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Softly sinking, down he goes !!
Down he goes ! down he goes !
See ! he is hushed in sweet repose!

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

to bed!”

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

will remain.

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

beside me,

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!"

Unknown

TUCKING THE BABY IN

THE dark-fringed eyelids slowly close

On eyes serene and deep;
Upon my breast my own sweet child

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
My thoughts are reverent as I stoop

To tuck my baby in.
What toil must stain these tiny hands

That now lie still and white ?
What shadows creep across the face

That shines with morning light? These wee pink shoeless feet — how far

Shall go their lengthening tread,
When they no longer cuddled close

May rest upon this bed ?
O what am I that I should train

An angel for the skies ;
Or mix the potent draught that feeds

The soul within these eyes ?
I reach him up to the sinless Hands

Before his cares begin,
Great Father, with Thy folds of love,
O tuck my baby in.

Curtis May

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

MATERNITY

WITHIN the crib that stands beside

my

bed A little form in sweet abandon lies

And as I bend above with misty eyes I know how Mary's heart was comforted.

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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

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