Poetry and some Prose (near the end)

Mary E. Wilkins (Freeman)

Excluding poems collected in
Decorative Plaques and Once Upon a Time

The Story of Miss Muffet · [Mary E. Wilkins]
 From Wide Awake Vol. 12 No. 3. (March, 1881)
Cross Patch · M. E. Wilkins
 From St. Nicholas Magazine Vol. VIII No. 6. (April, 1881)
“Rock-a-bye, Baby!” · M. E. Wilkins
 From St. Nicholas Magazine Vol. VIII No. 9. (July, 1881)
A Midsummer Song · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Wide Awake Vol. 13 No. 2. (August, 1881)
 From Christmas Carols and Midsummer Songs D. Lothrop & Company, 1881
All-Hallowe'en · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Wide Awake Vol. 13 No. 5. (November, 1881)
Prelude to Christmas Carols · M. E. W.
 From Christmas Carols and Midsummer Songs D. Lothrop & Company, 1881
Prelude to Midsummer Songs · M. E. W.
 From Christmas Carols and Midsummer Songs D. Lothrop & Company, 1881
Two Boys · [Mary E. Wilkins]
 From Wide Awake Vol. 14 No. 1. (January, 1882)
The Mandolin · M. E. Wilkins
 From Our Continent Vol. 1 No. 14. (May 17, 1882)
The Baby's Footprint · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Wide Awake Vol. 14 No. 5. (May, 1882)
Once Upon A Time · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Wide Awake Vol. 14 No. 6. (June, 1882)
Sweet Phyllis: A Pastoral · Mary E. Wilkins
 From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 24, Issue 5. (September, 1882)
Sweetheart's Lesson · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Wide Awake Vol. 15 No 4. (October, 1882)
Apple Blossoms · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Wide Awake Vol. 16 No. 6. (May, 1883)
 From Autumn Leaves Daphne Dale. National Book Mart. 1893
 From Little Lassies Saalfield Publishing, New York, Chicago 1904
A Belated Little Maid · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Wide Awake Vol. 17 No. 1. (June, 1883)
 From Little Lassies Saalfield Publishing, New York, Chicago 1904
Boy's Love · Mary E. Wilkins
 From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 26, Issue 6. (October, 1883)
On Christmas Day · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Wide Awake Vol. 18 No. 1. (December, 1883)
 From Autumn Leaves Daphne Dale. National Book Mart. 1893
Christmas Snow · [M. E. W.]
 From Wide Awake Vol. 18 No. 1. (December, 1883)
A Beggar · [M. E. W.]
 From Wide Awake Vol. 18 No. 3. (February, 1884)
The Baby's Revery · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Wide Awake Vol. 18 No. 4. (March, 1884)
 From Autumn Leaves Daphne Dale. National Book Mart. 1893
 From Little Lassies Saalfield Publishing, New York, Chicago 1904
It was a Lass · Mary E. Wilkins
 From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 27, Issue 6. (April, 1884)
Love in the Willow · Mary E. Wilkins
 From The Century, a popular quarterly Volume 28, Issue 2. (June, 1884)
Her Bonnet · Miss Mary E. Wilkins
 From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 28, Issue 4. (August, 1884)
A Maiden Lady · Mary E. Wilkins
 From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 30, Issue 4. (August, 1885)
Gold Flies · [M. E. W.]
 From Wide Awake Vol. 21 No. 6. (November, 1885)
An Umbrella · M. E. W.
 From Wide Awake Vol. 22 No. 4. (March, 1886)
Lady's Slipper · [M. E. W.]
 From Wide Awake Vol. 22 No. 5. (April, 1886)
A Little Mamma · M. E. W.
 From Wide Awake Vol. 23 No. 1. (June, 1886)
Queen Molly · [M. E. W.]
 From Wide Awake Vol. 23 No. 3. (August, 1886)
Mignonette · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Wide Awake Vol. 23 No. 3. (August, 1886)
My Pussy-Cat's Call on the Queen · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Wide Awake Vol. 23 No. 4. (September, 1886)
To Slumber Town · M. E. W.
 From Wide Awake Vol. 23 No. 4. (September, 1886)
The Clock · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Harper's Young People Vol. VII No. 365. (October 26, 1886)
A Dignitary · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Wide Awake Vol. 23 CYFRU (June, 1886)
Doubtful — Very · M. E. W.
 From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 34, Issue 5. (September, 1887)
A Silver Sloop in the Sky · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Harper's Young People Vol. VIII No. 415. (October 11, 1887)
The Fish of Gold That Sang · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Harper's Young People Vol. IX No. 421. (November 22, 1887)
In Frosty Weather · [Mary E. Wilkins]
 From Wide Awake Vol. 26 CYFRU (January, 1888)
A Question Of Relationship · Mary A. Wilkins
 From New York Evangelist Vol. 59 No. 18. (May 3, 1888)
A Humbug · M. E. W.
 From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 36, Issue 1. (May, 1888)
All in the Town of Vanity · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Harper's Bazar Vol. XXI No. 34. (August 25, 1888)
Consolation · M. E. W.
 From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 36, Issue 4. (August, 1888)
Catching a Swallow · [M. E. W.]
 From Wide Awake Vol. 27 No. 6. (November, 1888)
The Pearl Princess · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Harper's Young People Vol. X No. 488. (March 5, 1889)
Superiority · M. E. W.
 From Harper's Young People Vol. X No. 489. (March 12, 1889)
A l'Empire · M. E. W.
 From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 38, Issue 2. (June, 1889)
When Polly Goes By · M. E. W.
 From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 38, Issue 6. (October, 1889)
Blue-Eyed Mary · M. E. Wilkins
 From St. Nicholas Magazine Vol. XVII No. 1. (November, 1889)
A Shepherd Lad · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly Vol. LIX No. 2. (December, 1889)
Now Is The Cherry In Blossom · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Harper's New Monthly Magazine Volume 80, Issue 480. (May, 1890)
The Child-Spectacles · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Wide Awake Vol. 31 No. 3. (August, 1890)
Grandmother's Valentine · Miss Mary Wilkins
 From The Critic Vol. 15 No. 372. (Feb 14, 1891)
The Doll-Lady · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Wide Awake Vol. 32 No. 3. (February, 1891)
 From Sunshine For All D. Lothrop Company 1892
 From Famous Stories and Poems D. Lothrop Company Boston: 1893
Going to the Head · Mary E. Wilkins
 From St. Nicholas Magazine Vol. XVIII No. 4. (February, 1891)
Love and the Witches · Mary E. Wilkins
 From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 42, Issue 2. (June, 1891)
The Fourth Little Boy · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Wide Awake Vol. 34 No. 1. (December, 1891)
The Whist-Players · Mary E. Wilkins
 From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 44, Issue 6. (October, 1892)
After the Rain · Mary E. Wilkins
 From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 45, Issue 2. (December, 1892)
Pastels in Prose: · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Harper's New Monthly Magazine Volume 86, Issue 511. (December, 1892)
The Lilac · Mary E. Wilkins
 From St. Nicholas Vol. 21 No. 5. (March, 1894)
Bachelor's Button · Mary E. Wilkins
 From St. Nicholas Vol. 21 No. 6. (April, 1894)
Introductory Poem · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Arabella and Araminta Stories Copeland and Day. Boston 1895
Cyrano de Bergerac · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Harper's New Monthly Magazine Vol. XCIX No. 589. (June, 1899)
The Lode Star · Mary E. Wilkins
 From Scribner's Magazine Volume XXVII (May, 1900)
Sadie · Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
 From Harper's New Monthly Magazine Vol. CXI No. 663. (August, 1905)
The Old Maid of Nantasket · Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
 From Harper's New Monthly Magazine Vol. CXI No. 663. (August, 1905)
John C. Sprowls · Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
 From Harper's New Monthly Magazine Vol. CXI No. 663. (August, 1905)
The Ostrich · Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
 From Harper's New Monthly Magazine Vol. CXI No. 663. (August, 1905)
 From A Little Book of Necessary Nonsense Harper & Brothers, New York, London 1929
Wake Up, America! · Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
 From America in the War The Century Co., New York, 1918
Morning Light · Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
 From Harper's Magazine Vol. CXLII No. 847. (December, 1920)
The Prisoner · Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
 From The Literary Digest Vol. LXXIV No. 8. (August 19, 1922)
The Vase · Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
 From The Literary Digest Vol. LXXIV No. 8. (August 19, 1922)

The Story of Miss Muffet

From Wide Awake Vol. 12 No. 3. (March, 1881)

Twas a crimson velvet tuffet,
With a golden cord around it,
  On which Miss Muffet sat;
Her frock was made of rosy satin,
And she had a wreath of roses
  Twisted round her hat.

Roses looked in at the window,
Roses in tall, crystal vases
  Stood around the room;
On Miss Muffet's cheeks were roses,
For it was that lovely season
  When roses are in bloom.

Miss Muffet had a silver ewer
Chased with wreaths of silver roses,
  Full of curds and whey;
On her knees a silver basin,
'Graved with little knots of rose-buds
  In frosted silver, lay.

Into her little silver basin,
From her little silver ewer,
  She poured some curds and whey;
Then, with a little golden ladle,
Daintily she fell to eating,
  As a lady may.

A spider swung in through the window,
Dressed in velvet, black and yellow,
  On a silken thread
From a spray of Provence-roses;
He wore a doublet barred with yellow,
  And jewels on his head.

Downward climbed he from the roses,
Lightly, on his silken ladder;
  Slyly as a cat
Ran across to poor Miss Muffet,
And beside her, on the tuffet,
  Impertinently sat.

All her curds and whey upsetting,
Through the window sprang Miss Muffet
  Lightly as a cat —
Her frock of rosy satin tearing,
From her cheeks the roses losing,
  And the roses from her hat.

The Fairy Prince that way was prancing,
On his milk-white fairy courser,
  Out of Fairy-land;
From his jewelled saddle springing,
Up he ran to poor Miss Muffet,
  And gently kissed her hand:

“Come with me, my dear Miss Muffet,
For I am the Prince of Faery,
  And I'll treat you well;
Fast we'll fly o'er hill and meadow,
Keeping time unto the jingling
  Of a silver bell.

“Come with me, you rosy darling —
In Fairy-land there are no spiders
  To frighten you away;
In a grove of fairy roses
Safely you shall sit to-morrow,
  And feast on curds and whey.

“Come with me, you rosy beauty!
Naught that has a taint of venom
  Enters Fairy-land;
Fairy guards with spears of crystal,
Sentinels on diamond watch-towers,
  At its entrance stand.”

The Prince of Faery caught Miss Muffet,
Like a feather to the saddle,
  Half before she knew;
Over hills and velvet meadows,
Silver bells and trumpets sounding,
  Merrily they flew.

