Wednesday, February 14

Children's Poetry: Sometimes That Old Gray Goose Is Just Dead

The title to this post is a quote from Julana. I'm posting this child's song just for her.
Go Tell Aunt Rhody

Go tell Aunt Rhody,
Go tell Aunt Rhody,
Go tell Aunt Rhody
The old gray goose is dead.

The one she's been saving,
The one she's been saving,
The one she's been saving
To make a feather bed.

The goslings are mourning,
The goslings are mourning,
The goslings are mourning,
Because their mother's dead.

The old gander's weeping,
The old gander's weeping,
The old gander's weeping,
Because his wife is dead.

She died in the mill pond,
She died in the mill pond,
She died in the mill pond
From standing on her head.

Go tell Aunt Rhody,
Go tell Aunt Rhody,
Go tell Aunt Rhody
The old gray goose is dead.
Here's what Julana has to say about this:
Everyone at my son's school is supposed to couch everything in positive terms all the time. If a child throws trash on the floor, say: "We need to take care of the school. Is throwing litter on the floor taking care of the school?" No negatives allowed.

Sometimes, that old gray goose is just dead--and the goslings cry and gander weeps.

Yep, and sometimes the hare dies, too.
Epitaph on a Hare

Here lies, whom hound did ne'er pursue,
Nor swifter greyhound follow,
Whose footprints ne'er tainted morning dew,
Nor ear heard huntsman's "Hallo,"

Old Tiney, surliest of his kind,
Who, nursed with tender care,
And to domestic bounds confined,
Was still a wild jack-hare.

Though duly from my hand he took
His pittance every night,
He did it with a jealous look,
And, when he could, would bite.

His diet was of wheaten bread,
And milk, and oats, and straw,
Thistles, or lettuces instead,
With sand to scour his maw.

On twigs of hawthorn he regaled,
On pippins' russet peel;
And, when his juicy salads failed,
Sliced carrot pleased him well.

A Turkey carpet was his lawn,
Whereon he loved to bound,
To skip and gambol like a fawn,
And swing his rump around.

His frisking was at evening hours,
For then he lost his fear;
But most before approaching showers,
Or when a storm drew near.

Eight years and five round-rolling moons
He thus saw steal away,
Dozing out his idle noons,
And every night at play.

I kept him for his humor's sake,
For he would oft beguile
My heart of thoughts that made it ache,
And force me to a smile.

But now, beneath this walnut-shade
He finds his long, last home,
And waits in snug concealment laid,
Till gentler Puss shall come.

He, still more aged, feels the shocks
From which no care can save,
And, partner once of Tiney's box,
Must soon partake his grave.

---William Cowper, better known as a hymn writer (There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood, God Moves in a Mysterious Way) than a writer of poems about dead rabbits. Puss and Tiney, by the way, were Cowper's pet hares. Tiney lived to the ripe old age of eight, and Puss lived on for four more years until he was twelve.

More children's poetry

Have you posted a poem for children? A poem that your children like? A poem that you liked as a child? Or maybe you are a child, and you've posted a poem that you like! Please send me the link by email or in the comments of this post and I'll link to you in the next Children's Poetry post.

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