THE YOUTH'S CORONAL
BY HANNAH FLAGG GOULD
Author of "Poems," etc., etc.
Whate'er the good instruction may reveal, The head must take, before the heart can feel. THE MORALIZER.
TO THE YOUTH OF MY COUNTRY.
In preparing the following pages, my aim has been, to produce a book alike entertaining and instructive;—one which, in the reading, should afford an amusement to the mind, pleasant as the spring-blossoms on the tree; and, in its influences on the heart in after life, be like the good fruits that succeed and ripen, to refresh and nourish us, when the vernal season is over and gone, and the voices of the singing-birds are lost in the distance.
Choosing an appropriate title for such a presentation, I have borrowed my idea from the words of the wise king of Israel:—"Hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother; for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head," &c., and other Scripture passages of similar figurative meaning; for, though often given in a sportive way, it is my design that no moral shall be conveyed in the volume, but such as a good and judicious parent would wish a child to imbibe.
Accept, then, my young Friends, this new CORONAL of the little flowers of poesy which I have woven for you. When you shall have examined and scented it, and found no thorn to pierce—no juice or odor to poison you in its whole circle, wear it for the giver's sake; and enjoy it and profit by its healthful influences, for your own.
Gladly would I feel assured that, in some future years,—when I shall have done with earthly flowers, and you will be engaged in the busy scenes and arduous duties of mature life,—the import of these leaves may from time to time arise to your memory, in all its dewy freshness, like the fragrance which the summer-breeze wafts after us, from the lilies and violets we have passed and left far behind us, in our morning rambles. Then, if not to-day, you will be convinced that I was—as now I am,
Your true Friend,
H. F. GOULD.
Newburyport, Mass., August, 1850.
The Sale of the Water-Lily
The Humming-Bird's Anger
The Butterfly's Dream
The Boy and the Cricket
The Stricken Bird
The Young Sportsman
The Pebble and the Acorn
The Grasshopper and the Ant
The Rose-Bud of Autumn
Frost, the Winter-Sprite
The Lost Kite
The Summer-Morning Ramble
The Disobedient Skater Boys
Winter and Spring
The Envious Lobster
The Crocus' Soliloquy
The Bee, Clover, and Thistle
Poor Old Paul
The Sea-Eagle's Fall
The Two Thieves
The Mocking Bird
The Silk-Worm's Will
Kit with the Rose
The Captive Butterfly
The Dissatisfied Angler Boy
The Stove and Grate-Setter
Song of the Bees
Summer is Come
The Old Cotter and his Cow
The Speckled One
The Blind Musician
The Lame Horse
The Mushroom's Soliloquy
The Lost Nestlings
The Bat's Flight by Daylight
David and Goliath
Escape of the Doves
Edward and Charles
The Mountain Minstrel
The Veteran and the Child
The Dying Storm
The Little Traveller
The Sale of the Water-Lily
And these would sometimes come, and cheer The widow with a song, To let her feel a neighbor near, And wing an hour along.
A pond, supplied by hidden springs, With lilies bordered round, Was found among the richest things, That blessed the widow's ground.
She had, besides, a gentle brook, That wound the meadow through, Which from the pond its being took, And had its treasures too.
Her eldest orphan was a son; For, children she had three; She called him, though a little one, Her hope for days to be.
And well he might be reckoned so; If, from the tender shoot, We know the way the branch will grow; Or, by the flower, the fruit.
His tongue was true, his mind was bright; His temper smooth and mild: He was—the parent's chief delight— A good and pleasant child.
He'd gather chips and sticks of wood The winter fire to make; And help his mother dress their food, Or tend the baking cake.
In summer time he'd kindly lead His little sisters out, To pick wild berries on the mead, And fish the brook for trout.
He stirred his thoughts for ways to earn Some little gain; and hence, Contrived the silver pond to turn. In part, to silver pence.
He found the lilies blooming there So spicy sweet to smell, And to the eye so pure and fair, He plucked them up to sell.
He could not to the market go: He had too young a head, The distant city's ways to know; The route he could not tread.
But, when the coming coach-wheels rolled To pass his humble cot, His bunch of lilies to be sold Was ready on the spot.
He'd stand beside the way, and hold His treasures up to show, That looked like yellow stars of gold Just set in leaves of snow.
"O buy my lilies!" he would say; "You'll find them new and sweet: So fresh from out the pond are they, I haven't dried my feet!"
And then he showed the dust that clung Upon his garment's hem, Where late the water-drops had hung, When he had gathered them.
And while the carriage checked its pace, To take the lilies in, His artless orphan tongue and face Some bright return would win.
For many a noble stranger's hand, With open purse, was seen, To cast a coin upon the sand, Or on the sloping green.
And many a smiling lady threw The child a silver piece; And thus, as fast as lilies grew, He saw his wealth increase.
While little more—and little more, Was gathered by their sale, His widowed mother's frugal store Would never wholly fail.
For He, who made, and feeds the bird, Her little children fed. He knew her trust: her cry he heard; And answered it with bread.
And thus, protected by the Power, Who made the lily fair, Her orphans, like the meadow flower, Grew up in beauty there.
Her son, the good and prudent boy, Who wisely thus began, Was long the aged widow's joy; And lived an honored man.
He had a ship, for which he chose "The LILY" as a name, To keep in memory whence he rose, And how his fortune came.'
He had a lily carved, and set, Her emblem, on her stem; And she was called, by all she met, A beauteous ocean gem.
She bore sweet spices, treasures bright; And, on the waters wide, Her sails as lily-leaves were white: Her name was well applied.
Her feeling owner never spurned The presence of the poor; And found that all he gave returned In blessings rich and sure.
The God who by the lily-pond Had drawn his heart above, In after life preserved the bond Of grateful, holy love.
The Humming-Bird's Anger
"Small as the humming-bird is, it has great courage and violent passions. If it find a flower that has been deprived of its honey, it will pluck it off, throw it on the ground, and sometimes tear it to pieces." BUFFON.
On light little wings as the humming-birds fly, With plumes many-hued as the bow of the sky, Suspended in ether, they shine to the light As jewels of nature high-finished and bright.
Their vision-like forms are so buoyant and small They hang o'er the flowers, as too airy to fall, Up-borne by their beautiful pinions, that seem Like glittering vapor, or parts of a dream.
The humming-bird feeds upon honey; and so, Of course, 'tis a sweet little creature, you know. But sweet little creatures have sometimes, they say, A great deal that's bitter, or sour, to betray!
And often the humming-bird's delicate breast Is found of a very high temper possessed. Such essence of anger within it is pent, 'Twould burst did no safety-valve give it a vent.
Displeased, it will seem a bright vial of wrath, Uncorked by its heat, the offender to scath; And, taking occasion to let off its ire, 'Tis startling to witness how high it will fire.
A humming-bird once o'er a trumpet-flower hung, And darted that sharp little member, the tongue, At once to the nectarine cell, for the sweet She felt at the bottom most certain to meet.
But, finding some other light child of the air To rifle its store, had already been there; And no drop of honey for her to draw up, Her vengeance broke forth on the destitute cup.
She flew in a passion, that heightened her power; And cuffing, and shaking the innocent flower, Its tender corolla in shred after shred She hastily stripped; then she snapped off its head.
A delicate ruin, on earth as it lay, That bright little fury went, humming, away, With gossamer softness, and fair to the eye, Like some living brilliant, just dropped from the sky.
And since, when that curious bird I behold Arrayed in rich colors, and dusted with gold, I cannot but think of the wrath and the spite She has in reserve, though they're now out of sight.
Ye two-footed, beautiful, passionate things, If plumy or plumeless—without, or with wings, Beware, lest ye break, in some hazardous hour, Your vials of wrath, hot, or bitter, or sour!
And would ye but know how at times ye do seem Transformed to bright furies, or frights in a dream, Go, stand at the glass—to the painter go sit, When anger is just at the height of its fit!
The Butterfly's Dream
A tulip, just opened, had offered to hold A butterfly gaudy and gay; And rocked in his cradle of crimson and gold, The careless young slumberer lay.
For the butterfly slept;—as such thoughtless ones will, At ease, and reclining on flowers;— If ever they study, 'tis how they may kill The best of their mid-summer hours!
And the butterfly dreamed, as is often the case With indolent lovers of change, Who, keeping the body at ease in its place, Give fancy permission to range.
He dreamed that he saw, what he could but despise, The swarm from a neighboring hive; Which, having come out for their winter supplies, Had made the whole garden alive.
He looked with disgust, as the proud often do, On the diligent movements of those, Who, keeping both present and future in view, Improve every hour as it goes.
As the brisk little alchymists passed to and fro, With anger the butterfly swelled; And called them mechanics—a rabble too low To come near the station he held.
"Away from my presence!" said he, in his sleep, "Ye humble plebeians! nor dare Come here with your colorless winglets to sweep The king of this brilliant parterre!"
He thought, at these words, that together they flew, And, facing about, made a stand; And then, to a terrible army they grew, And fenced him on every hand.
Like hosts of huge giants, his numberless foes Seemed spreading to measureless size: Their wings with a mighty expansion arose, And stretched like a veil o'er the skies.
Their eyes seemed like little volcanoes, for fire,— Their hum, to a cannon-peal grown,— Farina to bullets was rolled in their ire, And, he thought, hurled at him and his throne.
He tried to cry quarter! his voice would not sound, His head ached—his throne reeled and fell; His enemy cheered, as he came to the ground, And cried, "King Papilio, farewell!"
