Poetry – HISTORY OF THE CRIES OF LONDON

Here’s fine rosemary, sage and thyme.
Come, buy my ground ivy.
Here’s featherfew, gilliflowers, and rue.
Come, buy my knotted marjoram, ho!
Come, buy my mint, my fine green mint.
Here’s fine lavender for your cloaths,
Here’s parsley and winter savory,
And heartsease which all do choose.
Here’s balm and hyssop and cinquefoil,
All fine herbs it is well known.
Let none despise the merry, merry cries
Of famous London Town.

Here’s pennyroyal and marygolds.
Come, buy my nettle-tops.
Here’s water-cresses and scurvy grass,
Come buy my sage of virtue, ho!
Come, buy my wormwood and mugworts.
Here’s all fine herbs of every sort.
Here’s southernwood that’s very good.
Dandelion and houseleek.
Here’s dragon’s tongue and wood sorrel,
With bear’s-foot and horehound.
Let none despise the merry, merry cries
Of famous London Town.

— Roxburghe Ballads

Poetry – THE BONNY RED HECKLE

Away frae the smoke an’ the smother,
Away frae the crush o’ the thrang!
Away frae the labour an’ pother
That have fettered our freedom sae lang!
For the May’s i’ full bloom i’ the hedges
And the laverock’s aloft i’ the blue,
An’ the south wind sings low i’ the sedges,
By haughs that are silvery wi’ dew.
Up, angler, off wi’ each shackle!
Up, gad and gaff, and awa’!
Cry ‘Hurrah for the canny red heckle,
The heckle that tackled them a’!’


Then back to the smoke and the smother,
The uproar and crush o’ the thrang;
An’ back to the labour and pother,
But happy and hearty and strang.
Wi’ a braw light o’ mountain and muirland,
Outflashing frae forehead and e’e,
Wi’ a blessing flung back to the norland,
An’ a thousand, dear Coquet, to thee!
As again we resume the old shackle,
Our gad an’ our gaff stowed awa’,
An’—goodbye to the canny ‘red heckle,’
The heckle that tackled them a’!’

— Thomas Westwood

Poetry – THE BROOK TROUT’S HOME

“I am Salmo fontinalis.
To the sparkling fountain born;
And my home is where oxalis.
Heather bell and rose adorn
The crystal basin in the dell
(Undine the wood-nymph knows it well):
That is where I love to dwell.
There was I baptized and christened,
‘Neath the somber aisles of oak;
Mute the cascade paused and listened.
Never a word the brooklet spoke;
Bobolink was witness then.
Likewise grosbeak, linnet, wren—
And all the fairies joined “amen!”
Thus as Salmo fontinalis
Recognized the wide world o’er.
In my limpid crystal palace.
Content withal, I ask no more.
Leaping through the rainbow spray.
Snatching flies the livelong day.
Naught to do but eat and play.”

— Charles Hallock.

Poetry – A HILL VAGABOND


Snakin’ wood down the mount’ins,
Fishin’ the little streams;
Smokin’ my pipe in the twilight,
An’ dreamin’ over old dreams;

Breathin’ the breath o’ the cool snows,
Sniffin’ the scent o’ the pine;
Watchin’ the hurryin’ river,
An’ hearin’ the coyotes whine.

This is life in the mount’ins,
Summer an’ winter an’ fall,
Up to the rainy springtime,
When the birds begin to call.

Then I fix my rod and tackle,
I read, I smoke an’ I sing.
Glad like the birds to be livin’—
Livin’ the life of a king!

—Louise Paley

TO A BUTTERFLY

I’ve watched you now a full half hour
Self-poised upon that yellow flower;
And, little Butterfly! indeed
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless!—not frozen seas
More motionless!—and then
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Hath found you out among the trees,
And calls you forth again!

This plot of orchard-ground is ours;
My trees they are, my Sister’s flowers:
Here rest your wings when they are weary,
Here lodge as in a sanctuary!
Come often to us, fear no wrong;
Sit near us on the bough!
We’ll talk of sunshine and of song,
And summer days, when we were young;
Sweet childish days, that were as long
As twenty days are now.

—William Wordsworth

Poetry – Dandelion

There’s a dandy little fellow,
Who dresses all in yellow,
In yellow with an overcoat of green;
With his hair all crisp and curly,
In the springtime bright and early
A-tripping o’er the meadow he is seen.
Through all the bright June weather,
Like a jolly little tramp,
He wanders o’er the hillside, down the road;
Around his yellow feather,
Thy gypsy fireflies camp;
His companions are the woodlark and the toad.

But at last this little fellow
Doffs his dainty coat of yellow,
And very feebly totters o’er the green;
For he very old is growing
And with hair all white and flowing,
A-nodding in the sunlight he is seen.
Oh, poor dandy, once so spandy,
Golden dancer on the lea!
Older growing, white hair flowing,
Poor little baldhead dandy now is he!

— Nellie M. Garabrant

THE VIOLET

Down in a green and shady bed
A modest violet grew;
Its stalk was bent, it hung its head,
As if to hide from view.

And yet it was a lovely flower,
Its colors bright and fair!
It might have graced a rosy bower,
Instead of hiding there.

Yet there it was content to bloom,
In modest tints arrayed;
And there diffused its sweet perfume,
Within the silent shade.

Then let me to the valley go,
This pretty flower to see,
That I may also learn to grow
In sweet humility.

–Jane Taylor