COUNTING THE STITCHES.
HOME AND SCHOOL
A COLLECTION OF
Charming Recitations, Dialogues and Stories
CAREFULLY SELECTED FROM
THE BEST AUTHORS,
HOME AMUSEMENTS AND SCHOOL ENTERTAINMENTS
CHICAGO AND PHILADELPHIA:
IMPERIAL PUBLISHING CO.,
CuPYMlQHT, 1890, IMPERIAr, PUBLIBxHIa Co.
S* IT IS A GOOD OLD. S/YIJMNG
We're happy, happy all day long;
Each busy as a bee
With study, exercise and song,
As any one can see.
..* TIXBLE OF CONTENTS C
COUNTING THE STITCHES,
OUR LIVES, -
LET THY GARMENTS BE ALWAYS WA
MY CHOICE, (Illustration)
I CANNOT TURN THE KEY AND
THE RAINY DAY,
ARTEMUS WARD, -
THE DYING STREET ARAB,
THE Two IDEALS, -
KISS HER AND TELL HER So,
DEACON MONROE'S STORY,
"ROCK OF AGES,"
KATIE LEE AND WILLIE GRAY,
SELLING THE BABY,
MY MOTHER AT THE GATE,
THE ROBIN'S CHRISTMAS EVE,
ROBIN'S NEST, (Illustration) -
THE WORLD, -
THE BRIDGE-KEEPER'S STORY,
No SECTS IN HEAVEN,
THE LITTLE BLACK-EYED REBEL,
SONGS UNSUNG,. -.
THE SPRING OF LIFE,
Two PORTRAITS, -
THE NIGHT AFTER CHRISTMAS,
THE OLD SCHOOL-ROOM,
A LITTLE STORY,
K PING His WORD,
PAPA'S LETTER, 55
THE OLD MAN GOES TO TOWN, 56
SUMMER, (Illustration) 59
I WONDER WHY, 61
A STRAY CHILD, 6
CREEDS OF THE BELLS, 62
THE LITTLE HERO, 63
LOVE LIGHTENS LABOR, 65
THE OLD MAN IN THE PALACE CAR, 66
THE CHRISTMAS PRAYER, 67
CHRISTMAS EVE, 6
THE SHADOW ON THE BLIND, 70
TIRED MOTHERS, 72
THE LEAK IN THE DYKE, 73
THE AMERICAN FLAG, 75
THE MORTGAGE ON THE FARM, 76
IFWE KNEW, 77
JAMES A. GARFIELD, 77
AUTUMN, (Illustration) 79
THE KISS DEFERRED, 81
THE FIRST CLOUD, 82
ON THE FENCE, 83
CHRIST AND THE LITTLE ONES, 83
BETTER WHISTLE THAN WHINE, 84
AN OLD MAN'S STORY, 85
TEACHING PUBLIC SCHOOL, 87
THE CHRISTMAS TREE, 87
THE OLD CLOCK IN THE CORNER, 89
OLD KITCHEN REVERIES, 89
I'LL GIVE YOU A CHANCE-MAKE THE
MOST OF IT. Go! 9
WE SHALL KNOW, 92
THE RUINED MERCHANT, 92
THE PARTING HOUR, 94
WINTER, (Illustration) 95
MY WIFE AND I, 97
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
LAND POOR, 97
COLLEGE "OIL CANS," 98
THE OLD WAYS AND THE NEW, IOI
THE STORY OF DEACON BROWN, 102
A FREE SEAT, 104
A FREE SEAT, (Illustration) 105
GRANDFATHER'S HOUSE, IO7
THE TALE OF A TADPOLE, 108
CHEER UP, 108
ONLY PLAYING, 109
WHAT SHE DID, 109
WHY THE DOG'S NOSE IS ALWAYS COLD, III
CLEAR THE WAY, .- III
WHEN SANTA CLAUS COMES, 12
THE NORTH WIND, 112
THE MOUNTAIN AND THE SQUIRREL, 113
JACK FROST'S LITTLE SISTER, 113
WHEN I GROW UP,- 114
DANDY JIM, 114
WHEN I GROW UP, (Illustration) 115
CROP OF ACORNS,, II7
THE OLD CLOCK AGAINST THE WALL, 117
GREEN APPLES, 18
THE CLOSING ADDRESS, r -
BE TRUE, BOYS, 119
FAULTS OF OTHERS, IIg
ONLY,AN APPLE, -- 119
FOR A VERY LITTLE BOY, 120
A SCHOLAR, 120
GIVE Us LITTLE BOYS A CHANCE, 120
ONE LITTLE ACT, 120
FIFTY YEARS APART, 121
DARE TO DO, 121
THE ROBIN RAN OUT, 21
NURSERY SPEECH, 122
LEARN TO COUNT, ,, 122
ADVICE FROM FIVE, TEN AND TWELVE, 122
MOTHER EARTH, 123
WHAT BECAME OF A LIE, 1 23
A PERFECT FAITH, 124
To MOTHERS, 124
SPEAK GENTLY, -
Do YOUR BEST, 126
GOOD NIGHT, (Illustration) 127
IN SANTA CLAUS LAND, 129
MOTHER GOOSE'S PARTY, 136
THE UGLIEST OF SEVEN, 139
TRUSTY AND TRUE, 150
POOR LITTLE CRAB, (Illustration) 151
THE TEMPERANCE LESSON, 156
VISIT OF SANTA CLAUS, 157
I'M A MAN, 159
VACATION FUN, 160
A COLLOQUY, 161
SIGNING THE PLEDGE, 62
THE MATRIMONIAL ADVERTISEMENT, 168
TALKING FLOWERS, 172
TALKING FLOWERS, (Illustration) 173
UNDER AN UMBRELLA, 176
AFTER TWENTY YEARS, 181
JOHNNY'S TRIAL FOR A CHRISTMAS PRIZE, 191
MARGERY'S CHRISTMAS DOLLAR, 192
A CHRISTMAS GUEST, 195
CHRISTMAS ON AN ISLAND, 198
A CHRISTMAS DREAM, (Illustration) 199
A WESTERN CHRISTMAS, 202
THE CHRISTMAS BOX, AND WHAT CAME
OF IT, 203
RoY's CHRISTMAS PRIZE, 205
SANTA CLAUS' REINDEER, 205
PHYSCHOLOGY AND MINERALOGY, 206
THE BIRD'S LAST CHRISTMAS, 208
AN INTERESTED LISTENER (Illustration) 209
THE STORY WITHOUT A NAME, 211
LITTLE LUIGL'S CHRISTMAS, 212
A MISCHIEVOUS CAT'S CHRISTMAS, 215
THE CHRISTMAS GHOST, -215
A CHRISTMAS DREAM, 217
THE MERRY CHRISTMAS HELPERS, -218
THE INFLUENCE. OF CHRISTMAS STORIES
ON A DEAF AND DUMB GIRL, -219
A LUCKY CHRISTMAS, 220
A CHRISTMAS WITH THE FAIRIES, 221
Our lives are songs; God writes the words,
And we set.them to music at pleasure,
And the song grows glad, or sweet, or sad,
As we choose to fashion the measure.
We must write the music,whatever the song,
Whatever its rhyme or metre,
And if it is glad, we may make it sad,
Or if sweet, we may makp it sweeter.
se who checks the child with terror,
Stops its play and stills its song,
Not alone commits an error,
But a grievous moral wrong.
Would you stop the flowing river,
Thinking it would cease to flow?
Onward must it flow forever-
Better teach it where to go.
LET THY GARMENTS BE ALWAYS WHITE.
0 PA T I. o
W HICH of the two do you love best?
SWas the question that came to me,
As robed for the night in snowy white
My darlings knelt by me.
Which, if the Father's hand
Were to beckon one away,
And the summons be "Thy best beloved,"
Which of them would you say?
And I drew my little ones closer,
As I sat in the twilight dim;
As I wondered, if He were to ask,
What I should answer Him.
Maude is gentle and loving,
With willing hands and feet,
With curious thoughts and questions wise,
With womanly ways and sweet.
And roguish hazel-eyed Minnie,
The willing baby yet,
Though over her head of golden brown
Three summers' suns have set.
One so serious and thoughtful,
With wisdom beyond her years:
The other like April sunshine,
Ready with smiles and tears.
Now, as they kneel before me
In the suddenly quiet room,
While the shadows deepen and darken
Into the evening gloom,
The childish voices petition,
As they fold their hands in prayer,
The heavenly hand to lead them
The heavenly love to care.
Then, as they throw around me
Their arms, and clasp me tight,
The sweet lips murmur "We love you,
Good-night, mamma, good-night."
I cannot choose between them,
Father! oh spare the test;
Which of my darlings is dearer
Which one I love the best.
SHE words of a blue-eyed child as she
kissed her chubby hand and looked
down the stairs, "Good-night, papa; Jessie
see you in the morning."
It came to be a settled thing, and every
evening, as the mother slipped the white
night-gown over the plump shoulders, the
little one stopped on the stairs and sang
18 "GO OD-NIGHT, PAPA."
out, "Good-night, papa," and as the father
heard the silvery accents of the child, he
came, and taking the cherub in his arms,
kissed her tenderly, while the mother's
eyes filled, and a swift prayer went up, for,
strange to say, this man, who loved his
child with all the warmth of his great,
noble nature, had one fault to mar his man-
liness. From his youth he loved the wine
cup. Genial in spirit, and with a fascina-
tion of manner that won him friends, he
could not resist when surrounded by his
boon companions. Thus his home was
darkened, the heart of his wife bruised and
bleeding, the future of his child shadowed.
Three years had the winsome prattle of
the baby crept into the avenues of the
father's heart, keeping him closer to his
home, but still the fatal cup was in his hand.
Alas for frail humanity, insensible to the
calls of love! With unutterable tender-
ness God saw there was no other way; this
father was dear to Him, the purchase of
His Son; He could not see him perish, and
calling a swift messenger, He said, Speed
thee to earth and bring the babe."
"Good-night, papa," sounded from the
stairs. What was there in the voice? Was
it the echo of the mandate, "Bring me the
babe"- a silvery plaintive sound, a linger-
ing music that touched the father's heart, as
when a cloud crosses the sun ? "Good-
night, my darling;" but his lips quivered
and his broad brow grew pale. "Is Jessie
sick, mother? Her cheeks are flushed, and
her eyes have a strange light."
"Not sick," and the mother stooped to
kiss the flushed brow; "she may have
played too much. Pet is not sick ? "
Jessie tired, mamma; good-night, papa;
Jessie see you in the morning."
"That is all, she is only tired," said the
mother, as she took the small hand. Another
kiss, and the father turned away; but his
heart was not satisfied.
Sweet lullabies were sung; but Jessie
was restless and could not sleep. "Tell
me a story, mamma;" and the mother told
of the blessed babe that Mary cradled, fol-
lowing along the story till the child has
grown to walk and play. The blue, wide-
open eyes filled with a strange light, as
though she saw and .comprehended more
than the mother knew.
That night the father did not visit the
saloon; tossing on his bed, starting from a
feverish sleep and bending over the crib,
the long, weary hours passed. Morning
revealed the truth-Jessie was smitten
with the fever.
"Keep her quiet," the doctor said; a
few days of good nursing, and she will be
Words easily said; but the father saw a
look on the sweet face such as he had seen
before. He knew the message was at the
Night came. Jessie is sick, can't say
good-night, papa;" and the little clasping
fingers clung to the father's hand.
"O God, spare her! I cannot, cannot
bear it!" was wrung from his suffering
Days passed; the mother was tireless in
her watching. With her babe cradled in
her arms her heart was slow to take in the
truth, doing her best to solace the father's
heart : "A light case! the doctor says,
'Pet will soon be well.'"
Calmly, as one who knows his doom, the
father laid his hand upon the hot brow,
looked into the eyes even then covered
with the film of death, and with all the
strength of his manhood cried, Spare her,
TOMMY'S PRA YE.
,O God spare my child, and I will follow
With a last painful effort the parched
lips opened: "Jessie's too sick; can't say
good-night, papa in the morning."
There was a convulsive shudder, and the
clasping fingers relaxed their hold; the mes-
senger had taken the child.
Months have passed. Jessie's crib
stands by the side of her father's couch,
her blue embroidered dress and white hat
hang in his closet; her boots with the
print of the feet just as she last wore them,
as sacred in his eyes as they are in the
mother's. Not dead, but merely risen to a
higher life while, sounding down from the
upper stairs, Good night papa, Jessie see
you in the morning," has been the means
of winning to a better way one who had
shown himself deaf to every former call.
N a dark and dismal alley where the sun-
shine never came,
Dwelt a little lad named Tommy, sickly,
delicate and lame;
He had never yet been healthy, but had
lain since he was born,
Dragging out his weak existence well nigh
hopeless and forlorn.
He was six, was little Tommy; 'twas just
five years ago
Since his drunken mother dropped him,
and the babe was crippled so.
He had never known the comfort of a
mother's tender care,
But her cruel blows and curses made his
pain still worse to bear.
There.he lay within the cellar from the
morning till the night,
Starved, neglected, cursed, ill-treated,
naught to make his dull life bright;
Not a single friend to love him, not a liv-
ing thing to love-
For he knew not of a Saviour, or a heaven
'Twas a quiet, summer evening; and the
alley, too, was still;
Tommy's little heart was sinking, and he
felt so lonely, till,
Floating up the quiet alley, wafted inwards
from the street,
Came the sound of some one singing, sound-
ing, oh! so clear and sweet.
Eagerly did Tommy listen as the singing
Ohl that he could see the singer I How
he wished he wasn't lame.
Then he called and shouted loudly, till the
singer heard the sound,
And on noting whence it issued, soon the
little cripple found.
'Twas a maiden rough and rugged, hair un-
kempt and naked feet,
All her garments torn and ragged, her ap-
pearance far from neat;
SSo yer called me," said the maiden, "won-
der wot yer wants o' me;
Most folks call me Singing Jessie; wot
may your name chance to be ?"
" My name's Tommy; I'm a cripple, and I
want to hear you sing,
For it makes me feel so happy--sing me
Jessie laughed, and answered, smiling, "I
can't stay here very long,
But I'll sing a hymn to please you, wot I
calls the 'Glory song.'"
20 TOMMY'S PRAYER.
Then she sang to him of heaven, pearly
gates, and streets of gold,
Where the happy angel children are not
starved or nipped with cold;
But where happiness and gladness never
can decrease or end,
And where kind and loving Jesus is their
Sovereign and their Friend.
Oh how Tommy's eyes did glisten as lhe
drank in every word
As it fell from Singing Jessie "-was it
true, what he had heard ?
And so anxiously he asked her: "Is there
really such a place ?"
And a tear began to trickle down his pallid
"Tommy, you're little heathen; why, it's
up beyond the sky,
And if yer will love the Saviour, yer shall
go there when yer die."
"Then," said Tommy; "tell me, Jessie,
how can I the Saviour love,
When I'm down in this 'ere cellar, and he's
up in heaven above? "
So the little ragged maiden who had heard
at Sunday school
All about the way to heaven, and the
Christian's golden rule,
Taught the little cripple, Tommy, how to
love and how to pray,
Then she sang a Song of Jesus," kissed
his cheek and went away.
Tommy lay within the cellar which had
grown so dark and cold,
Thinking all about the children in the
streets of shining gold;
And he heeded not the darkness of that
damp and chilly room,
For the joy in Tommy's bosom could dis-
perse the deepest gloom.
"Oh! if I could only see it," thought the
cripple, as he lay,
" Jessie said that Jesus listens and I think
I'll try and pray;"
So he put his hands together, and he closed
his little eyes,
And in accents weak, yet earnest, sent this
message to the skies:
"Gentle Jesus, please forgive me, as I
didn't know afore,
That yer cared for little cripples who is
weak and very poor,
And I never heard of heaven till that Jes-
sie came to-day
And told me all about it, so I wants to try
You can see me, can't yer Jesus? Jessie,
told me that yer could,
And I somehow must believe it, for it
seems so prime and good ;
And she told me if I loved you, I should
see yer when I die,
In the bright and happy heaven that is up
beyond the sky.
"Lord, I'm only just a cripple, and I'm no
use here below,
For J heard my mother whisper she'd be
glad if I could go;
And I'm cold and hungry sometimes ; and
I feel so lonely, too,
Can't yer take me, gentle Jesus, up to heav-
en along o' you?
"Oh! I'd be so good and patient, and I'd
never cry or fret;
And your kindness to me, Jesus, I would
surely not forget,
I would love you all I know of, and would
never make a noise-
Can't you find me just a corner, where I'll
watch the other boys?
"I CANNOT TURN THE KEY AND MY BOY OUTSIDE." 21
" Oh! I think yer'll do it, Jesus, something
seems to tell me so,
For I feel so glad and happy, and I do so
want to go;
How I long to see yer, Jesus, and the chil-
dren all so bright!
Come and fetch me, wofi't yer, Jesus ?
Come and fetch me home to-night !"
Tommy ceased his supplication, he had
told his soul's desire,
And he waited for the answer till his head
began to tire;
Then he turned towards his corner, and lay
huddled in a heap,
Closed his little eyes so gently, and was
quickly fast asleep.
Oh, I wish that every scoffer could have
seen his little face
As he lay there in the corner, in that damp
and noisome place;
For his countenance was shining like an
angel's, fair and bright,
And it seemed to fill the cellar with a holy,
He had only heard of Jesus from a ragged
He might well have wondered, pondered,
till his brain began to whirl;
But he took it as she told it, and believed
it then and there,
Simply trusting in the Saviour, and His
kind and tender care.
In the morning, when the mother came to
wake her crippled boy,
She discovered that hisfeatures wore a look
of sweetest joy,
And she shook him somewhat roughly, but
the cripple's face was cold-
He had gone to join the children in the
Streets of shining gold.
Tommy's prayer had soon been answered,
and the Angel, Death, had come
To remove him from his cellar to his
bright and heavenly home,
Where sweet comfort, joy and gladness
never can decrease or end,
And where Jesus reigns eternally, his Sov-
ereign and his Friend.
"I CANNOT TURN THE KEY AND MY
"'USPENSE is worse than bitter
The lad will come no more; [grief,
Why should we longer watch and wait?
Turn the key in the door.
From weary days and lonely nights
The light of hope has fled;
I say the ship is lost, good wife,
And our boy is dead."
"Husband, the last words that I spoke,
Just as he left the shore,
Were, 'Come thou early, come thou late,
Thou'lt find an open door;
Open thy mother's heart and hand,
Whatever else betide,'
And so I cannot turn the key,
And my boy outside.
"Seven years is naught to mother love,
And seventy times the seven;
A mother is a mother still,
On earth or in God's heaven.
I'll watch for him, I'll pray for him,-
Prayer as the world is wide;
But, oh! I cannot turn the key
And leave my boy outside.
22 ASPIRA TIONS.-THE RAINY .DA Y.
"When winds were loud, and snow lay
And storm clouds drifted black, [white,
I've heard his step-for hearts can hear;
I know he's coming back.
What if he cime this very night,
And he the house-door tried,
And found that we had turned the key,
And our boy outside !"
The good man trimmed the candle light,
Threw on another log,
Then, suddenly he said: "Good wife!
What ails,-what ails the dog ?
And whatails you What doyou hear?"
She raised her. eyes and cried:
"Wide open fling the house-door now,
For my boy's outside !"
Scarce said the words, when a glad hand
Flung wide the household door.
"Dear mother father! I am come I
I need not leave you more !"
That night, the first in seven long years,
The happy mother sighed:
" Father, you now may turn the key,
For my boy's inside !"
SUR aims are all too high; we try
To gain the summit at a bound,
When we should reach it step by step,
And climb the ladder round by round.
He who would climb the heights sublime,
Or breathe the purer air of life,
Must not expect to rest in ease,
But brace himself for toil or strife.
We should not in our blindness seek
To grasp alone for grand and great,
Disdaining every smaller good,-
For trifles make the aggregate.
And if a cloud should hover o'er
Our weary pathway like a pall,
Remember, God permits it there,
And His good purpose reigns o'er all.
Life should be full of earnest work,
Our hearts undashed by fortune's frown;
Let perseverance conquer fate,
And merit seize the victor's crown.
The battle is not to the strong,
The race not always to the fleet;
And he who seeks to pluck the stars,
Will lose the jewels at his feet.
THE RAINY DAY.
B HE day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind, is never
The vine still clings to the moldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the dayis dark and dreary.
My life is cold, and dark, and dreary,
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the moldering
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the
And the days are dark and dreary.
Be still, sad heart I and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary;
ARTEMUS TVARD.-THE DYING STREET ARAB.
