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Poems for 4th Graders

Table of Contents

by Jessie Willcox Smith
  1. Good-Morning, Sun by by Annette Wynne
  2. My Alarm Clock by by Amos Russel Wells
  3. The World's Greatest Need by C. Austin Miles
  4. Beautiful Things by Ellen P. Allerton
  5. Where Do Thoughts Come From? by Annette Wynne
  6. I'm nobody! Who are you? by Emily Dickinson
  7. How the Little Kite Learned to Fly by Anonymous
  8. Kindness by Peter Burn
  9. Oh Lovely Lily by Amy Carmichael
  10. The Faithful Dog by Anonymous
  11. The Tyger by William Blake
  12. Inalienable by Amos Russel Wells
  13. The Snow Man by Marian Douglas
  14. A New Year Wish by Anonymous
  15. Loving Words by Anonymous
  16. Little Things by Anonymous
  17. Milking Time by Elizabeth Madox Roberts
  18. Over in the Meadow by Olive A. Wadsworth
  19. Take My Life, and Let it Be by Frances Ridley Havergal
  20. Small Beginnings (Song of Life) by Charles Mackay
  21. Song of the Bees by Hannah Flagg Gould
  22. A Riddle by Abbie Farwell Brown
  23. November by Alice Cary
  24. Thanksgiving by Anonymous
  25. The Way to Be Happy by Ann and Jane Taylor

  1. Where Do Thoughts Come From?

    by Annette Wynne

    The minute I'm awake in bed
    A hundred thoughts pop in my head,
    Before I've had the time to dress
    A hundred more—
    They wait all night for me, I guess.

    But where they go
    I do not know,
    Or where they're from;
    I know just this—they always come;
    And even grown-up people say
    To find this out there is no way.

    Some thoughts are very light and small,
    And some are brave and strong and tall,
    And some are bright and pretty, too;
    And some are loving, good, and true.

    The strangest thing it is, I find,
    I'm like the thoughts inside my mind,
    So thoughts, keep coming all day, do—
    Especially the good and true!

  2. Beautiful Things

    by Ellen P. Allerton

    Beautiful faces are those that wear—
    It matters none if dark or fair—
    Whole-souled honesty printed there.

    Beautiful eyes are those that show,
    Like crystal panes where hearth fires glow,
    Beautiful thoughts that burn below.

    Beautiful lips are those whose words
    Leap from the heart like songs of birds,
    Yet whose utterances prudence girds.

    Beautiful hands are those that do
    Work that is earnest, brave and true,
    Moment by moment the long day through.

    Beautiful lives are those that bless
    Silent rivers and happiness,
    Whose hidden fountains few may guess.

    Beautiful feet are those that go
    On timely ministries to and fro—
    Down lowliest ways, if God wills it so.

    Beautiful shoulders are those that bear
    Ceaseless burdens of homely care
    With patient grace and with daily prayer.

    Beautiful lives are those that bless
    Silent rivers and happiness,
    Whose hidden fountains but few may guess.

    Beautiful twilight, at set of sun,
    Beautiful goal with race well run,
    Beautiful rest, with work well done.

    Beautiful graves, where grasses creep,
    Where brown leaves fall, where drifts lie deep
    Over worn out hand—oh, beautiful sleep.

  3. Over in the Meadow

    by Olive A. Wadsworth

    Over in the meadow,
    In the sand, in the sun,
    Lived an old mother toad
    And her little toadie one.
    "Wink!" said the mother;
    "I wink," said the one;
    So she winked and she blinked
    In the sand, in the sun.

    Over in the meadow,
    Where the stream runs blue,
    Lived an old mother fish
    And her little fishes two.
    "Swim!" said the mother;
    "We swim," said the two;
    So they swam and they leaped
    Where the stream runs blue.

    Over in the meadow,
    In a hole in a tree,
    Lived a mother bluebird
    And her little birdies three.
    "Sing!" said the mother;
    "We sing," said the three;
    So they sang and were glad
    In the hole in the tree.

    Over in the meadow,
    In a snug beehive,
    Lived a mother honeybee
    And her little honeys five.
    "Buzz!" said the mother;
    "We buzz," said the five;
    So they buzzed and they hummed
    In the snug beehive.

    Over in the meadow,
    Where the clear pools shine,
    Lived a green mother frog,
    And her little froggies nine.
    "Croak!" said the mother;
    "We croak," said the nine;
    So they croaked and they splashed
    Where the clear pools shine.

    Over in the meadow,
    In a sly little den,
    Lived a gray mother spider
    And her little spiders ten.
    "Spin!" said the mother;
    "We spin," said the ten;
    So they spun lace webs
    In their sly little den.

