By Phoebe Cary
Suppose, my little lady,
Your doll should break her head,
Could you make it whole by crying
Till your eyes and nose are red?
And would n’t it be pleasanter
To treat it as a joke;
And say you ’re glad “’T was Dolly’s
And not your head that broke?”
Suppose you ’re dressed for walking,
And the rain comes pouring down,
Will it clear off any sooner
Because you scold and frown?
And would n’t it be nicer
For you to smile than pout,
And so make sunshine in the house
When there is none without?
Suppose your task, my little man,
Is very hard to get,
Will it make it any easier
For you to sit and fret?
And would n’t it be wiser
Than waiting like a dunce,
To go to work in earnest
And learn the thing at once?
Suppose that some boys have a horse,
And some a coach and pair,
Will it tire you less while walking
To say, “It is n’t fair?”
And would n’t it be nobler
To keep your temper sweet,
And in your heart be thankful
You can walk upon your feet?
And suppose the world don’t please you,
Nor the way some people do,
Do you think the whole creation
Will be altered just for you?
And is n’t it, my boy or girl,
The wisest, bravest plan,
Whatever comes, or does n’t come,
To do the best you can?
More Poems about Arts & Sciences
The Last Word
I am a door of metaphor
waiting to be opened.
You’ll find no lock, no key.
All are free to enter, at will.
Simply step over the threshold.
Remember to dress for travel, though.
Visitors have been known
to get carried away.Illustration by Shadra Strickland
The Racist Bone
I know this is a real thing, because
When I was a kid, my big sister took me
To the Capitol Theater, in my hometown
Of Rochester, NY,
And there was a movie that afternoon,
The Tingler, which starred Vincent Price,
And what I remember best...
More Poems about Living
A wishbone branch falls
from my Grandma Thelma’s oak
What do you know about magic? e1 asks.
E bends e old body down, turns
the wishbone branch into
a cross, places it around my neck.
I am strapped at the Black River’s right shoulder,
I want to put down what the mountain has awakened.
My mouthful of grass.
My curious tale. I want to stand still but find myself moved patch by patch.
There's a bleat in my throat. Words fail me here. Can you understand? I...