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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; 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.

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;

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 LAMB.

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, When he shall read these artless rhymes, If, looking back upon this day With quiet conscience, ine 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;

CUDDLE DOON.

115

“I have in part redeemed the pledge Of my baptismal privilege; And more and more will strive to flee All which my sponsors kind did then renounce for me.”

CHARLES LAMB.

I lift wee Jamie up the bed,

An' as 1 straik each croon,
I whisper, till my heart fills up,

“O bairnies, cuddle doon."
The bairnies cuddle doon at nicht,

Wi' mirth that's dear to me;
But sune the big warl's cark an' care

Will quaten doon their glee.
Yet come what will to ilka ane,

May He who sits aboon Aye whisper, though their pows be bauld, “O bairnies, cuddle doon."

ALEXANDER ANDERSON.

Willie Winkie.

Wee Willie Winkie rins through the town,
Up stairs and doon stairs, in his nicht-gown,
Tirlin' at the window, cryin' at the lock,
* Are the weans in their bed 1 - for it's now ten

o'clock.”

Cuddle woon.
The bairnies cuddle doon at nicht,

Wi' muckle faucht an' din;
0, try an' sleep, ye waukrife rogues,

Your father's comin' in.
They never heed a word I speak;

I try to gie a froon,
But aye I hap them up, an' cry,

“O bairnies, cuddle doon." Wee Jamie wi’ the curly heid

He aye sleeps next the wa' -
Bangs up an' cries, “ I want a piece;”

The rascal starts them a'.
I rin an' fetch them pieces, drinks,

They stop awee the soun’;
Then draw the blankets up an' cry,

“Noo, weanies, cuddle doon.”
But ere five minutes gang, wee Rab

Cries oot frae 'neath the claes,
“Mither, mak' Tam gie ower at ance

He's kittlin wi' his taes."
The mischief's in that Tam for tricks,

He'd bother half the toon:
But aye I hap them up an' cry,

“O bairnies, cuddle doon." At length they hear their father's fit,

An', as he steeks the door, They turn their faces to the wa',

While Tam pretends to snore. “ Hae a' the weans been gude ?” he asks,

As he pits off his shoon; “The bairnies, John, are in their beds,

An' lang since cuddled doon."

Hey, Willie Winkie! are ye comin' ben ?
The cat's singing gay thrums to the sleepin' hen,
The doug's speldered on the floor, and disna gie a

cheep; But here's a waukrife laddie, that winna fa' asleep.

Ony thing but sleep, ye rogue !- glow'rin' like the

moon, Rattlin' in an airn jug wi' an airn spoon, Rumblin', tumblin' roun'about, crawin' like a cock, Skirlin' like a kenna - what - wauknin' sleepin'

folk!

Hey, Willie Winkie! the wean's in a creel ! Waumblin' aff a bodie's knee like a vera eel, *Ruggin' at the cat's lug, and ravellin' a' her

thrums: Hey, Willie Winkie!— See, there he comes!

An' just afore we bed oorsel',

We look at oor wee lambs ; Tam has his airms roun' wee Rab's neck,

An' Rab his airms roun' Tam's.

Wearie is the mither that has a storie wean,
A wee stumpie stoussie, that canna rin his lane,
That has a battle aye wi' sleep, before he'll close an

ee; But a kiss frae aff his rosy lips gies strength anew to me.

WILLIAM MILLER.

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 a bit.

have my tooth out, that day; And then, when the man 'most 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 And I guess you must think I'm a baby, when and I'll walk behind and cry, and we'll put her in

be the horse; you say you can mend it with glue: As if I didn't know better than that! Why, just This dear little box — and we'll bury her there out

this, you see suppose it was you !

under the maple-tree. You might make her look all mended - but what do I care for looks 1

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

I shall say: “ Here lies Hildegarde, a beautiful doll,

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

her head.” her poor head went whack

MARGARET VANDEGRIFT. 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 ! What good would forty heads do her? I tell you For her husband was far on the wild raging sea ;

Its mother was weeping; my dolly is dead! And to think I had n't quite finished her elegant

And the tempest was swelling

Round the fisherman's dwelling; new spring hat! And I took a sweet ribbon of hers last night to tie And she cried, “ Dermot, darling, oh come back to

me!" on that horrid cat!

Her beads while she numbered, When my mamma gave me that ribbon — I was and smiled in her face as she bended her knee:

The baby still slumbered, 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 whildy are keeping lieve she knew it!"

Bright watch o'er thy sicejing

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