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60 THE PET LAMB.

A faithful nurse thou hast, the dam that did thee yean Upon the mountain-tops no kinder could have been.

"Thou knowest that twice a day I have brought thee in this can Fresh water from the brook, as clear as ever ran; And twice in the day, when the ground is wet with dew, I bring thee draughts of milk, warm milk it is, and new.

"Thy limbs will shortly be twice as stout as they are now; Then I '11 yoke thee to my cart, like a pony in the plough;My playmate thou shalt be; and when the wind is

cold x Our hearth shall be thy bed, our house shall be thy fold.

"Alas! the mountain-tops that look so green and fair, I've heard of fearful winds and darkness that come there;The little brooks that seem all pastime and all play, When they are angry roar like lions for their prey.

"Here thou need'st not dread the raven in the sky; Night and day thou art safe — our cottage is hard by. Why*bleat so after me? why pull so at thy chain? Sleep — and at break of day I will come to thee again."

As homeward through the lane 1 went, with lazy feet, This song to myself did I oftentimes repeat;

And it seemed, as I retraced the ballad line by line, That but half of it was hers, and one half of it was mine.

Again, and once again, did I repeat the song:"Nay," said I, "more than half to the damsel must belong, For she looked with such a look, and she spoke with

such a tone, That I almost received her heart into my own."

THE LITTLE BLACK BOY.— Blake.

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 kissed me,
And, pointing to the east, began to say: —

"Look on 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.

62 THE SPAETAN BOY.

"For when our souls have learnt the heat to bear,
The clouds will vanish, we shall hear his voice,
Saying, 'Come from the grove, my love and care,
And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice.'"

Thus did my mother say, and kissed me;
And thus say I to little English boy —
When I from black and he from white cloud free,
And round the tent of God like lambs we joy;

I 'II shade him from the heat till he can bear
To lean with joy upon our Father's knee;
And then I '11 stand and stroke his silver hair,
And be like him, and he will then love me.

THE SPARTAN BOY. — Miss Lamb.

When I the memory repeat Of the heroic actions great, Which, in contempt of pain and death, Were done by men who drew their breath In ages past, I find no deed That can in fortitude exceed The noble boy, in Sparta bred, Who in the temple ministered. By the sacrifice he stands, The lighted incense in his hands;Through the smoking censer's lid Dropped a burning coal, which slid Into his sleeve, and passed in Between the folds, e'en to the skin. Dire was the pain which then he proved, But not for this his sleeve he moved,

Or would the scorching ember shake Out from the folds, lest it should make Any confusion, or excite Disturbance at the sacred rite;

But close he kept the burning coal, Till it eat itself a hole In his flesh. The standers-by Saw no sign, and heard no cry. All this he did in noble scorn, And for he was a Spartan born. Young student who this story readest, And with the same thy thoughts now feedest,

Thy weaker nerves might thee forbid To do the thing the Spartan did;Thy feebler heart could not sustain Such dire extremity of pain. But in this story thou mayst see That may useful prove to thee. By this example thou wilt find,

That to the ingenuous mind Shame can greater anguish bring Than the body's suffering;That pain is not the worst of ills, — Not when it the body kills;That in fair religion's cause For thy country, or the laws, When occasion dire shall offer,

VT is reproachful not to suffer.

MY BIRTHDAY. — Miss Lamb.

A dozen years since, in this house what commotion,
What bustle, what stir, and what joyful ado!
Every soul in the family at my devotion,
When into the world' *ame, twelve years ago.

64 HT BIRTHDAY.

I Ve been told by my friends (if they do not be
My promise was such as no parent would scorn;
The wise and the aged who prophesied by me
Augured nothing but good of me when I was born.

But vain are the hopes which are formed by a
Fallacious the marks which in infancy shine;
My frail constitution soon made it apparent
I nourished within me the seeds of decline.

On a sick-bed I lay, through the flesh my bones started,
My grief-wasted frame to a skeleton fell;
My physicians, foreboding, took leave and departed,
And they wished me dead now who wished me'

Life and soul were kept in by a mother's assistance,
Who struggled with faith, and prevailed 'gainsspair; Like an angel she watched o'er the lamp of existence,
And never would leave while a glimmer was there.

By her care I'm alive now;—but what retribution Can I for a life twice bestowed thus confer? Were I to be silent, each year's revolution Proclaims each new birthday is owing to her.

The chance-rooted tree that by way-sides is planted, Where no friendly hand will watch o'er its young shoots, Has less blame if, in autumn, when produce is wanted, Enriched by small culture, it put forth small fruits.

But that which with labor in hotbeds is reared, Secured by nice art from the dews and the rains, Unsound at the root may with justice be feared, If it pay not with interest the tiller his pains.

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