No Baby in the House

No baby in the house, I know,
‘Tis far too nice and clean.
No toys, by careless fingers strewn,
Upon the floors are seen.
No finger-marks are on the panes,
No scratches on the chairs;
No wooden men set up in rows,
Or marshaled off in pairs;
No little stockings to be darned,
All ragged at the toes;
No pile of mending to be done,
Made up of baby-clothes;
No little troubles to be soothed;
No little hands to fold;
No grimy fingers to be washed;
No stories to be told;
No tender kisses to be given;
No nicknames, “Dove” and “Mouse”;
No merry frolics after tea,-
No baby in the house!

~Clara Dolliver~

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Life

Life, believe, is not a dream
So dark as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
Foretells a pleasant day.
Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,
But these are transient all;
If the shower will make the roses bloom,
O why lament its fall?
Rapidly, merrily,
Life’s sunny hours flit by,
Gratefully, cheerily,
Enjoy them as they fly!

What though Death at times steps in
And calls our Best away?
What though sorrow seems to win,
O’er hope, a heavy sway?
Yet hope again elastic springs,
Unconquered, though she fell;
Still buoyant are her golden wings,
Still strong to bear us well.
Manfully, fearlessly,
The day of trial bear,
For gloriously, victoriously,
Can courage quell despair!

~Charlotte Brontë~

The Flight of Youth

There are gains for all our losses,
There are balms for all our pain:
But when youth, the dream, departs,
It takes something from our hearts,
And it never comes again.
We are stronger, and are better,
Under manhood’s sterner reign:
Still we feel that something sweet
Followed youth, with flying feet,
And will never come again.
Something beautiful is vanished,
And we sigh for it in vain:
We behold it everywhere,
On the earth, and in the air,
But it never comes again.

~Richard Henry Stoddard~

Rain on the Roof

When the humid shadows hover
Over all the starry spheres
And the melancholy darkness
Gently weeps in rainy tears,
What a bliss to press the pillow
Of a cottage-chamber bed
And lie listening to the patter
Of the soft rain overhead!

Every tinkle on the shingles
Has an echo in the heart;
And a thousand dreamy fancies
Into busy being start,
And a thousand recollections
Weave their air-threads into woof,
As I listen to the patter
Of the rain upon the roof.

Now in memory comes my mother,
As she used in years agone,
To regard the darling dreamers
Ere she left them till the dawn:
O! I see her leaning o’er me
As I list to this refrain
Which is played upon the shingles
By the patter of the rain.

Then my little seraph sister,
With her wings and waving hair,
And her bright-eyed cherub brother –
A serene, angelic pair! –
Glide around my wakeful pillow,
With their praise or mild reproof,
As I listen to the murmur
Of the soft rain on the roof.

And another comes to thrill me
With her eyes delicious blue;
And I mind not, musing on her
That her heart was all untrue:
I remember but to love her
With a rapture kin to pain,
And my heart’s quick pulses vibrate
To the patter of the rain.

Art hath naught of tone or cadence,
That can work with such a spell
In the soul’s mysterious fountains,
Whence the tears of rapture well,
As that melody of Nature,
That subdued, subduing strain
Which is played upon the shingles
By the patter of the rain.

~Coates Kinney~

If I Could Keep Her So

Just a little baby, lying in my arms,—
Would that I could keep you, with your baby charms;
Helpless, clinging fingers, downy, golden hair,
Where the sunshine lingers, caught from otherwhere;
Blue eyes asking questions, lips that cannot speak,
Roly-poly shoulders, dimple in your cheek;
Dainty little blossom in a world of woe,
Thus I fain would keep you, for I love you so.

Roguish little damsel, scarcely six years old,—
Feet that never weary, hair of deeper gold;
Restless, busy fingers all the time at play,
Tongue that never ceases talking all the day;
Blue eyes learning wonders of the world about,
Here you come to tell them,— what an eager shout!—
Winsome little damsel, all the neighbors know;
Thus I long to keep you, for I love you so.

