McGuffey Reader and Poetry


1. A little play does not harm anyone, but does much good. After play, we should be glad to work.

2. I knew a boy who liked a good game very much. He could run, swim, jump, and play ball; and was always merry when out of school.

3. But he knew that time is not all for play; that our minutes, hours, and days are very precious.

4. At the end of his play, he would go home. After he had washed his face and hands, and brushed his hair, he would help his mother, or read in his book, or write upon his slate.

5. He used to say, “One thing at a time.” When he had done with work, he would play; but he did not try to play and to work at the same time.



  1. Why do you come to my apple tree,
    Little bird so gray?
    Twit-twit, twit-twit, twit-twit-twee!
    That was all he would say.
  2. Why do you lock your rosy feet
    So closely round the spray?
    Twit-twit, twit-twit, twit-tweet!
    That was all he would say.
  3. Why on the topmost bough do you get,
    Little bird so gray?
    Twit-twit-twee! twit-twit-twit!
    That was all he would say.
  4. Where is your mate? come, answer me,
    Little bird so gray.
    Twit-twit-twit! twit-twit-twee!
    That was all he would say.

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