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Best Famous Eugene Field Poems

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by Robert William Service | |

Birthdays

 Let us have birthdays every day,
(I had the thought while I was shaving)
Because a birthday should be gay,
And full of grace and good behaving.
We can't have cakes and candles bright, And presents are beyond our giving, But let lt us cherish with delight The birthday way of lovely living.
For I have passed three-score and ten And I can count upon my fingers The years I hope to bide with men, (Though by God's grace one often lingers.
) So in the summers left to me, Because I'm blest beyond my merit, I hope with gratitude and glee To sparkle with the birthday spirit.
Let me inform myself each day Who's proudmost on the natal roster; If Washington or Henry Clay, Or Eugene Field or Stephen Foster.
oh lots of famous folks I'll find Who more than measure to my rating, And so thanksgivingly inclined Their birthdays I'll be celebrating.
For Oh I know the cheery glow| Of Anniversary rejoicing; Let me reflect its radiance so My daily gladness I'll be voicing.
And though I'm stooped and silver-haired, Let me with laughter make the hearth gay, So by the gods I may be spared Each year to hear: "Pop, Happy Birthday.
"


by Robert William Service | |

A Versemans Apology

 Alas! I am only a rhymer,
I don't know the meaning of Art;
But I learned in my little school primer
To love Eugene Field and Bret Harte.
I hailed Hoosier Ryley with pleasure, To John Hay I took off my hat; These fellows were right to my measure, And I've never gone higher than that.
The Classics! Well, most of them bore me, The Moderns I don't understand; But I keep Burns, my kinsman before me, And Kipling, my friend, is at hand.
They taught me my trade as I know it, Yet though at their feet I have sat, For God-sake don't call me a poet, For I've never been guilty of that.
A rhyme-rustler, rugged and shameless, A Bab Balladeer on the loose; Of saccarine sonnets I'm blameless, My model has been - Mother Goose.
And I fancy my grave-digger griping As he gives my last lodging a pat: "This guy wrote McGrew; 'Twas the best he could do" .
.
.
So I'll go to my maker with that.


by Robert William Service | |

Bookshelf

 I like to think that when I fall,
A rain-drop in Death's shoreless sea,
This shelf of books along the wall,
Beside my bed, will mourn for me.
Regard it.
.
.
.
Aye, my taste is queer.
Some of my bards you may disdain.
Shakespeare and Milton are not here; Shelly and Keats you seek in vain.
Wordsworth, Tennyson, Browning too, Remarkably are not in view.
Who are they? Omar first you see, With Vine and Rose and Nightingale, Voicing my pet philosphy Of Wine and Song.
.
.
.
Then Reading Gaol, Where Fate a gruesome pattern makes, And dawn-light shudders as it wakes.
The Ancient Mariner is next, With eerie and terrific text; The Burns, with pawky human touch - Poor devil! I have loved him much.
And now a gay quartette behold: Bret Harte and Eugene Field are here; And Henly, chanting brave and bold, And Chesteron, in praise of Beer.
Lastly come valiant Singers three; To whom this strident Day belongs: Kipling, to whom I bow the knee, Masefield, with rugged sailor songs.
.
.
.
And to my lyric troupe I add With greatful heart - The Shropshire Lad.
Behold my minstrels, just eleven.
For half my life I've loved them well.
And though I have no hope of Heaven, And more than Highland fear of Hell, May I be damned if on this shelf ye find a rhyme I made myself.


More great poems below...

