“’When I was
a little child,
Looking very meek and mild,
I liked grand, heroic names,—
Of warriors, or stately dames:
Zenobia, and Cleopatra;
(No rhyme for that this side Sumatra;)
Wallace, and Helen Mar,—Clotilda,
Berengaria, and Brunhilda;
Hector, Juno, and Cassandra;
Charlemagne and Britomarte,
Washington and Bonaparte;
Victoria and Guinevere,
And Lady Clara Vere de Vere.
—Shall I go on with all this stuff,
Or do you think it is enough?
I cannot tell you what dear name
I love the best; I play a game;
And tender earnest doth belong
To quiet speech, not silly song.’”
“That’s just like mother; I should have stopped as soon as I’d got the ‘stuff’ in; but she always shapes off with a little morriowl,” said Hazel. “Now, Desire!”
Desire frantically scribbled a long line at the end of what she had written; below, that is, a great black morass of scratches that represented significantly the “Slough of Despond” she had got into over the winding up, and then gave,—
“‘Which way would you rather travel,—north or south?’ ‘Goosey-gander.’”
If I might wander,
It should be toward the sun;
The blessed South
Should fill my mouth
With ripeness just begun.
For bleak hills, bare,
With stunted, spare,
And scrubby, piney trees,
Her gardens rare,
And vineyards fair,
And her rose-scented breeze.
For fearful blast,
And sudden blare and scare
Long, stormless moons,
And placid noons,
And—all sorts of comfortablenesses,—there!’”
“That makes me think of father’s horse running away with him once,” said Helena, “when he had to head him right up against a brick wall, and knock everything all to smash before he could stop!”
“Miss Kincaid, I think,” said Mr. Geoffrey. He had been watching Dorris’s face through the play, flashing and smiling with the excitement of her rhyming, and the slender, nervous fingers twisting tremulously the penciled slip while she had listened to the others.
“If it isn’t all rubbed out,” said Dorris, coloring and laughing to find how badly she had been treating her own effusion.
“You see it was rather an awful question,—’What do you want most?’ And the word is, ‘Thirteen.’”
She caught her breath a little quickly as she began:—
dear, myself, and the post,
There are the thirteen things that I want the most.
I want to be, sometimes, a little stronger;
I want the days to be a little longer;
I’d like to have a few less things to do;
I’d better like to better do the few:
I want—and this might almost lead my wishes,—
A bigger place to keep my mops and dishes.
I want a horse; I want a little buggy,
To ride in when the days grow hot and