S Artemus was once traveling in the
cars, dreading to be bored, and feel-
ing miserable, a man approached him, sat
down, and said,-
"Did you hear that last thing on Horace
"Greeley s Greeley said Artemus.
" Horace Greeley ? Who is he? "
The man was quiet about five minutes.
Pretty soon lie said,-
"George Francis Train is kicking up a
good deal of a row over in England. Do you
think they will put him in a bastile? "
"Train ? Train George Francis Train?"
said Artemus, solemnly, I never heard of
This ignorance kept the man quiet about
fifteen minutes, then he said,-
"What do you think about General
Grant's chances for the Presidency ? Do you
think they will run him?"
"Grant? Grant? hang it, man," said
Artemus, "you appear to know more
strangers than any man I ever saw."
The man was furious. He walked off,
but at last came back and said,-
You confounded ignoramus, did you
ever hear of Adam ?"
Artemus looked up and said,-
"What was his other name ? "
THE DYING STREET ARAB.
KNOW what you mean, I'm a dyin';
Well, I ain't no worse nor the rest;
'Taint them as does nothing' but prayin',
I reckon, is allus the best.
I ain't had no father nor mother
A-tellin' me wrong from the right;
The streets ain't the place-is it, parson ?-
For sayin' your prayers of a night.
I never knowed who was my father,
And mother, she died long ago;
The folks here, they brought me up some-
It ain't much they have teached me, I
Yet I think they'll be sorry, and miss me,
When took right away from this here,
For sometimes I catches them slyly
A-wipin' away of a tear.
And they says as they hopes I'll get better;
I can't be no worse when I'm dead.
I ain't had so jolly a time on't,-
A-dyin' by inches for bread.
I've stood in them streets precious often,
When the wet's been a-pourin' down,
And I ain't had so much as a mouthful,
Nor never so much as a brown.
I've looked in them shops, with the winders
Ohokeful of what's tidy to eat,
And I've heerd gents a-larfin' and talking'
While I drops like a dorg at their feet.
But it's kind on you, sir, to sit by me;
I ain't now afeerd o'your face ;
And I hopes, if it's true as you tells me
We'll meet in that t'other place.
I hopes as you'll come when it's over,
And talk to them here in the court;
They'll mind what you says, you're a parson.
There won't be no larkin' nor sport.
You'll tell them as how I died happy,
And hopin' to see them again;
That I'm gone to that land where the weary
Is freed of his trouble and pain.
24 THE TWO IDEALS.
Now open that book as you give me,-
I feels as it never tells lies,-
And read me them words--you know,
As is good for a chap when he dies.
There, give me your hand, sir, and thankee
For the good as you've done a poor lad;
Who knows, had they teached me some
I mightn't have growed up so bad.
THE TWO IDEALS.
PAINTER of Italian fame
Saw once a rosy child;
Its loveliness entranced his soul,
His fancy strange beguiled.
His soul's ideal he had found
Of innocence and grace;
The subject of his visions hence
Became that cherub face.
He touched his canvas day by day,
His soul aglow and warm,
And lavished love and beauty till
It woke in life-like form.
The picture hung long years, and shed
Its love-light on his soul,
And cheered his toil and study there,
And claimed his heart's control.
The painter said: If e'er I find
A contrast to that face,
It shall receive my richest skill,
And by its side have place."
He wandered long in lands remote,
And in a prison-cell
He found the object he had sought,
A visage grim and fell ;
A haggard form, forlorn and dark,
Upon whose frenzied face
He saw such imagery of hate
As crime alone can trace.
His genius flamed again and wrought
His ardent, deep desire;
Again the canvas spoke with life-
Of malice,.fear, and ire.
He bore it to his study-wall,
And hung the picture there-
Beside his gem of innocence
His portrait of despair.
And there they hung, the two extremes
Of human life, the poles;
The sunny verge of innocence,
The sea of crime that rolls.
The painter's heart within him sank
When the sad tale was told;
The sweet boy of his early love
Became the outcast bold.
O sunny y6uth, of vice beware;
Ere he, the demon, Crime,
Shall pencil on thy youthful brow
A wrecked, inglorious prime !
KISS HER AND TELL HER SO,
OU'VE a neat little wife at home, John,
As sweet as you wish to see;
As faithful and gentle-hearted,
As fond as wife can be;
A genuine, home-loving woman,
Not'caring for fuss and show;
She's dearer to you than life, John;
Then kiss her and tell her so.
DEA CON MUNR OE'S STORY. 25
Your dinners are promptly served, John,
As, likewise, your breakfast and tea;
Your wardrobe is always in order,
With buttons where buttons should be.
Her house is a cozy home-nest, John,
A heaven of rest below;
You think she's a rare little treasure;
Then kiss her and tell her so.
She's a good wife and true to you, John,
Let fortune be foul or fair;
Of whatever comes to you, John,
She cheerfully bears her share;
You feel she's a brave, true helper,
And perhaps far more than you know
'Twill lighten her end of the load, John,
Just to kiss her and tell her so.
There's a crossroad somewhere in life, John,
Where a hand on a guiding stone
Will signal one over the river,"
And the other must go on alone.
Should she reach the last milestone first,
'Twill be comfort amid your wo
To know that while loving her here, John,
You kissed her and told her so.
DEACON MUNROE'S STORY.
YES, surely the bells in the steeple
Were ringin'. I thought you knew
No Well, then, I'll tell you, though
It's whispered about on the sly.
Some six weeks ago, a church meeting'
Was held, for-nobody knew what;
But we went, and the parson was present,
. And I don't know who, or who not.
Some twenty odd members, I calculate,
Which mostly was wimmin, of course;
'But I don't mean to say aught ag'in 'em
I've seen many gathering's look worse.
And, in the front row sat the deacons,
The eldest was old Deacon Pryor,
A man counting' fourscore and seven,
And gin'rally full of his ire.
Beside him, his wife, aged fourscore,
A kind-hearted, motherly soul;
And next to her, young Deacon Hartley,
A good Christian man, on the whole.
Miss Parsons, a spinster of fifty,
And long ago laid on the shelf,
Had wedged herself next; and beside her
Was Deacon Munroe-that's myself.
The meeting' was soon called to order,
The parson looked glum as a text;
We silently stared at each other,
And every one wondered, What next !"
When straightway uprose Deacon Hartley;
His voice seemed to tremble with fear
As he said: "Boy and man, you have
My friends, for this nigh forty year
"And you scarce may expect a confession
Of error from me; but-you know
My dearly loved wife died last Christmas,
It's now over ten months ago.
The winter went by long and lonely,
But the springtime crep' forward apace;
The farm-work begun, and I needed
A woman about the old place.
" My children were wilder than rabbits,
And all growing worse every day;
I could find no help in the village,
Although I was willing' to pay.
I declare I was near 'bout discouraged,
And everything looked so forlorn,
26 .DEA CON MUTNR OE'S STORE Y.
When good little Patience MeAlpine
Skipped into our kitchen, one morn.
"She had only run in of an errand;
But she laughed at our woe-begone plight,
And set to work, just like a woman,
A putting the whole place to right.
And though her own folks was so busy,
And illy her helping' could spare,
She'd flit in and out like a sparrow,
And most every day she was there.
"So the summer went by sort o' cheerful,
But one night my baby, my Joe,
Was restless and feverish, and woke me
As babies will often, you know.
I was tired with my day's work and sleepy,
And couldn't no way keep him still;
So at last I grew angry, and spanked him,
And then he screamed out with a will.
"'Twas just then I heard a soft rapping,
Away at the half-open door;
And then little Patience McAlpine
Stepped shyly across the white floor.
Says she,' I thought Josey was crying;
I guess I'd best take him away.
I knew you'd be getting up early
To go to the marshes for hay.
"'So I staid here to-night, to get breakfast;
I guess he'll be quiet with me.
Come, baby, kiss papa, and tell him
What a nice little man he will be!'
She was bending low over the baby,
And saw the big tears on his cheek;
But her face was so close to my whiskers,
I daresn't move scarcely or speak;
"Her arms were both holding the baly,-
Her eyes by his shoulder was hid;
But her mouth was so near and so rosy,
That I-kissed her. That's just what I
Then down sat the tremblin' sinner,
The sisters they murmured, "For shame."
And She shouldn't onghter a' let him.
No doubt she was mostly to blame."
When slowly uprose Deacon Pryor.
Now, brethren and sisters," he said,
(We knowed then that suthin' was coming ,
And we sot as still as the dead.)
" We've heard brother Iartley's confession,
And I speak fur myself when I say,
That if my wife was dead, and my children
Were all growing' wuss every day;
" And if my house needed attention,
And Patience McAlpine should come
And tidy the cluttered-up kitchen,
And make the place seem more like
And if I was tired out and sleepy,
And my baby wouldn't lie still,
But cried out at midnight and woke me
As babies, we know, sometimes will;
" And if Patience came in to hush him,
And 'twas all as our good brother says,
I think, friends-I think I should kiss her,
And 'bide by the consequences."
Then down sat the elderly deacon,
The younger one lifted his face,
And a smile rippled over the meeting'
Like light in a shadowy place.
Perhaps, then; the matronly sisters
Remembered their far-away youth,
Or the daughters at home by their firesides,
Shrined each in her shy, modest truth;
For their judgments grew gentle and
And-well! as I started to say,
The solemn old bells in the steeple
Were ringing a bridal to-day.
ROCK OFAGES.-A GAIN.
ROCK OF AGES."
" 1 OCK of Ages, cleft for me,"
.\ Thoughtlessly the maiden sung.
Fell the words unconsciously,
From her girlish, gleeful tongue,
Sang as little children sing;
Sang as sing the birds in June,
Fell the words like light leaves down
On the current of the tune-
" Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me bide myself in Thee."
"Let me hide myself in Thee,"
Felt her soul no need to hide.
Sweet the song as song could be-
And she had no thought beside;
All the words unheedingly
Fell from lips untouched by care,
Dreaming not they each might be
On some other lips a prayer-
" Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee."
" Rock of Ages, cleft for me "-
'Twas a woman sang them now.
Rose the song as storm-tossed bird
Beats with weary wing the air,
Every note with sorrow stirred-
Every syllable a prayer-
" Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee."
"Rock of Ages, cleft for me"-
Lips grown aged sung the hymn
Trustingly and tenderly-
Voice grown weak and eyes grown dim.
"Let me hide myself in Thee."
Trembling though the voice and low
Ran the sweet strain peacefully,
Like a river in its flow,
Sung as only they can sing
Who life's thorny paths have pressed;
Sung as only they can sing
Who behold the promised rest--
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee."
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,"
Sang above a coffin lid;
Underneath, all restfully,
All life's joys and sorrows hid.
Nevermore, O storm-tossed soul!
Nevermore from wind or tide,
Nevermore from billows' roll,
Wilt thou need to hide.
Would the sightless, sunken eyes,
Closed beneath the soft gray hair,
Could the mute and stiffened lips
Move again in pleading prayer,
Still, aye, still the words would be,
"Let me hide myself in Thee."
SVER and over again,
SNo matter which way I turn,
I always see in the book of life
Some lesson that I must learn.
I must take my turn at the mill.
I must grind out the golden grain.
I must work at my task with resolute will-
Over and over again.
Over and over again,
The brook through the meadow runs;
And over and over again
The ponderous mill wheel turns.
Once doing will not suffice-
Though doing be not in vain-
And a blessing failing us once or twice,
May come if we try again.
8A TIE LEE AND WILLIE GREY.
KATIE LEE AND WILLIE GREY.
(WO brown heads with tossing curls,
Red lips shutting over pearls,
Bare feet, white and wet with dew,
Two eyes black, and two eyes blue;
Little girl and boy were they,
Katie Lee and Willie Grey.
They were standing where a brook,
Bending like a shepherd's crook,
Flashed its silver, and thick ranks
Of willow fringed its mossy banks;
Half in thought, and half in play,
Katie Lee and Willie Grey.
They had cheeks like cherries red;
He was taller-'most a head;
She, with arms like wreaths of snow,
Swung a basket to and fro
As she loitered, half in play,
Chattering to Willie Grey.
"Pretty Katie," Willie said-
And there came a dash of red
Through the brownness of his cheek-
" Boys are strong and girls are weak,
And I'll carry, so I will,
Katie's basket up the hill.
Katie answered with a laugh,
" You shall carry only half; "
And then, tossing back her curls,-
"Boys are weak as well as girls."
Do you think that Katie guessed
Half the wisdom she expressed
Men are only boys grown tall;
Hearts don't change much, after all;
And when, long years from that day,
Katie Lee and Willie Grey
Stood again beside the brook,
Bending like a shepherd's crook,-
Is it strange that Willie said,
While again a dash of red
Crossed the brownness of his cheek,
"I am strong and you are weak;
Life is but a slippery steep,
Hung with shadows cold and deep.
"Will you trust me, Katie dear,-
Walk beside me without fear?
May I carry, if I will,
All your burdens up the hill ?"
And she answered, with a laugh,
"No, but you may carry half."
Close beside the little brook,
Bending like a shepherd's crook,
Washing with its silver hands
Late and early at the sands,
Is a cottage, where to-day
Katie lives with Willie Grey.
In a porch she sits, and lo I
Swings a basket to and fro-
Vastly different from the one
That she swung in years agone,
This is long and deep and wide,
And has-rockers at the side.
SELLING THE BABY.
ENEATH a shady elm tree
Two little brown-haired boys
Were complaining to each other
That they couldn't make a noise,
"And it's all that horrid baby,"
Cried Johnny, looking glum;
"She makes an awful bother;
I 'most wish she hadn't come.
"If a boy runs through the kitchen,
Still as any mouse can creep,
SELLING THE BAB Y
Norah says, Now do be aisy,
For the baby's gone to sleep !'
And when, just now, I asked mamma
To fix my new straw cap,
She said she really couldn't
Till the baby took her nap !
"I've been thinking we might sell her-"
Fred thrust back his curly hair;
"Mamma calls her 'Little Trouble '
So I don't believe she'd care.
We will take her down to Johnson's;
He keeps candy at his store;
And I wouldn't wonder, truly,
If she'd bring a pound or more;
"For he asked me if I'd sell her
When, she first came, but, you see,
Then I didn't know she'd bother,
So I told him, 'No, sir-ree 1'
He may have her now, and welcome;
1 don't want her any more.
Get the carriage round here, Johnny,
And I'll fetch her to the door."
To the cool green-curtained bedroom
Freddy stole with noiseless feet,
Where mnamma had left her baby
Fast asleep, serene and sweet.
Soft he bore her to the carriage,
All unknowing, little bird I
While of these two young kidnappers
Not a sound had mamma heard.
Down the street the carriage trundled;
Soundly still the baby slept;
Over two sun-browned boy faces
Little sober shadows crept;
They began to love the wee one.
"Say," said Johnny," don't you think
He will give for such a baby
Twenty pounds as quick as wink ?"
" I'd say fifty," Fred responded,
With his brown eyes downward cast.
'" Here's the store; it doesn't seem's though
We had come so awful fast 1"
Through the door they pushed the carriage;
Mister Johnson, we thought maybe
You would-wouldn't-would you-would,
Would you like to buy a baby ? "
Merchant Johnson's eyes were twinkling;
"Well, I would; just set your price,
Will you take your pay in candy?
I have some that's very nice.
But before we bind the bargain,
I would like to see the child!"
Johnny lifted up the afghan;
Baby woke and cooed, and smiled.
"It's a trade! cried Merchant Johnson;
How much candy for the prize? "
Fred and Johnny looked at baby,
Then into each other's eyes.
All forgotten was the bother
In the light of baby's smile,
And they wondered if mamma had
Missed her daughter all the while.
"Candy's sweet, but baby's sweeter,"
Spoke up sturdy little Fred.
"'Cause she is our own and onliest
Darling sister," Johnny said;
"So I guess we'd better keep her.
But if we should ask Him-maybe
When He knows you'd like to have one,
God will send you down a baby!"
Merchant Johnson laughed, and kindly
Ran their small hands o'er with sweet
Ere they wheel the baby homeward,
Back along the quiet street;
And mamma (who had not missed them
Smiled to hear the little tale,
How they went to sell the baby,
How they didn't make the sale.
30 MY MIOTHEI AT THE GATE.
MY MOTHER AT THE GATE.
;H, there's many a lovely picture
SOn memory's silent wall,
There's many a cherished image
That I tenderly recall I
The sweet home of my childhood,
With its singing brooks and birds,
The friends who grew around me,
With their loving looks and words;
The flowers that decked the wildwood,
The roses fresh and sweet,
The blue-bells and the daisies
That blossomed at my feet-
All, all are very precious,
And often come to me,
Like breezes from that country
That shines beyond death's sea.
But the sweetest, dearest image
That fancy can create,
Is the image of my mother,
My mother at the gate.
There, there I see her standing,
With her face so pure and fair,
With the sunlight and the shadows
On her snowy cap and hair;
I can feel the soft, warm pressure
Of the hand that clasped my own;
I can see the look of fondness
That in her blue eyes shone;
I can hear her parting blessing
Through the lapse of weary years;
I can see, through all my sorrow,
Her own sad, silent tears,-
Ah I amid the darkest trials
That have mingled with my fate,
I have turned to that dear image,
My mother at the gate.
But she has crossed the river,
She is with the angels now,
She has laid aside earth's burdens,
And the crown is on her brow.
She is clothed in clean, white linen,
And she walks the streets of gold.
Oh! loved one, safe forever
Within the Saviour's fold.
No sorrowing thought can reach thee,
No grief is thine to-day;
God gives thee joy for mourning,
He wipes thy tears away!
Thou art waiting in that city
Where the holy angels wait,
And when I cross the river
I will see thee at the gate I
THE ROBIN'S CHRISTMAS EVE.
'~ WAS Christmas time: a dreary night,
i The snow fell thick and fast,
And o'er the country swept the wind,
A keen and wintry blast.
The little ones were all in bed,
Crouching beneath the clothes,
Half trembling at the angry wind,
Which wildly fell and rose.
Old Jem the sexton rubbed his leg,
For he had got the gout;
He said he thought it wondrous hard
That he must sally out.
Not far from Jem's, another house,
Of different size and form,
Raised high its head, defying well
The fierce and pelting storm.
It was the Judge's stately home-
A rare, upright Judge was he,
As brave and true a gentleman
As any one could Pee
THE R OBIN'S CHRISTMAS EVE. 33
The Judge's lady and himself
Sat cozily together,
When suddenly he roused himself
To see the kind of weather.
Lifting the shutters' ponderous bar,
He threw them open wide,
And very dark and cold and drear
He thought it looked outside.
Ah, Judge! little do you think
A trembling beggar's near,
Although his form you do not see,
His voice you do not hear.
Yes, there he stands-so very close,
He taps the window-pane,
And when he sees you turn away,
He feebly taps again.
But all in vain I the heavy bar
Was fastened as before;
The Judge's portly form retraced
His highly-polished floor.
Now, is there any one who thinks
It cannot be worth while
To write about a robin's fate,
And treat it with a smile ?
Our robin's history simple was,
There is not much to tell-
A little happy singing-bird,
Born in a neighboring dell;
And through the summer, in the wood,
Life went on merrily,
But winter came, and then he found
More full of care was he;
For food grew scarce ; so, having spied
Some holly-berries red
Within the rectory garden-grounds,
Thither our hero fled.
The robin early went to bed,
Puffed out just like a ball;
He slept all night on one small leg,
Yet managed not to fall.
When morning came he left the tree,
But stared in great surprise
Upon the strange, unusual scene
That lay before his eyes.
It seemed as if a great white sheet
Were flung all o'er the lawn;
The flower-beds, the paths, the trees,
And all the shrubs were gone.
His little feet grew sadly cold,
And felt all slippery too;
He stumbled when he hopped along,
As folks on ice will do.
And yet he had not learnt the worst
Of this new state of things-
He'd still to feel the gnawing pangs
That cruel hunger brings.
No food to-day had touched his beak,
And not a chance had he
Of ever touching it again,
As far as he could see.
At length, by way of passing time,
He tried to take a nap,
But started up when on his head
He felt a gentle tap.
'Twas but a snowflake, after all!
Yet, in his wretched plight,
The smallest thing could frighten him,
And make him take his flight.
But soon he found he must not hope
From these soft flakes to fly:
Down they came feathering on his head,
His back, his tail, his eye!
THE OBIN'S OCHISTMA E VE.
No gardeners appeared that day.
The Rector's step came by,
And Robin fluttered o'er the snow
To try and catch his eye.
