Part 3 out of 8
But, after all, I'm not to blame
He took the kiss; I do think men
Are born without a sense of shame
I wonder when he'll come again!
* * * * *
ADVICE TO A YOUNG LAWYER.
Whene'er you speak, remember every cause
Stands not on eloquence, but stands on laws--
Pregnant in matter, in expression brief,
Let every sentence stand with bold relief;
On trifling points nor time nor talents waste,
A sad offence to learning and to taste;
Nor deal with pompous phrase, nor e'er suppose
Poetic flights belong to reasoning prose.
Loose declamation may deceive the crowd,
And seem more striking as it grows more loud;
But sober sense rejects it with disdain,
As nought but empty noise, and weak as vain.
The froth of words, the schoolboy's vain parade,
Of books and cases--all his stock in trade--
The pert conceits, the cunning tricks and play
Of low attorneys, strung in long array,
The unseemly jest, the petulant reply,
That chatters on, and cares not how, or why,
Strictly avoid--unworthy themes to scan,
They sink the speaker and disgrace the man,
Like the false lights, by flying shadows cast,
Scarce seen when present and forgot when past.
Begin with dignity; expound with grace
Each ground of reasoning in its time and place;
Let order reign throughout--each topic touch,
Nor urge its power too little, nor too much;
Give each strong thought its most attractive view,
In diction clear and yet severely true,
And as the arguments in splendour grow,
Let each reflect its light on all below;
When to the close arrived, make no delays
By petty flourishes, or verbal plays,
But sum the whole in one deep solemn strain,
Like a strong current hastening to the main.
* * * * *
THE FOOLISH VIRGINS.
Late, late, so late! and dark the night, and chill!
Late, late, so late! but we can enter still.--
Too late, too late! ye cannot enter now!
No light had we--for that do we repent;
And learning this, the Bridegroom will relent.--
Too late, too late! ye cannot enter now!
No light! so late! and dark and chill the night!
Oh, let us in, that we may find the light!--
Too late, too late! ye cannot enter now!
Have we not heard the Bridegroom is so sweet?
Oh, let us in, though late, to kiss His feet!--
No, no, too late! ye cannot enter now!
* * * * *
The woman was old, and ragged, and grey,
And bent with the chill of the winter's day;
The street was wet with a recent snow,
And the woman's feet were aged and slow.
She stood at the crossing and waited long
Alone, uncared for, amid the throng
Of human beings who passed her by,
Nor heeded the glance of her anxious eye.
Down the street, with laughter and shout,
Glad in the freedom of school let out,
Came the boys, like a flock of sheep,
Hailing the snow piled white and deep,
Past the woman so old and grey,
Hastened the children on their way,
Nor offered a helping hand to her,
So meek, so timid, afraid to stir,
Lest the carriage wheels or the horses' feet
Should crowd her down in the slippery street.
At last came one of the merry troop--
The gayest laddie of all the group;
He paused beside her, and whispered low,
"I'll help you across if you wish to go."
Her aged hand on his strong, young arm
She placed, and so, without hurt or harm,
He guided her trembling feet along,
Proud that his own were firm and strong.
Then back again to his friends he went,
His young heart happy and well content.
"She's somebody's mother, boys, you know,
For all she's old, and poor, and slow;
"And I hope some fellow will lend a hand
To help my mother, you understand,
"If ever so poor, and old, and grey,
When her own dear boy is far away."
And "somebody's mother" bowed low her head
In her home that night, and the prayer she said
Was--"God be kind to the noble boy,
Who is somebody's son, and pride, and joy!"
* * * * *
O the long and dreary Winter!
O the cold and cruel Winter!
Ever thicker, thicker, thicker,
Froze the ice on lake and river;
Ever deeper, deeper, deeper,
Fell the snow o'er all the landscape,
Fell the covering snow, and drifted
Through the forest, round the village.
Hardly from his buried wigwam
Could the hunter force a passage;
With his mittens and his snow-shoes
Vainly walk'd he through the forest,
Sought for bird or beast and found none;
Saw no track of deer or rabbit,
In the snow beheld no footprints,
In the ghastly, gleaming forest
Fell, and could not rise from weakness,
Perish'd there from cold and hunger.
O the famine and the fever!
O the wasting of the famine!
O the blasting of the fever!
O the wailing of the children!
O the anguish of the women!
All the earth was sick and famished;
Hungry was the air around them,
Hungry was the sky above them,
And the hungry stars in heaven,
Like the eyes of wolves glared at them!
Into Hiawatha's wigwam
Came two other guests, as silent
As the ghosts were, and as gloomy,
Waited not to be invited,
Did not parley at the doorway,
Sat there without word of welcome
In the seat of Laughing Water;
Looked with haggard eyes and hollow
At the face of Laughing Water.
And the foremost said: "Behold me!
I am Famine, Bukadawin!"
And the other said: "Behold me!
I am Fever, Ahkosewin!"
And the lovely Minnehaha
Shudder'd as they look'd upon her,
Shudder'd at the words they uttered,
Lay down on her bed in silence,
Hid her face, but made no answer;
Lay there trembling, freezing, burning
At the looks they cast upon her,
At the fearful words they utter'd.
Forth into the empty forest
Rush'd the madden'd Hiawatha;
In his heart was deadly sorrow,
In his face a stony firmness,
On his brow the sweat of anguish
Started, but it froze and fell not.
Wrapp'd in furs and arm'd for hunting,
With his mighty bow of ash-tree,
With his quiver full of arrows,
With his mittens, Minjekahwun,
Into the vast and vacant forest,
On his snow-shoes strode he forward.
"Gitche Manito, the Mighty!"
Cried he, with his face uplifted
In that bitter hour of anguish,
"Give your children food, O Father!
Give us food, or we must perish!
Give me food for Minnehaha,
For my dying Minnehaha!"
Through the far-resounding forest,
Through the forest vast and vacant,
Rang that cry of desolation;
But there came no other answer
Than the echo of his crying,
Than the echo of the woodlands,
All day long roved Hiawatha
In that melancholy forest,
Through the shadow of whose thickets,
In the pleasant days of summer,
Of that ne'er forgotten summer,
He had brought his young wife homeward
From the land of the Dakotahs;
When the birds sang in the thickets,
And the streamlets laugh'd and glisten'd,
And the air was full of fragrance,
And the lovely Laughing Water
Said with voice that did not tremble,
"I will follow you, my husband!"
In the wigwam with Nokomis,
With those gloomy guests that watch'd her,
With the Famine and the Fever,
She was lying, the beloved,
She the dying Minnehaha.
"Hark!" she said, "I hear a rushing,
Hear a roaring and a rushing,
Hear the Falls of Minnehaha
Calling to me from a distance!"
"No, my child!" said old Nokomis,
"'Tis the night-wind in the pine-trees!"
"Look!" she said; "I see my father
Standing lonely in his doorway,
Beckoning to me from his wigwam
In the land of the Dakotahs!"
"No, my child!" said old Nokomis,
"'Tis the smoke that waves and beckons!"
"Ah!" she said, "the eyes of Pauguk
Glare upon me in the darkness,
I can feel his icy fingers
Clasping mine amid the darkness!
And the desolate Hiawatha,
Far away amid the forest,
Miles away among the mountains,
Heard that sudden cry of anguish,
Heard the voice of Minnehaha
Calling to him in the darkness,
Over snow-fields waste and pathless,
Under snow-encumber'd branches,
Homeward hurried Hiawatha,
Heard Nokomis moaning, wailing;
Would that I had perish'd for you,
Would that I were dead as you are!
And he rush'd into the wigwam,
Saw the old Nokomis slowly
Rocking to and fro and moaning,
Saw his lovely Minnehaha
Lying dead and cold before him,
And his bursting heart within him
Utter'd such a cry of anguish
That the forest moan'd and shudder'd,
That the very stars in heaven
Shook and trembled with his anguish.
Then he sat down still and speechless,
On the bed of Minnehaha,
At the feet of Laughing Water,
At those willing feet, that never
More would lightly run to meet him,
Never more would lightly follow.
With both hands his face he cover'd,
Seven long days and nights he sat there,
As if in a swoon he sat there,
Speechless, motionless, unconscious
Of the daylight or the darkness.
