Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets
28th Jun 2016Posted in: Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets 0
Pattering Feet

Illustrations by
Alan B. Beddoe
[inside cover]

Pattering Feet
Arthur S. Bourinot
Dorothy Lauriston
C. F. N. H
[unnumbered page]

[3 blank pages]

Pattering Feet.
[unnumbered page]

Pattering Feet
A Book of


Drawings by
Alan B. Beddoe

[unnumbered page]

[blank page]

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[blank page]

Books by
Arthur S. Bourinot

LAURENTIAN LYRICS . . . . . . 1915
The Copp Clark Co. Limited, Toronto
(Out of Print)

POEMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1921
The T. H. Best Co., Toronto

Jas. Hope & Sons Limited, Ottawa

PATTERING FEET . . . . . . . . . . . 1925
The Graphic Publishers, Ottawa
[unnumbered page]

[blank page]

List of Contents

[unnumbered page]
[unnumbered page]

[blank page]

A Mar of Canadian Quality
The Thunder Bird
[unnumbered page]

[page 18, includes illustration]


When I go up to bed at night
The dark I never fear;
After my mother dims the light
Before she goes down-stairs,
I always call out so she’ll hear
“O are there any bears?”

But when I’m going up to bed
I always look behind
And turn so fearfully my head
And peer way down the stairs
To make most sure that I won’t find
That there are any bears.

I crawl between the crackling sheets
And feel much more secure
But I can hear my heart’s swift beats
And footsteps on the stairs,
And so I shout just to make sure
“O are there any bears?” [page 19]



I love to watch the waddling ducks,
They are such funny things,
And see them swim around the pond
And flap their foolish wings.

Sometimes in air their tails stick up,
Their heads way down below
While paddle, paddle move their feet
As fast as they can go. [page 20]


And when they waddle on the land 
Too funnily for words
There really is no doubt that ducks
Are most unbalanced birds. [page 21]


Before I go to bed at night
Before my mother tucks me tight
I love to climb the window sill
And look outside where all is still
And see the little stars come out
Just like the lamps on streets about
The town.

I press my nose against the pane
And watch with all my might and main
The stars that come out one by one
And twinkle back at me in fun
And blink and wink their little eyes,
To see a boy of my small size
Awake. [page 22]


And so I bid them all good night
And mother then puts out the light
And lying in my cozy cot
I see one star, a big white dot,
Who nods at me in mild reproof
Then swinging up above the roof
Is gone. [page 23]


Little Pussy Willow dwells amid the swamp
And swamps as you know are very very damp
So that is the reason she wears a fur cap
And that is the why for the little black wrap
That she wears from her middle to her feet.

Little Pussy Willow sniffs the April air 
Says it’s chilly and decides she’d better wear
The white fur bonnet and the little black cloak.
“I must be early, I haven’t heard a croak
From the Froggies in the water at my feet.”

Little Pussy Willow when the days turn hot
Discards her little cloak and the fur top knot
Puts on her yellow dress, she’s a debutante
A-bobbing her head while she listens to the chaunt
Of the Froggies in the water at her feet. [page 24]

[page 25, includes illustration]

Hauling Ice

Up from the river all day long
Great loads of ice, great horses strong
Have passed the house,
And I have watched them passing by
And wished and wished that some day I
Might sit upon a cake of ice,
For I think that would be so nice
And drive my team from the river.

For I would be a teamster strong
Who is by horses pulled along,
With smoky breath;
Who holds the reins and gravely sits
And loudly smacks great leathern mitts
Or standing while his horses rest
Swings strong arms across his chest
Hauling the ice from the river.

The ice is beautiful, shiny green
Just like the colour I have seen
Through bottle glass;
And it is cut in squares the same
As woodblocks in my building game,
And always piled in just the way
I build the blocks with which I play,
And hauled from the frozen river. [page 26]

Sometimes I’ve seen go past my door
A sleigh behind huge horses four
With frosty flanks;
And as I watch them day by day
I hope that sometime on a sleigh
I’ll be a driver great and strong
Who drives four horses all day long
With loads of ice from the river.

