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O, should my gentle child be spared to man- | But I know (for God hath told me this) that he hood's years like me,
is now at rest, A holier and a wiser man I trust that he will be ; Where other blessed infants be, on their Saviour's And when I look into his eyes, and stroke his loving breast. thoughtful brow,
I know his spirit feels no more this weary load dare not think what I should feel, were I to
of flesh, lose him now.
But his sleep is blessed with endless dreams of
joy forever fresh. I have a son, a second son, a simple child of I know the angels fold him close beneath their three;
glittering wings, I'll not declare how bright and fair his little and soothe him with a song that breathes of features be,
Heaven's divinest things. How silver sweet those tones of his when he I know that we shall meet our babe (his mother prattles on my knee ;
dear and 1) I do not think his light blue eye is, like his Where God for aye shall wipe away all tears from brother's, keen,
every eye. Nor his brow so full of childish thought as his Whate'er befalls his brethren twain, his bliss can hath ever been ;
never cease ; But his little heart's a fountain pure of kind and Their lot may here be grief and fear, but his is tender feeling ;
certain peace. And his every look's a gleam of light, rich It may be that the tempter's wiles their souls depths of love revealing.
from bliss may sever ; When he walks with me, the country folk, who But, if our own poor faith fail not, he must be pass us in the street,
ours forever. Will shout for joy, and bless my boy, he looks When we think of what our darling is, and what so mild and sweet.
we still must be, A playfellow is he to all ; and yet, with cheerful When we nuse on that world's perfect bliss, and tone,
this world's misery, Will sing his little song of love, when left to When we groan beneath this load of sin, and feel
this grief and pain, His presence is like sunshine sent to gladden Oh! we'd rather lose our other two, than have home and hearth,
him here again. To comfort us in all our griefs, and sweeten all
JOHN MOULTRIE. our mirth. Should he grow up to riper years, God grant his heart may prove
THE MITHERLESS BAIRN. As sweet a home for heavenly grace as now for earthly love ;
An Inverary 'correspondent writes : “Thom gave me the for. And if, beside his grave, the tears our aching lowing narrative as to the origin of The Mitherless Bairn': 1
quote his own words. When I was livin' in Aberdeen, I was eyes must dim,
limping roun' the house to my garret, when I heard the greetin' o' God comfort us for all the love which we shall a wean. A lassie was thumpin' a bairn, when out cam a big dame,
bellowin', “Ye hussie, will ye lick a mitherless bairn I." I hobled lose in him.
up the stair and wrote the sang afore sleepin'." I have a son, a third sweet son ; his age I cannot WHEN a'ither bairnies are hushed to their hame tell,
By aunty, or cousin, or frecky grand-dame, For they reckon not by years and months where Wha stands last and lanely, an' naebody carin'? he has gone to dwell.
'T is the puir doited loonie, — the mitherless To us, for fourteen anxious months, his infant bairn !
smiles were given ; And then he bade farewell to earth, and went to The mitherless bairn gangs to his lane bed ; live in heaven.
Nane covers his cauld back, or haps his bare I cannot tell what form is his, what looks he head; weareth now,
His wee hackit heelies are hard as the airn, Nor guess how bright a glory crowns his shining An' litheless the lair o' the mitherless bairn.
seraph brow. The thoughts that fill his sinless soul, the bliss Aneath his cauld brow siccan dreams hover there, which he doth feel,
O’hands that wont kindly to kame his dark hair ; Are numbered with the secret things which God But mornin' brings clutches, a' reckless an' stern, will not reveal.
That lo'e nae the locks o' the mitherless bairn !
