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Me, their master, waited for.
I was rich in flowers and trees,
Humming-birds and honey-bees;
For my sport the squirrel played,
Plied the snouted mole his spade;
For my taste the blackberry cone
Purpled over hedge and stone;
Laughed the brook for my delight
Through the day and through the night -
Whispering at the garden wall,
Talked with me from fall to fall;
Mine the sand-rimmed pickerel pond,
Mine the walnut slopes beyond,
Mine, on bending orchard trees,
Apples of Hesperides !
Still, as my horizon grew,
Larger grew my riches too;
All the world I saw or knew
Seemed a complex Chinese toy
Fashioned for a barefoot boy!

15

20

Oh for festal dainties spread,
Like my bowl of milk and bread

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Pewter spoon and bowl of wood.
On the doorsteps, gray and rude,
O’er me, like a regal tent,
Cloudy-ribbed the sunset bent.
Purple-curtained, fringed with gold,
Looped in many a wind-swung fold;
While, for music, came the play
Of the pied frogs' orchestra ;
And, to light the noisy choir,
Lit the fly his lamp of fire.
I was monarch; pomp and joy
Waited on the barefoot boy!

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15

Cheerily, then, my little man,
Live and laugh, as boyhood can!
Though the flinty slopes be hard,
Stubble-speared the new-mown sward,
Every moon shall lead thee through
Fresh baptisms of the dew;
Every evening from thy feet,
Shall the cool wind kiss the heat;
All too soon these feet must hide
In the prison cells of pride.

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5

Lose the freedom of the sod,
Like a colt's, for work be shod,
Made to tread the mills of toil,
Up and down in ceaseless moil :
Happy if their track be found
Never on forbidden ground;
Happy if they sink not in
Quick and treacherous sands of sin;
Ah! that thou could'st know thy joy
Ere it passes, barefoot boy.

JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER:

The Barefoot Boy.

10

Bless-ings on thee, lit- tle man, Bare-foot boy with cheek of tan! With thy turn’d up pant-a - loons, And thy mer - ry whis-tled tunes ;

With thy red lip, red- der still, Kiss'd by straw-ber-ries on the hill;

With the sun-shine on thy face,Thro' thy torn brim's jaunty grace:
From my heart I give thee joy,- I

bare-foot boy.

was once

a

dainties (dān’tiz) : good things eschewing (es chū'ing): throwing

aside, rejecting festal (fěs'tal) : fit for a feast Hesperides (Hes pěr'ī dēz): the fabled

garden of the Gods; a paradise horizon (ho rī'zon): where the earth

and sky seem to meet jaunty (jônotỷ): gay, jolly looped (loopt): bent into loops mocks : makes fun of moil : hard work monarch (mõn'ark): king moon: month orchestra (ôr'kes tra): a band of

musicians

oriole (õ'ri õl): a yellow and black

bird, whose nest is like a pocket

hanging on a branch of a tree pied (pīd): marked with two or

more colors pomp (pomp): splendor purpled : turned purple, ripened regal (rē'gal) : kingly, royal stubble-speared : full of sharp stalks

of hay that has been cut sward : meadow land treacherous (trech'er us): false, like

a traitor woodchuck: called groundhog in

many places

HELPS TO STUDY

This is one of the best-known and best-loved poems in our language. Many a great man looks back, as Whittier did, to the time when he was a barefoot boy; and many a boy, barefoot or shod, hopes to be a great man, as, perhaps, Whittier did. What ambition for the future have you?

1. What pleasures has the boy? 2. What things does he learn? 3. Who is his teacher ? 4. Who is "part and parcel” of nature's joy ? 5. What is the meaning of “ Apples of Hesperides ?” 6. Explain “prison cells of pride."

A HAPPY BOY

I

Bevis had wandered far into the woods, looking at this thing and talking to that, and utterly forgetful of time and distance. When, at length, he began to think of returning to the place where he had left his father loading hay, he found that 5 he did not know which way to go.

Just as he was thinking he would ask a bee to show him the way (for there was not a single bird in the woods), he came to a place where the oaks were thinner, and the space between them was 10 covered with bramble bushes. Here there were ripe blackberries, and soon his lips were stained with their juice. Passing on from bramble thicket to bramble thicket, by and by he shouted and danced and clapped his hands with joy, for there 15 were some nuts on a hazel bough, and they were ripe, he was sure, for the side toward the sun was rosy.

Out came his pocket knife, and with seven tre

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