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AO Poems March AmblesideOnline.org

AmblesideOnline Year 1 Poetry Anthology March

Compiled and arranged by the AmblesideOnline Advisory, April, 2005 with revisions made Oct, 2011

     01 Get up and Bar the Door, Traditional English
     02 When Early March Seems Middle May, by James Whitcomb Riley, 1849-1916
     03 Silver Filigree, by Elinor Wylie 1885-1928
     04 I Dug Amongst the Snow, by Christina Rossetti, 1830-1894
     05 The Rooks, by Jane Euphemia Browne, 1811-1898
     06 The Pobble Who Has No Toes, by Edward Lear, 1812-1888
     07 Silver, by Walter de la Mare, 1873-1956
     08 The Star, by Jane Taylor, 1783-1824
     09 The Owl and The Pussycat, by Edward Lear, 1812-1888
     10 Written in March, by William Wordsworth, 1770-1850
     11 Love Between Brothers and Sister, by Issac Watts, 1674-1748
     12 The Faery Forest, by Sara Teasdale, 1884-1933
     13 The Pasture, by Robert Frost, 1874-1963
     14 Wild Beasts, by Evaleen Stein, 1863-1923
     15 The Sandman, by Margaret Thomson Janvier, 1845-1913
     16 Fog, by Carl Sandburg, 1878-1967
     17 The Lily, by William Blake, 1757-1827
     18 All But Blind, by Walter de la Mare, 1873-1956
     19 Wishes, by Sara Teasdale, 1884-1933
     20 To March, by Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886


01 Get up and Bar the Door, Traditional English

It fell about the Martinmas time,
      And a gay time it was then,
When our goodwife got puddings to make,
      And she's boil'd them in the pan.

The wind so cold blew south and north,
      And blew into the floor;
Quoth our goodman to our goodwife,
      'Get out and bar the door.'

'My hand is in my hussyfskap,
      Goodman, as ye may see;
An' it shouldn't be barr'd this hundred year,
      It won't be barr'd for me.'

They made a pact between them two,
      They made it firm and sure,
That the first word who'er should speak,
      Should rise and bar the door.

Then by there came two gentlemen,
      At twelve o'clock at night,
And they could neither see house nor hall,
      Nor coal nor candle-light.

'Now whether is this a rich man's house,
      Or whether is it a poor?'
But ne'er a word would ane o' them speak,
      For barring of the door.

And first they ate the white puddings,
      And then they ate the black.
Tho' muckle thought the goodwife to herself
      Yet ne'er a word she spake.

Then said the one unto the other,
      'Here, man, take ye my knife;
Do ye take off the old man's beard,
      And I'll kiss the goodwife.'--

'But there's no water in the house,
      And what shall we do than?'
'What ails ye at the pudding-brew,
      That boils into the pan?'

O up then started our goodman,
      An angry man was he:
'Will ye kiss my wife before my eyes,
      And scald me with pudding-brew?'

Then up and started our goodwife,
      Gave three skips on the floor:
'Goodman, you've spoken the foremost word!
      Get up and bar the door.'


02 When Early March Seems Middle May, by James Whitcomb Riley, 1849-1916

When country roads begin to thaw
In mottled spots of damp and dust,
And fences by the margin draw
     Along the frosty crust
Their graphic silhouettes, I say,
The Spring is coming round this way.

When morning-time is bright with sun
And keen with wind, and both confuse
The dancing, glancing eyes of one
     With tears that ooze and ooze
And nose-tips weep as well as they,
The Spring is coming round this way.

When suddenly some shadow-bird
Goes wavering beneath the gaze,
And through the hedge the moan is heard
     Of kine that fain would graze
In grasses new, I smile and say,
The Spring is coming round this way.

When knotted horse-tails are untied,
And teamsters whistle here and there,
And clumsy mitts are laid aside,
     And choppers' hands are bare,
And chips are thick where children play,
The Spring is coming round this way.

When through the twigs the farmer tramps,
And troughs are chunked beneath the trees,
And fragrant hints of s'gar-camps
     Astray in every breeze,
And early March seems middle-May,
The Spring is coming round this way.

When coughs are changed to laughs, and when
Our frowns melt into smiles of glee,
And all our blood thaws out again
     In streams of ecstasy,
And poets wreak their roundelay,
The Spring is coming round this way.


03 Silver Filigree, by Elinor Wylie 1885-1928
    from Nets to Catch the Wind, 1921

The icicles wreathing
     On trees in festoon
Swing, swayed to our breathing:
     They're made of the moon.

She's a pale, waxen taper;
     And these seem to drip
Transparent as paper
     From the flame of her tip.

