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He gave me no trouble : grief brings which at first was no bigger than a age, joy confirms youth, and I and my man's hand, but it grew until it filled little boy grew young together. He the land with darkness, and the fair was with me everywhere, lightening my prospect on which I had so loved to labor with his prattling tongue, helping gaze was hidden behind the storm. me with his sweet, hindering ways; and My little boy and I looked into each when the kisses had been many that other's faces, and he cried, “ Margaret, had waked him many morns, he stood I must go !” beside me, my little boy, hardly a hand's I did not say nay,—for the tears which breadth lower than myself.

were not in my eyes were in my voice, The world had changed for all but and to speak was to betray them, – but him and me. My father had wandered I turned about to make him ready. off to foreign parts; sisters and broth- In these days my little boy's vision ers, one by one, had gone forth to was finer than my own; and when we conquer kingdoms and reign in their stood together, looking from our orient own right, and one young sister, just window, he saw keener and farther than on the border-land of maiden fancies, I had ever done ; for my eyes now (O friends, I write this line with tears !) looked through a veil of tears, while his, turned from earth and crossed the bor- like the eagle's, penetrated the cloud der-land of heaven.

to the sunshine behind it. He was full But he and I remained alone in the of the dream of glory; and his words, old homestead, and walked together fraught with purpose and power, stirred sweetly down the years.

me like a trumpet. I caught the inIf I came upon disappointment, I had spiration that thrilled his soul; for we not sought it, neither did I fall by it; had walked so long together that all but that which was my future slid by paths pursued by him must find me me and became the past, so gently that ever at his side. I scarce remember where one ended or One day I was summoned to meet a the other began; and though all other visitor; and going, a tall figure in mililovers failed me, one true remained, to tary dress gave me a military salute. whom I ever would be true. The future It was my little boy, who, half abashed did not look less fair ; nay, I deemed it at his presumption, drew himself up, more full of promise than ever. It was and sought refuge from shyness in as though I had passed from my old valor. It was not a sight to make me stand-point of observation to a more smile, though I smiled to please my easterly window; and the prospect was warrior, who, well pleased, displayed not the less enchanting that I looked his art, to show how fields were won. upon it over the shoulder of my little Won! He had no thought of loss; for boy. We talked much of it together; youth and hope dream not of defeat, and though he had the nearer view, it and he talked of how the war was to was my practised vision that saw path- be fought and ended, and all should ways of beauty not yet suspected by be well. him.

I kissed my little boy good night; But we were still happy in the pres- and he slept peacefully, dreaming of ent, and did not speculate much upon fields of glory, as Jacob dreamed and the future. The rolling years brought saw a heavenly vision. him completeness, and to the graces of He went; and then it seemed as if person were added the gifts of wisdom there had been with him one fair long and knowledge. The down that shaded summer day, and this was the evening his cheek, like the down upon a ripe thereof; and my heart was heavy within peach, had darkened and strengthened to the symbol of manhood, and his But many letters reached me from words had the clear ring of purpose. the distant field, - long and loving letFor there was a cloud upon the horizon ters, full of hope, portraying all the poetry and beauty of camp-life, casting women's souls were tried. Long the grosser part aside ; and to me at days of silence passed, days of sickenhome, musing amid peaceful scenes, ing doubt, and then came the news of it seemed a great, triumphant march, victory, — victory bought with precious which must crush, with its mere dis- blood and heavy loss. Over the ghastly play of power, all wicked foes. But the hospital lists I hung, fearing and dreadsacrifice of blood was needed for the re- ing to meet the name of my little boy, mission of sin, and these holiday troops taking hope, as the list shortened, from - heroes in all save the art of war the despair of others, and no mention. lost the day, and, returning, brought Thank God, who giveth us the victory ! back with their thinned ranks my little And later, when details come in, I boy unharmed. Unharmed, thank God! see in “official report” my little boy's but bronzed and bearded like the pard, name mentioned for meritorious and and tarnished with the wear and bur- gallant conduct, and recommended for nished with the use of war.


promotion. Ah! the groans of the How he talked and laughed, making dying are lost in the shouts of the light of danger, and, growing serious, victor; and, forgetting the evil because said the fight had but begun, — the busi- of this good, a woman's heart cried, ness of the nation must, for years, be Laus Deo! war, - and that his strength and man- After the battle, hardly fought and hood, nay, his life if need be, should be dearly purchased, my hero came home given to his country. Then his words on furlough. War had developed him made me brave, and his looks made me faster than the daily kisses of love had proud. I blessed him with unfaltering done; for my little boy — crowned lips; and above the hills of promise, with immortal youth for me — for all which my little boy and I saw looking the world came from this rude emfrom our orient window, rose higher brace a man in stature and wisdom, a yet the mountains of truth, with the hero in valor and endurance, a leader straight path of duty leading to the beloved and revered. skies. But when he was gone again, But for all this I tucked him in o' gone, - there fell a shadow of the com- nights, and shut off harmful draughts ing night, and the evening and the morn- from him who oft had lain upon the ing were the second day.

sod, and for covering had but the His frequent letters dissipated the cloudy sky. sense of danger, and brought me great These were blissful days,— marked in comfort. War is not a literary art, and the past by white memories,- in which letters from the “imminent deadly we talked of future plans, the future so breach," made it seem less deadly. near, yet to our vision so remote, and His self-abnegation filled me with won- purposed this and that, not considering der. “It is well that few should be that Heaven disposes all things. lost, that many may be saved,” he And when he must be off, I kissed wrote. In what school had this tender him lightly; for success brings security, youth learned heroism, I asked myself, and I was growing accustomed to these as I read his noble words and trembled partings; but he drew me to his breast, at his courage.

struck by some pang of coming evil, My dreams and my gaze turned south- and called me mother. Ah! then my ward. No eastern beams lured me to heart yearned over my little boy, and I that lookout so long endeared; for the would fain have stayed his going ; but, eyes through which I once gazed looked dashing the tears from his eyes, he through the smoke of battle, and hope hurried away, nor looked behind him and faith had fled with him, and left me but suspense.

