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Withered Leaves from Memory's Garland by Abigail Stanley Hanna

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small stream that was crossed by a large stone placed in the centre,
for a stepping stone; but in high water it could be reached only with

The little party crossed this stream, and seated themselves upon the
grassy knolls, beneath the giant oaks that spread their huge branches
around them, for they were the growth of centuries. Loud came the
chorus of the feathered tribe, as they sang their evening hymns before
retiring to their nests, which were very abundant in that shady
retreat, which afforded them protection from the truant school boys.

Annie reclined against the trunk of one of the largest trees, seated
by Edward's side, when suddenly looking up, she said,

"O, Edward, let me have your knife."

He reached it to her, and she immediately commenced carving his name
in the tough bark of the tree, against which she was leaning.

Many followed her example, and many fairy fingers were busy carving
the names of their favorite friend upon the trunks of the aged trees
that surrounded them.

"I shall cut it deep," said Annie, "so that it will live forever; and
I hope there will be neither mould nor moss upon it, to hide it from
view, as I shall love to come and look upon when you are far away."

"Ann," said one, "we will come here in the long summer days, and weave
chaplets of the bright leaves of the old oak, and twine them round our
lord's name."

This occupied their time till the shadows of evening fell around them,
and it was dark when they reached their homes.

It was midnight--dark, dreary midnight. Black clouds hung in huge,
portentous masses over, the vault of heaven. The forky lightning
flashed, and the deep toned thunder reverberated peal on peal, while
the shrieking winds rocked the tree tops, and poured their wild melody
upon the ear. It was nature arrayed in awful sublimity, displaying the
majesty of God.

Seated on a low chair, in the simple little parlor of Annie, sat
Edward, with a pillow upon his breast, supporting the head of the poor
girl, whose breathing was laborious, and her cheeks flushed with an
unusual glow, as she leaned against him for support. This was the only
situation in which she could breathe, as there was an abscess forming
in her throat. Her physician said she must sit bending forward, as
there was great danger of its producing strangulation, should it break
when she was in any other position, which he thought probably it might
do before morning. Edward, therefore, could not think of leaving her;
but kept his patient watch by her side during the night, alleviating
her sufferings by every means in his power, speaking tender words of
constancy and love, and picturing long years of connubial felicity
after he had won a fortune in the distant city.

Suddenly there came a brighter flash, a deeper crash, and it seemed
for the moment that the house was immersed in a lurid glare of light.
Annie, screaming, started to her feet, then fell back, fainting, and
black in the face with suffocation.

Edward thought, as he caught her falling form, that all was over; but
after a short struggle she recovered, and the crisis of her disease
had past, and she could now breathe easier than she done for several

She had taken cold during their stay on the Island, and had been sick
from that time. The storm had spent its fury, and the clouds had
passed away, leaving the blue canopy of heaven studded with golden
stars, and all nature was refreshed by the rain that had fallen during
the shower.

Annie dropped into a sweet slumber, the first that had visited her
eyes for several nights; and Edward revolved many things in his mind,
as he held her to his heart. Would she remain constant during his
absence, and meet him with the same affectionate greeting? What would
be the changes that would take place in that time? for he felt there
must be changes. And, last of all, would his feelings be the same
towards her? truly, of this there was no doubt--was she not his own
sweet Annie, who for three years had been his affianced bride, and,
surely, there could be no change in him. But Edward Merton had not
then explored all the secret chambers of his own heart, and realized
not that it was an unwarranted ambition that, even then, was urging
him to leave the object of his affection, postpone his projected
marriage, and leave the friends of his youth where competence rewarded
his toil, for the purpose of acquiring wealth in a land of strangers.
The golden sun gemmed the drops of the previous night with the
diamond's lustre, and the voice of active life awoke in the village,
ere Annie awoke from her slumber, exclaiming,

"Why, Edward, is it possible I have slept so late? but wearied nature
was quite exhausted."

"You look finely refreshed," said he, giving her the parting kiss;
"but I must away to my shop."

Annie recovered rapidly, and soon the time came for Edward's

He could only speak of the future, seeming to think little of the past
or present.

"I shall write to you often, Annie, and you are mine till death do us
part, just as much as though Parson Bates had told us so."

A faint smile rested for a moment upon the lip of Annie--then faded
away, leaving a sadder expression than before. There was a melancholy
foreboding at her heart, and she at least did not feel willing to
sacrifice present happiness for future wealth; and she feared the
ambition of Edward would not be easily satisfied. But she strove to
subdue the feeling, and when their lips united in the parting kiss,
a pang shot though her heart, and "it is his last kiss," passed
involuntarily through her thoughts.

She turned hastily away to wipe the tears from her eyes, and bury her
grief in her own bosom.

Edward, after a prosperous journey, arrived safely at his place of
destination, was settled in a lucrative business, even exceeding his
most sanguine expectations, and was constant in his promise of writing
to Annie.

When winter returned with his winds, the aged grandfather was stricken
down by death. He fell like a sturdy oak before the stroke of the
destroyer, for he too had buffetted many a winter's storm, having
lived beyond the age of man. They bore him to his grave, when the
winds of winter blew fiercely round, and the drifting snow almost
obstructed their passage to the grave yard. He was deposited in the
place alotted him, and left to his repose, with the bleak winds of
winter pelting fiercely upon his grave. He heeded them not--that weary
sleeper, tired of looking upon the world, with all its changes.

Capt. Somers settled in that country before the woodman's axe had
felled the forest trees; and when they must pursue their way to
Gardiner by spotted trees, and frequently did herds of Indians wrapped
in their blankets, call at their door and exchange the moose meat
which they had dried, for beef, bread and other eatables.

These were times that tried men's souls, for during the war they were
frequently alarmed by hearing that unfriendly Indians were coming upon
them, which would fill the early settlers with dismay. So it might
well be said, as they laid the aged man to rest, he had seen changes,
for truly, had he seen "the wilderness made to bud and blossom like
the rose," and the temple of the living God supplying the place of the
Indian's wigwam.

The grandson, who had come in possession of the property, decided to
break up house-keeping, and placing his grandmother in the family of
a son, soon accomplished his purpose, leaving Annie and Ellen to look
out for themselves. Ellen went to reside with her mother, who had
erected a little cottage in a distant village.

This was a severe trial to Annie; she scarcely knew what course to
pursue; but, procuring board with an intimate friend, she entered a
cotton factory with a number of her young friends, thinking that would
be a respectable, and an easy way of obtaining her livelihood.

She wrote an affectionate letter to Edward, informing him of the
change in her circumstances and her present occupation, saying she did
not think the occupation would diminish her worth, or tarnish her good

He answered it by requesting her to leave her employment, and
offering to pay her board if she would do so; but she preferred being
independent, and thought she would remain and earn what she could to
help herself; and there the matter dropped, she working on two weary
years. Often did she visit the Island, gaze upon the name of Edward,
and recall the scenes of that and many other evenings.

Many of the companions of that evening had united their destinies
for life--many had left the village, and some had closed their eyes
forever upon the things of earth, and entered upon the untried scenes
of eternity.

It was the close of a dreary autumn day, when the withered leaves
rustled before the cold chilly winds, and the dust was hurried on in
eddying torrents, that there came a whispered report to the ear of
Annie that Edward had returned from Boston. Her heart beat violently,
and she could scarcely stand upon her feet, as she contemplated the
pleasure of seeing him again, after so long an absence. Many were the
cordial greetings she received from her merry companions, upon the
occasion. She hurried home, eager with expectation, wondering, as she
judged him by the tumultuous beatings of her own heart, he did not
seek her sooner. As she passed on to her boarding place, she saw him
standing at a distance, in conversation with his brother, and although
his back was towards her, she mentally exclaimed,

"It is indeed my own Edward."

She made her toilet with great care, and dressed herself in such
colors as were pleasing to him, arranging her hair in the way that
he had so often praised. The fire diffused a cheerful glow round the
comfortable apartment. Annie seated herself by the window, momentarily
expecting his arrival. She took up a book and tried to read. Hour
passed after hour, and still she listened in vain for his well known
footsteps. The clock struck nine; the fire had gone out upon the
hearth, and the autumnal gale whistled mournfully round and swayed the
branches of a leafless tree that stood beneath her window.

Annie arose, extinguished her light, and again seated herself by the
window, leaning her cheek upon her hand, with her elbow resting upon
the window stool, she sat looking back into the silent chambers of the

The wan, declining moon looked coldly down upon her, as it peeped out

--"the broken parted clouds,
Brightening their dark brown sides."

She sat, pale and motionless, till the stars faded from the sky, and
the golden king of day announced his coming, by streaking the east
with his herald beams. She was accosted by her companions, with many
compliments upon her looks, as they joked her upon the return of her
lover, and concluded by sympathising with her in his early departure
for L., the residence of his father. Little thought these careless
ones how deep a wound they were inflicting upon the heart of the
sensitive Annie. She never told her grief, but strove to hide her
feelings in her own bosom. She could not think he had forsaken her,
but often would she think it was indeed his last kiss.

About this time the owners of the factory concluded their profits did
not amount to what they anticipated, and therefore, dismissed their
help and shut up their factory.

The circumstances of Edward and Annie had now become generally known.

She said little, only affirming he should have all the honor there was
to be had, for she had much rather have the name of being deceived,
than keeping company with a man so long she did not love; but every
one, of course, would express their opinion, and so the village talk
went on.