But being Christmas Eve, perhaps
His sermons filled his mind,
For on he walked, and never heard
The little chirp behind.
So on he went, and, as it chanced,
He passed into a lane,
And once again he saw a light
Inside a window-pane.
Chanced did we say ?-let no such word
Upon our page appear:
Not chance, but watchful Providence,
Has led poor Robin here.
'Twas Jem, the sexton's house, from which
Shone forth that cheering light,
For Jem had drawn the curtain back
To gaze upon the night.
And now, with lantern in his hand,
He hobbles down the lane,
Muttering and grumbling to himself,
Because his foot's in pain.
He gains the church, then for the key
Within his pocket feels,
And as he puts it in the door
Robin is at his heels.
Jem thought when entering the church,
That he was all alone,
Nor dreamed a little stranger bird
Had to its refuge flown.
The stove had not burnt very low,
But still was warm and bright,
And round the spot whereon it stood
Threw forth a cheerful light.
Jem lost no time: he flung on coals,
And raked the ashes out,
Then hurried off to go to bed,
Still grumbling at his gout.
Now Robin from a corner hopped
Within the fire's light;
Shivering and cold, it was to him
A most enchanting sight.
But he is almost starved, poor bird!
Food he must have, or die;
Useless it seems, alas I for that
Within these walls to try.
Yet, see! he makes a sudden dart:
His searching eye has found
The greatest treasure he could have-
Some bread-crumbs on the ground.
Perhaps 'tis thought by thcse' who read
Too doubtful to be true,
That just when they were wanted so
Some hand should bread-crumbs strew.
But this is how it came to pass :
An ancient dame had said
Her legacy unto the poor
Should all be spent in bread;
So every week twelve wheaten loaves
The sexton brought himself;
And crumbs had doubtless fallen when
He placed them on the shelf.
Enough there were for quite a feast,
Robin was glad to find;
The hungry fellow ate them all,
Nor left one crumb behind.
He soon was quite himself again,
And it must be confessed
His first thought, being warmed and fed,
Was all about his breast.
THE B OBPI'S CHRISTMAS EVE
To smooth its scarlet feathers down
Our hero did not fail,
And when he'd made it smart, he then
Attended to his tail!
Worn though he was with sheer fatigue
And being up so late,
He did not like to go to bed
In such a rumpled state.
His toilet done, he went to sleep,
And never once awoke
Till, coming in on Christmas morn,
Jem gave the stove a poke.
Now, very soon a little troop
Of children entered in:
They came to practise Christmas songs
Ere service should begin.
The Rector followed them himself,
To help the young ones on,
And teach their voices how to sing
In tune their Christmas song.
And first he charged them all to try
And feel the words they sang;
Then reading from his open book,
He thus the hymn began:
"Glory to God from all
To whom He's given breath;
Glory to God from all
Whom He has saved from death."
Now, when the Rector's voice had ceased,
The children, led by him,
Were just about, with earnest voice,
The verse of praise to sing,
When suddenly, from high above,
Another song they hear,
And all look up in hushed amaze,
At notes so sweet and clear.
Twas Robin, sitting on a spray
Of twisted holly bright;
His light weight swayed it as he sang
His song with all his might.
His heart was full of happiness,
And this it was that drew
Praise to his Maker in the way-
The only way-he knew.
It seemed as though he understood
The words he just had heard,
As if he felt they suited him,
Though but a little bird.
The Rector's finger, lifted up,
Kept all the children still,
Their eyes uplifted to the bird
Singing with open bill.
They scarcely breathed, lest they
One note of that sweet strain;
And Robin scarcely paused before
He took it up again.
Now, when he ceased, the Rector thought
That he would say a word,
For Robin's tale had in his breast
A strong emotion stirred.
"Children," said he, "that little voice
A lesson should have taught:
It seems to me the robin's song
Is with instruction fraught.
"He was, no douot, in great distress:
Deep snow was all around;
He might have starved, but coming here
Both food and shelter found.
"Seek God, my children, and when times
Of storm and trouble come,
He'll guide you as He did the bird,
And safely lead you home.
86 UNWRITTEN POEMS.-" VAS MARRIAGE A FAIL URE"
"Another lesson we may learn
From those sweet notes we heard,
That God has given voice of praise
To that unconscious bird;
" But unto us His love bestows
A far more glorious gift,
For we have reason, and our souls,
As well as voice, can lift."
The Rector paused, for now rang forth
The merry Christmas chime,,
And warned them all that it was near
The usual service-time.
And we must close the robin's tale:
'Twill be a blessed thing
Should it have taught but one young voice
To praise as well as sing.
IHERE are poems unwritten and songs
Sweeter than any that ever was heard;
Poems that will wait for an angel tongue,
Songs that long for a paradise bird;
Poems that rippled through lowliest lives,
Poems unnoted, and hidden away
Down in souls, where the beautiful thrives
Sweetly as flowers in the airs of May;
Poems that only the angels above us,
Looking down deep in our hearts may
Felt, though unseen by the beings who
Written on lives all in letters of gold.
"VAS MARRIAGE A FAILURE ?"
AS marriage a failure? Yell, now, dot
Altogeddher on how you look at it, mine
Like dhose double-horse teams dot you see:
at der races,
It depends pooty mooch on der pair in der
Ef dhey don't pool togeddher right off at.
Ten dimes oudt of nine dhey was beddher
Vas marriage a failure ? Der vote vas inm
Dhose dot's oudt vould be in, dhose dot's
in vould be oudt;
Der man mit oxberience, good looks und
Gets a vife mit some fife hundord dousandi
Budt, after der honeymoon, vere vas de
She haf der oxberience- le haf der money..
Vas marriage failure ? Ef dot vas der case,.
Vat vas to become off der whole human.
Vot you dink dot der oldt "Pilgrim,
faders" vould say,
Dot came in der Sunflower to oldt Ply-
To see der fiie country dis peoples haf
Und dhen hear dhem ask sooch conun--
dhrums as dot
Vas marriage a failure ? Shust go, ere yon
To dot Bunker Mon Hillument, here Var-
TIlE WORLD.-THE BRID GE-KEEPEB' STORY. 37
Dink off Yashington, Franklin und Hon-
est Old Abe "-
Dhey vas all been around since dot first
I vas only a Deutscher, budt I dells you
I pelief every dime in sooch "failures" as
Vas marriage a failure? I ask mine Ka-
TTnd, she look off me so dot I feels pooty
Dhen she say: "Meester Strauss, shust come
here eef you blease,"
UTnd she dake me here Yawcob und little
By dhere shnug trundle-bed vas shust say-
ing der prayer,
Und she say, mit a smile, Yeas dhere some
failures dhero ?"
I IIE world is a queer old fellow,
S As you journey along by his side
You had better conceal any trouble you
If you want to tickle his pride.
No matter how heavy your burden-
Don't tell about it, pray,
He will only grow colder and shrug his
And hurriedly walk away.
But carefully cover your sorrow,
And the world will be your friend.
If only you'll bury your woes and be
He'll cling to you close to the end.
Don't ask him to lift one finger
To lighten your burden because
He never will share it; but silently bear it
And he will be loud with applause.
The world is a vain old fellow,
You must laugh at his sallies of wit.
No matter how brutal, remonstrance is
And frowns will not change him one
And since you must journey together
Down paths where all mortal feet go,
Why, life holds more savor to keep in his
For he's an unmerciful foe.
THE BRIDGE-KEEPER'S STORY.
S0 we have many accidents here, sir?
JI/Well, no t but of one I could tell,
If you wouldn't mind hearing the story,
I have cause to remember it well!
You see how the drawbridge swings open
When the vessels come in from the bay;
When the lightning express comes along,
That bridge must be shut right away I
You see how it's worked by the windlass,
A child, sir, could manage it well;
My brave little chap used to do it,
But that's part of the tale I must tell.
It is two years ago come the autumn.
I shall never forget it, I'm sure;
I was sitting at work in the house here,
And the boy played just outside the door.
THE BRIDGE-KEEPER'S STORY.
You must know that the wages I'm getting
For the work on the line are not great,
So I picked up a little shoemaking,
And I manage to live at that rate.
I was pounding away on my lapstone,
And singing as blithe as could be!
Keeping time with the tap of my hammer
On the work that I held at my knee.
And Willie, my golden-haired darling,
Was tying a tail on his kite;
His cheeks all aglow with excitement,
And his blue eyes lit up with delight.
When the telegraph bell at the station
Rang out the express on its way;
"All right, father !" shouted my Willie,
" Remember, I'm pointsman to-day !"
I heard the wheel turn at the windlass,
I heard the bridge swing on its way,
And then came a cry from my darling
That filled my poor heart with dismay.
" Help, father oh, help me 1" he shouted.
I sprang through the door with a scream.
His clothes had got caught in the windlass,
There he hung o'er the swift rushing
And there, like a speck in the distance,
I saw the fleet oncoming train ;
And the bridge that I thought safely fast-
Unclosed and swung backward again.
I rushed to my boy; ere I reached him,
He fell in the river below.
I saw his bright curls on the water,
Borne away by the current's swift flow.
I sprang to the edge of the river,
But there was the onrushing train;
And hundreds of lives were in peril,
Till that bridge was refastened again.
I heard a loud shriek just behind me,
I turned, and his mother stood there,
Looking just like a statue of marble;
With her hands clasped in agonized prayer.
Should I leap in the swift flowing torrent
While the train went headlong to its fate,
Or stop to refasten the drawbridge,
And go to his rescue too late ?
I looked at my wife, and she whispered,
With choking sobs stopping her breath,
" Do your duty, and Heaven will help you
To save our own darling from death 1"
Quick as thought, then, I flew to the wind-
And fastened the bridge with a crash;
Then, just as the train rushed across it,
I leaped in the stream with a splash.
How I fought with the swift-rushing water,
How I battled till hope almost fled,
But just as I thought I had lost him,
Up floated his bright, golden head.
How I eagerly seized on his girdle,
As a miser would clutch at his gold,
But the snap of his belt came unfastened,
And the swift stream unloosened my hold.
He sank once again, but I followed,
And caught at his bright, clustering hair,
And biting my lip till the blood came,
I swam with the strength of despair.
We had got to the bend of the river,
Where the water leaps down with a dash,
I held my boy tighter than ever,
And steeled all my nerves for the crash.
NO SECTS IN HEA YEN.
The foaming and thundering whirlpool
Engulfed us, I struggled for breath,
Then caught on a crag in the current,
Just saved, for a moment, from death.
And there, on the bank, stood his mother,
And some sailors were flinging a rope;
It reached us at last, and I caught it,
For I knew 'twas our very last hope I
And right up the steep rock they dragged us,
I cannot forget, to this day,
How I clung to the rope while my darling
In my arms like a dead baby lay.
And down on the greensward I laid him
Till the color came back to his face,
And, oh, how my heart beat with rapture
As I felt his warm loving embrace I
There, sir, that's my story, a true one.
Though it's far more exciting than some,
It has taught me a lesson, and that is,
"Do your duty, whatever may come!"
NO SECTS IN HEAVEN.
ALKING of sects, quite late one eve,
What one another of saints believe,
That night I stood in a troubled dream
By the side of a darkly-flowing stream.
And a churchman "down to the river came,
When I heard a strange voice call his name,
" Good Father, stop; when you cross this tide
You m ust leave your robes on the other side."
But the aged father did not mind,
And his long gown floated out behind
As down to the stream his way he took,
His hands firm hold of a gilt-edged book.
" I'm bound for Heaven, and when I'm there
I shall want my book of Common Prayer,
SAnd though I put on a starry crown,
I should feel quite lost without my gown."
Then he fixed his eye on the shining track,
But his gown was heavy and held him back,
And the poor old father tried in vain,
A single step in the flood to gain.
I saw him again on the other side,
But his silk gown floated on the tide,
And no one asked, in that blissful spot
If he belonged to the church or not.
Then down the river a Quaker strayed;
His dress of a sober hue was made,
" My hat and coat must be all of gray,
I cannot go any other way."
Then he buttoned his coat straight up to
And staidly, solemnly, waded in, [his chin
And his broad-brimmed hat he pulled down
Over his forehead,so cold and white. [tight
But a strong wind carried away his hat,
And he sighed a few moments over that,
And then, as he gazed to the farther shore
The coat slipped off and was seen no more.
Poor, dying Quaker, thy suit of gray
Is quietly sailing-away-away,
But thou'lt go to heaven, as straight as an
Whether thy brim be broad or narrow.
Next came Dr. Watts with a bundle of
Tied nicely up in his aged arms. [psalms
And hymns as many, a very wise thing,
That the people in heaven, "all round"
But I thought that he heaved an anxious sigh
As he saw that the river ran broad and high,
40 NO SECTS IN SEA VEN.
And looked rather surprised, as one by
The psalms and hymns in the wave went
And after him with his MSS.
Came Wesley, the pattern of godliness;
But he cried, Dear me, what shall I do ?
The water has soaked them through and
And there, on the river, far and wide,
Away they went on the swollen tide,
And the saint, astonished, passed through
Without his manuscripts, up to the throne.
Then gravely walking, two saints by name,
Down to the stream together came,
But as they stopped at the river's brink,
I saw one saint from the other shrink.
"Sprinkled or plunged-may I ask you,
How you attained to life's great end ?"
" Thus, with a few drops on my brow;"
"But I have been dipped as you'll see me
" And I really think it will hardly do,
As I'm 'close communion,' to cross with you.
You're bound I know, to the realms of bliss,
But you must go that way, and I'll go this."
An I straightway plunging with all his
Away to the left-his friend at the right,
Apart they went from this world of sin;
But how did the brethren enter in ? "
And now where the river was rolling on,
A Presbyterian church went down ;
Of women there seemed an innumerable
But the men I could count as they passed
And concerning the road they could never
The old or the new way, which it could be;
Nor ever a moment paused to think
That both would lead to the river's brink.
And a sound of murmuring long and loud
Came ever up from the moving crowd,
" You're in the old way, and I'm in the new,
That is the false, and this is the true."
Or, I'm in the old way, and you're in the
That is the false, and this is the true."
But the brethren only seemed to speak.
Modest the sisters walked, and meek,
And if ever one of them chanced to say
What troubles she met with on the way,
How she longed to pass to the other side,
Nor feared to cross over the swelling tide,
A voice arose from the brethren then,
"Let no one speak but the 'holy men,'
For have ye not heard the words of Paul
'Oh let the women keep silence, all.' "
I watched them long in my curious dream,
Till they stood by the border of' the
Then, just as I thought, the two ways met,
But all the brethren were talking yet,
And would talk on, till the heaving tide
Carried them over, side by side;
Side by side, for the way was one,
The toilsome journey of life was done,
GO IN' SOMEWHERE 41
And priest, and Quaker, and all who died,
Came out alike on the other side;
No forms, or crosses, or books had they,'
No gowns of silk, or suits of gray,
No creeds to guide them, or iMSS.,
For all had put on "Christ's righteous-
TE had been to town-meeting, had once
Svoyaged a hundred miles on a steam-
boat, and had a brother who had made the
overland trip to California.
She had been to quiltings, funerals, and
a circus or two; and she knew a woman
who thought nothing of setting out on a
railroad journ -y where she had to wait fif-
teen minutes h a junction, and change cars
at a depot.
So I found them,-a cosey-looking old
couple, sitting up very straight in their
seat, and trying to act like old railroad
travelers. A shadow of anxiety suddenly
crossed her face: she became uneasy, and
directly she asked,-
"Philetus, 1 act'lly b'leeve we've went
and taken the wrong train!"
"It can't be, nohow," he replied, seem-
ing a little started. "Didn't I ask the
conductor, and he said we was right?"
Yaas, he did ; but look out the window,
and make sure. He might have been lyin'
The old man looked out the window at
the flitting fences, the galloping telegraph-
poles, and the unfamiliar fields, as if ex-
pecting to catch sight of some landmark,
and forgetting for a moment that he was
a thousand miles from home.
"I guess we're all right, Mary," he said,
as he drew in his head.
"Ask somebody-ask that man there,"
"This is the train for Chicago, hain't
it? inquired the old man, of the passenger
in the next seat behind.
This is the train," replied the man.
"There! didn't I say so ?" clucked the
It may be-it may be! she replied,
dubiously; "but if we are carried wrong, it
won't be my fault. I say that we are wrong,
and when we've been led into some pirate's
cave, and butchered for our money, ye'll
wish ye had heeded my words!"
He looked out of the window again,
opened his mouth as if to make some in-
quiry of a boy sitting on the fence, and
then leaned back on his seat, and sighed
heavily. She shut her teeth together, as if
saying that she could stand it if he could,
and the train sped along for several miles.
He finally said,-
"Looks like rain, over thar in the west.
I hope the boys have got them oats in."
"That makes me think of the umberel-
ler!" diving her hands among the parcels
at their feet.
She hunted around two or three minutes,
growing red in the face, and then straight-
ened up and hoarsely whispered,-
It's gone I"
W-what ?" he gasped.
That umbereller! "
"Gone, hide and hair! so she went on,
"that sky-blue umbereller, which I've had
ever since Martha died!"
He searched around, but it was not to be
Waal, that's queer," he mused, as he
"Queer! not a bit. I've talked to ye
and talked to ye, but it does no good. Ye
come from a heedless family; and ye'd for-
get to put on yer boots, 'fI didn't tell ye to."
None of the Harrisons was ever in the
poorhouse !" he replied, in a cutting tone.
"Philetus! Philetus H. Harrison!"
she continued, laying her hand on his arm,
"don't you dare t*it me of that again! I've
lived with ye nigh on to forty years, and
waited on ye when ye had biles and the
toothache and the colic, and when ye fell
and broke yer leg; but don't push me up
to the wall !"
He looked out of the window, feeling
that she had the advantage of him, and she
wiped her eyes, settled her glasses on her
nose and used up the next fitteen minutes
in thinking of the past. Feeling thirsty,
she reached down among the bundles,
searched around, and her face was as pale
as death as she straightened back and whis-
And that's gone, too!"
"What now ?" he asked.
"It's been stole !" she exclaimed, look-
ing around the car, as if expecting to see
some one with the bottle to his lips.
Fust the umbereller-then the bottle! "
"I couldn't have left it, could I ?"
"Don't ask me I That bottle has been
in our family twenty years, ever since
mother died; and now it's gone Land
only knows what I'll do for a camfire bottle
when we git home, if we ever do I"
"I'll buy one."
"Yes, I know ye are always ready to
buy; and if it wasn't for me to restrain ye,
the money'd fly like feathers in the wind."
"Waal, I didn't have to mortgage my
farm," he replied, giving her a knowing
"Twitting agin? It isn't enough that
you've lost a good umbereller and a camfire
bottle; but you must twit me o' this and
Her nose grew red, and tears came to her
eyes; but as he was looking out of the
window, she said nothing further. Ten or
fifteen minutes passed; and growing rest-
less, he called out to a man across the
What's the sile around here ?"
"Philetus! Philetus H. Harrison 1 Stop
your noise 1" she whispered, poking him
with her elbow.
"I just asked a question," he replied,
resuming his old position.
What'd your brother Joab tell ye, the
last thing afore we left hum ?" she asked.
"Didn't he say somebody'd swindle ye on
the string game, the confidence game, or
some other game? Didn't he warn ye
agin rascals ?"
I hain't seen no rascals."
Of course ye haven't, 'cause yer blind!
I know that that man is a villun; and if
they don't arrest him for murder afore we
leave this train, I'll miss my guess. I can
read human natur' like a book. "
There was another period of silence,
broken by her saying,-
I wish I knew that this was the train
"'Course it is."
"How do you know, "
"'Cause it is."
"Waal, I know it hain't; but if you are
contented to rush along to destruction, I
sha'n't say a word. Only when yer throat
is being cut, don't call out that I didn't
warn ye 1"
The peanut boy came along, and the old
man reached down for his wallet.
THE LITTLE BLA CK-EYED REBEL. 43
"Philetus, ye sha'n't squander that money
after peanuts !" she exclaimed, using the
one hand to catch his arm, and the other
to wave the boy on.
Didn't I earn it ? "
Yaas, you sold two cows to get money
to go on this visit; but it's half gone now,
and the land only knows how we'll get
The boy passed on, and the flag of truce
was hung out for another brief time. She
recommended hostilities by remarking,-
I wish I hadn't cum."
He looked up, and then out of the
"I know what you want to say," she
hissed; "but it's a blessed good thing for
you that I did come I If ye'd come alone,
ye'd have been murdered and gashed and
scalped, and sunk into the river afore
Yes, pooh, 'f ye want to, but I know !"
