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Thou little tricksy Puck ! With antic joys so funnily bestuck, Light as the singing bird that wings the air, (The door! the door! he'll tumble down the stair!)
Thou darling of thy sire !
Thou imp of mirth and joy!
There goes my ink!)
Thou cherub—but of earth!
In harmless sport and mirth,
blossom in the world that blows, Singing in youth's Elysium ever sunny, (Another tumble—that's his precious nose !)
Thy father's pride and hope ! (He'll break the mirror with that skipping-rope!) With pure heart newly stamped from nature's mint
(Where did he learn that squint?)
Thou young domestic dove !
Dear nursling of the hymeneal nest!
Little epitome of man! (He'll climb upon the table—that's his plan?) Touched with the beauteous tints of dawning life,
(He's got a knife !)
Thou enviable being !
Play on, play on,
My elfin John! Toss the light ball—bestride the stick, (I knew so many cakes would make him sick !) With fancies buoyant as the thistle-down, Prompting the face grotesque, and antic brisk, With many
lamblike frisk (He's got the scissors snipping at your gown,)
Thou pretty opening rose (Go to your mother, child, and wipe your nose!) Balmy, and breathing music like the south, (He really brings my heart into my mouth!) Fresh as the morn, and brilliant as its star, (I wish that window had an iron bar!) Bold as the hawk, yet gentle as the dove. (I'll tell you what, my love, I cannot write, unless he's sent above !)
Thomas Hood. 1. Whether must you speak the words , ruption? of the second? of the third ? within parentheses in a LOWER or a HIGHER 5. What is the father writing when he tone?
notices the tear? 2. Is the child in the room where the 6. What expression has he just used father is writing ?
when he finds Master Johnny putting peas 3. What prevents the father from going into his ear? steadily on with the ode?
7. What expression when he finds him 4. What was the cause of the first inter- swallowing the pin, &c., &c.
XIX.-THE MAY QUEEN.
Then to the May-pole come away,
ACTEON AND DIANA. As I was lying in bed this morning, enjoying one of those half dreams, half reveries, which are so pleasant in the country, when the birds are singing about the window, and the sun-beams peeping through the curtains, I was raused by the sound of music. On going down stairs, I found a number
of villagers, dressed in their holiday clothes, bearing a pole ornamented with garlands and ribbons, and accompanied by the village band of music, under the direction of the tailor, the pale fellow who plays on the clarionet. They had all sprigs of hawthorn, or, as it is called," the May," in their hats, and had brought green branches and flowers to decorate the Hall door and windows, . They had come to give notice that the May-pole was reared on the green, and to invite the household to witness the sports. The Hall, according to custom, became a scene of hurry and delighted confusion. The servants were all agog with May and music; and there was no keeping either the tongues or the feet of the maids quiet, who were anticipating the sports of the green, and the evening dance.
I repaired to the village at an early hour to enjoy the merry-making. The morning was pure and sunny, such as a May morning is always described. The fields were white with daisies, the hawthorn was covered with its fragrant blossoms, the bee hummed about every bank, and the swallow played high in the air about the village steeple. It was one of those genial days when we seem to draw in pleasure with the very air we breathe, and to feel happy we know not why. Whoever has felt the worth of worthy man, or has doted on lovely woman, will, on such a day, call them tenderly to mind, and feel his heart all alive with long-buried recollections. "For thenne," says the excellent romance of King Arthur, "lovers call again to their mynde old gentilnes and old servyse, and many kind 'dedes that were forgotten by negligence."
Before reaching the village, I saw the May-pole towering above the cottages, with its gay garlands and streamers, and heard the sound of music. Booths had been set up near it, for the reception of company; and a bower of green branches and flowers for the Queen of May, a fresh, rosy-cheeked girl of the village.
A band of morris-dancers were capering on the green in their fantastic dresses, jingling with hawks' bells, with a boy dressed up as Maid Marian, and the attendant fool rattling his box to collect contributions from the bystanders. The gipsy-women, too, were already plying their mystery in by-corners of the village, reading the hands of the simple country girls, and, no doubt, promising them all good husbands. Washington Ircing,
You must wake and call me early, call me early, mother dear; To morrow 'll be the happiest time of all the glad new year; Of all the glad new year, mother, the maddest, merriest day; For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o
the May. There's many a black black eye, they say, but none so bright
as mine; There's Margaret and Mary, there's Kate and Caroline : But none so fair as little Alice in all the land they say, So I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'
the May. I sleep so sound all night, mother, that I shall never wake, If
you do not call me loud, when the day begins to break; But I must gather knots of flowers, and buds and garlands gay, For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'
the May. As I came up the valley, whom think
should I see, But Robin leaning on the bridge beneath the hazel-tree ? He thought of that sharp look, mother, I gave him yesterday, But I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'
the May. He thought I was a ghost, mother, for I was all in white, And I ran by him without speaking, like a flash of light. They call me cruel-hearted, but I care not what they say, For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'
Little Effie shall go with me to-morrow to the green,
o' the May. The honeysuckle round the porch has wov'n its wavy bowers, And by the meadow-trenches blow the faint sweet cuckoo
flowers ; And the wild marsh-marigold shines like fire in swamps and
hollows gray, And I'm to be Queen o' the Day, mother, I'm to be Queen o'
The night-winds come and go, mother, upon the meadow-grass, And the happy stars above them seem to brighten as they pass ; There will not be a drop of rain the whole of the livelong day, And I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'
So you must wake and call me early, call me early mother, dear, To-morrow 'll be the happiest time of all the glad new-year: To-morrow 'll be of all the year the maddest merriest day, For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'
If you're waking call me early, call me early mother dear,
To-night I saw the sun set: he set and left behind
the tree. Last May we made a crown of flowers: we had a merry day; Beneath the hawthorn on the green they made me Queen of
May. And we danced about the May-pole and in the hazel copse, Till Charles's Wain came out above the tall white chimney tops. There's not a flower on all the hills : the frost is on the pane; I only wish to live till the snowdrops come again : I wish the snow would melt and the sun come out on high : I long to see a flower so before the day I die. The building rook 'll caw from the windy tall elm tree, And the tufted plover pipe along the fallow lea, And the swallow 'll come back again with summer o'er the
wave, But I shall lie alone, mother, within the mouldering grave.
NOTE.-We have left out a few verses in order to shorten the poem, as our space was but limited.
Upon the chancel casement, and upon that grave of mine,
You'll bury me, my mother, just beneath the hawthorn shade, And you'll come sometimes and see me where I am lowly laid, I shall not forget you, mother, I shall hear you when you pass, With your feet above my head in the long and pleasant grass. If I can, I'll come again, mother, from out my resting-place; Though you'll not see me, mother, I shall look upon your face, Though I cannot speak a word, I shall hearken what you say, And be often often with you when you think I'm far away.
Good night, sweet mother : call me before the day is born,
I thought to pass away before, and yet alive I am ;
O sweet is the new violet, that comes beneath the skies,
It seem'd so hard at first, mother, to leave the blessed sun,
O blessings on his kindly voice, and on his silver hair!