His fall chased the vision—the sleeper awoke, The wonderful dream to expound; The lightning's bright flash from the thunder-cloud broke, And hail-stones were rattling around.
He'd slumbered so long, that now, over his head, The tempest's artillery rolled; The tulip was shattered—the whirl-blast had fled, And borne off its crimson and gold.
'Tis said, for the fall and the pelting, combined With suppressed ebullitions of pride. This vain son of summer no balsam could find, But he crept under covert and died!
The Boy and the Cricket
At length I have thee! my brisk new-comer, Sounding thy lay to departing summer; And I'll take thee up from thy bed of grass, And carry thee home to a house of glass; Where thy slender limbs, and the faded green Of thy close-made coat, can all be seen. For I long to know if the cricket sings, Or plays the tune with his gauzy wings;— To bring that shrill-toned pipe to light Which kept me awake so long last night, That I told the hours by the lazy clock, Till I heard the crow of the noisy cock; When, tossing and turning, at length I fell In a sleep so strange, that the dream I'll tell.
Methought, on a flowery bank I lay, By a beautiful stream; and watched the play Of the sparkling wavelets, that fled so fast, I could not number them as they passed. But I marked the things which they carried by; And a neat little skiff first caught my eye. 'Twas woven of reeds, and its sides were bound By a tender vine, that had clasped it round; And spreading within, had made it seem A basket of leaves, borne down the stream. And the skiff had neither a sail nor oar; But a bright little boy stood up, and bore, On his outstretched hands, a wreath so gay, It looked like a crown for the Queen of May. And while he was going, I heard him sing, "O seize the garland of passing Spring!" But I dared not reach, for the bank was steep; And he bore it away, to the far off deep!
There came, then, a lady;—her eye was bright— She was young and fair, and her bark was light; Its mast was a living tree, that spread Its boughs for a sail, o'er the lady's head. And some of its fruits had just begun To flush, on the side that was next the sun; And some with the crimson streak were stained; While others their size had not yet gained. In passing she cried, "Oh! who can insure The fruits of Summer to get mature? For, fast as the waters beneath me flowing, Beyond recall, I'm going! I'm going!"
I turned my eye, and beheld another, That seemed as she might be Summer's mother. She looked more grave; while her cheek was tinged With a deeper brown; and her bark was fringed With the tasselled heads of the wheaten sheaves Along its sides; and the yellow leaves, That had covered the deck concealed a throng Of Crickets!—I knew by their choral song. And at Autumn's feet lay the golden corn, While her hands were raised, to invert a horn That was filled with a sweet and mellow store, And the purple clusters were hanging o'er. She bade me seize on the fruit that should last When the harvest was gone, and Autumn had past. But, when I had paused to make the choice, I saw no bark! and I heard no voice!
Then I looked on a sight that chilled my blood! 'Twas a mass of ice, where an old man stood On his frozen float; while his shrivelled hand Had clenched, as a staff by which to stand, A whitened branch that the blast had broke From the lifeless trunk of an aged oak. The icicles hung from the naked limb, And the old man's eye was sunken and dim. But his scattering locks were silver bright, His beard with gathering frost was white; The tears congealed on his furrowed cheek, His garb was thin, and the winds were bleak. He faintly uttered, while drawing near, "Winter, the death of the short-lived year, Can yield thee nought, as I downward tend To the boundless sea, where the Seasons end! But I trust from others, who've gone before, Thou'st clothed thy form, and supplied thy store And now, what tidings am I to bear Of thee—for I shall be questioned there?"
I asked my mother, who o'er me bent, What all this show of the Seasons meant? She said 'twas a picture of Life, I saw; And the useful moral myself must draw!
I woke, and found that thy song was stilled, And the sun's bright beams my room had filled! But I think, my Cricket, I long shall keep In mind the dream of my morning sleep!
Lucy, Lucy, come away! Never climb for things so high. Don't you know, the other day, What fell out with Fanny Spy?
Fanny spied, a loaf of cake, Wisely set above her reach; Yet did Fanny think to make In its tempting side a breach.
When she thought the family Out of sight and hearing too, Forth a polished table she Quickly to the closet drew.
First, she stepped upon a chair; Then the table—then a shelf; Thinking she securely there Might, unnoticed, help herself.
Then she seized a heavy slice, Leaving in the loaf a cleft Wider than a dozen mice, Feasted there all night, had left.
Stepping backward, Fanny slid On the table's polished face:— Down she came, with dish and lid, Silver—glass—and china vase!
In, from every room they rushed, Father—mother—servants—all, Thinking all the closet crushed, By the racket and the fall.
'Mid the uproar of the house, Fanny, in her shame and fright, Wished herself indeed a mouse, But to run and hide from sight.
Yet was she to learn how vain, Poor and worthless, is a wish. Wishing could not lull her pain, Hide her shame, nor mend a dish.
There she lay, but could not speak; For a tooth had made a pass Through her lip; and to her cheek Clung a piece of shivered glass.
From her altered features gushed Rolling tears, and streaming gore; While, untasted still, and crushed, Lay her cake upon the floor.
Then the doctor hurried in: Fanny at his needle swooned, As he held her crimson chin, And together stitched the wound.
Now her face a scar must wear, Ever till her dying day! Questioned how it happened there, What can blushing Fanny say?
Sudden Elevation; or The Empaled Butterfly
"Ho!" said the Butterfly, "here am I, Up in the air, who used to lie Flat on the ground, for the passers by To treat with utter neglect! But none will suspect that I am the same; With a bright, new coat, and a different name; The piece of nothingness whence I came In me they'll never detect.
"That horrible night in the chrysalis, Which brought me at length to a day like this, In a form of beauty—a state of bliss, Was little enough to give For freedom to range from bower to bower, To flirt with the buds, and flatter the flower, And bask in the sunbeams hour by hour, The envy of all that live.
"Why, this is a world of curious things, Where those who crawl, and those that have wings, Are ranked in the classes of beggars, and kings, No matter how much the worth May be on the side of those who creep, Where the vain, the light, and the bold will sweep, Others from notice, and proudly keep Uppermost on the earth!
"Many a one that has loathed the sight Of the piteous worm, will take delight In welcoming me, as I look so bright In my new and beautiful dress. But some I shall pass with a scornful glance, Some, with an elegant nonchalance; And others will woo me, till I advance To give them a slight caress."
"Ha, ha!" said the Pin, "you are just the one Through which I'm commissioned, at once, to run From back to breast, till, your fluttering done, Your form may be fairly shown. And when my point shall have reached your heart, 'T will be as a balm to the wounded part, To think how you're to be copied by art, And your beauty will all be known!"
The Stricken Bird
Here's the last food your poor mother can bring! Take it, my suffering brood. Oh! they have stricken me under the wing; See, it is dripping with blood!
Fair was the morn, and I wished them to rise, Enjoying its beauties with me. The air was all fragrance—all splendor the skies, While bright shone the earth and the sea.
Little I thought, when so freely I went, Employing my earliest breath, To wake them with song, it could be their intent To pay me with arrows and death!
Fear that my nestlings would feel them forgot, Helped me a moment to fly; Else I had given up life on the spot, Under my murderer's eye.
Yet, I can never brood o'er you again, Closing you under my breast! Its coldness would chill you; my blood would but stain And spoil the warm down of your nest.
Ere the night-coming, your mother will lie, All motionless, under the tree; Where, deafened, and silent, I still shall be nigh, While you will be moaning for me!
The Young Sportsman
Harry had a dog and gun; And he loved to set the one, Barking, out upon the run, While he held the other, Often charged so heavily, 'Twas a dangerous thing to be With so young a wight as he Mindless of his mother.
Earnestly she warned her child To forego a sport so wild; While he, turning, frowned or smiled, And away would sidle. For, to give him short and long, Harry had a head so strong, In the right or in the wrong, It was hard to bridle.
On his gunning madly bent, Often in his clothes a rent Told the reckless way he went, Over hedge and brambles. Homeward then would Harry slouch, With his gun and empty pouch, Looking like a scaramouch Coming from his rambles.
Sometimes when he scaled a wall, Headlong there to pitch and fall, Ratling stones, and gun and all. Down together tumbled. Tray would bark to tell the news Of his master with a bruise, Hatless, and with grated shoes, Lying flat and humbled!
Where he saw the bushes stirred, Harry, sure of hare or bird, Drew,—and at a flash was heard Noise like little thunder. When he ran his game to find, Disappointment 'mazed his mind;— Finding he'd but shot the wind, Dumb he stood with wonder!
Over muddy pool or bog, Not so nimble as his dog, When he walked the plank or log, There his balance losing, Splash! he went—a rueful plight! If his face before was white, 'Twas like morning turned to night, Much against his choosing.
Now, like many a hasty one, Whether quadruped or gun, Or a mother's wayward son Given to disaster, Harry's gun was rather quick; And it had a naughty trick,— It would snap itself, and kick Fiercely at its master.
So, this snappish habit grew With a power for him to rue; Just as all bad habits do Grow, as age increases. When, one day, with noise and smoke, Over-charged, the barrel broke, Harry's hand the mischief spoke— It was blown to pieces!
Tray came crouching round, and growled,— Saw the gore, and whined, and howled, While his owner groaned and scowled, And the blood was running. With the horrors of his state, And with anguish desperate, Then poor Harry owned too late, He was sick of gunning!
While his mother bent to mourn As her froward son was borne, With his hand all burnt and torn, Faint and pale, before her, Harry's pain must be endured,— And the wound—it might be cured; But, for fingers uninsured, There was no restorer!
