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ROBERT LEIGHTON: LITTLE KATE

A winking, blinking, little thing,

Full of deep-eyed witcherie;
Full of artless rollicking,
And every busy as a bee;
Masking all the house to ring,
She is a very joy to me:
Waking, sleeping, early late,
My heart is full of little Kate!
 
She fills the house with such sweet noise,
That even a sage could not rebuke;
To listen to her silvery voice,
I'd lay aside the wisest book;
And when I'd have my soul rejoice,
Deep, deep into her eyes I look:
I quite forget my day and date,
And lose myself in little Kate!
 
I hear her voice at break of day,
She's waiting for me when I wake;
And ever when I go away,
She sobs as if her heart would break.
My darling Kate, I cannot stay,
Or gladly would I for thy sake:
I would the flighty hours would wait,
And let me play with little Kate!
 
Coming home, I catch her tongue
Ringing like a little bell,
Joyous as a linnet's song,
Dulcet as a woodland well:
At the door I listen long,
Lest my entrance break the spell;--
Ah, what a rattling, prattling state
Thy heart is in, thou little Kate!
 
She gives my days a sunny hue;
She keeps me in a world of light:
She is to me a honey-dew,
That bathes my soul at morn and night,
And keeps my life so fresh and new,
'Twill ne'er grow old or suffer blight.
She's three, and I am twenty-eight,
Yet feel as young as little Kate.
 
Ah! would that Time might leave us so!
But she'll grow old, and I'll grow strange:
Content with loves that round her grow,
She seeks not yet a wider range:
But years will come, and years will go,
And with the changing years she'll change:
Then, through the shifting scenes of Fate,
I'll look in vain for little Kate!