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Title: Christmas Carols and Midsummer Songs
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Christmas Carols and Midsummer Songs" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



CHRISTMAS CAROLS AND MIDSUMMER SONGS

By American Poets

Illustrated by American Artists

Boston:

D.Lothrop & Company,

1881


[Illustration: 0001]


[Illustration: 0002]


[Illustration: 0003]



CHRISTMAS CAROLS.


_Wake from your sleep, sweet Christians, now, and listen.

A little song

We have, so sweet it like a star doth glisten,

And dance along.

Now wake and hark: all brightly it is glowing

With yule flames merry,

And o'er it many a holly sprig is growing;

And scarlet berry.

A bough of evergreen, with wax-lights gleaming,

It bravely graces;

And o'er its lines the star that's eastward beaming

Leaves golden traces.

Also, our little song; it sweetly praiseth,

Like birds in flocks

When morning from her bed of roses raiseth

Her golden locks.

But this it is that makes most sweet our story,

When all is said:

It holds a little Child with rays of glory

Around His head._

--M. E. W.



CHRISTMAS CAROLS AND MIDSUMMER SONGS.

[Illustration: 0009]


|Out of the Northland bleak and bare,

          O wind with a royal roar,

               Fly, fly,

     Through the broad arched sky,

     Flutter the snow, and rattle and cry

          At every silent door--

     Loud, loud, till the children hear,

     And meet the day with a ringing cheer:

     "Hail to the Christmas-tide!"



|INTO the silent waiting East

          T here cometh a shining light--

               Far, far,

     Through a dull gray bar

     Closing over a dying star

          That watched away the night--

     Rise, rise, shine and glow,

     Over a wide white world of snow,

          Sun of the Christmas-tide!



     Out of the four great gates of day

          A tremulous music swells;

               Hear, hear,

     Now sweet and clear,

     Over and under and far and near,

          A thousand happy bells:

     Joy, joy, and jubilee!

          Good-will to men from sea to sea,

          This merry Christmas-tide!



     Lo! in the homes of every land

          The children reign to-day;

               They alone,

     With our hearts their throne,

     And never a sceptre but their own

          Small hands to rule and sway!

Peace, peace--the Christ-child's love--

     Flies over the world, a white, white dove,

          This happy Christmas-tide!



[Illustration: 0010]



THE SILENT CHILDREN.

By Elizabeth Stuart Phelps.


|THE light was low in the school-room;

          The day before Christmas day

     Had ended. It was darkening in the garden

          Where the Silent Children play.



     Throughout that House of Pity,

          The soundless lessons said,

     The noiseless sport suspended,

          The voiceless tasks all read,



     The little deaf-mute children,

          As still as still could be,

     Gathered about the master,

          Sensitive, swift to see,



     With their fine attentive fingers

          And their wonderful, watchful eyes--

     What dumb joy he would bring them

          For the Christmas eve's surprise!



     The lights blazed out in the school-room

          The play-ground went dark as death;

     The master moved in a halo;

          The children held their breath:



     "I show you now a wonder--

          The audiphone," he said.

     He spoke in their silent language,

          Like the language of the dead.



     And answering spake the children,

          As the dead might answer too:

     "But what for us, O master?

          This may be good for you;



     "But how is our Christmas coming

          Out of a wise machine?

     For not like other children's

          Have our happy hours been;



     "And not like other children's

     Can they now or ever be!"

     But the master smiled through the halo:

          "Just trust a mystery,

     Then to the waiting marvel

          The listening children leant:

     Like listeners, the shadows

          Across the school-room bent,

     O my children, for a little,

          As those who suffer must!

     Great 'tis to bear denial,

          But grand it is to trust."



     While Science, from her silence

          Of twice three thousand years,

     Gave her late salutation

          To sealed human ears.



[Illustration: 0012]

     Quick signalled then the master:

          Sweet sang the hidden choir--

     Their voices, wild and piercing,

          Broke like a long desire



     That to content has strengthened.

          Glad the clear strains outrang:

     "_Nearer to Thee, oh, nearer!_"

          The pitying singers sang,



     Happy that Christmas evening:

          Wise was the master's choice,

     Who gave the deaf-mute children

          The blessed human voice.



     Wise was that other Master,

          Tender His purpose dim,

     Who gave His Son on Christmas,

          To draw us "nearer Him."



     "_Nearer to Thee, oh, nearer,_

     _Nearer, my God' to Thee! _"

     Awestruck, the silent children

          Hear the great harmony.



     We are all but silent children,

          Denied and deaf and dumb

     Before His unknown science--

          Lord, if Thou wilt, we come!



[Illustration: 0013]

[Illustration: 0014]



A DAY IN WINTER.

By Mrs. L. C. Whiton.



|THROUGH the crimson fires of morning

          Streaming upward in the East,

     Leaps the sun, with sudden dawning,

          Like a captive king released;

     And December skies reflected

          In the azure hue below

     Seem like summer recollected

          In the dreaming of the snow.--

     It is winter, little children, let the summer,

               singing, go!



     There are crisp winds gaily blowing

          From the North and from the West;

     'Bove the river strongly flowing

          Lies the river's frozen breast:

     O'er its shining silence crashing

          Skim the skaters to and fro;

     And the noonday splendors flashing

          In the rainbow colors show.--

     It is winter, little children, let the summer,

               singing, go!



     When the gorgeous day is dying,

          There is swept a cloud of rose

     O'er the hill-tops softly lying

          In the flush of sweet repose;

     And the nests, all white with snowing,

          In the twilight breezes blow;

     And the untired moon is showing

          Her bare heart to the snow.--

     It is winter, little children, let the summer,

          singing, go!



[Illustration: 0016]



"TWELVE O'CLOCK, AND ALL'S WELL!"

( A Christmas Rhyme of Might-Have-Been.)

By M. S. E. P.


|I KNOW of an Owl,

          A story-book Owl,

     And he dwells in a Cloudland tree,

     So way-high-up you never see

          A glimpse of the great white fowl.



               And this ancient fowl,

               This story-book Owl,

     Sometimes to himself he speaks--

          Once in a thousand years or so--

     In a voice that crackles and creaks

          And never is heard by the children below:

               "Tu-whit! tu-whoo!

               I sleep by day,

          Of course I do--

               It's the sensible way."



     For when little children lie fast asleep,

     And darkness enshrouds the world so deep,

     And weary eyes close to gaze only in dreams,

          This story-book bird

               With the big round eyes,

          Whom nothing escapes,

               So knowing and wise,

     Watches and peers, with never a wink,

     Into crannies and nooks where one might think

     No danger would come, so peaceful it seems.



     And prying about, this story-book bird

          In the snowy thick

               Of a Christmas eve--

          If you will believe--

          Just in the nick

     Found the strangest thing that ever you heard:

          Santa Klaus asleep,

          All down in a heap,

          On the floor of his sleigh

          Ready packed for the way!



     And think of the stockings swaying

          At 'leven o' the night,

          With the silent firelight

     All over them fitfully playing--

               A dangling host

          From the chimney nails

               As warm as toast--

               But empty, pitiful,

          They promise a million wails

               From just one city-full!



          "Tu-whit! to-whoo!

          Here's a to-do!"

     Said the sleepless bird,

          The wise old owl,

          The watchful fowl.

     He flew and he whirred,

     Soft Cloudland exploring,

          Led up like an arrow

     By the wildest of snoring,

          Till he stopped,

          Then dropped

     On the edge of a cloud--

     Oh, the snoring was loud!--

          Then stalked to that sleigh.