Perhaps it was with less regret upon this account, that Annie prepared
to leave the place, to live with an aunt that resided a few miles
distant. She collected together her little stock of goods, which she
had prepared for house-keeping, consisting of table linen, bedding
and such like things that the careful housewife knows so well how to

Among the many and beautiful bed quilts pieced by her industrious
fingers, was one set together in what is called Job's trouble, with
many a grave warning ringing in her ears, accompanied by an ominous
shake of the head, and an assurance she never would marry Edward if
she pieced her quilt together so. She sighed now as she unfolded it,
and stood for a moment gazing upon its beauty. Then smoothly replacing
the folds, and laying it in a large chest, she sighed as she said,

"Indeed, I shall never marry him."

Years had passed, and many suitors had sighed for the hand of Annie,
and she had consented to become the wife of Alfred Lombard, after
succeeding years should more fully obliterate the remembrance of
past disappointment. He was a young man of good family, and handsome
exterior, and though Annie did not love him with the ardor of a first
love, still she respected his character, and admired his virtues.

His estimable mother too, had shown much affection for the fatherless
Annie, and she had spent many months beneath their hospitable roof,
supplying to them the place of a daughter, while they conferred upon
her all the affection of parents, and looking wishfully forward to the
time when their marriage should take place.

Annie was schooling her heart to forget the past; but some remembered
word, or dearly loved token would awaken the old grief in her bosom,
and bring the scalding tear drops to her eye lids.

It was a bright afternoon in early autumn, that Annie sat sewing by
a window in the luxuriously furnished parlor of Colonel Stuart, her
uncle, who was the practicing physician of the village, that she was
started by a loud ringing of the door bell. Supposing it was some one
after her uncle, she paid little heed till she heard her own name
called, and in a moment after Edward Merton stood before her. He
extended his hand, exclaiming, "My Annie." There was a marble paleness
upon her cheek, and with a trembling voice she saluted him. He said
as he was returning from Augusta he thought he would take that
opportunity to return her letters, and take his, at the same time
drawing a small package from his pocket. She took them with a
trembling hand, but strove to appear calm, for she saw he was watching
her with Argus eyes to fathom the secret recesses of her soul.

She entered her chamber and took from a small box, which was a gift
from Edward, those dear old letters, over which she had wept so often,
and which breathed tender tones of love and affection, and spoke of
happy wedded days in the perspective.

But now she must part with these too. She pressed them once more to
her heart, and entering the room, presented them to him. He glanced at
her earnestly as he took them from her, saying as he did so,

"You do not look well, Miss Somers."

She colored slightly, and replied,

"O yes sir, I am quite well."

"I suppose," continued he, "you have heard that I was about being

"I have," was her brief answer.

"It is a mistake, I have no idea of it," and wishing her a hasty good
afternoon he took his leave without any reference to or explanation of
past events.

Annie sat like a statue after his departure, crushing the letters in
her hands, gazing upon vacancy. A marble paleness overspread her face,
and she felt now that her cup of misery was indeed full. She laid
aside her work, and locking herself in her chamber gave vent to her
feelings in a passionate flood of tears. She tried to conquer her
feelings and summon her woman's pride to her aid, but it would not
do. "Cruel Edward," she mentally exclaimed, "you might have spared me
this, or told me the cause of this neglect and coldness." And as she
reflected upon the trapping of wealth with which he was surrounded,
and the splendor of his equipage, she asked herself, "can it be that
love of gold is the cause?" Echo answered "can it be?"

As the weary night drew to a close, the tempest in the poor girl's
bosom began to subside. But as the heaving ocean bears upon its waves
plank after plank of the ship-wrecked vessel that has been stranded
upon its tempest tossed bosom, so did the surging waves of memory
bring back one incident after another in her past life, and picture
the tender looks and the tender tones of the unfaithful Edward, during
the many long years she had regarded him as her future husband. To him
she had yielded up her heart's best affections. For his sake she had
rejected many an advantageous offer of marriage.

She met the family in the morning with quite a composed countenance,
but with a sad heart.

In the afternoon she went to her uncle's to visit her grandmother,
thinking, perhaps, change of place might produce some change in her
feelings. It was a delightful afternoon. The sun shed that soft
subdued light so peculiar to the season, over the face of nature,
which seemed rather approximating to maturity than verging to decay.
The trees were robed in their deepest green, while the early ripe
fruit hung temptingly upon their branches, or lay scattered upon the
ground beneath. Scarce a breeze agitated the trembling leaf or cooled
the fever upon her cheek. "O," thought she, as she passed along, "the
howling of the wintry storms would better correspond with my feelings
than this holy calm." She, in her agony, had not yet learned to bathe
her restless spirit in the fountain of Jiving waters, or to listen
to that voice that said, "Peace, be still," and the winds and waves
obeyed; therefore she had no "shelter from the windy storm and

She was startled by hearing some one near her repeating in a low,
musical voice,

"Little Hannah Pease, little Hannah Pease; old Ben Thornton, old
Ben Thornton," and looking up, perceived near her a female, loosely
wrapped in a large white woolen blanket, which was her only clothing.
Her head and feet were entirely bare. Her black hair was cut short,
and her weather beaten countenance retained traces of great beauty.
She stood courtesying and smiling to a rock. As Annie reached her
side, she muttered, "Old Ben Thornton, old Ben Thornton, you deceived
poor Betsey Lotrop--you deceived poor Betsey Lotrop."

Annie gazed upon her with pity, saying mentally,

"A poor victim of unfaithful love; I hope the fire that is feeding
upon the springs of my life may never destroy my reason," and at that
moment she seemed to feel the need of seeking aid from a higher power,
and for the first time the prayer for guidance and direction went
up to God, in earnest supplication, and our Father, who pitieth his
children and seeth the returning prodigal afar off, breathed peace
into her troubled spirit, and thus commenced the first dawnings of a
new and better life in the heart of this poor lonely one.

Poor Betsy stood curtesying and talking to the rock, till Annie walked
some distance from her, when gathering her blanket a little more
closely about her, and walking rapidly forward, soon overtook her,
and looking earnestly in her face, with a low, gurgling laugh, she

"Poor little Hannah Pease, poor little Hannah Pease--perhaps, if you
had married him, you wouldn't been any better off. This face was a
beautiful face once; it was the handsomest face that ever was seen;
look at it now--how would you find it out? Old Ben Thornton, old Ben
Thornton," and fetching another laugh, she sprang over the fence, and
was soon lost from sight among the trees.

Annie soon reached her uncle's, where she met with a cordial
reception, and she felt that she had learned a salutary lesson from
the poor lunatic. The next afternoon, she and her cousin Edith
wandered forth into an adjoining field, to enjoy a stroll beneath the
cloudless sky, and inhale the sweet breath of autumn, which was borne
upon the gentle gales. Nature was at rest. No stormy wind ruffled her
bosom or agitated its surface. Her rich store of fruits lay spread
out in great abundance, and the whitened fields stood ready for the

They conversed upon indifferent subjects till they came to a little
silver stream, threading its silent way through the silken grass. They
crossed and seating themselves beneath the shade of a thrifty apple
tree, picked up some of the delicious fruit that lay scattered in rich
profusion around them.

"O, Annie, I forgot to tell you I received a visit from Dora,
yesterday; she is very unhappy on account of Charles Stanley's
conduct. She did not wish to go to the ball, on account of her
father's death, and he waited upon Eveline Houghton--then left for
Turner without calling to see Dora."

"Indeed, I thought they were to be married this fall?"

"Such has been the report; but as she has not seen or heard from him
since, she does not know how to construe his conduct towards her."

"When Orville was returning from his eastern tour, he came across
Charles, in Portland, and rode with him a short distance. He sent Dora
a present by him, but told him nothing of the transaction. She came to
me in hopes of hearing something more definite from him."

"How does the poor girl bear it?"

"She is very unhappy, and says she is not ashamed to have people know
she had been deceived; but many tell her they wouldn't mind anything
about it."

"They may say so," said Annie, raising her dark eyes to Edith, while a
deeper flush suffused her cheek; "but, Edith, I tell you, it will wear
and wear upon the secret springs of life, till it bears its victim to
the grave."

Edith gazed upon her with such an anxious, pitying expression, that
she felt she had betrayed her own secret, and bending her head to hide
her blushes, she picked up the mellow, golden colored fruit that lay
around her, and commenced rolling them down into the stream that
flowed at their feet. At that moment poor crazy Betsey Thornton came
bounding over the stone wall that separated that from an adjoining
enclosure, and gathering her blanket about her, stood curtesying and
laughing before them, repeating as she did so,

"Poor little Hannah Pease, poor little Hannah Pease--old Ben Thornton,
old Ben Thornton."

"Take some apples, Mrs. Thornton," said Edith, as she regarded her
with a sad expression of countenance.

She took them, curtesied, and with her low, gurgling laugh, leaped
over the wall, and went muttering on to rock or tree, or any other
object that came in her way.

"Edith," said Annie, "what poor Blanche is that, for a poor love sick
maiden, I am sure she must be? As she came with her large blanket
fluttering over the wall, it reminded me of Sir Walter Scott's poor
Blanche, that

"Stood hovering o'er the hollow way,
And fluttered wide her mantle gray."

Edith smiled as she replied,

"You are right--and yet you are wrong in your surmises; she is not the
victim of a faithless lover, but the victim of a faithless husband."

"But," replied Annie, "a victim to man's inconstancy, at any rate?"

"Oh, yes, Annie, that is what all the poets sing."

"And with all this before you, Edith, are you not afraid to unite your
destiny with Orville Somerset?"

"I sometimes fear to; but oh, if he is ever to prove untrue, may it be
before we are united by the solemn covenant of marriage."

