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AO Year 1 Poems April AmblesideOnline.org

AmblesideOnline Year 1 Poetry Anthology April

Compiled and arranged by the AmblesideOnline Advisory, April, 2005 with revisions made Oct, 2011

     01 Spring, by William Blake, 1757-1827
     02 April, by Sara Teasdale, 1884-1933
     03 The First Bluebird, by James Whitcomb Riley, 1849-1916
     04 Tumbling, anonymous
     05 If You See a Tiny Faery, by William Shakespeare, 1564-1616
     06 Rain, by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850-1894
     07 Daffadowndilley, by Christina Rossetti, 1830-1894
     08 Blowing Bubbles, by William Allingham, 1824-1889
     09 My Shadow, by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850-1894
     10 Child's Song in Spring, by Edith Nesbit, 1858-1924
     11 Raining, by Amelia Josephine Burr, 1878-1968
     12 Over in the Meadow, by Olive Wadsworth, 1835-1886
     13 The Prayer Perfect, by James Whitcomb Riley, 1849-1916
     14 The Fairies, by Rose Fyleman, 1877-1957
     15 Calico Pie, by Edward Lear, 1812-1888
     16 Weather, anonymous
     17 Try Again, by William Hickson, 1803-1870
     18 The Blind Men and the Elephant--A Hindu fable, by John Godfrey Saxe, 1816-1887
     19 Before the Rain, by Thomas Bailey Aldrich, 1836-1907
     20 After the Rain, by Thomas Bailey Aldrich, 1836-1907


01 Spring, by William Blake, 1757-1827

            Sound the flute!
            Now 'tis mute!
            Birds delight,
            Day and night,
            Nightingale,
            In the dale,
            Lark in sky,--
            Merrily,
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 we welcome in the year.


02 April, by Sara Teasdale, 1884-1933
      from Rivers to the Sea, 1915

The roofs are shining from the rain,
The sparrows twitter as they fly,
And with a windy April grace
The little clouds go by.

Yet the back yards are bare and brown
With only one unchanging tree--
I could not be so sure of Spring
Save that it sings in me.


03 The First Bluebird, by James Whitcomb Riley, 1849-1916

Jest rain and snow! and rain again!
And dribble! drip! and blow!
Then snow! and thaw! and slush! and then
Some more rain and snow!

This morning I was 'most afeard
To wake up when, I jing!
I seen the sun shine out and heerd
The first bluebird of Spring!

Mother she'd raised the winder some;
And in acrost the orchurd come,
Soft as a angel's wing,
A breezy, treesy, beesy hum,
Too sweet fer anything!

The winter's shroud was rent a-part
The sun bust forth in glee,
And when that bluebird sung, my hart
Hopped out o' bed with me!


04 Tumbling, anonymous

In jumping and tumbling
We spend the whole day,
Till night by arriving
Has finished our play.

What then? One and all,
There's no more to be said,
As we tumbled all day,
So we tumble to bed.


05 If You See a Tiny Faery, by William Shakespeare, 1564-1616

If you see a tiny faery,
Lying fast asleep
Shut your eyes
And run away,
Do not stay to peek!
Do not tell
Or you'll break a faery spell.


06 Rain, by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850-1894

The rain is raining all around,
      It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
      And on the ships at sea.


07 Daffadowndilly, by Christina Rossetti, 1830-1894

Growing in the vale
By the uplands hilly,
Growing straight and frail,
Lady Daffadowndilly.

In a golden crown,
And a scant green gown
While the spring blows chilly,
Lady Daffadown,
Sweet Daffadowndilly.


08 Blowing Bubbles, by William Allingham, 1824-1889

See the pretty planet!
      Floating sphere!
Faintest breeze will fan it
      Far or near;

World as light as feather;
      Moonshine rays,
Rainbow tints together,
      As it plays.

Drooping, sinking, failing,
      Nigh to earth,
Mounting, whirling, sailing,
      Full of mirth;

Life there, welling, flowing,
      Waving round;
Pictures coming, going,
      Without sound.

Quick now, be this airy
      Globe repelled!
Never can the fairy
      Star be held.

Touched, it in a twinkle
      Disappears!
Leaving but a sprinkle,
      As of tears.


09 My Shadow, by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850-1894

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 behind 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 arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.


10 Child's Song in Spring, by Edith Nesbit, 1858-1924
      from A Pomander of Verse, 1895

The silver birch is a dainty lady,
     She wears a satin gown;
The elm tree makes the old churchyard shady,
     She will not live in town.

