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24

MABEL ON MIDSUMMIER DAY.

She did not wander up and down,
Nor yet a live branch pull,

But steadily of the fallen boughs
She picked her apron full.

And when the wild-wood brownies
Came sliding to her mind,

She drove them thence, as she was told,
With home-thoughts sweet and kind.

But all that while the brownies
Within the fir-wood still,

They watched her how she picked the wood,
And strove to do no ill.

“And, O, but she is small and neat,”
Said one; “’t were shame to spite

A creature so demure and meek,
A creature harmless quite s”

“Look only,” said another,
“At her little gown of blue;
At her kerchief pinned about her head,
And at her little shoe s”

“O, but she is a comely child,”
Said a third; “and we will lay

A good-luck penny in her path,
A boon for her this day, -

Seeing she broke no living wood;
No live thing did affray !”

With that the smallest penny,
Of the finest silver ore,

Upon the dry and slippery path,
Lay Mabel's feet before.

With joy she picked the penny up,
The fairy penny good;

And with her fagots dry and brown
Went wandering from the wood.

“Now she has that,” said the brownies,
“Let flax be ever so dear,

"Twill buy her clothes of the very best,
For many and many a year !”

“And go now,” said the grandmother,
“Since falling is the dew,

Go down unto the lonesome glen,
And milk the mother-ewel ”

All down into the lonesome glen,
Through copses thick and wild,

Through moist rank grass, by trickling streams,
Went on the willing child.

And when she came to the lonesome glen,
She kept beside the burn,

And neither plucked the strawberry-flower
Nor broke the lady-fern.

And while she milked the mother-ewe
Within this lonesome glen,

She wished that little Amy
Were strong and well again.

And soon as she had thought this thought,
She heard a coming sound,

As if a thousand fairy-folk
Were gathering all around.

26

MABEL ON MIDSUMMER DAY.

And then she heard a little voice,
Shrill as the midge's wing,

That spake aloud, – “A human child
Is here; yet mark this thing, —

“The lady-fern is all unbroke,
The strawberry-flower unta'en!
What shall be done for her who still

From mischief can refrain 2’’

“Give her a fairy cake l’” said one;
“Grant her a wish l’” said three;

“The latest wish that she hath wished,”
Said all, “whate'er it be l’”

Kind Mabel heard the words they spake,
And from the lonesome glen

Unto the good old grandmother
Went gladly back again.

Thus happened it to Mabel
On that midsummer day,

And these three fairy-blessings
She took with her away.

'Tis good to make all duty sweet,
To be alert and kind;
'T is good, like little Mabel,

To have a willing mind.

THE ATHEIST AND THE ACORN.

“METHINKs this world seems oddly made, And everything amiss,”

A dull, complaining atheist said,

As stretched he lay beneath the shade,
And instanced it in this :

“Behold,” quoth he, “that mighty thing, A pumpkin large and round,

Is held but by a little string,

Which upward cannot make it spring,
Nor bear it from the ground,

“While on this oak an acorn small,
So disproportioned, grows,

That whosoe'er surveys this all,

This universal casual ball,
Its ill contrivance knows.

“My better judgment would have hung The pumpkin on the tree,

And left the acorn slightly strung,

'Mong things that on the surface sprung, And weak and feeble be.”

No more the caviller could say,
No further faults descry;

For, upwards gazing as he lay,

An acorn, loosened from its spray,
Fell down upon his eye.

2S THE PIN, NEEDLE, AND SCISSORS

The wounded part with tears ran o'er,
As punished for the sin;

Fool had that bough a pumpkin bore,

Thy whimsies would have worked no more,
Nor skull have kept them in.

THE PIN, NEEDLE, AND SCISSORS..— Mrs. Folsen.

T 'Is true, although 'tis sad to say,
Disputes are rising every day.
You'd think, if no one did deny it,
A little work-box might be quiet;
But 'tis not so, for I did hear —
Or else I dreamed it, 'tis so queer —
A Pin and Needle in the cushion
Maintain the following discussion.
The Needle, “extra-fine, gold-eyed,”
Was very sharp and full of pride.
And thus, methought, she did begin: —
“You clumsy, thick, short, ugly Pin,
I wish you were not quite so near;
How could my mistress stick me here 2
She should have put me in my place,
With my bright sisters in the case.”
“Would you were there !” the Pin replied;
“I do not want you by my side.
I’m rather short and thick, 'tis true;
Who’d be so long and thin as you?
I’ve got a head, though, of my own,
That you had better let alone.”
“You make me laugh,” the Needle cried;
“That you’ve a head can't be denied;
For you a very proper head,
Without an eye and full of lead.”

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