     Ah, what a fine dose!--

          He flashed out one claw, and

          Tweaked Santa Klaus' nose.



          Santa woke with a jump,

          Sat up in his sleigh,

          Rubbed his nose--

          And I don't suppose

          Understands to this day--

     And gazing around he took in the plight,

          He seized his reins in the funniest fright,

          And down he came in the snowy midnight

               All rosy and bright--

               The great, merry elf,

               Just like himself,

          Bluster and noise, nonsense and fun,

          With gifts for the children, everyone;

          While, soft and far, every bell

          Chimed "Twelve o' the clock and all's well!"

     And the slumbering world might have heard

     The great white wide-winged story-book bird

     A-calling "Merry Christmas!" forth in glee

     As he flew up to his Cloudland tree.



And the Owl never told--I alone knew--

So don't you tell, whatever you do.

How near the world came to a disaster most shocking,

Waking Christmas morning without a filled stocking!



HOLLY TREE


By Paul H. Hayne.

_("Hie on the holly tree!"--Old Ballad.)_


|THE firelight danced and wavered

          In elvish, twinkling glee

On the leaves and crimson berries

          Of the great green Christmas-Tree;



     And the children who gathered round it

          Beheld, with marvelling eyes,

     Pendant from trunk and branches

          How many a precious prize,



     From the shimmer of gold and silver

          Through a purse's cunning net,

     To the coils of a rippling necklace

          That quivered with beads of jet!



     But chiefly they gazed in wonder

          Where flickered strangely through

     The topmost leaves of the holly,

          The sheen of a silken shoe!



     And the eldest spake to her father:

          "I have seen--yes, year by year,

     On the crown of our Christmas hollies,

          That small shoe glittering clear;



     "But you never have told who owned it,

          Nor why, so loftily set,

     It shines though the fadeless verdure--

          You never have told us yet!"



'     Twas then that the museful father

          In slow sad accents said,

     While the firelight hovered eerily

          About his downcast head:



     "My children.... you had a sister;

          (It was long, long, long ago,)

     She came like an Eden rosebud

          'Mid the dreariest winter snow,



     "And for four sweet seasons blossomed

          To cheer our hearts and hearth,

     When the song of the Bethlehem angels

          Lured her away from earth--



     "A little before she left us,

          We had deftly raised to view,

     On the topmost branch of the holly,

          Yon glimmering, tiny shoe;



     "For again 'twas the time of Christmas,

          As she lay with laboring breath;

     But.... our minds were blinded strangely,

          And we did not dream of death.



     "We knew that no toy would please her

          Like a shoe, so fair and neat,

     To fold, with its soft caressing,

          Her delicate, sylph-like feet!



     "Truly, a smile like a sunbeam

          Brightened her eyes of blue,

     And once.. twice.. thrice.. she tested

          The charm of her fairy shoe!



     "Ah! then the bright smile flickered,

          Faded, and drooped away,

     As faintly, in tones that faltered,

          I heard our darling say:



     "1 My shoe! papa, please hang it

          Once more on the holly bough,

     Just where I am sure to see it,

          When I wake.... an hour from now!



     "But alas! she never wakened!

          Close-shut were the eyes of blue

     Whose last faint gleam had fondled

          The curves of that dainty shoe!



     "Ah, children, you understand me--

          _Your_ eyes are brimmed with dew,

     As they watch on the Christmas holly

          The sheen of a silken shoe!"



A TALE OF A COMET.

By J. T. Trowbridge.


|WE had seen the streaming meteors' light,

          With their trails of fire, the autumn

               night,

     And talked of falling sky-rocks hurled

     From some long-since exploded world;

     Of comets frisking among the stars.

     With tails like fiery trains of cars,

     And asked, "Should the reckless engineer

     Of some rakish comet steer

     Crashing into our atmosphere,

     How would the planet's shell resist him?"

     Then we conversed of the solar system,

               And lunar men;

               And Doctor Ben

     Brought out his globe, at half-past ten,

     And lectured, giving conclusive reasons

     For tides, eclipses, climes and seasons;

     Till, weary at last, I went to bed,

     With a jumble of wonderful things in my

               head--

     Moons and comets and meteorites,

     Globes and circles and polar nights;

               And there I lay thinking,

               And drowsily winking

     At something--a ray--thro' my bed-curtains

               blinking;

[Illustration: 0020]



     Too bright for a star, and growing still brighter,

     Making the moon-lighted chamber yet lighter,

     Which very much astonished the writer!



               I gazed from the casement,

     And wondered, with ever-increasing amazement,

     What the look of alarm on the Moon's frowning

               face meant.

[Illustration: 0021]

     His nose peering out from a very close cap,

     His fingers in mittens, his chin in a wrap,

     Like a tourist prepared for a very cold snap!



     On, on he sped, through the regions of space,

     With very short legs at a very long pace,

     His well-filled knapsack lashed to his back,

     Extra shoes and canteen strapped under his pack,

     His coat-tails flying away on his track--

     Entangled far off in the Pleiades,

     On the horns of the Bull and Orion's knees.

     For there was the Moon, and, strange to say,

     There too was the Earth, just over the way,

     Like the Doctor's globe, or a huge balloon,

     Forty times larger, perhaps, than the Moon,

     All covered with circles, and looming in space:

     There were groups upon it, and every face

     Was turned one way; and very long-jointed

     Telescopes at the sky were pointed;--

     And there, with a terrible rushing and humming

     And hissing of breath, was a Comet a-coming!



     So long and so queer, and as it came nearer

     It grew every moment longer and queerer!

     Until I made out such a comical chap,

     In a red-flannel coat with a very long flap,

               On, on he came,

               With nose like a flame,

     So red I was sure the fellow'd been drinking

     (His canteen was empty, I knew by the clinking)

[Illustration: 0721]

     "And what can a sober Comet be thinking,"

     I cried "not to see there, plain as the day,

     The Earth, like a target, hung right in his way?"



     The groups were beginning to hurry about,

     And hustle and bustle and signal and shout,

     And the Moon looked scared, while I shrieked out,

[Illustration: 0022]

     "Dear sir, I beg pardon, I don't know your name--

     I pray you'll consider, and if it's the same

     To you, here's a planet! I don't think you knew it;

               But, sir, it will be

               A great favor to me

     And a very large circle of friends, as you see,

     If you will drive round it instead of right thro' it!"



     He put up his head with a stupefied stare,

               And says he, "I declare!

               No, I wasn't aware!

     And I'm going at such a deuce of a rate--

     I'd stop if I could, but I fear it's too late!

     Bless my stars! here I am!" He had just time

               to stoop,

     When through it, head-foremost, he went at a

               swoop,

     As a circus rider dives through a hoop!

               With a crash,

               And a smash,

          And a roar as of thunder,

               It quivered,

               And shivered,

          And flew asunder:

     The Moon, looking down, shed tragical tears;

     While, winking hard and holding his ears,

     The Comet came out on the other side,

     Wheeled round, swore loud, and ruefully eyed

     The ruin; sneezed two or three times; then drew

     His long tail after him down the blue.



     Heavens and earth! what have I done!

     This does beat everything under the sun!

     I don't care the wink of a star," said he,

     "For all the damage done to me--"

[Illustration: 0721]

     (Feeling his nose, and then with a flirt

     Carefully brushing away the dirt

     From his coat and its stained and draggled skirt)--

     "But look at this dear little, queer little planet!

