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Poems for 5th Graders

Table of Contents

At the Window
At the Window
by Cicely Mary Barker
  1. The Night Has a Thousand Eyes by Francis William Bourdillon
  2. I Marred a Day by Annette Wynne
  3. Spring by H. G. Adams
  4. Autumn by Emily Dickinson
  5. In St. Germain Street by Bliss Carman
  6. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost
  7. A Lesson by Ruby Archer
  8. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Excerpt by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  9. The Scarecrow by Annie Stone
  10. Conscience and Remorse by Paul Laurence Dunbar
  11. The Miser by Ruby Archer
  12. I'm Free by Anonymous
  13. A Recipe For a Day by Amos Russel Wells
  14. In Time's Swing by Lucy Larcom
  15. The Creator by John Keble
  16. Afterglow by Anonymous
  17. The Manly Life by Henry van Dyke
  18. John Curzon's Watch by Amos Russel Wells
  19. Purpose by Amos Russel Wells
  20. Morning Windows by Amos Russel Wells
  21. Perseverance by Alice Cary
  22. The Sky by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

  1. The Night Has a Thousand Eyes

    by Francis William Bourdillon

    The night has a thousand eyes,
    And the day but one;
    Yet the light of the bright world dies
    With the dying sun.

    The mind has a thousand eyes,
    And the heart but one:
    Yet the light of a whole life dies
    When love is done.

  2. I Marred a Day

    by Annette Wynne

    I marred a day, a shining day,
    (God lent it clean and bright);
    I sent it lusterless away,
    I dimmed its gracious light;
    And God I know was sorrowing
    For that poor soiled and tarnished thing.

    In everlasting tenderness
    Another day of light
    God sent; each hour I strove to bless,
    I kept it clean and bright;
    And God was glad—it shone away
    The meanness of my other day.

  3. Spring

    by H. G. Adams

    A bursting into greenness;
    A waking as from sleep;
    A twitter and a warble
    That make the pulses leap:
    A watching, as in childhood,
    For the flowers that, one by one,
    Open their golden petals
    To woo the fitful sun.
    A gust, a flash, a gurgle,
    A wish to shout and sing,
    As, filled with hope and gladness,
    We hail the vernal Spring.

  4. Autumn

    by Julian Onderdonk
    by Emily Dickinson

    The morns are meeker than they were,
    The nuts are getting brown;
    The berry's cheek is plumper,
    The rose is out of town.

    The maple wears a gayer scarf,
    The field a scarlet gown.
    Lest I should be old-fashioned,
    I'll put a trinket on.

  5. In St. Germain Street

    Rainy Day on Fifth Avenue
    Rainy Day on Fifth Avenue
    by Childe Hassam
    by Bliss Carman

    Through the street of St. Germain
    March the tattered hosts of rain,

    While the wind with vagrant fife
    Whips their chilly ranks to life.

    From the window I can see
    Their ghostly banners blowing free,

    As they pass to where the ships
    Crowd about the wharves and slips.

    There at day's end they embark
    To invade the realms of dark,

    And the sun comes out again
    In the street of St. Germain.

  6. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

    Riders in the Snow of the Woods at The Hague
    Riders in the Snow of the Woods at The Hague
    by Anton Mauve
    by Robert Frost

    Whose woods these are I think I know.
    His house is in the village though;
    He will not see me stopping here
    To watch his woods fill up with snow.

    My little horse must think it queer
    To stop without a farmhouse near
    Between the woods and frozen lake
    The darkest evening of the year.

    He gives his harness bells a shake
    To ask if there is some mistake.
    The only other sound’s the sweep
    Of easy wind and downy flake.

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

  7. A Lesson

    Build as doth the lowly coral,—
    Give yourselves. That shall endure.

    – Ruby Archer
    A Lesson
    by Ruby Archer

    Would ye build that generations
    Yet to be may call you great?
    Would ye have your lives' creations
    O'er the ages tower elate?

