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A sudden rush from the stairway,

A sudden raid from the hall, By three doors left unguarded,

They enter my castle wall.

They climb up into my turret,

O'er the arms and back of my chair ; If I try to escape, they surround me :

They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,

Their arms about me intwine, Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen

In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine.

Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,

Because you have scaled the wall, Such an old mustache as I am

Is not a match for you all ?

I have you fast in my fortress,

And will not let you depart, But put you into the dungeon

In the round-tower of my heart.

A DISTRICT school, not far away,
Mid Berkshire hills, one winter's day,
Was humming with its wonted noise
Of threescore mingled girls and boys;
Some few upon their tasks intent,
But more on furtive mischief bent.
The while the master's downward look
Was fastened on a copy-book ;
When suddenly, behind his back,
Rose sharp and clear a rousing smack !
As 't were a battery of bliss
Let off in one tremendous kiss !
“What's that ?" the startled master cries ;
“That, thir,” a little imp replies,
“Wath William Willith, if you pleathe, -
I thaw him kith Thuthanna Peathe!"
With frown to make a statue thrill,
The master thundered, “Hither, Will !"
Like wretch o'ertaken in his track,
With stolen chattels on his back,
Will hung his head in fear and shame,
And to the awful presence came, —
A great, green, bashful simpleton,
The butt of all good-natured fun.
With smile suppressed, and birch upraised,
The threatener faltered, “I'm amazed
That you, my biggest pupil, should
Be guilty of an act so rude !
Before the whole set school to boot —
What evil genius put you to 't?"
“ 'T was she herself, sir," sobbed the lad,
“I did not mean to be so bad ;
But when Susannah shook her curls,
And whispered, I was 'fraid of girls,
And dursn't kiss a baby's doll,
I could n't stand it, sir, at all,
But up and kissed her on the spot !
I know - boo-hoo — I ought to not,
But, somehow, from her looks — boo-hoo -
I thought she kind o' wished me to !"


And there will I keep you forever,

Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away.



JENNY kissed me when we met,

Jumping from the chair she sat in. Time, you thief! who love to get

Sweets into your list, put that in. Say I'm weary, say I'm sad ;

Say that health and wealth have missed me; Say I'm growing old, but add –

Jenny kissed me!



For, eschewing books and tasks, Nature answers all he asks ; Hand in hand with her he walks, Face to face with her he talks, Part and parcel of her joy, — Blessings on the barefoot boy!

OLD-SCHOOL PUNISHMENT. Old Master Brown brought his ferule down,

And his face looked angry and red.
“Go, seat you there, now, Anthony Blair,

Along with the girls," he said.
Then Anthony Blair, with a mortified air,

With his head down on his breast,
Took his penitent seat by the maiden sweet

That he loved, of all, the best.
And Anthony Blair seemed whimpering there,

But the rogue only made believe ; For he peeped at the girls with the beautiful curls,

And ogled them over his sleeve.



BLESSINGS on thee, little man, Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan ! With thy turned-up pantaloons, And thy merry whistled tunes ; With thy red lip, redder still Kissed by strawberries on the hill ; With the sunshine on thy face, Through thy torn brim's jaunty grace ; From my heart I give thee joy, -I was once a barefoot boy! Prince thou art, — the grown-up man Only is republican. Let the million-dollared ride! Barefoot, trudging at his side, Thou hast more than he can buy In the reach of ear and eye, Outward sunshine, inward joy : Blessings on thee, barefoot boy!

O for boyhood's time of June, Crowding years in one brief moon, When all things I heard or saw, Me, their master, waited for. I was rich in flowers and trees, Humming-birds and honey-bees; For my sport the squirrel played, Plied the snouted mole his spade ; For my taste the blackberry cone Purpled over hedge and stone; Laughed the brook for my delight Through the day and through the night, Whispering at the garden wall, Talked with me from fall to fall; Mine the sand-rimmed pickerel pond, Mine the walnut slopes beyond, Mine, on bending orchard trees, Apples of Hesperides ! Still as my horizon grew, Larger grew my riches too; All the world I saw or knew Seemed a complex Chinese toy, Fashioned for a barefoot boy !

O for boyhood's painless play, Sleep that wakes in laughing day, Health that mocks the doctor's rules, Knowledge never learned of schools, Of the wild bee's morning chase, of the wild flower's time and place, Flight of fowl and habitude Of the tenants of the wood ; How the tortoise bears his shell, How the woodchuck digs his cell, And the ground-mole sinks his well ; How the robin feeds her young, How the oriole's nest is hung; Where the whitest lilies blow, Where the freshest berries grow, Where the ground-nut trails its vine, Where the wood-grape's clusters shine ; Of the black wasp's cunning way, Mason of his walls of clay, And the architectural plans Of gray hornet artisans !

O for festal dainties spread, Like my bowl of milk and bread, Pewter spoon and bowl of wood, On the door-stone, gray and rude ! O'er me, like a regal tent, Cloudy-ribbed, the sunset bent, Purple-curtained, fringed with gold, Looped in many a wind-swung fold; While for music came the play Of the pied frogs' orchestra ; And, to light the noisy choir, Lit the fly his lamp of fire. I was monarch : pomp and joy Waited on the barefoot boy !

Cheerily, then, my little man, Live and laugh, as boyhood can ! Though the flinty slopes be hard, Stubble-speared the new-mown sward, Every morn shall lead thee through Fresh baptisms of the dew ; Every evening from thy feet Shall the cool wind kiss the heat: All too soon these feet must hide In the prison cells of pride, Lose the freedom of the sod, Like a colt's for work be shod, Made to tread the mills of toil,

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The bridge, and the rock where the cataract fell; And I almost worshipped her when she siniled, The cot of my father, the dairy-house nigh it. And turned from her Bible to bless her child.

Ande'en the rude bucket which hung in the well. Years rolled on, but the last one sped, The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket, My idol was shattered, my earth-star fled ! The moss-covered bucket which hung in the well. I learnt how much the heart can bear,

When I saw her die in her old arm-chair. That moss-covered vessel I hail as a treasure ;

For often, at noon, when returned from the field, 'Tis past, 't is past! but I gaze on it now, I found it the source of an exquisite pleasure, With quivering breath and throbbing brow:

The purest and sweetest that nature can yield. 'T was there she nursed me, 't was there she died, How ardent I seized it, with hands that were glow- And memory flows with lava tide. ing!

Say it is folly, and deem me weak,
And quick to the white-pebbled bottom it fell ; Whilst scalding drops start down my cheek ;
Then soon, with the emblem of truth overflowing, But I love it, I love it, and cannot tear

And dripping with coolness, it rose from the well; My soul from a mother's old arm-chair.
The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket,

ELIZA COOK The moss-covered bucket, arose from the well.

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