Thomas Aird

Recovery From Sickness

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The little boy lies still. Rufflings of leaves
Give him their freshness; swallows from the eaves
Twitter their matins sweet; and far away
4He lists the children at their whooping play.
But here is she that wiped his forehead damp,
And watched him, patient as a midnight lamp,
His mother, ever dear: aye to his bed
She comes to kiss him, and to pat his head.
Feet slily soft! who next? Ah, well he knows;
And the young face looks in on his repose:
His little sister. Much has she to tell
Of hoarded wonders since he grew unwell;
And much to show, her frock so white and new,
Her pictures—this for him, and that one too!
Nodding she shakes the curlèd clouds of hair,
Which darkly break upon her brow so fair;
And o'er him bowing, lets his fingers oft
Pass o'er her tresses with their pressure soft.

But slowly now along the pathway green
She leads him, dazzled by the sunny sheen.
The light wind lifts his sadly-smoothèd hair
Deliciously, he drinks the fluid air.
The world is new, is fresh to him; he sees
Each little fly, each bird upon the trees:
O'er them the stirring trees, up looking they,
The flecks of lustre on their faces play.
How many children through yon meadow pass,
Where lies the golden sunlight on the grass!
Yon hill how clear, where shepherds sun themselves,
Piping at ease upon its simple shelves!
Here glossy woods, there wheaten uplands lie
Beneath the harvest sun's broad yellow eye.
Blithe reapers there beside the stooks are set;
Here little gleaners at the gate are met,
Spilling rich laughter from their thriftless eyes,
Dark with the glory of the sultry skies.
Proudly his sweet young sister leads him on,
As if to show him like a trophy won;
Then turns with him: The appointed walk is o'er;
Their mother, smiling, meets them at the door.

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Thomas Aird