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AO Poems September AmblesideOnline.org

AmblesideOnline Year 1 Poetry Anthology September

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

     01 September, by Helen Hunt Jackson, 1830-1885
     02 Robin Redbreast, by William Allingham, 1824-1889
     03 Smells, by Christopher Morley, 1890-1957
     04 Little Things, by Julia Fletcher Carney, 1823-1908
     05 The Duel, by Eugene Field, 1850-1895
     06 The Frog and the Centipede, anonymous
     07 Wynken, Blynken and Nod, by Eugene Field, 1850-1895
     08 Diamond's Song, by George MacDonald, 1824-1905
     09 Fly away, fly away over the sea, by Christina Rossetti, 1830-1894
     10 Abou Ben Adhem, by Leigh Hunt 1784-1859
     11 Dream Song, by Walter de la Mare, 1873-1956
     12 A Ballad of Two Knights, by Sara Teasdale, 1884-1933
     13 Autumn, by Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886
     14 The Kitten and The Falling Leaves, by William Wordsworth, 1770-1850
     15 Answer To A Child's Question, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772-1834
     16 A Child's Prayer, by Margaret Betham-Edwards, 1836-1919
     17 Crumbs To The Birds, by Charles Lamb, 1775-1834
     18 At The Zoo, by William Makepeace Thackeray, 1811-1868
     19 A Baby Sermon, by George MacDonald, 1824-1905
     20 The Canary, by Elizabeth Turner, 1775-1846


01 September, by Helen Hunt Jackson, 1830-1885

The golden-rod is yellow;
The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.

The gentian's bluest fringes
Are curling in the sun;
In dusty pods the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun.

The sedges flaunt their harvest,
In every meadow nook;
And asters by the brook-side
Make asters in the brook,

From dewy lanes at morning
The grapes' sweet odors rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.

By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer's best of weather,
And autumn's best of cheer.

But none of all this beauty
Which floods the earth and air
Is unto me the secret
Which makes September fair.

'Tis a thing which I remember;
To name it thrills me yet:
One day of one September
I never can forget.


02 Robin Redbreast, by William Allingham, 1824-1889

Good-bye, good-bye to Summer!
For Summer's nearly done;
The garden smiling faintly,
Cool breezes in the sun;
Our Thrushes now are silent,
Our Swallows flown away,--
But Robin's here, in coat of brown,
With ruddy breast-knot gay.
Robin, Robin Redbreast,
      O Robin dear!
Robin singing sweetly
In the falling of the year.

Bright yellow, red, and orange,
The leaves come down in hosts;
The trees are Indian Princes,
But soon they'll turn to Ghosts;
The scanty pears and apples
Hang russet on the bough,
It's Autumn, Autumn, Autumn late,
'Twill soon be Winter now.
Robin, Robin Redbreast,
      O Robin dear!
And welaway! my Robin,
For pinching times are near.

The fireside for the Cricket,
The wheatstack for the Mouse,
When trembling night-winds whistle
And moan all round the house;
The frosty ways like iron,
The branches plumed with snow,--
Alas! in Winter, dead and dark,
Where can poor Robin go?
Robin, Robin Redbreast,
      O Robin dear!
And a crumb of bread for Robin,
His little heart to cheer.


03 Smells, by Christopher Morley, 1890-1957
      from Chimneysmoke, 1923

Why is it that the poet tells
So little of the sense of smell?
These are the odors I love well:

The smell of coffee freshly ground;
Or rich plum pudding, holly crowned;
Or onions fried and deeply browned.

The fragrance of a fumy pipe;
The smell of apples, newly ripe;
And printer's ink on leaden type.

Woods by moonlight in September
Breathe most sweet, and I remember
Many a smoky camp-fire ember.

Camphor, turpentine, and tea,
The balsam of a Christmas tree,
These are whiffs of gramarye. . .
A ship smells best of all to me!


