By George Cooper, 1906
Little ones met round the table
When the February snow,
With a silence all unbroken,
Glistened in the starry glow.
There were Bessie, Madge and Percy,
And the youngest, Baby Lou;
Glossy heads were bending over
Some hard task they had to do.
Busy pens were nimbly scratching;
Tiny finger-tips, once pink,
Had achieved a lavish coating
Of papa's forbidden ink.
Every sunny brow looked puzzled,
Each was quiet as could be;
There was something secret brew-
That was very plain to see.
Smilingly their mother watched them
Till the clock ticked on to nine;
But their bright eyes ne'er grew
And of sleep they gave no sign.
"Come, my darlings," whispered
"Time for all to be in bed!"
And her gentle voice, like music,
Roused each pretty, drooping head.
When four snowy sheets of paper
Dimpled hand had folded tight,
Mother kissed her laughing darlings,
And they bade her sweet "good
But she heard their whispered plot-
Till they sank to pleasant sleep;
And she prayed the Heavenly Father
All her little ones to keep.
When the morning's gold is glittering
On the ice-gems of the trees,
Four wee letters, neatly folded,
On the door-sill mother sees;
And she opens, and she reads them,
With a mother's pure delight;
Now she understands the meaning
Of the mystery last night.