Children's Garland


OUR brother says that Will was born
The very day that Dickie came;
When one is four the other is,
And all their birthdays are the same.
Their coats and waists are just alike;
They have their hats together, too.
They sleep together in one bed,
And Will can put on Dickie’s shoe.
But they are not the same at all;
Two different boys they have to be,
For Dick can play in Mother’s room
When Will is climbing in a tree.
Or maybe Will is on the porch
To cry because he stubbed his toe,
And Dick is laughing by the gate
And watching ants go in a row.


The two-ones is the name for it,
And that is what it ought to be,
But when you say it very fast
It makes your mouth say twins, you see.
When I was just a little thing,
About the year before the last,
I called it two-ones all the time,
But now I always say it fast.


And it was Sunday everywhere,
And Father pinned a rose on me,
And said he guessed he’d better take
Me down to see Miss Kate-Marie.
And when I went, it all turned out
To be a Sunday school, and there
Miss Kate-Marie was very good
And let me stand beside her chair.
Her hat was made of yellow lace,
Her dress was very soft and thin;
And when she talked her little tongue
Was always wriggling out and in.
I liked to smell my pretty rose,
I liked to feel her silky dress.
She held a very little book
And asked the things for us to guess.
She asked about Who-made-y-God,
And never seemed to fuss or frown;
I liked to watch her little tongue
And see it wriggle up and down.


And Mother said that we could go
Up on the hill where the strawberries grow.
And while I was there I looked all down,
Over the trees and over the town.
I saw the field where the big boys play,
And the roads that come from every way,
The courthouse place where the wagons stop,
And the bridge and the scales and the blacksmith shop.
The church steeple looked very tall and thin,
And I found the house that we live in.
I saw it under the poplar tree,
And I bent my head and tried to see
Our house when the dark is over it,
And how it looks when the lamps are lit.
I saw the swing from up on the hill,
The ropes were hanging very still.
And over and over I tried to see
Some of us walking under the tree.
And the children playing everywhere,
And how it looks when I am there.
But Dickie said, ‘Come on, let’s race’;
And Will had found the strawberry place.


When I was making myself a game
Up in the garden, a little rain came.
It fell down quick in a sort of rush,
And I crawled back under the snowball bush.
I could hear the big drops hit the ground
And see little puddles of dust fly round.
A chicken came till the rain was gone;
He had just a very few feathers on.
He shivered a little under his skin,
And then he shut his eyeballs in.
Even after the rain had begun to hush
It kept on raining up in the bush.
One big flat drop came sliding down,
And a ladybug that was red and Drown
Was up on a little stem, waiting there,
And I got some rain in my hair.


On Sunday morning, then he comes
To church, and everybody smells
The blacking and the toilet-soap
And camphor-balls from Mr. Wells.
He wears his whiskers in a bunch,
And wears his glasses on his head;
I must n’t call him Old Man Wells—
No matter — that’s what Father said.
And when the little blacking smells
And camphor-balls and soap begin,
I do not have to look to know
That Mr. Wells is coming in.


If Bethlehem were here to-day,
Or this were very long ago,
There would n’t be a winter-time
Nor any cold or snow.
I’d run out through the garden gate,
And down along the pasture walk;
And off beside the cattle-barns
I’d hear a kind of gentle talk.
I’d move the heavy iron chain
And pull away the wooden pin;
I’d push the door a little bit
And tiptoe very softly in.
The pigeons and the yellow hens
And all the cows would stand away;
Their eyes would open wide to see
A lady in the manger hay.
If this were very long ago
And Bethlehem were here to-day,
And Mother held my hand and smiled —
I mean, the lady would — and she
Would take the woolly blankets off
Her little boy so I could see.
His shut-up eyes would be asleep,
And he would look like our John,
And he would be all crumpled too,
And have a pinkish color on.
I’d watch his breath go in and out.
His little clothes would all be white.
I ’d slip my finger in his hand
To feel how he could hold it tight.
And she would smile and say, ‘Take care,’
The mother, Mary, would, ‘Take care’;
And I would kiss his little hand
And touch his hair.
While Mary put the blankets back
The gentle talk would soon begin.
And when I’d tiptoe softly out
I’d meet the wise men going in.