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The Four Children - Poem by Dora Sigerson Shorter

A Ballad of Good Intentions

Four children played by an old oak tree,
Big John and James and little Benjie,
And, threading a chain of daisies fine,
On the leaf-brown sward knelt Geraldine.
Quoth John, 'I'll ride on the gipsies' road,
For narrow space and a small abode
Would break this vagrant heart in me,
And the world is wide and good to see.'
'I'll stay,' said James, 'for my father's sake
From his ageing hand his toil to take,
So he have at last his heart's desire
To sit at ease by the glowing fire.'
'I shall not work,' said little Benjie,
'Nor roam the world that is fair to see;
But here I'll stay in the green beech wood,
By my mother's side and I'll just be good.'

Linking her chain sweet Geraldine said,
'Big John or James I will surely wed;
I soon must choose which shall best please me,
I care not at all for little Benjie.'

The oak grows brown and the oak grows green
The owl and thrush on her branch have been;
For fifty winters a snood of snow
She wears all white till the spring winds blow.
For fifty autumns a robe of red
She wears till the wet west wind has fled,
But ne'er from dawn till the dusk of day
Hath she heard the sound of a child at play.
Big John grows old and all full of care,
He works till night in his oaken chair;
His feet have led him not long nor late,
No more than a league from his father's gate.
Where yew trees wave and their dark leaves shed
Young James lies cold in his four-foot bed,
O soft did his father lay him down,
And over him drew the earth so brown

In a far-off land on a lonely height
Geraldine weeps full many a night,
And prays all day 'neath a gallows tree
Where hangs the corpse of little Benjie.

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Poems About Ballad

  1. 1. The Four Children , Dora Sigerson Shorter
  2. 2. Sigerson Clifford Sung Of , Francis Duggan
  3. 3. The Ballad Of The Bachelor Beekeeper , Hannington Mumo
  4. 4. The Day I Met Nothing , Wojja Fink
  5. 5. Poetless , Craig Anderson
  6. 6. Music , Cordelia Adams
  7. 7. Concerto (Mandolin In The Sea) , Sebastian Sandok
  8. 8. You Stayed With Me (Love Ballad) : , Kim Robin Edwards
  9. 9. East Meets West, A Haiku Sequence , Chenou Liu
  10. 10. On Reading Poems And Songs Of Burns , Francis Duggan
  11. 11. (((Love Gone Bad))) , Theodora (Theo) Onken
  12. 12. On Seeing A Pupil Of Kung-Sun Dance The .. , Du Fu
  13. 13. Goodbye. , Brian Kamara
  14. 14. .5. All Scone , David Threadgold
  15. 15. The Weapon By Mai Venn , mai venn
  16. 16. Valentine , Rhonda Baker
  17. 17. Poem About Poetry - An Eastern Ballad , john tiong chunghoo
  18. 18. If I Wrote A Song , Matthew Holloway
  19. 19. I Have Praised Mother Nature , Francis Duggan
  20. 20. On The Ballad Of Reading Jail , Francis Duggan
  21. 21. No Shoes Required , Jacqui Broad
  22. 22. A Goddess's Ballad , Dilantha Gunawardana
  23. 23. Don'T Break My Heart(Love Ballad) : , Kim Robin Edwards
  24. 24. Politics ***** Rap For Your Rights! , Rommel Mark Dominguez Marchan
  25. 25. Ballad Of The Black Slave , michael issac palmer
  26. 26. A Ballad , Selina Marie
  27. 27. The Ballad Of The Rose Trilogy , Rey Benipayo
  28. 28. What If , David Thomas
  29. 29. Alf , Simon Gowen
  30. 30. Dress Me Like Poetry , Linda Marie Van Tassell
  31. 31. A Sunrise , Suchitra Bandi
  32. 32. # ' Searching Young Love' , Daffodil Decarie
  33. 33. Forever Falling , Christal Carpenter
  34. 34. Prank , Michael Philips
  35. 35. A Star That Glimmers The Most! ! , Poornima Kanasen
  36. 36. Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde , kendall thomas
  37. 37. Ballad Of A Lonely Road , Saurabh Jairath
  38. 38. Ballad Of The Broken Heart , Carl Leiland
  39. 39. My Winter Ballad- Saved By A Salad , Eybob Album
  40. 40. The Travelling Entertainers , Francis Duggan
  41. 41. My Father (In Answer To T.T. Cloete) , Gert Strydom
  42. 42. Youth Filled Days, Done-Miss Spent , Michael Gale
  43. 43. Journey , Peter S. Quinn
  44. 44. Old Claraghatlea Where I Was Born And Ra.. , Francis Duggan
  45. 45. A Liking For Rhyme , Francis Duggan
  46. 46. In The Far Away Town , Francis Duggan
  47. 47. 051110g Power Of Fun , Manonton Dalan
  48. 48. Since I Am One Without A Literary Degree , Francis Duggan
  49. 49. I Like The Rhymes , Francis Duggan
  50. 50. Lonely Desire , Aftab Alam
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