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Perchance the years have changed her: yet


This picture lingers: still she seems to me The fair, young Angel of my infancy.

Edmund Clarence Stedman


HE sang so wildly, did the Boy,
That you could never tell

If 't was a madman's voice you heard,
Or if the spirit of a bird

Within his heart did dwell:

A bird that dallies with his voice
Among the matted branches;

Or on the free blue air his note

To pierce, and fall, and rise, and float,
With bolder utterance launches,

None ever was so sweet as he,

The boy that wildly sang to me;

Though toilsome was the way and long,

He led me not to lose the song.

But when again we stood below

The unhidden sky, his feet

Grew slacker, and his note more slow,

But more than doubly sweet.

He led me then a little way

Athwart the barren moor,

And then he stayed and bade me stay

Beside a cottage door;

I could have stayed of mine own will,
In truth, my eye and heart to fill

With the sweet sight which I saw there,
At the dwelling of the cottager.

A little in the doorway sitting,
The mother plied her busy knitting,
And her cheek so softly smiled,
You might be sure, although her gaze
Was on the meshes of the lace,
Yet her thoughts were with her child.
But when the boy had heard her voice,
As o'er her work she did rejoice,
His became silent altogether,
And slily creeping by the wall
He seiz❜d a single plume, let fall
By some wild bird of longest feather;
And all a-tremble with his freak,
He touch'd her lightly on the cheek.

Oh, what a loveliness her eyes
Gather in that one moment's space,
While peeping round the post she spies
Her darling's laughing face!
Oh, mother's love is glorifying,
On the cheek like sunset lying;
In the eyes a moisten'd light,
Softer than the moon at night!

Thomas Burbidge


A WIDOW,- she had only one!
A puny and decrepit son;
But, day and night,

Though fretful oft, and weak and small,
A loving child, he was her all, -
The Widow's Mite.

The Widow's Mite-aye, so sustain'd,
She battled onward, nor complain'd
Though friends were fewer:
And while she toil'd for daily fare,

A little crutch upon the stair

Was music to her.

I saw her then, and now I see

That, though resign'd and cheerful, she Has sorrow'd much:

She has, He gave it tenderly,

Much faith, and, carefully laid by,

A little crutch.

Frederick Locker-Lampson


THIS, then, is she,

My mother as she looked at seventeen, When she first met my father. Young in


Younger than spring, without the faintest


Of disappointment, weariness, or tear
Upon the childlike earnestness and grace
Of the waiting face.

Those close-wound ropes of pearl

(Or common beads made precious by their use)

Seem heavy for so slight a throat to wear;
But the low bodice leaves the shoulders bare
And half the glad swell of the breast, for news
That now the woman stirs within the girl.
And yet,

Even so, the loops and globes
Of beaten gold

And jet

Hung, in the stately way of old,
From the ears' drooping lobes

On festivals and Lord's-day of the week,
Show all too matron-sober for the cheek,
Which, now I look again, is perfect child,
Or no- or no-'tis girlhood's very self,
Moulded by some deep, mischief-ridden elf
So meek, so maiden mild,

But startling the close gazer with the sense
Of passion forest-shy and forest-wild,
And delicate delirious merriments.

As a moth beats sidewise

And up and over, and tries

To skirt the irresistible lure

Of the flame that has him sure,

My spirit, that is none too strong to-day,
Flutters and makes delay,-

Pausing to wonder at the perfect lips,
Lifting to muse upon the low-drawn hair
And each hid radiance there,

But powerless to stem the tide-race bright, The vehement peace which drifts it toward the light

Where soon

ah, now, with cries

Of grief and giving-up unto its gain

It shrinks no longer nor denies,

But dips

Hurriedly home to the exquisite heart of pain,

And all is well, for I have seen them plain,
The unforgettable, the unforgotten eyes!
Across the blinding gush of these good tears
They shine as in the sweet and heavy years
When by her bed and chair

We children gathered jealously to share
The sunlit aura breathing myrrh and thyme,
Where the sore-stricken body made a clime
Gentler than May and pleasanter than rhyme,
Holier and more mystical than prayer.
God, how thy ways are strange!

That this should be, even this,

The patient head

Which suffered years ago the dreary change!

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