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49.—THE ROBIN PURSUING A

BUTTERFLY
Can this be the bird to man so good,

That, after their bewildering,

Did cover with leaves the little children
So painfully in the wood ?
What ailed thee, Robin, that thou could’st pursue
A beautiful creature
That is gentle by nature ?
Beneath the summer sky
From flower to flower let him fly;

'Tis all that he wishes to do.
The cheerer thou of our in-door sadness,
He is the friend of our summer gladness ;
What hinders then that ye should be
Playmates in the sunny weather,
And fly about in the air together?
His beautiful wings in crimson are drest,

A crimson as bright as thine own:
If thou would'st be happy in thy nest,
O pious bird! whom man loves best, .
Love him, or leave him alone!

Wordsworth.

50.-OLD CHRISTMAS. Now he who knows old Christmas,

He knows a carle [1] of worth; For he is as good a fellow,

As any upon the earth ! [1] Carle-a robust, strong, hearty fellow.

He comes warm cloaked and coated,

And buttoned up to the chin;
And soon as he comes a-nigh the door,

'Twill open and let him in.
We know that he will not fail us,

So we sweep the hearth up clean; We set him the old arm-chair,

And a cushion whereon to lean. And with sprigs of holly and ivy,

We make the house look gay;
Just out of an old regard to him-

For it was his ancient way.
We broach (1) the strong ale barrel,

And bring out wine and meat;
And thus have all things ready,

Our dear old friend to greet.
He comes with a cordial voice,

That does one good to hear;
He shakes one heartily by the hand,

As he hath done many a year.
And after the little children,

He asks in a cheerful tone, Jack, Kate, and little Annie,

He remembers them every one ! What a fine old fellow he is !

With his faculties all as clear, And his heart as warm and light,

As a man in his fortieth year! [1] Broach the barrel-tap it-make it ready to draw from.

What a fine old fellow, in troth, [1]

Not one of your griping elves, [2] Who with plenty of money to spare,

Think only about themselves.
Not he! for he loveth the children,

And holiday begs for all;
And comes with his pockets full of gifts,

For the great ones and the small !
And he tells us witty old stories ;

And singeth with might and main ;
And we talk of the old man's visit
Till the day that he comes again!

Mary Howilt.

51.-THE SWALLOW.
Swallow! that on rapid wing
Sweep’st along in sportive ring,
Now here, now there, now low, now high,
Chasing keen the painted fly ;-
Could I skim away with thee
Over land and over sea,
What streams would flow, what cities rise,
What landscapes dance before mine eyes !
First from England's southern shore
Cross the channel we would soar,
And our vent'rous course advance
To the plains of sprightly France ;

[1] Trothtruth.

[2] Elves-plural of elf, which properly means a fairy or spirit; sometimes, as here, an unnatural kind of being, one different from men in general.

Sport among the feather'd choir
On the verdant banks of Loire;
Skim Garonne's majestic tide,
Where Bourdeaux adorns his side ;
Cross the towering Pyrenees,
'Mid myrtle groves and orange trees ;
Enter then the wild domain
Where wolves prowl round the flocks of Spain,
Where silk-worms spin, and olives grow,
And mules plod surely on and slow.
Steering thus for many a day
Far to south our course away,
From Gibraltar's rocky steep
Dashing o'er the foaming deep,
On sultry Afric's fruitful shore
We'd rest at length, our journey o'er,
Till vernal gales should gently play
To waft us on our homeward way.

Aikin.

52.—THE LULLABY. Sleep, my child, my darling child, my lovely child,

sleep: The sun sleepeth upon the green fields ; The moon sleepeth upon the blue waves ; The morning sleepeth upon a bed of roses ; The evening sleepeth on the tops of the dark

hills ; The winds sleep in the hollow of the rocks;

The stars sleep upon a pillow of clouds. Sleep, my child, my darling child, my lovely child,

sleep.

The mist sleepeth in the bosom of the valley, And the broad lake under the shadow of the

trees; The flowers sleep while the night dew falls, And the wild birds sleep upon the mountainsSleep in quiet, sleep in joy, my darling, May thy sleep never be the sleep of sorrow ! Sleep, my child, my darling child, my lovely child,

sleep.

53.—LUCY GRAY. Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray,

And, when I crossed the wild,
I chanced to see, at break of day,

The solitary child.
No mate, no comrade, Lucy knew ;

She dwelt on a wide moor;
The sweetest thing that ever grew

Beside a cottage door!
You yet may spy the fawn at play,

The hare upon the green;
But the sweet face of Lucy Gray

Will never more be seen.
“ To-night will be a stormy night,

You to the town must go;
And take a lantern, child, to light

Your mother through the snow.”

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