Camping Out.

A poem by Clara Doty Bates

Dame Spider had spun herself lank and thin
With trying to take her neighbors in;
Grasshopper had traveled so far and so fast
That he found he must give up at last;
And the maiden Ant had bustled about
The village till she was all worn out.

Old Bumble Bee had lived on sweet
Till he couldn't help but overeat;
Miss Worm had measured her puny length
Till she had no longer any strength;
And Mr. Beetle was shocked to find
His eyes were failing and almost blind.

So they all decided that they must seek
Their health in the country for a week.
And they made a mixed but a merry throng,
For those who had children took them along.
They pitched their tent and made their camp,
Shelter from possible cold and damp.

'Twas novel, and each in his own way
Sought to make happy the holiday.
Grasshopper took his youngest daughter
Out for a stroll along the water;
She shrieked with joy, "O, see the cherries!"
When they found some low-bush huckleberries.

Dame Spider, with mischief in her eye,
Thought she would angle for a fly;
So, spinning a silk thread, long and fine,
With wicked skill she cast the line;
While Bumble Bee, in his gold-laced clothes,
In the shade of a clover leaf lay for a doze.

Miss Worm, who was full of sentiment,
With the maiden Ant for a ramble went;
Here was a flower, and there a flower--
But suddenly rose a thunder shower.
They screamed; but they got on very well,
For they found what the Ant called an "umberell."

A leaf on the water lay afloat,
Which the blundering Beetle thought a boat.
Far down in his heart his dearest wish
Was to find some hitherto unfound fish.
He never came back from that fatal swim,
So 'twas always thought that a fish found him.

At night when the cheery fire was lit
They heaped dry branches over it,
And in the light of the crackling blaze
Told funny stories of other days,
And smoked, till the Ant yawned wide and said:
"'Tis time we folks were all abed!"

But scarce was each to his slumber laid,
When the country folks came to serenade;
With twang of fiddle, and toot of horn,
And shriek of fife, they stayed till morn!
Poor Campers! never a wink got they!
So they started for home at break of day.

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