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And while amid thy garlands blow
The winds that warbling come and go,
Ever within, not loud but clear,
Prophetic murmur fills the ear,
And says that every human birth
Anew discloses God to earth.


To a Child. Dear child! whom sleep can hardly tame, As live and beautiful as flame, Thou glancest round my graver hours As if thy crown of wild-wood flowers Were not by mortal forehead worn, But on the summer breeze were borne, Or on a mountain streamlet's waves Came glistening down from dreamy caves. With bright round cheek, amid whose glow Delight and wonder come and go; And eyes whose in ward meanings play, Congenial with the light of day; And brow so calm, a home for Thought Before he knows his dwelling wrought; Though wise indeed thou seemest not, Thou brightenest well the wise man's lot.

That shout proclaims the undoubting mind;
That laughter leaves no ache behind ;
And in thy look and dance of glee,
Unforced, unthought of, simply free,
How weak the schoolman's formal art
Thy soul and body's bliss to part !
I hail thee Childhood's very Lord,
In gaze and glance, in voice and word.

The Mother's hope.
Is there, when the winds are singing

In the happy summer time,
When the raptured air is ringing
With Earth's music heavenward springing,

Forest chirp, and village chime,
Is there, of the sounds that float
Unsighingly, a single note
Half so sweet, and clear, and wild,
As the laughter of a child ?
Listen! and be now delighted :

Morn hath touched her golden strings; Earth and Sky their vows have plighted; Life and Light are reunited,

Amid countless carollings;
Yet, delicious as they are,
There's a sound that's sweeter far -
One that makes the heart rejoice
More than all,— the human voice.
Organ finer, deeper, clearer,

Though it be a stranger's tone -
Than the winds or waters dearer,
More enchanting to the hearer,

For it answereth to his own.
But, of all its witching words,
Sweeter than the songs of birds,
Those are sweetest, bubbling wild
Through the laughter of a child.
Harmonies from time touched towers,

Haunted strains from rivulets,
Hum of bees among the flowers,
Rustling leaves, and silver showers -

These, ere long, the ear forgets; But in mine there is a sound Ringing on the whole year round — Heart-deep laughter that I heard Ere my child could speak a word.

In spite of all foreboding fear,
A thing thou art of present cheer ;
And thus to be beloved and known,
As is a rushy fountain's tone,
As is the forest's leafy shade,
Or blackbird's hidden serenade.
Thou art a flash that lights the whole —
A gush from Nature's vernal soul.
And yet, dear child! within thee lives
A power that deeper feeling gives,
That makes thee more than light or air,
Than all things sweet and all things fair ;
And sweet and fair as aught may be,
Diviner life belongs to thee,
For 'mid thine aimless joys began
The perfect heart and will of Man.

Thus what thou art foreshows to me How greater far thou soon shalt be;



Still, round the loved, thy heart found force to bind, And clung, like woodbine shaken in the wind !

Ah! 'twas heard by ear far purer,

Fondlier formed to catch the strain-
Ear of one whose love is surer -
Hers, the mother, the endurer

Of the deepest share of pain;
Hers the deepest bliss to treasure
Memories of that cry of pleasure;
Hers to hoard, a life-time after,
Echoes of that infant laughter.
'Tis a mother's large affection

Hears with a mysterious sense-
Breathings that evade detection,
Whisper faint, and fine inflexion,

Thrill in her with power intense.
Childhood's honeyed words untaught
Hiveth she in loving thought —
Tones that never thence depart;
For she listens — with her heart.


Then Thou, my merry love — bold in thy glee,

Under the bough, or by the firelight dancing, With thy sweet temper, and thy spirit free

Didst come, as restless as a bird's wing glancing, Full of a wild and irrepressible mirth, Like a young sunbeam to the gladdened earth! Thine was the shout, the song, the burst of joy, Which sweet from childhood's rosy lip re

soundeth; Thine was the eager spirit naught could cloy, And the glad heart from which all grief re

boundeth; And many a mirthful jest and mock reply Lurked in the laughter of thy dark-blue eye.

And thine was many an art to win and bless,

The cold and stern to joy and fondness warming; The coaxing smile — the frequent soft caress

The earnest tearful prayer all wrath disarming! Again my heart a new affection found, But thought that love with thee had reached its


At length THOU camest — thou, the last and least, Nick-named “the Emperor” by thy laughing

brothers Because a haughty spirit swelled thy breast, And thou didst seek to rule and sway the

others Mingling with every playful infant wile A mimic majesty that made us smile.

