Imatges de pàgina

bird! the winter must come hard upon him! His breakfast lies under the snow! He has no basin of nice hot milk, no blazing fire to warm him; yet he sits on the bare leafless bough, and warbles as if it were spring! You might learn a lesson of content from the brave little bird in the snow!"

Dora dried her eyes and ran to the window; she knew the note of her favourite robin. She threw open the casement, and in another minute her little friend with the scarlet breast was hopping on to her finger!

"Come in, pretty birdie!" she cried; "come in and share my breakfast! I love the nightingale and the linnet, that sing when the hedges are green, and the meadows gay, and the sun shining bright and warm; but I love better the little robin that hops about on the frosty ground, and sings on the leafless tree!"

The flakes were falling no longer; the red wintry sun had come out, and hung like a ball of fire in the sky.

"Dora, my child," said her mother, "put on your warm cloak and your bonnet. You may carry this shawl and basket of good things as a New-Year's gift from me to poor blind Betsy at the lodge."

Dora willingly obeyed. Impatient and selfish as she had appeared in the morning, there was kindness in the little girl's heart,—it was a pleasure to her to give pleasure. Cheerfully Dora tramped through the snow, leaving deep foot-prints behind her. She could now admire the soft white covering which was spread over the earth, and lay on the dark green leaves of the laurel and holly, and made the roofs of the dwellings look purer and brighter than marble!

As Dora approached the lodge, tripping noiselessly over the snow, she heard the sound of singing within, ringing sweet through the frosty air. So clear was the voice of the blind girl that Dora caught most of the words:-


1 cannot see the sunny gleam

Which gladdens every eye but mine;
But I can fed the warming beam,

And bless the God who made it shine.

0 Lord! each murmuring thought control,
Let no repining tear-drop fall;

Pour heavenly light upon my soul,
And let me see Thy love in all.

1 cannot see the roses bloom,

All sparkling with the summer showers;
But I can breathe their sweet perfume,
And bless the God who made the flowers.

0 Lord! each murmuring thought control,
Let no repining tear-drop fall;

Pour heavenly light upon my soul,
That I may see Thy love in all.

1 cannot see the pages where

Thy holy will is written, Lord;
But I can seek Thy house of prayer,

And humbly listen to Thy word,
Which lifts my hopes to that blest place

Where I at Thy dear feet shall fall,
Behold my Saviour face to face,

And see and know His love in all.

"Oh," thought Dora, who had paused at the door, listening to the soft sweet strain, "how could I, blessed as I am with sight, and health, and every comfort, begin the new year with murmurs and tears, while a poor blind girl in her humble home can sing such a song as this?"

Dora tapped at the door, and entered. Betsy knew the sound of her step, and turned her face towards her with a smile of welcome.

"A happy New Year to you, Betsy!" cried Dora. "My mother has sent you a soft warm shawl, and some nice little things from our table."

It was a pleasure to see the bright look on the face of the sightless girl, and to hear her half-whispered words,—" How good God has been to me!"

Dora shared the delight which she gave when she wrapped the warm shawl round the shoulders of Betsy, and, one by one, drew her treasures from the basket, and placed on the blind girl's knees oranges, apples, plumcake, and a nice little packet of tea. Dora was perhaps as happy at that moment as she would have been in the chaise, had the day been warm, the road clear of snow, and she herself on the way to Mount Blane.

With the blessing of the poor upon her, Dora quitted the little lodge, and tripped away back to her home. She thought now of her own little sister, and reproached herself for unkindncss to one who was sharing her disappointment, with a feverish cold besides.

"I must try to make Mary happy, shut up as she is like a little prisoner in the house. She shall see my pictures, and play with my toys, and we'll have a merry New Year's Day together notwithstanding the frost and the snow."

The redbreast had sung on the tree his cheerful song of content; the blind girl had sung in her darkness her song of meek submission; and now from the lips of Dora there rose a sweet song of praise!

Oh, dear children, who in happy homes no*, begin another year, with kind faces smiling around you, loving voices breathing good wishes, let your thanks for unnumbered blessings now arise to your Father in heaven! Should disappointments come to you, as they come in turn to us all, let no murmur escape your lips. Remember the poor blind girl in her cottage, and the robin that sang in the snow!

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