Post-Confederation
Ottawa Lyrics
28th Jun 2016Posted in: Post-Confederation 0

“My Masters and Companions, my Books”
[illustration:
Rufus Hawtin Hathaway]

[inside cover]

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OTTAWA LYRICS AND
VERSES for CHILDREN

The Thunder Bird
[illustration]
A Mark of Canadian Quality
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OTTAWA LYRICS
AND
VERSES for
CHILDREN

BY
ARTHUR S. BOURINOT
Author of Laurentian Lyrics, Poems,
Pattering Feet, &c.

[illustration]
THE GRAPHIC PUBLISHERS, LIMITED
OTTAWA CANADA
[unnumbered page]

1929
BY ARTHUR S. BOURINOT
IN THE DOMINION OF CANADA
[unnumbered page]

OTHER BOOKS BY
ARTHUR S. BOURINOT:

LAURENTIAN LYRICS, 1915—The Copp Clarke Co. Ltd.
POEMS, 1921—T. H. Best Co., Toronto.
LYRICS FROM THE HILLS, 1923—James Hope & Sons, Limited, Ottawa.
PATTERING FEET, A Book of Verse for Children, 1925, illustrated—The Graphic Publishers, Ottawa

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THE FOLLOWING POEMS HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED

To the Ottawa River, in the Ottawa Citizen, Literary Digest and J.W. Garvin’s Canadian Poets.
Ottawa, in the Citizen (Ottawa) and the Anthology of Cities.
Trees After Snow, in The Goblin.
The Haunted House and the Meadow, and Kingsmere in Willison’s Monthly.
The World is Full of Beauty, Moonlight, The Swimmer, Val-Ombreuse, A Thousand years, On a
Picture by F. Brownell, R.C.A. and Wild Asters, in the Canadian Bookman.
The Canadian Confederation in the Winnipeg Free Press and the Ottawa Citizen.
The Heavens in February, in the Ottawa Citizen and World Wide.
Night, in the Mail and Empire, Toronto. [unnumbered page]

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To
Colonel Sir Percy Sherwood, K.C.M.G., M.V.O., &c.
and
Lady Sherwood
[unnumbered page]

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CONTENTS


OTTAWA LYRICS


 

OTTAWA 13
THE HAUNTED HOUSE AND THE MEADOW 15
TO THE OTTAWA RIVER 16
THE WORLD IS FULL OF BEAUTY 18
TREES AFTER SNOW 20
THE HEAVENS IN FEBRUARY 21
WILD ASTERS 22
THE KINGSMERE ROAD (AUTUMN) 23
KINGSMERE (For Music) 24
IMPRESSIONS IN THE HILLS 25
AT EVENTIDE 26
O SUN OF MARCH SO SPLENDID 27
THE CANADIAN CONFEDERATION 28
MOONLIGHT 30
THE SWIMMER 31
VAL OMBREUSE 33
A THOUSAND YEARS 35
THE HILLS HAVE POWER 36
EARTH’S BEAUTY 37
MARS 38
THROUGH A TELESCOPE 40
NIGHT 41
ON A PICTURE BY F. BROWNELL, R.C.A 42
ABSENCE 34
A VISION OF BEAUTY 45

 

VERSES FOR CHILDREN

 

OPENING PARLIAMENT 51
ON PARLIAMENT HILL 52
COB-WEBS 54
OWLS 55
WHEN I AM SICK 56
A WATERFALL 57
AUTUMN LEAVES 58
THE BARN 60
BATS 61
THE FOREST 62
HER LITTLE SHOES 63
CINDER 64
APPLES 65
AROUND THE CAPE TO ZANZIBAR 66
THE RIVER 67
THE TICKUM 68
SILVER SLIPPERS 70
MY UMBRELLER 71

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OTTAWA LYRICS

OTTAWA

City of towers and turrets 
Upon the cliffs you dwell
With spires that point to heaven
And many a pealing bell.
City of russet rivers,
Their burden songs of thee,
City of singing rivers
That tramp down to the sea.

City of falling waters,
That turn the mills of man,
Make room for other toilers,
The dreamer, artisan.

Remember that the mill wheel
Sometimes grinds more than grain,
Remember that thy children 
Are flesh and blood and brain.

City with brow of beauty
Turned to the hills of old,
City with eyes untroubled 
Build with a vision bold.

Build with a vision splendid,
Build with a sense divine,
Until immortal beauty
Says proudly “Thou art mine.” [page 13]

Until thy towers and turrets 
And spires that dream in space
Stand as a mighty symbol
The symbol of our race.

