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The Canadian Elocutionist by Anna Kelsey Howard

Part 7 out of 8

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* * * * *


The world wants men--light-hearted, manly men--
Men who shall join its chorus and prolong
The psalm of labour and the song of love.

The times wants scholars--scholars who shall shape
The doubtful destinies of dubious years,
And land the ark that bears our country's good,
Safe on some peaceful Ararat at last.

The age wants heroes--heroes who shall dare
To struggle in the solid ranks of truth;
To clutch the monster error by the throat;
To bear opinion to a loftier seat;
To blot the era of oppression out,
And lead a universal freedom in.

And heaven wants souls--fresh and capacious souls,
To taste its raptures, and expand like flowers
Beneath the glory of its central sun.
It wants fresh souls--not lean and shrivelled ones;
It wants fresh souls, my brother--give it thine!

If thou, indeed, wilt act as man should act;
If thou, indeed, wilt be what scholars should;
If thou wilt be a hero, and wilt strive
To help thy fellow and exalt thyself,
Thy feet at last shall stand on jasper floors,
Thy heart at last shall seem a thousand hearts,
Each single heart with myriad raptures filled--
While thou shalt sit with princes and with kings,
Rich in the jewel of a ransomed soul.

* * * * *


O Thou, who driest the mourner's tear,
How dark the world would be,
If, when deceived and wounded here,
We could not fly to Thee!
The friends who in our sunshine live,
When winter comes, are flown;
And he who has but tears to give,
Must weep those tears alone.
But Thou wilt heal the broken heart,
Which, like the plants that throw
Their fragrance from the wounded part,
Breathes sweetness out of woe.

When joy no longer soothes or cheers,
And e'en the hope that threw
A moment's sparkle o'er our tears,
Is dimmed and vanished, too!
Oh! who would bear life's stormy doom,
Did not Thy wing of love
Come brightly wafting through the gloom
Our peace-branch from above!
Then, sorrow, touched by Thee, grows bright
With more than rapture's ray,
As darkness shews us worlds of light,
We never saw by day.


* * * * *


In a small cabin in a Californian mining town, away up amid the snow-clad,
rock-bound peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, sat a woman, in widow's
weeds, holding upon her knee a bright-eyed, sunny-faced little girl, about
five years old, while a little cherub of a boy lay upon a bear-skin before
the open fireplace. It was Christmas Eve, and the woman sat gazing
abstractedly into the fireplace. She was yet young, and as the glowing
flames lit up her sad face they invested it with a wierd beauty.

Mary Stewart was the widow of Aleck Stewart, and but two years before they
had lived comfortably and happy, in a camp on the American River. Aleck was
a brawny miner; but the premature explosion of a blast in an exploring
tunnel had blotted out his life in an instant, leaving his family without a
protector, and in straitened circumstances. His daily wages had been their
sole support, and now that he was gone, what could they do?

With her little family Mrs. Stewart had emigrated to the camp in which we
find them, and there she earned a precarious livelihood by washing clothes
for the miners. Hers was a hard lot; but the brave little woman toiled on,
cheered by the thought that her daily labours stood between her darling
little ones and the gaunt wolf of starvation.

Jack Dawson, a strong, honest miner, was passing the cabin this Christmas
Eve, when the voice of the little girl within attracted his attention. Jack
possessed an inordinate love for children, and although his manly spirit
would abhor the sneaking practice of eavesdropping, he could not resist the
temptation to steal up to the window just a moment to listen to the sweet,
prattling voice. The first words he caught were:

"Before papa died we always had Christmas, didn't we, mamma?"

"Yes, Totty, darling; but papa earned money enough to afford to make his
little pets happy at least once a year. You must remember, Totty, that we
are very poor, and although mamma works very, very hard, she can scarcely
earn enough to supply us with food and clothes."

Jack Dawson still lingered upon the outside. He could not leave, although
he felt ashamed of himself for listening.

"We hung up our stockings last Christmas, didn't we, mamma?" continued the
little girl.

"Yes, Totty; but we were poor then, and Santa Claus never notices real poor
people. He gave you a little candy then, just because you were such good

"Is we any poorer now, mamma?"

"Oh! yes, much poorer. He would never notice us at all now."

Jack Dawson detected a tremor of sadness in the widow's voice as she
uttered the last words, and he wiped a suspicious dampness from his eyes.

"Where's our clean stockings, mamma? I'm going to hang mine up anyhow;
maybe he will come like he did before, just because we try to be good
children," said Totty.

"It will be no use, my darling, I am sure he will not come," and tears
gathered in the mother's eyes as she thought of her empty purse.

"I don't care, I'm going to try, anyhow. Please get one of my stockings,

Jack Dawson's generous heart swelled until it seemed bursting from his
bosom. He heard the patter of little bare feet upon the cabin floor as
Totty ran about hunting hers and Benny's stockings, and after she had hung
them up, heard her sweet voice again as she wondered over and over if Santa
really would forget them. He heard the mother, in a choking voice; tell her
treasures to get ready for bed; heard them lisp their childish prayers, the
little girl concluding: "And, O, Lord! please tell good Santa Claus that we
are very poor; but that we love him as much as rich children do, for dear
Jesus' sake--Amen!"

After they were in bed, through a small rent in the plain white curtain he
saw the widow sitting before the fire, her face buried in her hands, and
weeping bitterly.

On a peg, just over the fire-place, hung two little patched and faded
stockings, and then he could stand it no longer. He softly moved away from
the window to the rear of the cabin, where some objects fluttering in the
wind met his eye. Among these he searched until he found a little blue
stocking which he removed from the line, folded tenderly, and placed in his
overcoat pocket, and then set out for the main street of the camp. He
entered Harry Hawk's gambling hall, the largest in the place, where a host
of miners and gamblers were at play. Jack was well known in the camp, and
when he got up on a chair and called for attention, the hum of voices and
clicking of ivory checks suddenly ceased. Then in an earnest voice he told
what he had seen and heard, repeating every word of the conversation
between the mother and her children. In conclusion he said:

"Boys, I think I know you, every one of you, an' I know jist what kind o'
metal yer made of. I've an idee that Santy Claus knows jist whar thet
cabin's sitiwated, an' I've an idee he'll find it afore mornin'. Hyar's one
of the little gal's stock'n's thet I hooked off'n the line. The daddy o'
them little ones was a good, hard-working miner, an' he crossed the range
in the line o' duty, jist as any one of us is liable to do in our dangerous
business. Hyar goes a twenty-dollar piece right down in the toe, and hyar I
lay the stockin' on this card table--now chip in much or little, as ye kin

Brocky Clark, a gambler, left the table, picked the little stocking up
carefully, looked at it tenderly, and when he laid it down another twenty
had gone into the toe to keep company with the one placed there by Dawson.

Another and another came up until the foot of the stocking was well filled,
and then came the cry from the gambling table:

"Pass her around, Jack."

At the word he lifted it from the table and started around the hall. Before
he had circulated it at half a dozen tables it showed signs of bursting
beneath the weight of gold and silver coin, and a strong coin bag, such as
is used for sending treasure by express, was procured, and the stocking
placed inside of it. The round of the large hall was made, and in the
meantime the story had spread all over the camp. From the various saloons
came messages saying:

"Send the stockin' 'round the camp; boys are a-waitin' for it!"

With a party at his heels, Jack went from saloon to saloon. Games ceased
and tipplers left the bars as they entered each place, and miners,
gamblers, speculators, everybody, crowded up to tender their Christmas gift
to the miner's widow and orphans. Any one who has lived in the far Western
camps and is acquainted with the generosity of Western men, will feel no
surprise or doubt my truthfulness, when I say that after the round had been
made, the little blue stocking and the heavy canvas bag contained over
eight thousand dollars in gold and silver coin.

Horses were procured, and a party despatched to the larger town down on the
Consumnes, from which they returned near daybreak with toys, clothing,
provisions, etc., in almost endless variety. Arranging their gifts in
proper shape, and securely tying the mouth of the bag of coin, the party
noiselessly repaired to the widow's humble cabin. The bag was first laid on
the steps, and other articles piled up in a heap over it. On the top was
laid the lid of a large pasteboard box, on which was written with a piece
of charcoal:

"Santy Clause doesn't allways Giv poor Folks The Cold Shoulder in This

Christmas day dawned bright and beautiful.

