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THE BASEMENT When Fritz, the Janitor's bad kid, Went snooping in the basement, He found a rocket snugly hid Beneath the window casement.   He struck a match with one fell swoop; Then, on the concrete kneeling, He lit the rocket and—she—oop! It shot up through the ceiling. [pg]   [pg] FIRST FLAT The Steiners on the floor above Of breakfast were partaking; Crash! came the rocket, unannounced, And set... more...

ADAM MICKIEWICZ (1798-1855) The last of the eighteenth century was an important period for Russia and Poland, not only politically, but in letters and art. It marked the birth of statesmen, patriots, poets and writers. It was into a Poland of great names and greater activities that Adam Mickiewicz was born in 1798, as son of an impoverished family of the old nobility. Three years before, the third and last partition of his native land had taken... more...

INTRODUCTION    Piping down the valleys wild,     Piping songs of pleasant glee,   On a cloud I saw a child,     And he laughing said to me:    "Pipe a song about a Lamb!"     So I piped with merry cheer.   "Piper, pipe that song again;"     So I piped: he wept to hear.... more...

I. LIFE. POEMS. I. REAL RICHES. 'T is little I could care for pearls  Who own the ample sea;Or brooches, when the Emperor  With rubies pelteth me; Or gold, who am the Prince of Mines;  Or diamonds, when I seeA diadem to fit a dome  Continual crowning me. II. SUPERIORITY TO FATE. Superiority to fate  Is difficult to learn.'T is not conferred by any,  But possible to earn A... more...

FIRST SESTIAD On Hellespont, guilty of true-love's blood,In view and opposite two cities stood,Sea-borderers, disjoined by Neptune's might;The one Abydos, the other Sestos hight.At Sestos Hero dwelt; Hero the fair,Whom young Apollo courted for her hair,And offered as a dower his burning throne,Where she should sit for men to gaze upon.The outside of her garments were of lawn,The lining purple silk, with gilt stars drawn;Her wide sleeves green,... more...


THE SLEEP Of all the thoughts of God that are Borne inward unto souls afar, Along the Psalmist’s music deep, Now tell me if that any is, For gift or grace, surpassing this— ‘He giveth His beloved, sleep’! What would we give to our beloved? The hero’s heart to be unmoved, The poet’s star-tuned harp, to sweep, The patriot’s voice, to teach and rouse, The monarch’s crown, to light the... more...

A BOOK FOR KIDS THE BAKER   I'd like to be a baker, and come when morning breaks,Calling out, "Beeay-ko!" (that's the sound he makes)--Riding in a rattle-cart that jogs and jolts and shakes,Selling all the sweetest things a baker ever bakes;Currant-buns and brandy-snaps, pastry all in flakes;But I wouldn't be a baker if . . . I couldn't eat the cakes.Would you?THE DAWN DANCEWhat do you think I saw to-day when I arose at dawn?Blue Wrens... more...

Amos and Ann had a poem to learn,A poem to learn one day;But alas! they sighed, and alack! they cried,’Twere better to go and play.Ann was sure ’twas a waste of timeTo bother a child with jingling rhyme.Amos said, “What’s the sense in rhythm—Feet and lines?” He had finished with ’em! They peered at the poem with scowly faces,And yawned and stumbled and lost their places.Then—a breeze romped by, and... more...

In these days when the old civilisation is crumbling beneath our feet, the thought of poetry crosses the mind like the dear memory of things that have long since passed away. In our passionate desire for the new era, it is difficult to refrain oneself from the commonplace practice of speculating on the effects of warfare and of prophesying all manner of novel rebirths. But it may be well for us to remember that the era which has recently closed... more...

UTUMNAL skies were fair, and blue, And soft and mild the morning breeze; With sails unfurled—a joyous crew— We sought Pacific's tranquil seas, And entered there, a gate that stands, Unbarred to ships of many lands. And as we passed its portal grand, Our hearts were glad, our spirits light, And we rejoiced, and eager scanned The scenes that came before our sight. Near Alcatraz, an island bold, We paused to hear this... more...