The English oak is a sturdy fellow,
     He gets his green coat late;
The willow is smart in a suit of yellow,
     While brown the beech trees wait.

Such a gay green gown God gives the larches--
     As green as He is good!
The hazels hold up their arms for arches
     When Spring rides through the wood.

The chestnut's proud, and the lilac's pretty,
     The poplar's gentle and tall,
But the plane tree's kind to the poor dull city--
     I love him best of all!


11 Raining, by Amelia Josephine Burr, 1878-1968
      appeared in The Bellman Book of Verse, 1919

Raining, raining,
All night long;
Sometimes loud, sometimes soft,
Just like a song.

There'll be rivers in the gutters
And lakes along the street.
It will make our lazy kitty
Wash his little dirty feet.

The roses will wear diamonds
Like kings and queens at court;
But the pansies all get muddy
Because they are so short.

I'll sail my boat to-morrow
In wonderful new places,
But first I'll take my watering-pot
And wash the pansies' faces.


12 Over in the Meadow, or, The Rhymes by Which Mamma Taught Tot to Count to Twelve, by Olive A. Wadsworth, 1835-1886
      from Kit, Fan, Tot, and the Rest of Them, 1870

Over in the meadow,
     In the sand, in the sun,
Lived an old mother toad
     And her little toadie, one.
"Wink!" said the mother;
     "I wink!" said the one,
So she winked and she blinked
     In the sand, in the sun.

Over in the meadow
     Where the stream runs blue,
Lived an old mother fish
     And her little fishes, two.
"Swim!" said the mother;
     "We swim!" said the two,
So they swam and they leaped
     Where the stream runs blue.

Over in the meadow,
     In a hole in a tree,
Lived a mother bluebird
     And her little birdies, three.
"Sing!" said the mother;
     "We sing!" said the three
So they sang and were glad
     In the hole in the tree.

Over in the meadow
     In the reeds on the shore,
Lived a mother muskrat
     And her little ratties, four;
"Dive!" said the mother,
     "We dive!" said the four,
So they dived and they burrowed
     In the reeds on the shore.

Over in the meadow
     In a snug bee-hive,
Lived a mother honey-bee
     And her little honeys, five;
"Buzz!" said the mother,
     "We buzz!" said the five,
So they buzzed and they hummed
     In the snug bee-hive.

Over in the meadow
     In a nest built of sticks,
Lived a black mother crow
     And her little crows, six;
"Caw!" said the mother,
     "We caw!" said the six,
So they cawed and they called
     In their nest built of sticks.

Over in the meadow
     Where the grass is so even,
Lived a gay mother cricket
     And her little crickets, seven;
"Chirp!" said the mother,
     "We chirp!" said the seven,
So they chirped cheery notes
     In the grass green and even.

Over in the meadow
     By the old mossy gate,
Lived a brown mother lizard
     And her little lizards, eight;
"Bask!" said the mother,
     "We bask!" said the eight,
So they basked in the sun
     On the old mossy gate.

Over in the meadow
     Where the clear pools shine,
Lived a green mother frog
A     nd her little froggies, nine;
"Croak!" said the mother,
     "We croak!" said the nine,
So they croaked and they splashed
     Where the clear pools shine.

Over in the meadow
     In a sly little den,
Lived a gray mother spider
     And her little spiders, ten;
"Spin!" said the mother,
     "We spin!" said the ten,
So they spun lace webs
     In their sly little den.

Over in the meadow
     In the soft summer even,
Lived a mother fire-fly
     And her little flies, eleven;
"Shine!" said the mother,
     "We shine," said th' eleven,
So they shone like stars
     In the soft summer even.

Over in the meadow
     Where the men dig and delve,
Lived a wise mother ant,
     And her little anties, twelve;
"Toil!" said the mother,
     "We toil," said the twelve,
So they toiled and were wise,
     Where the men dig and delve.


13 The Prayer Perfect, by James Whitcomb Riley, 1849-1916

Dear Lord! kind Lord!
Gracious Lord! I pray
Thou wilt look on all I love,
Tenderly to-day!
Weed their hearts of weariness;
Scatter every care
Down a wake of angel-wings
Winnowing the air.

Bring unto the sorrowing
All release from pain;
Let the lips of laughter
Overflow again;
And with all the needy
O divide, I pray,
This vast treasure of content
That is mine to-day!