Mrs. Stewart arose, and a shade of pain crossed her handsome face as the
empty little stockings caught her maternal eye. She cast a hurried glance
toward the bed where her darlings lay sleeping, and whispered:

"O God! how dreadful is poverty!"

She built a glowing fire, set about preparing the frugal breakfast, and
when it was almost ready she approached the bed, kissed the little ones
until they were wide awake, and lifted them to the floor. With eager haste
Totty ran to the stockings, only to turn away sobbing as though her heart
would break. Tears blinded the mother, and clasping her little girl to her
heart, she said in a choking voice:

"Never mind, my darling; next Christmas I am sure mamma will be richer, and
then Santa Claus will bring us lots of nice things."

"O mamma!"

The exclamation came from little Benny, who had opened the door and was
standing gazing in amazement upon the wealth of gifts there displayed.

Mrs. Stewart sprang to his side and looked in speechless astonishment. She
read the card, and then, causing her little ones to kneel down with her in
the open doorway, she poured out her soul in a torrent of praise and
thanksgiving to God.

Jack Dawson's burly form moved from behind a tree a short distance away,
and sneaked off up the gulch, great crystal tears chasing each other down
his face.

The family arose from their knees, and began to move the stores into the
room. There were several sacks of flour, hams, canned fruit, pounds and
pounds of coffee, tea and sugar, new dress goods, and a handsome, warm
woollen shawl for the widow, shoes, stockings, hats, mittens, and clothing
for the children, a great big wax doll that could cry and move its eyes for
Totty, and a beautiful red sled for Benny. All were carried inside amidst
alternate laughs and tears.

"Bring in the sack of salt, Totty, and that is all," said the mother. "Is
not God good to us?"

"I can't lift it, mamma, it's frozen to the step!"

The mother stooped and took hold of it, and lifted harder and harder, until
she raised it from the step. Her cheek blanched as she noted its great
weight, and breathlessly she carried it in and laid it upon the breakfast
table. With trembling fingers she loosened the string and emptied the
contents upon the table. Gold and silver--more than she had ever thought of
in her wildest dreams of comfort, and almost buried in the pile of treasure
lay Totty's little blue stocking.

We will not intrude longer upon such happiness; but leave the joyful family
sounding praises to Heaven and Santa Claus.


* * * * *


Girt round with rugged mountains
The fair Lake Constance lies;
In her blue heart reflected
Shine back the starry skies;
And, watching each white cloudlet
Float silently and slow,
You think a piece of Heaven
Lies on our earth below!

Midnight is there: and Silence,
Enthroned in Heaven, looks down
Upon her own calm mirror,
Upon a sleeping town:
For Bregenz, that quaint city
Upon the Tyrol shore,
Has stood above Lake Constance
A thousand years and more.

Her battlements and towers,
From off their rocky steep,
Have cast their trembling shadow
For ages on the deep:
Mountain, and lake, and valley,
A sacred legend know,
Of how the town was saved, one night,
Three hundred years ago.

Far from her home and kindred,
A Tyrol maid had fled,
To serve in the Swiss valleys,
And toil for daily bread;
And every year that fleeted
So silently and fast,
Seemed to bear farther from her
The memory of the Past.

She served kind, gentle masters,
Nor asked for rest or change;
Her friends seemed no more new ones,
Their speech seemed no more strange
And when she led her cattle
To pasture every day,
She ceased to look and wonder
On which side Bregenz lay.

She spoke no more of Bregenz,
While longing and with tears;
Her Tyrol home seemed faded
In a deep mist of years;
She heeded not the rumours
Of Austrian war and strife;
Each day she rose, contented,
To the calm toils of life.

Yet, when her master's children
Would clustering round her stand,
She sang them ancient ballads
Of her own native land;
And when at morn and evening
She knelt before God's throne,
The accents of her childhood
Rose to her lips alone.

And so she dwelt: the valley
More peaceful year by year;
When suddenly strange portents
Of some great deed seemed near.
The golden corn was bending
Upon its fragile stalk,
While farmers, heedless of their fields,
Paced up and down in talk.

The men seemed stern and altered--
With looks cast on the ground;
With anxious faces, one by one,
The women gathered round;
All talk of flax, or spinning,
Or work, was put away;
The very children seemed afraid
To go alone to play.

One day, out in the meadow
With strangers from the town,
Some secret plan discussing,
The men walked up and down.
Yet now and then seemed watching
A strange uncertain gleam,
That looked like lances 'mid the trees
That stood below the stream.

At eve they all assembled,
Then care and doubt were fled;
With jovial laugh they feasted;
The board was nobly spread.
The elder of the village
Rose up, his glass in hand,
And cried, "We drink the downfall
Of an accursed land!

"The night is growing darker,
Ere one more day is flown,
Bregenz, our foemens' stronghold,
Bregenz shall be our own!"
The women shrank in terror
(Yet Pride, too, had her part),
But one poor Tyrol maiden
Felt death within her heart.

Before her stood fair Bregenz;
Once more her towers arose;
What were the friends beside her?
Only her country's foes!
The faces of her kinsfolk,
The days of childhood flown,
The echoes of her mountains,
Reclaimed her as their own.

Nothing she heard around her
(Though shouts rang forth again),
Gone were the green Swiss valleys,
The pasture, and the plain;
Before her eyes one vision,
And in her heart one cry,
That said, "Go forth, save Bregenz,
And then, if need be, die!"

With trembling haste, and breathless,
With noiseless step, she sped;
Horses and weary cattle
Were standing in the shed;
She loosed the strong, white charger,
That fed from out her hand,
She mounted, and she turned his head
Toward her native land.

Out--out into the darkness--
Faster, and still more fast;
The smooth grass flies behind her,
The chestnut wood is past;
She looks up; clouds are heavy;
Why is her steed so slow?
Scarcely the wind beside them
Can pass them as they go.

"Faster!" she cries, "O faster!"
Eleven the church-bells chime:
"O God," she cries, "help Bregenz,
And bring me there in time!"
But louder than bells' ringing,
Or lowing of the kine,
Grows nearer in the midnight
The rushing of the Rhine.

Shall not the roaring waters
Their headlong gallop check?
The steed draws back in terror--
She leans upon his neck
To watch the flowing darkness;
The bank is high and steep;
One pause--he staggers forward,
And plunges in the deep.

She strives to pierce the blackness,
And looser throws the rein;
Her steed must breast the waters
That dash above his mane.
How gallantly, how nobly,
He struggles through the foam,
And see--in the far distance
Shine out the lights of home!

Up the steep bank he bears her,
And now, they rush again
Towards the heights of Bregenz,
That tower above the plain.
They reach the gate of Bregenz
Just as the midnight rings,
And out come serf and soldier
To meet the news she brings.

Bregenz is saved! Ere daylight
Her battlements are manned;
Defiance greets the army
That marches on the land.
And if to deeds heroic
Should endless fame be paid,
Bregenz does well to honour
That noble Tyrol maid.

Three hundred years are vanished,
And yet upon the hill
An old stone gateway rises.
To do her honour still.
And there, when Bregenz women
Sit spinning in the shade,
They see in quaint old carving
The Charger and the Maid.

And when, to guard old Bregenz,
By gateway, street, and tower,
The warder paces all night long
And calls each passing hour:
"Nine," "ten," "eleven," he cries aloud,
And then (O crown of Fame!)
When midnight pauses in the skies,
He calls the maiden's name!

_Adelaide A. Procter._

* * * * *


'Twas in ye pleasant olden time,
Oh! many years ago,
When husking bees and singing-schools
Were all the fun, you know.

The singing-school in Tarrytown,
A quaint old town in Maine--
Was wisely taught and grandly led
By a young man named Paine.

A gallant gentleman was Paine,
Who liked the lasses well;
But best he liked Miss Patience White,
As all his school could tell.

One night the singing-school had met;
Young Paine, all carelessly,
Had turned the leaves and said: "We'll sing
On page one-seventy."

"'See gentle patience smile on pain.'"
On Paine they all then smiled,
But not so gently as they might;
And he, confused and wild.

Searched quickly for another place,
As quickly gave it out;
The merriment, suppressed before,
Rose now into a shout.

