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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Joseph Ashby-Sterry b. 1838

The Little Rebel

PRINCESS of pretty pets,

Tomboy in trouserettes,

Eyes are like violets,

Gleefully glancing!

Skin like an otter sleek,

Nose like a baby Greek,

Sweet little dimple-cheek,

Merrily dancing!

Lark-like, her song it trills

Over the dale and hills.

Hark, how her laughter thrills!

Joyously joking:

Yet, should she feel inclin’d,

I fancy you will find,

She, like all womankind,

Oft is provoking.

Often she stands on chairs,

Sometimes she unawares

Slyly creeps up the stairs,

Secretly hiding:

Then will this merry maid—

She is of nought afraid—

Come down the balustrade,

Saucily sliding!

Books she abominates,

But see her go on skates,

And over five-barr’d gates

Fearlessly scramble!

Climbing up apple-trees,

Barking her supple knees,

Flouting mamma’s decrees,

Out for a ramble.

Now she is good as gold,

Then she is pert and bold,

Minds not what she is told,

Carelessly tripping.

She is an April miss,

Bounding to grief from bliss;

Often she has a kiss,—

Sometimes a whipping!

Naughty but best of girls,

Through life she gayly twirls,

Shaking her sunny curls,

Careless and joyful.

Ev’ry one on her dotes,

Carolling merry notes,

Pet in short petticoats,

Truly tomboyful!