Sober little schoolgirl, with your strap of books,
And such grave importance in your puzzled looks;
Solving weary problems, poring over sums,
Yet with tooth for sponge-cake and for sugar-plums;
Reading books of romance in your bed at night,
Waking up to study with the morning light;
Anxious as to ribbons, deft to tie a bow,
Full of contradictions, — I would keep you so.

Sweet and thoughtful maiden, sitting by my side,
All the world’s before you, and the world is wide;
Hearts are there for winning, hearts are there to break,
Has your own, shy maiden, just begun to wake?
Is that rose of dawning glowing on your cheek
Telling us in blushes what you will not speak?
Shy and tender maiden, I would fain forego
All the golden future, just to keep you so.

Ah! the listening angels saw that she was fair,
Ripe for rare unfolding in the upper air;
Now the rose of dawning turns to lily white,
And the close-shut eyelids veil the eyes from sight;
All the past I summon as I kiss her brow,—
Babe, and child, and maiden, all are with me now.
Though my heart is breaking, yet God’s love I know,—
Safe among the angels, I would keep her so.

~Louise Chandler Moulton~

What Have We Done Today?

We shall do much in the years to come,
But what have we done today?
We shall give out gold in a princely sum,
But what did we give today?
We shall lift the heart and dry the tear,
We shall plant a hope in the place of fear,
We shall speak the words of love and cheer,
But what did we speak today?

We shall be so kind in the after while,
But what have we done today?
We shall bring to each lonely life a smile,
But what have we brought today?
We shall give to truth a grander birth,
And to steadfast faith a deeper worth,
We shall feed the hungering souls of earth,
But whom have we fed today?

We shall reap such joys in the by and by,
But what have we sown today?
We shall build us mansions in the sky,
But what have we built today?
`Tis sweet in the idle dreams to bask;
But here and now, do we our task?
Yet, this is the thing our souls must ask,
What have we done today ?

~Nixon Waterman~

I’ve Learned

I’ve learned that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
I’ve learned that we should be glad God doesn’t give us everything we ask for.
I’ve learned that money doesn’t buy class.
I’ve learned that it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.
I’ve learned that under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.
I’ve learned that the Lord didn’t do it all in one day.
What makes me think I can?
I’ve learned that to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
I’ve learned. I’ve learned….That the less time I have to work, the more things I get done.

The Song Of The Dial

The Dial faced the summer sun,
The garden blossomed all around;
If happiness could bless a scene
I felt that here was holy ground;
Afar I heard the chime of bells,
And caught a glimpse of gleaming towers,
And all the while the Dial sang,
Until the dell with echoes rang,
“I only count the shining hours.”

And as the years go fleeting by,
And locks of brown are flecked with grey,
And shadows loom across the rim
Of what was once a perfect day,
There swings a cadence through my brain,
A cadence born of sun and flowers,
When all the dell enchanted rang
With that dear song the Dial sang:
“I only count the shining hours.”
~ Peter Airey ~

City Trees

The trees along our city streets
Are lovely, gallant things;
Their roots lie deep in blackened soil,
And yet they spread their wings

Of branching green or fretted twigs
Beneath a sullen sky,
And when the wind howls banshee-like
They bow to passers-by.

In fall their leaves are bannerets
Of dusty red and gold
And fires dim that warm our hearts
Against the coming cold.

Then delicate through winter’s snow
Each silhouette still makes
Black filigree, with frostings rare
Of silver powdered flakes.

But leafed or bare, they bravely rise
With healing in their wings—
The trees along our city streets
Are lovely, gallant things.

~Vere Dargan~

Which Is Me?

Within my earthly temple there’s a crowd:
There’s one of us that’s humble, one that’s proud,
There’s one that’s broken-hearted for his sins,
And one that unrepentant sits and grins,
There’s one that loves his neighbour as himself,
And one that cares for naught but fame and pelf.
For much perplexing care I would be free
If I could once determine which is me!

~Author unknown~
*Pelf is money gained in a dishonest way

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