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SONGS FOR CHILDHOOD.
" You are old, Father William," the young man said,
" And your hair has become very white; And yet you incessantly stand on your head�
Do you think, at your age, it is right?"
"In my youth," Father William replied to his son, " I feared it might injure the brain;
Bat now that I'm perfectly sure I have none, Why, I do it again and again."
" You are old," said the youth, " as I mentioned before,
Aud have grown most uncommonly fat; Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door;
Pray, what is the reason of that ?"
" In my youth," said the sage, as he shook his gray locks, " I kept all my limbs very supple By the use of this ointment � one shilling the box� Allow me to sell you a couple."
" You are old," said the youth, " and your jaws are too weak For any thing tougher than suet; Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak: Pray, how did you manage to do it ?"
" In my youth," said his father, " I took to the law, And argued each case with my wife; And the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw Has lasted the rest of my life."
" You are old," said the youth; " one would hard�ly suppose
That your eye was steady as ever; Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose�
What made you so awfully clever?"
" I have answered three questions, and that is enough,"
Said his father ; " don't give yourself airs ! Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I'll kick you down-stairs."
THE SORROWFUL SEA-GULL.
The sea-gull is so sorry!
She flings herself about, And utters little wailing cries,
And flutters in and out. The fishes do not sympathize�
Fish are so very cool! They make so many rules, you know;
And who can feel by rule ?
They have a rule for swimming,
A rule for taking food; They have a rule for pleasure-trips,
A rule for doing good. And people who make rules like that
May drive, and work, and swim, But never know how sweet a thing
It is to take a whim!
I'd like to be a sea-gull,
With lovely beak and claws; I would not like to be a fish,
Subject to fishy laws. And if they make more changes soon
By acts of Parliament, I won't consent to be a fish�
I never will consent!
Why is the sea-gull sorry ?
I'm not allowed to tell. The fish, who will not sympathize,
Know what's the matter well! And you, who feel with all your hearts,
And give her love and tears, Are not allowed to hear a word;
And such is life, my dears!
I knew an old wife lean and poor, Her rags scarce held together;
There strode a strauger to the door, And it was wiudy weather.
He held a goose upon his arm,
He uttered rhyme and reason : " Here, take the goose, and keep you warm,
It is a stormy season."