These were the words that met his eyes
(He sank down with a groan);
"Oh! give me grief for others' woes,
And patience for my own!"

_Good Cheer._

* * * * *


Tell you about it? Of course, I will!
I thought 'twould be dreadful to have him come,
For Mamma said I must be quiet and still,
And she put away my whistle and drum--

And made me unharness the parlour chairs,
And packed my cannon and all the rest
Of my noisiest playthings off up stairs,
On account of this very distinguished guest.

Then every room was turned upside down,
And all the carpets hung out to blow;
For when the Bishop is coming to town,
The house must be in order you know.

So out in the kitchen I made my lair,
And started a game of hide-and-seek;
But Bridget refused to have me there,
For the Bishop was coming--to stay a week--

And she must make cookies and cakes and pies,
And fill every closet and platter and pan,
Till I thought this Bishop so great and wise,
Must be an awfully hungry man.

Well, at last he came; and I do declare,
Dear grandpapa, he looked just like you,
With his gentle voice and his silvery hair,
And eyes with a smile a-shining through.

And whenever he read, or talked, or prayed,
I understood every single word;
And I wasn't the leastest bit afraid,
Though I never once spoke or stirred;

Till, all of a sudden, he laughed right out
To see me sit quietly listening so;
And began to tell us stories about
Some queer little fellows in Mexico.

All about Egypt and Spain--and then
He wasn't disturbed by a little noise,
But said that the greatest and best of men
Once were rollicking, healthy boys.

And he thinks it no great matter at all
If a little boy runs and jumps and climbs;
And Mamma should be willing to let me crawl
Through the bannister-rails, in the hall, sometimes.

And Bridget, she made a great mistake,
In stirring up such a bother, you see,
For the Bishop--he didn't care for cake,
And really liked to play games with me.

But though he's so honoured in words and act--
(Stoop down, for this is a secret now)--
He couldn't spell Boston! That's a fact!
But whispered to me to tell him how.

_Emily Huntington Miller_.

* * * * *


Poor lone Hannah,
Sitting at the window, binding shoes!
Faded, wrinkled,
Sitting, stitching, in a mournful muse.
Bright-eyed beauty once was she,
When the bloom was on the tree;--
Spring and winter,
Hannah's at the window, binding shoes.

Not a neighbour
Passing, nod or answer will refuse
To her whisper,
"Is there from the fishers any news?"
Oh, her heart's adrift with one
On an endless voyage gone;--
Night and morning,
Hannah's at the window, binding shoes.

Fair young Hannah,
Ben the sunburnt fisher, gaily woos;
Hale and clever,
For a willing heart and hand he sues
May-day skies are all aglow,
And the waves are laughing so!
For her wedding
Hannah leaves her window and her shoes.

May is passing;
'Mid the apple-boughs a pigeon coos;
Hannah shudders,
For the wild south-wester mischief brews.
Round the rocks of Marblehead,
Outward bound a schooner sped;
Silent, lonesome,
Hannah's at the window, binding shoes.

'Tis November:
Now no tear her wasted cheek bedews,
From Newfoundland
Not a sail returning will she lose,
Whispering hoarsely: "Fishermen,
Have you, have you heard of Ben?"
Old with watching,
Hannah's at the window, binding shoes.

Twenty winters
Bleak and drear the ragged shore she views,
Twenty seasons!
Never one has brought her any news.
Still her dim eyes silently
Chase the white sails o'er the sea;--
Hopeless, faithful,
Hannah's at the window, binding shoes.

_Lucy Larcom._

* * * * *


O Christmas, merry Christmas!
Is it really come again?
With its memories and greetings,
With its joy and with its pain
There's a minor in the carol,
And a shadow in the light,
And a spray of cypress twining
With the holly wreath to-night.
And the hush is never broken,
By the laughter light and low,
As we listen in the starlight
To the bells across the snow!

O Christmas, merry Christmas!
'Tis not so very long
Since other voices blended
With the carol and the song!
If we could but hear them singing,
As they are singing now,
If we could but see the radiance
Of the crown on each dear brow;
There would be no sigh to smother,
No hidden tear to flow,
As we listen in the starlight
To the bells across the snow!

O Christmas, merry Christmas!
This never more can be;
We cannot bring again the days
Of our unshadowed glee.
But Christmas, happy Christmas!
Sweet herald of good-will,
With holy songs of glory
Brings holy gladness still.
For peace and hope may brighten,
And patient love may glow,
As we listen in the starlight
To the bells across the snow!

_Frances Ridley Havergal._

* * * * *


A supercilious nabob of the East--
Haughty, being great--purse-proud, being rich--
A governor, or general, at the least,
I have forgotten which--
Had in his family a humble youth,
Who went from England in his patron's suite,
An unassuming boy, and in truth
A lad of decent parts, and good repute.

This youth had sense and spirit;
But yet, with all his sense,
Excessive diffidence
Obscured his merit.

One day, at table, flushed with pride and wine,
His honour, proudly free, severely merry,
Conceived it would be vastly fine
To crack a joke upon his secretary.

"Young man," he said, "by what art, craft, or trade,
Did your good father gain a livelihood?"
"He was a saddler, sir," Modestus said,
"And in his time was reckon'd good."

"A saddler, eh! and taught you Greek,
Instead of teaching you to sew!
Pray, why did not your father make
A saddler, sir, of you?"

Each parasite, then, as in duty bound,
The joke applauded, and the laugh went round.
At length Modestus, bowing low,
Said (craving pardon, if too free he made),
"Sir, by your leave, I fain would know
Your father's trade!"

"My father's trade! by heaven, that's too bad!
My father's trade? Why, blockhead, are you mad?
My father, sir, did never stoop so low--
He was a gentleman, I'd have you know."

"Excuse the liberty I take,"
Modestus said, with archness on his brow,
"Pray, why did not your father make
A gentleman of you?"

* * * * *


Six hundred souls one summer's day,
Worked in the deep, dark Hutton seams;
Men were hewing the coal away,
Boys were guiding the loaded teams.
Horror of darkness was everywhere;
It was coal above, and coal below,
Only the miner's guarded lamp
Made in the gloom a passing glow.

Down in the deep, black Hutton seams
There came a flowery, balmy breath;
Men dropped their tools, and left their teams,
They knew the balmy air meant death,
And fled before the earthquake shock,
The cruel fire-damp's fatal course,
That tore apart the roof and walls,
And buried by fifties, man and horse.

"The shaft! the shaft!" they wildly cried;
And as they ran they passed a cave,
Where stood a father by his son--
The child had found a living grave,
And lay among the shattered coal,
His little life had almost sped.
"Fly! fly! For there may yet be time!"
The father calmly, firmly said:
"Nay; I'll stay with the lad."

He had no hurt; he yet might reach
The blessed sun and light again.
But at his feet his child lay bound,
And every hope of help was vain.
He let deliverance pass him by;
He stooped and kissed the little face;
"I will not leave thee by thyself,
Ah! lad; this is thy father's place."

So Self before sweet Love lay slain.
In the deep mine again was told
The story of a father's love.
Older than mortal man is old;
For though they urged him o'er and o'er,
To every prayer he only had
The answer he had found at first,
"Nay; I'll stay with the lad."

And when some weary days had passed,
And men durst venture near the place,
They lay where Death had found them both,
But hand in hand, and face to face.
And men were better for that sight,
And told the tale with tearful breath;
There was not one but only felt,
The man had died a noble death,
And left this thought for all to keep--
If earthly fathers can so love,
Ah, surely, we may safely lean
Upon the Fatherhood above!

_Lillie E. Barr._

* * * * *


"What are you singing for?" said I to Mary Maloney.

"Oh, I don't know, ma'am, without it's because my heart feels happy."

"Happy are you, Mary Maloney? Let me see; you don't own a foot of land in
the world?"

"Foot of land, is it?" she cried, with a hearty Irish laugh; "oh, what a
hand ye be after joking; why I haven't a penny, let alone the land."

"Your mother is dead!"

"God rest her soul, yes," replied Mary Maloney, with a touch of genuine
pathos; "may the angels make her bed in heaven."

"Your brother is still a hard case, I suppose."

"Ah, you may well say that. It's nothing but drink, drink, drink, and
beating his poor wife, that she is, the creature."

