Are gathered close around.
And he beheld that wretched man, Who trembled like a leaf: His foot no more would stand upon The ladder of the thief. For he had climbed it step by step, Till murder closed the whole; The hangman came to take his life, But where would be his soul?
And still the bell went tolling on; It tolled so heavily As that young man went up the stairs, Out to the gallows-tree. It tolled—it tolled—Oh! heavy sound! It stopped—the deed is o'er; And that young man upon the earth Will now be seen no more:
Oh! parents watch your little ones, Lest you have such a grief; Help not their tender feet to climb The ladder of the thief. I have not heard young Willie's end, I hope he learned that day; But 'tis a thing most difficult To leave a wicked way.
[Page 74—Santa Claus Land]
I have given no Fairy Tales in this Childland. For in this matter-of-fact age belief in Fairy Tales and all kinds of wonderful fictions is fast vanishing. Santa Claus, the "bestest" "goodest" fairy of all alone remains: and even he is gradually being doubted by all but the most innocent children, but as he as a personality is still largely amongst us, I give his popular history culled from many sources.
Santa Claus Land
At the top of the earth, which they call the North Pole, Is where Santa Claus lives, a right jolly old soul! And the ice and the snow lie so thick on the ground The sun cannot melt them the whole summer round.
All wrapped up in furs from his head to his toes, No feeling of coldness dear Santa Claus knows, But travels about with a heart full of joy, As happy as if he were only a boy.
His cheeks are like roses; his eyes are as bright As stars that shine out overhead in the night, And they twinkle as merrily too all the while, And broad as a sunbeam is Santa Claus' smile.
He never is idle except when asleep, And even in dreams at his labours will keep, And all thro' the day and the night, it is true, He is working and planning, dear children, for you.
On top of his tower with spy-glass in hand, He goes every morning to look o'er the land, And though there are hills all around, I suppose, He sees, oh, much further than any one knows.
He peeps into houses whose doors are tight shut; He looks through the palace, and likewise the hut; He gazes on cities, and villages small, And nothing, no, nothing is hidden at all.
He knows where the good children live beyond doubt, He knows where the bad boys and girls are about, And writes down their names on a page by themselves; In a book that he keeps on his library shelves.
For good little children, the gentle and kind, The prettiest presents of toys are designed, And when Christmas comes round, as it does once a year, 'Tis certain that Santa Claus then will appear.
His work-shop is, oh! such a wonderful place, With heaps of gay satins, and ribbons, and lace; With houses and furniture, dishes and pans, And bracelets and bangles, and all sorts of fans.
There are horses that gallop, and dollies that walk, And some of the pretty doll-babies can talk. There are pop-guns, and marbles, and tops for the boys, And big drums and trumpets that make a big noise.
There are games for all seasons, the base-ball and kite, And books which the children will seize with delight, And the skates and the sleds, far too many to count, And the bicycles ready for wheelmen to mount.
There are farm-yards in plenty, with fences and trees, And cows, sheep, and oxen, all taking their ease, And turkeys and ducks, and fine chickens and hens, And dear little piggies to put in their pens.
There are gay Noah's Arks, just as full as can be Of animals, really a wonder to see; There are lions and tigers, and camels and bears, And two of each kind, for they travel in pairs.
There are elephants stretching their noses quite long; And reindeer and elks with their antlers so strong, And queer kangaroos all the others amid, With their dear little babies in pockets well hid.
Is Santa Claus happy? There's no need to ask, For he finds such enjoyment indeed in his task, That he bubbles with laughter, and whistles and sings, While making and planning the beautiful things.
He's a jolly good fellow, but ever so shy, And likes to do all his good deeds on the sly, So there's no use spoiling a good winter's nap For you'll not catch a glimpse of the jolly old chap.
When Christmas Eve comes, into bed you must creep, And late in the night when you are asleep, He is certain to come; so your stockings prepare, And hang them up close by the chimney with care.
The baby's wee stockings you must not forget, For Santa will have something nice for the pet, And those who are thoughtful for others will find The good saint at Christmas time has them in mind.
There is Tommy, who tended the baby with care, A nice train of cars he shall have for his share, And how happy will Eliza be when she looks For her presents, and finds such a budget of books.
For dear little Mary, a doll there will be; And for Alice and Jenny a gay Christmas tree; And wee little Georgie, the baby, will find A big stick of candy, just suiting his mind.
