Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/201

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I told him I was proud of him—
A fellow standing by,
Informed me that that boy was dumb
Who never told a lie!


She, with a milk-pail on her arm,
Turns aside with her young cheeks glowing,
And sees down the lane, the slow, dull tread
Of the drove of cows that are homeward going.
"Bessie," he said: at the sound she turned,
Her blue eyes full of childish wonder:
"My mother is feeble and lame and old—
I need a wife at my farmhouse yonder.

"My heart is lonely, my home is drear:
I need your presence ever near me.
Will you be my guardian angel, dear,
Queen of my household, to guide and cheer me?"

"It has a pleasant sound," she said,—
"A household queen, a guiding spirit,
To warm your heart, and cheer your home,
And keep the sunshine ever near it:
But I am only a simple child,
So my mother says in her daily chiding;
And what must a guardian angel do
When she first begins her work of guiding?"

"Well, first, dear Bessie, a smiling face
Is dearer far than the rarest beauty;
And my mother, fretful, lame, and old,
Will require a daughter's loving duty.
You will see to her flannels, drops, and tea,
And talk with her of lungs and liver:
Give her your cheerful service, dear—
The Lord he loveth a cheerful giver.