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The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath. 'T was the night before Christmas, when all He had a broad face and a little round belly through the house

That shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full of Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse ; jelly. The stockings were hung by the chimney with He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old care,

elf; In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there; And I laughed, when I saw him, in spite of myThe children were nestled all snug in their beds, self. While visions of sugar-plums danced in their A wink of his eye and a twist of his head heads;

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread. And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap, He spoke not a word, but went straight to his Had just settled our brains for a long winter's work, nap,

And filled all the stockings ; then turned with a When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

jerk, I sprang from my bed to see what was the mat. And laying his finger aside of his nose, ter.

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose. Away to the window I flew like a flash,

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

whistle, The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow And away they all few like the down of a this. Gave a lustre of midday to objects below; When what to my wondering eyes should ap- But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of pear,

sight, But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer, * Happy Christmas to all, and to all a goodWith a little old driver, so lively and quick

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled and shouted, and called them

by name:
“Now, Dasher ! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and

THE FROST. Vixen ! On, Comet ! on, Cupid ! on, Donder and Blitzen! The Frost looked forth, one still, clear night, To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall !

And he said, "Now I shall be out of sight; Now dash away, dash away, dash away all !".

So through the valley and over the height As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane ily,

In silence I'll take my way. When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the I will not go like that blustering train, sky,

The wind and the snow, the hail and the rain, So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

Who make so much bustle and noise in vain, With the sleigh full of toys, – and St. Nicholas

But I'll be as busy as they !" too. And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof

Then he went to the mountain, and powdered ils The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

crest, As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

He climbed up the trees, and their boughs hu Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a dressed bound.

With diamonds and pearls, and over the breast He was dressed all in fur from his head to his Of the quivering lake he spread foot,

A coat of mail, that it need not fear And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes The downward point of many a spear and soot;

That he hung on its margin, far and near, A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

Where a rock could rear its head. And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.

He went to the windows of those who slept, His eyes how they twinkled! his dimples how And over each pane like a fairy crept: merry!

Wherever he breathed, wherever he stepped, His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry ; By the light of the moon were seen His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, Most beautiful things. There were flowers and And the heard on his cnin was as white as the trees,

I There were bevies of birds and swarms of bees,


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I will paint her as I see her.

Ten times have the lilies blown
Since she looked upon the sun.

And her face is lily-clear,

Lily-shaped, and dropped in duty
To the law of its own beauty.

Oval cheeks encolored faintly,

Which a trail of golden hair
Keeps from fading off to air ;

Now in memory comes my mother,

As she used, in years agone, To regard the darling dreamers

Ere she left them till the dawn: So I see her leaning o'er me,

As I list to this refrain Which is played upon the shingles

By the patter of the rain. Then my little seraph sister,

With the wings and waving hair, And her star-eyed cherub brother

A serene angelic pair
Glide around my wakeful pillow,

With their praise or mild reproof, As I listen to the murmur

Of the soft rain on the roof.

And a forehead fair and saintly,

Which two blue eyes undershine,
Like meek prayers before a shrine.

Face and figure of a child,

Though too calm, you think, and tender, For the childhood you would lend her.

Yet child-simple, undefiled,

Frank, obedient, — waiting still
On the turnings of your will.

And another comes, to thrill me

With her eyes' delicious blue ; And I mind not, musing on her,

That her heart was all untrue : I remember but to love her

With a passion kin to pain,

Moving light, as all your things,

As young birds, or early wheat,
When the wind blows over it.

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A DISTRICT school, not far away,
Mid Berkshire hills, one winter's day,
Was humming with its wonted noise
Of threescore mingled girls and boys ;
Some few upon their tasks intent,
But more on furtive mischief bent.
The while the master's downward look
Was fastened on a copy-book ;
When suddenly, behind his back,
Rose sharp and clear a rousing smack !
As 't were a battery of bliss
Let off in one tremendous kiss !
“ What's that?" the startled master cries;
“ That, thir,” a little imp replies,
"Wath William Willith, if you pleathe,
I thaw him kith Thuthanna Peathe!”
With frown to make a statue thrill,
The master thundered, “Hither, Will !”
Like wretch o'ertaken in his track,
With stolen chattels on his back,
Will hung his head in fear and shame,
And to the awful presence came,
A great, green, bashful simpleton,
The butt of all good-natured fun.
With smile suppressed, and birch upraised,
The threatener faltered, “I'm amazed
That you, my biggest pupil, should
Be guilty of an act so rude!
Before the whole set school to boot -
What evil genius put you to 't ?"
"'T was she herself, sir," sobbed the lad,
“I did not mean to be so bad ;
But when Susannah shook her curls,
And whispered, I was 'fraid of girls
And dursn't kiss a baby's doll,
I could n't stand it, sir, at all,
But up and kissed her on the spot !
I know — boo-hoo - I ought to not,
But, somehow, from her looks - boo-hoo -
I thought she kind o' wished me to !"

