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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 care 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,
Till from sleep we see thee breaking,
And we'd always have thee waking;
Wealth for which we know no measure,
Pleasure high above all pleasure,
Gladness brimming over gladness,
Joy in care, delight in sadness,
Loveliness beyond completeness,
Sweetness distancing all sweetness,
Beauty all that beauty may be,
That's May Bennett —that's my baby.
THE YOUNG MOTHER TO HER FIRST-BORN.
My sweet wee nursling! thou art sweet to me
As sun to flowers, or honey to the bee,
Music in Summer bowers, the freshening stream-
To bright wings dipping from the sultry beam,
Hope to the mourner, to the weary rest,
To the young dreamer, visions of the blest!
What art thou like, nestling in slumbers there,
So meek, so calm, so innocently fair ?
What art thou like? A dormouse, sleek and warm,
A primrose cluster, or a fairy charm ?
Yes! thou 'rt a charm !-a most mysterious spell !
Birds, bees, and flowers, can just as ably tell
Why sunshine, scent, and streams their pleasure be,
As thy young mother, why she dotes on thee
With such unmeasured, fond intensity !
I cannot look on thee, but springing thought
Perfumes the air with blossoms fancy fraught !
I cannot think on thee, but life seems bright
With gushing sunbeams, ever new delight!
Thou darling simpleton ! thy vacant eye
As yet to my long gaze makes no reply;
Breathing and crying are thy only speech,
But, ohl for me, what eloquence hath each !
Sounds of my first-born !-how my heart they thrill,
Like the sweet babblings of a hidden rill;
A well of future blessedness art thou !
My morning star, my crown of gladness now!
CHILDREN DEDICATED TO CHRIST.
Slow glides the Nile : amid the margin flags,
Closed in a bulrush ark, the babe is left,
Left by a mother's hand. His sister waits
Far off ; and pale, 'tween hope and fear, beholds
The royal maid, surrounded by her train,
Approach the river bank, approach the spot
Where sleeps the innocent; she sees them stoop
With meeting plumes; the rushy lid is op'd,
And wakes the infant, smiling in his tears,
As when along a little mountain-lake,
The Summer south-wind breathes, with gentle sigh,
And parts the reeds, unveiling, as they bend,
A water lily floating on the wave.
CHILDREN DEDICATED TO CHRIST.
JESUS, our gentle Shepherd, see
These tender lambs of Zion's fold;
Lo, we would yield them up to Thee;
Gather and guard them as of old :
While through the wilderness they stray
Preserve them in the Narrow Way.