Robert Louis Stevenson > A Child’s Garden of Verses and Underwoods > 28. Good and Bad Children
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Stevenson, Robert Louis (1850–1894).  A Child’s Garden of Verses and Underwoods.  1913.
  
28. Good and Bad Children

CHILDREN, you are very little, 
And your bones are very brittle; 
If you would grow great and stately, 
You must try to walk sedately. 
  
You must still be bright and quiet,         5
And content with simple diet; 
And remain, through all bewild’ring, 
Innocent and honest children. 
  
Happy hearts and happy faces, 
Happy play in grassy places—  10
That was how, in ancient ages, 
Children grew to kings and sages. 
  
But the unkind and the unruly, 
And the sort who eat unduly, 
They must never hope for glory—  15
Theirs is quite a different story! 
  
Cruel children, crying babies, 
All grow up as geese and gabies, 
Hated, as their age increases, 
By their nephews and their nieces.  20

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