Oh, a jolly good sight is this funny old chap When he's dressed in his bear-skin and fur-bordered cap, All ready to start on his way through the cold, In a sleigh covered over with jewels and gold.
While his deer from the mountains all harnessed with care, Like race-horses prance through the clear frosty air; 'Tis fun just to watch them, and hear the bells ring, And the stars seem to think it a comical thing.
For old Santa is bundled so close to the chin, That there is not a chance for the cold to get in, His cheeks are so rosy, his eyes how they flash! No horses nor driver e'er cut such a dash!
He cracks his long whip, and he whistles a tune, While he winks at the stars, and he bows to the moon, And over the tree-tops he drives like the wind, And leaves all the night-birds a long way behind.
His steeds speed away on a journey so fleet, That they seem to have wings to their swift-flying feet, For there's work to be done by a cheery old man, And his coursers will help him as well as they can.
His sleigh is with toys and trinkets well packed, You never beheld one with pleasures so stacked; And though of good children he has such a list, Not one is forgotten, not one will be missed.
An army he gives to the boy who is neat, And never is rude in the house or the street; And a farm to the lad who goes smiling to school, Who knows all his lessons and minds every rule.
And if you would please him—dear Bertie and Jack—; And win a nice prize from the old fellow's pack, Be good little children, your parents obey, And strive to be happy at work or at play.
At Christmas old Santa Claus toils like a Turk, For the cheery old fellow is fond of his work. With his queer looking team through the air he will go, And alight on the house-tops all covered in snow.
Then down through the chimneys he'll dart without noise And fill up the stockings with candy and toys. There'll be presents for Julia, and Nellie, and Jack, And plenty more left in the old fellow's pack.
And if Frank behaves well, and minds what is said, Quits teasing the cat and goes early to bed; He'll find for his present a sled or a gun, A ready companion in frolic and fun.
On Santa Claus hurries, and works with a will, For many tall Christmas trees he has to fill, And loads them with treasures from out his rich store, Till they blossom as trees never blossomed before.
Though round as a dumpling, and ever so fat, In running and climbing he's spry as a cat, And if the long ladder should happen to break, And he should fall down, what a crash it would make!
I told you his home was up North by the Pole, In a palace of hives lives this worthy old soul, And though out of doors it may furiously storm, Indoors as we know, it is sunny and warm.
When Christmas is over old Santa Claus goes To his home in the North, and his well-earned repose, And when he is rested and feeling tip-top, The good-natured workman goes back to his shop.
And there he will labor from morning till night, To make others happy his aim and delight, And if his good-will the dear children would earn, They must strive to be happy and good in return.
He comes like an angel of light from above, To do on the earth sweetest errands of love; And our hearts and our homes to so fill with good cheer That we cannot help knowing when Christmas is near.
Then let us be glad, so that Christmas may be A real Merry Christmas to you and to me! And now that the story is ended we'll give Three cheers for old Santa Claus! Long may he live!
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A Visit From St. Nicholas
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in there beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced through their heads; And mamma in her kerchief and I in my cap Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap, When out in the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash; The moon, on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave a lustre of midday to objects below;
When what to my wondering eyes should appear But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer, With a little old driver so lively and quick I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled and shouted and called them by name; "Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen! To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall, Now, dash away, dash away, dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky, So up to the housetop the coursers they flew, With a sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too; And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound, He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack, His eyes, how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry. His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
He was chubby and plump—a right jolly old elf— And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; A wink of his eye and a twist of his head Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle; But I heard him exclaim ere he drove out sight; "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night."
Clement C. Moore
What Santa Claus Brings
Lovely little girls and boys, Santa brings all sorts of toys. Boxes filled with wooden bricks, Monkeys climbing yellow sticks.
Dollies' houses painted red, Tiny soldiers made of lead, Noah's Arks, and Ninepins too, Jack in boxes, painted blue.
Cups and Saucers, Pots and Pans, China figures, Chinese fans, Railway trains, with Tops and Tables, Fairy Tales and Aesop's Fables,
Clockwork Mice, and Coloured Marbles Painted Bird that sweetly warbles, Dolls of every age and size, With flaxen hair and moving eyes.
Cows and horses, Chickens, Cats, Rattles, Windmills, Boats and Bats, Ducks and Geese, and golden Fishes, Skipping ropes and copper Dishes.
Books and coloured pictures, too, And a thousand other things for you; Dainty maidens, merry boys, Santa brings all sorts of toys.
