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Lives of Girls Who Became Famous Sarah Knowles Bolton

Jean Ingelow

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The same friend who had given me Mrs. Browning's five volumes in blue and gold, came one day with a dainty volume just published by Roberts Brothers, of Boston. They had found a new poet, and one possessing a beautiful name. Possibly it was a nom de plume, for who had heard any real name so musical as that of Jean Ingelow?

I took the volume down by the quiet stream that flows below Amherst College, and day after day, under a grand old tree, read some of the most musical words, wedded to as pure thought as our century has produced.

The world was just beginning to know The High Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire. Eyes were dimming as they read,--

"I looked without, and lo! my sonne
Came riding downe with might and main:
He raised a shout as he drew on,
Till all the welkin rang again,
'Elizabeth! Elizabeth!'
(A sweeter woman ne'er drew breath
Than my sonne's wife Elizabeth.)

"'The olde sea wall (he cried) is downe,
The rising tide comes on apace,
And boats adrift in yonder towne
Go sailing uppe the market-place.'
He shook as one who looks on death:
'God save you, mother!' straight he saith;
'Where is my wife, Elizabeth?'"

And then the waters laid her body at his very door, and the sweet voice that called, "Cusha! Cusha! Cusha!" was stilled forever.

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The Songs of Seven soon became as household words, because they were a reflection of real life. Nobody ever pictured a child more exquisitely than the little seven-year-old, who, rich with the little knowledge that seems much to a child, looks down from superior heights upon

"The lambs that play always, they know no better;
They are only one times one."

So happy is she that she makes boon companions of the flowers:--

"O brave marshmary buds, rich and yellow,
Give me your honey to hold!

"O columbine, open your folded wrapper,
Where two twin turtle-doves dwell!
O cuckoopint, toll me the purple clapper
That hangs in your clear green bell!"

At "seven times two," who of us has not waited for the great heavy curtains of the future to be drawn aside?

"I wish and I wish that the spring would go faster,
Nor long summer bide so late;
And I could grow on, like the fox-glove and aster,
For some things are ill to wait."

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Lives of Girls Who Became Famous
Sarah Knowles Bolton

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