The Mother's heart.
When first thou camest, gentle, shy, and fond,

My eldest born, first hope, and dearest treasure, My heart received thee with a joy beyond

All that it yet had felt of earthly pleasure;
Nor thought that any love again might be
So deep and strong as that I felt for thee.
Faithful and true, with sense beyond thy years,

And natural piety that leaned to heaven;
Wrung by a harsh word suddenly to tears,

Yet patient to rebuke when justly given – Obedient - easy to be reconciled And meekly cheerful; such wert thou, my child ! Not willing to be left — still by my side, Haunting my walks, while summer-day was dy

ing; Nor leaving in thy turn, but pleased to glide

Through the dark room where I was sadly lying; Or by the couch of pain, a sitter meek, Watch the dim eye, and kiss the fevered cheek. O boy! of such as thou are oftenest made

Earth's fragile idols; like a tender flower, No strength in all thy freshness, prone to fade,

And bending weakly to the thunder-shower;

And oh! most like a regal child wert thou !

An eye of resolute and successful scheming ! Fair shoulders, curling lips, and dauntless brow,

Fit for the world's strife, not for poet's dreaming; And proud the lifting of thy stately head, And the firm bearing of thy conscious tread. Different from both! yet each succeeding claim

I, that all other love had been forswearing,
Forthwith admitted, equal and the same;

Nor injured either by this love's comparing,
Nor stole a fraction for the newer call —
But in the mother's heart found room for all!


Mother's Love.

Oh mother's love is glorifying,
On the cheek like sunset lying;
In the eyes a moistened light,
Softer than the moon at night!


The Pet Lamb. The dew was falling fast, the stars began to blink; I heard a voice; it said, “ Drink, pretty creature,

drink!" And, looking o'er the hedge, before me I espied A snow-white mountain-lamb with a maiden at its


Nor sheep nor kine were near; the lamb was all

alone, And by a slender cord was tethered to a stone; With one knee on the grass did the little maiden

kneel, While to that mountain-lamb she gave its evening


He sang so wildly, did the boy,
That you could never tell
If 'twas a madman's voice you heard,
Or if the spirit of a bird
Within his heart did dwell —
A bird that dallies with his voice
Among the matted branches ;
Or on the free blue air his note,
To pierce, and fall, and rise, and float,
With bolder utterance launches.
None ever was so sweet as he,
The boy that wildly sang to me;
Though toilsome was the way and long,
He led me, not to lose the song.
But when again we stood below
The unhidden sky, his feet
Grew slacker, and his note more slow,
But more than doubly sweet.
He led me then a little way
Athwart the barren moor,
And there he stayed, and bad me stay,
Beside a cottage door;
I could have stayed of my own will,
In truth, my eye and heart to fill
With the sweet sight which I saw there,
At the dwelling of the cottager.
A little in the doorway sitting,
The mother plied her busy knitting;
And her cheek so softly smiled,
You might be sure, although her gaze
Was on the meshes of the lace,
Yet her thoughts were with her child.
But when the boy had heard her voice,
As o'er her work she did rejoice,
His became silent altogether ;
And slyly creeping by the wall,
He seized a single plume, let fall
By some wild bird of longest feather;
And all a-tremble with his freak,
He touched her lightly on the cheek.
Oh what a loveliness her eyes
Gather in that one moment's space,
While peeping round the post she spies
Her darling's laughing face !

The lamb, while from her hand he thus his supper

took, Seemed to feast with head and ears; and his tail

with pleasure shook. “ Drink, pretty creature, drink!” she said, in such

a tone That I almost received her heart into my own.

'Twas little Barbara Lewthwaite, a child of beauty

rare! I watched them with delight : they were a lovely

pair. Now with her empty can the maiden turned

away ; But ere ten yards were gone, her footsteps did she

stay. Right towards the lamb she looked ; and from a

shady place I unobserved could see the workings of her

face. If nature to her tongue could measured numbers

bring, Thus, thought I, to her lamb that little maid might

sing :

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What ails thee, young one i what? Why pull so “ Thy limbs will shortly be twice as stout as they at thy cord 1

are now; Is it not well with thee well both for bed and Then I'll yoke thee to my cart like a pony in the board ?

plough. Thy plot of grass is soft, and green as grass can be ; My playmate thou shalt be; and when the wind is Rest, little young one, rest; what is't that aileth cold, thee 1

Our hearth shall be thy bed, our house shall be thy

fold. “What is it thou wouldst seek 9 What is wanting to thy heart 1

" It will not, will not rest !- Poor creature, can Thy limbs, are they not strong! And beautiful it be thou art.