[page 27]


Grown Ups

Grown Ups are such a nuisance
They’re always saying don’t
Do this or that or something
And angry when I won’t.
They never gorge on gum drops
Or romp and roughly play,
And if I ask them “can I?”
They say I should use “may”.
They really can’t like living,
Their lives must be a bore,
They never soil their clothing
Or track mud on the floor.
I’d hate to be a Grown Up
And wash my neck each morn:
Grown Ups are such a nuisance 
I wonder why they’re born.

[page 28]

[illustration] The Wind [illustration]

I love to hear the wind at night
Go romping round the house
When I am lying in my bed
Close snuggled as a mouse.

I love to see him blow the leaves
And whirl them high in air
And rattle all the window panes
And toss my nurse’s hair.

I love to see him bend the trees
And wonder how they hold 
And hear him loudly slam the door
And never get a scold.

But best of all I like the wind
Who blows things out of sight
For then I run into the fields
And fly my coloured kite.

[page 29]



The little fish are silent
As they swim round and round 
Their mouths are ever talking
A speech without a sound.

Now aren’t the fishes funny
To swim in water clear
And talk with words so silent
That nobody can hear. [page 30]

Jack in the Pulpit

Jack in the Pulpit is the gloomiest old lad
He stands in the forest aisles looking very sad
And preaches to the Violets and little Trilliums
The Spring beauty blanches and trembles when he comes:
All the little flowers stand quaking in their shoes
For just the very sight of him gives them woolly woos
His dress is staid and proper, hooded is his cap
And hanging from his shoulders droops a long striped wrap.
He’s a melancholy man, this Hermit of the wood
The sermons that he murmurs are never understood
And when the flowers hear him they close their eyes and pray
He’ll soon leave the pulpit and let them go and play.

[page 31]


There’s someone in this house of ours
Who, when the daylight breaks,
Comes pattering along the halls
And all the household wakes,
We call her little “Patter-Feet”
For she is like the rain
That comes with its staccato beat
And sings into the brain.

And all throughout the livelong day,
She patters through the house,
And wanders into every room
A noisy little mouse;
But well we know that time is fleet,
And emptied soon life’s cup,
And we will lose our Patter-Feet,
For she too must grow up. [page 32]

And when the last red streaks the sky,
She patters off to bed,
And Mother tucks her in her cot,
And smooths her golden head,
The House is silence then complete
But with the dawning sun
We’ll hear our little Patter-Feet
And know the day’s begun.

And when she grows up straight and tall
And no more patters round
Ah! then we’ll think of childhood days 
And childhood’s elfish sound.
And when we hear the echoes beat
Of rain at break of day,
We’ll say it’s little Patter-Feet
Who’s coming in to play.

[page 33]

The Partridge is a Drummer

The Partridge is a drummer
Did you never hear him drum?
If you listen in the forest
You will hear him thrum, thrum, thrum.

He beats it with his brown wings
And his drum’s an old Pine stump;
If you listen in the forest 
You will hear him thump, thump, thump.

But should you go too closely,
He will very quickly stir
If you listen for his brown wings
You will hear them whir, whir, whir.

And then deep in the forest
Throbs the tom-tom of his drum;
If you stand quite still and listen
You will hear the faint thrum, thrum.

Padded Footsteps

Padded footsteps, padded footsteps,
I can hear them in the dark
Treading softly
Padding quietly
Can’t you hear them?
Listen! Hark!
On the stair-case, then the landing,
Surely, slowly, coming near,
Can’t you hear them? Now they’re standing 
What to hear?

Padded footsteps, padded footsteps,
I can hear them drawing near,
Coming closer
From the distance 
I can feel them
In my fear, 
Treading on the rustling matting
Coming nearer to my room
‘Till my heart goes pittie patting
In the gloom. 

Padded footsteps, padded footsteps,
I can hear them pass my door
Fading softly 
In the distance,
So I fear them 
Now no more
And no longer I’m faint-hearted
For I feel they’ve gone for good.
Padding softly they’ve departed
To the wood. [page 35]

The Snow Man

I made a great big snow-man
And stood him on his feet
Where he could watch go past him
The people on the street.

I made him from the snow ball
Which I had slowly rolled
Around the lawn and garden 
With fingers icy cold.

