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By Washington Allston
AH, THEN how sweetly closed those crowded
That fade upon a summer's eve.
Those weary, happy days did leave?
And with her blessing took her nightly kiss;
Whatever Time destroys, he cannot this;— E'en now that nameless kiss I feel.
SWEET AND LOW
Note.—In Tennyson's long poem The Princess is a little lullaby so wonderfully sweet that all who have read it wish to read it again. It is one that we all love, no matter whether we are little children and hear it sung to us or are older children and look back to the evenings when we listened to mother's loving voice as she led us gently into the land of dreams while she watched patiently for father's return.
Here are the stanzas which are usually known by the name Sweet and Low:
SWEET and low, sweet and low,
Over the rolling waters go,
Come from the dying moon, and blow,
Blow him again to me; While my little one, while my pretty one sleeps.
Sleep and rest, sleep and rest,
Father will come to thee soon; 'Rest, rest, on mother's breast,
Father will come to thee soon;
Under the silver moon:
It is interesting to try to determine just how a great poet makes us feel so strongly the thing that he tells us. In this case Tennyson thinks of a mother in England and a father who is somewhere in the West, out on the broad Atlantic, but is coming home to his little one. The mother dreams only of the home-coming of her husband, and she wishes the baby to learn to love its father as much as she does, so as she sings the little one to sleep, she pours out her love for both in beautiful melody.
To express this mother-love and anxious care the poet has chosen simple words that have rich, musical sounds, that can be spoken easily and smoothly and that linger on the tongue. He speaks of the sea, the gentle wind, the rolling waters, the dying moon and the silver sails, all of which call up ideas that rest us and make us happy, and then with rare skill he arranges the words so that when we read the lines we can feel the gentle rocking movement that lulls the little one, the pretty one into its gentle slumbers.
By Donald G. Mitchell
Jfr, IJ^SABEL and I—she is my cousin, and
is seven years old, and I am ten—are sitting together on the hank of a stream, under an oak tree that leans half way over to the water. I am much stronger than she, and taller by a head. I hold in my hands a little alder rod, with which I am fishing for the roach and minnows, that play in the pool below us.
She is watching the cork tossing on the water, or playing with the captured fish that lie upon the bank. She has auburn ringlets that fall down upon her shoulders; and her straw hat lies back upon them, held only by the strip of ribbon, that passes under her chin. But the sun does not shine upon her head; for the oak tree above us is full of leaves; and only here and there, a dimple of the sunlight plays upon the pool, where I am fishing.
Her eye is hazel, and bright; and now and then she turns it on me with a look of girlish curiosity, as I lift up my rod—and again in playful menace, as she grasps in her little fingers one of the dead fish, and threatens to throw it back upon the stream. Her little feet hang over the edge of the bank; and from time to time, she reaches down to dip her toe in the water; and laughs a girlish laugh of defiance, as I scold her for frightening away the fishes.
bv Donald O. Mitchell (Ik
"Bella," I say, "what if you should tumble in the river?"
"But I won't."
"Yes, but if vou should?"
"Why then you would pull mc out."
"But if I wouldn't pull you out?"
"But I know you would; wouldn't you, Paul?"
"What makes you think so, Bella?"
"Because you love Bella."
"How do you know I love Bella?"
"Because once you told me so; and because you pick flowers for me that I cannot reach; and because vou let me take your rod, when vou have a fish upon it."
"But that's no reason, Bella."
"Then what is, Paul?"
"I'm sure I don't know, Bella."
A little fish has been nibbling for a long time at the bait; the cork has been bobbing up and down— and now he is fairly hooked, and pulls away toward the bank, and you cannot see the cork.
"Here, Bella, quick!"—and she springs eagerly to clasp her little hands around the rod. But the fish has dragged it away on the other side of me; and as she reaches farther, and farther, she slips, cries—"Oh, Paul!" and falls into the water.
The stream, they told us when we came, was over a man's head—it is surely over little Isabel's. I fling down the rod, and thrusting one hand into the roots that support the overhanging bank, I grasp at her hat, as she comes up; but the ribbons give way, and I see the terribly earnest look upon her face as she goes down again. Oh, my mother— thought I—if you were only here!
But she rises again; this time, I thrust my hand into her dress, and struggling hard, keep her at the top, until I can place my foot down upon a projecting root; and so bracing myself, I drag her to the bank, and having climbed up, take hold of her belt firmly with both hands, and drag her out; and poor Isabel, choked, chilled, and wet, is lying upon the grass.
I commence crying aloud. The workmen in the fields hear me, and come down. One takes Isabel in his arms, and I follow on foot to our uncle's home upon the hill.
—"Oh, my dear children!" says my mother; and she takes Isabel in her arms; and presently with dry