They came to look for sweet Miss Muffet:
They only found a surly spider
  Who on her tuffet sat;
And by the tree of Provence-roses
Empty lay the silver ewer,
  And Miss Muffet's hat.

They only found some dainty-hoof prints,
All too fine for mortal courser,
  Near them, where they lay:
They only heard a silvery jingling
And a blare of silver trumpets
  O'er the fields away.

Cross Patch

From St. Nicholas Magazine Vol. VIII No. 6. (April, 1881)

“Cross Patch, draw the latch,
  Sit by the fire and spin;
Take a cup, and drink it up,
  Then call the neighbors in.”

Fast flew around the humming wheel;
  The steaming kettle hung
Above the old wife's snapping fire,
  And merrily it sung.

The sour old wife, she spun her flax,
  All puckered in a frown;
There came a rattling at the latch,
  Two goodies from the town:

“Pray let us in, O neighbor dear!”
  All swiftly scuttled she,
And snatched the kettle from the hob
  And poured a cup of tea.

She gulped it down: “And now come in,
  If so ye desire,”
The cross old wife sat down again,
  And spun beside her fire.

“Now, fie upon you, cross old wife,
To treat your neighbors so!
  Our poor old bones are stiff with cold,
The tea had made them glow.

“But keep your tea, you cross old wife,
And soon the day shall come,
  You can not make your kettle sing,
Nor get your wheel to hum.”

“I care not for your idle threats,
  Go, get ye to the town!
I 'd brew more tea and spin more flax,
Before the sun goes down.”

The frost, the diamond window-panes
  Had trimmed with frozen leaves;
The shining icicles hung low
  Beneath the cottage eaves.

The north wind howled around the house,
  The kettle sang so gay;
The old wife, at her humming wheel,
  Spun out the close of day.

  There came a rattling at the latch,
The old wife 'gan to frown:
“Beshrew them! have they come again,
The goodies from the town?”

  She breathed upon the window-pane,
And out she peered, to see:
“And surely, if they 're come again,
  I'll go and drink the tea.”

  The northern blast yelled 'round the house;
Two boys, with bleeding feet,
  Stood, trembling, in the stinging snow,
And plead with voices sweet:

“Pray, let us in, O mother dear!
  We 're dying wi' the cold;
Please let us in, O mother dear!”
  The old wife 'gan to scold:

“My fire was not for beggars built.
Go, leave my door, I say!”
  They meekly dropped their pretty heads,
  And sadly turned away.

“Now, what is this?” the old wife said,
  “For, everywhere they go,
  Spring up, around their bleeding feet,
Red roses through the snow.

“And all the snow before my door
Is crimson, where they stood;
  And there has sprung a little rose
  From every drop of blood!

“And what is this?” the old wife cried;
“For, everywhere they pass,
  Gold crocus-buds pierce thro' the snow,
And spears of summer grass.

“Ah, woe is me! Now they are gone,
  I fear I 've worked me ill;
    I fear theses were two angel-folk,
    From off the Holy Hill.”

She turned herself, the fire burned bright,
  The kettle o'er it hung,
“Ah, woe is me!” the old wife cried,
  For it no longer sung.

She heaped dry branches on the fire,
  The flames began to roar,
“Now I 'm undone!” the old wife cried,
“The kettle sings no more.”

She turned her to her spinning-wheel,
  And tried her flax to spin,
  But every time she touched the threads,
She snarled them out and in.

In vain she tried to twirl the wheel;
  Quoth she, “My day has come;
My kettle will no longer sing,
  My wheel no longer hum.”

  *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *

Hard, in the frosty morning, stared
The neighbors passing by,
For, from the old wife's chimney, curled
  No smoke against the sky.

“Rock-a-bye, Baby!”

From St. Nicholas Magazine Vol. VIII No. 9. (July, 1881)

“Rock-a-bye, Baby, upon the tree-top;
 When the wind blows, the cradle will rock;
 When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,
 And down will come Baby, cradle, and all.”

Sing a song to the baby, Lark;
  Sing a song to the baby, Sparrow;
Merrily, oh, on the green hill-side,
  The buttercups dance with the branching yarrow.

The red cows stand by the glassy pool;
  The little white lambs round their dams are skipping;
And daintily over the grassy knolls,
  I see the fair little shepherdess tripping.

Rock-a-bye, Baby, upon the tree-top;
  And sing a song to the darling, Swallow;
A bee was trapped when the sun went down,
  For he staid too long in the lily-hollow.

I have slung thee, Love, in a silken scarf,
  The west wind blows, to set thee rocking;
The rooks fly over the abbey-towers,
  And, 'mong themselves, I hear them talking.

The monks are tinkling their silver bells;
  And what do you think the rooks are saying?
“There 's a baby, up in a tree, like a bird,
  His silken nest on a green bough swaying.”

The green leaves whisper unto thee, Sweet;
  Beautiful secrets over and over;
I am so happy — and yonder field
  Is humming with bees, and sweet with clover.

The monks are tinkling their silver bells;
  Their strong young gardener trundles the barrow —
Sing to the baby, Swallow, sing;
  Sing to the baby, Lark and Sparrow.

In the abbey-garden, the gardener spades
  Around the roses, and helps their growing;
He is thinking of thee, and he 's thinking of me,
  And the sweet rose-leaves in his face are blowing.

Rock-a-bye, Baby, upon the tree-top,
  Thou and the leaflets are just beginning;
Spring lingereth yet with her dear rose-buds,
  And I will sing to thee over my spinning.

I have set the spinning-wheel 'neath the tree,
  May be the baby will like the whirring;
Merrily, oh, in thy cradle, swing,
  The young green leaves at thy side are stirring.

I shall spin a frock for thee, Baby dear;
  The buttercups, oh, they are growing longer,
The baby shall run o'er the grassy fields,
  One day, when his plump little legs are stronger

We will strew the rough roads with violets soft,
  With rags of roses and shreds of clover;
All for the sake of the soft little feet,
  The cruel stones shall be covered over.

Sway softly, Love, in thy silken nest;
  Tenderly life around thee closes,
And never a sting shall it bring to thee,
  For thy mother will always thorn thy roses.

Rock-a-bye in thy cradle, Sweet,
  The mother-bird from her nest is calling —
What 's this? — ah me! the green bough breaks,
  And my darling baby, alas! is falling —

A cowled monk peered from the abbey-wall;
  The startled birds, overhead, were flying,
And the gardener trampled a rose-bush down,
  In his haste to get to his baby crying.

The cowled monk turned to his glowing page,
  And painted a cherub with rays of glory;
The wife and the gardener fondled and coaxed,
  And a smile from the baby endeth the story.

A Midsummer Song

From Wide Awake Vol. 13 No. 2. (August, 1881)
From Christmas Carols and Midsummer Songs D. Lothrop & Company, 1881

I want to sing a little song to please you,
  How midsummer comes following after June,
And shall I pitch it by the lark or robin? —
  For songs in midsummer should be in tune.

And shall I give it sweetness like the roses?
  For midsummer has roses, as you know.
As well as June; and sprinkled o'er with spices
  From beds of pinks, and poppies in a row?

Perhaps like them; or, maybe 'twould be sweeter —
  My little song — and prettier sound to you,
If I should make it make you think of lilies,
  For midsummer has always lilies too.

Around the meadow-sweet, the bees they cluster
  So thick the children pick it not for fear —
Like meadow-sweet and bees, if I could make it,
  A pretty little song 'twould be to hear!

Down in the field a crowd of flowers are standing;
  The locusts pipe, the flowers keep sweet and still —
With honey-balls of clover and the others,
  If only I my little song could fill!

I want to sing a little song to please you
  Of midsummer that's following after June,
But oh! of all her sweet, gay things, I cannot
  With one put yet my little song in tune!

I think you'll have to find a child or robin,
  Some ignorant and merry-hearted thing;
For, I suppose, a song of the midsummer
  It takes a heart more like a bird's to sing.


From Wide Awake Vol. 13 No. 5. (November, 1881)

Three gentle little maids there were
  I never can forget;
Three sisters: little Rosalind,
  And Ruth, and Margaret.

And Rosalind was a pretty bird,
  With winsome lady ways;
And Ruth was one who, rich or poor,
  Would frolic all her days.

But Margaret had grave blue eyes,
  And was not like the rest;
And Margaret had when she was born,
  A sweet thought in her breast.

Three children, merely, still they were,
  And innocent as doves:
Their pretty dreams they'd not begun
  To dream of their true-loves.

Yet, ne'ertheless, they thought to try,
  On one All-Hallow E'en,
A little charm they'd learned whereby
  Their true-loves might be seen.

Merrily down the field they ran,
  Their hearts were all astir:
They prattled gayly of true-loves,
  Nor knew what true-loves were.

The birds were all asleep or fled;
  There scarce was left a flower
Save, on the borders of the fields,
  The feathery virgin's-bower.

The grass was silver-white with dew,
  The night was wondrous still;
They heard no fairy bridles ring,
  Nor fairy trumpets shrill.

Yet still the three sped o'er the field
  Like robins on the wing;
And Rosalind a mirror held
  Slung on a silken string.

“And here's the place; and here's the spot;
  And here's the willow-lane;
And do you know the charm?” said she,
  “Best say it o'er again:

‘A four-leaved clover in the field,
  And a red star in the sea:
Wither, clover! vanish star!
  My true-love come to me!’

“Walk slowly backward down the lane
  And say the charm, you know,
The while you hold before your face
  The little mirror, so;

“And you will see your true-love's face
  Beside yours in the glass;
And if you laugh not out, nor speak,
  'T will surely come to pass.

“Since I am oldest, I'll go first.”
  Trembling, the little maid
Paced slowly backward down the lane,
  Nor owned she was afraid.

“And whom saw you, dear Rosalind?
  Who may your true-love be?
Oh, tell us quick, dear Rosalind,
  If you did any see?”

The garden had not held that year
  A little flower so pale:
“I saw,” she faltered fearfully,
  “Will — Willie Nightingale.”

Ruth's laugh rang out like silver bells,
  But Margaret chided her:
“Be quiet: other things than we,
  Adown the woodland stir.”

“And not a fairy of them all
  Could stop the laugh in me!
But I'll go next.” Then down the lane
  Merrily trotted she.

“I saw,” she panted, running back,
  Her round cheeks all abloom,
“I saw our neighbor's brindle calf,
  With a jocky hat and plume!”

“Now fie upon you, Ruth, for shame!”
  Her serious sisters cried;
“You jest upon All-Hallow E'en,
  You'll never be a bride.”

“I'll dance at both your weddings, dears,
  A merry single lass,
And I'll bring along the brindle calf
  I saw within the glass!”