"Perhaps it would be better, but I think it will never come to you,

This conversation led to a full disclosure of Edward's conduct, and
Annie unbosomed herself more fully to her cousin than she had ever
done before. She sympathised with her in her feelings, saying,

"O, Annie, should Orville serve me so, I do not think I could bear it
as well as you do."

Annie, smiling faintly, said,

"But the end is not yet, Edith."

The sun had finished his journey in the sky, and twilight was
gathering around them, when, with arms entwined round each other, they
pursued their way back, conversing upon the disappointments of life,
and the misery that is produced by inconstancy and faithlessness.

"Mrs. Thornton," continued Edith, "was a beauty, as you may even now
perceive by its traces upon her weather beaten countenance, and
her position in society was far above Mr. Thornton; but won by his
addresses, she consented to become his wife. They came to this
country, among strangers, to an humble home, where she suffered many
privations, which she bore with woman's fortitude. But when her
husband became an inebriate, and treated her with moroseness and
brutality, reason forsook its throne, and she became a maniac. Hannah
Pease was an intimate friend of hers, who seems to be ever in her
mind, perhaps because she used her influence to prevent the unhappy

"O," said Annie, "when I reflect upon the misery that sometimes exists
in the married state, I almost feel it is well to be situated as I
am now, as to be united, even to Edward. But then, the cruel
disappointment rankles deep."

"And how many men," said Edith, "make the indifference, the ill
temper, or the untidiness of a wife an excuse for their intemperance,
tavern-haunting, and all their neglect of home. But it does seem to me
that it devolves as much upon a man, to contribute to home happiness
as upon a woman. But many men of my acquaintance seem ever to cast a
shadow upon the sunlight of home, and their wives and children shrink
from their presence. Is this the wife's fault?"

"I think not. If so, I think the stronger yield very readily to the
weaker, and certainly should receive our sympathy."

"But, Annie, how much there is in this little world of ours, that is
mysterious and beyond our comprehension, and nothing so much so as
the want of union in the marriage relation. For there the greatest
fondness is often turned to the greatest inattention. But, oh, may
Heaven save me from such a lot!"

By this time the cousins reached the house, and soon retiring to rest,
Edith was wandering in the land of dreams, while Annie lay busied in
thought, counting the hours of night, and seeking to look "beyond the
narrow bounds of time, and fix her hopes of happiness on heaven."

The rougher blasts of autumn blew more fiercely round, and the dry
and withered leaves fell from the trees, and drifted along before the
chilly winds, while the black passing clouds cast a deep shadow over
the face of decaying nature. Everything bespeaking the return of
dreary, desolating winter.

Annie had faded with the leaves of autumn--she had heard of Edward's
union with a young lady of great wealth and beauty soon after his
visit to her, and she felt grieved, when she reflected upon the
unmanly manner in which he had conducted towards her. She had
conversed freely with Alfred, and laying all the circumstances of the
case before him, told him she should respect him while she lived, but
was fully sensible her blighted heart never could know another earthly

"And while the lamp of life continues to burn," she added, "I wish
to direct my thoughts to Heaven, and prepare for that change that is
before me. Death, Alfred, will soon claim me for his bride; he, at
least, will not prove recreant to his trust."

Alfred kissed her pale cheek, and looked tenderly upon her, feeling
that her presages were indeed too true.

She was soon removed to the home of her mother, whose heart yearned
towards her dying child with the affection of a true mother. As
Annie's health declined rapidly, and the things of earth became more
dim and shadowy, the heavenly became more distinct and glorious.

"O, Ellen," she would say, "how precious at such a time as this, is
the presence of the Saviour, who condescends to minister to us in our
necessities. O, Ellen, do seek an interest in his dying love. You will
be the only remaining one, soon. Father, Matilda, and Willie have long
since passed from earth, and soon--very soon, I must join them in the
spirit land. Oh, mother, do try by repentance and faith, to meet us
there, so that we may be a united family in heaven, though we have
been divided upon earth. As I now stand upon the brink of the grave,
looking back upon life, and forward to the future life, I feel like
the shipwrecked mariner, who has entered the haven of peace, after the
winds and the storms have subsided, and the tumultuous tossings of
the waves have ceased. For, oh, this poor heart has been wrung by
disappointments, but I see now it was all for the best; my Heavenly
Father would have all my heart, and so he, in his infinite wisdom,
separated me from my idol, and now my affections, separated from
earthly love, are fixed upon him, he is my rock, and my stay. No
earthly friend could go with me 'through the valley and shadow of
death,' but Christ can go with me, and open wide the gates of heaven,
and usher my willing spirit into the presence of the happy throng that
worship before the throne of God."

It was a dreary day in mid-winter. The wind howled in fitful gusts,
and the falling snow was piled in huge drifts before it. Annie, pale
and laboring for breath, was bolstered up, in bed, for the angel
of death was visiting the poor girl. His icy fingers were upon her
fluttering pulses, and the feeble current of life stood still.

"O," said she, "the winds, in their wild fury, seem singing praises to
God. My heart is so attuned to praise, that all things seem to unite
in the universal hymn of thanksgiving to our Saviour and our God. O,
Ellen, is there no music in those words, to your young heart? And,
mother, does it not come to you, in your declining age, and bid your
wearied spirit seek that rest that remains for the people of God?"

She ceased to speak: the breath became shorter and shorter, till it
only came with convulsive gasps. She once again opened her weary eyes,
looked earnestly upon the face of her mother and her sister, then
glancing round the apartment, seemed as though she were bidding a last
adieu to all it contained--then closing them forever upon earthly
things, without a struggle or a groan, the spirit of Annie Somers
passed gently away.

The storm continued its violence, and desolate indeed, was the cottage
home of the mother and the sister, where lay the lifeless form of
Annie, reposing in the long deep sleep of death.

It was Sabbath day--a stormy Sabbath day, when the coffin of Annie was
borne upon the shoulders of four men to its last resting place.

It was covered with a neat black velvet pall, at each corner of which
hung suspended a heavy black silk tassel, which waved in the wind as
it came careering on, in fitful gusts, one blast scattering a shower
of snow upon the velvet pall, and the next, sweeping it away, and so
they laid her in her grave, amid the howling of the wintry storm; but
it disturbed not her repose.

Willie and Matilda sleep upon the banks of the Sandy river. The
father's grave was made upon the banks of the far off Mississippi, and
Annie rests by the side of the winding Androscoggin; her mother, too,
is by her side; for she soon followed to the land of shadows.

Ellen has entered upon the responsible duties of wife and mother, and
is acting well her part in the drama of life. Her usually volatile
spirit is chastened and subdued by the sorrows that have passed
over it, and it is her earnest endeavor so to live, as to meet the
approbation of God, and her own conscience and train her dear children
for that better life that is promised to the pure in heart.

Were I weaving a tale of fiction, the reason of Edward's conduct would
be required to complete the work; but it has been said

"Truth is stranger than fiction,"

and Annie died without ever receiving any explanation. Thus we will
leave them, with the assurance that they shall again be united,
although their remains are now so widely separated.

Lines, Written during Convalescence from Brain Fever

Sing on, sweet bird, thy gentle strain
"Can't cool my brow, or cool my brain;"
But yet, thou hast a magic pow'r
To lull me in a fev'rish hour;
Thy pleasant notes, so sweet and clear,
Come soft and mellow'd to my ear.
And when my head is rack'd with pain,
Burning my brow, throbbing my brain,--
When all's tumultuous, toss'd, and wild,
And frantic as a wayward child;
Roaring as if old ocean's waves
Were bursting from their coral caves;
Tossing as if old ocean's foam
Were rocking to its highest home;
Moaning as if the sea bird's wail
Were screaming o'er the tattered sail;
And ev'ry ship were tempest toss'd,--
Its rudder gone,--its pilot lost;
And no kind ray of light were giv'n,
To cheer them, from the vault of heav'n,
Save the vivid lightning's flash,--
Pealing the deep ton'd thunder crash,
Glancing upon the tow'ring wave,
Above the seaman's yawning grave;--
Glaring into that dark abyss,
Where hideous monsters dart and hiss,
And ship wreck'd seamen, far from home.
Toss amid the briny foam;
Till the proud wave, with one stern sweep,
Buries the secrets of the deep;
Revealing far, on upper land,
A lawless bandits' wand'ring band,
With sword and rapier, stain'd with blood,
Still thirsting for the crimson flood;
They show no mercy on their kind,
But kill or plunder all they find.
Then dies the flash, as ocean's moan
Sends back a low, sepulchral groan,
Leaving all nature dark and still,
As midnight sleeping on the hill,
While all around unearthly seems,
As frightened Hecate's spectral dreams;
Till bubbling, gushing through each vein,
The frenzied current turns again,--
My hurrying pulses faster play,
And conjure up the dread array,--
Glaring spectres, side by side,
In mould'ring shrouds around me glide;
Death's damp wreaths are round their hair,
And coffin worms hold revel there.
Gibb'ring, they come from ancient tombs,
Stealing from low sepulchral glooms,
From vault and charnel house they rise,
With bloodless cheek, and hollow eyes,
They point the finger,--shake the head,
And hold strange converse round my bed;
Together there, in council meet,
With coffin, pall and winding sheet,--
Seem waiting, with their dread array,
To bear my lifeless form away.
They stand with mattock, and with spade,--
On me their icy hands are laid,
While noisome vapors round me spread,
Bespeak the precincts of the dead.
E'en then, sweet bird, at such an hour,
When reason almost resigns her power;
Thy pleasant notes have magic art,
To soothe my palpitating heart;
They come as wild, as free, as clear,
As though no pain or woe were near.

