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Poems for 1st Graders

Table of Contents

A Child's Prayer
A Child's Prayer
by Jessie Willcox Smith
  1. The Stars at Set of Sun by Anonymous
  2. The Days of the Month by Anonymous
  3. A New Time-Table by Anonymous
  4. Kind Hearts by Anonymous
  5. Thoughts and Flowers by Annette Wynne
  6. Mighty Things by Annette Wynne
  7. Kindness to Animals by Anonymous
  8. Little Things by Julia Fletcher Carney
  9. My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson
  10. Try, Try Again by William E. Hickson
  11. The Secret by Anonymous
  12. The Rainbow by Christina Rossetti
  13. Indian Children by Annette Wynne
  14. The Little Plant by Kate Brown
  15. Tiny Little Snowflakes by Lucy Larcom
  16. The Cloud Baskets by Amos Russel Wells
  17. If Ever I See by Lydia Maria Child
  18. What a Bird Taught by Alice Cary
  19. Good Night and Good Morning by Lord Houghton
  20. Raindrops by Jane Euphemia Saxby
  21. Strawberries by John Townsend Trowbridge
  22. Ten True Friends by Anonymous
  23. A Good Name by Anonymous
  24. Let Us with a Gladsome Mind by Anonymous
  25. Dare to Say No by Anonymous

Poems for First Grade

  1. Kind Hearts

    Kind hearts are the gardens,
    Kind thoughts are the roots,
    Kind words are the blossoms,
    Kind deeds are the fruits;

    – Anonymous
    Kind Hearts
    by Anonymous

    Kind hearts are the gardens,
    Kind thoughts are the roots,
    Kind words are the blossoms,
    Kind deeds are the fruits;
    Love is the sweet sunshine
    That warms into life,
    For only in darkness
    Grow hatred and strife.

  2. The Days of the Month

    by Anonymous
    Beautiful Illustrated Calendar
    Antique Calendar

    Thirty days hath September,
    April, June, and November;
    February has twenty-eight alone.
    All the rest have thirty-one,
    Excepting leap-year—that's the time
    When February's days are twenty-nine.

  3. A New Time-Table

    by Anonymous

    Sixty seconds make a minute:
    How much good can I do in it?
    Sixty minutes make an hour,—
    All the good that’s in my power.
    Twenty hours and four, a day,—
    Time for work, and sleep, and play.
    Days, three hundred sixty-five
    Make a year for me to strive
    Eight good things for me to do,
    That I wise may grow and true.

  4. Mighty Things

    by Annette Wynne

    Iron, steel, and granite rock are mighty things, I deem,
    But the strongest thing in all the world is just a dream;
    Dreams built a house, and built a bridge, a ship to go afar,
    And God's dream made the earth and us and every rolling star.

  5. One Step and Then Another

    by Anonymous

    One step and then another,
    And the longest walk is ended;
    One stitch and then another,
    And the largest rent is mended.

    One brick upon another,
    And the highest wall is made;
    One flake upon another,
    And the deepest snow is laid.

  6. Thoughts and Flowers

    by Annette Wynne

    Thoughts grow like flowers overnight,
    Opening at morning light,
    Blossoming before you know—
    Children, let the good thoughts grow!

    If a weedy thought should sprout
    In your garden, pull it out;
    But keep the good thoughts watered so
    They will always want to grow.

  7. The Little Plant

    by Kate L. Brown

    In the heart of a seed,
    Buried deep, so deep,
    A dear little plant
    Lay fast asleep.

    "Wake!" said the sunshine,
    "And creep to the light."
    "Wake!" said the voice
    Of the raindrops bright.

    The little plant heard,
    And it rose to see
    What the wonderful
    Outside world might be.

  8. The Rainbow

    by Christina Rossetti

    Boats sail on the rivers,
    And ships sail on the seas;
    But clouds that sail across the sky
    Are prettier far than these.

    There are bridges on the rivers,
    As pretty as you please;
    But the bow that bridges heaven,
    And overtops the trees,
    And builds a road from earth to sky,
    Is prettier far than these.