“Now mind her not,” said Rosalind,
  “If she will vex us so,
And take the mirror, Margaret,
  For 't is your turn to go.”

She said the charm o'er soberly,
  And backward 'gan to pace,
Upon the mirror keeping fixed
  Her earnest little face.

“And, Margaret, what have you seen
  That makes your eyes so bright?”
“A little boy with golden hair,
  In a long, straight gown of white.

“Oh, sisters dear, the sweetest mine
  Of every one's true-loves —
His hair was gold, and in his hand
  He held a leash of doves.

“And I will love my true-love true
  Forever till I die,
And I will love him after that,
  Up yonder in the sky!”

Prelude to Christmas Carols (untitled)

From Christmas Carols and Midsummer Songs D. Lothrop & Company, 1881

Wake from your sleep, sweet Christians, now, and listen:
  A little song
We have, so sweet it like a star doth glisten,
  And dance along.

Now wake and hark: all brightly it is glowing
  With yule-flames merry,
And o'er it many a holly sprig is growing,
  And scarlet berry.

A bough of evergreen, with wax-lights gleaming,
  It bravely graces;
And o'er its lines the star that's eastward beaming
  Leaves golden traces.

Also, our little song, it sweetly praiseth,
  Like birds in flocks
When morning from her bed or roses raiseth
  Her golden locks.

But this it is that makes most sweet our story,
  When all is said:
It holds a little Child, with rays of glory
  Around His head.

Prelude to Midsummer Songs (untitled)

From Christmas Carols and Midsummer Songs D. Lothrop & Company, 1881

And now, since all the little birds are singing
  In bush and brake,
And all the honey flower bells dimly ringing,
  And grasses shake —

And grasses shake before the reapers' coming,
  While through and through
This sweetness locusts shrill and bees are humming,
  I'll sing to you

A little song, with bird-notes all a-twitter,
  With honey flowing
From tilted flower-cups with dew a-glitter,
  With fire-flies glowing;

And over it roses in knots, and myrtle,
  As thickly lay
(And violets) as on a maiden's kirtle,
  A holiday.

Sweetened all through with flowers, with which 'tis filléd
  So full, you see
It needs (and also honey round it spilléd)
  A sweet song be.

Two Boys

From Wide Awake Vol. 14 No. 1. (January, 1882)

It was one of those swell stone churches, Jim,
  I hadn't been there before;
But I saw it all lit up last night,
  And I stole inside the door.

And there was wreaths hung all around
  And strings of evergreen,
And three of the biggest Christmas-trees —
  O Jim, you'd oughter seen!

And when they called the names out loud,
  They'd all go up, you know,
And take the present from the man,
  With such a ginteel bow.

And there was some called lots of times;
  One boy, named Walter Blake,
I couldn't tell the heaps of things
  That he went up to take.

Thinks I, how mighty grand 'twould be
  If I should hear him call
Out, “Patsey Long!” but that, of course,
  He didn't do at all.

And seeing them all look so pleased
  And smiling round the tree —
I'm a pretty jolly kind of chap,
  But it sort o' come to me

How I'd been allers knocked about,
  Nothing but kick and fling;
And I kinder pitied Patsey Long
  Who hadn't got a thing.

And I s'pose that's why I dreamed
  About a tree, last night,
Which was so tall, the topmost boughs
  Seemed sort o' lost in light.

And all the branches hanging full!
  Such things you never see!
Why, everything from all the shops,
  And everything for me!

And some one called out, “Patsey Long!”
  And I'd go up, you know,
And take my present in my hand,
  And make a ginteel bow.

O Jim, you'd oughter seen the knives,
  The sleds and balls and bats!
And there was dogs, and suits of clo'es,
  And shoes and cakes and hats.

They kept a-calling, “Patsey Long!”
  And I'd go up for more;
They seemed to shake the branches, Jim,
  And the presents down would pour.

“O Patsey Long!” and “Patsey Long!”
  Till I sung out — 'twas rough —
“Please stop, I can't hold any more,
  My arms ain't big enough!”

      (Jimmy speaks.)

“My, is that all? I see you look
  So chipper-like, sez I,
He's had a fortune left him sure,
  Wot makes him look so high.

“Sez I, he'll dine on stuffed roast goose,
  And soda and ice-creams;
And, my! he'd nothing in the world
  But jest a pack of dreams!

      (Patsey speaks.)

Now what's the use of laffin', Jim?
  I ain't that kind, you see;
Some folks, I know, have fortunes come,
  But they never comes to me.

I ain't the kind to eat roast goose,
  Nor soda, nor ice-cream;
But wot's the use o' growlin', Jim?
  'Twas a werry pretty dream.

      (Jimmy speaks.)

But dreams is awful silly things,
  There ain't no countin' on!
Now wa'n't you blue when you woke up
  And them fine things was gone?

      (Patsey speaks.)

Well, fact is, Jim — I'll tell you, though
  You'll laugh at me, I s'pose —
I am as hungry as I was,
  With jest as ragged clo'es.

I look all round — here ain't no sled!
  Here ain't no ball nor bat!
The knife ain't in my pocket here!
  The shoes is gone, and hat!

But then, 'tain't 's if I ever had
  Been chipper-like and bright;
And — I know that Christmas-tree's somewhere
  I dreamed about last night!

The Mandolin

From Our Continent Vol. 1 No. 14. (May 17, 1882)

The maiden at her mandolin,
  A tinkling little song she sung;
It was so long ago, you know,
  When all the world was gay and young.

“Three roses, — red and white and gold,”
  This way her dainty singing went;
“Three roses, — gold and white and red,
  Beneath the castle wall they bent.

“A prince enchanted was the red;
  The gold rose was a princess fair;
The white was nothing but a rose;
  And they, all three, were blooming there.

“The red rose was a prince again,
  The gold rose got her maiden grace;
The rosy prince halloed for joy,
  And kissed the princess' rose-lit face.

“Ah, yes, the gold rose and the red
  Were prince and princess as before;
The white was noting but a rose,
  Forever and forever more.”

The maiden at her mandolin
  Sang in a sweet old faded June;
It was so long ago, you know,
  And mandolins are out of tune.

The Baby's Footprint

From Wide Awake Vol. 14 No. 5. (May, 1882)

The farmer sat there milking Bess,
  The gentle brindle cow,
Beneath the cherry-trees, all flowers
  On every tilting bough.

A merry morning 'twas in May,
  The birds were singing all;
The sparrow blew his silver flute,
  And the robin his silver call.

The meadow flower-cups were so full
  Of dew, the dew they spilt;
Each green grass-blade with pearls of dew
  Was strung from point to hilt.

The farmer sat there milking Bess,
  A-whistling all the while;
He was a sunburnt, stalwart man,
  And had a kindly smile.

His little blue-eyed baby-girl,
  With curls like yellow silk,
Danced merrily toward the cherry-trees
  To see her father milk.

No shoes upon her rosy feet;
  Flowers to her dimpled knees;
For all the way was thick with flowers
  Up to the cherry-trees.

She got the dew from buttercup,
  From grass and clover-blow,
Till she was dewy as a flower
  Herself from top to toe.

She watched her father milking Bess,
  Perched on a flat gray rock —
A darling of a little girl
  In her pink-sprinkled frock.

“My little one,” her father cried,
  “You're here without a shoe!
Your feet are wet! your little frock
  Is dripping, too, with dew!

“The dewdrops are for flowers, sweetheart,
  And the grass shall have its pearls;
The dewdrops are for blue-eyed flowers,
  But not for blue-eyed girls.

“I'll swing you to my shoulder, sweet;
  There, now you have a throne,
And are a queen — what shall we get
  To weave the queen a crown?”

He carried her toward the house,
  And sang a little song
He'd heard her mother sing to her,
  The while he walked along.

“And now we've reached the palace-door;
  See, mother, here's our queen
A-prancing on her gay gray horse,
  Over the meadow green!”

The mother caught her baby up;
  On went the sock and shoe;
And out again to waiting Bess
  He went back through the dew.

And while he sat there milking Bess
  Beneath the trees alone,
He saw the baby's clear footprint
  Upon the dew-pearled stone.

And — well, he was a tender man
  In little things; — he found
A nail, and marked the baby-foot
  With loving care around.

The years have gone; and they have gone —
  Parents and baby-girl;
She lived to be a mother, then
  She passed the Gate of Pearl.

When all her dust was turned to flowers,
  Her son, to manhood grown,
Was shown his mother's baby-foot
  Marked out upon the stone.

The precious bit of rock he has
  Which holds that baby-foot;
The best-beloved thing of all
  Amongst his treasures put.

Once Upon A Time

From Wide Awake Vol. 15 No. 6. (June, 1882)

Now, once upon a time, there were three children,
  And each of them had little daisy-crowns
Their mother freshly wove for them each morning,
  And all of them wore dotted muslin gowns.

And, once upon a time, the three went rambling
  Away from home, amid the wild greenwood;
And, once upon a time, they met a lambkin,
  And not a wolf like poor Red Riding Hood;

And, once upon a time, the three fell weeping:
  “Oh, we are lost! where can our mother be!”
Then meekly spake the little snow-white lambkin:
  “If you will come, I'll take you home with me.”

And, once upon a time, the lambkin trotted
  Briskly away (the west was turning gold),
And once upon a time, the children followed,
  And entered shyly in the lambkin's fold;

And, once upon a time, among the lambkins
  The children slumbered, in their muslin gowns,
Till morning came; and then they found their mother,
  Who wove for them anew their daisy-crowns.

Sweet Phyllis
A Pastoral

From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 24, Issue 5. (September, 1882)

With cowslips in her flaxen hair,
In straightly hanging gown o' blue,
A crook within her lily-hand,
A silver buckle on her shoe, —

She sits upon a daisied bank,
Her fleecy flock are feeding near;
Her heart calls over, like a bird:
“Oh, Colin, Colin, Colin dear!

“My love a blue-eyed shepherd is,
He leads his flock on yonder lea;
I am a simple shepherdess,
But Colin came awooing me!”

Dear Colin stands amongst his flock,
And stares across the meadow-gate;
He sees sweet Phyllis' gown o' blue,
And leaves his lambkins to their fate.

“Oh, Colin, Colin, Colin dear!”
Sweet Phyllis hears her heart repeat.
She starts and blushes, for she sees
Her own dear Colin at her feet.

A pattering of little hoofs,
Through meadow-grasses crisp with dew,
A bleating at the meadow-gate,
And Colin's sheep are coming too.

Sweetheart's Lesson

From Wide Awake Vol. 15 No. 4. (October, 1882)

Out of a window of Heaven came,
Floating on dove-wings like silver flame,
A little saint seeking one blade of grass,
In the meadow which shone like a sea of glass,
  Which the good God had forgotten.

