Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Receipt for a Happy Childhood: A Lovely List of Children's Poems

Last month, an anonymous commenter asked if I would provide her a list of the poems included in Day and Night and Other Dreams, a book of children's poetry that I wrote about here.  She explained that the book was one of her childhood favorites, and she was having a hard time finding a copy.  Although I am late responding, I am glad to provide the titles of the poems.  Better yet, this little book has meant so much to me and Emma, I am also going to include the poems themselves.  Here is a link to a CD Baby page where you can purchase the mp3 recordings.    I hope you enjoy this, and that you find someone wonder-full with whom to share it.  Most of all, I hope that renewed interest in this book and accompanying music tape will encourage its some publisher to make it available again along with a CD of the music.

I apologize for all the formatting errors.  I don't have the patience just now to fix them.

Day and Night and Other Dreams: Table of Contents

Girls and Boys Come Out to Play. . .Anonymous
Spring. . .William Blake
Somewhere. . .Walter de la Mare
Where Go the Boats?. . .Robert Louis Stevenson
My Shadow. . .Robert Louis Stevenson
Little White Lily. . .George MacDonald
General Store. . .Rachel Field
The Peaceable Kingdom. . .Traditional Shaker
The Throstle. . .Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Clock-a-Clay. . .John Clare
I've Been Roaming. . .George Darley
A Swing Song. . .William Allingham
Evening Song. . .Fannie Stearns Davis
Lady Moon. . .Lord Houghton
The Land of Nod. . .Robert Louis Stevenson
Last Song. . .James Guthrie

Girls and Boys Come Out to Play

Girls and boys come out to play,
The moon doth shine as bright as day,
Leave your supper, and leave your sleep,
And come with your playfellows into the street;
Come with a whoop, or come with a call,
Come with a goodwill, or not at all.
Up the ladder and down the wall,
A halfpenny loaf will serve us all.

You find milk, and I'll find flour,
And we'll have a pudding in half an hour!

William Blake

Sound the flute!

Now it’s mute.
Birds delight
Day and Night;
In the dale,
Lark in Sky,
Merrily, merrily, to welcome in the Year.

Little boy
Full of joy,
Little girl
Sweet and Small;
Cock does crow,
So do you;
Merry voice,
Infant noise,
Merrily, merrily to welcome in the Year.

Little Lamb
Here I am;
Come and lick
My white neck;
Let me pull
Your soft Wool.
Let me kiss
Your soft Face,
Merrily, merrily to welcome in the Year.


Walter de la Mare

Could you tell me the way to Somewhere—
Somewhere, Somewhere,
I have heard of a place called Somewhere—
But know not where it can be.
It makes no difference,
Whether or not
I go in dreams
Or trudge on foot:
Would you tell me the way to Somewhere,
The Somewhere meant for me.

There’s a little old house in Somewhere—
Somewhere, Somewhere,
A queer little place with a Cat and a Mouse—
Just room enough for three.
A kitchen, a larder,
A bin for bread,
A string of candles,
Or stars instead,
A table, a chair,
And a four-post bed—
There’s room for us all in Somewhere,
For the Cat and the Mouse and Me.

I want to be off to Somewhere,
To far, lone, lovely Somewhere,
No matter where Somewhere be.
It makes no difference
Whether or not
I go in dreams
Or trudge on foot,
Or this time to-morrow
How far I’ve got,
Summer or Winter,
Cold, or hot,
Where, or When,
Or Why, or What—
Please, tell me the way to Somewhere—
Somewhere, Somewhere;
Somewhere, Somewhere, Somewhere, Somewhere—
The Somewhere meant for me! 

Where Go the Boats?
Robert Louis Stevenson

Dark brown is the river,
Golden is the sand.
It flows along for ever,
With trees on either hand.

Green leaves a-floating,
Castles of the foam,
Boats of mine a-boating--
Where will all come home?

On goes the river
And out past the mill,
Away down the valley,
Away down the hill.

