Theodore Tilton



The Fly

by Theodore Tilton

A rhyme for children.


Baby Bye,
Here's a Fly:
Let us watch him, you and I.
How he crawls
Up the walls --
Yet he never falls!
I believe, with those six legs,
You and I could walk on eggs!
There he goes,
On his toes,
Tickling Baby's nose!


Spots of red
Dot his head:
Rainbows on his wings are spread!
That small speck
Is his neck;
See him nod and beck!
I can show you, if you choose,
Where to look to find his shoes:
Three small pairs
Made of hairs --
These he always wears,


Black and brown
Is his gown;
He can wear it upside down!
It is laced
Round his waist;
I admire his taste.
Pretty as his clothes are made,
He will spoil them, I'm afraid,
If to-night
He gets sight
Of the candle-light!


In the sun
Webs are spun:
What if he gets into one!
When it rains
He complains
On the window-panes.
Tongues to talk have you and I:
God has given the little Fly
No such things;
So he sings
With his buzzing wings.


He can eat
Bread and meat;
See his mouth between his feet!
On his back
Hangs a sack,
Like a peddler's pack.
Does the Baby understand?
Then the Fly shall kiss her hand!
Put a crumb
On her thumb:
Maybe he will come!


Round and round,
On the ground,
On the ceiling he is found.
Catch him? No:
Let him go:
Never hurt him so!
Now you see his wings of silk
Drabbled in the Baby's milk!
Fie, oh fie!
Foolish Fly!
How will he get dry?


All wet flies
Twist their thighs:
So they wipe their heads and eyes.
Cats, you know,
Wash just so:
Then their whiskers grow.
Flies have hair too short to comb!
Flies go barehead out from home!
But the Gnat
Wears a hat:
Do you laugh at that?


Flies can see
More than we --
So how bright their eyes must be!
Little Fly,
Mind your eye --
Spiders are near by!
Now a secret let me tell:
Spiders will not treat you well!
So I say
Heed your way!
Little Fly, good day!

* These lines have been set to music by Lowell Mason; they may be sung also to the tune of Lightly Row.


The Sexton's Tale, And Other Poems.
Copyright 1867
Sheldon And Company, New York.