Infomotions, Inc.Withered Leaves from Memory's Garland / Hanna, Abigail Stanley



Author: Hanna, Abigail Stanley
Title: Withered Leaves from Memory's Garland
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): james; life; god; garland; abigail; rev; wood; hanna; leaves; stanley; memory; withered; death; heart; mother
Contributor(s): Wood, James, Rev. [Editor]
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Size: 83,716 words (short) Grade range: 11-14 (high school) Readability score: 59 (average)
Identifier: etext11599
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Title: Withered Leaves from Memory's Garland

Author: Abigail Stanley Hanna

Release Date: March 15, 2004 [EBook #11599]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

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Withered Leaves from Memory's Garland

By Abigail Stanley Hanna.


  "There comes a voice that awakes my soul;
  It is the voice of years that are gone,--
  They roll before me with all their deeds."

1857.




Preface



These pages were not written for public inspection; but to beguile the
weary hours of indisposition, and present a record of thoughts and
sentiments to the eyes of my children, after my lips are sealed in
death.

By the recommendation of friends, I have decided to submit them to the
public.

From a criticising public I should shrink; but to a sympathizing
public I would appeal, trusting the holy mantle of charity will be
flung over my errors, and my motives appreciated.

I would take this opportunity to tender my hearty and sincere thanks
to my patrons, who have aided me in this enterprise, not only by their
subscriptions, but by their words of sympathy and encouragement, which
have fallen like sunshine upon my gloomy pathway, warming my desolate
heart, and leaving a sweet fragrance upon the memory, which shall live
on and on, through the long ages of eternity; for beautifully and
emphatically has Mrs. Childs said,

  "Goodness and beauty live forever,"

Perhaps I should apologise for the pensive strain in which I have
written, but it has been in shady places, when the body was suffering
from disease, and I felt almost too weak to breathe. Dear reader, did
you ever feel that you were dying? that there was but a step between
you and death? How natural, at such a time, and in such a place, to
contemplate the circumstances connected with the deaths of dear,
departed friends.

Hoping this may lead some thoughtless one to reflection, I submit it
to the investigation of a generous public.

But if I fail in this, shall I have written in vain? O, no; it is but
a fulfilment in part of the great mission, "do with all thy might
what thy hand findeth to do." If we have but one small talent we are
commanded to put it upon usury, "that the Lord may receive his own
when he cometh."

Some pieces were contributions from the pen of a loved sister, whose
sentiments and principles are in unison with my own, and so they flow
on together, in one common channel. Those designated by a star (*) in
the Index, are from her pen.

On page 141, near the bottom, the paragraph which now reads, "You did
not expect me to be found alone now, did you?" should read, "You did
not expect to find me _alive_ now," &c.

On page 272, in the 11th line from the top, in the word "rugg'd," the
letter _e_ should be substituted for the apostrophe.

These errors escaped attention in reading the proof, before it went to
press.

  When autumn winds are round us sighing,--
  When pale flowers are 'round us dying,
  It pain and pleasure to us gives,
  To gather up the wither'd leaves.

  The year so tasteful flung her flow'rs
  In garlands gay, o'er sylvan bow'rs;
  But where they hung:--so brief--
  Now only hangs the wither'd leaf.

  Dear reader, thus to thee I come,
  With tresses blossom'd for the tomb;
  And offer what the season gives,--
  My faded flow'rs--my WITHERED LEAVES.

A. S. H.




Index


  Shadows of the Past

  Reminiscences; The Old Homestead
    The Old House
    The Old School House
    The Grave Yard

  Midnight Scenes, or, Pictures of Human Life
    Picture No. 2
    Picture No. 3
    Picture No. 4

  The History of a Household

  Lines written during convalescence from Brain Fever

  The Angel Cousin

  Lines written at the close of the year 1842

  Lines written on the New Year 1843

  The Unhappy Marriage

  On the year 1852

  Consumption

  To Mrs. A.B.

  An Evening in our Village

  Contemplations in a Grave Yard

  A Scene on the Kennebec River

  To Miss H. B----

  Lines written in an Album

  A Long Night in the Eighteenth Century

  On Hearing a Bird Sing, Dec. 19, 1826

  Variety

  Henriette Clinton

  The Child

  On the Death of Ellen A. B----

  The Order of Nature

  The Seasons

  Dedication of an Album

  To Mrs. S. on the Death of her infant

  To Mrs. S. on the Death of her Son

  The first and last Voyage of the Atlantic

  The Fatal Feast

  To the Maiden

  To Mrs. B. on the Death of her Son

  O Come Back, my Brother

  The Twins

  On the Frailty of Earthly Things

  To a Friend

  The Mother and her Child

  A Mother's Prayer

  Lines in an Album

  On the Death of a Mother

  The Music of Earth

  On the Death of Mrs. C.P. Baldwin

  Lines written in a Sick Room, April 15th, 1855

  Lines written in a Sick Room, July 20th, 1855

  To a Friend

  The Mother's Watch

  Why should I Smile *

  The Youth's Return *

  To A---- *

  The Beauties of Nature *

  On the Death of Willie T. White *

  The Human Heart *

  On the Death of a Friend *

  To a Friend *

  Happiness *

  A Picture of Human Life

  Flowers *

  The Old Castle *

  The Myrtle *

  Death

  The Home of Childhood *

  The Happy Land *

  Devotion *

  To a Friend *

  Lines written upon the Death of Two Sisters

  To I----

  Lines for a Friend upon the 20th Anniversary of her
  Birthday

  Human Thought

  Lines written upon the Departure of a Brother

  Lines on the Death of a Friend

  The Power of Custom

  Annie Howard

  We all do Perish like the Leaf

  Life Compared to the Seasons

  Writing Composition

  Lines written in Answer to the Question "Where is
  our Poet?"

  My Husband's Grave

  Lines written upon the Young who have recently died
  in our Village

  Conscience

  Lines written in an Album

  Lines from the pen of my Husband, who is Deceased

  Hope

  Visit to Mount Auburn

  Lines from Mary to her Father in California, with her
  Daguerreotype

  A Reminiscence

  Letter of Resignation from Mrs. Hanna to the Maternal
  Association

  Improvement of Time

  Lines written on the Death of Frank

  The Pleasures of Memory

  The Song of the Weary One

  Lines inscribed to a Brother

  Changes

  Lines to Mrs. S---- on the Death of an Infant

  The Spirits of the Dead

  To Mrs. J.C. Bucklin, by her Father

  The Widow's Home

  To the Reader




WITHERED LEAVES.




Shadows of the Past


  Sister, the solemn midnight hour
    Is meet, to weave the web of thought,
  To trace the shadowy imagery,
    From fancy's secret chambers brought.

  To enter Memory's hidden cell,
    And bid the sentinel appear;
  Her strange, mysterious tales to tell,
    And wipe the dust from by-gone years.

  To wander back down time's dark stream,
    And from its margin pluck the flowers,
  To twine them with the moon's pale beams,
    Then fling them over Memory's bow'rs.

  To gather all the fragments up,
    The phantoms chase of other years;
  Their blighted joys, their withered hopes,
    Their clouds, their sunshine, and their tears.

  We'll wander forth while others sleep,
    Fanned gently by the night wind's sigh
  And thus our midnight vigils keep,
    While night's fair lamps burn bright on high.

  We'll wander in the realms of thought,
    That boundless space, who may define?
  From which more dazzling gems are brought
    Than sparkle in Golconda's mine.

  Then, sister, let us linger not,
    The conscious moon her lamp holds high,
  And with her smiling, placid face,
    Beams from the chambers of the sky.

  Touched by fancy's magic spell,
    We'll conjure up the things of yore;
  From their cold chambers bring the dead,
    And friends of former years restore.

  But oh, the shadows will not stay,--
    The dreamy shadows of the past;
  Before the sun they'll fade away--
    Their mystic visions cannot last.

  Then let us leave the world of dreams
    Where shapes and shadows melt away;
  Bathe in salvation's cooling streams,
    And soar to realms of endless day.




Reminiscences.




Chapter I.

The Old Homestead.



Come gentle reader, let us entwine arms with Memory, and wander back
through the avenues of life to childhood's sunny dell, and as we
return more leisurely pluck the wild flowers that grow beside the
pathway, and entwine them for Memory's garland, and inhale the
fragrance of by-gone years. O, there are rich treasures garnered up
in Memory's secret chambers, enclosed in the recesses of the soul, to
spring into life at the touch of her magic wand. Here let us sit on
this mossy stone, beneath this wide spread elm, and as its waving
branches fan our feverish cheeks, fold back the dim, misty curtains of
the past, the silent past, and hold communings with the years that are
gone. Listen to the murmur of yonder rippling stream, that breaks like
far off music upon the ear, and although half a century of years
have passed since I first stood upon its margin, and listened to its
dirge-like hum, no trace of age is left upon it. The silent years that
have swept over its surface, bearing away the generations of men, have
left this stream sporting and dancing on in all the freshness of youth
and beauty.

Here is the grassy knoll where we have stood tiptoe and reached our
tiny hands a little higher to catch the gorgeous butterfly that
floated through summer air on silken wings, and then clapped them with
joyous glee at our own disappointment, as it sailed higher up into the
blue air.

Then came the song of the warbling bird, the hum of the mountain bee,
and the rustling of the leaves as they were stirred by the gentle
summer breeze,--all making sweet melody in Nature's many voiced
harmonies.

Here we have sat for hours, wrapt in dreamy reverie, wondering why the
long, fleecy clouds that chased each other over the sun, should cast
such deep, broad shadows over so fair a landscape; little heeding that
they were emblematical of the shadows that coming years would cast
upon our pathway as we passed on in the journey of human life; but
oh, how often has the sun of hope been dimmed by the shadows of
disappointment.

But let us leave this sequestered spot and wander over other scenes
familiar to childhood's years.

Beneath yon large reservoir of water that flashes in the sun beams as
the summer winds heave its troubled bosom, formerly stretched out an
extensive meadow, where we used to stroll for amusement; or to gather
the rich, ripe strawberries that lay concealed beneath the thick,
tall grass that sighed before the breeze like the bosom of the ocean,
fanned by the winds of heaven. Here, too, we gathered sweet blue
violets, yellow buttercups, Ladies' traces and London pride, with all
the beautiful variety of simple meadow flowers, and entwined them into
pretty wreaths, or fragrant boquets. But the touch of time has rested
upon this spot, and his finger has left a deep impress upon it. The
sloping hills that surround it remain the same. The trees bear some
traces of decay, but here stand the thorn bushes that used to scatter
their showers of white blossoms around us like descending snow-flakes,
still filled with green leaves and small red apples, surrounded by the
prickly thorns that to all appearances are the same that we grasped
fifty years ago.

The sand-hills where the juvenile part of the neighborhood used to
congregate to celebrate the happy twilight hour in merry sports, have
literally passed away; having been shovelled up and transported to
the various places for many miles around, where the multiplicity of
chimnies mark the increasing population of the village, that passing
years have added to it.

As we pass the antiquated moss-covered bars that admit us into the
dear old orchard, and cross the little brook that bubbles on forever
in the same monotonous sound, requiring but one smooth round stepping
stone for a bridge, we sigh and feel that the change of years is upon
us, for here almost every thing speaks of decay. True the hills, the
ponds, the rocks (and I had almost said the speckled tortoise that has
crawled up to sun itself on their summit), remain the same.

Sit down on this dilapidated trunk, for the burden of years is upon
us; and as I glance upon this frame, I can scarcely realize it is the
same form that used to impress this spot with childish footprints.
This trunk was then a beautiful, stately tree, bearing its leafy
honors thick upon it, and laden with delicious golden fruit. But the
glory of the orchard has departed, and why should we linger any longer
in its confines, as it only awakens sad memories, and says in an
audible voice,

  "Chance and change are busy ever."

The carriage road that passes through it, almost blinding us with
dust, was formerly a well beaten foot-path for the accommodation of
the neighborhood as they walked from one part of it to the other.
Let us follow the road up this steep aclivity, and enter the large
capacious door-yard which contained several rods of land, and was
surrounded by an old fashioned stone wall, which has been beaten by at
least seventy-five winters' storms; and the thick covering of green
moss upon it bespeaks its age.

The west end was crossed by a fence containing a small strip of land
for the purpose of raising early summer vegetables. Here now is
erected the splendid dwelling house of one of the wealthiest citizens
of the village, and the garden is converted into front yard, building
spot and back yard, containing all the usual necessary appendages to
a dwelling place, so that here all traces of former days have passed
from the spot, and only live inscribed upon the retentive tablet of
Memory. On the east end was another small enclosure where we used to
spend our leisure hours in the cultivation of flowers and medicinal
plants. Here the tall lilac waved its graceful head beneath our
bed-room window, and the morning sun, as he parted the rosy curtains
of the eastern sky and came forth rejoicing to run his glad race, and
pour a flood of golden light upon the earth, shot his first crimson
rays upon the thick curtains of morning glories that hung clustering
over our window, fragrant with their verdant leaves, and rich purple
blossoms, and causing the dew-drops to glisten like sparkling
diamonds, while the sweet odors of many scented flowers were borne
upon every passing breeze. But could we now recognize this spot? oh
no! the destroyer has been there, and there remains no trace of herb
or flower; an ell has been built on to that end of the house, and the
barn has been moved, so that our beautiful garden has been transformed
into a door yard, and all traces of beauty are obliterated. Crossing
the garden you next entered upon a large level lot covered with the
richest grass that annually used to fall before the sythe of the
mower, and descended by sloping hills to the above mentioned luxuriant
meadow; through which ran a quiet winding stream that used to afford
us an abundance of speckled trout and shining pickerel, to say nothing
about the many play hours spent upon its margin; but now the stream
is lost beneath the vast reservoir, and has washed away all traces
of flowers, strawberries and verdant grass that used to mark its
serpentine wanderings, by assuming a deeper green.

The west end of this enclosure was intersected by what used to be
called Virginia fence, then crossed into two separate places dividing
one into a sheep-pasture, the other into a large garden for the
cultivation of winter vegetables. In the pasture used to graze a large
flock of sheep, and the snowy lambs sported over the rocks and ran
down the hillside; does this remain the same?

The rocks have been removed out of their places, and in their stead
dwelling houses have been erected, and the busy hum of active life
there resounds, and the prattling of children is heard instead of the
bleating of lambs.

Crossing the stream upon the remains of an old dam, and passing the
extent of meadow, we entered upon a rich clover field, adjoining which
was the corn field, that in autumn used to be laden with yellow
corn and golden pumpkins. Contiguous to this was a delightful grove
composed of thrifty walnut trees, carefully cleared from under brush
and covered with verdant grass, and ornamented here and there with a
grassy hillock, that rendered it a pleasant retreat from the scorching
rays of the summer sun. The air was filled with the notes of the
feathered songsters that built their nests and warbled in their
branches, mingling their music with the rustling leaves and the murmur
of the distant spring that rippled near, for a gradual descent brought
us down to the spring lot, which, with the grove and the swamp that
lay below, was used for pasturage. But let us pause and take a survey
of its present appearances. The beautiful trees have all fallen
before the woodman's axe, not one remaining as a link with their past
history; the old fence has been removed that divided it from the
cornfield, and surrounded by a new and beautiful one, it now forms a
part of a commodious Cemetery, is laid out into tasteful lots as the
last resting place of the dead.

Sweet spot; methinks it is meet for the weary children of earth to
slumber in this quiet place.

At its foot gurgles the quiet winding stream, and far away comes
the din and hum of active life, thronged with the busy crowd whose
restless feet are bearing them swiftly on to the end of life's
journey, where they must resign the cumbrous load and "join the pale
caravan in the realms of shade."

Descending from the grove on the western side, was a low, swampy piece
of ground, that had never yielded to cultivation, where we sometimes
used to jump from one hillock to another in search of swamp pinks and
cheeses which were to be found there in great abundance.

It was ever covered with low brush, of natural growth, and apparently
no change had passed over it from its creation, save the natural
springing up and decaying of its productions. And so, almost fifty
years ago, we left it, but how does it meet us upon our return? Art
has touched it with her handy work. It has been drained; the brush cut
from its surface, rich loam carted upon it, and now it presents the
appearance of a well cultivated garden, is covered with luxuriant
grass, and staked out into yards for the accommodation of families who
wish to lie down side by side, in the sleep of death. Many, already,
are beautified with flowers and shrubbery; and in some, already arises
the marble slab, pointing to the place where some weary pilgrim
reposes, free from all the earth calls good or great; for this, too,
is enclosed in the Cemetery.

But passing the entrance into the Cemetery, we will pass back by a
circuitous route, to the dear old home. The road, the hills, the
rocks, the trees, and many of the buildings are the same; but, oh, how
many and varied are the changes that strike the eye, and awaken in
the breast ten thousand bewildering remembrances. Truly has the human
heart been compared to a many stringed instrument, giving diversity of
sound as it is swept by different winds.

One of the most conspicuous changes, is the withdrawal of a large pond
of water that had been pent up by a high dam, over which the water
fell, over the bridge we are now crossing, roaring, casting up spray,
and then foaming and dancing off, into the meadow below.

Many of the buildings have changed their old fashioned coats of red
for the more modern one of white, which is the case with our own old
homestead. Opposite the house, or across the way, as we used to call
it (for the road was between), stood, what was ever called, the woods.
Here, in their season, we gathered the largest whortleberries, the
best walnuts, and the nicest black birch that were to be found all
the country round. And when we had wearied our limbs, and filled our
baskets, how often have we pulled over the tops of the smaller trees,
and seating ourselves upon some slender branch, enjoyed a real
juvenile ride upon horseback, each one having a particular tree
designated by the name of a horse.

Immediately opposite the house, stood a high hill, composed of jagged
rocks, behind which the sun ever sank to his cosy bed in the west, and
where I have watched the forked lightning play as the blackened cloud
gathered together, ominous of a portending storm, while the distant
thunder murmured behind their eternal summit. This stands the same,
and as you glance down the other side, you see the broad, black
river, still rolling at its base. But the woods--the bright green
woods--where are they? Echo answers, "where?" Supplanting the place
is a young thrifty orchard, and at the base of the hill is a finely
cultivated piece of land, and there is nothing but the everlasting
hills to tell us of the dear spot where we wandered in the halcyon
days of childhood; we cannot even exclaim with Cowper--

  "I sat on the trees under which I had played."

Dear old trees! methinks, even now, I can hear your music, when fanned
by the summer breeze, or see you toss your surging branches, when
rocked by the autumnal gale. Well do I remember your cooling shade as
I walked beneath it to the district school house, which was situated
in one corner of the dear old orchard. There, too, has been a change;
the rocks upon which we used to play have been blown to atoms, and the
habitations of men occupy their places. Truly, all things are passing
away!




Chapter II.

The Old House.



We have crossed the threshold and entered the dear old house. Back,
back, these tumultuous throbbings of the heart, and these tears which
vainly rising to the eyelids, fall back upon the heart as wanting
power to flow. Who, after an absence of many years, on entering the
house where they first inhaled the breath of life, but has been
overpowered by conflicting emotions, as the tide of Memory rolled
in, like a flood, bearing so much upon its bosom, and where so many
associations crowd upon the mind, it is difficult to lend expression
to the ideas.

The interior of the house has not been materially changed, except
the additional ell, which contains a kitchen, pantry, and such like
conveniences for progressing household labor; the kitchen being
transformed into a sitting room, with no change, excepting a new coat
of paint, large windows instead of small, paper instead of bare walls,
and a place for a stove pipe instead of the ample fire place, that
used to shed its cheering light and warmth over the whole room. And
we might almost fancy ourselves at home, were it not that the eyes of
strangers are upon us, and we miss the dear familiar faces that first
taught the infant heart to love.

Here, have we clustered around the knees of a mother and drank rich
instruction from her pious lips, and offered up the morning and the
evening prayer, and lisped our hymn of praise, while she ever strove
to impress the golden rule upon the young and tender minds committed
to her care; and her example was ever that of a consistent Christian.

How vividly comes up before the eye of Memory, the forms of the aged
members of the family; for there were an uncle and two aunts of my
father who were never married, that took him at the early age of two
years, educated him and gave him the homestead for his patrimony; and
at the time of my birth the snow of many winters rested upon their
heads, and the infirmities of age were upon them.

It was their delight to watch our childish sports, listen to our
innocent prattle, and strive to direct our young footsteps in the
paths of virtue. They have passed away like the shadows of a passing
cloud. Almost my first recollections of death are associated with that
of the aged man. He had been sick about four days when we were called
to stand by his bedside and witness his departure. He smiled upon the
dear little brother, mother held in her arms, shook him by the hand,
gave us all a parting glance; the film of death then gathered upon his
eyes, a convulsive shudder ran over his frame, and a deathly paleness
rested upon his countenance, filling our young hearts with wonder and
dismay. As we felt the marble coldness of his stiffened limbs, and saw
him borne away to the silent grave, we learned the first lesson from
the pale messenger, and felt the awful void that his presence creates
in the family circle, and which we have since been called so often to
experience. He died in the very room where we first opened our eyes
upon the light.

It is a large gloomy looking room. The two windows looking out upon
the north, and a door opening out upon the level field, covered with
its carpet of green, intersected by neither shrub nor trees. The
coating of paint is changed, and the walls neatly papered, which is
the only change it has undergone.

Adjacent to this is the east bedroom, one window looking out upon the
north, and one upon the little garden at the east end of the house.
This room, for many years, was our lodging room, where we sought--

  "Tired nature's sweet restorer balmy sleep,"

and lost ourselves in the world of dreams. Many, very many, were the
waking dreams that filled the imagination as the map of life lay
spread out before fancy's witching gaze, and hope illuminated it with
her brilliant rainbow dyes. No waves of passion or disappointment
moved its surface. But, oh, how different has been the reality!

Crossing the small entry opposite the kitchen is a large room,
formerly occupied by the old people. The same change is visible in
this as in the other rooms. Here, day after day, sat our aged aunt,
reading the word of God or her favorite hymns, and seeking preparation
for death (for she was fourscore and ten years old), and had been a
member of the church of Christ from her nineteenth year, spending a
long life to his honor and glory. It was the winter of the year, but
a mild day, when on returning from school we were summoned to her
bedside. The feeble lamp of life was flickering in the socket, and the
pulses of the aged woman stood still. Her spirit passed quietly from
earth, to enter into the presence of God who gave it. She fell like a
shock of corn fully ripe, at the age of ninety-four years. There was
no struggle; wearied nature resigned her burden without resistance,
and the countenance was pleasant in death. She was borne to the
graveyard and laid by the side of her dear brother, and thus they
were again united in the place of graves; and again there were vacant
places in our family circle, for many had been the attentions we were
obliged to bestow upon our aged relative, for she had been unable to
walk for several years.

In this apartment two windows opened to the south, and one at the west
end of the house, looking out upon the woods; on the north side three
doors opened, one into a bedroom with one west window, one into a
pantry or dairy room, where stood long rows of pans of milk covered
with golden cream, and tempting cheeses arrayed, the shelves. Here
there is slight alteration, excepting the shelves and ceiling have
changed their snowy whiteness for a coating of blue paint, and instead
of a dairy room, it is converted into a common pantry. The other door
led into the winter cellar, where we used to go for the nice apples,
which formed the usual accompaniment of a winter evening. Oh, those
pleasant evenings! what heeded we that the wintry storm raged without?
Our evening meal was always dispatched, and the household duties all
performed before the evening shadows fell around us. The fire burned
brightly upon the clean swept hearth, shedding a cheerful glow over
the room, while warming by its blaze stood a large dish of red and
golden apples, temptingly arranged. Before the fire stood a small
round table, round which the younger members of the family were
seated, braiding straw, while some one read aloud from some useful or
entertaining book; or we pursued our favorite studies, and prepared
the school lesson for the coming day (for we could braid and study at
the same time).

How profitable and how pleasant were those evenings! As I look back
upon them, through the long lapse of years that have passed away, and
recall each familiar' face and tone, I feel that those hours were
among the happiest of my life. Many of those dear forms have passed
away from earth forever. The dear mother, who presided over us with so
much affection, mingling in our pleasures and soothing our pains, has
finished her course upon earth and gone to her reward; but may the
good seed sown in the hearts of her children spring up and bear fruit
to eternal life. Although her lips are now silent in death, she still
speaks to us, she still lives embalmed in the hearts of her children.
Two dear brothers that enlivened those cheerful evenings, by acting
their part in the drama of life, have passed away, to

  "That bourne from which no traveller e'er returns,"

and their voices are heard no more upon earth.

But, usually, ere the family clock that ticked in the corner of the
room struck nine, all had retired to rest and all was silent, save the
ticking of the clock or the howling of the wintry storm.

Deaths in our neighborhood were not of very common occurrence, and
used to fill our young hearts with dismay; and for many long weeks I
used to count the number of nights the new occupant of a grave had
slept in it, and shudder as I thought of all the gloom, the darkness
and the silence of the narrow house; and felt sad when I reflected
that all men must die. Faith then had not lifted her trusting eye
beyond the portals of the tomb, or illuminated its confines by the
glorious light of the gospel. And when in the winter of 1816 a fatal
fever raged, and the angel of death flapped his broad wings over our
little village, and one after another was cut suddenly down by his
stealthy darts, we could hardly realize that it was directed by the
hand of a merciful God, and, collected together in a little group,
wondered, in our childish innocence, "who would go next?"

