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Poems for 3rd Graders

Table of Contents

Mother and Children Reading
Mother and Children Reading
by Jessie Willcox Smith
  1. If Love Were Mine by Annette Wynne
  2. The Eagle by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
  3. A Pleasant Ship by Emilie Poulsson
  4. If I Were A Sunbeam by Alice Cary
  5. The Sparrow by Anonymous
  6. To a Child by William Wordsworth
  7. The Little Rill by Anonymous
  8. Birdie's Morning Song by George Cooper
  9. The Kitchen Clock by Anonymous
  10. The Little Harebell by Anonymous
  11. Pretty is That Pretty Does by Alice Cary
  12. Trees by Joyce Kilmer
  13. God is Great and Good by Anonymous
  14. Cheerfulness by Marian Douglas
  15. Which Way Does the Wind Blow? by Lucy Aikin
  16. The Wind And The Leaves by George Cooper
  17. The Pilgrims Came by Annette Wynne
  18. Lullaby by Alfred Tennyson
  19. Falling Snow by Anonymous
  20. The Snowflake by Margaret E. Sangster
  21. Coasting Down the Hill by Anonymous
  22. The Rivulet by Lucy Larcom
  23. Speak the Truth by Anonymous
  24. Grandmother's Farm by Anonymous
  25. Psalm 23 by David
  26. The Rabbit by Elizabeth Madox Roberts
  27. March by Mary Mapes Dodge
  28. Daisies by Frank Dempster Sherman
  29. Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  1. If Love Were Mine

    by Annette Wynne

    If love were mine, if love were mine,
    I know what I would do,
    I'd take it, spare it,
    Give it, share it,
    Lend it, spend it, too.

    If beauty I could claim for mine,
    To hold, to cherish, too,
    I'd strive to spread it,
    Pour it, shed it,
    Till it flowed the whole world through.

    But toil—just common toil—is mine;
    And so what I shall do
    Is strive to take it,
    Carve it, make it,
    Into love and beauty, too.

  2. To a Child

    by William Wordsworth

    Small service is true service while it lasts:
    Of humblest friends, bright creature! scorn not one:
    The daisy, by the shadow that it casts,
    Protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun.

  3. The Eagle

    by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

    He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
    Close to the sun in lonely lands,
    Ringed with the azure world, he stands.

    The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
    He watches from his mountain walls,
    And like a thunderbolt he falls.

  4. The Little Harebell

    by Anonymous

    "Tell me, little harebell,
    Are you lonely here.
    Blooming in the shadow
    On this rock so drear?"

    "Clinging to this bit of earth,
    As if in mid-air,
    With your sweet face turned to me,
    Looking strangely fair?"

    "Lady" said the harebell,
    Nodding low its head,
    "Though this spot seem dreary,
    Thought the sunlight's fled.

    "Know that I'm not lonely
    That I ne'er despair.
    God is in the shadow
    God is everywhere."

  5. Falling Snow

    by Anonymous

    See the pretty snowflakes
    Falling from the sky;
    On the wall and housetops
    Soft and thick they lie.

    On the window ledges,
    On the branches bare;
    Now how fast they gather,
    Filling all the air.

    Look into the garden,
    Where the grass was green;
    Covered by the snowflakes,
    Not a blade is seen.

    Now the bare black bushes
    All look soft and white,
    Every twig is laden,—
    What a pretty sight!

  6. The Snowflake

    by Margaret E. Sangster

    It was a little snowflake
    With tiny winglets furled;
    Its warm cloud-mother held it fast
    Above the sleeping world.
    All night the wild winds blustered
    And blew o'er land and sea;
    But the little suowflake cuddled close,
    As safe as safe could be.

    Then came the cold gray morning,
    And the great cloud-mother said:
    "Now every little snowflake
    Must proudly lift its head,
    And through the air go sailing
    Till it finds a place to alight,
    For I must weave a coverlet
    To clothe the world in white."

    The little snowflake fluttered,
    And gave a wee, wee sigh;
    But fifty million other flakes
    Came softly floating by;
    And the wise cloud-mothers sent them
    To keep the world's bread warm
    Through many a winter sunset,
    And many a night of storm.

  7. Coasting Down the Hill

    by Anonymous

    Frosty is the morning;
    But the sun is bright,
    Flooding all the landscape
    With its golden light.
    Hark the sounds of laughter
    And the voices shrill!
    See the happy children
    Coasting down the hill.

    There are Tom and Charley,
    And their sister Nell;
    There are John and Willie,
    Kate and Isabel,—
    Eyes with pleasure beaming,
    Cheeks with health aglow;
    Bless the merry children,
    Trudging through the snow!

