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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   

 

 

HOW THE LEAVES CAME DOWN

"How the Leaves Came Down," by Susan Coolidge (1845-1905), appeals to children because it helps to reconcile them to going to bed. "I go to bed by day" is one of the crosses of childhood.

"I'll tell you how the leaves came down,"

The great Tree to his children said:

"You're getting sleepy, Yellow and Brown,

Yes, very sleepy, little Red.

It is quite time to go to bed."


"Ah!" begged each silly, pouting leaf,

"Let us a little longer stay;

Dear Father Tree, behold our grief!

'Tis such a very pleasant day,

We do not want to go away."


So, for just one more merry day

To the great Tree the leaflets clung,

Frolicked and danced, and had their way,

Upon the autumn breezes swung,

Whispering all their sports among—


[13]

"Perhaps the great Tree will forget,

And let us stay until the spring,

If we all beg, and coax, and fret."

But the great Tree did no such thing;

He smiled to hear their whispering.


"Come, children, all to bed," he cried;

And ere the leaves could urge their prayer,

He shook his head, and far and wide,

Fluttering and rustling everywhere,

Down sped the leaflets through the air.


I saw them; on the ground they lay,

Golden and red, a huddled swarm,

Waiting till one from far away,

White bedclothes heaped upon her arm,

Should come to wrap them safe and warm.


The great bare Tree looked down and smiled.

"Good-night, dear little leaves," he said.

And from below each sleepy child

Replied, "Good-night," and murmured,

"It is so nice to go to bed!"


SUSAN COOLIDGE.





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