Imatges de pÓgina


Thus saith my soul. “The path is long to tread.

Behind me far it stretches, far before;

Wearily, drearily, sight travels o'er
Leagues that have lengthened as the slow days sped.
And wearily o'er leagues untraversed

Which I must traverse ere I gain the door

That shuts not night nor day. What need I more
Than to find rest at last in that last bed ?"
It is well said, O soul! The way is long.

Weary are heart and brain and aching feet.
But 'mid thy weariness thou still art strong,

And rest unearned is shameful; so entreat
This one thing—that at last the conqueror's song

May echo through a sleep divinely sweet.

THE CATHOLIC PSALM.- ELIZABETH INGRA HUBBARD. Bordered by bluff and meadow, reflecting a golden day, Placid and calmly deceitful, the lovely Lake Michigan lay. The sun had gone down in glory, and naught save one tiny

band Of cloud on the distant horizon, shaped like a ghostly hand With clutching bony fingers, that pictured the grim grip of

Death, Gave the crew on the good sail-ship“ Hester” a warning.

But still not a breath That seemed in the least like a storm-wind blew over the

tranquil blue deep. The two children in charge of the Captain were safe in the

cabin, asleep. Captain William T. Brown was the skipper; a braver tar

never trod deck. He was standing but now by the helmsman, and anxiously

scanning the speck Of cloud as large now as his jacket, and above it, what looked

like a head ; While below stretched long limbs, ghostly shapes, that made

the heart heavy with dread. And e'en as he gazed and shuddered, the arms stretched out

more and more wide; The face grinned down at the skipper, the limbs seemed to

make a long stride Toward the ship. Quickly gave he the word to the helms

man to make all secure, Then laid his own hand to the sail-ropes, and pulled, and

tied all safe and sure.


The time could be counted by heart-beats, so quickly the

storm-fiend drew near ; Where a minute ago was clear blue sky, now stretched heavy

cloud, dark and drear. Each man watched the work of the skipper, each one tied a

rope round his waist, Each fastened himself to sone stout beam, each man to his

neighbor was laced. For a minute they waited the storm-burst; and as the wind

lulled to a calm, Came up from the maid in the cabin, the sound of a Catholic

psalm. “O God! we've forgotten ihe babies! I promised for them

with my life. They're the children of Reginald Ashton, my old chum. He

has just lost his wife.”



Ave sanctissima, maiden mild,

Place watchful guards to-night
All round thy child !

In storms of temptation,
In deluge of rain,

Ne'er asked I thy guidance,
Mother, in vain.

Watch over me

On the sea!
I trust in thee

Ave! Ave!
All through the singing the storm-fiend waited, gathering

strength For a fatal blow ;-up started the helmsman, as the words

of the psalm died below“Oh, Mary will certainly save us! I have often and often heard That if, in the midst of the ocean, there be but a maid near


to pray

and see;

To Mary, the Mother of Sorrows, and she pray with a babe

on her knee, The danger will sure be abated-run, Jemmy, you're nearest, Holds she the babe to her bosom? if so, we are saved from

our grave; For Mary will surely answer the prayer of the maiden, and

save." Quick Jemmy severed the rope-knot that held him fast to a

plank; Just then, the dread blow came; it threw Jemmy over the

ship-side-he sank

While the last “ Ave, Ave!" was sounding, sweetly and clear, Over the din of the tempest. It reached his drowning ear. “Sh!" cautioned Timmy McGinnis, the priest says there be

two ways of savin', One, for to suffer more down here, the other, for the king.

dom of Heaven. Jemmy's found the last one, sure. Did ye mind the light

that shone Over his face, and out of his eyes as he signed the cross and

wint down?" Another blow--and harder. It wrenched away mast and

helm. In came the deadly water that threatened to overwhelm. ‘Cut yourselves free from the ship!" the Captain shouted

aloud, And ran with all speed to the gang-way, waved back the

following crowd“Sing that psalm again, girl! Pray, men, pray for your wives! It's the prayerful wives and mothers to whom sailors owe

their lives. Down on your knees, men! Sing, girl, give us the Catholic

psalm, That, at least, if there's storm about us and we die, in our

hearts shall be calm,” Knelt every sun-browned sailor, the girl's voice rang out

clear, As she sang,

“ Watch over us, mother! we trust in thee, hear! oh, hear!" The storm-fiend shrieked in his fury and rage, but the song

