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But man feels a burden of care and of grief,
I thank thee, bright monitor; what thou hast taught,
oracle came. “Because in all weather I’m merry and free, They call me the Winter-King, Pee, dee, dee.”
But soon there 'll be snow, weighing down the light
bough, On which thou art flitting so playfully now; And though there's a vesture well fitted and warm, Protecting the rest of thy delicate form, What then wilt thou do with thy little bare feet, To save them from pain ʼmid the frost and the sleet? “I can draw them right up in my feathers you see, To warm them, and fly away, Pee, dee, dee.”
MISS H. F. GOULD.
'T was in the Spring-time of the year,
The latter part of May,
Came to our house one day.
I watched them with a loving smile,
As they glanced in and out, And in their busy, chirping style,
Went peering all about.
I knew that they would build a nest ;
And joy it was to me,
Beneath our roof should be.
The green boughs of a tall old tree
Gave them a pleasant shade, While, through an arch, they well could see
Where sun and river played.
And here they came in sunny hours,
And here their nest they made, Safe, as if hid in greenwood bowers,
For none their will gainsaid.
I think they felt a friendly sphere,
And knew we loved them dearly; For they seemed to have no thought of fear,
And planned their household cheerly.
They fanned me with their busy wings,
And buzzed about my head; Never were such familiar things
In field or forest bred.
The father was a gentle bird,
Right gracefully he wooed,
Than to his mate he cooed.
And, when their clay-built nest she lined,
He'd go in sunny weather,
Some little downy feather. '
Then high would swell his loving breast,
He felt so very proud,
And call to her aloud.
AUNT MARIA'S SWALLOWS.
And she would raise her glossy head,
And make a mighty stir,
That he had brought for her.
And she would take it from his bill,
With such an easy grace,
Accept a veil of lace.
They did not know, the pretty things,
How beautiful they were !
Or balanced on the air.
And yet they almost seemed to know
They had a winsome grace;
They'd choose their resting-place.
On a suspended hoop they'd swing,
Sway'd by the buoyant air,
Songs of a loving pair.
The lover proved a husband kind,
Attentive to his mate;
And never staid out late.
And while she hatched, with patient care,
He took his turn to brood,
To find her needful food.
He did it with an awkward hop,
And the eggs seemed like to break, Just as some clumsy man would mop,
Or thread and needle, take.
But there with patient love he saty
And kept the eggs right warm, And sharply watched for dog or cat,
Until his mate's return.
And when the young birds broke the shell,
He took a generous share
With insects from the air
But when they taught the brood to fly,
'T was curious to see How hard the parent birds would try,
And twitter coaxingly.
From beam to beam, from floor to nest,
With eager haste they flew;
They had so much to do.