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My nap was gone, and in humor sulky
I stretched a loud and imperious yawn, And then, with a word both big and bulky, I blessed the hour those babes were born.
With a knitted brow and a hasty toilet,
I made up my mind as I mounted the stairs Whatever the fun, I would quickly spoil it
By coming upon them unawares.
I knocked at the door, and a moment waited; The noise was hushed to a whispered word; The patter of little feet abated,
And a tiny hand on the knob I heard. The door, with a labored opening, started, And full in its light a vision appeared, That carried my heart to the days departed, And to one to whom it was ever endeared.
Oh, vision of life in the darkened palace
Where I have enshrined the one of my love! What vestige remained of the wrath and malice I threatened to wreak on the noise above?
What memoried thought is the one I am meeting? What hands are they stretched as I entered the door?
"Are you my papa?" was the baby-like greeting; 66 Are you my papa, come home from the war?"
"No, darling," I said, with a choking emotion, "I am not your papa, come home from the war; I am only a waif on the fathomless ocean,
With no one to love me the weary world o'er." "I will love you myself-you shall be my papa," And I caught the sweet child with the wondering eyes
Up close to my breast where the memories are.
Oh, where was my heart as I lay in bed dozing, And the noise overhead could not quicken its beat?
The chambers of memory surely were closing
When no entrance was found for those dear little feet;
For had I the riches we read of in story,
I would give up the whole to sweep away years— To bring back the pleasure, the wealth, and the
The patter of dear little feet to my ears.
J. W. Watson.
A NURSERY TALE.
OH! did you not hear in your nursery
Of the two young girls that came to drink
The words of the youngest were as sweet
But the tongue of the eldest seemed to move
At the well a beggar accosted them
The eldest rebuked her with scornful brow,
Cried the Fairy, " Whenever you speak, sweet girl,
But whenever you utter a word, proud maid,
And have you not met with those sisters oft
Yes the first is KINDNESS, and diamonds bright On the darkest theme she throws;
And the last is SLANDER-leaving the slime
Of the snake wherever she goes!
T. H. Bayly.
SANTA CLAUS AND THE MOUSE.
ONE Christmas eve, when Santa Claus
"A merry Christmas, little friend," Said Santa, good and kind.
"The same to you, sir!" said the mouse, "I thought you wouldn't mind
"If I should stay awake to-night,
And then he filled the stockings up,
"Now, they won't hold another thing," Said Santa Claus with pride.
A twinkle came in mousie's eyes,
"It's not polite to contradict—
"Oh, ho!" laughed Santa, "silly mouse! Don't I know how to pack?
By filling stockings all these years,
And then he took the stocking down.
The mousie chuckled to himself,
Now, if you please, good Santa Claus,
For you will own, that little hole
How Santa Claus did laugh and laugh!
"Well, you shall have a Christmas cheese
For that nice little joke!"