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The lark's singing gaily; it loves the bright sun,
And rejoices that now the gay Spring is begun;
For the Spring is so cheerful I think ’t would be wrong
If we do not feel happy to hear the lark's song.

Get up; for when all things are merry and glad,
Good children should never be lazy and sad ;
For God gives us daylight, dear sister, that we
May rejoice like the lark, and may work like the bee.

LADY F. HASTINGS.

CHRISTMAS TIMES.

’T was the night before Christmas, and all through the

house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In the hope that St. Nicholas soon would be there. The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads, And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap; When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash,

CHRISTMAS TIMES.

185

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a minature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by

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“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer! now,

Vixen ! On, Comet ! on, Cupid ! on, Dunder and Blixen ! To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall, Now dash away ! dash away! dash away, all !” As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle mount to the sky, So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too. And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each tiny hoof; As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys was flung on his back, And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack. His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry ! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry ;

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all his stockings,—then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle ;
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“ MERRY CHRISTMAS to all, and to all a good night! ”

HOWARD,

THE BLIND BOY AT PLAY.

The blind boy's been at play, mother,

The merry games we had;
We led him on his way, mother,

And every step was glad ;
But when we found a starry flower,

And praised its varied hue,
A tear came trembling down his cheek,

Just like a drop of dew.

THE BLIND BOY AT PLAY.

187

We took him to the mill, mother,

Where falling waters made
A rainbow o'er the hills, mother,

As golden sun-rays played:
But when we shouted at the scene,

And hailed the clear, blue sky,
He stood quite still upon the bank,

And breathed a long, long sigh.

We asked him why he wept, mother,

When e're we found the spots Where periwinkles crept, mother,

O'er wild forget-me-nots. “ Ah me!” he said, while tears ran down

As fast as summer showers“ It is because I cannot see

The sunshine and the flowers.”

Oh! that poor, sightless boy, mother,

He taught me that I'm blest;
For I can look with joy, mother,

On all I love the best;
And when I see the dancing stream,

And daisies red and white,
I kneel upon the meadow-sod

And THANK MY God for sight.

ELIZA COOK.

LITTLE STREAMS.

LITTLE streams, in light and shadow
Flowing through the pasture meadow;
Flowing by the green wayside ;
Through the forest dim and wide :
Through the hamlet still and small;
By the cottage; by the hall;
By the ruiued abbey still;
Turning, here and there, a mill;
Bearing tribute to the river ;
Little streams, I love you ever !

Summer music is their flowing ;
Flowering plants in them are growing;
Happy life is in them all,
Creatures innocent and small;
Little birds come down to drink
Fearless on their leafy brink;
Noble trees beside them grow,
Glooming them with branches low,
And between, the sunshine glancing,
In their little waves is dancing.

Little streams have flowers a many
Beautiful and fair as any ;

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