I patted him and carved him
And made him white and tall,
And placed him so that standing
He overlooked the wall. [page 36]

He stood there all the winter
And watched the crowds go by,
He wasn’t very friendly
Or maybe he was shy.

I never saw him smiling
At any one who came,
I never saw him frowning,
He always looked the same.

He flourished through the winter.
When March came he was thin,
And with the suns of April
He was but bones and skin.

And one day in the spring time
When I came out to play,
I found my poor old snow-man 
Had melted all away. 

[illustration] [page 37]

Cow Bells at Tea Time

When I am in the country
I know that it’s tea time
When dinging in the distance
The tinkling cow bells chime.

And then I watch the lake shore
To see them slowly pass
Or knee deep in the water
Munch at the water grass.

They loiter on so idly
And nothing makes them run;
I wish I could do likewise,
My, wouldn’t it be fun! [page 38]

But when I hear the cow bells
I know it’s time for tea
And always have to hurry
And can’t go lazily.

But when I’m old and grown up
And hear the cow bells chime
I’ll loiter homeward slowly 
And idling take my time.

[page 39]

Slumber Song

The sun sleeps cradled behind the hills
The little bird’s safe in her nest,
A warm wind runes with a voice that stills
The old earth’s weary breast;
The Nicotine now opes her eyes,
White as a winter star,
And my little one on her journey flies
To slumberland afar.

The great, round moon climbs over the wall,
Creeps through the curtained window pane, 
Covers her head with a silver shawl
And journeys on again.
“Slumber and dream” the dream wind sings
So softly rustling by
And low and soft is the rush of her wings
Murmuring a lullaby.

To the land of dreams the dream wind takes
Sleepy one in her rumpled bed,
To rest and dream till the sunlight wakes
Her golden tousled head;
The journey lasts the whole night through,
Swift sailing back with dawn,
O’er beautiful lands where little Boy Blue
Blows on his elfin horn. [page 40]

The dawn wind bugles his waking song,
The little bird stirs in her nest,
The great, red sun awakening strong
Flashes his flaming crest;
And sweet the note, the dawn wind blows
Flinging her curtains wide,
“Wake up, wake up, with the opening rose,
“Wake up, my sleepy-eyed.”

[page 41]


There’s a great big hill beside the house,
And O, but it’s so high,
That when you stand on top of it
You think you’re near the sky.

And when the snow has covered it
And made it round and white
I take my sled and slide down it,
And steer with all my might.

And when I reach the end of it
I simply hate to stop,
For then I have to turn around
And climb up to the top. [page 42]

The Four Seasons

In winter we have icicles,
Toboggans on the slopes,
In summer we ride bicycles
And skip with skipping ropes.

In autumn we eat apples, plums,
Bon-fires we build with zest.
In spring when maple syrup comes
We think the spring is best.

[page 43]


One morning I woke early
I got up with the sun,
And walked down to the market
For marketing is fun.

I chatted with the farmers
And climbed upon their rigs
And patted yellow pumpkins
And grunted at the pigs.

I bought a pair of pigeons
I thought they’re sure to please
My very little sister
Who’ll feed them on split peas.

I housed them in the stable
And kept them shut up tight
And watched and fed them daily
And always said good-night. [page 44]

One day I freed my pigeons
And high in air they flew,
Since then I’ve never seen them
I wonder, now, have you?

[page 45]

A Gargoyle


Grim old gargoyle
Why do you frown
At the people
From the steeple
Of the church 
In the town?

Grim old gargoyle
I’ve just found out,
That your trouble 
Is the bubble 
Of the rain
In your spout! [page 46]

Old Man Gravity

Old Man Gravity is a rough and tumble chap
Daddy says he ’sponsible for every one’s mishap:
          He pulls me from the garden wall
          And tumbles me down stairs
          And never seems to care at all
          How much my clothing tears.

Old Man Gravity must be a very old man
For Daddy says he’s ’sisted since the world began:
          He holds the water in the pail
          Which round and round I swing
          And pulls the flower pots from the rail
          And does most everything.

And so when I have fallen and dirtied all my face
And climbing ’mongst the apples broken blouse and brace
          My Daddy gives me this advice              
          That I must watchful be
          Or I’ll be tumbled in a trice
          By Old Man Gravity.

