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Grandma Poems

Table of Contents

  1. The Grandmother by Elizabeth Madox Roberts
  2. "One, Two, Three!" by Henry Cuyler Bunner
  3. The Minuet by Mary Mapes Dodge
  4. At Grandma's House by Anonymous
  5. Over the River and Through the Wood by Lydia Maria Child
  6. Grandmother by Ellen P. Allerton
  7. Grandmother by Kate Louise Wheeler
  8. The Old Flax-Wheel by Virgil Viraldini Twitchell

  1. The Grandmother

    by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

    When Grandmother comes to our house,
    She sits in the chair and sews away.
    She cuts some pieces just alike
    And makes a quilt all day.

    I watch her bite the little thread,
    Or stick the needle in and out,
    And then she remembers her grandmother's house,
    And what her grandmother told about,

    And how a very long ago-
    She tells it while she cuts and strips-
    We used to live in Mary-land,
    And there was a water with ships.

    But that was long before her day,
    She says, and so I like to stand
    Beside her chair, and then I ask,
    "Please tell about in Mary-land."

  2. "One, Two, Three!"

    by Henry Cuyler Bunner

    It was an old, old, old, old lady,
    And a boy that was half past three;
    And the way that they played together
    Was beautiful to see.

    She couldn't go running and jumping,
    And the boy, no more could he;
    For he was a thin little fellow,
    With a thin little twisted knee,

    They sat in the yellow sunlight,
    Out under the maple-tree;
    And the game that they played I'll tell you,
    Just as it was told to me.

    It was Hide-and-Go-Seek they were playing,
    Though you'd never have known it to be—
    With an old, old, old, old lady,
    And a boy with a twisted knee.

    The boy would bend his face down
    On his one little sound right knee,
    And he'd guess where she was hiding,
    In guesses One, Two, Three!

    "You are in the china-closet!"
    He would cry, and laugh with glee—
    It wasn't the china-closet;
    But he still had Two and Three.

    "You are up in Papa's big bedroom,
    In the chest with the queer old key!"
    And she said: "You are warm and warmer;
    But you're not quite right," said she.

    "It can't be the little cupboard
    Where Mamma's things used to be—
    So it must be the clothes-press, Gran'ma!"
    And he found her with his Three.

    Then she covered her face with her fingers,
    That were wrinkled and white and wee,
    And she guessed where the boy was hiding,
    With a One and a Two and a Three.

    And they never had stirred from their places,
    Right under the maple-tree—
    This old, old, old, old lady,
    And the boy with the lame little knee—
    This dear, dear, dear old lady,
    And the boy who was half past three.

  3. The Minuet

    by Mary Mapes Dodge

    Grandma told me all about it,
    Told me so I could not doubt it,
    How she danced—my grandma danced!—
    Long Ago.
    How she held her pretty head,
    How her dainty skirts she spread,
    Turning out her pretty toes;
    How she slowly leaned and rose—
    Long Ago.

    Grandma’s hair was bright and sunny;
    Dimpled cheeks, too—ah, how funny!
    Really quite a pretty girl,
    Long ago.
    Bless her! why, she wears a cap,
    Grandma does, and takes a nap
    Every single day; and yet
    Grandma danced the minuet
    Long ago.

    Now she sits there rocking, rocking,
    Always knitting Grandpa’s stocking—
    (Every girl was taught to knit
    Long ago.)
    Yet her figure is so neat,
    And her ways so staid and sweet,
    I can almost see her now
    Bending to her partner’s bow,
    Long ago.

    Grandma says our modern jumping,
    Hopping, rushing, whirling, bumping,
    Would have shocked the gentle folk
    Long ago.
    No—they moved with stately grace,
    Everything in proper place,
    Gliding slowly forward, then
    Slowly curtseying back again,
    Long ago.

    Modern ways are quite alarming,
    Grandma says; but boys were charming—
    Girls and boys I mean, of course,—
    Long ago.
    Bravely modest, grandly shy,—
    She would like to have us try
    Just to feel like those who met
    In the graceful minuet
    Long ago.

    With the minuet in fashion,
    Who could fly into a passion?
    All would wear the calm they wore
    Long ago.
    In time to come, if I, perchance,
    Should tell my grandchild of our dance,
    I should really like to say,
    “We did it, dear, in some such way,
    Long ago.”

  4. At Grandma's House

    by Anonymous

    I like the taste of turkey
    Any time throughout the year.
    But it never seems to taste as good
    As when Thanksgiving's here.

    Could be it's all the trimmings
    That are cooked with it to eat,
    But I think it's eating at Grandma's house
    That makes it such a treat!

  5. Over the River and Through the Wood

    by Lydia Maria Child

    Over the river, and through the wood,
    To Grandmother's house we go;
    the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
    through the white and drifted snow.

    Over the river, and through the wood—
    oh, how the wind does blow!
    It stings the toes and bites the nose
    as over the ground we go.

    Over the river, and through the wood—
    and straight through the barnyard gate,
    We seem to go extremely slow,
    it is so hard to wait!

    Over the river, and through the wood—
    When Grandmother sees us come,
    She will say, "O, dear, the children are here,
    bring a pie for everyone."