Here, upon this door-step, have we sat for hours, in all suitable
seasons of the year, looking out upon the prospect, and contemplating
the changing seasons, or the alternate sun and shade that rested upon
the face of nature. Often have we wandered forth, while the dew was
yet upon the grass, to gather a basket of the large red cheeked
peaches that had fallen from the trees during the night. Near by stood
a noble pear tree, laden with rich orange pears, covering the ground
beneath with its golden treasures, while a contiguous apple tree
mingled its store of bright red apples in rich profusion. O, it was a
delicious blending of autumn's garnered store, showered upon the lap
of Mother Nature, spread out temptingly to the eyes of her weary
children. But the trees have departed with the "dark brown years,"
that have flung their dim shadows over them--nor root, nor branch
remains.

A few years passed, and by one of the unforeseen changes that occur in
the lives of business men, we were obliged to relinquish our childhood
home, and go forth to try the rougher usage of the world in a land of
strangers. Sad were the feelings that filled our young hearts, as we
went forth from the dear place, with which was associated all the
earliest recollections of life, and the endearing ideas of home. The
evening before our departure, we ascended the top of the highest
hill that over-looked our little villa, accompanied by our young
schoolmates, to watch the declining rays of the setting sun, and
promised eternal friendship to each other. It was Sabbath day--a calm,
delightful Sabbath day--that was now closing upon us; and as the sun
finished his journey across the horizon, and sank behind the far-off
western hills, methinks the sacred tranquility that reigned around
seemed to be whispering to the troubled spirit, "Peace, be still." But
could we, with our youthful hearts weighed down by this great grief,
could we heed the gentle whispers? surely not; and we felt that like
our first parents, we were about to be driven from Paradise. We sat
conversing upon the past, and forming plans for the future,

  "Till twilight grey had in her sober livery all things clad."

Descending the hill we sought our homes, and early the following
morning found us pursuing our way to a land of strangers, leaving
behind us home, friends, and the burying place of our fathers, which
we had ever looked upon as our last resting place.

While the waves of time have borne year after year away, each one
replete with change, we have been tossing upon the stream till we
again stand in the same place from which we then departed, and while
the grief of that hour is fresh in the memory, we will again turn
sadly away from the spot teeming with so many remembrances, and where
were instilled the first principles of virtue and religion. O, may
these remain and grow "brighter and brighter unto the perfect day,"
while all mutable things decay. Dear old house, farewell; these
eyes may never again behold you; these feet never again cross your
threshold; but while reason remains, the memory of these haunts will
be tenderly cherished. And so we pass again from the spot with an
aching heart, and leave it to the possession of strangers.




Chapter III.

The Old School House.



But while we yet linger on this sacred spot, will enter into the
school house where our young footsteps first attempted to climb the
hill of Science. The outward appearance is the same. A pretty one
story and a half building, painted yellow with white trimmings, and a
chocolate colored door, which is reached by two stone steps.

You are then admitted into a large hall, accommodated with shelves for
the convenience of the scholars, and as we pass through this and enter
the school-room, we feel almost a child again. But we see at a glance
that our dear old teacher does not occupy the desk, and it is a
stranger's voice that strikes upon the ear. As we glance at the
well-filled seats, we readily perceive there is not one of all the
group, no, not one, that occupied those seats when we were scholars
there. But we will sit calmly down upon the teacher's desk and recall
the dim shadowy forms of the past, the by-gone past. The breeze that
passes through the open window and fans the brow, might be mistaken
for the same playful zephyr that sported with our own silken locks in
childhood, as we stood before this same open window. The monotonous
hum of the school-room seems the same and the drowsy buzz of the
summer fly as it floats on azure wings brings to the ear a well
remembered sound, and we press our hand tightly upon our eyes and try
to think we are living over again years that are passed. It will not
do, there is a change--we must acknowledge that change. The teacher
who so long presided in this place, was a stern man, of commanding
figure, with a high, broad forehead and piercing black eyes, coal
black hair and beard, with rather a handsome countenance, although
nothing could ever provoke a smile upon it in school hours, and he
governed his pupils more by fear than love. But the lesson must be
perfectly committed and correctly recited, or the offending culprit
must fall under his severe displeasure, and this was a situation that
few in the school were willing to be placed in. I have heard of this
man's death, but in what manner or where I know not; but many are
the lessons I have heard fall from his lips which still live in my
heart--have had their impress upon the life, and will continue to
exist through the boundless ages of eternity. And now that the
thoughtlessness of youth has passed away, here, upon this spot, would
I offer a grateful tribute to his memory. Many others, too, occupied
this place, of whose destiny I am entirely ignorant, but yet remember
them with much affection.

One female teacher in particular, under whose instruction I sat six
summers in succession. Then she was young and healthful, and happy in
the bosom of her family; but now all have passed away save this one
surviving branch. She alone remains of her family, in feeble health,
and with that depression of spirits incident upon her situation.

On the low seat next to the desk, used to sit rather a fragile child,
with bright red hair and deep blue eyes that had a depth of meaning in
their earnest gaze. Her seat was vacant, and we heard, that Elizabeth
Ann was sick with typhus fever. We visited her in her chamber. She lay
tossing from side to side, upon her bed, even gnawing her fingers for
very pain. I gazed upon her with pity, and they told me she must die.
I had seen the aged pass away, but never the young. And musing long
and sadly upon this event, I sought my home, and spent a restless
night, repeating often the childish hymn, commencing,

  "I in the burying place may see
  Graves shorter there than I."

But the long night passed away with its sad presages, and the rising
sun peeped between the thick clustering leaves and flowers of the
morning glories that shaded the window, and diffused light and
radiance upon the joyous landscape. The birds awoke to new melody, and
in the gladness that surrounded me I almost forgot the impressions of
the previous evening. I arose, though slightly refreshed, repeating as
I did so,

  "So like the sun may I fulfil
  The duties of the day."

Almost the first intelligence that greeted my ear was the death of
Elizabeth Ann Prince. While the shadows of that night still lingered,
her pure spirit had passed away, and for the first time I realized
more fully than I had ever done before, that youth is no protection
from death. I saw her in her small coffin, and felt the marble
coldness of her pale brow, and as I saw the coffin descend into the
narrow grave, I turned sadly away with a grief-stricken, and perchance
a better heart. But for many months I could tell the exact number of
nights she had lain buried in the silent grave.

The next morning as I took my seat with a favorite companion, in
the one behind that formerly occupied by her, I almost started as I
fancied that her face was upturned to mine, and those blue orbs rested
upon me.

The dear friend that sat with me, has too, passed away, "and the
places that knew her once upon earth, now know her no more forever."
Rosa was an orphan, having lost both parents; she was the youngest
of four sisters, had an amiable disposition, and was an affectionate
friend. She was married to a wealthy man, and became the mother of
several children; but the destroyer came and bore her from her dear
family to the silent church-yard, and placed her beneath a grassy
mound beside her father and her mother. Sweet is thy memory, friend of
my early days, and very pleasant were the hours we spent together: but
they have passed away with the things that were, and like the rose
leaves that falling fill the air with their perfume, so the fragrance
of those hours still lives.

Next to Rosa Whittier sat Julia Balcolm, with saddened expression of
countenance and large deep blue eyes that gazed upon you with a deeper
expression of melancholly in their glances than is usual to the merry
age of childhood, and elicited your sympathy ere you knew her history.
Julia was a cripple. She was drawn to school by an older sister with
rosy cheeks, bright flashing black eyes, and a sprightly animated
countenance, and carried into the school-room in the arms of her
teacher, or some of the older scholars. And so she came, year after
year, mingling with the merry group. But where is she now? yon little
mound of heaped up earth covers her remains, and a narrow marble slab
tells the place of her repose, and we can but hope she who was denied
the privilege of walking on earth may now soar on angel's wings.

As we contemplate the deprivations of one situated as she was, we can
but realize the blessing of having "the common use of our own limbs."
This dear child was obliged to crawl from place to place after her
more favored companions, dragging her useless perished limbs behind
her. But he who careth for us knew what was best for her, and we
cannot doubt his infinite wisdom.

It were vain to endeavor to trace the destinies of all who used to sit
with us, in this favorite, place. Many have gone down to death--many
still live on the same premises where they first inhaled the breath
of life, and some have gone forth into the world to fulfil a darker
destiny on the broad ocean of human life, that is ever tossing its
tumultuous waves before the tempestuous winds of fortune, and have
been ship-wrecked upon the quick-sands of vice and dissipation. The
shady side of the picture has been presented; but those were bright
and joyous days, and our school-yard resounded with the merry laugh
and frolicsome mirth of childhood; yet they leave not that abiding
impression upon the mind that characterizes incidents of a more
sombre hue. But we will leave the dear old school house with all its
treasured memories that link it with the past, and pursue our way in
some other direction. It is hard to stop where so many images crowd
upon the mind, and come stealing upon us in the shape of old familiar
friends with whom we have walked side by side, day after day; but dear
familiar scenes, adieu.




Chapter IV.

The Grave Yard.



Let us wander by this winding road to the place of graves, the great
charnel house where so many, who were formerly actors on life's busy
stage, have laid them down in the sleep of death. Many are the changes
that meet the eye as we pass along, but there are many traces left
that awaken memories of past friends and past years. Here are the dear
old trees under which we have played; the rocks upon which we have
sat, and the stream on which we have sailed; but which now is greatly
augmented in size, as it is now an outlet to the large reservoir of
water, into which the meadow above has been converted.

Crossing the bridge and ascending the hill, let us enter the grave
yard, and contemplate the change that rolling years have made in this
spot;

  "Our fathers, where are they?"

Methinks the stones at our feet cry out--"All flesh is grass."

This is an ancient burial place; and as we look upon the dates of the
headstones, how forcibly do we feel "one generation passeth away and
another generation cometh." Many of the monuments have ceased to be a
memorial; having crumbled away, and the inscriptions become entirely
obliterated by the thick covering of green moss that has gathered upon
them. Is not this a lesson that is calculated to humble the pride of
man? But we will pause by the graves of the dear uncle and aunt, whose
remains we saw deposited here many years ago, when our young footsteps
bounded with all the elasticity of childhood. But though sweeping
years have borne away the halcyon days of childhood, the golden days
of youth, and the sobered and subdued period of middle life, and
our sun has passed its meridian and is verging rapidly towards
its setting, still this grief comes back again with all its first
freshness. Here for the first time these eyes looked into an
untenanted grave; for the first time saw the coffin let down into the
"dark and narrow house," and heard the hollow sound as the earth fell
upon it--and deep was the impression that was made upon the childish
memory, and so faithful is she to her trust that at this moment, when
standing upon this spot, she brings it back again, untarnished by the
long years that have passed away. The little heaped up mound that
covered their remains has sunk to a level with its kindred dust,
and the inscriptions upon the headstones, though legible, are much
defaced. Can it be that here are the dear forms whose voices I heard,
upon whose knees I sat, and who led me by the hand, day after day?
Even so. Were it not for revelation, "that light and immortality are
brought to light" by the gospel, how dark would be the grave; who
could fathom its mysterious confines, or penetrate its darkness? But
the Saviour has shed a radiance around it, and assured us "the graves
shall give up their dead; that we shall all come forth and be judged
according to the deeds done in the body." Happy they, who learn
this most important lesson, and live up to the great principles it
inculcates.

Methinks the murmur of the summer breeze, as it sighs through the
waving branches of the weeping willow, as it stands drooping over an
adjoining grave, seems the gentle whisper of departed spirits, wooing
us to the skies. As we glance far off in the distance from this
elevated spot, we see the toil and turmoil of life--its struggles,
cares and disappointments, and then contemplating the scene around us,
we feel that, this must be the end of all who live. Here lie those for
whom we sought in vain in the places where we formerly knew them. Here
repose the remains of our family physician, who, for many years, was
called in all cases of sickness, and was like a brother in the family.
By his side sleeps his amiable wife; as we look upon their graves for
the first time, we remember them as they were in life, and heave a
sigh to their memory.

Here lies a school companion who died at a very early age; we had
won prizes and received our little books from the hands of our dear
teacher, and that is my only recollection of him. His seat was vacant,
and they told me he was dead; but then I knew nothing of death.

Here, too, are the graves of Elizabeth Ann Prince, Julia Balcolm, the
poor cripple, and many others, who have sat with me in the dear
old school house. One in particular strikes the mind with peculiar
solemnity. It is the grave of Edward Davis; he was a young man of
superior talents, uncommon beauty and prepossessing manners. He was
rich in this world's goods, and married an amiable young lady, in all
respects his equal; they lived happily together several years, and had
several children, but sickness came like a blight upon him, and he was
soon conveyed to the silent tomb, leaving his wife and children to
mourn his loss.

Here, side by side, are the graves of an entire household, consisting
of the maternal grandmother, two sisters of the father, the father
and mother, and seven children, with the wife of one of the sons. Not
twelve rods from their own door they sleep side by side--that many
voiced household, in the silence of death. No voice breaks the
stillness; no words of love are interchanged; but their dust shall
mingle together till the morning of the resurrection, teaching an
impressive lesson to those that stand by their graves and read the
inscriptions upon their tombstones.

Here is buried the dear old deacon and his wife, by whose bedside we
stood when his forehead was wet with the damp dews of death, and his
eye lighted up by faith, seemed to scan the glories of the upper
world, and he felt it was "far better to depart and be with Christ."
And even then came, "let me die the death of the righteous, and let my
last end be like his." His devoted, pious wife soon followed him, and
we feel, as we look upon their graves, there is rest in Heaven. At
their feet lie children, grand-children and great-grand-children.

Clara Everett was a promising young girl, cut down at the early age of
nineteen. She was left an orphan at the age of nine months, her father
dying suddenly, and her mother a few weeks after, with consumption.
She was tenderly cared for by her maternal grand-parents and a maiden
aunt, well educated and had commenced teaching, when she was seized
suddenly with an alarming fever, which in a few short days, was
terminated by death. They bore her to the resting place with many
tears, and placed her beside those dear parents from whom she was so
early separated. Many here, that lived a life of dissipation, have
gone down to fill a drunkard's grave;

  "But we'll tread lightly on the ashes of the dead."

Why should we uncover the frailties of poor mortality, unless to
hold them up as beacon lights to the rising generation? and for this
purpose we would take the living example.

Here is buried an aged woman, who lived in poverty. She had the
shaking palsy, and it was with great difficulty she could perform
any labor; she was assisted by the town and the charities of the
neighborhood. She had one daughter, who was an invalid many years,
and dependant upon the care of the feeble mother. The children of
the village were the willing bearers of many comforts to these poor
people; and even now seems to come the well remembered "tell your
mother I am much obliged to her," from the pale lips that lie buried
beneath the sod. The daughter is buried by her side, and methinks they
sleep as sweetly as the more wealthy citizen, beneath a more splendid
monument. All here meet upon a common level--the old, the young,
the rich, the poor, the bond and free, for death is no respecter of
persons.

Here, too, rests a young physician, who supplied the place of the old
one. His career was like the meteor flash, emitting its brilliant rays
for a season, and then was shrouded in death's dark night.

As we stand upon this spot and contemplate it as it was when we last
stood upon it, we feel that here has been the greatest change of any
place yet visited. Here we meet many a name familiar to the ear, and a
form familiar to the eye starts into life, and treads again its mazy
scenes. Many monuments are erected to entire strangers, and this
is our first meeting with them. Here the infant of a few days lies
buried, just tasting the cup of life, he turned sickening away, and
yielding it up, soared away with the angel band to the realms of
bliss.

But ere we leave the yard, let us visit the resting place of the
beautiful Clarinda Robinson, who died at the early age of nineteen.
She had ever enjoyed undiminished health. But soon, oh, how soon,
the rose of health faded upon her cheek; her sparkling eye lost its
lustre, and the animated form, stiffened in death, was laid away in
its silent chamber. At her feet lie two beautiful nieces, called, too,
in the morning of their days to go and make their beds with her. Sadly
did the bereaved mother mourn their loss; but the pale messenger came
for her too, in a few weary years, and she joined them in the pale
realms of shade.

Here, too, sleeps the young wife, called soon away from the husband of
her youth. Consumption, like a worm in the bud, preyed upon the
damask of her cheek, dried up the fountain of her life, and bore her
triumphantly, another victim of his power. The old sexton, too, who
from time immemorial, had been

  "The maker of the dead man's bed,"

has laid down his mattock and his spade, and filled a grave prepared
by other hands. At his feet lies a lovely daughter, snatched suddenly
away, ere the bloom of youth had passed, and almost without a moment's
warning, leaving a husband and a dear little child, too young to feel
its loss.

But while we have yet lingered, the sun has finished his journey, and
hid his bright beams behind the curtain of the west, and already have
the shadows of coming twilight gathered around us, and the white
marble slabs, dimly seen in its shadows, assume strange, mysterious
shapes, and seem almost like moving things of life, while the darker
slate are lost to view.

We will sit a moment on the grave of our dear old aunt. This was the
spot designated for our family burying place; but it is now filled
with strangers. We will now leave this spot, to toss again upon the
waves of time; but may the lesson here learned go with us, and prepare
us for the day when the heart and flesh shall fail, and we must change
this for another life, ever remembering,

  "That life is long that answers life's great end."





Midnight Scenes

Or, Pictures of Human Life.




Picture No. I.


  The midnight moon shone drear and cold,
    Upon a stately tow'r;
  Whose ramparts high and turrets bold
    Bespoke a lordly pow'r.

  The dancing waters flash'd and gleam'd
    Beneath her silver ray;
  And gently fell her placid beam,
    On tower and turret gray.

  And softly came the silent dew,
    And fell with gentle pow'r,
  Sparkling like gems, or diamonds fair,
    On trembling leaf and flow'r.

  Fair night hung out her golden lamps,
    In her blue chambers high;
  And earth, all gemmed, in their pure light,
    Lay lovely to the eye.

  But look within those costly halls,
    Where waxen tapers gleam,
  And crimson curtains' silken folds
    Exclude the moon's bright beams.

  A queenly matron mournful sits,
    In all her jewelled pride;
  The costly diamond on her breast,
    Its anguish cannot hide.

  The angel of the raven wing
    His sable plume waves there,
  And writhing on his silken couch,
    Lies stretch'd the only heir.

  She feels how vain a thing is wealth,
    To ease that lab'ring breath,--
  Or bribe, in his resistless course,
    The tyrant monster, death.

  The hours of night passed slow away,
    When brightly rose the sun;
  The boy in quiet beauty lay--
    The fearful work was done.

  The angel had performed his part,
    And back to heav'n had flown;
  The mother with a bursting heart,
    Sat weeping now, alone.

  She rising, smoothed his golden hair,
    One ringlet gently shred;
  And then, within a costly shroud,
    She wrapped her silent dead.

  And folded light the snowy screen,
    That hid from every eye
  Those features, beautiful in death,
    And marble forehead high.

  But hark! she hears a prancing hoof,
    And sees a horseman come;
  Soon the proud charger reached her side,
    Cover'd with dust and foam.

  Her husband from the saddle springs,
    And clasps her to his breast;
  And on her icy lip and brow
    The kiss of love was pressed.

  "How is our son?" the father cried;
    In his, her hand she placed,
  And through their gorgeous, darkened halls,
    Their silent way they traced.

  Nor stopped, until they reached his side,
    Who yesterday, in health,--
  The mother's joy, the father's pride,--
    Was heir to all their wealth.

  The mother folded back the screen,
    And said, "There lays our child;"
  Then overcome with bursting grief,
    They wept in accents wild.

  They laid him in a marble tomb,
    With all that wealth could show;
  But deeply in their castled home
    Dark rolled the tide of woe.




Picture No. II.


  The midnight moon, with pallid beams,
    From eastern sky again
  Look'd forth, and shed her fitful gleams
    On mountain, hill and plain.

  And far upon the moaning sea,
    She threw her mellow light;
  And tossing waves, and heaving spray,
    Were gemm'd with diamonds bright.

  But oft a fitful shadow came,
    And rested like a shroud;
  For, o'er her bright and tranquil face;
    Stole many a passing cloud.

  The night winds moan'd, and plaintive sigh'd,
    O'er mountain, sea and vale,
  And whistled round a lowly cot,
    Where sat a mother, pale.

  Her raven hair was parted smooth
    Upon her forehead high;
  And though her face was pale with care,
    Yet mildly beamed her eye.

  And beauty left a ling'ring trace,
    Upon each feature there;
  Which, with sweet dignity and grace,
    Blended with ev'ry air.

  A feeble taper dimly burn'd,
    As swift her task she plied,
  And oft her anxious gaze was turn'd
    Where, nestled by her side,--

  On a low pallet, sleeping lay
    A darling, cherub boy,
  With curling hair and azure eyes,
    His mother's only joy.

  Calm was his sleep; but starting once,
    Half springing from his bed,
  He spake, in accents faint and low,
    "O, mother, give me bread."

  And then her task she quicker plied,--
    The starting tear repressed,
  And, "Oh, my God!" she meekly cried,
    "Protect the fatherless."

  And so she toil'd, till morning spread
    Her earliest tints of gray
  Across the distant, eastern sky,
    Then kneeling down to pray

  Beside the little, lowly cot,
    Her soul in trust was giv'n,
  Unto that kindly Father's care,
    Who look'd and heard from Heaven.

  And angels came, with silent dew,
    Her throbbing brow to lave;
  And gentle sleep her spirits steep'd,
    Within the Lethean wave.

  But with the sun's first golden beams,
    She left her lowly bed;
  And with her gentle boy, went forth
    To seek their daily bread.

  Small was the pittance that was giv'n,
    By cringing, sordid wealth;
  But, with firm confidence in Heav'n,
    And thankful for her health,

  She took again her weary task,
    Through all the lonely day,
  Nor sought again her lowly bed,
    Till morning dawn'd with gray.

  So years pass'd by, the boy grew on
    In beauty, day by day;
  The mother felt her faithful son
    Would all her care repay.

  And manhood came, with daring high,
    And brought a sweet relief;
  Plenty for want, and ease for toil,
    And joy for all her grief.



Picture No. III.


  Again it was the Noon of Night,
    The full orb'd moon her car rolled high,
  And fringed with gems of silver light
    The azure curtains of the sky.

  And all the glittering host of stars,
    Stood marshall'd in their bright array,
  While, far across the concave blue,
    Lay stretched the spangled milky way.

  And earth all beautiful and fair,
    Lay tranquil as a sleeping child
  Beneath a watchful parent's care;
    While guardian Heav'n looked down and smiled.

  The trees all bathed in tears of Night,
    Seemed deck'd with gems of Ophir's gold,
  And lilies, in pure vestal white
    Their spotless fragrant leaves unfold.

  In gentlest breath the night-winds sigh,
    While fleecy clouds like Angel's wings,
  Light sailing o'er the azure sky,
    Their shadows cast o'er earthly things.

  O who could deem that aught so fair,
    So filled with beauty and perfume:
  Was but a mighty sepulchre,
    A vast, capacious mould'ring tomb?

  Or who could deem that mis'ry dwelt
    Within a paradise so fair,
  That want and pain and woe and guilt
    Mingled as sad companions there?

  But see where yonder moonbeams creep
    In that lone crevice, low and small,
  And throws a struggling, sickly beam
    Upon the cold, damp dungeon's wall.

  See by that feeble, glimm'ring ray,
    Low seated on the damp chill ground
  A mother sits, whose tearful eye
    Is cast in gloomy sadness round.

  Beside her lies her only son:
    Her lap the pillow for his head.
  That son must meet the convict's doom,
    When the brief hours of night have fled.

  The mother speaks: "Oh see, my son,
    Light breaks upon your dungeon wall!
  It is a messenger to thee;
    Methinks it is thy Saviour's call.

  "Dost thou not feel it on thy soul?
    And wilt thou not His call obey?
  His blood alone can cleanse from sin,
    And wash thy guilty stains away."

  "Oh, Mother, yes, I feel His power,
    E'en as I see yon gentle ray;
  His blessed voice now says 'Thoul't be
    In Paradise with me this day.'"

  Joy filled this waiting mother's heart;
    "Let us to God the glory give."
  They knelt in humble, grateful prayer,
    For Jesus bade that sinner live.

  And Angels hov'ring o'er the scene,
    Clapped their glad wings and flew to Heav'n
  To strike anew their golden harps,
    For peace on earth and sin forgiv'n.

  And the rapt seraphs round the throne,
    Loud anthems to the Saviour raise;
  While cherubims with transport burn,
    And Heav'ns high dome resounds with praise.

  And when the hangman's task was done,
    Joy filled the stricken mother's breast.
  She felt her dear misguided son,
    Through Jesus' blood, had sunk to rest.

  And while she linger'd on the earth,
    Glory to God was hourly given,
  For that mysterious spirit's birth,
    That makes the soul an heir of Heav'n.




Picture No. IV.


  In agony a mother knelt
    Beside her wasted pulseless child;
  "Give, oh, give him back to me,"
    She cried, in accents stern and wild.

