In the middle of our porridge plates
There was a blue butterfly painted
And each morning we tried who should reach the
Then the Grandmother said: "Do not eat the poor
That made us laugh.
Always she said it and always it started us laughing.
It seemed such a sweet little joke.
I was certain that one fine morning
The butterfly would fly out of our plates,
Laughing the teeniest laugh in the world,
And perch on the Grandmother's lap.
But, ah! before he came
You were only a name:
Four little rooms and a cupboard
Without a bone,
And I was alone!
Now with your windows wide
Everything from outside
Of sun and flower and loveliness
Comes in to hide,
To play, to laugh on the stairs,
To catch unawares
Our childish happiness,
And to glide
Through the four little rooms on tip-toe
With lifted finger,
Pretending we shall not know When the shutters are shut
That they still linger
Long, long after.
Lying close in the dark
He says to me: "Hark,
Isn't that laughter?"
Heavens above! here's an old tie of your--
Sea-green dragons stamped on a golden ground.
Ha! Ha! Ha! What children we were in those days.
Do you love me enough to wear it now?
Have you the courage of your pristine glories?
Ha! Ha! Ha! You laugh and shrug your shoulders.
Those were the days when a new tie spelt a fortune:
We wore it in turn--I flaunted it as a waist-belt.
Ha! Ha! Ha! What easily satisfied babies.
"I think I'll turn into a piano duster."
"Give it to me, I'll polish my slippers on it!"
Ha! Ha! Ha! The rag's not worth the dustbin.
"Throw the shabby old thing right out of the window;
Fling it into the faces of other children!"
Ha! Ha! Ha! We laughed and laughed till the tears