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Loop up her tresses

Escaped from the comb,
Her fair auburn tresses;
Whilst wonderment guesses
Where was her home?

Who was her father?
Who was her mother?

Had she a sister?
Had she a brother?

Or was there a dearer one
Still, or a nearer one
Yet, than all other?

Alas! for the rarity
Of Christian charity
Under the sun!
Oh! it was pitiful!
Near a whole city full,
Home she had none.

Sisterly, brotherly,
Fatherly, motherly

Feelings had changed:
Love, by harsh evidence,
Thrown from its eminence;
Even God's providence
Seeming estranged.

Where the lamps quiver

So far in the river,

With many a light

From window and casement,

From garret to basement,

She stood, with amazement,
Houseless by night.

The bleak wind of March

Made her tremble and shiver;

But not the dark arch,

Or the black flowing river:
Mad from life's history,
Glad to death's mystery,
Swift to be hurl'd-
Any where, any where,
Out of the world!

In she plunged boldly,

No matter how coldly
The rough river ran-
Over the brink of it,
Picture it-think of it,
Dissolute Man!
Lave in it, drink of it,
Then, if you can!

Take her up tenderly,
Lift her with care;
Fashion'd so slenderly,
Young, and so fair!
Ere her limbs frigidly
Stiffen too rigidly,

Smooth, and compose them;
And her eyes, close them,
Staring so blindly!
Dreadfully staring
Through muddy impurity,
As when with the daring
Last look of despairing
Fixed on futurity.

Perishing gloomily,
Spurred by contumely,
Cold inhumanity,
Burning insanity,
Into her rest-

Cross her hands humbly,
As if praying dumbly,
Over her breast!

Owning her weakness,

Her evil behaviour,

And leaving, with meekness, Her sins to her Saviour!



Father of Heaven and Earth!

I bless thee for the night,
The soft, still night,

The holy pause of care and mirth,

Of sound and light!

Now far in glade and dell,

Flower-cup, and bud, and bell,


Have shut around the sleeping wood-lark's nest;
The bee's long murmuring toils are done,
And I, the o'er-wearied one,
O'er-wearied and o'er-wrought,

Bless thee, O God, O Father of the oppressed,
With my last waking thought.

In the still night!

Yes, ere I sink to rest,

By the fire's dying light,
Thou Lord of Earth and Heaven!-
I bless thee, who hast given

Unto life's fainting travellers, the night,
The soft, still, holy night!



TRUTH never yet fell dead in the streets; it has such affinity with the soul of man, that the seed, however broadcast, will catch somewhere, and produce its hundredfold. Some kept his sayings and pondered them in their heart. Others heard them gladly. Did priests and Levites stop their ears? Publicans and harlots went into the kingdom of God before them. Those blessed women, whose hearts God



James and John leave all to follow him who had the word of eternal life; and when that young carpenter asks Peter, "Who sayest thou that I am?" it has been revealed to that poor unlettered fisherman, not by flesh and blood, but by the word of the Lord, and he can say, "Thou art the Christ the son of the living God." The Pharisee went his way, and preached a doctrine that he knew was false; the fisherman also went his way; but which went to the flesh and the devil?

We cannot tell, no man can tell, the feelings which the large free doctrines of absolute religion awakened when heard for the first time. There must have been many a Simeon waiting for the consolation; many a Mary longing for the better part; many a soul in cabins and cottages and stately dwellings, that caught glimpses of the same truth, as God's light shone through some crevice which piety made in the wall prejudice and superstition had built up betwixt man and God; men who scarce dared to trust that revelation- too good to be true" such was their awe of Moses, their reverence for the priest. To them the word of Jesus must have sounded divine; like the music of their home sung out in the sky, and heard in a distant land, beguiling toil of its weariness, pain of its sting, affliction of despair. There must have been men, sick of forms which had lost their meaning, pained with the open secret of sacerdotal hypocrisy, hungering and thirsting after the truth, yet whom error, and prejudice, and priestcraft had blinded so that they dare not think as men, nor look on the sun-light God shed upon the mind.