by Eugene Field | |

Two idylls from bion the smyrnean

 I

Once a fowler, young and artless,
To the quiet greenwood came;
Full of skill was he and heartless
In pursuit of feathered game.
And betimes he chanced to see Eros perching in a tree.
"What strange bird is that, I wonder?" Thought the youth, and spread his snare; Eros, chuckling at the blunder, Gayly scampered here and there.
Do his best, the simple clod Could not snare the agile god! Blubbering, to his aged master Went the fowler in dismay, And confided his disaster With that curious bird that day; "Master, hast thou ever heard Of so ill-disposed a bird?" "Heard of him? Aha, most truly!" Quoth the master with a smile; "And thou too, shall know him duly-- Thou art young, but bide awhile, And old Eros will not fly From thy presence by and by! "For when thou art somewhat older That same Eros thou didst see, More familiar grown and bolder, Shall become acquaint with thee; And when Eros comes thy way Mark my word, he comes to stay!" II Once came Venus to me, bringing Eros where my cattle fed-- "Teach this little boy your singing, Gentle herdsman," Venus said.
I was young--I did not know Whom it was that Venus led-- That was many years ago! In a lusty voice but mellow-- Callow pedant! I began To instruct the little fellow In the mysteries known to man; Sung the noble cithern's praise, And the flute of dear old Pan, And the lyre that Hermes plays.
But he paid no heed unto me-- Nay, that graceless little boy Coolly plotted to undo me-- With his songs of tender joy; And my pedantry o'erthrown, Eager was I to employ His sweet ritual for mine own! Ah, these years of ours are fleeting! Yet I have not vainly wrought, Since to-day I am repeating What dear lessons Eros taught; Love, and always love, and then-- Counting all things else for naught-- Love and always love again!


by Eugene Field | |

Two valentines

 I.
--TO MISTRESS BARBARA There were three cavaliers, all handsome and true, On Valentine's day came a maiden to woo, And quoth to your mother: "Good-morrow, my dear, We came with some songs for your daughter to hear!" Your mother replied: "I'll be pleased to convey To my daughter what things you may sing or may say!" Then the first cavalier sung: "My pretty red rose, I'll love you and court you some day, I suppose!" And the next cavalier sung, with make-believe tears: "I've loved you! I've loved you these many long years!" But the third cavalier (with the brown, bushy head And the pretty blue jacket and necktie of red) He drew himself up with a resolute air, And he warbled: "O maiden, surpassingly fair! I've loved you long years, and I love you to-day, And, if you will let me, I'll love you for aye!" I (the third cavalier) sang this ditty to you, In my necktie of red and my jacket of blue; I'm sure you'll prefer the song that was mine And smile your approval on your valentine.
II.
--TO A BABY BOY Who I am I shall not say, But I send you this bouquet With this query, baby mine: "Will you be my valentine?" See these roses blushing blue, Very like your eyes of hue; While these violets are the red Of your cheeks.
It can be said Ne'er before was babe like you.
And I think it is quite true No one e'er before to-day Sent so wondrous a bouquet As these posies aforesaid-- Roses blue and violets red! Sweet, repay me sweets for sweets-- 'Tis your lover who entreats! Smile upon me, baby mine-- Be my little valentine!


by Eugene Field | |

Hymn

 (FROM THE GERMAN OF MARTIN LUTHER)

O heart of mine! lift up thine eyes
And see who in yon manger lies!
Of perfect form, of face divine--
It is the Christ-child, heart of mine!

O dearest, holiest Christ-child, spread
Within this heart of mine thy bed;
Then shall my breast forever be
A chamber consecrate to thee!

Beat high to-day, O heart of mine,
And tell, O lips, what joys are thine;
For with your help shall I prolong
Old Bethlehem's sweetest cradle-song.
Glory to God, whom this dear Child Hath by His coming reconciled, And whose redeeming love again Brings peace on earth, good will to men!


by Eugene Field | |

The wanderer

 Upon a mountain height, far from the sea,
I found a shell,
And to my listening ear the lonely thing
Ever a song of ocean seemed to sing,
Ever a tale of ocean seemed to tell.
How came the shell upon that mountain height? Ah, who can say Whether there dropped by some too careless hand, Or whether there cast when Ocean swept the Land, Ere the Eternal had ordained the Day? Strange, was it not? Far from its native deep, One song it sang,-- Sang of the awful mysteries of the tide, Sang of the misty sea, profound and wide,-- Ever with echoes of the ocean rang.
And as the shell upon the mountain height Sings of the sea, So do I ever, leagues and leagues away,-- So do I ever, wandering where I may,-- Sing, O my home! sing, O my home! of thee.
1883.


by Eugene Field | |

The wind

 (THE TALE)