He leaned back; she settled herself
anew; and by and by-
And, in sleep, their gray heads touched;
and his arm found its way along the back
of the seat, and his hand rested on her
It was pnly their way.
THE LITTLE BLACK-EYED REBEL.
SBOY drove into the city, his wagon
With food to feed the people of the British-
And the little black-eyed rebel, so cunning
and so sly,
Was watching for his coming, from the cor-
ner of her eye.
His face was broad and honest, his hands
were brown and tough,
The clothes he wore upon him were home-
spun, coarse and rough;
But one there was who watched him, who
long time lingered nigh,
And cast at him sweet glances, from the
corner of her eye.
He drove up to the market, lie waited in
His apples and potatoes were fresh and fair
But long and long he waited, and no one
came to buy,
Save the black-eyed rebel watching from
the corner of her eye.
"Now, who will buy my apples?" he
shouted long and loud;
And, Who wants my potatoes?" he re-
peated to the crowd;
But from all the people round him came
no word of reply,
Save the black-eyed rebel answering from
the corner of her eye.
For she knew that neathh the lining of the
coat he wore that day
Were long letters from the husbands and
the fathers far away,
Who were fighting for the freedom that
they meant to gain, or die;
And a tear like silver glistened in the cor-
ner of her eye.
But the treasures-how to get them ? crept
the question through her mind,
THE LITTLE BLACK-EYED REBEL.-REVERIES.
Since keen enemies were watching for what
prizes they might find ;
And she paused awhile and pondered, with
a pretty little sigh;
Then resolve crept through her features,
and a shrewdness fired her eye.
So she resolutely walked up to the wagon
old and red,
"May I have a dozen apples for a kiss ?"
she sweetly said;
And the brown face flushed to scarlet, for
the boy was somewhat shy,
And he saw her laughing at him from the
corner of her eye.
"You may have them all f6r nothing, and
more, if you want," quoth he.
"I will have them, my good fellow, but can
pay for them," said she.
And she clambered on the wagon, minding
not those who were by,
With a laugh of reckless romping in the
corner of her eye.
Clinging round his brawny neck, she clasped
her fingers white and small,
And then whispered, "Quick the letters !
thrust them underneath iy shawl I
Carry back again this package, and be sure
that you are spry "
And she sweetly smiled upon him from the
corner of her eye.
Loud the motley crowd were laughing at
the strange, ungirlish freak;
And the boy was scared and panting, and
so dashed he could not speak.
And, "Miss, I have good apples," a bolder
lad did cry,
But she answered, No, I thank you," from
the corner of her eye.
With the news of loved ones absent to the
dear friends they would greet,
Searching for those who hungered for them,
swift she glided through the street;
"There is nothing worth the doing that it
does not pay to try,"
Thought the little black-eyed rebel, with a
twinkle in her eye.
ETWEEN the acts, while the orchestra
That sweet old waltz with the lilting
I drifted away to a dear dead day,
When the dance for me was the sum of
When my veins were rife with the fever
When hope ran high as an unswept ocean,
And my heart's great gladness was almost
As I floated off to the music's motion.
Howlittle I cared for the world outside,
How little I cared for the dull day after.
The thought of trouble went up like a
And burst in a sparkle of mirthful laugh-
Oh! and the beat of it, oh, and the sweet
Melody, motion and young blood melted.
The dancers swayed, the players played,
The air song deluged and music pelted.
I knew no weariness, no, not I;
My step was as light as the waving
That flutter with ease on the strong armed
As it waltzes over the wild morasses.
Life was all sound and swing, youth was a
Night was the goddess of satisfaction.
Oh I how I tripped away, down to the edge
Joy lay in motion and rest in action.
I dance no more on the music's wave,
I yield no more to its bewildering power.
That time has flown like a rose that is blown
Yet life is a garden forever in flower.
Though storms of tears have watered the
Between to-day and that day departed,
Though trials have met me and grief's waves
And I have been tired and trouble hearted.
Though under the sod of a wee green grave
A great sweet hope in darkness perished,
Yet life, to my thinking, is a cup worth
A gift to be glad of, and loved and cher-
There is deeper pleasure in the slower
That Time's grand orchestra now is
Its mellowed minor is sadder but finer,
And life grows daily inure worth the
SEAVEN is not reached at a single
But we build the ladder by which we rise,
From the lowly earth to the vaulted skies,
And we mount to its summit round byround. i
I count this thing to be grandly true;
That a noble deed is a step toward God-
Lifting the soul from the common clod
To a purer air and a broader view.
We rise by the things that are under our
By what we have mastered of good and
By the pride deposed and the passion
And the vanquished ills that we hourly meet.
We hope, we aspire, we resolve, we trust,
When the morning calls us to life and
But our hearts grow weary, and ere the
Our lives are trailing the sordid dust.
We hope, we resolve, we aspire, we pray,
And we think that we mount the air on
Beyond the recall of sensual things,
While our feet still cling to the heavy clay.
Wings for the angels, but feet for men !
We may borrow the wings to find the
We may hope, and resolve, and aspire, and
But our feet must rise, or we fall again.
Only in dreams is a ladder thrown
From the weary earth to the sapphire
Butthe dreams depart, and the vision falls,
And the sleeper wakes on his pillow of
Heaven is not reached at a single bound;
But we build the ladder by which we rise
From the lowly earth to the vaulted skies,
And we mount toitssummit round by round.
SONGS UNSUNG.-TWO PORTRAITS.
WEET the song of the thrush at dawn-
When the grass lies wet with spangled
Sweet the sound of the brook's low whisper
'Mid reeds and rushes wand'ring through;
Clear and pure is the west wind's murmur
That croons in the branches all day long;
But the songs unsung are the sweetest
And the dreams that die are the soul of
The fairest hope is the one which faded,
The brightest leaf is the leaf that fell;
The song that leaped from the lips of sirens
Dies away in an old sea shell.
Far to the heights of viewless fancy
The soul's swift flight like a swallow goes,
For the note unheard is the bird's best carol
And the bud unblown is the reddest rose.
Deepest thoughts are the ones unspoken,
That only the heart sense, listening, hears,
Most great joys bring a touch of silence,
Greatest grief is in unshed tears.
What we hear is the fleeting echo,
A song dies out, but;a dream lives on;
The rose-red tints of the rarest morning
Are lingering yet in a distant dawn.
Somewhere, dim in the days to follow,
And far away in the life to be,
Passing sweet, is a song of gladness-
The spirit-chant of the soul set free.
Chords untouched are the ones we wait
That never rise from the harp unstrung;
We turn our steps to the years beyond us,
And listen still for the songs unsung.
THE SPRING OF LIFE.
I~ EN the first snowdrop's shyly open-
And violets on the sheltered bank are
When trees put forth their tender shoots
When birds awake from winter sleep and
And choose their mates and fly with busy
When streamlets babble mossy banks be-
And butterflies flash forth with sunny
Then the young year is in its joyous
And when the air is full of baby cries,
And children's laughter echoing down
And noisy patterings of little feet,
And babbling sounds of lessons old and
When day by day brings strength to
think and do
Then Life is in its happy spring-tide, too.
t INT me a picture, master!
And make it strict and true.
Put on the cheeks no brighter red,
In the eyes no deeper blue ;
Give to her form no softer grace --
For to each rounded limb
The highest lines thine art can trace
Are shadowless and dim.
.. ... .
THE NIGHT AFTER CIHRISTMAS.
Color to life her matchless hair;
And, if thou may'st, portray
The sweetness of those scarlet lips,
The smiles that round them play.
Canst thou produce the radiant light
That beams from out her eyes,
Or make more fair, or pure, or bright
The soul that in them lies ?
Fashion my bride, good painter!
Loving, and kind, and true,
Fair as a wreath of lilies,
Sweet as its perfume, too.
Paint me another picture,
As in the years before.
Tracing with careful pencil
Herself and nothing more.
Leave not a single shadow
Out of that snowy brow--
Every thread of silver:
Paint her as she is now.
Maybe the eye is duller
Far than it used to be;
Maybe the cheek is paler;
Maybe the smile less free.
Care has altered them, doubtless,
But, oh I tell to you,
The cloud that darkened one life
Shadowed the other, too.
Paint me my wife, O master!
Now that the years have fled,
And love has blossomed out of
The dust of passion dead.
Place the pictures together,
Side by side, on the wall.
Which is to me the fairest?
Give me the lastof all.
THE NIGHT AFTER CHRISTMAS.
'-FWAS the night after Christmas, when
I P all through the house
Every soul was abed, and as still as a mouse;
Those stockings so lately St. Nicholas' care
Were emptied of all that was eatable there.
The darlings had duly been tucked in their
With very full stomachs and pains in their
I was dozing away in my new cotton cap,
And Nancy was rather far gone in a nap,
When out in the nursery rose such a clatter,
I sprang from my sleep, crying, What is
the matter ?'
I flew to each bedside, still half in a doze,
Tore open the curtains and threw off the
While the light of the taper served clearly
The piteous plight of those objects below.
For, what to the fond father's eyes should
But the pale little face of each sick little
Each pet, having crammed itself full as a
I knew in a moment, now felt like old Nick I
Their pulses were rapid, their breathing
What their stomachs rejected I'll mention
Now turkey, now stuffing, plum pudding,
And custards, and crullers, and cranberry
Before outraged Nature all went to the
Yes, lollypops, flapdoodles, great things and
Like pellets, which urchins from pop-guns
0 22L2E OLD )S 0oi 00IL-i 001.
Went figs, nuts and raisins, jam jelly and
Till each error of diet was brought to my
To the shame of mamma and of Santa Claus
I turned from the sight, to my bedroom
And brought out a vial marked Pulv. Ipe-
When my Nancy exclaimed-for their suf-
ferings shocked her-
" Don't you think you had better, love, run
for the doctor ?"
I ran-and was scarcely back under my roof,
When I heard the sharp clatter of old
I might say that I hardly had turned my-
When the doctor came into the room with
He was spattered with mud from his hat to
And the clothes he had on seemed the
drollest of suits;
In his haste he'd put all quite awry on his
And he looked like John Falstaff half fud-
died with sack.
His eyes, how they twinkled! Had the
doctor got merry?
His cheeks looked like Port and his breath-
smelt of Sherry:
He hadn't been shaved for a fortnight or so,
And the beard on his chin wasn't white as
But, inspecting their tongues, in despite of
And drawing his watch from his waistcoat
He felt of each pulse, saying, each little
Must get rid "-here he laughed-" of the
rest of that jelly."
I gazed on each plump, chubby, sick little
And groaned when he said so, in spite of
But a wink of his eye, as he physicked dear
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to
He didn't prescribe-but went straight-
** way to work
And dosed all the rest-gave his trousers
And adding directions while blowing his
He buttoned his coat, from his chair he
Then jumped in his gig, gave old Jalap a
And Jalap dashed off as if pricked by a
But the doctor exclaimed, ere he drove out
"They'll be well by to-morrow-good night,
Jones, good night."
THE OLD SCHOOL-ROOM.
M( aY spring-time of life has departed,
2 Its romance has ended at last;
My dreamings were once of the future,
But now they are all of the past.
And memory oft in my trials
Goes back to my pastimes at school,
And pictures the children who loved me,
In the beautiful village of Yule.
The school-house still stands by the meadow,
And green is the spot where I played,
YAW OOB STRA USS. 51
And flecked with the sun is the shadow
Of the evergreen woods where I strayed.
The thrush in the meadowy places
Still sings in the evergreens cool;
But changed are the fun-loving faces
Of the children who met me at Yule.
I remember the day when, a teacher,
I met those dear faces anew;
The warm-hearted greetings that told me
The friendships of childhood are true.
I remember the winters I struggled,
When care-worn and sick, in my school;
I remember the children who loved me,
In the beautiful village of Yule.
So true in the days of my sadness,
Did the hearts of my trusted ones prove,
My sorrow grew light in the gladness
Of having so many to love.
I gave my own heart to my scholars,
And banished severity's rule;
And happiness dwelt in my school-room,
In the beautiful village of Yule.
I taught them the goodness of loving
The beauty of nature and art;
They taught me the goodness of loving
The beauty that lies in the heart,
And I prize more than lessons of knowledge
The lessons I learned in my school-
The warm hearts that met me at morning,
And left me at evening, in Yule.
I remember the hour that we parted;
I told them, while moistened my eye,
That the bell of the school-room of glory
Would ring for us each in the sky.
Their faces were turned to the sunset,
As they stood neathh the evergreens cool;
I shall see them no more as I saw them,
In the beautiful village of Yule.
The bells of the school-room of glory
Their summons have rung in the sky,
The moss and the fern of the valley
On some of the old pupils lie:
Some have gone from the wearisome studies
Of earth to the happier school;
Some faces are bright with the angels,
Who stood in the sunset at Yule.
SHAF von funny leedle poy,
VYt gumes schust to mine knee,
Der queerest schap, der greatest rogue,
As efer you dit see.
He runs, und schumps, und schmashes
In all barts off der house;
But vot off dot? he was mine son,
Mine leedle Yawcob Strauss.
He get der measles und der mumbs,
Und eferyding dot's oudt;
He skills mine glass of lager bier,
Poots schnuff indo mine kraut.
He fills mine pipe mit limburg cheese:
Dot vas der roughest house,
I'd dake dot vrom no oder poy
But leedle Yawcob Strauss.
He dakes der milk-ban for a dhrum,
Und cuts mine cane in dwo;
To make der schtiks to beat it mit,-
Mine cracious, dot vas drue!
I dinks mine bed vas schplit abart,
He kicks oup sooch a touse:
But nefer mind; der poys vas few
Like dot young Yawcob Strauss.
A LITTLE STORY.
He asks me questions sooch as dese;
Who baints mine nose so red?
Who vas it cuts dot schmoodth blace oudt
Yrom der hair ubon mine hed ?
Und vhere der plaze goes vrom der lamp
Vene'er der glim I douse
How gan I all dose dings eggsblain
To dot schmall Yawcob Strauss?
I sometimes dink I schall go vild
Mit sooch a grazy poy,
Und vish vonce more I gould haf rest,
Und beacetul dimes enshoy ;
But ven he vas ashleep in ped,
So guiet as a mouse,
I prays der Lord, "dake anyding,
But leaf dot Yawcob Strauss."
A LITTLE STORY.
H, the book is a beauty, my darling,
The pictures are all very fine,
But it's time you were soundly sleeping,
For the little hand points to nine ;
So, here's a good-night-but give me
A dozen of kisses or more,
To make me forget what vexed me
To-day in the dull old store.
Can't go till I tell you a story ?
Well, a long, long time ago,
When I was a little wee fellow-
No bigger than you, you know-
When I hadn't a nurse as you have,
And my papa was gone for goods,
I ran away from my mamma,
And got lost in the big pine woods.
I'll tell you just how it happened :
I was hunting for eggs, you see,
And all over the house and the garden
My mamma was hunting for me;
Hunting and calling, Oh, Willie !
Ho Willie! where are you, my son?"
And I heard her and hid in the bushes,
And thought it the jolliest of fun.
Naughty ? Al Robin I know it,
But I didn't think of it then;
I laughed and said, I'm a robber,
And this is my dear little den.
I'd like to see any one take me,
I reckon-Oh ho! what's that? "
And away I went after a squirrel
As round and as black as my hat.
No; I didn't forget my dear mamma,
But "boys will be boys," I said;
And I kept a good eye on squirrel,
And followed wherever he led,
Over briers, and bogs, and bushes,
Till the night fell blackly about,
And I found I was far in the forest,
And didn't know how to get out.
What became of the squirrel ? why, Robin
To be thinking of him and not me I
When I hadn't a thing for my pillow
That night, but the root of a tree-
With a bit of soft moss for its cover-
And never a star overhead;
Oh, oh, how I cried for my mother,
Till I slept, and dreamed I was dead.
I awoke in my own little chamber;
My papa was holding my hand,
And my mamma was crying beside me;
I couldn't at first understand
Just what it all meant-when they told
I wasn't to stir or to speak,
For I was half dead when they found me,
And had been very sick for a week.
KEEPINGG HIS WORD. 53
But I pretty soon thought of the squirrel,
And the bushes and briers; and then-
" Oh, mamma, forgive me," I whispered,
"For hiding away in a den !"
"Hush, hush! my poor darling !" she an-
And I turned my face to the wall,
Crying softly, because I was sorry.
Now kiss me good-night. That is all.
KEEPING HIS WORD.
'~" TLY a penny a box," he said,
But the gentleman turned away his
As if he shrank from the squalid sight
Of the boy who stood in the fading light.
"Oh, sir I" he stammered, "you cannot
And he brushed from his
flakes of snow,
That the sudden tear might
"Or I think-I think you
Hungry and cold at our garret pane,
Ruby will watch till I come again,
Bringing the loaf. The sun has set,
And he hasn't a crumb of breakfast yet.
One penny, and then I can buy the bread!"
The gentleman stopped: And you he
"I ? I can put up with them-hunger and
But Ruby is only five years old.
I promised our mother before she went,-
She knew I would do it, and died con-
I promised her, sir, through best, through
I always would think of Ruby first."
The gentleman paused at his open door,
Such tales he had often heard before;
But he fumbled his purse in the twilight
" I have nothing less than a shilling here."
" Oh, sir, if you only take the pack,
I'll bring you the change in a moment
Indeed you may trust me!" Trust
But here is the shilling, take it and go."
The gentleman lolled in his easy chair,
And watched his cigar wreath melt in air,
And smiled on his children, and rose to
The baby asleep on its mother's knee.
"And now it is nine by the clock," he
" Time that my darlings were all abed;
Kiss me good-night, and each be sure,
When you're saying your prayers, remem-
ber the poor."
Just then came a message, A boy at the
But ere it was uttered he stood on the floor,
Half breathless, bewildered, and ragged
"I'm Ruby, Mike's brother; I've brought
you the change.
Mike's hurt, sir; 'twas dark, and the snow
made him blind,
And he didn't take notice the train was be-
Till he slipped on the track; and then it
He's home in the garret; I think he will
Yet nothing would do him, sir, nothing
But out through the storm, I must hurry
Of his hurt he was certain you wouldn't
And so you might think he had broken his
When the garret they hastily entered and saw
Two arms, mangled, helpless, outstretched
from the straw;
"You did it,-dear Ruby!-God bless
you!" he said,
And the boy, gladly smiling, sank back,
'YE known men rise through talent,
though such are exceptions rare ;
And some by perseverance, and industry,
There are men who build up fortunes by
saving a dollar a week;
But the best thing to make your way in the
world is to travel upon your cheek.
Now here am I, in middle age, just able to
By working away the livelong day as hard
as I can drive :
Tom Wentworth takes things easy, and
rolls in his carriage by;
And cheek is the one sole reason why he is
richer than I.
Why, Tom and I were schoolmates about
thirty years ago;
I was reckoned one of the smartest, while
at learning he was slow;
He didn't care for study-played hookey
half the week,-
But somehow always dodged the cane by
the aid of consummate cheek.
" Little boys," they used to tell me, "should
always be seen, not heard;"
When company came I hung my head, and
never could say a word;
But Tom was a saucy, forward boy, well
able to take his part:
So I got the name of being a fool, while
every one thought him smart.
I grew up nervous and timid,-I never
could blow or boast-
So people took it for granted that Tom
must know the most.
Of what avail is learning-arithmetic, Latin,
If you haven't the talent to show it off, for
lack of the requisite cheek ?
Tom and I, as it happened, in love with
the same girl fell,
I never could muster the courage my
heart's desire to tell.
I think she liked me a little the best, but
before I dared to speak,
Tom pressed his suit and won her hand by
steady persistent cheek.
And then Tom struck for the city. He met
with ups and downs;
But always seemed to get ahead, in spite
of fortune's frowns;
Like a cat, he'd always fall on his feet; was
confident, bluff and bold;
And talked with the air of a millionaire in
possession of wealth untold.
So Tom succeeded in business, and every-
thing he'd touch,-
For people always help the man who passes
as owing much,-
While I didn't have the advantage of either
my brains or cash,
For want of self-assurance and courage to
make a dash.
PAPA'S LETTER. 55
If modesty is a quality," as the ancient
"Which highly adorns a woman," it often
times ruins a man;
And those who are shy and backward, and
those who are humble and weak,
Will be elbowed aside in the race of life, by
the men who travel on cheek.
So Tom, to-day, is the millionaire, the
flourishing merchant prince;
While, as for my hopes of success in life,
I've given them up long since:
But the richest blessings of Heaven are
promised the poor and meek,
And men can't crowd through the pearly
gates by traveling on their cheek.
