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AO Poems November AmblesideOnline.org

AmblesideOnline Year 1 Poetry Anthology November

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

     01 November, by Alice Cary, 1820-1871
     02 A Good Play, by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850-1894
     03 The Arrow and the Song, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1807-1882
     04 The Moon's the North Wind's Cooky, by Vachel Lindsay, 1879-1931
     05 The Sunshine, by Mary Howitt, 1799-1888
     06 In Flanders Fields, by John McCrae, 1872-1918 (for Nov 11, Veterans Day)
     07 The Walrus and the Carpenter, by Lewis Carroll, 1832-1898
     08 Little Raindrops, by Jane Euphemia Browne, 1811-1898
     09 A Farewell, by Charles Kingsley, 1819-1875
     10 Wishing, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, 1855-1919
     11 Cargoes, by John Masefield, 1878 -1967
     12 The Window, by Walter de la Mare, 1873-1956
     13 What do the stars do, by Christina Rossetti, 1830-1894
     14 The Cat of Cats, by William Brighty Rands, 1823-1882
     15 A Letter is a Gypsy Elf, by Annette Wynne
     16 A Thanksgiving, by John Kendrick Bangs, 1862-1922
     17 We Thank Thee, by Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882
     18 Landing of the Pilgrims, by Felicia Dorothea Hemans, 1793-1835
     19 Annabel Lee, by Edgar Allan Poe, 1809-1849
     20 Which Is The Favourite? by Charles Lamb, 1775-1834


01 November, by Alice Cary, 1820-1871

The leaves are fading and falling,
     The winds are rough and wild,
The birds have ceased their calling,
     But let me tell you, my child,

Though day by day, as it closes,
     Doth darker and colder grow,
The roots of the bright red roses
     Will keep alive in the snow.

And when the Winter is over,
     The boughs will get new leaves,
The quail come back to the clover,
     And the swallow back to the eaves.

The robin will wear on his bosom
     A vest that is bright and new,
And the loveliest way-side blossom
     Will shine with the sun and dew.

The leaves to-day are whirling,
     The brooks are dry and dumb,
But let me tell you, my darling,
     The Spring will be sure to come.

There must be rough, cold weather,
     And winds and rains so wild;
Not all good things together
     Come to us here, my child.

So, when some dear joy loses
     Its beauteous summer glow,
Think how the roots of the roses
     Are kept alive in the snow.


02 A Good Play, by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850-1894

We built a ship upon the stairs
All made of the back-bedroom chairs,
And filled it full of sofa pillows
To go a-sailing on the billows.

We took a saw and several nails,
And water in the nursery pails;
And Tom said, "Let us also take
An apple and a slice of cake;"--
Which was enough for Tom and me
To go a-sailing on, till tea.

We sailed along for days and days,
And had the very best of plays;
But Tom fell out and hurt his knee,
So there was no one left but me.


03 The Arrow and the Song, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1807-1882

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.


04 The Moon's the North Wind's Cooky, by Vachel Lindsay, 1879-1931
      from Congo and Other Poems, 1914

The Moon's the North Wind's cooky.
      He bites it, day by day,
Until there's but a rim of scraps
            That crumble all away.

The South Wind is a baker.
      He kneads clouds in his den,
And bakes a crisp new moon that . . . greedy
            North . . . Wind . . . eats . . . again!


05 The Sunshine, by Mary Howitt, 1799-1888

I love the sunshine everywhere--
     In wood and field, and glen;
I love it in the busy haunts
     Of town-imprisoned men.

I love it when it streameth in
     The humble cottage door,
And casts the chequered casement-shade
     Upon the red brick floor.

I love it where the children lie
     Deep in the clovery grass,
To watch among the twining roots
     The gold-green beetle pass.

How beautiful, where dragon-flies
     Are wondrous to behold,
With rainbow wings of gauzy pearl,
     And bodies blue and gold!

How beautiful on harvest-slopes
     To see the sunshine lie;
Or on the paler reaped fields
     Where yellow shocks stand high!

I love it, on the breezy sea,
     To glance on sail and oar,
While the great waves, like molten glass,
     Come leaping to the shore.

Oh! yes; I love the sunshine!
     Like kindness or like mirth,
Upon a human countenance
     Is sunshine on the earth!

Upon the earth; upon the sea;
     And through the crystal air,
On piled up clouds; the gracious sun;
     Is glorious everywhere.


06 In Flanders Fields, by John McCrae, 1872-1918 (to read for Veterans Day, Nov 11)

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
          In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
          In Flanders fields.


07 The Walrus and the Carpenter, by Lewis Carroll, 1832-1898

The sun was shining on the sea,
     Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
     The billows smooth and bright--
And this was odd, because it was
     The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
     Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
     After the day was done--
'It's very rude of him.' she said,
     'To come and spoil the fun!'