    Now I hear them shouting,
    "Ready! Clear the track!"
    Down the slope they're rushing,
    Now they're trotting back.

    Full of fun and frolic,
    Thus they come and go.
    Coating down the hillside,
    Trudging through the snow.

  8. A Pleasant Ship

    by Emilie Poulsson

    I saw a ship a-sailing,
    A-sailing on the sea,
    And oh! it was all laden
    With pretty things for thee!

    There were comfits in the cabin,
    And apples in the hold;
    The sails were made of silk,
    And the masts were made of gold.

    The four-and-twenty sailors
    That stood between the decks
    Were four-and-twenty white mice,
    With chains about their necks.

    The captain was a duck,
    With a packet on his back,
    And when the ship began to move,
    The captain said "Quack! Quack!"

  9. If I Were A Sunbeam

    by Alice Cary

    "If I were a sunbeam,
    I know what I'd do;
    I would seek white lilies,
    Roaming woodlands through.
    I would steal among them,
    Softest light I'd shed,
    Until every lily
    Raised its drooping head.

    "If I were a sunbeam,
    I know where I'd go;
    Into lowly hovels,
    Dark with want and woe:
    Till sad hearts looked upward,
    I would shine and shine;
    Then they'd think of heaven,
    Their sweet home and mine."

    Are you not a sunbeam,
    Child, whose life is glad
    With an inner brightness
    Sunshine never had?
    Oh, as God has blessed you,
    Scatter light divine!
    For there is no sunbeam
    But must die or shine.

  10. The Sparrow

    by Anonymous

    Glad to see you, little bird;
    'Twas your little chirp I heard:
    What did you intend to say?
    "Give me something this cold day"?

    That I will, and plenty, too;
    All the crumbs I saved for you.
    Don't be frightened—here's a treat:
    I will wait and see you eat.

    Shocking tales I hear of you;
    Chirp, and tell me, are they true?
    Robbing all the summer long;
    Don't you think it very wrong?

    Thomas says you steal his wheat;
    John complains, his plums you eat—
    Choose the ripest for your share,
    Never asking whose they are.

    But I will not try to know
    What you did so long ago:
    There's your breakfast, eat away;
    Come to see me every day.

  11. The Little Rill

    by Anonymous

    Run, run, thou tiny rill;
    Run, and turn the village mill;
    Run, and fill the deep, clear pool
    In the woodland's shade so cool,
    Where the sheep love best to stray
    In the sultry summer day;
    Where the wild birds bathe and drink,
    And the wild flowers fringe the brink.

    Run, run, thou tiny rill,
    Round the rocks, and down the hill;
    Sing to every child like me;
    The birds will join you, full of glee:
    And we will listen to the song
    You sing, your rippling course along.

  12. Birdie's Morning Song

    by George Cooper

    Wake up, little darling, the birdies are out,
    And here you are still in your nest!
    The laziest birdie is hopping about;
    You ought to be up with the rest.
    Wake up, little darling, wake up!

    Oh, see what you miss when you slumber so long—
    The dewdrops, the beautiful sky!
    I can not sing half what you lose in my song;
    And yet, not a word in reply.
    Wake up, little darling, wake up!

    I've sung myself quite out of patience with you,
    While mother bends o'er your dear head;
    Now birdie has done all that birdie can do:
    Her kisses will wake you instead!
    Wake up, little darling, wake up!

  13. The Kitchen Clock

    "I'm a very truthful clock:
    People say about the place,
    Truth is written on my face;

    - Anonymous
    The Kitchen Clock
    by Anonymous

    Listen to the kitchen clock!
    To itself it ever talks,
    From its place it never walks;
    Tell me what it says.

    "I'm a very patient clock,
    Never moved by hope or fear,
    Though I've stood for many a year;
    That is what it says.

    "I'm a very truthful clock:
    People say about the place,
    Truth is written on my face;
    That is what it says.

    "I'm a most obliging clock;
    If you wish to hear me strike,
    You may do it when you like;
    That is what it says.

    "I'm a very friendly clock;
    For this truth to all I tell,
    Life is short, improve it well;
    That is what it says.

    What a talkative old clock!
    Let us see what it will do
    When the hour hand reaches two;
    That is what it says.

  14. Pretty is That Pretty Does

    by Alice Cary

    The spider wears a plain brown dress,
    And she is a steady spinner;
    To see her, quiet as a mouse,
    Going about her silver house,
    You would never, never, never guess
    The way she gets her dinner.

