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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   




"A Chrysalis" is a favourite poem with John Burroughs, and is found, too, in Stedman's collection. We all come to a point in life where we need to burst the shell and fly away into the new realm. (1835-98.)

My little Mädchen found one day

A curious something in her play,

That was not fruit, nor flower, nor seed;

It was not anything that grew,

Or crept, or climbed, or swam, or flew;

Had neither legs nor wings, indeed;

And yet she was not sure, she said,

Whether it was alive or dead.

She brought it in her tiny hand

To see if I would understand,

And wondered when I made reply,

"You've found a baby butterfly."

"A butterfly is not like this,"

With doubtful look she answered me.

So then I told her what would be

Some day within the chrysalis:


How, slowly, in the dull brown thing

Now still as death, a spotted wing,

And then another, would unfold,

Till from the empty shell would fly

A pretty creature, by and by,

All radiant in blue and gold.

"And will it, truly?" questioned she—

Her laughing lips and eager eyes

All in a sparkle of surprise—

"And shall your little Mädchen see?"

"She shall!" I said. How could I tell

That ere the worm within its shell

Its gauzy, splendid wings had spread,

My little Mädchen would be dead?

To-day the butterfly has flown,—

She was not here to see it fly,—

And sorrowing I wonder why

The empty shell is mine alone.

Perhaps the secret lies in this:

I too had found a chrysalis,

And Death that robbed me of delight

Was but the radiant creature's flight!


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 Table of Contents  |  Index  | Previous: The Finding of the Lyre  |  Next: For a' That
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