You have to pay your little sister's board."

"Sure, the bit creature, and she's a good little girl, is Hinny, willing to
do whatever I axes her. I don't grudge the money what goes for that."

"You haven't many fashionable dresses, either, Mary Maloney."

"Fashionable, is it? Oh, yes, I put a piece of whalebone in my skirt, and
me calico gown looks as big as the great ladies. But then ye says true, I
hasn't but two gowns to me back, two shoes, to me feet, and one bonnet to
me head, barring the old hood you gave me."

"You haven't any lover, Mary Maloney."

"Oh, be off wid ye--ketch Mary Maloney getting a lover these days, when the
hard times is come. No, no, thank Heaven I haven't got that to trouble me
yet, nor I don't want it."

"What on earth, then, have you got to make you happy? A drunken brother, a
poor helpless sister, no mother, no father, no lover; why, where do you get
all your happiness from?"

"The Lord be praised, Miss, it growed up in me. Give me a bit of sunshine,
a clean flure, plenty of work, and a sup at the right time, and I'm made.
That makes me laugh and sing, and then if deep trouble comes, why, God
helpin' me, I'll try to keep my heart up. Sure, it would be a sad thing if
Patrick McGrue should take it into his head to come an ax me, but, the Lord
willin', I'd try to bear up under it."

_Philadelphia Bulletin._

* * * * *


Whence came those shrieks, so wild and shrill,
That like an arrow cleave the air,
Causing the blood to creep and thrill
With such sharp cadence of despair?
Once more they come! as if a heart
Were cleft in twain by one quick blow,
And every string had voice apart
To utter its peculiar woe!

Whence came they? From yon temple, where
An altar raised for private prayer
Now forms the warrior's marble bed,
Who Warsaw's gallant armies led.
The dim funereal tapers throw
A holy lustre o'er his brow,
And burnish with their rays of light
The mass of curls that gather bright
Above the haughty brow and eye
Of a young boy that's kneeling by.

What hand is that whose icy press
Clings to the dead with death's own grasp,
But meets no answering caress--
No thrilling fingers seek its clasp?
It is the hand of her whose cry
Rang wildly late upon the air,
When the dead warrior met her eye,
Outstretched upon the altar there.

Now with white lips and broken moan
She sinks beside the altar stone;
But hark! the heavy tramp of feet
Is heard along the gloomy street;
Nearer and nearer yet they come,
With clanking arms and noiseless drum.
They leave the pavement. Flowers that spread
Their beauties by the path they tread
Are crushed and broken. Crimson hands
Rend brutally their blooming bands.
Now whispered curses, low and deep,
Around the holy temple creep.

The gate is burst. A ruffian band
Rush in and savagely demand,
With brutal voice and oath profane,
The startled boy for exile's chain.

The mother sprang with gesture wild,
And to her bosom snatched the child;
Then with pale cheek and flashing eye,
Shouted with fearful energy,--
"Back, ruffians, back! nor dare to tread
Too near the body of my dead!
Nor touch the living boy--I stand
Between him and your lawless band!
No traitor he--but listen! I
Have cursed your master's tyranny.
I cheered my lord to join the band
Of those who swore to free our land,
Or fighting, die; and when he pressed
Me for the last time to his breast,
I knew that soon his form would be
Low as it is, or Poland free.
He went and grappled with the foe,
Laid many a haughty Russian low;
But he is dead--the good--the brave--
And I, his wife, am worse--a slave!
Take me, and bind these arms, these hands,
With Russia's heaviest iron bands,
And drag me to Siberia's wild
To perish, if 'twill save my child!"

"Peace, woman, peace!" the leader cried,
Tearing the pale boy from her side;
And in his ruffian grasp he bore
His victim to the temple door.

"One moment!" shrieked the mother, "one;
Can land or gold redeem my son?
If so, I bend my Polish knee,
And, Russia, ask a boon of thee.
Take palaces, take lands, take all,
But leave him free from Russian thrall.
Take these," and her white arms and hands
She stripped of rings and diamond bands,
And tore from braids of long black hair
The gems that gleamed like star-light there;
Unclasped the brilliant coronal
And carcanet of orient pearl;
Her cross of blazing rubies last
Down to the Russian's feet she cast.

He stooped to seize the glittering store;
Upspringing from the marble floor;
The mother, with a cry of joy,
Snatched to her leaping heart the boy!
But no--the Russian's iron grasp
Again undid the mother's clasp.
Forward she fell, with one long cry
Of more than mother's agony.

But the brave child is roused at length,
And breaking from the Russian's hold,
He stands, a giant in the strength
Of his young spirit, fierce and bold.

Proudly he towers, his flashing eye,
So blue and fiercely bright,
Seems lighted from the eternal sky,
So brilliant is its light.
His curling lips and crimson cheeks
Foretell the thought before he speaks.
With a full voice of proud command
He turns upon the wondering band.

"Ye hold me not! no, no, nor can;
This hour has made the boy a man.
The world shall witness that one soul
Fears not to prove itself a Pole.

"I knelt beside my slaughtered sire,
Nor felt one throb of vengeful ire;
I wept upon his marble brow--
Yes, wept--I was a child; but now
My noble mother on her knee,
Has done the work of years for me.
Although in this small tenement
My soul is cramped--unbowed, unbent
I've still within me ample power
To free myself this very hour.
This dagger in my heart! and then,
Where is your boasted power, base men?"

He drew aside his broidered vest,
And there, like slumbering serpent's crest,
The jewelled haft of a poinard bright,
Glittered a moment on the sight.
"Ha! start ye back? Fool! coward! knave!
Think ye my noble father's glaive,
Could drink the life blood of a slave?
The pearls that on the handle flame,
Would blush to rubies in their shame.
The blade would quiver in thy breast,
Ashamed of such ignoble rest!
No; thus I rend thy tyrant's chain,
And fling him back a boy's disdain!"

A moment, and the funeral light
Flashed on the jewelled weapon bright;
Another, and his young heart's blood
Leaped to the floor a crimson flood.
Quick to his mother's side he sprang,
And on the air his clear voice rang--
"Up, mother, up! I'm free! I'm free!
The choice was death or slavery:
Up! mother, up! look on my face,
I only wait for thy embrace.
One last, last word--a blessing, one,
To prove thou knowest what I have done,
No look! No word! Canst thou not feel
My warm blood o'er thy heart congeal?
Speak, mother, speak--lift up thy head.
What, silent still? Then thou art dead!
Great God, I thank thee! Mother, I
Rejoice with thee, and thus to die."
Slowly he falls. The clustering hair
Rolls back and leaves that forehead bare.
One long, deep breath, and his pale head
Lay on his mother's bosom, dead.

_Mrs. Ann S. Stephens._

* * * * *


Sweetheart, good-bye! the flutt'ring sail
Is spread to waft me far from thee,
And soon before the favouring gale
My ship shall bound upon the sea.
Perchance, all desolate and forlorn,
These eyes shall miss thee many a year;
But unforgotten every charm--
Though lost to sight, to memory dear.

Sweetheart, good-bye! one last embrace;
O, cruel fate, two souls to sever!
Yet in this heart's most sacred place
Thou, thou alone shalt dwell forever;
And still shall recollection trace
In fancy's mirror, ever near,
Each smile, each tear--that form, that face--
Though lost to sight, to memory dear.

_Ruthven Jenkyns._

* * * * *


Once upon an evening bleary,
While I sat me dreaming, dreary,
In the parlour thinking o'er
Things that passed in days of yore,
While I nodded, nearly sleeping,
Gently came something creeping,
Creeping upward from the floor.
"'Tis a cooling breeze," I muttered,
"From the regions 'neath the floor:
Only this and nothing more."

Ah! distinctly I remember--
It was in that wet September,
When the earth and every member
Of creation that it bore,
Had for weeks and months been soaking
In the meanest, most provoking,
Foggy rain, that without joking,
We had ever seen before.
So I knew it must be very
Cold and damp beneath the floor,
Very cold beneath the floor.

So I sat me, nearly napping,
In the sunshine, stretching, gaping,
With a feeling quite delighted
With the breezes 'neath the floor,
Till I felt me growing colder,
And the stretching waxing bolder,
And myself now feeling older,
Older than I felt before;
Feeling that my joints were stiffer
Than they were in days of yore,
Stiffer than they'd been before.