Dear little Mary, With eyes so blue, What has Santa Claus Brought for you?
He has brought me a cup, And a curly sheep, And a cradle where dolly May go to sleep.
The best of all Is this funny box That winds with a key Just like the clocks.
And when you've wound The spring up tight, The monkey dances With all his might,
And Fido barks And the puppies play: We're all very happy This Christmas day.
Dainty little stockings Hanging in a row, Blue, and grey, and scarlet, In the firelight's glow.
Curly-pated sleepers Safely tucked in bed; Dreams of wondrous toy-shops Dancing through each head.
Funny little stockings Hanging in a row Stuffed with sweet surprises, Down from top to toe.
Skates, and balls, and trumpets, Dishes, tops, and drums, Books and dolls and candles, Nuts and sugar-plums.
Little sleepers waking: Bless me, what a noise! Wish you merry Christmas, Happy girls and boys!
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When the children have been good, That is, be it understood, Good at meal-times, good at play, Good all night and good all day,— They shall have the pretty things Merry Christmas always brings.
A Christmas Eve Adventure
Once on a time, in a queer little town, On the shore of the Zuyder Zee, When all the good people were fast asleep, A strange thing happened to me.
Alone, the night before Christmas, I sat by the glowing fire, Watching the flame as it rose and fell, While the sparks shot high and higher.
Suddenly one of these sparks began To flicker and glimmer and wink Like a big bright eye, till I hardly knew What to do or to say or to think.
Quick as a flash, it changed to a face, And what in the world did I see But dear old Santa Claus nodding his head, And waving his hand to me!
"Oh! follow me, follow me!" soft he cried,— And up through the chimney with him I mounted, not daring to utter a word Till we stood on the chimney's rim.
"Now tell me, I beg you, dear Santa Claus, Where am I going with you?" He laughingly answered, "Why, don't you know? To travel the whole world through!
"From my crystal palace, far in the North, I have come since dark,—and see These curious things for the little folk Who live on the Zuyder Zee."
Then seating himself in his reindeer sledge, And drawing me down by his side, He whistled, and off on the wings of the wind We flew for our midnight ride.
But first, such comical presents he left For the little Dutch girls and boys,— Onions and sausages, wooden-faced dolls, Cheeses and gingerbread toys!
Away we hurried far to the South, To the beautiful land of France; And there we showered the loveliest gifts,— Flaxen-haired dolls that could dance.
Soldiers that marched at the word of command, Necklaces, bracelets and rings, Tiny gold watches, all studded with gems, And hundreds of exquisite things.
Crossing the Channel, we made a short call In Scotland and Ireland, too; Left a warm greeting for England and Wales, Then over the ocean we flew
Straight to America, where by myself, Perched on a chimney high, I watched him scramble and bustle about Between the earth and the sky.
Many a stocking he filled to the brim, And numberless Christmas trees Burst into bloom at his magical touch! Then all of a sudden a breeze
Caught us and bore us away to the South, And afterwards blew us "out West;" And never till dawn peeped over the hills Did we stop for a moment's rest.
"Christmas is coming!" he whispered to me, "You can see his smile in the sky,— I wish Merry Christmas to all the world! My work is over,—good-bye!"
Like a flash he was gone, and I was alone,— For all of this happened to me Once on a time, in a queer little town On the shore of the Zuyder Zee!
I had told him, Christmas morning, As he sat upon my knee, Holding fast his little stockings, Stuffed as full as can be, And attentive listening to me, With a face demure and mild, That old Santa Claus, who filled them, Did not love a naughty child.
"But we'll be good, won't we, moder?" And from off my lap he slid, Digging deep among the goodies In his crimson stockings hid. While I turned me to my table, Where a tempting goblet stood, Brimming high with a dainty custard, Sent me by a neighbour good.
But the kitten, there before me, With his white paw, nothing loth, Sat, by way of entertainment, Lapping off the shining froth; And, in not the gentlest humour At the loss of such a treat, I confess I rather rudely Thrust him out into the street.
Then how Bennie's blue eyes kindled; Gathering up the precious store He had busily been pouring In his tiny pinafore, With a generous look that shamed me Sprang he from the carpet bright, Showing, by his mien indignant, All a baby's sense of right.
"Come back Harney," called he loudly, As he held his apron white, "You shall have my candy wabbit;" But the door was fastened tight. So he stood, abashed and silent, In the centre of the floor, With defeated look, alternate Bent on me and on the door.
