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C HINA old and maidens young"- X
Theme by poets yet unsung !
Maidens young and china old"-
Tale by novelists untold !
Of Chelsea monsters who could hope
To paint the raptures after Pope ?
Who turn a rhyme like Andrew Lang,
S On Fi-fo-fum and Ching-Chung-Chang ?
And, after Allingham, what tongue
S Would dare converse of maidens young ?
Yet, when we couple youth with age,
A double glory fills the page;
And, would you see the flash of truth,
Against dull age set lightsome youth.
Old China !-that's a heritage
Bequeathed to youth by thrifty age;-
Age that has toiled to win the treasure,
But to enjoy it has no leisure.
n Young maidens !-what care they for pelf?
Tea tastes as sweet in common delf.
Youth that enjoys, but never knows
When the joy comes or how it goes.
O happy maiden, not to know!
And happy age, to leave it so i
"WHAT ARE THEY BRINGING?"
T HERE were three ships sailing from far-off lands,
And three little maidens, who watched on the sands.
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"What are they bringing?" says little Liz :
"Nuts and apples and oranges."
"What are they bringing?" fair Helen sings:
"Pearls and rubies and diamond rings."
"What are they bringing?" sighs Marjorie:
" Letters of love from over the sea."
H ER window opens to the South,
And on a Summer morn she stands,
And blows soft kisses from her mouth
Southward to Summer lands.
Like swallows to the South they fly,
O'er waving waters, waving woods :
Great ships they pass, and cities, by,
And men of various moods.
But where they find some heart forlorn,
Of man or maiden, there they rest;
And Hope, he knows not how, is born
In that world-weary breast.
0 Maiden of a picture-book!
You seem not all a dream to me;-
While at the pictured page I look,
Some living maid, maybe,
At such a rose-wreathed casement stands,
And breathes for men unknown her prayer,
In perilous seas or pathless lands,
And saves them, unaware.
W HAT is the game? Is it "No or Yes" ?
Some number or name she has got to guess ?
Why are her eyes blindfolded tight?
Will she win some prize if she guesses right ?
S Whatever it were, I can safely say,
I should like to be there at that pleasant play.
And the prize I should claim of each pretty maid,
Whatever the game, should in kisses be paid.
A PHILOSOPHICAL DISCUSSION.
RUTH. I wonder why they care so much
For things because they're old !
These tea-cups that we mustn't touch
Are worth their weight in gold;
And yet the set we use for tea
Seems much the prettier to me.
RACHEL. Oh, I can tell you what they mean;
I've felt the same before;
The things that other folk have been
Fond of, we love the more.
And don't I love my old doll best,
Though most unfashionably drest?
Whoever has her after me
Will find a sort of store
SOf love to start with, don't you see ?
And love her all the more.
.f "I wonder if that is in truth
ItV fA Why people like old cups," said Ruth.
WHY THE POPPY WAS LOVED THE BEST.
WHY do I love the poppy best,
Dolly dear, do you ask me why ?
You think its smell is the nastiest
Of all the flowers, and you pass it by.
Listen, Dolly !-Long, long ago,
When father dear, who is over the sea,
Was here in England, he used to go
Through the corn-fields hand in hand with me.
And one hot day we were out together,
And he made me a bunch I could hardly hold
Of blue cornflowers, and purple heather,
And poppies like these, and marigold.
But oh, the sun was so hot in the skies,
And oh, so strong was the poppies' smell,
And my head ached so, that I shut my eyes,
And I felt so strange that I almost fell.
But I found myself in father's arms;
He was kissing me, and I think he cried;
And I heard him murmuring one of the Psalms,
That David made when his little boy died.
And for many days how my head did rack !
But my father was, oh, so good to me;
And the smell of the poppies brings it all back,
And reminds me of him, now he's over the sea.
HALF-BURIED she sits in the big arm-chair,
But I ween that her thoughts are otherwhere,
Some story-book, like a magic wand,
Has carried her far into Fairy-land.
And now she is wandering underground
Thro' the jewelled trees that Aladdin found;
Or wondering, Would it have have been her duty
To have wedded that dreadful Beast, like Beauty?
Or haply she hears the wind and rain
Beat at the cottage window-pane,
While dear Undine, in new delight,
Sits at the feet of the stranger knight.
Or she watches, down the perilous cord,
The captive maid escape from ward,
And flit through the daisies dewy-wet,
That were dark by the feet of Nicolette.
Chide not the maiden who loves to stray
Awhile from the world of every-day,
And wander in lands of wilder flowers,
-3 And facts less matter-of-fact than ours !
There lies but a gauzy veil between
The world of sense and the world unseen;
And blest are the eyes when the viewless veil
Can be rent by the spell of a Fairy tale.
T ENDERLY, tiny fingers
Touch my yellow keys !
But little sweetness lingers
In strings so old as these.
Yet at your light touch waken
Dreams that I thought were dead,
Of places long forsaken,
Faces for ever fled.
Other hands, as slender,
Seem to be playing again;
Another voice, as tender,
Is singing the same old strain.
To me she turns in gladness,
SA voice for joy to borrow;
To me she tells her sadness,
And my low notes answer, Sorrow!
I have never given another
My heart's full sweetness so,
As I gave your mother's mother,
Dear children, long ago.
Sweet are your childish voices,
Though I cannot echo your lays;
My spirit with you rejoices,
As I dream of bygone days.
ALONE, BUT NOT LONELY.
P APA and rmanma. and the ':ipany's gone,
And rhc,'v le it i-ie sitri g 1-ih re all Ialone!
