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The world is a ball, and every star,
Now, the tale that I had in my mind to rehearse, And the sun himself, great balls they are; Was related by Willy, though not told in verse : Round they go, and round about,
Said Willy," the cat had a kitten that lay Ever and ever, yet ne'er are out!
Behind my bed's head, on a cushion of hay;
A beautiful kit, though a mischievous elf, Up goes the ball! oh, if I threw
And given to prowling about hy itself. Up to the very sky so blue,
Now it happened, one day, as I came from my work, Up to the moon, or to Charles Wain,
Before I had put by my rake and my fork, "T would be long ere the ball came down again!
The old cat came up, and she pawed and she mewed, An up and down--that is the way,
With the wofullest visage that ever I viewed, With a good round ball, that you must play ; And she showed me the door, and she ran in and out; Up, high as you can, and down again,
I couldn't conceive what the cat was about! Ten and ten, and six times ten!
At length, I bethought that the creature was good,
And she would have her way, let it be what it would; Face to the shade, and back to the shine ;
And no sooner she saw me inclined to obey, Send up your balls with a toss like mine,
Than she set up her tail, and she scampered away Straight as a dart, as if 't were cast
To a pond not far off, where the kitten I found From the spring of a mighty arbalast!
In a bottomless basket, just sinking, half drowned There it goes! good luck to the ball!
However it got there, I never could tell, Here it comes, with a plumping fall;
For a cat hates the water - but so it befel; How merry it is, our balls to throw,
Perhaps some bad boy this bad action had done, Standing together thus in a row!
To torture the kitten, and then call it fun;
Yet that I don't know; but I soon got her out, An up and a down, that is the way,
And a terrible fright she had had, there's no doubt; With a good round ball, that you must play; "T was a pitiful object, it drooped down its head, Up, high as you can, and down again,
And Peggy for some time declared it was dead. Now we have counted ten times ten.
But its heart was alive, spite the panic and pain,
At length when we saw that all danger was over, THE KITTEN'S MISHAP.
And that, well warmed and dried, it began to recover,
We laid it in bed, on its cushion of hay, I'll tell you a tale of a watery disaster;
And wrapped it up snugly, and bade it good day.' Of a cat, and a kitten, and their little master; And then its poor mother gave over her mourning, A tale it shall be, neither made-up nor silly,
And lay down and purred like the wheel that was Of two good little children, named Peggy and Willy. turning; They were not rich children and clever, like
And she and the kitten by care unperplexed, Who had books, toys, and pictures, and nothing to do; Slept, purred, and scarce stirred all that day and the They were two little orphans, that lived on a common, next; In a very small house, with a very old woman. Then scarcely a trace of her trouble she bore, A very old woman, as poor as could be ;
Though meeker and graver than ever before." And they worked for the bread that they eat, all So here ends my tale of this watery disaster, three
Of the cat, and the kitten, and their little master.
Spring ! the beautiful Spring is coming,
The sun shines bright and the bees are humining,
of the ficary golden bright!
For many a pleasant nook I know,
And crowds of violets white as snow; And never looked famished howe'er it was fed.
Come, come. let's go!
Let's go, for hark,
I hear the lark; And the blackbird and the thrush on the hill-side
tree, Shout to each other so merrily,
And the wren sings loud,
And a little crowd
And in homesteads hilly,
The spathed daffodilly
"T is Spring! 't is Spring, all creatures know it, The skies, the earth, the waters show it, The freckled snakes come out i' the sun,
The leverets race in the meadows green; The sleep of the little dormouse is done, And the frisking squirrel again is seen!
Come, come who will,
Let us take our fill
The air is ringing
All thickly growing,
And like things of light
Flash to and fro!
There sings the lark !
The glad foal neighs ;
A thousand ways -
I'll tarry no more! come, come, let's go!
Upon the mountain kummits hung
The tempest-clouds so darkly scowling, And winds in caverned hollows sung,
Like unto desert creatures howling. Day after day the sunshine slept,
Night after night the moon was hidden, And rain and wind about us kept,
Week after week, like guests unbidden. And many a time the deep snows fell,
In the dark months of winter weather And quite shut in our mountain dell,
We, and our lonely flock together. We had a little flock of sheep,
I herded them both night and morning;
Her busy wheel for ever turning.
Into their pen, at nightfall darkling,
And see the cheerful wood-fire sparkling! On stilly eves, beside my flock,
The sounds I heard will haunt me ever, The eagle rising from the rock,
The wind-borne roaring of the river: The gathering of the coming storm,
Like far-off angry giants talking ; The grey mist like a ghostly form
Over the ridgy mountain stalking! I saw, I heard, I loved them all ;
My days and nights were never weary, Though many a passing guest would call
My life forlorn, those mountains dreary. Would I were back among the hills;
Could see the heath, and scent the gowan, Would I could hear those sounding rills,
And sit beneath the lonely rowan! But our little flock of sheep are gone,
Like snowy clouds in moonlight flying ; And my mother lies 'neath the churchyard stone,
With long, dry bent-grass round her sighing!
LIFF AMONG THE MOUNTAINS.
The splintered, northern mountains lay
All round about my mother's dwelling, All full of craggy hollows grey,
Where ice-cold, sparkling streams were welling. Upon the mountains lay the snow,
Far gleaming snows that melted never; And deeply, darkly, far below,
Went sounding on, a lonely river.
With hoary hair, and bent with age,
In which the Saviour trod of yore;
Now see another pilgrim, gay,
Behold, once more! — From youth to age
Thou art a pilgrim to that shore, -
I never see these flowers but they
Else perished long ago!
Showered on the earth below.
