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- The Home Book of Verse, Volume 1 - 80/114 -


In fairest forms hath half her zest. For Charlie's sake this bird's caressed That death left lonely in the nest; For Charlie's sake my heart is dressed, As for its birthday, in its best; For Charlie's sake we leave the rest To Him who gave, and who did take, And saved us twice, for Charlie's sake.

John Williamson Palmer [1825-1906]

"ARE THE CHILDREN AT HOME?"

Each day, when the glow of sunset Fades in the western sky, And the wee ones, tired of playing, Go tripping lightly by, I steal away from my husband, Asleep in his easy-chair, And watch from the open doorway Their faces fresh and fair.

Alone in the dear old homestead That once was full of life, Ringing with girlish laughter, Echoing boyish strife, We two are waiting together; And oft, as the shadows come, With tremulous voice he calls me, "It is night! are the children home?"

"Yes, love!" I answer him gently, "They're all home long ago;" - And I sing, in my quivering treble, A song so soft and low, Till the old man drops to slumber, With his head upon his hand, And I tell to myself the number At home in the better land.

At home, where never a sorrow Shall dim their eyes with tears! Where the smile of God is on them Through all the summer years! I know, - yet my arms are empty, That fondly folded seven, And the mother-heart within me Is almost starved for heaven.

Sometimes, in the dusk of evening, I only shut my eyes, And the children are all about me, A vision from the skies: The babes whose dimpled fingers Lost the way to my breast, And the beautiful ones, the angels, Passed to the world of the blest.

With never a cloud upon them, I see their radiant brows; My boys that I gave to freedom, - The red sword sealed their vows! In a tangled Southern forest, Twin brothers bold and brave, They fell; and the flag they died for, Thank God! floats over their grave.

A breath, and the vision is lifted Away on wings of light, And again we two are together, All alone in the night. They tell me his mind is failing, But I smile at idle fears; He is only back with the children, In the dear and peaceful years.

And still, as the summer sunset Fades away in the west, And the wee ones, tired of playing, Go trooping home to rest, My husband calls from his corner, "Say, love, have the children come?" And I answer, with eyes uplifted, "Yes, dear! they are all at home."

Margaret Sangster [1838-1919]

THE MORNING-GLORY

We wreathed about our darling's head The morning-glory bright; Her little face looked out beneath, So full of life and light, So lit as with a sunrise, That we could only say, "She is the morning-glory true, And her poor types are they."

So always from that happy time We called her by their name, And very fitting did it seem - For, sure as morning came, Behind her cradle bars she smiled To catch the first faint ray, As from the trellis smiles the flower And opens to the day.

But not so beautiful they rear Their airy cups of blue, As turned her sweet eyes to the light, Brimmed with sleep's tender dew; And not so close their tendrils fine Round their supports are thrown, As those dear arms whose outstretched plea Clasped all hearts to her own.

We used to think how she had come, Even as comes the flower, The last and perfect added gift To crown Love's morning hour; And how in her was imaged forth The love we could not say, As on the little dewdrops round Shines back the heart of day.

We never could have thought, O God, That she must wither up, Almost before a day was flown, Like the morning-glory's cup; We never thought to see her droop Her fair and noble head, Till she lay stretched before our eyes, Wilted, and cold, and dead!

The morning-glory's blossoming Will soon be coming round - We see the rows of heart-shaped leaves Upspringing from the ground; The tender things the winter killed Renew again their birth, But the glory of our morning Has passed away from earth.

O Earth! in vain our aching eyes Stretch over thy green plain! Too harsh thy dews, too gross thine air Her spirit to sustain; But up in groves of Paradise Full surely we shall see Our morning-glory beautiful Twine round our dear Lord's knee.

Maria White Lowell [1821-1855]

SHE CAME AND WENT

As a twig trembles, which a bird Lights on to sing, then leaves unbent, So is my memory thrilled and stirred; - I only know she came and went.

As clasps some lake, by gusts unriven, The blue dome's measureless content, So my soul held that moment's heaven; - I only know she came and went.

As, at one bound, our swift spring heaps The orchards full of bloom and scent, So clove her May my wintry sleeps; - I only know she came and went.

An angel stood and met my gaze, Through the low doorway of my tent; The tent is struck, the vision stays; - I only know she came and went.

Oh, when the room grows slowly dim, And life's last oil is nearly spent, One gush of light these eyes will brim, Only to think she came and went.

James Russell Lowell [1819-1891]

THE FIRST SNOW-FALL

The snow had begun in the gloaming, And busily all the night Had been heaping field and highway With a silence deep and white.

Every pine and fir and hemlock Wore ermine too dear for an earl, And the poorest twig on the elm-tree Was ridged inch deep with pearl.

From sheds new-roofed with Carrara


The Home Book of Verse, Volume 1 - 80/114

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