Poetry is the chosen language of childhood and youth. The baby repeats words again and again for the mere joy of their sound: the melody of nursery rhymes gives a delight which is quite independent of the meaning of the words. Not until youth approaches maturity is there an equal pleasure in the rounded periods of elegant prose. It is in childhood therefore that the young mind should be stored with poems whose rhythm will be a present delight and whose beautiful thoughts will not lose their charm in later years.
Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate,
And thus accosted him:
"What news? what news? your tidings tell
Tell me you must and shall--
Say why bareheaded you are come,
Or why you come at all?"
Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit,
And loved a timely joke;
And thus unto the calender
In merry guise he spoke:
"I came because your horse would come;
And, if I well forbode,
My hat and wig will soon be here,
They are upon the road."
The calender, right glad to find
His friend in merry pin,
Return'd him not a single word,
But to the house went in;
Whence straight he came with hat and wig,
A wig that flow'd behind,
A hat not much the worse for wear,
Each comely in its kind.
He held them up, and in his turn
Thus show'd his ready wit,
"My head is twice as big as yours,
They therefore needs must fit.
"But let me scrape the dirt away
That hangs upon your face;
And stop and eat, for well you may