Clattery MacHinery on Poetry

December 7, 2006

Butterfly Wisdom, poet unknown

   

   

Gutenberg.org has recently uploaded a book called Pages for Laughing Eyes by Unknown. In it are short yarns for children, some themed to the winter holidays, and quite a few poems, making it a good book to take out for bedtime stories.

Two of the poems, “Butterfly Wisdom” and “When I Grow Up”, are included below, along with the picture “A Busy Street”.
   

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Butterfly Wisdom

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                A butterfly poised on a wild-rose spray,
                As a child tripped by one summer day,
                And he thought: “How sorrowful she must be
                To know she can never have wings like me!”
                But the child passed on, with a careless eye
                Of the gay-winged, proud, young butterfly,
                While he fluttered about, as butterflies will,
                Sipping of honey and dew his fill.

                The butterfly spread his wings to the sky,
                As the sweet-faced child again tripped by,
                And he thought: “How envious she will be
                My beautiful azure wings to see!”
                But the child passed, with a lightsome heart,
                Where never had lodged a poisonous dart,
                While he fluttered about, as butterflies will,
                Sipping of honey and dew his fill.

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                When the child again passed the wild-rose sweet,
                A bit of azure fell at her feet;
                She lifted it from the moss, and said:–
                “Poor little butterfly, it is dead!”
                Then she tossed it up towards the wild-rose spray,
                And, singing merrily, went her way,
                With never a thought, the summer through,
                Of the butterfly and its wings of blue.

   

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When I Grow Up

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                        “When I grow up my dress shall be
                        All made of silk and lace,
                My hair I’ll wear in some fine style
                        That best will suit my face;
                With rings upon my fingers, too,
                        And bracelets on my arms,
                I’ll be the finest lady out,
                        With wondrous mighty charms.

                        “When I grow up, you understand,
                        I’ll always dine at eight,
                And go to dances and ‘At homes,’
                        And sit up very late.
                I’ll never touch rice-puddings then,
                        But pastry eat, and cheese,
                And always do just what I like
                        And go just where I please.

                        “When I grow up I’ll have no nurse,
                        Nor yet a governess;
                And lessons will not bother me
                        When I grow up, I guess.
                I’ll pay no heed to proper nouns,
                        Nor yet to mood nor tense”–
                Here nurse put in: “When you grow up
                        Let’s hope you’ll have some sense!”

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A Busy Street

   

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