Then they buried Minnehaha;
In the snow a grave they made her,
In the forest deep and darksome,
Underneath the moaning hemlocks;
Cloth'd her in her richest garments:
Wrapp'd her in her robes of ermine,
Cover'd her with snow like ermine:
Thus they buried Minnehaha.
And at night a fire was lighted,
On her grave four times was kindled.
For her soul upon its journey
To the Islands of the Blessed.
From his doorway Hiawatha
Saw it burning in the forest,
Lighting up the gloomy hemlocks;
From his sleepless bed uprising,
From the bed of Minnehaha,
Stood and watch'd it at the doorway,
That it might not be extinguish'd,
Might not leave her in the darkness.
"Farewell!" said he, "Minnehaha!
Farewell, O my Laughing Water!
All my heart is buried with you,
All my thoughts go onward with you!
Come not back again to labour,
Come not back again to suffer,
Where the Famine and the Fever
Wear the heart and waste the body.
Soon my task will be completed,
Soon your footsteps I shall follow
To the Islands of the Blessed,
To the Kingdom of Ponemah,
To the Land of the Hereafter!"
_H. W. Longfellow._
* * * * *
A SLIP OF THE TONGUE.
It chanced one day, so I've been told
(The story is not very old),
As Will and Tom, two servants able,
Were waiting at their master's table,
Tom brought a fine fat turkey in,
The sumptuous dinner to begin:
Then Will appeared--superbly cooked,
A tongue upon the platter smoked;
When, oh! sad fate! he struck the door,
And tumbled flat upon the floor;
The servants stared, the guests looked down,
When quick uprising with a frown,
The master cried, "Sirra! I say
Begone, nor wait a single day,
You stupid cur! you've spoiled the feast,
How can another tongue be dressed!"
While thus the master stormed and roared,
Will, who with wit was somewhat stored
(For he by no means was a fool
Some Latin, too, he'd learned at school),
Said (thinking he might change disgrace
For laughter, and thus save his place),
"Oh! call me not a stupid cur,
'Twas but a _lapsus linguae_, sir."
"A _lapsus linguae_?" one guest cries,
"A pun!" another straight replies.
The joke was caught--the laugh went round;
Nor could a serious face be found.
The master, when the uproar ceased,
Finding his guests were all well pleased,
Forgave the servant's slippery feet,
And quick revoked his former threat.
Now Tom had all this time stood still;
And heard the applause bestowed on Will;
Delighted he had seen the fun
Of what his comrade late had done,
And thought, should he but do the same,
An equal share of praise he'd claim.
As soon as told the meat to fetch in,
Bolted like lightning to the kitchen,
And seizing there a leg of lamb
(I am not certain, perhaps 'twas ham,
No matter which), without delay
Off to the parlour marched away,
And stumbling as he turned him round,
Twirled joint and dish upon the ground.
For this my lord was ill-prepared;
Again the astonished servants stared.
Tom grinned--but seeing no one stir,
"Another _lapsus linguae_, sir!"
Loud he exclaimed. No laugh was raised.
No "clever fellow's" wit was praised.
Confounded, yet not knowing why
_His_ wit could not one laugh supply,
And fearing lest he had mistook
The words, again thus loudly spoke
(Thinking again it might be tried):
"'Twas but a _lapsus linguae_," cried.
My lord, who long had quiet sat,
Now clearly saw what he was at.
In wrath this warning now he gave--
"When next thou triest, unlettered knave,
To give, as thine, another's wit,
Mind well thou knowest what's meant by it;
Nor let a _lapsus linguae_ slip
From out thy pert assuming lip,
Till well thou knowest thy stolen song,
Nor think a leg of lamb a tongue,"
He said--and quickly from the floor
Straight kicked him through the unlucky door.
Let each pert coxcomb learn from this
True wit will never come amiss!
But should a borrowed phrase appear,
Derision's always in the rear.
* * * * *
THE MODERN CAIN.
"Am I my brother's keeper?"
When first the human heart-strings felt the touch
Of Death's cold fingers--when upon the earth
Shroudless and coffinless Death's first-born lay,
Slain by the hand of violence, the wail
Of human grief arose:--"My son, my son!
Awake thee from this strange and awful sleep;
A mother mourns thee, and her tears of grief
Are falling on thy pale, unconscious brow;
Awake and bless her with thy wonted smile."
In vain, in vain! that sleeper never woke.
His murderer fled, but on his brow was fixed
A stain which baffled wear and washing. As he fled
A voice pursued him to the wilderness:
"Where is thy brother, Cain?"
"Am I my brother's keeper?"
O black impiety! that seeks to shun
The dire responsibility of sin--
That cries with the ever-warning voice:
"Be still--away, the crime is not my own--
My brother lived--is dead, when, where,
Or how, it matters not, but he is dead.
Why judge the living for the dead one's fall?"
"Am I my brother's keeper?"
Thou art thy brother's keeper, and his blood
Cries up to Heaven against thee; every stone
Will find a tongue to curse thee; and the winds
Will ever wail this question in thy ear:
"Where is thy brother?" Every sight and sound
Will mind thee of the lost.
I saw a man
Deal death unto his brother. Drop by drop
The poison was distilled for cursed gold;
And in the wine cup's ruddy glow sat Death,
Invisible to that poor trembling slave.
He seized the cup, he drank the poison down,
Rushed forth into the streets--home had he none--
Staggered and fell and miserably died.
They buried him--ah! little recks it where
His bloated form was given to the worms.
No stone marked that neglected, lonely spot;
No mourner sorrowing at evening came,
To pray by that unhallowed mound; no hand
Planted sweet flowers above his place of rest.
Years passed, and weeds and tangled briers grew
Above that sunken grave, and men forgot
Who slept there.
Once had he friends,
A happy home was his, and love was his.
His Mary loved him, and around him played
His smiling children. Oh, a dream of joy
Were those unclouded years, and, more than all,
He had an interest in the world above.
The big "Old Bible" lay upon the stand,
And he was wont to read its sacred page
And then to pray: "Our Father, bless the poor
And save the tempted from the tempter's art,
Save us from sin, and let us ever be
United in Thy love, and may we meet,
When life's last scenes are o'er, around the throne."
Thus prayed he--thus lived he--years passed,
And o'er the sunshine of that happy home,
A cloud came from the pit; the fatal bolt
Fell from that cloud. The towering tree
Was shivered by the lightning's vengeful stroke,
And laid its coronal of glory low.
A happy home was ruined; want and woe
Played with his children, and the joy of youth
Left their sweet faces no more to return.
His Mary's face grew pale and paler still,
Her eyes were dimmed with weeping, and her soul
Went out through those blue portals. Mary died,
And yet he wept not. At the demon's call
He drowned his sorrow in the maddening bowl,
And when they buried her from sight, he sank
In drunken stupor by her new-made grave!
His friend was gone--he never had another,
And the world shrank from him, all save one,
And he still plied the bowl with deadly drugs
And bade him drink, forget his God, and die.
Cain! Cain! where is thy brother now?
Lives he still--if dead, still where is he?
Where? In Heaven? Go read the sacred page:
"No drunkard ever shall inherit there."
Who sent him to the pit? Who dragged him down?
Who bound him hand and foot? Who smiled and smiled
While yet the hellish work went on? Who grasped
His gold--his health--his life--his hope--his all?
Who saw his Mary fade and die? Who saw
His beggared children wandering in the streets?
Speak--Coward--if thou hast a tongue,
Tell why with hellish art you slew A MAN.
"Where is my brother?"
"Am I my brother's keeper?"
Ah, man! A deeper mark is on your brow
Than that of Cain. Accursed was the name
Of him who slew a righteous man, whose soul
Was ripe for Heaven; thrice accursed he
Whose art malignant sinks a soul to hell.
_E. Evans Edwards._
* * * * *
My window overlooks thee,--and thy sheen of silver glory,
In musical monotony advances and recedes;
Till I dimly see the "shining ones" of ancient song and story,
With aureoles of ocean-haze invite to distant meads,
Where summer song and sunshine on placid waters play;--
Drifting dreamily, insensibly, on fragrance-laden breeze--
Floating onward on the wavelets, without hurry or delay,
I reach some blissful haven in the bright Hesperides.