WAS sitting in my study,
Writing letters when I heard,
" Please, dear mamma, Mary told me
Mamma mustn't be 'isturbed;
" But I's tired of the kitty,
Want some ozzer fing to do I
Witing letters is 'ou, mamma ?
Tan't I wite a letter, too ? "
"Not now, darling, mamma's busy;
Run and play with kitty, now."
"No, no, mamma, me wite letter-
Tan if 'ou will show me how."
I would paint my darling's portrait
As his sweet eyes searched my face-
Hair of gold and eyes of azure,
Form of childish, witching grace.
But the eager face was clouded,
As 1 slowly shook my head,
Till I said, I'll make a letter
Of you, darling boy, instead."
So I parted back the tresses
From his forehead high and white.
And a stamp in sport I pasted
'Mid its waves of golden light.
Then I said, "Now, little letter,
Go away and bear good news."
And I smiled as down the staircase
Clattered loud the little shoes.
Leaving me, the darling hurried
Down to Mary in his glee:
"Mamma's waiting lots of letters;
I's a letter, Mary-see ?"
No one heard the little prattler
As once more he climbed the stair,
Reached his little cap and tippet,
Standing on the entry chair.
No one heard the front door open,
No one saw the golden hair
As it floated o'er his shoulders
In the crisp October air.
Down the street the baby hastenea
Till he reached the office door.
"I's a letter, Mr. Postman,
Is there room for any more
"Cause dis letter's doin' to papa:
Papa lives with God, 'ou know.
Mamma sent me for a letter;
Does 'ou fink 'at I tan go ?."
But the clerk in wonder answered
"Not to-day, my little man,"
"Den I'11 find anuzzer office,
'Cause I must go if I tan."
56 THE OLD MJAN G OES TO TO W-K
Fain the clerk would have detained him,
But the pleading face was gone,
And the little feet were hastening-
By the busy crowd swept on.
Suddenly the crowd was parted,
People fled to left and right
As a pair of maddened horses
At the moment dashed in sight.
No one saw the baby figure-
No one saw the golden hair.
Till a voice of frightened sweetness
Rang out on the autumn air.
'Twas too late-a moment only
Stood the beauteous vision there,
Then the little face lay lifeless,
Covered o'er with golden hair.
Reverently they raised my darling,
Brushed away the curls of gold,
Saw the stamp upon the forehead,
Growing now so icy cold.
Not a mark the face disfigured,
Showing where a hoof had trod
But the little life was ended-
"Papa's letter" was with God.
THE OLD MAN GOES TO TOWN.
W ELL, wife, I've been to 'Frisco, an' I
VV called to see the boys;
I'm tired, an' more'n half deafened with the
travel and the noise;
So I'll set down by the chimbley and rest
my weary bones,
And tell how I was treated by our 'risto-
As soon's as I reached the city, I hunted
up our Dan-
Ye know he's now a celebrated wholesale
I walked down from the depo'-but Dan
keeps a country seat-
An' I thought to go home with him an'
rest my weary feet.
All the way I kep' a thinking' how famous
it 'ud be
To go'round the town together-my grown-
up boy and me,
An' remember the old times, when my lit-
tle "curly head"
Used to cry out, "Good-night, papa!"
from his little trundle-bed.
I never thought a minute that he wouldn't
want to see
His gray an' worn old father, or would be
ashamed of me;
So when I seen his office, with a sign writ
out in gold,
I walked in 'thout knockin'-but the old
man was too bold.
Dan was setting' by a table, an' writing' in a
He knowed me in a second; but he gave
me such a look I
He never said a word o' you, but asked
about the grain,
An' ef I thought the valley didn't need a
I didn't stay a great while, but inquired
Dan said he lived upon the hill-I think
they call it Nob;
An' when I left, Dan, in a tone that almost
broke me down,
Said, Call an' see me, won't ye, whenever
you're in town "
THE OLD MAN GOES TO TOWN.
It was rather late that evening' when I found
our Robert's house ;
There was music, lights, and dancin' and a,
mighty big carouse.
At the door a nigger met me, an' he
grinned from ear to ear,
Sayin', "Keerds ob invitation, or you neb-
ber git in here."
I said I was Rob's father, an' with another
The nigger left me standing' and disap-
Rob came out on the porch-he didn't
order me away,
But he said he hoped to see me at his office
the next day.
Then I started fur a tavern, fur I knowed
They wouldn't turn me out so long's I'd
money fur to pay.
An' Rob an' Dan had left me about the
streets to roam,
An' neither of them axed me if I'd money
to git home.
It may be the way o' rich folks-I don't
say 'at it is not-
But we remember some things Dan and
Rob have quite forgot.
We didn't quite expect this wife, when,
twenty years ago,
We mortgaged the old homestead to give
Rob and Dan a show.
I didn't look fur Charley, but I happened
just to meet
Him with a lot o' friends o' his'n, a-comin'
down the street.
I thought I'd pass on by him, for fear our
Would show he was ashamed o' me, as Rob
and Dan had done.
But as soon as Charley seen me, he, right
afore 'em all,
Said: "God bless me, there's my father,"
as loud as he could bawl.
Then he introduced me to his frien's, an'
sent 'em all away,
Tellin' 'em he'd see 'em later, but was
busy for that day.
Then he took me out to dinner, an' he
axed about the house,
About you an' Sally's baby, an' the chick-
ens, pigs an' cows;
He axed about his brothers, addin' that
'twas ruther queer,
But he hadn't seen one uv 'em fur mighty
nigh a year.
Then he took me to his lodgin', in an attic
four stairs high-
He said he liked it better 'cause 'twas near-
er to the sky.
An' he said: I've only one room, but
my bed is pretty wide,"
An' so we slept together, me an' Charley,
side by side.
Next day we went together to the great
An' s6me o' Charley's picters was on ex-
He said if he could sell 'em, which he
hoped to pretty soon,
He'I" make us all a visit an' be richer than
An' so two days an' nights we passed, an'
when I come away,
Poor Charley said the time was short an'
begged for me to stay.
Then he took me in a buggy an' druv me
to the train,
An' said in just a little while he'd see us
You know we never thought our Charley
would ever come to much;
He was always reading' novels an' poetry an'
There was nothing on the farm he ever
seemed to want to do,
An' when he took to painting' he disgusted
me clear through!
So we gave to Rob and Dan all we had to
call our own,
An' left poor Charley penniless to make his
He's only a poor painter; Rob and Dan are
rich as sin;
But Charley's worth a pair of 'em with
all their gold thrown in.
Those two grand men, dear wife, were once
our prattling babes-an' yet
It seems as if a mighty gulf twixtt them an'
us is set;
An' they'll never know the old folks till
life's troubled journey's past,
And rich and poor are equal underneath the
sod at last.
An' maybe when we all meet on the resur-
With our earthly glories fallen, like the
husks from the ripe corn,-
When the righteous Son of Man the awful
sentence shall have said,
The brightest crown that's shining there
may be on Charley's head.
SOW, dame, the morn doth promise fair,
'Tis kind and genial weather,
So prithee quit that easy chair,
And let us forth together.
The merry month of June is here,
Adorning briar and bramble;
Come, slip.your bonnet on, my dear.
And join me in a ramble.
I well recall the happy day
SWhen through the green lanes straying,
I met a little maiden gay
And went with her a-Maying,
She was but ten, and I no more,
Her cheeks were round and rosy,
And in her white-bibbed pinafore
She wore a pretty posy.
She tripped so daintily along,
And prattled on so cheerily,
I heeded not the skylark's song,
Although I loved that dearly.
There was a music in her voice,
So witching, so entrancing,
It made my inmost heart rejoice
And set my pulses dancing.
Obedient to her commands,
I dared the thorniest hedges,
And scratched and tore my face and hands
In climbing banks and ledges
To win a spray of hawthorn bloom-
Nor deemed the task a labor,-
Or cull some flower whose sweet perfume
Endeared it to my neighbor.
At last we reached a quiet nook
(Beside a hazel cover
And watered by a babbling brook),
With blossoms sprinkled over
In such profusion and so rare,
Our souls were filled with pleasure;
Departing Spring had emptied there
Her lap of half its treasure.
IIk a .ri
I WONDER WHY.-A STRA Y CHILD. 61
And here we gathered at our will
The rarest flowers a-blowing,
And gold and silver heaped until
'Twas time we should be going;
Then, as we bore our wealth away,
We chanted to the wild wood,
As I remember, many a lay
Dear to the heart of childhood.
Since then, dear dame-there, do not sigh-
We've lived and loved together
For threescore years, or very nigh,
Enjoying fairish weather;
Now traveling down the vale of life,
We've little cause for sorrow-
A happy husband, happy wife,
With trust in our to-morrow.
I WONDER WHY.
f WONDER why this world's good things
S Should fall in such unequal shares;
Why some should taste of all the joys,
And others only feel the cares!
I wonder why the sunshine bright
Should fall in paths some people tread,
While others shiver in the shade
Of clouds that gather overhead.
I wonder why the trees that hang
So full of luscious fruit should grow
Only where some may reach and eat,
While others faint and thirsty go!
Why should sweet flowers bloom for some,
For others only thorns be found;
And some grow rich on fruitful earth,
While others till but barren ground
I wonder why the hearts of some
O'erflow with joy and happiness,
While others go their lonely way
Unblessed with aught of tenderness!
I wonder why the eyes of some
Should ne'er be moistened with a tear,
Why others weep from morn till night,
Their hearts so crushed with sorrow here!
Ah well! we may not know indeed
The whys, the wherefores of each life !
But this we know,-there's One who sees
And watches us through joy or strife.
Each life its mission here fulfills,
And only He may know the end,
And loving Him we may be strong,
Though storm or sunshine He may send.
A STRAY CHILD.
g HE chill November day was done,
The working world home faring;
The wind came roaring through the streets
And set the gas-lights flaring;
And hopelessly and aimlessly
The scared old leaves were flying;
When, mingled with the sighing wind,
I heard a small voice crying.
And shivering, on the corner stood
A child of four, or over;
No cloak or hat her small, soft arms,
And wind-blown curls to cover.
Her dimpled face was stained with tears;
Her round blue eyes ran over;
She cherished in her wee, cold hand,
A bunch of faded clover.
And one hand round her treasure while
She slipped in mine the other;
Half scared, half confidential, said,
"Oh! please, I want my mother!"
"Tell me your street and number, pet:
Don't cry, I'll take you to it."
Sobbing she answered, "I forget:
The organ made me do it.
CREEDS OF THE BELLS.
"He came and played at Milly's steps,
The monkey took the money;
And so I followed down the street,
The monkey was so funny.
I've walked about a hundred hours,
From one street to another;
The monkey's gone, I've spoiled my flowers,
Oh! please, I want my mother."
" But what's your mother's name ? and what
The street ? Now, think a minute."
" My mother's name is mamma dear-
The street-I can't begin it."
" But what is strange about the house,
Or new-not like the others ?"
"I guess you mean my trundle bed,
Mine and my little brother's.
"Oh dear I ought to be at home
To help him say his prayers-
He's such a baby he forgets;
And we are both such players-
And there's a bar to keep us both
From pitching on each other,
For Harry rolls when he's asleep;
Oh dear! I want my mother."
The sky grew stormy; people passed
All muffled, homeward faring:
" You'll have to spend the night with me "
I said at last despairing.
I tied a kerchief round her neck-
What ribbon's this, my blossom ?"
"Why, don't you know? she smiling said,
And drew it from her bosom.
A card with number, street and name;
My eyes astonished met it;
" For," said the little one, "you see
I might sometimes forget it:
And so I wear a little thing
That tells you all about it;
For mother says she's very sure
I should get lost without it."
CREEDS OF THE BELLS.
OW sweet the chime of the Sabbath
H bells I
Each one its creed in music tells,
In tones that float upon the air,
As soft as song and pure as prayer;
And I will put in simple rhyme
The language of the golden chime.
My happy heart with rapture swells
Responsive to the bells-sweet bells.
" In deeds of love excel-excel,"
Chimed out from ivied towers a bell;
" This is the church not built on sands,
Emblem of one not built with hands;
Its forms and sacred rites revere,
Come worship here, come worship here 1
In ritual and faith excel,"
Chimed out the Episcopalian bell.
" Oh, heed the ancient landmarks well,"
In solemn tones exclaimed a bell,
" No progress made by mortal man
Can change the just, eternal plan.
Do not invoke the avenging rod;
Come here, and learn the way to God.
Say to the world farewell! farewell /"
Pealed out the Presbyterian bell.
" Oh, swell, ye cleansing waters, swell,"
In mellow tones rang out a bell;
" Though faith alone in Christ can save,
Man must be plunged beneath the wave,
To show the world unfaltering faith
In what the sacred Scripture saith;
Oh, swell, ye rising waters, swell,"
Pealed out the clear-toned Baptist bell.
"Not faith alone, but works as well,
Must test the soul," said a soft bell.
" Come here, and cast aside your load,
And work your way along the road,
With faith in God, and faith in man,
._7M LITTJI ERO. 63
And hope in Christ, where hopes began;
Do well-do well-do well-do well,''
Pealed forth the Unitarian bell.
" In after life there is no hell,"
In rapture rang a cheerful bell;
" Look up to heaven this holy day,
Where angels wait to lead the way.
There are no fires, no fiends to blight
The future life; be just and right.
No hell-no hell-no hell-no hell,"
Rang out the Universalist bell.
"To all, the truth we tell-we tell,"
Shouted, in ecstasies, a bell;
" Come, all ye weary wand'rers, see!
Our Lord has made salvation free.
Repent! believe have faith and then
Be saved, and praise the Lord. Amen.
Salvation's free, we tell-we tell,"
Shouted the Methodistic bell.
THE LITTLE HERO.
N OW, lads, a short yarn I'll just spin you,
As happened on our very last run,-
'Bout a boy as a man's soul had in him,
Or else I'm a son of a gun.
From Liverpool port out three days, lads;
The good ship floating over the deep;
The skies bright with sunshine above us;
The waters beneath us, asleep.
Not a bad-tempered lubber among us.
A jollier crew never sailed,
'Cept the first mate, a bit of a savage,
But good seaman as ever was hailed.
Regulation, good order, his motto;
Strong as iron, steady as quick;
With a couple of bushy black eyebrows,
And eyes fierce as those of Old Nick.
One day he comes up from below,
A-graspin' a lad by the arm,-
A poor little ragged young urchin
As had ought to bin home to his marm.
An' the mate asks the boy, pretty roughly,
How he dared for to be stowed away,
A-cheatin' the owners and captain,
Sailin,' eatin,' and all without pay
The lad had a face bright and sunny,
An' a pair of blue eyes like a girl's,
An' looks up at the scowlin' first mate, lads,
An' shakes back his long, shining curls.
An' says he, in a voice dear and pretty,
My step-father brought me aboard,
And hid me away down the stairs there;
For to keep me he couldn't afford.
"And he told me the big ship would take
To Halifax town,-oh, so far!
And he said, 'Now the Lord is your father,
Who lives where the good angels are.'"
"It's a lie," says the mate: "Not your
But some of these big skulkers aboard,
Some milk-hearted, soft-headed sailor.
Speak up, tell the truth, d'ye hear "
"'Twarn't us," growled the tars as stood
"What's your age?" says one of the
"And your name ? says another old salt fish.
Says the small chap, "I'm Frank, just
" Oh, my eyes!" says another bronzed sea-
To the mate, who seemed staggered his-
"Let him go free to old Novy Scoshy,
And I'll work out his passage myself."
34 THE LITTLE IER] O.
"Belay," says the mate; "shut your mouth,
I'll sail this 'ere craft, bet your life,
An' I'll fit the lie on to you somehow,
As square as a fork fits a knife."
Then a-knitting his black brows with anger
He tumbled the poor slip below;
An' says he, "P'r'aps to-morrow'll change
If it don't, back to England you go."
I took him some dinner, be sure, mates,-
Just think, only nine years of age!
An' next day, just as six bells tolled,
The mate brings him up from his cage.
An' he plants him before us amidships,
His eyes like two coals all alight;
An' he says, through his teeth, mad with
An' his hand lifted ready to smite :
"Tell the truth, lad, and then I'll forgive
But the truth I will have. Speak it out.
It wasn't your father as brought you,
But some of these men here about."
Then that pair o' blue eyes, bright and
Clear and shining with innocent youth,
Looks up at the mate's bushy eyebrows,
-An', says he, "Sir, I've told you the
'Twarn't no use; the mate didn't believe
Though every man else did aboard.
With rough hand, by the collar he seized
And cried, "You shall hang, by the
An' he snatched his watch out of his pocket,
Just as if he'd been drawin' a knife.
"If in ten minutes more you don't speak,
There's the rope, and good-bye to your
There I you never see such a sight, mates,
As that boy with his bright, pretty face,-
Proud, though, and steady with courage,
Never thinking of asking for grace.
Eight minutes went by all in silence,
Says the mate then, Speak, -lad, say your
His eyes slowly filling with tear-drops,
He faltering says, May I pray ?"
I'm a rough and hard old tarpa'lin
As any blue-jacket afloat;
But the salt water springs to my eyes, lads,
And I felt my heart rise in my throat.
The mate kind o' trembled an' shivered,
And nodded his head in reply;
And his cheek went all white, of a sudden,
And the hot light was quenched in his
Tho' he stood like a figure of marble,
With his watch tightly grasped in his
An' the passengers all still around him;
Ne'er the like was on sea or on land.
An' the little chap kneels on the deck there,
An' his hands he clasps over his breast,
As he must ha' done often at home, lads,
At night-time, when going to rest.
And soft come the first words, "Our Father,"
Low and soft from the dear baby-lip;
But, low as they were, heard like trumpet
By each true man aboard of that ship.
L 0 VE LIGHTENS LAB OR. 65
Ev'ry bit of that prayer, mates, he goes
To, "Forever and ever. Amen."
And for all the bright gold of the Indies,'
I wouldn't ha' heard it again!
And, says he, when he finished, uprising
An' lifting his blue eyes above,
"Dear Lord Jesus, oh, take me to heaven,
Back again to my own mother's love! "
For a minute or two, like a magic,
We stood every man like the dead.
Then back to the mate's face comes running
The life-blood again, warm and red.
Off his feet was that lad sudden lifted,
And clasped to the mate's rugged breast;
And his husky voice muttered, God bless
As his lips to his forehead he pressed.
If the ship hadn't been a good sailor,
And gone by herself right along,
All had gone to Old Davy; for all, lads,
Was gathered 'round in that throng.
Like a man, says the mate, God forgive
That ever I used you so hard.
It's myself as had ought to be strung up,
Taut and sure, to that ugly old yard."
"You believe me, then ?" said the youngster,
"Believe you!" He kissed him once
"You'd have laid down your life for the
Believe you! From.now, evermore!"
An' p'r'aps, mates, he wasn't thought much
All that day and the rest of the trip;
P'r'aps he paid after all for his passage;
P'r'aps he wasn't the pet of the ship.
An' if that little chap ain't a model,
For all, young or old, short or tall,
And if that ain't the stuff to make men of,
Old Ben, he knows naught, after all.
LOVE LIGHTENS LABOR.
GOOD wife rose from her bed one
And thought with a nervous dread
Of the piles of clothes to be washed, and
Than a dozen mouths to be fed.
There's the meals to get for the men in the
And the children to fix away
To school, and the milk to be skimmed
And all to be done this day.
It had rained in the night, and all the wood
Was wet as it could be;
There were puddings and pies to bake,
A loaf of cake for tea.
And the day was hot, and her aching head
Throbbed wearily as she said,
"If maidens but knew what good wives
They would not be in haste to wed!"
"Jennie, what do you think I told Ben
Called the farmer from the well;
And a flush crept up to his bronzed brow,
And his eyes half bashfully fell;
"It was this," he said, and coming near
He smiled, and stooping down,
Kissed her cheek-" 'twas this, that you
were the best
And the dearest wife in town!"
THE OLD MAN IN THE PALA CE CAR.
The farmer went back to the field, and the
In a smiling, absent way
Sang snatches of tender little songs
She'd not sung for many a day.
And the pain in her head was gone, and
Were white as the foam of the sea;
Her bread was light, and her butter was
And as golden as it could be.
"Just think," the children all called in
"Tom Wood has run off to sea!
He wouldn't, I know, if he'd only had
As happy a home as we."
The night came down, and the good wife
To herself, as she softly said:
"'Tis so sweet to labor for those we love,-
It's not strange that maids will wed!"
THE OLD MAN IN THE PALACE CAR.
SELL, Betsy, this beats everything our
FWL eyes have ever seen,
We are riding in a palace fit for a king or
We didn't ride so fast as this, nor on such
When we left New England, years ago, to
seek a home out West.