All through the winter, which for him Now came hot work.

was summer, my heart lay lightly in its pressed sorely, and men's - ay, and place, and I waited calmly the coming


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of the end. The struggle was almost way he must come for whose coming I over; the storm-cloud had rolled back, longed with a longing that could not be after deluging the land in blood; in uttered. this consecrated soil slavery was for- As I looked, idly speculating on his ever buried; the temple of freedom speed, a horseman dashed up in mad was reared in the name of all men, haste, his steed spent and flecked with and the dove of peace sat brooding in foam. Men do not ride so hot with its eaves.

good tidings, - what need to make such All this my little boy had said must haste with evil ? come to pass before he sheathed his Still, no sense of loss, no shadow of sword ; and this had come to pass. the coming night. Peace covered my

He had marched “to the sea," my heart, and would not be scared away. conquering hero, and was “coming up,” Blind infatuation ! that could not see. crowned with new laurels. I was wait- “Was it not then a victory ?” I cried; ing the fulness of time, lulled with the for sadness and defeat were written in fulness of content. Sherman had gath- his face. ered his hosts for another combat, “Nay, not that.” The outstretched the last, and then the work would be hand turned white with pity.

" But done, and well done. Thus wrote my

this-" little boy; and my heart echoed his Too kind to speak the words, at words, " well done.”

sight of which I fell, struck by a bolt This battle-day I worked out of doors that, riving his heart, through leagues from morning until night, seeking to of space had travelled straight to mine. bring order and beauty out of confusion and decay, striving to have all

Months later, when the long night things ready when he came. My sleep had passed away, and the dawn brought was sweet that night, and I awoke with patience and resignation, one who saw these words in my mind :

him fall, gloriously, told me the story. “Lord, in the morning Thou shalt hear

I could bear it then ; for in my soul's My voice ascending high.”

eclipse I had beheld him walking on The sun streamed in through the the heavenly hills, and knew that there eastern window, and all the hills beyond he was waiting for me. were bathed in glory; the earth was fair

He lies buried, at his own request, to look upon, and happiness, descend- where he fell, on Southern soil. ing from the skies, nestled in my heart. O pilgrim to those sacred shrines, if in

I planted all this day, covering your wandering ye come upon a nameprecious seed, thinking on their sum- less grave, marked by a sunken sword, mer beauty ; and, as the evening fell, tread lightly above the slumbers of my I stood at the garden gate watching the little boy!

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For here the incense of the cloistered pines,

Stained windows of the sky,
The frescoed clouds and mountains' purple shrines,

Proclaim God's temple nigh.

Through wild ravines thy wayward currents glide,

Round bosky islands play;
Here tufted headlands meet the lucent tide,

There gleams the spacious bay;

Untracked for ages, save when crouching few,

Through forest-hung defiles,
The dusky savage in his frail canoe,

To seek the thousand isles,

Or rally to the fragrant cedar's shade

The settler's crafty foe,
With toilsome march and midnight ambuscade

To lay his dwelling low.

Along the far horizon's opal wall

The dark blue summits rise,
And o'er them rifts of misty sunshine fall,

Or golden vapor lies.

And over all tradition's gracious spell

A fond allurement weaves ; One of the aboriginal names of Lake Champlain signifies the open door of the country.

Her low refrain the moaning tempest swells,

And thrills the whispering leaves.

To win this virgin land, a kingly quest,

Chivalric deeds were wrought;
Long by thy marge and on thy placid breast

The Gaul and Saxon fought.

What cheers of triumph in thy echoes sleep!

What brave blood dyed thy wave!
A grass-grown rampart crowns each rugged steep,

Each isle a hero's grave.

And gallant squadrons manned for border fray,

That rival standards bore,
Sprung from thy woods and on thy bosom lay, -

Stern warders of the shore.

How changed since he whose name thy waters bear,

The silent hills between,
Led by his swarthy guides to conflict there.

Entranced beheld the scene !

Fleets swiftly ply where lagged the lone batteau,

And quarries trench the gorge ;
Where waned the council-fire, now steadfast glow

The pharos and the forge.

On Adirondack's lake-encircled crest

Old war-paths mark the soil,
Where idly bivouacks the summer guest,

And peaceful miners toil.

Where lurked the wigwam, cultured households throng;

Where rung the panther's yell
Is heard the low of kine, a blithesome song,

Or chime of village bell.

And when, to subjugate the peopled land,

Invaders crossed the sea,
Rushed from thy meadow-slopes a stalwart band,

To battle for the free.

Nor failed the pristine valor of the race

To guard the nation's life;
Thy hardy sons met treason face to face,

The foremost in the strife.

When locusts bloom and wild-rose scents the air,

When moonbeams fleck the stream,
And June's long twilights crimson shadows wear,

Here linger, gaze, and dream!

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