Cometh the Wind from the garden, fragrant and full of sweet singing--
Under my tree where I sit cometh the Wind to confession.
"Out in the garden abides the Queen of the beautiful Roses-- Her do I love and to-night wooed her with passionate singing; Told I my love in those songs, and answer she gave in her blushes-- She shall be bride of the Wind, and she is the Queen of the Roses!" "Wind, there is spice in thy breath; thy rapture hath fragrance Sabaean!" "Straight from my wooing I come--my lips are bedewed with her kisses-- My lips and my song and my heart are drunk with the rapture of loving!" (THE SONG) The Wind he loveth the red, red Rose, And he wooeth his love to wed: Sweet is his song The Summer long As he kisseth her lips so red; And he recketh naught of the ruin wrought When the Summer of love is sped! (AGAIN THE TALE) Cometh the Wind from the garden, bitter with sorrow of winter.
"Wind, is thy love-song forgot? Wherefore thy dread lamentations?" Sigheth and moaneth the Wind: "Out of the desolate garden Come I from vigils with ghosts over the grave of the Summer!" "Thy breath that was fragrant anon with rapture of music and loving, It grieveth all things with its sting and the frost of its wailing displeasure.
" The Wind maketh ever more moan and ever it giveth this answer: "My heart it is numb with the cold of the love that was born of the Summer-- I come from the garden all white with the wrath and the sorrow of Winter; I have kissed the low, desolate tomb where my bride in her loveliness lieth And the voice of the ghost in my heart is the voice that forever outcrieth!" (AGAIN THE SONG) The Wind he waileth the red, red Rose When the Summer of love is sped-- He waileth above His lifeless love With her shroud of snow o'erspread-- Crieth such things as a true heart brings To the grave of its precious dead.


by Eugene Field | |

The dreams

 Two dreams came down to earth one night
From the realm of mist and dew;
One was a dream of the old, old days,
And one was a dream of the new.
One was a dream of a shady lane That led to the pickerel pond Where the willows and rushes bowed themselves To the brown old hills beyond.
And the people that peopled the old-time dream Were pleasant and fair to see, And the dreamer he walked with them again As often of old walked he.
Oh, cool was the wind in the shady lane That tangled his curly hair! Oh, sweet was the music the robins made To the springtime everywhere! Was it the dew the dream had brought From yonder midnight skies, Or was it tears from the dear, dead years That lay in the dreamer's eyes? The other dream ran fast and free, As the moon benignly shed Her golden grace on the smiling face In the little trundle-bed.
For 't was a dream of times to come-- Of the glorious noon of day-- Of the summer that follows the careless spring When the child is done with play.
And 't was a dream of the busy world Where valorous deeds are done; Of battles fought in the cause of right, And of victories nobly won.
It breathed no breath of the dear old home And the quiet joys of youth; It gave no glimpse of the good old friends Or the old-time faith and truth.
But 't was a dream of youthful hopes, And fast and free it ran, And it told to a little sleeping child Of a boy become a man! These were the dreams that came one night To earth from yonder sky; These were the dreams two dreamers dreamed-- My little boy and I.
And in our hearts my boy and I Were glad that it was so; He loved to dream of days to come, And I of long ago.
So from our dreams my boy and I Unwillingly awoke, But neither of his precious dream Unto the other spoke.
Yet of the love we bore those dreams Gave each his tender sign; For there was triumph in his eyes-- And there were tears in mine!


by Eugene Field | |

The drum

 I'm a beautiful red, red drum,
And I train with the soldier boys;
As up the street we come,
Wonderful is our noise!
There's Tom, and Jim, and Phil,
And Dick, and Nat, and Fred,
While Widow Cutler's Bill
And I march on ahead,
With a r-r-rat-tat-tat
And a tum-titty-um-tum-tum -
Oh, there's bushels of fun in that
For boys with a little red drum!

