THE BALLAD OF THE BEACH.
“Take off thy stockings, Samuel!
Now take them off, I pray;
Roll up thy trousers, Samuel,
And come with me to play.
“The ebbing tide has left the sand
All hard and smooth and white,
And we will build a goodly fort,
And have a goodly fight.”
Then Samuel he pullèd off
His hose of scarlet hue,
And Samuel he rollèd up
His breeches darkly blue.
And hand-in-hand with Reginald,
He hied him to the beach;
Each little boy a shovel had,
And eke a pail had each.
Then down upon the shining sand
Right joyfully they sat;
And far upon the shining sand
Each tossed his broad-brimmed hat.
Then valiantly to work they went,
Like sturdy lads and true;
And there they built a stately fort,
The best that they might do.
“Now sit we down within the walls,
Which rise above our head,
And we will make us cannon-balls
Of sand, as good as lead.”
Now as they worked, these little boys,
Full glad in heart and mind,
The creeping tide came back again,
To see what it could find.
The creeping tide came up the sand,
To see what it could do;
And there it found two broad-brimmed hats,
With ribbons red and blue.
And “See now!” said the creeping tide;
“These hats belong, I trow,
To Reginald and Samuel;
I saw them here but now.”
And “See now!” said the creeping tide;
“What hinders me to float
These hats out to the boys’ mamma,
Is sailing in a boat?”
Then up there came two little waves,
All rippling so free;
They lifted up the broad-brimmed hats,
And bore them out to sea.
The ribbons red and ribbons blue
Streamed gallantly away;
The straw did glitter in the sun,
Were never craft so gay!
The mother of these little lads
Was sailing on the sea;
And now she laughed, and now she sang,
And who so blithe as she?
And “Look!” she said; “what things be these
That dance upon the wave,
All fluttering and glittering
And sparkling so brave?
“Now row me well, my brethren, twain,
Now row me o’er the sea!
For we will chase these tiny craft,
And see what they may be.”
They rowed her fast, they rowed her well,—
Too well, those gallants true;
For when she reached the broad-brimmed hats,
Right well those hats she knew.
“Alas!” she cried; “my little lads
Are drownèd in the sea!”
Then down she sank in deadly swoon,
As pale as she might be.
They rowed her well, those gallants gay,
They rowed her to the land;
They lifted up that lady pale,
And bore her up the strand.
But as they bore her up the beach,
The balls began to fly,
And hit those gallants on the nose,
And hit them in the eye.
They lookèd here, they lookèd there,
To see whence this might be;
And soon they spied a stately fort,
Beside the salt, salt sea.
And straight from out the stately fort
The balls were flying free;
Each gallant rubbed his smitten nose,
And eke his eye rubbed he.
They looked within the stately fort,
To see who aimed so well;
And there was little Reginald,
And youthful Samuel.
They lifted up those little lads,
Each by his waisty-band;
And down beside that lady pale
They set them on the sand.
And first that lady waxed more pale,
And syne she waxed full red;
And syne she kissed those little boys,
But not a word she said.
Then up and spoke those gallants gay,
“You naughty little chaps,
Your poor mamma you’ve frightened sore,
And made her ill, perhaps.
“And if you are not shaken well,
And if you are not spanked,
It will not be your uncles’ fault;
So they need not be thanked.”
Then up and spoke those little lads,
All mournful as they sat;
And each did cry, “Ah, woe is me!
I’ve lost—my nice—new—hat!”
Then up and spoke that lady fair,
“Nay, nay, my little dears,
You sha’n’t be spanked! so come with me,
And wipe away your tears.
“There be more hats in Boston town,
For little boys to wear;
And as for those that you have lost,
I pray their voyage be fair.
“For since I have my little lads,
The hats may sail away
Around the world and back again,
Forever and a day!”
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Read these beautiful poems and rhymes for kids. List of the poems included in this poem eBook:
- The Ballad Of The Beach
- The Boots OF A Household
- The Palace
- Bunker Hill Monument
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