All along my back, the creeping
Soon gave place to rustling, leaping,
As if countless frozen demons
Had concluded to explore
All the cavities--the varmints!--
'Twixt me and my nether garments,
Through my boots into the floor:
Then I found myself a shaking,
Gently shaking more and more,
Every moment more and more.

'Twas the ague; and it shook me
Into heavy clothes, and took me
Shaking to the kitchen, every
Place where there was warmth in store,
Shaking till the china rattled,
Shaking till the morals battled;
Shaking, and with all my warming,
Feeling colder than before;
Shaking till it had exhausted
All its powers to shake me more.
Till it could not shake me more.

Then it rested till the morrow,
When it came with all the horror
That it had the face to borrow,
Shaking, shaking as before,
And from that day in September--
Day which I shall long remember--
It has made diurnal visits,
Shaking, shaking, oh! so sore,
Shaking off my boots, and shaking
Me to bed if nothing more,
Fully this if nothing more.

And to-day the swallows flitting
Bound my cottage see me sitting
Moodily within the sunshine
Just inside my silent door,
Waiting for the ague, seeming
Like a man forever dreaming,
And the sunlight on me streaming,
Casts no shadow on the floor,
For I am too thin and sallow
To make shadows on the floor,
Never a shadow any more.

* * * * *


Well, wife, I've found the model church! I worshipped there to-day!
It made me think of good old times before my hairs were gray;
The meetin' house was fixed up more than they were years ago,
But then I felt, when I went in, it wasn't built for show.

The sexton didn't seat me away back by the door;
He knew that I was old and deaf, as well as old and poor;
He must have been a Christian, for he led me boldly through
The long aisle of that crowded church to find a pleasant pew.

I wish you'd heard the singin'; it had the old-time ring;
The preacher said, with trumpet voice: "Let all the people sing!"
The tune was "Coronation," and the music upward rolled,
Till I thought I heard the angels striking all their harps of gold.

My deafness seemed to melt away; my spirit caught the fire;
I joined my feeble, trembling voice with that melodious choir,
And sang as in my youthful days: "Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all."

I tell you, wife, it did me good to sing that hymn once more;
I felt like some wrecked mariner who gets a glimpse of shore;
I almost wanted to lay down this weather-beaten form,
And anchor in that blessed port, forever from the storm.

The prech'en? Well, I can't just tell all that the preacher said;
I know it wasn't written; I know it wasn't read;
He hadn't time to read it, for the lightnin' of his eye
Went flashin' 'long from pew to pew, nor passed a sinner by.

The sermon wasn't flowery; 'twas simple gospel truth;
It fitted poor old men like me; it fitted hopeful youth;
'Twas full of consolation, for weary hearts that bleed;
'Twas full of invitations to Christ and not to creed.

How swift the golden moments fled, within that holy place;
How brightly beamed the light of heaven from every happy face;
Again I longed for that sweet time, when friend shall meet with friend,
"When congregations ne'er break up, and Sabbath has no end."

I hope to meet that minister--that congregation, too--
In that dear home beyond the stars that shine from heaven's blue;
I doubt not I'll remember, beyond life's evenin' gray,
The happy hour of worship in that model church to-day.

Dear wife, the fight will soon be fought--the victory soon be won;
The shinin' goal is just ahead; the race is nearly run;
O'er the river we are nearin', they are throngin' to the shore,
To shout our safe arrival where the weary weep no more.

_John H. Yates_.

* * * * *


I'm thinking that to-night, if not before,
There'll be wild work. Dost hear old Chewton roar.
It's brewing up, down westward; and look there!
One of those sea-gulls! ay, there goes a pair;
And such a sudden thaw! If rain comes on
As threats, the water will be out anon.
That path by the ford is a nasty bit of way,
Best let the young ones bide from school to-day.

The children join in this request; but the mother
resolves that they shall set out--the two girls, Lizzie and
Jenny, the one five, the other seven. As the dame's will
was law, so--

One last fond kiss--
"God bless my little maids," the father said,
And cheerily went his way to win their bread.

Prepared for their journey they depart, with the
mother's admonition to the elder--

"Now mind and bring
Jenny safe home," the mother said. "Don't stay
To pull a bough or berry by the way;
And when you come to cross the ford hold fast
Your little sister's hand till you're quite past,
That plank is so crazy, and so slippery
If not overflowed the stepping stones will be;
But you're good children--steady as old folk,
I'd trust ye anywhere." Then Lizzie's cloak
(A good gray duffle) lovingly she tied,
And amply little Jenny's lack supplied
With her own warmest shawl. "Be sure," said she,
"To wrap it round, and knot it carefully,
(Like this) when you come home--just leaving free
One hand to hold by. Now, make haste away--
Good will to school, and then good right to play."

The mother watches them with foreboding, though she knows not why. In a
little while the threatened storm sets in. Night comes, and with it comes
the father from his daily toil--There's a treasure hidden in his hat--

A plaything for the young ones he has found--
A dormouse nest; the living ball coil'd round
For its long winter sleep; all his thought
As he trudged stoutly homeward, was of naught
But the glad wonderment in Jenny's eyes,
And graver Lizzie's quieter surprise,
When he should yield, by guess, and kiss, and prayer,
Hard won, the frozen captive to their care.

No little faces greet him as wont at the threshold; and to his hurried

"Are they come?"--t'was, "No,"
To throw his tools down, hastily unhook
The old crack'd lantern from its dusky nook
And, while he lit it, speak a cheering word
That almost choked him, and was scarcely heard,--
Was but a moment's act, and he was gone
To where a fearful foresight led him on.

A neighbour goes with him, and the faithful dog follows
the children's tracks.
"Hold the light
Low down, he's making for the water. Hark!
I know that whine; the old dog's found them, Mark;"
So speaking, breathlessly he hurried on
Toward the old crazy foot bridge. It was gone!
And all his dull contracted light could show
Was the black void, and dark swollen stream below;
"Yet there's life somewhere--more than Tinker's whine--
That's sure," said Mark, "So, let the lantern shine
Down yonder. There's the dog and--hark!"
"O dear!"
And a low sob came faintly on the ear,
Mocked by the sobbing gust. Down, quick as thought,
Into the stream leaped Ambrose, where he caught
Fast hold of something--a dark huddled heap--
Half in the water, where 'twas scarce knee deep
For a tall man: and half above it propped
By some old ragged side piles that had stop't
Endways the broken plank when it gave way
With the two little ones, that luckless day!
"My babes! my lambkins!" was the father's cry,
_One little voice_ made answer, "Here am I;"
'Twas Lizzie's. There she crouched with face as white,
More ghastly, by the flickering lantern light,
Than sheeted corpse. The pale blue lips drawn tight,
Wide parted, showing all the pearly teeth,
And eyes on some dark object underneath,
Washed by the turbid waters, fix'd like stone--
One arm and hand stretched out, and rigid grown,
Grasping, as in the death-grip, Jenny's frock.
There she lay, drown'd.
They lifted her from out her watery bed--
Its covering gone, the lovely little head
Hung like a broken snowdrop all aside,
And one small hand. The mother's shawl was tied
Leaving that free about the child's small form,
As was her last injunction--"fast and warm,"
Too well obeyed--too fast! A fatal hold,
Affording to the scrag, by a thick fold
That caught and pinned her to the river's bed.
While through the reckless water overhead,
Her life breath bubbled up.
"She might have lived,
Struggling like Lizzie," was the thought that rived
The wretched mother's heart when she heard all,
"But for my foolishness about that shawl."
"Who says I forgot?
Mother! indeed, indeed I kept fast hold,
And tied the shawl quite close--she
Can't be cold--
But she won't move--we slept--I don't know how--
But I held on, and I'm so weary now--
And its so dark and cold! Oh, dear! oh, dear!
And she won't move--if father were but here!"
All night long from side to side she turn'd,
Piteously plaining like a wounded dove.
With now and then the murmur, "She won't move,"
And lo! when morning, as in mockery, bright
Shone on that pillow--passing strange the sight,
The young head's raven hair was streaked with white!