  4. The World's Greatest Need

    by C. Austin Miles

    A little more kindness and a little less greed;
    A little more giving and a little less need;
    A little more smile and a little less frown;
    A little less kicking a man when he's down;
    A little more 'we' and a little less 'I';
    A little more laughs and a little less cry;
    A little more flowers on the pathway of life;
    And fewer on graves at the end of the strife.

  5. I'm nobody! Who are you?

    by Winslow Homer
    by Emily Dickinson

    I'm nobody! Who are you?
    Are you nobody, too?
    Then there 's a pair of us — don't tell!
    They 'd banish us, you know.

    How dreary to be somebody!
    How public, like a frog
    To tell your name the livelong day
    To an admiring bog!

  6. How the Little Kite Learned to Fly

    by Anonymous

    "I never can do it," the little kite said,
    As he looked at the others high over his head;
    "I know I should fall if I tried to fly."
    "Try," said the big kite; "only try!
    Or I fear you never will learn at all."
    But the little kite said, "I'm afraid I'll fall."

    The big kite nodded: "Ah well, goodby;
    I'm off;" and he rose toward the tranquil sky.
    Then the little kite's paper stirred at the sight,
    And trembling he shook himself free for flight.
    First whirling and frightened, then braver grown,
    Up, up he rose through the air alone,
    Till the big kite looking down could see
    The little one rising steadily.

    Then how the little kite thrilled with pride,
    As he sailed with the big kite side by side!
    While far below he could see the ground,
    And the boys like small spots moving round.
    They rested high in the quiet air,
    And only the birds and the clouds were there.
    "Oh, how happy I am!" the little kite cried,
    "And all because I was brave, and tried."

  7. Kindness

    Kind words are ever more mighty than swords.

    – Peter Burn
    by Peter Burn

    Show kindness to others!
    Treat all men as brothers,
    Whatever their station, whatever betide;
    All envy disdaining,
    A failing discerning,
    Seek not to uncover, but rather to hide.

    Speak kindly to other,
    And wealth shall be yours,
    The magic of story still lives in kind words;
    Let them be spoken,
    And hearts will fly open—
    Kind words are ever more mighty than swords.

  8. Oh Lovely Lily

    by Amy Carmichael

    Oh, lovely lily,
    Growing in our garden,
    Who made a dress so fair
    For you to wear?
    Who made you straight and tall
    To give pleasure to us all?
    Oh, lovely lily,
    Who did it all?

    Oh, little children,
    Playing in our garden,
    God made this dress so fair
    For us to wear.
    God made us straight and tall
    To give pleasure to you all.
    Oh, little children,
    God did it all.

  9. The Faithful Dog

    The Old Shepherd's Chief Mourner
    The Old Shepherd's Chief Mourner
    by Edwin Landseer
    by Anonymous

    With eye upraised his master's look to scan,
    The joy, the solace, and the aid of man;
    The rich man's guardian and the poor man's friend,
    The only creature faithful to the end.

  10. The Tyger

    Reclining Tiger
    Reclining Tiger
    by Géza Vastagh
    by William Blake

    Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
    In the forests of the night;
    What immortal hand or eye,
    Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

    In what distant deeps or skies.
    Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
    On what wings dare he aspire?
    What the hand, dare seize the fire?

    And what shoulder, & what art,
    Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
    And when thy heart began to beat,
    What dread hand? & what dread feet?

    What the hammer? what the chain,
    In what furnace was thy brain?
    What the anvil? what dread grasp,
    Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

    When the stars threw down their spears
    And water'd heaven with their tears:
    Did he smile his work to see?
    Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

    Tyger Tyger burning bright,
    In the forests of the night:
    What immortal hand or eye,
    Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

  11. A Riddle

    by Abbie Farwell Brown

    It's a curious house, where people dwell,
    And wonders happen, ill or well,
    The door-plate gives the house's name,
    Likewise the builder of the same.

    You enter, if you have a key,
    And something of a scholar be.
    You ope the door, and in the hall
    A picture greets you, first of all.

    A blazoned notice next you view,
    The builder's name, the owner's too,
    The city where the house was made,
    Date when the corner-stone was laid.

    And then you find a list enrolled
    Of treasures which the house doth hold,
    That you may choose what suits your eye,
    Or if none pleases may pass them by.

  12. Inalienable

    The Wetterhorn with the Reichenbachtal
    The Wetterhorn with the Reichenbachtal
    by Joseph Anton Koch
    by Amos Russel Wells

    Two things are yours that no man's wealth can buy:
    The air, and time;
    And, having these, all fate you may defy,
    All summits climb.