How wearily and drearily the mist hangs over all!
And dismally the fog-horn shrieks its warning o'er the wave!
How sullenly the billows heave, beneath the funeral pall!
An impenetrable solitude!--a universal grave!
O! measureless and merciless! vindictive, wild, and stern!
Fire, Pestilence and Whirlwind all yield the palm to thee!
Roar on in bad pre-eminence--a worse thou canst not earn,
Than clings in famine, wreck, and death, to thee, O cruel Sea!
I have seen thee in thy gladness, thy sullenness and wrath--
What lesson has thou taught, O Sea! to guide my daily path?
I hear thy massive monotone, to me it seems to say,
"When summer skies are over thee, dream not thy life away.
"In days of dark despondency, when either good or ill
"Seems scarcely worth the caring for, then wait and trust Him still;
"Though mist and cloud surround thee, thou art safe by sea or land,
"For thy Father holds the waters in the hollow of His hand.
"Perchance a storm in future life thy fragile bark may toss,
"And every struggle, cry, or prayer, bring nought but harm and loss,
"O tempest-tossed and stricken one! He comes His own to save,
"For not on Galilee alone, did Jesus walk the wave."
* * * * *
THE LITTLE HATCHET STORY.
And so, smiling, we went on.
"Well, one day, George's father--"
"George who?" asked Clarence.
"George Washington. He was a little boy, then, just like you. One day his
"Who's father?" demanded Clarence, with an encouraging expression of
"George Washington's; this great man we are telling you of. One day George
Washington's father gave him a little hatchet for a--"
"Gave who a little hatchet?" the dear child interrupted, with a gleam of
bewitching intelligence. Most men would have got mad, or betrayed signs of
impatience, but we didn't. We know how to talk to children. So we went on:
"George Washington. His--"
"Who gave him the little hatchet?"
"His father. And his father--"
"Yes, George Washington. And his father told him--"
"Oh, yes, George."
And we went on, just as patient and as pleasant as you could imagine. We
took up the story right where the boy interrupted, for we could see he was
just crazy to hear the end of it. We said:
"And he was told--"
"George told him?" queried Clarence.
"No, his father told George--"
"Yes, told him he must be careful with the hatchet--"
"Who must be careful?"
"Yes, must be careful with his hatchet--"
"With the hatchet, and not cut himself with it, or drop it in the cistern,
or leave it out in the grass all night. So George went round cutting
everything he could reach with his hatchet. And at last he came to a
splendid apple-tree, his father's favourite, and cut it down, and--"
"Who cut it down?"
"But his father came home and saw it the first thing, and--"
"Saw the hatchet?"
"No, saw the apple-tree. And he said, 'Who has cut down my favourite apple-
"George's father's. And everybody said they didn't know anything about it,
"Anything about what?"
"And George came up and heard them talking about it--"
"Heard who taking about it?"
"Heard his father and the men"
"What were they talking about?"
"About this apple-tree."
"The favourite tree that George cut down."
"So George came up and heard them talking about it, and he--"
"What did he cut it down for?"
"Just to try his little hatchet."
"Whose little hatchet?"
"Why, his own, the one his father gave him."
"Why, George Washington."
"So, George came up, and he said, 'Father, I cannot tell a lie, I--'"
"Who couldn't tell a lie?"
"Why, George Washington. He said, 'Father, I cannot tell a lie. It was--'"
"His father couldn't?"
"Why, no; George couldn't?"
"Oh! George? oh, yes!"
"'It was I cut down your apple tree; I did--'"
"His father did?"
"No, no; it was George said this."
"Said he cut his father?"
"No, no, no; said he cut down his apple-tree."
"No, no; his father's."
"His father said?"
"No, no, no; George said, 'Father, I cannot tell a lie, I did it with my
little hatchet.' And his father said, 'Noble boy, I would rather lose a
thousand trees than have you tell a lie.'"
"No, his father said that."
"Said he'd rather have a thousand apple-trees?"
"No, no, no; said he'd rather lose a thousand apple-trees than--"
"Said he'd rather George would?"
"No, said he'd rather he would than have him lie."
"Oh! George would rather have his father lie?"
We are patient and we love children, but if Mrs. Caruthers hadn't come and
got her prodigy at that critical juncture, we don't believe all Burlington
could have pulled us out of the snarl. And as Clarence Alencon de
Marchemont Caruthers pattered down the stairs, we heard him telling his ma
about a boy who had a father named George, and he told him to cut down an
apple-tree, and he said he'd rather tell a thousand lies than cut down one
_R. N. Burdette._
* * * * *
I do not ask that God will always make
My pathway light;
I only pray that He will hold my hand
Throughout the night.
I do not hope to have the thorns removed
That pierce my feet,
I only ask to find His blessed arms
My safe retreat.
If He afflict me, then in my distress
Withholds His hand;
If all His wisdom I cannot conceive
I do not think to always know His why
Or wherefore, here;
But sometime He will take my hand and make
His meaning clear.
If in His furnace He refine my heart
To make it pure,
I only ask for grace to trust His love--
Strength to endure;
And if fierce storms beat round me,
And the heavens be overcast,
I know that He will give His weary one
Sweet peace at last.
* * * * *
THE LAST HYMN.
The Sabbath day was ending in a village by the sea,
The uttered benediction touched the people tenderly,
And they rose to face the sunset in the glowing lighted West
And then hasten to their dwellings for God's blessed boon of rest.
But they looked across the waters and a storm was raging there.
A fierce spirit moved above them--the wild spirit of the air,
And it lashed, and shook, and tore them till they thundered,
groaned, and boomed,
But alas! for any vessel in their yawning gulfs entombed.
Very anxious were the people on that rocky coast of Wales,
Lest the dawns of coming morrows should be telling awful tales,
When the sea had spent its passion, and should cast upon the shore
Bits of wreck, and swollen victims, as it had done heretofore.
With the rough winds blowing round her a brave woman strained her eyes,
And she saw along the billows a large vessel fall and rise.
Oh! it did not need a prophet to tell what the end must be,
For no ship could ride in safety near that shore on such a sea.
Then the pitying people hurried from their homes and thronged the beach.
Oh, for power to cross the waters, and the perishing to reach.
Helpless hands were wrung in terror, tender hearts grew cold with dread,
As the ship urged by the tempest to the fatal rock-shore sped.
She has parted in the middle! Oh, the half of her goes down!
God have mercy! Is His heaven far to seek for those who drown?
So when next the white shocked faces looked with terror on the sea,
Only one last clinging figure on a spar was seen to be.
Nearer the trembling watchers came the wreck tossed by the wave,
And the man still clung and floated, though no power on earth could save.
"Could we send him a short message! Here's a trumpet, shout away!"
'Twas the preacher's hand that took it, and he wondered what to say.
Any memory of his sermon? Firstly? Secondly? Ah, no.
There was but one thing to utter in that awful hour of woe.
So he shouted through the trumpet, "Look to Jesus! Can you hear?"
And "Aye, aye, sir!" rang the answer o'er the waters loud and clear,
Then they listened, "He is singing, 'Jesus, lover of my soul,'"
And the winds brought back the echo, "While the nearer waters roll."
Strange indeed it was to hear him, "Till the storm of life is past."
Singing bravely o'er the waters, "Oh, receive my soul at last."
He could have no other refuge, "Hangs my helpless soul on thee;",
"Leave, oh, leave me not!"--the singer dropped at last into the sea.
And the watchers looking homeward, through their eyes, by tears made dim,
Said, "He passed to be with Jesus in the singing of that hymn."
* * * * *
I REMEMBER, I REMEMBER.
I remember, I remember
The house where I was born--
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon,
Nor brought too long a day,
But now I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away!
I remember, I remember
The roses red and white,
The violets and the lily-cups,
Those flowers made of light;
The lilacs where the robin built,
And where my brother set
The laburnum on his birthday--
The tree is living yet!
I remember, I remember
Where I was used to swing,
And thought the air must rush as fresh;
To swallows on the wing;
My spirit flew in feathers then,
That is so heavy now,
And summer pools could hardly cool
The fever on my brow.
