Menella Bute Smedley

Lilies

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A child is lying fast asleep
Down where the lilies grow,
And the lilies nod and peep,
Quite pleased to have him so.
And the lilies softly say,
“We must not sleep, you know;
Lest he wake and run away,
Fast as little legs can go.”

Lilies are so innocent,
Sorrow they never knew;
How can lily-flowers repent
As thorny roses do?
And a little child asleep,
Fresh as a drop of dew,
With emotion soft and deep
Thrills a lily through and through!
If a tender smile he give,
Or stretcheth out his hand,
(Bright the dreams that for him live,
Kept safe in Heaven-land!)
Eager lilies forward press,
Bending their blossoms grand;
Blossoms that have power to bless
Only children understand.

They shake their pretty heads,
Rustling and whispering,
“Children ought to be in beds,
For birds have ceased to sing.
Every bird is in its bush,
Its head beneath its wing;
Will the birds be angry? hush!
Don't speak of such a thing!
“We will hide him if we can,
He shan't be seen or heard
We can face an angry man,
But not an angry bird!
We are getting frighten'd! Oh,
Surely the branches stirr'd!
Shall we waken him? ah, no!
What might not be inferr'd?”

Two wide-open eyes of blue
Look'd up at them and smiled:
“Why what could the birdies do,
That are so soft and mild?
Foolish lilies, rouse your powers,
Please do not talk so wild;
Don't you know that birds and flowers
Love every little child?”

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Menella Bute Smedley