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SEBA SMITH.

MATERNITY.

THOMAS WESTWOOD.

There's Bell with her bonnet of satin sheen, “O God !" she cried in accents wild,
And Maud with her mantle of silver-green, "If I must perish, save my child !”
And Kate with her scarlet feather.

She stripped her mantle from her breast, Under my window, under my window,

And bared her bosom to the storm, Leaning stealthily over,

And round the child she wrapped the vest, Merry and clear, the voice I hear,

And smiled to think her babe was warm. Of each glad-hearted rover.

With one cold kiss, one tear she shed,
Ah ! sly little Kate, she steals my roses ; And sunk upon her snowy bed.
And Maud and Bell twine wreaths and posies,
As merry as bees in clover.

At dawn a traveller passed by,

And saw her 'neath a snowy veil ; Under my window, under my window,

The frost of death was in her eye, In the blue Midsummer weather,

Her cheek was cold and hard and pale. Stealing slow, on a hushed tiptoe,

He moved the robe from off the child, I catch them all together :

The babe looked up and sweetly smiled! Bell with her bonnet of satin sheen, And Maud with her mantle of silver-green, And Kate with the scarlet feather.

SEVEN TIMES FOUR.
Under my window, under my window,

And off through the orchard closes;
While Maud she flouts, and Bell she pouts, HEIGH-HO! daisies and buttercups,
They scamper and drop their posies;

Fair yellow daffodils, stately and tall !
But dear little Kate takes naught amiss,

When the wind wakes, how they rock in the And leaps in my arms with a loving kiss,

grasses, And I give her all my roses.

And dance with the cuckoo-buds slender and

small ! Here's two bonny boys, and here's mother's

own lasses,
CHILDHOOD.

Eager to gather them all.
In my poor mind it is most sweet to muse
Upon the days gone by ; to act in thought Heigh-ho! daisies and buttercups !
Past seasons o'er, and be again a child ;

Mother shall thread them a daisy chain ; To sit in fancy on the turf-clad slope,

Sing them a song of the pretty hedge-sparrow, Down which the child would roll; to pluck gay

That loved her brown little ones, loved them

full fain ; flowers, Make posies in the sun, which the child's hand Sing, “ Heart, thou art wide, though the house (Childhood offended soon, soon reconciled),

be but narrow," Would throw away, and straight take up again,

Sing once,

and sing it again. Then fling them to the winds, and o'er the lawn Bound with so playful and so light a foot,

Heigh-ho ! daisies and buttercups, That the pressed daisy scarce declined her head.

Sweet wagging cowslips, they bend and they

bow; CHARLES LAMB.

A ship sails afar over warm ocean waters,

And haply one musing doth stand at her prow'. THE MOTHER'S SACRIFICE. O bonny brown sons, and O sweet little daughi

ters, The cold winds swept the mountain's height,

Maybe he thinks on you now!
And pathless was the dreary wild,
And mid the cheerless hours of night

Heigh-ho! daisies and buttercups,
A mother wandered with her child :

Fair yellow daffodils, stately and tall As through the drifting snow she pressed, A sunshiny world full of laughter and leisure, The babe was sleeping on her breast.

And fresh hearts unconscious of sorrow and

thrall ! And colder still the winds did blow,

Send down on their pleasure smiles passing its And darker hours of night came on,

measure, And deeper grew the drifting snow :

God that is over us all! Her limbs were chilled, her strength was gone.

JEAN INGELOW.

BOYHOOD.

I met a little cottage girl :
Ah, then how sweetly closed those crowded days ! Her hair was thick with many a curl

She was eight years old, she said ;
The minutes parting one by one,

like
rays

That clustered round her head.
That fade upon a summer's eve.
But 0, what charm or magic numbers

She had a rustic, woodland air,
Can give me back the gentle slumbers

And she was wildly clad ; Those weary, happy days did leave ?

Her eyes were fair, and very fair ;
When by my bed I saw my mother kneel,

Her beauty made me glad.
And with her blessing took her nightly kiss ;
Whatever time destroys, he cannot this ;-

“Sisters and brothers, little maid, E'en now that nameless kiss I feel.

