30 Famous Poems for Kids. Read and memorize poems.

Famous poems for kids

Famous poems for kids to memorize. The poems are perfect for kids to enhance their vocabulary and practice reading skills. Read these famous poems to your kids.


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  • Sick by Shel Silverstein

“I cannot go to school today,»
Said little Peggy Ann McKay…

  • Being Brave At Night by Edgar Guest

The other night ’bout two o’clock, or maybe it was three,
An elephant with shining tusks came chasing after me…

  • Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou

Shadows on the wall
Noises down the hall…

  • The Moon by Robert Louis Stevenson

The moon has a face like the clock in the hall;
She shines on thieves on the garden wall…

  • Story Telling by Edgar Guest

Most every night when they’re in bed,
And both their little prayers have said…

  • Sneezles by A. A. Milne

Christopher Robin
Had wheezles…

  • Dirty Face by Shel Silverstein

Where did you get such a dirty face,
My darling dirty-faced child?…

  • The Rainbow by Christina Rossetti

Boats sail on the rivers,
And ships sail on the seas…

  • Now We Are Six by A. A. Milne

When I was One,
I had just begun…

  • Snowball by Shel Silverstein

I made myself a snowball
As perfect as could be…

  • Wind On The Hill by A. A. Milne

No one can tell me,
Nobody knows…

  • Wynken, Blynken, And Nod by Eugene Field

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe…

  • Listen To The MUSTN’TS by Shel Silverstein

Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,
Listen to the DON’TS…

  • Waiting At The Window by A. A. Milne

These are my two drops of rain
Waiting on the window-pane…

  • What Is Pink? by Christina Rossetti

What is pink? A rose is pink
By the fountain’s brink…

  • Bed In Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson

In Winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle light…

  • The Spider And The Fly by Mary Howitt

«Will you walk into my parlor?» said the spider to the fly;
«‘Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you may spy…

  • From A Railway Carriage by Robert Louis Stevenson

Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches…

  • Halfway Down by A. A. Milne

Halfway down the stairs
Is a stair…

  • Lester by Shel Silverstein

Lester was given a magic wish
By the goblin who lives in the banyan tree…

  • My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see…

  • The Good Little Boy by Edgar Guest

Once there was a boy who never
Tore his clothes, or hardly ever…

  • Vespers by A. A. Milne

Little Boy kneels at the foot of the bed,
Droops on the little hands little gold head…

  • The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue…

  • The Shut-Eye Train by Eugene Field

Come, my little one, with me!
There are wondrous sights to see…

  • The Mountain And The Squirrel by Ralph Waldo Emerson

The mountain and the squirrel
Had a quarrel…

  • Teddy Bear by A. A. Milne

A bear, however hard he tries,
Grows tubby without exercise…

  • I’d Love To Be A Fairy’s Child by Robert Graves

Children born of fairy stock
Never need for shirt or frock…

  • Puppy And I by A. A. Milne

I met a Man as I went walking:
We got talking…

  • If I Were King by A. A. Milne

I often wish I were a King,
And then I could do anything…

 


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Famous poems for kids

 

Sick by Shel Silverstein

“I cannot go to school today,»
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
“I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I’m going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox
And there’s one more—that’s seventeen,
And don’t you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut-my eyes are blue-
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I’m sure that my left leg is broke—
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button’s caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle’s sprained,
My ‘pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow’s bent, my spine ain’t straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is-what?
What’s that? What’s that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G’bye, I’m going out to play!”


Being Brave At Night by Edgar Guest

The other night ’bout two o’clock, or maybe it was three,
An elephant with shining tusks came chasing after me.
His trunk was wavin’ in the air an’  spoutin’ jets of steam
An’ he was out to eat me up, but still I didn’t scream
Or let him see that I was scared — a better thought I had,
I just escaped from where I was and crawled in bed with dad.

One time there was a giant who was horrible to see,
He had three heads and twenty arms, an’ he came after me
And red hot fire came from his mouths and every hand was red
And he declared he’d grind my bones and make them into bread.
But I was just too smart for him, I fooled him might bad,
Before his hands could collar me I crawled in bed with dad.

I ain’t scared of nothin that comes pesterin’ me at night.
Once I was chased by forty ghosts all shimmery an’ white.
An’ I just raced ’em round the room an’ let ’em think maybe
I’d have to stop an’ rest awhile, when they could capture me.
Then when they leapt onto my bed, Oh Gee! But they were mad
To find that I had slipped away an’ crawled in bed with dad.