    She looks as if no thought of ill
    In all her life had stirred her;
    But while she moves with careful tread, And
    while she spins her silken thread,
    She is planning, planning, planning still
    The way to do some murder.

    My child, who reads this simple lay,
    With eyes down-dropt and tender, Remember
    the old proverb says
    That pretty is which pretty does,
    And that worth does not go nor stay
    For poverty nor splendor.

    'Tis not the house, and not the dress,
    That makes the saint or sinner.
    To see the spider sit and spin,
    Shut with her walls of silver in,
    You would never, never, never guess
    The way she gets her dinner.

  15. Trees

    by Joyce Kilmer

    I think that I shall never see
    A poem lovely as a tree.

    A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
    Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

    A tree that looks at God all day,
    And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

    A tree that may in Summer wear
    A nest of robins in her hair;

    Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
    Who intimately lives with rain.

    Poems are made by fools like me,
    But only God can make a tree.

  16. God is Great and Good

    by Anonymous

    I know God made the sun
    To fill the day with light;
    He made the twinkling stars
    To shine all through the night.

    He made the hills that rise
    So very high and steep;
    He made the lakes and seas,
    That are so broad and deep.

    He made the streams so wide,
    That flow through wood and vale;
    He made the rills so small,
    That leap down hill and dale.

    He made each bird that sings
    So sweetly all the day;
    He made each flower that springs
    So bright, so fresh, so gay.

    And He who made all these,
    He made both you and me;
    Oh, let us thank Him, then,
    For great and good is He.

  17. Cheerfulness

    by Marian Douglas

    There is a little maiden—
    Who is she? Do you know?
    Who always has a welcome,
    Wherever she may go.

    Her face is like the May time,
    Her voice is like the bird's;
    The sweetest of all music
    Is in her lightsome words.

    Each spot she makes the brighter,
    As if she were the sun;
    And she is sought and cherished
    And loved by everyone;

    By old folks and by children,
    By loft and by low;
    Who is this little maiden?
    Does anybody know?

    You surely must have met her.
    You certainly can guess;
    What! I must introduce her?
    Her name is Cheeerfulness.

  18. Which Way Does the Wind Blow?

    by Lucy Aikin

    Which way does the wind blow,
    And where does he go?
    He rides o’er the water,
    He rides o’er the snow.

    He blows and he tosses
    The leaves from the tree,
    As when you look upward,
    You plainly can see.

    From what place he comes,
    To what place he goes,
    There’s no one can tell you,
    There’s no one who knows.

  19. The Wind And The Leaves

    by George Cooper

    "Come, little leaves," said the wind one day.
    "Come o'er the meadows with me, and play'
    Put on your dress of red and gold,—
    Summer is gone, and the days grow cold."

    Soon as the leaves heard the wind's loud call,
    Down they came fluttering, one and all;
    Over the brown fields they danced and flew,
    Singing the soft little songs they knew.

    "Cricket, good-by, we've been friends so long;
    Little brook, sing us your farewell song,—
    Say you are sorry to see us go;
    Ah! you will miss us, right well we know."

    "Dear little lambs, in your fleecy fold,
    Mother will keep you from harm and cold;
    Fondly we've watched you in vale and glade;
    Say, will you dream of our loving shade?"

    Dancing and whirling, the little leaves went;
    Winter had called them, and they were content.
    Soon fast asleep in their earthy beds,
    The snow laid a coverlet over their heads.

    When the leaves are flying
    Across the azure sky,
    Autumn on the hill top
    Turns to say good-by;

    – Bliss Carman
    Lines for a Picture
  20. The Pilgrims Came

    by Annette Wynne

    The Pilgrims came across the sea,
    And never thought of you and me;
    And yet it's very strange the way
    We think of them Thanksgiving Day.

    We tell their story old and true
    Of how they sailed across the blue,
    And found a new land to be free
    And built their homes quite near the sea.

    Every child knows well the tale
    Of how they bravely turned the sail,
    And journeyed many a day and night,
    To worship God as they thought right.

    The people think that they were sad,
    And grave; I'm sure that they were glad—
    They made Thanksgiving Day—that's fun—
    We thank the Pilgrims, every one!

  21. Lullaby

    by Alfred Tennyson

    Sweet and low, sweet and low,
    Wind of the western sea,
    Low, low, breathe and blow,
    Wind of the western sea!
    Over the rolling waters go,
    Come from the dying moon, and blow,
    Blow him again to me;
    While my little one, while my pretty one, sleeps.

