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They ease the heart of sadness,

They take away its care ;
Till hope succeeds, and gladness

Doth chase away despair.
How should we miss their prattle,

Their childish ways and toys;
Their merry games and rattle,

And all their little joys.
Aye, children are the lilies

Along life's thorny way,
That scent the path with pleasures

Of childhood's happy day.
And while we have them near us,

Replete with rosy health,
Their fresh young presence cheers us

Beyond the powers of wealth.

Once did I know a little maid,

The youngest of a hive ;
Their cottage home adown the lane

With mirth was all alive.
There came a rude, wild, wintry wind,

So cutting, cold, and keen,
It bound the ponds and rivulets

With coats of icy sheen;
It caught the budding flower,-

The little maiden gay,—

With all its fatal power

To wither and decay.
She drooped her head and fell,

She pined and pined away,
As rosebud from the parent stem

Beneath the frosts of May. One night there came an angel

Most beauteous to behold; His raiment shone like silver,

His hair like waves of gold.
His face it was so lovely ;

A glory centred there;
No face on earth was like it;

Nor could with it compare.
His eyes like stars of morning,

Were sweet with heavenly light; And beam'd forth loving kindness,

Soft, beautiful, and bright. He entered at the doorway,

He came into the room Where lay the little lambkin,

The fragile, fading bloom ; He spake in accents holy,

So sweetly, calm and clear His very words were music

Most ravishing to hear.

He bade the grieved parents

To fix their thoughts above,
And feel assured their darling

Was taken but in love.
For God, He knows the future

With all its toil and care,
Its trials and temptations,

Hard, grievous hard to bear; Therefore, with loving forethought,

From mist and storm and cold He takes at times dear children

To shelter in His fold. Thus speaking, vanish'd he ;

They turned towards the bed, And saw at once their nestling

From earthly scenes had fled. A smile was on her features,

Bright, winsome, passing fair As though a radiant sunbeam

Did love to linger there. Say, was it a reflection

Of glimpse of glory-land ? Or presence of God's angel

As fell life's latest sand ? We know not, nor can mortal

That secret to us tell ;

We only know that often When spirits quit their cell,

A smile as of the morning Doth break across the face;

As oft upon the ocean Aurora's beams we trace.

They laid her 'neath a chestnut-tree,

Within the hallowed ground, And placed wreath'd tokens

Upon the grassy mound. There often shall the robin

Pour forth its cheerful lay;
There for ages shall the body

Await the rising day.
Her little mates will miss her

In'childhood's sports and joys;
Her parents, sisters, brothers,

Whene'er they see her toys, Till time shall memory heal,

And other years shall bring Fresh sorrows, hopes, and pleasures,

As blossoms of the spring. So sleep, thou little flow'ret,

Sleep till the morning breaks; Sleep till the sun of righteousness,

Our sleeping death awakes !

Then, when the trumpet soundeth

Loud, lasting, sweet, and clear,
Then, with thy long-lost loved ones,

United forth appear !

Composed at Brawby, May 20-27, 1888, on the death of one of my little scholars, Mary Anne Humphrey, who was buried close to a chestnut-tree in Salton churchyard about this time.


DEAR little Peggy Whitethroat !

Sweet chatt'rer of the hedge!
Mid hawthorn-trees and willows,

Down by the river's edge,
Thy voice I hear, like streamlet clear

Gushing o'er rocks and sedge.

Quaint, homely, merry minstrel !

How winsome are thy ways !
How charming is thy gossip!

Thy bonnie roundelays !
Rich, ripe, and free, with ecstasy,

Through all the summer days.

Thou art to me like Mary!

Whom I have made my bride ;

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