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I
SONGS FOR GIRLHOOD.
135
How hard he breathes! over the snow I heard just now the crowing cock. The shadows flicker to and fro : The cricket chirps : the light burns low : 'Tis nearly twelve o'clock.
Shake hands before you die.
Old year, we'll dearly rue for you : What is it we can do for you ? Speak out before you die.
His face is growing sharp and thin.
Alack! our friend is gone, Close up his eyes: tie up his chin : Step from the corpse, and let him in That standeth there alone, And waiteth at the door.
There's a new foot on the floor, my
friend; And a new face at the door, my friend, A new face at the door.
And every time a head rolled off
They roared like winter seas, And, with a tossing-up of caps,
Shouts shook the Tuileries. Whiz went the heavy chopper down,
And then the drums begun ; But still the little smiling child
Sat knitting in the sun.
The Jacobins, ten thousand strong,
And every man a sword ; The red-caps, with the tri-colors,
Led on the noisy horde. The sans-culoites to-day are strong,
The gossips say, and run ; But still the little maid sits there,
A-knitting in the sun.
Then the slow death-cart moved along;
And, singing patriot songs, A pale, doomed poet bowing comes,
And cheers the swaying throng. Oh, when the axe swept shining down,
The mad drums all begun ; But, smiliug still, the little child
Sat knitting in the sun!
" Le Marquis," linen snowy-white,
The powder in his hair, Waving his scented handkerchief,
Looks down with careless stare. A whir, a chop�another head�
Hurra ! the work's begun ; But still the little child sat there,
A-knitting in the sun.
A stir, and through the parting crowd
The people's friends are come� Marat and Robespierre; "Vivat!
Roll thunder from the drum." The one, a wild beast's hungry eye,
Hair tangled�hark ! a gun! The other kindly kissed the child
A-knitting in the sun.
"And why not work all night?" the child
Said to the knitters there. Oh, how the furies shook their sides,
And tossed their grizzled hair! Then clapped a bonnet rouge on her,
And cried, " 'Tis well begun !" And laughed to see the little child
Knit, smiling, in the sun.
LA TRICOTEUSE.
George W. Tuornbury.
The fourteenth of July had come,
And round the guillotine The thieves and beggars, rank by rank,
Moved the red flags between. A crimson heart upon a pole�
The long march had begun; But still the little smiling child
Sat knitting in the sun.
The red caps of those men of France
Shook like a poppy-field; Three women's heads, with gory hair,
The standard-bearers wield. Cursing, with song and battle-hymn,
Five butchers dragged a gun ; Yet still the little maid sat there,
A-kuittiug in the sun.
An axe was painted on the flags,
A broken throne and crown, A ragged coat upon a lance
Hung in foul black shreds down. " More heads!" the seething rabble cry,
And now the drums begun ; But still the little fair-haired child
Sat knitting in the sun.







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