     I've done the business for her, and I van, it

     Is quite too bad! The fairest of creatures--



[Illustration: 0023]

     How well I remember her pleasant features,

     The smile on her face and the light in her eye,

     When I've touched my hat to her, hurrying by,

     Many a time, on my way through the sky!

     I'd mend the poor thing if I could--and I'll try!"



               How he got it, or where,

               I cannot declare;

     But thereupon he drew up a chair.

     Hung his long coat-tail over the back,

     Sat down by the pieces and opened his pack,

     Brought forth from its depths a stout needle and

               thread,

     And there he sat squinting and scratching his head,

     As if rather doubtfully questioning whether

     'Twas possible ever to patch her together!

     Meanwhile--but how can I hope to tell

     Half that to my friends befell

     On the shattered and scattered shell?

     How depict the huge surprise

     Of some, at the very astonishing rise

     Of their real estate, shot off in the skies?

     How describe the flying blocks,

     The fall of steeples and railroad stocks,

     The breaking of banks, and the stopping of clocks;

     And all the various knocks and shocks;--

     Frantic reporters rushing about,

     And correspondents setting out

     In a big balloon, intending from it

     To interview our friend, the Comet!

     While the wide-awake daily press unfurled

     Its rival bulletins: "End of the World!!

Frightful collision! America hit!!!

Full particulars! Canada hurled

[Illustration: 0723]

     Over New England! The Union split!!!

     In INTERRUPTION OF TRAVEL AND TRADE!

     The Comet coming to our aid!"



     For now the Comet--odd to see!

     Although it didn't seem odd to me--

     With thimble and glue-pot, sewing and gluing

     The shattered globe, was cheerfully doing

     All he could to restore the ruin;

     Patiently replacing all

     The scattered fragments, great and small;

     Stitching here and sticking there,

     With a hopeful smile and a satisfied air,

     Putting the planet into repair!

     When all was done, with a dexterous twirl

     Of his fingers, he set it once more a-whirl,

     While the Moon looked pleased as a smiling

               girl.



     Off he sped; and the planet spun

     Away on its axis round the sun;

     When, watching with curious eyes, I found

     He hadn't made it precisely round!

     The zones, moreover, were strangely mixed:

     Constantinople was squeezed betwixt

     St. Petersburg and Baltimore;

     South Carolina and Labrador

     To  Massachusetts were snugly tied;

     New York and Paris were side by side;

     And, oddest of all earthly fates,

     England was in the United States!



     Greenland (he couldn't have made a greater

     Mistake) was on the new equator!

     While in each crack of the crust some bit

     Of broken China was made to fit.



     Whereupon I cried, with a wild halloo,

     "Hold on! come back! this never will do!

     Just see what a botch you've made!" Before

     He had time to turn, with a clang and a roar,

     And a glare of its one great Cyclops eye,

     The Lightning Express went whizzing by

[Illustration: 0024]



               With a rushing of steam,

               And a howl and a scream,

     That waked me from my curious dream;

     Which the Doctor avers (and he makes it plain)

     Must all have passed through my busy brain

     With the passing of the midnight train!



OH, HAPPY NIGHT!

By M. E. B.

     O happy night! that brings the morn

     To dawn above the Lord new born,

     And bids the angels sing again

     Their message to the sons of men--

          We hail thee! we hail thee!



     O happy manger! that hath known

     This precious burden as thine own,

     Beyond all gifts the world doth hold,

     Of pomp and pow'r and gems and gold

          We hail thee! we hail thee!



     O happy star! whose radiance sweet

     Did lead the wise men's eager feet

     To seek the way, unknown, untried,

     That led them to the manger's side--

     We hail thee! we hail thee!



     O happy day! that gave to men

     The Babe Divine of Bethlehem,

     The King of Kings, the Undefiled,

     In semblance of a little child--

     We hail thee! we hail thee!



     O happy Babe! whose wondrous eyes

     Still hold the light of Paradise,

     Look down in blessing from above

     While Prince of Peace, and Lord of Love,

          We hail thee! we hail thee!



WILLIE WEE.

By Mrs. A. M. Diaz.


|TWO lads were conversing as happy as kings,

          Of the coming of Christmas and all that it

               brings,

     Of the Christmas-tree and its many delights,

     Of the city shop-windows and other fine sights,

     When out spake wee Will, sometimes called "Willie

               wee,"

     Though often "sweet William," or "little Willee,"

     --Four years and a half or three-quarters was he--

     "Say! What kind of a tree is a Chrissermus-tree?"

     And the while they discoursed, as his wonder grew',

     With questions like these he followed them through:

     "Does it have big branches that spread all around?

     Do its roots stay deep down in the dark ground?

     Does it grow, grow, grow, way up very high?

     If you climb to the top will your head bump the sky?

     Do any plums grow on it, or apples, or cherries?

     Or any good nuts, or pretty red berries?

     Does it bloom out all over with flowers white as

               snow,

     As that tree does down there in our garden below?

     Do robins and king-birds build nests in that tree?

     And other birdies too?" asked little Willee.



[Illustration: 0027]

     "Yes," answered Ned, wise, school-boy Ned:

     "A Christmas-tree, young curly-head,

     Has branches, sure, but has no roots,

     And on its branches grow no fruits;

     Yet bright red apples there you'll see,

     And oranges of high degree--

     Apples and oranges on one tree!"

     "That sounds very strange," quoth little Willee.

     "No flowers bloom there, snowy white,

     Yet with these fruits--a curious sight--

     Are oft seen flowers both red and white!

     Should you climb to the top without a fall,

     Your head might bump against the wall,

     But not against the sky, you see,

     For indoors-stands the Christmas-tree!"

     "You tell very big stories," quoth little Willee.

     "No birdie there doth build its nest,

     No king-bird, blue-bird, robin redbreast,

     Yet eggs thereon are often seen.

     Of beautiful colors, pink, and green,

     And purple, and lavender, fit for a queen.

     Even eggs with pictures on them are found.

     And with golden bands which circle around.

     But from all these eggs so fair to see

     Are hatched no birds in that Christmas-tree;

     Instead, are hatched candy and gumdrops!" said he.

     "Are you telling the truth?" asked little Willee.



     "I've not told half, I do declare,

     Of all those wondrous branches bear.

     Bear? They bear dolls and whips and drums,

     Tops, whistles, taffy, sugar-plums,

     And candy sheep, and candy cats,

     And candy birds, and candy rats,

     And India-rubber girls and boys,

     Bear trumpets and all kinds of toys,

     Bear books, and jumping-jacks, and mittens,

     And little cotton-flannel kittens;

     And over the whole of this Christmas-tree

     Candles are burning right merrily!

     What think you of this? my sweet Willie-wee?"

     "I think you are fooling!" said little Willee.



     Next morning young Willie, with serious air,

     Put earth in a flower-pot, and buried up there

     A seed of an apple with very great care.

     "Pray, what are you doing, you rogue Willie-wee?"

     "I am planting a seed for a Chrissermas tree!

     Is not that good to do?" asked little Willee.

     --There came from that seed a green little shoot

     Which put out its leaves and firmly took root,

     And so finely did thrive that at last it was found

     Too large for the house and was set in the ground,

     Where it grew up, a tree, one scarcely knew how.

     Look down by the wall; it is standing there now.

     It blossoms in springtime, and many a nest

     Has been built there by king-bird and robin redbreast;

     And other birdies too oft come to the tree

     And sing there and swing there, oh, so merrily;

     They make it all summer our joy and delight;

     And in fall of the year 'tis a beautiful sight

     When the clustering wealth of its apples is seen--

     Its ruby red apples all set in their green!



