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130 LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
Your madcap fancy runs too riot, girl.
Will you shut
The book of nature, too? for it is that
I love and study. Do not take me back
To the cold, heartless city, with its forms
And dull routine; its artificial manners
And arbitrary rules; its cheerless pleasures
And mirthless masquing. Yet a little longer
O let me hold communion here with Nature.
—Well, well, we'll see. But we neglect our lecture
Upon this picture —
Poor Red Riding Hood!
We had forgotten her; yet mark, dear madam,
Thus it is:
Mere children read such stories literally,
But the more elderly and wise, deduce
A moral from the fiction. In a word,
The wolf that you must guard against is — Love.
—I thought love was an infant; "toujours enfant."
—The world and love were young together, child,
And innocent—alas! time changes all things.
—True, I remember, love is now a man.
And, the song says, " a very saucy one"—
But how a wolf?
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD.
-In ravenous appetite,
Unpitying and unsparing, passion is oft
1 shall remember,
For now I see the moral. Trust me, madam,
You'll do wisely.
—Nor e'er in field or forest, plain or pathway,
132 LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD.
— Nor, in my grandam's cottage, nor elsewhere, Will I e'er lift the latch for him myself, Or bid him pull the bobbin.
Well, my dear,
You 've learned your lesson.
Yet one thing, my mother,
Somewhat perplexes me.
Say what, my love,
I will explain.
This wolf, the story goes,
Deceived poor grandam first, and ate her up: What is the moral here? Have all our grandmas Been first devoured by love?
Let us go in;
The air grows cool—you are a forward chit.
THE WITHERED ROSEBUD.
BY 1 K. MITCHELL.
Ah, why does this rose-bud more beautiful seem,
All withered and pale, of a flower but the dream 1
'Tis because the sweet floweret had lingered awhile
On the bosom of beauty and youth,
And came to me breathing her truth.
And now, though its leaflets are gone to decay,
And mournfully drooping its stem,
'Twill still be of roses the gem.
Like its fragrance, still lingering, fond memory the while,
Will couple this blossom with thee,
That came with the rose-bud to me.