How many may you be ?"
“How many ? Seven in all,” she said,

And wondering looked at me.
SEVEN TIMES ONE.
THERE's no dew left on the daisies and clover,

“And where are they? I pray you tell." There's no rain left in heaven.

She answered, “Seven are we; I've said my seven times" over and over,

And two of us at Conway dwell, Seven times one are seven.

And two are gone to sea;

WASHINGTON ALLSTON.

I am old, - se old I can write a letter ;

“Two of us in the churchyard lie, My birthday lessons are done.

My sister and my brother ;
The lambs play always, they know no better ; And, in the churchyard cottage, I
They are only one times one.

Dwell near them with my mother."

O Moon! in the night I have seen you sailing “You say that two at Conway dwell,
And shining so round and low.

And two are gone to sea,
You were bright - ah, bright — but your light Yet ye are seven! I pray you tell,
is failing;

Sweet maid, how this may be." You are nothing now but a bow.

Then did the little maid reply, You Moon ! have you done something wrong in “Seven boys and girls are we; heaven,

Two of us in the churchyard lie
That God has hidden your face?

Beneath the churchyard tree.”
I hope, if you have, you will soon be forgiven,
And shine again in your place.

“You run about, my little maid ;

Your limbs they are alive ;
O velvet Bee! you 're a dusty fellow, –

If two are in the churchyard laid,
You've powdered your legs with gold.

Then ye are only five."
O brave marsh Mary-buds, rich and yellow,
Give me your money to hold !

“Their graves are green, they may be seen,”

The little maid replied : O Columbine ! open your folded wrapper,

"Twelve steps or more from my mother's door, Where two twin turtle-doves dwell!

And they are side by side.
O Cuckoo-pint! toll me the purple clapper
That hangs in your

clear
green
bell !

“My stockings there I often knit, And show me your nest, with the young ones in

My kerchief there I hem ;

And there upon the ground I sit,
it,
I will not steal them away ;

And sing a song to them.
I am old ! you may trust me, linnet, linnet!

“And often after sunset, sir,
I am seven times one to-day.

When it is light and fair,
JEAN INGELOW.

I take my little porringer,

And eat my supper there.
WE ARE SEVEN.
A SIMPLE child,

“ The first that died was Sister Jane ;
That lightly draws its breath,

In bed she moaning lay,
And feels its life in every limb,

Till God released her of her pain ;
What should it know of death ?

And then she went away.

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PICTURES OF MEMORY.

Little Bell sat down amid the fern :
“Squirrel, Squirrel, to your task return;

Bring me nuts,” quoth she.
Up, away! the frisky Squirrel hies, -
Golden wood-lights glancing in his eyes,

And adown the tree
Great ripe nuts, kissed brown by July sun,
In the little lap drop one by one.
Hark, how Blackbird pipes to see the fun!

Happy Bell !” pipes he. Little Bell looked up and down the glade: "Squirrel, Squirrel, from the nut-tree shade, Bonny Blackbird, if you 're not afraid,

Come and share with me!"
Down came Squirrel, eager for his fare,
Down came bonny Blackbird, I declare ;
Little Bell gave each his honest share, —

Ah ! the merry three !

Among the beautiful pictures

That hang on Memory's wall Is one of a dim old forest,

That seemeth best of all ; Not for its gnarled oaks olden,

Dark with the mistletoe ; Not for the violets golden

That sprinkle the vale below ; Not for the milk-white lilies

That lean from the fragrant ledge, Coquetting all day with the sun beams,

And stealing their golden edge ; Not for the vines on the upland,

Where the bright red berries rest, Nor the pinks, nor the pale sweet cowslip,

It seemeth to me the best.

And the while those frolic playmates twain Piped and frisked from bough to bough again,

'Neath the morning skies, In the little childish heart below All the sweetness seemed to grow and grow, And shine out in happy overflow

From her brown, bright eyes.
By her snow-white cot, at close of day,
Knelt sweet Bell, with folded palms, to pray ;

Very calm and clear
Rose the praying voice to where, unseen,
In blue heaven, an angel-shape serene

Paused awhile to hear.