     --And Willie? Yes, he grew up, too, young Willie-

               wee,

     And went as a sailor-boy over the sea.

     He sailed in a ship to some far distant shore;

     A storm came--and--and--we saw him no more.

     It was long, long ago that deep sorrow we bore!

     The lads who were talking, as happy as kings,

     Of the coming of Christmas and all that it brings,

     Are fathers now, so stately and tall.

     Their children play by the garden wall,

     And swing on the boughs of the apple tree,

     Or climb to the top, the world to see;

     (Some have gone from the home the world to see!)

     And when autumn comes, and leaves turn brown,

     And the ripened fruits are shaken down,

     And here and there, on the orchard ground,

     The red and the golden are heaped around--

     'Tis the children who gather that tree by the wall,

     And the apples from off its boughs that fall,

     With kindly care are stored away,

     Sure to appear on Christmas Day

     In platter or basket for all to admire,

     Or hung on strings before the fire,

     There to swing and sputter and roast,

     While many an one of the merry host

     Gives a tender thought to that first Willie-wee

     Who went as a sailor-boy over the sea.

     The youngest of all; a new Willie-wee,

     --A curly-haired rogue, and our darling is he!--

     Now claims for his own uncle Will's _Christmas-tree_.

     "Because," says the child, "_he_ was named for _me!_"



ON CHRIST-DAY NIGHT.

By Nora Perry.

|From room to room, from stair to stair;

     All silken-clad; while standing there

     Shut from the summer warmth and cheer,

     The silken perfumed atmosphere

     Of wealth and ease, a little maid

     With beating heart, yet unafraid,

     Enchanted, watched the fairy scene

     Between the curtains' parted screen.

     The fierce north wind came sweeping pa: t

     And shook her with its wintry blast;

     The frosty pavement of the street

     Chilled to the bone her ill-clad feet;

     Yet moment after moment fled

     And there she stood, with lifted head,

     Her eager eyes, as in a trance,

     Fixed on the changes of the dance,



DULCET SOUNDS.

[Illustration: 9029]


|STATELY mansion,

               bright and gay

     With festal light, made

               darkness day

     Far up and down the dusky

               street

     That Christmas night, while hurry-

               ing feet

     Sped swiftly by, nor scarce de-

               layed

     For all the dulcet sounds that

               strayed

     In merry measures from within,

     Where harp and flute and violin,

               In soft accordance, wild and sweet,

     Made music for the dancers' feet.

     All silken-clad those feet that kept

     That time and tune, or lightly stept

     Her eager ears still drinking in

     The strains of flute and violin;

     And still, as sped the moments past,

     Colder and colder swept the blast.



[Illustration: 0030]

     But little heed had she, or care:

     Her glance upon one vision fair,

     One vision, one, beyond the rest--

     A girl with roses on her breast,

     And with a look upon her face,

     The sweet girl-face of Heaven's own grace,

     As through the dance she smiling led

     Her youthful guests, with airy tread.



     "Ah, would she smile on me like this

     And would she give me kiss for kiss

     If I could stand there at her side?"

     The wistful watcher softly cried.

     Even as she spoke she closer crept,

     Upon the broad low terrace stept,

     And nearer leaned.--Just then, just there,

     A street light sent a sudden glare

     Across her face.--One startled glance,

     And from the changes of the dance.

     With beating heart and eyes dilate.

     The girlish mistress of the fête

     Sprang swiftly forth.--A moment more

     And through the window's opened door

     Another guest was ushered in.

     Her lip was pale, her cheek was thin,



     No costly robe of silk and lace

     Apparelled her, and 011 her face

     And in her dark bewildered eyes

     A shock of fear and shamed surprise

     Did wildly, desperately gleam,

     While here and there, as in a dream,

     She vaguely heard, yet did not hear,

     The sound of voices far and near.



     She tried to speak: some word she said

     Of all her troubled doubt and dread,

     Some childish word--"what would they

               do?"

     Then all at once a voice rang through

     Her troubled doubt, her troubled fear,

     "What will they do, why, this--and this!"

     And on her cold lips dropped a kiss,

     And found her frozen figure crept

     A tender clasp.--She laughed and wept

     And laughed again, for this and this,

     This tender clasp, this tender kiss,

     Wras more than all her dream come true:

     Was earth with Heaven's light shining through;

     Was Christ's own promise kept aright--

     His word fulfilled on Christ-day night!

[Illustration: 0031]



GRACIE'S FANCIES.

By Brenda Aubert.


|A WHIRR of wings, and a rush of feet!

     And quick through the driving snow and

     Grace, at the window, with wondering eyes

     Watches their coming in shy surprise:

[Illustration: 0032]

               sleet

     A flock of snow-birds, tiny and brown,

     On the gnarled old plum-tree settle down!

     A moment she watches the chirping band,

     Her sweet face resting upon her hand,

     "O mamma, look! it is snowing brown"

     She cries as the birdlings flutter down.

     Then cries--and a laugh slips out with the words

     "Why, mamma, the snow-flakes have turned to birds



WAITING A WINTER'S TALE.

By Mrs. Sallie M. B. Piatt.


|SOME sweet things go just to make room for

               others:

          The blue field-blossom hurries from the dew,

     (My little maiden, hush your noisy brothers!)

          And see, the wild-rose reddens where it grew!



     The green leaf fades that you may see the yellow;

          We have the honey when we miss the bee;

     Who wants the apples, scarlet-stained and mellow,

          Must give the buds upon his orchard-tree;



     Then, for those finely painted birds that follow

          The sun about and scent their songs with flowers,

     We have, when frosts are sharp and rains beat hollow,

          These pretty, gray crumb-gathering pets of ours;



     The butterflies (you could not catch) were brighter

          Than anything that we have left in air;

     But these still-flying shapes of snow are whiter,

          I fancy, than the very lilies were.



     Then, is the glimmer of fire-flies, cold and eerie,

          Far in the dusk, so pleasant after all

     As is this home-lamp playing warm and cheery,

          Among your shadow-pictures on the wall?



     But I forget. There ought to be a story,

          A lovely story! Who shall tell it, then?

     The boys want war--plumes, helmets, shields and

               glory--

          They'd like a grand review of Homer's men.



     Their jealous sisters say it's tiresome hearing

     (A girl is not as patient as a boy,)

     Of that old beauty--yes, the much-recurring,

     About-three-thousand-years-old, Helen of Troy.



[Illustration: 0034]

     They'd rather hear some love-tale murmured faintly

     Through music of the sleigh-bells: something

               true,

          Such as their young grandmothers, shy and saintly,

          Heard under stars of winter--told anew!

     The little children, one and all, are crying

          For just a few more fairies--but, you know

     They go to sleep when golden-rod is dying,

          And do not wake till there is no more snow.

     They sleep who kept your Jersey cow from straying,

          My boy, while you were deep in books and

               grass:

     Who tended flowers, my girl, while you were playing

          Some double game, or wearing out your glass.



     They sleep--but what sweet things they have been

               making,

          By golden moons, to give you a surprise--

     Beat slower, little hearts with wonder aching,

          Keep in the dark yet, all you eager eyes!



     The fairies sleep. But their high lord and master

          Keeps wide-awake, and watches every hearth;

     Great waters freeze that he may travel faster--

          He puts a girdle round about the earth!