_Mrs. Southey._

* * * * *


It is summer. A party of visitors are just crossing the iron bridge that
extends from the American shore to Goat's Island, about a quarter of a mile
above the Falls. Just as they are about to leave, while watching the stream
as it plunges and dashes among the rocks below, the eye of one fastens on
something clinging to a rock, caught on the very verge of the Falls.
Scarcely willing to believe his own vision, he directs the attention of his
companions. The terrible news spreads like lightning, and in a few minutes
the bridge and the surrounding shore are covered with thousands of
spectators. "Who is he?" "How did he get there?" are questions every person
proposed, but answered by none. No voice is heard above the awful flood,
but a spy-glass shows frequent efforts to speak to the gathering multitude.
Such silent appeals exceed the eloquence of words; they are irresistible,
and something must be done. A small boat is soon upon the bridge, and with
a rope attached sets out upon its fearless voyage, but is instantly sunk.
Another and another are tried, but they are all swallowed up by the angry
waters. A large one might possibly survive; but none is at hand. Away to
Buffalo a car is despatched, and never did the iron horse thunder along its
steel-bound track on such a godlike mission. Soon the most competent life-
boat is upon the spot. All eyes are fixed upon the object, as trembling and
tossing amid the boiling white waves it survives the roughest waters. One
breaker past and it will have reached the object of its mission. But being
partly filled with water and striking a sunken rock, that next wave sends
it hurling to the bottom. An involuntary groan passes through the dense
multitude, and hope scarcely nestles in a single bosom. The sun goes down
in gloom, and as darkness comes on and the crowd begins to scatter,
methinks the angels looking over the battlements on high drop a tear of
pity on the scene. The silvery stars shine dimly through their curtain of
blue. The multitude are gone, and the sufferer is left with his God. Long
before morning he must be swept over that dreadful abyss; he clings to that
rock with all the tenacity of despair, and as he surveys the horrors of his
position strange visions in the air come looming up before him. He sees his
home, his wife and children there; he sees the home of his childhood; he
sees that mother as she used to soothe his childish fears upon her breast;
he sees a watery grave, and then the vision closes in tears. In imagination
he hears the hideous yells of demons, and mingled prayers and curses die
upon his lips.

No sooner does morning dawn than the multitude again rush to the scene of
horror, Soon a shout is heard: he is there; he is still alive. Just now a
carriage arrives upon the bridge, and a woman leaps from it and rushes to
the most favourable point of observation. She had driven from Chippewa,
three miles above the Falls; her husband had crossed the river night before
last, and had not returned, and she fears he may be clinging to that rock.
All eyes are turned for a moment toward the anxious woman, and no sooner is
a glass handed to her fixed upon the object than she shrieks, "Oh, my
husband!" and sinks senseless to the earth. The excitement, before intense,
seems now almost unendurable, and something must again be tried. A small
raft is constructed, and, to the surprise of all, swings up beside the rock
to which the sufferer had clung for the last forty-eight hours. He
instantly throws himself full length upon it. Thousands are pulling at the
end of the rope, and with skillful management a few rods are gained toward
the nearest shore. What tongue can tell, what pencil can paint, the anxiety
with which that little bark is watched as, trembling and tossing amid the
roughest waters, it nears that rock-bound coast? Save Niagara's eternal
roar, all is silent as the grave. His wife sees it and is only restrained
by force from rushing into the river. Hope instantly springs into every
bosom, but it is only to sink into deeper gloom. The angel of death has
spread his wings over that little bark; the poor man's strength is almost
gone; each wave lessens his grasp more and more, but all will be safe if
that nearest wave is past. But that next surging billow breaks his hold
upon the pitching timbers, the next moment hurling him to the awful verge,
where, with body, erect, hands clenched, and eyes that are taking their
last look of earth, he shrieks, above Niagara's eternal roar, "Lost!" and
sinks forever from the gaze of man.

_Charles Tarson._

* * * * *


Slowly England's sun was setting o'er the hilltops far away,
Filling all the land with beauty at the close of one sad day,
And the last rays kissed the forehead of a man and maiden fair,--
He with footsteps slow and weary, she with sunny, floating hair;
He with bowed head, sad and thoughtful, she with lips all cold and white,
Struggled to keep back the murmur,--
"Curfew must not ring to-night."

"Sexton," Bessie's white lips faltered, pointing to the prison old,
With its turrets tall and gloomy, with its walls dark, damp and cold,
"I've a lover in that prison, doomed this very night to die,
At the ringing of the curfew--and no earthly help is nigh;
Cromwell will not come till sunset," and her lips grew strangely white
As she breathed the husky whisper,--
"Curfew must not ring to-night"

"Bessie," calmly spoke the sexton, every word pierced her young heart
Like the piercing of an arrow, like a deadly, poisoned dart.
"Long, long years I've rung the curfew from that gloomy, shadowed tower;
Every evening, just at sunset, it has told the twilight hour;
I have done my duty ever, tried to do it just and right,
Now I'm old I still must do it,
Curfew it must ring to-night."

Wild her eyes and pale her features, stern and white her thoughtful brow,
And within her secret bosom, Bessie made a solemn vow.
She had listened while the judges read without a tear or sigh,
"At the ringing of the curfew, Basil Underwood must die."
And her breath came fast and faster, and her eyes grew large and bright--
In an undertone she murmured,--
"Curfew must not ring to-night."

She with quick steps bounded forward, sprung within the old church door,
Left the old man treading slowly paths so oft he'd trod before;
Not one moment paused the maiden, but with eye and cheek aglow,
Mounted up the gloomy tower, where the bell swung to and fro;
And she climbed the dusty ladder on which fell no ray of light,
Up and up--her white lips saying--
"Curfew shall not ring to-night."

She has reached the topmost ladder, o'er her hangs the great dark bell;
Awful is the gloom beneath her, like a pathway down to hell.
Lo, the ponderous tongue is swinging, 'tis the hour of curfew now
And the sight has chilled her bosom, stopped her breath, and paled her brow.
Shall she let it ring? No, never! Flash her eyes with sudden light,
And she springs and grasps it firmly--
"Curfew shall not ring to-night."

Out she swung, far out, the city seemed a speck of light below,
'Twixt heaven and earth her form suspended, as the bell swung to and fro,
And the sexton at the bell rope, old and deaf, heard not the bell,
But he thought it still was ringing fair young Basil's funeral knell.
Still the maiden clung most firmly, and with trembling lips and white,
Said to hush her heart's wild beating,--
"Curfew shall not ring to-night."

It was o'er, the bell ceased swaying, and the maiden stepped once more
Firmly on the dark old ladder, where for hundred years before,
Human foot had not been planted. The brave deed that she had done
Should be told long ages after, as the rays of setting sun
Should illume the sky with beauty; aged sires with heads of white,
Long should tell the little children,
Curfew did not ring that night.

O'er the distant hills came Cromwell; Bessie sees him and her brow,
Full of hope and full of gladness, has no anxious traces now.
At his feet she tells her story, shows her hands all bruised and torn;
And her face so sweet and pleading, yet with sorrow pale and worn,
Touched his heart with sudden pity, lit his eye with misty light:
"Go, your lover lives," said Cromwell,
"Curfew shall not ring to-night!"

* * * * *


Here were not mingled, in the city's pomp,
Of life's extremes the grandeur and the gloom;
Judgment awoke not here her dismal trump,
Nor sealed in blood a fellow-creature's doom;
Nor mourned the captive in a living tomb.
One venerable man, beloved of all,
Sufficed, where innocence was yet in bloom,
To sway the strife, that seldom might befall;
And Albert was their judge in patriarchal hall.

How reverend was the look, serenely aged,
He bore, this gentle Pennsylvanian sire,
Where all but kindly fervours were assuaged,
Undimmed by weakness' shade, or turbid ire!
And though, amidst the calm of thought, entire,
Some high and haughty features might betray
A soul impetuous once, 'twas earthly fire
That fled composure's intellectual ray,
As Aetna's fires grow dim before the rising day.

I boast no song in magic wonders rife;
But yet, O Nature! is there naught to prize,
Familiar in thy bosom scenes of life?
And dwells in daylight truth's salubrious skies
No form with which the soul may sympathize?--
Young, innocent, on whose sweet forehead mild
The parted ringlet shone in sweetest guise,
An inmate in the home of Albert smiled,
Or blessed his noonday walk;--she was his only child.

