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Charlotte Bleh’s Collection of Favourite  Nursery  Rhymes, Poems and Prose Book
Natures Kingdom


Times and Rhymes for Nature’s Kingdom

There was an old woman tossed up in a basket
Ninety times as high as the moon;
Where she was going I couldn’t but ask her,
For in her hand she carried a broom.

“Old Woman, Old Woman, Old Woman,” quoth I,
“O whither, O whither, O whither so high?”
“Why, to sweep the cobwebs off the sky!”
“Shall I go with you?”
“Aye! Bye and bye!”
There was once an old woman,
Her name it was Peg;
Her head was of wood,
And she had a cork leg.
Her neighbours all pitched her into the water,
Her leg it drowned first,
And her head followed soon after.
St. Swithin’s Day, if it doth rain,
For forty days it will remain;
St. Swithin’s Day if thou be fair,
For forty days ‘twill rain nae mair.

(Old Granny from Scotland’s way of forecasting rain)
One misty, moisty morning,
When cloudy was the weather,
I came upon an old man
Clothed all in leather;
Clothed all in leather,
With a strap beneath his chin,
“How do you do, and how do you do,
And how do you do again?”

(This is my description of Dundee weather that I always think of
on our few cloudy or rainy days in Phoenix.)
Daffy Down Dilly has come up to town,
In a yellow petticoat, and a green gown.
The rose is red, the violet blue,
The gillyflower sweet, and so are you.
These are the words you bade me say
For a pair of new gloves on Easter Day.
Lavender’s blue, dilly, dilly,
Lavender’s green.
When I am King, dilly, dilly,
You shall be Queen.

Call up your men, diddle, diddle,
Set them to work,
Some to the plough, diddle, diddle,
Some to the cart.

Some to make hay, diddle, diddle,
Some to thresh corn,
Whilst you and I, diddle, diddle,
Keep ourselves warm.
Red sky in the morning,
Shepherd’s warning;
Red sky at night,
Shepherd’s delight.

(Another of my mother’s forecasting tools)
Rain, Rain, Go away!
Come again another day
Little Johnny wants to play!

(An often said nursery rhyme in Scotland)
Rain, Rain, Go to Spain
Never show your face again!
Star-light! Star-bright!
First star I see tonight!
I wish I may, I wish I might
Get the wish I wish tonight!
The North Wind doth blow,
And we shall have snow,
And what will poor Robin do then?
Poor thing!
He’ll sit in a barn,
And keep himself warm,
And hide his head under his wing.
Poor thing!
January brings the snow,
Makes our feet and fingers glow.
February brings the rain
Thaws the frozen lake again.
March brings breezes loud and shrill,
Stirs the dancing daffodil.
April brings the primrose sweet,
Scatters daisies at our feet.
May brings flocks of pretty lambs,
Skipping by their fleecy dams.
June brings tulips. lilies, roses,
Fills the children’s hands with posies.
Hot July brings cooling showers,
Apricots and gillyflowers.
August brings the sheaves of corn,
Then the harvest home is borne.
Clear September brings blue skies,
Goldenrod, and apple pies.
Fresh October brings the pheasant,
Then to gather nuts is pleasant.
Dull November brings the blast,
Makes the leaves go whirling fast.
Chill December brings the sleet,
Blazing fire and Christmas treat.
Where the bee sucks, there suck I;
In a cowslip’s bell I lie;
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat’s back I do fly
After summer merrily.
Merrily, merrily shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough
William Shakespeare
The Tempest

Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough briar,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter that the moon’s sphere;
And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green.
The cowslips tall her pensioners be:
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours,
In those freckles live their savours;
I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.
William Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

(Another competition piece)
Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling
The wind is passing thro’.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads
The wind is passing by.
Christina G. Rossetti
The lights from the parlour and kitchen shone out
Through the blinds and the windows and bars;
And high overhead and all moving about,
There were thousands of millions of stars.
There ne’er were such thousands of leaves on a tree,
Nor of people in church or the Park,
As the crowds of the stars that looked down upon me,
And that glittered and winked in the dark.

The Dog, and the Plough, and the Hunter, and all,
And the star of the sailor, and Mars,
These shone in the sky, and the pail by the wall
Would be half full of water and stars.
They saw me at last, and they chased me with cries,
And they soon had me packed into bed;
But the glory kept shining and bright in my eyes,
And the stars going round in my head.
Robert Louis Stevenson
A Childs Garden of Verses
In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people’s feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?
Robert Louis Stevenson
A Child’s Garden of Verses

(I used to think of this when I would go to bed
during the summer “lichty nichts” in Scotland.)
The rain is raining all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.
Robert Louis Stevenson
A Child’s Garden of Verses
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed – and gazed – but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
William Wordsworth

(A poem every school child in Scotland learned to recite)
The Tay, the Tay,
The silvery Tay –
It goes oot and in
Twice a day.

(This is one of the only two poems that my
Granny taught me, attributed to Dundee’s
Poet – considered the worst in Scotland –
William McGonagle. Granny said he was “daft.”
The other poem is unprintable in this fine compendium –
Sufficeth for you to know it’s about a “cuddy louping abune
the “braes” and what he did to the “new washed claes.”)
John had
Great Big
Boots on;
John had a
Great Big
Waterproof Hat;
John had a
Great Big
Mackintosh –
And that
(Said John)
A. A. Milne

(Tina and I performed this as part of Mother Daughter entertainment
at a Relief Society Dinner in Paradise, Ca. that I produced.)
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
Carl Sandberg
Let the rain kiss you.
Let the rain beat upon your head
with silver liquid drops,
Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk.
The rain makes running pools in the gutter.
The rain plays a little sleep-song
On our roof at night –

And I love the rain.
Langston Hughes
In time of silver rain
The earth
Puts forth new life again,
Green grasses grow,
And flowers lift their heads,
And over all the plain
The wonder spreads
Of life,
Of life,
Of life!

In time of silver rain
The butterflies
Lift silken wings
To catch a rainbow cry,
And trees put forth
New leaves to sing
In joy beneath the sky
As down the roadway
Passing boys and girls
Go singing, too,
In time of silver rain
When spring
And life
Are new.
Langston Hughes

The door was shut, as doors should be,
Before you went to bed last night;
Yet Jack Frost has got in, you see,
And left your window silver white.

He must have waited till you slept;
And not a single word he spoke,
But penciled o’er the panes and crept
Away again before you woke.

And here are little boats, and there
Big ships with sails spread to the breeze;
And yonder, palm trees waving fair
On islands set in silver seas.

And butterflies with gauzy wings
And herds of cows and flocks of sheep;
And fruit and flowers and all the things
You see when you are sound asleep.

And now you cannot see the hills
Nor fields that stretch beyond the lane;
But there are fairer things than these
His fingers traced on every pane.

Rocks and castles towering high;
Hills and dales and streams and fields;
And knights in armour riding by,
With nodding plumes and shining shields.

For creeping softly underneath
The door when all the lights are out,
Jack Frost takes every breath you breathe,
And knows the things you think about.

He paints them on the window pane
In fairy lines with frozen steam;
And when you wake you see again
The lovely things you saw in dream.
Gabriel Setoun

(I would often waken up on cold mornings in Dundee to
pictures like this on our window – my mother would tell me
that Jack Frost had come and done his work. It could get so cold
in my bedroom that there was often frost even on the inside of the pane.)

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