The sea was wet as wet could be,
     The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
     No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead--
     There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
     Were walking close at hand:
They wept like anything to see
     Such quantities of sand:
'If this were only cleared away,'
     They said, 'it would be grand.'

'If seven maids with seven mops
     Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose,' the Walrus said,
     'That they could get it clear?'
'l doubt it,' said the Carpenter,
     And shed a bitter tear.

'O Oysters, come and walk with us!
     The Walrus did beseech.
'A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
     Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
     To give a hand to each.'

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
     But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
     And shook his heavy head--
Meaning to say he did not choose
     To leave the oyster-bed.

Out four young Oysters hurried up.
     All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
     Their shoes were clean and neat--
And this was odd, because, you know,
     They hadn't any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,
     And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
     And more, and more, and more--
All hopping through the frothy waves,
     And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
     Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
     Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
     And waited in a row.

'The time has come,' the Walrus said,
     'To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing wax--
     Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
     And whether pigs have wings.'

'But wait a bit,' the Oysters cried,
     'Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
     And all of us are fat!'
'No hurry!' said the Carpenter.
     They thanked him much for that.

'A loaf of bread,' the Walrus said,
     'Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
     Are very good indeed--
Now, if you're ready, Oysters dear,
     We can begin to feed.'

'But not on us!' the Oysters cried,
     Turning a little blue.
'After such kindness, that would be
     A dismal thing to do!'
'The night is fine,' the Walrus said,
     'Do you admire the view?'

'It was so kind of you to come!
     And you are very nice!'
The Carpenter said nothing but
     'Cut us another slice--
I wish you were not quite so deaf--
     I've had to ask you twice!'

'It seems a shame,' the Walrus said,
     'To play them such a trick.
After we've brought them out so far,
     And made them trot so quick!'
The Carpenter said nothing but
     'The butter's spread too thick!'

'I weep for you,' the Walrus said:
     'I deeply sympathize.'
With sobs and tears he sorted out
     Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
     Before his streaming eyes.

'O Oysters,' said the Carpenter,
     'You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
     But answer came there none--
And this was scarcely odd, because
     They'd eaten every one.


08 Little Raindrops, by Jane Euphemia Browne, 1811-1898

Oh, where do you come from,
     You little drops of rain,
Pitter patter, pitter patter,
     Down the window pane?

They won't let me walk,
     And they won't let me play,
And they won't let me go
     Out of doors at all today.

They put away my playthings
     Because I broke them all,
And then they locked up all my bricks,
     And took away my ball.

Tell me, little raindrops,
     Is that the way you play,
Pitter patter, pitter patter,
     All the rainy day?

They say I'm very naughty,
     But I've nothing else to do
But sit here at the window;
     I should like to play with you.

The little raindrops cannot speak,
     But "pitter pitter pat"
Means, "We can play on this side,
     Why can't you play on that?"


09 A Farewell, by Charles Kingsley, 1819-1875

My fairest child, I have no song to give you;
No lark could pipe to skies so dull and gray;
Yet, ere we part, one lesson I can leave you,
          For every day.

Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever;
Do noble things, not dream them, all day long;
And so make life, death, and that vast forever
          One grand, sweet song.


10 Wishing, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, 1855-1919

Do you wish the world were better?
Let me tell you what to do:
Set a watch upon your actions,
Keep them always straight and true;
Let your thoughts be clean and high:
Of the sphere you occupy.

Do you wish the world was wiser?
Well, suppose you make a start
By accumulating wisdom
In the scrapbook of your heart.
Do not waste one page on folly;
Live to learn, and learn to live.
If you want to give men knowledge
You must get it ere you give.

Do you wish the world were happy?
Then remember day by day
Just to scatter seeds of kindness
As you pass along the way:
For the pleasures of many
May be oft times traced to one,
As the hand that plants an acorn
Shelters armies from the sun.


11 Cargoes, by John Masefield, 1878-1967
      from Salt-Water Ballads, 1902

Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
          With a cargo of ivory,
          And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
          With a cargo of diamonds,
          Emeralds, amythysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
          With a cargo of Tyne coal,
          Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.


12 The Window, by Walter de la Mare, 1873-1956
      from Peacock Pie, 1913

Behind the blinds I sit and watch
The people passing---passing by;
And not a single one can see
     My tiny watching eye.

They cannot see my little room,
All yellowed with the shaded sun;
They do not even know I'm here;
     Nor'll guess when I am gone.


13 What do the stars do, by Christina Rossetti, 1830-1894

What do the stars do
      Up in the sky,
Higher than the wind can blow,
      Or the clouds can fly?

Each star in its own glory
      Circles, circles still;
As it was lit to shine and set,
      And do its Maker's will.


