A Mother's Year Book by

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[Illustration: (woman and baby)]

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A MOTHER’S YEAR-BOOK

EDITED BY FRANCIS McKINNON MORTON AND MARY McKINNON McSWAIN

NEW YORK THOMAS Y CROWELL COMPANY PUBLISHERS

_Copyright, 1911,_ BY THOMAS Y. CROWELL COMPANY.

*PREFACE*

This little volume has been compiled for mothers and is lovingly offered as a tribute to the memory of the almost perfect mother whose love cradled my own childhood so sweetly as to make all motherhood forever more dear to me.

It seems to be true that the years of a woman’s life that sink deepest into her heart and are fraught with her keenest joy and pain are the years when her little children are clinging about her skirts. Then it is that she is truly "wealthy with small cares, and small hands clinging to her knees." But then, too, she is often too busy with the passing of the full days and the long nights, so often punctuated by the restless clinging of rosy fingers and all the dear demands of babyhood, to realize fully how blest are the days through which she is living.

It is especially for the busy mother that I have gathered this little collection of beautiful thoughts about childhood and motherhood, from some of the world’s best thinkers.

I hope it may bring to some of them as much pleasure in the reading as it has to me in the preparation.

The selections from the writings of Lucy Larcom, Holmes, Whittier, Longfellow, Emerson, Lowell, Celia Thaxter, and Edith Thomas are used by the courteous permission of the authorized publishers of these writers, the Houghton Mifflin Company.

The selections from the writings of Robert Louis Stevenson are from "A Child’s Garden of Verses."

The selection from Sidney Lanier is taken from "The Poems of Sidney Lanier." Both are published by Charles Scribner’s Sons and the selections are used by permission of that firm. The little poem from Eugene Field is also used by special arrangement with Charles Scribner’s Sons, the authorized publishers of the works of Eugene Field.

The selections from the book called "The Finest Baby in the World" are used by the courtesy of its publishers, the Fleming H. Revell Company.

The selection from Ruth McEnery Stuart is taken from "Napoleon Jackson," published by the Century Company, and is used with their permission.

The selection from the writings of Lewis Carroll is taken from the "Adventures of Alice in Wonderland" and is used by permission of the publishers, the Macmillan Company.

Acknowledgment is also made to the Bobbs-Merrill Company for the use of the selections from the writings of James Whitcomb Riley, and to D. Appleton & Co. for the selections from Bryant.

Acknowledgment is due the courtesy of the New York _Sun_ and the Denver _News_ for the use of the selections credited to them.

An effort has been made to find the name and the author of each selection used so that proper credit could be given with each. This has not been always possible and I have chosen not to leave out a beautiful selection on that account.

George MacDonald says, "He who drops a beautiful thought into the heart of a friend gives as the angels do"; and Emerson says that "Next to the originator of a beautiful thought is the one who first quotes it." So I do not think that any one who has said anything beautiful about childhood would wish to be left out of a Mother’s Year Book even if the credit for his work was not given quite correctly.

FRANCIS MCKINNON MORTON.

*JANUARY*

JANUARY FIRST

Where did you come from, Baby Dear? Out of the Everywhere into the here. . . . . . . . . But how did you come to us, you Dear? God thought of you and so I am here. _George MacDonald_

JANUARY SECOND

What is the dream in the Baby’s eyes As he lies and blinks in a mute surprise? . . . . . . . . Bathed in the dawnlight, what does he see That slow years have hidden from you and from me? _Tom Cordry_

JANUARY THIRD

Little Life from out the life Divine, Little heart so near and dear to mine, Little bark, new-launched upon Life’s sea Floating o’er the tide to mine and me, Little comer on our shore of time, Little ray from out God’s great sublime, Little traveller from Eternity May my love protect and shelter thee. _The Denver News_

JANUARY FOURTH

What shall we wrap the Baby in? Nothing that fingers have woven will do: Looms of the heart weave ever anew: Love, only Love is the right thread to spin Love we must wrap the Baby in. _Lucy Larcom_

JANUARY FIFTH

Look at me with thy large brown eyes, Philip, my King! For round thee the purple shadow lies Of babyhood’s regal dignities. Lay on my neck thy tiny hand, With Love’s invisible scepter laden; I am thine Esther to command, Till thou shalt find thy queen-handmaiden, Philip, my King! _Dinah Mulock Craik_

JANUARY SIXTH

Nay, but our children in our midst, What else but our hearts are they, Walking on the ground? If but the breeze blew harsh on one of them, Mine eye says "No" to slumber all night long. _From the "Hamasah"_ _Hittan idnibn al-Mu’alla of Tayyi_

JANUARY SEVENTH

We must take all our children bring us whether it be Joy or Pain. _Auerbach_

JANUARY EIGHTH

Oh child, what news from Heaven? _Swinburne_

JANUARY NINTH

Sweet floweret, pledge o’ meikle love, And ward o’ mony a prayer, What heart o’ stane wad thou na move, Sae helpless, sweet and fair? _Robert Burns_

JANUARY TENTH

His child’s unsullied purity demands The deepest reverence at a parent’s hands. _Juvenal_

JANUARY ELEVENTH

Little Gossip, blithe and hale, Tattling many a broken tale, Singing many a tuneless song, Lavish of a heedless tongue, Simple maid, void of art, Babbling out thy very heart. _Ambrose Phillips_

JANUARY TWELFTH

O child! O new-born denizen Of Life’s great city! On thy head The glory, of the morn is shed Like a celestial benison. _Longfellow_

JANUARY THIRTEENTH

Ah! This taking to one’s arms a little group of souls, fresh from the hand of God, and living with them in loving companionship through all their stainless years is, or ought to be, like living in Heaven, for of such is the Heavenly Kingdom. _J. G. Holland_

JANUARY FOURTEENTH

The sun of dawn, That brightens through the mother’s tender eyes. _Tennyson_

JANUARY FIFTEENTH

We are so dull and thankless; and too slow To catch the sunshine till it slips away, And now it seems surpassing strange to me That while I wore the badge of Motherhood, I did not kiss more oft and tenderly The little child that brought me only good. _Mary Louise Riley Smith_

JANUARY SIXTEENTH

Children are God’s apostles, day by day Sent forth to preach of Love and Hope and Peace. _Lowell_

JANUARY SEVENTEENTH

She has forgotten her sufferings for joy that the child is born. _Kipling_

JANUARY EIGHTEENTH

A Baby’s feet, like sea-shells pink, Might tempt, should Heaven see meet, An angel’s lips to kiss, we think, A Baby’s feet. Like rose-hued sea flowers, toward the heart They stretch and spread and wink Their ten soft buds that part and meet. _Swinburne_

JANUARY NINETEENTH

Greek babies were like the babies of modern Europe: equally troublesome, equally delightful to their parents, equally uninteresting to the rest of society. _Mahaffy_

JANUARY TWENTIETH

They knew as I do now, what keen delight A strong man feels to watch the tender flight Of little children playing in his sight. _Edmund Gosse_

JANUARY TWENTY-FIRST

The child would twine A trustful hand, unasked in thine And find his comfort in thy face. _Tennyson_

JANUARY TWENTY-SECOND

This little seed of life and love, Just lent us for a day. _Parsons_

JANUARY TWENTY-THIRD

Pray for the infant’s soul: With its spirit crown unsoiled. _Philip James Bailey_

JANUARY TWENTY-FOURTH

Child of brighter than the morning’s birth, And lovelier than all smiles that may be smiled Save only of little children undefiled, Sweet, perfect, witless of their own dear worth, Like rose of love, mute melody of mirth, Glad as a bird is when the woods are mild, Adorable as is nothing save a child, Hails with wide eyes and lips on earth, His lovely life with all its heaven to be. _Swinburne_

JANUARY TWENTY-FIFTH

Where has he gone to, Mother’s boy, Little plaid dresses and curls of joy? Who is this Gentleman, haughty in glance Walking around in a new pair of pants? _Folger McKinsey_

JANUARY TWENTY-SIXTH

It is very nice to think The world is full of meat and drink, With little children saying grace In every Christian kind of place. _Robert Louis Stevenson_

JANUARY TWENTY-SEVENTH

Did truth on earth ever hide, Hath innocence anywhere smiled, Did purity anywhere bide, They are found in the eyes of a child. _Harry Alexander Moore_

JANUARY TWENTY-EIGHTH

Now he thinks he ’ll go to sleep: I can see the shadows creep Over his eyes in soft eclipse, Over his brow and over his lips, Out to his little finger tips: Softly sinking down he goes! Down he goes! Down he goes! See! He is hushed in sweet repose! _J. G. Holland_

JANUARY TWENTY-NINTH

To what shall I liken her smiling Upon me, her kneeling lover? How it leaped from her lips to her eyelids, And dimpled her wholly over, Till her outstretched hands smiled also And I almost seem to see The very heart of her mother Sending sun, through her veins, to me. _Lowell_

JANUARY THIRTIETH

Innocent child and snow-white flower, Well are ye paired in your opening hour!

