Mary Mapes Dodge Famous Poems

Mary Mapes Dodge (1831-1905) was born in New York, USA. She was a poet as well as a magazine writer. She focused more on children and youth. And for 30 years magazine St. Nicholas continued to write and edit. The reason for her fame was this magazine, but she also had excellent skills in her poetry. She is gone from this world but her name will live forever.

An Offertory

Poet: Mary Mapes Dodge

Mary Mapes Dodge Famous Poems

Oh, the beauty of the Christ Child,
The gentleness, the grace,
The smiling, loving tenderness.
The infantile embrace!
All babyhood he holdeth,
All motherhood enfoldeth
Yet who hath seen his face?

Oh, the nearness of the Christ Child,
When, for a sacred space,
He nestles in our very homes
Light of the human race!
We know him and we love him,
No man to us need prove him
Yet who hath seen his face?



Poet: Mary Mapes Dodge

If you’ve any task to do,
Let me whisper, friend, to you,
Do it.

If you’ve any thing to say,
True and needed, yea or nay.
Say it.

If you’ve any thing to love.
As a blessing from above,
Love it.

If you’ve any thing to give,
That another’s joy may live,
Give it.

If some hollow creed you doubt.
Though the whole world hoot and shout,
Doubt it.

If you know what torch to light.
Guiding others through the night.
Light it.

If you’ve any debt to pay,
Rest you neither night nor day —
Pay it.

If you’ve any joy to hold,
Next your heart, lest it grow cold.
Hold it.

If you’ve any grief to meet,
At the loving Father’s feet.
Meet it.

If you’ve given light to see
What a child of God should be,
See it.

Whether life be bright or drear.
There’s a message, sweet and clear,
Whispered down to every ear —
Hear it!


Ho, Dandelion

Poet: Mary Mapes Dodge

Ho, Dandelion! my lightsome fellow!
What’s become of all your yellow?
“My bonnie yellow it wouldn’t stay,
It turned about and it went away.
Till nothing at all was left of me
But the misty, feathery ball you see;
Yet pluck me off, and blow me well.
The time o’ day I’ll surely tell.”

Whiff! whiff! “Blow again,—
Blow with all your might and main.”
Whiff! whiff! That is four.
Now I’ve but two feathers more.
Whiff! How tight the last one sticks!
Whiff! It’s gone, and that makes six.
The sun is getting low, I see,
And we must hurry home to tea.


The Alphabet

Poet: Mary Mapes Dodge

Little boys with pockets,
Little boys with none,
Little bright-eyed lassies
Gather, every one!
Crowd around me closely.
Would you master books?
You must first discover
How each letter looks.

A has a bar
Where a fairy might ride;

B is a post
With two loops at the side.

C might be round
If a piece you would lend;

D is a buck-saw
Standing on end.

E has a peg
In the middle, they say;

F is an E
With the bottom away.

G is like C,
With a block on one end;

H has a seat
That would hold you, depend.

I is so straight
It would do for a prop;

J is a crook
With a bar at the top.

K is a stick
With a crotch fastened to it

L is a roost,
If the chickens but knew it

M has four parts,
As you quickly may see;

N, the poor fellow!
Is made out of three.

O is so round
It would do for a hoop;

P is a stick
With a top like a loop.

Q to be curly
Is constantly trying;

R is like B,
With the bottom loop flying.

S is a snake,
All crooked and dread;

T is a pole
With a bar for a head.

U it is plain,
Would make a good swing;

V is as sharp
As a bumble-bee’s sting.

W ought
To be called double-V;

X is a cross,
As you plainly can see;

Y is just formed
Like a V on a stand;

Z is the crookedest
Thing in the land!


Child’s Prayer

Poet: Mary Mapes Dodge

From the sunny morning
To the starry night,
Every look and motion
Meets our Father’s sight.

From our earliest breathing
To our latest year,
Every sound we utter
Meets our Father’s ear.

Through our earthly journey,
Wheresoe’er we go,
Every thought and feeling
Doth our Father know.

Let us then be careful
That our looks shall be
Brave and kind and cheerful,
For our Lord to see.

Let us guard each accent
With a holy fear.
Fit our every saying
For our Lord to hear.

Let no thought within us,
Hidden or confessed,
Ever bring a sorrow
To our dear Lord’s breast.

Help us, O our Father!
Hear our earnest plea —
Teach thy little children
How to live for Thee!


A Common Mistake

Poet: Mary Mapes Dodge

The wisest thing
For any man,
Is to get from others
All he can.

The meanest thing
A man can do,
Is to get his gains
From me or you.


Stocking Song On Christmas Eve

Poet: Mary Mapes Dodge

Welcome, Christmas! heel and toe,
Here we wait thee in a row.
Come, good Santa Claus, we beg, —
Fill us tightly, foot and leg.

Fill us quickly ere you go, —
Fill us till we overflow.
That’s the way! and leave us more
Heaped in piles upon the floor.