The Injuns came last night
While the soldiers were abed,
And they gobbled a Chinese kite
And off to the woods they fled!
The woods are the cherry-trees
Down in the orchard lot,
And the soldiers are marching to seize
The booty the Injuns got.
With tum-titty-um-tum-tum, And r-r-rat-tat-tat, When soldiers marching come Injuns had better scat! Step up there, little Fred, And, Charley, have a mind! Jim is as far ahead As you two are behind! Ready with gun and sword Your valorous work to do - Yonder the Injun horde Are lying in wait for you.
And their hearts go pitapat When they hear the soldiers come With a r-r-rat-tat-tat And a tum-titty-um-tum-tum! Course it's all in play! The skulking Injun crew That hustled the kite away Are little white boys, like you! But "honest" or "just in fun," It is all the same to me; And, when the battle is won, Home once again march we With a r-r-rat-tat-tat And tum-titty-um-tum-tum; And there's glory enough in that For the boys with their little red drum!


by Eugene Field | |

The great journalist in spain

 Good editor Dana--God bless him, we say--
Will soon be afloat on the main,
Will be steaming away
Through the mist and the spray
To the sensuous climate of Spain.
Strange sights shall he see in that beautiful land Which is famed for its soap and its Moor, For, as we understand, The scenery is grand Though the system of railways is poor.
For moonlight of silver and sunlight of gold Glint the orchards of lemons and mangoes, And the ladies, we're told, Are a joy to behold As they twine in their lissome fandangoes.
What though our friend Dana shall twang a guitar And murmur a passionate strain; Oh, fairer by far Than those ravishments are The castles abounding in Spain.
These castles are built as the builder may list-- They are sometimes of marble or stone, But they mostly consist Of east wind and mist With an ivy of froth overgrown.
A beautiful castle our Dana shall raise On a futile foundation of hope, And its glories shall blaze In the somnolent haze Of the mythical lake del y Soap.
The fragrance of sunflowers shall swoon on the air And the visions of Dreamland obtain, And the song of "World's Fair" Shall be heard everywhere Through that beautiful castle in Spain.


by Eugene Field | |

The Bibliomaniacs Bride

 The women-folk are like to books,--
Most pleasing to the eye,
Whereon if anybody looks
He feels disposed to buy.
I hear that many are for sale,-- Those that record no dates, And such editions as regale The view with colored plates.
Of every quality and grade And size they may be found,-- Quite often beautifully made, As often poorly bound.
Now, as for me, had I my choice, I'd choose no folio tall, But some octavo to rejoice My sight and heart withal,-- As plump and pudgy as a snipe; Well worth her weight in gold; Of honest, clean, conspicuous type, And just the size to hold! With such a volume for my wife How should I keep and con! How like a dream should run my life Unto its colophon! Her frontispiece should be more fair Than any colored plate; Blooming with health, she would not care To extra-illustrate.
And in her pages there should be A wealth of prose and verse, With now and then a jeu d'esprit,-- But nothing ever worse! Prose for me when I wished for prose, Verse when to verse inclined,-- Forever bringing sweet repose To body, heart, and mind.
Oh, I should bind this priceless prize In bindings full and fine, And keep her where no human eyes Should see her charms, but mine! With such a fair unique as this What happiness abounds! Who--who could paint my rapturous bliss, My joy unknown to Lowndes!


by Eugene Field | |

Suppose

 Suppose, my dear, that you were I
And by your side your sweetheart sate;
Suppose you noticed by and by
The distance 'twixt you were too great;
Now tell me, dear, what would you do?
I know--and so do you.
And when (so comfortably placed) Suppose you only grew aware That that dear, dainty little waist Of hers looked very lonely there; Pray tell me sooth--what would you do? I know, and so do you.
When, having done what I just did With not a frown to check or chill, Suppose her red lips seemed to bid Defiance to your lordly will; Oh, tell me, sweet, what would you do? I know, and so do you.


by Eugene Field | |

At Cheyenne

 Young Lochinvar came in from the West,
With fringe on his trousers and fur on his vest; 
The width of his hat-brim could nowhere be beat, 
His No.
brogans were chuck full of feet, His girdle was horrent with pistols and things, And he flourished a handful of aces on kings.
The fair Mariana sate watching a star, When who should turn up but the young Lochinvar! Her pulchritude gave him a pectoral glow, And he reined up his hoss with stentorian "Whoa!" Then turned on the maiden a rapturous grin, And modestly asked if he might n't step in.
With presence of mind that was marvellous quite, The fair Mariana replied that he might; So in through the portal rode young Lochinvar, Pre-empted the claim, and cleaned out the bar.
Though the justice allowed he wa'n't wholly to blame, He taxed him ten dollars and costs, just the same.


