Archive for the 'Poems' Category

My Shadow

“My Shadow,” by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94), is one of the most popular short poems extant. I have taught it to a great many very young boys, and not one has ever tried to evade learning it. Older pupils like it equally well. I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me, […]

Playing Robinson Crusoe

Pussy can sit by the fire and sing, Pussy can climb a tree, Or play with a silly old cork and string To ‘muse herself, not me. But I like Binkie, my dog, because He knows how to behave; So, Binkie’s the same as the First Friend was, And I am the Man in the […]

True Royalty

“True Royalty” and “Playing Robinson Crusoe” are pleasing stanzas from “The Just So Stories” of Rudyard Kipling (1865-). There was never a Queen like Balkis, From here to the wide world’s end; But Balkis talked to a butterfly As you would talk to a friend. There was never a King like Solomon, Not since the […]

The Days of the Month

“The Days of the Month” is a useful bit of doggerel that we need all through life. It is anonymous. Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November; February has twenty-eight alone. All the rest have thirty-one, Excepting leap-year—that’s the time When February’s days are twenty-nine. Old Song.


“Spring’s at the Morn,” from “Pippa Passes,” by Robert Browning (1812-89), has become a very popular stanza with little folks. “All’s right with the world” is a cheerful motto for the nursery and schoolroom. The year’s at the spring, The day’s at the morn; Morning’s at seven; The hillside’s dew pearled; The lark’s on the […]

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Twinkle, twinkle, little star! How I wonder what you are, Up above the world so high, Like a diamond in the sky. When the glorious sun is set, When the grass with dew is wet, Then you show your little light, Twinkle, twinkle all the night. In the dark-blue sky you keep, And often through […]

He Prayeth Best

These two stanzas, the very heart of that great poem, “The Ancient Mariner,” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), sum up the lesson of this masterpiece—”Insensibility is a crime.” Farewell, farewell! but this I tell To thee, thou Wedding-Guest! He prayeth well who loveth well Both man and bird and beast. He prayeth best who loveth […]

Little Things

Little drops of water, Little grains of sand, Make the mighty ocean And the pleasant land. Thus the little minutes, Humble though they be, Make the mighty ages Of eternity. Ebenezer Cobham Brewer.

Let Dogs Delight to Bark and Bite

“Let Dogs Delight to Bark and Bite,” by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), and “Little Drops of Water,” by Ebenezer Cobham Brewer (1810-97), are poems that the world cannot outgrow. Once in the mind, they fasten. They were not born to die.   Let dogs delight to bark and bite, For God hath made them so; Let […]

The Babie

I found “The Babie” in Stedman’s “Anthology.” It is placed in this volume by permission of the poet, Jeremiah Eames Rankin, of Cleveland (1828-), because it captured the heart of a ten-year-old boy whose fancy was greatly moved by the two beautiful lines: “Her face is like an angel’s face, I’m glad she has no […]