[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small]






"Who bears upon his baby brow the round
And top of sovereignty."

What is the little one thinking about?
Look at me with thy large brown eyes,

Very wonderful things, no doubt ;

Unwritten history !
Philip, my king !

Unfathomed mystery !
For round thee the purple shadow lies

Yet he chuckles, and crows, and nods, and winks,
Of babyhood's royal dignities.

As if his head were as full of kinks
Lay on my neck thy tiny hand
With Love's invisible sceptre laden ;

And curious riddles as any sphinx !

Warped by colic, and wet by tears, I am thine Esther, to command

Punctured by pins, and tortured by fears,
Till thou shalt find thy queen-handmaiden,

Our little nephew will lose two years;
Philip, my king!

And he'll never know

Where the summers go; 0, the day when thou goest a-wooing,

He need not laugh, for he'll find it so.
Philip, my king !
When those beautiful lips 'gin suing,

Who can tell what a baby thinks ?
And, some gentle heart's bars undoing,

Who can follow the gossamer links Thou dost enter, love-crowned, and there

By which the manikin feels his way Sittest love-glorified ! Rule kindly,

Out from the shore of the great unknown, Tenderly over thy kingdom fair ;

Blind, and wailing, and alone,
For we that love, ah! we love so blindly,

Into the light of day?
Philip, my king!

Out from the shore of the unknown sea,

Tossing in pitiful agony;

from thy sweet mouth up to thy brow, Of the unknown sea that reels and rolls,
Philip, my king!

Specked with the barks of little souls,
The spirit that there lies sleeping now

Barks that were launched on the other side, May rise like a giant, and make men bow

And slipped from heaven on an ebbing tide ! As to one Heaven-chosen amongst his peers. What does he think of his mother's eyes ?

My Saul, than thy brethren higher and fairer, What does he think of his mother's hair ? Let me behold thee in future years !

What of the cradle-roof, that flies
Yet thy head needeth a circlet rarer,

Forward and backward through the air ?
Philip, my king;

What does he think of his mother's breast,

Bare and beautiful, smooth and white, A wreath, not of gold, but palm. One day, Seeking it ever with fresh delight, Philip, my king!

Cup of his life, and couch of his rest? Thou too must tread, as we trod, a way

What does he think when her quick embrace Thorny, and cruel, and cold, and gray ;

Presses his hand and buries his face Rebels within thee and foes without

Deep where the heart-throbs sink and swell, Will snatch at thy crown. But march on, With a tenderness she can never tell, glorious,

Though she murmur the words Martyr, yet monarch! till angels shout,

Of all the birds, As thou sitt'st at the feet of God victorious,

Words she has learned to murmur well ?
“Philip, the king!”

Now he thinks he'll go to sleep!
I can see the shadow creep


[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

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.


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

Now I wonder what would please her, --
Charlotte, Julia, or Louisa ?
Aun and Mary, they're too common;
Joan's too formal for a woman ;
Jane 's a prettier name beside ;
But we had a Jane that died.
They would say, if ’t was 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 naine that I should give her
Should disgrace her or defame her ;
I will leave papa to name ber.



WHERE did you come from, baby dear ? Out of the everywhere into here.

Where did you get your eyes so blue ? Out of the sky as I came through.

Where did you get that little tear ? I found it waiting when I got here.


What makes your forehead so smooth and high ? | Will they go stumbling blindly in the darkness
A soft hand stroked it as I went by.

Of Sorrow's tearful shades?

Or find the upland slopes of Peace and Beauty, What makes your cheek like a warm white rose ?

Whose sunlight never fades? I saw something better than any one knows.

Will they go toiling up Ambition's summit, Whence that three-cornered smile of bliss ?

The common world above ? Three angels gave me at once a kiss.

Or in some nameless vale, securely sheltered,

Walk side by side with Love? Where did you get this pearly ear?

Sone feet there be which walk Life's track God spoke, and it came out to hear.


Which find but pleasant ways : Where did you get those arms and hands ?

Some hearts there be to which this life is only Love made itself into hooks and bands.

A round of happy days. Feet, whence did you come, you darling things ?

But these are few. Far more there are who From the same box as the cherubs' wings.


Without a hope or friend, How did they all come to be you?

Who find their journey full of pains and losses, God thought about me, and so I grew.

And long to reach the end.

But how did you come to us, you dear ?
God thought about you, and so I am here.


How shall it be with her, the tender stranger,

Fair-faced and gentle-eyed,
Before whose unstained feet the world's rude

Stretches so fair and wide ?


Two little feet, so small that both may nestle

In one caressing hand,
Two tender feet upon the untried border

Of life's mysterious land.

Ah! who may read the future? For our darling

We crave all blessings sweet,
And pray that He who feeds the crying ravens

Will guide the baby's feet.



Dimpled, and soft, and pink as peach-tree blos


In April's fragrant days,
How can they walk among the briery tangles,

Edging the world's rough ways ?

SLEEP, little baby of mine,
Night and the darkness are near,
But Jesus looks down
Through the shadows that frown,
And baby has nothing to fear.

These rose-white feet, along the doubtful future,

Must bear a mother's load;
Alas! since Woman has the heaviest burden,

And walks the harder road.

Shut, little sleepy blue eyes ;
Dear little head, be at rest;
Jesus, like you,
Was a baby once, too,
And slept on his own mother's breast.

Love, for a while, will make the path before them

All dainty, smooth, and fair, Will cull away the brambles, letting only

The roses blossom there.

But when the mother's watchful eyes are shrouded

Away from sight of men,
And these dear feet are left without her guiding,

Who shall direct them then ?

Sleep, little baby of mine,
Soft on your pillow so white;
Jesus is here
To watch over you, dear,
And nothing can harm you to-night.

How will they be allured, betrayed, deluded,

Poor little untaught feet!
Into what dreary mazes will they wander,

What dangers will they meet ?

0, little darling of mine,
What can you know of the bliss,
The comfort I keep,
Awake and asleep,
Because I am certain of this?


[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
« VorigeDoorgaan »