  9. Tiny Little Snowflakes

    by Lucy Larcom

    Tiny little snowflakes,
    In the air so high,
    Are you little angels,
    Floating in the sky?
    Robed so white and spotless,
    Flying like a dove,
    Are you little creatures,
    From the world above?

    Whirling on the sidewalk,
    Dancing in the street,
    Kissing all the faces
    Of the children sweet,
    Loading all the housetops,
    Powdering all the trees,—
    Cunning little snowflakes,
    Little busy bees!

  10. Little Things

    by Julia Abigail Fletcher Carney

     Full Text

    Little drops of water,
    Little grains of sand,
    Make the mighty ocean
    And the pleasant land.

    Thus the little minutes,
    Humble though they be,
    Make the mighty ages
    Of eternity.

    So our little errors
    Lead the soul away
    From the path of virtue
    Far in sin to stray.

    Little deeds of kindness,
    Little words of love,
    Help to make earth happy
    Like the heaven above.

    “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of.”

    – Ben Franklin quote on time

  11. "The Stars at Set of Sun"

    All your joys and griefs He knows
    Counts each falling tear.
    When to Him you tell your woes,
    Know the Lord is near.

    – Anonymous
    "The Stars at Set of Sun"
    by Anonymous

    When the stars at set of sun
    Watch you from on high
    When the morning has begun
    Think the Lord is nigh.

    All you do and all you say,
    He can see and hear:
    When you work and when you play,
    Think the Lord is near.

    All your joys and griefs He knows
    Counts each falling tear.
    When to Him you tell your woes,
    Know the Lord is near.

  12. A Good Name

    by Anonymous

    Children, choose it,
    Don’t refuse it,
    ’Tis a precious diadem;
    Highly prize it,
    Don’t despise it,
    You will need it when you’re men.

    Love and cherish,
    Keep and nourish,
    ’Tis more precious far than gold;
    Watch and guard it,
    Don’t discard it,
    You will need it when you’re old.

  13. Indian Children

    Indian Children
    Indian Children
    by Bert R. Elliott
    by Annette Wynne

    Where we walk to school each day
    Indian children used to play—
    All about our native land,
    Where the shops and houses stand.

    And the trees were very tall,
    And there were no streets at all,
    Not a church, not a steeple—
    Only woods and Indian people.

    Only wigwams on the ground,
    And at night bears prowling round—
    What a different place to-day
    Where we live and work and play!

  14. Raindrops

    by Jane Euphemia Saxby

    Oh, where do you come from,
    You little drops of rain,
    Pitter-patter, pitter-patter,
    Down the windowpane?

    Tell me, little raindrops,
    Is that the way you play?
    Pitter-patter, pitter-patter,
    All the rainy day?

    I sit here at the window;
    I've nothing else to do;
    Oh, I wish that I could play,
    This rainy day, with you!

    The little raindrops cannot speak,
    But "pitter-patter-pat" Means,
    "We can play on this side,
    Why can't you play on that?"

  15. What a Bird Taught

    by Alice Cary

    Why do you come to my apple tree,
    Little bird so gray?
    Twit-twit, twit-twit, twit-twit-twee!
    That was all he would say.

    Why do you lock you rosy feet
    So closely round the spray?
    Twit-twit, twit-twit, twit-tweet!
    That was all he would say.

    Why on the topmost bough do you get,
    Little bird so gray?
    Twit-twit-twee! twit-twit-twit!
    That was all he would say.

    Where is your mate? come, answer me,
    Little bird so gray.
    Twit-twit-twit! twit-twit-twee!
    That was all he would say.

  16. If Ever I See

    by Lydia Maria Child

    If ever I see,
    On bush or tree,
    Young birds in their pretty nest;
    I must not, in play,
    Steal the birds away,
    To grieve their mother's breast.

    My mother, I know,
    Would sorrow so,
    Should I be stolen away;
    So I'll speak to the birds
    In my softest words,
    Nor hurt them in my play.

    And when they can fly
    In the bright blue sky,
    They'll warble a song to me;
    And then if I'm sad
    It will make me glad
    To think they are happy and free.

