Page images

And then she heard a little voice,

Shrill as the midge's wing,
That spake aloud, — “A human child

Is here; yet mark this thing,

“ The lady-fern is all unbroke,

The strawberry-flower unta'en ! What shall be done for her who still

From mischief can refrain ?"

“Give her a fairy cake!” said one;

“Grant her a wish !” said three; “ The latest wish that she hath wished,"

Said all, “whate'er it be!”


Kind Mabel heard the words they spake,

And from the lonesome glen Unto the good old grandmother

Went gladly back again. Thus happened it to Mabel

On that midsummer day, And these three fairy-blessings

She took with her away.

'Tis good to make all duty sweet,

To be alert and kind ; 'T is good, like little Mabel,

To have a willing mind.




" METHINKS this world seems oddly made,

And everything amiss,”
A dull, complaining atheist said,
As stretched he lay beneath the shade,

And instanced it in this :

“Behold," quoth he," that mighty thing,

A pumpkin large and round,
Is held but by a little string,
Which upward cannot make it spring,

Nor bear it from the ground,

• While on this oak an acorn small,

So disproportioned, grows, That whosoe'er surveys this all, This universal casual ball,

Its ill contrivance knows.

“My better judgment would have hung

The pumpkin on the tree, And left the acorn slightly strung, 'Mong things that on the surface sprung,

And weak and feeble be.”

No more the caviller could say,

No further faults descry; For, upwards gazing as he lay, An acorn, loosened from its

spray, Fell down upon his eye.

The wounded part with tears ran o'er,

As punished for the sin;
Fool! had that bough a pumpkin bore,
Thy whimsies would have worked no more,

Nor skull have kept them in.


T'is true, although 't is sad to say,
Disputes are rising every day.
You'd think, if no one did deny it,
A little work-box might be quiet;
But 't is not so, for I did hear-
Or else I dreamed it, 't is so queer
A Pin and Needle in the cushion
Maintain the following discussion.
The Needle, "extra-fine, gold-eyed,"
Was very sharp and full of pride.
And thus, methought, she did begin:
“ You clumsy, thick, short, ugly Pin,
I wish you were not quite so near;
How could my mistress stick me here?
She should have put me in my place,
With my bright sisters in the case.”
“Would you were there !” the Pin replied ;
“I do not want you by my side.
I'm rather short and thick, 't is true;
Who'd be so long and thin as you ?
I've got a head, though, of my own,
That you had better let alone.”
“You make me laugh,” the Needle cried ;
« That


've head can't be denied ;
For you a very proper head,
Without an eye and full of lead."




“ You are so cross, and sharp, and thin,"
Replied the poor, insulted Pin,
“I hardly dare a word to say,
And wish, indeed, you were away,
That golden eye in your poor head
Was only made to hold a thread;
All your fine airs are foolish fudge,
For you are nothing but a drudge ;
But I, in spite of your abuse,
Am made for pleasure and for use.
I fasten the bouquet and sash,
And help the ladies make a dash;
I go abroad and gaily roam,
While you are rusting here at home.”

Stop!” cried the Needle, “ you 're too much ;
You've brass enough to beat the Dutch :
Do I not make the ladies' clothes,
Ere I retire to my repose ?
Then who, forsooth, the glory wins?
Alas! 't is finery and pins.
This is the world's unjust decree,
But what is this vain world to me?
I'd rather live with my own kin,
Than dance about like you, vain Pin.
I'm taken care of every day ;
You 're used a while, then thrown away ;
Or else you get all bent up double,
And a snug crack for all your trouble.”
" True," said the Pin, “I am abused,
And sometimes very roughly used;
I often get an ugly crook,
Or fall into a dirty nook ;
But there I lie, and never mind it;
Who wants a pin is sure to find it.
In time I am picked up, and then
I lead a merry life again.

You fuss so at a fall or hurt,
And if you touch a little dirt
You keep up such an odious creaking,
That where you are there is no speaking ;
And then your lackey Emery's called,
And he, poor thing, is pricked and mauled
Until your daintiness - 0, shocking! -
Is fit for what? — To mend a stocking !"
The Needle now began to speak, -
They might have quarrelled for a week, –
But here the Scissors interposed,
And thus the warm debate was closed.
“ You angry Needle ! foolish Pin !
How did this nonsense first begin?
You should have both been better taught,
But I will cut the matter short.
You both are wrong and both are right,
And both are very impolite.
F'en in a work-box, 't will not do
To talk of everything that's true.
All personal remarks avoid,

every one will be annoyed
At hearing disagreeable truth ;
Besides, it shows you quite uncouth,
And sadly wanting in good taste.
But what advantages you waste !
Think, Pins and Needles, while you may,
How much you hear in one short day;
No servants wait on lordly man
Can hear one half of what you can.
'T is not worth while to mince the matter;
Nor men nor boys like girls can chatter.
All now are learning, forward moving,
E'en Pins and Needles are improving;
And in this glorious, busy day,
All have some useful part to play.

« PreviousContinue »