by Eugene Field | |

Our Two Opinions

 Us two wuz boys when we fell out,--
Nigh to the age uv my youngest now;
Don't rec'lect what't wuz about,
Some small deeff'rence, I'll allow.
Lived next neighbors twenty years, A-hatin' each other, me 'nd Jim,-- He havin' his opinyin uv me, 'Nd I havin' my opinyin uv him.
Grew up together 'nd would n't speak, Courted sisters, 'nd marr'd 'em, too; Tended same meetin'-house oncet a week, A-hatin' each other through 'nd through! But when Abe Linkern asked the West F'r soldiers, we answered,--me 'nd Jim,-- He havin' his opinyin uv me, 'Nd I havin' my opinyin uv him.
But down in Tennessee one night Ther' wuz sound uv firin' fur away, 'Nd the sergeant allowed ther' 'd be a fight With the Johnnie Rebs some time nex' day; 'Nd as I wuz thinkin' uv Lizzie 'nd home Jim stood afore me, long 'nd slim,-- He havin' his opinyin uv me, 'Nd I havin' my opinyin uv him.
Seemed like we knew there wuz goin' to be Serious trouble f'r me 'nd him; Us two shuck hands, did Jim 'nd me, But never a word from me or Jim! He went his way 'nd I went mine, 'Nd into the battle's roar went we,-- I havin' my opinyin uv Jim, 'Nd he havin' his opinyin uv me.
Jim never come back from the war again, But I ha' n't forgot that last, last night When, waitin' f'r orders, us two men Made up 'nd shuck hands, afore the fight.
'Nd, after it all, it's soothin' to know That here I be 'nd yonder's Jim,-- He havin' his opinyin uv me, 'Nd I havin' my opinyin uv him.


by Eugene Field | |

De Amicitiis

 Though care and strife
Elsewhere be rife,
Upon my word I do not heed 'em;
In bed I lie
With books hard by,
And with increasing zest I read 'em.
Propped up in bed, So much I've read Of musty tomes that I've a headful Of tales and rhymes Of ancient times, Which, wife declares, are "simply dreadful!" They give me joy Without alloy; And isn't that what books are made for? And yet--and yet-- (Ah, vain regret!) I would to God they all were paid for! No festooned cup Filled foaming up Can lure me elsewhere to confound me; Sweeter than wine This love of mine For these old books I see around me! A plague, I say, On maidens gay; I'll weave no compliments to tell 'em! Vain fool I were, Did I prefer Those dolls to these old friends in vellum! At dead of night My chamber's bright Not only with the gas that's burning, But with the glow Of long ago,-- Of beauty back from eld returning.
Fair women's looks I see in books, I see them, and I hear their laughter,-- Proud, high-born maids, Unlike the jades Which men-folk now go chasing after! Herein again Speak valiant men Of all nativities and ages; I hear and smile With rapture while I turn these musty, magic pages.
The sword, the lance, The morris dance, The highland song, the greenwood ditty, Of these I read, Or, when the need, My Miller grinds me grist that's gritty! When of such stuff We've had enough, Why, there be other friends to greet us; We'll moralize In solemn wise With Plato or with Epictetus.
Sneer as you may, I'm proud to say That I, for one, am very grateful To Heaven, that sends These genial friends To banish other friendships hateful! And when I'm done, I'd have no son Pounce on these treasures like a vulture; Nay, give them half My epitaph, And let them share in my sepulture.
Then, when the crack Of doom rolls back The marble and the earth that hide me, I'll smuggle home Each precious tome, Without a fear my wife shall chide me!


by Eugene Field | |

Der mann im keller

 How cool and fair this cellar where
My throne a dusky cask is;
To do no thing but just to sing
And drown the time my task is.
The cooper he's Resolved to please, And, answering to my winking, He fills me up Cup after cup For drinking, drinking, drinking.
Begrudge me not This cosy spot In which I am reclining-- Why, who would burst With envious thirst, When he can live by wining.
A roseate hue seems to imbue The world on which I'm blinking; My fellow-men--I love them when I'm drinking, drinking, drinking.
And yet I think, the more I drink, It's more and more I pine for-- Oh, such as I (forever dry) God made this land of Rhine for; And there is bliss In knowing this, As to the floor I'm sinking: I've wronged no man And never can While drinking, drinking, drinking.


by Eugene Field | |

By my sweetheart

 Sweetheart, be my sweetheart
When birds are on the wing,
When bee and bud and babbling flood
Bespeak the birth of spring,
Come, sweetheart, be my sweetheart
And wear this posy-ring!