The Pebble and the Acorn
"I am a Pebble! I yield to none!" Were the swelling words of a tiny stone, "Nor time nor season can alter me; I am abiding, while ages flee. The pelting hail and the drizzling rain Have tried to soften me, long, in vain; And the dew has tenderly sought to melt, Or touch my heart; but it was not felt. There's none to tell you about my birth, For I am as old as the big, round earth. The children of men arise, and pass Out of the world, like blades of grass; And many foot that on me has trod Is gone from sight, and under the sod! I am a Pebble! but who art thou, Rattling along from the restless bough?"
The Acorn was shocked at this rude salute, And lay for a moment abashed and mute: She never before had been so near This gravelly ball, the mundane sphere; And she felt for a time at loss to know How to answer a thing so coarse and low. But to give reproof of a nobler sort Than the angry look, or the keen retort, At length she said, in a gentle tone, "Since it has happened that I am thrown, From the lighter element where I grew, Down to another, so hard and new, And beside a personage so august, Abased, I'll cover my head with dust, And quick retire from the sight of one Whom time, nor season, nor storm, nor sun, Nor the gentle dew, nor the grinding heel Has ever subdued, or made to feel!" And soon in the earth she sank away From the cheerless spot where the Pebble lay.
But 'twas not long ere the soil was broke By the jeering head of an infant oak! As it arose, and its branches spread, The Pebble looked up, and, wondering, said, "Ah, modest Acorn! never to tell What was enclosed in its simple shell;— That the pride of the forest was folded up In the narrow space of its little cup!— And meekly to sink in the darksome earth, Which proves that nothing could hide her worth! And O, how many will tread on me, To come and admire the beautiful tree, Whose head is towering towards the sky, Above such a worthless thing as I! Useless and vain, a cumberer here, Have I been idling from year to year. But never, from this, shall a vaunting word From the humbled Pebble again be heard, Till something without me or within Shall show the purpose for which I've been!" The Pebble could ne'er its vow forget, And it lies there wrapt in silence yet.
The Grasshopper and the Ant
"Ant, look at me!" a young grasshopper said, As nimbly he sprang from his green, summer-bed, "See how I'm going to skip over your head, And could o'er a thousand like you! Ant, by your motion alone, I should judge That Nature ordained you a slave and a drudge, For ever and ever to keep on the trudge, And always find something to do.
"Oh! there is nothing like having our day— Taking our pleasure and ease while we may— Bathing ourselves in the bright, mellow ray That comes from the warm, golden sun! Whilst I am up in the light and the air, You, a sad picture of labor and care, Still have some hard, heavy burden to bear, And work that you never get done.
"I have an exercise healthful and good, For tuning the nerves and digesting the food— Graceful gymnastics for stirring the blood Without the gross purpose of use Ant, let me tell you 'tis not a la mode To plod like a pilgrim, and carry a load, Perverting the limbs that for grace were bestowed, By such a plebeian abuse!
"While the whole world with provisions is filled, Who would keep toiling and toiling, to build And lay in a store for himself, till he's killed With work that another might do? Come! drop your budget, and just give a spring; Jump on a grass-blade, and balance and swing; Soon you'll be light as a gnat on the wing, Gay as a grasshopper, too!"
Ant trudged along, while the grasshopper sung, Minding her business and holding her tongue, Until she got home her own people among; But these were her thoughts on the road. "What will become of that poor, idle one When the light sports of the summer are done? And, where is the covert to which he may run To find a safe winter abode?
"Oh! if I only could tell him how sweet Toil makes my rest and the morsel I eat, While hope gives a spur to my little black feet, He'd never pity my lot! He'd never ask me my burden to drop, To join in his folly—to spring, and to hop; And thus make the ant and her labor to stop, When time, I am certain, would not.
"When the cold frost all the herbage has nipped, When the bare branches with ice-drops are tipped, Where will the grasshopper then be, that skipped So careless and lightly to-day? Frozen to death! 'a sad picture,' indeed, Of reckless indulgence and what must succeed, That all his gymnastics can't shelter or feed, Or quicken his pulse into play!
"I must prepare for a winter to come, I shall be glad of a home and a crumb, When my frail form out of doors would be numb, And I in the snow-storm should die. Summer is lovely, but soon will be past. Summer has plenty not always to last. Summer's the time for the ant to make fast Her stores for a future supply!"
The Rose-Bud of Autumn
Come out—pretty Rose-Bud,—my lone, timid one! Come forth from thy green leaves, and peep at the sun! For little he does, in these dull autumn hours, At height'ning of beauty, or laughing with flowers.
His beams, on thy tender young cheek as he plays, Will give it a blush that no other could raise: Thy fine silken petals they'll softly unfold, Thy pure bosom filling with spices and gold!
I would not instruct thee in coveting wealth; Yet beauty, we know, is the offspring of health; And health, the fair daughter of freedom! is bright From drinking the breezes, and feasting on light.
Then, come, little gem, from thy covert look out; And see what the glad, golden sun is about! His shafts, do they strike thee, new charms will impart, Thy form making fairer, and richer, thy heart.
Occasion, sweet Bud, is for thee and for me: This hour it may give what again ne'er shall be. O, let not the sunshine of life pass away, Nor touch both our eye and our heart with its ray!
Frost, the Winter-Sprite
The Frost looked forth on a still, clear night, And whispered, "Now I shall be out of sight; So through the valley, and over the height I'll silently take my way. I will not go on like that blustering train, The wind and the snow, the hail and the rain, That make so much bustle and noise in vain. But I'll be as busy as they!"
He flew up, and powdered the mountain's crest; He lit on the trees, and their boughs he drest With diamonds and pearls;—and over the breast Of the quivering Lake he spread A bright coat of mail that it need not fear The glittering point of many a spear That he hung on its margin, far and near, Where a rock was rearing its head.
He went to the windows of those who slept, And over each pane, like a fairy crept; Wherever he breathed—wherever he stepped— Most beautiful things were seen By morning's first light!—there flowers and trees, With bevies of birds, and swarms of bright bees;— There were cities—temples, and towers; and these, All pictured in silvery sheen!
But one thing he did that was hardly fair— He peeped in the cupboard, and, finding there That none had remembered for him to prepare, "Now, just to set them a-thinking, I'll bite their rich basket of fruit," said he, "This burly old pitcher—I'll burst it in three! And the glass with the water they've left for me Shall 'tchick!' to tell them I'm drinking!"
Miss Vain was all given to dress— Too fond of gay clothing; and so, She'd gad about town Just to show a new gown, As a train-band their color to show.
Her head being empty and light, Whene'er she obtained a new hat, With pride in her air, She'd go round, here and there, For all whom she knew to see that.
Her folly was chiefly in this: More highly she valued fine looks, Than virtue or truth, Or devoting her youth To usefulness, friendship, or books.
Her passion for show was unchecked; And therefore, it happened one day, Arrayed in bright hues, And with new hat and shoes, Miss Vain walked abroad for display.
She took the most populous streets. To cause but aversion in those, Who saw how she prinked, And the bystanders winked. While the boys cried, "Halloo! there she goes!"
It chanced, that, in passing on way, She came near a pool, and a green With fence close and high; And, as Vivy drew nigh, A donkey stood near it unseen.
He put his mouth over its top, The moment she came by his place; And gave a loud bray In her ear, when, away She sprang, shrieked, and fell on her face.
She thought she was swallowed alive, Awhile upon earth lying flat; And the terrible sound Seemed to furrow the ground She embraced in her fine gown and hat.
She gathered herself up, and ran, Yet heeded not whither or whence, To flee from the roar, That continued to pour Behind her, from over the fence.
In passing a slope near the pool, She slipped and rolled down to its brim; The geese gave a shout, And at length hissed her out Of the bounds, where they'd gathered to swim.
In turning a corner, she met Abruptly, the horns of a cow That mooed, while the cur, At her heels, turned from her, And aimed at Miss Vain his "bow-wow."
Then Vivy's bright ribbons and skirt, As she flew, flirted high on the wind; The children at play, Paused to see one so gay, And all in a flutter behind.
A group of glad schoolboys came by: Said they, "So it seems, that to-day, Miss Vain carries marks At which the dog barks, And that make sober Long-Ears to bray."
And when, all bedraggled and pale, Poor Vivy approached her own door, She went, swift and straight As a dart, through the gate, Abhorring the gay gear she wore.
She sat down, and thought of the scene With humiliation and tears: The words, and the noise Of the brutes and the boys Were echoing still in her ears.
She reasoned, and came at the cause, Resolving that cause to remove; And thence, her desire Was for modest attire, And her heart and her mind to improve.
And soon, all who knew her before Remarked on the change and the gain In mind, and in mien, And in dress, that were seen In the once flashy Miss Vivy Vain.
The Lost Kite
"My kite! my kite! I've lost my kite! Oh! when I saw the steady flight, With which she gained her lofty height, How could I know, that letting go That naughty string, would bring so low My pretty, buoyant, darling kite, To pass for ever out of sight?
"A purple cloud was sailing by, With silver fringes, o'er the sky; And then I thought, it seemed so nigh, I'd make my kite go up and light Upon its edge, so soft and bright; To see how noble, high and proud She'd look, while riding on a cloud!
"As near her shining mark she drew I clapped my hands; the line slipped through My silly fingers; and she flew, Away! away! in airy play, Right over where the water lay! She veered and fluttered, swung and gave A plunge, then vanished with the wave!
"I never more shall want to look On that false cloud, or babbling brook; Nor e'er to feel the breeze that took My dearest joy, to thus destroy The pastime of your happy boy. My kite! my kite! how sad to think She flew so high, so soon to sink!"
