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TO MY LITTLE COUSIN, WITH HER

FIRST BONNET.

BY MISS BOWLES.

Fairies ! guard the baby's bonnet !-
Set a special watch upon it;
Elfin people ! to your care
I commit it, fresh and fair ;
Neat as neatness,—white as snow,--
See ye keep it ever so.

Watch and ward set all about,-
Some within, and some without :
Over it, with dainty hand,
One her kirtle green expand;
Two or three about the bow
Vigilant concern bestow.

A score, at least, on either side,
'Gainst evil accident provide ;-
Fall, or jar, or overlay;
And so the precious charge convey
Through all the dangers of the way.
But when those are battled through,
Fairies ! more remains to do ;
Ye must gift, before ye go,
The bonnet and the babe also.

Gift it to protect her well,
Fays! from all malignant spell;
Charms and seasons to defy,
Blighting wind and evil eye.

And the bonny babe! on her
All your choicest gifts confer.
Just as much of wit and sense
As may be hers, without pretence;
Just as much of grace and beauty
As shall not interfere with duty;
Just as much of sprightliness
As shall companion gentleness;
Just as much light-hearted cheer
As may be melted to a tear,
By a word ---a tone -- a look--
Pity's touch, or Love's rebuke.

As much of frankness, bland and free,
As may consort with modesty ;
As much of feeling, as will bear
Of after life the wear and tear ;
As much of life—but Fairies! there
Ye vanish into thinnest air!
And with ye, parts the playful vein,
That loved a light and trivial strain.

Befits me better, babe! for thee To' invoke Almighty agency ;Almighty love—Almighty power, To nurture up the human flower ; To cherish it with heavenly dew, Sustain with earthly blessings too ; And when the ripe, full time shall be, Engraft it on Eternity.

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