Gateway to the Classics: Display Item
Lydia Avery Coonley Ward

Baby Corn

A happy mother stalk of corn

Held close a baby ear,

And whispered: "Cuddle up to me,

I'll keep you warm, my dear.

I'll give you petticoats of green,

With many a tuck and fold

To let out daily as you grow;

For you will soon be old."

A funny little baby that,

For though it had no eye,

It had a hundred mouths; 'twas well

It did not want to cry.

The mother put in each small mouth

A hollow thread of silk,

Through which the sun and rain and air

Provided baby's milk.

The petticoats were gathered close

Where all the threadlets hung.

And still as summer days went on

To mother-stalk it clung;

And all the time it grew and grew—

Each kernel drank the milk

By day, by night, in shade, in sun,

From its own thread of silk.

And each grew strong and full and round

And each was shining white;

The gores and seams were all let out,

The green skirts fitted tight,

The ear stood straight and large and tall,

And when it saw the sun,

Held up its emerald satin gown

To say "Your work is done."

"You're large enough," said Mother Stalk,

"And now there's no more room

For you to grow." She tied the threads

Into a soft brown plume—

It floated out upon the breeze

To greet the dewy morn,

And then the baby said: "Now I'm

A full-grown ear of corn!"