The rose of England bloomed on Gertrude's cheek:--
What though these shades had seen her birth, her sire
A Briton's independence taught to seek
Far western worlds; and there his household fire
The light of social love did long inspire;
And many a halcyon day he lived to see,
Unbroken but by one misfortune dire,
When fate had reft his mutual heart--but she
Was gone;--and Gertrude climbed a widowed father's knee.

A loved bequest;--and I may half impart
To them that feel the strong paternal tie,
How like a new existence to his heart
That living flower uprose beneath his eye,
Dear as she was from cherub infancy,
From hours when she would round his garden play,
To time when, as the ripening years went by,
Her lovely mind could culture well repay,
And more engaging grew, from pleasing day to day.

I may not paint those thousand infant charms;
(Unconscious fascination, undesigned!)
The orison repeated in his arms,
For God to bless her sire and all mankind;
The book, the bosom on his knee reclined;
Or how sweet fairy-lore he heard her con,
(The playmate ere the teacher of her mind!)
All uncompanioned else her heart had gone,
Till now, in Gertrude's eyes, their ninth blue summer shone.


* * * * *


But now a joy too deep for sound,
A peace no other season knows,
Hushes the heavens, and wraps the ground,--
The blessing of supreme repose.
Away! I will not be, to-day,
The only slave of toil and care;
Away! from desk and dust, away!
I'll be as idle as the air.
Beneath the open sky abroad,
Among the plants and breathing things,
The sinless, peaceful works of God,
I'll share the calm the season brings.
Come thou, in whose soft eyes I see
The gentle meaning of the heart,--
One day amid the woods with thee,
From men and all their cares apart;--
And where, upon the meadow's breast,
The shadow of the thicket lies,
The blue wild flowers thou gatherest
Shall glow yet deeper near thine eyes.
Come,--and when 'mid the calm profound,
I turn those gentle eyes to seek,
They, like the lovely landscape round,
Of innocence and peace shall speak.
Rest here, beneath the unmoving shade;
And on the silent valleys gaze,
Winding and widening, till they fade
In yon soft ring of summer haze.
The village trees their summits rear
Still as its spire; and yonder flock,
At rest in those calm fields, appear
As chiselled from the lifeless rock.
One tranquil mount the scene o'erlooks,
Where the hushed winds their Sabbath keep,
While a near hum from bees and brooks,
Comes faintly like the breath of sleep.--
Well might the gazer deem, that when,
Worn with the struggle and the strife,
And heart-sick at the sons of men,
The good forsake the scenes of life,--
Like the deep quiet, that awhile
Lingers the lovely landscape o'er,
Shall be the peace whose holy smile
Welcomes them to a happier shore!


* * * * *


Our love is not a fading earthly flower:
Its winged seed dropped down from Paradise,
And, nursed by day and night, by sun and shower
Doth momently to fresher beauty rise.
To us the leafless autumn is not bare,
Nor winter's rattling boughs lack lusty green:
Our summer hearts make summer's fullness where
No leaf or bud or blossom may be seen:
For nature's life in love's deep life doth lie,
Love,--whose forgetfulness is beauty's death,
Whose mystic key these cells of Thou and I
Into the infinite freedom openeth,
And makes the body's dark and narrow grate
The wide-flung leaves of Heaven's palace-gate.

_James Russell Lowell._

* * * * *


My baby boy sat on the floor;
His big blue eyes were full of wonder
For he had never seen before
That baby in the mirror door--
What kept the two, so near, asunder?
He leaned toward the golden head
The mirror border framed within,
Until twin cheeks, like roses red,
Lay side by side; then softly said,
"I can't get out; can you come in?"

_Atlanta Constitution._

* * * * *


God! do not let my loved one die,
But rather wait until the time
That I am grown in purity
Enough to enter Thy pure clime
Then take me, I will gladly go,
So that my love remain below!

Oh, let her stay! She is by birth
What I through death must learn to be,
We need her more on our poor earth
Than Thou canst need in heaven with Thee;
She hath her wings already: I
Must burst this earth-shell ere I fly.

Then, God, take me! we shall be near,
More near than ever, each to each:
Her angel ears will find more clear
My earthly than my heavenly speech;
And still, as I draw nigh to Thee,
Her soul and mine shall closer be.

_James Russell Lowell._

* * * * *


This world is all a fleeting show,
For man's illusion given;
The smiles of joy, the tears of woe,
Deceitful shine, deceitful flow--
There's nothing _true_ but Heaven.

And false the light on glory's plume,
As fading hues of even;
And love, and hope, and beauty's bloom,
Are blossoms gathered for the tomb--
There's nothing _bright_ but Heaven.

Poor wanderers of a stormy day,
From wave to wave we're driven;
And fancy's flash, and reason's ray,
Serve but to light the troubled way--
There's nothing _calm_ but Heaven.


* * * * *


Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest,
For those that wander they know not where
Are full of trouble and full of care;
To stay at home is best.

Weary and homesick and distressed,
They wander east, and they wander west,
And are baffled and beaten and blown about
By the winds of the wilderness of doubt;
To stay at home is best.

Then stay at home, my heart, and rest;
The bird is safest in its nest;
O'er all that flutter their wings and fly
A hawk is hovering in the sky;
To stay at home is best.

_H. W. Longfellow._

* * * * *


Crouching in the twilight-gray,
Like a hunted thing at bay,
In his brain one thought is rife:
Why not end the bootless strife?

Who in God's wide world would weep,
Should he brave death's dreamless sleep?
Hark! a child's voice, soft and clear,
Pulsing through the gloaming drear;

And the word the singer brings
Like a new evangel rings;
"Jesus loves me! this I know,"
Swift his thoughts to childhood go.

Memories of a mother's face
Bending to her boy's embrace,
And the boy at eventide
Kneeling by the mother's side,

Like "sweet visions of the night"
Fill the lonesome place with light,
While the singer's tender trill--
"Jesus loves me! loves me still"--

Hovers in the dreamlit air
Like an answer to the prayer.
Offered in those happy days
When he walked in sinless ways.

"Jesus loves me!" Can it be
His, this _benedicite_?
Is there One who knows and cares?
One who all his sorrow shares?

"Jesus loves me!" While the song
Guileless lips with joy prolong,
Lo! a soul has ceased its strife,
Reconciled to God and life.

_Mary B. Sleight._

* * * * *


Did you ne'er think what wondrous beings these?
Did you ne'er think who made them, and who taught
The dialect they speak, where melodies
Alone are the interpreters of thought?
Whose household word are songs in many keys,
Sweeter than instrument of man e'er caught;
Whose habitations in the tree-tops even
Are half-way houses on the road to heaven!

Think, every morning, when the sun peeps through
The dim, leaf-latticed windows of the, grove,
How jubilant the happy birds renew
Their old melodious madrigals of love!
And, when you think of this, remember, too,
'Tis always morning somewhere, and above
The awakening continents, from shore to shore,
Somewhere the birds are singing evermore!


* * * * *


'Twas in the summer of '46 that I landed at Hamilton, fresh as a new pratie
just dug from the "old sod," and wid a light heart and a heavy bundle I sot
off for the township of Buford, tiding a taste of a song, as merry a young
fellow as iver took the road. Well, I trudged on and on, past many a
plisint place, pleasin' myself wid the thought that some day I might have a
place of my own, wid a world of chickens and ducks and pigs and childer
about the door; and along in the afternoon of the sicond day I got to
Buford village. A cousin of me mother's, one Dennis O'Dowd, lived about
sivin miles from there, and I wanted to make his place that night, so I
enquired the way at the tavern, and was lucky to find a man, who was goin'
part of the way an' would show me the way to find Dennis. Sure, he was very
kind indade, and when I got out of his wagon, he pointed me through the
wood and told me to go straight south a mile an' a half, and the first
house would be Dennis's.

"An' you have no time to lose now," said he, "for the sun is low, and mind
you don't get lost in the woods."

