Page images

And why you wasteful from you throw

That bread which many a one might cheer ?”.

The little boy, in accents sweet,

Replied, while tears each other chased : “Lady, we've not enough to eat

Ah! if we had we should not waste.

But sister Mary's naughty grown,

And will not eat, whate'er I say; Though sure I am the bread's her own,

For she has tasted none to-day.”—

“Indeed,” the wan, starved Mary said,

“Till Henry eat I'll eat no more; For yesterday I got some bread,

He's had none since the day before."-

My heart did swell, my bosom heave,

I felt as though deprived of speech ; Silent I sat upon the grave,

And clasped the clay-cold hand of each.

With looks of woe too sadly true,

With looks that spoke a grateful heart, The shivering boy then nearer drew,

And did his simple tale impart:

“Before my father went away,

Enticed by bad men o'er the sea, Sister and I did nought but play

We lived beside yon great ash tree.

But then poor mother did so cry,

And looked so changed, I cannot tell ; She told us that she soon should die,

And bade us love each other well.

She said that, when the war was o'er,

Perhaps we might our father see;

But if we never saw him more,

That God our Father then would be !

She kissed us both, and then she died,

And we no more a mother have; Here many a day we've sat and cried · Together at poor mother's grave.

But when my father came not here,

I thought if we could find the sea, We should be sure to meet him there,

And once again might happy be.

We hand in hand went many'a inile,

And asked our way of all we met; And some did sigh, and some did smile,

And we of some did victuals get.

But when we reached the sea, and found

'Twas one great water round us spread, We thought that father must be drowned,

And cried, and wished we both were dead.

So we returned to mother's grave,

And only long with her to be;
For Goody, when this bread she gave,

Said father died beyond the sea.

Then since no parent we have here,

We'll go and search for God around ; -Lady, pray can you tell us where

That God, our Father, may be found ?

He lives in heaven, mother said,

And Goody says that mother's there; So, if she knows we want his aid,

I think perhaps she'll send him here."

I clasped the prattlers to my breast,

And cried, “Come both and live with me;

I'll clothe you, feed you, yive you l'est,

And will a second mother be.

And God shall be your Father still ;

'Twas he in mercy sent me here, To teach you to obey his will, Your steps to guide, your hearts to cheer."



Around the fire, one wintry night,

The farmer's rosy children sat; The fagot lent its blazing light,

And jokes went round, and careless chat;

When, hark! a gentle hand they hear

Low tapping at the bolted door; And thus, to gain their willing ear,

A feeble voice was heard implore :

“Cold blows the blast across the moor,

The sleet drives hissing in the wind; Yon tvilsome mountain lies before

A dreary, treeless waste behind,

My eyes are weak and dim with age,

No road, no path can I descry; And these poor rags ill stand the rage

Of such a keen, inclement sky.

So faint I am, these tottering feet

No more my palsied frame can bear ; My freezing heart forgets to beat,

And drifting snows my tomb prepare.

Open your hospitable door,

And shield me from the biting blast : Cold, cold it blows across the moor

The weary moor that I have passed !"

With hasty steps the farmer ran,

And close beside the fire they place The poor half-frozen beggar-man,

With shaking limbs and pale-blue face.

The little children flocking came,

And chafed his frozen hands in theirs ; And busily the good old dame

A comfortable mess prepares.

Their kindness cheered his drooping soul,

And slowly down his wrinkled cheek The big round tear was seen to roll, · Which told the thanks he could not speak.

The children then began to sigh,

And all their merry chat was o'er ; And yet they felt, they knew not why, More glad than they had done before.



THERE dwelt a miller hale and bold

Beside the river Dee;
He worked and sang from morn to night-.

No lark more blithe than he;
And this the burden of his song

For ever used to be, “I envy nobody--no, not I;

And nobody envies me!”

“Thou’rt wrong, my friend,” said old King Hal

“Thou’rt wrong as wrong can be ; For could my heart be light as thine,

I'd gladly change with thee.
And tell me now what makes thee sing

With voice so loud and free

While I am sad, though I'm the King,

Beside the river Dee.”

The miller smiled, and doffed his cap :

“I earn my bread," quoth he;
“I love my wife, I love my friends,

I love my children three;
I owe no penny I cannot pay,

I thank the river Dee,
That turns the mill that grinds the corn

To feed my babes and me."

“Good friend,” said Hal, and sighed the while,

“Farewell! and happy be;
But say no more, if thou’dst be true,

That no one envies thee:
Thy mealy cap is worth my crown;

Thy mill, my kingdom's fee ;-
Such men as thou are England's boast,
O miller of the Dee !"



A GALLANT ship went out to sea

From Scotland's rocky shore,
And with her sailed one hundred men,

To dig for golden ore.

The anchor rose, the sails were set,

And steady blew the breeze; And merrily the vessel went

Across the tossing seas.

From morn till night her course she kept,

The land was still in view, And passengers upon the deck

Oft sighed a long adieu.

« PreviousContinue »