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And murmured, with a mild surprise
“QURFEW MUST NOT RING TO-NIGHT.” England's sun was setting o'er the hills so far away Filled the land with misty beauty at the close of one sad day; And the last rays kiss'd the forehead of a man and maiden fairHe with step so slow and weary, she with sunny, floating hair; He with bowed head, sad and thoughtful, she with lips so cold and
white, Struggled to keep back the murmur, “ Curfew must not ring to
night." “Sexton,” Bessie's white lips faltered, pointing to the prison old, With its walls so tall and gloomy, walls so dark and damp and cold, “I've a lover in that prison, doomed this very night to die, At the ringing of the Curfew, and no earthly help is nigh. Cromwell will not come till sunset," and her face grew strangely
white, As she spoke in husky whispers, “ Curfew must not ring to-night.”' "Bessie,” calmly spoke the sexton—every word pierced her young
heart Like a thousand gleaming arrows-like a deadly poisoned dart; “Long, long years I've rung the Curfew from that gloomy shad.
dowed tuwer; Every evening, just at sunset, it has told the twilight hour; I have done my duty cver-tried to do it juist and rightNow I'm old, I will not miss it; girl, the Curfew rings to-night"
Wild her eyes and pale her features, stern and white her thought.
ful brow, And within her heart's deep centre Bessie made a solemn vow , She had listened while the judges read, without a tear or sigh, . " At the ringing of the Curfew, Basil Underwood must die !" And her breath came fast and faster, and her eyes grow large and
bright One low murmur scarcely spoken—“Curfew must not ring to-night.”
She with light step bounded forward; sprang within the old church
door, Left the old man coming slowly, paths he'd trod so oft before; Not one moment paused the maiden, but with cheek and brow aglow, Staggered up the gloomy tower where the bell swung to and fro; Then she climbed the-slimy ladder, dark, without one ray of light Upward still, her pale lips saying, “Curfew shall not ring to-night."
She has•reached the topmost ladder, o'er her hangs the great dark
bell, And the awful gloom beneath her, like the pathway down to hell; See, the ponderous tongue is swinging, 'tis the hour of Curfew now, And the sight has chilled her bosom, stopped her breath and paled
- her brow. Shall she let it ring? No, never! her eyes flash with sudden light, And she springs and grasps it firmly—“Curfew shall not ring too
Out she swung—far out--the city seemed a tiny speck below; There, 'twixt heaven and earth suspended, as the bell swung to and
fro; And the half deaf sexton ringing (years he had not heard the bell), While he thought the twilight Curfew rang young Basil's funeral
knell; Still the maiden clinging firmly, cheek and brow so pale and white, Stilled her frightened heart's wild beating—" Curfew shall not ring
It was o'er—the bell ceased swaying, and the maiden stepped once
more Firmly on the damp old ladder, where, for hundred years before, Human foot had not been planted; and what she this night had
done Should be told long ages after. As the rays of setting sun Light the sky with mellow beauty, aged sires with heads of white, Tell the children why the Curfew did not ring that one sad night. O'er the distant hills came Cromwell; Bessie saw him, and her brow, Lately white with sickening horror, glows with sudden beauty now; At his feet she told her story, showed her hands all bruised and torn, And her sweet young face so haggard, with a look so sad and worn, Touched his heart with sudden pity-lit his eyes with misty light “Go, your lover lives," cried Cromwell; “Curfew shall not ring to.
AN ILL KEPT SEORET.
Nobody but I and pert Miss Briar,
Briar Rose, and Miss Willow tree,
For each blushes red as you pass by her,
Blushes guilty red for all to see.
He came back as soon as he suspected,
And he hops and flicks and wiuks and chatters,
Full of secrets, which he fears suspected
Secrets touching other people's matters.
For I heard them whispering to each other
In the drowsy darkness, where they hide them: "Some one knocked. Who was it knocked and woke us ?
Surely Mother Spring has come, my brother.”
And they roused the daffodils beside them.
And the Winter guesses. Dark and grimly
Frowned his icy face, and fierce his growling
As an angry lion's, crouched to bite her, As the dainty Spring so fair and trimly
Brushed by him, and fled before the howling
Winds and cold sleet which he flung to fright her We all know it, and each glad tale-bearer
Speeds the happy news, too good for keeping.
Winter scowleth wrathfully and curses; Robin gossips loud to each wayfarer;
Willow blushes, crocus can't help peeping,
And I tell the secret in these verses.
ADELAIDE A. PROCTOR.
Cowering among his pillows white He prays, his blue eyes dim with fright, “Father, save those at sea to-night!"
Miserere Domine. The morning shone all clear and gay On a ship at anchor in the bay, And on a little child at play
Gloria tibi Domine !
Fast fell the sleet;
Passed down the street,
And weary feet.
The moon was hidden,
No stars were bright,
In heaven that night,
Are rays of light.
She beat her wings
At cach window pane,
But all in vain.
"To the pelting rain!"
She sobbed as the laughter
And mirth grew higher,
Beside your fire,
Your heart's desire,"