No giants, ghosts or elephants have dared to come in there
‘Coz if they did he’d beat ’em up and chase ’em to their lair.
They just hang ’round the children’s rooms
an’ snap an’ snarl an’ bite
An’ laugh if they can make ’em yell
for help with all their might.
But I don’t ever yell out loud. I’m not that sort of lad,
I slip from out the covers and I crawl in bed with dad.


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Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou

Shadows on the wall
Noises down the hall
Life doesn’t frighten me at all

Bad dogs barking loud
Big ghosts in a cloud
Life doesn’t frighten me at all

Mean old Mother Goose
Lions on the loose
They don’t frighten me at all

Dragons breathing flame
On my counterpane
That doesn’t frighten me at all.

I go boo
Make them shoo
I make fun
Way they run
I won’t cry
So they fly
I just smile
They go wild

Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

Tough guys fight
All alone at night
Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

Panthers in the park
Strangers in the dark
No, they don’t frighten me at all.

That new classroom where
Boys all pull my hair
(Kissy little girls
With their hair in curls)
They don’t frighten me at all.

Don’t show me frogs and snakes
And listen for my scream,
If I’m afraid at all
It’s only in my dreams.

I’ve got a magic charm
That I keep up my sleeve
I can walk the ocean floor
And never have to breathe.

Life doesn’t frighten me at all
Not at all
Not at all.

Life doesn’t frighten me at all.


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The Moon by Robert Louis Stevenson

The moon has a face like the clock in the hall;
She shines on thieves on the garden wall,
On streets and fields and harbour quays,
And birdies asleep in the forks of the trees.

The squalling cat and the squeaking mouse,
The howling dog by the door of the house,
The bat that lies in bed at noon,
All love to be out by the light of the moon.

But all of the things that belong to the day
Cuddle to sleep to be out of her way;
And flowers and children close their eyes
Till up in the morning the sun shall arise.



Story Telling By Edgar Guest

Most every night when they’re in bed,
And both their little prayers have said,
They shout for me to come upstairs
And tell them tales of gypsies bold,
And eagles with the claws that hold
A baby’s weight, and fairy sprites
That roam the woods on starry nights.

And I must illustrate these tales,
Must imitate the northern gales
That toss the native man’s canoe,
And show the way he paddles, too.
If in the story comes a bear,
I have to pause and sniff the air
And show the way he climbs the trees
To steal the honey from the bees.

And then I buzz like angry bees
And sting him on his nose and knees
And howl in pain, till mother cries:
«That pair will never shut their eyes,
While all that noise up there you make;
You’re simply keeping them awake.»
And then they whisper: «Just one more,»
And once again I’m forced to roar.

New stories every night they ask.
And that is not an easy task;
I have to be so many things,
The frog that croaks, the lark that sings,
The cunning fox, the frightened hen;
But just last night they stumped me, when
They wanted me to twist and squirm
And imitate an angle worm.

At last they tumble off to sleep,
And softly from their room I creep
And brush and comb the shock of hair
I tossed about to be a bear.
Then mother says: «Well, I should say
You’re just as much a child as they.»
But you can bet I’ll not resign
That story telling job of mine.


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Sneezles by A. A. Milne

Christopher Robin
Had wheezles
And sneezles,
They bundled him
Into
His bed.
They gave him what goes
With a cold in the nose,
And some more for a cold
In the head.
They wondered
If wheezles
Could turn
Into measles,
If sneezles
Would turn
Into mumps;
They examined his chest
For a rash,
And the rest
Of his body for swellings and lumps.
They sent for some doctors
In sneezles
And wheezles
To tell them what ought
To be done.
All sorts and conditions
Of famous physicians
Came hurrying round
At a run.
They all made a note
Of the state of his throat,
They asked if he suffered from thirst;
They asked if the sneezles
Came after the wheezles,
Or if the first sneezle
Came first.
They said, «If you teazle
A sneezle
Or wheezle,
A measle
May easily grow.
But humour or pleazle
The wheezle
Or sneezle,
The measle
Will certainly go.»
They expounded the reazles
For sneezles
And wheezles,
The manner of measles
When new.
They said «If he freezles
In draughts and in breezles,
Then PHTHEEZLES
May even ensue.»

Christopher Robin
Got up in the morning,
The sneezles had vanished away.
And the look in his eye
Seemed to say to the sky,
«Now, how to amuse them to-day?»