_Reprinted from Bryant’s Complete Poetical Works, by permission of D. Appleton & Company._

JANUARY THIRTY-FIRST

Ye are better than all the ballads That ever were sung or said, For ye are living poems And all the rest are dead. _Longfellow_

*FEBRUARY*

FEBRUARY FIRST

I wonder so that mothers ever fret At little children clinging to their gown; Or that the footprints, when the days are wet Are ever black enough to make them frown, If I could find a little muddy boot, Or cap or jacket on my chamber floor, If I could kiss a rosy, restless foot And hear it patter in my house once more; If I could mend a broken cart to-day, To-morrow make a kite to reach the sky— There is no woman in God’s world could say She was more blissfully content than I. _Mary Louise Riley Smith_

FEBRUARY SECOND

The very souls of children readily receive the impressions of those things that are dropped into them while they are yet but soft. _Plutarch_

FEBRUARY THIRD

As babes will sigh for deep content When their sweet hearts for peace make room, As given, not lent. _Jean Ingelow_

FEBRUARY FOURTH

Childhood soberly she wears, Taking hold of woman’s cares Through love’s outreach, unawares. _Lucy Larcom_

FEBRUARY FIFTH

I searched for love through many a weary mile, Till, sick and weary, to my homestead turning Thou earnest to greet me with a mother’s smile And there upon thy dearest features burning I saw that love I long had sought in vain. _Heine_

FEBRUARY SIXTH

And still the children listed, their blue eyes Fixed on their mother’s face in wide surprise. _Matthew Arnold_

FEBRUARY SEVENTH

So we will not sell the Baby! Your gold and gems and stuff, Were they ever so rare and precious Would never be half enough! For what would we care, My Dearie, What glory the world put on, If our beautiful darling was going, If our beautiful darling was gone. _Selected_

FEBRUARY EIGHTH

The happy children! Full of frank surprise, And sudden whims and innocent ecstacies: What Godhead sparkles from their liquid eyes. _Edmund Gosse_

FEBRUARY NINTH

In him woke With his first babe’s first cry, the noble wish To save all earnings to the uttermost, And give his child a better bringing up Than his had been, or hers. _Tennyson_

FEBRUARY TENTH

Children have more need of models than of critics. _Joubert_

FEBRUARY ELEVENTH

I wait for my story—the birds cannot sing it, Not one as he sits on his tree; The bells can not ring it, but long years oh, bring it Such as I wish it to be. _Jean Ingelow_

FEBRUARY TWELFTH

Thou who didst not erst deny The mother-joy to Mary mild, Blessed in the blessed child. Which hearkened in meek babyhood Her cradle hymn, albeit used To all that music interfused In breasts of angels high and good. _Mrs. Browning_

FEBRUARY THIRTEENTH

So sits the while at home the mother well content. _Robert Louis Stevenson_

FEBRUARY FOURTEENTH

What use to me the gold and silver hoard? What use to me the gems most rich and rare? Brighter by far—aye, bright beyond compare, The joys my children to my heart afford. _From the Japanese_

FEBRUARY FIFTEENTH

Never to living ears came sweeter sounds Than when I heard thee, by our own fireside First uttering, without words, a natural tune While thou, a feeding babe, didst in thy joy Sing at thy mother’s breast. _Wordsworth_

FEBRUARY SIXTEENTH

A woman lives Not bettered, quickened toward the truth and good Through being a mother? _Mrs. Browning_

FEBRUARY SEVENTEENTH

One’s early life is certainly a great deal more amusing to look back to than it used to be while it was going on. _Anne Thackeray Ritchie_

FEBRUARY EIGHTEENTH

When thou hast taken thy repast, Repose my babe on me; So may thy mother and thy nurse Thy cradle also be. Sing lullaby, my little boy, Sing lullaby, mine only joy. _Anonymous_

FEBRUARY NINETEENTH

Ere thy lips learn, too soon, Their soft, first human tune, Sweet, but less sweet than now, And thy raised eyes to read Glad and good things indeed, But none so sweet as thou. _Swinburne_

FEBRUARY TWENTIETH

Beat upon mine, little heart! beat! beat! Beat upon mine! You are mine, my sweet! All mine, from your pretty blue eyes to your feet. _Tennyson_

FEBRUARY TWENTY-FIRST

What is the little one thinking about? Very wonderful things no doubt! Unwritten history! Unfathomed mystery! _J. G. Holland_

FEBRUARY TWENTY-SECOND

The real education of children is to keep them at work and make them unselfish. _Ambrosias_

FEBRUARY TWENTY-THIRD

Then be contented. Thou hast got The most of Heaven in thy young lot; There’s sky blue in thy cup. _Hood_

FEBRUARY TWENTY-FOURTH

Her infancy, a wonder-working charm, Laid hold upon his love. _Jean Ingelow_

FEBRUARY TWENTY-FIFTH

So for the mother’s sake the child was dear, And dearer was the mother for the child. _S. T. Coleridge_

FEBRUARY TWENTY-SIXTH

A kiss when the day is over, A kiss when the day begins, My mamma’s as full of kisses As a nurse is full of pins. _Selected_

FEBRUARY TWENTY-SEVENTH

The child-heart is so strange a little thing, So mild, so timorously shy and small, When grown-up hearts throb, it goes scampering Behind the wall, nor dares peer out at all! It is the veriest mouse That hides in any house! So wild a thing is any child-heart! _James Whitcomb Riley_

_From "A Child World." Copyright, 1897. Used by special permission of the publishers, The Bobbs-Merrill Company._

FEBRUARY TWENTY-EIGHTH

Out of the dark, sweet sleep Where no dreams laugh or weep, Borne through the bright gates of birth Into the dim sweet light Where day still dreams of night, While heaven takes form on earth. _Swinburne_

FEBRUARY TWENTY-NINTH

For what are all our contrivings And the wisdom of all our books When compared with your caresses And the gladness of your looks. _Longfellow_

*MARCH*

MARCH FIRST

I am one who holds a treasure And a gem of wondrous cost; But I mar my heart’s deep pleasure With the fear it may be lost. . . . . . . . . Then spoke the Angel of mothers To me, in gentle tone, "Be kind to the children of others And thus deserve thine own." _Julia Ward Howe_

MARCH SECOND

Here at the portals thou dost stand And, with thy little hand, Thou openest the mysterious gate Into the future’s undiscovered land. _Longfellow_

MARCH THIRD

Like children with violets playing In the shade of the whispering trees. _Charles Kingsley_

MARCH FOURTH

Infancy is the perpetual Messiah, which comes into the arms of fallen men and pleads with them to return to Paradise _Emerson_

MARCH FIFTH

Come to me O ye children! For I hear you at your play And the questions that perplexed me Have vanished quite away. _Longfellow_

MARCH SIXTH

A solemn thing it is to me To look upon a babe that sleeps, Wearing in its spirit-deeps The undeveloped mystery Of our Adam’s taint and woe, Which, when they developed be, Will not let it slumber so. _Mrs. Browning_

MARCH SEVENTH

Some one had left the gate ajar, Heaven’s gate, you know, my dear, And a baby angel winging by Peeped out on a scene most drear.

"Oh me!" he murmured in dulcet tones, "The old Earth needs more light; I guess I ’ll fly a little way And carry a sunbeam bright." _Selected_

MARCH EIGHTH

Dear Babe, that sleepest cradled by my side, Whose gentle breathings, heard in this deep calm, Fill up the interspersed vacancies And momentary pauses of the thought! My babe so beautiful! It thrills my heart With tender gladness thus to look at thee. _S. T. Coleridge_

MARCH NINTH

When I hustle home at evening, And the light shines from the door, An’ I see my little baby Rollin’ happy on the floor, An’ see Sister helpin’ Mother, I’m as tickled as can be An’ there aint no King a-livin’ That has got the best o’ me. _Judd Mortimer Lewis_

MARCH TENTH

O blossom boy! So calm in thy repose! So sweet a compromise of life and death, ’Tis pity those fair buds shall e’er unclose For memory to stain their inward leaf, Tinging thy dreams with unacquainted grief. _Hood_

MARCH ELEVENTH

O let thy children lean aslant Against the tender mother’s knee, And gaze into her face, and want To know what magic there can be In words that urge some eyes to dance While others, as in holy trance, Look up to Heaven, be such my praise. _Walter Savage Landor_

MARCH TWELFTH

Oh, ’tis a touching thing, to make one weep! A tender infant with its curtained eye Breathing as it would neither live nor die With that unchanging countenance of sleep! _Hood_

MARCH THIRTEENTH

Two faces o’er a cradle bent; Two hands above the head were locked, These pressed each other while they rocked, Those watched a life that love had sent. O solemn hour! O hidden power! _George Eliot_

MARCH FOURTEENTH

To see a child so very fair It was a pure delight. _Wordsworth_

MARCH FIFTEENTH

The tree germ bears within itself the nature of the whole tree; the human being bears within itself the nature of all humanity, and is not, therefore, humanity born anew in each child? _Froebel_

