Perhaps in answer to requests from young readers, for several months, Robert Merry’s Museum included a heavily-illustrated section called “Little Leaves for Little Readers,” intended for “the A b c darians—those who have just begun to read.” The pieces may have been reprinted in 1844 as Peter Parley’s Little Leaves for Little Readers.
Some Little Poems for Little Readers (from Robert Merry’s Museum)
“Idle Mary” (June 1843; p. 190)

Oh, Mary, this will never do!

This work is sadly done, my dear;

And then so little of it too!

You have not taken pains, I fear.

Oh no, your work has been forgotten,

Indeed, you’ve hardly thought of that.

I saw you roll your ball of cotton

About the floor to please the cat.

See, here are stitches straggling wide

And others reaching down so far;

I’m very sure you have not tried

In this, at least, to please mama.

The little girl who will not sow,

Must neither be allowed to play;

And then I hope, my love, that you

Will take more pains another day.

“Sleepy Harry” (June 1843; p. 191)

“I do not like to go to bed,”

Sleepy little Harry said; “Go, naughty Betty, go away,

I will not come at all, I say!”

The little birds are better taught,

They go to roosting when they ought;

And all the ducks and fowls, you know

They went to bed an hour ago.

The little beggar in the street,

Who wanders with his naked feet,

And has not where to lay his head,

Oh, he’d be glad to go to bed.

“Mama and Baby” (June 1843; p. 191)

What a little thing am I!

Hardly higher than the table;

I can eat, and play, and cry,

But to work I am not able.

Nothing in the world, I know,

But mama will try and show me:

Sweet mama, I love her so,

She’s so very kind to me.

And she sets me on her knee,

Very often, for some kisses:

Oh! how good I’ll try to be,

For such a dear mama as this is.

Copyright 1999-2024, Pat Pflieger
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