“So many children on earth are sad,
That even in Heaven I am not glad,”
He sang; “so I'm seeking the meadow through
For a grass-blade less its drop of dew,
  To see if God has forgotten.”

Little Sweetheart, he sought till the splendid sun
Was high in the east; but he found — not one!
Now, run out, little girl, laugh and play!
But dear, you'll like to remember some day:
  Not one the good God had forgotten!

Apple Blossoms

From Wide Awake Vol. 16 No. 6. (May, 1883)
From Autumn Leaves Daphne Dale. National Book Mart. 1893
From Little Lassies Saalfield Publishing, New York, Chicago 1904

On May-day a dainty lady
And a dainty little lass
Underneath the flowering branches
In the apple orchard pass.

“I suppose the pinkest blossoms,
Just the pinkest ones of all,
Make always the very reddest
Of the apples in the fall,”

Mused the knowing little lassie;
“And these pale one, pinky-gray,
To the very palest apples
Will be sure to change some day.

“Here's the sweeting-tree, Miss Mary,
And that darling sop-o'-wine,
And that dear snow-apple — did you
Ever taste one half so fine?

“Oh, it seems just ages, ages,
Doesn't it? it does to me,
Waiting while these apple blossoms
Change to apples on the tree.

“But these flowers are — O, so pretty,
Just so sweet on every bough —
I do think, don't you, Miss Mary?
Blossoms are enough for now.”

A Belated Little Maid

From Wide Awake Vol. 17 No. 1. (June, 1883)
From Little Lassies Saalfield Publishing, New York, Chicago 1904

Low down along the western sky a few pale lights were lingering yet,
But all the rest was overcast with clouds of gloomy violet.
The hidden frogs piped clear around,
A silver mist curled from the ground,
When this green, lonely marshy place,
A little maid with startled face
Came hurrying through.

She'd got belated gathering flowers, her homeward path she scarce could see;
The woods loomed black, the shadows spread, her little heart beat piteously;
The damp air smote her in the face,
She stepped in webs of silver lace,
Her childish eyes were big with fright,
At what alone out-doors at night,
She'd chance to see.

When, of a sudden, round her path some willywisps whirled up and flew,
A-waving torches tipped with fire that shone as clear as sunlit dew.
Over their slender, fanning wings,
Gleamed ruby eyes and sapphire rings;
Their little bodies fine and fair
Seemed shapen out of moonlit air,
Or lilies' breaths.

From flower to flower, from rush to rush, they lighted home the little maid
Who tripped along with wondering eyes, half confident and half afraid.
And did she see those lovely things,
Their gold-green lights, their shimmering wings?
For many and many an after-year
She kept her childish vision clear,
And thought she did.

Boy's Love

From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 26, Issue 6. (October, 1883)

Stepping down the grassy lane,
Timorously as a dove,
Came an artless little damsel,
Looking out ahead for love.
(All the wild rose-hedge was budded — apple-boughs hung white above.)

Whosoe'er I first do meet
With the Boy's-Love in my shoe,
He's the one I'm sure to wed,
Sure to wed and love him true.

She'd a fair face, sweetly peeping from a little hood of blue.

She had never had a lover,
But she'd dreamed of one alway,
And would find him by the Boy's-Love
Hidden in her shoe to-day;
For it is a test worth trying, all the wise old grandams say.

Should she meet the tanner's boy,
Should she meet the miller's son,
She was so in love with loving,
She would love them either one,
Nor doubt he was the one she'd dreamed of ever since she first begun.

So, she met a rosy stripling,
And they passed without a word;
But her heart would beat so loudly,
She was almost sure he heard,
And her snowy kerchief trembled like the plumage of a bird.

Innocently sideways glancing,
From her little gingham hood,
Through her soul she felt the fragrance
Of that sprig of southernwood,
And she thought the lad so pretty, and believed him wise and good.

Then she lay awake, a-thinking
Of the lad, the whole night through;
But he soundly slept till daybreak,
Just as he was used to do,
And never dreamed he'd met a damsel with some Boy's-Love in her shoe.

On Christmas Day

From Wide Awake Vol. 18 No. 1. (December, 1884)
From Autumn Leaves Daphne Dale. National Book Mart. 1893

Down the road to London Town,
Came a flock of birdies brown,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;
Sweetly singing all the way,
Under clouds of silver gray,
A merry flock of birdies brown was it flew to London Town,
On Christmas Day.

Saddle-bags a-weighing down,
Rode a man to London Town,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;
Floating locks so golden-gay,
Cheeks as pink as flowers in May,
Had the horseman riding down, singing, into London Town,
On Christmas Day.

Merrily to London Town,
Danced a troop of children down,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;
Singing sweetly all the way,
Under clouds of silver gray,
Horseman, children, birdies brown, sped away to London Town,
On Christmas Day.

In the streets of London Town,
Children sang, and birdies brown,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;
For the red-cheeked horseman gay
Scattered toys and crumbs, they say,
For the birds and children down, in the streets of London Town,
On Christmas Day.

Christmas Snow

From Wide Awake Vol. 18 No. 1. (December, 1884)

Children, get your garlands O!
  Lustily the north wind's blowing;
Soon, you know, 'twill cease to snow,
  Amber in the west is glowing.

Children, come! The air is full
  Of those six-leaved, crystal lilies;
(Haste, your evergreens to pull!)
  Stemless stars and amaryllis.

Deeper in the woodland hie,
  Like a flock of robins calling!
Surely, dears, you need not fly
  From a shower of blossoms falling.

Heyday, children, carol O!
  Seeking glossy leaf and berry
In a lightsome whirl o' snow,
  Makes a Christmas merry, merry!

A Beggar

From Wide Awake Vol. 18 No. 3. (February, 1884)

There came a beggar to my door
  Upon a Thursday, fair and sunny;
She said she'd like some wheaten bread,
  A jar of jam, and one of honey;

Also, she said, a pie of larks,
  A cake with icing on the top,
Some custard, and a crock of cream —
  I wondered would she ever stop.

I gave the beggar all she asked;
  She hobbled off across the green —
She begged for such fine food to eat,
  I think she must have been a queen!

The Baby's Revery

From Wide Awake Vol. 18 No. 4. (March, 1884)
From Autumn Leaves Daphne Dale. National Book Mart. 1893
From Little Lassies Saalfield Publishing, New York, Chicago 1904

An exquisite little maiden
With a head like a golden flower,
She soberly stood at the window
In the still, white twilight hour.the , is not in the later printing

“And what are you thinking, sweetheart?”
She was such a little child
She could not answer this question;
She only dimpled and smiled.

But I wondered, as she frolicked,the , is not in the later printing
Her mystic revery o'er,
Was she a rose-shade less a child
Than she had been before?

Was she pausing, as a rose-bud
Seems pausing while it grows?
Had I caught the blooming minute
Of a little human rose?

It was a Lass

From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 27, Issue 6. (April, 1884)

It was a lass, for love a-seeking,
In every heavy red rose peeking —
Ah, well-a-day! —
To see if there he might be hiding;
And all the while herself a-chiding
For shame, that she desired him so,
And sought him if she would or no.
Ah, well-a-day!

And when by chance a laddie meeting,
She'd blush, and give him trembling greeting —
Ah, well-a-day! —
And shyly in his eyes be peeping,
To see if Love lay in them sleeping;
And if to wake he 'gan to stir,
And dazzle at the sight of her —
Ah, well-a-day!

It was a lass, for love a-hunting,
So still, for fear of him affronting —
Ah, well-a-day!
At last, one eve, with tears and sighing,
She spied him in her own heart lying,
And nowhere else, fore'er and aye —
Ah, well-a-day,
Ah, well-a-day!

Love in the Willow

From The Century, a popular quarterly Volume 28, Issue 2. (June, 1884)

Her curly locks tied wi' a gold-flowered ribbon,
And her gown o' the crimson gay,
But she lost her love in a thicket o' willow,
All on a merry May day.

“I pray ye, where is my true love hiding?
For the gold-green dazzles me so:
His flaxen ringlets, his cheeks like cherries,
I never can see, I know.”

She found her love on a violet-pillow,
When the light through the leaves was dim,
And she wove her a rope o' the young green rushes,
And merrily fettered him.

She plaited a chain o' the meadow daisies,
And shackled her true love's feet,
And wound him over, and round, and under,
Wi' strings o' her Mayflowers sweet.

And, last of all, she cruelly tied him,
Wi' a curl o' her nut-brown hair,
To her own door-latch, and left him weeping
And mournfully sighing there.

Then she folded her arms, and ruefully eyed him.
“What aileth thee now, my dear?”
“Oh, I would that my love were lost i' the willow;
For fairer he was than here!”

Her Bonnet

From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 28, Issue 4. (August, 1884)

When meeting-bells began to toll,
And pious folk began to pass,
She deftly tied her bonnet on,
The little, sober meeting-lass,
All in her neat, white-curtained room, before her tiny looking-glass.

So nicely, round her lady-cheeks,
She smoothed her bands of glossy hair,
And innocently wondered if
Her bonnet did not make her fair; —
Then sternly chid her foolish heart for harboring such fancies there.

So square she tied the satin strings,
And set the bows beneath her chin; —
Then smiled to see how sweet she looked;
Then thought her vanity a sin,
And she must put such thoughts away before the sermon should begin.

But, sitting 'neath the preachéd word,
Demurely, in her father's pew,
She thought about her bonnet still, —
Yes, all the parson's sermon through, —
About its pretty bows and buds which better than the text she knew.

Yet sitting there with peaceful face,
The reflex of her simple soul,
She looked to be a very saint, —
And maybe was one, on the whole, —
Only that her pretty bonnet kept away the aureole.

A Maiden Lady

From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 30, Issue 4. (August, 1885)

Of a summer afternoon,
In her parlor window there,
She would sit, her meek face showing
Delicately long and fair,
Sewing on some dainty garment, no one ever saw her wear.

She'd be dressed in cool old muslin
With a lilac pattern dim;
Full soft skirt, and pointed body
Cut severely straight and prim —
Maiden-dress and maiden lady, sober, delicate and prim.

She seemed not with love acquainted;
Half too fine to hold him dear.
Folk spoke shyly of love-matters,
With this maiden lady near,
With a feeling it were converse hardly suited to her ear.

When she cried, poor, shy old maiden,
Her artless secret saw the sun: —
She had been with love acquainted,
Always, just like any one: —
But had kept him in a closet hidden, as a skeleton.

Gold Flies

From Wide Awake Vol. 21 No. 6. (November, 1885)

O the old wife flourished her long whisk broom,
And she drove the flies out of her sitting-room;
“A-lack-a-day, an' deary me,
These flies are the plague of my life!” cried she.

The old wife looked when her task was done,
And the flies she had chased were gold in the sun;
“What a silly old body I am,” cried she,
“I have driven my fortune away from me!”