'Tis true, that friendship's hand is kind,
My aching brow and heart to bind;
Beside my bed a husband stands,
And anxious children press my hands;
A gentle mother acts her part,
And sisters, with each winning art;
Father and brothers waiting still,
The slightest mandate of my will;
Each anxious, who shall earliest prove,
The tender gushings of their love.

Sometimes there comes a vision fair,
Of waving groves, and balmy air,
Of placid skies, serene and mild,
As slumber stealing o'er a child;
Where breezes hushed to deep repose,
Sleep in the bosom of the rose,
And scarcely lift their fragile wing,
One dew-drop from the flower to fling;
But leave it for the sun's warm ray,
To kiss the pearly tear away.
Pleasant sounds the gushing rill,
That bubbles down the verdant hill,
Murmuring along ifs native glen,
Far from the fev'rish haunts of men,--
Till kissing soft its pebbly shore,
It dies, nor ever murmurs more.
And fairy forms around me dance,--
Now they retreat, and now advance;
Bright wreaths around their heads they wear,
And lutes in their fair hands they bear,
Each warbling forth, in cadence low,
Their pleasant number, as they go,
And music floats high in mid air,
As bands of angels hover'd there;
Four massive chains of purest gold,
A chrystal island seem to hold,
Gently waving it in air,
As angel spirits lingered there.
Like ocean, in a summer day,
When gentlest zephyrs with him play.--
Just curl the ripples on his breast,
Then sighing, sink with him to rest.
Beside the streams are pleasant bowers
Adorned with ever-greens and flowers,
Where insects float with gayest wing,
And birds with sweetest voices sing,
And happy spirits, free from care,
Pluck the wild flowers that blossom there;
Their forms are beauteous to behold,
White silken wings, spangled with gold,
Help them with easy grace to rise
From this fair world to yonder skies.
They come and go at even tide,
And sometimes on the sunbeams ride;
And when they wish for railroad cars.
They ride upon the shooting stars:
Firmly unite them in a train,
And skim along the aerial plain;
No locomotive do they need,
For their own will propels their speed.
The Aeolian harp, with plaintive wail,
Sighs responsive to each gale;
Its chords are strung 'mid branching trees,
And echo to ev'ry passing breeze;
Gently they vibrate through the grove,
Touching the chords of life and love,
Mixed with the sounds that round me float.
I hear, sweet bird, thy mellow note;
For as in sunshine, as in rain,
Thou comest to cheer me with thy strain.
Few friends so kind to come each day,
To sing the tedious hours away.

But pleasant visions vanish soon,
And the bright sun grows dim at noon.
The pleasant gales forget to play,
And dark and fearful grows the day.
The waving island takes its flight,
Far from the stretch of human sight;
High in 'mid air it seems to rise,
Dissolving, mixing with the skies.
But ah, it leaves no vacant place,
For grisly phantoms take its place.
Thus ever varying all things seem
"Fickle as a changeful dream;"
And naught is left of that gay train,
My gentle bird, but thy sweet strain.
O who can tell in hours of ease,
Of fancies wild, and strange as these?
When health gushes through each vein,
Who paint the fever of the brain?
Who picture half the grief and pain
That follows pale sickness in her train?
With bitterest dregs she fills her cup,
And makes her victims drink them up:
Binds them to thorny pillows down,
And frightens sleep with her stern frown;
Or if perchance the eyelids close,
She gives her victim no repose,
But hurries round and madly screams,
And conjures up her wildest dreams,
Binds reason in her iron chains,
To fancy gives her longest reins,
And whips and spurs it, through the brain,
Till startling nature wakes again.
She flings the rose from beauty's cheek,
And on it paints her hectic streak;
Takes rosy childhood from his play,
And gives grim death the beauteous prey;
For ever round her footsteps steal
To pick for him his glutton meal;
And still she keeps her promise good.

To pamper him with hourly food;
But yet they stand there, side by side,
Death and the grave, unsatisfied.
For should a million hourly die,
Twould not their appetites supply.
But what seem curses to our eyes
Are nought but blessings in disguise;
And sickness is in mercy given
To wean the soul from earth to heaven;
For were all bright and joyous here.
Who would think on yon, bright sphere?
But pleasure pinioned to this sod,
Our thoughts would never rise to God.
And death's the passage to the skies,
Through which our ransom'd souls must rise,
To yonder blissful, bright abode,
Where dwells our Father and our God.
But now, sweet bird, I miss thy tone,
And feel at least one pleasure gone;
A prowling cat, foe to thy kind,
Thus wrought the evil she designed.
Thy life and songs forever o'er,
Thou wilt charm my ear no more.
Thus in life's uncertain day,
The singing birds oft snatch'd away:
And they who linger long in pain
Suffered to linger and remain.
But God is just in his decrees,
And wisely orders things like these.

The Angel Cousin.

Our little Mary was dying. The film had gathered over those deep blue
orbs, and her emaciated form lay white as polished marble stretched
out on her little cradle, around which were gathered sympathizing
friends, watching the feeble lamp of life as it burned flickering
in its socket. The grandmother and aunt had been summoned from an
adjoining village, where they had gone upon a visit the previous
morning; and Emma, a sweet cousin not two years old, stood wondering
why little Mary did not smile upon her, as she usually did, for she
had never looked upon death.

Mary had ever been a fragile child. But her mother had clung to her
with all the devotion of a mother's love. Anxiously did she watch that
little pale form, pressing it to her heart, and gazing upon it with
fond maternal pride, day by day, and night after night, unmindful of
food or sleep, so that she might relieve the suffering of her precious
babe; and ever would she say it will soon be better. One week
succeeded another, and still there was no change for the better. But
oh, how deep was the fountain of that mother's love, and the feeble
wailing of that dear infant moved all its secret springs.

A physician was consulted, who spoke hopefully, but nothing seemed to
help her.

Through the summer months, the salubrity of the air revived her some,
and the mother would wander with her round the garden, placing the
sweetest flowers in her hand, or sitting beneath the shade of trees,
she would listen for hours to the murmur of the summer breeze that
sighed among the branches, or the humming of the bee as it sipped the
sweets from surrounding flowers, delighted that her darling Mary might
thus inhale the pure breath of heaven. And when those large, soul lit
orbs were closed in sweet slumber, and the little fragile form could
rest for a short time, the mother would lift her heart to God in
gratitude and thanksgiving.

Summer passed with its weary watching, and her disease assumed a more
deffinite appearance, and the mother felt that Mary must die.

'Twas early autumn; the mother purchased some flannel and prepared a
robe for her darling, with a mother's pride, believing that that would
be beneficial to her. It was late in the evening when the task was
completed, and a neat white apron was hung upon the nail over it, and
the impatient mother waited the approach of day that she might place
it upon her little form. O how strongly did the bright red robe
contrast with the lily whiteness of that lovely babe. The tiny hands,
as they peeped from beneath their long sleeves, looked like two white
lilies intermingled with the thick clustering blossoms of the running
rose. The mother looked upon her with pleasure as she saw her so
comfortably clad, and hoped the increased warmth would improve her
health, but when she bore her to her father, saying, "here is our
doll;" he turned away his dewy eyes, for he saw that she was fading
away from earth.

"O Albert," said Carrie, "does she not look now as though she might

He could not bear to crush the last hope in the heart of his young
wife, and remained silent.

She continued,

"No one gives me any encouragement, but I do feel more hopeful about
her this morning, for she rested better through the night than she has
done for several nights."

While she was yet speaking, a piercing shriek broke from the lips of
the child, every feature expressed extreme agony, and the last ray of
hope in the heart of that young mother went out forever.

From that time, her precious one failed fast. Vomiting succeeded, and
the little fountain of strength was ebbing fast away. Little did
the poor mother think, when she arrayed her little infant in her
comfortable flannel robe, it would be the last time she would be
dressed till she was wrapped in her shroud for the silent grave.

During the night her feeble frame was attacked by severe spasms, and
shriek after shriek filled the heart of the mother with unutterable
anguish. When that subsided she lay cold and pulseless, with the damp
dews of death upon her marble forehead. Little hope was entertained of
her surviving till morning. But the grim messenger delayed his work,
and morning again awoke all nature to life and beauty.

It was a cool day, and the running rose bush that clambered over the
door, was laden with withered flowers that had lived their little day
and faded before the early autumn winds. Many a hardier flower was
blooming brightly, and lifting their heads seemingly in proud defiance
of the chilling winds that were blowing round them. One little bud
enveloped in its casing of green that hung waving over the door, was
perishing in its beauty, even like the little cradled innocent, that
even then was passing away before the icy breath of the dark plumed
angel. A hasty despatch was sent for the maternal grandmother and
aunt, and the grandmother upon the father's side was present, and
together we watched the failing breath of the dying child. Six brief
months only had she lingered upon earth, and now she was to depart
forever. Many, as they sat in that chamber of death, felt how
mysterious are the Providences of God. The dried and the withered
leaf, the full blown flower, and the opening bud were there, and all
were spared, while the youngest one of the group was passing away and
teaching the one great lesson, "All flesh is grass, and the goodliness
thereof as the flower of the field."

Little Emma stood gazing upon her with an expression of wonder, and
when told little Mary would soon be an angel, she raised her blue eyes
and smilingly said, "O Emma will have an angel cousin;" thus teaching
a lesson of faith and trust.

