Copyright
Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards.

In my nursery online

. (page 1 of 8)
Online LibraryLaura Elizabeth Howe RichardsIn my nursery → online text (page 1 of 8)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Produced by Katherine Ward, Matthew Wheaton and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive/American Libraries.)









IN MY NURSERY.

BY
LAURA E. RICHARDS,


AUTHOR OF
"THE JOYOUS STORY OF TOTO," "TOTO'S MERRY WINTER," ETC.

BOSTON:
LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY.


_Copyright, 1890,_
BY ROBERTS BROTHERS

_All rights reserved._

Printers
S. J. PARKHILL & CO., BOSTON, U.S.A.


To my Mother,

JULIA WARD HOWE.

_Sweet! when first my baby ear
Curled itself and learned to hear,
'Twas your silver-singing voice
Made my baby heart rejoice._

_Hushed upon your tender breast,
Soft you sang me to my rest;
Waking, when I sought my play,
Still your singing led the way._

_Cradle songs, more soft and low
Than the bird croons on the bough;
Olden ballads, grave and gay,
Warrior's chant, and lover's lay._

_So my baby hours went
In a cadence of content,
To the music and the rhyme
Keeping tune and keeping time._

_So you taught me, too, ere long,
All our life should be a song, -
Should a faltering prelude be
To the heavenly harmony;_

_And with gracious words and high,
Bade me look beyond the sky,
To the Glory throned above,
To th' eternal Light and Love._

_Many years have blossomed by:
Far and far from childhood I;
Yet its sunrays on me fall,
Here among my children all._

_So among my babes I go,
Singing high and singing low;
Striving for the silver tone
Which my memory holds alone._

_If I chant my little lays
Tunefully, be yours the praise;
If I fail, 'tis I must rue
Not t' have closelier followed you._




CONTENTS.


Dedication
In my Nursery
The Baby's Future
Baby's Hand
The First Tooth
Johnny's By-low Song
Baby's Valentine
The Rain
The Ballad of the Fairy Spoon
Song of the Little Winds
Good-night Song
Another "Good-night"
"A Bee came tumbling"
Jingle
Little Old Baby
Baby's Journey
The Bumble-bee
The Owl and the Eel and the Warming-pan
Young (one)'s Night Thoughts
Little Sunbeam
Baby's Belongings
Infantry Tactics
Baby Bo
The Difference
Little John Bottlejohn
Jemima Brown
Alice's Supper
Toddlekins
Bobbily Boo and Wollypotump
Sleepyland
Little Brown Bobby
Phil's Secret
A Song for Hal
The Fairies
The Queen of the Orkney Islands
Baby's Ways
Pot and Kettle
Punkydoodle and Jollapin
Mrs. Snipkin and Mrs. Wobblechin
My Sunbeams
In the Closet
Bed-time
Bird-song
Geographi
Higgledy-piggledy
Belinda Blonde
Tommy's Dream; or, The Geography Demon
Polly's Year
What the Robins sing in the Morning
The Eve of the Glorious Fourth
The Dandy Cat
A Party
Jumbo Jee
An Indian Ballad
The Egg
Wouldn't
Will-o'-the-wisp
Nonsense Verses
An Old Rat's Tale
To the Little Girl who wriggles
The Forty little Ducklings
The Mouse
A Valentine
Jamie in the Garden
Somebody's Boy (not mine)
Bogy
The Mermaidens
The Phrisky Phrog
The Ambitious Chicken
The Boy and the Brook
The Shark
The Easter Hen
Pump and Planet
The Postman
Hopsy Upsy
Little Black Monkey
Jippy and Jimmy
Master Jack's Song
Mother Rosebush
The Five Little Princesses
The Hornet and the Bee
The Three Little Chickens who went out to Tea
A Legend of Lake Okeefinokee
Grandpapa's Valentine
Alibazan
The Three Fishers
Peepsy
May Song
Two Little Valentines
A Howl about an Owl
Our Celebration
The Song of the Corn-popper
What Bobby said
Master Jack's Views
Emily Jane
Song of the Mother whose Children are Fond of Drawing
The Seven Little Tigers and the Aged Cook
Agamemnon
The Wedding
Swing Song
The Little Cossack
What a Very Rude Little Bird said to Johnny this Morning
The Monkeys and the Crocodile
Painted Ladies
Some Fishy Nonsense
Lady's Slipper
A Little Song to sing to a Little Maid in a Swing
Betty in Blossom-time
Betty's Song
A Nonsense Tragedy
From New York to Boston
Sandy Godolphin
My Clock
My Uncle Jehoshaphat
Rosy Posy
Sick-room Fancies.
I. My Wall Paper
II. My Japanese Fan
Marjorie's Knitting
He and His Family
Easter-time
Easter
Jacky Frost
Subtraction
Grandfather Dear
Gathering Apples
The Ballad of the Beach
The Boots of a Household
The Palace
Bunker Hill Monument
May
Gregory Griggs
A Nursery Tragedy
The Umbrella Brigade
The Princess in Saturn and the Red Man in Mars
Wiggle and Waggle
Gret Gran'f'ther
Day Dreams
The Battle
The Strange Beast
A Garden Jingle
The Baby goes to Boston
The Flag in the Schoolroom
Johnny Jump-up
The Outlandishman
A Sleigh-ride
The Little Gnome
The Little Dutchess