04 Little Things, by Julia Fletcher Carney, 1823-1908

Little drops of water,
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land.

So the little moments,
Humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages
Of eternity.

So our little errors
Lead the soul away
From the path of virtue,
Far in sin to stray.

Little deeds of kindness,
Little words of love,
Help to make earth happy
Like the heaven above.


05 The Duel, by Eugene Field, 1850-1895

The gingham dog and the calico cat
Side by side on the table sat;
'Twas half-past twelve, and (what do you think!)
Nor one nor t' other had slept a wink!
The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate
Appeared to know as sure as fate
There was going to be a terrible spat.
(I was n't there; I simply state
What was told to me by the Chinese plate!)

The gingham dog went "bow-wow-wow!"
And the calico cat replied "mee-ow!"
The air was littered, an hour or so,
With bits of gingham and calico,
While the old Dutch clock in the chimney-place
Up with its hands before its face,
For it always dreaded a family row!
(Never mind: I 'm only telling you
What the old Dutch clock declares is true!)

The Chinese plate looked very blue,
And wailed, "Oh, dear! what shall we do!"
But the gingham dog and the calico cat
Wallowed this way and tumbled that,
Employing every tooth and claw
In the awfullest way you ever saw
And, oh! how the gingham and calico flew!
(Don't fancy I exaggerate
I got my news from the Chinese plate!)
Next morning where the two had sat
They found no trace of dog or cat;
And some folks think unto this day
That burglars stole that pair away!
But the truth about the cat and pup
Is this: they ate each other up!
Now what do you really think of that!
(The old Dutch clock it told me so,
And that is how I came to know.)


06 The Frog and the Centipede, anonymous

A centipede was happy quite,
Until a frog in fun said:
"Pray tell which leg comes after which?"
This raised her mind to such a pitch,
She lay distracted in a ditch,
Considering how to run.


07 Wynken, Blynken and Nod, by Eugene Field, 1850-1895

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe--
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!"
    Said Wynken,
        Blynken,
               And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea--
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish--
Never afeard are we;"
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
   Wynken,
         Blynken,
               And Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam--
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
'Twas all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea--
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
    Wynken,
         Blynken,
               And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
    Wynken,
         Blynken,
               And Nod.


08 Diamond's Song, by George MacDonald, 1824-1905

What would you see if I took you up
      To my little nest in the air?
You would see the sky like a clear blue cup
      Turned upside downwards there.

What would you do if I took you there
      To my little nest in the tree?
My child with cries would trouble the air,
      To get what she could but see.

What would you get in the top of the tree
      For all your crying and grief?
Not a star would you clutch of all you see--
      You could only gather a leaf.

But when you had lost your greedy grief,
      Content to see from afar,
You would find in your hand a withering leaf,
      In your heart a shining star.


09 Fly away, fly away over the sea, by Christina Rossetti, 1830-1894

Fly away, fly away over the sea,
Sun-loving swallow, for summer is done;
Come again, come again, come back to me,
Bringing the summer and bringing the sun.


10 Abou Ben Adhem, by Leigh Hunt, 1784-1859

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold:--
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in the room he said,
"What writest thou?"--The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."
"And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still; and said, "I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men."

The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blest,
And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.


11 Dream Song, by Walter de la Mare, 1873-1956
      from Collected Poems, Vol II, "Songs," 1920

     Sunlight, moonlight,
     Twilight, starlight--
Gloaming at the close of day,
     And an owl calling,
     Cool dews falling
In a wood of oak and may.

     Lantern-light, taper-light,
     Torchlight, no-light:
Darkness at the shut of day,
     And lions roaring,
     Their wrath pouring
In wild waste places far away.

     Elf-light, bat-light,
     Touchwood-light and toad-light,
And the sea a shimmering gloom of grey,
     And a small face smiling
     In a dream's beguiling
In a world of wonders far away.