MARCH SIXTEENTH

Thoughts of all fair and useful things, The hopes of early years; And childhood’s purity and grace, And joys that like a rainbow chase The passing shower of tears. _Bryant_

_Reprinted from Bryant’s Complete Poetical Works by special permission, of D. Appleton & Co._

MARCH SEVENTEENTH

Sweet is the holiness of youth. _Wordsworth_

MARCH EIGHTEENTH

All its dainty body, honey sweet, Clenched hands and curled up feet That on the roses of the dawn have trod As they came down from God. _Swinburne_

MARCH NINETEENTH

Within my tender mother’s arms I sported, I played at horse upon my grandsire’s knee; Sorrow and care and anger, ill-reported, As little known as gold or Greek to me. _Baggesen_

MARCH TWENTIETH

How do you like to go up in a swing Up in the air so blue? Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing Ever a child can do! _Robert Louis Stevenson_

MARCH TWENTY-FIRST

Sleep, sweet babe! my cares beguiling! Mother sits beside thee smiling! Sleep my darling, tenderly! If thou sleep not, mother mourneth, Singing as her wheel she turneth; Come soft slumber, balmily. _S. T. Coleridge_

MARCH TWENTY-SECOND

O sweet sleep-angel, throned now On the round glory of his brow! Wave thy wing and waft my vow Breathed over Baby Charley.

I vow that my heart, when death is nigh, Shall never shiver with a sigh For act of hand or tongue or eye That wronged my Baby Charley. _Sidney Lanier_

MARCH TWENTY-THIRD

She seemed a thing Of Heaven’s prime uncorrupted work, a child Of early nature undefiled, A daughter of the years of innocence, And, therefore, all things loved her. _Southey_

MARCH TWENTY-FOURTH

Bairns and their bairns make sure a firmer tie Than aught in love the like of us can spy. _Allan Ramsay_

MARCH TWENTY-FIFTH

Slumber little friend so wee, Joy thy joy is bringing. _Bellman_

MARCH TWENTY-SIXTH

Thou straggler into loving arms, Young climber up of knees, When I forget thy thousand ways Then life and all shall cease. _Charles Lamb_

MARCH TWENTY-SEVENTH

Where children are not, heaven is not, and heaven, If they come not again, shall be never! But the face and the voice of a child are assurances of heaven and its promises forever. _Swinburne_

MARCH TWENTY-EIGHTH

O blessed vision! Happy child! Thou art so exquisitely wild, I think of thee with many fears For what may be thy lot in future years. _Wordsworth_

MARCH TWENTY-NINTH

And with heaven in their hearts and their faces, Up rose the children all. _Longfellow_

MARCH THIRTIETH

No baby in the house, I know, ’T is far too nice and clean; No toys, by careless fingers strown, Upon the floors are seen. _Clara G. Dolliver_

MARCH THIRTY-FIRST

The simple lessons which the nursery taught Fell soft and stainless on the buds of thought, And the full blossom owes its fairest hue To those sweet tear drops of affection’s dew. _Holmes_

*APRIL*

APRIL FIRST

But Jesus said, Suffer the little children to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of Heaven. _Matt. xix. 14_

APRIL SECOND

Sweet and low, sweet and low, Wind of the western sea, Low, low, breathe and blow, Wind of the western sea! Over the rolling waters go, Come from the dying moon and blow, Blow him again to me; While my little one, while my pretty one sleeps _Tennyson_

APRIL THIRD

My mother she’s so good to me, If I was good as I could be, I couldn’t be as good—no, sir!— Can’t any boy be as good as her!

She loves me when I’m glad er sad; She loves me when I’m good er bad, An’, what’s a funniest thing, she says She loves me when she punishes. _James Whitcomb Riley_

_From "Poems here at Home." Copyright, 1893-1898. Used by permission of the publishers, The Bobbs-Merrill Company._

APRIL FOURTH

The first train leaves at six P.M. For the land where the poppy blows, The mother dear is the engineer, And the passenger laughs and crows; The palace car is the mother’s arms, The whistle a low sweet strain, And the passenger winks and nods and blinks And goes to sleep on the train. _Edgar Wade Abbott_

APRIL FIFTH

In the house of too-much-trouble Lived a lonely little boy; He was eager for a playmate, He was hungry for a toy. But ’twas always too much bother, Too much dirt and too much noise: For the house of too-much-trouble Wasn’t meant for little boys. _Albert Bigelow Paine_

APRIL SIXTH

I long for every childish, loving word; And for thy little footsteps, fairy light, That hither, thither moved and ever stirred My heart with them to gladness infinite. _Carmen Sylva_

APRIL SEVENTH

A laugh of innocence and joy Resounds like music of the fairest grace, And gladly turning from the world’s annoy, I gaze upon a little radiant face And bless internally the merry boy Who makes a "son-shine in a shady place." _Hood_

APRIL EIGHTH

I had a little daughter And she was given to me To lead me gently backward To the Heavenly Father’s knee. _Lowell_

APRIL NINTH

Did any one ever tell you To "stop makin’ such a noise," When you wuz a-playin’ Injun, An’ war-whoopin’ with the boys? Did any one never tell you Your manners wuz loud and bold? Then I guess you are one of the grown-ups And not a boy nine years old. _Exchange_

APRIL TENTH

Let us call to mind the years before our little daughter was born. We are now in the same condition as then, except that the time she was with us is to be counted as an added blessing. Let us not ungratefully accuse fortune for what was given us because we could not also have all that was desired. We should not be like misers who never enjoy what they have but only bewail what they lose. _Plutarch_

APRIL ELEVENTH

And I, for one, would much rather; If I could merit so sweet a thing, Be the poet of little children Than the laureate of a King. _Lucy Larcom_

APRIL TWELFTH

Ah! Child, what are we, that our ears Should hear you singing on your way, Should have this happiness? _Swinburne_

APRIL THIRTEENTH

Speak gently to the young, For they will have enough to bear; Pass through life as best they may, ’T is full of anxious care. _David Bates_

APRIL FOURTEENTH

My Mother’s voice! how often creeps Its cadence on my lonely hours! Like healing sent on wings of sleep, Or dew to the unconscious flowers. I can forget her melting prayer While leaping pulses madly fly, But in the still unbroken air Her gentle tone comes stealing by, And years and sin and manhood flee And leave me at my mother’s knee. _N. P. Willis_

APRIL FIFTEENTH

And then her heart would warm with hope, perhaps, of what might be to come, of the overwhelming possibilities—how many of them, to her, lay in the warm clasp of the child’s hand that came pushing into hers! _Anne Thackeray Ritchie_

APRIL SIXTEENTH

The barb in the arrow of childhood’s suffering is this: its intense loneliness, its intense ignorance. _Olive Schreiner_

APRIL SEVENTEENTH

Like happy children in their play, Whose hearts run over into song. _Lowell_

APRIL EIGHTEENTH

Ah! what would the world be to us If the children were no more? We should dread the desert behind us Worse than the dark before. _Longfellow_

APRIL NINETEENTH

Who can tell what a baby thinks? Who can follow the gossamer links By which the manikin feels his way Out from the shore of the great unknown, Blind and wailing and alone, Into the light of day? _J. G. Holland_

APRIL TWENTIETH

Dear little face, that lies in calm content Within the gracious hollow that God made In every human shoulder, where he meant Some tired head for comfort should be laid. _Celia Thaxter_

APRIL TWENTY-FIRST

This three-fold heaven, which you also bear within you, shines out on you through your child’s eyes. _Froebel_

APRIL TWENTY-SECOND

Dance little child, oh dance! While sweet the wild birds sing, And flowers bloom fair, and every glance Of sunshine tells of Spring. Oh! bloom and sing and smile Child, bird and flower and make The sad old world forget awhile, Its sorrow for your sake. _Celia Thaxter_

APRIL TWENTY-THIRD

If the golden-crested wren Were a nightingale, why, then Something seen and heard of men Might be half as sweet as when Laughs a child of seven. _Swinburne_

APRIL TWENTY-FOURTH

O little ones whom I have found Among earth’s green paths playing, Though listening far behind, around, There comes to me no sweeter sound Than words I hear you saying. _Lucy Larcom_

APRIL TWENTY-FIFTH

A child sees what we are, behind what we wish to be. _Amiel_

APRIL TWENTY-SIXTH

Dear Child! how radiant on thy Mother’s knee, With merry-making eyes and jocund smiles, Thou gazest at the painted tiles. _Longfellow_

APRIL TWENTY-SEVENTH

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting: The soul that rises with us, our life’s star, Hath had elsewhere its setting, And cometh from afar; Not in entire forgetfulness And not in utter nakedness, But trailing clouds of glory do we come From God, who is our home. _Wordsworth_

APRIL TWENTY-EIGHTH

Happy hearts and happy faces, Happy play in grassy places, That was how, in ancient ages, Children grew to kings and sages. _Robert Louis Stevenson_

