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POEMS OF INFANCY AND YOUTH,
PHILIP, MY KING.
What is the little one thinking about?
Very wonderful things, no doubt ;
Unwritten history !
Unfathomed mystery !
Yet he chuckles, and crows, and nods, and winks,
As if his head were as full of kinks
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,
Our little nephew will lose two years;
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.
Who can tell what a baby thinks ?
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,
Into the light of day?
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,
Specked with the barks of little souls,
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
Forward and backward through the air ?
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 ?
Now he thinks he'll go to sleep!
DINAH MULOCK CRAIK.
I HAVE got a new-born sister ;
CHEEKS as soft as July peaches;
Now I wonder what would please her, --
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
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 ?
How shall it be with her, the tender stranger,
Fair-faced and gentle-eyed,
Two little feet, so small that both may nestle
In one caressing hand,
Of life's mysterious land.
Ah! who may read the future? For our darling
We crave all blessings sweet,
Will guide the baby's feet.
Dimpled, and soft, and pink as peach-tree blos
In April's fragrant days,
Edging the world's rough ways ?
SLEEP, little baby of mine,
These rose-white feet, along the doubtful future,
Must bear a mother's load;
And walks the harder road.
Shut, little sleepy blue eyes ;
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,
Who shall direct them then ?
Sleep, little baby of mine,
How will they be allured, betrayed, deluded,
Poor little untaught feet!
What dangers will they meet ?
0, little darling of mine,