  That prayer was heard, the answer came:
    The feeble pulse revived again;
  And quick the crimson tide of life
    Flowed warmly back through every vein.

  Yet, though the mother saw the change,
    No praise unto her God was given;
  No grateful incense from that heart
    Ascended up to pitying heaven.

  'Twas midnight's deep and silent hour,
    When nature folds her hands to sleep,
  And Angels come to bathe the flowers,
    With dewy tears they only weep.

  She heeded not the pulse of time
    That throbb'd the moments of the night,
  Nor yet the early morning's dawn,
    That ting'd the east with rosy light.

  But with a mother's earnest eye,
    Watch'd o'er her infant's peaceful rest:
  Until his gentle slumber passed,
    Then clasp'd him fondly to her breast.

  Childhood's brief years in sin were spent;
    The stubborn knee ne'er bent in prayer;
  Those lips ne'er spake a Saviour's name,
    "Our Father" never lingered there.

  Youth's golden season, too, was passed
    In wanton sports and misspent time;
  And soon he stood on manhood's verge,
    A hardened wretch, prepared for crime.

  Though so forbidding in his mein,
    He woo'd and won a gentle bride,
  Who but the closer to him clung,
    As darker rolled life's heaving tide.

  But though an Angel shar'd the place,
    There were for him no joys at home;
  He left his mother and his wife,
    Reckless o'er earth or sea to roar.

  He stood upon a sanded deck,
    With blood-red pennon floating free,
  And with a daring bloody band,
    Rode madly o'er the foaming sea.

  The waves that lashed the coal-black hull
    Were parted oft their dead to hide;
  For ocean's surging, billowy foam,
    Drank deeply of life's crimson tide.

  He tossed a pointed dagger high,
    And wore a sabre by his side;
  And many a gen'rous noble one,
    Beneath his powerful arm had died.

  For bloody deeds of daring high,
    He had won a deathless fame;
  And o'er that reckless, bloody crew,
    Had gained a pirate-captain's name.

  And though their coffers teem'd with gold,
    Their sordid souls still sighed for more:
  And to procure the paltry trash
    They scour'd the seas from shore to shore.

  But Retribution's hour must come;
    Vengeance cannot always sleep;
  Justice, with her glittering sword,
    Pursues them swiftly o'er the deep.

  At midnight, in a dungeon lone,
    An aged female knelt in prayer;
  But oh, her low, sepulchral tone
    Seemed fraught with anguish and despair.

  "My son," she cried, "to morrow's sun
    Must witness your disgraceful death;
  O, seek a dying Saviour's love,
    E'en with your expiring breath.

  The sun of Righteousness has risen,
    And o'er my path shed golden light,
  And shone upon the narrow way,
    That ever followed leads aright.

  And I have followed to the cross,
    On which a dying Saviour hung,
  Bemoaned my sins with weeping eyes,
    Besought his grace with suppliant tongue.

  He witness'd all my sorrowing tears,
    And heard my suppliant prayer in Heaven;
  Then sweetly spake with cheering voice,
    "Daughter, thy sins are all forgiven."

  Prostrate in dust before His throne,
    My heart's pure worship then I gave;
  Sweetly my ransomed spirit sang,
    Jesus Christ has power to save."

  Then spake the son:--"Talk not to me,
    I heeded not weak woman's tears;
  But when I sail'd upon the sea,
    I quickly silenc'd all their fears.

  Free was my trade, my arm was free,
    And human blood I freely spilt;
  And many an aged breast like thine,
    Has sheath'd my dagger to its hilt.

  Our blood-red pennon floated free,
    Our blood-stained deck its witness gave;
  Blood, human blood, was on our hands,
    And mingled oft with ocean's wave."

  Shudd'ring, the mother cried: "My son,
    Though you are steeped in human gore,
  There is a fountain filled with blood,
    That can your purity restore.

  Your Angel wife bath'd in that flood,
    And proved a Saviour's promise true,
  And when she gently pass'd from earth
    She left her dying love for you;

  And bade you seek a Saviour's face,
    And by His mercy be forgiven,
  And by that new and living way,
    Seek an inheritance in Heaven."

  "Then she is dead," he mournful cried,
    "'Tis better thus, for see the sun
  With rosy light now streaks the east:
    And ere it sets my race is run.

  Firm would I stand upon the drop,
    Meet firmly my approaching doom;
  But death is not an endless sleep,
    And justice lives beyond the tomb.

  Yet this conviction comes too late;
    My soul is lost,--I cannot pray;
  Forget your son--forget my fate,
    And walk in wisdom's pleasant way."

  In agony the mother pressed
    To her sad heart her guilty son;
  But yet, like incense from that heart,
    Sweetly arose, "thy will be done."

  No hands were folded on his breast.
    They laid him not within the tomb;
  The surgeon took him from the drop,
    To meet a more disgraceful doom.

  And such is life, whose ebb and flow
    Heaves the deep sea of human mind;
  True happiness they only know,
    Whose every wish's to Heaven resigned.




The History of a Household.


Early in the winter of 18--, there was a heavy rain, accompanied by
high winds, which swelled the waters of the Sandy river to an amazing
height, and every moving thing upon its surface was borne away with
the rapidity of lightning. Standing upon its margin was Frank Somers,
his eyes fixed with intense interest upon a frail raft that was
plunging and heaving among the boiling waves. Upon it stood a man
about the middle of life, with an athletic form and a determined
expression of countenance, his eyes fixed fiercely upon a brace of
logs that had been left reposing on the quiet bosom of the waters,
waiting their turn to be sawed into boards. It was a valuable lot,
and would bring considerable of an income to the owner, therefore he
pursued it over the rapid current, hoping to arrest its course ere
it reached the falls. Beside him stood a young boy on the raft,
his cheeks blanched to marble whiteness, and his dark eyes fixed
imploringly upon his father as they danced along over the furious
wave, every bound conveying them so much nearer the falls that
thundered on like a mighty cataract, heaving up a cloud of spray, then
foaming and dashing off to join the mad waters below. O, it was a
fearful sight. On, on went the logs, and on, on went the raft, the
reckless man exerting himself to his utmost to stop their progress by
endeavoring to reach them with a long pole he held in his hand.

Willie Somers raised his pleading eyes to his face (and many long
years after did their expression haunt him), "O Mr. Lambert, please
don't go any farther, we shall be over the falls."

"Pshaw, child," answered Mr. Lambert, rather sternly, "I must save my
logs at any risk."

The frantic father screamed from the shore,--"Mr. Lambert, save
yourselves and let the logs go.

"You are lost, you are lost!" cried many voices, as a log bounded upon
a giant wave, leaping over the cataract hurrying on through the waters
below. The strong man made a desperate effort and reached the land,
but the poor boy upon the raft was precipitated over the falls into
the gulf below. As the agonized father stood gazing with breathless
horror upon the sight, the form of his dear son arose once more,
standing erect upon the bounding billows, with his arms widely
extended, and his eyes glaring from their sockets. But in, a moment he
was hid from view, beneath the heaving mass of waters. All effort to
find him proved unavailing.

The next spring his body was found thirty miles distant down the
river, having laid in the water over three months. He was sent to his
friends. The father was almost beside himself, although a man slow
to anger; but he turned when his son sank from his sight groaning in
spirit, and shut himself up in his chamber, not daring to see Mr.
Lambert till his wrath was in some degree abated. He secluded himself
in his room four days, suffering intensely, and then went forth among
men an altered man, for the fearful death of his son had made an
impression upon his mind never to be obliterated by time.

He was a man of sorrow, having separated from his family on account of
domestic troubles, and this, his only son, was his greatest comfort.

His eldest daughter Matilda, was married to a man in the same
neighborhood, and had been a witness of her brother's sudden death.
She was young in years, but insidious consumption was sapping the
secret springs of life, and that awful sight gave her a shock from
which she never recovered. The wretched father soon left that part of
the country and journeyed to a far distant southern city, and far, far
away in a land of strangers, they made his grave. No dear child was
near to wipe the dew of death from his noble brow, or to minister to
his necessities, or to close his weary eyes as they cast their sad
glances upon a world that had been to him a world of trial.

Matilda gradually failed. She had given her heart with her hand in
early youth, to a young man of moderate circumstances, but prudent and
industrious; and by these means they procured a comfortable living,
and with this they were contented. She united her industry with that
of her husband, and her good management gave a neat and almost an
elegant appearance to their little cottage home, which peeped out like
a bird's nest from the trees that surrounded it. Charles Abbot was a
happy man, happy in the consciousness of well doing, happy in the love
of his wife, and in the caresses of two little boys, the pledges of
their united love.

They had been married six years when the death of the dear brother
cast so deep a shadow over their hitherto happy home. Matilda's
failing health scarce attracted attention, it was so gradual.

A slight cough, a deeper rose upon the cheek, and a brighter fire in
the eye, were almost its only indications. It was a calm evening in
the early part of June, as Charles and Matilda sauntered forth to
inhale the sweet fragrance of the evening breeze that fanned the
leaves of the trees, and wafted the odors of many flowers upon its
downy pinions, and rippling the now quiet waters of the Sandy river
that lay in peaceful repose, its glassy surface reflecting the mild
radiance of the setting sun.

Before them ran their little children in all their sportive gaiety,
clapping their hands with joyous glee, as they watched the progress of
a little boat that was plying its way across the river, and listening
to the boatman's whistle, and the splashing of the oar as it dipped
the silver waves. The towering mountains rose high above their heads,
and "Father Abraham" looked as though it were about to fall and crush
them as they seated themselves at its base, to gaze upon the prospect
before them. Charles adjusted Matilda's shawl as she seated herself by
his side, with a sharp cough.

He glanced anxiously toward her, but became reassured as the deep
crimson upon her cheek and the bright sparkle of her eye met his gaze.

She sat looking pensively towards the river for some time, with her
cheek resting upon her husband's shoulder, and occasionally watching
the many gambols of her children as they sported at their feet. At
length she said: "Charles, how deceitful to me looks the placid bosom
of yonder rippling stream, as it reposes in quiet beauty, reminding me
of the stream of time, on the ocean of human life when unmoved by the
tumultuous storms of passion that so often agitate the human breast,
and cause the waves to rise and the billows to swell before the
surging storm. Scarce six months have passed since that stream swept
by in giant fury, and poor Willie was buried in its angry bosom. O,
Charles, do you know I cannot look upon that river without hearing
again his last agonizing shriek, and seeing again his pale fearful
gaze as he looked death in the face, for well must the dear boy have
known that his doom was sealed; and oh, what agony must have filled
his breast as he cast his last gaze upon us, imploring our assistance,
and yet feeling it would be vain."

"We will leave this place, as it awakens unpleasant memories."

"It is best so," continued she; "Even now the spirit of my dear
brother seems hovering over me, whispering of the spirit land. But
Charles, I have something to say to you of importance."

The husband looked earnestly and tenderly into the face of his wife,
and she continued,

"Perhaps, my dear husband, you are not aware of my failing health, but
I feel the necessity of having assistance in my household duties, and
have thought perhaps it would be better to send for sister Ellen to
come and stay with me a while."

"Certainly, my dear, certainly; I will go after her to-morrow; forgive
me, Matilda, that I have not thought of this before, but I think if
you are relieved of part of your labor for a while, your health will
improve."

The poor wife smiled sadly, and pulling down a stalk laden with buds
from an adjacent rose bush that stood waving on a flowery bank beside
them, and pointing to a crimson bud enclosed in its casing of green,
she said, "Charles, is not that a beautiful bud?"

He looked at it and answered in the affirmative.

"Do you think it will ever bloom?"

"I see no reason why it should not, it looks as promising as any one
upon the stem."

"But look a little closer, do you see that little worm gnawing at the
very heart and sapping the secret springs of its life?"

Her husband gazed tearfully upon her, and she felt she was understood;
and then pressed her to his heart in a passionate, fond embrace, and
spoke words of comfort, and of hope and of life.

The wife smiled faintly upon him, and replied:

"Even now there is such a weariness in my limbs that I do not feel as
though I scarcely can reach our little cottage home, where we have
spent so many happy hours together."

They called their little Frank, who bore his grandfather's name, and
Willie, for the youngest was named for her dear brother, and
pursued their way silently to the house, each wrapped in their own
meditations.

That night, when Mr. Abbot closed his family Bible, and they all knelt
together to implore God's mercy, fervent was the supplication that
arose from the lips of the husband and father, as he besought grace
for every time of need. The heart of the husband was full as he
prayed our Father to stay the disease of his dear wife, and earnestly
repeated, "if it be possible let this cup pass from me;" but after
wrestling long, that peace came that passeth understanding--that peace
that the God that heareth prayer bestows upon his children when they
bow themselves before Him, and cast their burden upon Him who careth
for us, and ere he arose from his knees he was made to say, "Thy will,
not mine be done;" and they retired to rest beneath the shadow of the
Almighty, and felt that his watchful eye was upon them during the
silent hours of the night.

Early the following morning Mr. Abbot started, to go down the river
(as was the usual phrase) to Matilda's grandfather's, where Annie and
Ellen, the two younger sisters resided, having both left the residence
of their mother some time previous. Annie, then eighteen, had the sole
management of the family, as her grandmother was very feeble, and
unable to assist her at all. She was rather surprised at Mr. Abbot's
arrival, and quite alarmed when she heard the import of it. It was
immediately settled that Ellen should go with him, and preparation
was accordingly made for their departure early the following morning,
every thing being attended to by the careful Annie, who supplied the
place of mother to the younger sister, who was now about sixteen.

Suffice it to say, the assistance was not productive of the
anticipated good; Matilda's health declined rapidly, and it became
evident to all who looked upon her, that she was passing away to the
spirit land. The struggle in her husband's mind was over, and he felt
a pious resignation to the will of God.

Frequently did they converse together upon the joys of the heavenly
world, and select such passages of Scripture as are calculated to
prepare the soul for its upward flight.

"O Charles," said Matilda, one beautiful autumn day, as the yellow sun
shed his mild radiance over the decaying face of nature, "support me
by your strong arm while we pass through the garden to the river by
the nearest way. I feel quite refreshed to-day, and would look once
more upon that restless stream that is ever hurrying on 'to meet old
Ocean.'"

He placed his arm lovingly round her waist, and almost bore her to the
spot, scarcely feeling her weight, so fragile had she become. Frank
and Willie accompanied them with their happy countenances and glad
voices, and plucking a bunch of fading flowers, presented them to
their mother.

She watched them with a tranquil smile, and rewarded them with a kiss
as she took the proffered boquet from the uplifted hands of her dear
children. Frank was a noble boy, with dark brown hair and coal black
eyes, inheriting his mother's beauty. Willie was a feeble child, with
hair of lighter brown and eyes of azure blue, that betrayed a noble
soul in their very depths.

The mother called him to her, and taking his little hand in hers,
pressed them lightly to her forehead and then to her lips: looked
earnestly into his eyes as though she would penetrate their very
depths, then tenderly said:

"Willie, we are very near to heaven here; it is the music of angels
that whispers through the waving trees, and it is the motion of their
wings that sways their branches so gently. O Willie, will you meet me
in heaven?"

"Frank, come and kiss me; we are very near heaven; will you too meet
your mother there? Charles, it does not make me sad now to see the
place where dear brother Willie passed over the falls. It looks
pleasant now, so near heaven, and his gentle spirit says, 'sweet
sister, come;' surely the things of earth are passing away. Charles,
the dear boys will comfort you when I am gone, and perchance my spirit
may meet with yours in sweet communings, and soon we shall meet in
heaven to spend an eternity together. Charles, pray in this beautiful
place. O, those towering mountains apeak the majesty of their Creator."

"Ellen, dear, 'remember your Creator in the days of your youth;' and
oh Charles, pray that we all may meet in heaven."

He knelt and offered up the prayer of faith, but while he concluded,
there was a pressure of the hand he held in his, the white lips
parted, the head fell heavily upon his shoulder; there was a faint
whisper "Jesus, receive my spirit," and the mother was an Angel.

The boys were overcome with grief. Charles and Ellen too, were
awestruck.

He bore his lovely burden back to the house and wrapped her in the
habiliments of the grave.

It was a mournful day in autumn, when a sad procession bore her to her
last resting place, and laid her down by the side of her much lamented
brother. The appropriate text, "He that believeth on me shall never
die," comforted the grief-stricken mourners. She passed away early in
life, ere the sun of twenty-four summers had shone upon her pathway.

Charles mourned his loss, but not as one without hope. And as he
turned from the grave to his home and crushed the blighted leaves
of autumn beneath his feet, he felt that he too, was passing over
withered hopes back to the battle field of human life.

He cast one long, lingering glance upon Matilda's grave, then looked
fervently to heaven, and pressed on to "life and to duty with
undismayed heart."

Ellen soon returned to her grand-parents, and a sister of Mr. Abbot,
losing her husband about the same time his wife died, came to reside
with him, and thus the husband and children were provided for; and
although the shadow of a great grief rested upon them, and there was
a vacancy in their household, they learned to be happy in the present
good, and by living so as to join the dear departed ones in a happier
world.

It was again June--mild, lovely June. The air was filled with the
sweet music of the birds that carolled their evening lay, and seemed
pouring forth a sweet song of gratitude to Heaven, for that delightful
day. Gentle breezes sighed through the leafy trees soft as the first
whispering of young love, giving them a trembling motion, like a
bashful maiden as she blushingly listens to it. Beautiful looked the
little village of W----, as the setting sun cast his slanting rays
upon it, tinging the leaves with deeper green, and burnishing the
little stream with gems of sparkling gold. The tall lilac bushes were
filled with large red and white blossoms, and as they slightly nodded
their graceful heads before the passing zephyr, might have been
fancied to be giving a cold greeting to some humbler flower that grew
by their side.

In a large, square, old fashioned house, encircled by a neat white
fence, which separated it from the street, might be seen a young girl,
occupied in what New England housewives would call setting the house
in order, and very carefully are all things arranged, the crockery
being nicely washed and wiped to a shining brightness, stands neatly
arranged in their proper places, on shelves scoured to a snowy
whiteness. The floor is nicely swept, every chair carefully dusted,
and set back in its proper place, and the broom and the brush hung
back upon their accustomed nail. The young mistress stood looking
round the apartment with the air of one who feels they have
accomplished well the designated task, when she started upon hearing
her own name called, and in a moment Edward Merton stood by her side.

"Annie, come, Annie, just don your sun-bonnet, and walk with us to the
Island."

Suiting the action to the word, he placed her bonnet upon her head,
and drew her willing arm in his, and they soon joined the group of gay
companions that stood chatting and laughing at the door. Well did the
sable dress that Annie wore become her fine complexion, for the rose
blended with the lily upon her cheek, and beauty sat triumphant upon
her ruby lips and sparkled in her dark flashing eyes. But recent
events had cast an expression of melancholy over her countenance,
which for a moment had a sobering influence over her young companions
when she joined them.

Edward and Annie lingered a little behind the rest, talking of their
future prospects, and of the coming separation, as Edward was soon to
leave for Boston, where a more desirable situation was offered him
than could be obtained in the village.

"My increased income, my dear Annie, will enable me the sooner to
claim you for my bride; true, the separation will be painful, but I
am determined never to marry till I can commence house-keeping
genteelly."

She looked earnestly in his face and said, "Edward, it is home where
the heart is, and it seems to me we should not spurn a present for a
future good. This life is short and uncertain, and I feel a gloomy
foreboding when I think of your departure, I have been so accustomed
to seeing you every day, to leaning on your arm in every walk, and
going so constantly with you everywhere, that I shall miss you sadly
when you are away; but," she continued, smiling through her tears, "I
suppose I must turn nun" and live in seclusion during your absence?"

"O, do not do that," he replied, smiling; "It will be but for a short
time, and it is said, 'absence lends enchantment to the view.'"

"O, dear," cried Melinda, a blue eyed beauty, leaning confidently upon
the arm of Theodore Stanley, "I should think Ed and Ann were saying
their parting adieus, they look so sad."

Upon this the eyes of the whole group were turned upon them, and
affecting a gaiety they did not feel, they soon hastened forward and
joined in the general conversation till they came to the place of
their destination.

What was called the Island, was a point of land in the edge of a large
pond, or lake it might be called, as it was six miles long and three
or four wide. It was separated from the main land in low water, by a
small stream that was crossed by a large stone placed in the centre,
for a stepping stone; but in high water it could be reached only with
boats.

The little party crossed this stream, and seated themselves upon the
grassy knolls, beneath the giant oaks that spread their huge branches
around them, for they were the growth of centuries. Loud came the
chorus of the feathered tribe, as they sang their evening hymns before
retiring to their nests, which were very abundant in that shady
retreat, which afforded them protection from the truant school boys.

Annie reclined against the trunk of one of the largest trees, seated
by Edward's side, when suddenly looking up, she said,

"O, Edward, let me have your knife."

He reached it to her, and she immediately commenced carving his name
in the tough bark of the tree, against which she was leaning.

Many followed her example, and many fairy fingers were busy carving
the names of their favorite friend upon the trunks of the aged trees
that surrounded them.

"I shall cut it deep," said Annie, "so that it will live forever; and
I hope there will be neither mould nor moss upon it, to hide it from
view, as I shall love to come and look upon when you are far away."

"Ann," said one, "we will come here in the long summer days, and weave
chaplets of the bright leaves of the old oak, and twine them round our
lord's name."

This occupied their time till the shadows of evening fell around them,
and it was dark when they reached their homes.

It was midnight--dark, dreary midnight. Black clouds hung in huge,
portentous masses over, the vault of heaven. The forky lightning
flashed, and the deep toned thunder reverberated peal on peal, while
the shrieking winds rocked the tree tops, and poured their wild melody
upon the ear. It was nature arrayed in awful sublimity, displaying the
majesty of God.

Seated on a low chair, in the simple little parlor of Annie, sat
Edward, with a pillow upon his breast, supporting the head of the poor
girl, whose breathing was laborious, and her cheeks flushed with an
unusual glow, as she leaned against him for support. This was the only
situation in which she could breathe, as there was an abscess forming
in her throat. Her physician said she must sit bending forward, as
there was great danger of its producing strangulation, should it break
when she was in any other position, which he thought probably it might
do before morning. Edward, therefore, could not think of leaving her;
but kept his patient watch by her side during the night, alleviating
her sufferings by every means in his power, speaking tender words of
constancy and love, and picturing long years of connubial felicity
after he had won a fortune in the distant city.

Suddenly there came a brighter flash, a deeper crash, and it seemed
for the moment that the house was immersed in a lurid glare of light.
Annie, screaming, started to her feet, then fell back, fainting, and
black in the face with suffocation.

Edward thought, as he caught her falling form, that all was over; but
after a short struggle she recovered, and the crisis of her disease
had past, and she could now breathe easier than she done for several
days.

She had taken cold during their stay on the Island, and had been sick
from that time. The storm had spent its fury, and the clouds had
passed away, leaving the blue canopy of heaven studded with golden
stars, and all nature was refreshed by the rain that had fallen during
the shower.

Annie dropped into a sweet slumber, the first that had visited her
eyes for several nights; and Edward revolved many things in his mind,
as he held her to his heart. Would she remain constant during his
absence, and meet him with the same affectionate greeting? What would
be the changes that would take place in that time? for he felt there
must be changes. And, last of all, would his feelings be the same
towards her? truly, of this there was no doubt--was she not his own
sweet Annie, who for three years had been his affianced bride, and,
surely, there could be no change in him. But Edward Merton had not
then explored all the secret chambers of his own heart, and realized
not that it was an unwarranted ambition that, even then, was urging
him to leave the object of his affection, postpone his projected
marriage, and leave the friends of his youth where competence rewarded
his toil, for the purpose of acquiring wealth in a land of strangers.
The golden sun gemmed the drops of the previous night with the
diamond's lustre, and the voice of active life awoke in the village,
ere Annie awoke from her slumber, exclaiming,

"Why, Edward, is it possible I have slept so late? but wearied nature
was quite exhausted."

"You look finely refreshed," said he, giving her the parting kiss;
"but I must away to my shop."

Annie recovered rapidly, and soon the time came for Edward's
departure.

He could only speak of the future, seeming to think little of the past
or present.

"I shall write to you often, Annie, and you are mine till death do us
part, just as much as though Parson Bates had told us so."

A faint smile rested for a moment upon the lip of Annie--then faded
away, leaving a sadder expression than before. There was a melancholy
foreboding at her heart, and she at least did not feel willing to
sacrifice present happiness for future wealth; and she feared the
ambition of Edward would not be easily satisfied. But she strove to
subdue the feeling, and when their lips united in the parting kiss,
a pang shot though her heart, and "it is his last kiss," passed
involuntarily through her thoughts.

She turned hastily away to wipe the tears from her eyes, and bury her
grief in her own bosom.

Edward, after a prosperous journey, arrived safely at his place of
destination, was settled in a lucrative business, even exceeding his
most sanguine expectations, and was constant in his promise of writing
to Annie.

When winter returned with his winds, the aged grandfather was stricken
down by death. He fell like a sturdy oak before the stroke of the
destroyer, for he too had buffetted many a winter's storm, having
lived beyond the age of man. They bore him to his grave, when the
winds of winter blew fiercely round, and the drifting snow almost
obstructed their passage to the grave yard. He was deposited in the
place alotted him, and left to his repose, with the bleak winds of
winter pelting fiercely upon his grave. He heeded them not--that weary
sleeper, tired of looking upon the world, with all its changes.