Dirty Face by Shel Silverstein

Where did you get such a dirty face,
My darling dirty-faced child?
I got it from crawling along in the dirt
And biting two buttons off Jeremy’s shirt.
I got it from chewing the roots of a rose
And digging for clams in the yard with my nose.
I got it from peeking into a dark cave
And painting myself like a Navajo brave.
I got it from playing with coal in the bin
And signing my name in cement with my chin.
I got if from rolling around on the rug
And giving the horrible dog a big hug.
I got it from finding a lost silver mine
And eating sweet blackberries right off the vine.
I got it from ice cream and wrestling and tears
And from having more fun than you’ve had in years.


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The Rainbow by Christina Rossetti

Boats sail on the rivers,
And ships sail on the seas;
But clouds that sail across the sky
Are prettier far than these.

There are bridges on the rivers,
As pretty as you please;
But the bow that bridges heaven,
And overtops the trees,
And builds a road from earth to sky,
Is prettier far than these.


Now We Are Six by A. A. Milne

When I was One,
I had just begun.
When I was Two,
I was nearly new.
When I was Three
I was hardly me.
When I was Four,
I was not much more.
When I was Five,
I was just alive.
But now I am Six,
I’m as clever as clever,
So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever.


Snowball by Shel Silverstein

I made myself a snowball
As perfect as could be.
I thought I’d keep it as a pet
And let it sleep with me.
I made it some pajamas
And a pillow for its head.
Then last night it ran away,
But first it wet the bed.


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Wind On The Hill by A. A. Milne

No one can tell me,
Nobody knows,
Where the wind comes from,
Where the wind goes.

It’s flying from somewhere
As fast as it can,
I couldn’t keep up with it,
Not if I ran.

But if I stopped holding
The string of my kite,
It would blow with the wind
For a day and a night.

And then when I found it,
Wherever it blew,
I should know that the wind
Had been going there too.

So then I could tell them
Where the wind goes…
But where the wind comes from
Nobody knows.


Wynken, Blynken, And Nod by Eugene Field

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe,—
Sailed on a river of crystal light
Into a sea of dew.
«Where are you going, and what do you wish?»
The old moon asked the three.
«We have come to fish for the herring-fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we,»
Said Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe;
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew;
The little stars were the herring-fish
That lived in the beautiful sea.
«Now cast your nets wherever you wish,—
Never afraid are we!»
So cried the stars to the fishermen three,
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam,—
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home:
‘Twas all so pretty a sail, it seemed
As if it could not be;
And some folk thought ’twas a dream they’d dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea;
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one’s trundle-bed;
So shut your eyes while Mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:—
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.


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Listen To The MUSTN’TS by Shel Silverstein

Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,
Listen to the DON’TS
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
The IMPOSSIBLES, the WONT’S
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me-
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.


Waiting At The Window by A. A. Milne

These are my two drops of rain
Waiting on the window-pane.

I am waiting here to see
Which the winning one will be.

Both of them have different names.
One is John and one is James.

All the best and all the worst
Comes from which of them is first.

James has just begun to ooze.
He’s the one I want to lose.

John is waiting to begin.
He’s the one I want to win.

James is going slowly on.
Something sort of sticks to John.

John is moving off at last.
James is going pretty fast.

John is rushing down the pane.
James is going slow again.

James has met a sort of smear.
John is getting very near.

Is he going fast enough?
(James has found a piece of fluff.)

John has quickly hurried by.
(James was talking to a fly.)

John is there, and John has won!
Look! I told you! Here’s the sun!


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What Is Pink? by Christina Rossetti

What is pink? A rose is pink
By the fountain’s brink.
What is red? A poppy’s red
In its barley bed.
What is blue? The sky is blue
Where the clouds float through.
What is white? A swan is white
Sailing in the light.
What is yellow? Pears are yellow,
Rich and ripe and mellow.
What is green? The grass is green,
With small flowers between.
What is violet? Clouds are violet
In the summer twilight.
What is orange? Why, an orange,
Just an orange!



Bed In Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson

In Winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle light.
In Summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.
I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people’s feet
Still going past me in the street.
And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?


The Spider And The Fly by Mary Howitt

«Will you walk into my parlor?» said the spider to the fly;
«‘Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you may spy.
The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
And I have many curious things to show when you are there.»
«Oh no, no,» said the little fly; «to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.»