City of towers and turrets
Upon the cliffs you dwell
With spires that point to heaven
And many a pealing bell. [page 14]

THE HAUNTED HOUSE AND THE MEADOW

It’s set beside a meadow wild
Amongst a thousand hills;
The meadow listens like a child
Whom some strange wonder stills.

The whispering winds of dawn sweep by,
The winds of night bow low;
The meadow listening hears them sigh
A haunting tale of woe.

Some gnarled old apple trees are near,
Twisted and black they stand, 
A little brook with hurried fear
Hastes through the meadow land.

The house stands spectre like and bare,
A skeleton of beams;
The windows gaze with vacant stare
When the white moonlight gleams.

Great shadows walk between the walls,
Great shadows stalk the stair
And hauntingly a soft voice calls
“Who’s there, who’s there, who’s there?” [page 15]

TO THE OTTAWA RIVER

Great river flowing broad and free
Around our city’s rock-hemmed base,
O road that marches to the sea
In powerful, rhythmic pulsing pace, 
I hear your voice majestically 
Above the strife of creed and place
Chanting a nation’s minstrelsy,
O lyric singer of our race.

Bold voyageurs have braved thy stream
Le Caron, Champlain, Verendrye,
Discoverers driven by the dream
A pathway to Pacific’s sky;
Immortally your paddles gleam
In unison you singing cry
Old Chansons, and the waters seem
Faint echoes when your voices die.

Where Champlain stood and watched below
The Chaudiere’s cauldron seethe and boil
A city stands, where long ago
The settler cleared and tilled the soil.
The falls are harnessed and their flow
Turns great wheels in their endless toil;
By night the factory chimneys glow 
And vomit flames that writhe and coil. [page 16]

Upon the cliffs the towers and spires 
Like legendary dream come true
Limned in the sunset’s lingering fires
Lift faint outlines toward the blue.
The city sleeps that from our sires
Visions and dreams in beauty grew,
Fulfilment of their best desires,
The city sleeps in sabled hue.

Great river flowing broad and free
Around our country’s massive heart,
O silvery artery of the sea
Singing great songs as you depart,
Chant us your mighty minstrelsy
Until your songs of wonder start
Our dreams of immortality,
Our country to a greater part. [page 17]

THE WORLD IS FULL OF BEAUTY

The world is full of beauty
That stirs the heart of me,
White limbed girlish birches
Bathing nakedly;
A yawning April Tulip
A Pine tree’s winter stole,
The speckles red trout spawning 
Upon a sunny shoal,
All these are full of beauty
That stirs the hearts of men,
The ageless heart of Helen,
Dies and is born again.
The world is full of beauty
That stirs the heart of me;
The rushing of the cataract
Straining to be free;
Recurrent roar of rapids
Beyond a river’s curve,
The tossing mane of waters
That test the arm and nerve;
The tom-tom of the partridge
Upon a pine tree stump,
A white star hanging lonely 
Above a fir tree clump;
O world so full of beauty
That stirs the hearty of me, [page 18]
The splendor of the heaven’s 
Galactic pageantry,
The wisdom of the ages,
May perish in time’s dust
But beauty lives immortal
Despite the years that rust.
The world is full of beauty
That stirs the heart of me
The world is full of beauty 
And immortality. [page 19]

TREES AFTER SNOW

All silver traceried stand the trees,
Nude maidens on a sculptured frieze,
Whose white arms reach towards the sky
And common supplication cry;
And some crouch mute on bended knees
The timid child-like shrubberies;
The ancient Pines, scarce bent at all,
Stand solemn at a funeral.
And when their lord the sun appears
And looks upon them while he leers,
The maidens flee before his gaze
And leave him sulking in a haze;
So, naked, spectre-like, the trees,
I’m sure that Death resembles these. [page 20]

THE HEAVENS IN FEBRUARY

Cold as the blade of a scimitar whirled
Gleameth the moon’s white tenantless world
Hanging on nothing, and speeding through space
In the range where the constellations race
Their unimaginable, mighty round,
In clamourous tumult, but never a sound
Breaks through the muffling belt of the earth
To beat in our ears the galactic mirth
Of the planets and spheres as they roll on their way
Oblivious of earth and of night and of day.

