01 November 2014

'Naughty Johnnie Frost'


                              "Little Leaf," said young Jack Frost,
                                   "Pretty Leaf," said he,
                              "Tell me why you seem so shy,
                                   So afraid of me?
                              I protest I like you well—
                                   In your gown of green
                              You're the very sweetest Leaf
                                   I have ever seen!"

                              "Run away," said little Leaf,
                                   "Prithee, run away!
                              I don't want to listen to
                                   Anything you say.
                              Mother-tree has often said:
                                   'Child, have naught to do
                              With young Johnnie Frost' — I think
                                   That, perhaps, he's you!"

                              "Nay, believe me, little Leaf,
                                   Pretty Leaf '! Indeed
                              To such silly, idle tales
                                   You should pay no heed!
                              I protest a leaf so fair
                                   Need not bashful be—
                              There's no reason why you should
                                   Feel afraid of me."

                              "Well, perhaps," said little Leaf,
                                   "I will let you stay—
                              If you're really very sure
                                   You mean all you say?
                              Do you truly like me best— "
                                   "Yes, oh yes!" he said,
                              "And, to prove it, pray accept
                                   This new dress of red !"

                              Very proud was little Leaf,
                                   Whispering with a smile,
                              "'Tis a sweetly pretty gown,
                                   'Twill be quite the style!"
                              Then she chanced to glance around!
                                   "Oh!" and "Oh!" she said
                              Every leaf upon the tree
                                   Wore a dress of red!

The Shining Ship and Other Verse for Children
Isabel Ecclestone Mackay
Toronto: McClelland, Goodchild & Stewart, 1918

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