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POEMS OF CHILDHOOD.

Introduction.

PIPING down the valleys wild,

Piping songs of pleasant glee, On a cloud I saw a child,

And he, laughing, said to me: "Pipe a song about a lamb.”

So I piped with merry cheer. “Piper, pipe that song again.”

So I piped; he wept to hear.

" Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe,

Sing thy songs of happy cheer.” So I sung the same again,

While he wept with joy to hear. "Piper, sit thee down and write,

In a book, that all may read.” So he vanished from my sight,

And I plucked a hollow reed;

Minutes filled with shadeless gladness ;
Minutes just as brimmed with sadness;
Happy smiles and wailing cries;
Crows and laughs and tearful eyes ;
Lights and shadows, swifter born
Than on wind-swept Autumn corn;
Ever some new tiny notion,
Making every limb all motion ;
Catchings up of legs and arms;
Throwings back and small alarms;
Clutching fingers; straightening jerks ;
Twining feet whose each toe works;
Kickings up and straining risings;
Mother's ever new surprisings;
Hands all wants and looks all wonder
At all things the heavens under ;
Tiny scorns of smiled reprovings
That have more of love than lovings;
Mischiefs done with such a winning
Archness that we prize such sinning;
Breakings dire of plates and glasses ;
Graspings small at all that passes;
Pullings off of all that's able
To be caught from tray or table;
Silences - small meditations
Deep as thoughts of cares for nations
Breaking into wisest speeches
In a tongue that nothing teaches;
All the thoughts of whose possessing
Must be wooed to light by guessing;
Slumbers — such sweet angel-seemings
That we'd ever have such dreamings;
Till from sleep we see thee breaking,
And we'd always have thee waking;

And I made a rural pen;

And I stained the water clear, And I wrote my happy songs Every child may joy to hear.

WILLIAM BLAKE.

Baby May. CHEEKS as soft as July peaches; Lips whose dewy scarlet teaches Poppies paleness; round large eyes Ever great with new surprise ;

Wealth for which we know no measure;
Pleasure high above all pleasure ;
Gladness brimming over gladness;
Joy in care ; delight in sadness ;
Loveliness beyond completeness;
Sweetness distancing all sweetness ;
Beauty all that beauty may be ;-
That's May Bennett; that's my baby.

William Cox BENNETT.

Jane's a prettier name beside;
But we had a Jane that died.
They would say, if 'twas Rebecca,
That she was a little Quaker.
Edith's pretty, but that looks
Better in old English books;
Ellen's left off long ago;
Blanche is out of fashion now.
None that I have named as yet
Are so good as Margaret.
Emily is neat and fine;
What do you think of Caroline !
How I'm puzzled and perplexed
What to choose or think of next!
I am in a little fever
Lest the name that I should give her
Should disgrace her or defame her ;-
I will leave papa to name her.

MARY LAYB.

Lullaby.
SWEET and low, sweet and low,

Wind of the western sea,
Low, low, breathe and blow,

Wind of the western sea !
Over the rolling waters go;
Come from the dying moon, and blow,

Blow him again to me; .
While my little one, while my pretty one, sleeps.

Sleep and rest, sleep and rest;

Father will come to thee soon.
Rest, rest on mother's breast;

Father will come to thee soon.
Father will come to his babe in the nest;
Silver sails all out of the west

Under the silver moon;
Sleep, my little one, sleep, my pretty one, sleep.

ALFRED TENNYSON.

Choosing a Name.

The Christening.
ARRAYED - a half-angelic sight -
In vests of pure baptismal white,
The mother to the font doth bring
The little helpless, nameless thing
With hushes soft and mild caressing,
At once to get — a name and blessing.
Close by the babe the priest doth stand,
The cleansing water at his hand
Which must assoil the soul within
From
every

stain of Adam's sin.
The infant eyes the mystic scenes,
Nor knows what all this wonder means;
And now he smiles, as if to say,
“I am a Christian made this day;
Now frighted clings to nurse's hold,
Shrinking from the water cold,
Whose virtues, rightly understood,
Are, as Bethesda's waters, good.
Strange words, “The world, the flesh, the devil,"
Poor babe, what can it know of evil ?
But we must silently adore
Mysterious truths, and not explore.
Enough for him, in after-times,
"Vhen he shall read these artless rhymes,
If, looking back upon this day
With quiet conscience, it can say,

I HAVE got a new-born sister:
I was nigh the first that kissed her.
When the nursing-woman brought her
To papa, his infant daughter,
How papa's dear eyes did glisten!
She will shortly be to christen;
And papa has made the offer,
I shall have the naming of her.

Now I wonder what would please her —
Charlotte, Julia, or Louisa ?
Ann and Mary, they're too common;
Joan's too formal for a woman;

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a bit.

I shall say :

But I know that she knew it now, and I just beThe Wead Woll.

lieve, I do,

That her poor little heart was broken, and so her You need n't be trying to comfort me - I tell you head broke too. my dolly is dead!

Oh, my baby! my little baby! I wish my head There's no use in saying she is n't, with a crack like

had been hit! that in her head.

For I've hit it over and over, and it has n't cracked It's just like you said it would n't hurt much to

have my tooth out, that day; And then, when the man ʼmost pulled my head off, But since the darling is dead, she'll want to be you had n't a word to say.

buried, of course :
We will take my little wagon, Nurse, and you

shall

be the horse; And I guess you must think I'm a baby, when

And I'll walk behind and cry, and we'll put her in you say you can mend it with glue:

this, you see — As if I did n't know better than that! Why, just This dear little box - and we'll bury her there out suppose it was you

under the maple-tree. You might make her look all mended - but what do I care for looks?

And papa will make me a tombstone, like the one Why, glue's for chairs and tables, and toys and the he made for my bird ; backs of books !

And he'll put what I tell him on it - yes, every

single word! My dolly! my own little daughter! Oh, but it's

“Here lies Hildegarde, a beautiful doll, the awfullest crack !

who is dead; It just makes me sick to think of the sound when She died of a broken heart, and a dreadful crack in

her head.”

MARGARIT VANDEGRIFT. her poor head went whack Against that horrible brass thing that holds up the

little shelf. Now, Nursey, what makes you remind me I

The Angel's Whisper. know that I did it myself !

A superstition prevails in Ireland that, when a child

smiles in its sleep, it is “talking with angels." I think you must be crazy - you'll get her an

A BABY was sleeping; other head!

Its mother was weeping; What good would forty heads do her I tell you For her husband was far on the wild raging sea ; my dolly is dead!

And the tempest was swelling And to think I had n't quite finished her elegant

Round the fisherman's dwelling; new spring hat!

And she cried, “ Dermot, darling, oh come back to And I took a sweet ribbon of hers last night to tie

me!” on that horrid cat!

Her beads while she numbered,

The baby still slumbered, When my mamma gave me that ribbon - I was

And smiled in her face as she bended her knee: playing out in the yard —

Oh, blest be that warning, She said to me, most expressly, “Here's a ribbon

My child, thy sleep adorning, for Hildegarde."

For I know that the angels are whispering with And I went and put it on Tabby, and Hildegarde

thee, saw me do it; "But I said to myself, “Oh, never mind, I don't be- " And whild y are keeping lieve she knew it !"

Bright watch o'er thy sitejing

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