[unnumbered page]

The Coolest Coolest Spot

In summer when it’s very hot
And everyone sits still
I know the coolest, coolest spot
It’s underneath a hill.

The summer dairy it is called,
It’s dug right underground
And solidly with logs its walled
And there on hears no sound.

Upon its walls are rows of shelves,
And shining pewter pans, 
That silent sit and cool themselves
And never need a fan.

Beneath the hill it’s cool and dim
The walls are painted white,
The pans are full of milk to skim,
A creamy, cooling sight.

On days of simmering, summer heat,
I like to swim a lot,
Or else I go to my retreat
The coolest, coolest spot. [page 48]


And when I get down underground
I feel just like a mole
Who burrows down from light and sound
In a cool, darksome hole.

I stay there ’til I’m nice and cool
And when I leave the hill,
I pick a bare veranda stool
And try to sit quite still. [page 49]

Farmer Fleury

Farmer Fleury has a beard white and long
And a voice that is loud and blythe
And early every morning I’m awakened by his song
And the cling, clang, clong of his scythe.

When birds in the crooked old apple trees
Greet the sun with their breakfast song
I hear old Farmer Fleury’s voice a-singing in the breeze 
While his scythe goes cling, clang, clong.

I look out the window to watch him swing
His scythe through the sweet grasses long
And see the blade a-flashing, my, how sharply it does ring
As he whets it with a cling, clang, clong.

Farmer Fleury is a jolly old man
And when I hear his rousing shout
I run down to the meadow just as quickly as I can
To help him toss the hay about. [page 50]

I’m ready for my food at breakfast time
And race at the ring of the gong,
An when I’m eating porridge I can listen to the chime
Of the scythe with its cling, clang, clong.

[page 51]

To-Day there Came a Pedlar

To-day there came a pedlar
From lands across the sea
A gypsy’s were his garments
And earings gold wore he.

O white with dust were powdered 
His coat and corduroys
And quickly round him gathered
The little girls and boys.

He carried a huge satchel
Strapped firmly on his back,
And bright the small eyes glittered
As he unloosed his pack.

He spread them out before us,
They covered all the lawn,
The gorgeous silks and tapestries
Like peacock’s feathers shone. [page 52]


And when our parents bought some
He packed the bright array
Shouldered the dusty satchel
And jaunted on his way.

To-day there came a pedlar
A-whistling up the lane;
I wonder where he came from
And will he come again? [page 53]


              Old owl hoots to who, to who
              The rain drips pitie, pat, pat,
The highwayman wind shouts yoo, hoo, hoo, hoo,
As he gallops down the street with your hat.

[page 54]

My Waggon

O I have a little wagon
And I drag it in the sand,
And I love my little wagon
For it’s painted red
And grand.

When I pull my little wagon 
In the sand it makes deep tracks
And when nurse and I go walking
It is following 
Our backs. [page 55]

An Indian Arrow Head

I found an Indian arrow head
Upon the river shore
And daddy says it fell there 
Two centuries before.

It’s roughly chipped and made of flint
That’s very hard and dark
And if with steel you strike it
It makes a little spark.

I found it on a sandy beach
The Richelieu beside;
The Richelieu’s a river
Where Indians whooped and died.

For in the very early days
The French and Indians fought 
And paddling down the river
Great, new adventures sought.

And all along the river’s bank
Where busbied rushes grow
I’ve found the strangest treasures
Lost centuries ago. [page 56]

A leaden bullet, pottery,
An old old cross, glass beads,
And last my Indian arrow head
That tells of olden deeds.

[page 57]

The Pine Tree Swing

          There’s a wonderful swing 
          On an old Pine tree
          Made of rope and wood
          Where merrily
Up and then down on the seat I ride
A warrior roaming the country side
          On great black steed.

          And the beautiful boughs
          Of the old Pine tree
          Sway up and down
          Like a rolling sea
As I pull the ropes and swing my feet
And course the air on my charger fleet
          A gallant knight.

          On the wonderful swing
          In the old Pine tree
          I travel oft
          And distantly
And ride with a lance couched in my hand
Crusader bound for the Holy Land
          Like Richard bold.