Sweetheart, be my sweetheart
In the mellow golden glow
Of earth aflush with the gracious blush
Which the ripening fields foreshow;
Dear sweetheart, be my sweetheart,
As into the noon we go!

Sweetheart, be my sweetheart
When falls the bounteous year,
When fruit and wine of tree and vine
Give us their harvest cheer;
Oh, sweetheart, be my sweetheart,
For winter it draweth near.
Sweetheart, be my sweetheart When the year is white and old, When the fire of youth is spent, forsooth, And the hand of age is cold; Yet, sweetheart, be my sweetheart Till the year of our love be told!


by Eugene Field | |

The Bibliomaniacs Prayer

 Keep me, I pray, in wisdom's way
That I may truths eternal seek; 
I need protecting care to-day,-- 
My purse is light, my flesh is weak.
So banish from my erring heart All baleful appetites and hints Of Satan's fascinating art, Of first editions, and of prints.
Direct me in some godly walk Which leads away from bookish strife, That I with pious deed and talk May extra-illustrate my life.
But if, O Lord, it pleaseth Thee To keep me in temptation's way, I humbly ask that I may be Most notably beset to-day; Let my temptation be a book, Which I shall purchase, hold, and keep, Whereon when other men shall look, They 'll wail to know I got it cheap.
Oh, let it such a volume be As in rare copperplates abounds, Large paper, clean, and fair to see, Uncut, unique, unknown to Lowndes.


by Eugene Field | |

The wooing of the southland

 (ALASKAN BALLAD)

The Northland reared his hoary head
And spied the Southland leagues away--
"Fairest of all fair brides," he said,
"Be thou my bride, I pray!"

Whereat the Southland laughed and cried:
"I'll bide beside my native sea,
And I shall never be thy bride
Till thou com'st wooing me!"

The Northland's heart was a heart of ice,
A diamond glacier, mountain high--
Oh, love is sweet at any price,
As well know you and I!

So gayly the Northland took his heart
And cast it in the wailing sea--
"Go, thou, with all thy cunning art,
And woo my bride for me!"

For many a night and for many a day,
And over the leagues that rolled between,
The true-heart messenger sped away
To woo the Southland queen.
But the sea wailed loud, and the sea wailed long, While ever the Northland cried in glee: "Oh, thou shalt sing us our bridal song, When comes my bride, O sea!" At the foot of the Southland's golden throne The heart of the Northland ever throbs-- For that true-heart speaks in the waves that moan, The songs that it sings are sobs.
Ever the Southland spurns the cries Of the messenger pleading the Northland's part; The summer shines in the Southland's eyes-- The winter bides in her heart! And ever unto that far-off place Which love doth render a hallowed spot, The Northland turneth his honest face And wonders she cometh not.
The sea wails loud, and the sea wails long, As the ages of waiting drift slowly by, But the sea shall sing no bridal song-- As well know you and I!


by Eugene Field | |

With Trumpet and Drum

 With big tin trumpet and little red drum,
Marching like soldiers, the children come!
It 's this way and that way they circle and file---
My! but that music of theirs is fine!
This way and that way, and after a while
They march straight into this heart of mine!
A sturdy old heart, but it has to succumb
To the blare of that trumpet and beat of that drum! 
Come on, little people, from cot and from hall---
This heart it hath welcome and room for you all!
It will sing you its songs and warm you with love,
As your dear little arms with my arms intertwine;
It will rock you away to the dreamland above---
Oh, a jolly old heart is this old heart of mine,
And jollier still is it bound to become
When you blow that big trumpet and beat that red drum! 
So come; though I see not his dear little face
And hear not his voice in this jubilant place,
I know he were happy to bid me enshrine
His memory deep in my heart with your play---
Ah me! but a love that is sweeter than mine
Holdeth my boy in its keeping to-day!
And my heart it is lonely---so, little folk, come,
March in and make merry with trumpet and drum!