Capt. Somers settled in that country before the woodman's axe had
felled the forest trees; and when they must pursue their way to
Gardiner by spotted trees, and frequently did herds of Indians wrapped
in their blankets, call at their door and exchange the moose meat
which they had dried, for beef, bread and other eatables.

These were times that tried men's souls, for during the war they were
frequently alarmed by hearing that unfriendly Indians were coming upon
them, which would fill the early settlers with dismay. So it might
well be said, as they laid the aged man to rest, he had seen changes,
for truly, had he seen "the wilderness made to bud and blossom like
the rose," and the temple of the living God supplying the place of the
Indian's wigwam.

The grandson, who had come in possession of the property, decided to
break up house-keeping, and placing his grandmother in the family of
a son, soon accomplished his purpose, leaving Annie and Ellen to look
out for themselves. Ellen went to reside with her mother, who had
erected a little cottage in a distant village.

This was a severe trial to Annie; she scarcely knew what course to
pursue; but, procuring board with an intimate friend, she entered a
cotton factory with a number of her young friends, thinking that would
be a respectable, and an easy way of obtaining her livelihood.

She wrote an affectionate letter to Edward, informing him of the
change in her circumstances and her present occupation, saying she did
not think the occupation would diminish her worth, or tarnish her good
name.

He answered it by requesting her to leave her employment, and
offering to pay her board if she would do so; but she preferred being
independent, and thought she would remain and earn what she could to
help herself; and there the matter dropped, she working on two weary
years. Often did she visit the Island, gaze upon the name of Edward,
and recall the scenes of that and many other evenings.

Many of the companions of that evening had united their destinies
for life--many had left the village, and some had closed their eyes
forever upon the things of earth, and entered upon the untried scenes
of eternity.

It was the close of a dreary autumn day, when the withered leaves
rustled before the cold chilly winds, and the dust was hurried on in
eddying torrents, that there came a whispered report to the ear of
Annie that Edward had returned from Boston. Her heart beat violently,
and she could scarcely stand upon her feet, as she contemplated the
pleasure of seeing him again, after so long an absence. Many were the
cordial greetings she received from her merry companions, upon the
occasion. She hurried home, eager with expectation, wondering, as she
judged him by the tumultuous beatings of her own heart, he did not
seek her sooner. As she passed on to her boarding place, she saw him
standing at a distance, in conversation with his brother, and although
his back was towards her, she mentally exclaimed,

"It is indeed my own Edward."

She made her toilet with great care, and dressed herself in such
colors as were pleasing to him, arranging her hair in the way that
he had so often praised. The fire diffused a cheerful glow round the
comfortable apartment. Annie seated herself by the window, momentarily
expecting his arrival. She took up a book and tried to read. Hour
passed after hour, and still she listened in vain for his well known
footsteps. The clock struck nine; the fire had gone out upon the
hearth, and the autumnal gale whistled mournfully round and swayed the
branches of a leafless tree that stood beneath her window.

Annie arose, extinguished her light, and again seated herself by the
window, leaning her cheek upon her hand, with her elbow resting upon
the window stool, she sat looking back into the silent chambers of the
past.

The wan, declining moon looked coldly down upon her, as it peeped out
behind

      --"the broken parted clouds,
  Brightening their dark brown sides."

She sat, pale and motionless, till the stars faded from the sky, and
the golden king of day announced his coming, by streaking the east
with his herald beams. She was accosted by her companions, with many
compliments upon her looks, as they joked her upon the return of her
lover, and concluded by sympathising with her in his early departure
for L., the residence of his father. Little thought these careless
ones how deep a wound they were inflicting upon the heart of the
sensitive Annie. She never told her grief, but strove to hide her
feelings in her own bosom. She could not think he had forsaken her,
but often would she think it was indeed his last kiss.

About this time the owners of the factory concluded their profits did
not amount to what they anticipated, and therefore, dismissed their
help and shut up their factory.

The circumstances of Edward and Annie had now become generally known.

She said little, only affirming he should have all the honor there was
to be had, for she had much rather have the name of being deceived,
than keeping company with a man so long she did not love; but every
one, of course, would express their opinion, and so the village talk
went on.

Perhaps it was with less regret upon this account, that Annie prepared
to leave the place, to live with an aunt that resided a few miles
distant. She collected together her little stock of goods, which she
had prepared for house-keeping, consisting of table linen, bedding
and such like things that the careful housewife knows so well how to
appreciate.

Among the many and beautiful bed quilts pieced by her industrious
fingers, was one set together in what is called Job's trouble, with
many a grave warning ringing in her ears, accompanied by an ominous
shake of the head, and an assurance she never would marry Edward if
she pieced her quilt together so. She sighed now as she unfolded it,
and stood for a moment gazing upon its beauty. Then smoothly replacing
the folds, and laying it in a large chest, she sighed as she said,

"Indeed, I shall never marry him."

Years had passed, and many suitors had sighed for the hand of Annie,
and she had consented to become the wife of Alfred Lombard, after
succeeding years should more fully obliterate the remembrance of
past disappointment. He was a young man of good family, and handsome
exterior, and though Annie did not love him with the ardor of a first
love, still she respected his character, and admired his virtues.

His estimable mother too, had shown much affection for the fatherless
Annie, and she had spent many months beneath their hospitable roof,
supplying to them the place of a daughter, while they conferred upon
her all the affection of parents, and looking wishfully forward to the
time when their marriage should take place.

Annie was schooling her heart to forget the past; but some remembered
word, or dearly loved token would awaken the old grief in her bosom,
and bring the scalding tear drops to her eye lids.

It was a bright afternoon in early autumn, that Annie sat sewing by
a window in the luxuriously furnished parlor of Colonel Stuart, her
uncle, who was the practicing physician of the village, that she was
started by a loud ringing of the door bell. Supposing it was some one
after her uncle, she paid little heed till she heard her own name
called, and in a moment after Edward Merton stood before her. He
extended his hand, exclaiming, "My Annie." There was a marble paleness
upon her cheek, and with a trembling voice she saluted him. He said
as he was returning from Augusta he thought he would take that
opportunity to return her letters, and take his, at the same time
drawing a small package from his pocket. She took them with a
trembling hand, but strove to appear calm, for she saw he was watching
her with Argus eyes to fathom the secret recesses of her soul.

She entered her chamber and took from a small box, which was a gift
from Edward, those dear old letters, over which she had wept so often,
and which breathed tender tones of love and affection, and spoke of
happy wedded days in the perspective.

But now she must part with these too. She pressed them once more to
her heart, and entering the room, presented them to him. He glanced at
her earnestly as he took them from her, saying as he did so,

"You do not look well, Miss Somers."

She colored slightly, and replied,

"O yes sir, I am quite well."

"I suppose," continued he, "you have heard that I was about being
married."

"I have," was her brief answer.

"It is a mistake, I have no idea of it," and wishing her a hasty good
afternoon he took his leave without any reference to or explanation of
past events.

Annie sat like a statue after his departure, crushing the letters in
her hands, gazing upon vacancy. A marble paleness overspread her face,
and she felt now that her cup of misery was indeed full. She laid
aside her work, and locking herself in her chamber gave vent to her
feelings in a passionate flood of tears. She tried to conquer her
feelings and summon her woman's pride to her aid, but it would not
do. "Cruel Edward," she mentally exclaimed, "you might have spared me
this, or told me the cause of this neglect and coldness." And as she
reflected upon the trapping of wealth with which he was surrounded,
and the splendor of his equipage, she asked herself, "can it be that
love of gold is the cause?" Echo answered "can it be?"

As the weary night drew to a close, the tempest in the poor girl's
bosom began to subside. But as the heaving ocean bears upon its waves
plank after plank of the ship-wrecked vessel that has been stranded
upon its tempest tossed bosom, so did the surging waves of memory
bring back one incident after another in her past life, and picture
the tender looks and the tender tones of the unfaithful Edward, during
the many long years she had regarded him as her future husband. To him
she had yielded up her heart's best affections. For his sake she had
rejected many an advantageous offer of marriage.

She met the family in the morning with quite a composed countenance,
but with a sad heart.

In the afternoon she went to her uncle's to visit her grandmother,
thinking, perhaps, change of place might produce some change in her
feelings. It was a delightful afternoon. The sun shed that soft
subdued light so peculiar to the season, over the face of nature,
which seemed rather approximating to maturity than verging to decay.
The trees were robed in their deepest green, while the early ripe
fruit hung temptingly upon their branches, or lay scattered upon the
ground beneath. Scarce a breeze agitated the trembling leaf or cooled
the fever upon her cheek. "O," thought she, as she passed along, "the
howling of the wintry storms would better correspond with my feelings
than this holy calm." She, in her agony, had not yet learned to bathe
her restless spirit in the fountain of Jiving waters, or to listen
to that voice that said, "Peace, be still," and the winds and waves
obeyed; therefore she had no "shelter from the windy storm and
tempest."

She was startled by hearing some one near her repeating in a low,
musical voice,

"Little Hannah Pease, little Hannah Pease; old Ben Thornton, old
Ben Thornton," and looking up, perceived near her a female, loosely
wrapped in a large white woolen blanket, which was her only clothing.
Her head and feet were entirely bare. Her black hair was cut short,
and her weather beaten countenance retained traces of great beauty.
She stood courtesying and smiling to a rock. As Annie reached her
side, she muttered, "Old Ben Thornton, old Ben Thornton, you deceived
poor Betsey Lotrop--you deceived poor Betsey Lotrop."

Annie gazed upon her with pity, saying mentally,

"A poor victim of unfaithful love; I hope the fire that is feeding
upon the springs of my life may never destroy my reason," and at that
moment she seemed to feel the need of seeking aid from a higher power,
and for the first time the prayer for guidance and direction went
up to God, in earnest supplication, and our Father, who pitieth his
children and seeth the returning prodigal afar off, breathed peace
into her troubled spirit, and thus commenced the first dawnings of a
new and better life in the heart of this poor lonely one.

Poor Betsy stood curtesying and talking to the rock, till Annie walked
some distance from her, when gathering her blanket a little more
closely about her, and walking rapidly forward, soon overtook her,
and looking earnestly in her face, with a low, gurgling laugh, she
continued,

"Poor little Hannah Pease, poor little Hannah Pease--perhaps, if you
had married him, you wouldn't been any better off. This face was a
beautiful face once; it was the handsomest face that ever was seen;
look at it now--how would you find it out? Old Ben Thornton, old Ben
Thornton," and fetching another laugh, she sprang over the fence, and
was soon lost from sight among the trees.

Annie soon reached her uncle's, where she met with a cordial
reception, and she felt that she had learned a salutary lesson from
the poor lunatic. The next afternoon, she and her cousin Edith
wandered forth into an adjoining field, to enjoy a stroll beneath the
cloudless sky, and inhale the sweet breath of autumn, which was borne
upon the gentle gales. Nature was at rest. No stormy wind ruffled her
bosom or agitated its surface. Her rich store of fruits lay spread
out in great abundance, and the whitened fields stood ready for the
harvest.

They conversed upon indifferent subjects till they came to a little
silver stream, threading its silent way through the silken grass. They
crossed and seating themselves beneath the shade of a thrifty apple
tree, picked up some of the delicious fruit that lay scattered in rich
profusion around them.

"O, Annie, I forgot to tell you I received a visit from Dora,
yesterday; she is very unhappy on account of Charles Stanley's
conduct. She did not wish to go to the ball, on account of her
father's death, and he waited upon Eveline Houghton--then left for
Turner without calling to see Dora."

"Indeed, I thought they were to be married this fall?"

"Such has been the report; but as she has not seen or heard from him
since, she does not know how to construe his conduct towards her."

"When Orville was returning from his eastern tour, he came across
Charles, in Portland, and rode with him a short distance. He sent Dora
a present by him, but told him nothing of the transaction. She came to
me in hopes of hearing something more definite from him."

"How does the poor girl bear it?"

"She is very unhappy, and says she is not ashamed to have people know
she had been deceived; but many tell her they wouldn't mind anything
about it."

"They may say so," said Annie, raising her dark eyes to Edith, while a
deeper flush suffused her cheek; "but, Edith, I tell you, it will wear
and wear upon the secret springs of life, till it bears its victim to
the grave."

Edith gazed upon her with such an anxious, pitying expression, that
she felt she had betrayed her own secret, and bending her head to hide
her blushes, she picked up the mellow, golden colored fruit that lay
around her, and commenced rolling them down into the stream that
flowed at their feet. At that moment poor crazy Betsey Thornton came
bounding over the stone wall that separated that from an adjoining
enclosure, and gathering her blanket about her, stood curtesying and
laughing before them, repeating as she did so,

"Poor little Hannah Pease, poor little Hannah Pease--old Ben Thornton,
old Ben Thornton."

"Take some apples, Mrs. Thornton," said Edith, as she regarded her
with a sad expression of countenance.

She took them, curtesied, and with her low, gurgling laugh, leaped
over the wall, and went muttering on to rock or tree, or any other
object that came in her way.

"Edith," said Annie, "what poor Blanche is that, for a poor love sick
maiden, I am sure she must be? As she came with her large blanket
fluttering over the wall, it reminded me of Sir Walter Scott's poor
Blanche, that

  "Stood hovering o'er the hollow way,
  And fluttered wide her mantle gray."

Edith smiled as she replied,

"You are right--and yet you are wrong in your surmises; she is not the
victim of a faithless lover, but the victim of a faithless husband."

"But," replied Annie, "a victim to man's inconstancy, at any rate?"

"Oh, yes, Annie, that is what all the poets sing."

"And with all this before you, Edith, are you not afraid to unite your
destiny with Orville Somerset?"

"I sometimes fear to; but oh, if he is ever to prove untrue, may it be
before we are united by the solemn covenant of marriage."

"Perhaps it would be better, but I think it will never come to you,
Edith."

This conversation led to a full disclosure of Edward's conduct, and
Annie unbosomed herself more fully to her cousin than she had ever
done before. She sympathised with her in her feelings, saying,

"O, Annie, should Orville serve me so, I do not think I could bear it
as well as you do."

Annie, smiling faintly, said,

"But the end is not yet, Edith."

The sun had finished his journey in the sky, and twilight was
gathering around them, when, with arms entwined round each other, they
pursued their way back, conversing upon the disappointments of life,
and the misery that is produced by inconstancy and faithlessness.

"Mrs. Thornton," continued Edith, "was a beauty, as you may even now
perceive by its traces upon her weather beaten countenance, and
her position in society was far above Mr. Thornton; but won by his
addresses, she consented to become his wife. They came to this
country, among strangers, to an humble home, where she suffered many
privations, which she bore with woman's fortitude. But when her
husband became an inebriate, and treated her with moroseness and
brutality, reason forsook its throne, and she became a maniac. Hannah
Pease was an intimate friend of hers, who seems to be ever in her
mind, perhaps because she used her influence to prevent the unhappy
union."

"O," said Annie, "when I reflect upon the misery that sometimes exists
in the married state, I almost feel it is well to be situated as I
am now, as to be united, even to Edward. But then, the cruel
disappointment rankles deep."

"And how many men," said Edith, "make the indifference, the ill
temper, or the untidiness of a wife an excuse for their intemperance,
tavern-haunting, and all their neglect of home. But it does seem to me
that it devolves as much upon a man, to contribute to home happiness
as upon a woman. But many men of my acquaintance seem ever to cast a
shadow upon the sunlight of home, and their wives and children shrink
from their presence. Is this the wife's fault?"

"I think not. If so, I think the stronger yield very readily to the
weaker, and certainly should receive our sympathy."

"But, Annie, how much there is in this little world of ours, that is
mysterious and beyond our comprehension, and nothing so much so as
the want of union in the marriage relation. For there the greatest
fondness is often turned to the greatest inattention. But, oh, may
Heaven save me from such a lot!"

By this time the cousins reached the house, and soon retiring to rest,
Edith was wandering in the land of dreams, while Annie lay busied in
thought, counting the hours of night, and seeking to look "beyond the
narrow bounds of time, and fix her hopes of happiness on heaven."

The rougher blasts of autumn blew more fiercely round, and the dry
and withered leaves fell from the trees, and drifted along before the
chilly winds, while the black passing clouds cast a deep shadow over
the face of decaying nature. Everything bespeaking the return of
dreary, desolating winter.

Annie had faded with the leaves of autumn--she had heard of Edward's
union with a young lady of great wealth and beauty soon after his
visit to her, and she felt grieved, when she reflected upon the
unmanly manner in which he had conducted towards her. She had
conversed freely with Alfred, and laying all the circumstances of the
case before him, told him she should respect him while she lived, but
was fully sensible her blighted heart never could know another earthly
love.

"And while the lamp of life continues to burn," she added, "I wish
to direct my thoughts to Heaven, and prepare for that change that is
before me. Death, Alfred, will soon claim me for his bride; he, at
least, will not prove recreant to his trust."

Alfred kissed her pale cheek, and looked tenderly upon her, feeling
that her presages were indeed too true.

She was soon removed to the home of her mother, whose heart yearned
towards her dying child with the affection of a true mother. As
Annie's health declined rapidly, and the things of earth became more
dim and shadowy, the heavenly became more distinct and glorious.

"O, Ellen," she would say, "how precious at such a time as this, is
the presence of the Saviour, who condescends to minister to us in our
necessities. O, Ellen, do seek an interest in his dying love. You will
be the only remaining one, soon. Father, Matilda, and Willie have long
since passed from earth, and soon--very soon, I must join them in the
spirit land. Oh, mother, do try by repentance and faith, to meet us
there, so that we may be a united family in heaven, though we have
been divided upon earth. As I now stand upon the brink of the grave,
looking back upon life, and forward to the future life, I feel like
the shipwrecked mariner, who has entered the haven of peace, after the
winds and the storms have subsided, and the tumultuous tossings of
the waves have ceased. For, oh, this poor heart has been wrung by
disappointments, but I see now it was all for the best; my Heavenly
Father would have all my heart, and so he, in his infinite wisdom,
separated me from my idol, and now my affections, separated from
earthly love, are fixed upon him, he is my rock, and my stay. No
earthly friend could go with me 'through the valley and shadow of
death,' but Christ can go with me, and open wide the gates of heaven,
and usher my willing spirit into the presence of the happy throng that
worship before the throne of God."

It was a dreary day in mid-winter. The wind howled in fitful gusts,
and the falling snow was piled in huge drifts before it. Annie, pale
and laboring for breath, was bolstered up, in bed, for the angel
of death was visiting the poor girl. His icy fingers were upon her
fluttering pulses, and the feeble current of life stood still.

"O," said she, "the winds, in their wild fury, seem singing praises to
God. My heart is so attuned to praise, that all things seem to unite
in the universal hymn of thanksgiving to our Saviour and our God. O,
Ellen, is there no music in those words, to your young heart? And,
mother, does it not come to you, in your declining age, and bid your
wearied spirit seek that rest that remains for the people of God?"

She ceased to speak: the breath became shorter and shorter, till it
only came with convulsive gasps. She once again opened her weary eyes,
looked earnestly upon the face of her mother and her sister, then
glancing round the apartment, seemed as though she were bidding a last
adieu to all it contained--then closing them forever upon earthly
things, without a struggle or a groan, the spirit of Annie Somers
passed gently away.

The storm continued its violence, and desolate indeed, was the cottage
home of the mother and the sister, where lay the lifeless form of
Annie, reposing in the long deep sleep of death.

It was Sabbath day--a stormy Sabbath day, when the coffin of Annie was
borne upon the shoulders of four men to its last resting place.

It was covered with a neat black velvet pall, at each corner of which
hung suspended a heavy black silk tassel, which waved in the wind as
it came careering on, in fitful gusts, one blast scattering a shower
of snow upon the velvet pall, and the next, sweeping it away, and so
they laid her in her grave, amid the howling of the wintry storm; but
it disturbed not her repose.

Willie and Matilda sleep upon the banks of the Sandy river. The
father's grave was made upon the banks of the far off Mississippi, and
Annie rests by the side of the winding Androscoggin; her mother, too,
is by her side; for she soon followed to the land of shadows.

Ellen has entered upon the responsible duties of wife and mother, and
is acting well her part in the drama of life. Her usually volatile
spirit is chastened and subdued by the sorrows that have passed
over it, and it is her earnest endeavor so to live, as to meet the
approbation of God, and her own conscience and train her dear children
for that better life that is promised to the pure in heart.

Were I weaving a tale of fiction, the reason of Edward's conduct would
be required to complete the work; but it has been said

"Truth is stranger than fiction,"

and Annie died without ever receiving any explanation. Thus we will
leave them, with the assurance that they shall again be united,
although their remains are now so widely separated.




Lines, Written during Convalescence from Brain Fever


  Sing on, sweet bird, thy gentle strain
  "Can't cool my brow, or cool my brain;"
  But yet, thou hast a magic pow'r
  To lull me in a fev'rish hour;
  Thy pleasant notes, so sweet and clear,
  Come soft and mellow'd to my ear.
  And when my head is rack'd with pain,
  Burning my brow, throbbing my brain,--
  When all's tumultuous, toss'd, and wild,
  And frantic as a wayward child;
  Roaring as if old ocean's waves
  Were bursting from their coral caves;
  Tossing as if old ocean's foam
  Were rocking to its highest home;
  Moaning as if the sea bird's wail
  Were screaming o'er the tattered sail;
  And ev'ry ship were tempest toss'd,--
  Its rudder gone,--its pilot lost;
  And no kind ray of light were giv'n,
  To cheer them, from the vault of heav'n,
  Save the vivid lightning's flash,--
  Pealing the deep ton'd thunder crash,
  Glancing upon the tow'ring wave,
  Above the seaman's yawning grave;--
  Glaring into that dark abyss,
  Where hideous monsters dart and hiss,
  And ship wreck'd seamen, far from home.
  Toss amid the briny foam;
  Till the proud wave, with one stern sweep,
  Buries the secrets of the deep;
  Revealing far, on upper land,
  A lawless bandits' wand'ring band,
  With sword and rapier, stain'd with blood,
  Still thirsting for the crimson flood;
  They show no mercy on their kind,
  But kill or plunder all they find.
  Then dies the flash, as ocean's moan
  Sends back a low, sepulchral groan,
  Leaving all nature dark and still,
  As midnight sleeping on the hill,
  While all around unearthly seems,
  As frightened Hecate's spectral dreams;
  Till bubbling, gushing through each vein,
  The frenzied current turns again,--
  My hurrying pulses faster play,
  And conjure up the dread array,--
  Glaring spectres, side by side,
  In mould'ring shrouds around me glide;
  Death's damp wreaths are round their hair,
  And coffin worms hold revel there.
  Gibb'ring, they come from ancient tombs,
  Stealing from low sepulchral glooms,
  From vault and charnel house they rise,
  With bloodless cheek, and hollow eyes,
  They point the finger,--shake the head,
  And hold strange converse round my bed;
  Together there, in council meet,
  With coffin, pall and winding sheet,--
  Seem waiting, with their dread array,
  To bear my lifeless form away.
  They stand with mattock, and with spade,--
  On me their icy hands are laid,
  While noisome vapors round me spread,
  Bespeak the precincts of the dead.
  E'en then, sweet bird, at such an hour,
  When reason almost resigns her power;
  Thy pleasant notes have magic art,
  To soothe my palpitating heart;
  They come as wild, as free, as clear,
  As though no pain or woe were near.

  'Tis true, that friendship's hand is kind,
  My aching brow and heart to bind;
  Beside my bed a husband stands,
  And anxious children press my hands;
  A gentle mother acts her part,
  And sisters, with each winning art;
  Father and brothers waiting still,
  The slightest mandate of my will;
  Each anxious, who shall earliest prove,
  The tender gushings of their love.

  Sometimes there comes a vision fair,
  Of waving groves, and balmy air,
  Of placid skies, serene and mild,
  As slumber stealing o'er a child;
  Where breezes hushed to deep repose,
  Sleep in the bosom of the rose,
  And scarcely lift their fragile wing,
  One dew-drop from the flower to fling;
  But leave it for the sun's warm ray,
  To kiss the pearly tear away.
  Pleasant sounds the gushing rill,
  That bubbles down the verdant hill,
  Murmuring along ifs native glen,
  Far from the fev'rish haunts of men,--
  Till kissing soft its pebbly shore,
  It dies, nor ever murmurs more.
  And fairy forms around me dance,--
  Now they retreat, and now advance;
  Bright wreaths around their heads they wear,
  And lutes in their fair hands they bear,
  Each warbling forth, in cadence low,
  Their pleasant number, as they go,
  And music floats high in mid air,
  As bands of angels hover'd there;
  Four massive chains of purest gold,
  A chrystal island seem to hold,
  Gently waving it in air,
  As angel spirits lingered there.
  Like ocean, in a summer day,
  When gentlest zephyrs with him play.--
  Just curl the ripples on his breast,
  Then sighing, sink with him to rest.
  Beside the streams are pleasant bowers
  Adorned with ever-greens and flowers,
  Where insects float with gayest wing,
  And birds with sweetest voices sing,
  And happy spirits, free from care,
  Pluck the wild flowers that blossom there;
  Their forms are beauteous to behold,
  White silken wings, spangled with gold,
  Help them with easy grace to rise
  From this fair world to yonder skies.
  They come and go at even tide,
  And sometimes on the sunbeams ride;
  And when they wish for railroad cars.
  They ride upon the shooting stars:
  Firmly unite them in a train,
  And skim along the aerial plain;
  No locomotive do they need,
  For their own will propels their speed.
  The Aeolian harp, with plaintive wail,
  Sighs responsive to each gale;
  Its chords are strung 'mid branching trees,
  And echo to ev'ry passing breeze;
  Gently they vibrate through the grove,
  Touching the chords of life and love,
  Mixed with the sounds that round me float.
  I hear, sweet bird, thy mellow note;
  For as in sunshine, as in rain,
  Thou comest to cheer me with thy strain.
  Few friends so kind to come each day,
  To sing the tedious hours away.

