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“ Yet keep good heart, my Mabel,

If thou the fairies see,
And give them kindly answer

If they should speak to thee. “ And when into the fir-wood

Thou go'st for fagots brown, Do not, like idle children,

Go wandering up and down.
But, fill thy little apron,

My child, with earnest speed;
And that thou break no living bough

Within the wood, take heed. “For they are spiteful brownies

Who in the wood abide,
So be thou careful of this thing,

Lest evil should betide.
« But think not, little Mabel,

Whilst thou art in the wood, Of dwarfish, wilful brownies,

But of the Father good.
“ And when thou goest to the spring,

To fetch the water thence,
Do not disturb the little stream,

Lest this should give offence.
“For the queen of all the fairies

She loves that water bright;
I've seen her drinking there myself

On many a summer night. “But she's a gracious lady,

And her thou need'st not fear; Only disturb thou not the stream,

Nor spill the water clear!"
“ Now all this I will heed, mother,

Will no word disobey,
And wait upon the grandmother
This livelong summer day!"

Away tripped little Mabel,

With the wheaten cake so fine; With the new-made pat of butter,

And the little flask of wine. And long before the sun was hot,

And morning mists had cleared, Beside the good old grandmother

The willing child appeared. And all her mother's message

She told with right good-will, How that the father was away,

And the little child was ill.
And then she swept the hearth up clean,

And then the table spread;
And next she fed the dog and bird ;

And then she made the bed.
“ And go now," said the grandmother,

“ Ten paces down the dell, And bring in water for the day;

Thou know'st the lady-well.!"

The first time that good Mabel went,

Nothing at all saw she,
Except a bird -- a sky-blue bird -

That sate upon a tree.
The next time that good Mabel went,

There sate a lady bright
Beside the well, - a lady small,

All clothed in green and white.
A curtsey low made Mabel,

And then she stooped to fill
Her pitcher at the sparkling spring,

But no drop did she spill. “Thou art a handy maiden,"

The fairy lady said ; “ Thou hast not spilled a drop, nor yet

The fair spring troubled ! “ And for this thing which thou hast done,

Yet may'st not understand, I give to thee a better gift

Than houses or than land.
“Thou shalt do well, whate'er thou dost,

As thou hast done this day;
Shalt have the will and power to please,

And shalt be loved alway!"
Thus having said, she passed from sight,

And nought could Mabel see,
But the little bird, the sky-blue bird,

Upon the leafy tree. -“And now go,” said the grandmother,

“ And fetch in fagots dry; All in the neighbouring fir-wood,

Beneath the trees they lie.”
Away went kind, good Mabel,

Into the fir-wood near,
Where all the ground was dry and brown,

And the grass grew thin and sere.
She did not wander up and down,

Nor yet a live branch pull,
But steadily, of the fallen boughs

She picked her apron full.
And when the wild wood brownies

Came sliding to her mind,
She drove them thence, as she was told,

With home-thoughts sweet and kind.
But all that while the brownies

Within the fir-wood still, They watched her how she picked the wood,

And strove to do no ill. “ And oh, but she is small and neat,"

Said one, " 'twere shame to spite A creature so demure and meek,

A creature harmless quite !" “ Look only," said another,

“ At her little gown of blue; At the kerchief pinned about her head, And at her little shoe !"

Thus happened it to Mabel

On that Midsummer-day, And these three fairy-blessings

She look with her away. - "Tis good to make all duty sweet,

To be alert and kind; "Tis good, like little Mabel,

To have a willing mind!


"Oh, but she is a comely child,”

Said a third, “and we will lay A good-luck-penny in her path,

A boon for her this day, – Seeing she broke no living wood;

No live thing did affray."
With that the smallest penny,

Of the finest silver ore,
Upon the dry and slippery path,

Lay Mabel's feet before.
With joy she picked the penny up,

The fairy penny good;
And with her fagots dry and brown

Went wondering from the wood.
« Now she has trat,” said the brownies,

“Let flax be ever so dear, Will buy her clothes of the very best,

For many and many a year!" -"And go, now," said the grandmother,

"Since falling is the dew,
Go down unto the lonesome glen,

And milk the mother-ewe !"
All down into the lonesome glen,

Through copses thick and wild;
Through moist, rank grass, by trickling streams,

Went on the willing child.
And when she came to lonesome glen,

She kept beside the burn,
And neither plucked the strawberry.flower,

Nor broke the lady-fern.
And while she milked the mother-ewe

Within the lonesome glen,
She wished that little Amy

Were strong and well again.
And soon as she had thought this thought,

She heard a coming sound,
As if a thousand fairy-folk

Were gathering all around.

