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And when the arrows of sunset
Lodged in the tree-tops bright,
He fell, in his saint-like beauty,
Asleep by the gates of light.

Therefore, of all the pictures

That hang on memory's wall,
The one of the dim old forest
Seemeth the best of all.

Alice Cary.


THE snow had begun in the gloaming,
And busily all the night

Had been heaping field and highway
With a silence deep and white.

Every pine and fir and hemlock

Wore ermine too dear for an earl, And the poorest twig on the elm tree Was ridged inch-deep with pearl.

From sheds new-roofed with Carrara*
Came Chanticleer's muffled crow;
The stiff rails were softened to swan's down,
And still fluttered down the snow.

* A variety of marble very pure and white.

I stood and watched by the window
The noiseless work of the sky,
And the sudden flurries of snow-birds,
Like brown leaves whirling by.

I thought of a mound in sweet Auburn,*
Where a little headstone stood,
How the flakes were folding it gently,
As did robins the babes in the wood.

Up spoke our own little Mabel,

Saying, "Father, who makes it snow?" And I told of the good All Father Who cares for us here below.

Again I looked at the snow-fall,

And thought of the leaden sky That arched o'er our first great sorrow, When that mound was heaped so high.

I remembered the gradual patience
That fell from that cloud-like snow,
Flake by flake, healing and hiding

The scar of our deep-plunged woe.
And again to the child I whispered,
"The snow that husheth all,
Darling, the merciful Father
Alone can make it fall."

* A cemetery near Boston.

Then, with eyes that saw not, I kissed her; And she, kissing back, could not know That my kiss was given to her sister, Folded close under deepening snow.

James Russell Lowell.


A LITTLE downy chick one day

Asked leave to go on the water, Where she saw a duck with her brood at play Swimming and splashing about her.

Indeed she began to peep and cry
When her mother wouldn't let her,
"If the ducks can swim there, why can't I?
Are they any bigger or better ?"

Then the old hen answered, "Listen to me,
And hush your foolish talking.

Just look at your feet, and you will see
They were only made for walking."

But chicky wistfully eyed the brook,
And didn't half believe her,

For she seemed to say, by a knowing look,
Such stories couldn't deceive her.

And as her mother was scratching the ground, She muttered lower and lower,

"I know I can go there and not be drowned, And so I think I'll show her."

Then she made a plunge where the stream was deep

And saw too late her blunder;
For she had hardly time to peep,
When her foolish head went under.

And now I hope her fate will show
The child my story reading,

That those who are older sometimes know
What you will do well in heeding.

So each content in his place should dwell,
And envy not his brother;

For any part that is acted well
Is just as good as another.

For we all have our proper spheres below,
And this is a truth worth knowing;
You will come to grief if you try to go
Where you never were made for going.
Phoebe Cary.


Not long ago I wandered near

A playground in the wood; And there heard words from a youngster's lips, That I never quite understood.

"Now let the old cat die !" he laughed;
I saw him give a push,

Then gaily scamper away as he spied
A face peep over the bush.

But what he pushed, or where he went,
I could not well make out,

On account of the thicket of bending boughs
That bordered the place about.

"The little villain has stoned a cat, Or hung it upon a limb,

And left it to die all alone," I said,

"But I'll play the mischief with him."

I forced my way through the bending boughs, The poor old cat to seek,

And what did I find but a swinging child,
With her bright hair brushing her cheek!

Her bright hair floated to and fro,
Her little red dress flashed by;

But the loveliest thing of all, I thought,
Was the gleam of her laughing eye.

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