Yon sister that sang o'er his saftly rocked bed May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore, Now rests in the mools where her mammie is The parting word shall pass my lips no more. laid ;
Thy maidens, grieved themselves at my concern, The father toils sair their wee bannock to earn, Oft gave me promise of thy quick return; An' kens na the wrangs o' his mitherless bairn. What ardently I wished I long believed,
And, disappointed still, was still deceived, Her spirit, that passed in yon hour o' his birth, By expectation every day beguiled, Still watches his wearisome wanderings on earth ; Dupe of to-morrow even from a child. Recording in heaven the blessings they earn Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went, Wha couthilie deal wi' the mitherless bairn! Till, all my stock of infant sorrows spent,
I learned at last submission to my lot ; O, speak him na harshly, – he trembles the But, though I less deplored thee, ne'er forgot. while,
Where once we dwelt our name is heard no He bends to your bidding, and blesses your smile; more ; In their dark hour o' anguish the heartless shall Children not thine have trod my nursery floor ; learn
And where the gardener Robin, day by day, That God deals the blow, for the mitherless bairn! Drew me to school along the public way,
Delighted with my bawble coach, and wrapped
"T is now become a history little known
That once we called the pastoral house our own.
Short-lived possession ! but the record fair, OUT OF NORFOLK, THE Gift OF MY COUSIN, ANN BODHAM. That memory keeps of all thy kindness there, O that those lips had language ! Life has passed Still outlives many a storm that has effaced With me but roughly since I heard thee last. A thousand other themes, less deeply traced: Those lips are thine, -thy own sweet smile I see, Thy nightly visits to my chamber made, The same that oft in childhood solaced me; That thou mightst know me safe and warmly laid; Voice only fails, else how distinct they say, Thy morning bounties ere I left my home, “Grieve not, my child; chase all thy fears | The biscuit, or confectionery plum ;
The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestowed The meek intelligence of those dear eyes By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and (Blest be the art that can immortalize.
glowed, The art that baffles time's tyrannic claim All this, and, more endearing still than all, To quench it !) here shines on me still the same. Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall,
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear! Ne'er roughened by those cataracts and breaks O welcome guest, though unexpected here ! That humor interposed too often inakes ; Who bid'st me honor with an artless song,
All this, still legible in memory's page, Affectionate, a mother lost so long.
And still to be so to my latest age, I will obey, — not willingly alone,
Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay But gladly, as the precept were her own; Such honors to thee as my numbers may, And, while that face renews my filial grief, Perhaps a frail memorial, but sincere, Fancy shall weave a charm for my relief, Not scorned in heaven, though little noticed here. Shall steep me in Elysian revery,
Could time, his flight reversed, restore the A momentary dream that thou art she.
hours My mother! when I learned that thou wast When, playing with thy vesture's tissued Aowdead,
ers, Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed ? The violet, the pink, the jessamine, -Hovered thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son, I pricked them into paper with a pin, Wretch even then, life's journey just begun ? (And thou wast happier than myself the while -Perhaps thou gavest me, though unfelt, a kiss ; Wouldst softly speak, and stroke my head and Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss —
smile,) Ah, that maternal smile! it answers — Yes. Could those few pleasant days again appear, I heard the bell tolled on thy burial day ; Might one wish bring them, would I wish them I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away;
here? And, turning from my nursery window, drew I would not trust my heart, – the dear delight A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu ! Seems so to be desired, perhaps I might. But was it such? --- It was. - Where thou art gone But no, — what here we call our life is such, Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown; So little to be loved, and thou so much,
That I should ill requite thee to constrain
The laburnum on his birthday, —
The tree is living yet!
Where I was used to swing,
To swallows on the wing; Her beauteous form reflected clear below,
My spirit flew in feathers then,
That is so heavy now,
The fir-trees dark and high ; Of life long since has anchored by thy side.
I used to think their slender tops
Were close against the sky.
Than when I was a boy.
TO MY INFANT SON.
Thou happy, happy elf !
Thou tiny image of myself !
Thou merry, laughing sprite,
With spirits, feather light, To have renewed the joys that once were mine,
Untouched by sorrow, and unsoiled by sin ; Without the sin of violating thine ;
(My dear, the child is swallowing a pin !) And, while the wings of fancy still are free, And I can view this mimic show of thee, Thou little tricksy Puck ! Time has but half succeeded in his theft, With antic toys so funnily bestuck, Thyself removed, thy power to soothe me left. Light as the singing bird that rings the air,
WILLIAM COWPER. (The door! the door! he'll tumble down tho
Thou darling of thy sire !
