David Rands has kindly shared with readers of the Victorian Web his site about the life and works of W. B. Rands, the prolific writer of children's literature and originator of The Boy's Own Paper. Readers may wish to consult this site for more information about this little-known figure who had an immense influence upon Victorian children. [GPL]
"Make us a song, then, mother dear,
Sweet to think of and sweet to sing"
Said the little daughter and the little son;
Their lips were gay and their eyes were clear
"And let the song be an easy one,
Sweet to think of and sweet to sing."
"Sweet to think of and sweet to hear?
How shall I make it, children dear?
The night is falling, the winds are rough;
What will you give me to make it of?"
"No, mother dear, the winds are soft,
And the sky is blue and clear aloft,
And oh, we can give you things enough
To make the beautiful music of.
"We will give you the morning and afternoon,
We will give you the sun and a white, full moon;
You shall have all our prettiest toys,
And fields and flowers, and girls and boys.
"We will give you a bird and a ship at sea,
And a golden cloud, and an almond tree,
A picture gay, a river that runs,
A chime of bells and hot cross buns.
"You may have roses and rubies rare,
And silks and satins beyond compare,
A sceptre and crown, a queen, a king,
And beautiful dreams and everything!
We will give you all that we think or know
The song will be sweet if you make it so."
Then the mother smiled as she began
To make the music, and sweet it ran,
And easy enough, for a strain or two;
And the children said "Mother, the song will do!"
But soon the melody ran less clear;
There came a pause - and a wandering tear,
And a thought that went back many a year;
And the children fancied the music long,
And asked "What have you put into the song
That we did not tell you mother dear?"