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I am coming, I am coming!
Hark! the honey bee is humming;
See, the lark is soaring high
In the blue and sunny sky,
And the gnats are on the wing
Wheeling round in airy ring.

Listen! New-born lambs are bleating,
And the cawing rooks are meeting
In the elms—a noisy crowd.
All the birds are singing loud,
And the first white butterfly
In the sunshine dances by.

Look around you, look around!
Flowers in all the fields abound,
Every running stream is bright,
All the orchard trees are white,
And each small and waving shoot
Promises sweet autumn fruit.


How pleasant the life of a bird must be,
Flitting about in each leafy tree;
In the leafy trees so broad and tall,
Like a green and beautiful palace hall,
With its airy chambers light and boon,
That open to sun and stars and moon;
That open to the bright blue sky,
And the frolicsome winds as they wander by.

They have left their nests on the forest bough;
Those homes of delight they need not now;
And the young and the old they wander out,
And traverse their green world round about;
And hark! at the top of this leafy hall,
How one to the other in love they call!
"Come up! Come up!" they seem to say,
"Where the topmost twigs in the breezes sway."

"Come up! come up! for the world is fair
Where the merry leaves dance in the summer air."
And the birds below give back the cry,
"We come, we come to the branches high."
How pleasant the lives of the birds must be,
Living in love in a leafy tree!
And away through the air what joy to go,
And to look on the green, bright earth below!

How pleasant the life of a bird must be,
Skimming about on the breezy sea,
Cresting the billows like silvery foam,
Then wheeling away to its cliff-built home!
What joy it must be to sail, upborne,
By a strong free wing, through the rosy morn,
To meet the young sun, face to face,
And pierce, like a shaft, the boundless space!

To pass through the bowers of the silver cloud;
To sing in the thunder hall aloud;
To spread out the wings for a wild, free flight
With the upper cloud-wings,—oh, what delight!
Oh, what would I give, like a bird, to go,
Right on through the arch of the sun-lit bow,
And see how the water-drops are kissed
Into green and yellow and amethyst.

How pleasant the life of a bird must be,
Wherever it listeth, there to flee;
To go, when a joyful fancy calls,
Dashing down 'mong the waterfalls;
Then wheeling about, with its mate at play,
Above and below, and among the spray,
Hither and thither, with screams as wild
As the laughing mirth of a rosy child.

What joy it must be, like a living breeze,
To flutter about 'mid the flowering trees;

Lightly to soar, and to see beneath,
The wastes of the blossoming purple heath,
And the yellow furze, like fields of gold,
That gladdened some fairy region old!
On the mountain tops, on the billowy sea,
On the leafy stems of a forest tree,
How pleasant the life of a bird must be!


"Will you walk into my parlor?"
  Said a spider to a fly;
"'Tis the prettiest little parlor
  That ever you did spy.
The way into my parlor
  Is up a winding stair,
And I have many pretty things
  To show you when you're there."
"O no, no," said the little fly,
  "To ask me is in vain;
For who goes up your winding stair
  Can ne'er come down again."

"I'm sure you must be weary
  With soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?"
  Said the spider to the fly.
"There are pretty curtains drawn around;
  The sheets are fine and thin;
And if you like to rest awhile,
  I'll snugly tuck you in."
"O no, no," said the little fly,
  "For I've often heard it said
They never, never wake again,
  Who sleep upon your bed."

Said the cunning spider to the fly,
  "Dear friend, what shall I do
To prove the warm affection
  I've always felt for you?
I have, within my pantry,
  Good store of all that's nice;
I'm sure you're very welcome—
  Will you please to take a slice?"
"O no, no," said the little fly,
  "Kind sir, that cannot be;
I've heard what's in your pantry,
  And I do not wish to see."

"Sweet creature," said the spider,
  "You're witty and you're wise;
How handsome are your gauzy wings,
  How brilliant are your eyes.
I have a little looking-glass
  Upon my parlor shelf;
If you'll step in one moment, dear,
  You shall behold yourself."
"I thank you, gentle sir," she said,
  "For what you're pleased to say,
And bidding you good-morning now,
  I'll call another day."

The spider turned him round about,
  And went into his den,
For well he knew the silly fly
  Would soon be back again;
So he wove a subtle web
  In a little corner sly,
And set his table ready
  To dine upon the fly.