"Be this," the mother said, and smiled, "A lesson to thee, simple child! And when by fancies vain and wild, As that which cost the kite that's lost, The busy brain again is crossed, Of shining vapor then beware, Nor trust thy joys to fickle air.
"I have a darling treasure, too, That sometimes would, by slipping through My guardian hands, the way pursue, From which, more tight than thou thy kite, I hold my jewel, new and bright, Lest he should stray without a guide, To drown my hopes in sorrow's tide!"
A Summer-Morning Rumble
Oh! the happy Summer hours. With their butterflies and flowers, And the birds among the bowers Sweetly singing;— With the spices from the trees, Vines, and lilies, while the bees Come floating on the breeze, Honey bringing!
All the East was rosy red, When we woke and left our bed; And to gather flowers we sped, Gay and early. Every clover-top was wet, And the spider's silken net With a thousand dew-drops set, Pure and pearly.
With their modest eyes of blue Were the violets peeping through Tufts of grasses, where they grew, Full of beauty, At the lamb in snowy white, O'er the meadow bounding light, And the crow just taking flight, Grave and sooty.
On our floral search intent, Still away, away we went,— Up and down the rugged bent,— Through the wicket,— Where the rock with water drops,— Through the bushes and the copse,— Where the greenwood pathway stops In the thicket.
We heard the fountain gush, And the singing of the thrush; And we saw the squirrel's brush In the hedges, As along his back 't was thrown, Like a glory of his own. While the sun behind it, shone Through its edges.
All the world appeared so fair, And so fresh and free the air,— Oh! it seemed that all the care In creation Belonged to God alone; And that none beneath his throne, Need to murmur or to groan At his station.
Dear little brother Will! He has leaped the hedge and rill,— He has clambered up the hill, Ere the beaming Of the rising sun, to sweep With its golden rays the steep, Till he's tired, and dropped asleep, Sweetly dreaming.
See, he threw aside his cap, And the roses from his lap, When his eyes were, for the nap, Slowly closing: Wit his sunny curls outspread, On its fragrant mossy bed, Now his precious infant head Is reposing.
He is dreaming of his play— How he rose at break of day, And he frolicked all the way On his ramble. And before his fancy's eye, He has still the butterfly Mocking him, where not so high He could scramble.
In his cheek the dimples dip, And a smile is on his lip, While his tender finger-tip Seems as aiming At some wild and lovely thing That is out upon the wing, Which he longs to catch and bring Home for taming.
While he thus at rest is laid In the old oak's quiet shade, Let's cull our flowers to braid, Or unite them In bunches trim and neat, That for every friend we meet, We may have a token sweet To delight them.
'Tis the very crowning art Of a happy, grateful heart To others to impart Of its pleasure. Thus its joys can never cease, For it brings an inward peace, Like an every day increase Of a treasure.
"Honor and shame from no condition rise. Act well your part:—there all the honor lies."
The shoemaker sat amid wax and leather, With lapstone over his knee; Where, snug in his shop, he defied all weather, A-drawing his quarters and sole together: A happy old man was he!
This happy old man was so wise and knowing, The worth of his time he knew. He bristled his ends, and he kept them going; And felt to each moment a stitch was owing, Until he got round the shoe.
Of every deed that his wax was sealing, The closing was firm and fast. The prick of his steel never caused a feeling Of pain to the toe, and his skill in heeling Was perfect, and true to the last!
Whenever you gave him a foot to measure. With gentle and skilful hand, He took its proportions, with looks of pleasure, As if you were giving the costliest treasure, Or dubbing him lord of the land.
And many a one did he save from getting A fever, or cold or cough: For many a sole did he save from wetting, When, whether in water or snow 'twas setting, His shoeing would keep them off
And when he had done with his making and mending, With hope and a peaceful breast, Resigning his awl, as his thread was ending, He slid from his bench, to the grave descending, As high as a king to rest!
It snows! it snows! from out the sky The feathered flakes, how fast they fly, Like little birds, that don't know why They're on the chase, from place to place, While neither can the other trace! It snows, it snows! a merry play Is o'er us, on this sombre day.
As dancers in time's airy hall, That not a moment holds them all, While some keep up, and others fall, The atoms shift; then, thick and swift, They drive along to form the drift, That weaving up, so dazzling white, Is rising like a wall of light.
But now the wind comes, whistling loud, To snatch and waft it, as a cloud, Or giant phantom in a shroud. It spreads,—it curls,—it mounts and whirls; At length a mighty wing unfurls; And then, away!—but where, none knows, Or ever will.—It snows! it snows!
To-morrow will the storm be done; Then out will come the golden sun! And we shall, we shall see, upon the run Before his beams, in sparkling streams, What now a curtain o'er him seems. And thus, with life it ever goes;— 'Tis shade and shine! It snows, it snows!
Whirlwind, Whirlwind, whither art thou hieing, Snapping off the flowers young and fair;— Setting all the chaff and the withered leaves a-flying,— Tossing up the dust in the air?
"I," said the Whirlwind, "cannot stop for talking! Give me up your cap, my little man; And the polished stick, that you will not need for walking. While you run to catch them, if you can!
"You, pretty maiden—none has time to tell her I am coming, ere I shall be there. I will twirl her zephyr—snatch her light umbrella, Seize her hat, and snarl her glossy hair!"
On went the Whirlwind, showing many capers One would hardly deem it meet to tell;— Dusting Judge and Parson—flirting gown and papers,— Discomposing matron, beau and belle.
"Whisk!" from behind came the long and sweeping feather, Round the head of old Chanticleer:— Plumed and plumeless biped felt gust together, In a way they wouldn't like to hear.
Snug in his arbor sat a scholar, musing Calmly o'er the philosophic page: "Flap!" went the leaves of the volume he was using, Cutting short the lecture of the sage.
"Hey!" said the bookworm, "this I think is taking Rather too much liberty with me! Yet I'll not resent it; being bent on making Use of every thing I hear and see.
"Many, I know, will not their anger stifle, When as little cause as this, they find To let it kindle up; but minding every trifle Is profitless as quarrels with the wind.
"Forth to his business when the Whirlwind sallies, He is all alive to get it done;— He on his pathway never lags nor dallies; But is ever up, and on the run.
"Though ever whirling, never growing dizzy; Motion gives him buoyancy and power. All who have known him own that he is busy, Doing much in half a fleeting hour.
"Oh! there is nothing—when our work's before us,— Like despatch; for, while our time is brief, Some sweeping blast may suddenly come o'er us, Lose our place, and turn another leaf!
"Whirlwind, Whirlwind, though you're but a flurry, And so odd the business you pursue;— Though you come on, and are off, in such a hurry, I have caught a hint; and now adieu!"
The Disobedient Skater Boys
Said William to George, "It is New-Year's day! And now for the pond and the merriest play! So, on with your cap; and away, away, We'll off for a frolic and slide, Be quick—be quick, if you would not be chid For doing what father and mother forbid; And under your coat let the skates be hid; Then over the ice we'll glide."
They're up, and they're off; on their run-away feet They fasten the skates, when, away they fleet, Far over the pond, and beyond retreat, Unconscious of danger near. But lo! the ice is beginning to bend— It cracks—it cracks—and their feet descend! To whom can they look as a helper—a friend? Their faces are pale with fear.
In their flight to the pond, they had caught the eye Of a neighboring peasant, who, lingering nigh, Aware of their danger, and hearing their cry, Now hastens to give them aid. As home they are brought, all dripping and cold, To all who their piteous plight behold, The worst of the story is plainly told— Their parents were disobeyed!
Winter and Spring
"Adieu!" Father Winter sadly said To the world, when about withdrawing, With his old white wig half off his head, And his icicle fingers thawing;—
"Adieu! I'm going to the rocks and caves, And must leave all here behind me; Or perhaps I shall sink in the Northern waves, So deep that none can find me."
"Good luck! good luck, to your hoary locks!" Said the gay young Spring, advancing; "You may take your rest 'mid the caves and rocks, While I o'er the earth am dancing.
"But there is not a spot where you have trod. You hard, old clumsy fellow,— Not a hill, nor a field, nor a single sod, But I must make haste to mellow.
"I then shall carpet them o'er with grass, To look so bright and cheering, That none will regret having let you pass Far out of sight and hearing.
"The fountains that you locked up so tight, When I shall give them a sunning, Will sparkle and play in my warmth and light, And the streams set off to running.
"I'll speak in the earth to the palsied root, That under your reign was sleeping; I'll teach it the way in the dark to shoot, And draw out the vine to creeping.
"The boughs that you cased so close in ice, It was chilling e'en to behold them, I'll deck all over with buds so nice; My breath can alone unfold them.
"And when all the trees are with blossoms drest, The bird, with her song so merry, Will come to the branches to build her nest, With a view to the future cherry.
"The earth will show by her loveliness, The wonders that I am doing; While the skies look down with a smile, to bless The way that I'm pursuing!"
Said Winter, "Then I would have you learn, By me, my gay new-comer, To push off too, when it comes your turn, And yield your place to Summer!"
I'll tell you now about Tom Tar, The sailor stout and bold, Who o'er the ocean roamed so far, To countries new and old.
Tom was a man of thousands! he Would ne'er complain nor frown, Though high and low the wind and sea Might toss him up and down.
Amid the waters dark and deep, He had the happy art, When all around was storm, to keep Fair weather in his heart.
Though winds were wild, and waves were rough, He'd always cast about, And find within he'd calm enough To stand the storms without.