14 The Cat of Cats, by William Brighty Rands, 1823-1882

I am the cat of cats. I am
      The everlasting cat!
Cunning, and old, and sleek as jam,
      The everlasting cat!
I hunt vermin in the night--
      The everlasting cat!
For I see best without the light--
      The everlasting cat!


15 A Letter is a Gypsy Elf by Annette Wynne
      from For Days and Days, 1919

A letter is a gypsy elf
It goes where I would go myself;
East or West or North, it goes,
Or South past pretty bungalows,
Over mountain, over hill,
Any place it must and will,
It finds good friends that live so far
You cannot travel where they are.


16 A Thanksgiving, by John Kendrick Bangs, 1862-1922

For summer rains, and winter's sun,
For autumn breezes crisp and sweet;
For labors doing, to be done,
      And labors all complete;
For April, May, and lovely June,
For bud, and bird, and berried vine;
For joys of morning, night, and noon,
      My thanks, dear Lord, are Thine!

For loving friends on every side;
For children full of joyous glee;
For all the blessed Heavens wide,
      And for the sounding sea;
For mountains, valleys, forests deep;
For maple, oak, and lofty pine;
For rivers on their seaward sweep,
      My thanks, dear Lord, are Thine!

For light and air, for sun and shade,
For merry laughter and for cheer;
For music and the glad parade
      Of blessings through the year;
For all the fruitful earth's increase,
For home and life, and love divine,
For hope, and faith, and perfect peace,
      My thanks, dear Lord, are Thine!


17 We Thank Thee, by Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882

For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird, and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

For blue of stream and blue of sky;
For pleasant shade of branches high;
For fragrant air and cooling breeze;
For beauty of the blooming trees,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.


18 Landing of the Pilgrims, by Felicia Dorothea Hemans, 1793-1835

The breaking waves dashed high,
      On a stern and rock-bound coast,
And the woods against a stormy sky
      Their giant branches tossed;

And the heavy night hung dark
      The hills and waters o'er,
When a band of exiles moored their bark
      On the wild New England shore.

Not as the conqueror comes,
      They, the true-hearted came;
Not with the roll of the stirring drums,
      And the trumpet that sings of fame;

Not as the flying come,
      In silence and in fear;--
They shook the depths of the desert gloom
      With their hymns of lofty cheer.

Amidst the storm they sang,
      And the stars heard, and the sea;
And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang
      To the anthem of the free!

The ocean eagle soared
      From his nest by the white wave's foam;
And the rocking pines of the forest roared--
      This was their welcome home!

There were men with hoary hair
      Amidst that pilgrim band:
Why had they come to wither there,
      Away from their childhood's land?

There was woman's fearless eye,
      Lit by her deep love's truth;
There was manhood's brow serenely high,
      And the fiery heart of youth.

What sought they thus afar?
      Bright jewels of the mine?
The wealth of seas, the spoils of war?--
      They sought a faith's pure shrine!

Ay, call it holy ground,
      The soil where first they trod.
They have left unstained what there they found--
      Freedom to worship God.


19 Annabel Lee, by Edgar Allan Poe, 1809-1849

It was many and many a year ago
      In this kingdom by the sea
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
      By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
      Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child, and she was a child,
      In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love,
      I and my Annabel Lee,
With a love that the winged seraphs in heaven
      Coveted her and me.

And that was the reason that, long ago,
      In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
      My beautiful Annabel Lee,
So that her high-born kinsmen came
      And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulcher
      In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
      Went envying her and me--
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know
      In this kingdom by the sea)
That a wind blew out of a cloud by night,
      Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those that were older than we,
      Of many far wiser than we,
And neither the angels in heaven above
      Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
      Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
      Of the beautiful Annabel Lee,
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
      Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
      Of my darling--my darling--my life and my bride,
In her sepulcher there by the sea--
      In her tomb by the sounding sea.


20 Which Is The Favourite? by Charles Lamb, 1775-1834

Brothers and sisters I have many:
Though I know there is not any
Of them but I love, yet I
Will just name them all; and try
If there be one a little more
Loved by me than all the rest.
Yes; I do think, that I love best
My brother Henry, because he
Has always been most fond of me.
Yet, to be sure, there's Isabel;
I think I love her quite as well.
And, I assure you, little Ann,
No brother nor no sister can
Be more dear to me than she.
Only I must say, Emily,
Being the eldest, it's right her
To all the rest I should prefer.
Yet after all I've said, suppose
My greatest favourite should be Rose.
No, John and Paul are both more dear
To me than Rose, that's always here,
While they are half the year at school;
And yet that neither is no rule.
I've named them all, there's only seven;
I find my love to all so even,
To every sister, every brother,
I love not one more than another.