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OH! Ladybird, Ladybird, why dost thou roam
So far from thy children, so distant from home?
Why dost thou, who canst revel all day in the air,
Who the sweets of the grove and the garden canst
In the fold of a leaf who canst form thee a bower,
And a palace enjoy in the tube of a flower,
Ah! why, simple Ladybird, why dost thou venture
The dwellings of man, so familiar to enter?
Too soon you will find that your trust is misplaced,
When by some cruel child you are wantonly chased;
And your bright scarlet coat, so bespotted with
May be torn by his barbarous hands from your back.
Ah! then you'll regret you were tempted to rove
From the tall climbing hop, or the hazel's thick grove,
And will fondly remember each arbour and tree,
Where lately you wander'd contented and free;
Then fly, simple Ladybird! fly away home,
No more from your nest and your children to roam.
THE BUTTERFLY'S BALL.
COME, take up your hats, and away let us haste
To the Butterfly's ball and the Grasshopper's feast;
The trumpeter Gadfly has summon'd the crew,
And the revels are now only waiting for you.
On the smooth shaven grass, by the side of the wood,
Beneath a broad oak that for ages has stood,
See the children of earth, and the tenants of air,
For an evening's amusement together repair.
And there came the Beetle, so blind and so black,
Who carried the Emmet, his friend, on his back;
And there was the Gnat, and the Dragon-fly too,
With all their relations, green, orange, and blue.
And there came the Moth in his plumage of down,
And the Hornet in jacket of yellow and brown,
Who with him the Wasp his companion did bring,
But they promised that evening to lay by their sting.
And the sly little Dormouse crept out of his hole,
And led to the feast his blind brother the Mole;
And the Snail, with his horns peeping out from his shell,
Came from a great distance,—the length of an ell.
A mushroom their table, and on it was laid
A water-dock leaf, which a table-cloth made;
The viands were various, to each of their taste,
And the Bee brought his honey to crown the repast.
There, close on his haunches, so solemn and wise,
The Frog from a corner look'd up to the skies;
And the Squirrel, well pleased such diversion to see,
Sat cracking his nuts over-head in a tree.
Then out came the Spider, with fingers so fine,
To show his dexterity on the tight line;
From one branch to another his cobwebs he slung,
Then as quick as an arrow he darted along.
But just in the middle, oh! shocking to tell!
From his rope in an instant poor Harlequin fell;
Yet he touch'd not the ground, but with talons outspread,
Hung suspended in air at the end of a thread.
Then the Grasshopper came with a jerk and a spring, Very long was his leg, though but short was his wing; He took but three leaps, and was soon out of sight, Then chirp'd his own praises the rest of the night.
With step so majestic, the Snail did advance,
And promised the gazers a minuet to dance;
But they all laugh'd so loud that he pull'd in his head,
And went in his own little chamber to bed.
Then as evening gave way to the shadows of night,
The watchman, the Glow-worm, came out with his light;
Then home let us hasten while yet we can see,
For no watchman is waiting for you and for me.
THE BLIND BOY.
"DEAR Mary," said the poor blind boy,
"That little bird sings very long;
Say, do you see him in his joy,
And is he pretty as his song?"
"Yes, Edward, yes," replied the maid,
"I see the bird on yonder tree;
The poor boy sigh'd and gently said,
"Sister, I wish that I could see.
"The flowers, you say, are very fair, And bright green leaves are on the trees,
And pretty birds are singing there—
How beautiful for one who sees!
"Yet, I the fragrant flowers can smell,
And I can feel the green leaf's shade, And I can hear the notes that swell
From those dear birds that God has made.
"So, sister, God to me is kind,
Though sight to me He has not given ;
But tell me, are there any blind
Among the children up in heaven?"—
Ere long, disease its hand had laid
On that dear boy, so meek and mild: His widow'd mother wept, and pray'd That God would spare her sightless child.