When the shadows of evening gathered around us, the doctor came in
and was surprised to find her still living. As she had not swallowed
during the day, he was surprised upon applying a sponge wet in water
to her lips to find that she swallowed rather eagerly and without any
difficulty until she had taken several drops. He told the mother she
had better prepare some warm milk and water, and drop a little of it
into her mouth as long as she continued to swallow. Hope sprung up
in her heart, perhaps she might yet live, and quick as lightning the
recollection of many children who had been snatched from the very jaws
of death, passed through her memory. But while she was making the
preparation, the little bosom heaved one gentle sigh, and we felt that
Mary was an angel. One glance, one wild scream, and the mother fell
almost fainting into the arms of her husband.

The crimson robe that was placed upon her with so many hopes by the
fond hands of a mother, was removed by other hands, and the little
body was prepared for the tomb. The mother gazed upon her with tearful
eyes and an aching heart.

It was a mild, peaceful Sabbath day when they bore her to the tomb.
The mother placed a robe of white flannel upon her, imprinting as she
did so, many kisses on the lily arms she had kissed so many times in
all their warmth of living loveliness, when, with a smile upon her
lips, and gladness in her eye, she raised them to her mother's lips to
receive the proffered tokens of affection.

And so they placed her in her coffin, with a tiny rosebud in either
hand (for she would ever hold flowers longer than any thing else), to
wither in their beauty with her, the pale perishing one. And the holy
man read from the word of God the impressive lesson, "Behold thou hast
made my days as a hand's breadth, and my age is as nothing before
thee;" and offered up fervent prayer in behalf of the afflicted
mourners, and little Mary was borne to the silent tomb.

O, who that listened to that gentle autumn breeze that so softly
sighed among the trees, and fanned the flower that bent slightly
before it, but must feel that there is a God that orders the winds and
the sea, and rules over the destinies of men.

Sad were the hearts of the stricken parents as they returned to their
little cottage, where everything reminded them of their dear lost

Emma stood beside the vacant cradle, and asked many questions about
the departed cousin.

"Why did they take her from her cradle and put her in that little
box?" But was ever comforted by calling her her angel cousin.

But time passed on, and other changes came. They left their cottage
home where this great grief had rested upon them. Another darling
Mary was given them, and found a warm place in their affections. The
husband soon left his wife and child, and sought to build up his
fortune in a distant land, while the wife and mother dedicates her
time to the care of the dearly loved treasure her heavenly Father has
committed to her trust.

One brief year sped rapidly away, and winter again returned with his
winds. It was a wild night, the wintry winds howled fiercely round
the dwelling, and pelted the snow and sleet furiously against the
casement, when Mrs. Barlow, after attending to those duties that make
a New England home so comfortable, dropped her crimson curtains, and
seating herself by a comfortable coal fire, commenced preparing her
little Emma for bed.

"Oh," said she, "how the wind blows, mamma; what do poor little
children do that have no home?"

Said her mother, "God tempers the wind, my dear, to the shorn lamb."

"Mamma, do you know I am going to have a party and go to heaven and
invite my angel cousin?"

"Are you, indeed."

"But mamma, it is time to say our Father now," and the happy mother
listened to her dear child as she clasped her hands and lisped the
Lord's prayer, and the appropriate "now I lay me," after which she
soon dropped into a peaceful slumber.

Thus evening was spent after evening with the mother and her dear
child, happy in each other's love.

Winter passed, and genial spring came forth in infantile beauty,
unbending the streamlets from their icy fetters, and swelling the buds
upon the trees, thus making her early preparation for future beauty
and usefulness.

Emma awoke early one Sabbath morning, and leaving her little crib,
nestled down beside her mother. After laying quiet some time, she
asked suddenly,

"Is it Sunday, mamma?"

Being answered in the affirmative, she said,

"It would be a beautiful day to die. Less die to-day, papa, mamma, and
Emma, and go to heaven, and get our golden harps; you have a great
one, you and papa, and Emma will have a little one like my little
angel cousin."

A shade of sadness passed over the mother's face, but rested not upon
it. The form of her darling child was in her arms, her downy cheek
resting against her own, and the bright blue eyes gazing earnestly
into hers with a volume of meaning in their azure depths.

"But you must get up now, for it is a beautiful Sabbath day, and we
shall go to meeting to-day, and the minister will pray for us to God.
O how glad I am," and the dear child clapped her dimpled hands with

And so they went to church Sabbath after Sabbath, while Emma ever
seemed to enjoy the services, often making observations upon what
she heard. She inquired every day if it were Sunday; and Saturday
evenings her play things were all carefully laid aside, and she
expressed great sympathy for poor little children that played upon
that day.

The story of the cross would affect her to tears, and yet she loved
to dwell upon it, and it was with great effort her attention could be
withdrawn from it.

One rosy twilight hour, when the departed beams of the sun still
lingered, tinging the curtains of the west with those bright and
gorgeous hues that so frequently surround him at his setting. Emma and
her mother sat down to spend that happy hour together, and gaze upon
the scene.

Spring was rapidly advancing, and the face of nature was lovely to the
eye. The half open buds upon the trees shed sweet perfume, and birds
carolled their evening songs on every spray.

But the things of earth, beautiful though they were, could not satisfy
the mind of the child, and when the golden stars spangled the blue
canopy above, she talked of golden harps, of her angel cousin, and the
mysteries of that unseen world,

"Beyond planets, suns, and adamantine spheres."

Suddenly assuming a more thoughtful expression, she said,

"O mamma, what would you do if Emma should die? You would have to
carry away my crib and little chair, and put all my play things away,
and you would have no little Emma. O mamma, how lonesome you would
be;" and bursting into a convulsive fit of sobbing she flung her arms
around her mother's neck and wept upon her bosom. Tears too, dimmed
the mother's eyes as she pressed her fondly to her heart, and kissed
away her tears, while a painful thought went through her heart, "can
it be her conversation is prophetic?"

She soothed her troubled spirit, spoke of the joys of heaven, and
after listening to her childish prayer, laid her in her little crib
with a sweet good night murmured in her ear. Returning to her sitting
room, long and sadly she reflected upon the words of her darling
child, and tried to fathom their import, and earnestly did she pray
that night, "Our Father, prepare me for whatsoever thou art preparing
for me, and enable me ever to say, 'thy will be done;'" and she
retired to rest with a subdued spirit, feeling an indefinable
presentiment of coming sorrow.

The glad light of morning in a measure dissipated the shadows of the
previous evening, and the mother and daughter met with a pleasant
greeting,--the little girl busied about her play, while her mother
attended to her domestic duties. They frequently interchanged cheerful
words. Emma would sometimes personate a house-maid, and assist her
mother in dusting and arranging the furniture. But suddenly dropping
all, she stood by her side, and looking earnestly up into her face,

"O mamma, you may have all my clothes next summer."

"Why, Emma," replied her mother, "you will want them yourself."

"O no, mamma, I shall not want them; you may have my little brella,
and all."

The mother's cheek blanched, and a fearful pang again shot through her

"O Emma, don't talk so, you will wear them all yourself."

"O no, mamma, you may have them;" and seating herself in her little
chair, she sat long, looking thoughtful and serious.

It was morning, bright beautiful morning. The swelling buds had burst
their confines, and the apple, pear, peach, cherry, and plum trees
that surrounded the house, were thickly covered with sweet scented,
many colored blossoms, that gave promise of a rich harvest of
delicious fruit. The birds warbled their matin songs in sweet melody;
the honey bees with drowsy hum, were sipping sweets to horde their
winter's store; and every thing seemed rejoicing in the light of that
glad morning. Even Crib, the great house dog, lay sunning himself on
the door step with a satisfied look, snapping at the flies that buzzed
around him.

But Emma could not arise to look out upon the joyful face of nature.
She lay pale and languid upon the bed, telling her mother she was too
sick to get up, that she could stay alone while she ironed her clothes
which she had starched the night before: but wished her to shut the
door to keep out the light and noise.

The mother pursued her task with a sad heart, but often would she
unclose the door and look in upon the pale child, and show her some
article of dress she had been preparing for her. She would look up
with a smile and say,

"O good mamma, how nice they look;" then closing her eyes drop into a
deep, heavy sleep.

She grew rapidly worse, and the doctor who was called to visit her,
pronounced it scarlet fever, that fearful malady among children, but
thought her symptoms favorable.

Every attention was bestowed upon her that affection could give; but
the disease rapidly increased.

The fire of a terrible fever was raging in her veins, and drying up
the fountain of her young life. In the wildness of delirium she would
start suddenly from the arms of her mother, and pierce her heart by
begging to be carried to her own dear mother.

The fifth day of her disease it assumed a more alarming appearance,
her extremities becoming cold, and a deathlike palor overspreading her
countenance, accompanied by a stupid, dozing state. While laying thus,
she started up, exclaiming,

"Mamma, if I die, shall I go heaven?"

"O, yes, my dear," said her mother.

"Papa said. I should."

Then falling into a deep stupor, she noticed nothing for about two
hours, when looking up bright and wishfully, turning her body towards
her mother, she said, earnestly,


Her mother commenced the sweet prayer, so familiar to her,

"Now, I lay me."

She joined her trembling voice with hers, and lisped again the words
she had loved so well. She appeared exhausted with the effort,
and turning away her little head, and closing her weary eyes, lay
apparently asleep about five minutes, when arousing herself, with a
sweet expression of countenance, she gently murmured,


"O," said the mother, "perhaps that is Emma's last prayer."

"It may be," said the grandmother; "and how vividly we should remember
it, if it should be."

Even so--that was the last note of praise that fell from those infant
lips upon earth. But often does it start upon memory's ear, during the
silence of the midnight hour, and seem like gentle whisperings from
the spirit land, and bring back recollections at once painful and
pleasant to the soul.

