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Chapter 2: little Julia Ward 1819-1835; aet. 1-16

From my nursery: forty-six years ago

When I was a little child,
Said my passionate nurse, and wild:
“Wash you, children, clean and white;
God may call you any night.”
Close my tender brother clung,
While I said with doubtful tongue:
“No, we cannot die so soon;
For you told, the other noon,
” Of those months in order fine
That should make the earth divine.
I've not seen, scarce five years old,
Months like those of which you told. “
Softly, then, the woman's hand
Loosed my frock from silken band,
Tender smoothed the fiery head,
Often shamed for ringlets red.
Somewhat gently did she say,
Child, those months are every day. “
Still, methinks, I wait in fear,
For that wonder-glorious year
For a spring without a storm,
Summer honey-dewed and warm,
Autumn of robuster strength,
Winter piled in crystal length.
I will wash me clean and white;
God may call me any night.
I must tell Him when I go
His great year is yet to know--
Year when working of the race
Shall match Creation's dial face;
Each hour be born of music's chime,
And Truth eternal told in Time.

J. W. H.

Lieutenant-Colonel Ward had ten children, of whom seven lived to grow up. The fifth child and

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