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Short poem

Phoebe Cary (1824-1871)


              1Suppose, my little lady,
              2    Your doll should break her head,
              3Could you make it whole by crying
              4    Till your eyes and nose are red?
              5And would n't it be pleasanter
              6    To treat it as a joke;
              7And say you 're glad "'T was Dolly's
              8    And not your head that broke?"

              9Suppose you 're dressed for walking,
            10    And the rain comes pouring down,
            11Will it clear off any sooner
            12    Because you scold and frown?
            13And would n't it be nicer
            14    For you to smile than pout,
            15And so make sunshine in the house
            16    When there is none without?

            17Suppose your task, my little man,
            18    Is very hard to get,
            19Will it make it any easier
            20    For you to sit and fret?
            21And would n't it be wiser
            22    Than waiting like a dunce,
            23To go to work in earnest
            24    And learn the thing at once?

            25Suppose that some boys have a horse,
            26    And some a coach and pair,
            27Will it tire you less while walking
            28    To say, "It is n't fair?"
            29And would n't it be nobler
            30    To keep your temper sweet,
            31And in your heart be thankful
            32    You can walk upon your feet?

            33And suppose the world don't please you,
            34    Nor the way some people do,
            35Do you think the whole creation
            36    Will be altered just for you?
            37And is n't it, my boy or girl,
            38    The wisest, bravest plan,
            39Whatever comes, or does n't come,
            40    To do the best you can?

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: The Poetical Works of Alice and Phoebe Cary (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1882): 323. PS 1263 A1 1882 Robarts Library
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/21

Rhyme: abcbdefe

Other poems by Phoebe Cary