Glint of the spark from an iron shod hoof,
Cradles aloft on the craterous roof
Of the luminous moon, Venus, the star, 
Wanders aloof in her silvery car,
Flashes and flames in the terrible skies,
Inwrought and illumed with a million eyes,
And cold of the night makes the vision clear
Appalling the soul with unspeakable fear
Of the unknown paths where the planets climb,
And the immeasureable march of the infinite time. [page 21]

WILD ASTERS

As I came down to Chelsea,
The Kingsmere road along
I saw the wild blue Asters
In starry clusters throng
The wayside and the meadows
And stretching far away
They crowded to the hill top
A dwarfish milky way.

Their round and star-like faces
Were twinkling in the fields
As do the constellations
When day to darkness yields
Or like the circled snow-flake
Formed by the winter’s frost
Their aureoled blue faces
Were nodding zephyr tossed.

As I came down to Chelsea 
Along the Kingsmere road,
I saw the wild blue Asters
Beside the way I strode,
Blue mantling the meadows
Faint morning mists they shone,
Blue haze upon the hill side,
Blue mantle of the dawn. [page 22]

THE KINGSMERE ROAD (AUTUMN)

The red and gold of the maples
Paint patches on the hills
Daubs on a painter’s palet
Before the canvas fills.

The tall grey stalks of the Mullein,
Grey friars in dusty hoods,
Trudge in a dull procession
Toward the templed woods.

Slender and white from the tree tops
Points Chelsea’s gleaming spire;
See, round the road’s next bending
A maple tree on fire. [page 23]

KINGS MERE
(For Music.)

Mere of my heart, I’ve seen you lie
Blue as the blue of a summer sky;

Mere of my heart, I’ve seen you still,
Fallen asleep with the Whip-poor-will.

Mere of my heart, I’ve watched you hush
Thrill to the note of the Hermit Thrush;

Mere of my heart, I’ve seen you cold,
Burdened with planets and stars untold.

Mere of my heart, I’ve watched you wake,
Rise and the mist from your shoulders shake;

Mere of my heart, I’ve seen you creep,
Beneath the snows for your winter sleep.

Mere of my heart, when earth was planned,
God grasped you, drank, and then uncupp’d His hand,

Blue hills sprang to hem you, lest you part, 
Mere of my heart, Mere of my heart. [page 24]

IMPRESSIONS IN THE HILLS

Here in the ancient hills where the snows lie deep
Driven and drifted by the north wind’s might
Here in the olden hills, mounded white in sleep,
The wilderness lies silent as the night.

Standing on the summit of the Meach lake hill,
Far and wide around us all a mass of white,
Standing gazing over God’s great window sill
The panoramic beauty bursts upon our sight.

Here in the ancient hills worn smooth by time,
Beauty seems immortal, man’s life but a day,
High on the uplands where the skiers climb
Silence of the infinite holds eternal sway.

Unto the ancient hills in the ages gone,
Men e’er turned for wisdom, lifted tired eyes, 
High o’er the silent hills, watching for the dawn
Saw some dreadful portent sweep across the skies.

Here in the ancient hills where the snows lie deep
Spirit of the universe bids the earth be glad;
Here in the olden hills mounded white in sleep
Eager leaps the heart exultant as a lad. [page 25]

AT THE EVENTIDE

A mocking bird in the Lilac tree
Warbles and trills notes leisurely
And the sun goes down in a fiery sea
               At eventide.

A bat wings by haphazardly
Sunlight touches the Poplars three
As the last rays rocket slantingly
               At eventide.

A warm wind rustles hushingly
Blowing the breath from the Lilac tree
And the shadows deepen somberly
               At eventide.

The night comes walking silently
The Moon in raiment silvery
And a Hermit Thrush flutes hauntingly
               At eventide. [page 26]

O SUN OF MARCH SO SPLENDID

O sun of March so splendid 
Gliding with rhythmic ease
Across the snows high drifted,
Swift shod with golden skis;
Superb you crest the hill-tops
To plunge the valleys through,
Sweep down the deep abysses
Which once the eagles knew,
Climb high the white uplands
Where mortal skiers go,
Your passage breaks no silence
No track print mars the snow;
You travel on unhindered,
No distance bars the way.
Your lodge the far horizon
Your journey but a day. [page 27]

THE CANADIAN CONFEDERATION
Written on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee, 1927.

Forged with a vision splendid,
Cast with a faith sublime,
Tried and finely tempered
Upon the anvil Time.

Land of the hundred peoples
From far and wide they came
Merged in the mighty cauldron,
One people and one name.

From sea to sea one people, 
By choice and name and deed,
Great union of the spirit 
That sowed a nation’s seed.

Fired with a common purpose,
Dowered with a touch divine,
This people will not perish
Unless their faith decline.