  But pleasant visions vanish soon,
  And the bright sun grows dim at noon.
  The pleasant gales forget to play,
  And dark and fearful grows the day.
  The waving island takes its flight,
  Far from the stretch of human sight;
  High in 'mid air it seems to rise,
  Dissolving, mixing with the skies.
  But ah, it leaves no vacant place,
  For grisly phantoms take its place.
  Thus ever varying all things seem
  "Fickle as a changeful dream;"
  And naught is left of that gay train,
  My gentle bird, but thy sweet strain.
  O who can tell in hours of ease,
  Of fancies wild, and strange as these?
  When health gushes through each vein,
  Who paint the fever of the brain?
  Who picture half the grief and pain
  That follows pale sickness in her train?
  With bitterest dregs she fills her cup,
  And makes her victims drink them up:
  Binds them to thorny pillows down,
  And frightens sleep with her stern frown;
  Or if perchance the eyelids close,
  She gives her victim no repose,
  But hurries round and madly screams,
  And conjures up her wildest dreams,
  Binds reason in her iron chains,
  To fancy gives her longest reins,
  And whips and spurs it, through the brain,
  Till startling nature wakes again.
  She flings the rose from beauty's cheek,
  And on it paints her hectic streak;
  Takes rosy childhood from his play,
  And gives grim death the beauteous prey;
  For ever round her footsteps steal
  To pick for him his glutton meal;
  And still she keeps her promise good.

  To pamper him with hourly food;
  But yet they stand there, side by side,
  Death and the grave, unsatisfied.
  For should a million hourly die,
  Twould not their appetites supply.
  But what seem curses to our eyes
  Are nought but blessings in disguise;
  And sickness is in mercy given
  To wean the soul from earth to heaven;
  For were all bright and joyous here.
  Who would think on yon, bright sphere?
  But pleasure pinioned to this sod,
  Our thoughts would never rise to God.
  And death's the passage to the skies,
  Through which our ransom'd souls must rise,
  To yonder blissful, bright abode,
  Where dwells our Father and our God.
  But now, sweet bird, I miss thy tone,
  And feel at least one pleasure gone;
  A prowling cat, foe to thy kind,
  Thus wrought the evil she designed.
  Thy life and songs forever o'er,
  Thou wilt charm my ear no more.
  Thus in life's uncertain day,
  The singing birds oft snatch'd away:
  And they who linger long in pain
  Suffered to linger and remain.
  But God is just in his decrees,
  And wisely orders things like these.




The Angel Cousin.


Our little Mary was dying. The film had gathered over those deep blue
orbs, and her emaciated form lay white as polished marble stretched
out on her little cradle, around which were gathered sympathizing
friends, watching the feeble lamp of life as it burned flickering
in its socket. The grandmother and aunt had been summoned from an
adjoining village, where they had gone upon a visit the previous
morning; and Emma, a sweet cousin not two years old, stood wondering
why little Mary did not smile upon her, as she usually did, for she
had never looked upon death.

Mary had ever been a fragile child. But her mother had clung to her
with all the devotion of a mother's love. Anxiously did she watch that
little pale form, pressing it to her heart, and gazing upon it with
fond maternal pride, day by day, and night after night, unmindful of
food or sleep, so that she might relieve the suffering of her precious
babe; and ever would she say it will soon be better. One week
succeeded another, and still there was no change for the better. But
oh, how deep was the fountain of that mother's love, and the feeble
wailing of that dear infant moved all its secret springs.

A physician was consulted, who spoke hopefully, but nothing seemed to
help her.

Through the summer months, the salubrity of the air revived her some,
and the mother would wander with her round the garden, placing the
sweetest flowers in her hand, or sitting beneath the shade of trees,
she would listen for hours to the murmur of the summer breeze that
sighed among the branches, or the humming of the bee as it sipped the
sweets from surrounding flowers, delighted that her darling Mary might
thus inhale the pure breath of heaven. And when those large, soul lit
orbs were closed in sweet slumber, and the little fragile form could
rest for a short time, the mother would lift her heart to God in
gratitude and thanksgiving.

Summer passed with its weary watching, and her disease assumed a more
deffinite appearance, and the mother felt that Mary must die.

'Twas early autumn; the mother purchased some flannel and prepared a
robe for her darling, with a mother's pride, believing that that would
be beneficial to her. It was late in the evening when the task was
completed, and a neat white apron was hung upon the nail over it, and
the impatient mother waited the approach of day that she might place
it upon her little form. O how strongly did the bright red robe
contrast with the lily whiteness of that lovely babe. The tiny hands,
as they peeped from beneath their long sleeves, looked like two white
lilies intermingled with the thick clustering blossoms of the running
rose. The mother looked upon her with pleasure as she saw her so
comfortably clad, and hoped the increased warmth would improve her
health, but when she bore her to her father, saying, "here is our
doll;" he turned away his dewy eyes, for he saw that she was fading
away from earth.

"O Albert," said Carrie, "does she not look now as though she might
live?"

He could not bear to crush the last hope in the heart of his young
wife, and remained silent.

She continued,

"No one gives me any encouragement, but I do feel more hopeful about
her this morning, for she rested better through the night than she has
done for several nights."

While she was yet speaking, a piercing shriek broke from the lips of
the child, every feature expressed extreme agony, and the last ray of
hope in the heart of that young mother went out forever.

From that time, her precious one failed fast. Vomiting succeeded, and
the little fountain of strength was ebbing fast away. Little did
the poor mother think, when she arrayed her little infant in her
comfortable flannel robe, it would be the last time she would be
dressed till she was wrapped in her shroud for the silent grave.

During the night her feeble frame was attacked by severe spasms, and
shriek after shriek filled the heart of the mother with unutterable
anguish. When that subsided she lay cold and pulseless, with the damp
dews of death upon her marble forehead. Little hope was entertained of
her surviving till morning. But the grim messenger delayed his work,
and morning again awoke all nature to life and beauty.

It was a cool day, and the running rose bush that clambered over the
door, was laden with withered flowers that had lived their little day
and faded before the early autumn winds. Many a hardier flower was
blooming brightly, and lifting their heads seemingly in proud defiance
of the chilling winds that were blowing round them. One little bud
enveloped in its casing of green that hung waving over the door, was
perishing in its beauty, even like the little cradled innocent, that
even then was passing away before the icy breath of the dark plumed
angel. A hasty despatch was sent for the maternal grandmother and
aunt, and the grandmother upon the father's side was present, and
together we watched the failing breath of the dying child. Six brief
months only had she lingered upon earth, and now she was to depart
forever. Many, as they sat in that chamber of death, felt how
mysterious are the Providences of God. The dried and the withered
leaf, the full blown flower, and the opening bud were there, and all
were spared, while the youngest one of the group was passing away and
teaching the one great lesson, "All flesh is grass, and the goodliness
thereof as the flower of the field."

Little Emma stood gazing upon her with an expression of wonder, and
when told little Mary would soon be an angel, she raised her blue eyes
and smilingly said, "O Emma will have an angel cousin;" thus teaching
a lesson of faith and trust.

When the shadows of evening gathered around us, the doctor came in
and was surprised to find her still living. As she had not swallowed
during the day, he was surprised upon applying a sponge wet in water
to her lips to find that she swallowed rather eagerly and without any
difficulty until she had taken several drops. He told the mother she
had better prepare some warm milk and water, and drop a little of it
into her mouth as long as she continued to swallow. Hope sprung up
in her heart, perhaps she might yet live, and quick as lightning the
recollection of many children who had been snatched from the very jaws
of death, passed through her memory. But while she was making the
preparation, the little bosom heaved one gentle sigh, and we felt that
Mary was an angel. One glance, one wild scream, and the mother fell
almost fainting into the arms of her husband.

The crimson robe that was placed upon her with so many hopes by the
fond hands of a mother, was removed by other hands, and the little
body was prepared for the tomb. The mother gazed upon her with tearful
eyes and an aching heart.

It was a mild, peaceful Sabbath day when they bore her to the tomb.
The mother placed a robe of white flannel upon her, imprinting as she
did so, many kisses on the lily arms she had kissed so many times in
all their warmth of living loveliness, when, with a smile upon her
lips, and gladness in her eye, she raised them to her mother's lips to
receive the proffered tokens of affection.

And so they placed her in her coffin, with a tiny rosebud in either
hand (for she would ever hold flowers longer than any thing else), to
wither in their beauty with her, the pale perishing one. And the holy
man read from the word of God the impressive lesson, "Behold thou hast
made my days as a hand's breadth, and my age is as nothing before
thee;" and offered up fervent prayer in behalf of the afflicted
mourners, and little Mary was borne to the silent tomb.

O, who that listened to that gentle autumn breeze that so softly
sighed among the trees, and fanned the flower that bent slightly
before it, but must feel that there is a God that orders the winds and
the sea, and rules over the destinies of men.

Sad were the hearts of the stricken parents as they returned to their
little cottage, where everything reminded them of their dear lost
child.

Emma stood beside the vacant cradle, and asked many questions about
the departed cousin.

"Why did they take her from her cradle and put her in that little
box?" But was ever comforted by calling her her angel cousin.

But time passed on, and other changes came. They left their cottage
home where this great grief had rested upon them. Another darling
Mary was given them, and found a warm place in their affections. The
husband soon left his wife and child, and sought to build up his
fortune in a distant land, while the wife and mother dedicates her
time to the care of the dearly loved treasure her heavenly Father has
committed to her trust.

One brief year sped rapidly away, and winter again returned with his
winds. It was a wild night, the wintry winds howled fiercely round
the dwelling, and pelted the snow and sleet furiously against the
casement, when Mrs. Barlow, after attending to those duties that make
a New England home so comfortable, dropped her crimson curtains, and
seating herself by a comfortable coal fire, commenced preparing her
little Emma for bed.

"Oh," said she, "how the wind blows, mamma; what do poor little
children do that have no home?"

Said her mother, "God tempers the wind, my dear, to the shorn lamb."

"Mamma, do you know I am going to have a party and go to heaven and
invite my angel cousin?"

"Are you, indeed."

"But mamma, it is time to say our Father now," and the happy mother
listened to her dear child as she clasped her hands and lisped the
Lord's prayer, and the appropriate "now I lay me," after which she
soon dropped into a peaceful slumber.

Thus evening was spent after evening with the mother and her dear
child, happy in each other's love.

Winter passed, and genial spring came forth in infantile beauty,
unbending the streamlets from their icy fetters, and swelling the buds
upon the trees, thus making her early preparation for future beauty
and usefulness.

Emma awoke early one Sabbath morning, and leaving her little crib,
nestled down beside her mother. After laying quiet some time, she
asked suddenly,

"Is it Sunday, mamma?"

Being answered in the affirmative, she said,

"It would be a beautiful day to die. Less die to-day, papa, mamma, and
Emma, and go to heaven, and get our golden harps; you have a great
one, you and papa, and Emma will have a little one like my little
angel cousin."

A shade of sadness passed over the mother's face, but rested not upon
it. The form of her darling child was in her arms, her downy cheek
resting against her own, and the bright blue eyes gazing earnestly
into hers with a volume of meaning in their azure depths.

"But you must get up now, for it is a beautiful Sabbath day, and we
shall go to meeting to-day, and the minister will pray for us to God.
O how glad I am," and the dear child clapped her dimpled hands with
delight.

And so they went to church Sabbath after Sabbath, while Emma ever
seemed to enjoy the services, often making observations upon what
she heard. She inquired every day if it were Sunday; and Saturday
evenings her play things were all carefully laid aside, and she
expressed great sympathy for poor little children that played upon
that day.

The story of the cross would affect her to tears, and yet she loved
to dwell upon it, and it was with great effort her attention could be
withdrawn from it.

One rosy twilight hour, when the departed beams of the sun still
lingered, tinging the curtains of the west with those bright and
gorgeous hues that so frequently surround him at his setting. Emma and
her mother sat down to spend that happy hour together, and gaze upon
the scene.

Spring was rapidly advancing, and the face of nature was lovely to the
eye. The half open buds upon the trees shed sweet perfume, and birds
carolled their evening songs on every spray.

But the things of earth, beautiful though they were, could not satisfy
the mind of the child, and when the golden stars spangled the blue
canopy above, she talked of golden harps, of her angel cousin, and the
mysteries of that unseen world,

  "Beyond planets, suns, and adamantine spheres."

Suddenly assuming a more thoughtful expression, she said,

"O mamma, what would you do if Emma should die? You would have to
carry away my crib and little chair, and put all my play things away,
and you would have no little Emma. O mamma, how lonesome you would
be;" and bursting into a convulsive fit of sobbing she flung her arms
around her mother's neck and wept upon her bosom. Tears too, dimmed
the mother's eyes as she pressed her fondly to her heart, and kissed
away her tears, while a painful thought went through her heart, "can
it be her conversation is prophetic?"

She soothed her troubled spirit, spoke of the joys of heaven, and
after listening to her childish prayer, laid her in her little crib
with a sweet good night murmured in her ear. Returning to her sitting
room, long and sadly she reflected upon the words of her darling
child, and tried to fathom their import, and earnestly did she pray
that night, "Our Father, prepare me for whatsoever thou art preparing
for me, and enable me ever to say, 'thy will be done;'" and she
retired to rest with a subdued spirit, feeling an indefinable
presentiment of coming sorrow.

The glad light of morning in a measure dissipated the shadows of the
previous evening, and the mother and daughter met with a pleasant
greeting,--the little girl busied about her play, while her mother
attended to her domestic duties. They frequently interchanged cheerful
words. Emma would sometimes personate a house-maid, and assist her
mother in dusting and arranging the furniture. But suddenly dropping
all, she stood by her side, and looking earnestly up into her face,
said,

"O mamma, you may have all my clothes next summer."

"Why, Emma," replied her mother, "you will want them yourself."

"O no, mamma, I shall not want them; you may have my little brella,
and all."

The mother's cheek blanched, and a fearful pang again shot through her
heart.

"O Emma, don't talk so, you will wear them all yourself."

"O no, mamma, you may have them;" and seating herself in her little
chair, she sat long, looking thoughtful and serious.

It was morning, bright beautiful morning. The swelling buds had burst
their confines, and the apple, pear, peach, cherry, and plum trees
that surrounded the house, were thickly covered with sweet scented,
many colored blossoms, that gave promise of a rich harvest of
delicious fruit. The birds warbled their matin songs in sweet melody;
the honey bees with drowsy hum, were sipping sweets to horde their
winter's store; and every thing seemed rejoicing in the light of that
glad morning. Even Crib, the great house dog, lay sunning himself on
the door step with a satisfied look, snapping at the flies that buzzed
around him.

But Emma could not arise to look out upon the joyful face of nature.
She lay pale and languid upon the bed, telling her mother she was too
sick to get up, that she could stay alone while she ironed her clothes
which she had starched the night before: but wished her to shut the
door to keep out the light and noise.

The mother pursued her task with a sad heart, but often would she
unclose the door and look in upon the pale child, and show her some
article of dress she had been preparing for her. She would look up
with a smile and say,

"O good mamma, how nice they look;" then closing her eyes drop into a
deep, heavy sleep.

She grew rapidly worse, and the doctor who was called to visit her,
pronounced it scarlet fever, that fearful malady among children, but
thought her symptoms favorable.

Every attention was bestowed upon her that affection could give; but
the disease rapidly increased.

The fire of a terrible fever was raging in her veins, and drying up
the fountain of her young life. In the wildness of delirium she would
start suddenly from the arms of her mother, and pierce her heart by
begging to be carried to her own dear mother.

The fifth day of her disease it assumed a more alarming appearance,
her extremities becoming cold, and a deathlike palor overspreading her
countenance, accompanied by a stupid, dozing state. While laying thus,
she started up, exclaiming,

"Mamma, if I die, shall I go heaven?"

"O, yes, my dear," said her mother.

"Papa said. I should."

Then falling into a deep stupor, she noticed nothing for about two
hours, when looking up bright and wishfully, turning her body towards
her mother, she said, earnestly,

"Pray."

Her mother commenced the sweet prayer, so familiar to her,

  "Now, I lay me."

She joined her trembling voice with hers, and lisped again the words
she had loved so well. She appeared exhausted with the effort,
and turning away her little head, and closing her weary eyes, lay
apparently asleep about five minutes, when arousing herself, with a
sweet expression of countenance, she gently murmured,

"Amen."

"O," said the mother, "perhaps that is Emma's last prayer."

"It may be," said the grandmother; "and how vividly we should remember
it, if it should be."

Even so--that was the last note of praise that fell from those infant
lips upon earth. But often does it start upon memory's ear, during the
silence of the midnight hour, and seem like gentle whisperings from
the spirit land, and bring back recollections at once painful and
pleasant to the soul.

She slept till the twilight hour, when she wished her mother to carry
her to the window. Oh, happily were those hours usually spent, when
the duties of the day had all been performed, and the quiet shades of
evening gathered round their dwelling. Often was their talk of heaven.
O, they were happy hours! but they flew by upon golden wings, leaving
their deep impress on that fond mother's heart.

As she sat with her that evening, looking upon the varied prospect
that was spread out before them, no word passed her lips. Her mother
pointed to the green grass, the trees covered with clustering
blossoms, the river, hurrying on to join old Ocean, reflecting the
mild radiance of the setting sun on its placid surface; and to the
busy hum of life, as people hurried to and fro in the village that lay
distinctly spread out before them; but nothing could elicit a word
from her, till turning her head wearily, and closing her eyes for the
last time upon the beautiful world, with its deep blue sky, and its
rich sunset dyes, she said,

"O, mamma, lay me in my little bed;" and after noticing apparently
every object in the room, she closed her eyes and lay in a deep stupor
for four successive days and nights. Her face was pale as marble, and
incoherent words escaped her lips. Sometimes she would murmur,

"Oh, carry me home--carry me home." When she revived from the stupor,
at times it was agonizing to witness her suffering. But no word
escaped her lips.

Everything that medical aid could do was done, and every attention
was paid to the suffering child by her parents and friends, and every
effort used to stay the disease. But "he who seeth not as man seeth,"
willed it otherwise, and all proved unavailing. On the fifteenth day
the rash came on again; the throat swelled badly, and the sufferings
of the dear little one were extreme. Even then, it was evident she
knew her friends, and many were the tokens of affection bestowed
upon them as they watched beside her couch, and ministered to her
necessities.

Often would she reach up her little emaciated hands, and placing them
upon her mother's cheeks, press them tenderly. It seemed to soothe
her, when her mother would lay her head upon her pillow beside her,
and take her little wasted hand in hers. And when she sang to her, in
a low, trembling voice, her little favorite hymn,

"There is a happy land, far; far away,"

she lay quiet, and seemed listening with much attention, raising one
little hand three times, then laying it fondly round her mother's
neck. Long, during that day, did the grief-stricken mother breathe
sad, melancholy music into the ears of her dying child.

Towards evening that restless state, so common in cholera infantum,
came on, accompanied at every breath by a groan, which the doctor said
must soon wear her out.

He gave her an opiate, hoping to relieve the distress.

Towards midnight she dropped into a little slumber, and the mother,
weary with watching, retired, leaving the father and a sister, to take
care of her.

It was Sabbath morning; the gray dawn was just streaking the east with
the earliest beams of day, when the father, who sat a little distance
from his child, thought he saw her gasp for breath. He sprang to her
side, and saw too truly, that that pale visitant from the spirit land,
that comes to us but once, was dealing with his child. The mother and
grandmother, who had watched over her so unweariedly, soon reached the
bed; but the brittle thread of life was snapped, and the pure spirit
had passed away, with the pale messenger, to the spirit land. There
were no loud lamentations. The mother pressed her cheeks between her
hands, exclaiming,

"Oh, Emma."

Then taking her little pulseless hand in her own, seated herself
beside her on the bed, calm and tearless.

The father, with his face buried in his hands, sat motionless; but no
murmur escaped his lips. He had learned submission to the divine will,
and was comforted in his hour of need.

And brighter, and brighter grew the beams of that holy Sabbath day.
That day the dear child had loved so well. She had loved to enter the
earthly temple, and join in the hymns of thanksgiving and praise that
arose, like sweet incense, upon their sacred altars. And now, with the
early dawning of that sacred day, she had passed forever from earth,
to join the pure throng of worshippers before the throne of God. The
smile of heaven was upon her face, as though the light of the happy
spirit still irradiated it.

Loving hands placed her gently in the shroud and prepared her for the
tomb.

As that quiet twilight hour came on, who can picture the agony of the
bereaved mother's heart? She stole softly into the chamber of death,
and taking the little cold waxen hand in hers, bent fondly over, and
kissed the marble forehead. It was their favorite hour--the one they
ever spent together, and those blue eyes were ever then fixed upon
her, as she read the word of God, repeated infantile hymns, or
murmured the evening prayer. But now those dear eyes were forever shut
on earth, but open to the more exalted beauties of heaven.

As she recalled the past, in that solemn place, she weighed well her
conduct towards her child, and asked herself if there had been aught
to tarnish the purity of that spirit that had just entered the portals
of heaven; and earnestly did she beseech her Heavenly Father to
forgive all that was amiss, and cleanse her from all sin, that she
might be prepared for a reunion in a better world.

It was autumn, when little Mary was placed in the tomb, and all things
spoke of death and decay. It was now the last days of spring, when the
trees had put on their robes of deeper green, and all nature spoke of
a resurrection from the dead, when her little coffin was taken from
the tomb and placed in the hearse, to be buried in the same grave with
her cousin Emma. Emma lay beautiful in death, looking almost like a
thing of life, with a smile still lingering upon her lips, while fresh
half-blown flowers were placed in her icy fingers, and strewed around
the coffin, soon to wither and fade, with that frail child of clay.
Mary had decayed with the pure buds she held in her hands, and "dust
thou art and unto dust thou must return," was legibly written on both.

The same mourning circle convened, and bore their loved ones to the
place of graves. The sisters stood side by side, as the coffins were
let down into the earth, and mingled their tears together. It was a
melancholy sight, and spoke loudly of the uncertainty of human life.

The man of hoary hairs stood over the graves of the tender infant, and
felt sensibly, that while the "young may die, the old must die."

The parents cast a long lingering look into the greedy grave that was
forever to hide their treasure from their sight, then turned sadly
away to walk again the pathway of human life, and receive the portion
their heavenly Father may see fit to meet out to them.

Sweet is their place of rest. A weeping willow droops over their
grave, and the flowers of summer shed their perfume and scatter their
leaves around. Night winds sigh a mournful requiem, and gentle zephyrs
fan the leaves of the weeping willow, and murmur among its branches..
Two white marble slabs stand at the head of the little heaped up
mound, and point to the traveller's eye the place where rest the
remains of the angel cousins.




Lines, Written at the Close of 1842.


  Hark! I hear the midnight bell,
  Pealing forth its funeral knell;
  Now its tones sound loud and clear--
  Now low and dirge-like, strike the ear,
  Solemn and slow, they seem to fall,
  Upon the listening ear of all.

  And lo! extended on the 'bier,
  The form of the departed year
  Closely wrapt, in snowy shroud,
  Hastening to join the sable crowd
  Of years--that passed before the flood,
  And left their pathway stained with blood;
  For oh, what horrors must appear,
  Written on each departed year?
  The fearful tales each will disclose,
  The God of Heaven only knows.

  Ardent and bright this year arose,--
  Pictured its joys and hid its woes,
  Painted gay paths bestrown with flowers,
  And balmy skies, and sunny hours,
  Promised some pleasures, ever new,
  If pleasures' path we would pursue.
  But soon the path became uptorn,
  Instead of flowers we find the thorn:
  And yonder sky, so blue and deep,
  Where golden stars their vigils keep,--
  Was soon by frowning clouds concealed;
  And lightnings flash'd, and thunders peal'd
  The golden sun soon sank to rest,
  Behind the curtains of the west,
  And left to darkness his domain,
  With midnight howling o'er the plain;
  And those who followed her gay train,
  Found pleasure's path to end in pain.

  For who e'er drank without alloy,
  From the painted cup of joy?
  Just as we seize some radiant prize,
  That long has danc'd before our eyes,
  And raise the goblet to our lip,
  Its honied promises to sip.
  Some lurking scorpion's venom'd dart
  Sends poison rankling to the heart.
  But now the year its race has run,
  Its promises and labors done;
  The grave has closed o'er its remains,
  'Till the last trumpet breaks its chains;
  Then must its mysteries be unroll'd,
  And all its hidden deeds be told.