An Umbrella

From Wide Awake Vol. 22 No. 4. (March, 1886)

The slanting sheets of springtide rain, folks went a-hurrying through,
Holding umbrellas o'er their heads as folks are wont to do;
And on the shelf, my lad in pink and little lass in blue,
A pretty pair in porcelain, held their umbrella too,
As wisely as the folks outside — I wonder how they knew!

Lady's Slipper

From Wide Awake Vol. 22 No. 5. (April, 1886)

Ah! a lady's lost her slipper — yellow silk with emerald heel;
Fancy how she feels without it as she foots it through a reel!
Softly all the green leaves rustle, sweetly all the robins sing:
“Pretty Lady, would you find it, come this way some day in spring.”

A Little Mamma

From Wide Awake Vol. 23 No. 1. (June, 1886)

You have only one calico gown, dear doll,
But don't you feel sad or ashamed, dear doll —
When I'm rich, I will buy you a mantle of lace,
And a bonnet to suit your sweet little face.
I will spend my whole fortune on you, dear doll,
For I won't need a thing for myself, at all —
When I take you abroad on a pleasant day,
“She's that beautiful doll's mamma,” they'll say.

Queen Molly

From Wide Awake Vol. 23 No. 3. (August, 1886)

Queen Molly sat in her palace and sulked,
To none of her ladies a-speaking:
She could not go out in the garden to play,
For the world's blue umbrella was leaking.


From Wide Awake Vol. 23 No. 3. (August, 1886)

There's an eager little maiden
  Hunting mignonette
In the garden half the summer,
  Never found it yet.

She has sniffed at every dahlia
  For that wondrous sweet,
Mignonette the while a-trampling
  'Neath her little feet;

For, of course, such royal fragrance
  Owns a royal flower!
So she shakes the tiger-lilies,
  Bends the tulips lower.

Do not fret, my little maiden.
  Wait a little yet,
And the world will teach you wisdom
  Hunting mignonette.

My Pussy-Cat's Call on the Queen

From Wide Awake Vol. 23 No. 4. (September, 1886)

My pussy-cat rode into London-city,
  To call on the Queen, on a holiday,
In a little gold coach, so wonderful pretty,
  Drawn by a pony of dappled gray.

I had polished her fur with cream till it glistened,
  And taught her how she should meet the Queen;
And her eyes would shine as she meekly listened
  Like two little lamps of emerald green.

My pussy-cat rode out of London-city,
  And I at the door to greet her well:
“And how did you fare at the court, my Pretty?
  And what did you see, pray haste and tell?

“Did you see the Queen's cloak's ermine lining?
  Did you see what the grand court ladies wear?”
And my pussy-cat said, with her green eyes shining
  “I saw a little mouse under a chair.”

To Slumber Town

From Wide Awake Vol. 23 No. 4. (September, 1886)

Here's the way to Slumber Town,
  Which you cannot miss, I know,
For at every turn of road
  Doth a nodding poppy grow.

Here's the road to Slumber Town,
  Which to-night doth be so near
That your mother's lullaby
  All the lonely way you'll hear.

Here's the road to Slumber Town;
  All the children go the way;
And they come not back again
  Till the lark awakes the day.

The Clock

From Harper's Young People Vol. VII No. 365. (October 26, 1886)

There it stood in the Baron's hall —
  “Tick — tock” —
As a soldier, straight and tall,
Capped with a polished brazen ball —
  The clock.

And its pendulum swung in its stately way —
  “Tick — tock” —
Whether the people were grave or gay,
Upon a wedding or funeral day —
  “Tick — tock.”

When the Baron set out with the Queen to ride —
  “Tick — tock” —
When the Baron's daughter became a bride,
And the heir was crowned by the country-side —
  “Tick — tock.”

When death rushed in through the Baron's door —
  “Tick — tock” —
And the bearers trod on the oaken floor,
And one went forth to return no more —
  “Tick — tock.”

And Betty and James from the servants' hall —
  “Tick — tock” —
Declared that they dared not pass at all,
After the shadows began to fall,
  The clock.

And when it solemnly struck the hour —
  “Tick — tock” —
From the pantry up to my lady's bower
They counted the strokes with terror o'er —
  “Tick — tock.”

For all on a morsel of parchment writ —
  “Tick — tock” —
By some old scholar of mystic wit,
Was a dark prediction concerning it,
  The clock.

When the old clock strikes thirteen at one
  “Tick — tock” —
The folks shall all for their dear lives run,
And the hearth be black at the setting sun
” —
  “Tick — tock.”

But one and all, from the proud young heir —
  “Tick — tock” —
And the blessed bride and her bridemaids fair,
To the mourners, passed with a fearful air
  The clock.

Two hundred summers had passed away —
  “Tick — tock” —
And a Baron was feasting his friends one day;
There were lovely ladies and gallants gay —
  “Tick — tock.”

The red drops over the goblets run —
  “Tick — tock” —
There were songs and sallies of sparkling fun,
When solemnly struck thirteen at one,
  The clock.

Then guests and servants, with terror pale —
  “Tick — tock” —
Scurried, like leaves on an autumn gale,
Out of the hall, with shriek and wail,
  “The clock!”

The Baron stopped not for his treasure chest —
  “Tick — tock” —
And my lady, all in her velvets drest,
Rushed wildly out before her guest —
  “The clock!”

Then they stood aloof in their pallid fright —
  “Tick — tock” —
Nor dared to enter the hall that night,
And the hearth was black at the waning light —
  “Tick — tock.”

And thus the prophecy had come true —
  “Tick — tock” —
Then they kindled the fire on the hearth anew,
And there was an end of the great ado —
  “Tick — tock.”

A Dignitary

From Wide Awake Vol. 23 CYFRU (June, 1886)

I charge you, when you walk abroad, my dear Priscilla May
To curtesy to all gentlefolk you meet upon your way!
Priscilla May in silk pelisse, and ruffled parasol,
Went walking out and home again, all in the early fall;

“And now you've walked abroad, I hope, my dear Priscilla May,
You curtesied to the gentlefolk you met upon your way!”
“O mammy dear, the gentlefolk all by their firesides sat,
So I curtesied to a cardinal flower in a splendid scarlet hat.”

Doubtful — Very

From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 34, Issue 5. (September, 1887)

Long years ago, as those may know
Who watched her toils infold me,
Among the beaux of Mam'sell Rose
  A freak of fate enrolled me;
And in her train no silly swain
  So often told the story
That foolish Youth mistakes for truth,
  And whispers con amore.

But Rose, the jade, who had betrayed
A score or more before me,
With cruel glee rejoiced to see
  The hopes and fears that tore me;
And while intense grew my suspense,
  She dallied, smiling, pouting,
With pretty art, until my heart
  Was sore with too much doubting.

The dear coquette! She loved to fret
her gallants à la Circe,
Yet in her breast lurked unconfessed
  A sweet and tender mercy;
For when I left her, sad, bereft
  Of joy, and dumb with sorrow,
She hung her head and softly said:
  “It might be ‘yes’ to-morrow!”

A Silver Sloop in the Sky

From Harper's Young People Vol. VIII No. 415. (October 11, 1887)

Oh, merrily now, my deary,
  Willy Wisp through the marsh doth flit,
And he holdeth his little lantern,
  Lest he fall in a way-side pit.

He sleeps 'mongst the tall blue lilies,
  Willy Wisp, in the marsh all day,
But at night he lighteth his lantern,
  And frolicketh out to play.

Through the field, with their golden torches,
  The fire-flies come in a troop;
Low over the trees is sailing
  The moon like a silver sloop.

Yes, the fire-flies come with their torches;
  And now through the bearded grass
The glowworms bring their yellow lamps,
  That the fairies may see to pass.

The fairies were ferried from elf-land
  In a boat on a silver wire,
And they prance thro' the fields on thier milk-white steeds,
  And their silver bugles wind;

You may see the moon like a silver wheel
  Roll over the road of blue;
You may see the moon like a silver sloop
  In a waveless ocean, too.

But look in your childhood, deary,
  Or your heart may grow so old
That you cannot see the fairies dance,
  Or the glowworms' lamps of gold.

And you so low for wisdom
  In after-years may stoop;
You will see the moon like a barren globe.
  But never a silver sloop.

The Fish of Gold That Sang

From Harper's Young People Vol. IX No. 421. (November 22, 1887)

It was a merry fisher's wife —
  Her baby on her breast —
Looked out to sea, with love and glee,
  When the sun went down the west.

“Look here, look here, my baby dear!
  To clap and smile begin,
For now I see thy father's boat
  A-merrily rocking in.”

It was a merry fisher came
  A-rocking in to shore.
“Haste, sweetheart — haste! a fish I've caught
  Was never caught before.”

Oh, tenderly the fisher 'gan
  A kerchief to unfold;
With pride displayed, within it laid,
  A wondrous fish of gold.

Oh, all of fretted gold its scales,
  Its waving fins also;
They seemed like slender golden flames
  A-flickering to and fro.

Its eyes shone like a jewel-stone
  With lights of rose and green.
“Ah,” quoth the merry fisher's wife,
  “Who hath such wonder seen?”

The fish lit up, like golden lamp,
  The driving twilight gray.
“Ah, lad,” she cried, with love and pride,
  “You've caught our luck to-day!

“But gather up the treasure now,
  And hie you home with me.
The baby's cold; I'll build a fire,
  And cook some cod for tea.”

Scornfully laughed the fisherman,
  Holding his golden fish:
“No cod, I trow, shall feed us now;
  We'll find a daintier dish.”

“Oh, hie you home, dear lad, with me;
  There's dancing at the inn,
And I must don my scarlet gown
  Ere they to reel begin.”

Scornfully laughed the fisherman:
  “Nay, you must wait a space,
Till I go dressed in velvet vest,
  And you in silk and lace;

“For since we have this golden fish
  We're common folk no more:
It is not meet that we should eat
  And dress us as before.”

Home hied the fisher and his wife,
  And stored the golden fish
Upon the shelf in bowl of delf —
  The baby's porridge dish.

When, supperless, they'd gone to bed,
  They heard adown the street
The fiddles squeal out jig and reel,
  And taps of dancing feet.

“Cheer up, sweetheart,” the fisher said;
  “Soon you shall have your share,
When the fish brings our chains and rings
  And velvet vests to wear.”

Ere morn they woke; the baby shrieked;
  With beating hearts they heard
Out in his dish that golden fish
  A-singing like a bird.

Next day the fisher idly lay.
  “No need to work,” he cried;
“Ere many hours luck falls in showers,
  If quietly we bide.”

It was a fisher and his wife
  Grew gaunt and scant of breath;
For waiting long for daintier food,
  They half were starved to death.

It was a fisher and his wife
  Grew pale and wild of eye;
Awake they lay from dusk till day
  With the gold-fish minstrelsy.

