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At night, when man sleeps and his spirit dreams,
Most like a weeping voice with stifled words;
You arc the dawning, infant I and my mind
Odours of flowers whose sweetness comes from you—
For your fine eyes are full of infinite sweetness,
For your small hands, in their soft, round completeness,
As yet have done no wrong; your footsteps white
It looks so fair, the infant with its smile,
And, gracious Lord, to all whom I hold dear,
And even unto my foes, this grace be granted;—
The next treats of a more melancholy household, and its sentiments are extremely natural and touching.
Grandmamma, wake, if you are sleeping there I
We scarce can tell your slumber from your prayer;
But now you have our stone Madonna's air,
Your head bends lower than it used to be;
Won't you caress us f—Ah! what have we done ?— The lamp goes out, the fire is smouldering, seel Oh, if you do not speak, the fire and we,
We and the lamp will all be dead and gone I
Near the dark lamp we'll both be dead, and then
We'll chafe yoar hands in ours; sing us the lay
Would win, by favour of the friendly fay,
Trophies as nosegays for his lady gay,
Tell us what sign the phantoms ever fled,
What hermit saw Sathanas in the air,
Or show us, in your Bible, pictures fine-
The child, the crib, the wise men, and the kine;
And teach us with your finger, line by line,
Mother, look up, the fire is going out,
A wisp is dancing on the embers low, Spirits, perhaps, will come into our hut; 01 stop your prayer,—why are your eyelids shut?
You who would comfort us, why scare us now?
How cold your arms are! you did lately say
There was another world, and Heaven was nigh— The grave and Heaven 1—that life soon flits away, And then death comes!—0 mother, tell us, pray, Who is that deathy—why do you not reply?
Thus mourned they long alone; at morning-tide, Their grandmother still slept; the death-bell tolled;
Through the half-open door, that eve, were spied
Before a Book, the empty bed beside,
MADAME ROLAND IN PRISON.
BY PHOEBE GARDINER.
With spirit undismayed she kneels In prayer,
Her hands are clasped, and her long, shining hair
While day's last lingering ray steals faintly by
Revealing in its flight her calm, deep agony.
With none to soothe her wo in that dark cell,
But o'er her spirit Earth can hold no spell,
And all her thoughts, imbued with light divine,
Rise like sweet incense to a holler shrine.
In chains she suffers for her country's wrong,
The burning thoughts that round her thickly throng
The matchless prido that lingers on her brow,
Tells of the daring might her soul is gathering now.
No mother with her gentle hand is near,
And to pour forth for her a fervent prayer
To cheer her soul with words of holy faith,
And stand untired, soothe and watch the dying breath.
Bnt as the eagle in its fearless flight,
And gazes with a fixed, unwavering sight,
So does her noble spirit undismayed
Look upward to that God who ever gives it aid.
'Us well 1 for hark, the fearful hour has come,
Those tones so thrilling call her to her home,
The crowd, the scaffold, one calm look on high,
And the freed spirit soars beyond the dark blue sky.
THE SPRING-SONG OF A GLAD HEART.
BY CAROLINE MAY.
Axd why should I be grave and sad,
And wear a mournful look, When nature teacheth joy to me,
From out her flower-wrought book? When she telleth me to sing aloud,
And sings herself, to show How music ought, in sweet spring-time,
From everything to flow.
Hark! how the birds are carolling
From the boughs of every tree;
Was a fount of melody.
Over the garden bowers,
Sweet gifts from all the flowers.
Hark! how the over-restless winds
Are singing all about,
Then bursting with a shout!
The stainless ether through— And tell me, when all nature sings,
Why should not I sing too?
Look on the blossoms of those trees,
How the sunshine smfleth bright; And how each blade of young, green grass,
Seems laughing in the light; Look, how the newly-opened leaves
Quiver, and gleam, and dance, As if they were in ecstasies,
At the merry spring's first glance.
Look, how the swift breeze springs to meet
The waves upon the bay,
As they wrestle In their play;
Sail smiling o'er the blue;
Why should not I smile too?
The spirit of the blessed spring
Bids me look up, and see
On wave, and lawn, and lea.
Her care-dispelling voice: And as I look, I dearly love,
And as I love, rejoice.
THE PERPLEXED STUDENT.
A LESSON FOB BACHELOR BOOKWORMS.
BY MBS. C. H. BUTLER.
(Concluded from p. 216.)
0H APT IB III.
Tba was over ere Horace came down stairs, notwithstanding the repeated summons of the housekeeper—and to his credit be it said, his appearance was now much more becoming the society of such charming young ladies, than the negligent attire in which he paid his first devoirs.
