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68                                                          SONGS FOR CHILDHOOD.
Bjobnstjeine Bjoensen.
The Tree's early leaf-buds were bursting their
brown: " Shall I take them away ?" said the Frost, sweep�ing down.
" No, leave them alone Till the blossoms have grown," Prayed the Tree, while he trembled from rootlet to crown.
The Tree bore his blossoms, and all the birds sung: " Shall I take them away ?" said the Wind, as he swung.
" No, leave them alone Till the berries have grown," Said the Tree, while his leaflets quivering hung.
The Tree bore his fruit in the midsummer glow : Said the girl, " May I gather thy berries now ?"
" Yes, all thou canst see ;
Take them ; all are for thee," Said the Tree, while he bent down his laden boughs low.
For softly o'er its petals white There crept a blueness, like the light Of skies upon a summer night;
And in its chalice, I am told,
The bonuy bell w s formed to hold
A tiny star tha gleamed like gold.
And bluebells of the Scottish land Are loved on every foreign strand Where stirs a Scottish heart or hand.
Now, little people, sweet and true,
I find a lesson here for you,
Writ in the floweret's bell of blue :
The patient child whose watchful eye Strives after all things pure and high, Shall take their image by-and-by.
Oh ! I long to lie, dear mother, On the cool and fragrant grass,
With naught but the sky above my head, And the shadowy clouds that pass!
And I want the bright, bright sunshine
All round about my bed ; I'll close my eyes, and God will think
Your little boy is dead.
Then Christ will send an angel
To take me up to him ; He will bear me slow and steadily,
Far through the ether dim.
He will gently, gently lay me
Close to the Saviour's side, And when I'm sure that we're in heaven,
My eyes I'll open wide.
And I'll look among the angels That stand around the throne,
Till I find my sister Mary, For I know she must be one.
And when I find her, mother,
We will go away alone, And I will tell her how we mourued
All the while she has been gone.
There is a story I have heard�
A poet learned it of a bird,
And kept its music every word�
A story of a dim ravine,
O'er which the towering tree-tops lean,
With one blue rift of sky betweeu ;
And there, two thousand years ago, A little flower, as white as snow, Swayed in the silence to and fro.
Day after day, with longing eye, The floweret watched the narrow sky, And fleecy clouds that floated by.
And through the darkness, night by night, One gleaming star would climb the height, And cheer the lonely floweret's sight.
Thus, watching the blue heavens afar,
And the rising of its favorite star,
A slow change came�but not to mar;

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III