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And one said ten thousand,
One said not a word!
I heard the spades go clinking
In our earth: -
“We must go clinking
All we're worth,”
The bright spades said,
“For they are piling
Up the youngest dead;
And they must have a place
By heaven's grace— *
There must be rest
For those that cannot longer
Heave a breast.”
They speak of death
Among deep roots of grass;
They speak of death
Among deep waves of glass.
They tell of light, and star, and love—
But who shall ever them believe?
The earth is not the sea,
Nor sea the earth can be;
But death is much the same
To them, and me—
It is but one felicity!
I made a ring of leaves
On the autumn grass;
I was a fairy queen all day.
Inside the ring, the wind wore sandals
Not to make a noise of going.
The caterpillars, like little snow men,
Had wound themselves in their winter coats.
The hands of the trees were bare
And their fingers fluttered.
I was a queen of yellow leaves and brown,
And the redness of my fairy ring
Kept me warm.
For the wind blew near
Though he made no noise of going,
And I hadn't a close-made wrap
Like the caterpillars—
Even a queen of fairies can be cold
When summer has forgotten and gone !
Keep me warm, red leaves;
Don't let the frost tiptoe into my ring -
On the magic grass! -
When I slept, I thought I was upon the mountain-tops,
And this is my dream:
I saw the little people come out into the night,
I saw their wings glittering under the stars;
- And crickets played all the tunes they knew.
It was so comfortable with light—
Stars, a rainbow, the moon!
The fairies had shiny crowns
On their bright hair.
The bottoms of their little gowns were roses:
It was musical in the moony light,
Now it is dusky,
And the hermit-thrush and the black-and-white warbler
Are singing and answering together.
There is sweetness in the tree,
And fireflies are counting the leaves.
I like this country,
I like the way it has,
But I cannot forget my dream I had of the sea,
The gulls swinging and calling,
And the foamy towers of the waves.
The dark cloud raged:
Gone was the morning light.
The big drops darted down,
The storm stood tall on the rose-trees;
And the bees that were getting honey
Out of wet roses,
The hiding bees would not come out of the flowers
Into the rain.
When I heard the bees humming in the hive,
They were so busy about their honey,
I said to my mother,
What can I give,
What can I give to help the Red Cross?
And Mother said to me
You can give honey too! \
Honey of smiles!
Honey of love/
“Little Rose-moss beside the stone,
Are you lonely in the garden?
There are no friends of you,
And the birds are gone:
Shall I pick you?”
“Little girl up by the hollyhock,
I am not lonely.
I feel the sun burning,
I hold light in my cup,
I have all the rain I want,
I think things to myself that you don't know,
And I listen to the talk of crickets.
I am not lonely,
But you may pick me
And take me to your mother.”
The Sandman comes searching across the Bay.
He goes to all the houses he knows
To put sand in little girls' eyes.
That is why I go to my sleepy bed,
And why the lake-gull leaves the moon alone:
There are no wings to moonlight any more,
Only the Sandman's hair.
Hilda Conkling (seven years old)
See, I am bringing you happiness—
A great handful of cherry-blooms:
Hear that bird singing!
The trees are full of witchery,
And there's where we find poems.
The rose-bush is afire with roses.
I could make a flag of flowers:
The corn-flowers are as deep as the blue,
And daisies are the flag's white stars.
July is a time of fireworks:
Some leave a trail of light like a comet;
One is a rainbow;
One makes a geyser of fire,
And one an eddy of stars.
These are foolish fires;
Winter fire has thoughts.
- Elmond Franklin McNaught, (nine years old)
In the morning I hear the night
And the leaves,
Standing on their little arms,
Sing and sing.
In the daylight,
When the sun is rising,
It is so sweet
To hear the trees dance;
For when they dance
They sing a little song
For the people whom they love so.
For those who are good they sing a good song,
But for those who are bad they sing a bad song.
And so it always goes!
Juliana Allison Bond (four years old)