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I do not think his light-blue eye is, like I know the angels fold him close beneath his brother's, keen, their glittering wings, Nor his brow so full of childish thought And soothe him with a song that breathes of heaven's divinest things.

as his hath ever been;

But his little heart's a fountain pure of I know that we shall meet our babe (his kind and tender feeling, mother dear and I)

And his every look's a gleam of light, rich Where God for aye shall wipe away all depths of love revealing. tears from every eye.

When he walks with me, the country folk, Whate'er befalls his brethren twain, his who pass us in the street, bliss can never cease; Will shout for joy, and bless my boy, he Their lot may here be grief and fear, but looks so mild and sweet. his is certain peace.

A playfellow is he to all; and yet, with It may be that the tempter's wiles their cheerful tone, souls from bliss may sever; Will sing his little song of love when left But, if our own poor faith fail not, he to sport alone. must be ours for ever. His presence is like sunshine sent to glad- When we think of what our darling is, den home and hearth, and what we still must be

To comfort us in all our griefs, and sweeten When we muse on that world's perfect all our mirth. bliss and this world's miseryShould he grow up to riper years, God When we groan beneath this load of sin,

grant his heart may prove

As sweet a home for heavenly grace as now for earthly love;

And if, beside his grave, the tears our aching eyes must dim,

God comfort us for all the love which we shall lose in him.

I have a son, a third sweet son, his age I cannot tell,

For they reckon not by years and months where he is gone to dwell.

To us, for fourteen anxious months, his infant smiles were given,

And then he bade farewell to earth, and went to live in heaven.

I cannot tell what form is his, what looks he weareth now,

Nor guess how bright a glory crowns his shining seraph brow.

The thoughts that fill his sinless soul, the
bliss which he doth feel,

Are number'd with the secret things which
God will not reveal.

But I know (for God hath told me this)

that he is now at rest,

Where other blessed infants be-on their
Saviour's loving breast.

I know his spirit feels no more this weary
load of flesh,

But his sleep is bless'd with endless dreams of joy for ever fresh.

and feel this grief and painOh, we'd rather lose our other two than have him here again!



-A SIMPLE child,

That lightly draws its breath,
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death?

I met a little cottage girl;

She was eight years old, she said; Her hair was thick with many a curl That cluster'd round her head.

She had a rustic, woodland air,

And she was wildly clad:
Her eyes were fair, and very fair-
Her beauty made me glad.
"Sisters and brothers, little maid,

How many may you be?"
"How many? Seven in all," she said,
And wondering look'd at me.
"And where are they? I pray you tell"
She answer'd, "Seven are we;
And two of us at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea.
"Two of us in the churchyard lie,
My sister and my brother;

And in the churchyard cottage I Dwell near them with my mother."

"You say that two at Conway dwell,

And two are gone to sea,
Yet ye are seven! I pray you tell,
Sweet maid, how this may be?"

Then did the little maid reply:

"Seven boys and girls are we; Two of us in the churchyard lie, Beneath the churchyard tree."

"You run about, my little maid,

Your limbs they are alive;
If two are in the churchyard laid,
Then ye are only five."

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But they are dead-those two are dead,

Their spirits are in Heaven!" 'Twas throwing words away, for still The little maid would have her will, And said, "Nay, we are seven!" WILLIAM WORDSWORTH


IT was on the Western frontier;
The miners, rugged and brown,
Were gathered around the posters;
The circus had come to town!
The great tent shone in the darkness
Like a wonderful palace of light,
And rough men crowded the entrance-
Shows didn't come every night!

Not a woman's face among them;
Many a face that was bad,
And some that were only vacant,
And some that were very sad.
And behind a canvas curtain,

In a corner of the place,
The clown, with chalk and vermilion,
Was "making up" his face.

A weary-looking woman,

With a smile that still was sweet, Sewed on a little garment,

With a cradle at her feet. Pantaloon stood ready and waiting; It was time for the going on, But the clown in vain searched wildly; The "property-baby" was gone!

He murmured, impatiently hunting,
"It's strange I cannot find-
There! I've looked in every corner;
It must have been left behind!"
The miners were stamping and shouting,
They were not patient men.

The clown bends over the cradle-
"I must take you, little Ben !"

The mother started and shivered,

But trouble and want were near; She lifted her baby gently;

"You'll be very careful, dear?" "Careful? You foolish darling,"How tenderly it was said!

