« 上一頁繼續 »
THE MAGDALEN TO HER SLEEPING CHILD.
BY MRS. SARAH W. BROOKS.
"I know that the angels are whispering to thee."
Thy brow hath caught a heavenly gleam,,
And with a smile thy red lips part,
Were making music in thine heart.
And by its shadow on thy brow,
Is whispering to thy spirit now.
Those heralds of a sinless sphere,
To bear its music to thine ear ?
Have seared my heart and stamped my brow,
I hear no angel voices now.
A loathsome thing, with verdure dressed;
Beneath my poisoned shade may rest.
And many an answering smile I wake;
This heart that cannot, cannot break !
And when my tortured brain grows wild,
Were life not linked with thee, my child.
One tear, to cool my burning brain !
Plead thou, my babe, and heaven will hear;
The blessing of one single tear.
All-seeing Father, hear me now!
As falleth on my baby's brow.
Who once upon the fallen smiled;
Ye who are whispering to her child !
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN OF THEODORE KÖRNER.
The secretary lived with his young wife still in the spring-time of the honeymoon. Neither worldly considerations nor transient affection had united them; an ardent and longtried love was the bond of their union. They had known each other in early youth, but the delay which Sellner had experienced in obtaining an appointment had hitherto compelled him to postpone the accomplishment of his wishes. On the very Sunday, however, after he found himself securely fixed in his office, he led the beloved girl, as his wife, into their new home.
After the customary days of constraint, devoted to visits of congratulation, and to family festivities, Sellner and Josephine were enabled to enjoy their evenings in solitude, undisturbed by the presence of any intruder. These hours, which flew but too swiftly for the lovers, were passed in forming plans for their life, with Sellner's flute and Josephine's harp; and the deep unison of their tones was a sweet presage to them of the harmony and union of their future days.
One evening, after they had long been beguiling themselves with music, Josephine began to complain of headache. She had concealed from her anxious husband an indisposition, accompanied by a slight fever, with which she had been attacked that morning, and the fever was increased by the excitement of the music, which from her youth was somewhat apt to exhaust a fraine naturally delicate. She now no longer concealed her feelings from her husband, and Sellner, being uneasy, sent for a physician, who treated the matter as a trifle, and promised perfect recovery on the
physician had already told Sellner so. Josephine felt that her last hour was come, and with calm resignation she awaited] her fate. “Dear Edward,” said she' to her husband, pressing him for the last time to her bosom, “with deep regret do I leave this beautiful earth, where I have found thee and the blessedness of thy love; but though I may no longer be happy with thee, yet shall thy Josephine's love hover over thee like a faithful genius, till we meet again above.” Having said this she sank back, and gently breathed her last. It was evening, and the ninth hour.
Sellner's sufferings were beyond all expression. Grief destroyed his health; he was confined many weeks to a sick bed, and, even when he arose from it, the strength of youth had forsaken him : deep melancholy succeeded to despair, and silent sorrow hallowed every remembrance of the beloved one. He had left Josephine's room exactly as it was before her death. Upon the work-table still lay her work, and her harp stood silent and neglected in a corner.
Every evening Sellner wandered into this sanctuary of his love, and, taking his flute with him, he would lean, as in the days of his happiness, against the window, whilst in the saddest tones he breathed forth his longing for his beloved one.
Once, while standing thus in Josephine's room, lost in phantasies, a bright moon pouring in upon
him her soft light through the open window, and the watchman from a neighboring tower calling the ninth hour, suddenly the harp, as if touched by the light breath of a spirit, responded to the tones of his flute. Deeply moved, he ceased to play upon his flute; but, with the silence of his own instrument, the sounds of the harp were instantly hushed. Trembling violently, he now began to play Josephine's favorite air, and then, ever louder and more powerfully resounded the chords of the harp to his own melody, the tones mingling in the softest, sweetest harmony. At length, sinking upon the ground in joyful emotion, and stretching out his arms to embrace the beloved spirit, he felt as if
After a most restless night, however, during the whole of which she had been delirious, the physician found his patient in a state which bore all the symptoms of a violent nervous fever. He applied every remedy, but in vain. Josephine grew daily worse ; Sellner was in despair.
