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DISCONTENT

Sarah Orne Jewett

Four Texts

"Discontent" first appeared in St. Nicholas (3:247) February 1876. It was reprinted in Jewett's Play Days, 1878, and again in Verses 1916. Each text is slightly different. Following are the four texts. At the end of this page is a graphic image of the St. Nicholas text, which was illustrated.  The fourth is from a manuscript presentation copy that belongs to T. A. Benoit, who graciously provided a photocopy. Click here to view the photocopy.



DISCONTENT. (St. Nicholas text)

Down in a field, one day in June,
     The flowers all bloomed together,
Save one, who tried to hide herself,
     And drooped, that pleasant weather.

A robin who had soared too high,
     And felt a little lazy,
Was resting near a buttercup
     Who wished she were a daisy.

For daisies grow so trig and tall;
     She always had a passion
For wearing frills about her neck
     In just the daisies' fashion.

And buttercups must always be
     The same old tiresome color,
While daisies dress in gold and white,
     Although their gold is duller.

"Dear robin," said this sad young flower,
     "Perhaps you'd not mind trying
To find a nice white frill for me,
     Some day, when you are flying?"

"You silly thing!" the robin said;
     "I think you must be crazy!
I'd rather be my honest self
     Than any made-up daisy.

"You're nicer in your own bright gown,
     The little children love you;
Be the best buttercup you can,
     And think no flower above you.

"Though swallows leave me out of sight,
     We'd better keep our places;
Perhaps the world would all go wrong
     With one too many daisies.

"Look bravely up into the sky,
     And be content with knowing
That God wished for a buttercup
     Just here, where you are growing."
 

NOTE

"Discontent" first appeared in St. Nicholas (3:247) February 1876. It was reprinted in Jewett's Play Days, 1878. Each text is slightly different. Following are the texts from St. Nicholas, Play Days and the Benoit manuscript.


DISCONTENT (Play Days text)

Down in a field one day in June,
     The flowers all bloomed together
Save one, who tried to hide herself
     And drooped, that pleasant weather.

A robin who had flown too high,
     And felt a little lazy,
Was resting near this buttercup
     Who wished she were a daisy.

The daisies grow so trig and tall;
     She always had a passion
For wearing frills around her neck
     In just the daisies' fashion.

And buttercups must always be
     The same old tiresome color,
While daisies dress in gold and white,
     Although their gold is duller.

"Dear robin," said this sad young flower,
     "Perhaps you'd not mind trying
To find a nice white frill for me
     Some day, when you are flying."

"You silly thing!" the robin said,
     "I think you must be crazy,
I'd rather be my honest self
     Than any made-up daisy.

"You're nicer in your own bright gown
     The little children love you;
Be the best buttercup you can,
     And think no flower above you.

"Though swallows leave me out of sight,
     We'd better keep our places.
Perhaps the world would all go wrong
     With one too many daisies.

"Look bravely up into the sky
     And be content with knowing
That God wished for a buttercup
     Just here, where you are growing."


DISCONTENT (Verses 1916 text)

Down in a field, one day in June,
     The flowers all bloomed together,
Save one who tried to hide herself,
     And drooped, that pleasant weather.

A robin who had flown too high
     And felt a little lazy
Was resting near this buttercup
     Who wished she were a daisy.

The daisies grow so trig and tall,--
     She always had a passion
For wearing frills around her neck
     In just the daisies' fashion.

And buttercups must always be
     The same old tiresome color--
While daisies dress in gold and white,
     Although their gold is duller.

"Dear robin," said this sad young flower,
     "Perhaps you'd not mind trying
To find a nice white frill for me
     Some day when you are flying."

"You silly thing!" the robin said,
     "I think you must be crazy.
I'd rather be my honest self
     Than any made-up daisy.

"You're nicer in your own bright gown,--
     The little children love you.
Be the best buttercup you can,
     And think no flower above you.

"Though swallows leave me out of sight,
     We'd better keep our places;
Perhaps the world would all go wrong
     With one too many daisies.

"Look bravely up into the sky
     And be content with knowing
That God wished for a buttercup
     Just here, where you are growing."


DISCONTENT. (Benoit text)

  Down in a field one day in June,
The flowers all bloomed together,
  Save one who tried to hide herself,
And drooped that pleasant weather.

A robin who had flown too high,
And felt a little lazy,
  Was resting near a buttercup
  Who wished she were a daisy.

For daisies grow so trig and tall;
     She always had a passion
For wearing frills around her neck
     In just the daisies' fashion.

And buttercups must always be
     The same old tiresome color,
While daisies dress in gold and white,
     Although their gold is duller.

"Dear robin," said this sad young flower,
"Perhaps you'd not mind trying
To find a nice white frill for me,
  Some day when you are flying?"

"You silly thing!" the robin said;
     "I think you must be crazy!
I'd rather be my honest self
     Than any made-up daisy.

"You're nicer in your own bright gown
     The little children love you;
Be the best buttercup you can,
     And think no flower above you.

"Though swallows leave me out of sight,
We'd better keep our places;
Perhaps the world would all go wrong
     With one too many daisies.

"Look bravely up into the sky,
And be content with knowing
That God wished for a buttercup
Just here where you are growing."
 


Illustrated text from St. Nicholas


Edited and annotated by Terry Heller, Coe College
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