The Japanese Dolls by Clara S. Dolliver, illustrated by Albertine Randall
St. Nicholas Magazine XIV, pp. 704-705
July 1887


I. The Lady Doll
 

I'm a lady of rank from Japan,
Please be as polite as you can.
My beautiful clothes you may scan,--
My garments of tinsel and crape,
In purple and red like the grape,
And cut in most elegant shape
By a queer little dress-maker man.
But please do not handle my fan;
'T would be reckoned quite rude in Japan.

My lips are just parted to show
My little black teeth in a row,
With a gloss like the back of a crow;
And if you look close and are wise,
You may see in my long narrow eyes
A great deal of well-bred surprise
That other folks' teeth are not so.

II. The Baby Dolls

Very common young fry are we three,
Very limp at the elbow and knee,
Clad in cheap cotton gowns as you see,
Made up in great haste with a baste
And tied with a rag at the waist 
Without any pretension to taste.
It would be out of taste, we agree;
For in Tokio, over the sea,
Few dollies are lowly as we.

Though made of such very cheap clay,
Baked with dozens besides in a tray,
We are quite roly-poly and gay.
Our flimsy sides shake when 't is said
That our fringe on the crown of the head
Is n't hair, but young bristles instead;
And it causes us little dismay
That our joints wobble 'round, they do say,
In a most unaccountable way,--
As we never use these in the day.

But the mice and the pussy-cats see
Funny frolics at night when we're free,
And the moon looks in over the tree.
The lady-doll tied in her case,
With a cover of silk on her face,
Is too haughty to join in the race.
We are glad we are not in her place;
It's so jolly more lowly to be.
Though she says it suits her to a T,
And a worshipful lady is she.
 

III. Both
Oh! Japan is the home of the vase,
Japan is the land of the tea,
Of lacquer, and bronzes, and placques
And turtles with wicker-work backs
with silk that is fine as a lace,
And porcelain fair to see,
With dollies of rank and grace,
And dollies of low degree.