(Why, Jane, he'll set his pinafore afire !)
Thou imp of mirth and joy !
In love's dear chain so bright a link,
Thou idol of thy parents ; – (Drat the boy !
There goes my ink.)
Thou cherub, but of earth ;
In harmless sport and mirth,
Thou human humming.bee, extracting honey
From every blossom in the world that blows,
Singing in youth's Elysium ever sunny,
(Another tumble! That's his precious nose !)
With pure heart newly stamped from nature's “O Lord ! O dear, my heart will break, I shall mint,
go stick stark staring wild ! (Where did he learn that squint ?)
Has ever a one seen anything about the streets
like a crying lost-looking child ? Thou young domestic dove !
Lawk help me, I don't know where to look, or (He'll have that ring off with another shove,)
to run, if I only knew which way Dear nursling of the hymeneal nest!
A Child as is lost about London streets, and es(Are these torn clothes his best ?)
pecially Seven Dials, is a needle in a bottle Little epitome of man !
of hay. (He 'll climb upon the table, that's his plan,) I am all in a quiver — get out of my sight, do, Touched with the beauteous tints of dawning life, you wretch, you little Kitty M'Nab! (He's got a knife !)
You promised to have half an eye to him, you Thou enviable being !
know you did, you dirty deceitful young No storms, no clouds, in thy blue sky foreseeing, drab. Play on, play on,
The last time as ever I see him, poor thing, was My elfin John !
with my own blessed Motherly es, Toss the light ball, bestride the stick,
Sitting as good as gold in the gutter, a playing (I knew so many cakes would make him sick!) at making little dirt-pies.
With fancies buoyant as the thistle-down, I wonder he left the court, where he was better Prompting the face grotesque, and antic brisk, off than all the other young boys, With many a lamb-like frisk!
With two bricks, an old shoe, nine oyster-shells, (He's got the scissors, snipping at your gown !) and a dead kitten by way of toys. Thou pretty opening rose !
When his father comes home, and he always (Go to your mother, child, and wipe your nose !) comes home as sure as ever the clock Balmy and breathing music like the south, (He really brings my heart into my mouth !) He'll be rampant, he will, at his child being Bold as the hawk, yet gentle as the dove ;
lost; and the beef and the inguns not (I'll tell you what, my love,
done! I cannot write unless he's sent above.)
La bless you, good folks, mind your own con
cerns, and don't be making a mob in the
street ; O Sergeant M'Farlane ! you have not come across
my poor little boy, have you, in your beat? THE LOST HEIR.
Do, good people, move on ! don't stand staring "O where, and where
at me like a parcel of stupid stuck pigs; Is my bonnie laddie gone?"-OLD SONG,
Saints forbid ! but he's p'r’aps been inviggled One day, as I was going by
away up a court for the sake of his clothes That part of Holborn christened High,
by the priggs ; I heard a loud and sudden cry
He'd a very good jacket, for certain, for I bought That chilled my very blood ;
it myself for a shilling one day in Rag And lo! from out a dirty alley, Where pigs and Irish wont to rally, And his trousers considering not very much I saw a crazy woman sally,
patched, and red plush, they was once his Bedaubed with grease and mud.
Father's best pair. She turned her East, she turned her West, His shirt, it's very lucky I'd got washing in Staring like Pythoness possest,
the tub, or that might have gone with the With streaming hair and heaving breast,
rest; As one stark mad with grief.