"Is it lost now," said I, "that I'd be gittin, an' me uncle as great a
navigator at iver steered a ship across the thrackless say! Not a bit of
it, though I'm obleeged to ye for your kind advice, an thank yez for the

An' wid that he drove off an' left me alone. I shouldered my bundle
bravely, an' whistling a bit of tune for company like, I pushed into the
bush. Well, I went a long way over bogs, and turnin' round among the bush
and trees till I began to think I must be well nigh to Dennis's. But, bad
cess to it! all of a sudden, I came out of the woods at the very identical
spot where I started in, which I knew by an ould crotched tree that seemed
to be standin' on its head an' kicking up its heels to make divarsion of
me. By this time it was growing dark, and as there was no time to lose, I
started in a second time, determined to keep straight south this time and
no mistake. I got on bravely for awhile, but och hone! och hone! it got so
dark I couldn't see the trees, and I bumped me nose and barked me shins,
while the miskaties bit me hands and face to a blister; and after tumblin'
and stumblin' around till I was fairly bamfoozled, I sat down on a log, all
of a trimble, to think that was lost intirely, and that maybe a lion or
some other wild craythur would devour me before morning.

Just then I heard somebody a long way off say, "Whip poor Will!" "Bedad!"
sez I, "I'm glad it isn't Jamie that's got to take it, though it seems its
more in sorrow than in anger they're doin' it, or why should they say,
'poor Will?' and sure they can't be Injin, haythen, or naygur, for its
plain English they're afther spakin?"

Maybe they might help me out o' this, so I shouted at the top of my voice,
"A lost man!" Thin I listened. Prisintly an answer came.

"Who: Whoo! Whooo!"

"Jamie Butler, the waiver," sez I, as loud as I could roar, an' snatchin'
up me bundle an' stick, I started in the direction of the voice. Whin I
thought I had got near the place I stopped and shouted again, "A lost man!"

"Who! Whoo! Whooo!" said a voice right over my head.

"Sure," thinks I, "it's a quare place for a man to be at this time of
night; maybe it's some settler scrapin' sugar off a sugar bush for the
childher's breakfast in the mornin'. But where's Will and the rest of
them?" All this wint through me head like a flash, an' thin I answered his

"Jamie Butler, the waiver," sez I; "and if it wouldn't inconvanience your
honour, would yez be kind enough to step down and show me the way to the
house of Dennis O'Dowd?"

"Who! Whoo! Whooo!" sez he.

"Dennis O'Dowd!" sez I, civil enough, "and a dacent man he is, and first
cousin to me own mother."

"Who! Whoo! Whooo!" sez he again.

"Me mother!" sez I, "and as fine a woman as ever peeled a biled pratie wid
her thumb nail, and her maiden name was Molly McFiggin."

"Who! Whoo! Whooo!"

"Paddy McFiggin! bad luck to your deaf ould head, Paddy McFiggin, I say--do
you hear that? And he was the tallest man in all the county Tipperary,
excipt Jim Doyle, the blacksmith."

"Who! Whoo! Whooo!"

"Jim Doyle the blacksmith," sez I, "ye good for nothin' naygur, and if yez
don't come down and show me the way this min't I'll climb up there and
break ivery bone in your own skin, ye spalpeen, so sure as me name is Jimmy

"Who! Whoo! Whooo!" sez he, as impident as iver.

I said niver a word, but layin' down me bundle, and takin' me stick in me
teeth, I began to climb the tree. Whin I got among the branches I looked
quietly round till I saw a pair of big eyes just forninst me.

"Whist," sez I, "and I let him have a taste of an Irish stick," an' wid
that I let drive an' lost me balance an' came tumblin' to the ground,
nearly breaking me neck wid the fall. Whin I came to me sinsis I had a very
sore head wid a lump on it like a goose egg, and half me Sunday coat-tail
tore off intirely. I spoke to the chap in the tree, but could get niver an
answer at all, at all.

Sure, thinks I, he must have gone home to rowl up his head, for I don't
throw me stick for nothin'.

Well, by this time the moon was up and I could see a little, and I
detarmined to make one more effort to reach Dennis's.

I went on cautiously for awhile, an' thin I heard a bell. "Sure," sez I,
"I'm comin' to a settlement now, for I hear the church bell." I kept on
toward the sound till I came to an ould cow wid a bell on. She started to
run, but I was too quick for her, and got her by the tail and hung on,
thinkin' that maybe she would take me out of the woods. On we wint, like an
ould country steeple chase, till, sure enough, we came out to a clearin'
and a house in sight wid a light in it. So leavin' the ould cow puffin and
blowin' in a shed, I wint to the house, and as luck would have it, whose
should it be but Dennis's?

He gave me a raal Irish, welcome, and introduced me to his two daughters--
as purty a pair of girls as iver ye clapped an eye on. But whin I tould him
me adventure in the woods, and about the fellow who made fun of me, they
all laughed and roared, and Dennis said it was an owl.

"An ould what," sez I.

"Why, an owl, a bird," sez he.

"Do you tell me now!" sez I. "Sure it's a quare country and a quare bird."

And thin they all laughed again, till at last I laughed myself, that hearty
like, and dropped right into a chair between the two purty girls, and the
ould chap winked at me and roared again.

Dennis is me father-in-law now, and he often yet delights to tell our
children about their daddy's adventure wid the owl.

* * * * *


Thee finds me in the garden, Hannah,--come in! 'Tis kind of thee
To wait until the Friends were gone, who came to comfort me.
The still and quiet company a peace may give indeed,
But blessed is the single heart that comes to us in need.

Come, sit thee down! Here is the bench where Benjamin would sit
On First-day afternoons in spring, and watch the swallows flit:
He loved to smell the sprouting box, and hear the pleasant bees
Go humming round the lilacs and through the apple-trees.

I think he loved the spring: not that he cared for flowers: most men
Think such things foolishness,--but we were first acquainted then,
One spring: the next he spoke his mind: the third I was his wife,
And in the spring (it happened so) our children entered life.

He was but seventy-five! I did not think to lay him yet
In Kennett graveyard, where at Monthly Meeting first we met.
The Father's mercy shows in this: 'tis better I should be
Picked out to bear the heavy cross--alone in age--than he.

We've lived together fifty years. It seems but one long day,
One quiet Sabbath of the heart, till he was called away;
And as we bring from meeting-time a sweet contentment home,
So, Hannah, I have store of peace for all the days to come.

I mind (for I can tell thee now) how hard it was to know
If I had heard the spirit right, that told me I should go;
For father had a deep concern upon his mind that day,
But mother spoke for Benjamin,--she knew what best to say.

Then she was still; they sat awhile: at last she spoke again,
"The Lord incline thee to the right!" and "Thou shalt have him, Jane!"
My father said. I cried. Indeed it was not the least of shocks,
For Benjamin was Hicksite, and father Orthodox.

I thought of this ten years ago, when daughter Ruth we lost;
Her husband's of the world, and yet I could not see her crossed.
She wears, thee knows, the gayest gowns, she hears a hireling priest!
Ah, dear! the cross was ours; her life's a happy one, at least.

Perhaps she'll wear a plainer dress when she's as old as I,--
Would thee believe it, Hannah? once _I_ felt temptation nigh!
My wedding-gown was ashen silk, too simple for my taste:
I wanted lace around the neck, and ribbon at the waist.

How strange it seemed to sit with him upon the women's side!
I did not dare to lift my eyes: I felt more fear than pride;
Till, "in the presence of the Lord," he said, and then there came
A holy strength upon my heart, and I could say the same.

I used to blush when he came near, but then I showed no sign;
With all the meeting looking on, I held his hand in mine.
It seemed my bashfulness was gone, now I was his for life;
Thee knows the feeling, Hannah,--thee, too, hast been a wife.

As home we rode, I saw no fields look half so green as ours;
The woods were coming to leaf, the meadows full of flowers;
The neighbours met us in the lane, and every face was kind,--
'Tis strange how lively everything comes back upon my mind.

I see, as plain as thee sits there, the wedding-dinner spread;
At our own table we were guests, with father at the head,
And Dinah Passmore helped us both,--'twas she stood up with me,
And Abner Jones with Benjamin,--and now they're gone, all three!

It is not right to wish for death, the Lord disposes, best.
His spirit comes to quiet hearts, and fits them for His rest;
And that He halved our little flock was merciful, I see:
For Benjamin has two in heaven and two are left with me.

Eusebius never cared to farm,--'twas not his call, in truth,

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