Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Babes in the Wood, Anonymous

My dear, do you know,
How a long time ago,
     Two poor little children,
Whose names I don't know,
Were stolen away
On a fine summer's day,
     And left in a wood,
As I've heard people say.

Among the trees high
Beneath the blue sky
     They plucked the bright flowers
And watched the birds fly;
Then on blackberries fed,
And strawberries red,
     And when they were weary
'We'll go home,' they said.
                                                                             "Babes in the Woods" Eastman Johnson
And when it was night
So sad was their plight,
     The sun it went down,
And the moon gave no light.
They sobbed and they sighed
And they bitterly cried,
     And long before morning
They lay down and died.

And when they were dead
The robins so red
     Brought strawberry leaves
And over them spread;
And all the day long,
The green branches among,
     They'd prettily whistle
And this was their song-

'Poor babes in the wood!
Sweet babes in the wood!
     Oh the sad fate of
The babes in the wood!'

I loved this old poem, and always thought of it when my two little cherubs were little, especially if they'd been naughty and were hiding  behind the couch to delay being told off.  It was also one of the inspirations for my poem "Remember, Remember the Babes in the Wood."

Of course, far younger still, and doesn't everyone at some stage wonder who the strange "Anony mouse" was?  Certainly someone who'd written an awful lot of rhymes and poetry, but possibly more than that, maybe something more like a Borrower (Mary Norton).  After all, these are important considerations for the young.  It's important that trespassers wont be executed (prosecuted), and that words like anonymous are properly analysed - just in case they hold some not-quite hidden meaning.  :)

Enjoy your week, I'm sure there are going to be some great posts up this week at the Tuesday hub.   For those that haven't been by for a while there's a new layout and the links to the Tuesday Poets are now on the left hand side.  (Emma McCleary was the editor this week with "Kiss," by Rachel Bush.)

A.J. Ponder 

 A.J. Ponder's work is available through Rona Gallery, Amazon, and good Wellington bookstores


  1. At least Hansel and Gretel got names!

    And as to Anony Mouse, Alicia, doesn't that sound like a minor Superhero? Perhaps with special powers over cheese in a bad American children's cartoon. I can see the cape already.

    1. I find it's one of the reasons this is so poignant, the lack of names.

      And yes, definitely - Anony Mouse to the rescue! He can befriend Darkwing Duck and Atom Ant :)

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