I remember, I remember
The fir trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
Were close against the sky;
It was a childish ignorance,
But now 'tis little joy
To know I'm further off from heaven
Than when I was a boy.
* * * * *
NEVER GIVE UP.
Never give up! it is wiser and better
Always to hope than once to despair:
Fling off the load of Doubt's cankering fetter,
And break the dark spell of tyrannical care;
Never give up! or the burden may sink you--
Providence kindly has mingled the cup;
And, in all trials or trouble, bethink you
The watchword of life must be--Never give up!
Never give up!--there are chances and changes
Helping the hopeful a hundred to one,
And through the chaos High Wisdom arranges
Ever success--if you'll only hope on;
Never give up!--for the wisest is boldest,
Knowing that Providence mingles the cup;
And of all maxims the best, as the oldest,
Is the true watchword of--Never give up!
Never give up!--though the grapeshot may rattle,
Or the full thunder-cloud over you burst,
Stand like a rock--and the storm or the battle
Little shall harm you, though doing their worst.
Never give up!--if adversity presses,
Providence wisely has mingled the cup;
And the best counsel, in all your distresses,
Is the stout watchword of--Never give up.
* * * * *
MARMION AND DOUGLAS.
Not far advanced was morning day,
When Marmion did his troop array
To Surrey's camp to ride;
He had safe-conduct for his band,
Beneath the royal seal and hand,
And Douglas gave a guide:
The ancient Earl, with stately grace,
Would Clara on her palfrey place,
And whispered in an undertone,
"Let the hawk stoop, his prey is flown."--
The train from out the castle drew,
But Marmion stopped to bid adieu:--
"Though something I might plain," he said,
"Of cold respect to stranger guest,
Sent hither by your King's behest,
While in Tantallon's towers I stayed,
Part we in friendship from your land,
And, noble Earl, receive my hand."--
But Douglas around him drew his cloak,
Folded his arms, and thus he spoke:--
"My manors, halls, and bowers shall still
Be open, at my Sovereign's will,
To each one whom he lists, howe'er
Unmeet to be the owner's peer.
My castles are my King's alone,
From turret to foundation-stone,--
The hand of Douglas is his own;
And never shall in friendly grasp
The hand of such as Marmion clasp."
Burned Marmion's swarthy cheek like fire,
And shook his very frame for ire,
And--"This to me!" he said,--
"An 'twere not for thy hoary beard,
Such hand as Marmion's had not spared
To cleave the Douglas' head!
And, first, I tell thee, haughty Peer,
He who does England's message here,
Although the meanest in her state,
May well, proud Angus, be thy mate;
And, Douglas, more I tell thee here,
Even in thy pitch of pride,
Here in thy hold, thy vassals near,
(Nay never look upon your lord,
And lay your hands upon your sword,)
I tell thee, thou'rt defied!
And if thou saidst I am not peer
To any lord in Scotland here,
Lowland or Highland, far or near,
Lord Angus, thou hast lied!"--
On the Earl's cheek the flush of rage
O'ercame the ashen hue of age;
Fierce he broke forth,--"And dar'st thou then
To beard the lion in his den,
The Douglas in his hall?
And hop'st thou hence unscathed to go?--
No, by St. Bride of Bothwell, no!
Up drawbridge, grooms,--what, Warder, ho!
Let the portcullis fall."--
Lord Marmion turned,--well was his need!--
And dashed the rowels in his steed,
Like arrow through the archway sprung;
The ponderous gate behind him rung;
To pass there was such scanty room,
The bars descending, razed his plume.
The steed along the drawbridge flies,
Just as it trembled on the rise;
Nor lighter does the swallow skim
Along the smooth lake's level brim;
And when Lord Marmion reached his band,
He halts, and turns with clenched hand,
And shout of loud defiance pours,
And shook his gauntlet at the towers.
"Horse! horse!" the Douglas cried, "and chase!";
But soon he reined his fury's pace;
A royal messenger he came,
Though most unworthy of the name.
* * * * *
St. Mary, mend my fiery mood!
Old age ne'er cools the Douglas blood,
I thought to slay him where he stood.
"'Tis pity of him, too," he cried;
"Bold can he speak, and fairly ride;
I warrant him a warrior tried."
With this his mandate he recalls,
And slowly seeks his castle halls.
_Sir Walter Scott._
* * * * *
Banished from Rome! What's banished, but set free
From daily contact of the things I loathe?
"Tried and convicted traitor!" Who says this?
Who'll prove it, at his peril on my head?
Banished? I thank you for't. It breaks my chain!
I held some slack allegiance till this hour;
But _now_ my sword's my own. Smile on, my lords;
I scorn to count what feelings, withered hopes,
Strong provocation, bitter, burning wrongs,
I have within my heart's hot cells shut up,
To leave you in your lazy dignities.
But here I stand and scoff you! here I fling
Hatred and full defiance in your face!
Your Consul's merciful. For this all thanks:--
He _dares_ not touch a hair of Catiline!
"Traitor!" I go; but I _return_. This--trial!
Here I devote your Senate! I've had wrongs
To stir a fever in the blood of age,
Or make the infant's sinews strong as steel.
This day's the birth of sorrow! This hour's work
Will breed proscriptions! Look to your hearths, my lords
For there, henceforth, shall sit for household gods,
Shapes hot from Tartarus!--all shames and crimes;--
Wan Treachery, with his thirsty dagger drawn;
Suspicion poisoning his brother's cup;
Naked Rebellion, with the torch and axe,
Making his wild sport of your blazing thrones;
Till Anarchy comes down on you like night,
And Massacre seals Rome's eternal grave.
I go; but not to leap the gulf alone.
I go; but when I come, 'twill be the burst
Of ocean in the earthquake,--rolling back
In swift and mountainous ruin. Fare you well!
You build my funeral-pile; but your best blood
Shall quench its flame.
_Rev. George Croly._
* * * * *
THE WORN WEDDING-RING.
Your wedding-ring wears thin, dear wife; ah, summers not a few,
Since I put it on your finger first, have passed o'er me and you;
And, love, what changes we have seen--what cares and pleasures too--
Since you became my own dear wife, when this old ring was new.
O blessings on that happy day, the happiest in my life,
When, thanks to God, your low sweet "Yes" made you my loving wife;
Your heart will say the same, I know, that day's as dear to you,
That day that made me yours, dear wife, when this old ring was new.
How well do I remember now, your young sweet face that day;
How fair you were--how dear you were--my tongue could hardly say;
Nor how I doted on you; ah, how proud I was of you;
But did I love you more than now, when this old ring was new?
No--no; no fairer were you then than at this hour to me,
And dear as life to me this day, how could you dearer be?
As sweet your face might be that day as now it is, 'tis true,
And did I know your heart as well when this old ring was new!
O partner of my gladness, wife, what care, what grief is there,
For me you would not bravely face,--with me you would not share?
O what a weary want had every day if wanting you,
Wanting the love that God made mine when this old ring was new.
Years bring fresh links to bind us, wife--young voices that are here,
Young faces round our fire that make their mother's yet more dear,
Young loving hearts, your care each day makes yet more like to you,
More like the loving heart made mine when this old ring was new.
And bless'd be God all He has given are with us yet, around
Our table, every little life lent to us, still is found;
Though cares we've known, with hopeful hearts the worst we've struggled
Blessed be His name for all His love since this old ring was new.
The past is dear; its sweetness still our memories treasure yet;
The griefs we've borne, together borne, we would not now forget;
Whatever, wife, the future brings, heart unto heart still true,
We'll share as we have shared all else since this old ring was new.
And if God spare us 'mongst our sons and daughters to grow old,
We know His goodness will not let your heart or mine grow cold;
Your aged eyes will see in mine all they've still shown to you,
And mine in yours all they have seen since this old ring was new.
And O when death shall come at last to bid me to my rest,
May I die looking in those eyes, and leaning on that breast;
O may my parting gaze be blessed with the dear sight of you,
Of those fond eyes--fond as they were when this old ring was new.
_W. C. Bennett._
* * * * *
The battle was over--the foemen were flying,
But the plain was strewn with the dead and the dying,
For the dark angel rode on its sulphurous blast,
And had reaped a rich harvest of death, as he passed;
For, as grass he mowed down the blue and the gray,
With the mean and the mighty that stood in his way,
While the blood of our bravest ran there as water,
And his nostrils were filled with the incense of slaughter.
