Mary's Lamb

Original Text: 
The Juvenile Miscellany, new series, V (Boston: Putnam and Hunt, 1830): 64. Facsimile in Yankee Doodle's Literary Sampler of Prose, Poetry, & Pictures Being an Anthology of Diverse Works Published for the Edification and/or Entertainment of Young Readers in America Before 1900, Selected from the Rare Book Collections of the Library of Congress and Introduced by Virginia Haviland and Margaret N. Coughlan (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1974): 321-22. Z 1232 H38 1974 Robarts Library. Revised version in Sarah J. Hale's The School Song Book (Boston: Allen & Ticknor, 1834): 14-15. Facsimile in Yankee Doodle's Literary Sampler, 162-63.
2    Its fleece was white as snow,
3And every where that Mary went
4    The lamb was sure to go;
5He followed her to school one day --
6    That was against the rule,
7It made the children laugh and play
8    To see a lamb at school.
9And so the Teacher turned him out,
10    But still he lingered near,
11And waited patiently about,
12    Till Mary did appear.
13And then he ran to her and laid
14    His head upon her arm,
15As if he said -- "I'm not afraid --
17"What makes the lamb love Mary so,"
18    The little children cry;
19"O, Mary loves the lamb you know,
20    The Teacher did reply,
21"And you each gentle animal
22    In confidence may bind,
23And make them follow at your call,
24    If you are always kind."


1] Hale based this poem "on a true incident from her farm childhood" (Yankee Doddle's Literary Sampler, 163). This poemis no. 341 in The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, edited by Iona and Peter Opie (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966). Back to Line
16] shield: "save" in 1834. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2000.