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Poems About the Presidents

Table of Contents

  1. Log Cabin Boys by John Henton Carter
  2. Our Presidents—A Memory Rhyme by Isabel Ambler Gilman
  3. Washington by Annette Wynne
  4. A Little Boy and a Cherry Tree by Annette Wynne
  5. Washington's Birthday by Hezekiah Butterworth
  6. O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman
  7. Lincoln by Annette Wynne
  8. The Jefferson Monument by Edward A. Allen
  9. Roosevelt by Vilda Sauvage Owens
  10. Autumn by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

  1. Log Cabin Boys

    by John Henton Carter

    Log Cabin Boys—here's a few:
    Where'd you get Lincoln?—and, say, who
    Sent you Grant, and Sheridan, too;
    Corwin and Old Tippecanoe;
    General Jackson, who pulled through,
    At New Orleans, the Boy's in Blue
    When all those red-coat British flew?
    And Tecumseh, who led the crew
    That cut the brave old South in two
    And hoisted the old flag anew?
    And Whitelaw Reid and John Hay grew
    Up the same way. The same is true
    Of Garfield the assassin slew.
    And, cracky! there's McKinley—whew!
    Well, these are only just a few
    Log Cabin Boys (but guess they'll do),
    Who helped to pull the country through
    And leave it unimpaired to you.

  2. Our Presidents—A Memory Rhyme

    by Isabel Ambler Gilman

    First on the list is Washington, Virginia's proudest name;
    John Adams next, the Federalist, from Massachusetts came;
    Three sons of old Virginia into the White House go—
    'Twas Jefferson, and Madison, and then came James Monroe.

    Massachusetts for one term sent Adams called John Q.,
    And Tennessee a Democrat, brave Jackson staunch and true.
    Martin Van Buren of New York, and Harrison we see,
    And Tyler of Virginia, and Polk of Tennessee.

    Louisiana Taylor sent; New York Millard Fillmore;
    New Hampshire gave us Franklin Pierce; when his term was o'er
    The keystone state Buchanan sent. War thunders shook the realm
    Abe Lincoln wore a martyr's crown, and Johnson took the helm.

    Then U.S. Grant of Illinois who ruled with sword and pen;
    And Hayes, and Garfield who was shot, two noble Buckeye men.
    Chester Arthur from New York, and Grover Cleveland came;
    Ben Harrison served just four years, then Cleveland ruled again.

    McKinley—shot at Buffalo—the nation plunged in grief,
    And "Teddy" Roosevelt of New York served seven years as chief.
    Taft of Ohio followed him. Then Woodrow Wilson came—
    New Jersey's learned Democrat; war set the world aflame;

    And when the tide of strife and hate its baneful course had run,
    The country went Republican and Warren Harding won.
    No duty would he shirk,—he died while on a western trip;
    Coolidge of Massachusetts then assumed the leadership.

  3. Washington

    by Annette Wynne

    First of our great, we bring
    New tributes to your name, and sing
    Songs of remembrance on your day;
    Years cannot ever wear away
    Our thanks to you, nor render less
    Our debt for your great worthiness.

  4. A Little Boy and a Cherry Tree

    by Annette Wynne

    A little boy and a cherry tree,
    A strong young man who proved to be
    A worker with his brain and hand,
    A soldier for his well-loved land,
    A statesman answering the call
    Of home and country, over all,
    A glorious patriot, noble son,
    A soldier—President—a man!
    Was Washington!

  5. Washington's Birthday

    "For Freedom outlives the old crowns of the earth,
    And Freedom shall triumph forever,
    And Time must long wait the true song of his birth
    Who sleeps by the beautiful river."

    – Hezekiah Butterworth
    Washington's Birthday
    by Hezekiah Butterworth

    The bells of Mount Vernon are ringing to-day,
    And what say their melodious numbers
    To the flag blooming air? List, what do they say?
    "The fame of the hero ne'er slumbers!"

    The world's monument stands the Potomac beside,
    And what says the shaft to the river?
    "When the hero has lived for his country, and died,
    Death crowns him a hero forever."

    The bards crown the heroes and children rehearse
    The songs that give heroes to story,
    And what say the bards to the children? "No verse
    Can yet measure Washington's glory.

