They said their texts, and their hymns
They said their texts, and their hymns they sang
On that sunny Sabbath day;
And yet there was time ere the church-bell rang,
So I bid them trot away,
And leave me to rest and read alone,
Where the ash-tree's shade o'er the lawn was
But oh! 'twas a cry and a pleading sore,
"O Auntie! we will not tease,
But tell us one Sunday story more;
We will sit so still on the grassy floor:
Tell us the one you told before,
Of little black Mumu, please,
Whom, deaf and dumb, and sick and lone,
The good ship brought to Sierra Leone."
Willie begged loud, and Francie low,
And Alice, who could resist her?
Certainly not myself, and so
The story was just beginning, when lo!
To the rescue came my sister.
"I will tell you a story to-day;
Aunt Fanny has all her own lessons to say!'
Wonderful notion, and not at all clear!
Alfred looked quite astounded.
Who in the world my lessons could hear?
They guessed at every one far and near.
"T was a mystery unbounded.
They settled at last that it must be
Grandpapa Havergal over the sea.
Then merry eyes grew grave and wise,
On tiptoe Alice trod;
She had a better thought than they,
And whispered low, "Does Auntie say
Her lessons all to God?"
How little the import deep she knew
Of those baby-words, so sweet and true!
Little she knew what they enfold! —
A treasure of happy thought;
A tiny casket of virgin gold,
With jewels of comfort fraught.
Great men's wisdom may pass away,
Dear Alice's words in my heart will stay.
~ Frances Havergal