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Wee folk, good folk,

Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,

And white owl's feather!

Down along the rocky shore

Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes

Of yellow tide-foam;

Some in the reeds

Of the black mountain-lake, With frogs for their watch-dogs,

All night awake.

Up the airy mountain,

Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting

For fear of little men.

Abridged

A man of words and not of deeds,
Is like a garden full of weeds.

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THE BLACKBERRY BUSH

BY CELIA THAXTER

A little boy looked out of to the western window into the

garden. The first snow was

falling on the grass. ! His mother sat near, knitting ( a little stocking. She, too, looked out at the evening sky.

As it grew dark the wee

boy laid his head on her lap. The He kept so still that, at last,

she leaned forward to see if he were asleep. No, he was watching a blackberry bush, that waved its one tall dark-red

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“What are you thinking

about, my dear?” she said, smoothing his soft hair.

“What does the blackberry bush say, mother? It keeps nodding and nodding to me.”

“It says,” she answered,—“I see a happy little boy in the warm, fire-lighted room. The wind blows cold and here it is dark and lonely.

«« But that little boy is safe and happy at his mother's knees. I nod to him and he looks at me. Does he know how happy he is ?

“«See, all my leaves are dark crimson. Every day they dry and wither more and more. By and by the north wind will tear them away, and I shall be still more lonely.

« The snow will sink down and wrap me close. Then the snow will melt again and icy rain will clothe me. The bitter wind will rattle my bare twigs up and down.

“I nod my head to all who pass and dreary nights and dreary days go by. But in the happy house, so warm and bright, the little boy plays all the day with books and toys. He is never cold and lonely.

"1 nod out here alone in the dark, thinking how beautiful it is. I take the snow and the rain and the cold. I am not sorry, but glad; for in my roots I feel warmth and life. And I know

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that little green leaves are shut up in my small brown buds.

“«Day and night go again and again. Little by little the snow melts all away. The ground grows soft; the sky is blue; the little birds fly over, crying, “It is spring! It is spring!”

“Warmer grow the sunbeams and softer the air. The small blades of grass creep thick about my feet. The sweet rain helps swell my shining buds.

“More and more I push forth my leaves, till I burst in a gay green dress. The little boy comes rushing to look at me and cries, “Oh, mother! the little blackberry bush is alive and green. Oh, come and see!”

“Every day they watch me grow more beautiful, till at last I shake out my blossoms, fair and sweet.

A few days more, and I drop the white petals down among the grass, and, lo! the green tiny berries! Carefully I hold them up to the sun and gather the dew in the summer nights.

“« Slowly they ripen. They grow larger and

redder and darker and at last they are black and shining. I hold them as tight as I can for the little boy who comes dancing out.

“« He shouts with joy and gathers them in his little hand. He runs to share them with his mother, saying, “ Here is what the patient blackberry bush bore for us!”

“Ah! then, indeed, I am glad. I would say if I could, “Yes, take them, dear little boy. I kept them for you." } }

Then the wee boy smiled, for he liked the little story. His mother took him up in her arms and they went out to supper. They left the blackberry bush nodding up and down in the wind and there it is nodding yet.

Adapted.

VERSES FROM THE SONG OF SOLOMON

For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and

gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the

singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. The Bible.

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