Mary Mapes Dodge

M
Mary Mapes Dodge
‘Early to bed’
Early to bed and early to rise:
If that would make me wealthy and wise
I’d rise at daybreak, cold or hot,
And go back to bed at once. Why not?

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‘Fire in the window’
Fire in the window! flashes in the pane!
Fire on the roof-top! blazing weather-vane!
Turn about, weather-vane! put the fire out!
The sun’s going down, sir, I haven’t a doubt.


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The Mayor of Scuttleton
The Mayor of Scuttleton burned his nose
Trying to warm his copper toes;
He lost his money and spoiled his will
By signing his name with an icicle-quill;
He went bare-headed, and held his breath,
And frightened his grandame most to death;
He loaded a shovel, and tried to shoot,
And killed the calf in the leg of his boot;
He melted a snow-bird, and formed the habit
Of dancing jigs with a sad Welsh rabbit;
He lived on taffy, and taxed the town;
And read his newspaper upside down;
Then he sighed, and hung his hat on a feather,
And bade the townspeople come together;
But the worst of it all was, nobody knew
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‘The Moon came late’
The moon came late to a lonesome bog,
And there sat Goggleky Gluck, the frog.
‘My stars!’ she cried, and veiled her face,
‘What very grand people they have in this place!’

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Poor Crow!
Give me something to eat,
Good people, I pray;
I have really not had
One mouthful today!

I am hungry and cold,
And last night I dreamed
A scarecrow had caught me—
Good land, how I screamed!

Of one little children
And six ailing wives
(No, one wife and six children),
Not one of them thrives.

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Shepherd John
Oh! Shepherd John is good and kind,
Oh! Shepherd John is brave;
He loves the weakest of his flock,
His arm is quick to save.

But Shepherd John to little John
Says: ‘Learn, my laddie, learn!
In grassy nooks still read your books,
And aye for knowledge burn.

Read while you tend the grazing flock:
Had I but loved my book,
I’d not be still in shepherd’s frock,
Nor bearing shepherd’s crook.

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Taking Time to Grow
‘Mamma! mamma!’ two eaglets cried,
‘To let us fly you’ve never tried.
We want to go outside and play;
We’ll promise not to go away.’
The mother wisely shook her head:
‘No, no, my dears. Not yet,’ she said.

‘But, mother dear,’ they called again,
‘We want to see those things called men,
And all the world so grand and gay,
Papa described the other day.
And – don’t you know? – he told you then
About a little tiny wren,
That flew about so brave and bold,
When it was scarcely four weeks old?’
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