I know a little brown-eyed boy,
His name is Harley Hart;
And with a naughty boy or girl,
Our Harley has no part.
He cons his lessons o'er and o'er,
And once he fell asleep,
With finger marking A, B, C,
As 'twere the place to keep.
And then he dreamed a funny dream--
The page jumps up to dance,
The letters laugh, and by and by,
Like imps they leap and prance.
Now Harley oft had wondered whence
The letters first had come;
And I'm afraid he sometimes wished
They all had staid at home,
Instead of teasing him with quirks,
And bothering him with names
That seemed to help him hardly more
In learning words than games.
One little imp squeaked: "I am A;
You could not be a man
Without me." Then another cried:
"I am E" and quickly ran,
Exclaiming: "And without us both
You could not have a head."
Another says: "You'd have no limbs
If I were lost or dead."
Then O, "You'd have no nose nor toes,
If it were not for me;"
"And what is more, were I not here,"
Says U, "you could not be."
And thus they each and all lay claim
To parcel and to part
Of what he was, or what should do
With hand, or head, or heart.
They hung a ladder 'gainst the tree,
And clambered up and down;
They played a thousand pranks as wild
As any gipsey clown.
They whispered that they came from Rome,
And that, if rightly placed,
They'd serve our Harley with a feast
A king would joy to taste.
So when he woke and knew they were
The little mystic keys
That open Learning's gates so wide,
He loved his A, B, C's.
Next: Our Language Key
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