"For nought," said Tom, "is ever gained By sighs for what we lack; Nor can it mend a vessel strained, To let our temper crack.
"And sure I am, the worst of storms, That any man should dread, Is that which in the bosom forms, And musters to the head."
Serene, and ever self-possessed, His mess-mates he would cheer, And often put their fears to rest, When dangers gathered near.
If on the rocks the ship was cast, And surges swept the deck, Tom Tar was ever found the last Who would forsake the wreck.
And when his only hat and shoes The waters plucked from him, Why, these, he felt, were small to lose, Could he keep up and swim!
Then through the billows, foam, and spray, That rose on every hand, He'd, somehow, always find a way Of getting safe to land.
The secret was, the fear and love Of Heaven had filled his soul: His trust was firm in One above, Howe'er the seas might roll.
And Tom had sailed to many a shore, And many a wonder seen: The stories he could tell would more Than fill a magazine.
He'd seen mankind in every state, Almost, that man can know; But envied not the rich and great, Nor scorned the poor and low.
The monarch in his sight had stood, Superb, in glittering vest; The savage, too, that roams the wood, In skins and feathers dressed.
The tribes of many an isle he knew; And beasts, and birds, and flowers, And fruits, of many a shape and hue, In lands remote from ours.
He'd seen the wide-winged albatros Her breast in ocean lave; And bold sea-lions, playing, toss Their heads above the wave.
He'd seen the dolphin, while his back Went flashing to the sun, A swarm of flying fish attack, And swallow every one!
The porpoise and the spouting whale Had sported in his view; And hungry sharks pursued his sail, As if they'd eat the crew.
And ever, when Tom Tar got home, The children, at their play, Were glad to have the Sailor come, And greet them by the way.
Then, oft, some curious stone, or shell, The laughing girls and boys Would find, upon their aprons fell, To put among their toys.
"These pearly shells," said he, "I found Where gloomy waters roar: These polished stones, so smooth and round, Rough surges washed ashore.
"Though small to us a pebble seems, 'Tis made and marked by One, Who gave the warmth, and lit the beams Of yon great shining sun.
"And when these pretty shells I find, Along the ocean strand, Their beauteous finish brings to mind Their Maker's perfect hand.
"When on the wildest shore I'm thrown And far from human eye, I think of him who made the stone, And shell, and sea, and sky.
"For he's my Friend and I am his! Though strong and cold the blast, My safest guide I know he is Where'er my lot is cast."
When Tom passed on, the children said, "These treasures from afar He brought us! Blessings on his head! For he's a good Tom Tar!"
The Envious Lobster
A Lobster from the water came, And saw another, just the same In form and size; but gayly clad In scarlet clothing; while she had No other clothing on her back Than her old suit of greenish black.
"So ho!" she cried, "'tis very fine! Your dress was yesterday like mine; And in the mud below the sea, You lived, a crawling thing like me. But now, because you've come ashore, You've grown so proud, that what you wore— Your strong old suit of bottle-green, You think improper to be seen.
"To tell the truth, I don't see why You should be better dressed than I. And I should like a suit of red As bright as yours, from feet to head. I think I'm quite as good as you, And might be clothed in scarlet too."
"Will you be boiled" her owner said, "To be arrayed in glowing red? Come here, my discontented miss, And hear the scalding kettle hiss! Will you go in, and there be boiled, To have your dress, so old and soiled, Exchanged for one of scarlet hue?" "Yes," cried the Lobster, "that I'll do, And twice as much, if needs must be, To be as gayly clad as she." Then, in she made a fatal dive, And never more was seen alive!
Now, if you ever chance to know, Of one as fond of dress and show As that vain Lobster, and withal As envious you'll perhaps recall To mind her folly, and the plight In which she reappeared to sight.
She had obtained a bright array, But for it, thrown her life away! Her life and death were best untold, But for the moral they unfold!
The Crocus' Soliloquy
Down in my solitude, under the snow, Where nothing cheering can reach me— Here, without light to see how I should grow, I trust to nature to teach me. I'll not despair, nor be idle, nor frown; Though locked in so gloomy a dwelling! My leaves shall shoot up, while my root's running down, And the bud in my bosom is swelling.
Soon as the frost will get off from my bed, From this cold dungeon to free me, I will peer up, with my bright little head; All will be joyful to see me! Then from my heart will young petals diverge, Like rays of the sun from their focus; When I from the darkness of earth shall emerge, All complete, as a beautiful CROCUS!
Gayly arrayed in gold, crimson, and green, When to their view I have risen; Will they not wonder how one so serene Came from so dismal a prison? Many, perhaps, from so simple a flower A wise little lesson may borrow:— If patient to-day through the dreariest hour, We shall come out the brighter to-morrow!
The Bee, Clover, and Thistle
A bee from the hive one morning flew, A tune to the daylight humming; And away she went o'er the sparkling dew, Where the grass was green, the violet blue, And the gold of the sun was coming.
And what first tempted the roving Bee, Was a head of the crimson clover. "I've found a treasure betimes!" said she, "And perhaps a greater I might not see, If I travelled the field all over.
"My beautiful Clover, so round and red, There is not a thing in twenty, That lifts this morning so sweet a head Above its leaves, and its earthy bed, With so many horns of plenty!"
The flow'rets were thick which the Clover crowned, As the plumes in the helm of Hector; And each had a cell that was deep and round, Yet it would not impart, as the Bee soon found, One drop of its precious nectar.
She cast in her eye where the honey lay, And her pipe she began to measure; But she saw at once it was clear as day, That it would not go down one half the way To the place of the envied treasure.
Said she, in a pet, "One thing I know," As she rose, and in haste departed, "It is not those of the greatest show, To whom for a favor 'tis best to go, Or that prove most generous-hearted!"
A fleecy flock came into the field; When one of its members followed The scent of the clover, till between Her nibbling teeth its head was seen, And then in a moment swallowed.
"Ha, ha!" said the Bee, as the Clover died, "Her fortune's smile was fickle! And now I can get my wants supplied By a homely flower, with a rough outside. And even with scale and prickle!"
Then she flew to one, that, by man and beast Was shunned for its stinging bristle; But it injured not the Bee in the least; And she filled her pocket, and had a feast, From the bloom of the purple Thistle.
The generous Thistle's life was spared In the home where the Bee first found her, Till she grew so old she was hoary-haired, And her snow-white locks with the silk compared, As they shone where the sun beamed round her.
[Footnote 1: The clover-floret is so small and deep in its tube, that the bee cannot reach the honey at the bottom.]
Poor Old Paul
Poor old Paul! he has lost a foot; And see him go hobbling along, With the stump laced up in that clumsy boot, Before the gathering throng!
And now, as he has to pass so many, And suffer the gaze of all, If each would only bestow a penny, 'Twere something for poor old Paul.
His cheek is wan, and his garb is thin; His eye is sunken and dim; He looks as if the winter had been Making sad work with him.
While he is trying to hide the tatter, Mark how his looks will fall! Nobody needs to ask the matter With poor, old, hungry Paul.
All that he has in his dingy sack Is morsels of bread and meat,— The leavings, to burden his aged back, Which others refused to eat.
So now I am sure, you will all be willing To part with a sum so small As each will spare, who makes up a shilling To comfort him—Poor old Paul!
The Sea-Eagle's Fall
An Eagle, on his towering wing, Hung o'er the summer sea; And ne'er did airy, feathered king Look prouder there than he.
He spied the finny tribes below, Amid the limpid brine; And felt it now was time to know Whereon he was to dine.
He saw a noble, shining fish So near the surface swim, He felt at once a hungry wish To make a feast of him.
Then straight he took his downward course; A sudden plunge he gave; And, pouncing, seized, with murderous force, His tempter in the wave.
He struck his talons firm and deep, Within the slippery prize, In hope his ruffian grasp to keep, And high and dry to rise.
But ah! it was a fatal stoop, As ever monarch made; And, for that rash—that cruel swoop, He soon most dearly paid!
The fish had too much gravity To yield to this attack. His feet the eagle could not free From off the scaly back.
He'd seized on one too strong and great; His mastery now was gone! And on, by that preponderant weight, And downward, he was drawn.
Nor found he here the element Where he could move with grace; And flap, and dash, his pinions went, In ocean's wrinkled face.
They could not bring his talons out, His forfeit life to save; And planted thus, he writhed about Upon his gaping grave.
He raised his head, and gave a shriek, To bid adieu to light: The water bubbled in his beak— He sank from human sight!
The children of the sea came round, The foreigner to view. To see an airy monarch drowned, To them was something new
Some gave a quick, astonished look, And darted swift away; While some his parting plumage shook, And nibbled him for prey.
O! who that saw that bird at noon So high and proudly soar, Could think how awkwardly—how soon, He'd fall to rise no more?
Though glory, majesty, and pride Were his an hour ago, Deprived of all, that eagle died, For stooping once too low!
Now, have you ever known or heard Of biped, from his sphere Descending, like that silly bird To buy a fish so dear?
The Two Thieves
A lady, they called her Miss Mouse, In a slate-colored dress, like a Quaker, Once lived in a snug little house, Of which she herself was the maker.
There lived in another close by, A dame, whom they called Lady Kitty; But that she was stationed so nigh, Miss Mouse often thought a great pity.
For she, though so soberly clad, And never inclined to ill-speaking, Had often a fancy to gad, Or more than her own might be seeking.
She did not then like to be scanned, Or questioned respecting her duty, When some little theft she had planned, Or seen coming home with her booty.
So modest she was, and so shy, Although an inveterate sinner, She'd nip out her part of the pie Before it was brought up to dinner.