Molten, smoking a little,
     Into crystal they pass;
Falling, freezing, to brittle
     And delicate glass.

Each a sharp-pointed flower,
     Each a brief stalactite
Which hangs for an hour
     In the blue cave of night.


04 I dug and dug amongst the snow, by Christina Rossetti, 1830-1894

I dug and dug amongst the snow,
And thought the flowers would never grow;
I dug and dug amongst the sand,
And still no green thing came to hand.

Melt, O snow! the warm winds blow
To thaw the flowers and melt the snow;
But all the winds from every land
Will rear no blossom from the sand.


05 The Rooks, by Jane Euphemia Browne, 1811-1898

The rooks are building on the trees;
They build there every spring:
"Caw, caw," is all they say,
For none of them can sing.

They're up before the break of day,
And up till late at night;
For they must labour busily
As long as it is light.

And many a crooked stick they bring,
And many a slender twig,
And many a tuft of moss, until
Their nests are round and big.

"Caw, caw!" Oh, what a noise
They make in rainy weather!
Good children always speak by turns,
But rooks all talk together.


06 The Pobble Who Has No Toes, by Edward Lear, 1812-1888

The Pobble who has no toes
     Had once as many as we;
When they said, 'Some day you may lose them all';--
     He replied,--'Fish fiddle de-dee!'
And his Aunt Jobiska made him drink,
Lavender water tinged with pink,
For she said, 'The world in general knows
There's nothing so good for a Pobble's toes!

The Pobble who has no toes,
     Swam across the Bristol Channel;
But before he set out he wrapped his nose,
     In a piece of scarlet flannel.
For his Aunt Jobiska said, 'No harm
'Can come to his toes if his nose is warm;
'And it's perfectly known that a Pobble's toes
'Are safe--provided he minds his nose.'

The Pobble swam fast and well
     And when boats or ships came near him
He tinkedly-binkledy-winkled a bell
     So that all the world could hear him.
And all the Sailors and Admirals cried,
When they saw him nearing the further side,--
'He has gone to fish, for his Aunt Jobiska's
'Runcible Cat with crimson whiskers!'

But before he touched the shore,
     The shore of the Bristol Channel,
A sea-green Porpoise carried away
     His wrapper of scarlet flannel.
And when he came to observe his feet
Formerly garnished with toes so neat
His face at once became forlorn
On perceiving that all his toes were gone!

And nobody ever knew
     From that dark day to the present,
Whoso had taken the Pobble's toes,
     In a manner so far from pleasant.
Whether the shrimps or crawfish gray,
Or crafty Mermaids stole them away--
Nobody knew; and nobody knows
How the Pobble was robbed of his twice five toes!

The Pobble who has no toes
     Was placed in a friendly Bark,
And they rowed him back, and carried him up,
     To his Aunt Jobiska's Park.
And she made him a feast at his earnest wish
Of eggs and buttercups fried with fish;--
And she said,--'It's a fact the whole world knows,
'That Pobbles are happier without their toes.'


07 Silver, by Walter de la Mare, 1873-1956
      from Peacock Pie, 1913

Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon:
This way, and that, she peers and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog
From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep
Of doves in a silver-feathered sleep;
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws and silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam
By silver reeds in a silver stream.


08 The Star, by Jane Taylor, 1783-1824

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Then the traveller in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.

'Tis your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the traveller in the dark :
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.


09 The Owl and The Pussycat, by Edward Lear, 1812-1888

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
            You are,
                  You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!'

Pussy said to the Owl, 'You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?'
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
            His nose,
                  His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

'Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?' Said the Piggy, 'I will.'
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
            The moon,
                  The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.


10 Written in March, by William Wordsworth, 1770-1850

The cock is crowing,
The stream is flowing,
The small birds twitter,
The lake doth glitter,
The green field sleeps in the sun;
The oldest and youngest
Are at work with the strongest;
The cattle are grazing,
Their heads never raising;
There are forty feeding like one!

Like an army defeated
The snow hath retreated,
And now doth fare ill
On the top of the bare hill;
The ploughboy is whooping--anon--anon:
There's joy in the mountains;
There's life in the fountains;
Small clouds are sailing,
Blue sky prevailing;
The rain is over and gone!


11 Love Between Brothers and Sister, by Issac Watts, 1674-1748

Whatever brawls disturb the street,
     There should be peace at home;
Where sisters dwell and brothers meet,
     Quarrels should never come.

Birds in their little nests agree;
     And 'tis a shameful sight,
When children of one family
     Fall out and chide and fight.


12 The Faery Forest, by Sara Teasdale, 1884-1933
      from Helen of Troy And Other Poems, 1911

The faery forest glimmered
      Beneath an ivory moon,
The silver grasses shimmered
      Against a faery tune.

