Gateway to the Classics: Display Item
Theodore Tilton

Baby Bye

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 six such 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 back are spread;

That small speck

Is his neck;

See him nod and beck.

I can show you, if you choose,

Where 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.

Yet though tight his clothes are made,

He will lose 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.

Tongue 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;

There's his mouth between his feet.

On his back

Is a pack

Like a pedler's sack.

Does the baby understand?

Then the fly shall kiss her hand;

Put a crumb

On her thumb,

Maybe he will come.

Catch him?

No, Let him go,

Never hurt an insect so;

But no doubt

He flies out

Just to gad about.

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,

Thus they wipe their heads and eyes;

Cats, you know,

Wash just so,

Then their whiskers grow.

Flies have hairs too short to comb,

So they fly bareheaded home;

But the gnat

Wears a hat,

Do you believe that?

Flies can see

More than we.

So how bright their eyes must be!

Little fly,

Ope your eye;

Spiders are near by.

For a secret I can tell,—

Spiders never use flies well.

Then away!

Do not stay.

Little fly, good-day!