“But you’re looking down!”
the Blackbird said.
“Look at the blossoms overhead;
Look at the lovely summer skies;
Look at the bees and butterflies—
Look up, old fellow! Why, bless your soul,
You’re looking down in a muskrat’s hole!”
But still, with his gurgling sob and choke,
The Frog continued to croak and croak.
And a wise old Turtle, who boarded near,
Said to the Blackbird: “Friend, see here:
Don’t shed your tears over him, for he
Is wretched just ’cause he likes to be!
He’s one of the kind who won’t be glad;
It makes him happy to think he’s sad.
I’ll tell you something—and it’s no joke—
Don’t waste your pity on those who croak!”
* * * * *
Oh, those sweet old-fashioned posies, that were mother’s
pride and joy,
In the sunny little garden where I wandered when a boy!
Oh, the morning-glories twining ’mongst the shining sunflowers tall,
And the clematis a-tangle in the angle of the wall!
How the mignonette’s sweet blooming was perfuming all the walks,
Where the hollyhocks stood proudly with their blossom-dotted stalks;
While the old-maids’ pinks were nodding groups of gossips, here and there,
And the bluebells swung so lightly in the lazy, hazy air!
Then the sleepy poppies, stooping low their drooping,
And the modest young sweet-williams hiding in their shady beds!
By the edges of the hedges, where the spiders’ webs were spun,
How the marigolds lay, yellow as the mellow summer sun
That made all the grass a-dapple ’neath the leafy apple tree,
Whence you heard the locust drumming and the humming of the bee;
While the soft breeze in the trellis, where the roses used to grow,
Sent the silken petals flying like a scented shower of snow!
Oh, the quaint old-fashioned garden, and the pathways
cool and sweet,
With the dewy branches splashing flashing jewels o’er my feet!
And the dear old-fashioned blossoms, and the old home where they grew,
And the mother-hands that plucked them, and the mother-love I knew!
Ah, of all earth’s fragrant flowers in the bowers on her breast,
Sure the blooms which memory brings us are the brightest and the best;
And the fairest, rarest blossoms ne’er could win my love, I know,
Like the sweet old-fashioned posies mother tended long ago.
* * * * *
For years I’ve seen the frothy lines go thund’rin’
down the shore;
For years the surge has tossed its kelp and wrack about my door;
I’ve heard the sea-wind sing its song in whispers ’round the place,
And fought it when it flung the sand, like needles, in my face.
I’ve seen the sun-rays turn the roof ter blist’rin’, tarry coal;
I’ve seen the ice-drift clog the bay from foamin’ shoal ter shoal;
I’ve faced the winter’s snow and sleet, I’ve felt the summer’s shower,
But every night I’ve lit the lamp up yonder in the tower.