  How many hail'd last New Year's day,
  That slumber now in fellow clay.
  This too, perhaps, may be our doom
  Before another year shall come.

  The things of earth may fade away,
  And we be turned to lifeless clay;
  The roving eye forget the light,
  And dreamless sleep in death's dark night.
  The pallid lips may cease to speak:
  The coffin worm feed on the cheek;
  The grassy turf o'er us be spread,
  While earth's cold lap supports the head:
  And heav'ns own dews the hillock lave,
  And night winds sigh around our grave.

  That narrow house may be our home,
  Whose only mark is one grey stone.
  But Christ by entering in the tomb,
  Has dissipated all its gloom,
  And shed a bright, benignant ray,
  That opens on eternal day;
  And those that sleep in His embrace,
  Among the just shall find a place.




Lines, on the New Year, 1853.

  Hark! I hear the clarion shrill
  Winding up the icy hill,
  And aloud the bugle horn
  Proclaims another year is born.
  Merry voices in the train,
  Loudly sound it o'er the plain,
  And the joyful notes I hear,
  Are wishes for a happy year.

  All come with faces bright and gay.
  None seem to think of yesterday;
  None seem to hear the passing bell,
  That bade the dying year farewell.
  None seem to think this infant year,
  Which now so gay and bright appears,
  Will soon by dark oblivion's wave
  Be chas'd into the silent grave.

  But all seem forming airy dreams
  On future hopes and future schemes,
  Though other years have prov'd untrue:
  It will not be so with the new.

  Joy beams upon the face of all;
  Some meet within the festive hall,
  Where music trills her gayest note;
  And fairy forms in circles float,
  And all seem feasting with delight
  Upon the pleasures of the night,
  None thinks upon the grief or pain,
  That soon must follow in their train,--
  The coffin shroud, and death's cold pall,
  That must so soon be flung o'er all;
  But yet, in that gay circle there,
  We can detect corroding care,
  Can plainly see, in sparkling eyes,
  Sorrow, clad in gay disguise,--
  Trying happy to appear,
  To usher in another year.

  Tis ever thus, the heedless throng,
  That meet in revelry and song,--
  Must ever feel within the breast
  An aching void; while those possessed
  Of pure Religion, may enjoy
  Joys nothing earthly can destroy




The Unhappy Marriage.


"Hannah, it will not do," said Captain Currier to his eldest daughter,
a neat, quiet looking girl about eighteen, who sat sewing by a window.
"I say Hannah," continued he sternly, as her eyes met his, "it will
never do for you to throw yourself away upon that miserable scapegrace
that has visited you so often of late."

The blood mounted in torrents to her cheeks as she replied,

"Why, father, you surely cannot mean William Lawrence?"

"And who else should I mean? He is not worth a single iota, and what
is more, he is never like to be."

"True, he is not rich, but he is industrious, and with his excellent
habits I have no fears on that account."

"Oh, you have not, have you," said her father, almost fiercely, "but I
tell you Miss, it will never do, so you may think the matter over
at your leisure, and settle the affair, I hope, without any farther
interference on my part."

She raised her eyes timidly to her father's and said,

"I think, sir, you will be obliged to finish the work if it is ever
done; my faith is plighted to William, and you know, father, I cannot
break my word."

This candid avowal but added "fuel to the flame" of the enraged
father, and he sternly said,

"My commands are upon you, and I expect you to obey me."

"But father," began the trembling girl,

"There is no but in the case. But I will leave you now, for I see your
milk and water looking gentleman is coming, and I expect, Hannah, it
will be the last time his shadow will ever darken my doors."

As he passed out at one door the young man entered at the opposite,
and fixed his handsome eyes, with a searching glance, upon Hannah, as
he gave her his cordial greeting, saying,

"Are you ill?"

"O no, William, I am not ill, but let us walk out into the garden;
perhaps the cool winds of heaven will cool the fever upon my brow."

And so they wandered forth among the flowers, to breathe the air that
comes alike to the children of affluence and pinching want. They
reached a seat where they had spent many happy hours, over which
climbing honeysuckles shed their perfume, and many bright flowers
danced in the wind, or drank the pure dews of night as the pitying
angel wept upon their bosoms. Hannah was upon her accustomed seat, and
the eyes of her lover were fixed upon her with that fond expression
she so well understood, and which found a ready response in her
youthful heart. Now that heart was almost bursting with its agony of
grief; but William was beside her, whispered words of tenderness and
hope were murmured in her ear, and how could she break the spell? how
could she speak of the gathering storm? The commands of a stern father
were upon her, and she knew his indomitable spirit would never swerve
one inch from his determination.

They sat till the family clock struck nine ere Hannah could
muster courage to announce her father's decision, and related the
conversation that had just occurred. William was perfectly astonished,
as he replied,

"You certainly cannot yield to his commands? Hannah, the happiness of
my life depends upon our union."

"Well, we will keep quiet a while and see what further light we can
get upon the subject. I have a fearful foreboding that the haughty,
stern looking stranger who has been here so much of late, has
something to do with it. He has been officious in his attention to me,
and I have trembled when I have seen his savage eyes fixed upon, me
with such a peculiar expression. And so we will be quiet and wait the
moving of the waters."

The following afternoon Captain Currier called his daughter into the
parlor, and closing the door, said abruptly,

"Well, Hannah, I 'spose you have squared up accounts with William, and
are now ready to enter a new firm. There is a noble chance for you my
gal. The rich Mr. Benson has offered his hand to you in marriage."

"Impossible! Why, father, is not he an Indian?"

"No more of an Indian than you are; to be sure he is not quite as
white as your milk and water Billy."

"I should think he was milk and molasses, at least, and the largest
part molasses, but without its sweetness."

"Well, be that as it may, I'm thinking his thousands will make the
dose quite palatable at any rate. You must know, Miss, my affairs at
present are in an embarrassed state, and he proposes taking that large
tract of land adjoining mine, and giving me a generous price upon it,
provided you will become his wife. He is going to lay out the ground
like a garden, build a princely mansion, and you are to be its
mistress."

"O father, would you have me fall down and worship the golden calf?"

"But you must obey me; I cannot, I must not be frustrated in this
arrangement."

"But why, father, cannot you and he complete your bargain without
sacrificing my happiness on the shrine of Mammon?"

"No, he will leave the country immediately unless you consent to marry
him, and this, with my other property, is mortgaged, and cannot be
redeemed, and beggary stares me in the face. This step, and this
only, can save me. I told William the arrangement as he was marching
hurriedly away this morning with Colonel Somer's regiment, who were
ordered to reach the eastern border of the State as quick as possible,
as they fear an attack from the French and Indians in that quarter.
Mr. Benson is eager to have the marriage take place as soon as
possible."

Hannah sat like one in a dream for a moment, when she said,

"Father, has nature no voice to plead for me?"

"Child, it is your good I am seeking. How can you ever expect
happiness with William? It takes all he can earn to support his sick
mother, and let me tell you your chance will be a small one. Mr.
Benson's pockets are lined with gold, and he rides the best horse that
the country can produce; and let me tell you, your love, as you call
it, never yet put anything into the pot or kept it boiling, and it is
well said, 'when poverty stalks in at the door love creeps out at the
key hole.'"

"Well, father," said Hannah, rising up at her full height, "if I am
any judge in the case, that man is unprincipled, remorseless, and a
villian."

"I think you are no judge. What can you know about it?

"Well, you chose to put the business in my hands, and I have arranged
it to my own liking. Now you must be prepared by one week from this
day to become Mrs. Benson."

So saying he left the room, to bluster about Capulet like, to hurry
the coming event.

It was soon known by every member of the family, that great
preparations were expected for the coming wedding. Deeds were
drawn up, the land transferred into the hands of Mr. Benson at an
extravagant price, a large house erected upon it, and many carpenters
employed to finish one room, and a bed-room, so that they could occupy
it till the rest could be completed.

And so the shuttle was played to weave the woof into the meshy warp
that had thus been spread.

Hannah wept long after her father left her. She felt convinced it was
through his means William was pressed to go with Colonel Somers, and
her heart rebelled against his tyranny; and nothing would have induced
her to yield but her father's assurance that that alone could save
him from beggary. And she felt she would make the sacrifice for her
father's sake.

As she entered the kitchen, Sarah, the black slave, met her with,

"Why, Miss Hanner, 'pears to me I should not like to swap Mr. Lawrence
for Mr. Benson; 'pears he aint haff so perticler like."

"It is my father's wish, and I suppose it must be complied with," and
she passed out of the room to bury her feelings in her own bosom, and
nerve herself for the coming trial.

"Massa is doing good business, Sambo," said Sarah to a black man that
sat preparing some peas to plant, "he selling tu gals at once."

"Yes, yes; but I guess Miss Hanner hab no choice," and he rolled up
the whites of his eyes, and fetched a pompous nod of the head, as he
glanced at his sable companion.

"That does make some differ; now tree year don't seem bery long when
we bese so much wid one tother."

"The tree year most out now, white man buy his gal wid gold; but poor
nigger hab to work hard for his'n. Well, we be free then."

The conversation was closed by Capt. Currier's sharp voice calling
Sambo to bring the peas. He hastily obeyed the summons, as he did so
displaying by his open smile his ivory teeth to Sarah, who returned
the compliment in a very satisfactory manner.

All was bustle, stir, and preparation during the week. Dress makers,
milliners, and almost all classes of people were called into
requisition.

Mr. Benson strove hard to play the agreeable; but Hannah could
scarcely endure him. And the week passed away, as all weeks will pass,
whether laden with joy or sorrow; and the pale bride stood trembling
by the altar of Hymen, and the solemn words were passed that united
the destinies of two immortal spirits, and the recording angel
registered them in heaven.

After partaking of a sumptuous dinner, according to the custom of
those days, they entered a splendid carriage Mr. Benson had purchased
for the occasion, and with Sambo for a driver and Sarah for a waiting
maid, set out upon their wedding tour. But we will not accompany them.

Suffice it to say, it was productive of little happiness to the new
married pair. Sambo and Sarah enjoyed it very well, as she often rode
with him upon the driver's box, and they thus had a delightful view of
the country.

On their return, their house was ready for their reception, or at
least so that they could live in it while the other part was finished.

Hannah had frequently been surprised by her husband's frequent
potations of brandy during their journey, and his whole bearing had
been haughty and reserved.

They had been at home but a short time, when, after being absent one
night and day, Mr. Benson returned home with a dark frown resting upon
his countenance; he slammed the door, kicked every chair that came in
his way, and stamping about, went and dismissed all his hands, took
another dram from his brandy bottle, and sat moodily down by the fire,
grumbling because supper was not on the table.

Poor Hannah pressed her hand upon her throbbing heart, and struggled
with the tears that rose to her eyes and seemed scalding her very eye
balls with their burning heat. There was a choking sensation in her
throat, but she swallowed it back, and prepared supper in the best
manner she was capable. Her husband seated himself at the table, took
a biscuit, looked at it, flung it back upon the plate, called his tea
dish water, and throwing back his chair hastily, left the table.

But why dwell upon the sorrowful years they spent together? He ever
came like a dark shadow upon the sunlight of home. Children gathered
around their fire side, but there was no gentle corner for them in his
heart.

His only son was ever with him like his shadow, drinking in his
precepts, practising his examples, breathing his oaths, domineering
over his mother and sisters, and a terror to the neighborhood.

His father telling him, he was in hopes to see the time he would dance
on Dr. Somers' grave, as he hated him with a perfect hatred, because
he had been his wife's attending physician, when she had been sick
during the years they had lived together.

James, for such was the name of the son, was instructed to hate
everybody that came in his way, and, of course, was hated by every
one.

The money that came by gambling, went in the same way, and
poverty--abject poverty--was now an inmate of their dwelling.

The house remained unfinished; the frame, which had never been
clap-boarded, had gone to decay in a great measure; and when one meal
was obtained, they scarcely knew where another would come from.

Discord reigned among them. Hannah was a wreck of her former self. She
had strung up her patience to its utmost tension, and would often bear
the scorn and abuse of her husband in sorrowful silence.

But this state of things passed away, and when her children shared
in her sufferings, the bitter waters were stirred in their deep
fountains, and she became a worn woman, with a hasty spirit. The
biting retort was now often upon her lips, and she became in a true
sense of the word, what might well be called a scold.

One gloomy fall day, when the sighing winds shook the mellow apples
from the trees in the large thrifty orchard, that stood before the
house, casting so deep a shade that the rays of the sun could scarcely
penetrate it, and the old house looked blacker for the rain that had
fallen upon it, Mr. Benson was seized for debt, and, conveyed to jail.

During his absence Mrs. Benson purchased some apples of the man that
then owned the orchard, and dried them, hoping to obtain some
needful clothing for herself and children. She cleaned her ceiling,
whitewashed the plastering, and made everything about the house look
as comfortable as possible, and enjoyed the privilege, at least, of
doing as she pleased, without being found fault with, which was to her
a great luxury, as her expressed wishes were generally vetoed at once.

She was a true mother, and strove to bring her children up in the
paths of truth and honesty. But there was such an opposing current,
and such frequent bickerings between herself and husband, that they
caught the infection, and seemed to live only to torment each other.

"O," said Mrs. Benson one day, to her sister Sarah, who was spending
a, day with her, "this is the princely mansion father promised me, as
a reward for giving up all my cherished hopes. Poor William has lost
his dear mother, I hear."

"Yes, she died one day last week; she liked much where they lived, and
after William came into possession of his uncle's princely fortune,
her life was spent in ease and affluence. He is likely to become one
of the richest men in the country, and he is loved for his kindness
and respected for his virtues. Your marriage doomed him to celibacy."

A shade rested for a moment upon Mrs. Benson's brow, as she said,

"O, these dark brown years have brought no joy to me in their course.
How I have lived I scarcely know. How dim-sighted is human reason? The
poor William is now the rich man, and the rich Benson is the poor one.
Could father know the misery I have undergone, he would think his
comforts dearly purchased; but he is gone from earth, and I will not
reproache his memory; but, oh, it has been hard--very hard."

"But come, Sarah, come into this old room with me, and help me pack my
dried apple for market. Is'nt it nice? I took great pains with it, as
I wished it to fetch the first price in the market. I am going to get
me a new cheap calico dress. This old patched faded thing is the only
one I have.

"I have wove a great deal this fall, and I think what I shall get for
that and the apple, will fix the children and me up quite comfortably.
The children paid for these apples, by picking up apples for Mr.
Lambert, and he says he shall want them again. I don't know as I care
much how long Benson stays in jail, for I enjoy myself much better
than I did when he was at home, scolding round all the time. And it
has made a perfect vixen of me, and I scold almost as bad as he does;
and the children catch it, and we have a little bedlam here all the
time; O, I wish it were not so, I cannot lie down quietly and sleep at
night, and I know something fearful will come of it."

"O, sister, I hope nothing worse than has come. I am glad to hear your
prospects look more favorable, and wish it were in my power to help
you. If you get a dress I will help you make it, and the children's
clothing. But I forgot to tell you Sarah is dead, and Sambo has got a
cancer, and it is thought he will survive her but a short time."

"Indeed; well, she was a faithful servant, and has gone to her reward;
and poor Sambo, how patiently he toiled, early and late, to purchase
her freedom, and they were very happy."

"O, yes, because they loved each other, and there was no one to
interfere with them."

They were now startled by hearing Mr. Benson chiding the children in
a loud, angry voice, with many oaths, for leaving the gate open,
and letting a cow into a small yard of shrivelled, stinted looking
cabbages.

The children scampered for the house, with terrified looks,
whispering, "father has come," and crouching down in a heap in one
corner of the room, remained very quiet; the old cow ran for the
street, with Mr. Benson at her heels, storming furiously, and plying a
large stick across her back, which he had picked up in his rage.

The sisters placed the large bundle of dried apple in as secure a
place as possible, and returned to the kitchen.

The door was burst violently open, and Mr. Benson entered the room,
exclaiming, as he did so,

"What in thunder is going on here?"

And he proceeded to disarrange chairs, tables and everything that
came in his way, till the house was all in confusion. He went to the
cupboard, that stood in the corner of the room, to get a large jug he
used to keep brandy in, in his better days, but which now was often
filled with New England rum. Not finding it, he almost screamed,

"Hannah, you Jezebel, where is my jug?"

"I thought I would sell it, as you were boarding out."

"Woman," shouted he, "that shall be a dear jug to you."

"It has been that already."

The enraged husband cast at her the look of a fiend, and passed on to
the adjoining room, which was calculated to be an elegant parlor when
the house was raised, but which was now converted into a store room,
for old barrels, old baskets, old hats and bonnets, and, in fine,
a great variety of old things. In one corner stood a little old
bedstead, with an old flock bed, covered with patched sheets and a
ragged quilt, where James slept. The loom was in that room and the
spinning wheels; an old churn and many other things, too numerous to
mention.

Mr. Benson reached up his hand, to take down a large bunch of woolen
yarn that hung suspended on a nail. His wife sprang forward, saying,
"Do not touch that--it is not mine."

"I don't care whose it is. I must and will have something that will
sell."

At that moment, seeing the package of dried apple, he pounced upon
it, like a tiger upon its prey, and bore it rapidly away, with the
remonstrances of a weeping wife ringing in his ears.

And the traffickers in human souls bought it at a price, paid him in
liquid fire, and he returned to his home, more fiend than when he left
it. The wife's dress was gone; the comfortable things she hoped to
procure for the children were gone. She sat up and toiled late at
night--and all for what? To procure that poison for her husband that
was contaminating his and her own soul, and cast such a blight upon
her home. Was it not enough that their house and land were mortgaged,
their horse and carriage gone? but must she toil with her own hands,
to satisfy that appetite that cries, "give, give?" As these thoughts
passed through Mrs. Benson's mind, she mentally exclaimed,

"O, it is a sad thing to be a drunkard's wife."

A few weeks after she went to an old chest that stood in one corner of
the room, to get a piece of woolen goods she had carefully prepared
for the market, which would bring her several dollars. She had placed
an old band box, quill wheel and some other rubbish upon the chest,
to conceal it from view as much as possible. Upon opening it, she
discovered her treasure was gone, and she knew too well, for what
purpose. The son, too, drank with his father, and got so much the
start of him in brutality, that even he cowered before him, thus
realizing that "He that soweth the wind shall reap the whirlwind." But
those years passed on; the children grew up in their perverseness, a
family that feared neither God or man.

No prayer ever ascended, like sweet incense, from those hearts; no
hymns of praise fell from those lips; but they daily invoked curses
upon each other--and who shall say that the curse causeless came?

The eldest daughter married a miserable drunkard, contrary to the
wishes of her father, threatening to fire the house over their heads,
if they opposed her in the least. The second daughter lived in
disgrace, with a man equally miserable, till the house was demolished
over their heads.

The poor heart-broken wife died, and was borne away to the grave.
The son became of age, took the homestead from his father by making
arrangements to redeem it, and threw his father into the poor house,
where he wore out the remainder of his days in wretchedness and
misery.

The son, by perseverence, won the hand of an amiable young lady, of
an excellent family, and contrary to the expectations of every one,
treated her with the greatest kindness the two years he lived with
her, attending church with her every Sabbath, and evincing a great
change in many other ways.

But the desire of riches urged him, with hundreds of our fellow
citizens, to seek the land of gold, and like many of them too, fell a
prey to his ambition. He died on shipboard, never reaching the place
of his destination.

Dr. Somers died about the same time, and was buried in his own quiet
yard, in the little village that had been the theatre of his life.
That young form that had been educated for the express purpose of
dancing on his grave, was tossing beneath the tumultuous waves of the
briny ocean, never to be at rest.

William Lawrence lived, loved and respected and transferred his
earthly love to God, giving him his supreme affections, thus living to
his honor and his glory while on earth, and meeting death with a calm
resignation, sank peacefully down to slumber in the quiet grave.

All the actors in the little drama have sunk beneath the waves of
death, (but three daughters and the son's wife,) and the dust of ages
is gathering upon them; but their influence still lives and speaks to
the generations of men.

The master and the slave are there. The father and the daughter, the
husband and the wife, and the parents and the son are there, each one
"to answer for himself for the deeds done in the body." Surely, "it is
a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."




Lines, Written on the Year 1852.


  Weary and sad I sit alone,
    The storm-god whistles shrill and high,
  And piles of sombre clouds are thrown
    O'er the blue curtains of the sky.

  Mournful I sit, for one by one
    Time's golden sands are ebbing fast;
  Whispering in low sepulchral tones,
    The next, perchance, may be the last.

  'Tis midnight's deep and solemn hour,
    When visionary forms appear,
  And shed their strange, mysterious power
    O'er the departure of the year.

  The charnel house is opened wide,
    And thither's borne with brief adieu,
  And slumbering eyes laid beside
    Eighteen hundred fifty-two.

  Now memory wakes her silent string,
    And holds her umpire in the brain;
  And brings as she alone can bring,
    The image of the past again.

  Her golden key, with using bright,
    Unlocks the chambers of the soul,
  And holds to reason's steady light
    The secret records of her scroll.

  Back, back she sails, down time's dark stream,
    To childhood's bright and sunny hours;
  And paints again her fairy dream,
    Her sports, her fancies, and her flowers.

  Touched by her wand, the sleeping dead
    Spring up to active life again:
  And in the busy pathway tread,
    Mingling in our joy and pain.

  She points where many a hope sprang bright,
    And plum'd a while her pinions gay:
  Then sank in disappointment's night,
    And each fair promise died away.

  And as I scan her records of the past,
    And in succession all their deeds appear,
  There's none o'er which so deep a shade is cast
    As thine, thou just expiring year.

  Thy spring was green, and bright, and gay,
    And bloom'd as fair as Eden's bow'rs.
  But mil-dew in her sunbeams lay,
    And scorpions lurk'd among the flowers.

  For when all perfumed seemed thy breath,
    And all thy aspect sweet and mild,
  It brought contagion, blight and death,
    And from us bore a lovely child,

  Then Summer came, with ardent glow,--
    With burning guns and sultry skies,
  Her mantle over Spring to throw,--
    Of richer tints and deeper dyes.

  Then often, with her fairy train,
    Came gnawing Grief and wasting Care,
  Sickness, Anxiety and Pain,
    Mingling in sad confusion there,

  Then Autumn came, with sober mien,
    For summer days are always brief;--
  And in her pathway soon were seen
    The wither'd flow'r, the yellow leaf.

  But ere her hollow, chilly breeze,
    Scarce spake of nature's sad decay,
  Or ting'd the foliage pa the trees,
    A gentle brother pass'd away.

  Sweet was his passage to the tomb,
    Reclining on a Saviour's breast;
  He heard the welcome--"Child, come home,"
    And enter'd on the promis'd rest.

  Then Winter came, with icy breath,
    His hoarse winds whistling shrill and loud,
  And quickly o'er the frozen earth,
    He lightly spread his snowy shroud.

  And sorrow, like that snowy pall,
    Seemed spread o'er all my prospects bright,
  And Health, and Hope, and Joy, and Peace,
    Seem verging all to death's dark night.

  But hark! I hear a cheering voice,--
    And see--those pale, cold lips still move.
  Mortal, shrink not; in God rejoice!
    He is Wisdom, Power and Love.

  'Tis he ordains the rolling year;--
    Seasons and changes are his own;
  Then, mortal, live in God's own fear;--
    One struggle, and the year was gone,

  But Peace had stolen o'er my breast;
    And as I gazed I shed a tear,--
  And grateful for the last behest,
    I bless'd the just departed year.




Consumption.


The whirlwind in its fury depopulates a district, or a small tract of
land over which it passes perhaps once in a century--the earthquake
rumbles through the hidden recesses of the earth, and here and there
the yawning cavern swallows the ill-fated inhabitants that dwell upon
its surface; the lightning's stroke blasts in a moment, and cuts the
threads of life without any warning; and the steam engine destroy
their thousands in a year; and the winds and the waves conspire to
people the dark caves of ocean with the dead. These, and a thousand
other avenues, lead to death, bearing terror in their course, and
heralding their approach by terrific sounds.

But there is an insiduous foe, silent in its progress, sapping first
the secret springs of life, but yet diffusing hopefulness, ever
whispering in syren voice, of coming health and happiness, often
adding a deeper crimson to the cheek and a brighter lustre to the eye.

It feeds alike on all; the infant in its innocence; childhood in its
playfulness; youth in its beauty; manhood in his usefulness, and old
age in its decrepitude. All, all fall alike before the withering
breath of consumption.

Glancing back through the long avenue of past years, many a green
mound rises by the pathway over the wasted victims of this fearful
disease.

First upon memory's list, comes up a smiling infant, of rare beauty
and patient mien, that won our love by those little winning ways that
are the prerogatives of that tender age. A slight cough and extreme
weakness, were the only indications of the fearful work that was
progressing within. A bright flush rested upon the lily cheek, and
none who looked upon the unwonted brilliancy of those eyes ever could
forget their lustre. The pure spirit seemed to look forth from their
azure depths. A moan seldom escaped her lips, but she would lay quiet
in her little cradle, looking out unmoved upon the business and stir
of that life, upon which she had so briefly entered, but where she was
to bear so small a part in its fluctuations and concerns.