To their old haunts of joy!
That never brought annoy!
Is on my cheek even now;
And jessamine's slender bough.
Our early work and late ;
To us a large estate!
A something dearer still;
Alike in good and ill.
Who had no mate beside ?
Whate'er our eve betide !
THE INDIAN BIRD.
COWSLIPS. Nay, tell me not of Austral flowers, Or purple bells from Persia bowers, The cowslip of this land of ours,
Is dearer far to me! This flower in other years I knew! I know the fields wherein it grew, With violets white and violets blue,
Beneath the garden-tree!
A MÁIDEN had an Indian bird,
And she kept it in her bower; The sweetest bird that e'er was seen,Its feathers were of the light sea-green, And its eye had a mild intelligence, As if it were gifted with human sense:
" Ah me! and I felt our mother's heart,
As it beat in awful fear,
But the basilisk-snake had been woe to hear.
In the English tongue it had no name,
And thus it sung one twilight hour,
And was built in the nutmeg tree,
sprung when the very world was made, In an Indian isle beyond the sea. “ There were four of us in the little nest,
And under our mother's wings we lay ; And the father, the nutmeg leaves among, To the rising moon he sat and sung
For he sung both night and day. " And oh, he sung so sweetly,
The very winds were hushed !
That like wild waters gushed.
To hear it had a great delight, All but the wild wolf-cat, that prowls
To seek his prey at night. “ The wild wolf-cat of the mountains old,
He stole to that tree of ours All silently he stole at night,
Like the green snake 'mong the flowers.
" His eyes were like two dismal fires,
His back was dusky grey; And he seized our father while he sung,
Then bounded with him away!
"But he spared her not for her beautiful wings;
He spared her not for her cry; And the silence of death came down on the woods
That had rung with her agony. " And there we lay, four lonely ones !
That live-long day, and pined, and pined; And dismally throngh the forest-trees
Went by the moaning wind. “We watched the dreary stars come out,
And the pitiless moon come up the sky, And many a dreadful sound we heard
The serpent's hiss and the jackal's cry, And then a hush of downy wings
The nutmeg tree went by.
For a long, long hour we heard ;
Of the cruel dragon-bird !
In the light of the morning sun,
And left but me, the lonely one!
And I was feeble as could be! And next the arrowy lightning came,
And smote our nutmeg tree.
And I had soon been dead of cold,
Within a little cage of gold.
A gentle maid and beautiful; And all day long to me she sung, And all around my cage she hung
The large white-lily fresh and cool. * And so I lived, — in joy I lived ;
And when my wings were strong,
For the Bramin doth no creature wrong. “But I could not leave that kind old man
I could not leave that maiden bright:
And me she called her ‘soul's delight,
" Wild was the cry the father gave,
Till the midnight forest rang; And Oh!' said the kindly hunters then, • Some savage creature, from its den Hath pounced upon that gentle bird,
And seized it as it sang! "All wearily passed that woful night
With our poor mother's wail; And we watched, from out our little nest, The great round moon go down to rest,
And the little stars grow pale.
“And then I felt our mother's heart
Flutter, as in a wild surprise ;
The basilisk-snake, with its stony eyes. " It lay on the bough like a bamboo rod,
All freckled and barred with green and brown; And the terrible light of its freezing eyes
Through the nutmeg boughs came down. " And lithely towards the little nest
It slid, and nearer it drew,
Mong the nutmeg leaves it threw.
“But bloody war was in the land;
The old man and the maid were slain; The precious things were borne away A ruined heap the temple lay,
And I aming the spoil was ta’en. “ They said I was an idol bird,
That I had been enshrined there, And that the people worshipped me,
And that my gentle maiden fair Was priestess to the sea-green bird! "T was false !-yet thus they all averred, And in the city I was sold For a great price in counted gold. Thy merchant-father purchased me, And I was borne across the sea; Thou know'st the rest - I am not sad ; With thee, sweet maiden, all are glad!"
In Athens dwelt a long, long time,
Which we so long to know.
He should go to Palestine,
With the Bible, line by line.
Beneath the Cedar's shade;
And by the Jordan strayed.
Lay like a desert heap,
The bright, green lizards creep!
Through flowery Hindostan ;
Had gone this pleasant man.
Of Indian hunters grim,
In the midnight forest dim.
THE CHILDREN'S WISH.
Or how they meet by the council fire,
Wearing the hen-hawk's feather, To hear some famous Sagum's “ talk," To see them bury the tomahawk,
And smoke the pipe together. Or of the bloody Indian wars,
When 'neath each forest-tree Was done some fell deed of affright, And the war-whoop rang at dead of night,
Through the wild woods dismally.
Oh for an old, grey traveller,
By our winter fire to be,
Which we can never see!
Covered with frost and snow,
'Mong the dwarfish Esquimaux! Or where, on the high and snowy ridge
Of the Dofrine mountains cold, The patient rein-deer draws the sledge, With rattling hoofs, along the ledge
of mountains wild and old ! Or, if that ancient traveller
Had gone o'er the hills of Spain, of other scenes he would proudly speak, Than icy seas and mountains bleak;
And a weary way of pain. He would tell of green and sunny vales,
Thick woods and waters clear, Of singing birds, and summer skies, And peasant girls with merry eyes,
And the dark-browed muleteer!
And in St. Peter's stood,
Of Rome was great and good!
The bright blue Grecian sea, 'Mong isles where the white-lily grows, And the gum-cistus and the rose,
The bay and olive tree!
The pleasant breezes blow;
THE ENGLISH MOTHER An English mi pon sate at eve
Beneath the stately tree That grew before her husband's hall, With her young son at her knee: