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THE SINGLE HEAD OF WHEAT.
Mrs. L. C. ELDRED. All my daily tasks were ended;
And the hush of night had come, Bringing rest to weary spirits,
Calling many wanderers home. “He that goeth forth with weeping,
Bearing golden grains of wheat, Shall return again, rejoicing,
Laden with the harvest sweet.” This I read, and deeply pondered
What of seed my hand had sown, What of harvest I was reaping
To be laid before the throne. While my thoughts were swiftly glancing
O’er the paths my feet had trod,
And a vision came from God.
All the reapers' tasks were done;
With the sheaves that he had won. Some, with sheaves but poor and scanty,
Sadly told the number o'er; Others staggered 'neath the burden
Of the golden grain they bore. Gladly then the pearly gateways
Opening wide gave entrance meet, As they sought the Master's presence,
Laid their burdens at his feet. Slowly, sadly, with the reapers
Who had labored long and late, Came I at the Master's bidding,
And was latest at the gate.
Weeping bitterly, I stood;
Working for the others' good.
By his piles of golden grain,
With a glass of cooling water
I revived his strength again.
I had aided for awhile,
She went onward with a smile.
While the golden moments fled, Till the day was spent, and evening
On the earth her tear-drops shed. And I to the Master's presence
Came, with weary, toil-worn feet, Bearing as my gathered harvest
But a single head of wheat. So with tearful eyes I watched them,
As, with faces glad and bright, One by one they laid their burdens
Down before the throne of light. Ah! how sweetly then the blessing
Sounded to my listening ear: “Nobly done, my faithful servants,
Rest now in your mansions here." Then I thought, with keenest sorrow,
Words like these are not for me; Only those with heavy burdens
Heavenly rest and blessings see. Yet I love the Master truly,
And I've labored hard since dawn; But I have no heavy burden,
Will he bid me to begone?
Christ the Master called for me,
“I have only this for Thee. “I have labored hard, O Master!
I have toiled from morn till night; But I sought to aid my neighbors,
And to make their labor light. So the day has passed unnoticed,
And to-night, with shame, I come, Bringing, as my gathered harvest,
But a single wheat-head home."
Then I laid it down with weeping,
At his blessed, piercéd feet ;
Ah! his smile was passing sweet. “Child, it is enough,” he answered,
"All I asked for thou hast brought, And, among the band of reapers,
Truly, bravely, hast thou wrought. “This was thine appointed niission:
Well hast thon performed thy task ; Have no fear that I will chide thee,
This is all that I would ask.” Then I woke; but long the vision
In my heart I pondered o'er, While I tried to see what meaning
Hidden in its depths it bore. And, at length, this lesson slowly
Dawned upon my wondering mind; Never mind what others gather,
Do whate'er thy hand can find. If it be thy lotted mission
Thus to serve the reaper-band, And the evening find thee weary,
With an empty, sheafless hand, Let thy heart be never troubled;
Since thou hast fulfilled thy task, Have no fear that He will chide thee,
Heavy sheaves He will not ask.
Tis he whose every thought and deed
By rule of virtue moves; Whose generous tongue disdains to speak
The thing his heart disproves. Who never did a slander forge,
His neighbor's fame to wound;
By malice whispered round.
Can treat with just neglect;
Who to his plighted word and truth
Has ever firmly stood;
He makes his promise good.
His treasures to employ;
The guiltless to destroy.
LOVE OF COUNTRY.-Joseph Holt.
Next to the worship of the Father of us all, the deepest and grandest of human emotions is the love of the land that gave us birth. It is an enlargement and exaltation of all the tenderest and strongest sympathies of kindred and of home. In all centuries and climes it has lived, and defied chains and dungeons and racks to crush it. It has strewed the earth with its monuments, and has shed undying lustre on a thousand fields on which it has battled. Through the night of ages, Thermopylæ glows like some mountain peak on which the morning sun has risen, because twenty-three hundred years ago, this hallowing passion touched its mural precipices and its crowning crags.
It is easy, however, to be patriotic in piping times of peace, and in the sunny hour of prosperity. It is national sorrow, -it is war, with its attendant perils and horrors, that tests this passion, and winnows from the masses those who, with all their love of life, still love their country more. We honor commerce with its busy marts, and the workshop with its patient toil and exhaustless ingenuity, but still we would be unfaithful to the truth of history did we not confess that the most heroic champions of human freedom and the most illustrious apostles of its principles have come from the broad fields of agriculture.
There seems to be something in the scenes of nature, in her wild and beautiful landscapes, in her cascades, and cataracts, and waving woodlands, and in the pure and exhilarating airs of her hills and mountains, that unbraces the fetters which man would rivet upon the spirit of his fellow-man.
It was at the handles of the plow, and amid the breathing odors of its newly-opened furrows, that the character of Cin. cinnatus was formed, expanded and matured. It was not in the city full, but in the deep gorges and upon the snow-clad summits of the Alps-amid the eagles and the thundersthat William Tell laid the foundations of those altars to human liberty, against which the surging tides of European despotism have beaten for centuries, but, thank God, have beaten in vain. It was amid the primeval forests and moun. tains, the lakes and leaping streams of our own land; amid fields of waving grain; amid the songs of the reaper and the tinkling of the shepherd's bell, that were nurtured those rare virtues which clustered, star-like, in the character of Washington, and lifted him in moral stature a head and shoulders above even the demi-gods of ancient story.
CHURCH REVERIES OF A SCHOOL-GIRL.
MRS. Exoch TAYLOR. I have a new bonnet; I'll go up to church To hear the new preacher, young Jonathan Birch; He's single and handsome, but they say he's so shy, And that his sermons are long and dreadfully dry; But, being a bachelor, I'll try for his sake To look interested, and keep wide awake. What a good congregation ; I'm glad that I came; That face is familiar, but what is her name? Ah, yes! at the social she sang through her nose; I wonder if Murray will ever propose ? The choir has finished its opening hymn, The preacher's too pale and awfully prim. His prayers I think tedious, and prosy, and long; They say that he thinks even dancing is wrong. What beautiful mantles the Burton girls wear; I wonder if they really do bleach their hair? They dress awful stylish and have a front pew; They say that their father's as rich as a Jew. Ah! there goes the sermon,--I must listen with care ; Oh, hasn't Frank Fields got beautiful hair? I must catch, if I can, the drift of the text; I wonder what beau Belle Laws will have next? Ah, me! how I wish the choir would sing; I'd give something nice for a new diamond ring.