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THE LITTLE BLACK BOY
My mother bore me in the southern wild,
And I am black, but O, my soul is white! White as an angel is the English child,
But I am black, as if bereaved of light.
My mother taught me underneath a tree,
And, sitting down before the heat of day, She took me on her lap and kissèd me,
And, pointing to the East, began to say:
“Look at the rising sun; there God does live, And gives His light, and gives His heat
away, And flowers and trees and beasts and men
receive Comfort in morning, joy in the noonday.
“ And we are put on earth a little space, That we may learn to bear the beams of
love; And these black bodies and this sunburnt face
Are but a cloud, and like a shady grove.
“For when our souls have learn'd the heat
to bear, The cloud will vanish, when we shall hear His voice,
Saying Come out from the grove, my love
And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice.'”
Thus did my mother say, and kissèd me,
And thus I say to little English boy. When I from black and he from white cloud
free, And round the tent of God like lambs we
I'll shade him from the heat till he can bear
To lean in joy upon our Father's knee; And then I'll stand and stroke his silver
hair, And be like him, and he will then love me.
(Lines written at Burmah in joy for a first-born) ERE last year's morn had left the sky,
A birdling sought my Indian nest; And folded, oh, so lovingly,
Her tiny wings upon my breast.
From morn till evening's purple tinge,
In winsome helplessness she lies;
There's not in Ind a lovelier bird;
Broad earth owns not a happier nest; O God, thou hast a fountain stirred,
Whose waters never more shall rest.
This beautiful, mysterious thing,
This seeming visitant from heaven, This bird with the immortal wing,
To me, to me, thy hand has given.
The pulse first caught its tiny stroke,
The blood its crimson hue, from mine; This life which I have dared invoke,
Henceforth, is parallel with thine.
A silent awe is in my room,
I tremble with delicious fear;
Time and eternity are here.
Doubts, hopes, in eager tumult rise,
Hear, O my God, one earnest prayer:
Emily C. Judson
CHILDREN are what the mothers are.
Can fashion so the infant heart
His startled eyes with wonder see
Walter Savage Landor
MY LITTLE DEAR
My little dear, so fast asleep,
Whose arms about me cling, What kisses shall she have to keep,
While she is slumbering?
Upon her golden baby-hair,
The golden dreams I'll kiss
Upon her baby eyes
press The kiss Love gave to me, When his great joy and loveliness Made all things fair to see.
And on her lips, with smiles astir,
Ah me, what prayer of old
THE IMMORTALITY OF LOVE
THEY sin who tell us love can die:
All others are but vanity;
Nor avarice in the vaults of hell;
But love is indestructible;
But the harvest-time of love is there.