     Just now in the dim North, as he remembers

          His birthday back through centuries, he appears

     A trifle sad, and looks into the embers--

          Then shakes down from his cheek a shower of

               tears.



     He thinks of little hands that reached out lightly

          To catch his beard and pull it with a will,

     Now round their buried rosebuds folded whitely,

          Forever and forever, oh, how still!



     "Ah, where are all the children? How I miss

               them!

          So many worlds-full are gone since I came!

     I long to take them to my heart and kiss them,

          And hear those still small voices laugh my name.



     "Some over whom no violet yet is growing;

          Some under broken marble, ages old;

     Some lie full fathom five where seas are flowing;

          Some, among cliffs and chasms, died a-cold;



     "Some through the long Wars of the Roses faded;

          Some did walk barefoot to the Holy Land;

     Some show young faces with the bride's-veil

               shaded;

     Some touch me with the nun's all-gracious hand;



     "Some in the purple with crown-jewels burning,

          Some in the peasant's hodden-gray go by,

     Some in forlornest prisons darkly yearning

          For earth and grass, the dove's wing and the

               sky.



     "One sails to wake a world that has been lying

          Hid in its leaves, far in the lonesome West,

     In an enchanted sleep, with strange winds sighing

          Among the strange flowers in her dreaming breast.



     And One--I held Him first--the immortal Stranger!

          I smell, to-night, the frankincense and myrrh;

     I see the star-led wise men and the manger;

          And his own Mother--I remember her!


     "But--where's my cloak? Is this a time for sorrow?

... And where's the story, do you ask of me?

     To-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow!

          And shall you have it then? Why--we shall see!

[Illustration: 0036]



CHRISTMAS.

By Mrs. L. C. Whiton.


|MAMMA, what is Christmas?" How can I

               say?

          I will try to answer you "true as true."

     It is just the loveliest, lovely day,

          That is steeped in rose-color all the way through!

     When miniature toy-shops in stockings are found,

     That are left in the chambers without a sound;

     And papa gives gifts with a tender cheer;

     And brother "hurrahs for the top of the year;"

     And sister looks on with her wistful eyes,

     With a soft, sweet smile at every surprise:

               And Christmas means this:

               A little child's bliss,

     And the love of the dear Christ felt like a kiss.



     And a piled-up glory is hard to express;

          And "What is Christmas?" is wonder for all.

     It is when the earth puts on holiday dress,

          Made spotless fair with snowflakes that fall;

     When hearts are lavish with treasures of love,

     And the pale, pure stars shine brighter above;

     And the dancing firelight seems to play

     In the most mysterious, haunting way;

     And the house fairies wander from sweet to sweet,

     With an unexplored kingdom laid at their feet:

               And Christmas means this:

               A little child's bliss,

     And the love of the dear Christ felt like a kiss.



     And still "What is Christmas?" Darling, come here.

          It is meant for the birthday, "true as true,"

     Of a beautiful child that was born in Judea,

          That His mother loved, as I love you;

     That grew up to teach you how you should seek

     To be in your spirit "lowly and meek,"

     And onward higher and higher to go,

     Till you changed to an angel, whiter than snow;

     And offered freely (that all might take)

     The gift of Himself for the whole world's sake!

               And Christmas means this:

               A little child's bliss,

     And the love of the dear Christ felt like a kiss.



MIDSUMMER SONGS.

_And flow, since all the little birds are singing

In bush and brake,

And all the honey flower bells dimly ringing,

And grasses shake--



And grasses shake before the reapers' coming.;

While through and through

This sweetness locusts shrill and bees are humming,

I'll sing to you



A little song, with bird-notes all a-twitter,

With honey flowing

From tilted flower-cups with dew a-glitter,

With fireflies glowing;



And over it roses in knots, and myrtle,

As thickly lay

(And violets) as on a maiden's kirtle,

A holiday.



Sweetened all through with flowers, with which 'tis filled

So full, you see

It needs (and also honey round it spilled)

A sweet song be._



--M. E. W.

[Illustration: 0042]



"SAINT EMILY."

By E. F. Frye.


|WHEN grass grows green in spring-time

          And trees are budding gay,

     When the breath of bursting lilacs

          Makes sweet the air of May,

     When cowslips fringe the brooksides,

          And violets gem the dells,

     And tremble mid the grasses

          The wind-flower's slender bells,

     When the fragrant lily rises

          From its sheltering sheath of green,

     In the city's narrow alleys

          Saint Emily is seen.

     A modest little maiden,

          She walks secure from harm;

     A basket, flower-laden,

          Swings lightly on her arm,

     And right and left she scatters,

          Alike to bad and good,

     The beauties of the garden,

          The treasures of the wood.



     When summer days drag slowly,

     In languor, heat, and pain,

     To those who lie in hospital,

          Never to rise again,

     Dreaming, with fevered longing,

          Of shady country homes,

     Where roses hang in clusters,

          And honeysuckle blooms,

     From cot to cot so softly

          Moves dear Saint Emily;

     And here a rose she proffers,

          And there a bud lays she.

     The close abode of sickness

          She fills with fragrant bloom;

     Her gentle presence passes

          Like music through the room

     And many a moaning sufferer

          Hushes his sad complaint,

     And follows with his weary eyes

          The movements of this saint.



     When autumn paints the woodlands

          With scarlet and with gold,

     When the blue gentian's lids unclose

          In frosty meadows cold,

     From the little troop of children

          That crowd some Orphan Home

     The joyous shout arises,

          "Saint Emily has come!"

     And round her close they gather,

          An eager little band,

     While from the well-stored basket

          She fills each outstretched hand

     With purple hillside asters,

          And wondrous golden-rod,

     And all the lingering flowers that love

          To dress the autumn sod;

     And pallid cheeks flush rosy,

          And heavy eyes grow bright,

     And little hearts forlorn and lone,

          Stir with a deep delight.



     And when the woods are naked,

     And flowers no longer blow,

     When the green nooks they love so well

          Are buried in the snow,

     Not quite unknown that presence

          To children sick in bed,

     Bearing bright wreaths of autumn leaves,

          And strings of berries red.

     A heaven-sent mission, surely,

          To cheer the sick and poor

     With bounties that the bounteous God

          Has strewn beside our door--

     To gladden little children,

          To comfort dying hours,

     To bear to wretched hearts and homes

          The gospel of the flowers.

     What marvel if glad blessings

          Surround Saint Emily!

     What marvel if some loving eyes

          In her an angel see!--



     And, too, what marvel if the thought

          Is borne to me and thee,

     That many a kindly boy and girl

          As sweet a saint might be.



[Illustration: 0045]



BLUE AND GOLD.

By Mrs. Clara Doty Bates.


|THE warm June day was full

          Of color as it could hold;

     "Now, which is the sweetest blue,

          And which is the brightest gold,

     In all that your little eyes can see,

     In cloud-land, earth, or the water-world?"

     I said to the children three.



     We were on the fresh new grass,

          And the pretty hammock hung

     Like a web between the trees,

          And in it the baby swung.

     'Twas as if a spider, busy and sly,

     Had spun its meshes there, white and light,

     And caught a butterfly.



     A moment's silence fell

          On all, till Teddy guessed--

     He had eyes for every bird,

          And eyes, too, for its nest--

     And he cried--the eager little soul--

     "The bluest blue is the bluebird,

     And gold is the oriole."



     Then Flora, who loved flowers,

          But had not spoken yet,

     Whispered that gold was a crocus,

          And blue a violet.