Beneath the silken silence
      The crystal branches slept,
And dreaming through the dew-fall
      The cold white blossoms wept.


13 The Pasture, by Robert Frost, 1874-1963
      from North of Boston, 1915

I'm going out to clean the pasture spring;
I'll only stop to rake the leaves away
(And wait to watch the water clear, I may):
I shan't be gone long.--You come too.

I'm going out to fetch the little calf
That's standing by the mother. It's so young,
It totters when she licks it with her tongue.
I shan't be gone long.--You come too.


14 Wild Beasts, by Evaleen Stein, 1863-1923
      from Child Songs of Cheer, 1918

I will be a lion
      And you shall be a bear,
And each of us will have a den
      Beneath a nursery chair;
And you must growl and growl and growl,
      And I will roar and roar,
And then--why, then--you'll growl again,
      And I will roar some more!


15 The Sandman, by Margaret Thomson Janvier, 1845-1913

The rosy clouds float overhead,
The sun is going down;
And now the sandman's gentle tread
Comes stealing through the town.
"White sand, white sand," he softly cries,
And as he shakes his hand,
Straightway there lies on babies' eyes
His gift of shining sand.
Blue eyes, gray eyes, black eyes, and brown,
As shuts the rose, they softly close,
            when he goes through the town.

From sunny beaches far away--
Yes, in another land--
He gathers up at break of day
His stone of shining sand.
No tempests beat that shore remote,
No ships may sail that way;
His little boat alone may float
Within that lovely bay.
Blue eyes, gray eyes, black eyes, and brown,
As shuts the rose, they softly close,
            when he goes through the town.

He smiles to see the eyelids close
Above the happy eyes;
And every child right well he knows,--
Oh, he is very wise!
But if, as he goes through the land,
A naughty baby cries,
His other hand takes dull gray sand
To close the wakeful eyes.
Blue eyes, gray eyes, black eyes, and brown,
As shuts the rose, they softly close,
            when he goes through the town.

So when you hear the sandman's song
Sound through the twilight sweet,
Be sure you do not keep him long
A-waiting in the street.
Lie softly down, dear little head,
Rest quiet, busy hands,
Till, by your bed his good-night said,
He strews the shining sands.
Blue eyes, gray eyes, black eyes, and brown,
As shuts the rose, they softly close,
            when he goes through the town.


16 Fog, by Carl Sandburg, 1878-1967
      from Chicago Poems, 1918

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.


17 The Lily, by William Blake, 1757-1827

The modest Rose puts forth a thorn,
The humble sheep a threat'ning horn:
While the Lily white shall in love delight,
Nor a thorn nor a threat stain her beauty bright.


18 All But Blind, by Walter de la Mare, 1873-1956
      from Peacock Pie, 1913

All but blind
In his cambered hole
Gropes for worms
The four-clawed Mole.

All but blind
In the evening sky
The hooded Bat
Twirls softly by.

All but blind
In the burning day
The Barn-Owl blunders
On her way.

And blind as are
These three to me,
So blind to someone
I must be.


19 Wishes, by Sara Teasdale, 1884-1933
      from Sonnets to Duse, 1907

I wish for such a lot of things
That never will come true--
And yet I want them all so much
I think they might, don't you?

I want a little kitty-cat
That's soft and tame and sweet,
And every day I watch and hope
I'll find one in the street.

But nursie says, "Come, walk along,
"Don't stand and stare like that"--
I'm only looking hard and hard
To try to find my cat.

And then I want a blue balloon
That tries to fly away,
I thought if I wished hard enough
That it would come some day.

One time when I was in the park
I knew that it would be
Beside the big old clock at home
A-waiting there for me--

And soon as we got home again,
I hurried through the hall,
And looked beside the big old clock--
It wasn't there at all.

I think I'll never wish again--
But then, what shall I do?
The wishes are a lot of fun
Although they don't come true.


20 To March, by Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886

Dear March, come in!
How glad I am!
I looked for you before.
Put down your hat
You must have walked
How out of breath you are!
Dear March, how are you?
And the rest?
Did you leave Nature well?
Oh, March, come right upstairs with me,
I have so much to tell!

I got your letter, and the birds';
The maples never knew
That you were coming, I declare,
How red their faces grew!
But, March, forgive me
And all those hills
You left for me to hue;
There was no purple suitable,
You took it all with you.

Who knocks? That April!
Lock the door!
I will not be pursued!
He stayed away a year, to call
When I am occupied.
But trifles look so trivial
As soon as you have come,
That blame is just as dear as praise
And praise as mere as blame.