We rode through this same country, but
not as now we ride;
You sat within a stage-coach, while I trudged
on by your side.
Instead of riding on a rail, I carried one,
To pry the old coach from the mire through
which we had to go.
Let's see-'tis fifty years ago-just after we
Your eyes were then like diamonds bright,
your cheeks like roses red.
Now, Betsy, people call us old, and push
us to one side,
Just as they did the slow old coach in
which we used to ride.
I wonder if young married folks to-day
To take a wedding tour like ours with a
log-house at the end.
Much of the sentimental love which sets
young cheeks aglow
Would die to meet the hardships of fifty
Our love grew stronger as we toiled,
though food and clothes were coarse;
None ever saw us in the courts a-hunting a
Love leveled down the mountains and made
low places high;
Love sang a song that cheered us when
clouds and storms were nigh.
I'm glad to see the world move on-to hear
the engine's roar,
'And all about the cable stretching from
shore to shore.
Our mission here's accomplished ; with toil
we both are through,
The Lord just lets us live awhile to see
how young folks do.
Whew! Betsy, how we're flying; see the
farms and towns go by;
It makes my gray hair stand on end, and
dims my failing eye.
Soon we'll be through our journey, and in
the house so good,
That stands within a twelve rod of where
the log one stood.
How slow, like old-time coaches, our youth-
ful days swept by,
THE CHRISTMAS 1PRA YER.
The years when we were living neathh a
bright New England sky.
Swifter than palace cars now fly, our later
years have flown,
Until we're journeying hand in hand down
to the grave alone;
And I can hear the whistle blown on life's
Only a few more stations in the valley
Soon we'll reach the home eternal with its
Stop at last in that blest city-walk its
streets of gold.
THE CHRISTMAS PRAYER.
S -HE winter day was growing old;
The evening's breath came hard and
Great flocks of clouds, with wings of gray,
Shed feathery snow-flakes on their way;
And all the city streets among
A troupe of breezes danced and sung.
But though the frost was keen and bold,
And though the air was biting cold,
A thousand gaily-stepping feet
Went up and down the lighted street.
A thousand hands with pressure tight
Were grasping presents rich and bright:
A thousand hearts were hasting home
To hearts that longed to see them come;
For wondrous gladness filled the air,
And Christmas eve was everywhere.
But it has not so sweet a sound
In homes where children are not found
And in one mansion rich and grand
A wife and husband, hand in hand,
Were sitting by the fire-light's glow,
And gazing on the streets below,
And with sad hearts unreconciled,
Were thinking of a long-lost child.
Out in the country, near a wood,
The little old brown school-house stood,
Now school was closed
And with glad shouts the children strode
Along the white hard-beaten road,
To where farm-houses cheered the sight,
And lamps already glimmered bright.
With unassumed, unconscious grace,
And pleasure dancing on each face,
They brought the presents all to mind
Which they that eve were to receive
Or in the early morning find.
Old Santa Claus, that famous king
Of childish lore, was handled o'er,
And all the treasures h might bring.
But look with shouts and faces gay,
They passed a poor-house on their way,
And a sweet, care-worn looking child
From out a window gazed and smiled
To see the other children glad;
But her poor wistful heart was sad.
That night our little friendless one,
Bowed low in grief her childish head
Upon the ragged poor-house bed,
And in a sweet and pleading tone
Made a short prayer, yes, all her own:
" O Jesus! you who loved so well
The little ones, of whom they tell
You would not have them sent away:
But said to all, those who believe
If they would ask they should receive.
O Jesus! please for me to find
Two good nice parents, sweet and kind,
And ask them if they will not spread
Some little presents by my bed,
That they my heart may cheerful make
To-morrow morning when I wake,
And I be made as happy so
As other children that I know."
She said "Amen with reverence deep,
Closed her blue eyes and sank asleep.
THE CHRIST31MAS PRA YER.
Still sat the childless couple where
The lights of luxury were fair,
And still, with thoughts all tempest-tossed,
Each silent mused, with sad heart bruised,
Upon the child that they had lost.
But listen! with a sudden clang
The loudly-speaking door-bell rang,
And a detective's face they viewed,
With patient linesdeep marked and shrewd,
Anid scarce the parent's questioning eye
Was met before he made reply:
"I come at last with tidings new.
The child I've sought so long for you,
The child you lost five years ago,
Has lived, and lives. Her place I know.
The beggar who, with Satan's aid,
Stole her to help his piteous trade,
Died in a country poor-house, where
He left the child and she is there.
Mistake or doubt cannot befall;
Here are the proofs; I have them all.
She is not very far away,
And you, if bold to bear the cold,
May see her ere another day.",
"To bear the cold What has she borne
She shall not longer friendless mourn.
The horses-quick!"'' And soon, in spite
Of cold and sleet, the champing feet
Of swift steeds dashed into the night,
Until they halted just before
The great poor-house's dingy door.
And soon the parents softly crept
Into the gloom of one small room,
And watched their darling while she slept,
And, weeping, listened to the prayer
Which she that night had offered there,
(For the old matron overheard,
And told it to them, every word).
Her sleeping face appeared to them
As some fair flower at evening's hour
Low drooping on its weary stem;
But that soft prayer-in Heaven now-
Had left its touch upon her brow;
Its grief and comfort they could .trace
Upon the well remembered face.
The mother yearned the child to press
In all her piteous loveliness,
But would not yet her slumber break,
And said: My darling shall not wake
Until her prayer we answered see
As well and nearly as may be."
And soon the sleek swift horses flew
Back where proud presents rich and new-
Hung in the lamp-light's brilliant rays,
The envy of all children's gaze;
Which ere another hour. had fled,
Hands softly bore, and placed before
The little sleeper's lowly bed.
She woke at last; and, wondering, threw
A swift glance keen upon the kcene
That burst upon her startled view.
A vast amazement tilled her face:
The room was like a fairy place.
No toy she wished but it was there;
Bright presents glittered everywhere.
No gift her thought had learned to prize
But it was spread before her eyes:
And presents made her young heart glow
Whose very names she did not know.
But look a man with step of pride.
And a sweet lady by his side,
More beautiful and high of mien
Than any she had ever seen, .'
Came, and above her wept and smiled,
And called her their poor long-lost child..!
The Christmas morn rose clear and' brighC: '-.
And through the flashing fields.of l1 'A^ e
A band of angels sweet and fair;'' "-
It seemed to me, came far to see
That answer to the Christmas prayer.
CHRISTMAS EVE. 69
i H REE little stockings-two blue,' and
Hung up neathh the mantel so neatly;
Two little boys rest in their low trundle-bed,
In her cradle the baby sleeps sweetly.
With foot on the rocker and love in her eye,
A mother is quietly sitting;
She chants to slow measure an old lullaby-
Her hands the while busily knitting.
She stops now and then to replace, with a
Two dimpled arms under the cover,
She knows that commissioned from regions
S'Round her baby the bright angels hover.
But the moments glide on: her singing is
With hands on her lap idly sinking,
And knitting-work fallen quite on to the
She is thinking-so busily thinking.
Thought wings her away to the sunshiny
Where sweetest of memories a.e hidden;
But round the low cot sweeps the wild
Sweeps away her fond visions, unbidden.
She-looks round her room with dissatisfied
That humble room furnished so plainly;
"-L. Alas for the hopes of my long ago days'
Why, still, do I cherish you vainly
'" .'And this for our home; poor, wretched at
,':.'Though John calls it tidy and cosy;
A home for our children-had fortune but
Their infancy sparkling and rosy,
" My husband could banish the care which
I would dress in rich.satins and laces;
We could look with such pride on our
bright, noble boys
And our daughter's rare beauty and
."Instead of these three little stockings I
Each waiting its poor, penny treasure,
We could plant in our parlor a vast Christ-
Which should bear costly fruits without
'Tis gone; the feverish longing is past-
Years of toil, hope, and love true and
Exchanged is the low, humble cottage at
For a long envied dwelling of splendor.
Those years fill his coffers, but stay not
For John and his wife have grown older;
Her eye has lost much of its olden love-
His heart become harder and colder.
Christmas Eve. In the splendor of parlor
The mother sits, wearied and weeping;
Through thin, jewelled fingers, her burn-
ing tears fall,
While her late lonelyvigil she's keeping.
She looks on the brilliant luxuriance there,
Fruition of Hope's early dreaming,
The Christmas tree laden with fruitage so
Rich and ripe, 'midst its foliage gleam-
70 THE SHADOW ON THE BLIND.
But the hands which should gather-where
are they to-night ?
Ah, gold! the false hearted, alluring,-
On the name of the daughter has fallen a
Than beauty and grace more enduring.
There are tears for the fair one whose com-
ing no more
-That desolate bosom will gladden;
There's an ache in the heart that wealth
Which poverty could not so sadden.
There are tears for the wayward-the boys
are so changed-
Money opens the door to temptation,-
From mother and home, by the wine-cup
They wander in wild dissipation.
Hark! is it the night-wind in fury un-
Through leafless trees shrieking and
She listens-her quick ear interprets the
Down, wild, through the passage she's
Her white hands unlock and throw open
A terrible vision revealing!
Robbed-murdered-her husband lies cov-
ered with gore-
His heart's blood still flowing, congeal-
With a shriek of deep anguish and utter
She falls. "Why my dear,
what's the matter?
Dreaming, weren't you? The children
sleep well, I declare,
Amid such commotion and clatter.
"Here, tuck in their stockings these can-
dies and toys-
Only trifles-but true love goes with
God bless our sweet baby, and dear, darling
With health to enjoy what we give
Mary smiles through her tears on that fond
beaming face !
"Oh, John we are blessed without
Our own humble home is a dear happy
And love is its pure priceless treasure I
THE SHADOW ON THE BLIND.
LAS! what errors are sometimes com-
What blunders are made, what duties
What scandals arise, what mischief is
Through want of a moment's reflection- and
How many a fair reputation has flown
Through a stab in the dark from some per-
Or some tale spread abroad with assiduous
When the story the strictest inspection
How often rage, malice, and envy are
How often contention and hatred abound
Where true love should exist, and harmony
Through a misunderstanding, alas! who
THE SHAD O W ON THE BLIND. 71
Mr. Ferdinand Plum was a grocer by trade;
By attention and tact he a fortune had
No tattler, nor maker of mischief was he,
But as honest a man as you'd e'er wish to
Of a chapel, close by, he was deacon, they
And his minister lived just over the way.
Mr. Plum was retiring to rest one night,
He had just undressed and put out the
And pulled back the blind
As he peeped from behind
('Tis a custom with many to do so, you'll
When, glancing his eye,
IIe happened to spy
On the blinds on the opposite side-oh, fie I
Two shadows; each movement of course he
And the people were quarreling evidently.
"Well I never," said Plum, as he witnessed
"I declare 'tis the minister beating his
The minister held a thick stick in his hand,
And his wife ran away as he shook the
Whilst her shrieks and cries were quite
shocking to hear,
And the sounds came across most remark-
"Well, things are deceiving,
But-' seeing's believing,' "
Said Plum to himself, as he turned into
Now, who would have thought
That man would have fought
And beaten his wife on her shoulders and
With a great big stick,
At least three inches thick ?
I am sure her shrieks quite filled me with
I've a great mind to bring
The whole of the thing
Before the church members, but no, I have
A proverb which says 'Least said soonest
And thus Mr. Plum's mild soliloquy ended.
Bnt, alas! Mr. Plum's eldest daughter,
Saw the whole of the scene, and could not
From telling Miss Spot, and Miss Spot told
(Though of course in strict confidence)
Whom she happened to know, what the
parson had done;
So the news spread abroad, and soon
reached the ear
Of the parson himself, and he traced it,
To the author, Miss Jane. Jane could not
But at the same time she begged leave to
The parson to prove she had uttered a lie.
A church meeting was called: Mr. Plum
made a speech,
He said, "Friends, pray listen awhile, I
What my daughter has said is most cer-
For I saw the whole scene on the samn
evening, too ;
But, not wishing to make an unpleasantness
I did not tell either my daughter or wife.
72 TIRED MOTHERS.
But of course as Miss Jane saw the whole
of the act,
I think it but right to attest to the fact."
"'Tis remarkably strange!" the parson
" It is plain Mr. Plum must something have
Though the wife-beating story of course is
And in that I can say I am grossly belied."
While he ransacks his brain, and ponders,
To recall any scene that could ever give
To so monstrous a charge,-just then his
"I have it, my love; you remember that
When I had such a horrible, terrible fright.
We both were retiring that evening to
I was seated, my dear, and but partly un-
When a nasty large rat jumped close to my
My shrieking was heard, I suppose, in the
You caught up the poker, and ran round
And at last knocked the rat, and so sealed
Our shadows, my love, must have played
on the blind;
And this is the mystery solved, you will
Don't believe every tale that is handed
We have all enough faults and real failings,
Being burdened with those of which there's
If you study this tale, I think, too, you
That a light should be placed in the front,
For often strange shadows are seen on the
SLITTLE elbow leans upon your
Your tired knee that has so much to
A child's dear eyes are looking lovingly
From underneath a thatch of tangled
Perhaps you do not heed the velvet touch
Of warm, moist fingers, folding yours so
You do not prize this blessing overmuch,-
You almost are too tired to pray to-night.
But it is blessedness! A year ago
I did not see it as I do to-day-
We are so dull and thankless; and too slow
To catch the sunshine till it slips away.
And now it seems surpassing strange to me,
That, while I wore the badge of mother-
I did not kiss more oft and tenderly
The little child that brought me only
And, if some night when you sit down to
You miss this elbow from your tired
This restless curling head from off your
This lisping tongue that chatters con-
THE LEAK IN THE DIKE. 73
If from your own the dimpled hands had
And ne'er would nestle in your palm
If the white feet into their
I could not blame you for your heart-
I wonder so that mothers ever fret
At little children clinging to their gown;
Or that the footprints, when the days are
Are ever black enough to make them
If I could find a little muddy boot,
Or cap, or jacket, on my chamber-floor -
If I could kiss a rosy, restless foot,
And hear it patter in my house once
If I could mend a broken cart to-day,
To-morrow make a kite to reach the sky,
There is no woman in God's world could
She was more. blissfully content than I.
But ah the dainty pillow next my own
Is never rumpled by a shining head;
My singing birdling from its nest is flown,-
The little boy I used to kiss is dead I
THE LEAK IN THE DIKE.
HE good dame looked from her cottage
At the close of the pleasant day,
And cheerily called to her little son
Outside the door at play:
" Come, Peter, come! I want you to go
While there is light to see,
To the hut of the blind old man who lives
Across the dike, for me;
And take these cakes I made for him,
They are hot and smoking yet;
You have time enough to go and come
Before the sun is set."
Then the good-wife turned to her labor,
Humming a simple song,
And thought of her husband, working hard
At the sluices all day long;
And set the turf a-blazing,
And brought the coarse black bread;
That he might find a fire at night,
And find the table spread.
And Peter left the brother,
With whom all day he'd played,
And the sister who had watched their sports
In the willow's tender shade.
For he was a brave, bright fellow,
With eye and conscience clear;
And now, with his face all glowing,
And eyes as bright as the day
With the thoughts of his pleasant errand,.
He trudged along the way;
And soon his joyous prattle
Made glad a lonesome place-
Alas! if only the blind old man
Could have seen that happy face-
Yet he somehow caught the brightness
Which his voice and presence lent;
And he felt the sunshine come and go
As Peter came and went.
And now, as the day was sinking,
And the winds began to rise,
The mother looked from her door again,
Shading her anxious eyes;
And saw the shadows deepen,
And birds to their homes come back,
74 THE LEAK IN THE DIKE
But never a sign of Peter
Along the level track.
But she said: He will come at morning,
So I need not fret or grieve-
Though it isn't like my boy at all
To stay without my leave."
But where was the child delaying ?
On the homeward way was he,
And across the dike while the sun was up
An hour above the sea.
He was stopping now to gather flowers,
Now listening to the sound,
As the angry waters dashed themselves
Against their narrow bound.
"Ah! well for us," said Peter,
That the gates are good and strong
And my father tends them carefully,
Or they would not hold you long !"
But hark! Through the noise of waters
Comes a low, clear, trickling sound;
And the child's face pales with terror,
And his blossoms drop to the ground.
He is up the bank in a moment,
And, stealing through the sand,
He sees a stream not yet so large
As his slender, childish hand.
'Tis a leak in the dike! He is but a boy,
Unused to fearful scenes;
But, young as he is, he has learned to know
SThe dreadful thing that means.
A leak in the dike I The stoutest heart
Grows faint that cry to hear,
And the bravest man in all the land
Turns white with mortal fear.
And the boy! He has seen the danger,
And, shouting a wild alarm,
He forces back the weight of the sea
With the strength of his single arm I
He listens for the joyful sound
Of a footstep passing nigh;
And lays his ear to the ground to catch
The answer to his cry.
And he hears the rough winds blowing,
And the waters rise and fall,
But never an answer comes to him,
Save the echo of his call.
He sees no hope, no succor,
His feeble voice is lost;
Yet what shall he do but watch and wait
Though he perish at his post.
He thinks of his brother and sister,
Asleep in their safe, warm bed;
He thinks of his father and mother,
Of himself as dying-and dead;
And of how, when the night is over,
They must come and find him at last;
But he never thinks he can leave the place
Where duty holds him fast.
The good dame in the cottage
Is up and astir with the light,
For the thought of her little Peter
Has been with her all night.
And now she watches the pathway,
As yester-eve she had done;
But what does she see so strange and black
Against the rising sun ?
Her neighbors are bearing between them
Something straight to her door;
Her child is coming home, but not
As he ever came before.
" He is dead! she cries; my darling!"
And the startled father hears,
And comes and looks the way she looks
And fears the thing she fears;
Till the glad shout from the bearers
Thrills the stricken man and wife-
" Give thanks, for your son has saved our
And God has saved his life!"
THE AMERICAN FLA G. 75
So, there in the morning sunshine
They knelt about the boy;
And every head was bared and bent
In tearful, reverent joy.
'Tis many a year since then; but still,
When the sea roars like a flood,
Their boys are taught what a boy can do
Who is brave and true and good.
For every man in that country
Takes his son by the hand,
And tells him of little Peter,
Whose courage saved the land.
They have many a valiant hero
Remembered through the years;
But never one whose name so oft
Is named with loving tears.
And his deed shall be sung by the cradle,
And told the child on the knee,
So long as the dikes of Holland
Divide the land from the sea.
THE AMERICAN FLAG.
A THOUGHTFUL mind, when it sees
a nation's flag, sees not the flag only,
but the nation itself; and whatever may be
its symbols, its insignia, he reads chiefly in
the flag the government, the principles, the
truths, the history, which belong to the
nation that sets it forth.
When the French tricolor rolls out to the
wind, we see France. When the new-
found Italian flag is unfurled, we see resur-
rected Italy. When the other three cor-
nered Hungarian flag shall be lifted to the
wind, we shall see in it the long-buried but
never dead principles of Hungarian liberty.
When the united crosses of St. Andrew
and St. George on a fiery ground set forth
the banner of Old England, we see not the
cloth merely; there rises up before the
mind the noble aspect of that monarchy
which, more than any other on the globe,
has advanced its banner for liberty, law and
This nation has a banner too; and wher-
ever it streamed abroad, men saw daybreak
bursting on their eyes, for the American
flag has been the symbol of liberty, and
men rejoiced in it. Not another flag on
the globe had such an errand, or went
forth upon the sea, carrying everywhere,
the world around, such hope for the cap-
tive and such glorious tidings.
The stars upon it were to the pining na-
tions like the morning stars of God, and the
stripes upon it were beams of morning light.
As at early dawn the stars stand first,
and then it grows light, and then as the
sun advances, that light breaks into banks
and streaming lines of color, the glowing
red and intense white striving together and
ribbing the horizon with bars effulgent, so
on the American flag, stars and beams of
many colored light shine out together.
And wherever the flag comes, and men
behold it, they see in its sacred emblhzonry
no rampant lion and fierce eagle, but only
LIGHT, and every fold significant of liberty.
The history of this banner is all on one
side. Under it rode Washington and his
armies; before it Burgoyne laid down his
arms; it waved on the highlands at West
Point; it floated over old Fort Montgomery.
When Arnold would have surrendered
these valuable fortresses and precious lega-
cies, his night was turned into day, and his
treachery was driven away, by the beams
of light from this starry banner.