That 'tis thy mother's heart which is working so in This grass is tender grass; these flowers they have thee no peers;

Things that I know not of belike to thee are And that green corn all day is rustling in thy ears! dear,

And dreams of things which thou canst neither see “If the sun be shining hot, do but stretch thy

nor hear. woollen chain — This beech is standing by, its covert thou canst

“Alas, the mountain-tops that look so green and gain;

fair! For rain and mountain-storms — the like thou I've heard of fearful winds and darkness that come need'st not fear;

there; The rain and storin are things that scarcely can The little brooks, that seem all pastime and all come here.

play, “ Rest, little young one, rest ; thou hast forgot the When they are angry roar like lions for their prey.

day When my father found thee first in places far" Here thou need’st not dread the raven in the

sky; away; Many flocks were on the hills, but thou wert owned Night and day thou art safe -- our cottage is hard

by. by none, And thy mother from thy side for evermore was

Why bleat so after me Why pull so at thy chain |

Sleep - and at break of day I will come to thee gone.

again!" “ He took thee in his arms, and in pity brought thee home:

- As homeward through the lane I went with lazy A blessed day for thee! Then whither wouldst feet, thou roam 1

This song to myself did I oftentimes repeat ; A faithful nurse thou hast - the dam that did thee And it seemed, as I retraced the ballad line by yean

line, Upon the mountain-tops no kinder could have That but half of it was hers, and one-half of it was been.

mine. “Thou know'st that twice a day I have brought Again and once again, did I. repeat the song: thee in this can

“Nay,” said I,“ more than half to the damsel must Fresh water from the brook, as clear as ever ran; belong, And twice in the day, when the ground is wet with For she looked with such a look, and she spake dew,

with such a tone, I bring thee draughts of milk – warm milk it is, That I almost received her heart into my own." and new.


Along with that uprising dew
Tears glistened in my eyes, though few,
To hail a dawning quite as new

To me, as Time:
It was not sorrow -- not annoy -
But like a happy maid, though coy,
With grief-like welcome, even Joy

Forestalls its prime.

So may'st thou live, dear! many years,
In all the bliss that life endears,
Not without smiles, nor yet from tears,

Too strictly kept.
When first thy infant littleness
I folded in my fond caress,
The greatest proof of happiness
Was this — I wept.


The Shepherd Bon.
LIKE some vision olden

Of far other time,
When the age was golden,

In the young world's prime,
Is thy soft pipe ringing,

O lonely shepherd boy: What song art thou singing,

In thy youth and joy
Or art thou complaining

Of thy lowly lot,
And thine own disdaining,

Dost ask what thou hast not 1 of the future dreaming,

Weary of the past,
For the present scheming -

All but what thou hast.
No, thou art delighting

In thy summer home; Where the flowers inviting

Tempt the bee to roam;
Where the cowslip, bending

With its golden bells,
Of each glad hour's ending

With a sweet chime tells.
All wild creatures love him

When he is alone; Every bird above him

Sings its softest tone. Thankful to high Heaven,

Humble in thy joy, Much to thee is given, Lowly shepherd boy.


Little Boy Blue. When the corn-fields and meadows

Are pearled with the dew,
With the first sunny shadow

Walks little Boy Blue.
Oh the Nymphs and the Graces

Still gleam on his eyes,
And the kind fairy faces

Look down from the skies ;
And a secret revealing

Of life within life,
When feeling meets feeling

In musical strife;
A winding and weaving

In flowers and in trees,
A floating and heaving

In sunlight and breeze; A striving and soaring,

A gladness and grace, Make him kneel half-adoring

The God in the place. Then amid the live shadows

Or lambs at their play, Where the kine scent the meadows

With breath like the May,

To my Waughter.
Dear Fanny! nine long years ago,
While yet the morning sun was low,
And rosy with the eastern glow

The landscape smiled;
Whilst lowed the newly-wakened herds
Sweet as the early song of birds,
I heard those first, delightful words,

* Thou hast a child !”

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