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The New-Born Babe.
NAKED on parents' knees, a new-born child,
Weeping, thou sat'st, when all around thee smiled;
“Mother! to thee this day is given
“Lest from the path they go astray,
" And guide the hands that they may know No other will than His below.
“And train the heart so pure, so mild,
INTO our home one blessed day
A wee sweet babe had found its way,
“Who came into a world of sin
The mother bowed her head in thought,
Then from her lips arose this prayer:
“To do thy will, and yield to thee
- Marian Longfellow.
Warped by colic, and wet by tears,
And he'll never know
Where the summers go;
By which the manikin feels his way
Into the light of day?
What does he think of his mother's eyes ? What does he think of his mother's hair?
What of the cradle-roof that flies Forward and backward through the air ?
What does he think of his mother's breast, Bare and beautiful, smooth and white, Seeking it ever with fresh delight,
Cup of his life, and couch of his rest?
Though she murmur the words
Of all the birds,
Now he thinks he'll go to sleep!
- Josiah Gilbert Holland.
Will they go stumbling blindly in the darkness
Of sorrow's tearful shades?
Whose sunlight never fades?
The common world above?
Walk side by side with Love?
Some feet there be which walk life's track unwounded,
Which find but pleasant ways:
A round of happy days.
Dimpled, and soft, and pink as peach-trec blossoms,
In April's fragrant days,
Edging the world's rough ways ?
Must bear a mother's load;
And walks the harder road.
All dainty, smooth, and fair,–
The roses blossom there.
Away from sight of men,
Who shall direct them then ?
But these are few. Far more there are who wander
Without a hope or friend,
And long to reach the end.
How shall it be with her, the tender stranger,
Fair-faced and gentle-eyed, Before whose unstained feet the world's rude highway
Stretches so fair and wide ?
How will they be allured, betrayed, deluded
Poor little untaught feet!
What dangers will they meet?
Ah! who may read the future? For our darling
We crave all blessings sweet,
To My Infant Son.
Thou imp of mirth and joy!
Thou idol of thy parents;—(Drat the boy! There goes my ink.)
TH10 happy. happy elt!
(But stop, first let me kiss away that tear) Thou tiny image of myself! (My love, he's poking peas into his ear!) Thou merry, laughing sprite, With spirits feather light, Untouched by sorrow, and unsoiled by sin ; (My dear, the child is swallowing a pin!) Thou little tricksy Puck! With antic toys so funnily bestuck, Light as the singing bird that wings the air,(The door! the door! he'll tumble down the stair!) Thou darling of thy sire! (Why, Jane, he'll set his pinafore afire!)
Thou cherub, but of earth;
In harmless sport and mirth,
Thou human humming-bee, extracting honey From every blossom in the world that blows,
Singing in youth's Elysium ever sunny, — (Another tumble! That's his precious nose!) Thy father's pride and hope ! (He'll break the mirror with that skipping-rope!)
With pure heart newly stamped from nature's mint, (Where did he learn that squint?) Thou young domestic dove ! (He'll have that ring off with another shove,) Dear nursling of the hymeneal nest! (Are these torn clothes his best ?)
Little epitome of man ! : (He'll climb upon the table, that's his plan!) Touched with the beauteous tints of dawning life, (He's got a knife !) Thou enviable being ! No storms, no clouds, in thy blue sky foreseeing,
Play on, play on,
Toss the light ball, bestride the stick, -
With fancies buoyant as the thistle-down,
(He's got the scissors, snipping at your gown !) Thou pretty opening rose ! (Go to your mother, child, and wipe your nose !) Balmy and breathing music like the south, (He really brings my heart into my mouth!) Bold as the hawk, yet gentle as the dove ; (I'll tell you what, my love, (I cannot write unless he's sent above.)
“But we'll be good, won't we, moder?"
And from off my lap he slid, Digging deep among the goodies
In his crimson stockings hid, While I turned me to my table,
Where a tempting goblet stood, With a dainty drink brimmed over,
Sent me by a neighbor good.
But the kitten, there before me,
With his white paw, nothing loth Sat, by way of entertainment
Slapping off the shining froth; And in not the gentlest humor
At the loss of such a treat, I confess, I rather rudely,
Thrust him out into the street.
Then, as by some sudden impulse,
Quickly ran he to the fire,
Watched the flames go high and higher, In a brave, clear key, he shouted,
Like some lordly little elf,
Make my moder ’have herself." “I will be a good girl, Benny,”
Said I, feeling the reproof :
Mewing on the gallery roof.
Laughter chased away the frown,
Till the dusky night came down.
Harney purred beneath my chair,
Then how Benny's blue eyes kindled!
Gathering up the precious store He had busily been pouring
In his tiny pinafore, With a generous look that shamed me,
And my play-worn boy beside me
Knelt to say his evening prayer. "God bess fader, God bess moder,
God bess sister,"—then a pause, And the sweet young lips devoutly
Murmured, "God bess Santa Kaus.” He is sleeping; brown and silken
Lie the lashes, long and meek,
Like caressing, clinging shadows
On his plump and peachy cheek; And I bend above him, weeping
Thankful tears, O Undefiled! For a woman's crown of glory, For the blessing of a child.
- Annie C. Ketchum.
A Thought Over a Cradle.
SADDEN when thou smilest to my smile,
Child of my love! I tremble to believe That o'er the mirror of that eye of blue The shadow of my heart will always pass;A heart that, from its struggle with the world, Comes nightly to thy guarded cradle home, And, careless of the staining dust it brings, Asks for its idol! Strange, that flowers of earth Are visited by every air that stirs, And drink in sweetness only, while the child That shuts within its breast a bloom for heaven May take a blemish from the breath of love, And bear the blight forever.
I have wept With gladness at the gift of this fair child! My life is bound up in her. But, oh God! Thou know'st how heavily my heart at times Bears its sweet burden; and if thou hast given To nurture such as mine this spotless flower, To bring it unpolluted unto Thee, Take Thou its love, I pray Thee! Give it lightThough, following the sun, it turn from me!But by the chord thus wrung and by the light Shining about her, draw me to my childi And link us close, oh God, when near to heaven !
-N. P. Willis.
The Bald-Headed Tyrant.
No thought of trouble, no hint of care;
And Peace had folded her pinions there.
And no one ventured to ask him why;
Our hearts stood still when we heard him cry; For never a soul could his power withstand, That bald-headed tyrant from No-man’s-land. He ordered us here, and he sent us there
Though never a word could his small lips speak – With his toothless gums and his vacant stare,
And his helpless limbs so frail and weak, Till I cried, in a voice of stern command, “Go up, thou bald-head from No man's-land.”
But his abject slaves they turned on me;
Like the bears in Scripture, they'd rend me there. The while they worshiped with bended knee
The ruthless wretch with the missing hair, For he rules them all with relentless hand, This bald-headed tyrant from No-man's land. Then I searched for help in every clime,
For Peace had Aed from my dwelling now, Till I finally thought of old Father Time,
And low before him I made my bow. “ Wilt thou deliver me out of his hand, This bald-headed tyrant from No-man's-land ?” Old Time he looked with a puzzled stare,
And a smile came over his features grim. I'll take the tyrant under my care:
Watch what my hour-glass does to him. The veriest humbug that ever was planned, Is this same bald-head from No-man's-land.