The black guns were silent--hushed the loud ringing cheers,
And the pale dead were buried, in silence and tears;
And the wounded brought in on stretchers so gory,
Broken and mangled but covered with glory,
Whilst the surgeons were clipping with expertness and vim,
From the agonised trunk each bullet-torn limb,
And the patient, if living, was carefully sent
To the cool open wards of the hospital tent.
Within one of those wards a brave Highlander lay,
With the chill dews of death on his forehead of clay,
For a shell had struck him in the heat of the fray,
And his right arm and shoulder were carried away;
No word had he spoken--not a sound had he made,
Yet a shiver, at times, had his anguish betrayed,
And so calmly he lay without murmur or moan,
The gentle-voiced sister thought his spirit had flown.
The lamps burning dimly an uncertain light shed,
While the groans of the wounded, the stare of the dead,
Made an age of a night to the gentle and true,
That had waited and watched half its long hours through;
When the surgeon came in with a whisper of cheer,
And a nod and a glance at the cot that stood near,
When--"_Here_!" like a bugle blast, the dying man cried,
"_It is roll-call in Heaven_!" He answered and died.
* * * * *
THE DEAD DOLL.
You needn't be trying to comfort me--I tell you my dolly is dead!
There's no use in saying she isn't--with a crack like that in her head.
It's just like you said it wouldn't hurt much to have my tooth out that day;
And then when the man most pulled my head off, you hadn't a word to say.
And I guess you must think I'm a baby, when you say you can mend it with
As if I didn't know better than that! Why, just suppose it was you?
You might make her _look_ all mended--but what do I care for looks?
Why, glue's for chairs and tables, and toys, and the backs of books!
My dolly! my own little daughter! Oh, but it's the awfullest crack!
It just makes me sick to think of the sound when her poor head went whack
Against that horrible brass thing that holds up the little shelf,
Now, Nursey, what makes you remind me? I know that I did it myself!
I think you must be crazy--you'll get her another head!
What good would forty heads do her? I tell you my dolly is dead!
And to think I hadn't quite finished her elegant New Year's hat!
And I took a sweet ribbon of hers last night to tie on that horrid cat!
When my mamma gave me that ribbon--I was playing out in the yard--
She said to me most expressly: "Here's a ribbon for Hildegarde."
And I went and put it on Tabby, and Hildegarde saw me do it;
But I said to myself, "Oh, never mind, I don't believe she knew it!"
But I know that she knew it now, and I just believe, I do,
That her poor little heart was broken, and so her head broke too.
Oh, my baby! my little baby! I wish my head had been hit!
For I've hit it over and over, and it hasn't cracked a bit.
But since the darling _is_ dead, she'll want to be buried of course;
We will take my little wagon, Nurse, and you shall be the horse;
And I'll walk behind and cry; and we'll put her in this--you see,
This dear little box--and we'll bury them under the maple tree.
And papa will make a tombstone, like the one he made for my bird;
And he'll put what I tell him on it--yes, every single word!
I shall say: "Here lies Hildegarde, a beautiful doll who is dead;
She died of a broken heart, and a dreadful crack in her head."
* * * * *
AUNTY DOLEFUL'S VISIT.
How do you do, Cornelia? I heard you were sick and I stepped in to cheer
you up a little. My friends often say, "It's such a comfort to see you,
Aunty Doleful. You have such a flow of conversation, and _are_ so
lively." Besides, I said to myself, as I came up the stairs, "Perhaps it's
the last time I'll ever see Cornelia Jane alive."
You don't mean to die yet, eh? Well, now, how do you know? You can't tell.
You think you are getting better; but there was poor Mrs. Jones sitting up,
and every one saying how smart she was, and all of a sudden she was taken
with spasms in the heart, and went off like a flash. But you must be
careful, and not get anxious or excited. Keep quite calm, and don't fret
about anything. Of course, things can't go on just as if you were down
stairs; and I wondered whether you knew your little Billy was sailing about
in a tub on the mill-pond, and that your little Sammy was letting your
little Jimmy down from the verandah roof in a clothes-basket.
Gracious goodness! what's the matter? I guess Providence'll take care of
'em. Don't look so. You thought Bridget was watching them? Well, no, she
isn't. I saw her talking to a man at the gate. He looked to me like a
burglar. No doubt she let him take the impression of the door-key in wax,
and then he'll get in and murder you all. There was a family at Kobble Hill
all killed last week for fifty dollars. Now, don't fidget so, it will be
bad for the baby.
Poor little dear! How singular it is, to be sure, that you can't tell
whether a child is blind, or deaf and dumb or a cripple at that age. It
might be _all_, and you'd never know it.
Most of them that have their senses make bad use of them though;
_that_ ought to be your comfort, if it does turn out to have anything
dreadful the matter with it. And more don't live a year. I saw a baby's
funeral down the street as I came along.
How is Mr. Kobble? Well, but finds it warm in town, eh? Well, I should
think he would. They are dropping down by hundreds there with sun-stroke.
You must prepare your mind to have him brought home any day. Anyhow, a trip
on these railroad trains is just risking your life every time you take one.
Back and forth every day as he is, it's just trifling with danger.
Dear! dear; now to think what dreadful things hang over us all the time!
Scarlet fever has broken out in the village, Cornelia. Little Isaac Potter
has it, and I saw your Jimmy playing with him last Saturday.
Well, I must be going now. I've got another sick friend, and I shan't think
my duty done unless I cheer her up a little before I sleep. Good-bye. How
pale you look, Cornelia. I don't believe you have a good doctor. Do send
him away and try some one else. You don't look so well as you did when I
came in. But if anything happens, send for me at once. If I can't do
anything else, I can cheer you up a little.
* * * * *
William was holding in his hand
The likeness of his wife--
Fresh, as if touched by fairy wand,
With beauty, grace, and life.
He almost thought it spoke--he gazed,
Upon the treasure still;
Absorbed, delighted, and amazed
He view'd the artist's skill.
"This picture is yourself, dear Ann,
Tis' drawn to nature true;
I've kissed it o'er and o'er again,
It is so much like you."
"And has it kiss'd you back, my dear?"
"Why--no--my love," said he;
"Then, William, it is very clear,
'Tis not at all like me!"
* * * * *
THE CHIMES OF S. S. PETER AND PAUL.
Ring out, sad bells, ring out
Melody to the twilight sky,
With echoes, echoing yet
As along the shore they die;
Sweet toned notes upon the heart
That one can ne'er forget.
Ring louder! O louder!
Until the distant sea
Shall send thy clear vibrations
Dying back to me;
Beautiful, trembling notes
Of sad sweet melody.
Ring, ring, ring, a merry Christmas
And a glad New Year;
Ring on Easter morning
And at the May-day dear;
Thy tones over woodland ways
All the hills adorning.
At the joyous marriage,
And at the gladsome birth
Fling thy silvery echoes
Over all the earth,
But knell, O knell
When death, the shadowy spectre
Shall kiss the lips of mirth
O blessed bells, silver bells,
Thy notes are echoing still
Like the song of an ebbing tide,
Or a mournful whip-poor-will.
As he sings, sings,
In the crimson sunset light
That dies on the burnished hill
Then ring, O softly ring
Musical deep-toned bells;
Till harmony, sweet harmony
Throughout the woodland swells.
To bring, faintly bring,
Thy dying echoes back to me,
Over fields and fells,
Bells, bells, bells.
* * * * *
THE ENGINEER'S STORY.
No, children, my trips are over,
The engineer needs rest;
My hand is shaky; I'm feeling
A tugging pain i' my breast;
But here, as the twilight gathers,
I'll tell you a tale of the road,
That'll ring in my head forever
Till it rests beneath the sod.
We were lumbering along in the twilight,
The night was dropping her shade,
And the "Gladiator" laboured--
Climbing the top of the grade;
The train was heavily laden,
So I let my engine rest,
Climbing the grading slowly,
Till we reached the upland's crest.
I held my watch to the lamplight--
Ten minutes behind time!