She held that 'twas folly to ask For what her own wits would allow her; And, making her way through the cask, She helped herself well to the flour.
The candles she scraped to their wicks; And, mischievous in her invention, Would do many more naughty tricks, Which I, as her friend, cannot mention.
Kit, too, had her living to make, And yet, she was so above toiling, She'd sooner attack the beef-steak, When the cook had prepared it for broiling.
And so, near a dish of warm toast, She often most patiently lingered, To seize her first chance; yet, could boast That none ever called her light-fingered.
But mending, or minding herself, She thought would be quite too much labor, And so peeped about on the shelf, To spy out the faults of her neighbor.
For Mouse loved to promenade there, While Kit would watch close to waylay her; And once, in the midst of her fare, Up bounded Miss Kitty to slay her!
But this was as luckless a jump As ever Kit made, with the clatter Of knife, skimmer, spoon, and a thump, Which she got, as she threw down the platter.
While Mouse glided under a dish. Escaping the mortal disaster, Miss Kitty turned off to a fish, The breakfast elect for her master.
Said she to herself, "Tis clear gain,— This rarity, fresh from the water, Will save my white mittens the stain— And me from the trouble of slaughter!"
But her racket, she found to her cost, The plot had most fatally thickened; And all hope of mercy was lost, As Jack's coming footstep was quickened.
He seized her, and binding her fast. Declared he could never forgive her; So Kitty was sentenced and cast, With a stone at her neck, in the river!
But Mouse still continued to thieve; And often, alone in her dwelling, Would silently laugh in her sleeve, At the scene in the tale I've been telling—
Till once, by a fatal mishap, The little unfortunate rover Perceived herself close in a trap, And felt that her race was now over.
She knew she must leave all behind; And thus, in the midst of her terrors, As every thing rushed to her mind, Began her confession of errors:—
"You'll find, on the word of a Mouse, Whom hope has for ever forsaken, The following things in my house, Which I have unlawfully taken:
"A cork, that was soaked in the beer, Which I nibbled until I was merry; Some kernels of corn from the ear, The skin and the stone of a cherry:—
"Some hemp-seed I took from the bird, And found most deliriously tasted, While safe in my covert, I heard Its owner complain that 'twas wasted:—
"You'll find a few cucumber seeds, Which I thought, if they could but be hollowed, Would answer to string out for beads; So the inside of all I have swallowed:—
"A few crumbs of biscuit and cheese, Which I thought might a long time supply me With luncheon—some rice and split peas, Which seemed well prepared to keep by me:—
"A cluster of curls which I stole At night from a young lady's toilet, And made me a bed of it whole, As tearing it open would spoil it;—
"And as, in a long summer day I'd time both or reading and spelling, I gnawed up the whole of a play, And carried it home to my dwelling.
"I wish you'd set fire to my place; And pray you at once to despatch me, That none of my enemy's race, In the form of Miss Kitty, may catch me!"
Disgrace thus will follow on vice, Although for a while it be hidden; When children, or kittens, or mice, Will do what they know is forbidden.
I knew a little heedless boy, A child that seldom cared, If he could get his cake and toy, How other matters fared.
He always bore upon his foot A signal of the thing, For which, on him his playmates put The name of Jemmy String.
No malice in his heart was there; He had no fault beside, So great as that of wanting care. To keep his shoe-strings tied.
You'd often see him on the run, To chase the geese about, While both his shoe-ties were undone, With one end slipping out.
He'd tread on one, then down he'd go, And all around would ring With bitter cries, and sounds of woe, That came from Jemmy String.
And oft, by such a sad mishap, Would Jemmy catch a hurt; The muddy pool would catch his cap, His clothes would catch the dirt!
Then home he'd hasten through the street, To tell about his fall; While, on his little sloven feet, The cause was plain to all.
For while he shook his aching hand, Complaining of the bruise, The strings were trailing through the sand From both his loosened shoes.
One day, his father thought a ride Would do his children good; But Jemmy's shoe-strings were untied, And on the stairs he stood.
In hastening down to take his place Upon the carriage seat, Poor Jemmy lost his joyous face; Nor could he keep his feet.
The dragging string had made him trip, And bump! bump! went his head;— The teeth had struck and cut his lip, And tears and blood were shed.
His aching wounds he meekly bore; But with a swelling heart He heard the carriage from the door, With all but him, depart.
This grievous lesson taught him care, And gave his mind a spring; For he resolved no more to bear The name of JEMMY STRING!
"Don't kill me!" Caterpillar said, As Charles had raised his heel Upon the humble worm to tread, As though it could not feel.
"Don't kill me! and I'll crawl away To hide awhile, and try To come and look, another day, More pleasing to your eye.
"I know I'm now among the things Uncomely to your sight; But by and by on splendid wings You'll see me high and light!
"And then, perhaps, you may be glad To watch me on the flower; And that you spared the worm you had To-day within your power!"
Then Caterpillar went and hid In some secreted place, Where none could look on what he did To change his form and face.
And by and by, when Charles had quite Forgotten what I've told, A Butterfly appeared in sight, Most beauteous to behold.
His shining wings were trimmed with gold, And many a brilliant dye Was laid upon their velvet fold, To charm the gazing eye!
Then, near as prudence would allow, To Charles's ear he drew And said, "You may not know me, now My form and name are new!
"But I'm the worm that once you raised Your ready foot to kill! For sparing me, I long have praised, And love and praise you still.
"The lowest reptile at your feet, When power is not abused, May prove the fruit of mercy sweet, By being kindly used!"
The Mocking Bird
A Mocking Bird was he, In a bushy, blooming tree, Imbosomed by the foliage and flower. And there he sat and sang, Till all around him rang, With sounds, from out the merry mimic's bower.
The little satirist Piped, chattered, shrieked, and hissed; He then would moan, and whistle, quack, and caw; Then, carol, drawl, and croak, As if he'd pass a joke On every other winged one he saw.
Together he would catch A gay and plaintive snatch, And mingle notes of half the feathered throng. For well the mocker knew, Of every thing that flew, To imitate the manner and the song.
The other birds drew near, And paused awhile to hear How well he gave their voices and their airs. And some became amused; While some, disturbed, refused To own the sounds that others said were theirs.
The sensitive were shocked, To find their honors mocked By one so pert and voluble as he; They knew not if 't was done In earnest or in fun; And fluttered off in silence from the tree.
The silliest grew vain, To think a song or strain Of theirs, however weak, or loud, or hoarse, Was worthy to be heard Repeated by the bird; For of his wit they could not feel the force.
The charitable said, "Poor fellow! if his head Is turned, or cracked, or has no talent left; But feels the want of powers, And plumes itself from ours, Why, we shall not be losers by the theft."
The haughty said, "He thus. It seems, would mimic us, And steal our songs, to pass them for his own! But if he only quotes In honor of our notes, We then were quite as honored, let alone."
The wisest said, "If foe Or friend, we still may know By him, wherein our greatest failing lies. So, let us not be moved, Since first to be improved By every thing, becomes the truly wise."
The Silk-Worm's Will
On a plain rush-hurdle a silk-worm lay, When a proud young princess came that way. The haughty child of a human king Threw a sidelong glance at the humble thing, That received with a silent gratitude From the mulberry-leaf her simple food; And shrunk, half scorn, and half disgust, Away from her sister child of the dust; Declaring she never yet could see Why a reptile form like this should be;— And that she was not made with nerves so firm, As calmly to stand by a crawling worm!
With mute forbearance the silk-worm took The taunting words and the spurning look.
Alike a stranger to self and pride, She'd no disquiet from aught beside; And lived of a meekness and peace possest Which these debar from the human breast. She only wished, for the harsh abuse, To find some way to become of use To the haughty daughter of lordly man; And thus did she lay her noble plan To teach her wisdom, and make it plain That the humble worm was not made in vain;— A plan so generous, deep and high, That to carry it out, she must even die!
"No more," said she, "will I drink or eat! I'll spin and weave me a winding-sheet, To wrap me up from the sun's clear light, And hide my form from her wounded sight. In secret then, till my end draws nigh, I will toil for her; and when I die, I'll leave behind, as a farewell boon To the proud young princess, my whole cocoon, To be reeled, and wove to a shining lace, And hung in a veil o'er her scornful face! And when she can calmly draw her breath Through the very threads that have caused my death; When she finds at length, she has nerves so firm, As to wear the shroud of a crawling worm, May she bear in mind that she walks with pride In the winding-sheet where the silk-worm died!"
Dame Biddy abode in a coop, Because it so chanced that dame Biddy Had round her a family group Of chicks, young, and helpless, and giddy.
And when she had freedom to roam, She fancied the life of a ranger; And led off her brood, far from home, To fall into mischief or danger.
She'd trail through the grass to be mown, And call all her children to follow; And scratch up the seeds that were sown, Then, lie in their places and wallow.
She'd go where the corn in the hill, Its first little blade had been shooting, And try, by the strength of her bill, To learn if the kernel was rooting.
And when she went out on a walk Of pleasure, through thicket and brambles, The covetous eye of a Hawk Delighted in marking her rambles.
"I spy," to himself he would say, "A prize of which I'll be the winner!" So down would he pounce on his prey, And bear off a chicken for dinner.
The poor frighted matron, that heard The cry of her youngling in dying, Would scream at the merciless bird, That high with his booty was flying.
But shrieks could not ease her distress, Nor grief her lost darling recover. She now had a chicken the less, For acting the part of a rover.