had sown deepest with the orient pearl of faith; they | words so deep that a child could understand them; who ministered to him in his wants, washed his feet with tears of penitence, and wiped them with the hairs of their head, was it in vain he spoke to them? Alas, for the anointed priest, the child of Levi, the sons of Aaron, men who shut up inspiration in old books, and believed God was asleep --They stumbled in darkness, and fell into the ditch. But doubtless there was many a tear-stained face that brightened like fires new stirred, as truth spoke out of Jesus' lips. His word swayed the multitude as pendent vines swing in the summer wind; as the spirit of God moved on the waters of chaos, and said, "Let there be light," and there was light. No doubt many a rude fisherman of Gennesareth heard his words with a heart bounding and scarce able to keep in his bosom, went home a new man, with a legion of angels in his breast, and from that day lived a life divine and beautiful. No doubt, on the other hand, Rabbi Kozeb Ben Shatan, when he heard of the eloquent Nazarene and his Sermon on the Mount, said to his disciples, in private, at Jerusalem, "This new doctrine will not injure us prudent and educated men; we know that men may worship as well out of the temple as in it; a burnt offering is nothing; the ritual of no value; the Sabbath like any other day; the law faulty in many things, offensive in some, and no more from God than other laws equally good. We know that the priesthood is a human affair, originated and managed like other human affairs. We may confess all this to ourselves, but what is the use of telling it? The people wish to be deceived; let them. The Pharisee will conduct wisely like a Pharisee-for he sees the eternal fitness of thingscven if these doctrines should be proclaimed. But this people, who know not the law, what will become of them? Simon Peter, James, and John, those poor unlettered fishermen on the lake of Galilee, to whom we gave a farthing and the priestly blessing, in our summer excursion, what will become of them when told that every word of the law did not come straight out of the mouth of Jehovah, and the ritual is nothing! They will go over to the flesh and the devil, and will be lost. It is true, that the law and the prophets are well summed up in one word, love God and man. But never let us sanction the saying, it would ruin the seed of Abraham, keep back the kingdom of God, and " destroy our usefulness."

Thus went it at Jerusalem. The new word was Blasphemy," the new prophet an Infidel," "beside himself, had a devil." But at Galilee, things took a shape somewhat different; one which blind guides could not foresee. The common people, not knowing the law, counted him a prophet come up from the dead, and heard him gladly. Yes, thousands of men, and women also, with hearts in their bosoms, gathered in the field, and pressed about him in the city and the desert place, forgetful of hunger and thirst, and were fed to the full with his words,

In a recent work of L. F. Tasistro-" Random

Shots and Southern Breezes”—is a description of a slave auction at New Orleans, at which the auctioneer recommends the woman on the stand as a good Christian!



A Christian-going, gone!

Who bids for God's own image? for His grace,
Which that poor victim of the market-place
Hath, in her suffering, won?

My God! Can such things be?
Hast thou not said that whatso'er is done
Unto thy weakest and thy humblest one,

Is even done to Thee?

In that sad victim, then,
Child of thy pitying love, I see Thee stand—
Once more the jest-word of a mocking-band,

Bound, sold, and scourged again!




A Christian up for sale!

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The songs of a nation are like wild flowers pressed, as it were, by chance, between the blood-stained pages of history. As if man's heart had paused for a moment in its dusty march, and looked back, with a flutter of the pulse and a tearful smile, upon the simple peacefulness of happier and purer days, gathering some wayside blossom to remind it of childhood and home, amid the crash of battle or the din of the market. Listening to these strains of pastoral music, we are lured away from the records of patriotic frauds of a cannibal policy which devours whole nations with the refined appetite of a converted and polished Polyphemus who has learned to eat with a silver fork, and never to put his knife in his mouth, -we forget the wars and the false standards of honor which have cheated men into wearing the fratricidal brand of Cain, as if it were but the glorious trace of a dignifying wreath, and hear the rustle of the leaves and the innocent bleat of lambs, and the low murmur of lovers beneath the moon of Arcady, or the long twilight of the north. The earth grows green again, and flowers spring up in the scorching footprints of Alaric, but where love hath but only smiled, some gentle trace of it remains freshly forever. The infinite sends its messages to us by urtutored spirits, and the lips of little children, and the unboastful beauty of simple nature; not with the sound of trumpet, and the tramp of mail-clad hosts. Simplicity and commonness are the proofs of Beauty's divinity. Earnestly and beautifully touching is this eternity of simple feeling from age to age, this trustfulness with which the heart flings forth to the wind its sybilline leaves to be gathered and cherished as oracles forever. The unwieldy current of life whirls and writhes and struggles muddily onward, and there in midcurrent the snowwhite lilies blow in unstained safety, generation after generation. The cloud-capt monuments of mighty kings and captains crumble into dust and mingle with the nameless ashes of those who reared them; but we know perhaps the name and even the color of the hair and eyes of some humble shepherd's mistress who brushed through the dew to meet her lover's kiss, when the rising sun glittered on the golden images that crowned the palace-roof of Semiramis. Fleets and navies are overwhelmed and forgotten, but some tiny, love-freighted argossy launched (like those of the Hindoo maidens) upon the stream of time in days now behind the horizon, floats down to us with its frail lamp yet burning Theories for which great philosophers wore their hearts out, histories over which the eyes of wise men ached for weary years, creeds for which hundreds underwent an exulting martyrdom, poems which had once quickened the beating of the world's great heart, and the certainty of whose deathless



ness had made death sweet to the poet, all these have mouldered to nothing, but some word of love, some outvent of a sorrow which haply filled only one pair of eyes with tears, there seem to have become a part of earth's very lifeblood. They live because those who wrote never thought whether they would live or not. Because they were the children of human nature, human nature has tenderly fostered them, while children only begot to perpetuate the foolish vanity of their father's name, must trust for their support to such inheritance of livelihood as their father left them. There are no pensions, and no retired lists in the pure democracy of nature and truth.