As he drew near the open door of the parlour, a skilful hand swept over the keys of the piano, as if to test its tone and finish, and then, above the music of gay voices arose the enlivening air of a waltz, and by the time Horaoe entered the room, the whole bevy of fair girls were tripping it like so many fays to the lively musio,—all, except the charming musician, Gabriella, who, with her head bent archly over one shoulder, while her fingers swiftly swept the keys, nodded gaily to the dancers as they flew past her in the giddy waltz. Round and round on twinkling feet they airily glide—forms all
lightness—arms entwining, and rosy lips parted with smiles that would vanquish St. Anthony, —gently and lightly round and round they float. For a moment or two the delighted old uncle contents himself with humming the air, and beating time with hand and foot, then skimming into the circle, he throws his arm round little Meggie, and away they twirl with the rest—twirling, whirling, rising, sinking, round and round—and faster Gabriella touches the keys, and faster fly the merry waltzers. Now they take a wider circuit, and nearer— ever nearer to the spot where Horace stands entranced, they come circling on, their floating ringlets mingling with his breath, and bright eyes gazing roguishly into his, as round and round they circle past—while round and round in bewildering maze the brains of Horace are circling too! Are these beautiful forms real he sees before him? Do such fair beings indeed exist; and like the maidens of old who enticed the angels from their pure abode, are these bewitching forms about to turn him from the cloud-land in which he had ao long loitered? But the gay measure suddenly ceases,—and panting and laughing, each fair waltzer sank down.
"Whe-w-w—you good for nothing little rogues, you have made my old head spin like a top—steady—steady—take care—there I am safe !" cried the old gentleman plunging down upon a corner of the sofa. "Ah! are you there, Mr. Diogenes?—why where's your tub?" addressing Horace.
And as if for the first time aware of his presence, six pair of bewitching eyes turned full upon our hero.
"I have been a silent spectator of your enjoyment, fair cousins," said Horace, bowing to the lovely circle.
"Indeed; but not a participator, of course," remarked Oabriella.
"Why of course not," added Kate; "our folly can only be annoying to our cousin."
"You wrong me, Miss Mansfield," said Horace ; "I assure you that in the present instance I believe the spectator enjoyed even more than the performers."
"And you '11 dance with me next time, Consin Horace, won't you?" cried little Meggie, the youngest of the six fair girls, not yet in her teens, tripping across the room, and catching his hand. "Come, Constance is going to play for us."
"For shame, Meggie !" exclaimed Constance gravely, lifting her finger in reproval—"how can you thus annoy your cousin!"
"Pray do excuse the child—she is very thoughtless—I beg you will not heed her foolish request. Fie, Meggie!" added Gabriella.
"Never trouble yourselves, girls," exclaimed Mr. Mansfield; "not even the charmed fiddle I read about when a boy, were it in the hands of old Orpheus himself, could make our solemn scholar here cut a single caper!"
Horace felt exceedingly annoyed. "Is there not a charm more potent here, my dear father?" he said, smiling at little Meg.
"Ah yes, you will dance—there, I knew you would. Constance—Kate—Cousin Horace mil dance !" exultingly cried the little gipsy.
Constance aroso, and taking the little girl by the hand drew her away, saying, at the same time, in a most grave and earnest manner, which her laughing eyes more than half belied, "Cousin Horace, as we are to bo the guests of my dear uncle for some weeks, we trust you will not out of any courtesy to us, neglect or forego those pleasures so much more congenial to you—we know the study, not the drawingroom, is the spot where you most love to be, and therefore to feel that our presence here compels you, through politeness merely, to forsake it,
would cause us all much chagrin—is it not so, girls?"
"True, Constance—I am sure my visit instead of being a pleasure, will only be a vexation, if Cousin Horace sacrifices his own enjoyment!" said Kate.
"And so will mine—indeed it will!" cried another.
"And mine," added a third, "and besides, our dear uncle is so kind, and has so many plans for our amusement, that I really don't see any necessity for Cousin Horace to waste a single moment upon us!"
"You see how it is—so banish all restraint, and let not another minute of your valuable time be thrown away," said Constance in a grave and decided manner.
"And here," cried Kate, demurely handing him a little silver candlestick, "is a light —and now do, dear cousin, return to your books, and give yourself no trouble about us."
In vain Horace tried to speak—in vain he essayed to refute the charges they were heaping upon him—his tongue refused all utterance. He looked to his father for assistance—but just at that moment the old gentleman was engaged in a desperate battle with a horned-beetle, which with flying handkerchief he was chasing from corner to corner—and so poor Horace suffered himself to be bowed and courtesied out, by his kind considerate cousins!
Then—such a peal of joyous mirth as followed him up the study stairs! what could it mean? "Ah, doubtless," he thought, " they are laughing at some droll sally of my father."