Lost in the slackened motion
Of the up grade's heavy climb;
But I knew the miles of the prairie
That stretched a level track,
So I touched the gauge of the boiler,
And pulled the lever back.
Over the rails a gleaming,
Thirty an hour, or so,
The engine leaped like a demon,
Breathing a fiery glow;
But to me--a-hold of the lever--
It seemed a child alway,
Trustful and always ready
My lightest touch to obey.
I was proud, you know, of my engine,
Holding it steady that night,
And my eye on the track before us,
Ablaze with the Drummond light.
We neared a well-known cabin,
Where a child of three or four,
As the up train passed, oft called me,
A-playing around the door.
My hand was firm on the throttle
As we swept around the curve,
When something afar in the shadow,
Struck fire through every nerve.
I sounded the brakes, and crashing
The reverse lever down in dismay,
Groaning to Heaven--eighty paces
Ahead was the child at its play!
One instant--one, awful and only,
The world flew round in my brain,
And I smote my hand hard on my forehead
To keep back the terrible pain;
The train I thought flying forever,
With mad, irresistible roll,
While the cries of the dying night wind
Swept into my shuddering soul.
Then I stood on the front of the engine--
How I got there I never could tell--
My feet planted down on the crossbar,
Where the cow-catcher slopes to the rail,--
One hand firmly locked on the coupler,
And one held out in the night,
While my eye gauged the distance, and measured
The speed of our slackening flight.
My mind, thank the Lord! it was steady;
I saw the curls of her hair,
And the face that, turning in wonder,
Was lit by the deadly glare.
I know little more, but I heard it--
The groan of the anguished wheels--
And remember thinking, the engine
In agony trembles and reels.
One rod! To the day of my dying
I shall think the old engine reared back,
And as it recoiled, with a shudder,
I swept my hand over the track;
Then darkness fell over my eyelids,
But I heard the surge of the train,
And the poor old engine creaking,
As racked by a deadly pain.
They found us, they said, on the gravel,
My fingers enmeshed in her hair,
And she on my bosom a climbing,
To nestle securely there.
We are not much given to crying--
We men that run on the road--
But that night, they said, there were faces,
With tears on them, lifted to God.
For years in the eve and the morning,
As I neared the cabin again,
My hand on the lever pressed downward
And slackened the speed of the train.
When my engine had blown her a greeting,
She always would come to the door,
And her look with the fullness of heaven
Blesses me evermore.
* * * * *
Miss Julia was induced to give a taste of her musical powers, and this is
how she did it. She flirted up her panniers, coquettishly wiggle-waggled to
the piano and sang--
"When ther moo-hoon is mi-hild-ly be-ahming
O'er ther ca-halm and si-hi-lent se-e-e-e,
Its ra-dyance so-hoftly stre-heam-ing
Oh! ther-hen, Oh! ther-hen,
I thee-he-he-he-he-he-he-hink hof thee-e-e-e-e!"
"Beautiful, Miss Julia! Beautiful!" and we all clapped our hands. "Do sing
another verse--it's perfectly divine, Miss Julia," said Eugene Augustus.
Then Julia raised her golden (dyed) head, touched the white ivory with her
jewelled fingers, and warbled--
"When ther sur-hun is bri-hight-ly glow-ing-how-ing
O'er the se-hene so de-hear to me-e-e,
And swe-heat the wie-hind is blow-how-ing,
Oh! ther-hen, oh! ther-hen,
* * * * *
THE OLD SOLDIER OF THE REGIMENT.
From the bold heights of the island, far up in the Huron Sea,
Proudly waved that Summer morning the old flag of liberty;
While close under that fair banner, which to him was love and law,
Sat that hour a veteran soldier of the guard at Mackinaw.
Bowed and wrinkled, thin and hoary, sat he there that Summer day,
His form leaning 'gainst the flagstaff, while he watched the sunlight play
On the waters of that inland ocean which, in beauty purled,
Were to him--the scarred old soldier--fairest waters of the world.
In the days when Peace no longer walked the land, a beauteous queen,
Fragrance dropping from her garments, gladness beaming in her mien;
When grim war strode forth thro' valley, and o'er hill from sea to sea,
All along her pathway shedding, woe in its infinity.
Although time and gallant service, for the land he loved the best,
Had upon his manhood told already, and he needed rest,
Brave, and trusting still, and loving, as a knight of ancient days,
Forth he went with other comrades, caring not for fame or praise.
Only eager, aye, for duty, as God made it plain to all,
When upon the breath of Zephyrus, patriot heroes heard him call;
Anxious to beat back the dread one, and thro' war bring sweet release,
From the demon of the tempest, usher in the reign of peace!
O, the hot and bloody conflicts, hour by hour, and day by day,
'Mid those years of which the memory can never pass away!
O, at last the hard-won triumph, aye, but glorious we may say,
Since thro' tears and loss God's blessing comes to-day to "Blue and Gray!"
And the soldier, the old soldier, sitting there that hour alone,
Gazing out upon the waters, thought of those years long since flown,
And, on many a field of strife, his humble part--his part sublime--
When his comrades fell around him like leaves in the Autumn time!
Sitting there that summer morning he thought, too, how since his youth,
His whole life had ever been, as 'twere, a lone one, how in sooth
He had never since that hour--and his years how great the sum!--
He had never known the blessing of a wife, or child, or home.
And, ah, now he fast was nearing--sad old man!--the end of life,
Soon he should lay by his armour and go forth beyond the strife.
And he tho't--"O, ere I go hence, if the one who gave me birth
Could but come from yonder Heaven, only come once more to earth;
"That again, as in my childhood, I might look upon her face,
Feel once more, once more, the pressure of her loving, dear embrace,
Hear her speak, ah, as she used to, those sweet words I so much miss,
Feel upon my cheek and forehead the touch of her fragrant kiss!"
And the sad old soldier's eyelids closed, his lips they moved no more;
He had gone to sleep where often he had gone to sleep before!--
So his comrades tho't that hour as they saw him sitting there,
Leaning fondly 'gainst the flagstaff, on his face a look most fair!
And they left him to his slumbers, with no wish to break the spell
Which had come to him so gently--the old soul they loved so well!
And the breezes so delightful played among his locks so white,
While above him proudly floated the old flag of his delight.
But ere long, when loved ones round him called the name of "Sergeant Gray,"
Not a word the veteran answered, for his life had passed away.--
Though a tear was on each pale cheek of the dead one whom they saw--
The old soldier of the regiment on guard at Mackinaw.
_Geo. Newell Lovejoy._
* * * * *
POOR LITTLE STEPHEN GERARD.
The man lived in Philadelphia who, when young and poor, entered a bank, and
says he, "Please, sir, don't you want a boy?" And the stately personage
said: "No, little boy, I don't want a little boy." The little boy, whose
heart was too full for utterance, chewing a piece of liquorice stick he had
bought with a cent stolen from his good and pious aunt, with sobs plainly
audible, and with great globules of water rolling down his cheeks, glided
silently down the marble steps of the bank. Bending his noble form, the
bank man dodged behind a door, for he thought the little boy was going to
shy a stone at him. But the little boy picked up something, and stuck it in
his poor but ragged jacket. "Come here, little boy," and the little boy did
come here; and the bank man said: "Lo, what pickest thou up?" And he
answered and replied: "A pin." And the bank man said: "Little boy, are you
good?" and he said he was. And the bank man said: "How do you vote?--excuse
me, do you go to Sunday school?" and he said he did. Then the bank man took
down a pen made of pure gold, and flowing with pure ink, and he wrote on a
piece of paper, "St. Peter;" and he asked the little boy what it stood for,
and he said "Salt Peter." Then the bank man said it meant "Saint Peter."
The little boy said: "Oh!"
