Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors.
Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.

Download links will be available after you disable the ad blocker and reload the page.

The Book of Joyous Children

Download options:

  • 4.59 MB
  • 17.96 MB
  • 13.87 MB




Bound and bordered in leaf-green,

Edged with trellised buds and flowers

And glad Summer-gold, with clean

White and purple morning-glories

Such as suit the songs and stories

Of this book of ours,

Unrevised in text or scene,—

The Book of Joyous Children.

Wild and breathless in their glee—

Lawless rangers of all ways

Winding through lush greenery

Of Elysian vales—the viny,

Bowery groves of shady, shiny

Haunts of childish days.

Spread and read again with me

The Book of Joyous Children.


What a whir of wings, and what

Sudden drench of dews upon

The young brows, wreathed, all unsought,

With the apple-blossom garlands

Of the poets of those far lands

Whence all dreams are drawn

Set herein and soiling not

The Book of Joyous Children.

In their blithe companionship

Taste again, these pages through,

The hot honey on your lip

Of the sun-smit wild strawberry,

Or the chill tart of the cherry;

Kneel, all glowing, to

The cool spring, and with it sip

The Book of Joyous Children.

As their laughter needs no rule,

So accept their language, pray.—

Touch it not with any tool:

Surely we may understand it,—

As the heart has parsed or scanned it

Is a worthy way,

Though found not in any School

The Book of Joyous Children.

"Kneel, all glowing, to the cool spring."

Be a truant—know no place

Of prison under heaven's rim!

Front the Father's smiling face—

Smiling, that you smile the brighter

For the heavy hearts made lighter,

Since you smile with Him.

Take—and thank Him for His grace—

The Book of Joyous Children.


When I wuz ist a little bit

o' weenty-teenty kid

I maked up a Fairy-tale,

all by myse'f, I did:—


Wunst upon a time wunst

They wuz a Fairy King,

An' ever'thing he have wuz gold—,

His clo'es, an' ever'thing!

An' all the other Fairies

In his goldun Palace-hall

Had to hump an' hustle—

'Cause he wuz bosst of all!


He have a goldun trumput,

An' when he blow' on that,

It's a sign he want' his boots,

Er his coat er hat:


They's a sign fer ever'thing,—

An' all the Fairies knowed

Ever' sign, an' come a-hoppin'

When the King blowed!


Wunst he blowed an' telled 'em all:

"Saddle up yer bees—

Fireflies is gittin' fat

An' sassy as you please!—

Guess we'll go a-huntin'!"


So they hunt' a little bit,

Till the King blowed "Supper-time,"

Nen they all quit.


Nen they have a Banqut

In the Palace-hall,

An' ist et! an' et! an' et!

Nen they have a Ball;

An' when the Queen o' Fairyland

Come p'omenadin' through,

The King says an' halts her,—

"Guess I'll marry you!"


"Wasn't it a funny dream!—perfectly bewild'rin'!—

Last night, and night before, and night before that,

Seemed like I saw the march o' regiments o' children,

Marching to the robin's fife and cricket's rat-ta-tat!


Lily-banners overhead, with the dew upon 'em,

On flashed the little army, as with sword and flame;

Like the buzz o' bumble-wings, with the honey on 'em,

Came an eerie, cheery chant, chiming as it came:—


Where go the children?...