    Hearken then a world-old moral,—
    Abnegation, meek and pure.
    Build as doth the lowly coral,—
    Give yourselves. That shall endure.

  8. He Prayeth Best Who Loveth Best

    He Prayeth Best
    He Prayeth Best
    by Margaret Tarrant
    by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. This text is an excerpt from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

    Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
    To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!
    He prayeth well who loveth well
    Both man and bird and beast.

    He prayeth best who loveth best
    All things, both great and small:
    For the dear God who loveth us,
    He made and loveth all.

  9. The Scarecrow

    The Scarecrow
    The Scarecrow
    by Joaquim Vayreda
    by Annie Stone

    Here is the scarecrow, see him stand
    Upon the newly planted land;
    A figure rugged and forlorn,
    A silent watcher of the corn.

    His dangling legs, his arms spread wide,
    A lone man of the countryside;
    Uncouth, the butt of pen and tongue,
    Unheralded, unsought, unsung

    To you, old scarecrow, then this lay
    To cheer you on your lonely way;
    Would that all men, their whole lives through,
    Served some good purpose same as you.

  10. Conscience and Remorse

    I cried: "Come back, my conscience;
    I long to see thy face."
    But conscience cried: "I cannot;
    Remorse sits in my place."

    – Paul Laurence Dunbar
    Conscience and Remorse
    by Paul Laurence Dunbar

    "Good-bye," I said to my conscience —
    "Good-bye for aye and aye,"
    And I put her hands off harshly,
    And turned my face away;
    And conscience smitten sorely
    Returned not from that day.

    But a time came when my spirit
    Grew weary of its pace;
    And I cried: "Come back, my conscience;
    I long to see thy face."
    But conscience cried: "I cannot;
    Remorse sits in my place."

  11. The Miser

    by Ruby Archer

    I caught old Ocean this morning early
    Down on his knees on the shore.
    Shells were hung in his beard so curly,
    He was counting his golden store.

    He let it glitter between his fingers,
    Tossed it bright in his hand.
    No such wealth in the fabled Indies—
    Treasure of golden sand.

  12. I'm Free

    by Anonymous

    Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free
    I’m following the path God has laid you see.
    I took His hand when I heard him call
    I turned my back and left it all.

    I could not stay another day
    To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
    Tasks left undone must stay that way
    I found that peace at the close of day.

    If my parting has left a void
    Then fill it with remembered joy.
    A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss
    Oh yes, these things I too will miss.

    Be not burdened with times of sorrow
    I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
    My life’s been full, I savored much
    Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.

    Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
    Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
    Lift up your hearts and peace to thee
    God wanted me now; He set me free.

  13. A Recipe For a Day

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Take a little dash of water cold,
    And a little leaven of prayer,
    And a little bit of morning gold
    Dissolved in the morning air.

    Add to your meal some merriment,
    And a thought for kith and kin;
    And then, as your prime ingredient,
    A plenty of work throw in.

    But spice it all with the essence of love
    And a little whiff of play;
    Let a wise old Book and a glance above
    Complete the well-made day.

  14. In Time's Swing

    by Lucy Larcom

    Father Time, your footsteps go
    Lightly as the falling snow.
    In your swing I'm sitting, see!
    Push me softly; one, two; three,
    Twelve times only. Like a sheet,
    Spread the snow beneath my feet.
    Singing merrily, let me swing
    Out of winter into spring.

    Swing me out, and swing me in!
    Trees are bare, but birds begin
    Twittering to the peeping leaves,
    On the bough beneath the eaves.
    Wait,—one lilac bud I saw.
    Icy hillsides feel the thaw.
    April chased off March to-day;
    Now I catch a glimpse of May.

    Oh, the smell of sprouting grass!
    In a blur the violets pass.
    Whispering from the wildwood come
    Mayflower's breath and insect's hum.
    Roses carpeting the ground;
    Thrushes, orioles, warbling sound:—
    Swing me low, and swing me high,
    To the warm clouds of July.