    While you can draw the fresh and vital breath,
    And own the day,
    No enemy, not Hate, nor Fear, nor Death,
    May bring dismay.

    Breathe deeply! Use the minutes as they fly!
    Trust God in all!
    Thus will you live the life that cannot die,
    Nor ever fall.

  13. The Snow Man

    by Marian Douglas

    Look! how the clouds are flying south!
    The winds pipe loud and shrill!
    And high above the white drifts stands
    The snow man on the hill.

    Blow, wild wind from the icy north!
    Here's one who will not fear
    To feel thy coldest touch, or shrink
    Thy loudest blast to hear.

    Proud triumph of the schoolboy's skill!
    Far rather would I be
    A winter giant, ruling o'er
    A frosty realm, like thee,

    And stand amid the drifted snow,
    Like thee, a thing apart,
    Than be a man who walks with men,
    But has a frozen heart!

  14. A New Year Wish

    by Anonymous

    "May every soul that touches thine
    Be it the slightest contact, get therefrom some good,
    Some little grace, one kindly thought,
    One aspiration yet unfelt; one bit of courage
    For the darkening sky, one gleam of faith."

  15. Loving Words

    by Anonymous

    Loving words will cost but little,
    Journeying up the hill of life;
    But they make the weak and weary
    Stronger, braver for the strife.
    Do you count them only trifles?
    What to earth are sun and rain?
    Never was a kind word wasted,
    Never was one said in vain.

    When the cares of life are many,
    And its burdens heavy grow,
    For the ones who walk beside you;
    If you love them, tell them so.
    What you count of little value
    Has an almost magic power,
    And beneath their cheering sunshine
    Hearts will blossom like a flower.

    So, as up life's hill we journey,
    Let us scatter, all the way,
    Kindly words, to be as sunshine
    In the dark and cloudy day.
    Grudge no loving word or action,
    As along through life you go;
    To the ones who Journey with you,
    If you love them, tell them so.

  16. Little Things

    by Anonymous

    A cup of water timely brought,
    An offered easy chair,
    A turning of the window-blind,
    That all may feel the air;
    An early flower bestowed unasked,
    A light and cautious tread,
    A voice to softest whispers hushed
    To spare an aching head—
    Oh, things like these, though little things,
    The purest love disclose,
    As fragrant atoms in the air
    Reveal the hidden rose.

  17. Milking Time

    by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

    When supper time is almost come,
    But not quite here, I cannot wait,
    And so I take my china mug
    And go down by the milking gate.

    The cow is always eating shucks
    And spilling off the little silk.
    Her purple eyes are big and soft-
    She always smells like milk.

    And Father takes my mug from me,
    And then he makes the stream come out.
    I see it going in my mug
    And foaming all about.

    And when it's piling very high,
    And when some little streams commence
    To run and drip along the sides,
    He hands it to me through the fence.

  18. My Alarm Clock

    by Amos Russel Wells

    There's a little dumpy sergeant that calls me to the fray,
    Arousing me from slumber at five o'clock each day.
    At five o'clock precisely he hammers at my door,
    And breaks in forty pieces my most delightful snore.

    This little dumpy sergeant, so prompt and so precise,
    He calls me once with vigor, but he never calls me twice.
    If I choose not to hear him and shut my eyes again,
    Why, I may wake myself up at—nine o'clock or ten.

    There's another little sergeant, who hammers on my heart;
    Who pommels me so briskly he makes me sting and smart.
    While I lie down in darkness and shut my eyes to sin,
    This little sergeant, Conscience, awakes me with his din.

    But ah, this little sergeant, so prompt and so precise,
    He also seldom calls me but once or twice or thrice.
    "Wake up!" he cries, "arouse you, or sleep forevermore!"
    Ah, heed the little sergeant while he is at the door!

  19. Song of the Bees

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    We watch for the light of the morn to break
    And color the eastern sky
    With its blended hues of saffron and lake,
    Then say to each other, "Awake! awake!
    For our winter's honey is all to make,
    And our bread for a long supply!"

    Then, off we hie to the hill and the dell,
    To the field, the meadow and bower.
    In the columbine's horn we love to dwell,
    To dip in the lily with snow-white bell,
    To search the balm in its odorous cell,
    The mint and the rosemary-flower.

    We seek the bloom of the eglantine,
    Of the painted thistle and brier;
    And follow the steps of the wandering vine,
    Whether it trail on the earth, supine,
    Or round the aspiring tree-top twine,
    And reach for a state still higher.

