Gems of Poetry, for Girls and Boys eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 23 pages of information about Gems of Poetry, for Girls and Boys.

What is that, mother?”

  “What is that, mother?”
      “The lyre-bird, my child—­
  The morn has just looked out and smiled,


  When he starts from his humble grassy nest,
  And is up and away with the day on his breast,
  And a hymn in his heart to yon pure, bright sphere,
  To warble it out in his Maker’s ear. 
    Ever, my child, be thy morn’s first lays
    Tuned, like the lyre-bird’s, to thy Maker’s praise.”

  “What is that, mother?”
      “The dove, my son—­
  And that low, sweet voice, like a widow’s moan,


  Is flowing out from her gentle breast,
  Constant and pure, by that lonely nest,
  As the wave is poured from some crystal urn,
  For her distant dear one’s quick return. 
    Ever, my son, be thou like the dove,
    In friendship as faithful, as constant in love.

  “What is that, mother?”
      “The eagle, boy—­
  Proudly careering his course of joy.


  Firm on his mountain vigor relying,
  Breasting the dark storm, the red bolt defying;
  His wing on the wind, his eye on the sun,
  He swerves not a hair, but bears onward, right on. 
  Boy! may the eagle’s flight ever be thine,
  Onward and upward, true to the line!”

  “What is that, mother?”
      “The swan, my love—­
  He is floating down from his native grove,


  No loved one now, no nestling nigh;
  He is floating down by himself to die;
  Death darkens his eyes, and unplumes his wings,
  Yet the sweetest song is the last he sings. 
    Live so, my love, that when death shall come,
    Swan-like, and sweet, it may waft thce home.”



[Illustration:  T]

  Though I am now in younger days,
    Nor can tell what shall befall me,
  I’ll prepare for every place
    Where my growing age shall call me.

  Should I e’er be rich or great,
    Others shall partake my goodness;
  I’ll supply the poor with meat,
    Never showing scorn or rudeness.

  When I see the blind or lame,
    Deaf or dumb, I’ll kindly treat them;
  I deserve to feel the same,
    If I mock, or hurt, or cheat them.

  If I meet with railing tongues,
    Why should I return their railing? 
  Since I best revenge my wrongs
    By my patience never failing.

  When I hear them telling lies,
    Talking foolish, cursing, swearing,
  First I’ll try to make them wise,
    Or I’ll soon go out of hearing.

  What though I be low and mean,
    I’ll engage the rich to love me,
  While I’m modest, neat and clean,
    And submit when they reprove me.

Project Gutenberg
Gems of Poetry, for Girls and Boys from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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