          On this wonderful swing
          In the old Pine tree
          I journey far
          Over land and sea
For yesterday I galloped to Greece
To-morrow I’ll search for the Golden Fleece
          An Argonaut. [page 58]


          But the wonderful swing
          In the old Pine tree
          However far
          And distantly
I may have travelled to unknown climes
Never forgets when it’s my meal times
          And swings me home. [page 59]


I have a little squirrel
                        And Chippy is his name
                        I brought him up on bread and milk
                        So he is very tame.

           I keep him in my pocket
           And there he travels round
           And goes with me on journeys
           Because he sleeps so sound. 

           He never stirs in day-time
           Unless I pull him out,
           For he’s a flying squirrel
           And knows what he’s about.

           But when at night it darkens
           He opens his big eyes
           And jumps around my bed-room
           And from the bureau flies.

           The owls and bats his playmates,
           The moon’s his only light,
           Beneath the star-lit heavens
           He flies in jumping flight.

And early in the morning
He crawls into my bed
And only wakens later
The time when he gets fed.

[page 60]

Mister Giraffe

        Mister Giraffe
        Has a long, long neck
As tall as a tall, tall tree:
If he ever stretched it out
there really is no doubt
That he could see across the sea.

       Mister Giraffe
       Has a small, small head
That’s very very small for his years;
He never wears a collar
Because it isn’t tall e-
Nough to reach to his high-up ears. [page 61]

[page 62, includes illustration]

Mister Bear

           Clang, clang, 
           Bang, bang, 
           Triangle and drum
           And Mister bear
           With a jaunty air
Along the street comes dancing
And all around him glancing
           While the drum 
           Bang, bangs
And the triangle clangs
           Clang! clang!

           Clang, clang,
           Bang, bang
           Triangle and drum
           And Mister bear
           With his woolly hair
For pennies comes a-prowling
           And growling,
And all around his scowling
           While the drum
           Bang, bangs
An the triangle clangs
           Clang! clang! [page 63]

The Hay Cart Drive

One summer evening in the year
We have a hay-cart drive
Inviting all our playmates near
And when they all arrive
We climb aboard the wide-spread cart
All filled with fresh-cut hay
And then with shouting off we start
Along the well known way.

The great cart lumbers over bumps,
The wheels ring on the rocks,
The horses’ hooves resound with thumps
And everybody talks:
We wend the winding country roads
Up country hills we climb
A hay-cart with a singing load
Out for a jolly time.

And when we reach the journey’s end
Towards home we turn once more,
And through the night’s sweet quiet send
Our voices on before;
To let them know we’re riding fast
Aboard the huge hay-cart
All ready for a great repast
Before we homeward start. [page 64]

The Robin

Oft I wonder why the Robin
Hopping on the lawn rain-wet
Quite so suddenly stops bobbin’
Freezing to a statuette.

Cocks his head as though he listens
For another Robin’s trill
Or some dewy worm that glistens
Squirming from his eager bill.

Soon he deftly wormie catches 
Then ensues a tug-of-war,
And the poor worm so long stretches
That I think can there be more?

Then again he’s off a-hopping
Bobbing on the lawn rain-wet
Soon I know he’ll be a-stopping
Freezing to a statuette. [page 65]


The little moths are careless
They always singe their wings
Against the hot lamp chimney
While fluttering round in rings.

They never will learn wisdom
They never will be taught,
That lamp chimneys when lighted
Are dangerously hot.

[page 66]

Sunbonnet Sue

       O there’s Sunbonnet Sue,
       And there’s Hester and Prue,
All three of them gay little girls.
       But it’s Sunbonnet Sue
       And not Hester or Prue,
Whose the fat little one with the curls. [page 67]


