Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1734. Hey Nonny No
 
By Marguerite Merington
 
 
THERE is a race from eld descent,
  Of heaven by earth in joyous mood,
Before the world grew wise and bent
  In sad, decadent attitude.
      To these each waking is a birth        5
      That makes them heir to all the earth,
      Singing, for pure abandoned mirth,
          Non nonny non, hey nonny no.
 
Perchance ye meet them in the mart,
  In fashion’s toil or folly’s throe,        10
And yet their souls are far apart
  Where primrose winds from uplands blow.
      At heart on oaten pipes they play
      Thro’ meadows green and gold with May,
      Affined to bird and brook and brae.        15
          Sing nonny non, hey nonny no.
 
Their gage they win in fame’s despite,
  While lyric alms to life they fling,—
Children of laughter, sons of light,
  With equal heart to starve or sing.        20
      Counting no human creature vile,
      They find the good old world worth while;
      Care cannot rob them of a smile.
          Sing nonny non, hey nonny no.
 
For creed, the up-reach of a spire,        25
  An arching elm-tree’s leafy spread,
A song that lifts the spirit higher
  To star or sunshine overhead.
      Misfortune they but deem God’s jest
      To prove His children at their best,        30
      Who, dauntless, rise to His attest.
          Sing nonny non, hey nonny no.
 
Successful ones will brush these by,
  Calling them failure as they pass.
What reck they this who claim the sky        35
  For roof, for bed the cosmic grass!
      When, failures all, we come to lie,
      The grass betwixt us and the sky,
      The gift of gladness will not die!
          Sing nonny non, hey nonny no.        40
 

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