IN MY NURSERY.


In my nursery as I sit,
To and fro the children flit:
Rosy Alice, eldest born,
Rosalind like summer morn,
Sturdy Hal, as brown as berry,
Little Julia, shy and merry,
John the King, who rules us all,
And the Baby sweet and small.

Flitting, flitting to and fro,
Light they come and light they go:
And their presence fair and young
Still I weave into my song.
Here rings out their merry laughter,
Here their speech comes tripping after:
Here their pranks, their sportive ways,
Flash along the lyric maze,
Till I hardly know, in fine,
What is theirs and what is mine:
Can but say, through wind and weather,
They and I have wrought together.




THE BABY'S FUTURE.


What will the baby be, Mamma,
(With a kick and a crow, and a hushaby-low).
What will the baby be, Mamma,
When he grows up into a man?
Will he always kick, and always crow,
And flourish his arms and his legs about so,
And make up such horrible faces, you know,
As ugly as ever he can?

The baby he may be a soldier, my dear,
With a fife and a drum, and a rum-tiddy-tum!
The baby he may be a soldier, my dear,
When he grows up into a man.
He will draw up his regiment all in a row,
And flourish his sword in the face of the foe,
Who will hie them away on a tremulous toe,
As quickly as ever they can.

The baby he may be a sailor, my dear,
With a fore and an aft, and a tight little craft
The baby he may be a sailor, my dear,
When he grows up into a man.
He will hoist his sails with a "Yo! heave, ho!"
And take in his reefs when it comes on to blow,
And shiver his timbers and so forth, you know,
On a genuine nautical plan.

The baby he may be a doctor, my dear,
With a powder and pill, and a nice little bill.
The baby he may be a doctor, my dear,
When he grows up into a man.
He will dose you with rhubarb, and calomel too,
With draughts that are black and with pills that are blue;
And the chances will be, when he's finished with you,
You'll be worse off than when he began.

The baby he may be a lawyer, my dear,
With a bag and a fee, and a legal decree.
The baby he may be a lawyer, my dear,
When he grows up into a man.
But, oh! dear me, should I tell to you
The terrible things that a lawyer can do,
You would take to your heels when he came into view,
And run from Beersheba to Dan.




BABY'S HAND.


Like a little crumpled roseleaf
It lies on my bosom now,
Like a tiny sunset cloudlet,
Like a flake of rose-tinted snow;
And the pretty, helpless fingers
Are never a moment at rest,
But ever are moving and straying
About on the mother's breast:
Trying to grasp the sunbeam
That streams through the window high;
Trying to catch the white garments
Of the angels hovering by.
And as she pats and caresses
The dear little lovely hand,
The mother's thoughts go forward
Toward the future's shadowy land.
And ever her anxious vision
Strives to pierce each coming year,
With a mother's height of rapture,
With a mother's depth of fear,
As she thinks, "In the years that are coming,
Be they many or be they few,
What work is the good God sending
For this little hand to do?
Will it always be open in giving,
And always strong for the right?
Will it always be ready for labor,
Yet always gentle and light?
Will it wield the brush or the chisel
In the magical realms of Art?
Will it waken the loveliest music
To gladden the weary heart?
Will it smooth the sufferer's pillow,
Bring rest to his aching head?
Will it proffer the cup of cold water?
By it shall the hungry be fed?
Oh! in the years that are coming,
Be they many or be they few,
What now is the good God sending
For this little hand to do?"
Thus the mother's anxious vision
Strives to pierce each coming year,
With a mother's height of rapture,
With a mother's depth of fear.
Ah! whatever may be its fortunes,
Whatever in life its part,
This little wee hand will never loose
Its hold on the mother's heart.