    Over the river, and through the wood—
    now Grandmother's cap I spy!
    Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?
    Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

  6. Grandmother

    by Ellen P. Allerton

    Busy and quiet, and sweet and wise,
    With a long life's thought in her gentle eyes—
    The hoarding of many a year—
    Nearer drawing, from sun to sun,
    To the peaceful goal of a race well run,
    Waiting her record of work well done
    In the hearts that hold her dear.

    Grandmother's locks, all silvery white,
    Seem to my fancy like bands of light,
    Crowning her sweet pale face.
    Grandmother's voice is tender and low;
    And the fall of her footsteps soft and slow,
    As hither and yonder, and to and fro,
    She glides with a saintly grace.

    Grandmother's mission, for every day,
    Is to do the duty that comes her way.
    Whatever that duty may be.
    To think of others, her self forgot,
    To dry sad tears when her own are wet,
    Is Grandmother's plan—and the best one yet,—
    'Twere a good one for you and me.

    She has her griefs, though she hides them well,
    Her heart still throbs when a tolling bell
    Utters its mournful tone.
    For she thinks of a knell rung long ago,
    Of a far off grave underneath the snow,
    And a silent sleeper on pillow low,
    Whose lips once pressed her own.

    Thirty years—'tis a lonely while!
    Yet Grandmother's face wears a peaceful smile
    As she sits in the sunset glow.
    She is busy still, as evening light
    Falls on her hair, so silvery white:
    And she softly speaks of the coming night—
    She is biding her time to go.

  7. Grandmother

    by Kate Louise Wheeler

    Grandmother sits in her high-backed chair,
    A snowy cap hides her soft gray hair;
    And while her needles fly in and out
    We wonder what her thoughts are about.
    Beside the chair stands an antique bed,
    With its modern draperies overhead,
    While, close to the wall, and near at hand
    Is the newly polished, square-topped stand.

    Within its drawer lies her camphor-bag
    Some spicy cubebs and sugared flag
    Tomato cushion, of gaudy red,
    A bit of wax, for her sewing-thread,
    Some slippery elm, in a corner dark,
    Scattered fragments of cinnamon bark,
    The golden ear-knobs, and powder puff,
    Near a little box of scented snuff,
    A baby's picture, with dimpled face,
    And a lock of hair, in its broken case.
    On its top is her bible, worn by age,
    With its faded book-mark and penciled page.
    The faithful clock, with its quaint, carved door,
    Reaches the ceiling and meets the floor.
    · A chest of drawers, with handles of brass,
    Stands just across from the gilt-framed glass,
    And is reflected in all its pride;
    While on its top, upon either side,
    Whose fancy the modern mind might suit,
    Stand the gypsum dishes of painted fruit.
    Near an open fireplace, neatly swept,
    The box of kindling-wood is kept;
    While across the andirons polished bright,
    A log lies ready for heat and light.
    Beside the dust-pan and well-worn wing
    The brass topped fire-tongs and shovel swing;
    On the hearth-stone gray, 'neath the chimney high,
    The useful bellows in waiting lie.
    The "mantle-place" holds the candle-sticks
    And silver snuffers for lighted wicks.
    While, near to the match-safe, just between,
    An apple filled with cloves is seen.
    Grandmother rocks as she knits her sock,
    To-day her thoughts are too deep for talk,—
    She lives once more 'neath a cloudless sky,
    And dreams again of the days gone by.
    In her cherished dream she can seem to see
    The dear old house as it used to be,
    With its clapboards white, its blinds of green,
    And th e tiny window-panes between;
    And lingers there for a litte while,
    Ere the modern workman changed its style.
    She sings to her babies the old time song,
    And hopes that "father" will come ere long;
    She moves her chair to the waning light
    To watch the glow of the sunset bright,
    And looks for a few, pale evening stars
    While the cows come home thro' the pasture bars.
    She lights the candles, and smoothes her hair,
    And breathes for her loved ones a silent prayer;
    Then goes to her work with happy heart,
    Cheerfully doing the house-wife's part;
    And once again she can seen1 to feel
    The well known move of her spinning-wheel.
    As she fondly dreams of those days of yore
    She hears a whisper beside her door;
    Then close to her side the children creep:—
    "Why, Grandma has fallen fast asleep!"
    She hears one say, as they tip-toe out:
    "I wonder what she's dreaming about."
    Little they know what memories arise
    When Grandmother thinks with half-closed eyes.

  8. The Old Flax-Wheel

    by Virgil Viraldini Twitchell

    Grandma sat there in her old arm-chair, humming her favorite tune,
    Her head was white but her face as bright as a leafless rose in June;
    She tapped her heel as she turned her reel, in a sing-song way so queer,
    I can hear her yet, and I'll never forget, though I live a hundred year,
    The distaff's rebound as it turned around, and grandma's cry, "Take care!"
    'Twas always my fate, I found too late, the "old thing" pulling my hair.

    She'd sit upright from morn till night, nor think it was a tax,
    With toe and heel she'd turn the wheel and finger the glossy flax;
    The old black cat asleep on the mat, the clock so tall and queer
    Its tick, tick, tick, and the wheels' click, click, were musical sounds to hear;
    The fiery blaze from the fire-place made shadows on the wall
    Of revolving reel and spinning wheel, with grandma over all.

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