    Slower now, for at my side
    White pond lilies open wide.
    Underneath the pine's tall spire
    Cardinal blossoms burn like fire.
    They are gone; the golden-rod
    Flashes from the dark green sod.
    Crickets in the grass I hear;
    Asters light the fading year.

    Slower still! October weaves
    Rainbows of the forest leaves.
    Gentians fringed, like eyes of blue,
    Glimmer out of sleety dew.
    Meadow green I sadly miss:
    Winds through withered sedges hiss.
    Oh, 't is snowing, swing me fast,
    While December shivers past!

    Frosty-bearded Father Time,
    Stop your footfall on the rime!
    Hard you push, your hand is rough;
    You have swung me long enough.
    "Nay, no stopping," say you? Well,
    Some of your best stories tell,
    While you swing me—gently, do!—
    From the Old Year to the New.

  15. The Creator

    by John Keble

    Come, and I will show you what is beautiful. It is a rose fully blown. See how she sits upon her mossy stem, the queen of flowers. Her leaves glow like fire. The air is filled with her sweet odor. She is the delight of every eye.

    But there is one fairer than the rose. He that made the rose is more beautiful than the rose. He is altogether lovely. He is the delight of every heart.

    I will show you what is strong. The lion is strong. When he raiseth himself up from his lair, when he shaketh his mane, when the voice of his roaring is heard, the cattle of the field fly, and the wild beasts of the desert hide themselves; for he is terrible.

    But He who made the lion is stronger than the lion. He can do all things. He gave us life, and in a moment can take it away, and no one can save us from his hand.

    I will show you what is glorious. The sun is glorious. When he shineth in the clear sky, when he sitteth on his throne in the heavens, and looketh abroad over the earth, he is the most glorious and excellent object the eye can behold.

    But He who made the sun is more glorious than the sun. The eye cannot look on his dazzling brightness. He seeth all dark places, by night as well as by day. The light of his countenance is over all the world.

    This great Being is God. He made all things, but He is more excellent than all that He has made. He is the Creator, they are the creatures. They may be beautiful, but He is Beauty. They may be strong, but He is Strength. They may be perfect, but He is Perfection.

    There is a book, who runs may read,
    Which heavenly truth imparts,
    And all the lore its scholars need—
    Pure eyes and loving hearts.

    The works of God, above, below,
    Within us, and around,
    Are pages in that book, to show
    How God himself is found.

    The glorious sky, embracing all,
    Is like the Father's love;
    Wherewith encompassed, great and small
    In peace and order move.

    Thou who hast given me eyes to see
    And love this sight so fair,
    Give me a heart to find out Thee
    And read Thee everywhere.

  16. Afterglow

    I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.

    – Anonymous
    by Anonymous

    I'd like the memory of me to be a happy one.
    I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
    I'd like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
    Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
    I'd like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun;
    Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.

  17. Four Things

    by Henry van Dyke

    Four things a man must learn to do
    If he would make his record true:
    To think without confusion clearly;
    To love his fellow-men sincerely;
    To act from honest motives purely;
    To trust in God and Heaven securely.

  18. John Curzon's Watch

    Conquer—from things as they are!

    - Amos Russel Wells
    John Curzon's Watch
    by Amos Russel Wells

    Have you heard of John Curzon, of Poland?
    A wonderful artisan, he!
    A watchmaker equalled in no land,
    As you, I am sure, will agree.

    For the Czar of the Russias, to try him,
    Commanded a watch for his fob,
    And bade that his envoy supply him
    With all he might use in the job.

    So the messenger brought some wood chippings,
    Some glass that was smashed in a fall,
    Copper nails and some bits of wire clippings,
    And a cracked china cup; that was all!

    John Curzon, this rubbish receiving,
    Contrived, with no other to aid,—
    it is true, though it seems past believing,—
    A watch that was perfectly made!

    The case—it was formed of the china.
    The works were patched up from the rest.
    it was worthy a rez or rigina;
    And Curzon had won in the test!