What a smile shone through the chalk and "Come, boys, enough of this rumpus!


"I love each hair of his head!"

The noise rose into an uproar,

Misrule for the time was king; The clown, with a foolish chuckle,

Bolted into the ring.

But as, with a squeak and flourish, The fiddles closed their tune, "You'll hold him as if he was made of glass?"

Said the clown to the pantaloon.

The jovial fellow nodded;

"I've a couple myself," he said,

"I know how to handle 'em, bless you! Old fellow, go ahead!"

The fun grew fast and furious,

And not one of all the crowd
Had guessed that the baby was alive,
When he suddenly laughed aloud.
Oh, that baby-laugh! It was echoed
From the benches with a ring,

It's time it was put to bed."
So, looking a little sheepish,

But with faces strangely bright,
The audience, somewhat lingeringly,
Flocked out into the night.
And the bold-faced leader chuckled,-
"He wasn't a bit afraid!

He's as game as he is good-looking;
Boys, that was a show that paid !"



AH! then how sweetly closed those crowded

The minutes parting one by one like rays,
That fade upon a summer's eve.
But oh! what charm, or magic numbers
Can give me back the gentle slumbers
Those weary, happy days did leave?
When by my bed I saw my mother kneel,
And with her blessing took her nightly kiss:
Whatever Time destroys, he cannot this-

And the roughest customer there sprang up E'en now that nameless kiss I feel.

With, "Boys, it's the real thing!"

The ring was jammed in a minute,
Not a man that did not strive
For "a shot at holding the baby,"
The baby that was "alive!"

He was thronged by kneeling suitors
In the midst of the dusty ring,
And he held his court right royally,-
The fair little baby-king,-
Till one of the shouting courtiers,

A man with a bold, hard face,
The talk, for miles, of the country,

And the terror of the place, Raised the little king to his shoulder, And chuckled, "Look at that!" As the chubby fingers clutched his hair, Then, “Boys, hand round the hat!” There never was such a hatful

Of silver, and gold, and notes; People are not always penniless Because they don't wear coats!

And then, "Three cheers for the baby!"

I tell you, those cheers were meant, And the way in which they were given Was enough to raise the tent. And then there was sudden silence, And a gruff old miner said,


THE CHILDREN IN THE WOOL. Now ponder well, you parents deare,

These wordes, which I shall write;
A doleful story you shall heare,
In time brought forth to light:
A gentleman of good account

In Norfolke dwelt of late,
Who did in honor far surmount
Most men of his estate.

Sore sicke he was, and like to dye,
No helpe his life could save;
His wife by him as sicke did lye,

And both possest one grave.
No love between these two was lost,
Each was to other kinde;

In love they liv'd, in love they dyed,

And left two babes behinde:

The one a fine and pretty boy,

Not passing three yeares olde;
The other a girl more young than he,
And fram'd in beautyes moulde.
The father left his little son,

As plainlye doth appeare,
When he to perfect age should come,

Three hundred poundes a yeare.

And to his little daughter Jane

Five hundred poundes in gold, To be paid downe on marriage-day, Which might not be controll'd; But if the children chance to dye

Ere they to age should come, Their uncle should possesse their wealth, For so the wille did run.

Now, brother, said the dying man,

Look to my children deare; Be good unto my boy and girl, No friendes else have they here: To God and you I recommend

My children deare this daye; But little while be sure we have Within this world to staye.

You must be father and mother both,
And uncle all in one;
God knowes what will become of them
When I am dead and gone.
With that bespake their mother deare,
Oh brother kinde, quoth shee,
You are the man must bring our babes
To wealth or miserie:

And if you keep them carefully,
Then God will you reward;
But if you otherwise should deal,
God will your deedes regard.
With lippes as cold as any stone,

They kist their children small:
God bless you both, my children deare;
With that the teares did fall.

These speeches then their brother spake
To this sicke couple there :
The keeping of your little ones,
Sweet sister, do not feare:
God never prosper me nor mine,
Nor aught else that I have,
If I do wrong your children deare,
When you are layd in grave.

The parents being dead and gone,
The children home he takes,
And bringes them straite unto his house,
Where much of them he makes.
He had not kept these pretty babes
A twelvemonth and a daye,
But, for their wealth, he did devise
To make them both awaye.