It was a fisher's little lad,
  With a shock of yellow hair,
Who sobbed upon his mother's neck
  For fright and scanty fare.

At last uprose the fisher's wife,
  And angrily snatched she
Out of its dish the golden fish,
  And flung it in the sea.

She watched the curve of blinding gold
  Flash out: then all was well.
The fisher launched his boat, and fished
  For cod and mackerel.

They supped with humble, thankful hearts;
  In simple finery dressed,
They made them merry with their friends,
  Then went to peaceful rest.

A merry fisher and his wife,
  They watched for luck no more;
Their tide of sweet content and peace
  Came rolling back to shore.

In Frosty Weather

From Wide Awake Vol. 26 No. 1. (January, 1888)

Now Jack Frost rides, and his icicle locks
  Tinkle and ring in the wind as he goes,
And he bends from his saddle, and kisses so hard
  A dear little lad, on his cheek like a rose,

That he cries and flies home to his mamma; and Jack
  Stops out by the frame where the roses have been,
And paints some white flowers on the cold window-pane,
  But never he ventures to follow him in.

A Question Of Relationship

From New York Evangelist Vol. 59 No. 18. (May 3, 1888)

I have found the pussy-willow,
  With their coats of silvery fur,
Playing softly by the wayside,
  And have harked to hear them purr.

In the marsh I've seen the cat-tails
  'Mongst the grass and fleur-de-lis,
Standing tall and brown and slender,
  And I've stroked them carefully.

Mamma, this I wish to know,
  Ere I lay me on my pillow:
Is the cat-tail in the marsh
  Cousin to the pussy-willow?

A Humbug

From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 36, Issue 1. (May, 1888)

An old, old garden. There the days
  Slipped by in drowsy quiet;
There bees were busy in the shade
  And posy-buds ran riot;
And there in summer Dolly strayed,
  Plain-gowned, in cap and wimple,
Her frills and ruffles laid aside
  To play at being simple.

The wild-rose hiding in her curls
  Looked somehow pale and faded
Beside the pink and dimpled cheek
  Her ancient head-gear shaded;
And when the carping bluebird heard
  Her dear voice lightly thrilling
Through old-world airs, he quite forgot
  To criticise her trilling.

So artless, shy, and sweet she seemed
  That I, a cynic doubter
Of modest ways and downcast eyes,
  Went fairly wild about her;
And falling at the little feet
  That crushed the yellow lilies
I wooed as Strephon used to woo
  His Lydian Amaryllis.

Ah me! Her kerchief's rise and fall,
  Her lashes' tender trembling,
The flush that dyed her cheek, were all
  But part of her dissembling;
For when she spoke at last, in tones
  As sweet as Hybla's honey,
'T was but to say, “The man I love
  Must be a man of money.”

All in the Town of Vanity

From Harper's Bazar Vol. XXI No. 34. (August 25, 1888)

All in the town of Vanity
  I loiter through the lusty Fair,
And choose some fairings for my dear —
A tinkling jewel for her ear,
  A ribbon for her golden hair.

And all this day, since morning dawned,
  My dear hath stood at yonder booth,
And haggled with her gentle air
About some dainty stuff to wear
  That suits her beauty and her youth.

All in the town of Vanity
  My love and I were born and bred;
Our childhood at the Fair was spent;
Unto it for a school we went;
  Within it all our prayers were said.

And there we early learned to seek
  Those fairings that for each were meet.
I bargained most for wealth and place,
My love for bonbons, silk, and lace —
  Those trifling sweetings of the sweet.

But, someway, now we've ta'en to love,
  And lovelier each other see.
This splendid famous Fair of ours,
Its booths heaped up with gold and flowers,
  Seems wearisome to her and me.

For in this town of Vanity,
  And in this Fair, the truth to tell,
All treasures quickly fleet away,
All roses wither in a day,
  And not one fairing 'dureth well.

And of our nature now we love,
  And over from ourselves have past,
We cannot help, so tenderly,
I for my love, and she for me,
  To wish some blessing that shall last.

We half incline the town to leave,
  And pilgrim o'er the plains afar,
Our faces toward the western sky,
E'en to those pleasant hills that lie
  Along the blue horizon bar.

But in this town of Vanity
  I prithee let no mortal know,
Lest we should meet the grievous end
That did one Faithful, Christian's friend,
  In Vanity long time ago.

Ah! surely out of Vanity
  My love and I to flee engage,
When she hath bought somewhat to wear,
And I gold treasure, at the Fair,
  To serve us in our pilgrimage.


From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 36, Issue 4. (August, 1888)

Dear Betty, when an hour ago
  You scorned my humble offer
Because my lean and empty purse
  Was not a well-filled coffer,
Why did you breathe your cruel “No”
  With such a frightened quiver?
Perhaps you thought I meant to seek
  Some suicidal river.

Ah, no, sweet girl! These modern times
  Of cynic calculation
Take wiser ways and means to end
  A lover's desperation;
And Corydon no longer sighs
  His heart away in sorrow,
But seeks a richer Phillis out
  And wooes again to-morrow.

Catching a Swallow

From Wide Awake Vol. 27 No. 6. (November, 1888)

O Little John sat on the top fence-rail, a-watching the swallow skim high and low,
And he held some salt to put on its tail; for thus he could catch it — they told him so.
Well, the swallow skimmed high, and the swallow skimmed low, and it faded away in the misty blue;
And little John sighed, going home with his salt, but never he doubted they'd told him true.

The Pearl Princess

From Harper's Young People Vol. X No. 488. (March 5, 1889)

And once there lived a Princess
  In her palace by the sea;
Was plain of face and scant of grace,
  Though a royal dower had she.

But friends nor lovers came her near,
  For all her store of gold:
None loved a dame so ugly-faced
  And bitter-tongued and cold.

The Princess leant from her sea window
  One fair and sunny day,
And saw a little fisher-boat
  Below at anchor lay.

And in the boat the fisher sat,
  A-holding up to sight
A pearl that flickered like a lamp
  With green and rosy light.

“Pull quickly in, O fisherman,
  And give that pearl to me.”
“Not so, O Princess proud and cold,
  Until the price I see.

“Give me your palace, gold, and lands,
  The titled name you bear,
And go you forth a beggar-maid,
  With naught but rags to wear.”

Before the Princess' eyes there flashed
  Pearl colors green and red;
Then “Take it all, O fisherman
  And bring the pearl,” she said.

“Yet ask I more,” the fisher called,
  “Before the pearl I bring;
Give me the love that is giv'n to thee
  By some fond living thing.”

“In all the world, O fisherman,
  No living thing loves me,
Save the dog that guards my palace gate,
  And I'll sell him not to thee.”

The fisher swung his boat about;
  The Princess wept in her bower;
The dog that kept the palace gate
  Came whining to the door;

And in his mouth he had the pearl,
  A-bringing like a bone.
It was as if a lovely lamp
  Through all the palace shone.

The Princess 'mongst her maidens stood
  With the pearl upon her breast,
And all her sweet and tender face
  A loving soul exprest.

For the pearl-light o'er her features played,
  And made them soft and fair,
And the pearl-light turned her harsh dun locks
  To radiant golden hair.

And ever after — so it runs,
  The legend quaint and old —
She was beloved in the land,
  Held fairer than her gold

She wedded with a splendid knight;
  And when for bridal drest,
None were as angel-fair as she
  With the pearl upon her breast.


From Harper's Young People Vol. X No. 489. (March 12, 1889)

Oh, the butterfly sits on the pink blush-rose
  A-winking his beautiful blue-specked wings,
And overhead in the cherry-tree
  The merry robin dances and sings.

But my hair is curled and my sash is tied,
  And I'm going out with mamma to tea,
And I pity the robin and butterfly
  That neither's a little girl like me.

A l'Empire

From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 38, Issue 2. (June, 1889)

Rosina, they say, is but just seventeen,
  Yet she crushed at a blow all the fops of the town
The very first time she appeared on the scene
  In something she call a Directory gown.

It is cut in the picturesque fashion of old,
  With a limp, clinging skirt and the scantiest waist,
And wandering over its soft silken fold
  Are garlands of roses enchantingly traced.

They have faded, perhaps, since the wonderful night
  When Grandmamma danced at the Emperor's ball —
A dimpled young beauty who laughed with delight
  To hear herself whispered the fairest of all,

And fingered her pink-flowered frock as she stepped
  Through gigue and gavotte with a gay cavalier,
Whose passionate vows, never meant to be kept,
  Fell now and again on her innocent ear.

There 's a tiny spot still on the ancient brocade,
  Where the posy she gave him had lain at her breast,
And there at one side where the satin is frayed
  The thick-jeweled hilt of his sword may have pressed.

But the Prince — ah! Rosina, revenge is so sweet,
  That, for Grandmamma's sake, I am glad you look down
With scorn on the dandies who sigh at your feet
  Whenever you wear that Directory gown!

When Polly Goes By

From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 38, Issue 6. (October, 1889)

'T is but poorly I 'm lodged in a little side-street,
Which is seldom disturbed by the hurry of feet,
For the flood-tide of life long ago ebbed away
From its homely old houses, rain-beaten and gray;
And I sit with my pipe in the window and sigh
At the buffets of fortune — till Polly goes by.

There 's a flaunting of ribbons, a flurry of lace,
And a rose in the bonnet above a bright face,
A glance from two eyes so deliciously blue
The midsummer seas scarcely rival their hue;
And once in a while, if the wind 's blowing high,
The sound of soft laughter as Polly goes by.

Then up jumps my heart and begins to beat fast.
“She 's coming!” it whispers. “She 's here! She has passed!”
While I throw up the sash and lean breathlessly down
To catch the last glimpse of her vanishing gown,
Excited, delighted, yet wondering why
My senses desert me if Polly goes by.

Ah! she must be a witch, and the magical spell
She has woven about me has done its work well,
For the morning grows brighter, and gayer the air
That my landlady sings as she sweeps down the stair,
And my poor lonely garret, up close to the sky,
Seems something like heaven when Polly goes by!

Blue-Eyed Mary

From St. Nicholas Magazine Vol. XVII No. 1. (November, 1889)

Single-eyed to child and sunbeam,
In her little grass-green gown,
Prim and sweet and fair as ever,
Blue-eyed Mary 's come to town.

Yes, you may, child, go to see her,
You can stay and play an hour;
But be sweet and good and gentle;
Blue-eyed Mary is a flower.

A Shepherd Lad

From Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly Vol. LIX No. 2. (December, 1899)

He sat upon a shaded rock,
  One morning of a summer-day,
And piped, the while he watched his flock,
  Some music sweet and far-away.

And all his youthful heart was filled
  With wonder whom his love might be,
And, as his slender notes he trilled,
  His wonder turned the melody,

Until his pipe began to sing
  As plainly as a love-lorn dove
Will murmur in the flowering spring,
  Unto his mate a call of love.

