[Lines to the sweetest little girl in the world.]

Sitting and watching the fire-light fall
In fitful gleams, on floor, and wall,
I think of the fairest of baby-girls,
With bright blue eyes, and sunny curls,
With two round cheeks, and a dimpled hand--
The sweetest baby in all the land.

I think of her thousand coaxing arts,
That won her place in my heart of hearts;
And how at twilight, the baby's hour--
A winsome queen, she ruled in power;
And laid on my shoulder her head of gold
And named the stories she wanted told.

"Goosey Loosey," "Cat and Mouse,"
"London Bridge," and "Jack and his House,"
"Peter's Pig," and "the Foolish Frog,"
"The Mooley Cow," and "the Poly-wog."
And when these were told, as many more,
Till I needs must add, to my ample atore.

I can think how the bright little eyes would glow
At the tale of the kid that was made to go.
How they filled with tears, when Old Mother Hubbard
Opened the door on an empty cupboard.
How they sparkled with glee, and glowed with fun
When she heard how the wasp made the hornet run.

Over and over the winsome elf
Would plead for the stories she knew herself;
She would sigh o'er the fate of poor Hen-Pen
Who foolishly hid in the Fox's den,
And grieve o'er the poor little mouse that was drowned
Before his "great long tail" was found.

And sitting alone in the fire-light's glow,
And thinking about it, all I know
That not on the earth, in any place,
Is there such another winsome face--
Is there another, so sweet and wise,
As baby Eva--beneath the skies.


Shells by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Milwaukee: Hauser & Storey, 1873.

Back to Poem Index