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The craftsman
Volume XXXI, Number 3 (December 1916)

Jackson, Leroy Freeman
By the fire,   p. 233 PDF (276.1 KB)

Page 233

order to learn to dance. Birds do not learn to fly or fishes to swim.
Just the air or the water is all that is necessary.
   It is quite equally true that beautiful motion is just as much the
right of every child, providing the spirit has been left untrammeled
and its body has been given health and nourishment.
   We trust that the inevitable result of all this dancing throughout
the world will be a better understanding of the rights of childhood;
sweeter spirit of freedom for young people, a greater chance for
beauty of body to express that freedom.
                     BY THE FIRE
        I HAD a little boy a few years old,
           And we were chums together, oft we strolled,
           In the first cool of evening, yards and yards
        Beyond the picket-palisade that guards
        Our peas and carrots from the neighbor's sheep.
        We knew a cedar where the gray squirrels keep
        Their choicest nuts till Christmas, and a stone
        That shines like silver. One day, all alone
        In the old thorn, we found a broody dove
        Upon her nest, her mother-heart above
        The warm, white eggs, and next night as we stood
        Watching for wonders in the little wood,
        On trampled grass and plantain leaves we found
        Two little naked doves stretched on the ground.
        We laid them on the moss beneath the thorn
        And covered them with briar buds, new-born.
        It seemed so sad the little things should die
        Before they taught their tiny wings to fly.
        To-night I sit here, silent, by the fire,
        And watch the young sparks leap in wild desire-
        Poor, hopeless stars, they perish in the same
        Cruel moment that they leave the mother flame.
        O God, it seems so strange, your way,
        That unfledged doves, and sparks,
        And sturdy little boys should so soon pass away.
                                    Lintoy FuxxMAN JAcmioN.

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