rang on Until the demon was vanquished, and the terrible peril gone. Then grouped the sailors together--there was nothing that

they could do The last blow of the tempest had swept the deck, through

and through. Without a helm or rudder, without a spar or mast, Drifting, and drifting ever, the dreary night was passed. The wind more and more abated; the fog wrapped them

close in its fold. Huddled closely together all through the night, in the cold, They shouted, whenever the song ceased, “Sing, girl, to save

our lives; We owe our safety and blessings to the prayers of our

mothers and wives." So all through the night the song rose clear on the listen

ing air, And from the lips of the sailors went up many an earnest

prayer To the Holy Mother who watches over the babe and the maid, And as the hours wore on, they grew less and less afraid.

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the sight,

the town;

After hours and hours of drifting, the fog-bank dissolved

a way;
The rays of the sun just rising, disclosed a beautiful bay.
They were riding safe in the harbor, though never an

anchor bound,
Sorvet a cable held them, they were riding safe and sound.
Men came down to them, sore hearted, and wondered at
For on the shore, as on the sea, it had been a woeful night.
Not a house was left in the village, the tempest had leveled
Many a wreck lay on the beach, telling of sailors gone

down. mAh! they had not a maid and a babe on board, to pray To the Holy Mother Mary who hears their cry alway.“A maid, indeed! Where is she? Let us see her; bring

her ashore." They hastened down to the cabin, but paused ere they

entered the door. Sitting, facing the gang-way, one child clinging close to her The other babe clasped to her bosom, the saintly singer

had died.

were still partly open, her glance was upward cast, She had sung, until, like the sailors, she into harbor passed. On the bluff, just up from the harbor, there stands a quaint

old tower; A great bell swings backward and forward at night to tell

the hour.
And 'tis said that in a tempest, if sailors the shore are near
And then if they all kneel and whisper a prayer to the
Anot listen, the words come to them “Hear! oh, hear!”.

Mother above,
are saved from death by drowning, saved by the
I naiden's love,


Her lips



so moves the Mother of Sorrows that she spares the For the sake of the sailors' mothers and the sailors' waiting

Sailors' lives


Brethren, the words of my text are :

“Old Mother Hubbard, she went to the cupboard

To get her poor dog a bone ;
But when she got there the cupbari was bare,

And so the poor dog had none." These beautiful words, dear friends, carry with them a solemn lesson. I propose this evening to analyze their

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meaning, and to apply it, lofty as it may be, to our every. day life.

“Old Mother Hubbard, she went to the cupboard

To get her poor dog a bone." Mother Hubbard, you see, was old ; there being no mention of others, we may presume she was alone; a widow-a friendiess, old, solitary widow. Yet did she despair? Did she sit down and weep, or read a novel, or wring her hands? No! she went to the cupboard. And here observe that she went to the cupboard. She did not hop, or skip, or run, or jump, or use any other peripatetic artifice ; she solely and merely went to the cupboard.

We have seen that she was old and lonely, and we now further see that she was poor. For, mark, the words are tho cupboard" Not “one of the cupboards,” or the "right-hand cupboard,” or the “left-hand cupboard,” or the one above, cor the one below, or the one under the floor; but just the cupboard—the one humble little cupboard the poor widow possessed. And why did she go to the cupboard? Was it to bring forth golden goblets, or glittering, precious stones, or costly apparel, or feasts, or any other attributes of wealth ? It was to get her poor dog a bone! Not only was the widow poor, but her dog, the sole prop of her age, was poor too. We can imagine the scene. The poor dog crouching in the corner, looking wistfully at the solitary cupboard, and the widow going to that cupboard-in hope, in expectation, may be to open it, although we are not distinctly told that it was not half open or ajar, to open it for that poor dog.

"But when she got there the cupboard was bare,

And so the poor dog had none." “When she got there!" You see, dear brethren, what perseverance is. You see the beauty of persistence in doing right. She got there. There were no turnings and twistings, no slippings and slidings, no leaning to the right, or faltering to the left. With glorious simplicity we are told she got there.

And how was her noble effort rewarded ?

“The cupboard was bare!" It was bare! There were to be found neither oranges, nor cheese-cakes, nor penny buns, nor gingerbread, nor crackers, por outs, nor lucifer-matches. The cupboard was bare! There was but one, only one solitary

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