It cheered our army, driven from New
York, in their solitary pilgrimage through
New Jersey. It streamed in light over
76 NO MORTGA GE ON THE FARM.
Valley Forge and Morristown. It crossed
the waters rolling with ice at Trenton; and
when its stars gleamed in the cold morning
with victory, a new day of hope dawned on
the despondency of the nation. And when
at length, the long years of war were draw-
ing to a close, underneath the folds of this
immortal banner sat Washington while
Yorktown surrendered its hosts and our
Revolutionary struggles ended with vic-
Let us then twine each thread of the
glorious tissue of our country's flag about
our heartstrings; and looking upon our
homes and catching the spirit that breathes
upon us from the battle-fields of our fathers,
let us resolve, come weal or woe, we will,
in life and in death, now and forever, stand
by the stars and stripes. They have been
unfurled from the snows of Canada to the
plains of New Orleans, in the halls of the
Montezumas, and amid the solitude ot
every sea; and everywhere, as the lumi-
nous symbol of resistless and beneficent
power, they have led the brave to victory
and to glory. They have floated over our
cradles; let it be our prayer and our strug-
gle that they shall float over our graves.
NO MORTGAGE ON THE FARM.
SARY, let's kill the fatted calf, and
@ celebrate this day,
For the last dreadful mortgage on the farm
is wiped away;
1 have got the papers with me, they are
right as right can be-
Let us laugh and sing together, for the dear
old farm is free.
Don't all we Yankees celebrate the Fourth
day of July?
Because 'twas then that freedom's sun lit
up our nation's sky;
Why shouldn't we then celebrate, and this
day ne'er forget ?
Where is there any freedom like being out
of debt ?
I've riz up many morning's an hour before
And night has overtaken me before the task
When weary with my labor, 'twas this
thought that nerved my arm:
Each day of toil will help to pay the mort-
gage on the farm.
And, Mary, you have done your part in
rowin' to the shore,
By takin' eggs and butter to the little vil-
SYou did not spend the money in dressing'
up for show,
But sang from morn till evening in your
And Bessie, our sweet ,daughter-God
bless her loving heart I
The lad that gets her for a wife must be
by nater smart,-
She's gone without piano, her lonely hours
To have a hand in payin' off the mortgage
on the farm.
I'll build a little cottage soon to make your
I'll buy a good piano to go with Bessie's
You shall not make your butter with that
up and down concern,
For I'll go this very day and buy the finest
IF WE XNEW--JAJMES A. GABRFIELD. 77
Lay by your faded calico and go with me
And get yourself and Bessie a new and shin-
Low prices for our produce need not give
us now alarm;
Spruce up a little Mary, there's no mort-
gage on the farm!
While our hearts are now so joyful, let us,
Mary, not forget
To thank the God of heaven for being out
of debt ;
For he gave the rain and sunshine, and put
strength into my arm,
And lengthened out the days to see no
mortgage on the farm.
IF WE KNEW.
F we knew the woe and heartache
Waiting for us down the road,
If our lips could taste the wormwood,
If our backs could feel the load;
Would we waste the day in wishing
For a time that ne'er can be ?
Would we wait with such impatience
For our ships to come from sea?
If we knew the baby fingers,
Pressed against the window pane,
Would be cold and stiff to-morrow,-
Never trouble us again ;
Would the bright eyes of our darling
Catch the frown upon our brow I
Would the print of rosy fingers
Vex us then as they do now ?
Ah, these little ice-cold fingers !
How they point our memories back
To the hasty words and actions
Strewn along our backward track!
How these little hands remind us,
As in snowy grace they lie,
Not to scatter thorns, but roses,
For our reaping by and by.
Strange we never prize the music
Till the sweet-voiced bird has flown;
Strange that we should slight the violets
Till the lovely flowers are gone;
Strange that summer skies and sunshine
Never seem one-half so fair
As when winter's snowy pinions
Shake their white down in the air.
Lips from which the seal of silence
None but God can roll away,
Never blossomed in such beauty
As adorns the mouth to-day;
And sweet words that freight our memory
With their beautiful perfume,
Come to us in sweeter accents
Through the portals of the tomb.
Let us gather up the sunbeams,
Lying all around our path;
Let us keep the wheat and roses,
Casting out the thorns and chaff;
Let us find our sweetest comfort
In the blessings of to-day;
With a patient hand removing
All the briars from our way.
JAMES A. GARFIELD.
HE boyhood friends of James A. Gar-
field knew what a generous, earnest,
ambitious young student he was. His old
comrades in the army knew what a soldier he
was. His associates in Congress knew what
a brave, resolute, wise leader and debat-
er he was. We have measured him in the
struggle of life. We have weighed him in
the conflict of politics. We have watched
each step and been glad that each step has
been upward since those student days
when he struggled for bread as well as
knowledge, until to-day he is the un-
crowned head of the Great Republic.
But we never fully knew, until now, as
he lies, great-hearted and gentle-tongued,
fighting for life, and looking death calmly
and resolutely in the face, determined to con-
quer death and compel life. When think-
ing of that struggle, my thoughts go, as
your thoughts go, to the wife who seems to
have come right out from the shadow of
death, that, with loving hand and tender
heart she might lead him away from
the shadow, back to beauty and health
and strength. I think of him as he stood
on Inauguration Day with the thousands
gathered around him, with martial music
and glad acclaim on every hand. I think
of him after he had put his hand on the
Bible and sworn that he would obey and
maintain the Constitution, turning to his.
*wife with a loving kiss; the wife who had
been his schoolmate in the days away back
in the old Ohio school house; and then rev-
erently stooping and kissing the little old
mother, whose faith and love and good
sense had trained him up to be president of
these United States. God bless the Presi-
dent. God bless his loyal wife. God's
richest blessing be on that little mother
and spare her aged eyes from seeing her
boy pass before her to the Better Land. It
is a great thing to be a great soldier, a
great thing to be a great orator, a grand
thing to be a great statesman and wise
scholar; but it is a far greater and nobler
and grander thing to be a true man who is
faithful to wife and obedient to mother, a
kind father and loving Christian.
SOLD upon the hill-side, heaving like
"' the seas,
For the corn is yellow-ripe waving in the
And in orchards, apples red are weighing
down the trees.
Emeralds on the lowlands where the river
In the pastures sweet and green, kine and
And the glittering dragon-fly like an earth
There is brightness in the heavens, fresh-.
ness in the air,
Ripeness in the teeming earth, richness
For the world to-day is filled with all things
good and fair.
Glorious Autumn! Well of thee poets sang
Gathering round the luscious fruits, wealth
of grain untold,
Decking thee in regal robes of purple and
The murmuring streams, the rustling trees,
the dulcet low of herds,
The song of winds, the hum of bees, the
melody of birds.
God's poets they, that chant thy praise in
hymns more grand than words.
Spring-tide is the year s gay youth, summer
is its prime;
In Faith we watch the growth of spring-
in Hope the summer time;
But mellow Autumn, like God's love, show-
ers gifts on every clime.
THE KISS DEFERRED.
THE KISS DEFERRED.
SWO little cousins once there were,
Named Mary Ann and Jane.
The first one lived in Boston town,
The second down in Maine.
And Jane she wrote a little note,
Dear cousin," thus wrote she,
"Dear Cousin Ann, I've made a plan
That you should visit me;
For you are one, the Ann unknown
I've always longed to see.
They say that you have eyes deep blue,
And a brow all lily fair,
While round your face with many a grace
Doth curl your golden hair.
Now I, they say, have eyes of gray,
And the puggiest little nose,
A small round chin with a dimple in,
And cheeks as red as a rose.
Let me tell you this, that I'm saving a kiss
And a dear good hugging too,
For the cousin so fair with the golden hair
And the eyes so brightly blue.
So pray, dear Ann, come if you can,,
And bring your dolly dear.
My dollies "all, both great and small,
Will make her welcome here."
Wrote Ann to Jane; "I'd come to Maine
And play with you, I'm sure;
It would be so good if I only could,
But my papa is too poor.
When his ship gets home he says I may
For that will surely bring
All it can hold of silver and gold,
And clothes and everything."
The years flew on; young maidens grown
Were Mary Ann and Jane;
Still dwelt the first in Boston town,
The second down in Maine.
And now Jane wrote a perfumed note,
All in a perfumed cover,
And thus it ran: "Do come, dear Ann,
Do come, and bring your lover;
I've a lover, too, so tender and true,
A gallant youth is he;
On a summer night. when the moon shines
How charming it will be
To pleasantly walk and pleasantly talk
'Way down by the sounding sea."
Wrote Ann to Jane: "That visit to Maine
Must longer yet delay,
My cousin dear, for soon draws near
My happy wedding day."
More years have flown, much older grown
Were Mary Ann and Jane,
Still dwelt the first in Boston town,
The second down in Maine.
And once again took Jane her pen;
Dear cousin," now wrote she,
" Won't you come down from Boston town,
And bring your family ?
Bring all your girls with their golden curls
And their eyes so heavenly blue;
Bring all your boys with all their noise,
And bring that husband, too.
I've a pretty band that round me stand,
Six girls, my heart's delight;
They're as lovely a set as ever you met,
And all remarkably bright.
There's a kiss, you know, that since long ago,
I've been keeping for you, my dear,
Or have you forgot the first little note
I scribbled and sent you from here ?"
Thus Ann did reply: Alas, how can I
Set forth on my travels, dear Jane?
I've too many to take, yet none can forsake,
So sadly at home must remain.
If your kiss is there still, pray keep it until
You see me come jaunting that way.
82 THE FIRST CLO VD.
I've a loving kiss, too, that's been saving
This many and many a day."
Time onward ran; now Jane and Ann
Were old and feeble grown,-
Life's rapid years, mid smiles and tears,
Had swiftly o'er them flown.
Their locks of gray were stroked away
. From the worn and wrinkled brow;
Their forms were bent, their years were
They were widowed women now.
Suddenly one day, one winter's day,
Aunt Ann said, I must go
And see Cousin Jane, who lives in Maine,
In spite of wind and snow."
"Why, grandma, dear, this time of the year ?
Oh, what a foolish thing;
You're far too old to go in the cold,
We pray you wait till spring.
When the skies are clear., and the flowers
And the birds begin to sing."
"Children," said she, don't hinder me;
When smiling spring comes on,
The flowers may bloom around my tomb,
And I be dead and gone.
I'm old, ?tis true, my days are few,
There lies a reason plain
Against delay, if short my stay,
I must away to Maine,
And let these eyes, these mortal eyes
Behold my Cousin Jane."
As Aunt Jane sits and quietly knits,
Thinking her childhood o'er,
The latch is stirred, and next is heard
A tapping at the door.
" Come in," she said, and raised her head
To see who might appear;
An aged dame who walked quite lame,
Said, Cousin, I am here.
I'm here, dear Jane, I've come to Maine
To take that kiss you know,
The kiss, my dear, kept for me here
Since that long, long ago."
In glad surprise, Aunt Jane replies,
"Why, cousin can this be you ?
But where, oh, where, is the golden hair
And the eyes so brightly blue ?"
"And where," Ann said, "are your roses
And your chubby cheeks, I pray?
This, I suppose, was the little pug nose,
But the dimples, where are they?
And the lover, too, so tender and true,
Who walked by the light of the moon,
And the little band that round did stand,
Are they gone, all gone, so soon?"
They turned their eyes to the darkening
And the desolate scene below,
As they spoke with tears of their childhood
And the hopes of long ago.
The smiles and tears of buried years
Were smiled and wept again.
Thus met at last, a lifetime past,
The cousins, Ann and Jane,-
One of whom lived in Boston town,
The other down in Maine.
THE FIRST CLOUD.
SHEY stood at the altar one short year
He vowed from the troubles of life to de
To have her and hold her for weal or for
She spoke the responses in accents most
ON THE FENCE. 83
To-night, in the gloom they are sitting
Oh! has all her wifely devotion been
She mopes there in silence, a pain at her
The lamps are unlighted, his supper un-
Their sky, erst all cloudless, is now over-
For joy there is sorrow, for gladness de-
The serpent has entered their Eden at last,
And left its dark trail on the flowers of
Oh, well may there be in her bosom a pain,
A grief that she vainly endeavors to
To-night he has told her in language quite
She can't cook his meals half as well as
ON THE FENCE.
WO women leaned over the backyard
(The same old fence) as the sun went
While each told the other, in confidence,
The scandals she'd gathered around the
For women must gossip, or they can't
Their idea is that secrets weren't made
So they lean on the fence in the gloam-
Two women sat out on the front door stoop,
In the evening glow as the sun went
They told how their children had skipped
And they sneered at the minister's wife's
For women delight in a friendly chat,
Without it their lives would be stale
So they sit on the stoop in the gloam-
Two husbands came home from the base-
From the office, they said), as the sun
Both ready and eager to hear the same
Sweet scandals their wives had hunted
For men, though they work, love goa-
And that's why their wives seek some-
As they meet and talk in the gloaming.
CHRIST AND THE LITTLE ONES.
" HE Master has come over Jordan,"
S Said Hannah, the mother, one day;
" He is healing the people who throng him,
With a touch of his finger, they say.
"And now I shall carry the children,
Little Rachel, and Samuel, and John;
I shall carry the baby Esther
For the Lord to look upon."
The father looked at her kindly,
But he shook his head and smiled;
"Now who but a doting mother
Would think of a thing so wild ?
BETTER WHISTLE THAN WHINE.
" If the children were tortured by demons,
Or dying of fever, 'twere well;
Or had they the taint of the leper,
Like many in Israel."
"Nay, do not hinder me, Nathan,
I feel such a burden of care;
If I carry it to the Master,
Perhaps I shall leave it there.
"If he lay his hand on the children,
My heart will beat lighter, I know;
For a blessing for ever and ever
Will follow them as they go."
So over the hills of Judah,
Along the vine-rows green,
With Esther asleep on her bosom,
And Rachel her brothers between-
'Mong the people who hang on his teaching,
Or waiting his touch or his word,
Through the row of proud Pharisees listen-
She pressed to the feet of her Lord.
"Now why should'st, thou hinder the Mas-
Said Peter, with children like these?
Seest not how from morning to evening
He teacheth, and health disease ?"
Then Christ said, "Forbid not the children.!
Permit them to come unto me;"
And he took in his arms little Esther,
And Rachel he sat on his knee.
And the heavy heart of the mother
Was lifted all earth-care above,
As he laid his hands on the brothers,
And blessed them with tenderest love:
As he said of the babes in his bosom,
Of such is the kingdom of heaven;"
And strength for all duty and trial,
That hour to her spirit was given.
BETTER WHISTLE THAN WHINE.
S I was taking a walk early in Septem-
ber,I noticed two little boys on their
way to school. The smaller one stumbled
and fell, and though he was not very much
hurt, he began to whine in a babyish way-
not a regular roaring boy cry, as though he
were half killed; but a little, cross whine.
The older boy took his hand in a kind of
a fatherly way, and said: "Oh I never
mind, Jimmy; don't whine, it is a great
deal better to whistle." And he began in
the merriest way a cheerful boy-whistle.
Jimmy tried to join in the whistle. "I
can't whistle as nice as you, Charlie," said
he my lips won't pucker up good."
Oh! that is because you have not got.
all the whine out, yet," said Charlie; "but
you try a minute and the whistle will drive
the whine away."
So he did, and the last I saw or heard of
the little fellows they were whistling away
as earnestly as though that was the chief
end of life. I learned a lesson which I hope
I shall not soon forget, and it called out
these few lines, which may possibly cheer
another whiner of mature years, as this
class is by no means confined to the chil-
It is better to whistle than "whine;
It is better to laugh than to cry,
For though it be cloudy, the sun will soon
Across the blue, beautiful sky.
It is better to whistle than whine.
O man with the sorrowful brow,
Let the words of the child scatter murmurs
And gather his cheerfulness now.
AN OLD MAN'S STORY
It is better to whistle than whine,
Poor mother, so weary with care,
Thank God for the love and the peace that
And the joy of thy little ones share.
It is better to whistle than whine.
Though troubles you find on your way,
Remember that wise little fellow of mine,
And whistle your whining away.
God bless the brave boy for the cheer
He brought to this sad heart of mine;
When tempted to murmur that young voice
"It is better to whistle than whine !"
AN OLD MAN'S STORY.
J IS only an old man's story,-a tale we
S have oft heard told,
In a thousand forms and -fancies, by the
young as well as old,
A tale of life- dragged hellward, bound
down by a demon's chain,
Till the friendly hand of temp'rance had
rescued it back again!
Though only a child at the time, friends, I
well remember the night
Of our first great temp'rance meeting-it
came as an angel of light
Midst the darkness of vile intemp'rance, its
myriad crimes and sins;
A guiding light to the path of right, that
all might enter in!
A hymn, a prayer, an address; then the
chairman's voice was heard
To call on any one present just to say but a
Our pastor arose, 'midst cheering, but he
strongly denounced the new cause
As "a movement which none but fanatics
(hear, hear, and loud applause)
Would engage in, to injure the business of
such respectable men,
And break up the time honored usage of
the country,"-but just then
I saw whilst death-like silence reigned, an
old man slowly rise
On the platform and fix on the speaker the
glance of his piercing eyes!
That look held the audience spell-bound,
and I noticed my father's cheek
Turn deadly pale as the stranger paused
before he began to speak.
At last, with an effort, the old man said, in
accents low but clear:
"You've heard, friends, that I'm a fanatic,
that I have no business here;
As men and Christians, listen to truth,
hear me and be just;
My life-sands fast are running out, and
speak to-night I must!
Over a beaconless sea I've journeyed, life's
dearest hopes I've wrecked-
God knows how my heart is aching, as I
now o'er the past reflect.
I'm alone, without friends or kindred, but
it was not always so;
For I see away o'er that ocean wild, dear
forms pass to and fro.
I once knew a doting mother's love but I
crushed her fond old heart;
(He seemed to look at some vision, with
his'quivering lips apart.)
I once loved an angel creature with her
laughing eyes so blue,
And the sweetest child that ever smiled,
and a boy so brave and true !
Perhaps, friends, you will be startled, but
these hands have dealt the blow,
That severed the ties of kindred love, and
laid those dear ones low.
86 AN OLD MAN'S STORY.
Ah! yes, 1 was once a fanatic: yea, more
-a fiend, for then
I sacrificed my home, my all, for the riots
of a drink fiend's den.
One New Year's night I entered the hut
that charity gave, and found
My starving wife all helpless and shivering
on the ground;
With a maddened cry I demanded food,
then struck her a terrible blow;
'Food, food,' I yelled, 'quick, give me
food, or by heaven out you go !
Just then our babe from its cradle sent up
a famished wail;
My wife caught up the little form, with its
face so thin and pale,
Saying, 'James! my once kind husband,
you know we've had no food
For near a week. Oh, do not harm my
Willie that's so good.'
With a wild Ha! ha!' I seized them, and
lifted the latch of the door;
The storm burst in, but I hurled them out
in the tempest's wildest roar;
A terrible impulse bore me on, so I turned
to my little lad,
And snatched him from his slumbering rest
-the thought near drives me mad.
To the door I fiercely dragged him, grasp-
ing his slender throat,
I thrust him out, but his hand had caught in
the pocket of my coat.
I could not wrench his frenzied hold, so I
hit him with my fist,
Then shutting the door upon his arm, it
severed at the wrist.
I awoke in the morn from a stupor and idly
opened the door;
With a moan I started backward-two
forms fell flat to the floor.
The blood like burning arrows shot right
up to my dazed brain,
As I called my wife by the dearest words;
but, alas! I called in vain.
The thought of my boy flashed on me, I
imprinted one fervent kiss -
On those frozen lips; then searched around,
but from that black day to this
My injured boy I've never seen- He
paused awhile and wept,
And I saw the tears on my father's cheek
as I closer to him crept.
Once more the old man faltering, "Ten
long,, long years I served;
With an aching heart, in a felon's cell, the
sentence I deserved;
But there's yet a gleam of sunshine in my
life's beclouded sky,
And I long to meet my loved ones in the
better land on high!"
The pledge book lay on the table, just
where the old man stood,
He asked the men to sign it, and several
said they would.
"Aye, sign it-angels would sign it," he
exclaimed with a look of joy;
"I'd sign it a thousand times in blood, if
it would bring back my boy !'
My father wrote his name down whilst he
trembled in every limb;
The old man scanned it o'er and o'er, then
strangely glanced at him.
My father raised his left arm up--a cry, a
Then an old man and his injured boy were
sobbing heart to heart I
Ere the meeting closed that evening each
offered a fervent prayer,
And many that night who saw the sight,
rejoiced that they were there!
TEACHING PUBLIC SCHOOL.
