UNDER the pear-tree, one August day,

In the long-ago and the far-away,

Four little children rested from play,


Cheering the hours with childish chat,

Now laughing at this, or shouting at that,

Till a golden pear fell straight in Fred's hat.


"I'm lucky," he cried, as he hastened to eat

The mellow pear, so juicy and sweet;

"If I tried for a week, that couldn't be beat."


Then Tom and Jenny and Mary spread

Their hats and aprons wide, and said,

"We can catch pears as well as Fred."


Then long and patient they sat, and still,

Hoping a breeze from over the hill

Their laps with the golden fruit would fill.


Till, weary of waiting, Tom said with a sneer,

"I could gather a bushel of pears, 'tis clear,

While idly we wait for a windfall here."


Then up the tree he sprang, and the power

Of his sturdy arm soon sent a shower

Of golden pears as a precious dower.


It was long ago, that August day,

When four little children rested from play

Under the pear-trees far away;


And the children, older and wiser now,

With furrows of care on every brow,

Have not forgotten the lesson, I trow,—


The lesson they learned on that August day,

That for having our wishes, the surest way

Is to work in earnest, without delay.