[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

But throngs of painful memories rise.

That I would fain forget,
When on thy youug and vigorous form

Disease Its seal had set;
The wasting flesh, the wearied heart,

The eye's unearthly ray,
The hectic kindling on the cheek,

Dire signal of decay;
The racking cough, that nightly rang

Its death-knell on my ear,
Which still, amid my broken dream,

I start, and seem to bear.

Ahl hast thou fallen, our youngest one,

Fallen from the parent tree.
Of whom I said, In all my toil,

This same shall comfort me?
This same shall lay me in my grave,

And dress my burial mould T
And little deemed, with trembling hand,

To close thine eyelids cold,
Or breathe the agonizing plaint

At morn and eventide,
"OhI would to God, my only son,

That I, for thee, had died I"

Fade, memories, fade I Ye rend my heart!

I bid ye hence, away,
Like Riipah, driving from her dead

The Btrong-beaked birds of prey;
For many a duty still is mine,

That morbid thoughts alloy,
And many a blessing that demands

A strain of grateful joy.
And I must gather up my strength

As best the wounded may,
And gird myself anew, to run

My desolated way.

There! there I Ye've laid him in the tomb,

And closed the vaulted door;
The harsh key grateth in its lock,

And he returns no more.
Be kind unto my precious child.

Ye dead! who there abide,—
As unsaluting thus he comes,

To slumber by your side;
For he was timid from his birth,

And felt the intruder's fear,
And from imagined coldness shrank

With ill-dissembled tear.

Ahl weak and selfish earthly grief!

Restrain tby tides! Be still! When He who lent reclaims his loan.

Revere the Unerring Will. Father! I yield him back to Thee,

Compassionate, and strong;
Thou lov'st the souls that Thou hast made.

Thou wilt not do him wrong.
Dear Saviour! whose baptismal dew

His infant temples blest,
Grant us to meet him at thy feet.




On, my first is like a fancy,

Or a fairy whisper mild,
Floating past your cheek as gently

As the breathing of a child.
And my first is like a fury,

Or a demon on his path,
Rushing vast athwart the heavens,—

Thundering down his tones of wrath.

He will kiss you in the morning

With a fragrant dainty breath; He will touch your lips at even,

And the vapour shall be death, lie will creep to you at noontide,

With a whisper and a sigh;
He will swoop at night and crush you,

As he roars along the sky.

Oh, my second's tones are gentle

As the advent of a dream, Melting on the heart as softly

As the snow upon a stream: She can lead you with a whisper,

Sim can fright you with a frown; She is sharper than a thistle,

Sbo is softer than its down.

She will plague you in your pleasure,

She will soothe you in your woe; She can bo your guiding angel,

She may be your fiercest foe. He who takes her to his bosom,

Welcomes doubt, and care, and strife: He who takes her not, had better

End at once bis wretched life.

Lo, a cottage, nestled sleeping

In a swaying dream of leaves; Where the sidelong sun is creeping,

Inch by inch, across the caves. With my whole a child was playing,

Looking down the cottage well, Laughing out with hearty pleasure,

As the bucket rose and fell.

Sank the sun, all flushed and weary,

Like a hero sick of wars;
Through the cool gray air came peering

Keenly forth the eager stars.
By my whole the child still lingered,

Gazing in the mossy well,
Where the starlight broke and scattered,

As the bucket's drlppingi fell.

(From the German of Langbein.)


What bell-bouse, yonder, towers In Bight

Above the market-square r
The wind sweeps through it day and night;

Xo gate nor door is there.
Speaks joy or terror in the tone,

When neighbours hear the bell t
And that tall steed of sculptured stone—

What doth the statue tell t"

■ Not the Srst stranger, friend, art thou,

That hath such knowledge sought;
What say our chronicles, shall now

To thee be freely taught
Ttv. DoomJxll of Ingratitude,

The precious relic's name;
Shades of brave sires around it I

Their memory is its fame.

"Ingratitude was, even then,

An envious world's base meed;
And so those upright, ancient men

This warning sign decreed:
Whoso had felt that serpent's sting,

To him was giTen the power
With his own hand, straightway, to ring

The doom-bell in the tower.

"Then came the ministers of law

Together,—though 'twere night,—
Inquired, examined, heard, and saw,

Where lay the injured right.
Unheeding title, rank, or gold,

Unknowing lord or slave,
A righteous sentence, free and bold,

The honest judges gave.

"A hundred years ago, or more,

A citizen lived here,
Whose thrifty toil and goodly store

Were famed both far and near.
His dress, his cellar, and his sheep

His wealth might well declare;
And bo was pleased and proud to keep

A steed of beauty rare.

"Once on a time, as he rode by

A forest, late at night,
With tiger-spring and murdeivcry,

8ix robbers hove in sight.
His lire, bard pressed before, behind,

Hung trembling by a hair,
But his good steed, with speed of wind,

Soon snatched him "Tom the snare.

"The faithful beast, all white with foam,

Brought off without a wound
His grateful lord, who, one at home,

His horse's praise did sound.
A Tow he made, and, swearing, sealed:

'Henceforth I'll give my gray
The best of oats the land can yield,

Until he turns to clay.'

VOL. no.


"But the good beast fell sick at last,

Grew lame, and stiff, and blind*
And his forgetful master fast

Renounced bis grateful mind.
He sought to sell bim cheap, oh, fie!

