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THE HOUSEHOLD DARLING.
LITTLE Ella-fairest, dearest,

Unto me and unto mine;
Earthly cherub, coming nearest

To my dreams of shapes divine ! Her brief absence frets and pains me,

Her bright presence solace brings ; Her spontaneous love restrains me

From a hundred selfish things.

THE HOUSEHOLD DARLING.

143

Little Ella moveth lightly,

Like a graceful fawn at play, Like a brooklet, running brightly

In the genial smile of May; Like a breeze upon the meadows

All besprent with early flowers;
Like a bird, 'mid sylvan shadows,

In the golden summer hours.
You should see her, when with nature

She goes forth to think or play,
Every limb and every feature

Drinking in the joy of day. Stooping oft ’mid floral splendour,

Snatching colours and perfumes, She doth seem so fair and tender,

Kin to the ambrosial blooms. Sweet thought sitteth like a garland

On her placid brows and eyes, Eyes which seem to see a far land

Through the intervening skies. And she seems to listen often

To some voice above the spheres, Whilst her earnest features soften

Into calmness-kin to tears. Not all mirthful is her manner:

Though no laugh so blithe as hers, Grave demeanour comes upon her

When her inmost nature stirs.
When a gentle lip reproves her,

All her gladsome graces flee,
But the word “forgiveness” moves her

With new joy, and sets her free.
Should a shade of sickness near me,

Then she takes a holier grace, Comes to strengthen and to cheer me

With her angel light of face. Up the stair I hear her coming

Duly at the morning hour, Sweetly singing, softly humming,

Like a bee about a flower.

Good looks wake ecstatic feelings

In her undeveloped mind;
Holy thoughts, whose high revealings,

Teach her love for human kind.
Music thrills her with a fervour

Like the songs of seraphim:
May bright spirits teach and nerve her

To partake the perfect hymn.

God of heaven, in Thy good feeling,

Spare this darling child to me! Spare me this unsullied being

Till she brings me close to Thee. Unseen angels, bless her, mould her

Into goodness, clothed in grace, That on high I may behold her Talking with ye face to face.

-7. C. Prince.

CATECHISM.

OH, say not, dream not, heavenly notes

To childish ears are vain !
That the young mind at random floats,

And cannot reach the strain.

Dim or unheard the words may fall,

And yet the heaven-taught mind May learn the sacred air, and all

The harmony unwind.

Was not our Lord-a little child

Taught by degrees to pray? By father dear and mother mild

Instructed day by day?

And loved He not of heaven to talk,

With children in His sight,To meet them in his daily walk,

And to His arms invite ?

THE HUMAN SEASONS.

145

What though, around His throne of fire,

The everlasting chant
Be wafted from the seraph choir

In glory jubilant?
Yet stoops He, ever pleased to mark

Our rude essays of love,
Faint as the pipe of wakening lark,

Hard by some twilight grove.

Yet is He near us to survey

These bright and ordered files,
Like spring flowers in their best array,

All silence and all smiles.

Save that each little voice in turn

Some glorious truth proclaims,-
What sages would have died to learn,

Now taught by cottage dames.

-Keble.

THE HUMAN SEASONS.
FOUR seasons fill the measure of the year;
There are four seasons in the mind of man.
He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
Takes in all beauty with an easy space.
He has his Summer, when luxuriously,
Spring's honied cud of youthful thought he loves
To ruminate; and by such dreaming nigh,
Is nearest unto heaven. Quiet coves
His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings
He furleth close; contented so to look
On mists in idleness,—to let fair things
Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.
He has his Winter, too, of pale misfeature,
Or else he would forego his mortal nature.

-Keats.

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WHEN I consider how my life is spent,
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent, which is death to hide,
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present

My true account, lest He, returning, chide;
“Doth God exact day labour, light denied ?”

I fondly ask; but Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man's works or His own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve Him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at His bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.”

-Milton.

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