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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   

 

 

THE DEATH OF THE OLD YEAR

It is customary, every New Year's eve in America, to ring bells, fire guns, send up rockets, and, in many other ways, to show joy and gratitude that the old year has been so kind, and that the new year is so auspicious. The emphasis in Tennyson's poem is laid on gratitude for past benefits so easily forgotten rather than upon the possible advantages of the unknown and untried future.

Full knee-deep lies the winter snow,

And the winter winds are wearily sighing:

Toll ye the church-bell sad and slow,

And tread softly and speak low,

For the old year lies a-dying.

Old year, you must not die;

You came to us so readily,

You lived with us so steadily,

Old year, you shall not die.


He lieth still: he doth not move:

He will not see the dawn of day.

He hath no other life above.

He gave me a friend, and a true true-love,

And the New-year will take 'em away.

Old year, you must not go;

So long as you have been with us,

Such joy as you have seen with us,

Old year, you shall not go.


He froth'd his bumpers to the brim;

A jollier year we shall not see.

But tho' his eyes are waxing dim,

And tho' his foes speak ill of him,

He was a friend to me.

Old year, you shall not die;

We did so laugh and cry with you,

I've half a mind to die with you,

Old year, if you must die.


He was full of joke and jest,

But all his merry quips are o'er.

To see him die, across the waste

His son and heir doth ride post-haste,

But he'll be dead before.

Every one for his own.

The night is starry and cold, my friend,

And the New-year blithe and bold, my friend,

Comes up to take his own.


[88]

How hard he breathes! over the snow

I heard just now the crowing cock.

The shadows flicker to and fro:

The cricket chirps: the light burns low:

'Tis nearly twelve o'clock.

Shake hands, before you die.

Old year, we'll dearly rue for you:

What is it we can do for you?

Speak out before you die.


His face is growing sharp and thin.

Alack! our friend is gone.

Close up his eyes: tie up his chin:

Step from the corpse, and let him in

That standeth there alone,

And waiteth at the door.

There's a new foot on the floor, my friend,

And a new face at the door, my friend,

A new face at the door.


ALFRED TENNYSON.





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