Treasure Chest Thursday – The Race by Ellen Porter Champion, Published in The Little Corporal, May 1872 (Blog 303)

As we mentioned in our Feb 2014 blog about Ellen Porter (Shackford) Porter’s obituary, we planned to find more of Ellen’s published poems.

We were delighted to discover this cute poem by Ellen describing a race between siblings which was published in the May 1872 edition of The Little Corporal.  Fighting Against Wrong; and for the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. The original publication includes a wonderful drawing of a mother looking out onto a field where her daughter and son are racing across a field.

The Race by Ellen Porter Champion in The Little Corporal, Volumes 14-15
The Race by Ellen Porter Champion  The Little Corporal, May 1872
               THE RACE
Lo, there’s sport on the lawn,
‘T is a quaint, merry match,
Our darling is striving
Her brother to catch.
Hear his laugh and his shout
At her frolic and fun,
Chasing down the green path
With a tottering run.
Now under the shadow,
Now into the light
On he files, close pursued
By the wild, little sprite.
Hurrah for the contest!
Who’s winning the race?
The brave, gallant Harry
Or golden-haired Grace?
Crazed blackbirds are raving
With clamorous din,
While zig-zag through the air
Mad winged dragon flies spin.
Squirrels dance dizzy jigs
Wide awake on the wall.
Yet glad Grace in her mirth
Is far craziest of all.
On through broad, graveled walks
She speeds, anxious and fleet,
Where pebbles prove pitfalls
To frail, tender feet;
“Till, with careless child-haste,
The too eager rover
Trips, laughed with king-cups
And blossoming clover.
But sly Harry – the rogue-
Ah, we plainly perceive
All his striving to win
Is a sheer make-believe.
We are sure ‘t is mere sham-
His queer tumble and roll,
Just to give Grace the time
To get first at the goal.
From the fox-glove there peeps
A brown bee, now and then;
On an eglantine branch
Watches wise little wren.
But I cannot tell you.
For ‘t was never told me.
Which is acting as umpire.
The bird or the bee.


Champion Ellen Porter, “The Race,” The Little Corporal. Fighting Against Wrong; and for the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, May 1872; online, Google Books ( : accessed 31 December 2015), page 162.

Parkes Joanne Shackford, “Sunday’s Obituary Ellen Porter Shackford Champion, author (1826-1909) (Blog 121),” Parkes, Joanne Shackford,SHACKFORD Family History Blog 121, 16 February 2014 ( : accessed 16 February 2014).