One creed above all others,
One heart beat at the core,
Fulfil the wondrous vision
That linked them shore to shore.

Remember that thy people 
Live not by bread alone,
And that the dreamer’s spirit
Outlasts the strongest stone. [page 28]

Forget not that the ages
Have touched the false with rust
And that the Godless nations
Lie prostrate in the dust.

See with a sense prophetic
Build for the years to be,
Wrought on the forge of Wisdom,
Awaits thy destiny.

Forged with a vision splendid,
Cast with a faith sublime
Tried and finely tempered 
Upon the anvil Time. [page 29]

Moonlight

The earth is bathed in moonlight,
The moonlit waters gleam,
The pines are touched with silver
White cones and needles gleam.

White birches tall and slender
Like nymphs and naiads stand
Or sway along the water
In rhythmic saraband.

The world is bathed in moonlight,
In moonlight sleeps the lake,
The stars in milk white pageant
Their magic courses take.

The world is touched with splendour,
A mystery and delight
Takes hold upon the senses
Beneath the hallowed night.

The moon’s great silver galleon,
Her prow lit by a star,
Sails down a silver pathway
To dock at wharves afar. [page 30]

THE SWIMMER

Now these are the joys of the swimmer,
The poise on the brink, then the spring,
The plunge through the air, then the water
That with exultation will fling
Its arms in abandon about him
And cooleth of caresses that cling.

Then down with slow strokes to the bottom,
The dim of the depth far below,
The green of the shadowy water,
The feel of the flesh with its glow,
Swift urge of the strokes to the surface
The heart with its hammering blow.

Then out with quick strokes of the racer
The face in the glistening flow,
A rest with the eyes to the heavens 
Where argosies splendid and slow
Blow by with slow winds to the sunset,
White frigates of ages ago.

Then back once again to the shore line,
The warmth of the sun on the beach,
The motionless drowse and the dreaming 
The sun with its far-burning reach,
The gossamer haze on the mountains
The lilt of the water’s low speech. [page 31]

Oh, these are the joys of the swimmer,
The poise on the brink and the glow,
The coolth of the waters around him
The veins with their maddening flow,
The rush through the arms of the water
The plunge to the shadows below. [page 32]

VAL OMBREUSE

The river flows in shadow deep and somber
Forebodingly close-crowded hill tops loom
The stark rocks paint a deeper, darker omber,
And shadow in the gloom.

A great cane down the valleys slowly wheeling,
A flapping shadow silently drifts by,
A ponderous phantom from inferno stealing
With raucous, squawking cry.

A Flicker’s heavy rapping wakes the cavern,
The phantom bird flaps ever on before,
The knocking is a traveler at a tavern
Who raps the midnight door.

A cold wind blows from the mountains freezingly 
And clamps its icy fingers round the heart,
A cold wind cold as the wind of destiny
Bidding a soul depart.

Our bark canoe glides swiftly through the fastness,
Our paddles dip in unison along,
A thousand eyes are watching from the vastness
Where listeners hear no song. [page 33]

But now ahead the hill’s huge arms unfolding
The unrestrained river rushes out,
The phantom bird the sunlight now beholding
Flaps shadow-ward about.

The river courses man-tossed like a stallion
Released amongst the meadows and blue skies,
And we fare on like some old Spanish galleon
Bound on a high emprise. [page 34]

A THOUSAND YEARS

A thousand years from now the sun 
Will sink beyond these self-same hills,
A thousand years when day is done
The Loons will cry as evening stills.

The Dragon Flies on jewelled wings
Will seek their prey in zig-zag flight;
The fish will plash their rippled rings
Upon the lake that dreams to-night.

Will Beauty then be less or more
And life returned to simple things?
A thousand years and Wisdom’s door
May ope perchance to Science slings.

What matters it a thousand years,
With moccasined tread time marches on;
What matters it? Our little fears 
And all our wonder will be gone.

A thousand years and you and I
Will be but dust upon the wind,
And other lovers will descry
Life’s beauty, else they will be blind. [page 35]

The hills have power to heal the burdened heart,
Steadfast they stand, as stands the dauntless soul,
Turmoil and weathering years they’ve watched depart,
Their unconscious wisdom scorns time’s toll. [page 36]

EARTH’S BEAUTY

O earth thy beauty is to me, 
Beauty of flower and bud and tree;
The Painted Trillium’s nodding grace,
The Lady Slipper’s puckered face, 
The Cardinal Flower burning red,
The Indian Pipe’s pale ghostly head;
All these, O earth, thy beauty sing,
Beauty of flower and tree and wing. 