«I’m sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high.
Well you rest upon my little bed?» said the spider to the fly.
«There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest a while, I’ll snugly tuck you in!»
«Oh no, no,» said the little fly, «for I’ve often heard it said,
They never, never wake again who sleep upon your bed!»

Said the cunning spider to the fly: «Dear friend, what can I do
To prove the warm affection I’ve always felt for you?
I have within my pantry good store of all that’s nice;
I’m sure you’re very welcome — will you please to take a slice?»
«Oh no, no,» said the little fly; «kind sir, that cannot be:
I’ve heard what’s in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!»

«Sweet creature!» said the spider, «you’re witty and you’re wise;
How handsome are your gauzy wings; how brilliant are your eyes!
I have a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf;
If you’d step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself.»
«I thank you, gentle sir,» she said, «for what you’re pleased to say,
And, bidding you good morning now, I’ll call another day.»

The spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly fly would soon come back again:
So he wove a subtle web in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready to dine upon the fly;
Then came out to his door again and merrily did sing:
«Come hither, hither, pretty fly, with pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple; there’s a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!»

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer grew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes and green and purple hue,
Thinking only of her crested head. Poor, foolish thing! at last
Up jumped the cunning spider, and fiercely held her fast;
He dragged her up his winding stair, into the dismal den —
Within his little parlor — but she ne’er came out again!

And now, dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly flattering words I pray you ne’er give heed;
Unto an evil counselor close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale of the spider and the fly.


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From A Railway Carriage by Robert Louis Stevenson

Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:
All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.
Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles;
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;
And here is the green for stringing the daisies!
Here is a cart runaway in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill, and there is a river:
Each a glimpse and gone forever!


Halfway Down by A. A. Milne

Halfway down the stairs
Is a stair
Where I sit.
There isn’t any
Other stair
Quite like
It.
I’m not at the bottom,
I’m not at the top;
So this is the stair
Where
I always
Stop.

Halfway up the stairs
Isn’t up
And isn’t down.
It isn’t in the nursery,
It isn’t in the town.
And all sorts of funny thoughts
Run round my head.
It isn’t really
Anywhere!
It’s somewhere else
Instead!


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Lester by Shel Silverstein

Lester was given a magic wish
By the goblin who lives in the banyan tree,
And with his wish he wished for two more wishes-
So now instead of just one wish, he cleverly had three.
And with each one of these
He simply wished for three more wishes,
Which gave him three old wishes, plus nine new.
And with each of these twelve
He slyly wished for three more wishes,
Which added up to forty-six — or is it fifty-two?
Well anyway, he used each wish
To wish for wishes ’til he had
Five billion, seven million, eighteen thousand thirty-four.
And then he spread them on the ground
And clapped his hands and danced around
And skipped and sang, and then sat down
And wished for more.
And more…and more…they multiplied
While other people smiled and cried
And loved and reached and touched and felt.
Lester sat amid his wealth
Stacked mountain-high like stacks of gold,
Sat and counted — and grew old.
And then one Thursday night they found him
Dead — with his wishes piled around him.
And they counted the lot and found that not
A single one was missing.
All shiny and new — here, take a few
And think of Lester as you do.
In a world of apples and kisses and shoes
He wasted his wishes on wishing.




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My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.
The funniest things about him is the way he likes to grow-
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an India rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there’s none of him at all.
He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he’s a coward you can see;
I’d think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!
One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.


The Good Little Boy by Edgar Guest

Once there was a boy who never
Tore his clothes, or hardly ever,
Never made his sister mad,
Never whipped fer bein’ bad,
Never scolded by his Ma,
Never frowned at by his Pa,
Always fit fer folks to see,
Always good as good could be.

This good little boy from Heaven,
So I’m told, was only seven,
Yet he never shed real tears
When his mother scrubbed his ears,
An’ at times when he was dressed
Fer a party, in his best,
He was careful of his shirt
Not to get it smeared with dirt.

Used to study late at night,
Learnin’ how to read an’ write;
When he played a baseball game,
Right away he always came
When his mother called him in.
An’ he never made a din
But was quiet as a mouse
when they’d comp’ny in the house.

Liked to wash his hands an’ face,
Liked to work around the place;
Never, when he’d tired of play,
Left his wagon in the way,
Or his bat an’ ball around—
Put ’em where they could be found;
An’ that good boy married Ma,
An’ to-day he is my Pa.