ORTY little urchins
SComing through the door,
Pushing, crowding, making
A tremendous roar.
Why don't you keep quiet ?
Can't you keep the rule?-
Bless me, this is pleasant,
Teaching public school I
Forty little pilgrims
On the road to fame;
If they fail to reach it,
Who will be to blame ?
High and lowly stations-
Birds of every feather-
On a common level
Here are brought together.
Dirty little faces,
Loving little hearts,
Eyes brimful of mischief,
Skilled in all its arts.
That's a precious darling!
What are you about?
" May I pass the water? "
"Please may I go out ?"
Boots and shoes are shuffling,
Slates and books are rattling,
And in the corner yonder
Two pugilists are battling :
Others cutting didoes-
What a botheration!
No wonder we grow crusty
From such association !
Anxious parent drops in,
Merely to inquire
Why his olive branches
Do not shoot up higher;
Says he wants his children
To mind their p's and q's,
And hopes their brilliant talents
Will not be abused.
BLIC SCHOOL 87
Spelling, reading, writing,
Putting up the young ones;
Fuming, scolding, fighting,
Spurring on the dumb ones;
Gymnasts, vocal music-
How the heart rejoices
When the singer comes to
Cultivate the voices!
Making out reports,
Giving Object Lessons,
Class drills of all sorts;
Feeling like a fool-
Ol, the untold blessing,
Of the Public School.
THE CHRISTMAS TREE.
SUR darling little Florence, our blessing
Y/ and our pride,
With dimpled cheeks, and golden hair, and
brown eyes opened wide,
To look at every pretty thing, came flying
in to me;
" please," she pleaded earnestly, I want
a Christmas tree."
"Who put that in your head, my dear?
there's one at Sunday-school,
And you will see its laden boughs with
lovely presents full."
"Yes," said the child, "but I would like
one of my own.
And I will ask my company to come; my-
"I had a dream last night; I seemed out in
the woods to be,
And growing up right in the snow I saw a
THE CHRISTMAS TREE.
Two little angels hovered near, and while I
watched they spread
Their fairy wings, and seemed to make a
curtain o'er my head*
"The tree was shining like the stars, with
tapers burning bright,
An happy faces seemed to glow around it
in the night;
The little angels talked and talked; they
said: "This is the tree
That we've been keeping beautiful for Flor-
ence dear to see.
"'We'll lift it clear, we'll bear it far, we'll
take it to her door,
The prettiest, greenest Christmas tree, we'll
set it on her floor,
And if she asks the guests she ought we'll
linger there and sing,
Our voices blending in with theirs, as
cheerily they ring.' "
"A lovely dream, indeed," I said; "but
whom will you invite?
We'll find a tree quite easily, and star its
boughs with light;
But baby is not old enough to have her play-
An I yours are all engaged, my love, each
in her own bright home."
" I thought I'd go to Bridget's house, and
ask her little Kate,
And that barefootedboywho sellsus matches
at the gate,
And we will dress them up with shoes and
stockings to begin,
And give them presents; I will put all my
own money in.
"You only ought to see the old doll Kate
thinks so superb,
Its dingy face is just as brown as some old
bunch of herb,
And all the sawdust's pouring out its broken
arm, and yet
She loves it, and considers it a beauty and
" Poor Johnny has no mother. His-feet are
bare and blue,
And his eyes have such a hungry look when
he dares to look at you,
I think it would be sweet to give a bit of
And happiness-don't you-to such a little
Well, children have their way with me, and
Florence has a way
That is so free from selfishness, so gentle
and so gay,
We love to please her; that's the truth. We
helped her all we could,
And half a dozen little guests around the
tree there stood.
Its branches hung with golden fruit, dolls
and dishes and drums,
Elephants, horses, ard woolly dogs, and
boxes pf sugar plums;
A trumpet was given to Johnny that terribly
frightened the cat
And the top of his Christmas was crowned
when we gave him a soldier hat.
Our baby was charmed with a rattle, and for
Florence's dainty self
Was a music-box that played sweet tunes
from its niche on a rosewood shelf;
And Katie brooded over her doll in a sort
of motherly rapture,
Holding it close, lest a ruthless hand its
form from her grasp should capture,
And Bridget's jolly; half-moon face beamed
over the happy scene-
The tree was a tree to be glad about, and
Florence felt like a queen.
1HIE OLD CLOCK IN 21LE CORNER.
For sumehow, not only for Christmas, but
all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others is the joy
that comes back to you;
And the more you spend in blessing the
poor, the lonely, and sad,
The more to your heart's possessing, returns
to make you glad.
THE OLD CLOCK IN THE CORNER.
H-IE leafless trees are brown and bare,
SThe snow-flakes sweep through the
With the wintry wind they sport and play,
As it wearily whistles the night away.
The time-worn clock in the corner stands,
With faded dial and rusty hands;
With ceaseless motion its pendulum swings,
And this is the doleful song it sings:
"Tick, tick, tick. There are smiles and tears
In the mournful tale of a hundred years;
" The voice of memory, soft and low
Whispers to-night of the long ago.
"There are friends you loved, there are hopes
That are dead and gone with the old, old
"Spiders have woven a silken thread
In the dingy corner overhead,
" Mid the endless dust of the busy day
That hands, now pulseless, have swept away.
"The world will change and time will fly,
And we all grow old as the years go by.
" I have looked on a cheerful child at play,
And have heard his laughter loud and gay.
"I have seen a growing, bashful boy,
Ruddy with health and a look of joy,
" In rapture over a picture fair,
Or a tiny curl of golden hair.
"I have watched his smile when he looked
On the fair, sweet face of his new made bride.
" I have heard the infant's plaintive cry,
And a careworn mother's weary sigh;
" And an aged father, old and gray,
Talking of years that had gone away.
" I have seen the shadowy pall and bier,
The lifeless form and the mourner's tear,
" And have heard those words so often said
Sadly over the dear ones dead :
" Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust,'
Life is fleeting and God is just.
"Tick, tick, tick. It is done, done, done,
The sands in the glass of the year have run:
"The distant bells with a mournful chime
Sound another knell o'er the tomb of time.
" Over the past let the curtain fall,
Heaven's great mercy is over all."
OLD KITCHEN REVERIES.
F AR back in my musings my thoughts
Shave been cast
To the cot where the hours of my childhood
I loved all its rooms to the pantry and hall,
But that blessed old kitchen was dearer than
Its chairs and its tables none brighter could
For all its surroundings were sacred to me-
90 OLD KITCHEN REVERIES.
To the nail in the ceiling, the latch on the
And I loved every crack on the ol' kitchen
I remember the fire place with a mouth
high and wide,
The old fashioned oven that stood by its
Out of which, each Thanksgiving, came
puddings and pies
That fairly bewildered and dazzled my eyes,
And then, too, St. Nicholas, slyly and still,
Came down every Christmas our stockings'
But the dearest of memories I've laid up
Is the mother that trod on the old kitchen
Day in and day out, from morning till
Her footsteps were busy her heart always
For it seemed to me, then, that she knew
not a care,
The smile was so gentle her face used to
I remember with pleasure what joy filled
When she told us the stories that children
They were new every night though we'd
heard them before
From her lips at the wheel on the old
I remember the window, where mornings
As soon as the daybreak, to watch for the
And I thought when my head scarcely
reached to the sill,
That it slept through the night in the trees
Son the hill;
And the small tract of ground that my eyes
there could view,
Was all of the world that my infancy knew;
Indeed, I cared not to know of it more,
For the world of itself was that old kitchen
To-night those old visions come back at their
And the wheel and its music forever are
The band is moth-eaten, the wheel laid
And the fingers that turned it lie moulder-
ing to clay;
The hearthstone, so sacred, is just as 'twas
And the voices of children ring out there
The sun through the windows looks in as of
1But it sees stranger feet on the old kitchen
I ask not for honor but this I would crave,
That when the lips speaking are closed in
My children would gather there round side
And tell of the mother who long ago died;
'Twould be more enduring far dearer to me,
Than inscriptions on marble or granite
To have them tell often, as I did of yore,
Of the mother who trod on the old kitchen
"I'LL GIVE YOU A CHANCE-MAKE THE MOST OFIT. GO!" 91
"I'LL GIVE YOU A CHANCE-MAKE
THE MOST OF IT. GO !"
STERN old judge in relentless mood,
S Glanced at the two who before him
She was bowed and haggard and old,
He was young, defiant and bold.
Mother and son-and to gaze at the pair,
Their different attitudes, look and air,
One would believe, ere the truth was won,
The mother convicted and not the son.
Her husband had died in his shame and sin,
And she a widow, her living to win,
Had toiled and struggled from morn to
Making with want a wearisome fight;'
Bent over her work with resolute zeal,
Till she felt her whole frame totter and
Her weak limbs tremble, her eyes grow
But she loved her boy and she toiled for
And he-he stood in the criminal dock;
His heart seemed hard as the flinty rock.
An impudent glance and reckless air,
Braving the scorn of the gazers there.
trainedd with crime and encompassed 'round
With proof of his guilt by captors found.
Ready to stand, as he phrased it, "game,"
Holding not crime, but penitence, shame.
Poured in a flood o'er the mother's cheek
The moistening tears where the tongue was
And she saw through the mist of those
Only the child in his innocent years.
She remembered him pure as a child might
The guilt of the present she could not see;
And for mercy her wistful looks made
To the stern old judge in his high-backed
"Woman," the old judge crabbedly said,
"Your boy is the neighborhood's plague
Of a gang of reprobates chosen chief,
An idler and rioter, ruffian and thief,
The jury did right, for the facts were plain,
Denial is idle, excuses are vain.
The sentence the court imposes is one-"
" Mercy!" she plead; he's my only son.:'
The tipsters grinned at the words she spoke,
And a ripple of fun through the courtroom
But over the face of the culprit came
An angry look and a shadow of shame.
"Don't laugh at my mother!" aloud cried
"You got me fast and can deal with me,
But she's too good for your cowardly jeers,
And I'11-" then here his utterance choked
The judge for a moment bent his head
And looked at him keenly. Then he said:
"We suspend the sentence; the boy can go;"
And the words were tremulous, forced and
"But stay !" and he raised his finger then,
"Don't let them bring you hither again.
There is something good in you yet, I
I'll give you a chance-make the most of
The twain went forth, and the old judge
"I meant to have given him one year
92 WE SHALL KNO W.
And perhaps 'tis a difficult thing to tell
If clemency here be ill or well."
But a rift was struck in that hardened heart,
From which a fountain of good may start.
For one on the ocean of crime long tossed,
Who loves his mother, is not quite lost.
WE SHALL KNOW.
W HEN the mists have rolled in splen-
From the beauty of the hills,
And the sunshine, warm and tender,
Falls in kisses on the rills,
We may read Love's shining letter
In the rainbow of the spray,
We shall know each other better
When the mists have cleared away,-
We shall know as we are known,
Nevermore to walk alone,
In the dawning of the morning,
When the mists have cleared away.
If we err in human blindness
And forget that we are dust,
If we miss the law of kindness
When we struggle to be just,
Snowy wings of peace shall cover
All the pain that hides away,
When the weary watch is over,
And the mists have cleared away,-
We shall know as we are known,
Nevermore to walk alone,
In the dawning of the morning,
When the mists have cleared away.
When the silvery mist has veiled us
From the faces of our own,
Oft we deem their love has failed us
SAnd we tread our path alone;
We should see them near and truly,
We should trust them day by day,
Never love or blame unduly,
If the mists were cleared away.
We shall know as we are known,
Nevermore to walk alone,
In the dawning of the morning,
When the imists have cleared away.
When the mists have risen above us,
As our Father knows His own,
Face to face with 'those that love us,
We shall know as we are known;
Love, beyond the orient meadows,
Floats the golden fringe of day;
Heart to heart we bide the shadows,
Till the mists have cleared away.
We shall know as we are known,
Nevermore to walk alone,
When the Day of Light is dawning,
And the mists have cleared away.
THE RUINED MERCHANT.
SCOTTAGE home with sloping lawn,
and trellised vines and flowers,
And little feet to chase away the rosy-fin-
A fair young face to part, at eve, the shad-
ows in the door;-
I picture thus a home I knew in happy
days of yore.
Says one, a cherub thing of three, with
childish heart elate,
"Papa is tomin,' let me do to meet 'im at
de date! "
Another takes the music up and flings it on
"Papa has come, but why so slow his foot-
step on the stair "
THE R UINED MERCHANT.
"0 father! did you bring the books I've
waited for so long,
The baby's rocking-horse and drum, and
mother's 'angel song ?'
And did you see"-but something holds
the questioning lips apart,
And something settles very still upon that
The quick-discerning wife bends down,
with her white hand to stay
The clouds from tangling with the curls
that on his forehead lay
To ask, in gentle tones, "Beloved, by
what rude tempest tossed ?"
And list the hollow, "Beggared, lost-all
ruined, poor, and lost!"
"Nay, say not so, for I am here, to share
And prove how better far than gold is
love's unfailing dower,
Let wealth take wings and fly away, as far
as wings can soar,
The bird of love will hover near, and only
sing the more."
"All lost, papa'l why here am I;.and,
father, see, how tall;
I measure fully three feet four, upon the
I'll tend the flowers, feed the birds, and
have such lots of fun,
I'm big enough to work, papa, for I'm the
" And I, papa, am almost five," says curly-
"And I can learn to sew, papa, and make
all dolly's clothes.
But what is 'poor,'-to stay at home, and
have no place to go ?
Oh! then I'll ask the Lord to-night, to
make us always so."
"I'se here, papa; I isn't lost! and on his
He lays his sunny head to rest, that baby
boy of three.
"And if we get too poor to live," says lit-
tle Rose, "you know
There is a better place, papa, a heaven
where we can go.
"And God will come and take us there,
dear father, if we pray,
We needn't fear the road, papa, he surely
knows the way'"
Then from the corner, staff in hand, the
grandma rises slow,
Her snowy cap-strings in the breeze soft
fluttering to and fro :
Totters across the parlor floor, by aid of
Counting in every little face, her life's
Reaches his side, and whispers low, God's
promises are sure;
For every grievous wound, my son, lie
sends a ready cure."'
The father clasps her hand in his, and
quickly turns aside,
The heaving chest, the rising sigh, the
coming tear to hide;
Folds to his heart those loving ones, and
kisses o'er and o'er
That noble wife whose faithful heart he
little knew before.
"May God forgive me! What is wealth
to these more precious things,
Whose rich affection round my heart a
ceaseless odor flings ?
I think he knew my sordid soul was get-
ting proud and cold,
And thus to save me, gave me these, and
took away my gold.
WINTER.-THIES PARTING HO UR.
"Dear ones, forgive me; nevermore will I
forget the rod
That brought me safely unto you and led
me back to God.
I am not poor while these bright links of
priceless love remain,
And, Heaven helping, never more shall
blindness hide the chain."
HE cold winds from the northward
The quivering snowflakes thickly fall,
And cover with a velvet pall
The russet sward of mead and moor;
And standing at his cottage door
The laborer thinks of labor scant,
And sees the haggard hand of want
Throw shadows on his chamber floor.
The children shout for joy, and cry,
"A merry Christmas as they see
The whitened cloak of bush and tree,
And soft feathers in the sky
They know not why the father's eye
Is sad and heavy through the storm,
They only know the fire is warm,
And that the skating time is nigh.
And he to whom they look for bread
Is filled with many doubts and fears,
For in the howling wind he hears
Of days that must be idly led.
And little ones must still be fed,
Though work be scarce and winter
And though the willing hands be
They cannot thaw earth's frozen bed.
O, Winter, Winter! bright and gay
To some, with what an iron grip
Thou boldest many a silent lip,
That cannot words of gladness say.
Then while we feel thy brightness, may
We feel for those whose hearts are full
Of bitterness that has no lull,
Till winter days are gone away.
THE PARTING HOUR.
SHERE'S something in the parting
Will chill the warmest heart,-
Yet kindred, comrades, lovers, friends,
Are fated all to part;
But this I've seen,--and many a pang
Has pressed it on my mind,-
The one who goes is happier
Than those he leaves behind.
No matter what the journey be,-
Adventurous, dangerous, far
To the wild'deep, or bleak frontier,
To solitude, or war,-
Still something cheers the heart that dares,
In all of human kind;
And they who go are happier
Than those they leave behind.
The bride goes to the bridegroom's home
With doubtings and with tears,
But does not Hope her rainbow spread
Across her cloudy fears?
Alas the mother who remains,
What comfort can she find
But this,-the gone is happier
Than the one she leaves behind.
MXY WIFE AND I.--LAND POOR. 95
Have you a trusty comrade dear,-
An old and valued friend ?
Be sure your term of sweet concourse
At length will have an end.
And when you part,-as part you will,-
Oh take it not unkind,
If he who goes is happier
Than you he leaves behind.
God wills it so, and so it is ;
The pilgrims on their way,
Thoe gh weak and worn, more cheerful are
Than all the rest who stay.
And when, at last, poor man, subdued,
Lies down, to death resigned,
May he not still be happier far
Than those he leaves behind ?
MY WIFE AND I.
WfE never fight, my wife and I,
As other couples do;
Our little matrimonial sky
Is of the brightest blue.
She never beards me in my den
(My study, I should say;)
She vows I am the best of men,
But then-she has her way !
Some wives are never pleased unless
They wring from you a cheque,
Wherewith to buy some costly dress
Or jewels for their neck.
My little witch ne'er asks from me
The value of a pin-
She is so good and true, you see,
But then-she keeps the tin!
"'Twas not!" "It was!" "It was!"
"'Twas not! "
Thus ever scold and fight
FRll many a luckless pair, I wot,
from morning until night.
If e'er we have a word or two,
The skirmish soon is past,
The words are mild and very few,
But then-sHE has the last!
'VE had another offer, wife-a twenty
Of high and dry prairie land, as level as a
I thought I'd wait and see yor. first, as law-
yer Brady said,
To tell how things will turn out best, a wom-
an is ahead.
And when this lot is paid for, and we have
got the deed,
I'll say that I am satisfied-it's all the land
And next we'll see about the yard, and fix
the house up some,
And manage in the course of time to have a
There is no use of talking, Charles-you
buy that twenty more,
And we'll go scrimping all our lives, and
always be land poor.
For thirty years we've tugged and saved, de-
nying half our needs,
While all we have to show for it is tax re-
ceipts and deeds!
I'd sell the land if it were mine, and have
a better home,
With broad, light rooms to front the street,
and take life as it come.
If we could live as others live, and have
what others do,
We'd live enough sight pleasanter, and
have a plenty too.
COLLEGE OIL CANS."
While others have amusements and luxury
Just think how stingy we have lived, and
how this old place looks.
That other farm you bought of Wells, that
took so many years
Of clearing up and fencing in, has cost me
Yes, Charles, I've thought of it a hundred
times or more,
And wondered if it really paid to always
be land poor,-
That had we built a cozy house, took pleas-
ure as it come,
Our children, once so dear to us, had never
left our home.
I grieve to think of wasted weeks and years
and months and days,
While for it all we never yet have had one
word of praise.
Men call us rich, but we are poor-would
we not freely give
The land with all its fixtures for a better
way to live ?
Don't think I'm blaming you, Charles-
you're not a whit to blame,
I've pitiedyou these many years, to see you
tired and lame.
It's just the way we started out, our plans
too far ahead;
We've worn the cream of life away, to leave
too much when dead.
'Tis putting off enjoyment long after we
And after all too much of wealth seems
useless as a toy,-
Although we've learned, alas, too late!
what all must learn at last,
Our brightest earthly happiness is buried
in the past,
That life is short and full of care, the end
is always nigh,
We seldom half begin to live before we're
doomed to die.
Were I to start my life again, I'd mark each
And never let a single one pass unenjoyed
If there were things to envy, I'd have them
now and then,
And have a home that was a home, and not
a cage or pen.
I'd sell some land if it were mine, and fit
up well the rest,
I've always thought, and think so yet-
small farms well worked are best.
COLLEGE "OIL CANS."
-N a board of bright mosaic wrought in
many a quaint design,
Gleam a brace of silver goblets wreathed
with flowers and filled with wine.
Round the board a group is seated; here
and there are threads of white
Which their dark locks lately welcomed
but they are only boys to-night.
Some whose words have thrilled the senate,
some who win the critic's praise,-
All are "chums" to-night, with voices
redolent of college days.
"Boys," said one, "do you remember that
old joke about the wine,-
How we used to fill our oil cans and repair
to 'No. 9?'
But at last the old professor--never long
was he outdone-
Opened up our shining oil cans and demol-
ished all our fun !"