Imatges de pÓgina
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CHOICE SELECTIONS.

No. 18.

COLUMBIA.-P. S. GILMORE,
A National Historic Poem first presented to the public at the Academy of
Music, Now York, on Christmas day, 1879.

Columbia! First and fairest gem
On Nature's brow--a diadem
Whose lustre, bright as heavenly star,
The light of Freedom sheds afar.
Like Noah's Ark, a God-sent bark
In search of land, through day and dark
First found thee held by nature's child,
The red man, in his wigwam, wild.
Columbia! Soon the tidings spread
Of what Columbus saw and said ;
The eyes of man then turned to thee,
The new land rising from the sea;
Each spread his sail before the gale,
To verify the wondrous tale.
And thus began what was to be
The hope and home of Liberty.
Columbia! In thine early days
Our Pilgrim Fathers sang thy praise.
They landed from the Mayflower's deck
On Plymouth Rock-a snow-clad speck
That marks the place from whence the race
Of Puritans their true blood trace,
Who fought for Independence dear
With hearts of steel and conscience clear.

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Columbia ! 'Twas in fire and blood Brave Washington the foremost stood; With banner high and sword in hand, He drove the tyrant from the land. Thy breast still sore, to thy heart's core, Till washed again in human gore-In martyr blood! Shed not in vain,It left thee whole, without a stain. Columbia! See, what thou art now, A crown of stars on Nature's brow: With fields of gold and teeming marts With fifty million loving hearts Who cling to thee, from sea to sea, To guard thy peace and liberty; Who, man to man, shall e'er be just, And in the Lord place all their trust. Columbia! Lift thine eyes on high, See Him who dwells in yonder sky, The King of Glory on His throne, Who looks on all, for all's His own! Our earthly gain would be in vain, A home in heaven to attain, If with our hearts we did not pay Our debt to Him. Then let us pray. At morn, at noon, at eventide, O Lord! be ever at our side, That we Thy voice may always hear, And feel that Thou art ever near. In mercy spare, from grief and care The nation, bowed in fervent prayer, Who with one heart and voice inplore, Thy blessir.g now and evermore.

SISTER AND I.

We were hunting for wintergreen berries.

One May-day, long gone by,
Out on the rocky cliff's edge,

Little sister and I.
Sister had hair like the sunbeams;

Black as a crow's wing, mine;
Sister had blue, dove's eyes;

Wicked, black eyes are mine. Why, see how my eyes are faded

And my hair, it is white as snow! And thin, too! don't you see it is?

I tear it sometimes; so!

There, don't hold my hands, Maggie,

I don't feel like tearing it now; But-where was I in my story?

Oh, I was telling you how We were looking for wintergreen berries;

'Twas one bright morning in May, And the moss-grown rocks were slippery

With the rains of yesterday. But I was cross that morning,

Though the sun shone ever so brightAnd when sister found the most berries,

I was angry enough to fight! And when she laughed at my pouting

We were little things, you know-
I clinched my little fist up tight,

And struck her the biggest blow!
I struck her-I tell you— I struck her,

And she fell right over below-
There, there, Maggie, I won't rave now;

You needn't hold me so-
She went right over, I tell you,

Down, down to the depths below! 'Tis deep and dark and horrid

There, where the waters flow! She fell right over, moaning,

“Bessie, oh, Bessie!" so sad,
That, when I looked down affrighted,

It drove me mad-mad!
Only her golden hair streaming

Out on the rippling wave,
Only her little hand reaching

Up, for some one to save;,
And she sank down in the darkness,

I never saw her again,
And this world is a chaos of blackness

And darkness and grief since then.
No more playing together

Down on the pebbly strand;
Nor building our doll's stone castles

With halls and parlors grand;
No more fishing with bent pins,

In the little brook's clear waves; No more holding funerals

O'er dead canaries' graves; No more walking together

To the log school-house each morn; No more vexing the master

With putting his rules to scorn; No more feeding of white lambs

With milk from the foaming pail;

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No more playing “ see-saw"

Over the fence of rail;
No more telling of stories

After we've gone to bed ;
Nor talking of ghosts and goblins

Till we fairly shiver with dread ;
No more whispering fearfully

And hugging each other tight,
When the shutters shake and the dogs howl

In the middle of the night;
No more saying “ Our Father,"

Kneeling by mother's kneeFor, Maggie, I struck sister!

And mother is dead, you see.
Maggie, sister's an angel,

Isn't she? Isn't it true?
For angels have golden tresses

And eyes like sister's, blue?
Now my hair isn't golden,

My eyes aren't blue, you see-
Now tell me, Maggie, if I were to die,

Could they make an angel of me?
You say, “Oh, yes;" you think so?

Well, then, when I come to die, We'll play up there, in God's garden

We'll play there, sister and I. Now, Maggie, you needn't eye me,

Because I'm talking so queer; Because I'm talking so strangely;

You needn't have the least fear.
Somehow I'm feeling to-night, Maggie,

As I never felt before-
I'm sure, I'm sure of it, Maggie,

I never shall rave any more.
Maggie, you know how these long years

I've heard her calling, so sad,
“Bessie, oh, Bessie!" so mourrful?

It always drives me mad!
How the winter wind shrieks down the childney,

Bessie, oh, Bessie, oh! oh!"
How the south wind wails at the casement,

"Bessie, oh, Bessie !" so low.
But most of all when the May-days

Come back, with the flowers and the sun, How the night-bird, singing, all lonely,

“Bessie, oh, Bessie !" doth moan; You know how it sets me raving

For she moaned, Oh, Bessie !" just so, That time I struck little sister,

On the May-day long ago!

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Now, Maggie, I've something to tell you -

You know May-day is here--
Well, this very morning, at sunrise.

The robins chirped Bessie !" so clear-
All day long the wee birds, singing,

Perched on the garden wall,
Called “Bessie, oh, Bessie !" so sweetly,

I couldn't feel sorry at all.
Now, Maggie, I've something to tell you--

Let me lean up to you close-
Do you see how the sunset has flooded

The heavens with yellow and rose ?
Do you see o'er the gilded cloud mountains

Sister's golden hair streaming out ?
Do you see her little hand beckoning ?

Do you hear her little voice calling out
* Bessie, oh, Bessie!" so gladly,

Bessie, oh, Bessie! Come, haste ?
Yes, sister, I'm coming ; I'm coming,
To play in God's garden at last !

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THE CARE OF GOD.

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"Do you see this lock of hair ?” said an old man to me. “Yes ; but what is it? It is, I suppose, the curl from the

I head of a dear child long since gone to God.”

“ It is not. It is a lock of my own hair; and it is now nearly seventy years since it was cut from this head.”

"But why do you prize a lock of your own hair so much ?”

" It has a story belonging to it-a strange one. I keep it thus with care because it speaks to me more of God, and of His special care, than anything else I possess.

"I was a little child, four years old, with long, curly locks which, in sun or rain or wind, hung down my cheeks uncov. ered. One day my father went into the woods to cut up a log, and I went with him. I was standing a little behind him, or rather at his side, watching with interest the stroke of the heavy axe, as it went up and came down upon the wood, sending splinters in all directions at every stroke. Some of the splinters fell at my feet, and I eagerly stooped to pick them up. In doing so I stumble! forward, and in a moment my curly head lay upon the log. I had fallen just at the

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