The shepherd sat upon the rock,
  And piped, and piped his longing call;
A-stepping stately 'mid his flock,
  There came a maiden fair and tall.

He knew his own love by the face
  He'd seen in dreams, so oft before,
And all the little tricks of grace,
  His heart had pondered o'er and o'er.

But, as he gazed, the blue sky showed
  Her cheeks of maiden-roses through,
And through her head a fleecy cloud,
  And through her gown the bracken blew.

The shepherd lad laid down his reed —
  “Alas! I've seen my love!” sighed he;
“But lonely lives we both must lead;
  “She lives not in the world with me.”

Now Is The Cherry In Blossom

From Harper's New Monthly Magazine Volume 80, Issue 480. (May, 1890)

Now is the cherry in blossom, Love,
Love of my heart, with the apple to follow;
Over the village at nightfall now
Merrily veers and darts the swallow.

At nightfall now in the dark marsh grass
Awakes the chorus that sings old sorrow;
The evening star is dim for the dew,
And the apple and lilac will bloom to-morrow.

The honeysuckle is red on the rock;
The willow floats over the brook like a feather;
In every shadow some love lies hid —
And you and I in the world together.

The Child-Spectacles

From Wide Awake Vol. 31 No. 3. (August, 1890)

Why are you sorrowful, fair maiden,
And why do you sigh, I pray?
“I've picked some roses, and, deary me!
They're not as red as they used to be
On a beautiful yesterday!”

Why are you sorrowful, fair maiden,
And why are you sighing so?
“The blue in the sky is pale, alas!
And the green light dim in the rain-wet grass,
And the reason I do not know.”

You have lost your spectacles, fair maiden!
“And where shall I find them, pray?”
In a level field, where the green grass grows
Under the shade of a last-spring rose
On a beautiful last-spring day!

Grandmother's Valentine

From The Critic Vol. 15 No. 372. (Feb 14, 1891)

Forth from its envelope of lace
She drew it on that old Saint's Day,
And scanned with fond, admiring face,
That pair in bower o' roses gay,
And that sweet verse wherein the swain
His love so sweetly did portray.

Dear heart, she saw it not as we,
It seemed the sentiment, like wine,
Ennobled her simplicity,
And made her plain experience fine.
'Twas in the days of old romance
Grandmother read her valentine.

The Doll-Lady

From Wide Awake Vol. 32 No. 3. (February, 1891)
From Sunshine For All D. Lothrop Company 1892
From Famous Stories and Poems D. Lothrop Company Boston: 1893

Once there was a sweet doll-lady,
  Came from Paris o'er the sea,
Wore a cloak of finest satin,
Ostrich plumes her velvet hat in,
  And a gown all 'broidery.

Ah, her manners were so charming!
  She could sing, and curt'sy low,
Walk and dance a minuet —
Sweetest doll you ever met,
  You'd have surely said, I know.

But alas, this sweet doll-lady
  Came to visit small Miss Rose!
First she lost her golden tresses,
Then she lost her lovely dresses,
  Then she lost her eyes and nose.

She was soon a helpless cripple;
  She was never put to bed,
Could not sing she was so jaded —
All her waxen roses faded,
  And at last she lost her head.

What this pretty sweet doll-lady
  Must have thought, is plain to me,
Just before her execution —
That a new French Revolution
  Had arisen this side the sea.

Going to the Head

From St. Nicholas Magazine Vol. XVIII No. 4. (February, 1891)

Swiftly past the rueful class,
  With a skipping tread,
Little Mary Ellen 's
  Going to the head.

Roughly straying yellow locks,
  Ribbon lost at play,
But she is the one who spelled
  The word the proper way.

Apron-strings that all untied
  Switch the dusty floor —
Little, unkempt, heedless maid,
  Her victory counts the more.

Quality is in oneself,
  After all is said —
Little Mary Ellen 's
  Going to the head.

Love and the Witches

From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 42, Issue 2. (June, 1891)

It was a little, fearful maid,
Whose mother left her all alone;
Her door with iron bolt she stayed,
And 'gainst it rolled a lucky stone —
For many a night she'd waked with fright when witches by the house had flown.

To piping lute in still midnight,
Who comes a-singing at the door, —
That showeth seams of golden light, —
“Ah, open, darling, I implore”?
She could not help knowing 't was Love, although they'd never met before.

She swiftly shot the iron bar,
And rolled the lucky stone away,
And careful set the door ajar —
“Now enter in, Sir Love, I pray;
My mother knows it not, but I have watched for you this many a day.”

With fan and roar of gloomy wings
They gave the door a windy shove;
They perched on chairs and brooms and things;
Like bats they beat around above —
Poor little maid, she'd let the witches in with Love.

The Fourth Little Boy

A Christmas Tale

From Wide Awake Vol. 34 No. 1. (December, 1891)

“Down from the blue North gallop they now,
  A-swinging their icicle spears
And jingling their spurs, the Knights of the Snow —
  And Christmas is coming, my dears.

“And never a flower will a Snow-Knight spare
  If one in his pathway he meets,
But he smiteth it down with its perfume there —
  And Christmas is coming, my sweets.

“The red North light in their pathway it shines,
  Fast gallop the Knights of the Snows —
And the children will gather the evergreen vines
  And the holly in lieu of the rose.

“They whistle, the Knights, as they merrily ride,
  A-swinging their icicle spears,
Through the forests and villages far and wide —
  And Christmas is coming, my dears.

“And there rideth another down from the North,
  On an ambling palfrey white.
With the toys from his saddle-bags bursting forth,
  For the good little ones' delight.

“The dear old Saint from the blue North down
  In the wake of the Knights doth ride,
Clad in his cowl and his friar's gown,
  With his crucifix at his side.

“He sings to himself and he cheerily nods:
  ‘Such beautiful toys have I
For the good little ones, but a bundle of rods
  For those who are naughty and cry.’

“And who'll have the bundle of rods this year,
  And who'll have the beautiful toys?
Is it you, is it you, is it you, my dear?
  Oh, which of my darling boys?”

They looked at her with a doubtful look;
  Save one with a placid face,
Who held the cat in the cosiest nook
  Of the glowing chimney-place.

“We've been so naughty,” the three of them said,
  “That we'll get the rods, we fear,
This Christmas, the beautiful toys instead —
  But we're sorry, O, mother dear!”

But the fourth little boy, to himself, he thought:
  “I know that I am the best,
I shall get all the gifts that the Saint has brought!
  I am better than all the rest!”

On Christmas morning they found, the three
  Who thought they were naughty boys
(But were just as sorry as they could be),
  Their stockings heaped up with toys.

But the fourth little boy, he was so amazed
  To find the rods in his own.
That he stood in his bare feet, wholly dazed,
  And stared — in his white night-gown.

And the dear old Saint, on his palfrey slow,
  Rode, singing with merry nods:
“Oh, who ought to have the toys, I know,
  And who ought to have the rods!”

The Whist-Players

From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 44, Issue 6. (October, 1892)

They play whist, the beaus in their powdered wigs and velvet coats, the ladies in their brocade petticoats and fine stomachers. The west windows are open; a fountain plashes in the garden; the flower-beds are bordered with box, and the scent of the box comes in at the open windows.

They play whist. A beau shakes back the lace frill from his hand as he deals. A red jewel gleams on his finger. The ladies' brocades rustle; they frown softly at their cards. An hour-glass stands on a table inlaid with mother-of-pearl; the sand in the hour-glass flows silently; the pungent smell of the box comes in at the open windows.

They play whist. A lady leads from her long suit; a beau takes the trick with a king. His black eyes flash under his white wig like eternal youth.

The fountain plashes in the garden; the pungent smell of the box comes in at the open windows; the sand in the hour-glass flows as silently as the lives of the players.

They play whist. A beau leads an ace; his partner trumps. A trick is lost, but he looks at her, and smiles. A trick is lost — but love is immortal.

After the Rain

From The Century; a popular quarterly Volume 45, Issue 2. (December, 1892)

It had rained all night, but the sun shone in the morning. The cottage-roofs steamed in the sun; the roses in the garden were still heavy with rain and draggled with garden-mold; the wet trees gave out green lights; little rain-pools shone in the road like liquid gold, and the sparrows dipped in them. It had rained all night, but the sun shone in the morning.

The lover whom love had forsaken looked out of his window. All night had he lain awake, listening to the rain on the roof, and longing for his lost love, while the memory of her caresses clung to his soul as sweet and evasive as the perfume of the roses in the garden.

It had rained all night, but the sun shone in the morning. The lover whom love had forsaken looked out of his window. “My love has forsaken me,” he said, “but it has stopped raining.”

Pastels in Prose:

From Harper's New Monthly Magazine Volume 86, Issue 511. (December, 1892)

In The Marsh-Land

Far over in the east is the marsh-land. Naught passes through it but the wind — the wind bent on strange ends — or a bird winged and swift, like a soul; but there are no souls in the marsh-land.

No foot of man sounds the deep pools; no boat cleaves the thick grasses. The pools gleam red; the grass is coarse and thick as the hair of a goat; it is flung here and there in shaggy fleeces tinged with red, as if from slaughter. Over in the east the sun stands low; his red rays color the mist like wine. The flags threaten in the wind like spears, but no heroes wield them.

There is no man in the marsh-land, in whose deep pools could be found death, whose thick grasses could moor a boat forever. It is a lonely place, and only my thought is there, striving to possess it all with wide vision.

Over the marsh-land stray odors from border flowers, but there is no sense to harbor them. Over the marsh-land the sound-waves float, but there is no tongue to awaken them to speech and no ear to receive them. In the marsh-land is God, without the souls in which alone He shines unto His own vision; in the marsh-land is God, a light without His own darkness.

The marsh-land is a lonely place; there is no man there. Only my thought it there, holding what it can encompass of God.

Camilla's Snuff-Box

Here is Camilla's snuff-box.

There were shouts in the street, and the torches flared. Camilla was borne along in her sedan-chair to the rout. Her delicate yellow face, as full of fine lines as a Chinese ivory carving, was seen through the window. She wore a velvet turban, and her head nodded ever as if in a wind.

The bearers shouted; the torches flared; red flames flickered in rosy smoke. Camilla was borne along to the rout in her sedan-chair.

Camilla opened her snuff-box; her slender fingers, pointed like ivory bodkins, stirred up the pungent snuff; her nostrils were as fine and fleshless as old ivory.

Camilla's time of love was past; she went to the rout with only painted roses in her cheeks, and she took a pinch of snuff.

The bearers shouted; the night was full of dark winds, which bent the red flames of the torches.

Camilla's snuff-box was of fine silverwork, and her name was on the lid. Her lover had given it to her; but her lover was long since dead, and the memory of his kisses no longer made her heart sweet.

