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Sickly children, that whine low
To themselves and not their mothers, From mere habit,-never so
Hoping help or care from others.
Healthy children, with those blue
I am listening here in Rome,
"Angli angeli !" (resumed
Can we smooth down the bright hair,
The sweet looks of our own children,
While those others, lean and small,
"Is it our fault?" you reply,
Is asserted by starvation?
"All these mouths we cannot feed,
And we cannot clothe these bodies." Well, if man's so hard indeed,
Let them learn at least what God is !
Little outcasts from life's fold,
The grave's hope they may be joined in, By Christ's covenant consoled
For our social contract's grinding.
If no better can be done,
Let us do but this,-endeavour That the sun behind the sun
Shine upon them while they shiver ! On the dismal London flags,
Through the cruel social juggle, Put a thought beneath their rags To ennoble the heart's struggle.
O my sisters! not so much
Are we asked for-not a blossom From our children's nosegay, such As we gave it from our bosom,—
Not the milk left in their cup,
Not the lamp while they are sleeping, Not the little cloak hung up
While the coat's in daily keeping,
But a place in RAGGED SCHOOLS,
O my sisters! children small,
Let us take them into pity!
A LAY OF THE EARLY ROSE.
A ROSE once grew within
A garden April-green,
In her loneness, in her loneness,
A white rose delicate
On a tall bough and straight:
Her pretty gestes did win South winds to let her in, In her loneness, in her loneness, All the fairer for that oneness.
"For if I wait," said she,
For the moss-rose and the musk-rose,
"What glory then for me
Roses plenty, roses plenty,
"Nay, let me in," said she,
In my loneness, in my loneness,
"For I would lonely stand
On a mission, on a mission,
Upon which lifted sign,
What worship will be mine!
What addressing, what caressing,
And what thanks and praise and blessing!
"A windlike joy will rush
Through every tree and bush, Bending softly in affection
And spontaneous benediction.
"Insects that only may
Live in a sunbright ray,
To my whiteness, to my whiteness,
"And every moth and bee,
"Three larks shall leave a cloud
To my whiter beauty vowed,
Singing gladly all the moontide,
"Ten nightingales shall flee
"I ween the very skies
Will look down with surprise,
"And earth will call her flowers
By their curtsies and sweet-smelling,
So praying did she win
But ah,-alas for her!
No thing did minister
To her praises, to her praises,
No tree nor bush was seen
The little flies did crawl
Along the southern wall,
Faintly shifting, faintly shifting Wings scarce long enough for lifting.
The lark, too high or low,
I ween, did miss her so,
The nightingale did please
Only the bee, forsooth,
The skies looked coldly down
Then with drop for drop, at leisure,
They began to rain for pleasure.