O earth thy loveliness to me
Sings of Beauty’s sanctity;
The wild red Lily’s burning stripes,
The fringing of the Orchis’ pipes,
The Fire-Weed where the fields were burned,
The Blood-Root’s pale white face upturned;
In these, O earth, thy sanctity,
And Beauty’s immortality. [page 37]

MARS
(August, 1924).

The ancients named you God of War,
O planet in the southeast sky,
Resplendent as the lanterned spar
Of some great ship whose light on high 
Pierces across the leagues of dark
To catch the watching look-out’s eye,
We mortals hail you from afar,
As helmsmen hail the lighted bark.

From tower and mountain, ships at sea,
To throw the gates of knowledge wide,
Men watch your matchless mystery
As past their gaze you swiftly glide
Speeding your unconcerned way,
And try to trace what wonders bide
Deep hidden many a century
Behind the sun’s reflected ray.

O men will question, gaze and ask,
Probing the dark and unplumbed deep,
To draw aside the covering mask
Hiding the visions which they seek;
And with a little knowledge won
The generations forward creep 
To finish the Herculean task
And wrest all wisdom round the sun. [page 38]

The Martians on their older sphere
At twilight when the sun goes down,
Will see the evening star appear
An emerald on an ebon gown,
And they may praise the planet Earth,
A jewel in the heaven’s crown,
Or gaze with superstitious fear
And wonder at its greater girth.

But all man’s knowledge placed beside 
The overpowering heavens’ span
Affirms the prophets when they cried
The insignificance of man
Who gropes for wisdom in the night,
Despite a scientific plan,
And dreams and wonders till the tide
Conveys him onward, out of sight.

O planet whom the ancients feared,
Resplendent in the southeast sky,
O weaver of old legends weird,
We watch your flame-like ogre eye
And ponder as you pass our sight
If you and all the worlds will die
Fast bound with ice and disappeared
Whirled headlong through eternal night. [page 39]

THROUGH A TELESCOPE

The wondrous universe we watched one night
And saw great suns with fiery oriflamme;
Whirling a wheel of white encircling light
Great Saturn swift into our vision swam.

Orion strode with Sirius down the west,
And fiery Betelgeuse burned brightly red
The moon’s cold mountains loomed with caverned crest
Deserted as lone city of the dead.

Limpidly shone the silvery Pleiades,
Clear as quartz pebbles in a crystal stream,
The great star clusters swarmed like molten bees,
And Aldebaran burned with ruddy beam.

We saw the clustered constellations caught,
Netted and gathered for the gaze of man,
We visioned God’s vast amplitude of thought
The immensity of the universe to plan. [page 40]

NIGHT

I am the spirit of night
Who comes when the day has fled
To the arms of the sun
O’er the hills
Of dream.

I race
With tireless,
Unwearying tread
’Midst the stars and the spheres,
Waving my black
And ponderous wings
Restlessly, 
Silently,
Holding the old earth close to my breast,
Breathing the winds on her lips,
The dew on her hair,
Dark in her eyes,
Until she sleeps,
Until she sleeps.

I am the spirit of night 
Who slays the sorrow of men
With silence and sleep
From the hills 
Of dream. [page 41]

ON A PICTURE BY F. BROWNELL, R.C.A.

A road that leads into the distance dim,
Long vista white of sunlit, sleigh-tracked snow.
A patch of snow that bends a Pine-tree limb,
A burst of sunlight from the overflow
Of God’s great cup of fire, spills golden light
Beneath the aisled trees: so drifts the sun
Through some rose window, softened in its flight,
To gild an old cathedral’s pillared dun— 
A road that leads the vision deep and far
Between the evergreens of our white north,
That beckons to the dreamer like a star,
And urges, bids the traveler go forth. [page 42]

ABSENCE

O where are you, beloved,
This pallid autumn day?
The white mists of autumn
Are resting on the bay,
The white mists of autumn— 
O white were you as they,
O where are you beloved,
This pallid autumn day?

O where are you, beloved,
Now gold has touched the wheat!
And red leaves of autumn— 
O red thy lips and sweet,
O where are you beloved
Now gold has touched the wheat?