noble capabilities as men. He who aspires to the highest triumphs of the muse, must lock at first for appreciation and sympathy only from the few, and must wait till the progress of education shall have enlarged the number and quickened the sensibility and apprehension of his readers. But the song. writer finds his ready welcome in those homespun, untutored artistic perceptions which are the birthright of every human soul, and which are the sure pledges of the coming greatness and ennoblement of the race. He makes men's hearts ready to receive the teachings of his nobler brother. He is not positively, but only relatively a greater blessing to his kind, since, in God's good season, by the sure advance of freedom, all men shall be able to enjoy what is now the privilege of the few, and Shakspeare and Milton shall be as dear to the heart of the cottager and the craftsman as Burns or Beranger. Full of grandeur, then, and yet fuller of awful responsibility is the calling of the song-writer.

It is no

coming ages. Like an electric spark his musical thought flits glittering from heart to heart, and from lip to lip through the land. Luther's noble hymns made more and truer protestants than ever did his sermons or his tracts. The song hummed by some toiling mother to beguile the long monotony of the spinning-wheel, may have turned the current of her child's thoughts as he played about her knee, and given the world a hero or apostle. We know not when or in what soil God may plant the seeds of our spiritual enlightenment and regeneration, but we may be sure that it will be in some piece of clay common to all mankind. Some heart whose simple feelings call the whole world kin. Not from mighty poet or deep-seeking philosopher will come the word which all men love to hear, but in the lowly Nazareth of some unlearned soul, in the rough manger of

A good song is as if the poet had pressed his heart against the paper, and that could have conveyed its hot, tumultuous throbbings to the reader. The low, musical rustle of the wind among the leaves is songlike, but the slow unfolding of the leaves and blossoms, and under them the conception and ripening of the golden fruit through long summer days of sun-wild fancy to deem that he may shape the destiny of shine and of rain, are like the grander, but not more beautiful or eternal, offspring of poesy. The songwriter must take his place somewhere between the poet and the musician, and must form a distinct class by himself. The faculty of writing songs is certainly a peculiar one, and as perfect in its kind as that of writing epics. They can only be written by true poets; like the mistletoe they are slender and delicate, but they only grow in oaks. Burns is as wholly a poet, but not as great a poet as Milton. Songs relate to us the experience and hoarded learning of the feelings, greater poems detail that of the mind. One is the result of that wisdom which the heart keeps by remaining young, the other of that which it gains by growing old. Songs are like inspired nursery-rhymes which makes the soul childlike again. The best songs have always some tinge of a mysterious sadness in them. They seem writ-rudest, humblest sympathies, shall the true Messiah ten in the night-watches of the heart, and reflect the be born and cradled. In the inspired heart, not in spiritual moonlight, or the shifting flashes of the the philosophic intellect, all true reforms originate, northern-light, or the trembling lustre of the stars, and it is over this that the song-writer has unbridled rather than the broad and cheerful benediction of sway. He concentrates the inarticulate murmur the sunny day. Often they are the merest breaths, and longing of a trampled people into the lightningvague snatches of half-heard music which fell dream- flash of a fiery verse, and, ere tbe guilty heart of the ily on the ear of the poet while he was listening for oppressor has ceased to flutter, follows the deafening grander melodies, and which he hummed over after-thunderclap of revolution. He gives vent to his wards to himself, not knowing how or where he love of a flower or a maiden, and adds so much to learned them.

A true song touches no feeling or prejudice of education, but only the simple, original elements of our common nature. And perhaps the mission of the song-writer may herein be deemed loftier and diviner than any other, since he sheds delight over more hearts, and opens more rude natures to the advances of civilization, refinement and a softened humanity, by revealing to them a beauty in their own simple thoughts and feelings, which wins them anconsciously to a dignified reverence for their own

the store of everyday romance in the heart of the world, refining men's crude perceptions of beauty and dignifying their sweet natural affections. Once it was the fashion to write pastorals, but he teaches us that it is not nature to make all men talk like rustics, but rather to show that one heart beats under homespun and broadcloth, and that it alone is truly classical, and gives eternity to verse.