  17. Kindness to Animals

    Abraham Lincoln saving an animal
    Abraham Lincoln showing kindness to an animal
    by Anonymous. This old poem teaches the virtue of showing kindness and regard for all living things. The principle is further illustrated in an old Abraham Lincoln anecdote his friends recorded about the time when he stopped to save a young robin.

    Little children, never give
    Pain to things that feel and live:
    Let the gentle robin come
    For the crumbs you save at home,—
    As his meat you throw along
    He'll repay you with a song;
    Never hurt the timid hare
    Peeping from her green grass lair,
    Let her come and sport and play
    On the lawn at close of day;
    The little lark goes soaring high
    To the bright windows of the sky,
    Singing as if 'twere always spring,
    And fluttering on an untired wing,—
    Oh! let him sing his happy song,
    Nor do these gentle creatures wrong.

    The Story of Abraham Lincoln and the Robins

    One day in spring four men were riding on horseback along a country road. These men were lawyers, and they were going to the next town to attend court.

    There had been a rain, and the ground was very soft. Water was dripping from the trees, and the grass was wet.

    The four lawyers rode along, one behind another; for the pathway was narrow, and the mud on each side of it was deep. They rode slowly, and talked and laughed and were very jolly.

    As they were passing through a grove of small trees, they heard a great fluttering over their heads and a feeble chirping in the grass by the roadside.

    "Stith! stith! stith!" came from the leafy branches above them.

    "Cheep! cheep! cheep!" came from the wet grass.

    "What is the matter here?" asked the first lawyer, whose name was Speed. "Oh, it's only some old robins!" said the second lawyer, whose name was Hardin. "The storm has blown two of the little ones out of the nest. They are too young to fly, and the mother bird is making a great fuss about it."

    "What a pity! They'll die down there in the grass," said the third lawyer, whose name I forget.

    "Oh, well! They're nothing but birds," said Mr. Hardin. "Why should we bother?"

    "Yes, why should we?" said Mr. Speed.

    The three men, as they passed, looked down and saw the little birds fluttering in the cold, wet grass. They saw the mother robin flying about, and crying to her mate.

    Then they rode on, talking and laughing as before. In a few minutes they had forgotten about the birds.

    But the fourth lawyer, whose name was Abraham Lincoln, stopped. He got down from his horse and very gently took the little ones up in his big warm hands.

    They did not seem frightened, but chirped softly, as if they knew they were safe.

    "Never mind, my little fellows," said Mr. Lincoln "I will put you in your own cozy little bed."

    Then he looked up to find the nest from which they had fallen. It was high, much higher than he could reach.

    But Mr. Lincoln could climb. He had climbed many a tree when he was a boy. He put the birds softly, one by one, into their warm little home. Two other baby birds were there, that had not fallen out. All cuddled down together and were very happy.

    Soon the three lawyers who had ridden ahead stopped at a spring to give their horses water.

    "Where is Lincoln?" asked one.

    All were surprised to find that he was not with them.

    "Do you remember those birds?" said Mr. Speed. "Very likely he has stopped to take care of them."

    In a few minutes Mr. Lincoln joined them. His shoes were covered with mud; he had torn his coat on the thorny tree.

    "Hello, Abraham!" said Mr. Hardin. "Where have you been?"

    "I stopped a minute to give those birds to their mother," he answered.

    "Well, we always thought you were a hero," said Mr. Speed. "Now we know it."

    Then all three of them laughed heartily. They thought it so foolish that a strong man should take so much trouble just for some worthless young birds.

    "Gentlemen," said Mr. Lincoln, "I could not have slept to-night, if
    I had left those helpless little robins to perish in the wet grass."

    Abraham Lincoln afterwards became very famous as a lawyer and statesman. He was elected president. Next to Washington he was the greatest American.

    Story written by James Baldwin

  18. The Secret

    by Anonymous

    We have a secret, just we three,
    The robin, and I, and the sweet cherry-tree;
    The bird told the tree, and the tree told me,
    And nobody knows it but just us three.