    As each, on the good of her sisters bent,
    Is busy and cares for all;
    We hope for an evening with hearts content,
    For the winter of life without lament
    That summer is gone with its hours misspent,
    And the harvest is past recall!

  20. November

    by Alice Cary

    The leaves are fading and falling,
    The winds are rough and wild,
    The birds have ceased their calling,
    But let me tell, you my child,

    Though day by day, as it closes,
    Doth darker and colder grow,
    The roots of the bright red roses
    Will keep alive in the snow.

    And when the Winter is over,
    The boughs will get new leaves,
    The quail come back to the clover,
    And the swallow back to the eaves.

    The robin will wear on his bosom
    A vest that is bright and new,
    And the loveliest way-side blossom
    Will shine with the sun and dew.

    The leaves to-day are whirling,
    The brooks are all dry and dumb,
    But let me tell, you my darling,
    The Spring will be sure to come.

    There must be rough, cold weather,
    And winds and rains so wild;
    Not all good things together
    Come to us here, my child.

    So, when some dear joy loses
    Its beauteous summer glow,
    Think how the roots of the roses
    Are kept alive in the snow.

  21. Thanksgiving

    by Anonymous

    The year has turned its circle,
    The seasons come and go.
    The harvest all is gathered in
    And chilly north winds blow.
    Orchards have shared their treasures,
    The fields, their yellow grain,
    So open wide the doorway—
    Thanksgiving comes again!

  22. Small Beginnings

    by Charles Mackay. This poem is also known as Song of Life.

    A traveler on a dusty road
    Strewed acorns on the lea;
    And one took root and sprouted up,
    And grew into a tree.
    Love sought its shade at evening-time,
    To breathe its early vows;
    And Age was pleased, in heights of noon,
    To bask beneath its boughs.
    The dormouse loved its dangling twigs,
    The birds sweet music bore—
    It stood a glory in its place,
    A blessing evermore.

    A little spring had lost its way
    Amid the grass and fern;
    A passing stranger scooped a well
    Where weary men might turn.
    He walled it in, and hung with care
    A ladle on the brink;
    He thought not of the deed he did,
    But judged that Toil might drink.
    He passed again; and lo! the well,
    By summer never dried,
    Had cooled ten thousand parchéd tongues,
    And saved a life beside.

    A nameless man, amid the crowd
    That thronged the daily mart,
    Let fall a word of hope and love,
    Unstudied from the heart,
    A whisper on the tumult thrown,
    A transitory breath,
    It raised a brother from the dust,
    It saved a soul from death.
    O germ! O fount! O word of love!
    O thought at random cast!
    Ye were but little at the first,
    But mighty at the last.

  23. Take My Life, and Let it Be

    by Frances Ridley Havergal

    Take my life, and let it be
    Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.

    Take my moments and my days;
    Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

    Take my hands, and let them move
    At the impulse of Thy love.

    Take my feet, and let them be
    Swift and 'beautiful' for Thee.

    Take my voice, and let me sing
    Always, only, for my King.

    Take my lips, and let them be
    Filled with messages from Thee.

    Take my silver and my gold;
    Not a mite would I withhold.

    Take my intellect, and use
    Every power as Thou shalt choose.

    Take my will, and make it Thine;
    It shall be no longer mine.

    Take my heart, it is Thine own;
    It shall be Thy royal throne.

    Take my love; my Lord, I pour
    At Thy feet its treasure-store.

    Take myself, and I will be
    Ever, only, ALL for Thee.

  24. The Way to Be Happy

    by Jane Taylor

    How pleasant it is at the end of the day,
    No follies to have to repent,
    But reflect on the past and be able to say,
    My time has been properly spent!

    When I’ve done all my business with patience and care,
    And been good, and obliging, and kind,
    I lie on my pillow and sleep away there,
    With a happy and peaceable mind.

    Instead of all this, if it must be confest,
    That I careless and idle have been,
    I lie down as usual, and go to my rest,
    But feel discontented within.

    Then as I dislike all the trouble I’ve had,
    In future I’ll try to prevent it,
    For I never am naughty without being sad,
    Or good—without being contented.

  25. At the Water

    by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

    I liked to go to the branch today;
    I liked to play with the wiggletails there.
    And five little smells and one big smell
    Were going round in the air.

    One was the water, a little cold smell,
    And one was mud and that was more,
    And one was the smell of cool wet moss,
    And one was some fennel up on the shore.

    And the one big smell came out of the mint,
    And one was something I couldn't tell.
    And the five little ones and the big one
    All went together very well.

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