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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   




"Barnacles" (by Sidney Lanier, 1842-81), is a poem that I teach in connection with my lessons on natural history. We have a good specimen of a barnacle, and the children see them on the shells on the coast. The ethical point is invaluable.

My soul is sailing through the sea,

But the Past is heavy and hindereth me.

The Past hath crusted cumbrous shells

That hold the flesh of cold sea-mells

About my soul.

The huge waves wash, the high waves roll,

Each barnacle clingeth and worketh dole

And hindereth me from sailing!


Old Past, let go, and drop i' the sea

Till fathomless waters cover thee!

For I am living, but thou art dead;

Thou drawest back, I strive ahead

The Day to find.

Thy shells unbind! Night comes behind;

I needs must hurry with the wind

And trim me best for sailing.


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 Table of Contents  |  Index  | Previous: A Psalm of Life  |  Next: A Happy Life
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