Then the bank man took the little boy to his bosom, and the little boy said
"Oh!" again, for he squeezed him. Then the bank man took the little boy
into partnership, and gave him half the profits and all the capital, and he
married the bank man's daughter, and now all he has is all his, and all his
My uncle told me this story, and I spent six weeks in picking up pins in
front of a bank. I expected the bank man would call me in and say: "Little
boy, are you good?" and I was going to say "Yes;" and when he asked me what
"St. John" stood for, I was going to say "Salt John." But the bank man
wasn't anxious to have a partner, and I guess the daughter was a son, for
one day says he to me: "Little boy, what's that you're picking up?" Says I,
awful meekly, "Pins." Says he: "Let's see 'em." And he took 'em, and I took
off my cap, all ready to go in the bank, and become a partner, and marry
his daughter. But I didn't get an invitation. He said: "Those pins belong
to the bank, and if I catch you hanging around here any more I'll set the
dog on you!" Then I left, and the mean old fellow kept the pins. Such is
life as I find it.
* * * * *
THE LITTLE QUAKER SINNER.
A little Quaker maiden, with dimpled cheek and chin,
Before an ancient mirror stood, and viewed her form within;
She wore a gown of sober grey, a cape demure and prim,
With only simple fold and hem, yet dainty, neat, and trim.
Her bonnet, too, was grey and stiff; its only line of grace
Was in the lace, so soft and white, shirred round her rosy face.
Quoth she, "Oh, how I hate this hat! I hate this gown and cape!
I do wish all my clothes were not of such outlandish shape!
The children passing by to school have ribbons on their hair;
The little girl next door wears blue; oh, dear, if I could dare
I know what I should like to do?"--(The words were whispered low,
Lest such tremendous heresy should reach her aunts below).
Calmly reading in the parlour sat the good aunts, Faith and Peace,
Little dreaming how rebellious throbbed the heart of their young niece.
All their prudent humble teaching wilfully she cast aside,
And, her mind now fully conquered by vanity and pride,
She, with trembling heart and fingers, on a hassock sat her down,
And this little Quaker sinner _sewed a tuck into her gown_!
"Little Patience, art thou ready? Fifth-day meeting time has come,
Mercy Jones and Goodman Elder with his wife have left their home."
'Twas Aunt Faith's sweet voice that called her, and the naughty little
Gliding down the dark old stairway--hoped their notice to evade,
Keeping shyly in their shadow as they went out at the door,
Ah, never little Quakeress a guiltier conscience bore!
Dear Aunt Faith walked looking upward; all her thoughts were pure and holy;
And Aunt Peace walked gazing downward, with a humble mind and lowly.
But "tuck--_tuck_!" chirped the sparrows, at the little maiden's side;
And, in passing Farmer Watson's, where the barn-door opened wide,
Every sound that issued from it, every grunt and every cluck,
Seemed to her affrighted fancy like "a tuck!" "a tuck!" "a tuck!"
In meeting Goodman Elder spoke of pride and vanity,
While all the Friends seemed looking round that dreadful tuck to see.
How it swelled in its proportions, till it seemed to fill the air,
And the heart of little Patience grew heavier with her care.
Oh, the glad relief to her, when, prayers and exhortations ended,
Behind her two good aunts her homeward way she wended!
The pomps and vanities of life she'd seized with eager arms,
And deeply she had tasted of the world's alluring charms--
Yea, to the dregs had drained them and only this to find;
All was vanity of spirit and vexation of the mind.
So repentant, saddened, humbled, on her hassock she sat down,
And this little Quaker sinner _ripped the tuck out of her gown_!
* * * * *
HOW WE HUNTED A MOUSE.
I was dozing comfortably in my easy chair, and dreaming of the good times
which I hope are coming, when there fell upon my ears a most startling
scream. It was the voice of my Maria Ann in agony. The voice came from the
kitchen, and to the kitchen I rushed. The idolized form of my Maria was
perched on a chair, and she was flourishing an iron spoon in all
directions, and shouting "shoo," in a general manner at everything in the
room. To my anxious inquiries as to what was the matter, she screamed: "O!
Joshua, a mouse, shoo--wha--shoo--a great--ya, shoo--horrid mouse, and--
she--ew--it ran right out of the cupboard--shoo--go way--O Lord--Joshua--
shoo--kill it, oh, my--shoo."
All that fuss, you see, about one little, harmless mouse. Some women are so
afraid of mice. Maria is. I got the poker and set myself to poke that
mouse, and my wife jumped down and ran off into another room. I found the
mouse in a corner under the sink. The first time I hit it I didn't poke it
any on account of getting the poker all tangled up in a lot of dishes in
the sink; and I did not hit it any more because the mouse would not stay
still. It ran right toward me, and I naturally jumped, as anybody would,
but I am not afraid of mice, and when the horrid thing ran up inside the
leg of my pantaloons, I yelled to Maria because I was afraid it would gnaw
a hole in my garment. There is something real disagreeable about having a
mouse inside the leg of one's pantaloons, especially if there is nothing
between you and the mouse. Its toes are cold, and its nails are scratchy,
and its fur tickles, and its tail feels crawly, and there is nothing
pleasant about it, and you are all the time afraid it will try to gnaw out,
and begin on you instead of on the cloth. That mouse was next to me. I
could feel its every motion with startling and suggestive distinctness. For
these reasons I yelled to Maria, and as the case seemed urgent to me I may
have yelled with a certain degree of vigour; but I deny that I yelled fire,
and if I catch the boy who thought that I did, I shall inflict punishment
on his person.
I did not lose my presence of mind for an instant. I caught the mouse just
as it was clambering over my knee, and by pressing firmly on the outside of
the cloth, I kept the animal a prisoner on the inside. I kept jumping
around with all my might to confuse it, so that it would not think about
biting, and I yelled so that the mice would not hear its squeaks and come
to its assistance. A man can't handle many mice at once to advantage.
Maria was white as a sheet when she came into the kitchen, and asked what
she should do--as though I could hold the mouse and plan a campaign at the
I told her to think of something, and she thought she would throw things at
the intruder; but as there was no earthly chance for her to hit the mouse,
while every shot took effect on me, I told her to stop, after she had tried
two flat-irons and the coal scuttle. She paused for breath, but I kept
bobbing around. Somehow I felt no inclination to sit down anywhere. "Oh,
Joshua," she cried, "I wish you had not killed the cat." Now, I submit that
the wish was born of the weakness of woman's intellect. How on earth did
she suppose a cat could get where that mouse was?--rather have the mouse
there alone, anyway, than to have a cat prowling around after it. I
reminded Maria of the fact that she was a fool. Then she got the tea-kettle
and wanted to scald the mouse. I objected to that process, except as a last
resort. Then she got some cheese to coax the mouse down, but I did not dare
to let go for fear it would run up. Matters were getting desperate. I told
her to think of something else, and I kept jumping. Just as I was ready to
faint with exhaustion, I tripped over an iron, lost my hold, and the mouse
fell to the floor very dead. I had no idea a mouse could be squeezed to
death so easy.
That was not the end of trouble, for before I had recovered my breath a
fireman broke in one of the front windows, and a whole company followed him
through, and they dragged hose around, and mussed things all over the
house, and then the foreman wanted to thrash me because the house was not
on fire, and I had hardly got him pacified before a policeman came in and
arrested me. Some one had run down and told him I was drunk and was killing
Maria. It was all Maria and I could do, by combining our eloquence, to
prevent him from marching me off in disgrace, but we finally got matters
quieted and the house clear.
Now, when mice run out of the cupboard I go out doors, and let Maria "shoo"
them back again. I can kill a mouse, but the fun don't pay for the trouble.
* * * * *
IN SCHOOL DAYS.
Still sits the school-house by the road,
A ragged beggar sunning;
Around it still the sumachs grow,
And blackberry vines are running.
Within, the master's desk is seen,
Deep scarred by raps official;
The warping floor, the battered seats,
The jack-knife's carved initial;
The charcoal frescoes on its wall;
Its door's worn sill, betraying
The feet that, creeping slow to school,
Went storming out to playing!
Long years ago a winter sun
Shone over it at setting;
Lit up its western window panes,
And low eaves' icy fretting.
It touched the tangled golden curls,
And brown eyes full of grieving,
Of one who still her steps delayed
When all the school were leaving.
For near her stood the little boy
Her childish favour singled:
His cap pulled low upon a face
Where pride and shame were mingled.
Pushing with restless feet the snow
To right and left, he lingered;--
As restlessly her tiny hands
The blue-checked apron fingered,
He saw her lift her eyes; he felt
The soft hand's tight caressing,
And heard the tremble of her voice,
As if a fault confessing.