She slept till the twilight hour, when she wished her mother to carry
her to the window. Oh, happily were those hours usually spent, when
the duties of the day had all been performed, and the quiet shades of
evening gathered round their dwelling. Often was their talk of heaven.
O, they were happy hours! but they flew by upon golden wings, leaving
their deep impress on that fond mother's heart.

As she sat with her that evening, looking upon the varied prospect
that was spread out before them, no word passed her lips. Her mother
pointed to the green grass, the trees covered with clustering
blossoms, the river, hurrying on to join old Ocean, reflecting the
mild radiance of the setting sun on its placid surface; and to the
busy hum of life, as people hurried to and fro in the village that lay
distinctly spread out before them; but nothing could elicit a word
from her, till turning her head wearily, and closing her eyes for the
last time upon the beautiful world, with its deep blue sky, and its
rich sunset dyes, she said,

"O, mamma, lay me in my little bed;" and after noticing apparently
every object in the room, she closed her eyes and lay in a deep stupor
for four successive days and nights. Her face was pale as marble, and
incoherent words escaped her lips. Sometimes she would murmur,

"Oh, carry me home--carry me home." When she revived from the stupor,
at times it was agonizing to witness her suffering. But no word
escaped her lips.

Everything that medical aid could do was done, and every attention
was paid to the suffering child by her parents and friends, and every
effort used to stay the disease. But "he who seeth not as man seeth,"
willed it otherwise, and all proved unavailing. On the fifteenth day
the rash came on again; the throat swelled badly, and the sufferings
of the dear little one were extreme. Even then, it was evident she
knew her friends, and many were the tokens of affection bestowed
upon them as they watched beside her couch, and ministered to her

Often would she reach up her little emaciated hands, and placing them
upon her mother's cheeks, press them tenderly. It seemed to soothe
her, when her mother would lay her head upon her pillow beside her,
and take her little wasted hand in hers. And when she sang to her, in
a low, trembling voice, her little favorite hymn,

"There is a happy land, far; far away,"

she lay quiet, and seemed listening with much attention, raising one
little hand three times, then laying it fondly round her mother's
neck. Long, during that day, did the grief-stricken mother breathe
sad, melancholy music into the ears of her dying child.

Towards evening that restless state, so common in cholera infantum,
came on, accompanied at every breath by a groan, which the doctor said
must soon wear her out.

He gave her an opiate, hoping to relieve the distress.

Towards midnight she dropped into a little slumber, and the mother,
weary with watching, retired, leaving the father and a sister, to take
care of her.

It was Sabbath morning; the gray dawn was just streaking the east with
the earliest beams of day, when the father, who sat a little distance
from his child, thought he saw her gasp for breath. He sprang to her
side, and saw too truly, that that pale visitant from the spirit land,
that comes to us but once, was dealing with his child. The mother and
grandmother, who had watched over her so unweariedly, soon reached the
bed; but the brittle thread of life was snapped, and the pure spirit
had passed away, with the pale messenger, to the spirit land. There
were no loud lamentations. The mother pressed her cheeks between her
hands, exclaiming,

"Oh, Emma."

Then taking her little pulseless hand in her own, seated herself
beside her on the bed, calm and tearless.

The father, with his face buried in his hands, sat motionless; but no
murmur escaped his lips. He had learned submission to the divine will,
and was comforted in his hour of need.

And brighter, and brighter grew the beams of that holy Sabbath day.
That day the dear child had loved so well. She had loved to enter the
earthly temple, and join in the hymns of thanksgiving and praise that
arose, like sweet incense, upon their sacred altars. And now, with the
early dawning of that sacred day, she had passed forever from earth,
to join the pure throng of worshippers before the throne of God. The
smile of heaven was upon her face, as though the light of the happy
spirit still irradiated it.

Loving hands placed her gently in the shroud and prepared her for the

As that quiet twilight hour came on, who can picture the agony of the
bereaved mother's heart? She stole softly into the chamber of death,
and taking the little cold waxen hand in hers, bent fondly over, and
kissed the marble forehead. It was their favorite hour--the one they
ever spent together, and those blue eyes were ever then fixed upon
her, as she read the word of God, repeated infantile hymns, or
murmured the evening prayer. But now those dear eyes were forever shut
on earth, but open to the more exalted beauties of heaven.

As she recalled the past, in that solemn place, she weighed well her
conduct towards her child, and asked herself if there had been aught
to tarnish the purity of that spirit that had just entered the portals
of heaven; and earnestly did she beseech her Heavenly Father to
forgive all that was amiss, and cleanse her from all sin, that she
might be prepared for a reunion in a better world.

It was autumn, when little Mary was placed in the tomb, and all things
spoke of death and decay. It was now the last days of spring, when the
trees had put on their robes of deeper green, and all nature spoke of
a resurrection from the dead, when her little coffin was taken from
the tomb and placed in the hearse, to be buried in the same grave with
her cousin Emma. Emma lay beautiful in death, looking almost like a
thing of life, with a smile still lingering upon her lips, while fresh
half-blown flowers were placed in her icy fingers, and strewed around
the coffin, soon to wither and fade, with that frail child of clay.
Mary had decayed with the pure buds she held in her hands, and "dust
thou art and unto dust thou must return," was legibly written on both.

The same mourning circle convened, and bore their loved ones to the
place of graves. The sisters stood side by side, as the coffins were
let down into the earth, and mingled their tears together. It was a
melancholy sight, and spoke loudly of the uncertainty of human life.

The man of hoary hairs stood over the graves of the tender infant, and
felt sensibly, that while the "young may die, the old must die."

The parents cast a long lingering look into the greedy grave that was
forever to hide their treasure from their sight, then turned sadly
away to walk again the pathway of human life, and receive the portion
their heavenly Father may see fit to meet out to them.

Sweet is their place of rest. A weeping willow droops over their
grave, and the flowers of summer shed their perfume and scatter their
leaves around. Night winds sigh a mournful requiem, and gentle zephyrs
fan the leaves of the weeping willow, and murmur among its branches..
Two white marble slabs stand at the head of the little heaped up
mound, and point to the traveller's eye the place where rest the
remains of the angel cousins.

Lines, Written at the Close of 1842.

Hark! I hear the midnight bell,
Pealing forth its funeral knell;
Now its tones sound loud and clear--
Now low and dirge-like, strike the ear,
Solemn and slow, they seem to fall,
Upon the listening ear of all.

And lo! extended on the 'bier,
The form of the departed year
Closely wrapt, in snowy shroud,
Hastening to join the sable crowd
Of years--that passed before the flood,
And left their pathway stained with blood;
For oh, what horrors must appear,
Written on each departed year?
The fearful tales each will disclose,
The God of Heaven only knows.

Ardent and bright this year arose,--
Pictured its joys and hid its woes,
Painted gay paths bestrown with flowers,
And balmy skies, and sunny hours,
Promised some pleasures, ever new,
If pleasures' path we would pursue.
But soon the path became uptorn,
Instead of flowers we find the thorn:
And yonder sky, so blue and deep,
Where golden stars their vigils keep,--
Was soon by frowning clouds concealed;
And lightnings flash'd, and thunders peal'd
The golden sun soon sank to rest,
Behind the curtains of the west,
And left to darkness his domain,
With midnight howling o'er the plain;
And those who followed her gay train,
Found pleasure's path to end in pain.

For who e'er drank without alloy,
From the painted cup of joy?
Just as we seize some radiant prize,
That long has danc'd before our eyes,
And raise the goblet to our lip,
Its honied promises to sip.
Some lurking scorpion's venom'd dart
Sends poison rankling to the heart.
But now the year its race has run,
Its promises and labors done;
The grave has closed o'er its remains,
'Till the last trumpet breaks its chains;
Then must its mysteries be unroll'd,
And all its hidden deeds be told.

How many hail'd last New Year's day,
That slumber now in fellow clay.
This too, perhaps, may be our doom
Before another year shall come.

The things of earth may fade away,
And we be turned to lifeless clay;
The roving eye forget the light,
And dreamless sleep in death's dark night.
The pallid lips may cease to speak:
The coffin worm feed on the cheek;
The grassy turf o'er us be spread,
While earth's cold lap supports the head:
And heav'ns own dews the hillock lave,
And night winds sigh around our grave.

That narrow house may be our home,
Whose only mark is one grey stone.
But Christ by entering in the tomb,
Has dissipated all its gloom,
And shed a bright, benignant ray,
That opens on eternal day;
And those that sleep in His embrace,
Among the just shall find a place.

Lines, on the New Year, 1853.

Hark! I hear the clarion shrill
Winding up the icy hill,
And aloud the bugle horn
Proclaims another year is born.
Merry voices in the train,
Loudly sound it o'er the plain,
And the joyful notes I hear,
Are wishes for a happy year.

All come with faces bright and gay.
None seem to think of yesterday;
None seem to hear the passing bell,
That bade the dying year farewell.
None seem to think this infant year,
Which now so gay and bright appears,
Will soon by dark oblivion's wave
Be chas'd into the silent grave.

But all seem forming airy dreams
On future hopes and future schemes,
Though other years have prov'd untrue:
It will not be so with the new.

Joy beams upon the face of all;
Some meet within the festive hall,
Where music trills her gayest note;
And fairy forms in circles float,
And all seem feasting with delight
Upon the pleasures of the night,
None thinks upon the grief or pain,
That soon must follow in their train,--
The coffin shroud, and death's cold pall,
That must so soon be flung o'er all;
But yet, in that gay circle there,
We can detect corroding care,
Can plainly see, in sparkling eyes,
Sorrow, clad in gay disguise,--
Trying happy to appear,
To usher in another year.