I met a sleigh
Down town to-day
And what do you think was in it?
Mitts and mittens, nothing but mittens.
All the kittens 
Must have lost their mittens
To fill the sleigh so full;
There were mittens of red
And mittens of blue
On the other side too
And mittens of white
Were packed in tight
With mittens of many a hue:
While mittens of green
Could plainly be seen
And all of them shiny and new.
And they made such a load 
And the bright colours glowed,
That I shouted with glee
O come and fit me [page 68]
With a pair of new mittens or mitts:
So I jumped on the sled
And I buried my head
In a bale of the glorious mitts
And the man pulled me in
Saying “Better begin
“To see if a pair of them fits”:
So I tried a pair on
And my, how they shone!
The glorious, gay coloured mitts
And the man on the sleigh
Simply bade me “Good day”
And told me to keep the gay mitts
And then his horse hitting
And straightly up sitting 
On the piles of the glorious mitts
Far and away
He drove in his sleigh
With the rest of the mittens
Mitts. [page 69]

While I Was a Little Lad

When I was a little lad
I slept in a tent in the Orchard
Where the pink-white apple blossoms bloomed
And all day long the mad bees boomed
And when the dusk came quietly still
Heard the voice of the Whip-poor-Will
Far away in the thickets.

When I was a little lad
My tented was pitched in the Orchard
And the white-faced moon came up at night
And drenched the trees with silver light
And peered inside the opened tent
To say good night before he went
On again on his journey. [page 70]

Signs of Spring

Up the street a hurdy-gurdy
Trolls a spring-time wail
Down the street a rag man yodles
“Rags and bottles, sale.” [page 71]


The crows are winging westward,
The sun has gone to rest,
O sleep my little Baby,
Sleep sound on Mother’s breast.

The feet of night step silent,
In silver comes the moon,
To bring my little Baby
A gift of silver shoon.

The little stars are twinkling
White Daisies in the fields,
And Mother watches o’er you
And evil from you shields.

The warm night wind is stirring
The Lilac-laden air
It rustles through the lattice,
Caressing Baby’s hair.

It whispers through the lattice
Soft, hushing lullabies;
O sleep my little Baby
And close your big blue eyes.

The feet of night step silent
Lest they disturb you, sweet;
And plaintive from the meadows
Comes the lamb’s faint bleat.

The Star of Love is watching
Above the old Pine’s crest,
O sleep my little Baby
Sleep sound on Mother’s breast. [page 72]

[unnumbered page, includes illustration]

The Sick Doll

Her little doll was sick to-day
For it had fallen when at play
And so she nursed it tenderly,
Rocked and crooned to it on her knee
And placing it upon the bed
Fondled and kissed its broken head,
Singing low a lullaby
For fear the little doll should die:
But soon the little doll got well
For childish wisdom wove a spell
Of make-believe in Wonderland
With fairy sprites on every hand
Where witches on their broom-sticks ride
And gnomes beneath great mushrooms hide
Where grows the tall tree sugar-stick,
For little girls to taste or lick 
And where no bed-time hour draws nigh
And dolls and children never cry. [page 74]
So, soon, the little doll recovered 
Which she so mother-wise had mothered
And bitterly fell no more tears
And banished quite the childish fears
That Dolly would not walk again
But limp about in crippled pain:
And so the little doll was well
And childish laughter like a bell
Tinkled throughout the house again
Its careless, carefree sweet refrain.

[page 75]

Snow Fairyland

When I awoke this morning
Gazed through the window pane,
The world looked just like fairyland,
The snow had come again.

It covered all the Spruces
With downy blankets white,
And mantled all the Maple trees
With bunnies’ fur so light.

It changed our neighbours’ houses
To airy castles white
Just like the ones you read about
Going to bed at night.

The smoke from all the chimneys
Rose straight up in the air


       And everything was white outside
                            As Granny’s snowy hair. [page 76]

The Baby Just Like Me

To-day I looked in Daddy’s eyes
And got a wonderful surprise,
For looking in them I could see
A baby who looked just like me
And gazed back from his eyes at mine;
And yet my daddy showed no sign
Of wonder or the leastest fear,
Nor did he even think it queer!
The other baby laughed with glee 
And shook her curly head at me
And did just everything the same
And seemed to so enjoy the game
And when my daddy yawned and dozed
And suddenly his eyelids closed,
Wasn’t it strange? I couldn’t see
The baby who looked just like me! [page 77]

[blank page]

Engravings by
[unnumbered page]

Illustrations by
Alan B. Beddoe
[unnumbered page]Arthur S. Bourinot
[inside back cover]

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