    "For Freedom outlives the old crowns of the earth,
    And Freedom shall triumph forever,
    And Time must long wait the true song of his birth
    Who sleeps by the beautiful river."

  6. O Captain! My Captain!

    by Walt Whitman

    O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done;
    The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won;
    The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
    While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:

    But O heart! heart! heart!
    O the bleeding drops of red,
    Where on the deck my Captain lies,
    Fallen cold and dead.

    O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
    Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
    For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
    For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;

    O captain! dear father!
    This arm beneath your head;
    It is some dream that on the deck,
    You've fallen cold and dead.

    My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
    My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
    The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
    From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;

    Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
    But I, with mournful tread,
    Walk the deck my captain lies,
    Fallen cold and dead.

  7. Lincoln

    by Annette Wynne

    A log cabin, rude and rough—
    This was house and home enough
    For one small boy; there in the chimney place
    With glowing face
    The eager young eyes learned to trace
    Staunch old tales of staunch old men;
    In the firelight there and then
    The soul of Lincoln grew—
    And no one knew!
    Only the great and bitter strife
    Of later days brought into life
    Great deeds that blossomed in the gloom
    Of that dim shadowy firelit room.

  8. The Jefferson Monument

    by Edward A. Allen

    The granite of his native hills,
    Mother of monumental men,
    Virginia gave, whose page her Plutarch fills
    With undiminished deeds of sword and pen.

    More fitting far than molten bronze,
    Or polished marble carved by art,
    This monument of him who broke the bonds
    That bound in fetters every human heart.

    The column rises in all lands,
    When sinks the soldier to his rest;
    This cenotaph of rustic plainness stands
    To him who gave an empire to the West.

    Not with the blood of thousands slain,
    With children's cries and mothers, tears;
    The statesman's wisdom won this vast domain
    With gain of honest toil through peaceful years.

    The highest honor of his State
    And of his country came unsought;
    It was not this, O men, that made him great,
    Of this is nothing on the tablet wrought.

    His pen declared his country free,
    Equal and free his fellow-man:
    Freedom in church and state, the right to be,
    If Nature wills, the first American.

    'Tis well the shaft by him devised
    Rests here in Learning's classic shade;
    To be her patron was by him more prized
    Than all the honors that the nation paid.

    Oh, may his spirit linger near,
    As by old Monticello's slope;
    Inspire Missouri's sons who gather here
    With all the scholar's love, the patriot's hope.

    And He who holds the nation's fate
    Within the hollow of His hand
    Preserve the Union ever strong and great,
    And guide the statesmen of our native land.

  9. Roosevelt

    by Vilda Sauvage Owens

    He was a very valiant Knight; yet wore
    No shining armor, no accoutrements
    Or rich caparisons of chivalry.
    Truth was his breastplate, courage was his lance,
    His shield an infinite humanity.
    His was the faith that knew no obstacle;
    The strength that shunned the pleasant paths of ease,
    Choosing the roughened roads of toil; and his
    The courage that withstood adversity,
    And made defeat a winged Victory.
    Sorrow was his, yet none might dream that when
    A grave was made upon a foreign field
    He knew a mortal hurt. His dauntless soul
    Shone with a radiancy that conquered pain,
    And mocked at suffering. In truth he was
    A valiant Knight, a very valiant Knight.
    And like a warrior he laid him down
    To seek repose against the morrow's toil.
    'Twas thus Death found him, sleeping. Straight arose
    A cry of sorrow wide as the world is wide.
    But bugles sounded on the other side!

  10. Autumn

    by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

    Dick and Will and Charles and I
    Were playing it was election day,
    And I was running for president,
    And Dick was a band that was going to play,

    And Charles and Will were a street parade,
    But Clarence came and said that he
    Was going to run for president,
    And I could run for school-trustee.

    He made some flags for Charles and Will
    And a badge to go on Dickie's coat.
    He stood some cornstalks by the fence
    And had them for the men that vote.

    Then he climbed on a box and made a speech
    To the cornstalk men that were in a row
    It was all about the dem-o-crats,
    And "I de-fy any man to show."

    And "I de-fy any man to say."
    And all about "It's a big disgrace."
    He spoke his speech out very loud
    And shook his fist in a cornstalk's face.

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