THE FIRST TOOTH.


My own little beautiful Baby,
You're weeping most bitterly, dear!
There'd soon be a lake, if we treasured
Each sweet little silvery tear.

A lake? Nay! an ocean of sorrow
Would murmur and sigh at your feet,
And you would be drowned in your tear-drops,
My own little Baby sweet.

But, darling, as in the wide ocean
The divers plunge boldly down,
And bring up the radiant pearl-drops
To set in some royal crown,

E'en so from the sea of your sorrow,
This dolorous "fountain of youth,"
Will come, ere a week be over,
A little wee pearly tooth.

And then the tears will all vanish,
Dried up by the sunshine of smiles;
And we'll have back our own little Alice,
With her merriest frolics and wiles.

And whenever you laugh, my Baby,
Through all your life's happy years,
You'll show us the radiant pearl-drop
That you brought from the ocean of tears.




JOHNNY'S BY-LOW SONG.


Here on our rock-away horse we go,
Johnny and I, to a land we know, -
Far away in the sunset gold,
A lovelier land than can be told.

_Chorus._ Where all the flowers go niddlety nod,
Nod, nod, niddlety nod!
Where all the flowers go niddlety nod,
And all the birds sing by-low!
Lullaby, lullaby, by-low.

The gates are ivory set with pearls,
One for the boys, and one for the girls:
So shut your bonny two eyes of blue,
Or else they never will let you through.

_Chorus._ Where all the flowers go niddlety nod,
Nod, nod, niddlety nod!
Where all the flowers go niddlety nod,
And all the birds sing by-low!
Lullaby, lullaby, by-low.

But what are the children all about?
There's never a laugh and never a shout.
Why, they all fell asleep, dear, long ago;
For how could they keep awake, you know?

_Chorus._ When all the flowers went niddlety nod,
Nod, nod, niddlety nod!
When all the flowers went niddlety nod,
And all the birds sang by-low!
Lullaby, lullaby, by-low.

And each little brown or golden head
Is pillowed soft in a satin bed, -
A satin bed with sheets of silk,
As soft as down and as white as milk.

_Chorus_. And all the flowers go niddlety nod,
Nod, nod, niddlety nod!
And all the flowers go niddlety nod,
And all the birds sing by-low!
Lullaby, lullaby, by-low.

The brook in its sleep goes babbling by,
And the fat little clouds are asleep in the sky;
And now little Johnny is sleeping too,
So open the gates and pass him through.

_Chorus_. Where all the flowers go niddlety nod,
Nod, nod, niddlety nod!
Where all the flowers go niddlety nod,
And all the birds sing by-low!
Lullaby, lullaby, by-low.




BABY'S VALENTINE.


Valentine, O Valentine,
Pretty little Love of mine;
Little Love whose yellow hair
Makes the daffodils despair;
Little Love whose shining eyes
Fill the stars with sad surprise:
Hither turn your ten wee toes,
Each a tiny shut-up rose,
End most fitting and complete
For the rosy-pinky feet;
Toddle, toddle here to me,
For I'm waiting, do you see? -
Waiting for to call you mine,
Valentine, O Valentine!

Valentine, O Valentine,
I will dress you up so fine!
Here's a frock of tulip-leaves,
Trimmed with lace the spider weaves;
Here's a cap of larkspur blue,
Just precisely made for you;
Here's a mantle scarlet-dyed,
Once the tiger-lily's pride,
Spotted all with velvet black
Like the fire-beetle's back;
Lady-slippers on your feet,
Now behold you all complete!
Come and let me call you mine,
Valentine, O Valentine!

Valentine, O Valentine,
Now a wreath for you I'll twine.
I will set you on a throne
Where the damask rose has blown,
Dropping all her velvet bloom,
Carpeting your leafy room:
Here while you shall sit in pride,
Butterflies all rainbow-pied,
Dandy beetles gold and green,
Creeping, flying, shall be seen,
Every bird that shakes his wings,
Every katydid that sings,
Wasp and bee with buzz and hum.
Hither, hither see them come,
Creeping all before your feet,
Rendering their homage meet.
But 'tis I that call you mine,
Valentine, O Valentine!




THE RAIN.


The rain came down from the sky,
And we asked it the reason why
It would ne'er stay away
On washing day,
To let our poor clothes get dry.

The rain came down on the ground,
With a clattering, pelting sound,
"Indeed, if I stayed
Till you called me," it said,
"I should not come all the year round!"



