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74

TO A REDBREAST.

In a hard time of frost and snow,
Not knowing where for food to go.
He would no longer give them bread,
Because he had observed (he said)
That sometimes to the window came
A great black bird, a rook by name,
And took away a small bird's share;
So foolish Henry did not care
What became of the great rook
That from the little sparrows took
Now and then, as 't were by stealth,
A part of their abundant wealth,
Nor evermore would feed his sparrows.
Thus ignorance a kind heart narrows.
I wish I had been there, I would
Have told the child rooks live by food
In the same way that sparrows do.

I also would have told him, too,
Birds act by instinct, and ne'er can
Attain the rectitude of man.
Nay, that even when distress
Does on poor human nature press,
We need not be too strict in seeing
The failings of a fellow-being.

TO A REDBREAST. - Langhorne.

LITTLE bird with bosom red,
Welcome to my humble shed!
Courtly domes of high degree
Have no room for thee or me;
Pride and pleasure's fickle throng
Nothing mind an idle song.

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MARINER'S HYMN.

Daily near my table steal,
While I pick my scanty meal.
Doubt not, little though there be,
But I'll cast a crumb to thee,
Well rewarded if I spy
Pleasure in thy glancing eye;
See thee, when thou 'st eat thy fill,
Plume thy breast, and wipe thy bill.
Come, my feathered friend, again,
Well thou know'st the broken pane.

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THE TWO ESTATES. - Mary Howitt.

THE children of the rich man, no carking care they know,

Like lilies in the sunshine, how beautiful they grow! And well may they be beautiful; in raiment of the best, In velvet, gold, and ermine, their little forms are drest. With a hat and jaunty feather set lightly on their head, And golden hair, like angels' locks, over their shoulders spread.

THE TWO ESTATES.

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And well may they be beautiful; they toil not, neither spin,

Nor dig, nor delve, nor do they aught their daily dread to win.

They eat from gold and silver all luxuries wealth can buy;

They sleep on beds of softest down, in chambers rich and high.

They dwell in lordly houses, with gardens round about, And servants to attend them if they go in or out.

They have music for the hearing, and pictures for the

eye,

And exquisite and costly things each sense to gratify.

No wonder they are beautiful! and if they chance to die,

Among dead lords and ladies, in the chancel-vault, they lie,

With marble tablets on the wall inscribed, that all may know

The children of the rich man are mouldering below.

The children of the poor man, around the humble doors
They throng of city alleys and solitary moors.
In hot and noisy factories they turn the ceaseless
wheel,

And eat with feeble appetite their coarse and joyless

meal.

They rise up in the morning ne'er dreaming of delight,

And weary, spent, and heartsore they go to bed at night.

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THE TWO ESTATES.

They have no brave apparel, with golden clasp and gem;

So their clothes keep out the weather, they 're good enough for them.

Their hands are broad and horny; they hunger and are cold;

They learn what toil and sorrow mean ere they are five years old.'

The

poor man's child must step aside if the rich man's child go by;

And scarcely aught may minister to his little vanity.

And of what could he be vain? - his most beautiful array

Is what the rich man's children have worn and cast

away.

The finely spun, the many-hued, the new, are not for him,

He must clothe himself, with thankfulness, in garments soiled and dim.

He sees the children of the rich in chariots gay go by, And, "What a heavenly life is theirs," he sayeth with a sigh.

Then straightway to his work he goeth, for, feeble though he be,

His daily toil must still be done to help the family. Thus live the poor man's children; and if they chance to die,

In plain, uncostly coffins, 'mong common graves, they lie;

Nor monument nor headstone their humble names declare; But thou, O God, wilt not forget the dren there!

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man's chil

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