Away down the river
A hundred miles or more,
Other little children
Shall bring my boats ashore.

My Shadow
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 thing 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 errant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

Little White Lily

George MacDonald

Little white Lily
Sat by a stone,
Drooping and Waiting
Till the sun shone.
Little White Lily
Sunshine has fed;
Little White Lily
Is lifting her head.

Little White Lily
Said, "It is good;
Little White Lily's
Clothing and food."
Little White Lily
Dressed like a bride!
Shining with whiteness,
And crown'd beside!

Little White Lily
Droopeth with pain,
Waiting and waiting
For the wet rain.
Little White Lily
Holdeth her cup;
Rain is fast falling
And filling it up.

Little White Lily
Said, "Good again,
When I am thirsty
To have nice rain;
Now I am stronger,
Now I am cool;
Heat cannot burn me,
My veins are so full."

Little White Lily
Smells very sweet;
On her head sunshine,
Rain at her feet.
Thanks to the sunshine,
Thanks to the rain!
Little White Lily
Is happy again!

General Store
Rachel Field

Someday I'm going to have a store
With tinkly bells hung over the door,
With real glass cases and counters wide
And drawers all spilly with things inside.
There'll be a little of everything:
Bolts of calico, balls of string;
Jars of peppermint, tins of tea,
Potatoes and kettles and crockery;

Seeds in packets, scissors bright;
Kegs of sugar, brown and white;
Sarsaparilla for picnic lunches;
Bananas and rubber boots in bunches.
I'll fix the window and dust each shelf,
And take the money in all myself.
It will be my store and I will say:
"What can I do for you today?"

The Peaceable Kingdom
Traditional Shaker abecedarious

Alligator, Beetle, Porcupine, Whale,
Bobolink, Panther, Dragonfly, Snail,
Crocodile, Monkey, Buffalo, Hare,
Dromedary, Leopard, Mud Turtle, Bear,
Elephant, Badger, Pelican, Ox,
Flying Fish, Reindeer, Anaconda, Fox,
Guinea Pig, Dolphin, Antelope, Goose,
Hummingbird, Weasel, Pickerel, Moose.
Ibex, Rhinoceros, Owl, Kangaroo,
Jackal, Opossum, Toad, Cockatoo,
Kingfisher, Peacock, Anteater, Bat,
Lizard, Ichneumon, Honeybee, Rat.
Mockingbird, Camel, Grasshopper, Mouse,
Nightingale, Spider, Octopus, Grouse,
Ocelot, Pheasant, Wolverine, Auk,
Periwinkle, Ermine, Katydid, Hawk.
Quail, Hippopotamus, Armadillo, Moth,
Rattlesnake, Lion, Woodpecker, Sloth,
Salamander, Goldfinch, Angleworm, Dog,
Tiger, Flamingo, Scorpion, Frog.
Unicorn, Ostrich, Nautilus, Mole,
Viper, Gorilla, Basilisk, Sole,
Whippoorwill, Beaver, Centipede, Fawn,
Xanthos, Canary, Polliwog, Swan.
Yellowhammer, Eagle, Hyena, Lark,
Zebra, Chameleon, Butterfly, Shark.

The Throstle
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

"Summer is coming, summer is coming,
I know it, I know it, I know it.
Light again, leaf again, life again, love again,"
Yes, my wild little Poet.

Sing the new year in under the blue.
Last year you sang it so gladly.
"New, new, new, new!" Is it then so new
That you should carol so madly?

"Love again, song again, nest again, young again,"
Never a prophet so crazy!"
And hardly a daisy as yet, little friend,
See there is hardly a daisy.

"Here again, here, here, here, happy year!"
O warble unchidden unbidden!
Summer is coming, is coming, my dear.
And all the winters are hidden.

John Clare

In the cowslip pips I lie
Hidden from the buzzing fly,
While green grass beneath me lies
Pearled wi' dew like fishes' eyes.
Here I lie, a clock-a-clay,
Waiting for the time o' day.

