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Oil the Cricket
Joseph Horatio Chant


"Mamma, what noises do I hear?
They keep me wide awake."
"The chirping crickets, little dear;
What funny noise they make!"

"Yes, ma, but touch their tongues with oil,
To take the squeak away;
For soon it will their voices spoil,
To squeak thus night and day."

Well done, my little girl of three;
'Twould tune our speaking gear
To utter sweeter melody
For your attentive ear,

If it were oiled a little, too,
For harsh too oft its tones;
Though formed to thrill with pleasure true,
It gives forth shrieks and groans,

Which fall discordant on the ear,
And budding pleasures spoil,
And speaking gear, likewise I fear;
So bring along the oil.

This poem is in the public domain.


Joseph Horatio Chant (1837 – 1928) was born in England, but moved to Canada with his parents as a toddler. An ordained minister, Joseph's poetry often celebrates the beauty of the natural world.



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