     And Edith, the more emphatic one,

     Said: "No; the bluest blue is the sky,

     And the goldenest gold the sun!"



     I pointed to the web

          That swung so white and light,

     In which the baby cooed

          As a nestling pigeon might;

     "I can answer best of all," I said,

     "For there is in water-world, earth or skies

     No blue so sweet as that baby's eyes,

     No gold so bright as his head!"



THE LAND OF USED-TO-BE.

By James Whitcomb Riley.


|AND where's the Land of Used-to-be, does little baby wonder?

     Oh, we will clap a magic saddle over papa's knee,

     And ride away around the world, and in and out and under,

          The whole of all the golden sunny summer-time, and see!



     Leisurely and lazy-like we'll jostle on our journey,

          And let the pony bathe his hooves and cool them in the dew,

     As he sidles down the shady way, and lags along the ferny

          And the green grassy edges of the lane we travel through.



     And then we'll canter on to catch the bubble of the thistle,

          As it bumps among the butterflies, and glimmers down the sun,

     To leave us laughing, all content to hear the robin whistle,

          Or guess what Katydid is saying little Katy's done.



     And pausing here a minute, where we hear the squirrel chuckle

          As he darts from out the underbrush and scampers up the tree,

     We will gather buds and locust-blossoms, leaves and honeysuckle,

          To wreathe around our foreheads, riding into Used-to-be;



     For here's the very rim of it that we go swinging over--

          Don't you hear the fairy bugles, and the tinkle of the bells?

     And see the baby bumble-bees that tumble in the clover,

          And dangle from the tilted pinks and tipsy pimpernels?



     And don't you see the merry faces of the daffodillies,

          And the jolly johnny-jump-ups, and the buttercups a-glee,

     And the low, lolling ripples ring around the water-lilies,

          All greeting us with laughter to the Land of Used-to-be?



     And here among the blossoms of the blooming vines and grasses,

          With a haze forever hanging in a sky forever blue,

     And with a breeze from over seas to kiss us as it passes,

          We will romp around forever as the little fairies do;



     For all the elves of earth and air are swarming here together--

          The prankish Puck, king Oberon, and queen Titania too;

     And dear old Mother Goose herself, as sunny as the weather,

          Comes dancing down the dewy walks to welcome me and you!



A BABY SHOW.

By H. H.


|A DROLL conversation I once overheard--

          Two children, a cat, a cow, and a bird.

     The names of the children were Eddie and Jane;

     The names of the others I did not hear plain.

     How came I to hear them? I think I won't

               tell:

     You may guess, if you please; and if you guess

               well

     You'll guess that I heard it as many a man hears,

     With his fancy alone, and not with his ears.



     Such a wonderful plaything never was known!

     Like a real live dolly, and all for their own!

     Two happier children could nowhere be found,

     No, not if you travelled the whole world around.

     They had drawn her this morning where daisies

               grew--

     White daisies, all shining and dripping with dew;

     Long wreaths of the daisies, and chains, they had

               made;

     In the baby's lap these wreaths they had laid,



     The children were drawing, with caution and care,

     Their sweet baby-sister, to give her the air,

     In a dainty straw wagon with wheels of bright red,

     And a top of white muslin which shaded her head.

     She was only one year and a few months old;

     Her eyes were bright blue and her hair was like

               gold;

     She laughed all the time from morning till night,

     Till Eddie and Jane were quite wild with delight .

     And were laughing to watch her fat little hands

     Untwisting and twisting the stems and the strands.

     Just then, of a sudden, a lark flew by

     And sang at the top of his voice in the sky;

     "Ho! ho! Mr. Lark," shouted Jane,"come down here!

     We're not cruel children. You may come without fear.

     We've something to show you. In all your life

               maybe

     You'll never see anything sweet as our baby!"



     'Twas an odd thing, now, for a lark to do--

     I hope you won't think my story's untrue--

     But this is the thing that I saw and I heard:

     That lark flew right down, like a sociable bird,

     As soon as they called him, and perched on a tree,

     And winked with his eye at the children and me,

     And laughed out, as much as a bird ever can,

     As he cried, "Ha! ha! Little woman and man!



     "You'll be quite surprised and astonished, maybe,

     To hear that I do not think much of your baby.

     Why, out in the field here I've got in my nest,

     All cuddled up snug 'neath my wife's warm breast,

     Four little babies--two sisters, two brothers--

     And all with bright eyes, as bright as their moth-

               er's;

     Your baby's at least ten times older than they,

     But they are all ready to fly to-day;



     "They'll take care of themselves in another week,

     Before your poor baby can walk or can speak.

     It has often surprised me to see what poor things

     All babies are that are born without wings;

     And but one at a time! Dear me, my wife

     Would be quite ashamed of so idle a life!"

     And the lark looked as scornful as a lark knows

               how,

     As he swung up and down on a slender bough.



     A cat had been eying him there for a while,

     And sprang at him now from top of a stile.

     But she missed her aim--he was quite too high;

     And oh, how he laughed as he soared in the sky!

     Then the cat scrambled up, disappointed and cross;

     She looked all about her, and felt at a loss

     What next she should do. So she took up the

               thread

     Of the lark's discourse, and ill-naturedly said:



     "Yes, indeed, little master and miss, I declare,

     It's enough to make any mother-cat stare

     To see what a time you do make, to be sure.

     Over one small creature, so helpless and poor

     As your babies are! Why, I've six of my own:

     When they were two weeks old they could run alone;

     They're never afraid of dogs or of rats--

     In a few weeks more they'll be full-grown cats;



     "Their fur is as fine and as soft as silk--

     Two gray, and three black, and one white as new

               milk.

     A fair fight for a mouse in my family

     Is as pretty a sight as you'll ever see.

     It is all very well to brag of your baby--

     One of these years it will be something, maybe!"

     And without even looking at the baby's face,

     The cat walked away at a sleepy pace.



     "Moo, Moo!" said a cow, coming up. "Moo,

               Moo!

     Young people, you're making a great to-do

     About your baby. And the lark and the cat,

     They're nothing but braggers--I wouldn't give

               that."



[Illustration: 0051]

     (And the cow snapped her tail as you'd snap your

               thumb)

     "For all the babies, and kittens, and birds, that come

     In the course of a year! It does make me laugh

     To look at them all, by the side of a calf!



     "Why, my little Brindle as soon as 'twas born

     Stood up on its legs, and sniffed at the corn;

     Before it had been in the world an hour

     It began to gambol, and canter, and scour

     All over the fields. See its great shining eyes,

     And its comely red hair that so glossy lies

     And thick! he has never felt cold in his life;

     But the wind cuts your baby's skin like a knife.



     "Poor shivering things! I have pitied them oft,

     All muffled and smothered in flannel soft.

     Ha! ha! I am sure the stupidest gaby

     Can see that a calf's ahead of a baby!"

     And the cow called her calf, and tossed up her

               head

     Like a person quite sure of all she has said.

     Then Jane looked at Eddy, and Eddy at Jane;

     Said Eddy, "How mean! I declare, they're too

               vain

     "To live--preposterous things! They don't know

     What they're talking about! I'd like them to show

     a bird,  or a kitten, or a learned calf.

     That can kiss like our baby, or smile, or laugh!"

     "Yes, indeed, so should I!' said Jane in a rage;



     "The poor little thing! She's advanced for her age,

     For the minister said so the other day--

     She's worth a hundred kittens or calves to play.

"And as for young birds--they're pitiful things!

