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WHOSE imp art thou, with dimpled cheek,

And curly pate, and merry eye,
And arm and shoulders round and sleek,

And soft and fair, thou urchin sly?

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What boots it who with sweet caresses,

First called thee his, or squire or hind? For thou in every wight that passes,

Dost now a friendly playmate find.

Thy downcast glances, grave, but cunning,

As fringed eyelids rise and fall;
Thy shyness, swiftly from me running,

'Tis infantine coquetry all!



But far a-field thou hast not flown,

With mocks and threats, half lisped, half spoken; I feel thee pulling at my gown

Of right good will, thy simple token.

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And thou must laugh and wrestle too

A mimic warfare with me waging ! To make, as wily lovers do,

Thy after kindness more engaging !

The wilding rose-sweet as thyself

And new-cropp'd daisies are thy treasure ; I'd gladly part with worldly pelf

To taste again thy youthful pleasure.

But yet, for all thy merry look,

Thy frisks and wiles, the time is coming, When thou shalt sit in cheerless nook,

The weary spell, or horn-book thumbing.

Well, let it be! Through weal and wo,

Thou know'st not now thy future range ; Life is a motley, shifting show,

And thou a thing of hope and change.


ABASHED be all the boast of age !

Be hoary learning dumb !
Expounder of the mystic page,

Behold an infant come!

Oh Wisdom, whose unfading power

Beside th' Eternal stood,
To frame, in Nature's earliest hour,

The land, the sky, the flood;

Yet didst not Thou disdain awhile

An infant form to wear ;
To bless Thy mother with a smile,

And lisp Thy faltered prayer.

But in Thy Father's own abode,

With Israel's elders round,
Conversing high with Israel's God,

Thy chiefest joy was found.

So may our youth adore Thy name !

And, Saviour, deign to bless
With fostering grace the timid flame

Of early holiness!


Tired of play! Tired of play! What hast thou done this livelong day? The birds are silent, and so is the bee ; The sun is creeping up steeple and tree; The doves have flown to the sheltering eaves, And the nests are dark with the drooping leaves; Twilight gathers, and day is doneHow hast thou spent it—restless one ?



Playing? But what hast thou done beside
To tell thy mother at eventide ?
What promise of morn is left unbroken?
What kind word to thy playmate spoken?
Whom hast thou pitied, and whom forgiven ?
How with thy faults has duty striven ?
What hast thou learned by field and hill,
By greenwood path, and by singing rill ?

There will come an eve to a longer day,
That will find thee tired—but not of play!
And thou wilt lean, as thou leanest now,
With drooping limbs and aching brow,
And wish the shadows would faster creep,
And long to go to thy quiet sleep.
Well were it then if thine aching brow,
Were as free from sin and shame as now !
Well for thee, if thy lip could tell
A tale like this, of a day spent well.
If thine open hand hath relieved distress,
If thy pity hath sprung to wretchedness,
If thou hast forgiven the sore offence,
And humbled thy heart with penitence,
If Nature's voices have spoken to thee,
With her holy meanings, eloquently,
If every creature hath won thy love,
From the creeping worm to the brooding dove,
If never a sad, low spoken word
Hath pled with thy human heart unheard, -
Then, when the night steals on, as now,
It will bring relief to thine aching brow,
And, with joy and peace at the thought of rest,
Thou wilt sink to sleep on thy mother's breast.


The rose was in rich bloom on Sharon's plain,
When a young mother, with her first-born, thence
Went up to Zion; for the boy was vowed
Unto the temple service. By the hand
She led him, and her silent soul, the while,
Oft as the dewy laughter of his eye
Met her sweet serious glance, rejoiced to think
That aught so pure, so beautiful, was hers
To bring before her God. So passed they on.

At last the Fane was reached, The Earth's One Sanctuary-and rapture hushed Her bosom, as before her, through the day, It rose, a mountain of white marble, steeped In light, like floating gold. But when that hour Waned to the farewell moment, when the boy Lifted, through rainbow-gleaming tears, his eye Beseechingly to hers, and half in fear Turned from the white-robed priest, and round her arm Clung ev'n as joy clings—the deep spring-tide Of nature then swelled high, and o'er her child Bending, her soul broke forth, in mingled sounds Of weeping and sad song. Alas !” she cried,

“Alas! my boy, thy gentle grasp is on me; The bright tears quiver in thy pleading eyes,

And now fond thoughts arise,

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