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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Mary Howitt
 
        A child no more! a maiden now—
A graceful maiden, with a gentle brow;
A cheek tinged lightly and a dove-like eye;
And all hearts bless her as she passes by.
  1
        I know he’s coming by this sign,
  That baby’s almost wild;
See how he laughs and crows and starts—
  Heaven bless the merry child!
He’s father’s self in face and limb,
And father’s heart is strong in him.
Shout, baby, shout! and clap thy hands,
For father on the threshold stands.
  2
        Roads are wet where’er one wendeth,
And with rain the thistle bendeth,
  And the brook cries like a child!
Not a rainbow shines to cheer us;
Ah! the sun comes never near us,
  And the heavens look dark and wild.
  3
        Then take me on your knee, mother;
  And listen, mother of mine.
A hundred fairies danced last night,
  And the harpers they were nine.
  4
          There’s silence in the harvest field;
  And blackness in the mountain glen,
And cloud that will not pass away
From the hill-tops for many a day;
  And stillness round the homes of men.
  5
        “Will you walk into my parlor?”
  Said a spider to a fly;
“’Tis the prettiest little parlor
  That ever you did spy.”
  6
        Yes! in the poor man’s garden grow
  Far more than herbs and flowers,
Kind thoughts, contentment, peace of mind,
  And joy for weary hours.
  7
  God sends children for another purpose than merely to keep up the race—to enlarge our hearts, to make us unselfish, and full of kindly sympathies and affections; to give our souls higher aims, and to call out all our faculties to extended enterprise and exertion; to bring round our fireside bright faces and happy smiles, and loving, tender hearts. My soul blesses the Great Father every day, that He has gladdened the earth with little children.  8
  True delicacy, that most beautiful heart-leaf of humanity, exhibits itself most significantly in little things.  9
 
 
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