Poetry for Kids: The Flock of Doves by Celia Thaxter (Public Domain Children's Poem)


A Victorian children's poem from 1876 entitled "The Flock of Doves" by Celia Thaxter, accompanied by an illustration of three little girls encountering a flock of snow doves lovingly created by their mother, who is peeking from behind a tree to see their reaction. The poem reads:

The world was like a wilderness
Of soft and downy snow;
The trees were plumed with feathery flakes,
And the ground was white below.

Came the little mother out to the gate
To watch for her children three;
Her hood was red as a poppy-flower,
And rosy and young was she.

She took the snow in her cunning hands,
As waiting she stood alone,
And lo! in a moment, beneath her touch,
A fair white dove had grown.

A flock she wrought, and on the fence
Set them in bright array,
With folded wings, or pinions spread,
Ready to fly away.

And then she hid by the pine-tree tall,
For the children's tones rang sweet,
As home from school, through the drifts so light.
They sped with merry feet.

"Oh, Nannie, Nannie! See the fence
Alive with doves so white!"
"Oh, hush! don't frighten them away!"
They whisper with delight.

They crept so soft, they crept so still,
The wondrous sight to see!
The little mother pushed the gate,
And laughed out joyfully.

She clasped them close, she kissed their cheeks,
And lips so sweet and red.
"The birds are only made of snow!
You are my doves," she said.

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