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That we all thought passing sweet;
And her father, a weary, toil-worn man,
Said, "I will do likewise, the best that I can."
Our best? Ah, children! the best of us
Must hide our faces away,
When the Lord of the vineyard comes to look
At our task at the close of day;
But for strength from above 'tis the Master's plan— We'll pray, and we'll do the best we can.
THE NEW YEAR'S GIFTS
FRIEND stands at the door;
In either tight-closed hand
Hiding rich gifts, three hundred and three-score;
Even as seed the sower.
Each drop, he treads it in and passes by;
O, good New Year, we clasp
This warm, shut hand of thine!
Losing forever, with half-sigh, half gasp,
That which from ours falls like dead fingers' twine; Aye, whether fierce its grasp
Has been, or gentle, having been, we know
That it was blessed : let the Old Year go.
O, New Year, teach us faith!
The road of life is hard;
When our feet bleed, and scourging winds us scathe, Point thou to Him whose visage was more marred Than any man's: who saith,
"Make straight paths for your feet "-and to the op pressed
"Come ye to me, and I will give you rest.”
Yet hang some lamp-like hope
Above this unknown way,
Kind Year, to give our spirits freer scope,
And our hands strength to work while it is day.
Tombward, O bring before our fading eyes
Comfort our souls with love
Love of all human kind;
Love special, close-in which, like sheltered dove,
Adoringly; contented to resign
All loves, if need be, for the Love Divine.
Friend, come thou like a friend,
And whether bright thy face,
Or dim with clouds we cannot comprehend,
Knowing thou leadest onward to those spheres
Where there are neither days, nor months, nor years.
THE SPIRIT'S CALL
Why wilt thou linger in the scenes of earth, And spend thy weary days amid their gloom? Why cheat thy spirit of its heavenly birth, Or fear the darkness of the silent tomb Loved one, come home.
The world has nothing now that's worth thy stay,
Still will I call thee, and would love thee yet,
Remember all the days of youthful joy,
The happy, holy hours that we have known,
LIKE Dicky. He has a nice round freckled face, and he looks good. I got 'quainted with him down at the back fence. I guess my folks didn't know much about that fence, only that yards from two streets ran back to it; but they were big, pretty houses on one street, aud little old crowded ones on the other. Dicky and I found a hole in the fence, and we played store through it, and cat's-cradle, and told stories. That's how I came
to tell him about Christmas.
"It's at my Grandpa's house," I told him," and we all go there-uncles, aunts, and cousins-and have the best kind of a time. And such dinners! Pies and cakes-oh! ever so many kinds!—and nuts and oranges."
"We don't ever have any such Christmas at our house," said Dicky. "We don't ever have any kind. Wish I could see one."
little boy that didn't He never tasted any mince pie was like! I
Wouldn't you feel sorry for a ever even see a real Christmas? turkey, and he didn't know what wished I could ask him to go to Grandpa's, but I guessed the big folks wouldn't like it. So I thought and thought, and when he kept wishing he "could just see one, once," I said:
"Maybe I could fix it so you could just see if you could only slip in somewhere."
"'Fore the folks come?" asked Dicky.
Then I thought it all out real quick, for my mamma had told me she was going to the church Christmas
morning, and I could go over to Grandpa's when I was dressed to stay there; and I knew all Grandpa's folks -I mean everybody but Betty and Hannah-would go to church too, so I told Dicky:
'If you will go over with me, you can hide somewhere, and nobody will see."
Dicky's face all lighted up 'most like the moon, and he said:
"All right! I won't tell anybody."
If my mamma hadn't been too busy to notice, I guess she'd have thought she had a queer little girl Christmas morning, cause I couldn't help running to the window, and asking what time it was, and wishing the folks would start to church. Then it seemed as if Kitty never would get me all dressed to suit her. But at last she did, and then I ran down to the back fence and called softly to Dicky to run 'round the block and meet me at the
"I'most thought you'd forgot," Dicky said; and then he looked at my handsome new cloak and I looked at his patched jacket, and we didn't care a speck! I don't see what folks care so much for such things for.
Taking Dicky into Grandpa's house was easy enough, but finding a hiding-place, where he could see, wasn't so easy. We slipped into the dining-room, and he kept saying, "My! aint it nice?" when he saw the long tables and everything. I heard Betty and Hannah moving around in the kitchen, and I was afraid every minute they'd come in, and I couldn't find any place to hide him. There was just the china-closet, and I knew they'd go there ever so many times.