    So, my lad, with no money and no land,
    And Fate as severe as the Czar,
    Just think you are Curzon of Poland,
    And conquer—from things as they are!

  19. Purpose

    Sunlit Forest Path
    Sunlit Forest Path
    by Johan Krouthén
    by Amos Russel Wells

    Deeply and long the sap must flow
    Ere the merest layer of elm can grow.

    Many a wave's recurrent shock
    Is needed to smooth the tiniest rock.

    Thousands of leaves must fade and fall
    To make the mold by the garden wall.

    Thus, as the patient seasons roll,
    Slowly is fashioned a human soul.

    Purpose and failure and purpose still,
    Steadily moved by a quiet will,—

    Layer on layer in sturdy way,
    Hardly seen the growth of a day,—

    Times of failure and fear and fall,
    But one strong tendency through it all,—

    God and purpose and sun by sun
    Reach the stars before they are done!

    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    – Jeremiah 29:11
    The Bible, NIV
  20. Morning Windows

    Vase of Flowers and Window
    Vase of Flowers and Window
    by Paul Gauguin
    by Amos Russel Wells

    The brightest thing a house can do,
    When morning fills the skies,
    Is just to catch the sun's first rays,
    And flash the brilliant prize.

    No eighty-candle lights within
    Can match the dazzling sight,
    And every window-pane becomes
    A fusillade of light!

    Thus, thus it is when households kneel
    In humble morning prayer.
    The very Sun of Righteousness
    Is caught and captured there:

    And all the day, in all its ways,
    However dull they be,
    The happy windows of that home
    Are scintillant to see!

  21. Perseverance

    by Alice Cary

    The boy who does a stroke, and stops—
    Will ne’er a great man be;
    ’Tis the aggregate of single drops
    That makes the sea the sea.

    The mountain was not at its birth
    A mountain, so to speak:
    The little atoms of sand and earth
    Have made its peak a peak.

    Not all at once the morning streams
    Its gold above the gray,
    It takes a thousand little beams
    To make the day the day

    Not from the snow-drift, May awakes,
    In purples, reds, and greens;
    Spring's whole bright retinue it takes
    To make her queen of queens.

    Upon the orchard, rain must fall,
    And soak from branch to root,
    And blossoms bloom and fade withal,
    Before the fruit is fruit.

    The farmer needs must sow and till
    And wait the wheaten head,
    Then cradle, thresh, and go to mill,
    Before his bread is bread.

    Swift heels may get the early shout,
    But, spite of all the din,
    It is the patient holding out
    That makes the winner win.

    Make this your motto, then, at start,
    ’Twill help to smooth the way,
    And steady up both hand and heart,—
    “Rome wasn't built in a day!”

  22. The Sky

    by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

    I saw a shadow on the ground
    And heard a bluejay going by;
    A shadow went across the ground,
    And I looked up and saw the sky.

    It hung up on the poplar tree,
    But while I looked it did not stay;
    It gave a tiny sort of jerk
    And moved a little bit away.

    And farther on and farther on
    It moved and never seemed to stop.
    I think it must be tied with chains
    And something pulls it from the top.

    It never has come down again,
    And every time I look to see,
    The sky is always slipping back
    And getting far away from me.

  23. The Branch

    by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

    We stopped at the branch on the way to the hill.
    We stopped at the water a while and played.
    We hid our things by the osage tree
    And took off our shoes and stockings to wade.

    There is sand at the bottom that bites at your feet,
    And there is a rock where the waterfall goes.
    You can poke your foot in the foamy part
    And feel how the water runs over your toes.

    The little black spiders that walk on the top
    Of the water are hard and stiff and cool.
    And I saw some wiggletails going around,
    And some slippery minnows that live in the pool.

    And where it is smooth there is moss on a stone,
    And where it is shallow and almost dry
    The rocks are broken and hot in the sun,
    And a rough little water goes hurrying by.

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