“I hear the birds sing, mother,
Yet know not what they say;
I’ve listened to them often
Until they flew away.
“Say if their words, dear mother,
To you are clear and plain,
Or if, like me, you’ve listened
At morn and night in vain.”
“We don’t know what they say, dear;
We think they sing their hymn
At early morning sunrise,
Or at the twilight dim.
“When softly sings the mother,
Within her downy nest,
We think she’s gently hushing
Her little ones to rest.
“But this remember, darling,
The birds are always kind;
A cross or angry songster
I never yet could find.
“And you may learn a lesson
From their sweet notes of love;
Like them be always gentle,
And please the God above.”
[Illustration: Letter O.]
“O Mother! here’s the organ-man,
And here’s the monkey, too!
Just see his funny gown of red,
And little cap of blue!
“O look! he’s on the window there!
His cap is in his paw;
And now he bows and makes a face;
What can it all be for?
“O, now they’ve dropped some money in,
While, quickly as he can,
See! he puts on his cap, and gives
The pennies to the man.
“Mamma! why don’t you look at him!
You have not seen at all;
Just see him climbing up and down,
With paws so brown and small!
“He’s gone away! O, dear mamma,
Why did you not come here?
You never saw, in all your life,
A thing one half as queer.”
“I’ll tell you why, my little son,
I do not like to see
That monkey bow and jump about;
’Tis no delight to me.
“They’ve had to treat him cruelly
To teach him how to play;
They’ve had to whip and punish him
And take his food away.
“And that is why I do not love
To see him dancing so;
And if you thought of it, my boy,
You’d feel with me, I know.”
[Illustration: Letter C.]
“Come to the window, mother!
Look out, and you will see
How fast these little clouds sail on,
Above our old elm tree!
“And tell me, dearest mother,
Are these the sheep of heaven,
That in that land are feeding,
From morning until even?
“How soft and white and shining!
Oh! say, dear mother, there
Is everything so gentle,
So lovely and so fair?”
“We cannot see them, darling,
The sheep of heaven, here;
And far more beautiful than this
Does that bright land appear.
“Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard,
Nor tongue of man can tell
The glories of that home above,
Where all the good shall dwell.”