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Love-Songs of Childhood

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THE ROCK-A-BY LADY The Rock-a-By Lady from Hushaby streetComes stealing; comes creeping;The poppies they hang from her head to her feet,And each hath a dream that is tiny and fleet—She bringeth her poppies to you, my sweet,When she findeth you sleeping!There is one little dream of a beautiful drum—"Rub-a-dub!" it goeth;There is one little dream of a big sugar-plum,And lo! thick and fast the other dreams comeOf popguns that bang, and tin tops that hum,And a trumpet that bloweth!And dollies peep out of those wee little dreamsWith laughter and singing;And boats go a-floating on silvery streams,And the stars peek-a-boo with their own misty gleams,And up, up, and up, where the Mother Moon beams,The fairies go winging!Would you dream all these dreams that are tiny and fleet?They'll come to you sleeping;So shut the two eyes that are weary, my sweet,For the Rock-a-By Lady from Hushaby street,With poppies that hang from her head to her feet,Comes stealing; comes creeping.

"BOOH!" On afternoons, when baby boy has had a splendid nap,And sits, like any monarch on his throne, in nurse's lap,In some such wise my handkerchief I hold before my face,And cautiously and quietly I move about the place;Then, with a cry, I suddenly expose my face to view,And you should hear him laugh and crow when I say "Booh"!Sometimes the rascal tries to make believe that he is scared,And really, when I first began, he stared, and stared, and stared;And then his under lip came out and farther out it came,Till mamma and the nurse agreed it was a "cruel shame"—But now what does that same wee, toddling, lisping baby doBut laugh and kick his little heels when I say "Booh!"He laughs and kicks his little heels in rapturous glee, and thenIn shrill, despotic treble bids me "do it all aden!"And I—of course I do it; for, as his progenitor,It is such pretty, pleasant play as this that I am for!And it is, oh, such fun I and sure that we shall rueThe time when we are both too old to play the game "Booh!"

GARDEN AND CRADLE When our babe he goeth walking in his garden,Around his tinkling feet the sunbeams play;The posies they are good to him,And bow them as they should to him,As fareth he upon his kingly way;And birdlings of the wood to himMake music, gentle music, all the day,When our babe he goeth walking in his garden.When our babe he goeth swinging in his cradle,Then the night it looketh ever sweetly down;The little stars are kind to him,The moon she hath a mind to himAnd layeth on his head a golden crown;And singeth then the wind to himA song, the gentle song of Bethlem-town,When our babe he goeth swinging in his cradle.

THE NIGHT WIND Have you ever heard the wind go "Yooooo"?'T is a pitiful sound to hear!It seems to chill you through and throughWith a strange and speechless fear.'T is the voice of the night that broods outsideWhen folk should be asleep,And many and many's the time I've criedTo the darkness brooding far and wideOver the land and the deep:"Whom do you want, O lonely night,That you wail the long hours through?"And the night would say in its ghostly way:"Yoooooooo...!