Some of my own childhood favorites from A Child's Garden of Verses.
It is very nice to think
The world is full of meat and drink,
With little children saying grace
In every Christian kind of place.
The Land of Counterpane
When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay
To keep me happy all the day.
And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;
And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.
I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.
All night long and every night,
When my mama puts out the light,
I see the people marching by,
As plain as day, before my eye.
Armies and emperors and kings,
All carrying different kinds of things,
And marching in so grand a way,
You never saw the like by day.
So fine a show was never seen
At the great circus on the green;
For every kind of beast and manIs marching in that caravan.
At first they move a little slow,
But still the faster on they go,
And still beside them close
I keepUntil we reach the town of Sleep.
A Boys's Life
By the wretched modern imitator
Blood seeped into the maplewood
that crowned his bedroom wall, a mermaid
risen with red hair seaweed streaming,
Redskins glided upstream hunting
enemy game in their long canoe--
what was it that they were not looking at?
From the eaves, voices when he was alone
announced a chilling rendez-vous.
Ran rivers he’d never seen
behind his eyes, and sunlit hills
flickered past the windows of trains
he’d never ridden in his life.
The wind was stuttering strange demands
to the branches listening across the roof.
When morning came the colors of his dreams
fled back into the furniture
as if the room itself revived.
Old now and in a room
he’d never seen when he was the boy
but might have dreamed he had who knows?
The colors fade, he dreams in gray,
not even white and black but still
he hears the voices in the eaves
and tells himself it's time really, to call
the workmen to stuff up the holes
where the birds nest and the mice play.