Anxiously did the fond mother watch over her precious one, and
endeavor by a thousand attentions, to strengthen the feeble tenure
that held her to life. She was the darling, the youngest one of a
numerous family, and all the purest affections of many fond hearts
were offered at her shrine.

But could this bribe death? O no, the destroyer stayed not in his
course, but drew stealthily along, and aimed his dart secretly but
surely, at his victim.

It was a chilly day in early spring; vegetation was just arousing from
winter's sleep, and the spring blossoms were just beginning to peep
from their casing of green, when this little bud of beauty perished
from earth. She lay in the cradle usually, because it wearied her to
be held in the lap.

It was noon, when the mother bent over her to administer some
nourishment, and thought she perceived a change upon her countenance.
The same glad smile rested upon her features, but it was more heavenly
in its expression. She seated herself by the cradle, and raised her
affectionately in her arms, saying as she did so,

"My dear child, I shall not lay you down again till you look better."

She looked at her a few moments, her blue orbs were turned to heaven,
and by their earnest gaze seemed penetrating the glories of the upper
world.

There was soon an effort to vomit, succeeded by the fearful death
rattle that comes but once in human life. It was the struggle that
must come to all, sooner or later. The angel of death was leading this
feeble infant through the valley of the shadow of death, by a gentle
hand; one little struggle, one gentle sigh, one little quiver of the
lip, and the sinless spirit had departed ere the father and brothers,
who had been hastily summoned, reached her side.

Beautiful beyond description was the touch of death as it lingered
upon that marble brow, and rested upon the beautifully chiselled
features of the dear babe.

She was arrayed in a simple white robe, and laid into her cradle,
while a sorrowing angel hovered over the household. An absent son
returned who had been teaching several miles distant, and among other
gifts were some for the little one, but those little eyes were closed,
and those little hands that used to be raised with so much fondness,
were now stiff and cold in death; but how lovely! Her grave was made
in the headland of the garden; a tall lilac stood upon one side of
it, and a fragrant rose bush stood upon the other No stone marked the
spot, but will she be forgotten on the morning of the resurrection?

Years passed on, many silent years, for we heard no sounds to tell us
that time was threading the mazy thoroughfares of human life, stealing
noiselessly through our dwellings, and pressing his way with us to the
ocean of eternity, hastening on to the period when he shall come to an
end, and the great angel shall swear there shall be time no longer.
But so it was; years had been borne away by his rapid flight, and laid
side by side with those that passed before the flood, and change had
come.

Many voices that lisped their matin and their vesper hymns by one
hearth stone, were now scattered far and wide, and other homes had
sprung up, and the children had become parents, and new duties
devolved upon them. Some had passed the meridian of life, the sun of
some had reached their noon, while others were climbing up the eastern
summit. But as yet death had spared that numerous, household; but now
he was watching for his prey. A son who had reached the meridian of
life, with fair prospects and an unblemished reputation, was selected.

He had consecrated himself to God, had put on Christ by baptism, and
well did he adorn his profession, living a consistent Christian life.
But death marked him for his victim.

It were needless now to tell of all the secret underminings of life's
hidden springs. He was cheerfully, hopefully looking forward to a long
life of usefulness, and striving to attain to greater proficiency in
his profession, for he was a physician. But the strength of manhood,
integrity of principle, nor Christian virtue could shield him from the
stealthy foe that was infusing its poison through the secret avenues
of life.

Strength declined, the cough increased, night sweats came on, and
one occupation after another had to be relinquished, till he was a
confirmed invalid, and when he became next convinced that he must die,
the business of his remaining time upon earth was to make preparation
for that event.

His countenance ever wore a smile, and he conversed cheerfully with
his friends.

He sold his place, which was one he had desired for many years,
and which he had recently purchased, anticipating a long life of
usefulness in the bosom of his family, which consisted of his wife and
one son. But he cheerfully resigned it, and settled all his business
as far as was in his power, made the best possible provision for his
wife and son, and retired with them to her paternal home to prepare
the inner man for the great change that was before him.

His mind was relieved from earthly cares, every thing being arranged
as he desired, and he used to say,

"I have 'set my house in order,' and have nothing to do but die."

The things of eternity occupied his entire thoughts; he seldom spoke
of his sufferings as being great, but expressed thankfulness that he
was passing so easily away. But it appeared different to his friends
that looked upon him. He could lay only upon one side for several
months before he died, and he had painful ulcers upon several parts of
the body, and a constant cough, with laborious breathing and profuse
night sweats, accompanied by great emaciation. These were the most
prominent features in the fearful disease.

But he would allow no one to remain with him during the night,
affirming it was unnecessary for any one to be disturbed, thus
spending his restless, weary nights in communion with his Saviour and
his God.

He made all the arrangements for his funeral, telling his friends not
to weep for him. He hoped as his usefulness on earth was so soon to
end, his death might be sanctified so as to be the means of inducing
his unconverted friends to seek that preparation of heart that is
necessary for entrance into a better life.

He told his wife the manner in which he should probably die, and
endeavored to prepare her mind for it. He had distressing turns of
suffocation, so that they were obliged to open all the windows and
doors for the benefit of the air, and he long expected every turn
would be the last.

A few days before his death, his aged mother and a sister visited
him. He conversed with them cheerfully upon the arrangements of his
funeral; told them he was ready to be offered, and should meet the
appointment as cheerfully as ever he met any in his life. He consulted
them about the propriety of the hour of the funeral, and some other
things in connection with the coming event, as he would were he making
preparations for a journey. When the aged mother pressed the hand of
her son for the last time on earth, she said with a smile,

"I can only wish the presence of your Saviour, to go with you, and
lighten the 'dark valley of the shadow of death.'"

He looked fondly in her face, while a smile of ineffable sweetness
beamed upon his countenance. "You could not wish me a better wish,
mother."

"I shall soon follow you, my son; I do not think I shall live the winter
out," said the mother, as she unclasped her hand from the son's, that
she had taken, for the last time.

That mother's hand had been extended, to guide him through the wayward
paths of childhood and youth, to strengthen and comfort him, and
smooth many rough places in the pathway of manhood; but now it was
withdrawn upon the brink of the grave--it could not assist, could not
support him; but she committed him to that arm that is mighty to save.

It was a mild day in early autumn, when the pale messenger came to
beckon him away. He had tasted of the early autumnal fruits, had drank
the delicious juice from her purple grape, and watched the early
symptoms of decay that were visible in some withering flower or fading
leaf, and felt that "passing away" was legibly written on all earthly
things. Once, and once only, he had prayed, "O, my Father, if it be
possible, let this cup pass from me, but thy will be done."

He failed fast the last few hours of his life, losing all appetite
for nourishment, and having more frequent turns of suffocation, and a
sister was sent for. Scarcely had she arrived, when he remarked to his
wife that he felt very easy; but as it was time, he would take his
medicine. He took out the quantity upon the point of his knife, and
after taking it, lay back upon his pillow, apparently asleep. He
started suddenly, looked wildly up, and told them he was choking
to death. They raised his head, and used their accustomed means to
relieve him, but all to no avail. The death dew stood in large drops
upon his forehead, and the film gathered over the sparkling eye and
shut out the light of earth forever. He stretched out one hand and
placed it upon the head of his son, who came hurriedly to his bedside,
crying out, in piteous accents,

"O, father, father," and stood sobbing beside him.

This was his only recognition of any one. But the struggle was soon
over, and the spirit had burst the barriers that held it to its clay
tenement and passed away to a brighter world.

His sun set at noon; but his memory has left a sweet fragrance behind
it, grateful to the surviving friends, who are called upon to follow
his pious example.

He was borne to the Cemetery, and buried in a spot, which he had
selected a few weeks before, in company with his aged mother, by a
long train of weeping friends, for he had been very dear to us, and
nature would have her tribute, and it filled our hearts with sadness,
when we realized that we should see that loved form on earth no more.
Yet we rejoiced that he had died in the glorious hope of a blessed
immortality, and that we could say, in the impressive language of
the text that was chosen for his funeral sermon, "Our friend Lazarus
sleepeth." Sweet be thy sleep, dear brother, during the night of
death; but the morning will come--the glorious morning of the
resurrection--and unlock the portals of the tomb, and the dead shall
come forth, the righteous clothed in eternal youth, shall never die,
the wicked sinking into the second death that has no end.

Sober autumn perfected his work of decay, and dreary winter spread his
snowy shroud over the barren globe, when the aged mother laid down
upon the bed of death. Her infant had passed away, in the very dawn
of its existence. Her son had sunk down, while his meridian sun was
shining in its noonday splendor; but she had lived till the winter of
life had scattered its snows upon her head, and was now falling, like
a shock of corn, fully ripe. She was ready to be bidden suddenly
away, for she was ever watching for the coming of the bridegroom.
Consumption had long been preying upon her form, and paving her way to
the tomb; but she could look calmly upon the prospect, and contemplate
the struggle of death without shrinking from it.

She had long been an humble follower of the meek and lowly Jesus,
and his religion diffused its divine light over the most trifling
incidents of her life. She ever looked upon the fashions of this world
as passing away, and never conformed to them, or the manners of the
world; but taking the holy word of God for her example, endeavored to
imbibe its precepts, and practice its requirements. In profession of
her faith, she united with the Congregational Church, at the early age
of nineteen, and at the age of seventy-six years, could look back upon
a life spent to the honor and glory of him who had redeemed her with
his precious blood. She offered up her children upon the altar of her
heart's purest affections, consecrating them to God, by having them
publicly dedicated, thus performing what she felt to be an important
duty of a Christian mother.

Many an adverse wind had she encountered--that weary voyager on life's
troubled sea; but Christ had long been her pilot, and now he was about
to moor her frail bark into the haven of peace, and the tumultuous
waves were hushed, while the loving Saviour whispered, "Peace, be
still."

She could converse but little, and was with difficulty understood; but
every word breathed of faith and hope. On the afternoon before her
death, she repeated these beautiful lines, and, apparently, felt their
import:

  "Jesus can make a dying bed
    Feel soft as downy pillows are,
  While on his breast I lean my head,
    And breathe my life out sweetly there."

She wished to have her robe and cap prepared so that she might see
them before her death. She expressed anxiety for her aged companion,
to whom she had been united fifty-five years, and who was dangerously
sick at the time, and thought he would never recover; but would soon
drop into a deep stupor, occasioned by ossification of the brain.

During the night her feet and hands grew cold, and the worn spirit
seemed struggling to depart.

She would frequently arouse from her stupor, and speak a word or two
to her attendants, saying to one,

"You did not expect me to be found alone now, did you?"

She repeated, "In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not
so I would have told you; I go to prepare a place for you."

She lingered till about ten o'clock in the fore-noon, then calling for
the absent members of the family, she desired to be raised up. Her son
supported her in his arms, the feeble lamp of life flickered a moment
in its socket, there was a little struggle, and that pure breast lay
free from the care or burden of life. Those loving eyes had looked
their last upon her dear children, that stood weeping by her bedside,
and the toil worn hands were laid cold and pulseless upon her peaceful
bosom, and she was now at rest with her Saviour, "in the house of many
mansions." Those dear hands that had been so active, administering to
the necessities of her family, had now ceased their labor, and lay
inactive, in their marble whiteness.

How many thoughts come surging up, from the wellspring of memory, as
we looked upon her in her last repose, and glanced retrospectively
upon her useful and exemplary life. Again we heard the rich
instruction that had fallen from those pale lips, and a new-purpose
sprung up in the heart--a new desire to be more entirely consecrated
to God, that our path might be the path of the just, that "grows
brighter and brighter to the perfect day."

Her coffin was carried to the bedside of her husband, who was unable
to rise, and too sick to realize the extent of his sorrow, and so he
looked for the last time upon the countenance of that dear wife, who
had been the partaker in his joys and sorrows, through their long
journey together. It was fifty-five years since their union, and now
the bond was broken. One was an angel of light, the other was left to
drift awhile upon the ocean of life, ere his frail bark sails over
death's sluggish stream.

She, too, was conveyed to the Cemetery, and laid beside her dear son,
who had been deposited there a few month's previous. And they followed
her, slowly and sadly, along the same road she had passed over half a
century before, when she was borne into the neighborhood, a young
and joyous bride, and passed the house that was then built for the
reception of the young mistress.

Here she commenced her first experience in the trials and duties of
house-keeping; and here were opened the deep fountains of a mother's
love. This had been for many years the theatre of her life, where she
had acted a conspicuous part in its changeful drama, and where still
linger many footprints time will never efface, for true it is,
the influence still lives, and will be transmitted to succeeding
generations. The scenes that were so familiar to her eyes, were now
hid from her sight, and she rested in the Cemetery, within a few feet
of the land that was once contained in their own farm.

One son, the eldest of the family, after being absent from home many
years, died in a land of strangers, and little was ever known of his
death or burial. The dear babe was left, far away, and the mother and
son slept side by side, in the Cemetery, waiting the time when other
dear friends shall come and, lay down by their sides in that quiet
resting place.

The tall trees stand waving in the wind, and seem beckoning the weary
ones of earth, to lay down beneath their cooling shades.

The silvery stream dances on, making sweet music in its winding
course, ever murmuring a sweet requiem to the dead. Birds warble their
matin songs in the branches, and the night dew water the graves with
their tears, while the winds sigh over the grassy mounds; and all on
earth must make their bed with them, and every step we take in the
journey of life, is a step towards the tomb, whatever other duty may
be performed. Solemn is the reflection that there is an open grave
before every one that lives, and were we so situated that we could
define our progress, and notice each day's approach to its confines,
we should feel sensibly that we were hastening on to join the pale
nations of the dead, and fill our respective places in the land of
darkness and shadow of death.

But we will leave the dear infant, the brother, and the mother, to
that rest that remains for the people of God; they have fallen victims
to consumption, with the vast multitudes that have fallen a prey to
the ruthless destroyer.

Memory brings up, upon her retentive tablet, the recollection of a
family that fell before its withering blight, ere the elasticity of
youth had passed away.

The first that died was a young wife and mother. She faded like the
early spring flowers, and soon her brothers and sisters younger than
she were laid by her side in the silent chambers of death, all in the
vigor and beauty of youth. The rose faded suddenly upon their cheeks,
and they fell before thee, thou ruthless destroyer of the generations
of men.

The infant of a few days laid down its young life, and joined the
multitude in the place of graves.

One young man just verging upon manhood, was cut suddenly down with
but little warning. He apparently had a slow fever, and had been
confined a few days at the house of a friend, but had so far recovered
as to anticipate a visit to his family on horseback, as the distance
was short, and the doctor had recommended that exercise. But on the
appointed day, while his horse stood saddled at the door, he came in
from a short walk, and asked a niece to help him off with his coat,
as he wished to lay down. As she did so she perceived the blood was
settled under his nails. He flung himself on the bed; concealing his
hands under his back; his breathing became difficult, and death soon
claimed him for his own.

Sorrow filled the afflicted household when the intelligence reached
them. The father saw the messenger approaching, and informed the
family the son was coming.

A younger sister and brother were lingering in the last stages of
consumption. They were now filled with eager expectancy. The father
soon discovered the horse, but not the rider they were expecting, and
waited the issue with fearful forebodings.

Loud was the burst of grief that rung the air when the stricken family
heard of the death of the absent one in so unexpected a moment; thus
crushing out forever the hope that had sprung up in so many hearts of
returning health and usefulness.

Upon a post mortem examination, it was discovered that the rupture of
a blood vessel was the cause of his death. His lungs were found to
be in a bad condition, betraying that the foe of the family had been
holding secret revel there.

A day or two later, and the sable plumed angel returned again, and
hovered over the gentle sister, casting his shadow upon her brow, and
chilling her with his icy breath. His snowy fingers rested upon her
fluttering pulses; she cast one fond gaze upon the dear brother that
was soon to follow her, bade farewell to her earthly friends, and went
with the angel to the spirit land.

The brother lingered till the remains of his sister were laid in
the grave, then he followed her, to add another to the long row of
headstones that marked the resting place of that stricken family. They
sleep together, side by side, ten in number, the oldest one scarce
twenty-two years old. As we stand by the spot and read the melancholy
tale, we can but exclaim with Ossian, "The flower lifts its green head
to the sun. Why dost thou awake me, O gale," it seems to say, "I am
wet with the dews of heaven." "The time of my fading is near, and the
blast that shall scatter my leaves." "To-morrow shall the traveler
come; he that saw me in my glory shall come; his eye shall search the
field for me but shall not find me."

A youth of great promise next presents; his mother had many years
since fallen a prey to the fatal disease, and although he inherited
from her the fearful malady, "the young disease that must subdue
at length," had not as yet developed itself. Buoyant with hope and
expectation, he was preparing to enter the gospel ministry, having
consecrated himself to God and his service. He had entered the
institution at North Yarmouth, and by his assiduous attention, almost
finished his education. He was expecting soon to launch out upon the
broad ocean of public usefulness, but his heavenly Father bid him
"come up higher," and he passed on into the more expansive ocean of
eternity. The seeds of an inherent disease sprung up and bore early
fruit, and deposited this young man in his grave, far from the home
and the friends of his childhood. The eye of the stranger rests upon
it, the foot of the stranger visits it.

A younger sister too, fell by the same powerful agent far from home,
and is buried in a land of strangers. A brother sleeps by his mother's
side in the family burial ground.

In another family the mother was called first from a family of little
children. She wept in the agonies of death, as she contemplated their
bereavement. She pressed to her heart the infant of a few days, and
prayed fervently to that God that heareth prayer, to be the God of her
dear children, to protect them in their tender age, and lead them in
the narrow way that leads to eternal life. After the sands of life had
ebbed out, and her loving heart had ceased to feel, the tear-drops
that had fallen for her children still lingered upon her cheeks.

A lovely daughter followed her at the early age of sixteen, another
ere she reached the meridian of life, leaving seven children. Another
daughter passed away just as her sun was verging toward the western
hemisphere, leaving a son and daughter. The son soon followed her and
was laid by the side of his mother and grandmother.

The crimson spot upon the daughter's cheek, accompanied by the hacking
cough, seem to denote that the tardy messenger will soon bear another
victim to the mansions of death. Another daughter too is lingering
upon the confines of the grave, while the fatal seeds are taking
deep root in the constitutions of two of the sons, and heralding by
unmistakable evidence the approach of death.

But why particularize? Many, very many who have walked with us side
by side, in the sweet associations of life, are mingled with the long
train that are buried beneath the "clods of the valley," while there
is a long train of living victims marching before the fearful blight
to the open tomb.

No monarch sways his despotic sceptre over so numerous a population as
this fell destroyer, in his unseen lurking places, "drinking up the
very fountains of human life." But when will the sons of men learn to
think? with all the blight of death around, cutting one down upon the
right hand and another upon the left, the thoughtless crowd pass on,
little seeming to heed their own mortality. They look into the open
grave, or watch the passing funeral perhaps with a momentary sadness,
and turns lightly again to the active concerns of life, mingling in
its gaities and dissipation, dancing on to the very whirlpool that is
soon to engulf their frail bark, and bear it away where hope can never
come.

Happy they who receive instruction from the revelations of God's holy
word, and imbibe its precepts into their heart; who, cleansed in a
Saviour's blood, are made recipients of his rich grace, and are thus
prepared to enter that "land where death comes not."




To Mrs. A---- B----,

On the Death of Her Child.

  "Are they not all ministering spirits?"


  "Mother, do not weep for me,
     Shining angels guide my way;
  And oft they lead me back to thee,
     Through realms of everlasting day.

  I may not burst the spirit's tie,
     Or lift the dim, mysterious screen,
  That hides me from thy mortal eye;
     But I may visit thee unseen.

  Night comes not here; no evening shade
     Ere gathers round the throne of God;
  And when your setting sunbeams fade,
   I visit then your lone abode.

  The twilight hour was dear to me,
     With murmur'd tone of evening prayer;
  When with hands clasp'd upon your knee,
     And learned to lisp "Our Father" there.

  There I first caught the notes of praise,
     Flowing from a mother's tongue.
  Which through eternity shall raise
     A holy, high, angelic song.

  And then your thoughts are all of me,
    So softly nestling by your side;
  I wait to hear those trembling tones,
    In which you sang the day I died.

  Your patient watch beside my couch,
    You fain my ev'ry woe beguil'd;
  For anxiously, and tenderly,
    You ever watch'd your dying child.

  But all your efforts were in vain,--
    Friends or physicians could not save;
  For ghastly death his mandate gave,
    To lay me in the silent grave.

  And scarce had rosy finger'd morn
    Unrolled her earliest tints of gray,
  To usher in the peaceful dawn
    Of that delightful Sabbath day,--

  When, silently, the angel came,
    With upraised eye, and beck'ning hand,
  And gently folding in his arms,
    Bore me to the spirit land.

  Where sweet transporting voices stole
    On my enraptur'd eye and ear,
  That spoke the Sabbath of the soul.
    Ceaseless as the eternal year.

  Here angel and arch-angel bow
    In worship round the great white throne;
  And ceaseless hallelujahs rise,
    To the Almighty, Three and One.

  Each has a mission to perform,
    As swift through ambient air they fly;
  'Tis mine to minister to thee,
    And gently woo thee to the sky.

  Mother, there are jewels bright
    Graven on your deathless soul,
  And brighter shall their radiance glow,
    While everlasting ages roll.

  Mother, they are pure thoughts of heaven,
    Murmur'd oft upon your ear,
  Which God to me had kindly given,
    Your solitary way to cheer.

  Mother, these are memories sweet,
    Deeply treasur'd in your heart,
  Which time, with his restless change,
    May never dare to bid depart.

  Sometimes across your lap I lie,
    And breathe that evening prayer again,
  And looking in your tearful eye,
    Again repeat that sweet amen.

  Then mother, leave your child of earth
    To moulder back to kindred dust,
  And trace my new and heav'nly birth,
    A ransom'd spirit with the just.

  And weep not o'er the casket laid
    Beneath this little heaped up mound.
  The deathless jewel cannot fade,--
    A diamond in a Saviour's crown.




An Evening in Our Village.


Why should we wander in the fields of fiction, to cull fancy's flowers
to feast a morbid imagination, when there are so many thrilling
incidents in the pathway of human life, calculated to awaken the most
refined emotions, and stir the deepest currents of the human soul?
Would the painter, as he raised his brush to give the last finishing
touch to his picture, draw his colors from fancy? Would he not rather
imitate the color of the natural rose, copy the forest green, the
azure of the sky, or the brilliant hues of the rainbow, as it spans
the heavens with its bow of promise?

Fiction may weave her intricate labyrinths and enchain the fancy by
wandering in mazy circuits, and weaving her mystic web; but truth will
stand in all its primitive lustre, when the foundations of this earth
have passed away. Then let me record the truth in preference to
fiction.

The clouds hung in heavy dense masses, during the day, while a damp
chilly wind from the north-east betokened an uncomfortable winter
rain. It was winter, although the bridge of ice that had been formed
over the Blackstone was broken up, and floated on its surface in huge
masses, as it hurried rapidly along, to empty them into the waters of
the Narragansett Bay, reminding the thoughtful observer of the stream
of time, bearing away its vast multitudes to the ocean of eternity.

Here, where now stands our beautiful village, a few short years since
stood the dense forest--the growth of centuries. Here the rude Indian
roamed, in native wildness, hunted his prey, built his council fire,
or smoked his pipe of peace. Here, where now stands the temple of the
living God, with its heaven directed spire, perchance smoked the
blood of some poor victim, as it was offered upon the altar of savage
brutality; or the rude wigwam stood.

But all these things have passed, as a tale that is told. They have
floated down the current of time, even like the broken masses of ice
that are borne so rapidly down our river, and have passed into the
broad ocean of eternity.

On the banks of that stream, where the pale face first crossed to hold
a council with his red brethren, stands a flourishing village, reared
by the hand of civilization, and offering many facilities to the
industry of its virtuous and well disposed inhabitants. It would be
pleasant to tell a tale of the times of old, of the deeds of the days
of other years, of the Indian that paddled his light canoe upon our
river; but this is not the purport of the story.

It is to scan the different scenes as they lay spread out before
us, upon the map of busy life. The day had closed, dark, dreary and
cheerless. The rain and sleet were driven furiously before the wind,
and the child of want shrank from the biting blast, as stern necessity
drove him forth to meet the peltings of the winter storm.

There was a social gathering at a large, elegantly finished and
furnished hall, splendidly illuminated with its brilliant gas lights,
diffusing a lustre upon gorgeous trappings with which they were
surmounted.

The streets resounded with the rattling wheels of omnibusses, cabs and
various vehicles, as they bore the gay and fashionable part of the
village to the splendid hall.

Soft music charmed the ear, and floated in sweet melody through the
apartment. Beauty was there, with rosy cheek and brilliant eye.
Fashion displayed her most tasteful arrangements, and each one seemed
vieing with the other in elegance of costume. All looked like the
enchanting scenes pictured in fairy tales, and one might almost
suppose Alladin's wonderful lamp was still extant, performing its
mysterious spells, and casting a supernatural lustre over the gay
group that assembled, to dissipate the cheerless gloom that reigned
without, by mirth and hilarity. And they joined in the mazy dance, and
spent the hours of night in joyous revelry. A sumptuous entertainment
was prepared, and everything provided to satisfy the votaries of
pleasure.