And there lay the feathers, all torn. And flying one way and another, That still her dear child might have worn, Had she been more wise as a mother.
Her owner then thought he must teach Dame Biddy a little subjection; And cooped her up, out of the reach Of hawking, with time for reflection.
And, throwing a net o'er a pile Of brush-wood that near her was lying, He hoped to its meshes to wile The fowler, that o'er her was flying.
For Hawk, not forgetting his fare, And having a taste to renew it, Sailed round near the coop, high in air, With cruel intention, to view it.
The owner then said, "Master Hawk, If you love my chickens so dearly, Come down to my yard for a walk, That you may address them more nearly."
But, "No," thought the sharp-taloned foe Of Biddy, "my circuit is higher! If I to his premises go. 'Twill be when I see he's not nigh her."
The Farmer strewd barley, and toled The chickens the brush to run under, And left them, while Hawk growing bold, Thus tempted, came near for his plunder.
As closer and closer he drew, With appetite stronger and stronger, He found he'd but one thing to do, And plunged, to defer it no longer.
But now he had come to a pause, At once in the net-work entangled, While through it his head and his claws In hopeless vacuity dangled.
The chicks saw him hang overhead, Where they for their barley had huddled; And all in a flutter they fled, And soon through the coop holes had scuddled.
The Farmer came out to his snare, He saw the bold captive was in it; And said, "If this play be unfair, Remember, I did not begin it!"
He then put a cork on his beak, The airy assassin disarming, Unspurred him, and rendered him weak, By blunting each talent for harming.
And into the coop he was thrown: The chickens hid under their mother, For he, by his feathers was known As he, who had murdered their brother
Dame Biddy, beholding his plight, Determined to show him no quarter, In action gave vent to her spite; As motherly tenderness taught her.
She shouted, and blustered; and then Attacked the poor captive unfriended; And you, (who have witnessed a hen In anger,) may guess how it ended.
She made him a touching address, If pecking and scratching could do it; Till sinking in silent distress, He perished before she got through it.
We would not, however, convey A thought like approving the fury, That gave, in this summary way, Punition without judge or jury.
Whenever 'tis given, it tends To lessen the angry bestower. The fowl that inflicts it descends— But the featherless biped, still lower.
Kit With the Rose
A Rose-tree stood in the parlor, When Kit came frolicking by; So, up went her feet on the window-seat, To a rose that had caught her eye.
She gave it a cuff, and it trembled Beneath her ominous paw; And while it shook, with a threatening look, She coveted what she saw.
Thought she, "What a beautiful toss-ball! If I could but give it a snap, Now all are out, nor thinking about Their rose, or the least mishap!"
She twisted the stem, and she twirled it; And seizing the flower it bore, With the timely aid of her teeth, she made A leap to the parlor-floor.
Then over the carpet she tossed it, All fresh in its morning bloom, Till, shattered and rent, its leaves were sent To every side of the room.
At length, with her sport grown weary, She laid herself down to sun, Inclining to doze, forgetting the rose, And the mischief she'd slily done.
By and by her young mistress entered, And uttered a piteous cry, When she saw the fate of what had so late Delighted her watchful eye.
But, where was the one who had spoiled it Concealing his guilty face? She had not a clue, whereby to pursue The rogue to his lurking-place!
Thought Kit, "I'll keep still till it's over; And none will suspect it was I." For the puss awoke, when her mistress spoke; And she well understood the cry.
But, mewing at length for her dinner, Kit's mouth confessed the whole truth: It opened so wide that her mistress espied A rose-leaf pierced by her tooth!
Then, banished was Kit from the parlor, All covered with shame! And those Inclined, like her, in secret to err, Should remember Kit with the Rose.
The Captive Butterfly
Good morning, pretty Butterfly! How have you passed the night? I hope you're gay and glad as I To see the morning light.
But, little silent one, methinks You're in a sober mood. I wonder if you'd like to drink, And what you take for food.
I shut you in my crystal cup, To let your winglets rest. And now I want to hold you up, To see your velvet vest.
I want to count your tiny toes. To find your breathing-place, And touch the downy horn that grows Each side your pretty face.
I'd like to see just how you're made, With streaks and spots and rings; And wish you'd show me how you played Your shining, rainbow wings.
"'T was not," the little prisoner said, "For want of food or drink, That, while you slumbered on your bed, I could not sleep a wink.
"My wings are pained for want of flight, My lungs, for want of air. In bitterness I've passed the night, And meet the morning's glare.
"When looking through my prison wall, So close, and yet so clear, I see there's freedom there for all, While I'm a captive here.
"I've stood upon my feeble feet Until they're full of pain. I know that liberty is sweet, Which I cannot regain.
"Do I deserve a fate like this, Who've ever acted well, Since first I left the chrysalis, And fluttered from my shell?
"I've never injured fruit, or flower, Or man, or bird, or beast; And such a one should have the power Of going free, at least.
"And now, if you will let me quit My prison-house, the cup, I'll show you how I sport and flit, And make my wings go up!"
The lid was raised; the prisoner said, "Behold my airy play!" Then quickly on the wing he fled Away, away, away!
From flower to flower he gayly flew, To cool his aching feet, And slake his thirst with morning dew, Where liberty was sweet!
The Dissatisfied Angler Boy
I'm sorry they let me go down to the brook; I'm sorry they gave me the line and the hook; And wish I had staid at home with my book! I'm sure 'twas no pleasure to see That poor little harmless, suffering thing Silently writhe at the end of the string, Or to hold the pole, while I felt him swing In torture,—and all for me!
'Twas a beautiful speckled and glossy trout; And when from the water I drew him out, On the grassy bank as he floundered about, It made me shivering cold, To think I had caused so much needless pain; And I tried to relieve him, but all in vain: O never, as long as I live, again May I such a sight behold!
But, what would I give, once more to see The brisk little swimmer alive and free, And darting about as he used to be, Unhurt, in his native brook! 'Tis strange that people can love to play, By taking innocent lives away! I wish I had stayed at home to-day With sister, and read my book.
The Stove and the Grate-Setter
Old Winter is coming, to play off his tricks— To make your ears tingle—your fingers to numb! So I, with my trowel, new mortar and bricks, To guard you against him, already am come.
An ounce of prevention in time, I have found, Is worth pounds of remedy taken too late! And proof that the sense of my maxim is sound, Will shine where I fasten stove, furnace or grate.
The Summer leaves now whirling fast from the trees, By Autumn's chill blast are tossed yellow and sere; And soon, with the breath of his nostrils to freeze Each thing he can puff at, will Winter be here!
But hardly he'll dare to steal in at the door, Your elbows to bite with his keen cutting air, And give you an ague, where I've been before, To set the defence I to-day can prepare.
And when he comes blustering on from the north, To give you blue faces, and shakes by the chin, You'll find what the craft of the mason was worth, As you from abroad to your parlor step in!
For all will around be so pleasant and warm,— Your hearth bright and cheering—your coal in a glow; You'll not heed the winds whistling up the rough storm To sift o'er your dwellings its clouds full of snow!
You'll then think of me;—how I handled to-day The cold stone and iron—the brick and the lime: And all, but the surer foundation to lay For comfort to give in the drear winter time.
I lay you, against this old Winter, a charm. To make him, at least, keep himself out of doors! 'Twould melt—should he enter—his hard hand and arm. When loud for admission he threatens and roars.
If gratitude then should come, warming your heart, As peaceful you sit by your warm fireside; Perhaps it may teach you some good to impart To those, where the gifts you enjoy are denied.
For He in whose favor all blessedness is; And out of whose kingdom no treasure is sure, Was poor when on earth;—and the poor still are his: His charge to his friends is "Remember the poor."
Nor would his disciple be higher than He, Who once on the dwellings of men, for his bread, In lowliness wrought! but contentedly, we Will work by the light that our Master has shed.
Song of the Bees
We watch for the light of the morn to break, And color the eastern sky With its blended hues of saffron and lake; Then say to each other, "Awake! awake! For our winter's honey is all to make, And our bread for a long supply!"
Then off we hie to the hill and the dell— To the field, the meadow, and bower: In the columbine's horn we love to dwell,— To dip in the lily with snow-white bell,— To search the balm in its odorous cell, The mint, and rosemary flower.
We suck the bloom of the eglantine,— Of the pointed thistle and brier; And follow the track of the wandering vine, Whether it trail on the earth, supine, Or round the aspiring tree-top twine, And reach for a state still higher.
As each, on the good of the others bent, Is busy, and cares for all, We hope for an evening with hearts content,— That Winter may find us without lament For a Summer that's gone, with its hours misspent, And a harvest that's past recall!
The Summer is Come
CHILDHOOD'S RURAL SONG.
The Summer is come With the insect's hum, And the birds that merrily sing. And sweet are the hours, And the fruits and flowers, That Summer has come to bring.
All nature is glad, And the earth is clad In her brightest and best array: So, we with delight Will our songs unite, Our tribute of joy to pay.
The swallow is out, And she sails about In air, for the careless fly: Then she takes a sip With her horny lip As she skims where the waters lie.
And the lamb bounds light In his fleece of white, But he doesn't know what to think, In the streamlet clear, Where he sees appear His face as he stoops to drink.
For, never before Has he gambolled o'er The summer-dressed, flowery earth; And he skips in play, As he fain would say "'Tis a season of feast and mirth."
And we have to-day Been rambling away To gather the flowers most fair, Which we sat beneath An old oak to wreath While fanned by the balmy air.
Now the sun goes down Like a golden crown That's sliding behind a hill; So we dance the while To his farewell smile; And well dance as the dews distil.
