With Trumpet and Drum

With big tin trumpet and little red drum,
Marching like soldiers, the children come!
It 's this way and that way they circle and file---
My! but that music of theirs is fine!
This way and that way, and after a while
They march straight into this heart of mine!
A sturdy old heart, but it has to succumb
To the blare of that trumpet and beat of that drum!
Come on, little people, from cot and from hall---
This heart it hath welcome and room for you all!
It will sing you its songs and warm you with love,


With the Cattle

The drought is down on field and flock,
The river-bed is dry;
And we must shift the starving stock
Before the cattle die.
We muster up with weary hearts
At breaking of the day,
And turn our heads to foreign parts,
To take the stock away.
And it’s hunt ‘em up and dog ‘em,
And it’s get the whip and flog ‘em,
For it’s weary work, is droving, when they’re dying every day;
By stock routes bare and eaten,
On dusty roads and beaten,
With half a chance to save their lives we take the stock away.


With Lullay, Lullay

With lullay, lullay, like a child,
Thou sleepest too long, thou art beguiled!
"My darling dear, my daisy flower,
Let me," quoth he, "lie in your lap."
"Lie still," quoth she, "my paramour,
Lie still hardily, and take a nap."
His head was heavy, such was his hap,
All drowsy, dreaming, drowned in sleep,
That of his love he took no keep,
With hey, lullay, etc.

With ba, ba, ba, and bas, bas, bas!
She cherished him both cheek and chin
That he wist never where he was;
He had forgotten all deadly sin!


With Kit, Age 7, at the Beach

We would climb the highest dune,
from there to gaze and come down:
the ocean was performing;
we contributed our climb.

Waves leapfrogged and came
straight out of the storm.
What should our gaze mean?
Kit waited for me to decide.

Standing on such a hill,
what would you tell your child?
That was an absolute vista.
Those waves raced far, and cold.

'How far could you swim, Daddy,
in such a storm?'
'As far as was needed,' I said,
and as I talked, I swam.


Wisteria

The first purple wisteria
I recall from boyhood hung
on a wire outside the windows
of the breakfast room next door
at the home of Steve Pisaris.
I loved his tall, skinny daughter,
or so I thought, and I would wait
beside the back door, prostrate,
begging to be taken in. Perhaps
it was only the flowers of spring
with their sickening perfumes
that had infected me. When Steve
and Sophie and the three children
packed up and made the move west,
I went on spring after spring,


Willie's and Nellie's Wish

I

Willie and Nellie, one evening sat
By their own little cottage door;
They saw a man go staggering by --
Says Willie, "that's Mr. Lanore;
He is just going home from town, where
He has been in a saloon.
When Maggie and I came from school,
Said Maggie, 'please papa, come home.'
II
"She asked him again, again, to come home.
At last he got angry, and said:
'Maggie, go home -- don't bother me so;
Go home now, and shut up your head.'
Poor girl, she came weeping all the way,


William House and Family

I

Come all kind friends, both far and near,
Come listen to me and you shall hear --
It's of a family and their fate,
All about them I will relate.
II
They once did live at Edgerton,
They once did live at Muskegon,
From there they went to Chicago,
Which proved their fatal overthrow.
III
It was William House's family,
As fine a family as you see --
His family was eleven in all,
I do not think it was very small.
IV
Two children died some years ago,
Before they went to Chicago,


Where Go the Boats

Dark brown is the river,
Golden is the sand.
It flows along for ever,
With trees on either hand.

Green leaves a-floating,
Castles of the foam,
Boats of mine a-boating -
Where will all come home?

On goes the river
And out past the mill,
Away down the valley,
Away down the hill.

Away down the river,
A hundred miles or more,
Other little children
Shall bring my boats ashore.


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