Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

a

o' his daughter. Never since I was born did I ever see sic brazen-faced impudence. The rascal had the brass to say at once, that he hadna seen word or wittens o' his daughter for a month, though mair than a hundred folk sitting in his company had seen him dauting her with his arm round her jimpy waist, not five minutes before. As a man, as a faither, as an elder of our kirk, my corruption was raised, for I aye hated leeing, as a puir cowardly sin, and an inbreak on the ten commandments; and I fand my neebor, Mr. Glen, fidgeting on the seat as weel as me; so I thocht, that wha ever spoke first wad ha'e the best right to be entitled to the reward; whereupon, just as he was in the act of rising up, I took the word out of his mouth, saying,—"Dinna believe him, auld gentleman, dinna believe him, friend; he's telling a parcel of lees. Never saw her for a month! It's no worth arguing, or caaing witnesses; just open that press door, and ye'll see whether I'm speaking truth or no.”

The auld man stared, and lookit dumb-foundered; and the young man, instead of rinning forrit wi' his double neives to strike me, the only thing I was feared for, began a laughing, as if I had dune him a good turn. But never since I had a being did I ever witness siccan an uproar and noise as immediately took place. The haill house was sae glad that the scoundrel had been exposed, that they set up siccan a roar o'laughter, and thumpit away at siccan a rate at the boards wi' their feet that at lang last, wi' pushing and fidgeting, and hadding their sides, down fell the place they ca’ the gallery, a’ the folk in’t being hurled tapsy-turvy, head foremost amang the saw-dust on the floor below; their guffawing soon being turned to howling, ilka ane crying louder than anither at the tap o' their voices,—“Murder! murder! haud off me; murder! my ribs are in: murder! I'm killed--I'm speechless !” and ither lamentations to that effect; so that a rush to the door took place, in which everything was overturned-the door-keeper being wheeled a way like wildfire-the firms stampit to pieces-the lights knockit out-and the twa blind fiddlers dung head foremost ower the stage, the bass fiddle cracking like thunder at every bruise. Siccan tearing, and swearing, and tumbling, and squealing, was never witnessed in the memory of man

a

sin' the building of Babel ; legs being likely to be broken, sides staved in, een knocked out, and lives lost; there being only ae door, and that a sma’ ane; so that when we had been carried off our feet that length, my wind was fairly gane, and a sick qwam cam' ower me, lights of a' manner of colors, red, blue, green, and orange, dancing before me, that entirely deprived me o' common sense, till, on opening my een in the dark, I fand mysel' leaning wi' my braidside against the wa' on the opposite side of the close. It was some time before I mindit what had happened; so, dread. ing scaith, I fand first the ae arm, and then the ither, to see if they were broken-syne my head-and syne baith o' my legs; but a', as weel as I could discover, was skin-hale and scart free. On perceiving which, my joy was without bounds, having a great notion that I had been killed on the spot. So I reached round my hand, very thankfully, to tak' out my pocket-napkin, to gi'e my brow a wipe, when lo, and behold, the tail of my Sunday's coat was fairly aff and away, dockit by the haunch buttons !

CHILD LOST!

" Nine," by the cathedral clock!

Chill the air with rising damps;
Drearily from block to block
In the gloom the bell-man trampo

“Child lost! Child lost!
Blue eyes, curly hair,

Pink dress,-child lost !”
Something in the doleful strain

Makes the dullest listener start,
And a sympathetic pain

Shoot to every feeling heart.
Anxious fathers homeward haste,

Musing with paternal pride
Of their daughters, happy-faced,

Silken-haired and sparkling-eyed.
Many a tender mother sees

Younglings playing round her chair,
Thinking, “ If''twere one of these,

How could I the anguish bear ?"

[blocks in formation]

"Can't my little one be found?

Are there any tidings, friend ?" Cries the mother, “ Is she drowned?

Is she stolen? God forfend! Search the commons, search the parks,

Search the doorways and the halls, Search the alleys, foul and dark,

Search the empty market stalls. Here is gold and silver-see!

Take it all and welcome, man; Only bring my child to me,

Let me have my child again.”
Hark! the old cathedral bell

Peals “eleven," and it sounds
To the mother like a knell;
Still the bell-man goes his rounde.

“ Child lost! Child lost!
Blue eyes, curly hair,

Pink dress,--child lost !"
Half aroused from dreams of peace,

Many hear the lonesome call, Then into their beds of ease

Into deeper slumbers fall; But the anxious mother cries,

“Oh, my darling's curly hair, Oh, her sweetly-smiling eyes!

Have you sought her everywhere? Long and agonizing dread

Chills my heart and drives me wildWhat if Minnie should be dead?

God, in mercy, find my child !"
“ Twelve,” by the cathedral clock;

Dimly shine the midnight lamps;
Drearily from block to block,
In the rain the bell-man tramps.

"Child lost! Child lost!
Blue eyes, curly hair,
Pink dress,--child lost!"

LEAVING THE HOMESTEAD.

You're going to leave the homestead, John,

You're twenty-one to-day,
And the old man will be sorry, John,

To see you go away.
You've labored late and early, John,

And done the best you could;
I ain't a-going to stop you, John,

I wouldn't if I could.
Yet something of your feelings, John,

I s'pose I'd ought to know,
Though many a day has passed away-

'Twas forty years ago,
When hope was high within me, John,

And life lay all before-
That I, with strong and measured stroke,

“Cut loose" and pulled from shore. The years, they come and go, my boy,

The years, they come and go; And raven locks and tresses brown

Grow white as driven snow. My life has known its sorrows, John,

Its trials and troubles sore; Yet God withal has blessed

“ In basket and in store.” But one thing let me tell you, John,

Before you make your start, There's more in being honest, John,

Twice o'er than being smart;
Though rogues may seem to flourish, John,

And sterling worth to fail,
Oh! keep in view the good and true;

'Twill in the end prevail.
Don't think too much of money, John,

And dig and delve and plan, And rake and scrape in every shape,

To hoard up all you can.
Though fools may count their riches, John

In dollars, pounds or pence,
The best of wealth is youth and health,

And good sound common sense.
And don't be mean or stingy, John,

But lay a little by
Of what you earn ; you soon will learn

How fast 'twill multiply.

me, John,

So when old age comes creeping on,

You'll have a goodly store
Of wealth to furnish all your needs--

And maybe something more.
There's shorter cuts to fortune, John,

We see them every day;
But those who love their self-respect

Climb up the good old way.
"All is not gold that glitters,” John,

And makes the vulgar stare, And those we deem the richest, John,

Have oft the least to spare.

Don’t meddle with your neighbors, John,

Their sorrows or their cares; You'll find enough to do, my boy,

To mind your own affairs. The world is full of idle tongues

You can afford to shirk; There's lots of people ready, John,

To do such dirty work.

And if amid the race for fame

You win a shining prize, The humbler worth of honest men

You never should despise; For each one has his mission, John,

In life's unchanging planThough lowly be his station, John,

He is no less a man.

Be good, be pure, be noble, John,

Be honest, brave and true; And do to others as ye would

That they should do to you. And place your trust in God, my boy,

Though fiery darts be hurled;" Then you can smile at Satan's rage,

And face a frowning world.

Good bye! May heaven guard and bless

Your footsteps day by day;
The old house will be lonesome, John,

When you are gone away.
The cricket's song upon the hearth

Will have a sadder tone; The old familiar spots will be

So lonely wben you're gone.

« AnteriorContinua »