    But of course the robin knows it best,
    Because she built the—I shan't tell the rest;
    And laid the four little—something in it—
    I'm afraid I shall tell it every minute.

    But if the tree and the robin don't peep,
    I'll try my best the secret to keep;
    Though I know when the little birds fly about
    Then the whole secret will be out.

  19. Let Us with a Gladsome Mind

    by Anonymous

    Let us with a gladsome mind,
    Praise the Lord for He is kind,
    For His mercies shall endure,
    Ever faithful, ever sure.

    Children, come extol His might,
    Join with saints and angels bright, Refrain

    All our wants He doth supply,
    Loves to hear our humble cry, Refrain

    All things living He doth feed,
    His full hand supplies their need, Refrain

    Let us then with gladsome mind,
    Praise the Lord for He is kind, Refrain

  20. The Cloud Baskets

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Clouds that hide the sun with showers
    Are wet baskets full of flowers.

    One is packed with poppies bright,
    One with lillies inward white.

    One, that takes a day to pass,
    Bulges out with blades of grass.

    One's a mass of roses red;
    One, a crowded pansy-bed.

    Yonder cloud, so sullen dull,
    Of golden buttercups is full.

    Its neighbor cloud, an ashen gray,
    Glows within with daisies gay.

    Not a cloud whose rain we rue
    But is crammed with flowers too.

    So I know the darkest cloud,
    Creeping gloomy as a shroud,

    Brings to me, all unconfessed,
    Just the flowers I love the best.

  21. Try Again

    If at first you don't succeed,
    Try, try again;

    - Anonymous
    Try, Try Again
    by William E. Hickson

     Full Text

    'T is a lesson you should heed,
    Try, try again;
    If at first you don't succeed,
    Try, try again;
    Then your courage should appear,
    For, if you will persevere,
    You will conquer, never fear;
    Try, try again.

    Once or twice though you should fail,
    Try, try again;
    If you would at last prevail,
    Try, try again;
    If we strive, 'tis no disgrace
    Though we do not win the race;
    What should you do in the case?
    Try, try again.

    If you find your task is hard,
    Try, try again;
    Time will bring you your reward,
    Try, try again.
    All that other folks can do,
    Why, with patience, should not you?
    Only keep this rule in view:
    Try, try again.

    “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”

    – Thomas Edison quote on failure

  22. My Shadow

    by Robert Louis Stevenson

    I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
    And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
    He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
    And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

    The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—
    Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
    For he sometimes shoots up taller like an India-rubber ball,
    And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

    He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
    And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
    He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;
    I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

    One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
    I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
    But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
    Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

  23. Ten True Friends

    by Anonymous

    Ten true friends you have,
    Who, five in a row,
    Upon each side of you
    Go where you go.

    Suppose you are sleepy,
    They help you to bed;
    Suppose you are hungry,
    They see that you are fed.

    They wake up your dolly
    And put on your clothes,
    And trundle her carriage
    Wherever she goes.

    And these ten tiny fellows,
    They serve you with ease;
    And they ask nothing from you,
    But work hard to please.

    Now, with ten willing servants
    So trusty and true,
    Pray who would be lazy
    Or idle—would you?

  24. The Woodpecker

    by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

    The woodpecker pecked out a little round hole
    And made him a house in the telephone pole.

    One day when I watched he poked out his head,
    And he had on a hood and a collar of red.

    When the streams of rain pour out of the sky,
    And tl1e sparkles of lightning go flasl1ing by,

    And the big, big wheels of thunder roll,
    He can snuggle back in the telephone pole.

  25. Good Night and Good Morning

    by Richard Monckton Milnes

    A fair little girl sat under a tree,
    Sewing as long as her eyes could see;
    Then smoothed her work and folded it right,
    And said, "Dear work, good night, good night!"

    Such a number of rooks came over her head,
    Crying "Caw, caw!" on their way to bed.
    She said, as she watched their curious flight,
    "Little black things, good night, good night!"

    The horses neighed, and the oxen lowed,
    The sheep's "bleat, bleat!" came over the road;
    All seeming to say, with a quiet delight,
    "Good little girl, good night, good night!"