And what was worst of all, 0 When none, at any price, would bay,

lie kicked bim from the stall!

"For seven long hours, with drooping head,

Close to his master's gate,
Pricking bis ears at every tread,

That patient beast did wait.
The stars came out, all cold and bright,
* None pitied his bare bones;
And there he lay, the livelong night,

Out on the icy stones.

"Ami when uprose another morn,

There the poor nag still stood,
Till driven by hunger's goading thorn

To stir in quest of food.
The sun o'er all his radiance flings,

But midnight Toils hii head;
And he who once seemed clothed with wings,

Now creeps with dubious tread.

"Before each tread his lifted hoo(
9 Groped forth to feel the way;
And, step by step, with certain proof,

Its soundness to assay.
Through all the streets he, fumbling so,

Grazed with his mouth the ground;
And 'twos a windfall, you may know,
When some stray straw he found I

"Once, thus urged on by hunger's power,

All skin and bone, oh, shame!
The skeleton, at midnight hour,

Up to the bell-house came.
He stumbled in, and chanced to grope

Near where the hemp-rope hangs;
His gnawing hunger jerks the rope.

And, hark! the doom-bell clangs!

"The judges hear the midnight cry,

Straight to the tower repair,
And lift their wondering hands on high,

To see such plaintiff there.
They went not back, with gibe and joke,

To curse the untimely clang:
Amazed, they cried,—' Twas God that spoke,

When the stern doom-bell rang I'

"And the rich man is summoned now

Straight to the market-square; Half-waked, he fiercely knits his brow,—

'You dream! who wants me there V He went defiant; but his mood

To meekness changed with speed, When in the judges' midst he stood,

Confronted with his steed.

** Know you this beast?' from his high seat

Thus the chief justice said:
1 But for his fleet and faithful feot,

Your life long since had fled!
And what rewards such signal worth?

Thou s^urneet him away:
Oh, man of ice I the rabble's mirth,

And gaunt starvation's prey I

''The doom-bell sounded out its call,

The plaintiff here you see,
Your crime is manifest to all,

And so we do decree:
That you henceforth your faithful steed

Homo to your stable take,
And, like a Christian, nurse and feed

Till doath, for mercy's sake!'

"The mean rich man dumbfounded stood,

The verdict vexed him sore; Yet felt he his ingratitude,

And took his steed once more.—
So in the chronicles is traced

The story, plain and fair;
And, for a monument they placed

The stone-hewn statue there."



Heart, with thy pulses highly beating;
World, with thy pageants false as fleeting,

What concord can ye have?
Hushed shall thy pulse be, Heart, for ever,
Soon shall thy reign, proud World, be over,

Thine an oblivious grave.

Heart, canst thou grasp thy hope's fruition!
World, dost thou yield the heart's petition,

Gushing In music's tone?
None e'er enjoyed his soul's best dreaming,
Still to the prayer most earnest seeming,

Tho answerest back a moan.

Heart, hast thou found thy joys all sparkling? World, then withhold thy shadows darkling,

Spare the untainted breast! Trump-like, I hear, 'mid scenes of pleasure, A voice proclaim, in solemn measure,—

"But, soul, is not thy rest!"

Heart, dost thou thirst for kindred union?
World, well I wist such pure communion,

Guerdon of thine, is none;
Soul 1 for the goal immortal striving,
Onward! through flames and whirlwinds driving

Seize thou the victor crown!

Heart, fix on high thy sphere of action;
World, I contemn thy vague attraction,

All baseless as the wind;—
Let me so use my brief probation,
As to secure in Heaven's duration

The pinions of the mind.

Heart, guard thy treasures rich and trusting; World, crowned with gauds, bcmoulded, rusting,

Hence! with thy specious rays;— Soul! up, and strain thy whole endeavour, Relax the momentous combat neverl—

Till mortal might decayi.

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

"So you have changed your seamstress, I see,'.' said Mrs. Mayhew to her fashionable friend, Mrs. Harris.

"0 yes, and you cannot think what a difference it makes in our expenses; you know I paid Chilson half a dollar a day, and she only came at eight and worked till seven."

"That was reasonable, certainly," interrupted Mrs. Mayhew; "I am sure I don't see how any one could well work cheaper."

"Tou don't; well then, I only pay the girl I have now, two and sixpence, and she works an hour later, and sews beautifully; what do you think of that?" exclaimed Mrs. Harris, triumphantly.

"I think that it is not enough," answered her friend. "Only consider, my dear Mrs. Harris, twelve hours of steady labour, for the

pitiful sum of two and sixpence; surely, it is hardly just!"

"If I pay the girl all she asks, I don't see why it is not just!" replied Mrs. Harris, reddening. "She is a better judge, probably, than either you or I, of what she can, or cannot afford; if she chooses to do my sewing for two and sixpence, I don't know why I should offer her more."

"Poor girl; probably she is afraid to demand the price which is by justice hers, lest, from that grasping and overbearing spirit with which such demands are too often met, she would be refused all employment," said Mrs. Mayhew. "There is a pitiful oppression exercised toward this class of persons, Mrs. Harris; there are those, even among the most wealthy, who will bargain and chaffer with the poor

« 上一页继续 »