By Abbie Farwell Brown

: Boys And Girls Bookshelf

It was a little, little page,

Was brought from far away,

To bear the great queen's velvet train

Upon her bridal day.

His yellow curls were long and bright,

His page's suit was blue,

With golden clasps at neck and knee,

And ruffles fair and new.

And faith, he was the smallest page

The court had ever known:
His head scarce reached the topmost step

That led up to the throne.

And oh, 't was but a little lad

Had never been before

So many leagues from kin and friends,

And from his father's door!

And oh!--'t was but a little child

Who never yet, I wis,

Had stolen lonely to his bed

Without his mother's kiss.

He had not seen the noble queen,

Of whom his heart had fear;

He knew no friend at court to give

A welcome and good cheer.

It was the busy night before

The great queen's wedding-day,

And all was bustle, haste, and noise,

And every one was gay;

And each one had his task to do,

And none had time to spare

To tend a weeping little page

Whose mother was not there.

Far in a big and gloomy room

Within the castle keep,

The little page lay all alone,

And wept, and could not sleep.

The little page lay all alone,

And hid his head and cried,

Until it seemed his aching heart

Would burst his little side.

The chamber door was set ajar,

And one was passing by

Who heard the little page's sobs

And then his piteous cry.

Then some one lifted up the latch

And pushed the heavy door,

And then a lady entered in

And crossed the chamber floor--

A lady tall and sweet and fair,

In bridal white who stepped;

She stood beside the page's bed,

And asked him why he wept.

And then he sobbed about a "kiss,"

His "mother," and his "home,"

And wished the queen had called no page,

And wished he had not come;

For she was "such a proud, great queen"

He was afraid, he said;

And he was "lost and lonely" there

In that huge, gloomy bed.

And then the lady bent her down

And kissed him on the lips,

And smoothed his yellow, silken curls

With tender finger-tips.

The tears stood in her gentle eyes;

"Poor little lad!" she said,

And cuddled him up in her arms

And knelt down by the bed.

And so she held him, close and warm,

And sang him off to sleep,

While at her nod her waiting-maids

A silent watch did keep.

And when the morning smiled again

The little page awoke.

They clad him in a suit of white,

With velvet cap and cloak,

And crystal buckles on his shoes,

And led him to the queen,

All lovely in her bridal gear,

The fairest ever seen.

And he was such a tiny page,

He trembled and looked down,

For he was sore afraid to see

The great queen sternly frown.

But lo! he heard a soft voice say,

"O little page, look here!

Am I, who sing to sleep so well,

A queen for child to fear?"

He raised his eyes, and lo! the bride

Looked on the page and smiled,

And then he knew the queen had played

At nurse-maid for a child.

And well he graced the wedding-feast

And bore her velvet train,

And at his dear queen's side thenceforth

Was never sad again.