THE WONDERFUL WHAT-IS-IT
The wonderful What-is-it
Is very large and strong;
He runs about and hunts for food,
And eats the whole day long.
You’d better stay quite close at home,
And come when big folks call,
Or you will soon be gobbled up
And swallowed clothes and all.
If you are not as good as pie,
He’ll pay your home a visit,
And you will be the victim of
The Wonderful What-is-it.
At night when I am lying
All warm and snug in bed,
I hear a swishing whisper
That rustles round my head,
And white things wave and scamper
Across the window frame;
I know they’re only curtains,
But they scare me just the same!
Once I woke up in the night –
No one was awake but me –
And I heard the clock down stairs
In the dark, a-striking three.
Isn’t he a good old clock,
Down there in the hall, to keep
Ticking-tocking all night long,
When we’re in all our beds asleep.
I like it when the candles come,
And mother puts them on the shelf
(The long one with the looking-glass
So high that I can’t see myself.)
The fire is only yellow coals,
And in the room things hardly show,
But through the window I can see
The sky is bright beyond the snow.
I sit on mother’s silky lap,
Or lean up close beside her chair,
And father says he loves us both,
And mother laughs and smooths my hair.
It’s just the nicest, kindest hour, –
Of all the day I like it best;
It makes me feel so strange and still –
For candle-time is such a rest.
THE PIRATE ISLAND
This rug’s an island in the sea,
And no one knows but you and me.
It’s all green grass and shining sand,
And one big bay where pirates land.
Oh, don’t you see a sail off there,
Across the waves, beside that chair?
Yes, I can see the pirates, too;
They’re on the deck with all their crew,
They’re sailing straight along this way, —
And now they’re landing in the bay.
Quick! We must run inside our hut,
And keep the doors and windows shut.
We’ll let them bang with all their might,
And then we’ll scramble out and fight.
‘Twill scare them so, they’ll turn and run;
The pirate chief will drop his gun;
They’ll make a dash to reach their boat,
And in they’ll jump, and off they’ll float.
But if they ever come again,
We’ll shoot them dead with father’s cane!
The little stones beside the spring
Are yellow, red, and white;
And when I go to get a drink,
They shine so clear and bright,
I take them up and feel of them —
So round and smooth and cold —
In hopes I’ll find a lovely pearl,
Or pretty piece of gold.
A DISAGREEABLE COLOR
Mr. Oyster went up to his tailor’s
To order an ev’ryday suit. “Just tell me the color,” said Scissors;
“The price I can better compute.” The customer sighed, and the tailor
In his measuring came to a halt. “I should like,” Mr. Oyster said sadly,
“Any color but pepper and salt!”
Good Housekeeping – Volume 47 p. 673
I didn’t mean to spill the ink –
I tried to hold it well;
But quicker than Jack Robinson,
It gave a jump and fell.
It ran all over father’s book –
The big one bound in blue;
I don’t know what he’ll say to me,
Or what I ought to do.
Now isn’t ink the strangest thing?
It sits so nice and still –
Then all at once it’s up-side down:
I’m sure it wants to spill!
When the moonlight dimly shines
Through the forest’s leaves and vines
And the air is warm and sweet
Comes the tap of joyous feet;
Wee soft voices faintly sing:
“Fairies, dance the magic ring.”
Gauzy skirts all gemmed with dew,
Coats and caps of hare-bell blue,
Floating scarves and sashes bright
Flash and shimmer through the night.
Round and round the circle whirls
Merry fairy boys and girls
Trip and frolic in the grass
While the star-beams wheel and pass.
When the cock crows: Presto! They
Clap their hands and melt away.
Morning comes and they are gone,
But there glimmers in the dawn
Something on the forest floor
What was never there before
Smooth and white the mushrooms spring
Round the fairies’ magic ring.