THE BALLAD OF THE FAIRY SPOON.


The little wee baby came tripping
All out of the fairy land,
With a nosegay of fairy flowers
Clasped close in each little wee hand;

The flower of baby beauty,
The flower of baby health,
And all the blossomy sweetness
That makes up a baby's wealth.

But still he kept sighing and sobbing,
Sighing and sobbing away,
Till I said, "Now what ails my Baby,
And why does he cry all day?"

And he answered, "Oh! as I came tripping,
I spied a rose by the way:
And on it the loveliest dewdrop
I'd seen since I came away.

"But as I was stooping to sip it,
A wind came up from the south;
And it blew my little wee spoonie
Away from my little wee mouth."

"And what was your little wee spoonie?
And what does my Baby mean?"
"Oh! the little wee fairy spoonie
That was given me by the queen.

"For whenever a baby leaves her,
The queen she grants him a boon, -
She fills both his hands with flowers,
And puts in his mouth a spoon.

"And some are made of the hazel,
And some are made of the horn;
And some are made of the silver white,
For the good-luck babes that are born."

"But what are they for, my Baby?"
"Nay! that part I cannot tell!
But send for the fairy Spoonman,
For he knows it all right well.

"Oh! the little old fairy Spoonman,
He lives in the white, white moon.
Send a whisper up by a moonbeam,
And he will be down here soon."

Then I whispered along a moonbeam
That silvered the grass so clear,
"Oh! little old fairy Spoonman,
Come down and comfort my dear!"

Then something came sliding, sliding
Down out of the white, white moon.
And something came gliding, gliding
Straight in at my window soon.

And there stood a little old fairy,
All bent and withered and black,
With a leathern apron about him,
And a bundle of spoons at his back.

And first he looked at my baby,
And then he looked at me;
And then he looked at his apron,
But never a word spake he.

"Oh! Spoonman dear," said the baby,
"The wind blew my spoon away.
So now will you give me another,
You little black Spoonman, pray?

"For I did not lose my spoonie,
Nor drop it carelessly;
But a wind came up to my poor little mouth,
And blew it away from me."

"Now well for you," said the Spoonman,
"Little Baby, if this be so.
For if you had carelessly lost your spoon,
Without it through life you'd go.

"And well for you, little Baby,
If you know your spoon again.
For but if you know the very same one,
Your asking will be in vain.

"So say: was it made of the hazel,
Or was it made of the horn,
Or was it made of the silver white,
If a good-luck babe you were born?"

"Oh! it was nor horn nor hazel,
But all of the silver bright;
For a good-luck babe I was born indeed,
To be my Mammy's delight."

"Then take your spoon, little Baby,
With the fairies' blessing free,
For the south wind blew it around the world,
And blew it again to me."

With that he gave to my baby
The tiniest silver spoon.
Then out he slipped in the moonlight,
And we lost him from sight right soon.

Now some may think I am foolish,
And some may think I am mad;
But never once since that very night
Has my baby been cross or sad.

And I counsel all anxious mothers
Whose babies are crying in pain,
To send for the fairy Spoonman,
And get them their spoons again.




SONG OF THE LITTLE WINDS.


The birdies may sleep, but the winds must wake
Early and late, for the birdies' sake.
Kissing them, fanning them, soft and sweet,
E'en till the dark and the dawning meet.

The flowers may sleep, but the winds must wake
Early and late, for the flowers' sake.
Rocking the buds on the rose-mother's breast,
Swinging the hyacinth-bells to rest.

The children may sleep, but the winds must wake
Early and late, for the children's sake.
Singing so sweet in each little one's ear,
He thinks his mother's own song to hear.




GOOD-NIGHT SONG.


Good-night, Sun! go to bed!
Take your crown from your shining head.
Now put on your gray night-cap,
And shut your eyes for a good long nap.

Good-night, Sky, bright and blue!
Not a wink of sleep for you.
You must watch us all the night,
With your twinkling eyes so bright.

Good-night, flowers! now shut up
Every swinging bell and cup.
Take your sleeping-draught of dew:
Pleasant dreams to all of you!

Good-night, birds, that sweetly sing!
Little head 'neath little wing!
Every leaf upon the tree
Soft shall sing your lullaby.

Last to you, little child,
Sleep is coming soft and mild.
Now he shuts your blue eyes bright:
Little Baby dear, good-night!




ANOTHER "GOOD-NIGHT."


