Little Bo-Peep By George MacDonald

    Little Bo-Peep, she has lost her sheep,
        And will not know where to find them;
    They are over the height and out of sight,
        Trailing their tails behind them!

    Little Bo-Peep woke out of her sleep,
        Jump’d up and set out to find them:
    “The silly things! they’ve got no wings,
        And they’ve left their trails behind them!

    “They’ve taken their tails, but they’ve left their trails,
        And so I shall follow and find them!”
    For wherever a tail had dragged a trail
        The grass lay bent behind them.

    She washed in the brook, and caught up her crook.
        And after her sheep did run
    Along the trail that went up the dale
        Across the grass in the sun.

    She ran with a will, and she came to a hill
        That went up steep like a spire;
    On its very top the sun seemed to stop,
        And burned like a flame of fire.

    But now she went slow, for the hill did go
        Up steeper as she went higher;
    When she reached its crown, the sun was down,
        Leaving a trail of fire.

    And her sheep were gone, and hope she had none.
        For now was no trail behind them.
    Yes, there they were! long-tailed and fair!
        But to see was not to find them!

    Golden in hue, and rosy and blue,
        And white as blossom of pears,
    Her sheep they did run in the trail of the sun,
        As she had been running in theirs!

    After the sun like clouds they did run,
        But she knew they were her sheep:
    She sat down to cry and look up at the sky,
        But she cried herself to sleep.

    And as she slept the dew down wept,
        And the wind did blow from the sky;
    And doings strange brought a lovely change:
        She woke with a different cry!

    Nibble, nibble, crop, without a stop!
        A hundred little lambs
    Did pluck and eat the grass so sweet
        That grew in the trail of their dams!

    She gave one look, she caught up her crook,
        Wiped away the sleep that did blind her;
    And nibble-nibble-crop, without a stop
        The lambs came nibbling behind her.

    Home, home she came, both tired and lame,
        With three times as large a stock;
    In a month or more, they’ll be sheep as before,
        A lovely, long-wooled flock!

    But what will she say, if, one fine day,
        When they’ve got their bushiest tails,
    Their grown-up game should be just the same,
        And again she must follow mere trails?

    Never weep, Bo-Peep, though you lose your sheep,
        Tears will turn rainbow-laughter!
    In the trail of the sun if the mothers did run,
        The lambs are sure to run after;

    But a day is coming when little feet drumming
        Will wake you up to find them–
    All the old sheep–how your heart will leap!–
        With their big little lambs behind them!

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