AWAKE, arise, good Christians,

Let nothing you dismay;
Remember Christ our Saviour

Was born upon this day!
The self-same moon was shining

That now is in the sky,
When a holy band of angels

Came down from God on high. Came down on clouds of glory,

Arrayed in shining light, Unto the shepherd-people,

Who watched their flocks by night. And through the midnight silence

The heavenly host began, "Glory to God the highest ;

On earth good-will to man!
“Fear not, we bring good tidings,

For, on this happy morn,
The promised one, the Saviour,

In Bethlehem town is born!"

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And then she heard a little voice,

Shrill as the midge's wing, That spake aloud,“ a human child

Is here — yet mark this thing!

“The lady-fern is all unbroke,

The strawberry.flower unta'en ! What shall be done for her, who still

From mischief can refrain ?"

Up rose the joysul shepherds

From the ground whereon they lay, As ye should rise, good Christians,

To hail this blessed day! Up rose the simple shepherds,

All with a joyful mind; “And let us go, with speed," said they,

· This holy child to find !" Not in a kingly palace

The son of God they found, But in a lowly manger

Where oxen fed around. The glorious king of heaven;

The Lord of all the earth, In mercy condescended

To be of humble birth. There worshipped him the wise men,

As prophets had foretold; And laid their gifts before him,

Frankincense, myrrh, and gold.
Long looked the simple shepherds;

With holy wonder stirred,
Then praised God for all the things
Which they had seen and heard.

" Give her a fairy-cake!" said one,

“Grant her a wish!" said three; “The latest wish that she hath wished,"

Said all, “ whate'er it be!"! – Kind Mabel heard the words they spake,

And from the lonesome glen, Unto the good old grandmother

Went gladly back again.

And homeward went rejoicing

Upon that Christmas morn, Declaring unto every one,

That Jesus Christ was born. That he was born, - the Saviour,

The promised one of old ; That they had seen the son of God

To every one they told. And, like unto the shepherds,

We wander far and near, And bid ye wake, good Christians,

The joyful news to hear. Awake, arise, good Christians,

Let nothing you dismay, Remember Christ the Saviour

Was born upon this day!

'Mid the mighty, 'mid the mean, Little children may be seen, Like the flowers that spring up fair, Bright and countless, everywhere! In the far isles of the main; In the desert's lone domain; In the savage mountain-glen, 'Mong the tribes of swarthy men; Wheresoe'er a foot hath gone: Wheresoe'er the sun hath shone On a league of peopled ground, Little children may be found ! Blessings on them! they in me Move a kindly sympathy, With their wishes, hopes, and fears; With their laughter and their tears; With their wonder so intense, And their small experience! Little children, not alone On the wide earth are ye known, 'Mid its labours and its cares, 'Mid its sufferings and its snares. Free from sorrow, free from strife, In the world of love and life, Where no sinful thing hath trod; In the presence of your God. Spotless, blameless, glorified, Little children, ye abide!

LITTLE CHILDREN. SPORTING through the forest wide; Playing by the water-side ; Wandering o'er the heathy fells; Down within the woodland dells; All among the mountain wild, Dwelleth many a little child ! In the baron's hall of pride; By the poor man's dull fireside ;

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Dost mark the billows heaving

Before the coming gale ;
And scream for joy of every sound

That turns the seaman pale ?
Are gusty tempests mirth to thee?

Loy'st thou the lightning's flash; The booming of the mountain waves —

The thunder's deafening crash ?
O stormy, stormy Peterel,

Thou art a bird of woe!
Yet would I thou could'st tell me half

Of the misery thou dost know! There was a ship went down last night,

A good ship and a fair; A costly freight within her lay,

And many a soul was there ! The night-black storm was over her,

And 'neath the caverned wave: In all her strength she perished,

Nor skill of man could save.
The cry of her great agony

Went upward to the sky;
She perished in her strength and pride,

Nor human aid was nigh.
But thou, O stormy Peterel,

Went'st screaming o'er the foam ;Are there no tidings from that ship

Which thou canst carry home? Yes! He who raised the tempest up,

Sustained each drooping one; And God was present in the storm,

Though human aid was none!

One moment he beholds his flowers,

The next they are forgot : He eateth of his rarest fruits

As though he ate them not. It is not with the poor man so ;

He knows each inch of ground, And every single plant and flower

That grows within its bound. He knows where grow his wall-flowers,

And when they will be out; His moss-rose, and convolvulus

That twines his pales about. He knows his red sweet-williams;

And the stocks that cost him dear, That well-set row of crimson stocks,

For he bought the seed last year. And though unto the rich man

The cost of flowers is nought, A sixpence to a poor man

Is toil, and care, and thought. And here is his potatoe-bed,

All well-grown, strong, and green ; How could a rich man's heart leap up

At anything so mean!
But he, the poor man, sees his crop,

And a thankful man is he,
For he thinks all through the winter

How rich his board will be
And how his merry little ones

Beside the fire will stand, Each with a large potatoe

In a round and rosy hand. The rich man has his wall-fruits,

And his delicious vines;
His fruit for every season ;

His melons and his pines.
The poor man has his gooseberries;

His currants white and red;
His apple and his damson tree,

And a little strawberry-bed. A happy man he thinks himself,

A man that 's passing well,To have some fruit for the children,

And some besides to sell.

