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In My Nursery by Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards

Here is my heart for your valentine


I'm only a poor little mouse, Ma'am. I live in the wall of your house, Ma'am. With a fragment of cheese, And a _very few_ peas, I was having a little carouse, Ma'am.

No mischief at all I intend, Ma'am. I hope you will act as my friend, Ma'am. If my life you should take, Many hearts it would break, And the mischief would be without end, Ma'am.

My wife lives in there, in the crack, Ma'am, She's waiting for me to come back, Ma'am. She hoped I might find A bit of a rind, For the children their dinner do lack, Ma'am.

'Tis hard living there in the wall, Ma'am, For plaster and mortar _will_ pall, Ma'am, On the minds of the young, And when specially hung-- Ry, upon their poor father they'll fall, Ma'am.

I never was given to strife, Ma'am,-- (Don't look at that terrible knife, Ma'am!) The noise overhead That disturbs you in bed, 'Tis the rats, I will venture my life, Ma'am.

In your eyes I see mercy, I'm sure, Ma'am. Oh, there's no need to open the door, Ma'am. I'll slip through the crack, And I'll never come back, Oh! I'll _never_ come back any more, Ma'am!


justify;"> Oh, little loveliest lady mine! What shall I send for your valentine? Summer and flowers are far away, Gloomy old Winter is king to-day, Buds will not blow, and sun will not shine; What shall I do for a valentine?

Prithee, Saint Valentine, tell me here, Why do you come at this time o' year? Plenty of days when lilies are white, Plenty of days when sunbeams are bright; But now, when everything's dark and drear, Why do you come, Saint Valentine dear?

I've searched the gardens all through and through, For a bud to tell of my love so true; But buds are asleep, and blossoms are dead, And the snow beats down on my poor little head; So, little loveliest lady mine, Here is my heart for your valentine.


How is a little boy to know About these berries all, That ripen all the summer through, From spring-time until fall?

I must not eat them till they're ripe, I know that very well; But each kind ripens differently, So how am I to tell?

Though strawberries and raspberries, When ripe, are glowing red, Red blackberries I must not touch, Mamma has lately said.

And though no one of these is fit To touch when it is green, Ripe gooseberries, as green as grass, At Grandpapa's I've seen.

And peas are green when they are ripe; Some kinds of apples too. But they're not berries; neither are These currants, it is true.

These currants, now! why, some are red, And some are brilliant green. "Don't eat unripe ones!" said Mamma. But which ones did she mean?

To disobey her would be wrong. To leave them I am loath. I really _can't_ find out, unless-- Unless I eat them both!

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