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Picking Berries That Day

by Annie Armstrong

A midsummer morning, a gentle breeze
Lazily moving the boughs of trees,
A sweetbrier scented way;
Tall grasses losing their gems of dew,
With golden sunbeams shimmering through;
A group of children where wild woods grew,
Picking berries that day.

We were four in all, and May, our pet,
Whose years scarce numbered five summers yet,
Laughing in happy play,
Herself the fairest blossom that grew,
Was gathering flowers of every hue,
And decking herself, and Clarence, and Lou,
Picking berries that day.

Beneath the shade of a spreading oak,
Clarence, the eldest, thoughtfully spoke,
With eyes fixed far away,—
"I wonder who"—and just then the fall
Of a stone was heard from the mossy wall—
"Will have the happiest life of all,
Picking berries to-day?"

"Why, me!" cried dear little May; with a start,
I cried, as I pressed her to my heart,
"Darling, I hope you may."
How could I see that flowers would wave
Over the mound of a little grave?
As the baby voice that answer gave,
Picking berries that day!

Sweet baby eyes of azure blue.
Ye are heavenly now! Your words were true,
Dear little Angel May;
Yours is indeed the happiest fate—
To have is sweeter by far than to wait.
More blessed are ye in your heavenly state
Than when picking berries that day.

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