But he'd got on a very good pinafore with only This way and that she wildly ran,
two slits and a burn on the breast. Jostling with woman and with man, He'd a goodish sort of hat, if the crown was Her right hand held a frying-pan,
sewed in, and not quite so much jagged The left a lump of beef.
at the brim. At last her frenzy seemed to reach
With one shoe on, and the other shoe is a boot, A point just capable of speech,
and not a fit, and you 'll know by that if And with a tone almost a screech,
it's him. As wild as ocean birds,
Except being so well dressed, my mind would Or female ranter moved to preach,
misgive, some old beggar woman, in want She gave her “sorrow words.”
of an orphan,
Had borrowed the child to go a-begging with, | And his nose is still a good un, though the
but I'd rather see him laid out in his bridge is broke, by his falling on a pewter coffin !
pint pot ; Do, good people, move on, such a rabble of boys! He's got the most elegant wide mouth in the
I'll break every bone of 'em I come near, world, and very large teeth for his age ; Go home — you’re spilling the porter - go home And quite as fit as Mrs. Murdockson's child to -- Tommy Jones, go along home with play Cupid on the Drury Lane stage.
And then he has got such dear winning ways This day is the sorrowfullest day of my life, ever but 0, I never, never shall see him no since my name was Betty Morgan,
more ! Them vile Savoyards ! they lost him once before o dear! to think of losing him just after nuss
all along of following a monkey and an ing him back from death's door !
Only the very last month when the windfalls, O my Billy - my head will turn right round - hang 'em, was at twenty a penny !
if he's got kiddynapped with them Ital. And the threepence he'd got by grottoing was ians,
spent in plums, and sixty for a child is They 'll make him a plaster parish image boy,
they will, the outlandish tatterdemalions. And the Cholera man came and whitewashed us Billy — where are you, Billy ? - I'm as hoarse all, and, drat him ! made a seize of our
as a crow, with screaming for ye, you hog.
It's no use to send the Crier to cry him about, And sha'n't have half a voice, no more I sha'n't, he's such a blunderin' drunken old dog ;
for crying fresh herrings to-morrow. The last time he was fetched to find a lost child O Billy, you 're bursting my heart in two, and he was guzzling with his bell at the my life won't be of no more vally,
Crown, If I'm to see other folks' darlin's, and none And went and cried a boy instead of a girl, for
of mine, playing like angels in our a distracted Mother and Father about alley,
Town. And what shall I do but cry out my eyes, when Billy -- where are you, Billy, I say? come, Billy, I looks at the old three-legged chair
come home, to your best of Mothers ! As Billy used to make coach and horses of, and I'm scared when I think of them Cabroleys, there a'n't no Billy there!
they drive so, they'd run over their own I would run all the wide world over to find him, Sisters and Brothers. if I only knowed where to run,
Or maybe he's stole by some chimbly-sweeping Little Murphy, now I remember, was once lost wretch, to stick fast in narrow flues and for a month through stealing a penny
what not, bun,
And be poked up behind with a picked pointed The Lord forbid of any child of mine! I think pole, when the soot has ketched, and the it would kill me raily,
chimbly 's red hot. To find my Bill holdin' up his little innocent o, I'd give the whole wide world, if the world hand at the Old Bailey.
was mine, to clap my two longin' eyes on For though I say it as ought n't, yet I will say,
his face. you may search for miles and mileses For he's my darlin' of darlin's, and if he don't And not find one better brought up, and more soon come back, you 'll see me drop stone
pretty behaved, from one end to t' other dead on the place.
I only wish I'd got him safe in these two MothAnd if I called him a beauty, it's no lie, but erly arms, and would n't I hug him and only as a mother ought to speak ;
kiss him ! You never set eyes on a more handsomer face, Lawk! I never knew what a precious he was only it has n't been washed for a week ;
but a child don't not feel like a child till As for hair, though it's red, it's the most nicest
you miss him. hair when I've time to just show it the Why, there he is ! Punch and Judy hunting, the comb;
young wretch, it 's that Billy as sartin as I'll owe 'em five pounds, and a blessing besides, sin !
as will only bring him safe and sound But let me get him home, with a good grip of home.
his hair, and I'm blest if he shall have a He's blue eyes, and not to be called a squint, whole bone in his skin !
though a little cast he's certainly got ;