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Charlotte Bleh’s Collection of Favourite  Nursery  Rhymes, Poems and Prose Book
Arts & Music


Times and Rhymes for Arts and Music

Tom, Tom, the Piper’s son,
Learned to play when he was young,
And the only tune that he could play
Was “Over the hills and far away,”
Over the hills and a great way off,
And the wind will blow my top-knot off. 

Tom with his pipe made such a noise,
That he pleased all the girls and all the boys,
And they all stopped to hear him play,
“Over the hills and far away.” 

Tom with his pipe did play with such skill
That those who heard him could never keep still;
As soon as he played they began for to dance,
Even pigs on their hind legs would after him prance.

As Dolly was milking her cow one day,
Tom took his pipe and began for to play;
So Doll and the cow danced “The Cheshire Round,”
Till the pail was broken and milk ran on the ground. 

Tom met old Dame Trot with her basket of eggs,
He used his pipe while she used her legs;
She danced about till the eggs were all broke,
She began for to fret, but he laughed at the joke. 

Tom saw an old fellow was beating an ass,
Heavy laden with pots, pans, dishes, and brass;
He took out his pipe and he played them a tune,
And the poor donkey’s load was lightened full soon.


I won’t  be my father’s Jack,
I won’t be my father’s Jill,
I will be the fiddler’s wife,
And have music when I will.


Tom, he was a piper’s son,
Stole a pig and away did run!
The pig was eat, and Tom was beat,
Till he ran crying down the street.


The splendour falls on castle walls
And snowy summits old in story;
The long light shakes across the lakes,
And the wild cataract leaps in glory.
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
Blow, bugle; answer echoes, dying, dying, dying.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson
(Whenever I think of fairyland, I think of this poem.)


Sweep thy faint strings, Musician,
With thy long, lean hand;
Downward the starry tapers burn,
Sinks soft the waning sand;
The old hound whimpers couched in sleep,
The embers smoulder low;
Across the wall the shadows
Come, and go. 

Sweep softly thy strings, Musician,
The minutes mount to hours;
Frost on the windless casement weaves
A labyrinth of flowers;
Ghosts linger in the darkening air,
Hearken at the opening door;
Music hath called them, dreaming,
Home once more.

Walter de la Mare
(A verse speaking choir selection from Miss Angus’ annual recitals)


What was he doing, the great god Pan,
Down in the reeds by the river?
Spreading ruin and scattering ban,
Splashing and paddling with hoofs of a goat,
And breaking the golden lilies afloat
With the dragonfly on the river.
He tore out a reed, the great god Pan,
From the deep cool bed of the river;
The limpid water turbidly ran,
And the broken lilies a-dying lay
And the dragonfly had fled away
E’er he brought it out of the river.
High on the shore sat the great god Pan
While turbidly flowed the river:
And hacked and hewed as a great god can
With hard bleak steel at the patient reed,
‘Til there was not a sign of the leaf indeed
To prove it fresh from the river.
He cut it short, did the great god Pan,
(How tall it stood in the river!)
Then drew the pith like the heart of a man
Steadily from the outside ring,
And notched the poor dry empty thing
In holes, as he sat by the river.
“This is the way,” laughed the great god Pan,
(Laughed while he sat by the river),
“The only way, since gods began
To make sweet music, they could succeed.”
Then, dropping his mouth to a hole in the reed,
He blew in power by the river.
Sweet, sweet, sweet, o’ Pan!
Piercing sweet by the river!
Blinding sweet, o’ great god Pan!
The sun on the hill forgot to die
And the lilies revived, and the dragonfly
Came back to dream on the river.
Yet half a beast is the great god Pan,
To laugh as he sits by the river,
Making a poet out of a man;
The true gods sigh for the cost and pain,
For the reed which grows never more again
As a reed with the reeds in the river.

A Musical Instrument.    (A competition piece that I really enjoyed
because of its pace, vocabulary, rhythm and meaning)

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