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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   




Out of the clover and blue-eyed grass

He turned them into the river lane;

One after another he let them pass,

Then fastened the meadow bars again.

Under the willows and over the hill,

He patiently followed their sober pace;

The merry whistle for once was still,

And something shadowed the sunny face.

Only a boy! and his father had said

He never could let his youngest go:

Two already were lying dead,

Under the feet of the trampling foe.


But after the evening work was done,

And the frogs were loud in the meadow-swamp,

Over his shoulder he slung his gun,

And stealthily followed the footpath damp.

Across the clover, and through the wheat,

With resolute heart and purpose grim:

Though the dew was on his hurrying feet,

And the blind bat's flitting startled him.

Thrice since then had the lanes been white,

And the orchards sweet with apple-bloom;

And now, when the cows came back at night,

The feeble father drove them home.

For news had come to the lonely farm

That three were lying where two had lain;

And the old man's tremulous, palsied arm

Could never lean on a son's again.

The summer day grew cool and late:

He went for the cows when the work was done;

But down the lane, as he opened the gate,

He saw them coming one by one:

Brindle, Ebony, Speckle, and Bess,

Shaking their horns in the evening wind;

Cropping the buttercups out of the grass,

But who was it following close behind?

Loosely swung in the idle air

The empty sleeve of army blue;

And worn and pale, from the crisping hair,

Looked out a face that the father knew.


For close-barred prisons will sometimes yawn,

And yield their dead unto life again;

And the day that comes with a cloudy dawn,

In golden glory at last may wane.

The great tears sprang to their meeting eyes;

For the heart must speak when the lips are dumb,

And under the silent evening skies

Together they followed the cattle home.


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