KATIE LEE AND WILLIE GRAY.
Oliver Ditson Company, Boston.
By J. H. Pixley.
Two brown heads with tossing curls, red lips shutting over pearls,
Bare feet white and wet with dew, two eyes black and two eyes blue;
Little boy and girl were they, Katie Lee and Willie Gray.
They were standing where a brook, bending like a shepherd's crook.
Flashed its silver, and thick ranks of green willow fringed the banks;
Half in thought and half in play, Katie Lee and Willie Gray.
They had cheeks like cherries red; he was taller-'most a head;
She, with arms like wreaths of snow, swung a basket to And fro,
As she loitered, half in play, chattering to Willie Gray.
"Pretty Katie," Willie said-and there came a dash of red
Through the brownness of his check - "Boys are strong and girls are weak,
And I'll carry, so I will, Katie's basket up the hill."
Katie answered, with a laugh, "You shall carry only half";
And then, tossing back her curls. "Boys are weak as well as girls."
Do you think that Katie guessed half the wisdom she expressed?
Men are only boys grown tall, hearts don't change much after all;
And when, long years from that day, Katie Lee and Willie Gray
Stood again beside the brook, bending like a shepherd's crook.
Is it strange that Willie said-while again a dash of red
Crossed the brownness of his cheek-" I am strong and you are weak;
Life is but a slippery steep, hung with shadows cold and deep.
"Will you trust me, Katie, dear? Walk beside me without fear;
May I carry if I will all your burdens up the hill?"
And she answered, with a laugh, "No, but you may carry half."
Close beside the little brook, bending like a shepherd's crook.
Washing with its silver hands, late And early at the sands,
Is a cottage, where, to-day, Katie lives with Willie Gray.
In a porch she sits, and lo! swings a basket to and fro,
Vastly different from the one that she swung in years a-gone;
This is long And deep and wide, And has -rockers at the side.