My Playfellow

What though you're only five years old,
A little roguish, romping fairy,
And I'm a man of care and toil—
We're comrades true, my little Mary!
We're friends, and playmates, close and fond—
And heedless of the wind or weather;
Out-doors or in, 'tis all the same,
We leap, and laugh, and run together.

We love to sit upon the grass
In summer days, in shady valleys,
Or play at merry ‘hide-and-seek’
Behind the trees in garden alleys.
And do n't we wander forth alone,
To gather crops of meadow-daisies?
Or hunt the noisy grasshopper
In all his green and secret places?

And do n't we catch the butterfly,
With mealy pinions, sailing lightly?
And do n't you, when I let him free,
Gravely decide, I acted rightly?
And do n't we teach the dog to beg,
And little puss to frisk and caper?
And do n't I paint you birds and fish,
And cut you purses out of paper?

And do n't we spin our humming-top
Together on the parlor table?
And do n't your father call me fool,
And smile to utter such a fable?
And do n't I tell you fairy tales,
At intercession of your mother?
And do n't you kiss me when I've done,
And ask me to begin another?

And do n't you oft, with hands outstretched,
And eyes that shine like sun-lit fountains,
Protest you love me—‘big as trees’—
‘Big as the world—and all its mountains?’
And do n't you sometimes fall asleep,
Lock'd in my arms, quite worn and weary?
And do n't I carry you to bed,
Too drowsy for your prayers, my deary?

Oh, yes! we're friends, and comrades true,
There's not a bit of guile about you;
You shed such light about your path,
I'd think the world was dark without you.
And if to fourscore years I live,
However Time and Fate may vary,
I'll wish no better friend than you,
My little, laughing, romping Mary.
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