Then, as by some sudden impulse, Quickly ran he to the fire, And while eagerly his bright eyes Watched the flames grow high and higher, In a brave, clear key he shouted, Like some lordly little elf, "Santa Kaus, come down the chimney, Make my mother 'have herself."
"I'll be a good girl, Bennie," Said I, feeling the reproof; And straightway recalled poor Harney, Mewing on the galley roof. Soon the anger was forgotten, Laughter chased away the frown, And they gambolled 'neath the live oaks, Till the dusky night came down.
In my dim, fire-lighted chamber Harney purred beneath my chair, And my play-worn boy beside me Knelt to say his evening prayer: "God bess fader, God bess moder, God bess sister," then a pause, And the sweet young lips devoutly Murmured "God bess Santa Kaus."
He is sleeping: brown and silken Lie the lashes, long and meek, Like caressing, clinging shadows, On his plump and peachy cheek; And I bend above him, weeping, Thankful tears; O undefiled; For a woman's crown of glory, For the blessing of a child.
Annie C. Ketchum
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Old Santa Claus
Old Santa Claus sat alone in his den, With his leg crossed over his knee; While a comical look peeped out at his eyes, For a funny old fellow was he.
His queer little cap was tumbled and torn, And his wig it was all awry; But he sat and mused the whole day long, While the hours went flying by.
He had been busy as busy can be, In filling his pack with toys; He had gathered his nuts and baked his pies, To give to the girls and boys.
There were dolls for the girls, and whips for the boys, With wheelbarrows, horses and drays, And bureaus and trunks for Dolly's new clothes; All these in his pack he displays.
Of candy too, both twisted and striped, He had furnished a plentiful store, While raisins and figs, and prunes and grapes, Hung up on a peg by the door.
"I am almost ready," quoth he, quoth he, "And Christmas is almost here; But one thing more—I must write a book, And give to each one this year."
So he clapped his specs on his little round nose, And seizing the stump of a pen, He wrote more lines in one little hour Than you ever could write in ten.
He told them stories all pretty and new, And wrote them all out in rhyme; Then packed them away with his box of toys To distribute one at a time.
And Christmas Eve, when all were in bed, Right down the chimney he flew; And stretching the stocking-leg out at the top, He clapped in a book for you.
Santa Claus and the Mouse
One Christmas Eve, when Santa Claus Came to a certain house, To fill the children's stockings there, He found a little mouse.
"A merry Christmas, little friend," Said Santa, good and kind. "The same to you, sir!" said the mouse, "I thought you wouldn't mind
If I should stay awake to night, And watch you for a while." "You're very welcome, little mouse," Said Santa, with a smile.
And then he filled the stockings up, Before the mouse could wink,— From toe to top, from top to toe, There wasn't left a chink.
"Now, they won't hold another thing," Said Santa Claus with pride. A twinkle came in mousie's eyes, But humbly he replied:
"It's not nice to contradict— Your pardon I implore,— But in the fullest stocking there, I could put one thing more."
"Oh, ho!" laughed Santa, "silly mouse! Don't I know how to pack? By filling stockings all these years, I should have learned the knack."
And then he took the stocking down From where it hung so high, And said: "Now put in one thing more; I give you leave to try."
The mousie chuckled to himself, And then he softly stole Right to the stocking's crowded toe, And gnawed a little hole!
"Now, if you please, good Santa Claus, I've put in one thing more; For you will own, that little hole Was not in there before."
How Santa Claus did laugh and laugh; And then he gaily spoke; "Well, you shall have a Christmas cheese, For that nice little joke."
A Nice Little Present
"Our Santa Claus," cried Bettie, "Is nice as any other; He brought the nicest present To me and to my mother.
"It was—oh, you can't guess it— A darling little brother. He kicks and cries, and shuts his eyes, And he's sweet enough to eat.
"I'd rather have my baby brother Than dolls or candy—so would my mother."
The Night Before Christmas
Curly heads, so softly pillowed; Chubby arms outspread; Thousand fancies swiftly flying Through each little head.
Clasping treasures newly garnered, Dolly, book, and ball, Still they dream of coming pleasures Greater than them all.
Christmas-trees of gorgeous beauty, Filled with presents rare; Toys unheard of, joys unnumbered, All delights are there.
