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Poems Every Child Should Know by  Mary E. Burt

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Poems Every Child Should Know
by Mary E. Burt
An outstanding collection of poems that appeal to both boys and girls, compiled by a teacher who believed in the formative power of learning poetry by heart. 'Children,' she maintains, 'should build for their future and get, while they are children, what only the fresh imagination of the child can assimilate. They should store up an untold wealth of heroic sentiment; they should acquire the habit of carrying a literary quality in their conversation; they should carry a heart full of the fresh and delightful associations and memories connected with poetry hours to brighten mature years. They should develop their memories while they have memories to develop.' The poems are grouped into six sections (The Budding Moment, The Little Child, The Day's at the Morn, Lad and Lassie, On and On, 'Grow Old Along with Me') to make it easier to locate poems that match a child's maturity.  Ages 8-12
391 pages $14.95   




[151] Robert Burns, the plowman and poet, "dinnered wi' a lord." The story goes that he was put at the second table. That lord is dead, but Robert Burns still lives. He is immortal. It is "the survival of the fittest" "For a' That and a' That" is a poem that wipes out the superficial value put on money and other externalities. This poem is more valuable in education than good penmanship or good spelling. (1759-96.)

Is there, for honest poverty,

That hangs his head, and a' that?

The coward slave, we pass him by,

We dare be poor for a' that;

For a' that, and a' that,

Our toils obscure, and a' that;

The rank is but the guinea's stamp,

The man's the gowd for a' that!

What though on hamely fare we dine,

Wear hoddin-gray,[1] and a' that;

Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine,

A man's a man for a' that!

For a' that, and a' that,

Their tinsel show, and a' that;

The honest man, though e'er sae poor,

Is king o' men for a' that!

Ye see yon birkie[2] ca'd a lord,

Wha struts, and stares, and a' that;

Though hundreds worship at his word,

He's but a coof[3] for a' that;

For a' that, and a' that,

His riband, star, and a' that,

The man of independent mind,

He looks and laughs at a' that.


A prince can make a belted knight,

A marquis, duke, and a' that;

But an honest man's aboon his might.

Guid faith he maunna fa' that!

For a' that, and a' that,

Their dignities, and a' that,

The pith o' sense, and pride o' worth,

Are higher rank than a' that.

Then let us pray that come it may—

As come it will for a' that—

That sense and worth, o'er a' the earth,

May bear the gree, and a' that;

For a' that, and a' that,

It's coming yet for a' that,

That man to man, the warld o'er,

Shall brothers be for a' that!


[1] Coarse woolen clothes. [2] Impudent fellow. [3] Fool: blockhead.

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