On the ninth day, Josephine herself felt that she could no longer sustain this illness: the
breathed upon by the warm air of spring, and he distinctly saw a pale, silvery light floating before him. With glowing enthusiasm, he cried, “I recognize thee, holy shade of my glorified Josephine; thou didst promise to hover over me with thy love; thou hast kept thy word. I feel thy breath, I feel thy kisses on my lips, I feel myself encompassed-embraced-by thy glorified spirit!" With ecstacy he again seized his flute, and instantly again the harp sounded, but now ever softly and more softly, until its murmurs died away, as if melting into air.
Sellner’s whole being was powerfully excited by this solemn and joyful communion with the spirit of his beloved. Greatly agitated, he threw himself upon his bed ; and, in all the feverish dreams that visited him throughout the night, the heavenly sound of the harp mingled and predominated. He awoke late, and greatly exhausted. He felt his whole frame strangely affected, and he heard a voice within him, which seemed to him as a foreboding of his own speedy dissolution, and which betokened the triumph of the soul over the body. With indescribable impatience he awaited the evening, which he spent in Josephine's room, in earnest hope and undoubting faith. By the aid of his flute, he had succeeded in passing the time in peaceful dreams, until the ninth hour returned. Scarcely had the last stroke of the clock vibrated on his ear, when the tones of the harp again became audible-faint, low, hardly perceptible at first, but at length bursting into full power and harmony. The moment his flute was silent, the phantom tones of the harp were also mute, and he saw again passing before him the pale, silvery light. In his rapture he could only utter the words, “ Josephine, Josephine, take me to thy faithful arms !” Again the harp took leave of him with faint, low notes, as if melting into air.
Still more affected by the events of this than of the former evening, Sellner was now so much changed that his servant, terrified at the appearance of his master, sent for his physician, who was, at the same time, his chosen friend.
The physician found the invalid laboring under a violent attack of fever, with the very same symptoms that he had formerly witnessed in Josephine, only much more severe. The fever increased considerably throughout the
night, during the whole of which he talked incessantly in his delirium of Josephine and her harp. In the morning he was calmer, for, in truth, the struggle was over, and he felt that his release was at hand, though the physician gave no encouragement to this impression.
The sick man disclosed to his friend the events of the two last evenings, and no representations of the physician could alter the opinion of his patient. As evening approached, Sellner became weaker and weaker, and begged in a trembling voice to be taken to Josephine's
This was done. With inconceivable serenity he looked around, greeted each dear object once more with silent tears, and spoke collectedly, but with firm conviction, of the ninth hour as that of his death. The decisive moment approached; he made every one leave the room, after having taken leave of them, with the exception of his friend and physician, who insisted on remaining. At length the tower clock with a hollow sound struck the ninth hour. Sellner's countenance became transfigured, a deep emotion glowed upon the pale cheeks. “ Josephine,” cried he, as if inspired; “ Josephine! salute me once more at the moment of my departure, that I may know that thou art near, and that I may overcome death by thy love."
At that moment the chords of the harp burst out miraculously into loud, heavenly harmony, like a song of triumph, and around the dying man there hovered a pale, silvery light. “I come! I come !" cried he, sinking back, and breathing hurriedly and violently, as if strug. gling with death.
More and more softly sounded the tones of the harp; more and more violent became the convulsive struggles of the dying man; and, as he expired, the chords of the harp suddenly snapped asunder, as if broken by the hand of a spirit. The physician, in deep emotion, with a trembling hand, closed the eyes of the deceased, who, notwithstanding the violence of the last struggle, now lay as if in a sweet sleep.
Never did the physician lose the remembrance of this hour. It was a long time before he could prevail upon himself to speak of the last moments of his friend; but at length he communicated the events of that evening to some friends, and at the same time showed the harp, which he had appropriated to himself as a legacy of the deceased.
THE CHRISTIAN PILGRIM ENCOURAGED.
NUMBERS, xxi. 4.
BY J. P. M'CORD.
When Israel wandered with Canaan in view,
And came where the depths of the wilderness lay,
Their souls were discouraged because of the way.
