AND what have you been doing

Through the last happy year?"

I asked a tiny maiden;

Who answered, "Auntie, dear,

I've been just growing higher,

Papa says, like a weed.

Come see my birthday measure;

You'll think me grown indeed."

She tripped away and left me;

Her words remained behind,

A silvery little echo

Of music in my mind.

Not taller only—higher!

What weed could do so well?

I changed the "weed" to "flower,"

My dainty Isabel.

What work so sweet as growing

For any Christian child,

Who, like the gentle Saviour,

Would fain be meek and mild?

He grew in wisdom truly,

In grace and stature too,

In favor with the Father,

In beauty daily new.

That home where Mary pondered,

And hid within her heart

Thoughts solemn, glad, and sacred,

Which made her quick tears start,—

The home where Christ was growing!

It must have been a shrine

Lit up with beams of heaven

By that fair Child divine.

Our children are not sinless.

Alas! We see with pain

Upon their baby features

Full oft the shadow-stain;

And they must meet the tempter

And fight with many a foe;

But they shall win the battle,

If like the Lord they grow.

What joy, when growing higher

And leaving folly's ways,

They tune their lips to sweetness,

And walk life's path with praise,

Just growing every hour,

And finding all things prove

A help to upward training,

Devised by sovereign love.

And we, whose birthday measures

Are not in penciled lines

On wall or door, are growing,

If Christ our mind inclines

To study well his image

And like the Master grow,

Till we shall see his glory

Where living waters flow.



M. F. Sangster.