The Barefoot Boy Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Blessings on thee little manA
Barefoot boy with cheek of tanA
With thy turned up pantaloonsB
And thy merry whistled tunesB
With thy red lip redder stillC
Kissed by strawberries on the hillC
With the sunshine on thy faceD
Through thy torn brim's jaunty graceD
From my heart I give thee joyE
I was once a barefoot boyE
Prince thou art the grown up manA
Only is republicanF
Let the million dollared rideG
Barefoot trudging at his sideG
Thou hast more than he can buyH
In the reach of ear and eyeH
Outward sunshine inward joyE
Blessings on thee barefoot boyE
Oh for boyhood's painless playI
Sleep that wakes in laughing dayI
Health that mocks the doctor's rulesJ
Knowledge never learned of schoolsJ
Of the wild bee's morning chaseD
Of the wild flower's time and placeD
Flight of fowl and habitudeI
Of the tenants of the woodI
How the tortoise bears his shellK
How the woodchuck digs his cellK
And the ground mole sinks his wellK
How the robin feeds her youngL
How the oriole's nest is hungL
Where the whitest lilies blowM
Where the freshest berries growM
Where the ground nut trails its vineN
Where the wood grape's clusters shineN
Of the black wasp's cunning wayI
Mason of his walls of clayI
And the architectural plansO
Of gray hornet artisansP
For eschewing books and tasksQ
Nature answers all he asksQ
Hand in hand with her he walksR
Face to face with her he talksR
Part and parcel of her joyE
Blessings on the barefoot boyE
Oh for boyhood's time of JuneS
Crowding years in one brief moonS
When all things I heard or sawT
Me their master waited forU
I was rich in flowers and treesV
Humming birds and honey beesV
For my sport the squirrel playedI
Plied the snouted mole his spadeI
For my taste the blackberry coneW
Purpled over hedge and stoneW
Laughed the brook for my delightI
Through the day and through the nightI
Whispering at the garden wallX
Talked with me from fall to fallX
Mine the sand rimmed pickerel pondI
Mine the walnut slopes beyondI
Mine on bending orchard treesV
Apples of HesperidesV
Still as my horizon grewY
Larger grew my riches tooY
All the world I saw or knewY
Seemed a complex Chinese toyE
Fashioned for a barefoot boyE
Oh for festal dainties spreadI
Like my bowl of milk and breadI
Pewter spoon and bowl of woodI
On the door stone gray and rudeI
O'er me like a regal tentI
Cloudy ribbed the sunset bentI
Purple curtained fringed with goldI
Looped in many a wind swung foldI
While for music came the playI
Of the pied frogs' orchestraZ
And to light the noisy choirA2
Lit the fly his lamp of fireA2
I was monarch pomp and joyE
Waited on the barefoot boyE
Cheerily then my little manA
Live and laugh as boyhood canA
Though the flinty slopes be hardI
Stubble speared the new mown swardI
Every morn shall lead thee throughY
Fresh baptisms of the dewY
Every evening from thy feetI
Shall the cool wind kiss the heatI
All too soon these feet must hideI
In the prison cells of prideI
Lose the freedom of the sodI
Like a colt's for work be shodI
Made to tread the mills of toilB2
Up and down in ceaseless moilB2
Happy if their track be foundI
Never on forbidden groundI
Happy if they sink not inC2
Quick and treacherous sands of sinC2
Ah that thou couldst know thy joyE
Ere it passes barefoot boyE

John Greenleaf Whittier


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