Monday, April 23, 2007

The Blackberry Girl : a poem

Image availabe as a poster from


"Why, Phebe, are you come so soon ?
Where are your berries, child ?
You cannot, sure, have sold them all,
You had a basket piled."

"No, mother, as I climbed the fence,
The nearest way to town,
My apron caught upon the stake,
And so I tumbled down.

"I scratched my arm and tore my hair,
But still did not complain;
And had my blackberries been safe,
Should not have cared a grain.

"But when I saw them on the ground,
All scattered by my side,
I picked my empty basket up,
And down I sat and cried.

"Just then a pretty little Miss
Chanced to be walking by;
She stopped, and looking pitiful,
She begged me not to cry.

"'Poor little girl, you fell,' said she,
'And must be sadly hurt;'
'Oh, no,' I cried; 'but see my fruit,
All mixed with sand and dirt.'

"'Well, do not grieve for that,' she said;
'Go home, and get some more.'
'Ah, no, for I have stripped the vines,
These were the last they bore.

"'My father, .Miss, is very poor,
And works in yonder stall;
He has so many little ones,
He cannot clothe us all.

"'I always longed to go to church,
But never could I go;
For when I asked him for a gown,
He always answered, "No.

There's not a father in the world
That loves his children more;
I'd get you one with all my heart,
But, Phebe, I am poor."

"'But when the blackberries were ripe,
He said to me one day,
"Phebe, if you will take the time
That's given you for play,

And gather blackberries enough,
And carry them to town,
To buy your bonnet and your shoes,
I'll try to get a gown."

"'Oh, Miss, I fairly jumped for joy,
My spirits were so light;
And so, when I had leave to play,
I picked with all my might.

"'I sold enough to get my shoes,
About a week ago;
And these, if they had not been spilt,
Would buy a bonnet, too.

"'But now they're gone, they all are gone,
And I can get no more,
And Sundays I must stay at home,
Just as I did before.'

"And, mother, then I cried again
As hard as I could cry;
And looking up, I saw a tear
Was standing in her eye.

"She caught her bonnet from her head,
'Here, here,' she cried, ' take this !'
'Oh, no, indeed--I fear your ma
Would be offended, Miss.'

"'My ma! no, never; she delights
All sorrow to beguile;
And 't is the sweetest joy she feels,
To make the wretched smile.

"'She taught me when I had enough,
To share it with the poor;
And never let a needy child,
Go empty from the door.

"'So take it, for you need not fear
Offending her, you see;
I have another, too, at home,
And one's enough for me.'

"So then I took it--here it is--
For pray what could I do?
And, mother, I shall love that Miss
As long as I love you."



NCTradCatholic said...

Oh. I guess you don't mean that little electronic thing for sending emails.

yangchee said...

The poem.most.definitely has an author. Good not get past bonnet without crying. Read it.aloud. be.Phoebe or the miss. Then post a.comment

Anonymous said...

My grandmother quoted it for me many times, so many times in fact,that I memerized it myself. I am 84 years old, so this should tell you something about how old the poem is.
By the way, I never liked the poem. To much "SWEET" for me.

Anonymous said...

My great grand use to recite it to all of her offsprings. She recited at het 100th birthday celebration