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1 The bairnies cuddle doon at nicht
Wi' muckle faucht an' din.
Your faither's comin' in."
I try to gie a froon;
He aye sleeps next the wa' —
The rascal starts them a'.
They stop awee the soun',
“Noo, weanies, cuddle doon !”.
But, ere five minutes gang, wee Rab
Cries oot, frae' 'neath the claes,
He's kittlin' wi' his taes."
He'd bother half the toon;
“O, bairnies, cuddle doon!”
At length they hear their faither's fit;
An', as he steeks the door,
While Tam pretends to snore.
As he pits aff his shoon.
An' lang since cuddled doon.”.
An’, just afore we bed oorsels,
We look at oor wee lambs;
An' Rab his airm roun' Tam’s.
An', as I straik each croon,
“O, bairnies, cuddle doon !”
The bairnies cuddle doon at nicht
Wi' mirth that's dear to me;
Will quaten doon their glee.
May He who sits aboon
“O, bairnies, cuddle doon!”
QUESTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION 1. What is this story about? chief when they are put 2. In what dialect, or form, of to bed.
the English language is it 4. Why should we learn the
that you have understood 3. Who are the children in the and enjoyed it.
story? Tell of their mis- |
Work a little, sing a little,
Busy every day;
All the blessed day.
Ah! what would the world be to us
If the children were no more?
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW
THE BAREFOOT BOY
JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER
Almost all boys and girls have wished that the days — the long, long days of boyhood and girlhood — would hurry by so that they could be grown-up men and women. And almost all men and women have wished that the years might turn backward so that they could be boys and girls again. All of these boys and girls, and also men and women, seem unable to enjoy to-day, whether it be a to-day of boyhood or girlhood or a to-day of manhood or womanhood.
Every man, however, knows that there will never again be in his life days so carefree and so joyous as the happy days of his boyhood, the days when, barefooted and in " turned-up pantaloons,” he and his comrades explored the country around their homes. In this well-beloved poem, Whittier has expressed the longing which we all feel for the lost joys of our childhood.
Few men have ever lived so beautiful and so good a life as that of John Greenleaf Whittier. His life was so filled with good deeds that each passing day brought joy to him.
And yet, despite all this, he longed, —
“... for boyhood's painless play,
Sleep that wakes in laughing day,
Knowledge never learned of schools,” for all through his later life he was troubled with an illness that came from bad digestion. His wakeful nights made him wish for the quiet, perfect sleep of his boyhood, and for health that "mocked the doctor's rules.” The hard work of manhood made him long for the boyhood joys of which he tells in this poem.
There were very many of these joys, for he owned the entire region around his home; he hunted wild flowers in the spring; he watched the flight of wild ducks and geese and pigeons; he dug out woodchucks; he stained his lips with wild berries ; and he did a thousand other things so delightful that every June he was —
“ Crowding years in one brief moon.” And when a happy boyhood day was done, and his kind mother gave him a big wooden bowl of bread and milk, he would take it from her loving hands, sit down —
. “On the doorstep, gray and rude," and have a banquet such as men can never have. In his later years, he had been the guest of honor at fine banquets, in great rooms as beautiful as artists can make them. But these great rooms were poor and common beside his banquet hall where he ate his bread and milk at sunset when he was a “ barefoot boy." What a banquet hall it was! Listen to his description of it, and compare it with any banquet hall ever made by man. He says, –
“O'er me, like a regal tent, — (a king's tent)
Cloudy-ribbed, the sunset bent,
Looped in many a wind-swung fold.” See the pictures as you read this, and compare them with any dining room on earth! Picture his great “sky-tent.” Picture the curtains of his banquet room! And what was his orchestra, in this great banquet hall? Why, —
“... for music came the play
Of the pied frogs' orchestra.”