I'm rather glad they've gone, for, you see,
Must not talk when there's company.
But now that I'm left here all by myself, M
I can talk to my playmates up on the shelf;
Those dear little women and men who go
Round the big punch-bowl in a cris-cross row,-
They beckon to me as they circle round,
"Come play with us at Tom Tidler's ground."
And when I am tired of the punch-bowl play,
I know of a plate where there lives a fay;
Her blue eyes peep from the flowers blue,
And she whispers, "Little one, I love you."
Close your eyes, and a tale you'll hear
Of the fays who live in the deep blue mere.
The little maid drooped her weary head,
And the fairy tale was told in bed.
'" ..' -
ARE you sorry, pretty flowers,
To be gathered from the garden,-
To be sheltered from the showers,
And the chilling frosts that harden
The soft tear-drops of the night
To ice-splinters keen and bright?
Of your loveliness the due 'tis
By mankind to be admired;
Or prefer you, like proud beauties,
To deny, and be desired ?
To be loved is better far
Than be longed for, like a star.
Nay, sweet maid No flower lingers
Coy to such a kindly lover !
But, to fall by careless fingers,
And-the moment's fancy over-
In lone ruin to be left,-
What can compensate the theft ?
HE world, I've heard some people say,
Is duller now than in their day.
I'm sure that sewing, anyway,
Must be much duller. -
Instead of hemming frocks, like me,
Of old a lady's task would be "
To work some splendid tapestry
With many a colour.
Light moved the hands, unmarked the hours,
As on the web grew magic towers,
Broad rivers, meadows bright with flowers,
And browsing cattle;
And gallant ships of snowy sail,
SHigh city-walls that heroes scale,
Steeds, men-at-arms, and knights in mail
On fields of battle.
Ah, pretty maiden, sigh not so!
But little of their lot you know,
Whose lives, looked back on, seem to show
Such rainbow brightness!
No lighter then the hours flew.
Of those dead dames, ah me how few
But lief had changed their lot with you
For your heart's brightness!
AN ENGLISH MAIDEN.
W HAT skies live you under,
You sweet English maid?
Are you dressed so, I wonder,
For mere masquerade?
Or, in lands of the morning,
Does some dusky race
See its own garb adorning
Your fair English face ?
Where, perhaps, as he gazes,
Some wanderer again
Dreams of childhood and daisies
In a green English lane.
For in lands that ale rainless,
Tho' the flowers be rare;
And neathh skies that are stainless,
Tho' the faces be fair;
Yet higher is the power,
Diviner the aid,
Of a wan English flower,
A white English maid.
. .-. ...
THE GE-OGRAPHY LESSON
THE GEOGRAPHY LESSON.
H OW very big the world must be !
The top I cannot nearly see,
Though Cissy puts a stool for me
To stand on, while I say
The lesson in Geography
She hears me every day.
But what I rather wonder at
Is, why the world should seem so flat,
If really it's as round as that,-
And oh! I wonder more
How an Australian keeps his hat
From tumbling on the floor.
Perhaps they learn by being hung
From boughs, head downwards, when they're young,-
But Cissy bids me hold my tongue,
And not attempt to settle
Such matters; but find Chittagong,
.~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ .... ... .
A DREAM IN WINTER. ,. ,
J to"~ -i
A DREAM IN WINTER.
OH, the dewy mornings, in the happy country home !
When, at the peep of dawn,
I crossed the pearly lawn,
While the bantam-cock was calling me to Come, Come, Come!
For the hens had laid for me
Eggs one or two or three.
Oh, the dewy mornings oh, the happy, happy home !
Oh, the dewy morning, and the long, long Summer day!
When in the lanes we went,
Where the purple foxgloves leant,
Like sentinels to challenge us, across the way;
And in the hedges, higher,
From the blossom-laden briar
The pink-white petals fluttered, like butterflies at play.
Oh, the dewy mornings I They seem so far away
From the streets and houses here,
In the towfi so dull and drear,
Where the beautiful white snow itself is dirty gray.
Yet, like a sunny gleam
In Winter, comes the dream
Of Summer flowers and happy hours to come again some day !
S this the famous apple-tree
That bore the fruit of gold ?
Where can the dreadful Dragon be
That used the place to hold?
Someone slew the dragon;
And now, it seems, 'tis held
By the prettiest little maiden
That ever you beheld.
The grim and grisly dragon
Let none come near the tree;
This maiden smiles you welcome,
And gives her apples free.
And those who eat her apples
Forget their grief and pain
And the joys of happy childhood
Spring in their hearts again.
Would you not gladly wander,
Like those of old, to find
An apple-tree so bountiful,
Kept by a maid so kind?
Alas though slain the dragon be,
No less the fruit is banned;
For vanished is that golden tree,
It grows in Fairy-land.
W HERE are the fairies gone to
And all the little men?
I should love so dearly
To see them now and then.
Suppose, as I was sitting here,
A little squirrel came ;
And just as I was wondering
Why it had grown so tame,
Off should drop its bushy tail,
And all its tawny skin,
And there it stood before my eyes,
A tiny lady-kin.
I'd make her such a pretty frock She'd talk to me of fairy-land,
Of rose-leaves sewn together; And tell such lovely things,
A lily-bell should be her smock, That I should want to be like her,
Her cap a peacock's feather. And have a wand and wings.
And then she'd say, "My dear, I'd give
Both wings and wand away,
To be a little girl like you
In the world of every-day !"