While grassy forests quake surprise,
And the wild wind sobs and sighs,
My gold home rocks as like to fall
On its pillar green and tall;
When the parting rain drives by
Clock-a-clay keeps warm and dry.

Day by day and night by night
All the week I hide from sight.
In the cowslips pips I lie,
In rain and dew still warm and dry.
Day and night, and night and day,
Red, black-spotted clock-a-clay.

My home it shakes in wind and showers,
Pale green pillar topped wi' flowers,
Bending at the wild wind's breath
Till I touch the grass beneath.
Here I live, lone clock-a-clay,
Watching for the time of day.

I've Been Roaming

George Darley

I've been roaming, I've been roaming,
Where the meadow-dew is sweet,
And like a queen I'm coming
With its pearls upon my feet.

I've been roaming, I've been roaming,
O'er red rose and lily fair,
And like a sylph I'm coming
With its blossoms in my hair.

I've been roaming, I've been roaming,
Where the honeysuckle creeps,
And like a bee I'm coming
With its kisses on my lips.

I've been roaming, I've been roaming,
Over hill and over plain,
And like a bird I'm coming
To my bower back again.

Evening Song
Fannie Stearns Davis

Little Child, Good Child, go to sleep.
The tree-toads purr and the peepers peep
Under the apple-tree grass grows deep;
Little Child, Good Child, go to sleep!

Big star out in the orange west;
Orioles swing in their Gypsy nest;
Soft wind singing what you love best;
Rest till the sun-rise; rest, Child, rest!

Swift dreams swarm in a silver flight._
Hand in hand with the sleepy Night
Lie down soft with your eyelids tight._
Hush, Child, little Child!._Goodnight._

Lady Moon
Lord Houghton

"Lady Moon, Lady Moon, where are you roving?"
"Over the Sea."
"Lady Moon, Lady Moon, whom are you loving?"
"All that love me."
"Are you not tired with rolling, and never
Resting to sleep?
Why look so pale and so sad, as forever
Wishing to weep?"
"Ask me not this, little child, if you love me:
You are too bold;
I must obey my dear Father above me,
And do as I'm told."
"Lady Moon, Lady Moon, where are you roving?"
"Over the Sea."
"Lady Moon, Lady Moon, whom are you loving?"
"All that love me."

The Land of Nod
Robert Louis Stevenson

From breakfast on through all the day
At home among my friends I stay,
But every night I go abroad
Afar into the land of Nod.

All by myself I have to go,
With none to tell me what to do--
All alone beside the streams
And up the mountain-sides of dreams.

The strangest things are there for me
Both things to eat and things to see,
And many frightening sights abroad
Till morning in the land of Nod.

Try as I like to find the way,
I never can get back by day,
Nor can remember plain and clear
The curious music that I hear.

Last Song
James Guthrie

To the Sun
Who has shone
All day,
To the Moon
Who has gone
To the milk-white,
Lily-white Star
A fond goodnight
Wherever you are.


Psi said...

I do hope one day you'll make the mp3s. This was my favorite as a child and I would love to hear all these wonderful songs again. But sadly my tape has gone missing over the years.

Greg F said...

Thank you so much for posting this! It is thanks to you we were able to find out the artists of our beloved Mr. Nobody and Can you Tell me the Way to Somewhere. I was typing the lyrics into Google for the longest time finding no hits until you posted them :) We are looking very hard for the music as well and if we find it will be sure to share. Thanks again!

Psi said...

I see a few people that have been asking you for Day and Night and Other Dreams. I have it saved on my computer as MP3s, and would like to offer them to you or your visitors as a zip file if they ask. My e-mail is Jabberwalkin@yahoo.com Thank you for your time.

Wendy Haught said...

Thanks, Psi!

You're wonderful! If you get too many requests, maybe you can find a public domain music site where you can make the mp3s available and you won't have to be bothered with sending them individually.

God bless you,