I like my cat, I like him well,
As all the house may see
I like him for himself, and not
Because the cat likes me.
He counts his only work in life,
To flourish and be fat;
And this he does with all his might;—
Of course, I like my cat.
His eyes shine out beneath his brows,
As eyes have rarely shone;
His beauty is the grandest thing
That ever cat put on.
He wears a paw of wondrous bulk,
With secret claws to match,
And puts a charm in all its play,
The pat, the box, the scratch.
I have not heard how cats are made
Within their furry veil,
But rather fancy Tippo’s thoughts
Lie chiefly in his tail.
For while in every other part
His portly person sleeps,
That bushy tail, with steady wave,
A ceaseless vigil keeps.
Slowly, in majestic silence,
Sailed a Swan upon a lake;
Round about him, never quiet,
Swam a noisy quacking Drake.
“Swan,” exclaimed the latter, halting,
“I can scarcely comprehend
Why I never hear you talking:
Are you really dumb, my friend?”
Said the Swan, by way of answer:
“I have wondered, when you make
Such a shocking, senseless clatter,
Whether you are deaf, Sir Drake!”
Better, like the Swan, remain in
Silence grave and dignified,
Than keep, drake-like, ever prating,
While your listeners deride.
A sight most strange and wonderful
Three little puppies saw—
A creature out of shell of horn
Popped out a head and claw.
They jumped and barked, and barked again,
And stared with open eyes;
The sight of such a strange shaped thing
So filled them with surprise.
They wondered at its smooth, brown shell,
Its skin both brown and green;
And thought it was the strangest siht
They ever yet had seen.
They would have tried to bite and scratch
This funny looking thing;
But now they thought it might have hid
A sharp and biting sting.
I want to be your granny—
Granny, granny dear;
Do you think in glasses
I’m anything like near?
Would you take me for her
If I wore her cap;
Told you pretty stories,
Took you in my lap?
Gave you lots of sweeties,
Cakes and apples too?
That’s the way that grannies,
Dear old grannies do!
A fair little girl sat careless and free,
Sewing as long as her eyes could see;
Then smoothed her work, and folded it right,
And said “Dear Work! good-night! good-night!”
Such a number of rooks came over her head,
Crying “Caw! Caw!” on their way to bed.
She said, as she watched their curious flight,
“Little black things! good-night! good-night!”
The horses neighed, and the oxen lowed;
The sheeps “Bleat! bleat!” came over the road—
All seeming to say with a quiet delight,
“Good little girl! good-night! good-night!”
The tall pink foxglove bowed his head—
The violets curtsied and went to bed;
And good little Lucy tied up her hair,
And said on her knees her favorite prayer.
And while on her pillow she softly lay,
She knew nothing more till again it was day;
And all things said to the beautiful sun,
“Good-morning! good-morning! our work is begun.”
Now, Pussy, you must be real good,
And learn to spell like me;
When I say, “Pussy, what is this?”
You must say, That is C.
Don’t scratch, and twist, and turn about,
And try to get away;
But, Pussy, please to try and learn:
This is the letter A.
There now, that’s nice, you’re doing well;
Oh, dear! where can she be;
Just as I’d taught her how to spell
Clear to the letter T.
She jumped and ran away so fast,
She must have seen a rat;
And now how will she ever know
That C-A-T spells Cat.
I shall help mother when I am grown big;
When I am old enough, oh! wont I dig,
Plough with the horses, and call out “Gee-ho!”
Plant the potatoes, fell timber, and mow?
Then I shall fetch the cows home to the byre,
Carry such fagots to make mother’s fire,
Reap and make hay—Hush! who calls? I shant go!
Its only to play with the baby, I know.
A boy who is seven is too big to do that,
Can’t mother nurse her, or give her the cat?
Oh, what a bother! She’s calling me still—
“Come and take the baby off my hands, Bill.”
“I must get your father’s socks finished to-night,
And I can’t while the little girl pulls the thread tight;
There—lift him up, play at ball or Peep-bo—
You will help mother then very greatly you know.”
Bill waited a moment. Then into his mind
Came a thought,—”Little boy, if you don’t feel inclined
To help mother now, when you easily can,
I’m afraid you won’t do it when you are a man.”
So he brightened his face till the baby smiled too;
Hid himself in the cupboard and called out “Cuckoo.”
And on his knee fed her with delicious cream,
And helping mother was not so bad it would seem.
“Up little Gracie! Swing up high,
As if you’re going to touch the sky;
Only, take care, my darling pet—
Hold the two ropes, and don’t forget.
“Up again, Gracie! There—that’s right,
Laughing away, but holding tight;
While little Dottie waits below,
And Harry sends you to and fro.
“Stop, Harry, now! ’tis time for Grace
To yield to little Dot her place.
Be gentle, dear, for Dot’s so small—
If you’re not careful, she may fall.”
The children change; for all the three
Are fair in play, and well agree;
And now the youngest laughing pet
Begs for “a little higher!” yet.
Rat-tat at the door! Rat-tat at the door!
Here are valentines one, two, three;
There is one for Harry, and one for Will,
And a big one for girlie, see!
Wildly she flies o’er the nursery floor,
Never was girlie so happy before,
As she shouts in her baby glee—
“Oh! I’ve got a valentine, all come, look!
As big as the sheet of a picture book!
Now, don’t you wish you all, like me,
Had a great big heart painted red, you see?”
All day long—now in, now out—
Now up, now down—she wanders about
Showing her treasure; ’tis fast getting torn,
But paper, we all know, is very soon worn.
“Who do you think can love me the most
To buy this, and send it alone by the post?
Do look again, you must like to see,
‘Tis a great big heart, and it ‘longs to me,
And please to read me the written line
That says, ‘God bless your sweet valentine!’”
Firm, and strong
We’ll build hereon.
Now we’ll see,
If ’twill hold
A number three.
Raise it to
A fourth floor.
Oh, what fun!
That’s too many—
Down they come.
The copies and the lessons
Are finished for to-day,
And out the happy children
At “horses” come to play.
Conny, and Frank, and Archie,
With doggie “Trim,” are there;
Conny and Frank are harnessed,
And Archie drives the pair.
Away, away they scamper,
Across the breezy park;
And doggie runs beside them
With merry, happy bark.
For breath they pause a minute,
Then off they start again,
For they pretend they’re going
To meet papa’s down train.
Wanton droll, whose harmless play
Beguiles the rustic’s closing day,
When drawn the evening fire about,
Sit aged crone and thoughtless lout;
Come, show thy tricks and sportive graces,
Thus circled round with merry faces.
Backward coiled, and crouching low,
With glaring eyeballs watch thy foe.
The house wife’s, spindle whirling round,
Or thread, or straw, that on the ground
Its shadow throws, by urchin sly,
Held out to lure thy roving eye.
Then, onward stealing, fiercely spring
Upon the futile, faithless thing.
Now, wheeling round with bootless skill,
Thy bo-peep tail provokes thee still,
As oft beyond thy curving side
Its jetty tip is seen to glide.
Whence hast thou, then, thou witless puss,
The magic power to charm us thus?
Is it that in thy glaring eye,
And rapid movements we descry—
While we at ease, secure from ill,
The chimney corner snugly fill.