‘TWAS a cloudy autumn day 

And Madge by the window stood; 

She could not go out to play,

And must be real quiet and good; 

For the baby was fast asleep,

And mamma was "busy," she said, 

So Madge stood watching the falling leaves 

From the tree-boughs overhead.

"How pretty they look!" thought Madge

As the bright leaves floated down 

In red, and yellow, and green,

And many a shade of brown; 

"They come in groups and pairs,

Like girls to a party," said she. 

"I know those two that are just alike, 

They're Bessie and Annie Lee.

"That girl in brown and red

Is Anna Matilda Low, 

That big brown leaf is cousin Fred, 

And the little brown one is Joe. 

That's I in my red dress,"

As a bright leaf floated down,

"I wore that dress to a party once, 

Brother Ned's suit was brown.

"Here come two yellow ones

And a large one in spotted green, 

I know them all; there's Jennie Mills,

And Clara and Katie Dean. 

There's one that stays alone

Though the others keep passing by; 

That's Edith Maelay, we think she's proud,

But mother thinks she's shy."

The light leaves move with the wind,

Now retreat, and again advance. 

"How pretty they look! " cried Madge,

"As though they were having a dance,

Or playing some game in a, ring 

Where they move to the sound of a song,

And every one joins merrily in."

And still the wind blows them along.

More sudden and strong it blows

On the frolicsome leaves at play, 

Till only the coping of stone

Keeps them from blowing away. 

From side to side they rush,

And merrily frisk about; 

"That's blindman's buff," said Madge to herself,

As she watched the rush and rout.

Down dropped the autumn rain

And soon the leaves were laid; 

"Now they've sat down to eat," said she, 

"And all their games are played." 

But deeper grew the gloom

Of the rain-clouds overhead, 

And darker and darker all around

The evening shadows spread.

"I guess the party is gone.

I cannot see them," said she,

"No; not a single one.

It is getting so late, you see, 

That the visitors are not there,

Their papas have taken them home. 

Well, now, is not this very queer?

Here's my papa just come!"

And "How is my Madge!" he cries;

What makes her look so gay? 

How merry her sparkling eyes

On this dismal autumn day! 

The wind, and the falling leaves,

And the chilly rain at night, 

It cannot be that any of these

Have made her look so bright!"

"Why, the leaves had a party, papa,

And I watched them. It was such fun 

To see them coming by twos and threes,

And sometimes one by one! 

And I was there, and Ned,

And lots of the girls from school; 

They all played games and danced;

Oh! Wasn't it beautiful! 

They all went home in the dark

After they had their tea; 

And it happened so funny, you know,

That you've just come for me."

As he kissed the dimpled cheek

And the forehead smooth and fair, 

There came a thought to the father's heart, 

A thought that turned to a prayer: 

"A cheerful spirit can still impart

Light to the darkest day; 

She has brightened life with a happy heart,

God grant she always may."