     I saw a whole nest once, all mouths and bare wings,

     And they looked jis if they'd been picked by the

               cook

     To broil for breakfast. I'm sure that they shook

     With cold if their mother got off for a minute--

     I'm glad we have flannel, and wrap babies in it!"

     So the children went grumbling one to the other,

     And when they reached home they told their mother.



     The dear baby, asleep, in its crib she laid,

     And laughed as she kissed the children, and said:

     "Do you think I believe that the sun can shine

     On a boy or a girl half so sweet as mine?

     The lark, and the cat, and the cow were all right--

     Each baby seems best in its own mother's sight!"



[Illustration: 0053]



A YOUNG INQUIRER.


By Charlotte Mellen Packard.


|HOW does life look behind the Hill?

     All the suns I have ever seen

     Peeped from over a mountain screen,

     Stretched a finger of rosy light

     Through some crevice to paint "Good-night;"

     Up the darkness the great round moon

     Floated by like a red balloon,

     Hung and glittered awhile, until

     It went to the people behind the Hill.



          The earth spins round, the mountain is still

     Men and women they come and they go,

     Children play in the valley below.

     Winds are roaring, or winds are whist,

     Sun may pass, there is rain and mist,

     The world we know is a bright world still,

     But ah, for the other behind the Hill!



     Voices are calling me day by day--

     I listen, and wonder whatever they say!

     The valleys are pleasant, and days are long

     With play and study, with work and song--



     But a boy keeps planning for other things,

     There's room in his restless body for wings,

     And fancy will never fold them until

     He sees for himself what is over the Hill.



     But most I dream of the unknown sea

     Where brave ships hasten like birds set free,

     Where plunging breakers ride high and loud

     Till the sailor is lost between wave and cloud.

     Oh the sunny lands, and the frozen zone,

     The forests where never a man is known!

     There are wonders and wonders waiting still

     For a boy who has never looked over the Hill!



[Illustration: 0054]

[Illustration: 0055]



IN MIDSUMMER.

By Mrs. L. C. Whiton.


|INTO silence of the morning's splendor

          There is shaken a golden robin's dream;

     Kissed by sunshine to divine surrender,

          Bloom the snowy lilies in the stream;

     Soft south winds the hidden wild flowers Woo;

     And between the tangled leaves in view--

          Hush! I see the Summer,

               Summer, Summer floating through.

     Climbs the sun, with ecstasy of shining,

          From the blush of rising into gold;

     And the river's heart, with close defining,

          Tells the same sweet story it is told;

     Hills are veiled in tender mists anew;

     From the liquid skies' unshadowed blue-

     Hush! I see the Summer,

               Summer, Summer flooding through.



A MIDSUMMER SONG.

By Mary E. Wilkins.


|I WANT to sing a little song to please you,

          How midsummer comes following after June,

     And shall I pitch it by the lark or robin?--

          For songs in midsummer should be in tune.



     And shall I give it sweetness like the roses?--

          For midsummer has roses, as you know,

     As well as June; and sprinkled o'er with spices

          From beds of pinks and poppies in a row?



     Perhaps like them; or, maybe 'twould be sweeter,

          My little song, and prettier sound to you,

     If I should make it make you think of lilies--

          For midsummer has always lilies too.



     Around the meadow-sweet the bees they cluster

          So thick the children pick it not for fear--

     Like meadow-sweet and bees, if I could make it,

          A pretty little song 'twould be to hear!



     Down in the field a crowd of flowers are standing;

          The locusts pipe, the flowers keep sweet and still--

     With honey-balls of clover and the others,

          If only I my little song could fill!



     I want to sing a little song to please you

          Of midsummer that's following after June,

     But oh! of all her sweet, gay things, I cannot

          With one put yet my little song in tune!



     I think you'll have to find a child or robin,

          Some ignorant and merry-hearted thing;

     For, I suppose, a song of the midsummer

          It takes a heart more like a bird's to sing!



Ill 0057]



IN THE BLACK FOREST.

By Celia Thaxter.


|UP through the great Black Forest,

          So wild and wonderful,

     We climbed in the autumn afternoon

          'Mid the shadows deep and cool. 2

     We climbed to the Grand Duke's castle

          That stood on the airy height;

     Above the leagues of pine-trees dark

          It shone in the yellow light. 3

     Around the edge of her wee white cap

     We saw how the peasant women

          Were toiling along the way,

     In the open spaces, here and there,

          That steeped in the sunshine lay. 4

     They gathered the autumn harvest--

          All toil-worn and weather-browned;

     They gathered the roots they had planted in spring,

          And piled them up on the ground. 5

     We heard the laughter of children,

          And merrily down the road

     Ran little Max with a rattling cart,

          Heaped with a heavy load. 6

     Upon orange carrots, and beets so red,

          And turnips smooth and white,

     With leaves of green all packed between,

          Sat the little Rosel bright.



          The wind -blew out her curls--

     A sweeter face I have never seen

          Than this happy little girl's. 7

     A spray of the carrot's foliage fine,

          Soft as a feather of green,

     Drooped over her head from behind her ear.

          As proud as the plume of a queen. 8

     Light was his burden to merry Max,

          With Rosel perched above,

     And he gazed at her on that humble throne

          With the eyes of pride and love. 9



     With joyful laughter they passed us by,

          And up through the forest of pine,

     So solemn and still, we made our way

          To the castle of Eberstein.

     Oh, lofty the Grand Duke's castle

          That looked o'er the forest gloom;

     But better I love to remember

          The children's rosy bloom.

[Illustration: 0059]

     Oh, vast and dim and beautiful

          Were the dark woods' shadowy aisles.

     And all their silent depths seemed lit

          With the children's golden smiles.

     And sweet is the picture I brought away

          From the wild Black Forest shade,

     Of proud and happy and merry Max,

          And Rosel, the little maid.



EDITH'S LESSON.

By Mrs. Margaret E. Sangster.


|OUT in the meadow the scented breeze

          Was full of the gossip of birds and bees;

     Out in the orchard the glad things flew,

     And o'er meadow and orchard the sky was blue--

     The sky was blue, and the clouds were white,

     And the summer morning was blithe and bright.



"     It is quite too lovely in-doors to stay,"

     Said Edith, "whether I work or play."

     So slate and pencil and fairy-book

     Were carried forth to a cozy nook,

     Where the shadows glanced, and the sunbeams shone,

     And the dear little girl could be alone.



     There were hard examples that must be done,

     For father to see ere the set of sun;

     And there was the merriest tale to read,

     Of a lady fair, on a milk-white steed,--

     Of a lady fair, and a stately lover,

     And the charm that lay in a four-leaf clover.



     "Study the lesson!" the robin said,

     As he poised on the branch above her head,

     With a whirr of wings like the beat of drums;

     "Edith," the bee hummed, "mind the sums!"

     But shadow and shine in their airy play

     Coaxed for the story that matched the day.



     "Any time will do for the tiresome task,"

     Said Edith at last, "and I think I'll ask

     Papa to excuse my Arithmetic,--

     In such warm weather I might be sick

     If I taxed this poor little brain of mine."

     So she listened, you see, to shadow and shine;



     And then full-length on the velvet grass,

     She dreamed of delights that would come to pass

     When she, too large for the rigid rule

     Of the happy home, or the stricter school,

     Should be a woman, and quite at ease

     Each hour to do what she might please.



[Illustration: 0061]

     "On silvery paper, with golden pen,"

     She mused,"I'd write love-stories then,

     And wherever I went, would people say,

     'The gifted Edith is here to-day! '

     And maybe,--for stranger things have been,--

     I might Editor be of a Magazine!"