14 The Fairies, by Rose Fyleman, 1877-1957
      from The Rose Fyleman Fairy Book, 1923

The fairies have never a penny to spend,
      They haven't a thing put by,
But theirs is the dower of bird and flower
      And theirs is the earth and sky.
And though you should live in a palace of gold
      Or sleep in a dried up ditch,
You could never be as poor as the fairies are,
      And never as rich.

Since ever and ever the world began
      They danced like a ribbon of flame,
They have sung their song through the centuries long,
      And yet it is never the same.
And though you be foolish or though you be wise,
      With hair of silver or gold,
You can never be as young as the fairies are,
      And never as old.


15 Calico Pie, by Edward Lear, 1812-1888

      Calico pie,
      The little birds fly
Down to the calico-tree:
      Their wings were blue,
      And they sang "Tilly-loo!"
      Till away they flew;
And they never came back to me!
      They never came back,
      They never came back,
They never came back to me!

      Calico jam,
      The little Fish swam,
Over the Syllabub Sea,
      He took off his hat,
      To the Sole and the Sprat,
      And the Willeby-wat:
But he never came back to me;
      He never came back,
      He never came back,
He never came back to me.

      Calico ban,
      The little Mice ran,
To be ready in time for tea;
      Flippity flup,
      They drank it all up,
      And danced in the cup:
But they never came back to me;
      They never came back,
      They never came back,
They never came back to me.

      Calico drum,
      The Grasshoppers come,
The Butterfly, Beetle, and Bee,
      Over the ground,
      Around and round,
      With a hop and a bound;
But they never came back to me,
      They never came back,
      They never came back,
They never came back to me.


16 Weather, anonymous

Whether the weather be fine
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold
Or whether the weather be hot,
We'll weather the weather
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not.


17 Try Again, by William Hickson, 1803-1870
      appeared in "Supplement to the Courant: Volume 6," pg 225, 1840

'Tis a lesson you should heed--
            Try again;
If at first you don't succeed,
            Try again.
Then your courage should appear;
For if you will persevere,
You will conquer, never fear,
            Try again.

Once or twice though you should fail,
If you would at last prevail,
            Try again.
If we strive, 'tis no disgrace
Though we did not win the race--
What should you do in that case?
            Try again.

If you find your task is hard.
            Try again;
Time will bring you your reward,
            Try again;
All that other folk can do,
Why with patience should not you?
Only keep this rule in view,
            Try again.


18 The Blind Men and the Elephant--A Hindu fable, by John Godfrey Saxe, 1816-1887

It was six men of Indostan
      To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
      (Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
      Might satisfy his mind.

The First approached the Elephant,
      And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
      At once began to bawl:
'God bless me! but the Elephant
      Is very like a wall!'

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
      Cried, 'Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
      To me 'tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
      Is very like a spear!'

The Third approached the animal,
      And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
      Thus boldly up and spake:
'I see,' quoth he, '`the Elephant
      Is very like a snake.'

The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
      And felt about the knee.
'What most this wondrous beast is like
      Is mighty plain,' quoth he;
'Tis clear enough the Elephant
      Is very like a tree!'

The Fifth who chanced to touch the ear,
      Said: 'E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most:
      Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
      Is very like a fan!'

The Sixth no sooner had begun
      About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
      That fell within his scope,
'I see,' quoth he, 'the Elephant
      Is very like a rope!'

And so these men of Indostan
      Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
      Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
      And all were in the wrong!

So, oft in theologic wars,
      The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
      Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
      Not one of them has seen!


19 Before the Rain, by Thomas Bailey Aldrich, 1836-1907

We knew it would rain, for all the morn
     A spirit on slender ropes of mist
Was lowering its golden buckets down
     Into the vapory amethyst.

Of marshes and swamps and dismal fens--
     Scooping the dew that lay in the flowers,
Dipping the jewels out of the sea,
     To sprinkle them over the land in showers.

We knew it would rain, for the poplars showed
     The white of their leaves, the amber grain
Shrunk in the wind--and the lightning now
     Is tangled in tremulous skeins of rain!


20 After the Rain, by Thomas Bailey Aldrich, 1836-1907

The rain has ceased, and in my room
     The sunshine pours an airy flood;
And on the church's dizzy vane
     The ancient cross is bathed in blood.

From out the dripping ivy leaves,
     Antiquely carven, gray and high,
A dormer, facing westward, looks
     Upon the village like an eye.

And now it glimmers in the sun,
     A globe of gold, a disk, a speck;
And in the belfry sits a dove
     With purple ripples on her neck.