    Sleep and rest, sleep and rest,
    Father will come to thee soon;
    Rest, rest, on mother's breast,
    Father will come to thee soon;
    Father will come to his babe in the nest,
    Silver sails all out of the west
    Under the silver moon:
    Sleep, my little one, sleep, my pretty one, sleep.

  22. The Rivulet

    by Lucy Larcom

    Run, little rivulet, run!
    Summer is fairly begun.
    Bear to the meadow the hymn of the pines,
    And the echo that rings where the waterfall shines;
    Run, little rivulet, run!

    Run, little rivulet, run!
    Sing of the flowers, every one,—
    Of the delicate harebell and the violet blue;
    Of the red mountain rose-bud, all dripping with dew;
    Run, little rivulet, run!

    Run, little rivulet, run!
    Stay not till summer is done!
    Carry the city the mountain-birds' glee;
    Carry the joy of the hills to the sea;
    Run, little rivulet, run!

  23. Speak the Truth

    by Anonymous

    Speak the truth!
    Speak it boldly, never fear;
    Speak it so that all may hear;
    In the end it shall appear
    Truth is best in age and youth.
    Speak the truth.

  24. Grandmother's Farm

    by Anonymous

    My grandmother lives on a farm
    Just twenty miles from town;
    She’s sixty-five years old, she says;
    Her name is Grandma Brown.

    Her farm is very large and fine;
    There’s meadow, wood and field.
    And orchards which all kinds of fruits
    Most plentifully yield.

    Butter she churns, and makes nice cheese;
    They are so busy there,
    If mother should stay with me too,
    I’d like to do my share.

    I go out with the haymakers,
    And tumble on the hay;
    They put me up upon the load,
    And home we drive away.

    I go into the pleasant fields
    And gather berries bright;
    They’ve many, many thousands there,
    All fresh and sweet and ripe.

    A pretty brook runs through the farm,
    Singing so soft and sweet:
    I sit upon the grassy bank,
    And bathe my little feet.

    A farmer I would like to be,
    They live so pleasantly;
    They must be happy while they work,
    Singing so cheerfully.

    I think I’ll save all that I get,
    And earn all that I can
    And buy me such a pleasant farm
    When I grow up a man.

  25. Psalm 23

    Psalm 23
    Psalm 23
    by Donn P. Crane
    by David

    1 The LORD is my shepherd;
    I shall not want.
    2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
    He leadeth me beside the still waters.
    3 He restoreth my soul:
    He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
    For his name's sake.

    4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the
    Shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
    For thou art with me;
    Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

    5 Thou preparest a table before me
    In the presence of mine enemies:
    Thou anointest my head with oil;
    My cup runneth over.

    6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    All the days of my life:
    And I will dwell in the
    House of the LORD for ever.

  26. The Rabbit

    by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

    When they said the time to hide was mine,
    I hid back under a thick grape vine.

    And while I was still for the time to pass,
    A litle gray thing came out of the grass.

    He hopped his way through the melon bed
    And sat down close by a cabbage head.

    He sat down close where I could see,
    And his big still eyes looked hard at me,

    His big eyes bursting out of the rim,
    And I looked back very hard at him.

  27. March

    by Mary Mapes Dodge

    In the snowing and the blowing,
    In the cruel sleet,
    Little flowers begin their growing
    Far beneath our feet.

    Softly taps the Spring, and cheerly,—
    "Darlings, are you here?"
    Till they answer, "We are nearly,
    Nearly ready, dear."

    "Where is Winter, with his snowing?
    Tell us, Spring," they say.
    Then she answers, "He is going,
    Going on his way.

    "Poor old Winter does not love you;
    But his time is past;
    Soon my birds shall sing above you;—
    Set you free at last."

  28. Daisies

    by Frank Dempster Sherman

    At evening when I go to bed
    I see the stars shine overhead;
    They are the little daisies white
    That dot the meadow of the Night.

    And often while I'm dreaming so,
    Across the sky the Moon will go;
    It is a lady, sweet and fair,
    Who comes to gather daisies there.

    For, when at morning I arise,
    There's not a star left in the skies;
    She's picked them all and dropped them down
    Into the meadows of the town.

  29. Paul Revere's Ride

    Paul Revere's Midnight Ride
    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Paul Revere's heroic actions in the cause of American freedom were immortalized in this poem which recounts the story Paul Revere's midnight ride of April 18-19, 1775 to warn the Massachusetts countryside of the coming British invasion.

     Full Text

    Listen my children and you shall hear
    Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
    On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
    Hardly a man is now alive
    Who remembers that famous day and year.