O where are you, beloved,
Now trees are gaunt and bare,
And first snows of winter
Are pelting through the air,
The first snows of winter— 
O white were you and fair,
O here are you, beloved,
Now trees are gaunt and bare? [page 43]

O where are you, beloved,
Now April bursts the bud,
And wanderlust of spring time,
And passion at its flood,
O where are you beloved,
Now April bursts the bud? [page 44]

A VISION OF BEAUTY

Here in the cool of the deep, dim woods
Where the Indian Pipes lift their pale phantom throats 
From the moist leaf mould, and the wild Orchids
Pendant honey cups, pink as the skies of dawn,
Peer through the gloom, their breath perfumed, exotic,
Exhaling odours of the East, of Inde and Araby;
Here where the Dog Rose flaunts its crimson petals
And the berried Borealis strews the ground
With a fairy carpet of broad green leaves,
Here dwells the Spirit of Eternal Beauty.
One day I spied her poised on the brink
Of a lake that sleeps amongst the timeless hills;
I watched; she poised herself then raised her white,
Round arms and headlong plunged into the depths
And the lake rippled, was still, and she was gone.
So she vanished and all around was silence
Save for a Loon that laughed with rident scorn.

Tall, lithe and fair she was with full round breasts
And firm that shone upon her form as shines 
The moon upon the breast of night; her hair 
Was brown as the river waters that wake
The night with their murmur and rippled
Down her back and round her breasts as though
It loved to cling there nestling close to rest.
The magic of the meadows touched her feet [page 45]
Bidding them tread as trip the winds of dawn,
And her eyes were haunted with the deep dark
Of a pool in the wood where the shadows
Lurk in the depths and an unknown light
Shines like a white flower blooming in the night.
Her voice was the far threnody the Thrush
Thrills through the woods when the Dusk Star glows;
Her lips were eager parted to greet life
With rich laughter and love with the red warmth
And clinging passion that fire the veins of youth. [page 46]

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TO ESME
[unnumbered page]

VERSES for
CHILDREN
[unnumbered page]

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OPENING PARLIAMENT

They’re opening parliament up on the hill,
The soldiers are all dressed up for the drill.

They’ve got scarlet coats and black busby caps
And white are their belts and their shoulder straps.

They’ve rifles and bayonets and everything,
The band will be playing God Save the King.

The Governor General will drive in to town
His Lady beside him all in a silk gown.

The horses will prance, the guns will go boom
The members will meet in the parliament room.

The governor General will talk to them there
And then they’ll go out for a little fresh air.

The soldiers will give him a royal salute
Their guns will go bang, the whistles go toot.

The Governor General will drive to the Hall
Home will go everyone, soldiers and all. [page 51]

ON PARLIAMENT HILL

On Parliament Hill
There’s a great big lawn
And it’s so nice
To play upon
I often go there
And run about
And lie on the grass
And loudly shout
On Parliament Hill.

On Parliament Hill
Are policemen tall
I’m not afraid
Of them at all,
For they speak to me
And say “Hello”
And I touch my cap
Before I go
From Parliament Hill.

On Parliament Hill
There’s a big black gun
And climbing it
Is such great fun,
It never goes off,
Never says “Boo,” [page 52]
It only sits there
Looking at you
And Parliament Hill.

On Parliament Hill
There’s a great big clock
It has big hands
I’ve heard it talk
And when it strikes five
It’s time for tea
So I run right home
Quite cheerfully
From Parliament Hill. [page 53]

COB-WEBS

When I went out this morning
The lawn was wet with dew
And on the grass were cob-webs
And on the bushes too.

The little silver circles
Were spread out everywhere
I think the spider’s laundry
Was drying underwear.

They hung upon the bushes,
They waved upon the trees,
And when I bumped a rose bush
I found one on my knees.

A million little spiders
Had worked the whole night through
And washed their silver clothing
In drops of silver dew.

And now they were a-drying
Just everywhere about,
Some spider’s to be married
That must be it no doubt.

And here’s her silver trousseau
All drying in the sun,
I’d love to see the wedding,
My, wouldn’t it be fun! [page 54]


p align=center>OWLS

A funny little owl
Sat upon a tree
He looked at the moon
And then he looked at me.

He turned his little head,
Wisely blinked his eye,
He looked at the moon
And then began to cry.

“To whoo”! cried the owl
“To who, To who, Too whee
“It’s a lonely life,
“Just sitting on a tree.

“Too whoo”, cried the owl,
“I wish I had a wife,
“I’m not very fond 
“Of a bachelor’s life.”

Just then another owl
Perched upon the tree,
They looked at the moon
And then they looked at me.