Tis ever thus, the heedless throng,
That meet in revelry and song,--
Must ever feel within the breast
An aching void; while those possessed
Of pure Religion, may enjoy
Joys nothing earthly can destroy

The Unhappy Marriage.

"Hannah, it will not do," said Captain Currier to his eldest daughter,
a neat, quiet looking girl about eighteen, who sat sewing by a window.
"I say Hannah," continued he sternly, as her eyes met his, "it will
never do for you to throw yourself away upon that miserable scapegrace
that has visited you so often of late."

The blood mounted in torrents to her cheeks as she replied,

"Why, father, you surely cannot mean William Lawrence?"

"And who else should I mean? He is not worth a single iota, and what
is more, he is never like to be."

"True, he is not rich, but he is industrious, and with his excellent
habits I have no fears on that account."

"Oh, you have not, have you," said her father, almost fiercely, "but I
tell you Miss, it will never do, so you may think the matter over
at your leisure, and settle the affair, I hope, without any farther
interference on my part."

She raised her eyes timidly to her father's and said,

"I think, sir, you will be obliged to finish the work if it is ever
done; my faith is plighted to William, and you know, father, I cannot
break my word."

This candid avowal but added "fuel to the flame" of the enraged
father, and he sternly said,

"My commands are upon you, and I expect you to obey me."

"But father," began the trembling girl,

"There is no but in the case. But I will leave you now, for I see your
milk and water looking gentleman is coming, and I expect, Hannah, it
will be the last time his shadow will ever darken my doors."

As he passed out at one door the young man entered at the opposite,
and fixed his handsome eyes, with a searching glance, upon Hannah, as
he gave her his cordial greeting, saying,

"Are you ill?"

"O no, William, I am not ill, but let us walk out into the garden;
perhaps the cool winds of heaven will cool the fever upon my brow."

And so they wandered forth among the flowers, to breathe the air that
comes alike to the children of affluence and pinching want. They
reached a seat where they had spent many happy hours, over which
climbing honeysuckles shed their perfume, and many bright flowers
danced in the wind, or drank the pure dews of night as the pitying
angel wept upon their bosoms. Hannah was upon her accustomed seat, and
the eyes of her lover were fixed upon her with that fond expression
she so well understood, and which found a ready response in her
youthful heart. Now that heart was almost bursting with its agony of
grief; but William was beside her, whispered words of tenderness and
hope were murmured in her ear, and how could she break the spell? how
could she speak of the gathering storm? The commands of a stern father
were upon her, and she knew his indomitable spirit would never swerve
one inch from his determination.

They sat till the family clock struck nine ere Hannah could
muster courage to announce her father's decision, and related the
conversation that had just occurred. William was perfectly astonished,
as he replied,

"You certainly cannot yield to his commands? Hannah, the happiness of
my life depends upon our union."

"Well, we will keep quiet a while and see what further light we can
get upon the subject. I have a fearful foreboding that the haughty,
stern looking stranger who has been here so much of late, has
something to do with it. He has been officious in his attention to me,
and I have trembled when I have seen his savage eyes fixed upon, me
with such a peculiar expression. And so we will be quiet and wait the
moving of the waters."

The following afternoon Captain Currier called his daughter into the
parlor, and closing the door, said abruptly,

"Well, Hannah, I 'spose you have squared up accounts with William, and
are now ready to enter a new firm. There is a noble chance for you my
gal. The rich Mr. Benson has offered his hand to you in marriage."

"Impossible! Why, father, is not he an Indian?"

"No more of an Indian than you are; to be sure he is not quite as
white as your milk and water Billy."

"I should think he was milk and molasses, at least, and the largest
part molasses, but without its sweetness."

"Well, be that as it may, I'm thinking his thousands will make the
dose quite palatable at any rate. You must know, Miss, my affairs at
present are in an embarrassed state, and he proposes taking that large
tract of land adjoining mine, and giving me a generous price upon it,
provided you will become his wife. He is going to lay out the ground
like a garden, build a princely mansion, and you are to be its

"O father, would you have me fall down and worship the golden calf?"

"But you must obey me; I cannot, I must not be frustrated in this

"But why, father, cannot you and he complete your bargain without
sacrificing my happiness on the shrine of Mammon?"

"No, he will leave the country immediately unless you consent to marry
him, and this, with my other property, is mortgaged, and cannot be
redeemed, and beggary stares me in the face. This step, and this
only, can save me. I told William the arrangement as he was marching
hurriedly away this morning with Colonel Somer's regiment, who were
ordered to reach the eastern border of the State as quick as possible,
as they fear an attack from the French and Indians in that quarter.
Mr. Benson is eager to have the marriage take place as soon as

Hannah sat like one in a dream for a moment, when she said,

"Father, has nature no voice to plead for me?"

"Child, it is your good I am seeking. How can you ever expect
happiness with William? It takes all he can earn to support his sick
mother, and let me tell you your chance will be a small one. Mr.
Benson's pockets are lined with gold, and he rides the best horse that
the country can produce; and let me tell you, your love, as you call
it, never yet put anything into the pot or kept it boiling, and it is
well said, 'when poverty stalks in at the door love creeps out at the
key hole.'"

"Well, father," said Hannah, rising up at her full height, "if I am
any judge in the case, that man is unprincipled, remorseless, and a

"I think you are no judge. What can you know about it?

"Well, you chose to put the business in my hands, and I have arranged
it to my own liking. Now you must be prepared by one week from this
day to become Mrs. Benson."

So saying he left the room, to bluster about Capulet like, to hurry
the coming event.

It was soon known by every member of the family, that great
preparations were expected for the coming wedding. Deeds were
drawn up, the land transferred into the hands of Mr. Benson at an
extravagant price, a large house erected upon it, and many carpenters
employed to finish one room, and a bed-room, so that they could occupy
it till the rest could be completed.

And so the shuttle was played to weave the woof into the meshy warp
that had thus been spread.

Hannah wept long after her father left her. She felt convinced it was
through his means William was pressed to go with Colonel Somers, and
her heart rebelled against his tyranny; and nothing would have induced
her to yield but her father's assurance that that alone could save
him from beggary. And she felt she would make the sacrifice for her
father's sake.

As she entered the kitchen, Sarah, the black slave, met her with,

"Why, Miss Hanner, 'pears to me I should not like to swap Mr. Lawrence
for Mr. Benson; 'pears he aint haff so perticler like."

"It is my father's wish, and I suppose it must be complied with," and
she passed out of the room to bury her feelings in her own bosom, and
nerve herself for the coming trial.

"Massa is doing good business, Sambo," said Sarah to a black man that
sat preparing some peas to plant, "he selling tu gals at once."

"Yes, yes; but I guess Miss Hanner hab no choice," and he rolled up
the whites of his eyes, and fetched a pompous nod of the head, as he
glanced at his sable companion.

"That does make some differ; now tree year don't seem bery long when
we bese so much wid one tother."

"The tree year most out now, white man buy his gal wid gold; but poor
nigger hab to work hard for his'n. Well, we be free then."

The conversation was closed by Capt. Currier's sharp voice calling
Sambo to bring the peas. He hastily obeyed the summons, as he did so
displaying by his open smile his ivory teeth to Sarah, who returned
the compliment in a very satisfactory manner.

All was bustle, stir, and preparation during the week. Dress makers,
milliners, and almost all classes of people were called into

Mr. Benson strove hard to play the agreeable; but Hannah could
scarcely endure him. And the week passed away, as all weeks will pass,
whether laden with joy or sorrow; and the pale bride stood trembling
by the altar of Hymen, and the solemn words were passed that united
the destinies of two immortal spirits, and the recording angel
registered them in heaven.

After partaking of a sumptuous dinner, according to the custom of
those days, they entered a splendid carriage Mr. Benson had purchased
for the occasion, and with Sambo for a driver and Sarah for a waiting
maid, set out upon their wedding tour. But we will not accompany them.

Suffice it to say, it was productive of little happiness to the new
married pair. Sambo and Sarah enjoyed it very well, as she often rode
with him upon the driver's box, and they thus had a delightful view of
the country.

On their return, their house was ready for their reception, or at
least so that they could live in it while the other part was finished.

Hannah had frequently been surprised by her husband's frequent
potations of brandy during their journey, and his whole bearing had
been haughty and reserved.

They had been at home but a short time, when, after being absent one
night and day, Mr. Benson returned home with a dark frown resting upon
his countenance; he slammed the door, kicked every chair that came in
his way, and stamping about, went and dismissed all his hands, took
another dram from his brandy bottle, and sat moodily down by the fire,
grumbling because supper was not on the table.

Poor Hannah pressed her hand upon her throbbing heart, and struggled
with the tears that rose to her eyes and seemed scalding her very eye
balls with their burning heat. There was a choking sensation in her
throat, but she swallowed it back, and prepared supper in the best
manner she was capable. Her husband seated himself at the table, took
a biscuit, looked at it, flung it back upon the plate, called his tea
dish water, and throwing back his chair hastily, left the table.

But why dwell upon the sorrowful years they spent together? He ever
came like a dark shadow upon the sunlight of home. Children gathered
around their fire side, but there was no gentle corner for them in his

His only son was ever with him like his shadow, drinking in his
precepts, practising his examples, breathing his oaths, domineering
over his mother and sisters, and a terror to the neighborhood.

His father telling him, he was in hopes to see the time he would dance
on Dr. Somers' grave, as he hated him with a perfect hatred, because
he had been his wife's attending physician, when she had been sick
during the years they had lived together.