Birds, birds, in the linden-tree,
Low, low let your music be!
Bees, bees, in the garden bloom,
Hushed, hushed be your drowsy hum!
Wind, wind, through the lattice waft
Still, still, thy breathing soft!
Flowers, sweet be the breath you shed:
Two little children are going to bed.

Eyes, eyes, 'neath your curtains white,
Veiled, veiled be the sunny light!
Lips, lips, like the roses red,
Soft, soft be your sweet prayers said!
Feet, feet, that have danced all day,
Now, now must your dancing stay.
Low, low lay each golden head!
Two little children are going to bed.




"A BEE CAME TUMBLING"


A bee came tumbling into my ear,
And what do you think he remarked, my dear?
He said that two tens make up a score,
And really and truly I knew that before.




JINGLE.


I jumped on the back of a dragon-fly,
And flew and flew till I reached the sky.

I pulled down a cloud that was hiding the blue,
And all the wee stars came tumbling through.

They tumbled down and they tumbled round,
And turned into flowers as they touched the ground.

So come with me, little children, come,
And down in the meadow I'll pick you some.




LITTLE OLD BABY.


Little old baby, pretty old baby,
Screams and cries at his little old bath,
Pours on the head of his little old mother
All the full vials of baby wrath.

Little old baby, pretty old baby,
If you could see just how queer you look, -
Arms and legs in a knot together,
Face twisted up in a terrible crook, -

How you would straighten out every feature,
Masculine vanity all aflame!
Fie! what a noise from a little wee creature!
_Did_ they abuse him! and _was_ it a shame!

Little old baby, pretty old baby,
Curls himself over and goes to sleep.
Ah! such is life, my little old baby,
Sleep and forget it, or wake and weep!




BABY'S JOURNEY.


Hoppety hoppety ho!
Where shall the baby go?
Over dale and down,
To Limerick town,
And there shall the baby go.

Hoppety hoppety ho!
_How_ shall the baby go?
In a coach-and-seven,
With grooms eleven,
And so shall the baby go.

Hoppety hoppety ho!
_When_ shall the baby go?
In the afternoon,
By the light of the moon,
And then shall the baby go.

Hoppety hoppety ho!
_Why_ shall the baby go?
To dance a new jig,
And to buy a new wig,
And _that's_ why the baby shall go.




THE BUMBLEBEE.


The bumblebee, the bumblebee,
He flew to the top of the tulip-tree.
He flew to the top, but he could not stop,
For he had to get home to his early tea.

The bumblebee, the bumblebee,
He flew away from the tulip-tree;
But he made a mistake, and flew into the lake,
And he never got home to his early tea.




THE OWL AND THE EEL AND THE WARMING-PAN.


The owl and the eel and the warming-pan,
They went to call on the soap-fat man.
The soap-fat man he was not within:
He'd gone for a ride on his rolling-pin.
So they all came back by the way of the town,
And turned the meeting-house upside down.




YOUNG (ONE)'S NIGHT THOUGHTS.


"Hi!" said the baby.
"Ho!" said the baby.
"Ha!" said the baby,
"I won't go to sleep!
Naughty old mother,
You make such a pother,
Just for to bother
You, awake I will keep.

"Dance!" said the baby.
"Prance!" said the baby.
"Perchance," said the baby,
"You think I'm a goose.
Vainly you're dreaming
Of rest, and your scheming
To silence my screaming
Is all of no use.

"Sing!" said the baby.
"Ring!" said the baby.
"Bring," said the baby,
"My rattles and toys.
Still I will weep, oh!
Awake I will keep, oh!
_Won't_ go to sleep, oh!
_Will_ make a noise!

"Walk!" said the baby.
"Talk!" said the baby.
"I'll balk," said the baby,
"Your efforts, one and all.

Still I'll be scorning,
When, towards the morning,
Without any warning
Asleep I will fall."




LITTLE SUNBEAM.


Little yellow Sunbeam,
Waking up one day,
Down into the garden
Took her shining way;
Merrily went dancing
Down the morning air,
Shaking out the sparkles
From her golden hair.

Little yellow Sunbeam
Twinkled all about,
Down among the green leaves
Flitting in and out.
Waking up the daisies
From their morning doze,
Ringing up the lily-bells,
Knocking up the rose.

Little yellow Sunbeam,
Climbing up the wall,
On the baby's window
Happened for to fall.
In the little chamber
As she took a peep,
There she saw the Lovely One
Lying fast asleep.

Little yellow Sunbeam


1 3 4 5 6 7 8

Online LibraryLaura Elizabeth Howe RichardsIn my nursery → online text (page 1 of 8)