Chee! Chee! Chickadee!
Sing-time and sun!
Aye, aye, baby-bye,
Springtime has begun!
In the little willow cart,
On a downy bed,
Pretty parasol of silk
Let us go along the lane
Where a baby sees
Mighty tufts of grass, and weeds
Tall as forest trees!
Bluebird on the apple-bough,
"Bah! Bah!" from the pasture,
Sing and sing and sing!
Sing your very sweetest now
For babyhood and spring!
And "Caw! Caw!" from the crow,
And bleating from the little calf
That has not learned to low.
Apple-buds, apple-buds breaking apart,
The baby looks upward with love-laden gaze;
Oh, shower some petals down here in his cart,
One honey-sweet cluster of pretty pink sprays!
Apple-buds, apple-buds, scornful and too
Vain of your loveliness, stay where you are!
The cheeks of the baby are pinker than you,
And finer and softer and sweeter by far!
See the pretty little lambs,
How they frisk and play!
See their silky fleeces shine
White as buds in May!
White as are the fleecy clouds
Softly blowing by -
What if they were little lambs
Playing in the sky?
Robin on the peach-bough,
Sing a little song and say
Why is your breast so red?
Why is your voice so sweet, and
Your song so merry, say?
And wherefore do you spread your wings
And quickly fly away?
Ho, ho! see the queer little prints there
That cover the road, baby, look!
At the web-footed tangle that hints where
The ducks have gone down to the brook!
The Muscovy mammas that waddled
Zigzag, you can trace in their tracks,
And the dear little ducklings that toddled
And tumbled sometimes on their backs!
Buttercup, buttercup, buttercup gold,
O give us a handful of riches to hold!
Ho, ho! laughs the baby, and grasps in his glee
His wealth, but soon shows what a spend-thrift is he!
- Nay, nay, he is king, though he never was crowned,
And royally scatters his gold on the ground!
Bough of the willow-tree
Over the brook,
Down darts a kingfisher,
Look, baby, look!
Back on the willow-bough,
Fishing is done;
Happy and nappy now
There in the sun.
Happy and nappy the baby is, too,
Softly his eyelids droop over the blue,
Golden his curls on the white pillow lie,
Sleep, baby, sleep, baby, hush-a-by-bye.