Menella Bute Smedley

Deaf and Dumb

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He lies on the grass, looking up to the sky;
Blue butterflies pass like a breath or a sigh,
The shy little hare runs confidingly near,
And wise rabbits stare with inquiry not fear,

Gay squirrels have found him and made him their choice;
All creatures flock round him, and seem to rejoice.
Wild ladybirds leap on his cheeks fresh and fair,
Young partridges creep, nestling under his hair,
Brown honey-bees drop something sweet on his lips,
Rash grasshoppers hop on his round finger-tips,
Birds hover above him with musical call;
All things seem to love him, and he loves them all.

Is nothing afraid of the boy lying there?
Would all nature aid if he wanted its care?
Things timid and wild with soft eagerness come.
Ah, poor little child!—he is deaf—he is dumb.
But what can have brought them? but how can they know?
What instinct has taught them to cherish him so?
Since first he could walk they have served him like this.
His lips could not talk, but they found they could kiss.

They made him a court, and they crown'd him a king;
Ah, who could have thought of so lovely a thing?
They found him so pretty, they gave him their hearts,
And some divine pity has taught them their parts!

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Menella Bute Smedley