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Poems Every Child Should Know by  Mary E. Burt


 

 

KRINKEN

"Krinken" is the dearest of poems.

"Krinken was a little child.

It was summer when he smiled!"

Eugene Field, above all other poets, paid the finest tribute to children. This poet only, could make the whole ocean warm because a child's heart was there to warm it.

Krinken was a little child,—

It was summer when he smiled.

Oft the hoary sea and grim

Stretched its white arms out to him,

Calling, "Sun-child, come to me;

Let me warm my heart with thee!"

But the child heard not the sea

Calling, yearning evermore

For the summer on the shore.


Krinken on the beach one day

Saw a maiden Nis at play;

On the pebbly beach she played

In the summer Krinken made.

Fair, and very fair, was she,

Just a little child was he.


[163]

"Krinken," said the maiden Nis,

"Let me have a little kiss,—

Just a kiss, and go with me

To the summer-lands that be

Down within the silver sea."


Krinken was a little child—

By the maiden Nis beguiled,

Hand in hand with her went he

And 'twas summer in the sea.

And the hoary sea and grim

To its bosom folded him—

Clasped and kissed the little form,

And the ocean's heart was warm.


Now the sea calls out no more;

It is winter on the shore,—

Winter where that little child

Made sweet summer when he smiled;

Though 'tis summer on the sea

Where with maiden Nis went he,—

It is winter on the shore,

Winter, winter evermore.


Of the summer on the deep

Come sweet visions in my sleep;

His fair face lifts from the sea,

His dear voice calls out to me,—

These my dreams of summer be.


Krinken was a little child,

By the maiden Nis beguiled;

Oft the hoary sea and grim

Reached its longing arms to him,

[164]

Crying, "Sim-child, come to me;

Let me warm my heart with thee!"

But the sea calls out no more;

It is winter on the shore,—

Winter, cold and dark and wild.


Krinken was a little child,—

It was summer when he smiled;

Down he went into the sea,

And the winter bides with me,

Just a little child was he.


EUGENE FIELD.


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