I once had a little brother,

With eyes that were dark and deep; In the lap of that old dim forest

He lieth in peace asleep : Light as the down of the thistle,

Free as the winds that blow,
We roved there the beautiful summers,

The summers of long ago ;
But his feet on the hills grew weary,

And, one of the autumn eves,
I made for my little brother

A bed of the yellow leaves. Sweetly his pale arms folded

My neck in a meek embrace, As the light of immortal beauty

Silently covered his face ; And when the arrows of sunset

Lodged in the tree-tops bright, He fell, in his saint-like beauty,

Asleep by the gates of light. Therefore, of all the pictures

That hang on Memory's wall, The one of the dim old forest

Seemeth the best of all.

" What good child is this,” the angel said, "That with happy heart beside her bed

Prays so lovingly ?” Low and soft, 0, very low and soft, Croored the Blackbird in the orchard croft,

“ Bell, dear Bell !" crooned he.

“Whom God's creatures love," the angel fair Murmured, “God doth bless with angels' care ;

Child, thy bed shall be Folded safe from harm. Love, deep and kind, Shall watch around and leave good gifts behind,

Little Bell, for thee !"

ALICE CARY.

THOMAS WESTWOOD.

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My name to me a sadness wears ;

No murmurs cross my mind. Now God be thanked for these thick tears, Which show, of those departed years,

Sweet memories left behind.

It never did, to pages wove

For gay romance, belong. It never dedicate did move As “Sacharissa," unto love,

“Orinda," unto song. Though I write books, it will be read

Upon the leaves of none, And afterward, when I am dead, Will ne'er be graved for sight or tread,

Across my funeral-stone.

Now God be thanked for years enwrought

With love which softens yet.
Now God be thanked for every thought
Which is so tender it has caught

Earth's guerdon of regret.
Earth saddens, never shall remove,

Affections purely given ;
And e'en that mortal grief shall prove
The immortality of love,

And heighten it with Heaven.

This name, whoever chance to call

Perhaps your smile may win.
Nay, do not smile! mine eyelids fall
Over mine eyes, and feel withal

The sudden tears within.
Is there a leaf that greenly grows

Where summer meadows bloom,
But gathereth the winter snows,
And changeth to the hue of those,

If lasting till they come?

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.

THE THREE SONS.

Is there a word, or jest, or game,

But time encrusteth round With sad associate thoughts the same ? And so to me my very name

Assumes a mournful sound.

My brother gave that name to me

When we were children twain, When names acquired baptismally Were hard to utter, as to see

That life had any pain.

No shade was on us then, save one

of chestnuts from the hill, And through the word our laugh did run As part thereof. The mirth being done,

He calls me by it still.

I HAVE a son, a little son, a boy just five years

old, With eyes of thoughtful earnestness, and mind

of gentle mould. They tell me that unusual grace in all his ways

appears, That my child is grave and wise of heart beyond

his childish years. I cannot say how this may be ; I know his face

is fair, And yet his chiefest comeliness is his sweet and

serious air ; I know his heart is kind and fond ; I know he

loveth me; But loveth yet his mother more with grateful

fervency. But that which others most admire, is the thought

which fills his mind, The food for grave inquiring speech he every

where doth find. Strange questions doth he ask of me, when we

together walk ; He scarcely thinks as children think, or talks as

children talk. Nor cares he much for childish sports, dotes not

on bat or ball, But looks on manhood's ways and works, and

aptly mimics all. His little heart is busy still, and oftentimes per

plext With thoughts about this world of ours, and

thoughts about the next. He kneels at his dear mother's knee ; she teacheth

him to pray ; And strange and sweet and solemn then are the

words which he will say.

Nay, do not smile! I hear in it

What none of you can hear, The talk upon the willow seat, The bird and wind that did repeat

Around, our human cheer.

I hear the birthday's noisy bliss,

My sisters' woodland glee, My father's praise I did not miss, When, stooping down, he cared to kiss

The poet at his knee,

And voices which, to name me, aye

Their tenderest tones were keeping, To some I nevermore can say An answer, till God wipes away

In heaven these drops of weeping.

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