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Short poem

Eugene Field (1850-1895)

Shuffle-Shoon and Amber-Locks

              1Shuffle-Shoon and Amber-Locks
              2Sit together, building blocks;
              3    Shuffle-Shoon is old and grey,
              4        Amber-Locks a little child,
              5    But together at their play
              6        Age and Youth are reconciled,
              7And with sympathetic glee
              8Build their castles fair to see.

              9"When I grow to be a man"
            10(So the wee one's prattle ran),
            11    "I shall build a castle so--
            12      With a gateway broad and grand;
            13    Here a pretty vine shall grow,
            14        There a soldier guard shall stand;
            15And the tower shall be so high,
            16Folks will wonder, by-and-by!"

            17Shuffle-Shoon quoth: "Yes, I know;
            18Thus I builded long ago!
            19    Here a gate and there a wall,
            20      Here a window, there a door;
            21    Here a steeple wondrous tall
            22        Riseth ever more and more!
            23But the years have levelled low
            24What I builded long ago!"

            25So they gossip at their play,
            26Heedless of the fleeting day;
            27    One speaks of the Long Ago
            28      Where his dead hopes buried lie;
            29    One with chubby cheeks aglow
            30        Prattleth of the By-and-By;
            31Side by side, they build their blocks--
            32Shuffle-Shoon and Amber-Locks.

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: Eugene Field, Lullaby-Land: Poems of Childhood (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1904): 87-90.
First publication date: 1904
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1997.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/27

Rhyme: aabcbcbdd

Other poems by Eugene Field