Angel forms, with smiling faces, Hover round the bed; Angel feet make echoing music As they lightly tread.
Angel voices, softly thrilling, Chant a lullaby: "Darlings, dream, and sweetly slumber, We are watching by."
Who from dreams like these would waken To a world of pain? "Hush, then, dear ones! Have we roused you? Turn and dream again."
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Annie And Willie's Prayer
'Twas the eve before Christmas; good night had been said, And Annie and Willie had crept into bed. There were tears on their pillows, and tears in their eyes, And each little bosom was heaving with sighs;
For to-night their stern father's command had been given, That they should retire precisely at seven Instead of at eight; for they had troubled him more With questions unheard of than ever before.
He had told them he thought this delusion a sin; No such creature as "Santa Claus" ever had been; And he hoped, after this, he should never more hear How he scrambled down chimneys with presents each year.
And this was the reason that two little heads So restlessly tosses on their soft, downy beds. Eight, nine, and the clock on the steeple tolled ten; Not a word had been spoken by either till then;
When Willie's sad face from the blanket did peep, And he whispered: "Dear Annie, is 'ou fast asleep?" "Why, no, Brother Willie," a sweet voice replies; "I've long tried in vain, but I can't shut my eyes;
"For somehow it makes me so sorry because Dear Papa has said there is no Santa Claus. Now we know there is, and it can't be denied For he came every year before dear mamma died;
"But then, I've been thinking, that she used to pray,— And God would hear everything dear mamma would say,— And, maybe, she asked him to send Santa Claus here With the sack full of presents he brought every year."
"Well, why tannot we p'ay, dust as mamma did, den, And ask Dod to send him with presents aden?" "I've been thinking so, too;" and without a word more Four little bare feet bounded out on the floor,
And four little knees on the soft carpet pressed, And two tiny hands were clasped close to each breast, "Now, Willie, you know, we must firmly believe That the presents we ask for we're sure to receive;
"You must wait just as still till I say the 'Amen,' And by that you will know that your turn has come then.— "Dear Jesus, look down on my brother and me, And grant us the favours we're asking of Thee.
"I want a wax dolly, a tea-set and a ring, And an ebony work-box that shuts with a spring. Bless papa, dear Jesus, and cause him to see That Santa Claus loves us as much as does he.
"Don't let hem get fretful and angry again, At dear brother Willie and Annie. Amen." "Dear Desus, 'et Santa Taus tum down to night And bring us some p'esents before it is 'ight;
"I want he sood div' me a nice little sled, Wid bight shinin' 'unners, and all painted 'ed A box full of tandy, a book, and a toy, Amen. And den, Desus, I'll be a dood boy."
Their prayers being ended, they raised up their heads, And with hearts light and cheerful again sought their beds; They were soon lost in slumber both peaceful and deep, And with fairies in dreamland were roaming in sleep.
Eight, nine, and the little French clock had struck ten Ere the father had thought of his children again; He seems now to hear Annie's self-suppressed sighs, And to see the big tears stand in Willie's blue eyes.
"I was harsh with my darlings," he mentally said, "And should not have sent them so early to bed: But then I was troubled: My feelings found vent; For the bank-stock to-day has gone down two percent.;
"But of course they've forgotten their troubles ere this, And that I denied them the thrice-asked-for kiss; But just to make sure I'll steal up to their door— To my darlings I have never spoke harshly before."
So saying, he softly ascended the stairs, And arrived at the door to hear both of their prayers; His Annie's "Bless papa" drew forth the big tears, And Willie's grave promise fell sweet on his ears.
"Strange, strange! I'd forgotten," he said with a sigh, "How I longed when a child to have Christmas draw nigh I'll atone for my harshness," he inwardly said, "By answering their prayers ere I sleep in my bed."
Then he turned to the stairs, and softly went down, Threw off velvet slippers and silk dressing gown. Donned hat, coat and boots, and was out in the street, A millionaire facing the cold, driving sleet!
Nor stopped he until he had bought everything, From the box full of candy to the tiny gold ring: Indeed, he kept adding so much to his store, That the various presents outnumbered a score.
Then homeward he turned, when his holiday load, With Aunt Mary's help, in the nursery was stow'd. Miss Dolly was seated beneath a pine tree, And the side of a table spread out for her tea;
A work-box, well-filled, in the centre was laid, And on it the ring for which Annie had pray'd. A soldier in uniform stood by a sled, With bright shining runners, and all painted red.