APRIL TWENTY-NINTH

That wide-gazing calm which makes us older human beings, with our inward turmoil, feel a certain awe in the presence of a little child, such as we feel before some quiet majesty or beauty in the earth or sky. _George Eliot_

APRIL THIRTIETH

Her, by her smile, how soon the stranger knows, How soon by his the glad discovery shows, As to her lips she lifts the lovely boy, What answering looks of sympathy and joy! He walks, he speaks. In many a broken word His wants, his wishes and his griefs are heard. And ever, ever to her lap he flies, When rosy sleep comes on with sweet surprise. _Samuel Rogers_

*MAY*

MAY FIRST

The child whose face illumes our way, Whose voice lifts up the heart that hears, Whose hand is as the hand of May. _Swinburne_

MAY SECOND

Baby’s skies are mother’s eyes, Mother’s eyes and smiles together Make the Baby’s pleasant weather. _Selected_

MAY THIRD

Oh, when I was a tiny boy My days and nights were full of joy _Hood_

MAY FOURTH

Sweet babe, in thy face Soft desires I can trace, Secret joys and secret smiles, Little pretty infant wiles. _William Blake_

MAY FIFTH

For Childhood, is a tender thing, easily wrought into any shape. _Plutarch_

MAY SIXTH

The gilded evenings calm and late When weary children homeward run. _William Allingham_

MAY SEVENTH

Make your children happy in their youth; let distinction come to them, if it will, after well-spent years but let them now break and eat the bread of Heaven with gladness and singleness of heart and send portions to them for whom nothing is prepared; and so Heaven send you its grace before meat and after it. _Ruskin_

MAY EIGHTH

The babe by its mother Lies bathed in joy, Glide its hours uncounted, The sun is its toy; Shines the peace of all its being, Without cloud, in its eyes, And the sun of the world In soft miniature lies. _Emerson_

MAY NINTH

In those days life was a simple matter to the children; their days and their legs lengthened together. _Anne Thackeray Ritchie_

MAY TENTH

Timely blossom, infant fair, Fondling of a happy pair, Every morn and every night Their solicitous delight, Sleeping, waking, still at ease, Pleasing without skill to please. _Ambrose Phillips_

MAY ELEVENTH

Then the face of a mother looks back, through the mist Of the tears that are welling; and, lucent with light, I see the dear smile of the lips I have kissed As she knelt by my cradle at morning and night; And my arms are outheld with a yearning too wild For any but God in His love to inspire, As she pleads at the foot of His throne for her child— As I sit in the silence and gaze in the fire. _James Whitcomb Riley_

_From "Rhymes of Childhood." Copyright, 1890-1898. Used by special permission of the publishers, The Bobbs-Merritt Company._

MAY TWELFTH

A child’s kiss set on thy sighing lips shall make thee glad. _Mrs. Browning_

MAY THIRTEENTH

I can not say, and I will not say That he is dead.—He is just away! With a cheery smile and a wave of the hand, He has wandered into an unknown land, And left us dreaming how very fair It must be since he lingers there. _James Whitcomb Riley_

_From "Afterwhiles." Copyright, 1903. Used by permission of the publishers, The Bobbs-Merrill Company._

MAY FOURTEENTH

"Rock-a-bye, baby, up in the tree top!" Mother his blanket is spinning; And a light little rustle that never will stop Breezes and boughs are beginning, Rock-a-bye, baby, swinging so high! Rock-a-bye. _Lucy Larcom_

MAY FIFTEENTH

God’s hand had taken away the seal That held the portals of her speech; And oft she said a few strange words Whose meaning lay beyond our reach _Thomas Bailey Aldrich_

MAY SIXTEENTH

Happy the child who is suffered to be and content to be what God meant it to be; a child while childhood lasts. _Robertson_

MAY SEVENTEENTH

When first thy infant littleness I folded in my fond caress, The greatest proof of happiness Was this I wept. _Hood_

MAY EIGHTEENTH

His mother’s conscious heart o’erflows with joy. _Homer’s Iliad_

MAY NINETEENTH

For the pure clean wit of a sweet young babe is like the newest wax, most able to receive the best and fairest printing. _Roger Ascham_

MAY TWENTIETH

At eve the babes with angels converse hold. _Victor Hugo_

MAY TWENTY-FIRST

Ilka body smiled that met her, Nane were glad that said farewell; Never was a blither, better, Bonnier bairn frae croon to heel! _MacLeod_

MAY TWENTY-SECOND

His father’s counterfeit, And his face the index be Of his mother’s chastity. _Catullus_

MAY TWENTY-THIRD

And, rosy from the noonday sleep, Would bear thee to admiring kin, And all thy pretty looks would keep My heart within. _Jean Ingelow_

MAY TWENTY-FOURTH

I long to feel thy little arms embrace, Thy silver-sounding voice to hear, I long for thy warm kisses on my face, And for thy birdlike carol, blythe and clear. _Carmen Sylva_

MAY TWENTY-FIFTH

All holy influences dwell within The breast of childhood; instincts fresh from God Inspire it, ere the heart beneath the rod Of grief hath bled, or caught the plague of sin. _Sir Aubrey de Vere_

MAY TWENTY-SIXTH

The mother represents goodness, providence, law, that is to say, the divinity, under that form of it which is accessible to childhood. _Amiel_

MAY TWENTY-SEVENTH

Earth’s creeds may be seventy times seven And blood have defiled each creed; If, of such is the Kingdom of Heaven, It must be Heaven indeed. _Swinburne_

MAY TWENTY-EIGHTH

No song quite worth a young child’s ears Broke ever even from birds in May. _Swinburne_

MAY TWENTY-NINTH

And remain through all bewildering, Innocent and honest children. _Robert Louis Stevenson_

MAY THIRTIETH

Before life’s sweetest mystery still The heart in reverence kneels; The wonder of the primal birth The latest mother feels. _Whittier_

MAY THIRTY-FIRST

O, The days gone by! O, the days gone by! The music of the laughing lip, the luster of the eye; The childish faith in fairies, and Aladdin’s magic ring— The simple, soul-reposing, glad belief in every thing.— When life was like a story, holding neither sob nor sigh, In the golden, olden glory of the days gone by. _James Whitcomb Riley_

_"Rhymes of Childhood." Copyright, 1890-1898. Used by permission of the publishers, The Bobbs-Merrill Company._

*JUNE*

JUNE FIRST

Would ye learn the way to Laughtertown, Oh, ye who have lost the way? Would ye have young hearts, though your hair be gray? Go learn from a little child each day; Go serve his wants and play his play, And catch the lilt of his laughter gay, And follow his dancing feet as they stray, For he knows the road to Laughtertown Oh, ye who have lost the way! _Katherine D. Blake_

JUNE SECOND

What school of learning or of moral endeavor depends on its teacher more than the home upon the mother. _Donald G. Mitchell_

JUNE THIRD

What price could pay with earth’s whole weight of gold, One least flushed roseleaf’s fold Of all this dimpling store of smiles that shine From each warm curve and line? _Swinburne_

JUNE FOURTH

Sometimes when I bin bad An’ Pa "correcks" me, nen An’ Uncle Sidney he comes here I’m allus good again; Cause Uncle Sidney says, An’ takes me up an’ smiles, The goodest mens they is ain’t good As baddest little childs. _James Whitcomb Riley_

_"Rhymes of Childhood." Copyright, 1890-1898. Used by special permission of the publishers, The Bobbs-Merrill Company._

JUNE FIFTH

Since then God has willed that children should be to us in the place of preceptors, we judge that we owe to them the most diligent attention. _Comenius_

JUNE SIXTH

He was so sweet, that oft his mother said, O, child, how was it that I dwelt content Before thou camest? _Jean Ingelow_

JUNE SEVENTH

Thrice happy state again to be The trusting infant on the knee! Who lets his rosy fingers play About his Mother’s neck, and knows Nothing beyond his Mother’s eyes; They comfort him by night and day, They light his little life alway. _Tennyson_

JUNE EIGHTH

I see in every child the possibility of a perfect man. _Froebel_

JUNE NINTH

Where indeed can the modest and earnest virtue of a woman tell a stronger story of its worth than upon the dawning habit of a child? _Donald G. Mitchell_

JUNE TENTH

The expectant wee-things, toddlin’ stacher through To meet their Dad, wi’ flichterin’ noise an’ glee, His wee-bit Ingle blinkin’ bonnily, His clean hearth-stone, his thrifty wifie’s smile, The lispin’ infant prattling on his knee, Does a’ his weary carking cares beguile, An’ makes him quite forget his labor and his toil. _Robert Burns_

JUNE ELEVENTH

To feel sudden, at a wink, Some dear child we used to scold, Praise, love both ways, kiss and tease, Teach and tumble as our own, All its curls about our knees, Rise up suddenly full-grown. _Mrs. Browning_

