Imatges de pÓgina

And there were faces gray with grief; The rowdy, rough, and common thief, Low loafers many a lazy score, With noses red and faces sore, And many a black and bloody eye Received from rum in days gone by. Then women's faces, white with woe, With wailing voices sad and low, And bodies, bruised by many a brand, Stafuped there by son or husband's hand; Scant, tattered garments, torn and rent, Forms bowed and broken, bruised and bent By burdens borne through weary years, Cursed deep with crime, bedewed with tears, And lacerated, shoeless feet That bore them o'er the frozen street. And there were ghosts of household joys, With ruined girls and brutal boys, Poor infant faces, cold and dead, That perished for the want of bread; While many a daring, bitter curse, And oath obscene, or something worse, Was caught by demons in the gloom, And echoed strangely through the room, While grinning goblins-evil elves, Brought all the bottles from his shelves, And pointed to their golden glow As if to torture him, and show That all this bitter weight of woe, With constant curse, had ever come From wine and brandy, gin and rum, That he in other days had sold · To coin their sorrows into gold. All these he saw,-heard what they said, Then backward fell upon his bed, And, with an anguished moan, was dead. His soul moved onward with the crew Who passed him thus in strange review, A follower of the ghastly band Who perished by his thoughtless hand, And suffered every pang of pain To minister unto his gain.


"Boatman, boatman! my brain is wild,

As wild as the rainy seas;
My poor little child, my sweet little child,

Is a corpse upon my knees.
“No holy choir to sing so low,

No priest to kneel in prayer,
No tire-women to help me sew

A cap for his golden hair.”
Dropping his oars in the rainy sea,

The pious boatman cried,
“Not without Him who is life to thee,

Could the little child have died !
“His grace the same, and the same his power,

Demanding our love and trust,
Whether he makes of the dust a flower,

Or changes a flower to dust.
“On the land and the water, all in all,

The strength to be still, or pray,
To blight the leaves in their time to fall,

Or light up the hills with May.”


Night kissed the young rose, and it bent softly to sleep. Stars shone, and pure dew-drops hung upon its bosom, and watched its sweet slumbers. Morning came with its dancing breezes, and they whispered to the young rose, and it awoke joyous and smiling. Lightly it ewung to and fro, in all the loveliness of health and youthful innocence. Then came the ardent sun-god, sweeping from the east, and smote the young rose with its scorching rays, and it fainted. Deserted and almost heart-broken, it drooped to the dust in its loneliness and despair.

Now the gentle breeze-which had been gamboling over the sea, pushing on the home-bound barque, sweeping over hill and dale, by the neat cottage and still brook, turning the old mill, fanning the brow of disease, and frisking with the curls of innocent childhood-came tripping along on her errand of mercy and love; and when she fondly bathed is head in cool, refreshing showers, the young rose revived, and looked and smiled in gratitude to the kind breeze, but she hurried quickly away, singing through the trees.

Thus ciuiliy, like the breeze, gathers fragrance from the drooping flowers it refreshes, and unconsciously reaps a reward in the performance of its office of kindness, which steals on the heart like rich perfume, to bless and to cheer


In the regular evening meeting

That the church holds every week,
One night a listening angel sat

To hear them pray and speak.
It puzzled the soul of the angel

Why some to that gathering came,
But sick and sinful hearts he saw,

With grief and guilt aflame.
They were silent, but said to the angel,

“Our lives have need of Him!"
While doubt, with dull, vague, throbbing pain,

Stirred through their spirits dim.
You could see 'twas the regular meeting,

And the regular seats were filled,
And all knew who would pray and talk,

Though any one might that willed.
From his place in front, near the pulpit,

In his long-accustomed way,
When the book was read, and the hymn was sunp

The deacon arose to pray.
First came the long preamble,-

If Peter had opened so,
He had been, ere the Lord his prayer had heard,

Full fifty fathoms below.
Then a volume of information

Poured forth, as if to the Lord.
Concerning His ways and attributes,

And the things by him abhorred.

But not in the list of the latter

Was mentioned the mocking breath
Of the hypocrite prayer that is not a prayer,

And the make-believe life in death.
Then he prayed for the church; and the pastor;

And that “souls inight be his hire,”-
Whatever his stipend otherwise,-

And the Sunday-school; and the choir;
And the swarming hordes of India;

And the perishing, vile Chinese;
Aud the millions who bow to the Pope of Rome;

And the pagan churches of Greece;
And the outcast remnants of Judah,

Of whose guilt he had much to tell ;-
He prayed, or he told the Lord he prayed,

For everything out of hell.
Now, if all of that burden had really

Been weighing upon his soul,
"Twould have sunk him through to the China side,

And raised a hill over the hole.


[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

'Twas the regular evening meeting,

And the regular prayers were made,
But the listening angel told the Lord

That only the silent prayed.

WOODCHUCKS.-School Boy. Woodchucks is a very curious animal. It is made of hair and eyes and has two front teeth, and can see a man with a gun when the eyes are shut and bolted. I have seen a dog shake a woodchuck till both were black in the face. A woodchuck can snivel up his nose, show his teeth, and look as homely as I can without trying. They sit on one end and eat with the other. A woodchuck can get home faster than a gun can shoot. He is round all over, except his feet which are black. When eat they retain the flavor of their nests and seem to have been cooked without being pared. A fat woodchuck, when eat properly, is no laughin' matter. They come under the head of“ domestic animals,” and think there ain't no place like home when a dog goes for one of 'em.


thee anew,

Banner of England, not for a season, ( banner of Britain,

hast thou Floated in conquering battle or ílapt to the battle-cry! Never with mightier glory than when we had reared thee

on high, Flying at top of the roofs in the ghastly siege of Lucknow,Shot through the staff or the halyard, but ever we raised And ever upon the topmost roof our banner of England blew. Fruil were the works that defended the hold that we held

with our livesWomen and children among us, God help them, our children

and wives! Hold it we might-and for fifteen days or for twenty at most. Never surrender, I charge you, but every man die at his

post !" Voice of the dead whom we loved, our Lawrence, the best

of the brave: Cold were his brows when we kissed him-we laid him that

night in his grave. “Every man die at his post !" and there hailed on our houses

and halls, Death from their rifle bullets, and death from their cannon

balls, Death in our innermost chamber, and death at our slight

barricade, Death while we stood with the musket, and death while we

stoopt to the spade, Death to the dying, and wounds to the wounded, for often

there fell, Striking the hospital wall, crashing through it, their shot

and their shell. Death-for their spies were among us, their marksmer

were told of our best, So that the brute bullet broke through the brain that could

think for the rest ; Bullets would sing by our foreheads, and bullets would rain

at our feet, Fire from ten thousand at once of the rebels that girdled

us round; Death at the glimpse of a finger from over the breadth of

a street,

« AnteriorContinua »