THE BAREFOOT BOY. BLESSINGS on thee, little man, Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan ! With thy turned-up pantaloons, And thy merry whistled tunes ; With thy red lip, redder still Kissed by strawberries on the hill ; With the sunshine on thy face, Through thy torn brim's jaunty grace ; From my heart I give thee joy, I was once a barefoot boy ! Prince thou art, the grown-up man Only is republican. Let the million-dollared ride! Barefoot, trudging at his side, Thou hast more than he cau buy In the reach of ear and eye, Outward sunshine, inward joy : Blessings on thee, barefoot boy !

O for boyhood's painless play,
Sleep that wakes in laughing day,
Health that mocks the doctor's rules,
Knowledge never learned of schools,
Of the wild bee's morning chase,
Of the wild-flower's time and place,
Flight of fowl and habitude
Of the tenants of the wood ;
How the tortoise bears his shell,
How the woodchuck digs his cell,
And the ground-mole sinks his well
How the robin feeds her young,
How the oriole's nest is hung ;
Where the whitest lilies blow,
Where the freshest berries grow,
Where the ground-nut trails its vine,
Where the wood-grape's clusters shine ;
Of the black wasp's cunning way,
Mason of his walls of clay,
And the architectural plans
Of gray hornet artisans !
For, eschewing books and tasks,
Nature answers all he asks ;
Hand in hand with her he walks,
Face to face with her he talks,
Part and parcel of her joy,
Blessings on the barefoot boy!

O for boyhood's time of June,
('rowding years in one brief moon,
When all things I heard or saw,
Me, their master, waited for.
I was rich in flowers and trees,
Humming-birds and honey-bees ;
For my sport the squirrel played,
Plied the snouted mole his spade ;
For my taste the black berry cone
Purpled over hedge and stone ;

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Old Master Brown brought his ferule down,

And his face looked angry and red.
Go, seat you there, now, Anthony Blair,

Along with the girls,” he said.
Then Anthony Blair, with a mortified air,

With his head down on his breast,
rook his penitent seat by the maiden sweet

That he loved, of all, the best. Jud Anthony Blair seemed whimpering there,

But the rogue only made believe ; For he peeped at the girls with the beautiful curls,

And ogled them over his sleeve.


For many generations past

Here is our family tree ; My mother's hands this Bible clasped,

She, dying, gave it me.

Laughed the brook for my delight Through the day and through the night, Whispering at the garden wall, Talked with me from fall to fall ; Mine the sand-rimmed pickerel pond, Mine the walnut slopes beyond, Mine, on bending orchard trees, Apples of Hesperides ! Still as my horizon grew, Larger grew my riches too ; All the world I saw or knew Seemed a complex Chinese toy, Fashioned for a barefoot boy !

Ah ! well do I remember those

Whose names these records bear;
Who round the hearthstone used to close,

After the evening prayer,
And speak of what these pages said

In tones my heart would thrill !
Though they are with the silent dead,

Here are they living still !
My father read this holy book

To brothers, sisters, dear ;
How calm was my poor mother's look,

Who loved God's word to hear !
Her angel face, - 1 see it yet!

What thronging memories come! Again that little group is met

Within the halls of home!

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O for festal dainties spread,
Like my bowl of milk and bread,

and bowl of wood,
On the door-stone, gray and rude !
O'er me, like a regal tent,
Cloudy-ribbed, the sunset bent,
Purple-curtained, fringed with gold,
Looped in many a wind-swung fold;
While for music came the play
Of the pied frogs' orchestra ;
And, to light the noisy choir,
Lit the fly his lamp of fire.
I was monarch : pomp and joy
Waited on the barefoot boy!

Cheerly, then, my little man,
Live and laugh, as boyhood can !
Though the flinty slopes be hard,
Stubble-speared the new-mown sward,
Every morn shall lead thee through
Fresh baptisms of the dew ;
Every evening from thy feet
Shall the cool wind kiss the heat
All too soon these feet must hide
In the prison cells of pride,
Lose the freedom of the sod,
Like a colt's for work be shod,
Made to tread the mills of toil,
Up and down in ceaseless moil :
Happy if their track be found
Never on forbidden ground;
Happy if they sink not in
Quick and treacherous sands of sin.
Ah ! that thou couldst know thy joy,
Ere it passes, barefoot boy !



How dear to this heart are the scenes of my

childhood, When fond recollection presents them to view ! The orchard, the meadow, the deep-tangled wild.

wood, And every loved spot which my infancy knew ; The wide-spreading pond and the mill which

stood by it, The bridge, and the rock where the cataract

fell ; The cot of my father, the dairy-house nigh it, And e'en the rude bucket which hung in the

well, The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket, The moss-covered bucket which hung in the well. That moss-covered vessel I hail as a treasure ;

For often, at noon, when returned from the field, I found it the source of an exquisite pleasure,

The purest and sweetest that nature can yield. How ardent I seized it, with hands that were

glowing ! And quick to the white-pebbled bottom it


This book is all that's left me now,

Tears will unbidden start, With faltering lip and throbbing brow

I press it to my heart.


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