12 A Ballad of Two Knights, by Sara Teasdale, 1884-1933
      from Helen of Troy And Other Poems, 1911

Two knights rode forth at early dawn
      A-seeking maids to wed,
Said one, "My lady must be fair,
      With gold hair on her head."

Then spake the other knight-at-arms:
      "I care not for her face,
But she I love must be a dove
      For purity and grace."


13 Autumn, by Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886

The morns are meeker than they were,
      The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
      The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,
      The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
      I'll put a trinket on.


14 The Kitten and The Falling Leaves, by William Wordsworth, 1770-1850

See the kitten on the wall, sporting with the leaves that fall,
Withered leaves--one--two--and three, from the lofty elder-tree!
Through the calm and frosty air, of this morning bright and fair . . .
--But the kitten, how she starts; Crouches, stretches, paws, and darts!

First at one, and then its fellow, just as light and just as yellow;
There are many now--now one--now they stop and there are none;
What intenseness of desire, in her upward eye of fire!

With a tiger-leap half way, now she meets the coming prey,
Lets it go as fast, and then, has it in her power again:
Now she works with three or four, like an Indian Conjuror;
Quick as he in feats of art, far beyond in joy of heart.


15 Answer To A Child's Question, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772-1834

Do you ask what the birds say? The sparrow, the dove,
The linnet, and thrush say, "I love, and I love!"
In the winter they're silent, the wind is so strong;
What it says I don't know, but it sings a loud song.

But green leaves, and blossoms, and sunny warm weather,
And singing and loving--all come back together.
But the lark is so brimful of gladness and love,
The green fields below him, the blue sky above,
That he sings, and he sings, and forever sings he,
"I love my love, and my love loves me."


16 A Child's Prayer, by Margaret Betham-Edwards, 1836-1919

God, make my life a little light
      Within the world to glow;
A little flame that burneth bright
      Wherever I may go.

God, make my life a little flower
      That giveth joy to all,
Content to bloom in native bower,
      Although the place be small.

God, make my life a little song
      That comforteth the sad,
That helpeth others to be strong
      And makes the singer glad.

God, make my life a little staff
      Whereon the weak may rest,
And so what health and strength I have
      May serve my neighbors best.

God, make my life a little hymn
      Of tenderness and praise;
Of faith, that never waxeth dim,
      In all His wonderous ways.


17 Crumbs To The Birds, by Charles Lamb, 1775-1834

A bird appears a thoughtless thing,
He's ever living on the wing,
And keeps up such a carolling,
That little else to do but sing
A man would guess had he.

No doubt he has his little cares,
And very hard he often fares,
The which so patiently he bears,
That, listening to those cheerful airs,
Who knows but he may be

In want of his next meal of seeds?
I think for that his sweet song pleads.
If so, his pretty art succeeds.
I'll scatter there among the weeds
All the small crumbs I see.


18 At The Zoo, by William Makepeace Thackeray, 1811-1868

First I saw the white bear, then I saw the black;
Then I saw the camel with a hump upon his back;
Then I saw the grey wolf, with mutton in his maw;
Then I saw the wombat waddle in the straw;
Then I saw the elephant a-waving of his trunk;
Then I saw the monkeys--mercy, how unpleasantly they smelt!


19 A Baby Sermon, by George MacDonald, 1824-1905

The lightning and thunder
      They go and come;
But the stars and the stillness
      Are always at home.


20 The Canary, by Elizabeth Turner, 1775-1846

Mary had a little bird,
With feathers bright and yellow,
Slender legs--upon my word,
He was a pretty fellow!

Sweetest notes he always sung,
Which much delighted Mary;
Often where his cage was hung,
She sat to hear Canary.

Crumbs of bread and dainty seeds
She carried to him daily,
Seeking for the early weeds,
She decked his palace gaily.

This, my little readers, learn,
And ever practice duly;
Songs and smiles of love return
To friends who love you truly.