JUNE TWELFTH

I thought a child was given to sanctify a woman. _Mrs. Browning_

JUNE THIRTEENTH

Under the roof-tree of his home the boy feels safe; and where, in the whole realm of life, with its bitter toils and bitter temptations, will he feel safe again? _Donald G. Mitchell_

JUNE FOURTEENTH

The heart which plays in life its part, With love elate, with loss forlorn, Is still, through all, the child’s pure heart My Mother gave when I was born. _Sully-Prudhomme_

JUNE FIFTEENTH

The hyacinthine boy, for whom Morn well might break and April bloom. _Emerson_

JUNE SIXTEENTH

And the mother spoils all her scolding with a perfect shower of kisses. _Donald G. Mitchell_

JUNE SEVENTEENTH

But not a child to kiss his lips, Well-a-day! And that’s a difference sad to see Betwixt my lord the king and me. _Charles Mackay_

JUNE EIGHTEENTH

There falls not from the height of day, When sunlight speaks and silence hears, So sweet a psalm as children play And sing each hour of all their years, Each moment of their lovely way, And know not how it thrills our ears. _Swinburne_

JUNE NINETEENTH

But all of the things that belong to the day Cuddle to sleep to be out of her way; And flowers and children close their eyes Till up in the morning the sun shall arise. _Robert Louis Stevenson_

JUNE TWENTIETH

O prayer of childhood! Simple, innocent; O infant slumbers! Peaceful, pure and light; O happy worship! Ever gay with smiles, Meet prelude to the harmonies of night; As birds beneath the wing enfold their head, Nestled in prayer, the infant seeks its bed. _Victor Hugo_

JUNE TWENTY-FIRST

In the little childish heart below All the sweetness seemed to grow and grow, And shine out in happy overflow From her blue, bright eyes. _Westwood_

JUNE TWENTY-SECOND

And when she saw her tender little babe, She felt how much the happy days of life Outweigh the sorrowful. _Jean Ingelow_

JUNE TWENTY-THIRD

Between tears and smiles, the year, like the child, struggles into warmth and life. _Donald G. Mitchell_

JUNE TWENTY-FOURTH

The months that touch, with added grace, This little prattler at my knee, In whose arch eye and speaking face New meaning every hour I see. _Bryant_

_Reprinted from Bryant’s Complete Poetical Works by permission of D. Appleton & Co._

JUNE TWENTY-FIFTH

Come to me, O ye children! And whisper in my ear What the birds and the winds are singing In your sunny atmosphere. _Longfellow_

JUNE TWENTY-SIXTH

The adorable, sweet, living, marvellous, Strange light that lightens us Who gaze, desertless of such grace, Full in a babe’s warm face. _Swinburne_

JUNE TWENTY-SEVENTH

Do not think the youth has no force because he can not speak to you and me. _Emerson_

JUNE TWENTY-EIGHTH

Birds in the night, that softly call, Winds in the night, that strangely sigh, Come to me, help me, one and all, And murmur baby’s lullaby. _Lionel H. Lewin_

JUNE TWENTY-NINTH

’Tis grand to be six years old, dear, With pence in a money box, To ride on a wooden horse, dear, And leave off baby socks. _F. E. Weatherly_

JUNE THIRTIETH

Infancy conforms to nobody; all conform to it, so that one babe commonly makes four or five out of the adults who prattle and play to it. _Emerson_

*JULY*

JULY FIRST

A little child, a limber elf, Singing, dancing to itself, A fairy thing with rosy cheeks, That always finds and never seeks, Makes such a vision to my sight As fills a father’s eye with light. _S. T. Coleridge_

JULY SECOND

Bright-featured as the July sun Her little face still played in, And splendors, with her birth begun, Had had no time for fading. _Mrs. Browning_

JULY THIRD

The evening star doth o’er thee peep, To watch thy slumber bright; My little child, now go to sleep Safe in God’s loving sight. _George Cooper_

JULY FOURTH

God promises the children heavenly play, And blooms in meadows queenly. _Ingemann_

JULY FIFTH

But still I feel that His embrace Slides down by thrills through all things made, Through sight and sound of every place; As if my tender mother laid, On my shut lids her kisses pressure: Half waking me at night; and said: "Who kissed you through the dark, dear guesser?" _Mrs. Browning_

JULY SIXTH

Even happier than the young wife who feels for the first time consciousness of her motherhood. _Chateaubriand_

JULY SEVENTH

And the least of us all that love him May take, for a moment, part With Angels around and above him, And I find place in his heart. _Swinburne_

JULY EIGHTH

The streamlet murmurs on its way; Dew falls at set of sun; The birds grow still at hush of day, So sleep, my little one. _George Cooper_

JULY NINTH

The child was happy; Like a spirit of the air she moved, Wayward, yet, by all who knew her, For her tender heart beloved. _Wordsworth_

JULY TENTH

My mother’s voice, so forgotten yet so familiar, so unutterably dear! _George Du Maurier_

JULY ELEVENTH

But were another childhood-world my share, I would be born a little sister there. _George Eliot_

JULY TWELFTH

With what a look of proud command Thou shakest, in thy little hand, The coral rattle, with its silver bells, Making a merry tune. _Longfellow_

JULY THIRTEENTH

Let childhood’s radiant mist the free child yet enfold. _Hemans_

JULY FOURTEENTH

Be it, therefore, O mother, your sacred duty to make your darling early feel the working of both the outer and the inner light. _Froebel_

JULY FIFTEENTH

We do not know How he may soften at the sight of the child: The silence often of pure innocence Persuades when speaking fails. _Shakespeare_

JULY SIXTEENTH

Yet nothing is so radiant and so fair As —— To see the light of babes about the house. _Euripides_

JULY SEVENTEENTH

Through the gladness of little children Are the frostiest lives kept warm. _Lucy Larcom_

JULY EIGHTEENTH

As on the father’s care-worn cheek The ringlets of his child; The golden mingling with the gray, And stealing half its snows away. _Holmes_

JULY NINETEENTH

There’s one angel belongs to you on earth and that’s your mother. _Auerbach_

JULY TWENTIETH

Love that lives and stands up recreated, Then when life has ebbed and anguish fled, Love more strong than death or all things fated, Child’s and mother’s, lit by love and led. _Swinburne_

JULY TWENTY-FIRST

Let us live with our children; so shall their lives bring peace and joy to us; so shall we begin to be and to become wise. _Froebel_

JULY TWENTY-SECOND

And thou, my boy, that silent at my knee, Dost lift to mine thy soft, dark, earnest eyes, Filled with the love of childhood, which I see, Pure through its depths, a thing without disguise. _Hemans_

JULY TWENTY-THIRD

Turning to mirth all things of earth, As only boyhood can. _Hood_

JULY TWENTY-FOURTH

A tiny thing, Whom, when it slept, the lovely mother nursed With reverent love; whom, when it woke she fed And wondered at, and lost herself in long Rapture of watching and contentment deep. _Jean Ingelow_

JULY TWENTY-FIFTH

But more sweet Shone lower the loveliest lamp for earthly feet, The light of little children and their love. _Swinburne_

JULY TWENTY-SIXTH

Full often it falls out, by fortune from God, That a man and a maid may marry in this world, Find cheer in the child whom they nourish and care for Tenderly tend it until the time comes, Beyond the first years, when, the young limbs increasing, Grown firm with life’s fulness, are formed for their work; Fond father and mother so guide it and feed it, Give gifts to it, clothe it: God only can know What lot to its latter days life has to bring. _Anglo-Saxon Poem_

JULY TWENTY-SEVENTH

But children holds he dearest of the dear. _Ingemann_

JULY TWENTY-EIGHTH

Brightest and hardiest of roses anear and afar, Glitters the blithe little face of you, round as a star; Liberty bless you and keep you to be as you are. _Swinburne_

JULY TWENTY-NINTH

We could not wish her whiter—her Who perfumed with pure blossom The house—a lovely thing to wear Upon a mother’s bosom. _Mrs. Browning_

JULY THIRTIETH

The gracious boy, who did adorn The world whereunto he was born, And by his countenance repay The favor of the loving day. _Emerson_

JULY THIRTY-FIRST

Yet the hearts must childlike be, Where such heavenly guests abide; Unto children in their glee, All the year is Christmas-tide. _Lewis Carroll_

*AUGUST*

AUGUST FIRST

Weave him a beautiful dream, little breeze! Little leaves, nestle around him! He will remember the song of the trees, When age with silver has crowned him. Rock-a-bye baby, wake by and by, Rock-a-bye. _Lucy Larcom_

AUGUST SECOND

Thou art thy mother’s glass and she in thee Calls back the lovely April of her prime. _Shakespeare_

AUGUST THIRD

But surely, the just sky will never wink At men who take delight in childish throe, And stripe the nether urchin like a pink. _Hood_

AUGUST FOURTH

Happy he! With such a mother, faith in womankind Beats with his blood, and trust in all things high Comes easy to him. _Tennyson_

AUGUST FIFTH

I have not so far left the coasts of life To travel inland, that I cannot hear That murmur of the outer Infinite Which unweaned babies smile at in their sleep, When wondered at for smiling. _Mrs. Browning_

