Famous Life Poem

This classic, fun, and rhythmic poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919) is a cautionary tale about a mother-daughter struggle that will be familiar to many parents of teenagers. The lesson taught is the virtues of a cautious and modest approach to life. The bold and fun loving daughter doesn't listen to the scolding of her wise mother and instead runs wild, reveling in her youth and beauty. In the end the mother's fears come true.

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A Naughty Little Comet

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There was a little comet who lived near the Milky Way!
She loved to wander out at night and jump about and play.

The mother of the comet was a very good old star;
She used to scold her reckless child for venturing out too far.

She told her of the ogre, Sun, who loved on stars to sup,
And who asked no better pastime than in gobbling comets up.

But instead of growing cautious and of showing proper fear,
The foolish little comet edged up nearer, and more near.

She switched her saucy tail along right where the Sun could see,
And flirted with old Mars, and was as bold as bold could be.

She laughed to scorn the quiet stars who never frisked about;
She said there was no fun in life unless you ventured out.

She liked to make the planets stare, and wished no better mirth
Than just to see the telescopes aimed at her from the Earth.

She wondered how so many stars could mope through nights and days,
And let the sickly faced old Moon get all the love and praise.

And as she talked and tossed her head and switched her shining trail
The staid old mother star grew sad, her cheek grew wan and pale.

For she had lived there in the skies a million years or more,
And she had heard gay comets talk in just this way before.

And by and by there came an end to this gay comet's fun.
She went a tiny bit too far-and vanished in the Sun!

No more she swings her shining trail before the whole world's sight,
But quiet stars she laughed to scorn are twinkling every night.

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