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Thou art to me but as a wave
Only, free from flutterings
Of loud mirth that scorneth measure,
Taking love for her chief pleasure. Choosing pleasures, for the rest,
Which come softly, – just as she,
When she nestles at your knee. Quiet talk she liketh best,
In a bower of gentle looks,
Watering flowers, or reading books. And her voice, it murmurs lowly,
As a silver stream may run,
Now thanks to Heaven ! that of its grace
And her smile, it seems half holy,
As if drawn from houghts more far
And if any poet knew her,
He would sing of her with falls
Used in lovely madrigals.
He would paint her unaware
A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall, By three doors left unguarded,
They enter my castle wall.
They climb up into my turret,
O'er the arms and back of my chair ; If I try to escape, they surround me :
They seem to be everywhere.
They almost devour me with kisses,
Their arms about me intwine, Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine.
Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall, Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all ?
I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart, But put you into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.
A DISTRICT school, not far away, Mid Berkshire hills, one winter's day, Was humming with its wonted noise Of threescore mingled girls and boys ; Some few upon their tasks intent, But more on furtive mischief bent. The while the master's downward look Was fastened on copy-book ; When suddenly, behind his back, Rose sharp and clear a rousing smack ! As 't were a battery of bliss Let off in one tremendous kiss! “What's that?” the startled master cries; “That, thir,” a little imp replies, “Wath William Willith, if you pleathe, I thaw him kith Thuthanna Peathe!" With frown to make a statue thrill, The master thundered, “Hither, Will !" Like wretch o'ertaken in his track, With stolen chattels on his back, Will hung his head in fear and shame, And to the awful presence came, – A great, green, bashful simpleton, The butt of all good-natured fun. With smile suppressed, and birch upraised, The threatener faltered, - “I'm amazed That you, my biggest pupil, should Be guilty of an act so rude ! Before the whole set school to boot What evil genius put you to 't ?” “ 'Twas she herself, sir," sobbed the lad, “I did not mean to be so bad ; But when Susannah shook her curls, And whispered, I was 'fraid of girls, And dursn't kiss a baby's doll, I could n't stand it, sir, at all, But up and kissed her on the spot ! I know — boo-hoo — I ought to not, But, somehow, from her looks — boo-hooI thought she kind o' wished me to !”
J. W. PALMER.
For, eschewing books and tasks, Nature answers all he asks ; Hand in hand with her he walks, Face to face with her he talks, Part and parcel of her joy, Blessings on the barefoot boy!
Old Master Brown brought his ferule down,
And his face looked angry and red.
Along with the girls,” he said.
With his head down on his breast,
That he loved, of all, the best.
But the rogue only made believe ; For he peeped at the girls with the beautiful curls,
And ogled them over his sleeve.
THE BAREFOOT BOY.
O for boyhood's time of June, Crowding years in one brief moon, When all things I heard or saw, Me, their master, waited for. I was rich in flowers and trees, Humming-birds and honey-bees; For my sport the squirrel played, Plied the snouted mole his spade ; For my taste the blackberry cone Purpled over hedge and stone ; Laughed the brook for my delight Through the day and through the night, Whispering at the garden wall, Talked with me from fall to fall; Mine the sand-rimmed pickerel pond, Mine the walnut slopes beyond, Mine, on bending orchard trees, Apples of Hesperides ! Still as my horizon grew, Larger grew my riches too ; All the world I saw or knew Seemed a complex Chinese toy, Fashioned for a barefoot boy !
Blessings on thee, little man,
O for boyhood's painless play,
O for festal dainties spread,
Cheerily, then, my little man,
The greenest grasses Nature laid
To sanctify her right.
Up and down in ceaseless moil :
JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER.
Adventurous joy it was for me!
Beneath a poplar-tree.
Nor he nor I did e'er incline
Lead lives as glad as mine?
There are gains for all our losses,
There are balms for all our pain,
And it never comes again.
Under manhood's sterner reign ;
Ard will never come again.
And we sigh for it in vain ;
But it never comes again.
Another thrush may there rehearse
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.
RICHARD HENRY STODDARD.
THE DESERTED GARDEN.
THE OLD OAKEN BUCKET.
I mind me in the days departed,
To a garden long deserted.
How dear to this heart are the scenes of my child
hood, When fond recollection presents them to view ! The orchard, the meadow, the deep-tangled wild
wood, Andevery loved spot which my infancy knew;The wide-spreading pond, and the mill which stood
The beds and walks were vanished quite;
The bridge, and the rock where the cataract fell; And I almost worshipped her when she smiled, The cot of my father, the dairy-house nigh it, And turned from her Bible to bless her child.
Ande'en the rude bucket which hung in the well. Years rolled on, but the last one sped, The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket, My idol was shattered, my earth-star fled ! The moss-covered bucket which hung in the well. I learnt how much the heart can bear,
When I saw her die in her old arm-chair. That moss-covered vessel I hail as a treasure ;
For often, at noon, when returned from the field, 'Tis past, 't is past ! but I gaze on it now, I found it the source of an exquisite pleasure, With quivering breath and throbbing brow :
The purest and sweetest that nature can yield. 'T was there she nursed me, 't was there she died, How ardent I seized it, with hands that were glow- And memory flows with lava tide. ing!
Say it is folly, and deem me weak,
And dripping with coolness, it rose from the well; My soul from a mother's old arm-chair.
WOODMAN, SPARE THAT TREE.
How sweet from the green mossy brim to receive it,
As, poised on the curb, it inclined to my lips ! Not a full blushing goblet could tempt me to leave
it, Though filled with the nectar that Jupiter sips. And now, far removed from the loved situation,
The tear of regret will intrusively swell, As fancy reverts to my father's plantation,
And sighs for the bucket which hangs in the well; The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket, The moss-covered bucket which hangs in the well.
THE OLD ARM-CHAIR.
WOODMAN, spare that tree!
Touch not a single bough!
And I'll protect it now.
That placed it near his cot;
Thy axe shall harm it not !
Whose glory and renown
And wouldst thou hew it down?
Cut not its earth-bound ties;
that aged oak,
I sought its grateful shade;
Here too my sisters played.
My father pressed my hand
But let that old oak stand !
I love it, I love it! and who shall dare
In childhood's hour I lingered near
My heart-strings round thee cling,
Close as thy bark, old friend !
And still thy branches bend,
And, woodman, leave the spot ;
Thy axe shall hurt it not.
I sat, and watched her many a day,
GEORGE P. MORRIS