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Poems Every Child Should Know by  Mary E. Burt

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"Wee Willie Winkie," by William Miller (1810-72), is included in this volume out of respect to an eight-year-old child who chose it from among hundreds. We had one poetry hour every week, and he studied and recited it with unabated interest to the end of the year.

Wee Willie Winkie rins through the town,

Up-stairs and doon-stairs, in his nicht-gown,

Tirlin' at the window, cryin' at the lock,

"Are the weans in their bed?—for it's now ten o'clock."


Hey, Willie Winkie! are ye comin' ben?

The cat's singin' gay thrums to the sleepin' hen,

The doug's speldered on the floor, and disna gie a cheep;

But here's a waukrife laddie that winna fa' asleep.

Onything but sleep, ye rogue! glow'rin' like the moon,

Rattlin' in an airn jug wi' an airn spoon,

Rumblin' tumblin' roun' about, crowin' like a cock,

Skirlin' like a kenna-what—wauknin' sleepin' folk.

Hey, Willie Winkie! the wean's in a creel!

Waumblin' aff a body's knee like a vera eel,

Ruggin' at the cat's lug, and ravellin' a' her thrums,—

Hey, Willie Winkie!—See, there he comes!

Wearie is the mither that has a storie wean,

A wee stumpie stoussie that canna rin his lane,

That has a battle aye wi' sleep before he'll close an ee;

But a kiss frae aff his rosy lips gies strength anew to me.


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