But roused to advance by the glory that led,
The length of the desert securely they passed ;
The land of the promise they entered at last.
So, while in the midst of this wearisome waste,
With mansions in prospect which ne'er shall decay, How often when troubles and foes must be faced,
Our souls are discouraged because of the way!
But soon, if with firmness we only endure,
Our journey shall end, and our trials be passed;
The land of our hopes we shall enter at last.
The light of the gospel illumines the way,
The grace of the Spirit is given to aid,
To guard from the dangers that make us afraid.'
He traces the steps of our course with his eye,
He knows all the troubles that sadden the breast;
And strengthen our love for the place of our rest.
Then let us be firm in the deepest distress,
And, lured by the bliss of a better abode,
Nor once be discouraged because of the road.
The importance with which the isthmus has enddenly become invested, will perhaps render a brief account of the passage from Chagres to Panama interesting to most readers.
A number of years since we were ordered to Chagres with dispatches for Panama. Chagres was a miserable, dirty village, which, however, derived some importance from being at that time the starting-place from the Atlantic to Panama, and also the port at which specie and goods from Panama, destined for England via the West Indies, were embarked.
The dispatches with which we were charged were not only important, but urgent; and being out of the regular course of the mail, we could find no courier at Chagres to convey them to Panama; and, as I had a great desire to cross the isthmus, I volunteered my services as courier, and made arrangements for starting on the following morning. Fortunately, I found at Chagres a merchant who was also desirous to cross. He was an exceedingly pleasant Scotchman, who had been to Panama several times, and spoke the “ Columbian Spanish” like a native.
We engaged a large canoe, the after part of which was covered by a caravan-roof, composed of wicker-work and stout grass mats. This formed an excellent defense from the sun by day and the heavy dew by night; and had it not been for the musquitoes, which invaded our snuggery like an army of trumpeters, sing. ing in our ears, and stinging us right and left, we should have been comfortable enough. As it was, we smoked, to endeavor to choke them; and by laughing at our troubles we made them lighter. In truth, we had great need of all our philosophy, for the current ran so strong, that the four stout Indians who composed our boat's crew were obliged to abandon the paddle, and pole up the river the whole distance of sixty miles; consequently it was not until the afternoon of the third day that we landed to refresh ourselves on the bank, a few miles below the point where the part of the journey by water terminates. Thus far the journey had been exceedingly monotonous and tedious; the only amusement being an occasional shot either at
birds—which, if they fell, were lost in the woods, growing in wild luxuriance to the water's edge —or at a lazy alligator basking in the sun on a bank of mud, and which, if the ball struck his impervious hide, rolled over and over like a log, till he sunk beneath the stream and disappeared. The heal by day was intense ; for although the river is very deep, it is very narrow, and so choked with foliage on both sides, that a breath of agitated air is an unknown luxury. Then, although the heights were cooler, it was impossible to meet with a vacant spot to take exercise; and it may be imagined that three days and two nights of such purgatory was irksome in the extreme.
The spot where our canoe was now hauled up on the muddy bank commanded a beautiful view, considering it was in a wilderness, and flat. On the opposite side of the river Nature had formed for herself a perfect park; the vel. vet lawns sloped and undulated as if they had been laid out by elaborate art, whilst the majestic trees, centuries old, “ now singly stood, and now in groups," and it only required a stretch of fancy lo picture an old baronial hall in the distance, to transport one in imagination from a wilderness where possibly the foot of man had never trodden, to a country-seat in dear old England; so true is it that all the beautiful designs of art may be traced to Nature for their model.
It was during our rest at this place that I nearly lost " the number of my mess :" the Indians were busied making a fire of dried sticks to roast a guana I had shot, and I determined to take advantage of their absence from the canoe to make my toilette. I was leaning over the side of the boat, bathing my head in the rapid stream, when the canoe suddenly tilted with my weight upon her gunwale, and, losing my equilibrium, I plunged headlong into the river. How wonderful is the flight of thought! I could not have been more than a few seconds under water, and yet in that brief space I recollected not only that alligators were abundant, but that, about a fortnight before, a brave officer had lost his life by falling into this same river, and getting, as was supposed, into a