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30 THE PIN, NEEDLE, AND SCISSORS.
You fuss so at a fall or hurt,
And if you touch a little dirt
You keep up such an odious creaking,
That where you are there is no speaking;
And then your lackey Emery's called,
And he, poor thing, is pricked and mauled
Until your daintiness — O, shocking! —
Is fit for what ? — To mend a stocking!"
The Needle now began to speak, —
They might have quarrelled for a week, —
But here the Scissors interposed,
And thus the warm debate was closed.
"You angry Needle ! foolish Pin!
How did this nonsense first begin?
You should have both been better taught,
But I will cut the matter short.
You both are wrong and both are right,
And both are very impolite.
E'en in a work-box, 't will not do
To talk of everything that's true.
All personal remarks avoid,
For every one will be annoyed
At hearing disagreeable truth;
Besides, it shows you quite uncouth,
And sadly wanting in good taste.
But what advantages you waste!
Think, Pins and Needles, while you may,
How much you hear in one short day;
No servants wait on lordly man
Can hear one half of what you can.
'T is not worth while to mince the matter;
Nor men nor boys like girls can chatter.
All now are learning, forward moving,
E'en Pins and Needles are improving;
And in this glorious, busy day,
All have some useful part to play.
Go forth, ye Pins, and bring home news
Ye Needles, in your cases muse!
And take me for your kind adviser,
And only think of growing wiser;
Then, when you meet again, no doubt,
Something you '11 have to talk about,
And need not get into a passion,
And quarrel in this vulgar fashion.
Less of yourselves you '11 think, and more
Of others, than you did before.
You '11 learn that, in their own right sphere,
All things with dignity appear,
And have, when in their proper place,
Peculiar use, intrinsic grace."
Methought the polished Scissors blushed
To have said so much, — and all was hushed.
WE ARE SEVEN.
A Simple child,
That lightly draws its breath,
I met a little cottage girl;
She was eight years old, she said;
That clustered round her head.
She had a rustic, woodland air,
And she was wildly clad;
Her beauty made me glad.
32 WE ARE SEVEN.
"Sisters and brothers, little maid,
How many may you be?"
And wondering looked at me.
"And where are they, I pray you tell?"
She answered, "Seven are we;
And two are gone to sea.
"Two of us in the churchyard lie, My sister and my brother;
"You say that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea,
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;
Then ye are only five."
"Their graves are green, they may be seen,"
The little maid replied, "Twelve steps or more from my mother's door,
And they are side by side.
4t My stockings there I often knit,
My kerchief there I hem;
I sit and sing to them.
"And often, after sunset, sir,
When it is light and fair, I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.
"The first that died was little Jane;
In bed she moaning lay
And then she went away.
"So in the churchyard she was laid;
And when the grass was dry, Together round the grave we played,
My brother John and I.
"And when the ground was white with snow,
And I could run and slide,
And he lies by her side."
"How many are you, then," said I,
"If they two are in heaven?" The little maiden did reply,
"O master, we are seven."
"But they are dead, those two are dead!
Their spirits are in heaven."
And said, "Nay, we are seven."
34 JOHN BARLEYCORN.
JOHN BARLEYCORN. — Burns.
There were three kings into the East,
They took a plough and ploughed him down,
Put clods upon his head,
John Barleycorn was dead.
But the cheerful spring came kindly on,
And showers began to fall,
And sore surprised them all.
The sultry suns of summer came,
And he grew thick and strong,
That no one should him wrong.
The sober autumn entered mild,
When he grew wan and pale,
Showed he began to fail.
His color sickened more and more,
He faded into age;
To show their deadly rage.