by Eugene Field | |

With two spoons for two spoons

 How trifling shall these gifts appear
Among the splendid many
That loving friends now send to cheer
Harvey and Ellen Jenney.
And yet these baubles symbolize A certain fond relation That well beseems, as I surmise, This festive celebration.
Sweet friends of mine, be spoons once more, And with your tender cooing Renew the keen delights of yore-- The rapturous bliss of wooing.
What though that silver in your hair Tells of the years aflying? 'T is yours to mock at Time and Care With love that is undying.
In memory of this Day, dear friends, Accept the modest token From one who with the bauble sends A love that can't be spoken.


by Eugene Field | |

The Sugar-Plum Tree

 Have you ever heard of the Sugar-Plum Tree?
'T is a marvel of great renown!
It blooms on the shore of the Lollipop sea
In the garden of Shut-Eye Town;
The fruit that it bears is so wondrously sweet
(As those who have tasted it say)
That good little children have only to eat
Of that fruit to be happy next day.
When you 've got to the tree, you would have a hard time To capture the fruit which I sing; The tree is so tall that no person could climb To the boughs where the sugar-plums swing! But up in that tree sits a chocolate cat, And a gingerbread dog prowls below--- And this is the way you contrive to get at Those sugar-plums tempting you so: You say but the word to that gingerbread dog And he barks with such terrible zest That the chocolate cat is at once all agog, As her swelling proportions attest.
And the chocolate cat goes cavorting around From this leafy limb unto that, And the sugar-plums tumble, of course, to the ground--- Hurrah for that chocolate cat! There are marshmallows, gumdrops, and peppermint canes, With stripings of scarlet or gold, And you carry away of the treasure that rains As much as your apron can hold! So come, little child, cuddle closer to me In your dainty white nightcap and gown, And I 'll rock you away to that Sugar-Plum Tree In the garden of Shut-Eye Town.


by Eugene Field | |

The discreet collector

 Down south there is a curio-shop
Unknown to many men;
Thereat do I intend to stop
When I am south again;
The narrow street through which to go--
Aha! I know it well!
And may be you would like to know--
But no--I will not tell!

'T is there to find the loveliest plates
(The bluest of the blue!)
At such surprisingly low rates
You'd not believe it true!
And there is one Napoleon vase
Of dainty Sèvres to sell--
I'm sure you'd like to know that place--
But no--I will not tell!

Then, too, I know another shop
Has old, old beds for sale,
With lovely testers up on top
Carved in ornate detail;
And there are sideboards rich and rare,
With fronts that proudly swell--
Oh, there are bargains waiting there,
But where I will not tell!

And hark! I know a bottle-man
Smiling and debonair,
And he has promised me I can
Choose of his precious ware!
In age and shape and color, too,
His dainty goods excel--
Aha, my friends, if you but knew--
But no! I will not tell!

A thousand other shops I know
Where bargains can be got--
Where other folk would like to go
Who have what I have not.
I let them hunt; I hold my mouth-- Yes, though I know full well Where lie the treasures of the south, I'm not a going to tell!


by Eugene Field | |

The Little Peach

 A little peach in the orchard grew,--
A little peach of emerald hue;
Warmed by the sun and wet by the dew,
It grew.
One day, passing that orchard through, That little peach dawned on the view Of Johnny Jones and his sister Sue-- Them two.
Up at that peach a club they threw-- Down from the stem on which it grew Fell that peach of emerald hue.
Mon Dieu! John took a bite and Sue a chew, And then the trouble began to brew,-- Trouble the doctor couldn't subdue.
Too true! Under the turf where the daisies grew They planted John and his sister Sue, And their little souls to the angels flew,-- Boo hoo! What of that peach of the emerald hue, Warmed by the sun, and wet by the dew? Ah, well, its mission on earth is through.
Adieu! 1880.