AUGUST SIXTH

In rearing a child think of its old age. _Joubert_

AUGUST SEVENTH

Whither went the lovely hoyden? Disappeared in blessed wife, Servant to a wooden cradle, Living in a baby’s life. _Emerson_

AUGUST EIGHTH

And yet methinks she looks so calm and good, God must be with her in her solitude. _Hartley Coleridge_

AUGUST NINTH

Childish unconsciousness is rest in God. _Froebel_

AUGUST TENTH

The seasons of the year did swiftly whirl, They measured time by one small life alone. _Jean Ingelow_

AUGUST ELEVENTH

Oh, my own baby on my knee, My leaping, dimpled treasure. _Mrs. Browning_

AUGUST TWELFTH

Crazy with laughter and babble and earth’s new wine, Now that the flower of a year and a half are thine, O, little blossom, O mine and of mine! Glorious poet who never has written a line! _Tennyson_

AUGUST THIRTEENTH

On the lap Of his mother, as he stands Stretching out his tiny hands, And his little lips the while, Half-open, on his father smile. _Catullus_

AUGUST FOURTEENTH

But the breezes of childish laughter, And the light in a baby’s eye, To the homeliest road bring a freshness As free as the blue of the sky. _Lucy Larcom_

AUGUST FIFTEENTH

My little ones kissed me a thousand times o’er. _Campbell_

AUGUST SIXTEENTH

For all its warm, sweet body seems one smile And mere men’s love too vile to meet it. _Swinburne_

AUGUST SEVENTEENTH

A child of light, a radiant lass, And gamesome as the morning air. _Jean Ingelow_

AUGUST EIGHTEENTH

Shall we never cease to stamp human nature, even in childhood, like coins. _Froebel_

AUGUST NINETEENTH

My business is to suck, and sleep, and fling The cradle clothes about me all day long, Or, half asleep, hear my sweet mother sing, And to be washt in water clean and warm, And husht and kist and kept secure from harm. _Shelley_

AUGUST TWENTIETH

Golden slumbers kiss your eyes, Smiles awake you when you rise: Sleep pretty wantons, do not cry, And I will sing a lullaby. Rock them, rock them, lullaby. _Thomas Dekker_

AUGUST TWENTY-FIRST

As the moon on the lake’s face flashes, So, happy may gleam, at whiles, A dream through the dear deep lashes Whereunder a child’s eye smiles. _Swinburne_

AUGUST TWENTY-SECOND

Childhood was the bough, where slumbered Birds and blossoms many-numbered. _Longfellow_

AUGUST TWENTY-THIRD

To the royal soul of a baby One fairy realm is the earth. _Lucy Larcom_

AUGUST TWENTY-FOURTH

So rounds he to a separate mind From which clear memory may begin. _Tennyson_

AUGUST TWENTY-FIFTH

I dream of those two little ones at play, Making the threshold vocal with their cries, Half tears, half laughter, mingled sport and strife, Like two flowers blown together by the wind. _Victor Hugo_

AUGUST TWENTY-SIXTH

That woman’s toy, A baby! _Mrs. Browning_

AUGUST TWENTY-SEVENTH

Perpetual care and joy of our life, our despotic flatterers, greedy for the very least pleasure, frankly selfish, instinctively sure of their too legitimate independence—children are our masters, no matter how firm we may pretend to be with them. _George Sand_

AUGUST TWENTY-EIGHTH

And now, the rosy children come to play, And romp and struggle with the new-mown hay; Their clear high voices sound from far away. _Edmund Gosse_

AUGUST TWENTY-NINTH

For the house that was childless awhile, and the light of it darkened, and the pulse of it dwindled, Rings radiant again with a child’s bright feet, with the light of his face is rekindled. _Swinburne_

AUGUST THIRTIETH

My teachers are the children themselves, with all their purity, their innocence, their unconsciousness and their irresistible charms. _Froebel_

AUGUST THIRTY-FIRST

Women-folks said she was like her father—men-folks said she was like her mother—but the wisest people always said she was like us both. _From "The Finest Baby in the World"_

*SEPTEMBER*

SEPTEMBER FIRST

Preserve him from the bad teacher, for the unfortunate and road-lost one will make him as himself. _Sa’di_

SEPTEMBER SECOND

All unkissed by innocent beauty, All unloved by guileless heart, All uncheered by sweetest duty, Childless man how poor thou art! _Tupper_

SEPTEMBER THIRD

We cannot measure the need Of even the tiniest flower, Nor check the flow of the golden sands That run through a single hour. But the morning dew must fall And the sun and the summer rain Must do their part, and perform it all Over and over again. _Josephine Pollard_

SEPTEMBER FOURTH

When you stood up in the house With your little childish feet, And, in touching life’s first shows, First the touch of love did meet. _Mrs. Browning_

SEPTEMBER FIFTH

Even as a child that after pining For the sweet absent mother, hears Her voice, and round her neck, entwining Young arms, vents all its soul in tears. _Schiller_

SEPTEMBER SIXTH

Who takes the children on his knee, And winds their curls about his hand. _Tennyson_

SEPTEMBER SEVENTH

He’s such a kicking, crowing, wakeful rogue, He almost wears our lives out with his noise, Just at day-dawning when we wish to sleep. _Jean Ingelow_

SEPTEMBER EIGHTH

Happy little children, skies are bright above you, Trees bend down to kiss you, breeze and blossom love you. _Lucy Larcom_

SEPTEMBER NINTH

A baby’s eyes ere speech begins; Ere lips learn words or sighs, Bless all things bright enough to win A baby’s eyes. _Swinburne_

SEPTEMBER TENTH

Some day you’ll know How closely to one’s heart a son can cling. _Racine_

SEPTEMBER ELEVENTH

Thy sports, thy wanderings, when a child, Were ever in the sylvan wild, And all the beauty of the place Is in thy heart and on thy face. _Bryant_

_Reprinted from Bryant’s Complete Poetical Works by permission of D. Appleton & Co._

SEPTEMBER TWELFTH

It was a childish ignorance, But now ’t is little joy To know I’m farther off from heaven Than when I was a boy. _Hood_

SEPTEMBER THIRTEENTH

Sweet babe! True portrait of thy father’s face, Sleep on the bosom that thy lips have pressed! Sleep little one; and closely, gently place Thy drowsy eyelids on thy mother’s breast. _Longfellow_

SEPTEMBER FOURTEENTH

That land of glorious mystery Whither we all are wending, A lonely sort of heaven will be, If there no baby-family Await my love and tending. _Lucy Larcom_

SEPTEMBER FIFTEENTH

What note of song have we Fit for the birds and thee Fair nestling couched beneath the mother-dove? _Swinburne_

SEPTEMBER SIXTEENTH

Thou closely clingest to thy mother’s arms, Nestling thy little face in that fond breast Whose anxious heavings lull thee to thy rest! Man’s breathing miniature. _S. T. Coleridge_

SEPTEMBER SEVENTEENTH

A lisping voice and glancing eyes are near, And ever restless feet of one, who now Gathers the blossoms of her fourth bright year. _Bryant_

_Reprinted from Bryant’s Complete Poetical Works by permission of D. Appleton & Co._

SEPTEMBER EIGHTEENTH

Once was she wealthy, with small cares, And small hands clinging to her knees. _Lizette Woodworth Reese_

SEPTEMBER NINETEENTH

I, a woman, wife and mother, What have I to do with art? Are ye not my noblest pictures, Portraits painted from my heart? _Margaret J. Preston_

SEPTEMBER TWENTIETH

It was a little Child who swung Wide back that city’s portals Where hearts remain forever young; And all things good and pure among, Shall childhood be immortal. _Lucy Larcom_

SEPTEMBER TWENTY-FIRST

The mother, with sweet pious face, Turns toward her little children from her seat, Gives one a kiss, another an embrace, Takes this upon her knees, that upon her feet: And, while from actions, looks, complaints, pretences, She learns their feelings and their various will, To this a look, to that a word dispenses, And, whether stern or smiling, loves them still. _Filicaia_

SEPTEMBER TWENTY-SECOND

A living book is mine— In age three years: in it I read no lies, In it to myriad truths I find the clue— A tender little child; but I divine Thoughts high as Dante’s in her clear blue eyes. _Maurice Francis Egan_

SEPTEMBER TWENTY-THIRD

That pure shrine Of childhood, though my love be true Is hidden from my dim confine. _Author unknown_

SEPTEMBER TWENTY-FOURTH

Their glance might cast out pain and sin, Their speech make dumb the wise; By mute glad Godhead felt within A baby’s eyes. _Swinburne_

SEPTEMBER TWENTY-FIFTH

Lulla-lo! to the rise and fall of mother’s bosom ’t is sleep has bound you, And oh, my child, what cosier nest for rosier rest could love have found you? Sleep, baby dear, Sleep without fear: Mother’s two arms are clasped around you. _Alfred Percival Gates_