Camilla was old, and her time of love was past. She took a pinch of snuff from her silver snuff-box, as she went to the rout in her sedan-chair, with her palsied head nodding like a Chinese toy in a cabinet.

The bearers shouted; but their shouts have long since died away. The night was full of dark winds; but the winds went down. Long ago the torches burnt out. Long ago Camilla went no more to routs, her head ceased nodding, and her funeral procession went out of sight, in a black file, down the city street. Long ago Camilla's grave was forgotten, and there was no love left for her on the earth. But here is her snuff-box.


The black dog runs across the meadow, with his shadow at his side as fleet as he. Let him speed as he may, he cannot outspeed his shadow. There is light in the world.

It is spring. The grass is young, and the west wind blows. The banks of the brook are yellow with cowslips. The grasses all lean east when the west wind blows, and their shadows overlie them. Now the cowslips darken under a shadow. There is light in the world.

The apple-trees cast their blossoms in their dark circles of shadow. The birds fly singing overhead, and their silent shadows glide beneath them over the meadow. There is light in the world.

Half the farm-house roof glistens in the morning sun, and half is purple with shadow. The shadow of the chimney smoke floats like a cloud over the meadow. There is light in the world.

Anne stands in the doorway. Her yellow hair and her blue gown gleam true in clear light, but she thinks of her lover, and shadows follow her thoughts. “Oh my lover has gone on a journey! Should he lose his way! Should his feet falter! Should evil befall him, my lover!”

Anne stands in the doorway. Her yellow hair and her blue gown gleam true in clear light, but her thoughts cast shadows. There is love in her heart.


There is a little garden full of white flowers before this house, before this little house, which is sunken in a green hillock to the lintel of its door. The white flowers are full of honey; yellow butterflies and bees suck at them. The unseen wind comes rushing like a presence and a power which the heart feels only. The white flowers press together before it in a soft tumult, and shake out fragrance like censers; but the bees and the butterflies cling to them blowing. The crickets chirp in the green roof of the house unceasingly, like clocks which have told off the past, and will tell off the future.

I pray you, friend, who dwells in this little house sunken in the green hillock, with the white flower-garden before the door?

A dead man.

Passes he ever out of his little dwelling and down the path between his white flower-bushes?

He never passes out.

There is no chimney in that grassy roof. How fares he when the white flowers are gone and the white storm drives?

He feels it not.

Had he happiness?

His heart broke for it.

Does his heart pain him in there?

He has forgot.

Comes ever anybody here to visit him?

His widow comes in her black veil, and weeps here, and sometimes his old mother, wavering out in the sun like a black shadow.

And he knows it not?

He knows it not.

He knows not of his little prison-house in the green hillock, of his white flower-garden, of the winter storm, of his broken heart, and his beloved who yet bear the pain of it, and send out their thoughts to watch with him in the wintry nights?

He knows it not.

Only the living know?

Only the living.

Then, then the tombs be not for the dead, but the living! I would, I would, I would that I were dead, that I might be free from the tomb, and sorrow, and death!

The Lilac

From St. Nicholas Vol. 21 No. 5. (March, 1894)

The lilac stood close to Elizabeth's window,
All purple with bloom, while the little maid spun;
Her stint was a long one and she was aweary,
And moaned that she never could get it done.

But a wind set stirring the lilac blossoms,
And a wonderful sweetness came floating in,
And Elizabeth felt, though she could not have said it,
That a friend had come to her, to help her spin.

And after that she kept on at her spinning,
Gay as a bird; for the world had begun
To seem such a pleasant, good place for working,
That she was amazed when her stint was done.

And the pale-browed little New England maiden,
Outside of her lessons, had learned that day,
That the sweetness around us will sweeten, labor,
If we will but let it have its way.

Bachelor's Button

From St. Nicholas Vol. 21 No. 6. (April, 1894)

In the days of the grandmothers of the roses,
  In the sweet old times of the pinks, 't is said
The poor little Bachelor lost his button,
His beautiful, black-eyed, blue-rimmed button,
  In dear little Betty's garden-bed.

Tête-á-tête with the grandmother roses
  Stood the little maid Betty, shy and sweet,
When all of a sudden she cried with wonder,
For the Bachelor's button was lying under
  A red rose-bush, at her very feet.

Then straightway Betty must fall to dreaming,
  Through the lavender-scented summer hours:
Could the Bachelor be a soldier or sailor?
But he must have surely a fairy tailor
  To fasten his coat with buttons of flowers.

The little maid Betty stood dreaming, and waiting,
  In the hope that a sweet little ancient beau,
In a blue-flower buttons and primrose satin,
With a prince's feather his fine cocked hat in,
  Would come through her garden, a-peering low.

Then Betty planned she would courtesy primly,
  And say like her mother, stately and mild:
“Please, sir, an' please, sir, I 've found your button” —
But the Bachelor never came for his button,
  And she wondered why, while she was a child.

Introductory Poem

From Arabella and Araminta Stories (Copeland And Day; Boston: 1895)


May all you dears who read this book
  With eyes of black or blue,
Find herein some little joys
  That make your own seem true,
And feel, although 'tis winter time,
  You're picking poppies, too.

You with these little sisters twain
  Can pretty bubbles blow,
And set them floating in the light
  Until the rainbows show;
For they will let you play with them
  Whene'er you like, I know.

And if you're sad because you have
  No more birthdays this year,
Why they will let you share with them
  Their merry birthday here,
And make room 'neath their cherry-tree
  For many another dear.

And if you little fond mammas
  Should lose your dolls some day,
Read how these little girls found theirs,
  And dry your tears, I pray;
For I am sure that you'll find yours
  In just the self-same way!

And may you dears, who o'er this book
  Bend heads of black or gold,
Feel 'tis to each and every one
  These simple tales are told,
With wishes for all sweets of life
  Your little hands can hold.

Cyrano de Bergerac

From Harper's New Monthly MagazineVol. XCIX No. 589. (June, 1899)

Old hero pricked and goaded without rest
  By thy sharp thorn of flesh, thou fighter born,
  Fiercer for conflict when more fiercely torn,
And holding odds of self or foe the best
Of aids to conquest and thy knightly crest, —
  Thou boaster of great powers, still not forsworn, —
  Thou ruler of thy love, though all lovelorn, —
There's a poor brotherhood will hold thee blest,
Now thou has won and passed, — who through their time
  Over the candor of great souls must wear
    Indignities and buffoon-masks of flesh,
  While pointing fools with glee-distempered stare, —
Thy action makes their comedy sublime,
  Thy grave shall keep their laurels ever fresh.

The Lode Star

From Scribner's Magazine Volume XXVII (May, 1900)

Imperial over all the hosts of night,
Still regnant glorious in its ordered place
When storms prevailed on ebon heights of space,
Invincible by power of morning light,
His Lode Star shone, and to his straining sight
The orbit gleamed of his immortal race.
Then toward that distant goal he set his face,
And followed ever after with his might,
Child to the law of the celestial spheres,
And of the roses with their circling bloom —
The key-note of that choral march begun
'Mid chaos thunders, ever in his ears,
Till past the earth-horizon of the tomb,
His Lode Star led him toward the farthest Sun.


From Harper's New Monthly Magazine Vol. CXI No. 663. (August, 1900)

There was a young lady named Sadie,
  Who worked in a Broadway store.
She had features fair, and peroxide hair,
  In a sidewise pompadour.

She was tightly laced in a white shirt-waist
  And her mien was calm and proud,
And she talked alway to Gladys and Mae,
  Nor glanced at the passing crowd.

She turned aside, with a noble pride,
  When once, on a bargain day,
The Queen, with her crown, in her velvet gown,
  Came timidly up her way.

And she said to Gladys: “It very sad is,
  That one must so often see
The vulgar show of them so low
  As the Aristocracy.”

Then she said to the Queen, with an air serene,
  And a tilt of her pompadour:
“Them sample's too cheap; we don't never keep
  Them kinds in this first-class store.”

The Old Maid of Nantasket

From Harper's New Monthly Magazine Vol. CXI No. 663. (August, 1900)

There was an old maid of Nantasket,
  Who never stirred out of the house,
But she carried her cat in a basket
  For fear of meeting a mouse.

John C. Sprowls

From Harper's New Monthly Magazine Vol. CXI No. 663. (August, 1900)

There was a young man named John C. Sprowls,
  Who wished to do what was right,
So he spent all he had in smoked glasses for owls,
  That they might see in daylight.

The Ostrich

From Harper's New Monthly Magazine Vol. CXI No. 663. (August, 1900)
From A Little Book of Necessary Nonsense Harper & Brothers, New York, London 1929

The ostrich is a silly bird,
  With scarcely any mind.
He often runs so very fast,
  He leaves himself behind.

And when he gets there, has to stand
  And hang about till night,
Without a blessed thing to do
  Until he comes in sight.

Wake Up, America!

From America in the War The Century Co., New York, 1918

America wakes! The White Christ has called her;
She has seen the devils abroad in His world;
Evil vaunting himself has appalled her;
To the War-wind of Heaven her flag is unfurled!

America wakes — with his murder and lust
Let the Hun take the path he has carved into hell.
No longer blaspheming the Cross with his trust.
America wakes, the sick world shall be well.

America wakes — God's last peace-lover,
God's fighter to death, when her peace is assailed.
Shout, sing, fling out the flags, War is over;
When America battles, right has prevailed!

Morning Light

From Harper's Magazine Vol. CXLII No. 847. (December, 1920)

When I was young in morning light
  My Lord Love, so fond, pursued me
I tried to hide me from his sight;
  He always found and sweetly wooed me.

Now I am old, in twilight dim,
  My Lord Love wooes me no longer;
And I — sometimes I fancy him
  Less fair than when the light was stronger.

And yet, he seems so kind to me,
  He may be my Lord Death, his brother;
The likelihood of that I see
  With Outcast Eve, of both the mother.

But both my Lords of Love and Death
  May be one god for human pleading,
While men on earth draw mortal breath,
  And Death be Love when hearts are bleeding.

The Prisoner

From The Literary Digest Vol. LXXIV No. 8. (August 19, 1922)

Listening to the great harmonies but half heard,
With all earth's beauty darkness for the stars,
Complaining not, but like a prisoned bird
He beats his wings against his fleshly bars.

The Vase

From The Literary Digest Vol. LXXIV No. 8. (August 19, 1922)

Save for the roses I am blest to hold
Sweeter than love and lovelier than the day,
If I were made of precious beaten gold
The gods would deem me dross to fling away.

Names after the Titles in the Index, are the way the poem was accredited. Names in brackets were not accredited with the poem, but were accredited in the Volume Index. I am suspicious of a few poems, printed in The Century, with only M. E. W.