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POEM: THE DAISIES
In the great green park with the wooden palings -
The wooden palings so hard to climb,
There are fern and foxglove, primrose and violet,
And green things growing all the time;
And out in the open the daisies grow,
Pretty and proud in their proper places,
Millions of white-frilled daisy faces,
Millions and millions - not one or two.
And they call to the bluebells down in the wood:
"Are you out - are you in? We have been so good
All the school-time winter through,
But now it's playtime,
The gay time, the May time;
We are out and at play. Where are you?"
In the gritty garden inside the railings,
The spiky railings all painted green,
There are neat little beds of geraniums and fuchsia
With never a happy weed between.
There's a neat little grass plot, bald in places,
And very dusty to touch;
A respectable man comes once a week
To keep the garden weeded and swept,
To keep it as we don't want it kept.
He cuts the grass with his mowing-machine,
And we think he cuts it too much.
But even on the lawn, all dry and gritty,
The daisies play about.
They are so brave as well as so pretty,
You cannot keep them out.
I love them, I want to let them grow,
But that respectable man says no.
He cuts off their heads with his mowing-machine
Like the French Revolution guillotine.
He sweeps up the poor little pretty faces,
The dear little white-frilled daisy faces;
Says things must be kept in their proper places
He has no frill round his ugly face -
I wish I could find his proper place!
Turn to the next chapter: POEM: THE TOUCHSTONE