Sleep was almost a stranger to his eyes that night—his pillow haunted by the strangest visions. Was he bewitched? for the room seemed filled with light airy figures.
"They stood beside his head,
Smiling thoughts, with hair dispreadl
Or, if he closed his eyes, he saw them still floating around him, and bright eyes like shooting stars were continually darting across his vision, while like the murmur of forest brooks were the gentle voices whispering in his ears. And when at length he slept, he dreamed of the glittering harem of the Veiled Prophet—of the bewitching Zelica, and of the still more fascinating indwellers upon Calypso's enchanted isle.
A Sunream stole a kiss from the brow of Horace and awoke him, while at the same moment a chorus of merry voices came up from beneath his window, reminding the half-bewildered student that it was not all a dream— the visions of the night.
Yes, there they were, the whole happy troop, in the most bewitching morning dresses, enjoying to their bent this lovely summer morning in the country. Without a saddle, bonny Kate had sprung upon the back of his favourite pony, playfully patting his arched neck and coaxing him to a fleet gallop over the greensward—and now away, away they bound across the lawn, shaking down the glittering dew drops from the old elms, and the long beautiful hair of Rate floating in luxuriant abandon on the soft breezy air. Constance, the stately, dignified Constance, mounted on the brink of the horsetrough, is clapping her hands at the gambols of some half-dozen little porkers in the pig-sty, and tossing green apples into the voracious mouth of Madame Mire. Gabriella, with her neat pink gingham carefully tucked up around her cunning little ankles, has seated herself upon the milking-stool, taking a lesson from the tall, laughing Irish girl, while at a little distance Bessie and Lucy surrounded by a noisy chattering brood of fowls, from the stately turkey to the tiniest unfledged chicken, are scattering among them handfuls of the yellow grain, which they have just brought in their aprons from the corn-crib. A merry shout— and from a little thicket out springs merry Meggie, with a long fish-pole trailing after her, and in her hand a bunch of shining trout, while with a loud "halloo" the old gentleman himself follows close behind her, crying out—
"Ah, you mischievous monkey, will you spoil my best rod, and run away with my fish to boot!"
"New times these, Mr. Horace!" said Mrs. Dimity, close at the elbow of the student, ere he was aware of her presence—for be it owned, his senses were all absorbed by the novel and beautiful scene from his window, where concealed by a half-closed blind, he had been looking out upon the cheerful abandon of his fair cousins. "Dear me, it makes me think of my young days, Mr. Horace, just to see and hear them pretty creatures! I thought I'd just look in to see if you were fit to be seen, for breakfast is almost ready. Now, don't go down in that old dressing-gown again. Hark—ha, ha, ha,—well I do declare, just hear them happy young things! Oh Mr. Horace, look out there, and study them beautiful works of God, and let your old books writ by men's hands alone. Bless their hearts—well, well, I must go down, or that careless Bridget will send in the broiled chickens wrong side up. Now do pray put on your coat like a Christian, and brush your hair—so, there.'"—and suiting the action to the word, by pushing her own gray locks on
one side, the good lady hastily patted down stairs.
When Horace entered the breakfast parlour, they were all assembled around the table, and all busily discussing their plans for the day's amusement.
A seat had been reserved for him between his father and Meggie, and with a cheerful smile, his hair brushed so, after Mrs. Dimity's model, Horace advanced to the breakfast table. His morning salutation was returned with the most bland politeness by each smiling girl, and the conversation his presence had but slightly interrupted, resumed.
"Uncle, I am of Kate's mind," said Constance. "A sail on the lake this lovely morning will be perfectly enchanting. I will take my sketchbook, for I know there must be some charming scenes for the pencil."
"Do you propose a sail this morning?" asked Horace.
"We have thought of it," replied Constance, with a slight bend of her queenly head.
"Now is it a very romantic spot, uncle J" said Kate with an arch face; "is it a sweet place for lovers? Are there any melancholy willows sweeping the translucent surface with their graceful branches?"
"Plenty of them, you jade, and plenty of golden pickerel and fine speckled trout, which is more to my fancy," answered Mr. Mansfield.
"And mine too," cried Gabriella; "so while Con' draws from nature for the entertainment of the imagination, I will draw those same fish from the bosom of the lake for the better entertainment of our appetites!"
"At what hour do we go?" asked Bessie; "for my part, I am impatient to be off!"
"About nine, I think," replied her uncle. "We will row to the opposite shore, ramble about awhile, lunch, and be back in time for dinner. Put up some gimeracks, Mrs. Dimity, for the girls, and something a little more substantial for me."
"Excuse me, father," interrupted Horace, "if I suggest the afternoon as the best time for the sail; the shadows which then rest upon the lake and the woody slope beyond are most beautiful, and will present more attraction for my cousin's pencil than the hour you propose."
