November 5, 2009

Our Little Ghost

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--Description: 19th C, Alcott L.M., Childhood, Children, Humor, Love, Parenting--


Oft in the silence of the night,
When the lonely moon rides high,
When wintry winds are whistling,
And we hear the owl's shrill cry;
In the quiet, dusky chamber,
By the flickering firelight,
Rising up between two sleepers,
Comes a spirit all in white.

A winsome little ghost it is,
Rosy-cheeked and bright of eye,
With yellow curls all breaking loose
From the small cap pushed awry;
Up it climbs among the pillows,
For the "big gark" brings no dread,
And a baby's busy fancy
Makes a kingdom of a bed.

A fearless little ghost it is;
Safe the night as is the day;
The lonely moon to it is fair,
The sighing winds to it are gay.
The solitude is full of friends,
And the hour brings no regrets,
For in this happy little soul
Shines a sun that never sets.

A merry little ghost it is,
Dancing gayly by itself
On the flowery counterpane,
Like a tricksy household elf;
Nodding to the fitful shadows
As they flicker on the wall,
Talking to familiar pictures,
Mimicking the owl's shrill call.

A thoughtful little ghost it is;
And when lonely gambols tire,
With chubby hands on chubby knees,
Sits winking at the fire;
Fancies innocent and lovely
Shine before those baby eyes;
Sunny fields of dandelions,
Brooks, and birds, and butterflies.

A loving little ghost it is,
When crept into its nest,
Its hand on father's shoulder laid,
Its head on mother's breast,
It watches each familiar face
With a tranquil, trusting eye,
And, like a sleepy little bird,
Sings its own soft lullaby.

Then those who feigned to sleep before,
Lest baby play till dawn,
Wake and watch their folded flower,
Little rose without a thorn!
And in the silence of the night,
The hearts that love it most,
Pray tenderly above its sleep,
"God bless our little ghost!"

Louisa May Alcott

--Did You Know: (November 29, 1832 – March 6, 1888) Alcott was an American novelist. She is best known for the novel Little Women, written and set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts and published in 1868. This novel is loosely based on her childhood experiences with her three sisters. Alcott was the daughter of noted transcendentalist and educator Amos Bronson Alcott and Abigail May Alcott. Though of New England heritage, she was born in Germantown, which is currently part of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the second of four daughters; Anna Bronson Alcott was the eldest, Elizabeth Sewall Alcott and Abigail May Alcott were the two youngest.She also wrote passionate, fiery novels and sensation stories under the nom de plume A. M. Barnard. Among these are A Long Fatal Love Chase and Pauline's Passion and Punishment. Her protagonists for these tales are willful and relentless in their pursuit of their own aims, which often include revenge on those who have humiliated or thwarted them. These works followed a style which was wildly popular at the time and achieved immediate commercial success. Alcott also produced moralistic and wholesome stories for children, and, with the exceptions of the semi-autobiographical tale Work (1873), and the anonymous novelette A Modern Mephistopheles (1875), which attracted suspicion that it was written by Julian Hawthorne, she did not return to creating works for adults.

--Word of the Day: malapropism \mal-uh-PROP-iz-uhm\, noun:
1. An act or habit of misusing words ridiculously, esp. by the confusion of words that are similar in sound.
2. An example of such misuse.
Example:
At 15, Rachel, the whiny would-be beauty queen who "cares for naught but appearances," can think only of what she misses: the five-day deodorant pads she forgot to bring, flush toilets, machine-washed clothes and other things, as she says with her willful gift for malapropism, that she has taken "for granite."
-Michiko Kakutani, "The Poisonwood Bible': A Family a Heart of Darkness", New York Times, October 16, 1998

--Quote of the Day: Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They came through you but not from you and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
-Kahlil Gibran

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2 comments:

A.J.Johnson on November 5, 2009 at 12:44 PM said...

I continue to enjoy your website as well as following you on Twitter. This is a great post.

V. Mahfood on November 5, 2009 at 4:33 PM said...

This reminds me so much of my kids. Always woke up to a child scrunched next to me. Very sweet. Thanks so much for your kind comments! If there's any particular poem you like, I'd be happy to post for you.

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