Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
901. Mother Goose Sonnets
By Harriet S. Morgridge

AH, Jack it was, and with him little Jill,
Of the same age and size, a neighbor’s daughter,
Who on a breezy morning climbed the hill
To fetch down to the house a pail of water.
Jack put his best foot foremost on that day,—        5
Vaulting ambition we have seen before,—
He stepped too far, of course, and soon he lay
In the vile path, his little crown so sore!
The next act in the tragedy was played
By Jill, whose eager foothold, too, was brief.        10
Epitome of life, that boy and maid
Together hoped, together came to grief.
And in their simple story lies concealed
The germ of half that ’s plucked in fiction’s field.

A BOY named Simon sojourned in a dale;
Some said that he was simple, but I ’m sure
That he was nothing less than simon pure;
They thought him so because, forsooth, a whale
He tried to catch in Mother’s water-pail.
Ah! little boy, timid, composed, demure,—        20
He had imagination. Yet endure
Defeat he could, for he of course did fail.
But there are Simons of a larger growth,
Who, too, in shallow waters fish for whales,
And when they fail they are “unfortunate.”        25
If the small boy is simple, then are both,
And the big Simon more, who often rails
At what he calls ill luck or unkind fate.


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