"Why, the girls prefer the morning, you see, Horace, and it makes not a jot's difference to me," answered Mr. Mansfield.
"Nor to me certainly," continued Horace; "any hour you prefer, fair ladies."
"0, of course, it can make no difference to you!" said Gabriella twirling her spoon.
"Not in the least," chimed in Kate; "fop you will most probably be wandering amid the Pyramids, or searching out the source of the Nile, or gliding down the yellow Tiber, while we 'float merrily, merrily, merrily float o'er the waters blue' of this beautiful lake uncle tells of!"
"But, my dear cousin, I have no idea of such extensive wanderings as you propose for me," replied Horace smiling, "for I intend to devote the morning to your society."
"Oh, no—no—no!" chimed in every voice; "indeed you must not think of it!"
"Have you so soon forgotten our conversation pf last evening?" asked Constance reproachfully.
"I assure you it will indeed be a happiness, a relief, a—"
"No—not a word, not a word; now really we will all take the stage to-morrow morning and leave the Hall and our dear uncle, if you still insist npon regarding us in the light of strangers!" exclaimed Kate with the greatest earnestness.
"You mistake me entirely, I assure you—"
"No—no—no, we will not hear of it!"
Again Horace looked to his father for help in this perplexing dilemma, but the nose and chin of the old gentleman were buried in his coffee cup, his head thrown back, and his eyes most pertinaciously fixed upon the ceiling.
Up sprang the lively girls. "Come, away for our bonnets, come!" cried Gabriella.
"Dear cousin Horace," whispered little Meggie coming close to him, "do go with us, now won't you? Do!"
"Meggie, Meggie!" said Kate putting her head in at the door, "come this moment, and don't be teasing in this manner; really you should have been left at home!"
"Clever girls, Horace, and make themselves at home just as I want to have them," exclaimed Mr. Mansfield. '' Now some silly conceited things would have taken airs upon themselves, and not been contented with an old fellow like me to beau them about, when such a nice young man as you were to be had; no—no—these girls understand themselves ; don't you enjoy it, eh?"
"Perhaps, father, it will be more polite in me to make one of your party this morning!"
"Pooh, nonsense! don't trouble yourself; you know what Constance told you."
"True, but that was fastidiousness. I am sure you would prefer my going."
"Not at all. I am convinced at last that society is really irksome to you, and now, my dear boy, I am going to let you do as you please. I have plagued your life out for half a dozen years, urging you to marriage and all that sort of thing, but henceforth, you are free to enjoy your silent friends up stairs to your heart's content."
"Come, uncle, weareready. Good-bye to you, cousin, and a pleasant time!" said Kate, with
a mischievous glance at Horace, who stood biting his lips with ill-concealed vexation.
It was very ungrateful, doubtless, in Horace not to feel himself perfectly free and comfortable, when his cousins had taken so much pains to make him so; but somehow, he never found himself so ill at ease, and instead of going up into his study and sitting down to his books, as he undoubtedly should have done, he strolled forth into the garden, and from thence into the little grove beyond. But go where he would, he could not get rid of his tormenting thoughts; or, if for a moment they turned into their wonted channel, his eyes were sure to rest upon some dainty footprint in the moist gravel, and whew, they were off again in a tangent!
Poor fellow! it was no place for him where such witching spells were cast on every side; and so he once more sought his study, where surely no such fantastic visions could gain an entrance. Ah, it was quite a relief to him to repose himself once more within its quiet limits; and turning over the pages of Euclid, he endeavoured to fix his attention once more upon his favourite pursuit. And to prove the practicability of a course which may seem so impracticable, his progress shall be faithfully reported.
"How perfectly absurd it is for those girls to act as they do!" he exclaimed, rapidly whirling over the leaves. "Ah here it is—let me see,—let AGKQ be two similar—there is something uncommonly interesting about Gabriella— parallelopipeds, of which AB and—what superb eyes Kate has—and, and—let me see—KL are two homologous sides—the wife of Ccesar could not have been more haughty than the proud Constance—the ratio of—of—and what a queenly step—ratio of—where was I ?—AG, no—A— no—confound Euclid—away with it!"
"How far did you say it was to the Glen?" asked Gabriella, as they rose from the dinner table.
"Only three miles," replied her uncle. "I will order out the old carriage, and we'll be there just time enough for a pleasant stroll among the rocks and the babbling brooks, as Kate would say, and drive home round by the borders of the lake by moonlight—there will be romance for you!"
"It will be charming!" cried Kate; "dear, what a nice uncle you are !" and clapping her two little hands upon his cheeks she gave the old gentleman a hearty kiss.
"Did you find a subject worthy of your pencil this morning?" asked Horace, bowing to Constance.