Songs are scarcely amenable to the common laws of criticism. If anything were needed to prove the utter foolishness of the assertion, that that only is



womb wherein we are shaping to be born in the next, we are led upward from love to love till we arrive at the love of God which is the highest love. Many things unseal the springs of tenderness in us ere the

good poetry which can be reduced to good prose, we might summon as witnesses the most perfect songs in our language. The best part of a song lies often not at all in the words, but in the metre perhaps, or the structure of the verse, in the wonderful melody | full glory of our nature gushes forth to the one bewhich arose of itself from the feeling of the writer, and which unawares throws the heart into the same frame of thought. Ben Jonson was used to write his poems first in prose and then translate or distil them into verse, and had we not known the fact, we might have almost guessed it from reading some of his lyrics, the mechanical structure of whose verse is as different from the spontaneous growth of a true song (which must be written one way or not at all) as a paper flower is from a violet. In a good song, the words seem to have given birth to the melody, and the melody to the words. The strain of music seems to have wandered into the poet's heart, and to have been the thread round which his thoughts have crystallized. There is always something of person-disguise of clay; and we confess that the sight of the al interest in songs. They are the true diary of the poet's spiritual life, the table-talk of his heart. There is nothing egotistical in them, for the inward history of a poet is never a commonplace one, and egotism can only be a trait of little minds, its disa-hand, a sweet fashion not yet extinct in our quiet greeable quality lying wholly in this, that it constantly thrusts in our faces the egotist's individuality, which is really the least noticeable thing about him. We love to hear wonderful men talk of themselves, because they are better worth hearing about than anything else, and because what we learn of them is not so much a history of self as a history of nature, and a statement of facts therein which are so many fingerposts to set us right in our search after true spiritual knowledge. Songs are translations from the language of the spiritual into that of the natural world.

nign spirit which interprets for us all mystery, and is the key to unlock all the most secret shrines of beauty. Woman was given us to love chiefly to this end, that the sereneness and strength which the soul wins from that full sympathy with one, might teach it the more divine excellence of a sympathy with all, and that it was man's heart only which God shaped in his own image, which it can only rightly emblem in an all-surrounding love. Therefore we put first those songs which tell of love, since we see in them not an outpouring of selfish and solitary passion, but an indication of that beautiful instinct which prompts the heart of every man to turn toward its fellows with a smile, and to recognise its master even in the

As love is the highest and holiest of all feelings, so those songs are best in which love is the essence. All poetry must rest on love for a foundation, or it will only last so long as the bad passions it appeals to, and which it is the end of true poesy to root out. If there be not in it a love of man, there must at least be a love of nature which lies next below it, and which, as is the nature of all beauty, will lead its convert upward to that nobler and wider sympathy. True poetry is but the perfect reflex of true know ledge, and true knowledge is spiritual knowledge which comes only of love, and which, when it has solved the mystery of one, even the smallest effluence of the eternal beauty which surrounds us like an atmosphere, becomes a clue leading to the heart of the seeming labyrinth. All our sympathies lie in such close neighborhood, that when music is drawn from one string, all the rest vibrate in sweet accord. As in the womb the brain of the child changes with a steady rise, through a likeness to that of one animal and another till it is perfected in that of man, the highest animal, so in this life, which is but as a

rudest and simplest love-verses in the corner of a
village newspaper, oftener bring tears of delight into
our eyes than awaken a sense of the ludicrous.
fancy we see the rustic lovers wandering hand in


New England villages, and crowding all the past and future with the blithe sunshine of the present. The modest loveliness of Dorcas has revealed to the delighted heart of Reuben, countless other beauties, of which, but for her, he had been careless. Pure and delicate sympathies have overgrown protectingly the most exposed part of his nature, as the moss covers the north side of the tree. The perception and reverence of her beauty has become a new and more sensitive conscience to him, which, like the wonderful ring in the fairy tale, warns him against every danger that may assail his innocent self-respect. For the first time he begins to see something more in the sunset than an omen of to-morrow's weather. The flowers, too, have grown tenderly dear to him of a sudden, and, as he plucks a sprig of blue succory from the roadside to deck her hair with, he is as truly a poet as Burns when he embalmed the ‹‹ mountain daisy" in deathless rhyme. Dorcas thrills at sight of quivering Hesperus as keenly as ever Sappho did, and, as it brings back to her, she knows not how, the memory of all happy times in one, she clasps closer the brown, toil-hardened hand which she holds in hers, and which the heart that warms it makes as soft as down to her. She is sure that the next Sabbath evening will be as cloudlsss and happy as this. She feels no jealousy of Reuben's love of the flowers, for she knows that only the pure in heart can see God in them, and that they will but teach him to love better the wild-flower-like beauties in herself, and give him impulses of kindness and brotherhood to all. Love is the truest radicalism, lifting all to the same clear-aired level of humble, thankful humanity. Dorcas begins to think that her


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