SEPTEMBER TWENTY-SIXTH

And if no clustering swarm of bees On thy sweet mouth distilled their golden dew, ’T was that such vulgar miracles Heaven had not leisure to renew: For all the blest fraternity of love Solemnized there thy birth, and kept thy holiday above. _John Dryden_

SEPTEMBER TWENTY-SEVENTH

Sublimity always is simple Both in sermon and song, a child can seize on the meaning. _Longfellow_

SEPTEMBER TWENTY-EIGHTH

Take thy joy and revel in it, Living through each golden minute, Trusting God who gave you this Baby child to love and kiss. _From "The Finest Baby in the World"_

SEPTEMBER TWENTY-NINTH

Still smile at even on the bedded child, And close his eyelids with thy silver wand. _Hood_

SEPTEMBER THIRTIETH

Of such is the kingdom of heaven, No glory that ever was shed From the crowning star of the seven That crown the North world’s head, No word that ever was spoken Of human or godlike tongue Gave ever such godlike token Since human harps were strung. _Swinburne_

*OCTOBER*

OCTOBER FIRST

Little lamb, asleep and still, God protect thee from all ill; Those who love thee ne’er can be Free from pain in loving thee. _From "The Finest Baby in the World"_

OCTOBER SECOND

Then, when Mamma goes by to bed, She shall come in with tiptoe tread, And see me lying warm and fast And in the land of Nod at last. _Robert Louis Stevenson_

OCTOBER THIRD

How, with a mother’s ever anxious love, Still to retain him near her heart she strove. _Firdausi_

OCTOBER FOURTH

Windows of mansions in the skies Must glow with infant faces, Or somewhere else in Paradise, The lovely laughter of their eyes Lights up all heavenly places. _Lucy Larcom_

OCTOBER FIFTH

That pitcher of mignonette Is a garden in heaven set To the little sick child in the basement. _Henry Cuyler Bunner_

OCTOBER SIXTH

When at morn I first awake, My mother’s face I see, Smiling and all alight with love And bending over me. _Mary Stanhope_

OCTOBER SEVENTH

We need love’s tender lessons taught As only weakness can; God hath his small interpreters: The child must teach the man. _Whittier_

OCTOBER EIGHTH

Then, while thy babes around thee cling, Shalt show us how divine a thing A woman may be made. _Wordsworth_

OCTOBER NINTH

Child of the wavy locks, and brow of light— Then be thy conscience pure as thy face is bright _Mrs. Browning_

OCTOBER TENTH

The thankful captive of maternal bonds. _Wordsworth_

OCTOBER ELEVENTH

The mother should consider herself as the child’s sun, a changeless and ever radiant world, whither the small restless creature, quick at tears and laughter, light, fickle, passionate, full of storms, may come for fresh stores of light, warmth and electricity, of calm and courage. _Amiel_

OCTOBER TWELFTH

When grace is given us ever to behold A child some sweet months old, Love, laying across our lips his finger, saith, Smiling with bated breath, "Hush, for the holiest thing that lives is here, And Heaven’s own heart how near!" _Swinburne_

OCTOBER THIRTEENTH

Sweet as the early song of birds, I heard those first delightful words, "Thou hast a child." _Hood_

OCTOBER FOURTEENTH

And a pretty boy was their best hope, next to the God in heaven. _Wordsworth_

OCTOBER FIFTEENTH

The child soul is an ever bubbling fountain in the world of humanity. _Froebel_

OCTOBER SIXTEENTH

Beware that he weepest, for the great throne of God keeps trembling when the orphan weeps. _Sa’di_

OCTOBER SEVENTEENTH

One thing yet there is, that none Hearing, ere its chime be done, Knows not well the sweetest one Heard of man beneath the sun, Hoped in heaven hereafter; Soft and strong and loud and light, Very sound of very light, Heard from morning’s rosiest height When the soul of all delight Fills a child’s clear laughter. _Swinburne_

OCTOBER EIGHTEENTH

Ere thought lift up thy flower-soft lids to see What life and love on earth Bring thee for gifts at birth, But none so good as thine, who hast given us thee. _Swinburne_

OCTOBER NINETEENTH

Childhood had its litanies In every age and clime; The earliest cradles of the race Were rocked to Poet’s rhyme. _Whittier_

OCTOBER TWENTIETH

Sweet little maid, with winsome eyes That laugh all day through the tangled hair; Gazing with baby looks so wise Over the arms of the oaken chair. _Harry Thurston Peck_

OCTOBER TWENTY-FIRST

Everything in immortal nature is a miracle to the little child. _Anatole France_

OCTOBER TWENTY-SECOND

Even so this happy creature of herself Is all-sufficient, solitude to her Is blithe society, who fills the air With gladness and involuntary songs. _Wordsworth_

OCTOBER TWENTY-THIRD

The plays of childhood are the heart-leaves of the whole future life. _Froebel_

OCTOBER TWENTY-FOURTH

When e’er you are happy and cannot tell why, The Friend of the children is sure to be by. _Robert Louis Stevenson_

OCTOBER TWENTY-FIFTH

So brief and unsure, but sweeter Than ever a noon-dawn smiled, Moves, measured of no tune’s meter, The song in the soul of a child. _Swinburne_

OCTOBER TWENTY-SIXTH

Childhood and its terrors rather than its raptures, take wings and radiance in dreams and sport like fireflies in the little night of the soul. Do not crush these flickering sparks! _Richter_

OCTOBER TWENTY-SEVENTH

A child should always say what’s true And speak when he is spoken to, And behave mannerly at table: At least as far as he is able. _Robert Louis Stevenson_

OCTOBER TWENTY-EIGHTH

Bishop Thorold says that whenever a parent begins to feel virtuous in sacrificing his sleep for his child, he ceases to love his child. All I can say is that the Bishop must have kept a night-nurse. _From "The Finest Baby in the World"_

OCTOBER TWENTY-NINTH

He it was who bathed the little ones, who "buttoned up the backs" and tied careful "ribbin bows" here and there for the whole six; he who drilled them in "mannerly behavior" in court.

Indeed he had always performed most of these personal services, which were, so he generously distinguished them, "acts of love and not labor." _Ruth McEnery Stuart_

OCTOBER THIRTIETH

O Wonderland of wayward Childhood! what An easy, breezy realm of summer calm And dreamy gleam and gloom and bloom and balm Thou art!—The Lotus-land the poet sung, It is the Child-World while the heart beats young. _James Whitcomb Riley_

_From "A Child World." Copyright, 1897. Used by special permission of the publishers, The Bobbs-Merrill Company._

OCTOBER THIRTY-FIRST

People who write about children should always tell the truth. For to translate even a child’s simplest day into words is to narrate one of the Seven Wonders of the world. _From "The Finest Baby in the World"_

*NOVEMBER*

NOVEMBER FIRST

Self-government with tenderness, here you have the condition of all authority over children. _Amiel_

NOVEMBER SECOND

Heigh ho! Daisies and buttercups! Mother shall weave them a daisy chain; Sing them a song of the pretty hedge sparrow, That loved her brown little ones, loved them full fain: Sing, "Heart, thou art wide though the house be but narrow"; Sing once and sing it again. _Jean Ingelow_

NOVEMBER THIRD

Fair little children, morning-bright, With faces grave, yet soft to sight, Expressive of restrained delight. _Mrs. Browning_

NOVEMBER FOURTH

Our youth! Our childhood! That spring of springs! ’T is surely one of the blessedest things That nature ever intended. _Hood_

NOVEMBER FIFTH

Ah how good a school is the school of home! _Anatole France_

NOVEMBER SIXTH

Loving she is and tractable, though wild; And innocence hath privilege in her To dignify arch looks and laughing eyes. _Wordsworth_

NOVEMBER SEVENTH

Sweet baby, sleep; what ails my dear? What ails my darling thus to cry? Be still my child and lend thine ear To hear me sing thy lullaby. My pretty lamb, forbear to weep; Be still my dear: sweet baby, sleep. _George Wither_

NOVEMBER EIGHTH

Through the soft, opened lips the air Scarcely moves the coverlet. One little wandering arm is thrown At random on the counterpane; And often the fingers close in haste, As if their baby owner chased The butterflies again. _Matthew Arnold_

NOVEMBER NINTH

I saw her in childhood, A bright gentle thing, Like the dawn of the morn Or the dews of the spring: The daisies and harebells Her playmates all day; Herself as light-hearted And artless as they. _B. F. Lyte_

NOVEMBER TENTH

Thy small steps faltering round our hearth, Thine een out-peering in their mirth, Blue een that, like thine heart, seemed given To be, forever, full of heaven. _Mrs. Browning_

NOVEMBER ELEVENTH

Delight and liberty, the simple creed Of childhood, whether busy or at rest, With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast. _Wordsworth_

NOVEMBER TWELFTH

I’d rock my own sweet childie to rest in a cradle of gold on a bough of the willow, To the cho-heen-ho of the wind of the west and the lulla-lo of the soft sea billow. Sleep, baby dear, Sleep without fear: Mother is here beside your pillow. _Alfred Percival Gates_

