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Softly sinking, down he goes !!
Josiah Gilbert Holland
A SONG OF TWILIGHT
Oh, to come home once more, when the dusk
is falling, To see the nursery lighted and the chil.
dren's table spread; “ Mother, mother, mother!” the eager voices
calling, “ The baby was so sleepy that he had to go
Oh, to come home once more, and see the
smiling faces, Dark head, bright head, clustered at the
pane ; Much the years have taken, when the heart
its path retraces, But until time is not for me, the image
Men and women now they are, standing
straight and steady, Grave heart, gay heart, fit for life's emprise ;
Shoulder set to shoulder, how should they be
but ready! The future shines before them with the
light of their own eyes.
Still each answers to my call; no good has
been denied me, My burdens have been fitted to the little
strength that's mine, Beauty, pride and peace have walked by day
The evening closes gently in, and how
can I repine ?
But oh, to see once more, when the early dusk
is falling; The nursery windows glowing and the
children's table spread; “ Mother, mother, mother!” the high child
voices calling, “ He could n't stay awake for you, he had to go to bed!"
TUCKING THE BABY IN
THE dark-fringed eyelids slowly close
On eyes serene and deep;
Has gently dropped to sleep;
I kiss his soft and dimpled cheek,
I kiss his rounded chin, Then lay him on his little bed,
And tuck my baby in.
How fair and innocent he lies;
Like some small angel strayed, His face still warmed by God's own smile, That slumbers unafraid
; Or like some new embodied soul, Still pure
from taint of sin
To tuck my baby in.
That now lie still and white ?
That shines with morning light? These wee pink shoeless feet — how far
Shall go their lengthening tread,
May rest upon this bed ?
An angel for the skies ;
The soul within these eyes ?
Before his cares begin,
MOTHER AND CHILD
THE wind blew wide the casement, and
within It was the loveliest picture ! - a sweet child
a Lay in its mother's arms, and drew its life, In pauses, from the fountain, the white
round Part shaded by loose tresses, soft and dark, Concealing, but still showing, the fair realm Of so much rapture, as green shadowing
trees With beauty shroud the brooklet. The red
lips Were parted, and the cheek upon the breast Lay close, and, like the young leaf of the
flower, Wore the same color, rich and warm and
fresh: And such alone are beautiful. Its eye, A full blue gem, most exquisitely set, Looked archly on its world, — the little
imp, As if it knew even then that such a wreath Were not for all ; and with its playful hands It drew aside the robe that hid its realm, And peeped and laughed aloud, and so it
laid Its head on the shrine of such pure joys,
And, laughing, slept. And while it slept, the
tears Of the sweet mother fell upon its cheek, Tears such as fall from April skies, and
bring The sunlight after. They were tears of joy ; And the true heart of that young mother
then Grew lighter, and she sang unconsciously The silliest ballad-song that ever yet Subdued the nursery's voices, and brought
sleep To fold her sabbath wings above its couch.
William Gilmore Simms
WITHIN the crib that stands beside
bed A little form in sweet abandon lies
And as I bend above with misty eyes I know how Mary's heart was comforted.
O world of Mothers ! blest are we who know
The ecstasy — the deep God-given
thrill That Mary felt when all the earth was
still In the Judean starlight long ago!
Anne P. L. Field