THE gray-leaved hardbacks, stiff and high,

With white and rosy plumes are dressed;

And underneath them, warm and dry,

Some wild field-hares have made their nest;

A mother and her little ones,—

Four brown, soft, tiny, baby Buns.

The long-eared mother comes and goes;

The little hares lie still all day,

And sleep with open eyes, till blows

The sunset wind; then, out to play

They lightly leap without a sound,

And still as shadows frisk around.

They breakfast with the break of light—

One has a grass-blade springing new;

One a red raspberry; one a white,

Sweet clover blossom, wet with dew;

And one,—the daintiest feast of all,—

Pink leaves a brier-rose let fall.

The summer days go hurrying by;

The little hares grow fleet and strong;

Across the pasture grass they fly,

Like leaves in autumn blown along;

It seems as if their feet were wings,

The lovely, flitting, fairy things!

Among the bushes, through the fern,

They wander here, they wander there;

They change their course, and wind,

and turn,

And quite forget the mother hare.

Their hardback-sheltered days are o'er,

The Buns are baby Buns no more.




Marian Douglas.