RICHARD AND HIS BROTHER
Richard, come and play with me,
Underneath the willow tree;
Sitting in its peaceful shade,
We'll sing the song papa has made,
Whilst its drooping branches spread,
Stretching far above our head,
Sweetly tempering the blaze
Of the sun's meridian rays.
There the rose and violet blow,
The lily with her bell of snow,
And the richly scented woodbine,
Round about its trunk doth twine;
There the busy bee shall come,
And gather sweets to carry home.
Oh, how happy we shall be,
Underneath the willow tree!
Mary, raise that sleepy head,
For the lark doth carol high,
And the sun has left his bed—
Mary, ope that sleepy eye.
Come, and let me wash you clean,
Brush your hair and tie your frock;
There's your sister Geraldine,
Waiting at the mossy rock.
Hark! the little chicken's cries,
Loudly call for Mary's care,
But if the sluggard will not rise,
George their breakfast shall prepare.
Who shall get the fresh-laid egg,
To place beside her father's cup?
Who shall pour the tea, I beg,
If my Mary is not up?
Come, little Mary, come to me,
And say your lesson on my knee,
Your book is there, the pointer in it,
All ready to begin this minute.
What! pout your lip, and scream and cry,
And say, "I won't, I can't:"—Oh fie!
Then go, and in that corner stay,
Till sobs and tears have pass'd away;
Till you can come with voice more mild,
And say, "Mamma, forgive your child."
What little girl is this, whose eyes
Smile through her tears, while thus she cries?
"My dear mamma, I love you, pray
Forgive your child, and let me say
My lesson, standing at your knee,
Then give a kind sweet kiss to me."
It is my Mary! now her look
Is turn'd attentive to her book,
And now her lesson she has read,
Her task without a fault has said,
Mamma's best kiss she now has won,
So well her lessons she has done:
She's happy now, and good and gay,
And joins her sisters at their play;
There on the grass they skip, they sing,
Till all the hills and valleys ring.
THOUGHT HE KNEW BETTER THAN HIS MAMMA
Brightly shines the winter's sun,
O'er mountains clad with snow,
Blithe and gay the youthful throng
Sport in the plains below.
"Come," the venturous Edward cries,
"Let's try yon glassy tide;
Upon its smooth and frozen breast
We'll make a glorious slide."
"Oh, stay," his sister Ellen said,
"My dearest Edward, stay!
You know mamma forbade us all
To try the ice to-day."
"Hush! foolish Ellen, see how strong,
How firm the ice appears:
Mamma, I'm sure, if she were here,
Would banish all her fears.
"This stone with mighty force I throw,
Nor break, nor crack you see;
Then surely I may slide secure,
It will not yield with me."
He said, and darted o'er the stream,
Then turn'd in triumph round:
"Come, follow me, my comrades brave,
What danger have I found?"
In his success exulting now,
He leaps with sudden spring—
It cracks! it breaks! his cries are vain,
He plunges headlong in!
Who now the hapless boy shall snatch
From a cold wat'ry grave?—
Poor Ellen flies, with breathless speed,
Her brother's life to save.
He rises half—her shawl she flings
Into his eager hand,
Then, with her playmate's added strength,
She drags him safe to land.
With shivering limbs and dripping clothes,
Homeward he pensive turns;
He deeply now, alas! too late,
His disobedience mourns.
For three long months poor Edward groan'd
Upon a bed of pain;
'Twas three long months before he felt
The breeze of heaven again.
These three long months did Ellen strive,
By every tender care,
To soften Edward's grief, and soothe
The pain she wish'd to share.
What joy for both, when he once more
Could join the festive throng!
Yet oft he paus'd amid their sports,
To think if this were wrong.
"Bring me my breakfast instantly,"
Th' impatient Julia said;
It came—"'Tis meal, 'tis nasty meal,
When I had order'd bread!"
She tastes:—"Oh, it is burnt," she cried,
"Pray take it all away,
And bring some fresh, and quickly too,
Nor keep me here all day."
Her mother passing near the door,
O'erheard her loud commands,
And entering, met the maid, who held
The breakfast in her hands.
"Julia, what shameful words are those!
What shameful conduct too!
The milk is good, too good for those
Who ask and speak like you.
"From Betty now your breakfast take,
And drink it, if you choose,
And beg that she your haughtiness
And passion will excuse.
"What! silent and perverse become?
Then, Betty, you may go
And give the milk to that poor girl
Who's in the yard below.
"She spins or labours hard all day,
Yet eats the coarsest food;
She's thankful for the smallest gift,
And smiles, because she's good.
"But you, with that sad pouting lip,
And brow o'erhung with gloom,
May, if you please, from hence retire,
And stay in your own room.
"No breakfast you will have to-day,
Nor need again appear,
Till from your brow you chase that frown,
And from your eye the tear.
"Till you can come with cheerful mien,
And pardon ask from me;
Then, if you are a better girl,
Forgiven you may be."
Little cuckoo, com'st thou here,
When the blooming spring is near,
To sing thy song and tell thy tale,
To every hill and every vale?
Tell me, is thy distant home
Far across the salt sea foam?
Or hast thou, hidden from the day,
Slept the wintry hours away?
Welcome, cheering bird to me,
Where'er thy wintry mansion be,
In the earth, or o'er the main,
Welcome to these fields again!
Short thy visit to this shore,
April and May are quickly o'er;
Then, Cuckoo, chaunt thy strain in peace,
For in June thy song shall cease.
RED SHOES AND BLACK SHOES
Which must I have, little black shoes or red shoes,
Little thick shoes or thin shoes, which shall be mine?
In winter 'tis wet, and the roads are all dirt,
In summer 'tis dry, and the weather is fine.
Then come, little black shoes, 'tis now winter weather,
Your soles are so thick, you will keep me quite dry;
Not a splash nor a spot can get into my stockings,
So nice and so tight round my ancles you tie.
And you, little red shoes, so slender and thin,
You shall wait in my draw'r till the dirt's gone away;
When I'll walk with mamma when she goes to the farm,
You will never feel heavy through a long summer's day.
Then red shoes and black shoes, you both shall be mine,
The one in the dirt I will constantly wear,
The others in summer, when the walks are all dry:
So thick shoes and thin shoes rest quietly here.
Now the wintry winds are gone,
See how brightly shines the sun;
The violet sweet and primrose pale,
Now adorn the shelter'd vale.
The pilewort rears her joyous head,
To the sunbeam widely spread,
Whilst her little glossy eye
Glows with a deep and yellow dye.
To the garden we will go,
Take the rake, the spade, the hoe,
Dig the border nice and clean,
And rake till not a weed be seen.
Then our radish-seed we'll sow,
And mignionette a long, long row;
And ev'ry flowret of the year,
Shall have a place of shelter here.
In gay profusion they shall spread
O'er each border and each bed,
And when joyous May shall come,
We'll deck the lofty pole at home.
Garlands gay in wreaths we'll twine,
That with brightest colours shine;
And dance around, till setting sun
Proclaims the children's day is done.