Then both the little owls
Sitting on the tree
Never saw the moon
And didn’t look at me. [page 55]

WHEN I AM SICK

When I am sick and stay in bed
And have a stuffed-up funny head,
The doctor comes to see me then
And pulling out his fountain-pen
He writes some funny figures down
And mother takes them down to town
And brings a bottle with her back
Just full of stuff that’s dark and black
And gives it to me in a spoon
And says I will be better soon.
And then I lie in bed and see
The pictures in the nursery
And listen when the door bell rings
And wonder what the post-man brings
And hear the doors that bang and shut
And mother gives me dolls to cut;
My meals are brought me on a tray
And when at night my prayers I say
I thank God for the doctor’s stuff
And whisper that I’ve had enough
And tell him that I’m tired of bed
And so much better in my head,
To-morrow morning when I wake
I’ll go downstairs and porridge take
And ask him to bless sister Joan,
And thank him for the chicken bone,
And then I say good night to all
An turn my face towards the wall
And watch the shadows on the floor
When someone passes by my door
And then when I wake up again
The sun looks through the window pane. [page 56]

A WATERFALL

I saw a water-fall to-day,
The water tumbled down,
It tumbled and tumbled
It rumbled and rumbled
And grumbled
Past
The town.

I saw a water-fall to-day,
The spray splashed everywhere, 
Came splashing and splashing
And lashing and lashing
And dashing
Through
The air.

I heard a water-fall to-day,
The water sang with glee,
Went singing and singing
And swinging and swinging
And winging
To 
The sea. [page 57]

AUTUMN LEAVES

I love to see the autumn leaves
Come tumbling from the trees
For some float down,
In yellow gown
And some upon the breeze
Roam far and wide
The country side
And sail just where they please.

I love to run beneath the trees
Amongst the leaves so brown
And hear them whish
And hear them swish
As I go down to town,
About my feet
Along the street
I trail a silken gown.

Sometimes I gather up the leaves
And pile a great big heap
Then strike a match
And watch them catch
At first the flames just creep,
Slowly at first
Then with a burst
Jump and gallop and leap. [page 58]

I love the smell of burning leaves,
The air so white with smoke,
Where’er you turn
Big bon-fires burn
With people giving a poke,
Smoke in the air
Smoke everywhere
Yet nobody seems to choke. [page 59]

THE BARN

There’s a big red barn behind the house
And it has big folding doors,
When they’re open they flap like an elephant’s ears
And it has big cracks in its floors.

It’s so full of hay it bulges out
From the windows near the top
Till the horses eat it up with their appetites
When it’s finished they have to stop.

The swallows build their nests beneath the roof,
Inside on beams above the hay
The bats go to sleep with their heads upside down
And say, it is the sensibilest way!

The old red barn has moss on its roof
And the paint’s worn off in spots,
But it wears a smile on its jolly red face
And thinks the happiest of thoughts. [page 60]

BATS

Bats are funny things
For when they want to sleep
They fold their wings
And hang by their toes
But why do they do it
Nobody knows:
Bats are funny things.

Bats are funny things,
They sleep the whole day long
And use their wings
To fly in the night,
They say they can’t see
But by candle-light:
Bats are funny things.

Bats are funny things,
I’d be dizzy so high,
With folded wings
Hanging upside down
Like a steeple-jack
Above the town:
Bats are funny things.

Bats are funny things,
They squeal just like the mice,
Folding their wings
They swing to and fro
But why they do it 
I just don’t know:
Bats are funny things. [page 61]

THE FOREST

While walking one day in the forest
I heard such a flutter of wings
And there on the floor of the woodland
Were scattering, scampering things.

So I stood quite still for a moment
And I soon saw what was to do,
For I heard the cluck of a partridge
And there were the little ones too!

And they all came out from their hiding
And ran to the old mother bird
From every direction they hurried
Their running was really absurd.

And then when I moved in the forest
They vanished again just like that,
As quick as the rabbit, the Juggler,
Makes vanish beneath his high hat.

The old mother bird in the forest
With a broken brown wing whirred away
But of course I knew she was fooling
And only afraid I would stay.

So I wandered off in the forest 
Behind me I left mother bird
And peace reigned again in the woodland
And never a sound could be heard. [page 62]

HER LITTLE SHOES

I know nothing quite so sweet
So winsome, touchingly complete,
They give such magic to her feet;
     Her little shoes.

She wears them round the house all day,
And keeps them on when out at play,
And wears them too, her prayer to say,
     Her little shoes.

And when her prayers are softly said,
Before she pillows down her head,
She places them beside her bed,
     Her little shoes.

She leaves them there so that at morn
They are all ready to be worn,
And I’m afraid they’re somewhat torn,
     Her little shoes.

