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WHERE once we dwelt our name is heard no more.
Children not thine have trod my nursery floor.
And where the gardener Robin, day by day,
Drew me to school along the public way,
Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapped
In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet-capped,
'Tis now become a history little known,
That once we called the pastoral house our own.
Short-lived possession ! but the record fair,
That memory keeps of all thy kindness there,
Still outlives many a storm, that has effaced
A thousand other themes less deeply traced.
Thy nightly visits to my chamber made,
That thou might'st know me safe and warmly laid,
Thy morning bounties ere I left my home,
The biscuit, or confectionary plum ;
The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestowed
By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and glowed :
All this, and more endearing still than all,
Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall,
Ne’er roughened by those cataracts and breaks,
That humour interposed too often makes ;
All this still legible in memory's page,
And still to be so to my latest age,
Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay
Such honours to thee as my numbers may ;
Perhaps a frail memorial, but sincere,
Not scorned in heaven, though little noticed here.
Could Time, his flight reversed, restore the hours,
When, playing with thy vesture's tissued flowers,
The violet, the pink, and jessamine,
I pricked them into paper with a pin
(And thou wast happier than myself the while,
Wouldst softly speak, and stroke my head, and smile).
Could those few pleasant days again appear,
Might one wish bring them, would I wish them here?
I would not trust my heart—the dear delight
Seems so to be desired, perhaps I might.-
But no—what here we call our life is such,
So little to be loved, and thou so much,
That I should ill requite thee to constrain
Thy unbound spirit into bonds again.
H! say not, dream not, heavenly notes
To childish ears are vain,
That the young mind at random floats,
And cannot reach the strain.
Dim or unheard the words may fall,
And yet the heaven-taught mind
May learn the sacred air, and all
The harmony unwind.
Was not our Lord a little child,
Taught by degrees to pray, By father dear and mother mild
Instructed day by day ?
And loved He not of Heaven to talk
With children in His sight,
To meet them in His daily walk,
And to His arms invite ?
What though around His throne of fire
The everlasting chant
Be wafted from the seraph choir
In glory jubilant ?
Yet stoops He, ever pleased to mark
Our rude essays of love,
Faint as the pipe of wakening lark,
Heard by some twilight grove :
Yet is He near us, to survey
These bright and ordered files,
Like spring-flowers in their best array,
All silence and all smiles.
Save that each little voice in turn
Some glorious truth proclaims,
What sages would have died to learn,
Now taught by cottage dames.
And if some tones be false or low,
What are all prayers beneath
But cries of babes, that cannot know
Half the deep thought they breathe ?
In His own words we Christ adore,
But angels, as we speak,
Higher above our meaning soar
Than we o'er children weak :
And yet His words mean more than they,
And yet He owns their praise :
Why should we think He turns away
From infants' simple lays ?
It is a beauteous evening, calm and free;
The holy time is quiet as a nun
Breathless with adoration ; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquillity;
The gentleness of heaven is on the sea :
Listen ! the mighty being is awake,
And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder-everlastingly.
Dear child ! dear girl! that walkest with me here,
If thou appear'st untouched by solemn thought,
Thy nature is not therefore less divine :
Thou liest “in Abraham's bosom ” all the year ;
And worship'st at the temple's inner shrine,
God being with thee when we know it not.
“She is not dead, but sleepeth.”—Luke viii. 52.
THE baby wept;
The mother took it from the nurse's arms,
And soothed its grief, and stilled its vain alarms,
And baby slept.
Again it weeps,
And God doth take it from the mother's arms,
From present pain, and future unknown harms,
And baby sleeps.