He bargain'd with two ruffians strong,
Which were of furious mood,
That they should take these children young
And slaye them in a wood.

He told his wife an artful tale,

He would the children send

To be brought up in faire London,
With one that was his friend.

Away then went those pretty babes,
Rejoycing at that tide,
Rejoycing with a merry minde,

They should on cock-horse ride.
They prate and prattle pleasantly,
As they rode on the waye,

To those that should their butchers be, And work their lives decaye:

So that the pretty speeche they had,
Made Murder's heart relent:
And they that undertooke the deed

Full sore did now repent.

Yet one of them more hard of heart,
Did vowe to do his charge,
Because the wretch, that hired him,
Had paid him very large.

The other won't agree thereto,
So here they fall to strife;
With one another they did fight,
About the childrens life:
And he that was of mildest mood,

Did slaye the other there,
Within an unfrequented wood;

The babes did quake for feare!

He took the children by the hand,
Teares standing in their eye,
And bad them straitwaye follow him,
And look they did not crye;
And two long miles he ledd them on,
While they for food complaine:
Staye here, quoth he, I'll bring you bread
When I come back againe.

These pretty babes, with hand in hand,
Went wandering up and downe,
But never more could see the man

Approaching from the towne:
Their prettye lippes, with black-berries,
Were all besmear'd and dyed,
And, when they sawe the darksome night,
They sat them downe and cry'd.

Thus wandered these poor innocents,

Till deathe did end their grief;
In one anothers arms they dyed,
As wanting due relief.

No burial "this" pretty "pair"
Of any man receives,
Till Robin-red-breast piously

Did cover them with leaves.

And now the heavy wrathe of God
Upon their uncle fell;

Yea, fearfull fiends did haunt his house,
His conscience felt an hell.

His barnes were fir'd, his goodes consum'd,

His landes were barren made; His cattle dyed within the field, And nothing with him stayd.

And in a voyage to Portugal

Two of his sonnes did dye;
And to conclude, himselfe was brought
To want and miserye:

He pawn'd and mortgaged all his land
Ere seven years came about.
And now at length this wicked act
Did by this meanes come out :

The fellowe, that did take in hand
These children for to kill,
Was for a robbery judg'd to dye,

Such was God's blessed will:
Who did confess the very truth,

As here hath been display'd:
Their uncle having dyed in gaol,
Where he for debt was layd.

You that executors be made,
And overseers eke
Of children that be fatherless,
And infants mild and meek;
Take you example by this thing,
And yield to each his right,
Lest God, with such like miserye,
Your wicked minds requite.



I SAW where in the shroud did lurk
A curious frame of Nature's work.
A flowret crushed in the bud,
A nameless piece of Babyhood,
Was in her cradle-coffin lying;

Extinct, with scarce the sense of dying:

So soon to exchange the imprisoning womb
For darker closets of the tomb!
She did but ope an eye, and put

A clear beam forth, then straight up shut
For the long dark: ne'er more to see
Through glasses of mortality.
Riddle of destiny, who can show
What thy short visit meant, or know
What thy errand here below?
Shall we say that Nature blind

Checked her hand, and changed her mind,
Just when she had exactly wrought
A finished pattern without fault?
Could she flag, or could she tire,

Or lacked she the Promethean fire
(With her nine moons' long workings

That should thy little limbs have quickened?

Limbs so firm, they seemed to assure
Life of health, and days mature:
Woman's self in miniature!
Limbs so fair, they might supply
(Themselves now but cold imagery)
The sculptor to make Beauty by.
Or did the stern-eyed Fate descry
That babe, or mother, one must die;
So in mercy left the stock,
And cut the branch; to save the shock
Of young years widowed; and the pain,
When single state comes back again
To the lone man who, reft of wife,
Thenceforward drags a maimed life?
The economy of Heaven is dark;
And wisest clerks have missed the mark,
Why human buds, like this, should fall
More brief than fly ephemeral

That has his day; while shrivelled crones
Stiffen with age to stocks and stones;
And crabbed use the conscience sears
In sinners of a hundred years.
Mother's prattle, mother's kiss,
Baby fond, thou ne'er will miss.
Rites, which custom does impose,
Silver bells and baby clothes;
Coral redder than those lips,

Which pale death did late eclipse;
Music framed for infants' glee,

Whistle never tuned for thee;

Though thou want'st not, thou shalt have


Loving hearts were they which gave them.

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