And when she wakes up with the dawn,
She jumps from bed and puts them on,
She’d cry to find her treasures gone,
     Her little shoes.

By day they travel far and wide,
She shows them to you with great pride,
By night they watch her side by side,
     Her little shoes. [page 63]

CINDER

I’m just a little, black Aberdeen pup
With one ear down and the other ear up
And my front two legs are very, very bowed
Now, please, you mustn’t laugh, cause that’s how they growed:
I’m black as a cinder from a choo-choo train,
I’m not a bit proud and I’m not a bit vain,
I have a nice voice but they call it a bark
And I’m always ready for a romp or a lark,
I keep my eyes open for a boot or a shoe
To carry them off for a comfortable chew,
For I’m just a little black Aberdeen pup
With one ear down and the other ear up. [page 64]

APPLES

Apples grow in orchards,
As everyone must know,
I’d like to own an orchard
And watch the apples grow.

I’d see their pretty blossoms
That smell so very sweet
And later small green apples
But them I couldn’t eat. 

I’d lie amongst the grasses,
I’d choose a spot you see,
Where I could lie and catch them
Ker-plumping from the tree.

And then I’d lie and munch them
Upon the soft green grass
And up above the tree tops
I’d see the birds that pass.

And when they all were ripened
I’d have a picking bee
And pack them all in barrels
Except the ones in me.

And take them off to market
And sell them one and all
So no more in my orchard
I’d hear the apples fall. [page 65]

AROUND THE CAPE TO ZANZIBAR

I made a raft of cedar logs
And on it sailed away
Around the cape to Zanzibar
And off to far Cathay
And ever and ever and ever so far
Around the Cape to Zanzibar,
Leading the life of a jolly tar,
Sailing away, away.

Quite suddenly there came a storm
As black as black could be,
The waves they rocked me high and low
And drove me o’er the sea,
The winds did blow and blow, so terribly did blow
The waves they rocked me to and fro,
Rocked me whether I liked it or no,
Rolling across the sea. 

And when the storm went home to bed
I hoisted sail again
Around the cape from Zanzibar
I sailed past Sunny Spain
From ever and ever and ever so far
Around the Cape from Zanzibar
Speeding for home like a jolly tar
Bound from the Spanish Main. [page 66]

THE RIVER

I love to see the river
All covered white with snow
In winter it has roads on it
Where people come and go,
For the river’s 
Not a river
     In the winter.

And sometimes on the river
I see huge loads of hay
Come up the road like beetles
That crawl around in May,
For the river’s 
Never running
     In the winter

And sleighs go by to market
With hens and pigs and eggs,
I’ve seen the pig’s red noses
And sometimes, too, their legs
On the river
That’s a river
     In the summer.

And then, when comes the spring time,
All suddenly one day,
The ice breaks on the river,
In big blocks floats away
Down the river
That’s a river
     Once again. [page 67]

TICKUM

I love to watch the Tickum
And see his hands go round
And bend my head and listen
So I can hear the sound
He makes as he goes travelling
Around and round and round.

His face is broad and jolly
And yet he’s thin and lean
I’m sure he must be hungry
I wonder has he been
In restaurants and dining rooms
And eaten much ice cream?

But Tickum’s young and speechless 
I’ve never heard him call 
Like dear old tall Grandfather
Who stands against the wall,
Upon the front stair landing
And shouts the time to all.

But some day Tickum’ll grow up
And be a great big clock
Who sits upon the mantle
Where I can hear him talk [page 68]
And looking down upon me
Say all day long “tick tock!”

And then when he is older
Perhaps he’ll move upstairs
And be an old grandfather
Who stands and talks and stares— 
And watches me at bed time
To see I say my prayers. [page 69]

SILVER SLIPPERS

Her little silver slippers
Are like the crescent moon,
Who walks the starry heavens
In silver buckled shoon.

Her little silver slippers
Go dancing merrily
As do the swift Sand Pipers
That dance beside the sea.

Her little silver slippers
That grace her little feet
Tread like the rain at even
That patters down the street.

Her little silver slippers
Go pattering all day long,
Till night comes, O so softly
And stills their silver song. [page 70]

MY UMBERELLER

I like to walk on a rainy day
And put my umbereller up 
And hold the handle while I stay
Beneath it.

I hear the rain on top of it
It sounds like being in a tent
And sometimes just a little bit
Comes through it

And Daddy says when I start to school
And put my umbereller up
I look just like a big toadstool
Out walking. [page 71]

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