I ASKED Nellie the question often asked, 

What happiness is, in idle vein, 

Scarce looking for answer; and it tasked 

And puzzled her childish brain.

She stood with her hands close clasped behind, 

As though she was gravely turning o'er

Her budget of baby-thoughts to find 

An answer among their store.

Her brow was knit with a thoughtful frown, 

And her crimson lips had a pretty pout,

While her eyes looked up and her eyes looked down, 

Determined to find it out,

When suddenly over her radiant face 

There flowered a flashing smile, whose glow

Like a rosebud burst to a rose's grace, 

And she eagerly cried, "I know!

"It's halving the peach. You gave me one,

As yesterday at the table we sat; 

And I shared it with Bess, for Bess had none; 

And I'm certain it must be that."

"Dear child! you have taught as I could not teach

What happiness is; and, darling, so, 

If you always are ready to halve your peach; 

You always can say, 'I know!'"

Margaret J. Preston.