then “Three cheers for the baby!”
I tell you those cheers were meant,
And the way in which they were given
Was enough to raise the tent.
And then there was sudden silence,
And a gruff old miner said,
“Come, boys, enough of this rumpus;
It’s time it was put to bed.”
So, looking a little sheepish,
But with faces strangely bright,
The audience, somewhat lingering,
Flocked out into the night.
And the bold-faced leader chuckled,
“He wasn’t a bit afraid!
He’s as game as he is good-looking;
Boys, that was a show that paid!”
BY OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.
Whatever I do and whatever I say,
Aunt Tabitha tells me that isn’t the way;
When she was a girl (forty summers ago),
Aunt Tabitha tells me they never did so.
If I only would take her advice—
But I like my own way, and I find it so nice!
And besides, I forget half the things I am told,
But they all will come back to me—when I am old.
If a youth passes by, it may happen, no doubt, He may chance to look in as I chance to look out; She would never endure an impertinent stare, It is horrid, she says, and I mustn’t sit there.
A walk in the
moonlight has pleasures, I own,
But it isn’t quite safe to be walking alone;
So I take a lad’s arm,—just for safety, you know,—
But Aunt Tabitha tells me, they didn’t do so.
How wicked we
are, and how good they were then!
They kept at arm’s length those detestable men;
What an era of virtue she lived in!—but stay—
Were the men all such rogues in Aunt Tabitha’s day?
If the men were
so wicked—I’ll ask my papa
How he dared to propose to my darling mamma?
Was he like the rest of them? Goodness! who knows?
And what shall I say if a wretch should propose?
I am thinking
if aunt knew so little of sin,
What a wonder Aunt Tabitha’s aunt must have been!
And her grand-aunt—it scares me—how shockingly sad
That we girls of to-day are so frightfully bad!
A martyr will
save us, and nothing else can;
Let me perish to rescue some wretched young man
Though when to the altar a victim I go,
Aunt Tabitha’ll tell me she never did so!
LITTLE ORPHANT ANNIE.
BY JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY.