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LITTLE CHILDREN.

SPORTING through the forest wide; Playing by the waterside; Wandering o'er the heathy fells; Down within the woodland dells; All among the mountains wild, Dwelleth many a little child! In the baron's hall of pride; By the poor man's dull fireside : 'Mid the mighty, 'mid the mean, Little children may be seen, Like the flowers that spring up fair, Bright and countless every where! In the far isles of the main; In the desert's lone domain; In the savage mountain-glen, 'Mong the tribes of swarthy men; Whereso'er a foot hath gone; Whereso'er the sun hath shone On a league of peopled ground, Little children may be found! Blessings on them! they in me Move a kindly sympathy, With their wishes, hopes, and fears; With their laughter and their tears; With their wonder so intense, And their small experience! Little children, not alone On the wide earth are ye known, 'Mid its labors and its cares, 'Mid its sufferings and its snares; Free from sorrow, free from strife, In the world of love and life, Where no sinful thing hath trod— In the presence of your God, Spotless, blameless, glorifiedLittle children, ye abide!

MARY HOWITT.

A FANCY ABOUT A BOY.

"Nothing,-less than nothing; and vanity."

WE stood beside the window, still-
The little boy and I;

Within the room was sober gloom;

Without, a sunset sky.

I drew him forward to the light,
That I might view him plain :
The sudden view thrilled my heart through
With a delicious pain.

I leant his head back o'er my arm,
And smoothed his crisped hair-

The dear, dear curls, o'er which salt pearls

I could have rained out there.

I looked beneath his heavy lids,

Drooping with dreamy fold: What visioned eyes I saw arise!

But nothing shall be told.

Gayly I spoke: "Could I count back
Nine years, and he gain nine,
I would not say what ill to-day

Had chanced this heart of mine."
He laughed all laughed-I most of all;
But I was glad, I ween,

That the whole room lay in such gloom His face alone was seen.

He talked to me in schoolboy phrase;
I gave him meet replies,

I mind not what; my sense was nought,
Or lived but in mine eyes.

I could not kiss him as a child;

I only touched his hair;

Or with my hand his broad brow spanned, But not that it was fair.

He strange to me, as I to him—
We never met before;

Yet I would fain brave mickle pain
To see the lad once more.

But why this was, and is, God knows;
And I-I know, with joy
I'll find, among His angel-throng,
An angel like that boy.

ANONYMOUS.

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THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN.

I.

HAMELIN Town 's in Brunswick, By famous Hanover city;

The river Weser, deep and wide, Washes its wall on the southern side; A pleasanter spot you never spied ; But when begins my ditty,

Almost five hundred years ago, To see the townsfolk suffer so From vermin, was a pity.

II.

Rats!

They fought the dogs, and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,

And licked the soup from the cook's own
ladles,

Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women's chats,
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.

And as for our Corporation-shocking
To think we buy gowns lined with ermine
For dolts that can't or won't determine
What's best to rid us of our vermin!
You hope, because you 're old and obese,
To find in the furry civic robe ease?
Rouse up, Sirs! Give your brains a racking
To find the remedy we're lacking,
Or, sure as fate, we'll send you packing!"
At this the Mayor and Corporation
Quaked with a mighty consternation.

I've scratched it so, and all in vain.
Oh for a trap, a trap, a trap!"
Just as he said this, what should hap
At the chamber door but a gentle tap?
"Bless us," cried the Mayor, "what's that?"
(With the Corporation as he sat,
Looking little though wondrous fat;
Nor brighter was his eye, nor moister
Than a too-long-opened oyster,

IV.

An hour they sate in counsel

At length the Mayor broke silence:
"For a guilder I'd my ermine gown sell;
I wish I were a mile hence!
It's easy to bid one rack one's brain-
I'm sure my poor head aches again.

Save when at noon his paunch grew mutinous
For a plate of turtle, green and glutinous,)
"Only a scraping of shoes on the mat?
Anything like the sound of a rat
Makes my heart go pit-a-pat!"

"Come in!"-the Mayor cried, looking
bigger:

And in did come the strangest figure!
His queer long coat from heel to head
Was half of yellow and half of red;
And he himself was tall and thin;
With sharp blue eyes, each like a pin;
And light loose hair, yet swarthy skin;
No tuft on cheek nor beard on chin,
But lips where smiles went out and in—
There was no guessing his kith and kin!
And nobody could enough admire

III.

At last the people in a body

The tall man and his quaint attire.
Quoth one: "It's as my great-grandsire,

To the Town Hall came flocking:

""T is clear," cried they, "our Mayor's a Starting up at the Trump of Doom's tone,

noddy;

Had walked this way from his painted tombstone ! "

V.

VI.

He advanced to the council-table:
And, "Please your honours," said he, "I'm
able,

By means of a secret charm, to draw
All creatures living beneath the sun,
That creep, or swim, or fly, or run,
After me so as you never saw!
And I chiefly use my charm

On creatures that do people harm—
The mole, and toad, and newt, and viper—
And people call me the Pied Piper."
(And here they noticed round his neck
A scarf of red and yellow stripe,

To match with his coat of the self same

check;

And at the scarf's end hung a pipe;

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