    He said to his friend, "If the British march
    By land or sea from the town to-night,
    Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
    Of the North Church tower as a signal light,—
    One if by land, and two if by sea;
    And I on the opposite shore will be,
    Ready to ride and spread the alarm
    Through every Middlesex village and farm,
    For the country folk to be up and to arm."

    Then he said "Good-night!" and with muffled oar
    Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
    Just as the moon rose over the bay,
    Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
    The Somerset, British man-of-war;
    A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
    Across the moon like a prison bar,
    And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
    By its own reflection in the tide.

    Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street
    Wanders and watches, with eager ears,
    Till in the silence around him he hears
    The muster of men at the barrack door,
    The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
    And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
    Marching down to their boats on the shore.

    Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
    By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
    To the belfry chamber overhead,
    And startled the pigeons from their perch
    On the sombre rafters, that round him made
    Masses and moving shapes of shade,—
    By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
    To the highest window in the wall,
    Where he paused to listen and look down
    A moment on the roofs of the town
    And the moonlight flowing over all.

    Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
    In their night encampment on the hill,
    Wrapped in silence so deep and still
    That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread,
    The watchful night-wind, as it went
    Creeping along from tent to tent,
    And seeming to whisper, "All is well!"
    A moment only he feels the spell
    Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
    Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
    For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
    On a shadowy something far away,
    Where the river widens to meet the bay,—
    A line of black that bends and floats
    On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.

    Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
    Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
    On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
    Now he patted his horse's side,
    Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,
    Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
    And turned and tightened his saddle girth;
    But mostly he watched with eager search
    The belfry tower of the Old North Church,
    As it rose above the graves on the hill,
    Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
    And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height
    A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
    He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
    But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
    A second lamp in the belfry burns.

    A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
    A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
    And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
    Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;
    That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
    The fate of a nation was riding that night;
    And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
    Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
    He has left the village and mounted the steep,
    And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
    Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
    And under the alders that skirt its edge,
    Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
    Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

    It was twelve by the village clock
    When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
    He heard the crowing of the cock,
    And the barking of the farmer's dog,
    And felt the damp of the river fog,
    That rises after the sun goes down.

    It was one by the village clock,
    When he galloped into Lexington.
    He saw the gilded weathercock
    Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
    And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,
    Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
    As if they already stood aghast
    At the bloody work they would look upon.

    It was two by the village clock,
    When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
    He heard the bleating of the flock,
    And the twitter of birds among the trees,
    And felt the breath of the morning breeze
    Blowing over the meadow brown.
    And one was safe and asleep in his bed
    Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
    Who that day would be lying dead,
    Pierced by a British musket ball.

    You know the rest. In the books you have read
    How the British Regulars fired and fled,—
    How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
    From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
    Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
    Then crossing the fields to emerge again
    Under the trees at the turn of the road,
    And only pausing to fire and load.

    So through the night rode Paul Revere;
    And so through the night went his cry of alarm
    To every Middlesex village and farm,—
    A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
    A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
    And a word that shall echo for evermore!
    For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
    Through all our history, to the last,
    In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
    The people will waken and listen to hear
    The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
    And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

    “The lines were drawn now as never before, the stakes far higher. As we play our part, posterity will bless or curse us.”

    – Henry Knox in 1776

  30. Foreign Lands

    Foreign Lands
    Foreign Lands
    by Lucille Enders
    by Robert Louis Stevenson

    Up into the cherry tree
    Who should climb but little me?
    I held the trunk with both my hands
    And looked abroad on foreign lands.

    I saw the next door garden lie,
    Adorned with flowers, before my eye,
    And many pleasant places more
    That I had never seen before.

    I saw the dimpling river pass
    And be the sky's blue looking-glass;
    The dusty roads go up and down
    With people tramping in to town.

    If I could find a higher tree,
    Farther and farther I should see,
    To where the grown-up river slips
    Into the sea among the ships;

    To where the roads on either hand
    Lead onward into fairy land,
    Where all the children dine at five,
    And all the playthings come alive.

  31. Little Rain

    by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

    When I was making myself a game
    Up in the garden, a little rain came.

    It fell down quick in a sort of rush,
    And I crawled back under the snowball bush.

    I could hear the big drops hit the ground
    And see little puddles of dust fly round.

    A chicken came till the rain was gone;
    He had just a very few feathers on.

    He shivered a little under his skin,
    And then he shut his eyeballs in.

    Even after the rain had begun to hush
    It kept on raining up in the bush.

    One big flat drop came sliding down,
    And a ladybug that was red and brown

    Was up on a little stem waiting there,
    And I got some rain in my hair.

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