NOVEMBER THIRTEENTH

You too, my Mother, read my rhymes, For love of unforgotten times; And you may chance to hear once more The little feet along the floor. _Robert Louis Stevenson_

NOVEMBER FOURTEENTH

And still to childhood’s sweet appeal The heart of genius turns, And more than all the sages teach, From lisping voices learns. _Whittier_

NOVEMBER FIFTEENTH

The wondrous child, Whose silver warble wild Out-valued every pulsing sound Within the air’s cerulean round. _Emerson_

NOVEMBER SIXTEENTH

He saw his Mother’s face, accepting it In change for heaven itself, with such a smile As might have well been learnt there. _Mrs. Browning_

NOVEMBER SEVENTEENTH

Heaven lies about us in our infancy! Shades of the prison house begin to close Upon the growing boy. _Wordsworth_

NOVEMBER EIGHTEENTH

When children are happy and lonely and good, The Friend of the Children comes out of the wood. _Robert Louis Stevenson_

NOVEMBER NINETEENTH

And then, he sometimes interwove Fond thoughts about a father’s love, "For there," said he, "are spun Around the heart such tender ties, That our own children to our eyes Are dearer than the sun." _Wordsworth_

NOVEMBER TWENTIETH

May we presume to say that at thy birth, New joy was sprung in Heaven, as well as here on earth. _Dryden_

NOVEMBER TWENTY-FIRST

Dear five-years-old befriends my passion, And I may write till she can spell. _Matthew Prior_

NOVEMBER TWENTY-SECOND

’T is thus, though wooed by flattering friends, And fed with fame (if fame it be), This heart, my own dear mother, bends With love’s true instinct, back to thee. _Swinburne_

NOVEMBER TWENTY-THIRD

To prayer, my child! And oh, be thy first prayer For her, who many nights with anxious care, Rocked thy first cradle: who took thy infant soul From heaven and gave it to the world: then rife With love, still drank the gall of life And left for thy young lips the honeyed bowl. _Victor Hugo_

NOVEMBER TWENTY-FOURTH

Above the hills, along the blue, Round the bright air, with footing true, To please the child, to paint the rose, The Gardener of the World, he goes. _Robert Louis Stevenson_

NOVEMBER TWENTY-FIFTH

Children, aye, forsooth, They bring their own love with them when they come. _Jean Ingelow_

NOVEMBER TWENTY-SIXTH

We came upon A wildfowl sitting on her nest, so still I reached my hand and touched her: she did not stir; The snow had frozen round her, and she sat, Stone-dead, upon a heap of ice-cold eggs, Look, how this love, this mother, runs through all The world God made—even the beast, the bird! _Tennyson_

NOVEMBER TWENTY-SEVENTH

In your hearts are the birds and sunshine, In your thoughts, the brooklet’s flow. _Longfellow_

NOVEMBER TWENTY-EIGHTH

No flower bells that expand and shrink Gleam half so heavenly sweet, As shine, on life’s untrodden brink, A baby’s feet. _Swinburne_

NOVEMBER TWENTY-NINTH

St. Augustine said finely: "A marriage without children is the world without the sun." _Luther_

NOVEMBER THIRTIETH

The child, the seed, the grain of corn, The acorn on the hill, Each for some separate end is born In season fit, and still Each must in strength arise to work the Almighty will. _Robert Louis Stevenson_

*DECEMBER*

DECEMBER FIRST

As children play, without to-morrow, Without Yesterday. _Agnes Robinson_

DECEMBER SECOND

Shall those smiles be called Feelers of love, put forth as if to explore This untried world? _Wordsworth_

DECEMBER THIRD

When children are playing alone on the green, In comes the playmate that never was seen. _Robert Louis Stevenson_

DECEMBER FOURTH

Respect childhood and do not hastily judge of it, either for good or evil. _Rosseau_

DECEMBER FIFTH

What does little baby say, In her bed at peep of day? Baby says, like little birdie, Let me rise and fly away.

Baby sleep a little longer, Till the little limbs are stronger, If she sleeps a little longer Baby too, shall fly away. _Tennyson_

DECEMBER SIXTH

"Mother," asked a child, "since nothing is ever lost, where do all our thoughts go?"

"To God," answered the mother, "who remembers them forever."

"Forever!" said the child. He bent his head and, drawing closer to his mother, murmured, "I am frightened!"

Which of us has not felt the same? _Selected_

DECEMBER SEVENTH

Happy little children, seek your shady places, Lark songs in their bosoms, sunshine in their faces. _Lucy Larcom_

DECEMBER EIGHTH

The mother, with anticipated glee, Smiles o’er the child, that, standing by her chair, And flattening its round cheek upon her knee, Looks up and doth its rosy lips prepare To mock the coming sounds: at the sweet sight She hears her own voice with new delight. _S. T. Coleridge_

DECEMBER NINTH

A babe, in lineament and limb Perfect, and prophet of the perfect man. _Tennyson_

DECEMBER TENTH

In the children lies the seed-corn of the future. _Froebel_

DECEMBER ELEVENTH

When the bedtime shadows fall, I’m always sure of this, Just as I’m drifting off to dreams, I feel my Mother’s kiss. _Mary Stanhope_

DECEMBER TWELFTH

_Grandma’s Prayer_

I pray that, risen from the dead, I may in glory stand— A crown, perhaps, upon my head But a needle in my hand. I’ve never learned to sing or play, So let no harp be mine; From birth unto my dying day, Plain sewing’s been my line. Therefore, accustomed to the end To plying useful stitches, I’ll be content if asked to mend The little Angels’ breeches. _Eugene Field_

DECEMBER THIRTEENTH

The studying child has all the needs of a creating artist. He must breathe pure air; his body must be at ease; he must have things to look at and be able to change his thoughts at will by enjoying form and color. _George Sand_

DECEMBER FOURTEENTH

At one dear knee we proffered vows, One lesson from one book we learned, Ere childhood’s flaxen ringlets turned To black and brown on kindred brows. _Tennyson_

DECEMBER FIFTEENTH

Art thou not a sunbeam, Child, whose life is glad, With an inner radiance Sunshine never had? _Lucy Larcom_

DECEMBER SIXTEENTH

No rosebuds yet, by dawn impearled Match, even in loveliest lands, The sweetest flowers in all the world; A baby’s hands. _Swinburne_

DECEMBER SEVENTEENTH

Sweet was the whole year with the stir Of young feet on the stair. _Lizette Woodworth Reese_

DECEMBER EIGHTEENTH

The religion of a child depends on what its father and mother are, and not on what they say. _Amiel_

DECEMBER NINETEENTH

So was unfolded here, the Christian lore of salvation, Line by line, from the soul of childhood. _Longfellow_

DECEMBER TWENTIETH

It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty founder was himself a child. _Charles Dickens_

DECEMBER TWENTY-FIRST

We greet the joy that Christmas brings; But, where the heart of childhood sings, There all the months are full of cheer And Christmas-tide lasts all the year. _Francis McKinnon Morton_

DECEMBER TWENTY-SECOND

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in Fairies! You might get your Papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Nobody can conceive nor imagine all the wonders that are unseen and unseeable in the world. _From New York "Sun" of Sept. 21, 1897_

DECEMBER TWENTY-THIRD

You once told me that in the school of God the wisest man never gets beyond the Infant Class; I thought it a strange idea at first but now I know it is true. For, in the matter of the Eternities, a man’s only hope of learning is to remain in the Infant Class. Children invariably have the ear of God first. They have been in His company last. _From "The Finest Baby in the World"_

DECEMBER TWENTY-FOURTH

To you this night is born a child Of Mary, chosen mother mild, This little child of lowly birth Shall be the joy of all your earth. _Luther_

DECEMBER TWENTY-FIFTH

For unto you is born this day, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will toward men." _Luke ii. 11, 13, 14_

DECEMBER TWENTY-SIXTH

A child is the greatest living revealer of the Eternal in this world. You are nearer God when you have your child in your arms than at any other time. _From "The Finest Baby in the World"_

DECEMBER TWENTY-SEVENTH

I never realized God’s birth before, How he grew likest God in being born, This time I felt like Mary, had my babe Lying a little on my breast like hers. _Robert Browning_

DECEMBER TWENTY-EIGHTH

What do I dream of, far from the low roof Where now ye are children? I dream of you, Of your young heads that are the hope and crown Of my full summer, ripening to its fall, Branches whose shadow grows along my wall, Sweet souls scarce open to the breath of day, Still dazzled with the brightness of your dawn. _Victor Hugo_

DECEMBER TWENTY-NINTH

Verily I say unto you, "Whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of Heaven as a little child shall in no wise enter therein." _Luke xviii. 17_

DECEMBER THIRTIETH

Heroic Mother! What can breath add to that sacred name? _Author unknown_

DECEMBER THIRTY-FIRST

The mother has eternal youth. _Edith M. Thomas_