31 August 2005 | Vol. 5, No. 2

The Dead Dolly

You needn't be trying to comfort me,

I tell you my Dolly is dead!

There's no use in saying she isn't

With a crack like that in her head.

It's just like you said it wouldn't hurt much

To have my tooth out that day,

And then when the man most pulled my head off

You hadn't a word to say.

And I guess you must think I'm a baby

When you say you can mend it with glue,

As if I didn't know better than that;

Why, just suppose it was you!

You might make her look all mended,

But what do I care for looks?

Why, glue is for chairs, and tables,

And toys, and the backs of books.

Oh Dolly, my own little daughter,

O! but it is the awfullest crack!

It just makes me sick to think of the sound

When her poor little head went whack

Against that horrible brass thing,

That holds up the little shelf.

Now Nursey, what makes you remind me?

I know that I done it myself.

I think you must be crazy,

You'll get her another head!

What good would forty heads do her?

I tell you my Dolly is dead!

And to think I hadn't quite finished

Her elegant new spring hat,

And I took a sweet ribbon of hers last night

To tie on that horrid cat.

When my mamma gave me that ribbon,

I was playing out in the yard,

And she said expressly,

"Here's a ribbon for Hildegarde."

And I went and put in on Tabby

And Hildegarde saw me do it,

But I said to myself, "Oh, never mind,

I don't believe she knew it."

But I know that she knew it, now,

And just believe, I do—

That her poor little heart was broken,

And so her head broke too.

Oh my baby! My dear little baby!

I wish my head had been hit—

For I've hit it over and over again

And it hasn't cracked a bit.

But since the darling is dead

She'll want to be buried of course.

We will take my little wagon, Nurse,

And you shall be my horse.

And I will walk behind and cry,

And we'll put her in this, you see,

This dear little box, and we'll bury her then

Under the apple tree.

And papa will make me a tombstone

Like the one he made for my bird,

And he'll put what I tell him on it,

Yes, every single word.

I shall say, "Here lies Hildegarde,

A beautiful doll, who is dead.

She died of a broken heart,

And a dreadful crack in her head."

About the author:

1844-1913. Margaret Vandergrift is the pen name of Margaret Thomson Janvier . Her work includes The Absent-Minded Fairy, and Other Verses (1884); The Dead Doll, and Other Verses (1900); Under the Dog-Star (1900); and Umbrellas to Mend (1905).

For further reading:

Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 5, No. 2, where "The Dead Dolly" ran on August 31, 2005. List other work with these same labels: poetry, classic, light verse, rhyme.

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