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Vespers by A. A. Milne

Little Boy kneels at the foot of the bed,
Droops on the little hands little gold head.
Hush! Hush! Whisper who dares!
Christopher Robin is saying his prayers.

God bless Mummy. I know that’s right.
Wasn’t it fun in the bath to-night?
The cold’s so cold, and the hot’s so hot.
Oh! God bless Daddy — I quite forgot.

If I open my fingers a little bit more,
I can see Nanny’s dressing-gown on the door.
It’s a beautiful blue, but it hasn’t a hood.
Oh! God bless Nanny and make her good.

Mine has a hood, and I lie in bed,
And pull the hood right over my head,
And I shut my eyes, and I curl up small,
And nobody knows that I’m there at all.

Oh! Thank you, God, for a lovely day.
And what was the other I had to say?
I said «Bless Daddy,» so what can it be?
Oh! Now I remember it. God bless Me.

Little Boy kneels at the foot of the bed,
Droops on the little hands little gold head.
Hush! Hush! Whisper who dares!
Christopher Robin is saying his prayers.


The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside—

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown—
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!


The Shut-Eye Train by Eugene Field

Come, my little one, with me!
There are wondrous sights to see
As the evening shadows fall;
In your pretty cap and gown,
Don’t detain
The Shut-Eye train —
«Ting-a-ling!» the bell it goeth,
«Toot-toot!» the whistle bloweth,
And we hear the warning call:
«All aboard for Shut-Eye Town!»

Over hill and over plain
Soon will speed the Shut-Eye train!
Through the blue where bloom the stars
And the Mother Moon looks down
We’ll away
To land of Fay —
Oh, the sights that we shall see there!
Come, my little one, with me there —
‘T is a goodly train of cars —
All aboard for Shut-Eye Town!

Swifter than a wild bird’s flight,
Through the realms of fleecy light
We shall speed and speed away!
Let the Night in envy frown —
What care we
How wroth she be!
To the Balow-land above us,
To the Balow-folk who love us,
Let us hasten while we may —
All aboard for Shut-Eye Town!

Shut-Eye Town is passing fair —
Golden dreams await us there;
We shall dream those dreams, my dear,
Till the Mother Moon goes down —
See unfold
Delights untold!
And in those mysterious places
We shall see beloved faces
And beloved voices hear
In the grace of Shut-Eye Town.

Heavy are your eyes, my sweet,
Weary are your little feet —
Nestle closer up to me
In your pretty cap and gown;
Don’t detain
The Shut-Eye train!
«Ting-a-ling!» the bell it goeth,
«Toot-toot!» the whistle bloweth
Oh, the sights that we shall see!
All aboard for Shut-Eye Town!


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The Mountain And The Squirrel by Ralph Waldo Emerson

The mountain and the squirrel
Had a quarrel,
And the former called the latter
«Little prig.»
Bun replied,
«You are doubtless very big;
But all sorts of things and weather
Must be taken in together
To make up a year
And a sphere.
And I think it no disgrace
To occupy my place.
If I’m not so large as you,
You are not so small as I,
And not half so spry:
I’ll not deny you make
A very pretty squirrel track.
Talents differ; all is well and wisely put;
If I cannot carry forests on my back,
Neither can you crack a nut.»


Teddy Bear by A. A. Milne

A bear, however hard he tries,
Grows tubby without exercise.
Our Teddy Bear is short and fat,
Which is not to be wondered at;
He gets what exercise he can
By falling off the ottoman,
But generally seems to lack
The energy to clamber back.

Now tubbiness is just the thing
Which gets a fellow wondering;
And Teddy worried lots about
The fact that he was rather stout.
He thought: «If only I were thin!
But how does anyone begin?»
He thought: «It really isn’t fair
To grudge me exercise and air.»

For many weeks he pressed in vain
His nose against the window-pane,
And envied those who walked about
Reducing their unwanted stout.
None of the people he could see
«Is quite» (he said) «as fat as me!»
Then with a still more moving sigh,
«I mean» (he said) «as fat as I!»

Now Teddy, as was only right,
Slept in the ottoman at night,
And with him crowded in as well
More animals than I can tell;
Not only these, but books and things,
Such as a kind relation brings —
Old tales of «Once upon a time»,
And history retold in rhyme.

One night it happened that he took
A peep at an old picture-book,
Wherein he came across by chance
The picture of a King of France
(A stoutish man) and, down below,
These words: «King Louis So and So,
Nicknamed ‘The Handsome!’ » There he sat,
And (think of it) the man was fat!