THE POOR MAN'S GARDEN. Ah yes, the poor man's garden!

It is great joy to me,
This little, precious piece of ground

Before his door to see!
The rich man has his gardeners,

His gardeners young and old;
He never takes a spade in hand,

Nor worketh in the mould. It is not with the poor man so,

Wealth, servants, he has none; And all the work that's done for him

Must by himself be done. All day upon some weary task

He toileth with good will;
And back he comes, at set of sun,

His garden-plot to till.
The rich man in his garden walks,

And 'neath his garden trees;
Wrapped in a dream of other things,

He seems to take his ease.

Around the rich man's trellissed bower

Gay, costly creepers run;
The poor man has his scarlet-beans

To screen him from the sun.

And there before the little bench,

O'ershadowed by the bower, Grow southern-wood and lemon-thyme,

Sweet-pea and gilliflower;
And, pinks and clove-camations,

Rich-scented side by side ;
And at each end a holly-hock,
With an edge of London-pride.

And here comes the old grandmother,

When her day's work is done ;
And here they bring the sickly babe

To cheer it in the sun.
And here, on Sabbath-mornings,

The good man comes to get
His Sunday nosegay, moss-rose bud,

White pink, and mignonette. And here, on Sabbath-evenings,

Until the stars are out,
With a litile one in either hand,

He walketh all about.
For though his garden-plot is small,

Him doth it satisfy;
For there's no inch of all his ground

That does not fill his eye.
It is not with the rich man thus;

For though his grounds are wide,
He looks beyond, and yet beyond,

With soul unsatisfied.
Yes ! in the poor man's garden grow

Far more than herbs and flowers;
Kind thoughts, contentment, peace of mind,

And joy for weary hours.

The old, mossy apple-tree ;
The young, glossy apple-tree;
Scathed or sound, the country round,

I know every apple-tree !
Winter comes, as winter will,

Bringing dark days, frost, and rime; But the apple is in vogue

At the Christmas-time;
At the merry Christmas-time

Folks are full of glee;
Then they bring out apples prime,

Of the primest tree;
Then you the roast-apple see
While they toast the apple-tree,
Singing, with a jolly chime,

of the brave old apple-tree!



Let them sing of bright red gold ;

Let them sing of silver fair; Sing of all that is on the earth,

All that's in the air; All that's in the sunny air,

All that's in the sea ;
And I'll sing a song as rare

Of the apple-tree!
The red-bloomed apple-tree;
The red-cheeked apple-tree ;
That's the tree for you and me,

The ripe, rosy apple-tree !
Learned men have learned books,

Which they ponder day and night; Easier leaves than theirs I read,

Blossoms pink and white; Blossom-leaves all pink and white,

Wherein I can see
Charactered, as clear as light,

The old apple-tree;
The gold-cheeked apple-tree;
The red-streaked apple-tree;
All the fruit that groweth on

The ripe, rosy apple-tree !
Autumn comes, and our good-man

Soon as harvest-toil is o'er,
Speculates on apple-crops —

Be they less or more ;
I could tell him ; less or more

Is well-known to me ;
I have eyes that see the core

of the apple-tree;

Lo! there the hermit of the waste,

The ghost of ages dim, The fisher of the solitudes,

Stands by the river's brim! Old Heron, in the feudal times,

Beside the forest stream, And by the moorland waters,

Thus didst thou love to dream. And over towers and castles high,

And o'er the armed men, Skirmishing on the border-lands,

Or crouching in the glen; Thy heavy wings were seen to flit,

Thy azure shape was known To pilgrim and to anchorite,

In deserts scorched and lone. Old Heron, in those feudal times

Thou wast in dangerous grace,
Secured by mandates and by laws

All for the royal chase.
No meaner head might plot thy death

Than one which wore a crown;
No meaner hand might loose the shaft,

From the skies to strike thee down. And out came trooping courtly dames,

And men of high degree, On steeds caparisoned in gold,

With bridles ringing free. Came king and queen; came warrior stout;

Came lord and lady fair,
All gallant, beautiful, and bold,

Into the autumn air.
The abbot and the bishop grave,

The monk with crown new-shorn,
Who sore did rue their ravaged stew *

In the last Lent forlorn.

* Fish-pond.

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