He went out to his door again,
  And merrily did sing,
"Come hither, hither, pretty fly,
  With pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple,
  There's a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright,
  But mine are dull as lead."

Alas, alas! how very soon
  This silly little fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words,
  Came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft,
  Then near and nearer drew—
Thought only of her brilliant eyes,
  And green and purple hue;
Thought only of her crested head—
  Poor foolish thing! At last
Up jumped the cunning spider,
  And fiercely held her fast.

He dragged her up his winding stair,
  Into his dismal den
Within his little parlor—but
  She ne'er came out again!
And now, dear little children
  Who may this story read,
To idle, silly, flattering words,
  I pray you, ne'er give heed.
Unto an evil counselor
  Close heart and ear and eye;
And take a lesson from this tale
  Of the spider and the fly.


"And where have you been, my Mary,
  And where have you been from me?"
"I've been to the top of the Caldon Low,
  The midsummer night to see!"

"And what did you see, my Mary,
  All up on the Caldon Low?"
"I saw the glad sunshine come down,
  And I saw the merry winds blow."

"And what did you hear, my Mary,
  All up on the Caldon Hill?"
"I heard the drops of the water made,
  And the ears of the green corn fill."

"Oh! tell me all, my Mary—
  All, all that ever you know;
For you must have seen the fairies
  Last night on the Caldon Low."

"Then take me on your knee, mother;
  And listen, mother of mine:
A hundred fairies danced last night.
  And the harpers they were nine;

"And their harp-strings rung so merrily
  To their dancing feet so small;
But oh! the words of their talking
  Were merrier far than all."

"And what were the words, my Mary,
  That then you heard them say?"
"I'll tell you all, my mother;
  But let me have my way.

"Some of them play'd with the water,
  And roll'd it down the hill;
'And this,' they said, 'shall speedily turn
  The poor old miller's mill;

"'For there has been no water
  Ever since the first of May;
And a busy man will the miller be
  At dawning of the day.

"'Oh! the miller, how he will laugh
  When he sees the mill-dam rise!
The jolly old miller, how he will laugh
  Till the tears fill both his eyes!'

"And some they seized the little winds
  That sounded over the hill;
And each put a horn unto his mouth,
  And blew both loud and shrill;

"'And there,' they said, 'the merry winds go
  Away from every horn;
And they shall clear the mildew dank
  From the blind old widow's corn.

"'Oh! the poor, blind widow,
  Though she has been blind so long,
She'll be blithe enough when the mildew's gone,
  And the corn stands tall and strong,'

"And some they brought the brown lint-seed,
  And flung it down from the Low;
'And this!' they said, 'by the sunrise,
  In the weaver's croft shall grow.

"'Oh! the poor, lame weaver,
  How he will laugh outright
When he sees his dwindling flax-field
  All full of flowers by night!'

"And then outspoke a brownie,
  With a long beard on his chin;
'I have spun up all the tow,' said he,
  'And I want some more to spin.

"'I've spun a piece of hempen cloth,
  And I want to spin another;
A little sheet for Mary's bed,
  And an apron for her mother.'

"With that I could not help but laugh,
  And I laugh'd out loud and free;
And then on the top of the Caldon Low
  There was no one left but me.

"And all on the top of the Caldon Low
  The mists were cold and gray,
And nothing I saw but the mossy stones
  That round about me lay.

"But, coming down from the hill-top,
  I heard afar below,
How busy the jolly miller was,
  And how the wheel did go.

"And I peep'd into the widow's field,
  And, sure enough, were seen
The yellow ears of the mildew'd corn,
  All standing stout and green.

"And down by the weaver's croft I stole,
  To see if the flax were sprung;
And I met the weaver at his gate,
  With the good news on his tongue.

"Now this is all I heard, mother,
  And all that I did see;
So, pr'ythee, make my bed, mother,
  For I'm tired as I can be."


Now he who knows old Christmas,
  He knows a carle of worth;
For he is as good a fellow
  As any upon earth.

He comes warm cloaked and coated,
  And buttoned up to the chin;
And soon as he comes a-nigh the door
  We open and let him in.

And with sprigs of holly and ivy
  We make the house look gay,
Just out of an old regard for him,
  For it was his ancient way.

He must be a rich old fellow,
  What money he gives away!
There is not a lord in England
  Could equal him any day.

Good luck unto old Christmas,
  And long life, let us sing,
For he doth more good unto the poor
  Than many a crowned king.

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