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And there she sat in the soft, spring weather,
Prison'd from treading the freshening earth:
Only ten years had the seasons number'd
Since the good watching angel recorded her birth.
Not as the rich grow to care and to pleasure,
She grows but to labour, hard to endure;
But Christ, who lovingly bless'd little children,
Blesses them still, both rich and
INVITATION TO A ROBIN.
LITTLE bird with bosom red,
Welcome to my humble shed!
Daily near my table steal,
While I pick my scanty meal;
Doubt not, little though there be,
But I'll cast a crumb to thee,
Well rewarded if I spy
Pleasure in thy glancing eye,
See thee, when thou'st ate thy fill,
Plume thy breast, and wipe thy bill.
Come, my feather'd friend, again,
Well thou know'st the broken pane,
Ask of me thy daily store,
Ever welcome to my door.
THE BEGGAR MAN.
AROUND the fire, one wintry night,
The farmer's rosy children sat;
The faggot lent its blazing light;
And jokes went round and careless chat.
When, hark! a gentle hand they hear Low tapping at the bolted door; And thus, to gain their willing ear,
A feeble voice was heard t'implore : "Cold blows the blast across the moor; The sleet drives hissing in the wind; Yon toilsome mountain lies before: A dreary treeless waste behind.
My eyes are weak and dim with age; No road, no path, can I descry; And these poor rags ill stand the rage Of such a keen inclement sky.
"So faint I am-these tottering feet No more my feeble frame can bear; My sinking heart forgets to beat,
And drifting snows my tomb prepare.
Open your hospitable door,
And shield me from the biting blast: Cold, cold it blows across the moor,
The weary moor that I have pass'd!"
With hasty step the farmer ran,
And close beside the fire they place The poor half-frozen beggar man,
With shaking limbs and pallid face.
The little children flocking came,
And warm'd his stiff'ning hands in theirs;
And busily the good old dame
A comfortable mess prepares.
Their kindness cheer'd his drooping soul;
And slowly down his wrinkled cheek
The big round tears were seen to roll,
And told the thanks he could not speak.
The children, too, began to sigh,
And all their merry chat was o'er ;
And yet they felt, they knew not why,
More glad than they had done before.
MORNING INVITATION TO A CHILD.
THE house is a prison, the school-room's a cell;
Leave study and books for the upland and dell;
Lay aside the dull poring, quit home and quit care;
Sally forth! Sally forth! Let us breathe the fresh air!
The sky dons its holiday mantle of blue;
The sun sips his morning refreshment of dew;
Shakes joyously laughing his tresses of light,
And here and there turns his eye piercing and bright;
Then jocund mounts up on his glorious car,
With smiles to the morn,-for he means to go far ;
While the clouds, that had newly paid court at his levee,
Spread sail to the breeze, and glide off in a bevy.
Tree, and tree-tufted hedge-row, and sparkling between
Dewy meadows enamell'd in gold and in green,
With king-cups and daisies, that all the year please,
Sprays, petals and leaflets, that nod in the breeze,
With carpets, and garlands, and wreaths, deck the way,
And tempt the blithe spirit still onward to stray,
Itself its own home;-far away! far away!
The butterflies flutter in pairs round the bower;
The humblebee sings in each bell of each flower;
The bee hums of heather and breeze-wooing hill,
And forgets in the sunshine his toil and his skill;
The birds carol gladly!—the lark mounts on high;
The swallows on wing make their tune to the eye,
And as birds of good omen, that summer loves well,
Ever wheeling weave ever some magical spell.
The hunt is abroad :-hark! the horn sounds its note,
And seems to invite us to regions remote.
The horse in the meadow is stirr'd by the sound,
And neighing impatient o'erleaps the low mound;
Then proud in his speed o'er the champaign he bounds,
To the whoop of the huntsmen and tongue of the hounds.
Then stay not within, for on such a blest day,
We e can never quit home, while with Nature we stray far away, far away!