     No higher flight could her fancy take,

     Were the darling child asleep or awake;

     And presently there in that paradise,

     The lids fell over the heavy eyes,

     And the noon-bell's summons, loud and clear,

     Was heeded not by her slumbering ear.



     How long was her nap, I do not know,

     But she sauntered home when the sun was low';

     Dinner was over, and father frowned,

     And chided her gently for "idling round,"

     While gravely he bade her be sure and see

     That she solved her examples after tea.



DORRIS' SPINNING.

(_An Old Time Ballad_.)

By Margaret J. Preston.


|SHE sat in the upper chamber

          --'Twas a summer of Long Ago--

     And looked through the gable window

          At the river that ran below,

     And over the quiet pastures,

          And up at the wide blue sky,

     And envied the jay his freedom

          As he lazily flitted by.



     Yet patiently at her spinning,

          In a halo of happy light,

     Se wrought, though a shimmer rippled

          The heads of the wheat in sight--

     Though the garden was spilling over

          Its cups on the fragrant air,

     And the hollyhocks at the doorway

          Had never looked half so fair.



     She saw, as her wheel kept whirling,

          The leisure of Nature too--

     The beautiful holiday weather

          Left nothing for her to do:

     The cattle were idly grazing,

          And even the frisky sheep,

     Away in the distant meadows,

          Lay under the shade asleep.



     So sitting, she heard sweet laughter,

          And a bevy of maidens fair,

     With babble of merry voices,

          Came climbing the chamber stair;

     "O Dorns! how can you bear it,

          To drone at your spinning here?

     Why, girl! it's the heart of summer,

          The goldenest time of year.



[Illustration: 0063]

     "Put out of your hand the distaff,

          This wearisome whirl relax--

     There are things that are gayer, Dorris,

          Than sitting and spinning flax:

     Come with us away to the forest;

          When it rains is the time to ply

     Such tiresome tasks--and to-day is

          The fifteenth day of July!"

     With a face that was softly saddened,

          Sweet Dorris looked up and said,

     As she ravelled a bit of tangle,

          And twisted again her thread,

     "Nay, nay, I must do my spinning;

     It wouldn't be kind or right

     That the loom should be kept a-waiting;

          My hanks must be done to-night.



     So the frolicsome maidens left her,

          With something of mild surprise

     That Dorris should choose a duty,

          With pleasure before her eyes;

     Not dreaming that when her mother

          Her "dozens" should count up-stairs,

     And kiss her and say, "My darling!"

          Her day would be glad as theirs.

     So she minded her wheel, and blithely

          She sang as she twirled it round,

     And cunningly from her fingers

          The delicate fibre wound;

     And on through the sunny hours,

          That neither were sad nor long,

     She toiled in her sweet obedience,

          And lightened her toil with song.



     "Aye, surely, the day is lovely!

          It tugs at my very heart

     To look at its drifting beauty,

          Nor share in its joy my part r

     I may not go forth to meet it,

          But the summer is kind, you see,

     And I think, as I sit at my spinning--

          I think it will come to me!"



     (_She sings._)

     "Come hither, happy birds,

          With warbling woo me,

     Till songs that have no words

          Melt through and through me!

     Come, bees, that drop and rise

          Within the clover,

     Where yellow butterflies

          Go glancing over!



Oh, roses, red and white,

          And lilies, shining

     Like gilded goblets bright

          With silver lining--

     Each to my window send

          Gifts worth the winning,

     To cheer me as I bend

          Above my spinning!



     "Oh, ripples on the sand,

          That break in beauty,

     Oh, pines, that stiffly stand

          Like guards on duty,



     Green meadows, where, this morn,

          The scythes were mowing,

     Soft slopes, where, o'er the corn

          The wind is blowing,



     "White clouds above the hill

          That sail together,

     Rich summer scents that fill

          This summer weather--

     All bring the sweets you've found

          Since morn's beginning,

     And come and crowd them round

          My day of spinning!"



[Illustration: 0065]



THE BROOK BEHIND THE WAUMBEK HOUSE.

( _Jefferson and White Mountains._)

By Mrs. Martha Perry Lowe.

[Illustration: 0066]


|RUN along thy pastures, happy, happy brook,

          Run along the pebbles, with a curvet and a

               crook,

     Sing it all the morning, and sing it afternoon,

     Sing it all the starry night--that pleasant little

               tune!

     Are you growing modest, do you think that I shall

               tire?

     Do you fear that I shall go and look for something

               higher?

     Well I know the noisy world has music grand enough,

     But I do not care for all its preludes, wild and

               rough.

     Well I know other music, solemn and sublime,

     Voices of the ocean sounding all the depths of

               time:

     That is not the music I am looking for to-day,

     It is you I want to hear, so frolicsome and gay.



     Do not ever try to practise any modern art,

     Do not even stop to think or care about your part,

     Sing just as you always do, when there are none to

               hear,

     That will surely be the sweetest way to please my ear.



     Ah, my little brook! how foolish was my thought:

     All the praises of the worldling can disturb you naught.

     Nothing can mislead you, or set you ill at ease,

     Make you think about yourself, or of the way

               to please.



     Not a little fish could have made such a speech,

     Not a shining fly that skims along your beach,

     Not a little bird would have said such a thing--

     Pardon me my foolishness, and sing again, sing!



[Illustration: 0067]



BOBBY LEE


|ONE, two, three!

     One was Bobby Lee

     Sitting by the brook,

     With his fishing-hook,

     With his spelling-book

     Thrust far aside,

     Whilst loud he cried:

     "For once, no school,

     For once, no rule,

     Bell, ring away!

     This whole, whole day

     I'll stop and play!"



     One, two, three!

     One was Mrs. Bee

     Stopping just to stare

     At the vision there--

     Bobby by the brook

     With his fishing-hook;

     At the spelling-book

     Thrust far aside;



THREE.

By Rosa Graham.

     Whilst loud she cried:

     "The livelong day

     A boy to play!

     I'd like to see

     One little bee

     Like Bobby Lee!"



     One, two, three!

     One was Lady Rose,

     In her pretty clothes,

     Staring down to see

     Little Bobby Lee,

     With his fishing-hook,

     With his spelling-book

     Thrust far aside,

     Whilst loud she cried:

     "The livelong day,

     A boy to play!

     I'd like to know,

     If I did so,

     How I would grow!"



[Illustration: 0069]



SUMMER'S GOING.

By Mrs. L. C. Whiton.


|LEAVES are shrinking on the trees,

          Where the nests are hidden;

     There's a hush among the bees,

          As to roam forbidden;

     There's the silk of corn that shows

          Faded tangles blowing:

     So that everybody knows,

          Darling, summer's going.



     There are insects' wings that gleam;

          Locusts shrilly calling;

     There are silences that seem

          Into sadness falling;

     There is not another rose

          But the sweet-brier blowing:

     So that everybody knows,

          Darling, summer's going.



     There's the mist that haunts the night

          Into morning sailing,

     Leaving filmy webs of light

          On the grasses trailing;

     There's the fierce red sun that glows,

          Through the vapor showing:

     So that everybody knows,

          Darling, summer's going.



     Breathe but softest little sigh.

          Child, for vanished roses,

     For each season, going by,

          Something sweet discloses;

     And if in your heart has grown

          Truth to fairer blowing,

     Summer then will be your own,

          Spite of summer's going.





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