"I'm sorry that I spelt the word;
I hate to go above you,
Because,"--the brown eyes lower fell,--
"Because, you see, I love you!"
Still memory to a gray-haired man
That sweet child-face is showing.
Dear girl! the grasses on her grave
Have forty years been growing.
He lives to learn, in life's hard school,
How few who pass above him
Lament their triumphs and his loss,
Like her,--because they love him.
* * * * *
It struck my imagination much, while standing on the last field fought by
Bonaparte, that the battle of Waterloo should have been fought on a Sunday.
What a different scene did the Scotch Grays and English Infantry present,
from that which, at that very hour, was exhibited by their relatives, when
over England and Scotland each church-bell had drawn together its
worshippers! While many a mother's heart was sending up a prayer for her
son's preservation, perhaps that son was gasping in agony. Yet, even at
such a period, the lessons of his early days might give him consolation;
and the maternal prayer might prepare the heart to support maternal
anguish. It is religion alone which is of universal application, both as a
stimulant and a lenitive, throughout the varied heritage which falls to the
lot of man. But we know that many thousands rushed into this fight, even of
those who had been instructed in our religious principles, without leisure
for one serious thought; and that some officers were killed in their ball
dresses. They made the leap into the gulf which divides two worlds--the
present from the immutable state without one parting prayer, or one note of
As I looked over this field, now green with growing corn, I could mark,
with my eye, the spots where the most desperate carnage had been marked out
by the verdure of the wheat. The bodies had been heaped together, and
scarcely more than covered; and so enriched is the soil, that, in these
spots, the grain never ripens. It grows rank and green to the end of
harvest. This touching memorial, which endures when the thousand groans
have expired, and when the stain of human blood has faded from the ground,
still seems to cry to Heaven that there is awful guilt somewhere, and a
terrific reckoning for those who caused destruction which the earth could
not conceal. These hillocks of superabundant vegetation, as the wind
rustled through the corn, seemed the most affecting monuments which nature
could devise, and gave a melancholy animation to this plain of death.
When we attempt to measure the mass of suffering which was here inflicted,
and to number the individuals that fell, considering each who suffered as
our fellow-man, we are overwhelmed with the agonizing calculation, and
retire from the field which has been the scene of our reflections, with the
simple, concentrated feeling--these armies once lived, breathed, and felt
like us, and the time is at hand when we shall be like them.
* * * * *
THE FIELD OF WATERLOO.
There was a sound of revelry by night,
And Belgium's capital had gathered then
Her Beauty and her Chivalry; and bright
The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men;
A thousand hearts beat happily; and when
Music arose, with its voluptuous swell,
Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again,
And all went merry as a marriage bell:--
But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell!
Did ye not hear it? No; 'twas but the wind
Or the car rattling o'er the stony street;
On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when youth and pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet--
But hark!--that heavy sound breaks in once more,
As if the clouds its echo would repeat;
And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before!
Arm! arm! it is--it is--the cannon's opening roar!
Within a windowed niche of that high hall
Sat Brunswick's fated chieftain; he did hear
That sound the first amidst the festival,
And caught its tone with Death's prophetic ear;
And when they smiled because he deemed it near,
His heart more truly knew that peal too well
Which stretched his father on a bloody bier,
And roused the vengeance blood alone could quell;
He rushed into the field, and, foremost fighting, fell!
Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro,
And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress,
And cheeks all pale, which, but an hour ago,
Blushed at the praise of their own loveliness;
And there were sudden partings, such as press
The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
Which ne'er might be repeated; Who could guess
If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
Since, upon night so sweet, such awful morn could rise!
And there was mounting in hot haste; the steed,
The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war;
And the deep thunder, peal on peal, afar;
And near, the beat of the alarming drum
Roused up the soldier, ere the morning star;
While thronged the citizens with terror dumb.
Or whispering with white lips--"The foe! they come, they come!"
And wild and high the "Cameron's gathering" rose--
The war note of Lochiel, which Albyn's hills
Have heard--and heard too have her Saxon foes--
How in the noon of night that pibroch thrills,
Savage and shrill! But with the breath which fills
Their mountain pipe, so fill the mountaineers
With the fierce native daring, which instils
The stirring memory of a thousand years;
And Evan's, Donald's fame rings in each clansman's ears.
And Ardennes waves above them her green leaves,
Dewy with nature's tear-drops, as they pass
Grieving--if aught inanimate e'er grieves--
Over the unreturning brave--alas!
Ere evening to be trodden like the grass,
Which now beneath them, but above shall grow
In its next verdure; when this fiery mass
Of living valour, rolling on the foe,
And burning with high hope, shall moulder cold and low!
Last noon beheld them full of lusty life,
Last eve in Beauty's circle proudly gay;
The midnight brought the signal sound of strife;
The morn the marshalling of arms; the day
Battle's magnificently stern array!
The thunder-clouds close o'er it, which, when rent,
The earth is covered thick with other clay,
Which her own clay shall cover, heap'd and pent,
Rider and horse--friend, foe--in one red burial blent!
* * * * *
THE BRIDAL WINE-CUP.
SCENE--_Parlour, with wedding party, consisting of_ JUDGE OTIS;
MARION, _his daughter, the bride_; HARRY WOOD, _the bridegroom; a
few relatives and friends; all gathered around the centre table, on which
are decanters and wine-glasses_.
_One of the company_--Let us drink the health of the newly-wedded
pair. (_Turns to Harry_.) Shall it be in wine? (_turns to
Marion_,) or in sparkling cold water?
HARRY--Pledge in wine, if it be the choice of the company.
_Several voices_--Pledge in wine, to be sure.
MARION--(_With great earnestness_.)--O no! Harry; not wine, I pray
JUDGE OTIS--Yes, Marion, my daughter; lay aside your foolish prejudices for
this once; the company expect it, and you should not so seriously infringe
upon the rules of etiquette. In your own house you may act as you please;
but in mine, which you are about to leave, for this once please me, by
complying with my wishes in this matter.
[_A glass of wine is handed to Marion, which she slowly and reluctantly
raises to her lips, but just as it reaches them she exclaims, excitedly,
holding out the glass at arm's length, and staring at it_,]
MARION--Oh! how terrible.
_Several voices--(Eagerly)_--What is it? What do you see?
MARION--Wait--wait, and I will tell you. I see _(pointing to the glass
with her finger)_ a sight that beggars all description; and yet listen,
and I will paint it for you, if I can. It is a lonely spot; tall mountains,
crowned with verdure, rise in awful sublimity around; a river runs through,
and bright flowers in wild profusion grow to the water's edge. There is a
thick, warm mist, that the sun vainly seeks to pierce; trees, lofty and
beautiful, wave to the airy motion of the birds; and beneath them a group
of Indians gather. They move to and fro with something like sorrow upon
their dark brows, for in their midst lies a manly form, whose cheek is
deathly pale, and whose eye is wild with the fitful fire of fever. One of
his own white race stands, or rather kneels, beside him, pillowing the poor
sufferer's head upon his breast with all a brother's tenderness. Look!
_(she speaks with renewed energy)_ how he starts up, throws the damp
curls back from his high and noble brow, and clasps his hands in agony of
despair; hear his terrible shrieks for life; and mark how he clutches at
the form of his companion, imploring to be saved from despair and death. O,
what a terrible scene! Genius in ruins, pleading for that which can never
be regained when once lost. Hear him call piteously his father's name; see
him clutch his fingers as he shrieks for his sister--his only sister, the
twin of his soul--now weeping for him in his distant home! See! his hands
are lifted to heaven; he prays--how wildly!--for mercy, while the hot fever
rushes through his veins. The friend beside him is weeping in despair; and
the awe-stricken sons of the forest move silently away, leaving the living
and the dying alone together. _(The judge, overcome with emotion, falls
into a chair, while the rest of the company seem awe-struck, as Marion's
voice grows softer and more sorrowful in its_ _tones, yet remains
distinct and clear.)_ It is evening now, the great, white moon, is
coming up, and her beams fall gently upon his forehead. He moves not; for
his eyes are set in their sockets, and their once piercing glance is dim.
In vain his companion whispers the name of father and sister; death is