    She did not say to the sun, "Good night!"
    Though she saw him there like a ball of light,
    For she knew he had God's time to keep
    All over the world, and never could sleep.

    The tall pink foxglove bowed his head;
    The violets curtsied and went to bed;
    And good little Lucy tied up her hair,
    And said, on her knees, her favorite prayer.

    And while on her pillow she softly lay,
    She knew nothing more till again it was day;
    And all things said to the beautiful sun,
    "Good morning, good morning! our work is begun."

  26. Dare to Say No

    by Anonymous

    Dear children, you are sometimes led
    To sorrow, sin, and woe,
    Because you have not courage quite,
    And dare not answer, No.

    When playmates tell you this, or that
    Is “very nice to do,”
    See first what mamma says, or if
    You think ’tis wrong, say No.

    Be always gentle, but be firm,
    And wheresoe’er you go,
    If you are asked to do what’s wrong,
    Don’t fear to answer, No.

    False friends may laugh and sneer at you,
    Temptations round you flow,
    But prove yourself both brave and true,
    And firmly tell them, No.

    Sometimes a thing that’s not a sin,
    You might be asked to do,—
    But when you think it is not best,
    Don’t yield, but answer, No.

    True friends will honor you the more,
    Ah, yes, and false ones too,
    When they have learned you’re not afraid
    To stand and answer, No.

    And when temptations rise within,
    And plead to “come,” or “go,”
    And do a wrong for “just this once
    Be sure you answer, No.

    For when you once have done a Wrong,
    The Right receives a blow,—
    And Wrong will triumph easier now,
    So haste and answer, No.

    There’s many a little boy and girl,
    And man and woman too,
    Have gone to ruin and to death
    For want of saying, No!

    So, young or old, or great or small,
    Don’t fail, whate’er you do,
    To stand for Right and nobly dare
    To speak an honest No.

  27. Strawberries

    by John Townsend Trowbridge

    Little Pearl Honeydew, six years old,
    From her bright ear parted the curls of gold;
    And laid her head on the strawberry bed,
    To hear what the red-cheeked berries said.

    Their cheeks were blushing, their breath was sweet,
    She could almost hear their little hearts beat;
    And the tiniest, lisping, whispering sound
    That ever you heard, came up from the ground.

    "Little friends," she said, "I wish I knew
    How it is you thrive on sun and dew!"
    And this is the story the berries told
    To little Pearl Honeydew, six years old.

    "You wish you knew? And so do we.
    But we can't tell you, unless it be
    That the same Kind Power that cares for you
    Takes care of poor little berries, too.

    "Tucked up snugly, and nestled below
    Our coverlid of wind-woven snow,
    We peep and listen, all winter long,
    For the first spring day and the bluebird's song.

    "When the swallows fly home to the old brown shed,
    And the robins build on the bough overhead,
    Then out from the mold, from the darkness and cold,
    Blossom and runner and leaf unfold.

    "Good children, then, if they come near,
    And hearken a good long while, may hear
    A wonderful tramping of little feet,—
    So fast we grow in the summer heat.

    "Our clocks are the flowers; and they count the hours
    Till we can mellow in suns and showers,
    With warmth of the west wind and heat of the south,
    A ripe red berry for a ripe red month.

    "Apple blooms whiten, and peach blooms fall,
    And roses are gay by the garden wall,
    Ere the daisy's dial gives the sign
    That we may invite little Pearl to dine.

    "The days are longest, the month is June,
    The year is nearing its golden noon,
    The weather is fine, and our feast is spread
    With a green cloth and berries red.

    "Just take us betwixt your finger and thumb,
    And quick, oh, quick! for, see! there come
    Tom on all fours, and Martin the man,
    And Margaret, picking as fast as they can.

    "Oh, dear! if you only knew how it shocks
    Nice berries like us to be sold by the box,
    And eaten by strangers, and paid for with pelf,
    You would surely take pity, and eat us yourself!"

    And this is the story the small lips told
    To dear Pearl Honeydew, six years old,
    When she laid her head on the strawberry bed
    To hear what the red-cheeked berries said.

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