Then, we'll dance to-night While the fire-fly's light Is sparkling among the grass; And we'll step our tune To the silver moon, As over the green we pass.
O, Summer is sweet! But her joys are fleet; We catch them but on the wing: Yet never the less Would our hearts confess The blessings she comes to bring.
Come here and sit thee down by me! I've read a tale, I'll tell to thee; And precious will the moral be, Though simple is the story. It is about a brilliant flower, With beauty scarce possessed of power Its opening to survive an hour— An airy Morning-Glory.
'Tis common parlance names it thus; But 'twas a gay convolvulus: Yet we'll not stop to here discuss Its species or its genus. We'll just suppose a blooming vine With many leaf and bud to shine, And curling tendrils thrown to twine And form a bower, between us.
And we'll suppose a happy boy, With face lit up by hope and joy, Who thinks that nothing shall destroy His vine, his pride and pleasure, Is standing near, with kindling eye, As if its very look would pry The cup apart, therein to spy The growing floral treasure.
And now the petal, twisted tight, Above the calyx peers to sight With apex tipped with purple, bright As if the rainbow dyed it. While on the air it vacillates, Its owner's bosom palpitates To see it open, as he waits Impatient close beside it.
Another rising sun has thrown Its beams upon the vine, and shown The splendid Morning-Glory blown, As if some little fairy, When early from his couch he went, On some ethereal journey bent, Had there inverted left his tent Of purple, high and airy.
And many a fair and shining flower As bright as this adorned the bower, Displayed like jewels in an hour, Where'er the vine was clinging. As each corolla lost its twist, The zephyr fanned, the sunbeam kissed The little vase of amethyst; And round it birds were singing.
And now the little boy comes out To see his vine. He gives a shout, And sings and laughs, and jumps about Like one two-thirds demented. His little playmates, one, two, three, Come round the beauteous vine to see, And each cries, "Give a flower to me, And I'll go off contented."
But "No," the selfish owner cried, And pushed his comrades all aside, While walking round his bower with pride, "Not one of you shall sever A floweret from the stem so gay; I own them, not to give away! I'll come to see them every day; And keep them mine for ever!"
So, when at noon from school he came, To see his vine was first his aim: But oh! his feelings who can name, As mute he stood and eyed it? For not a flower could he behold, While each corolla, inward rolled, Appeared as shrivelled, dead, and old As if a fire had dried it.
"Alas!" the selfish owner said, "My Glories——oh! they all are dead! And all my little friends have fled Aggrieved! for I've abused them. They'll keep away, and but deride My sorrow, when they hear my pride Is gone;—that quick the pleasures died Which rudely I refused them!"
The Old Cotter and his Cow
My good old Cow, I scarce know how Again we've wintered over; With my scant fare, And thine so spare— No dainty dish, nor clover!
We both were old, And keen the cold; While poorly housed we found us; And by the blast That, whistling, passed, The snows were sifted round us.
While, many a day. Few locks of hay Were most thy crib presented, A patient Cow, And kind wast thou, And with thy mite contented.
But though the storms Have chilled our forms, And we've been pinched together, The dark, blue day Is passed away; We've reached the warm spring weather!
The bounteous earth Is shooting forth Her grass and flowers so gayly; Thou now canst feed Along the mead, While food is growing daily.
The soft, sweet breeze Through budding trees Now fans my brow so hoary: And these old eyes Find new supplies Of light from nature's glory.
Though poor my cot, And low my lot, With thee, my richest treasure, I take my cup, And looking up, Bless Him who gives my measure.
The Speckled One
Poor speckled one! none else will deign To waft thy name around; So, let me take it on my strain, To give it air and sound.
Yes—air and sound, low child of earth! For these are oft the things That give a name its greatest worth, Its gorgeous plumes and wings.
But do not shun me thus, and hop Affrighted from my way! Dismiss thy terrors—turn and stop; And hear what I may say.
Meek, harmless thing, afraid of man? This truly should not be. Then calmly pause, and let me scan My Maker's work in thee.
For both of us to Him belong; We're fellow-creatures here; And power should not be armed with wrong, Nor weakness filled with fear.
I know it is thy humble lot To burrow in a hole— To have a form I envy not, And that without a soul.
In motion, attitude and limb I see thee void of grace; And that a look supremely grim, Reigns o'er thy solemn face.
But thou for this art not to blame; Nor should it make us load With obloquy, and scorn, and shame The honest name of TOAD.
For, though so low on nature's scale— In presence so uncouth, Thou ne'er hast told an evil tale, Of falsehood, or of truth.
Thy thoughts are ne'er on malice bent— Nor hands to mischief prone; Nor yet thy heart to discontent; Though spurned, and poor and lone.
No coveting nor envy burns In thy bright golden eye, That calm and innocently turns On all below the sky.
Thy cautious tongue and sober lip No words of folly pass, Nor, are they found to taste and sip The madness of the glass.
Thy frugal meal is often drawn From earth, and wood, and stone; And when thy means by these are gone, Thou seem'st to live on none.
I hear that in an earthen jar Sealed close, shut up alive, From food, drink, air, sun, moon and star, Thou'lt live and even thrive:—
And that no moan, or murmuring sound Will issue from the lid Of thy dark dwelling under ground, When it is deeply hid.
Thou hast, as 'twere, a secret shelf, Whereon is a supply Of nourishment, within thyself, Concealed from mortal eye.
Methinks this self-sustaining art 'Twere well for us to know, To keep us up in flesh and heart, When outer means grow low.
Could we contain our riches thus, On such mysterious shelves, Why, none could rob or beggar us; Unless we lost ourselves!
But ah! my Toadie, there's the rub, With every human breast— To live as in the cynic's tub, And yet be self-possessed!
For, how to let no boast get round Beyond our tub, to show That we in head and heart are sound, Is one great thing to know.
And yet, the prison-staves and hoop To let no murmur through, However hard we find the coop, Is greater still to do.
Then go, thou sage, resigned and calm, Amid thy low estate; And to thy burrow bear the palm For victory over fate.
We conquer, when we meekly bear The lot we cannot shape; And hug to death the ills and care From which there's no escape.
The Blind Musician
"Ah! who comes here?" old Raymond cried, As lone he sat by the highway-side, Where Frisk jumped up at his knee in play; And his white locks went to the air astray;— While his worn-out hat lay on the ground, And his light violin gave forth no sound— "Ah! who comes here with voice so kind To the ear of a poor old man who's blind?"
'Twas a gladsome troop of bright young boys, With hearts all full of their play-day joys, As their baskets were of nuts and cake, And fruits, a pic-nic treat to make. For they were out for the fields and flowers— For the grassy lane, and the woodland bowers; And the course they took first led them by Where the lone one sat with a sightless eye.
They saw he'd a worn and hungry look; And each from his basket promptly took A part of its precious pic-nic store, And tried the others to get before, As on with their ready gifts they ran, To reach them forth to the poor old man; And said, "Good Sir, take this and eat While resting thus on your mossy seat."
"Heaven bless you, little children dear!" Old Raymond cried, with a starting tear, As they took their cup to the fountain's brink, And brought him back some clear, cool drink. And Frisk looked up with a grateful eye, As to him they dropped some crust of pie: For he, good dog, was his master's guide, By a cord to the ring of his collar tied.
"And now, would you like to hear me play," Said the traveller, "ere you go your way? O, I did not think that aught so soon Could have put my poor old heart in tune. But you have touched it at the spring, And it seems as if it could dance and sing. Your kindness makes my spirit light, Till I hardly feel that I've lost my sight!"
He took up his violin and bow, And made his voice to their music flow; And the children, listening sat around As if by a spell to the circle bound. While thus they were fastened to the spot, And their first pursuit almost forgot, They felt they could ask no pleasure more, And their picnic frolic at once gave o'er.
And there they staid till the sun went down, When they led the old Raymond safe to town; While Frisk went sporting all the way, To speak his thanks by his joyous play. They found him a room with a table spread, And a pillow to rest his hoary head. Then feeling their time and pence well-spent, They all went back to their homes content.
The Lame House
O, I cannot bring to mind When I've had a look so kind, Gentle lady, as thine eye Gives me, while I'm limping by! Then, thy little boy appears To regard me but with tears. Think'st thou he would like to know What has brought my state so low?
When not half so old as he, I was bounding, light and free, By my happy mother's side, Ere my mouth the bit had tried, Or my head had felt the rein Drawn, my spirits to restrain. But I'm now so worn and old, Half my sorrows can't be told.
When my services began, How I loved my master, man! I was pampered and caressed,— Housed, and fed upon the best. Many looked with hearts elate At my graceful form and gait,— At my smooth and glossy hair Combed and brushed with daily care.
Studded trappings then I wore, And with pride my master bore,— Glad his kindness to repay In my free, but silent way. Then was found no nimble steed That could equal me in speed, So untiring, and so fleet Were these now, old, aching feet.
But my troubles soon drew nigh: Less of kindness marked his eye, When my strength began to fail; And he put me off at sale. Constant changes were my fate, Far too grievous to relate. Yet I've been, to say the least, Through them all a patient beast.
Older—weaker—still I grew: Kind attentions all withdrew! Little food, and less repose; Harder burdens—heavier blows,— These became my hapless lot, Till I sunk upon the spot! This maimed limb beneath me bent With the pain it underwent.
Now I'm useless, old, and poor, They have made my sentence sure; And to-morrow is the day, Set for me to limp away, To some far, sequestered place, There at once to end my race. I stood by, and heard their plot— Soon my woes shall be forgot!