James, for such was the name of the son, was instructed to hate
everybody that came in his way, and, of course, was hated by every

The money that came by gambling, went in the same way, and
poverty--abject poverty--was now an inmate of their dwelling.

The house remained unfinished; the frame, which had never been
clap-boarded, had gone to decay in a great measure; and when one meal
was obtained, they scarcely knew where another would come from.

Discord reigned among them. Hannah was a wreck of her former self. She
had strung up her patience to its utmost tension, and would often bear
the scorn and abuse of her husband in sorrowful silence.

But this state of things passed away, and when her children shared
in her sufferings, the bitter waters were stirred in their deep
fountains, and she became a worn woman, with a hasty spirit. The
biting retort was now often upon her lips, and she became in a true
sense of the word, what might well be called a scold.

One gloomy fall day, when the sighing winds shook the mellow apples
from the trees in the large thrifty orchard, that stood before the
house, casting so deep a shade that the rays of the sun could scarcely
penetrate it, and the old house looked blacker for the rain that had
fallen upon it, Mr. Benson was seized for debt, and, conveyed to jail.

During his absence Mrs. Benson purchased some apples of the man that
then owned the orchard, and dried them, hoping to obtain some
needful clothing for herself and children. She cleaned her ceiling,
whitewashed the plastering, and made everything about the house look
as comfortable as possible, and enjoyed the privilege, at least, of
doing as she pleased, without being found fault with, which was to her
a great luxury, as her expressed wishes were generally vetoed at once.

She was a true mother, and strove to bring her children up in the
paths of truth and honesty. But there was such an opposing current,
and such frequent bickerings between herself and husband, that they
caught the infection, and seemed to live only to torment each other.

"O," said Mrs. Benson one day, to her sister Sarah, who was spending
a, day with her, "this is the princely mansion father promised me, as
a reward for giving up all my cherished hopes. Poor William has lost
his dear mother, I hear."

"Yes, she died one day last week; she liked much where they lived, and
after William came into possession of his uncle's princely fortune,
her life was spent in ease and affluence. He is likely to become one
of the richest men in the country, and he is loved for his kindness
and respected for his virtues. Your marriage doomed him to celibacy."

A shade rested for a moment upon Mrs. Benson's brow, as she said,

"O, these dark brown years have brought no joy to me in their course.
How I have lived I scarcely know. How dim-sighted is human reason? The
poor William is now the rich man, and the rich Benson is the poor one.
Could father know the misery I have undergone, he would think his
comforts dearly purchased; but he is gone from earth, and I will not
reproache his memory; but, oh, it has been hard--very hard."

"But come, Sarah, come into this old room with me, and help me pack my
dried apple for market. Is'nt it nice? I took great pains with it, as
I wished it to fetch the first price in the market. I am going to get
me a new cheap calico dress. This old patched faded thing is the only
one I have.

"I have wove a great deal this fall, and I think what I shall get for
that and the apple, will fix the children and me up quite comfortably.
The children paid for these apples, by picking up apples for Mr.
Lambert, and he says he shall want them again. I don't know as I care
much how long Benson stays in jail, for I enjoy myself much better
than I did when he was at home, scolding round all the time. And it
has made a perfect vixen of me, and I scold almost as bad as he does;
and the children catch it, and we have a little bedlam here all the
time; O, I wish it were not so, I cannot lie down quietly and sleep at
night, and I know something fearful will come of it."

"O, sister, I hope nothing worse than has come. I am glad to hear your
prospects look more favorable, and wish it were in my power to help
you. If you get a dress I will help you make it, and the children's
clothing. But I forgot to tell you Sarah is dead, and Sambo has got a
cancer, and it is thought he will survive her but a short time."

"Indeed; well, she was a faithful servant, and has gone to her reward;
and poor Sambo, how patiently he toiled, early and late, to purchase
her freedom, and they were very happy."

"O, yes, because they loved each other, and there was no one to
interfere with them."

They were now startled by hearing Mr. Benson chiding the children in
a loud, angry voice, with many oaths, for leaving the gate open,
and letting a cow into a small yard of shrivelled, stinted looking

The children scampered for the house, with terrified looks,
whispering, "father has come," and crouching down in a heap in one
corner of the room, remained very quiet; the old cow ran for the
street, with Mr. Benson at her heels, storming furiously, and plying a
large stick across her back, which he had picked up in his rage.

The sisters placed the large bundle of dried apple in as secure a
place as possible, and returned to the kitchen.

The door was burst violently open, and Mr. Benson entered the room,
exclaiming, as he did so,

"What in thunder is going on here?"

And he proceeded to disarrange chairs, tables and everything that
came in his way, till the house was all in confusion. He went to the
cupboard, that stood in the corner of the room, to get a large jug he
used to keep brandy in, in his better days, but which now was often
filled with New England rum. Not finding it, he almost screamed,

"Hannah, you Jezebel, where is my jug?"

"I thought I would sell it, as you were boarding out."

"Woman," shouted he, "that shall be a dear jug to you."

"It has been that already."

The enraged husband cast at her the look of a fiend, and passed on to
the adjoining room, which was calculated to be an elegant parlor when
the house was raised, but which was now converted into a store room,
for old barrels, old baskets, old hats and bonnets, and, in fine,
a great variety of old things. In one corner stood a little old
bedstead, with an old flock bed, covered with patched sheets and a
ragged quilt, where James slept. The loom was in that room and the
spinning wheels; an old churn and many other things, too numerous to

Mr. Benson reached up his hand, to take down a large bunch of woolen
yarn that hung suspended on a nail. His wife sprang forward, saying,
"Do not touch that--it is not mine."

"I don't care whose it is. I must and will have something that will

At that moment, seeing the package of dried apple, he pounced upon
it, like a tiger upon its prey, and bore it rapidly away, with the
remonstrances of a weeping wife ringing in his ears.

And the traffickers in human souls bought it at a price, paid him in
liquid fire, and he returned to his home, more fiend than when he left
it. The wife's dress was gone; the comfortable things she hoped to
procure for the children were gone. She sat up and toiled late at
night--and all for what? To procure that poison for her husband that
was contaminating his and her own soul, and cast such a blight upon
her home. Was it not enough that their house and land were mortgaged,
their horse and carriage gone? but must she toil with her own hands,
to satisfy that appetite that cries, "give, give?" As these thoughts
passed through Mrs. Benson's mind, she mentally exclaimed,

"O, it is a sad thing to be a drunkard's wife."

A few weeks after she went to an old chest that stood in one corner of
the room, to get a piece of woolen goods she had carefully prepared
for the market, which would bring her several dollars. She had placed
an old band box, quill wheel and some other rubbish upon the chest,
to conceal it from view as much as possible. Upon opening it, she
discovered her treasure was gone, and she knew too well, for what
purpose. The son, too, drank with his father, and got so much the
start of him in brutality, that even he cowered before him, thus
realizing that "He that soweth the wind shall reap the whirlwind." But
those years passed on; the children grew up in their perverseness, a
family that feared neither God or man.

No prayer ever ascended, like sweet incense, from those hearts; no
hymns of praise fell from those lips; but they daily invoked curses
upon each other--and who shall say that the curse causeless came?

The eldest daughter married a miserable drunkard, contrary to the
wishes of her father, threatening to fire the house over their heads,
if they opposed her in the least. The second daughter lived in
disgrace, with a man equally miserable, till the house was demolished
over their heads.

The poor heart-broken wife died, and was borne away to the grave.
The son became of age, took the homestead from his father by making
arrangements to redeem it, and threw his father into the poor house,
where he wore out the remainder of his days in wretchedness and

The son, by perseverence, won the hand of an amiable young lady, of
an excellent family, and contrary to the expectations of every one,
treated her with the greatest kindness the two years he lived with
her, attending church with her every Sabbath, and evincing a great
change in many other ways.

But the desire of riches urged him, with hundreds of our fellow
citizens, to seek the land of gold, and like many of them too, fell a
prey to his ambition. He died on shipboard, never reaching the place
of his destination.

Dr. Somers died about the same time, and was buried in his own quiet
yard, in the little village that had been the theatre of his life.
That young form that had been educated for the express purpose of
dancing on his grave, was tossing beneath the tumultuous waves of the
briny ocean, never to be at rest.

William Lawrence lived, loved and respected and transferred his
earthly love to God, giving him his supreme affections, thus living to
his honor and his glory while on earth, and meeting death with a calm
resignation, sank peacefully down to slumber in the quiet grave.

All the actors in the little drama have sunk beneath the waves of
death, (but three daughters and the son's wife,) and the dust of ages
is gathering upon them; but their influence still lives and speaks to
the generations of men.

The master and the slave are there. The father and the daughter, the
husband and the wife, and the parents and the son are there, each one
"to answer for himself for the deeds done in the body." Surely, "it is
a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

Lines, Written on the Year 1852.

Weary and sad I sit alone,
The storm-god whistles shrill and high,
And piles of sombre clouds are thrown
O'er the blue curtains of the sky.

Mournful I sit, for one by one
Time's golden sands are ebbing fast;
Whispering in low sepulchral tones,
The next, perchance, may be the last.

'Tis midnight's deep and solemn hour,
When visionary forms appear,
And shed their strange, mysterious power
O'er the departure of the year.

The charnel house is opened wide,
And thither's borne with brief adieu,
And slumbering eyes laid beside
Eighteen hundred fifty-two.

Now memory wakes her silent string,
And holds her umpire in the brain;
And brings as she alone can bring,
The image of the past again.

Her golden key, with using bright,
Unlocks the chambers of the soul,

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