Little feet that ran all day
Twitch in dreams of merry play;
Little feet that jumped at will
Lie all pink, and warm, and still.

See us, how we lightly swing;
Hear us, how we try to sing.
Welcome, Christmas! heel and toe,
Come and fill us ere you go.

Here we hang till some one nimbly
Jumps with treasure down the chimney,
Bless us! how he’ll tickle us!


In Trust

Poet: Mary Mapes Dodge

It’s coming, boys,
It’s almost here;
It’s coming, girls.
The grand New Year

A year to be glad in,
Not to be bad in;
A year to live in,
To gain and give in;

A year for trying,
And not for sighing;
A year for striving
And hearty thriving;

A bright new year.
Oh! hold it dear;
For God who sendeth
He only lendeth.



Poet: Mary Mapes Dodge

My little one came, and brought me a flower.
Never a sweeter one grew;
But it faded and faded in one short hour,
And lost all its pretty blue.

My little one stayed in the room and played;
And so my flower bloomed bright, —
My beautiful blossom that did not fade,
But slept in my arms all night.



Poet: Mary Mapes Dodge

Good morning, mamma! Good-morning, bright sun!
Good-morning, papa! The day is begun.
Good-morning to every one, pussy as well:
Does he sleep like the rest, till he hears the first bell?

Good-morning it is, for the sky is all blue,
The grass is just shining and sparkling with dew;
The birdies are singing their merriest song.
And the air through the window comes sunny and strong.

Good-morning it is, for dark was the night,
And chilly and still, but the morning is bright.
If God did not watch us and bring us the day.
We’d never be able to get up and play.

Good-morning, new day! I m glad we’re awake.
Your work and your sunshine and frolic to take;
And I’m glad we are able so gayly to call
Good-morning! good-morning! Good morning to all!


Birdies with Broken Wings

Poet: Mary Mapes Dodge

Birdies with broken wings,
Hide from each other;
But babies in trouble
Can run home to mother.


Shepherd John

Poet: Mary Mapes Dodge

Oh! Shepherd John is good and kind.
Oh Shepherd John is brave;
He loves the weakest of his flock,
His arm is quick to save.

But Shepherd John to little John
Says: “Learn, my laddie, learn!
In grassy nooks still read your books;
And aye for knowledge burn,

Read while you tend the grazing flock
Had I but loved my book,
I’d not be still in shepherd’s frock,
Nor bearing shepherd’s crook.

The world is wide, the world is fair,
There’s muckle work to do.
I’ll rest content a shepherd still,
But grander fields for you!”


Baby In Dreamland

Poet: Mary Mapes Dodge

Baby’s dreams are very bright,
Though they come at dead of night,
When the house is still;
For a moonbeam comes to take her
Where the sweetest sounds shall wake her,
Where she’ll play at will.

In the dreamland, far away,
There do sleeping babies play,
There they laugh and walk.
All the day their speech is gone –
Not a foot to stand upon —
There they leap and talk.

There the pretty candle-blaze,
When they clutch it, brightly stays;
There the stars so grand
Come to meet the outstretched arm,
Leap all sparkling to the palm
Of the little hand.

But in all that wondrous place,
Still is smiling, mother’s face;
Mother s touch is there;
And like music sweet and low.
Though the baby does not know,
Breathes the mother’s prayer

So the baby laughs and plays
Through the happy dreamland ways
(Close to heaven, maybe),
Till the merry sunbeams take her
To her bed, and gently wake her,
— Now, come see to Baby!


At The Window

Poet: Mary Mapes Dodge

In and out, in and out.
Through the clouds heaped about.
Wanders the bright moon.

What she seeks, I do not know;
Where it is, I cannot show.

I am but a little child,
And the night is strange and wild.

In and out, in and out,
Wanders the bright moon;
In and out, in and out,
She will find it soon.

There she comes! as clear as day,
Now the clouds are going away.
She is smiling, I can see,
And she’s looking straight at me.

Pretty moon, so bright and round.
Won’t you tell me what you found?


Now the Noisy Winds Are Still

Poet: Mary Mapes Dodge

Now the noisy winds are still;
April’s coming up the hill!
All the spring is in her train,
Led by shining ranks of rain;
Pit, pat, patter, clatter,
Sudden sun, and clatter, patter!

First the blue, and then the shower;
Bursting bud, and smiling flower;
Brooks set free with tinkling ring;
Birds too full of song to sing;
Crisp old leaves astir with pride,
Where the timid violets hide,
All things ready with a will,
April’s coming up the hill!



Poet: Mary Mapes Dodge

Little white feathers, filling the air
Little white feathers! how came ye there?
“We came from the cloud-birds sailing so high;
They’re shaking their white wings up in the sky.”

Little white feathers, how swift you go!
Little white feathers, I love you so!
“We are swift because we have work to do;
But hold up your face, and we’ll kiss you true.”


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