The Atlantic Monthly/Volume 2/Number 3/My Children

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My Children

Have you seen Annie and Kitty,
    Two merry children of mine?
  All that is winning and pretty
    Their little persons combine.

  Annie is kissing and clinging
    Dozens of times in a day,--
  Chattering, laughing, and singing,
    Romping, and running away.

  Annie knows all of her neighbors.
    Dainty and dirty alike,--
  Learns all their talk, and, "be jabers,"
    Says she "adores little Mike!"

  Annie goes mad for a flower,
    Eager to pluck and destroy,--
  Cuts paper dolls by the hour,
    Always her model--a boy!

  Annie is full of her fancies,
    Tells most remarkable lies,
  (Innocent little romances,)
    Startling in one of her size.

  Three little prayers we have taught her,
    Graded from winter to spring;
  Oh, you should listen my daughter
    Saying them all in a string!


  Kitty—ah, how my heart blesses
    Kitty, my lily, my rose!
  Wary of all my caresses,
    Chary of all she bestows.

  Kitty loves quietest places,
    Whispers sweet sermons to chairs,
  And, with the gravest of faces,
    Teaches old Carlo his prayers.

  Matronly, motherly creature!
    Oh, what a doll she has built—
  Guiltless of figure or feature—
    Out of her own little quilt!

  Nought must come near it to wake it;
    Noise must not give it alarm;
  And when she sleeps, she must take it
    Into her bed, on her arm.

  Kitty is shy of a caller,
    Uttering never a word;
  But when alone in the parlor,
    Talks to herself like a bird.

  Kitty is contrary, rather,
    And, with a comical smile,
  Mutters, "I won't," to her father,—
    Eyeing him slyly the while.

  Loving one more than the other
    Isn't the thing, I confess;
  And I observe that their mother
    Makes no distinction in dress.

  Preference must be improper
    In a relation like this;
  I wouldn't toss up a copper—
    (Kitty, come, give me a kiss!)

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.