Our bear rejoiced like anything
To read about this famous King,
Nicknamed the «Handsome.» Not a doubt
The man was definitely stout.
Why then, a bear (for all his tub)
Might yet be named «The Handsome Cub!»

«Might yet be named.» Or did he mean
That years ago he «might have been»?
For now he felt a slight misgiving:
«Is Louis So and So still living?
Fashions in beauty have a way
Of altering from day to day.
Is ‘Handsome Louis’ with us yet?
Unfortunately I forget.»

Next morning (nose to window-pane)
The doubt occurred to him again.
One question hammered in his head:
«Is he alive or is he dead?»
Thus, nose to pane, he pondered; but
The lattice window, loosely shut,
Swung open. With one startled «Oh!»
Our Teddy disappeared below.

There happened to be passing by
A plump man with a twinkling eye,
Who, seeing Teddy in the street,
Raised him politely on his feet,
And murmured kindly in his ear
Soft words of comfort and of cheer:
«Well, well!» «Allow me!» «Not at all.»
«Tut-tut!» A very nasty fall.»

Our Teddy answered not a word;
It’s doubtful if he even heard.
Our bear could only look and look:
The stout man in the picture-book!
That «handsome» King — could this be he,
This man of adiposity?
«Impossible,» he thought. «But still,
No harm in asking. Yes, I will!»

«Are you,» he said, «by any chance
His Majesty the King of France?»
The other answered, «I am that,»
Bowed stiffly, and removed his hat;
Then said, «Excuse me,» with an air
«But is it Mr. Edward Bear?»
And Teddy, bending very low,
Replied politely, «Even so!»

They stood beneath the window there,
The King and Mr. Edward Bear,
And, handsome, if a trifle fat,
Talked carelessly of this and that …
Then said His Majesty, «Well, well,
I must get on,» and rang the bell.
«Your bear, I think,» he smiled. «Good-day!»
And turned, and went upon his way.

A bear, however hard he tries,
Grows tubby without exercise.
Our Teddy Bear is short and fat,
Which is not to be wondered at.
But do you think it worries him
To know that he is far from slim?
No, just the other way about —
He’s proud of being short and stout.


320*100

I’d Love To Be A Fairy’s Child by Robert Graves

Children born of fairy stock
Never need for shirt or frock,
Never want for food or fire,
Always get their heart’s desire:
Jingle pockets full of gold,
Marry when they’re seven years old.
Every fairy child may keep
Two strong ponies and ten sheep;
All have houses, each his own,
Built of brick or granite stone;
They live on cherries, they run wild—
I’d love to be a Fairy’s child.


Puppy And I by A. A. Milne

I met a Man as I went walking:
We got talking,
Man and I.
«Where are you going to, Man?» I said
(I said to the Man as he went by).
«Down to the village, to get some bread.
Will you come with me?» «No, not I.»

I met a horse as I went walking;
We got talking,
Horse and I.
«Where are you going to, Horse, today?»
(I said to the Horse as he went by).
«Down to the village to get some hay.
Will you come with me?» «No, not I.»

I met a Woman as I went walking;
We got talking,
Woman and I.
«Where are you going to, Woman, so early?»
(I said to the Woman as she went by).
«Down to the village to get some barley.
Will you come with me?» «No, not I.»

I met some Rabbits as I went walking;
We got talking,
Rabbits and I.
«Where are you going in your brown fur coats?»
(I said to the Rabbits as they went by).
«Down to the village to get some oats.
Will you come with us?» «No, not I.»

I met a Puppy as I went walking;
We got talking,
Puppy and I.
«Where are you going this nice fine day?»
(I said to the Puppy as he went by).
«Up to the hills to roll and play.»
«I’ll come with you, Puppy,» said I.


If I Were King by A. A. Milne

I often wish I were a King,
And then I could do anything.

If only I were King of Spain,
I’d take my hat off in the rain.

If only I were King of France,
I wouldn’t brush my hair for aunts.

I think, if I were King of Greece,
I’d push things off the mantelpiece.

If I were King of Norroway,
I’d ask an elephant to stay.

If I were King of Babylon,
I’d leave my button gloves undone.

If I were King of Timbuctoo,
I’d think of lovely things to do.

If I were King of anything,
I’d tell the soldiers, «I’m the King!»


320*100

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