But as the lively music sounded from that splendid hall, it stole upon
the

  "Cold, dull ear of death,"

for, but a few rods distant, lay a female, little passed the meridian
of life (who had lived in the same village, and trod in the pathway of
life with them many years), wrapped in the shroud of death, and next
day to be borne away to the tomb, and shut out forever from all the
scenes where she had once been an actress. But now she would look out
upon the world no more. Her eyes were closed in death, and her ear
heard not the wild music that was stealing through her otherwise
silent chamber.

All of earth had passed from her vision. Life, with its stern, cold
realities, or its light toned revelry, could awaken no response in her
inanimate form.

A brother had been summoned from a distant village to attend her
funeral. He had travelled, notwithstanding the inclemency of the
weather, and when the shades of twilight fell over the earth, he stood
by that dearly loved form. Memory brought back the past. That cold,
pulseless one was a child again, sporting by his side, prattling upon
his knee, and winning attention by the ten thousand witcheries of
childhood.

Then, with the rapidity of thought, blooming youth succeeded this age,
and she stood, blushing in maiden modesty, the gay young sister of
other days; and his heart was filled with sadness as he gazed upon her
stiff in the icy arms of death, and felt that she could no more return
his affection. He was an aged man, and knew much of the sorrow and
the trials of life; he turned, with a tear in his eye, from his loved
sister and passed into the street.

The storm was increasing, but he heeded not the peltings of the wintry
wind, or the wild music that mingled with its mournful wail, as he
passed the luxurious hall, where

  "Fashion's gay tapers were lighted."

Other thoughts occupied his mind.

He soon stood by the bedside of a dear daughter, who was passing away
from earth, while yet in the bloom and the beauty of youth. She was a
wife, and a mother of two sweet children, whose tender age required a
mother's watchfulness--a mother's care. But with childlike trust, she
had given them back to that God, who had given them to her. Her trust
was in him, and now she was ready to follow her dear Saviour into the
cold dark grave, with the assurance that she should have a part in the
first resurrection. Melancholy sounded the music from that distant
ball room, as it stole upon the wings of the winter wind, into the
chamber of the dying one. Her ear was listening to catch the notes
of angel harps before the throne of God, and her passing spirit was
attuned to their melodies. The beauties of the upper world transfixed
her rapt vision, and no earthly object stood between her soul and God.
And so she passed away, and left to her earthly friends but the frail
casket, while the priceless jewel had soared to brighter regions, to
glitter in a Saviour's crown.

The father had come just in time to take the last look of his living
child, to hear her last words, to witness her last struggle, as the
pure spirit departed from earth, to join her sainted mother in the
spirit land. He was taking another portion from the cup of affliction,
which however bitter to the taste, often sweetens the journey of human
life, preparing the recipient better to perform its duties, and bear
its trials.

As the stricken father retired to bed, the sound of revelry fell
heavily upon an almost bursting heart.

And the dear children, could they listen to its glad strain? O, no;
they had seen death cast his marble paleness upon their mother's face;
had felt the icy coldness of her pulseness limbs; had called her by
the endearing name of mother, and her pale lips answered not, and they
had retired with eyes red with weeping; they as yet knew nothing
of the extent of their bereavement. The husband, too, had lost the
companion of his youth, the mother of his children, and although he
possessed like precious faith with her, and kissed the rod with pious
resignation; still they were a grief-stricken household, and presented
a striking contrast to the gay group that were dancing thoughtlessly
away the hours of that solemn night, while the recording angel was
taking note of all that was passing beneath his all-seeing eye, in
that book that shall be opened when we shall all stand before God, to
be judged according to the deeds done in the body.

The music floated on and reached the ear of a poor maniac as he sat by
his comfortable fire, listening to the monotonous roar of the distant
water fall, and the howling of the wintry winds, as it came surging
on, waving the leafless tree and pelting the falling rain against the
windows.

"Hark!" said he, springing up, "the bees are swarming; I shall be
stung to death," and out he rushed, with a brighter fire in his eye
and a more intense one in his brain. Descending the hill, he watched
the sylph like forms as they floated on in the mazy dance, declaring
the bees were in terrible commotion, and he should be stung to death.
With difficulty he was prevailed upon to return to his house, and ever
and anon, as the sound of the music reached his ear, he would start
and affirm that the bees surely were swarming.

Such is man, the noblest work of God, when bereft of reason to guide
and direct him.

Still farther on were young parents keeping anxious watch over a sick
infant, whose feeble thread of life seemed trembling upon a very hair.
The doctor had said there was no hope; kind, sympathizing friends, as
they looked on the sufferings of the dear babe with tearful eyes, had
said, there is no hope; and the agonized hearts of the parents echoed
back, no hope. But still they did hope. The breath came heavily from
the heaving chest, and the blue orbs looked dimly from their half
closed lids, while the little sufferer, with burning hand and parched
lip, seemed struggling for that life that it had enjoyed but for so
brief a space. The parents were young in years and unacquainted with
sorrow, and very dear to their loving hearts was the sick infant. They
felt they could not part with the dear one. Carefully they nursed the
flickering lamp of life: through that dreary winter night, lest some
ruder blast should extinguish it forever. Wished they to join the
thoughtless throng in the tinselled hall of fashion? O, no, they had
rather count the fluttering pulses of their dear boy, cool his fevered
brow, and administer the reviving cordial through the weary hours of
the night, than to listen to sweetest strains of Orpheus' harp, or
thread the winding mazes of the giddy dance.

And so with them the night wore away, the long dark night of suffering
to the babe, and watchful anxiety to the parents. But the angel of
death that had hovered so long over the darling babe, unfurled his
sable pinions and flew away in search of another victim, and he is
spared yet a little longer.

Pursuing the way a little farther in another direction, you find
another weary watcher by the midnight lamp. An aged woman, who has
lived her three score years and ten, sits bolstered up in her chair,
toiling for her little remaining sum of existence, which nature seems
unwilling to relinquish, although subsisting now upon borrowed time.
From an adjoining room comes a frequent hollow cough, and the sunken
eye and emaciated frame of the poor girl betray the secret foe,
lurking in the hidden springs of life.

Death is no stranger beneath this roof. He has borne away one after
another from this numerous household, and laid them down side by side
in the silent grave. And now his darts seem aimed at the two only ones
of that household, the mother and her daughter. The sons are married
and have families of their own, but the mother and this daughter live
alone in the home of her youth, the very place, perchance, where she
was brought a gay and expecting bride by that husband she is expecting
now to follow so soon to the spirit world. Could the pleasures or the
gaities of the world cast one cheering beam upon their lonely home? O,
no, the religion of Jesus alone can illuminate their benighted hearts,
and in "this light they see light," and feel prepared to go when the
summons comes.

Following the street, you pass the door of a daughter who is weeping
for the recent loss of a mother, who passes suddenly away without
a moment's warning, and a widow who mourns a husband, cut off by
lingering disease.

A few steps and we reach a cottage, where other parents were watching
over a little son of five years, who is wasting away with consumption.
His attenuated limbs bear his little frame but feebly, and he often
talks of death, for he has recently seen a little sister younger than
himself fall a prey to the fearful malady. A burning fever is raging
in his veins, and lights up his eye with unwonted brilliancy, as he
tossed restlessly from side to side upon his pillow. His silken hair
of beautiful brown is brushed smoothly back from his high, marble
forehead, while gentle hands apply the cooling bath, to still if
possible, its tumultuous throbbings, and he murmurs of sweet sister
and of heaven. Soft words of love are whispered in his ear, and he is
told of the Lamb of God that bids little children to come unto him.

And thought not these weary watchers of that lonely night, of the
revellers in that distant hall? Methinks their hearts went up in
fervent prayer to God that he would spare them yet a little longer,
for there were immortal souls there, for whom he labored and prayed,
who entered the sanctuary and heard the word of God as it fell from
his lips, Sabbath after Sabbath, and he felt sensibly that the
midnight revel would not prepare the heart to seek God, or make the
necessary preparation for death. Towards morning the eyes of the
little sufferer closed in uneasy slumber, and the parents too, were
refreshed by a short interval of sleep.

Passing yet in another direction was a tall youth, with a subdued
expression of countenance, hurrying on, in spite of wind and rain, to
the doctor's office, to procure assistance for a sick mother, who was
tossing in all the agony of brain fever. The doctor had been called
away to visit a little child that had a sudden attack of the croup,
that fearful disease that bears so many children to the tomb. He
returned again with a sorrowing heart. Heeded he the sweet tones of
music that fell upon his youthful ear? wished he to join the gay group
as they flitted before the brilliantly lighted, window, and the fairy
forms of the fashionable, and the pleasure-seeking met his eye? O,
no; there was sorrow in his young heart, and sorrow brooded over the
household. Towards midnight the doctor came, and a young daughter,
younger than many who graced the festive ball, following his
directions, alleviated the sufferings of a sick mother, and wore the
weary night away in anxious watchings.

Not till another day dawned, did the rumbling of the carriages cease,
that were conveying home the sons and daughters of dissipation. And
thus passed the night, leaving no trace upon earth, for the waves of
time have obliterated all its footprints. But its record is on
high, and it will never be forgotten by the Eternal One, whose eye
slumbereth not.

Such is human life, and such is the race of man. Although we are all
bound together by one common brotherhood, the song of the gay is ever
the funeral dirge to the sorrowing.

Perchance that night might have disclosed still darker pictures in
the hidden recesses of our village, for, oh, there are dens of foul
pollution, that send their infectious taint over the pure air of
our community, calling the blush of shame to the cheek of conscious
virtue, and creating an ardent desire in the breast of the
philanthropist, to go forth and labor in the vineyard of the Lord,
that these foul spots may be washed in his precious blood, and made
clean.

O, could all the misery that was extant in the village have been
presented to the thoughtless revellers, could they have danced on?
Would not the tear of sympathy have moistened the cheek, and the still
small voice whispered of a solemn time that must come to them? O, it
is wise to receive the admonition, "Be ye also ready, for in such an
hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh."

Faint, indeed, are the delineations from Memory's tablet, upon this
little map, but enough, perchance, to lead the contemplative mind to
reflect upon the vicissitudes and changes of its little day, and teach
us to prepare for a better world, "where change comes not."




Contemplations in a Grave Yard.


  'Twas on one pensive even tide,
    When restless toil and day had fled;
  I laid all airy scenes aside,
    To wander o'er the silent dead.

  The rising moon from eastern sky,
    O'er the lone heath shed languid light,
  And boding owls with fearful cry
    Heightened the solemn gloom of night.

  With pensive steps I reach'd the pile,
    Where well wrought limbs return to clay;
  And tow'ring marble's pompous style
    Points out the great, the rich, the gay.

  But where's ambition's piercing eye,
    His restless look, his haughty air?
  They're vanish'd all, and near him lie
    Frames that once fed on black despair.

  What though the marble's rais'd o'er one,
    To tell his former wealth or worth,
  While a green turf, or mossy stone,
    Denote the man of humbler birth.

  Yet all in silence mould'ring lie
    In the cold grave where vapors glide,
  The beggar here's as fair as he
    Who rolled in wealth, or swam in pride.

  'Neath a green mound there slept a youth,
    Whose form in life in beauty bloom'd:
  His manner sweet, his speech was truth,
    But nought could save him from the tomb.

  At little distance from his side,
    A wild rose shed a pearly tear
  O'er her who would have been his bride,
    Had not dread death been thus severe.

  I mus'd in silence on their fate,
    And watch'd the graves where low they lie,
  Reflecting on their altered state.
    From nuptial bliss to mould'ring clay,

  And such, methinks, the lot of all;
    We picture joys with eager eye,
  'Till death's damp curtains round us fall,
    And silent in his arms we lie.

  Beneath a verdant, grassy mound,
    Where gemmed with dew the daisy weeps;
  In death's cold slumber wrapped profound,
    A gentle mother peaceful sleeps.

  No storied urn bespeaks her worth.
    No epitaph or stone is near;
  But the wild flow'rs that strew the earth,
    Are watered oft by many a tear.

  And oh, such tribute is more dear--
    Warm gushing from affection's eye,
  Than the cold marble's senseless praise,
    That sheds no tear--that heaves no sigh.

  A little path is closely worn,
    Where prattling children often stray,
  And o'er their sainted mother mourn,
    To shield her memory from decay.

  And hoary age has sunk to rest,
    Deep buried 'neath the crumbling sod;
  No anxious cares disturb his breast,--
    His ransom'd soul has flown to God.

  Weary and sad, he struggled on
     Life's rugged pathway, till its close;
  And then, in death, lay calmly down,
     To slumber in its deep repose.

  I turn'd to view a little grave,
     Where infant sweetness silent slept;
  There the tall myrtle mournful way'd,--
     The willow there in sorrow slept.

  "Sleep on," I cried, "thy little breast
     Ne'er knew the heartfelt woes of men;
  No pain or care disturb thy rest,
     Or jarring scenes obstruct thy ken.

  "Happy, like thee, might I resign
     This life in Virtue's purest ray,
  And spring to life and joy divine,
  Free from this cumbrous load of clay.

  But hark! I hear the boding owl,
     With fearful screams at distance cry;
  The evening breezes mournful howl,
     And bats their nightly circles ply.

  Thick, sombre clouds obscur'd the sky,
     And hid the moon's refulgent light--
  No sparkling star shed cheerful ray.
     To light the lonely shades of night.

  I grop'd my way with careful tread,
     To shun the cold, unconscious urn,
  And left the mansions of the dead,
     Where soon or late I must return.

  For I must sleep with ages past,
     And ages yet to come,
  Till the last trump of God shall wake
     Each tenant of the tomb.




A Scene on the Kennebec River.


It was a beautiful morning in early June, and nature was dressed in
her beautiful robes of pale green, as the leaves had not yet assumed
that deeper hue that the mature rays of a summer sun impart to them.
No cloud floated over the blue vault of heaven. The golden sun
diffused a radiant light, and shed a sparkling lustre upon the deep,
black water of the mighty river, that rolled on in gentle undulating
waves, as it was tossed lightly by the sighing breeze that floated
over its surface.

Far as the eye could scan were seen the snowy sails, as the mariners
pursued their way over the black bosom of the waters to enter the
briny Atlantic, that received the waters of the rolling river and
mingled them with its own foaming wave. The smaller sail boats were
flying before the wind, while innumerable ships lay at rest in the
harbor, with snowy sails unfurled, while the rough cry of the sailors
broke boisterously upon the morning air.

At the wharf, before the flourishing village that lay reposing on the
banks of the river, lay a ferry-boat, impatient to launch away upon
the restless waters.

There was hurry and bustle as the time for the boat's departure had
arrive, and many wished to be borne to the opposite shore.

Among the rest came a gay group of laughing school girls. Their joyous
faces were lit up with bright smiles, and they were chatting gaily of
the afternoon's party, and the anticipated evening's walk, heedless
of the care worn man of business that shuffled in by their side, or
prudent ladies who looked upon the gay party as pert or presuming.
They were, many of them, the children of wealth, and waved in their
hands rich boquets of beautiful and rare exotics, while others were
equally satisfied with more simple flowers. They advanced to the head
of the boat, and stood with their hands placed upon its edge, looking
over into the deep waters. One beautiful form attracted the attention
of all who looked upon her. Her form was slight and delicate. Her
complexion was transparent, but a slight tinge of pink rested upon
her cheek. Her azure eyes beamed with a sweet expression from their
soul-lit depths, while her dark brown hair floated in heavy masses of
glossy curls over her ivory neck and shoulders, waving gently in the
morning breeze, as it floated lightly around her. She was dressed in a
simple white robe, and in her hand held the richest boquet. Her snowy
arms were bare almost to the shoulder, and as she stood looking
out upon the far off sail, or watching the entrance of her fellow
passengers, as they took their respective places in the boat; no eye
that looked upon her but lingered in its gaze to admire her beauty.

Then came a rich man and his lady, and there must be room in the boat
for their splendid equipage, and so his gay horse stood champing his
bitts and curbing his proud head, as his fiery eyes glanced over the
glassy surface of the restless waters.

All was ready, the signal was given, and the boat ploughed her way
like a thing of life, leaving a long path of white foam in her wake.

Men talked of business, of the prospect of the advancing season, the
pressure in the money market, or the perfidy of the opposing political
party.

Women talked about their cross children, unfaithful servants, and
various domestic trials.

The young girls talked of their school, their boquets, and the many
little events in which they were interested, while a group of school
boys, who had entered last, and were obliged to stand in the rear of
the boat, declared they had never seen the fair queen of that party
looking so lovely.

But suddenly there was a jar, a scream, a plunge, and that fairy form
was precipitated into the foaming waters beneath, and the boat was
gliding on with such rapidity that no arm could reach her. She sank
slowly from sight, as her spreading robe buoyed her up for a moment on
the waves. Her long curls lay spread out, tossing upon the surface
by the motion of the waves, then as they sank slowly from sight,
one snowy hand was raised, clutching the boquet with a tenacity so
proverbial to the drowning. She then sank to sleep beneath the surging
waves that danced lightly on over her death cold bosom.

None could tell exactly how the accident happened. The horse, unused
to that mode of conveyance, became restive, and in his plungings to
liberate himself precipitated the unfortunate girl, with all her gay
dreams of life and pleasure, into a watery grave.

The tide was going out, and she fell into the rapid current, and when
her body was recovered no traces of beauty rested upon her marble
features, and none who looked upon the black, bloated face and lips
of the poor girl could recognize the bright beauty of that joyous
morning. The withered boquet was covered with green slime, and like
the hand that held it, bore no resemblance to its former self. "Surely
in the midst of life we are in death."




To Miss H---- B----,

These Lines Are Affectionately Dedicated By ----.


  Maiden, for thee I'd tune the lyre;
  Might minstrelsy my song inspire;
  Could I a gifted offering bring,
  I'd boldly sweep each silken string,
  And wake a sweet and thrilling strain,
  Thy heart would echo back again.

  But though so feebly sings my muse,
  I trust her song thou'lt not refuse;
  But all unaided by the Nine,
  Accept the boon from friendship's shrine.
  Youth round thee her garland weaves,
  Of varied flow'rs and verdant leaves,
  And leads thee forth in gardens fair,
  To cull exotics rich and rare.
  And knowledge bids thy youthful mind,
  Wisdom, in her choice fruits to find.
  But sober age holds stern control
  O'er the deep currents of my soul;
  I may not pause to cull the flow'rs,
  That bloom in fancy's fairy bow'rs,
  But onward press, from day to day,
  In duty's stern and rugged way;
  Yet ever upward may I rise,
  To yon bright world beyond the skies.

  Your cheek is ting'd with youthful bloom,
  While mine is faded for the tomb,
  And blended time with anxious care,
  Have left their deep impressions there.

  In graceful curls your ringlets stray,
  While mingle mine with mournful gray.
  Hope spreads gay roses in your way,
  And points to many a future day,--
  And flinging wild her scented flow'rs,
  Beckons to her rosy bow'rs;
  But I have seen such hopes decay,
  And each fair promise fade away;
  Have seen the syren beckon on:--
  And spread new charms when one had flown,
  Till ev'ry blooming flow'ret died,
  And wither'd leaves hung by my side.

  Then, maiden, do not cling to earth,
  Whose hopes are of so little worth,
  But now in youth thy heart be given,
  In childlike confidence, to heav'n;
  Then hope within your breast shall rise,
  Ever to bloom in paradise;
  And you, an angel bright, shall stand,
  To sing and shine at God's right hand.

  Maiden, this is my prayer for thee--
  Far reaching to eternity;
  And when, like mine, your setting sun
  Proclaims life's journey almost run,
  O, may his last--his sinking ray,
  Beam on a brighter, happier day.
  Forgive, dear maid, my truthful strain--
  Say not, such reas'ning is in vain;
  Say not that age is ever blind,
  And disappointment sours the mind;
  But, oh! the voice of warning heed--
  And quickly to the Saviour speed;
  For Jesus tells you "there is room,"
  And to the weary soul says, "Come;"
  Then lean your head upon his breast.
  And you shall have the promised rest.

  When you shall touch your gifted lyre,
  Glowing with sweet, seraphic fire,
  O then, remember me again,
  And wake for me one pleasing strain.




Lines, Written in an Album.

"Then Jesus said unto her, Mary."


  "Mary," the ris'n Saviour said,
    In accents sweet and low;
  "Mary:" she rais'd her drooping head,
    The form she sought to know.

  Mary had lingered by the cross,
    To see her Saviour die;
  Had seen him wrapp'd in linen fine,
    In Joseph's tomb to lie.

  Now she had come at early dawn,
    Laden with rich perfume,
  To shed her tears beside his form--
    Her fragrance round his tomb.

  But, lo! he lives; O, glad surprise!
    Has ris'n from the grave;
  And now, before her ravish'd eyes,
    Proclaims his power to save.

  May you, who bear that gentle name,
    This Saviour's call obey;
  And he will lead you by his grace,
    To realms of endless day.

  Mary had followed to the cross--
    Had sought him at the tomb;
  So may you follow, seek and find;
    He calls--"there still is room."




A Long Night in the Eighteenth Century.


The hardy and enterprising inhabitants, who first penetrated the
eastern forests, to fell their hardy oaks, and build up settlements,
in the then remote east, had many difficulties to encounter, which
later generations know nothing of. In the latter part of the
eighteenth century, two families lived in their log cabins, in the
interior of the forest. They had each a small cleared spot of land,
that amply repaid their labor, by its rich productions. The morning
sun, as he shed his rising beams over the long range of forest trees,
glanced smilingly upon their little cultivated spot,

  "That bloomed like Eden, in the world's first spring;"

and they were contented and happy. The dense forest trees, waving
in the blast, or gently bowing their lofty heads before the milder
breeze, made music not unlike the dash of Ocean on his winding shore.

They were far from the abodes of men. The fashions, the vanities and
the pleasures of life, held no despotic sway in their breasts. They
pursued "the even tenor of their ways," rising before the sun, and
retiring almost with his sinking beams.

The cows and sheep went forth to crop the green herbage and luxurious
grass, heralding their approach by tinkling bells.

No roads were made, and the citizens pursued their way by trees,
stripped of little pieces of bark, by friendly Indians, who went
as guides to the pale faces, that had come into their territories,
purchased their lands, and distributed the deadly fire-water among
them, thus adding fury to their already ferocious natures.

The men were both house carpenters, and one of them a wheelwright; so
they were frequently called upon to leave their homes, and go to some
distant part, where a new settlement was springing up, to fill the
place of the forest trees, that had fallen before the woodman's axe.

In the spring of 1773, the settlement upon the banks of the Kennebec
river, now called Gardiner (but then bearing the Indian name of
Cobbessy), was progressing rapidly. A saw mill was to be erected upon
this rapid stream, that had rolled on for centuries, through the
towering forest, only bearing the Indian's light canoe, as it floated
over its glassy surface, and the dipping of the paddle, in the dark
rolling stream, awoke an answering echo in her wild forest haunts.

And so these men, Mr. Fuller and Capt. Somers, shouldered their tools,
and pursued their way by the spotted trees, to the far off settlement,
leaving their families in the bosom of the forest, unprotected and
alone. Not infrequently did the crackling brush denote the near
approach of the sulky bear, or some other wild beast that had
heretofore roamed the woods at large, undisturbed, save by the
swift-winged arrow of the Indian, as he pursued his prey over the
dense forest, but little tamer than the hunted beast. A discharge
of the rifle, which they were ever obliged to carry with them, soon
caused the enemy to retreat, and leave them to pursue their solitary
walk unmolested.

Often would the Indians come along in droves, their small dogs
indicating their approach. The chief of one tribe was called Sousup.
His wife was a woman of pleasant countenance, and was usually very
neatly dressed, having her blanket of snowy whiteness, while her
moccasins were of the nicest material. She was covered with wampum,
and wore large jewels in her ears and nose, and large silver brooches
on different parts of her dress. She never drank the fire-water, and
used to trade with the pale faces, as she was so gentle in her manners
that she easily won her way into their houses and hearts.

It was sunset, when Mrs. Fuller had milked her cows, and performed the
domestic duties that devolved upon her during her husband's absence.
She had laid her sleeping infant from her arms, and her other children
were placed snugly in bed, when she was startled by seeing an Indian's
dog emerging from a clump of bushes that stood a few yards from the
house, and come bounding towards the door.

Her heart palpitated violently, for frequent reports reached their
ears, of whole families falling a fearful prey to savage brutality.
Soon she heard the Indian dialect vociferated in loud voices, while
occasionally a loud savage yell rang fearfully through the air,
blending a wild chorus with the strains of the warbling birds, as they
carolled their vesper hymns upon the neighboring branches, before
retiring to their nests. Hastily she closed her doors, and skulked
away in a secret corner, hoping they would pass on, and not disturb
her. She soon became aware, by their fierce words, that there were
many of them in a state of intoxication.

The heart of the lonely woman almost died within her, as she heard
their heavy tramp before the door. She had taken the precaution to
draw in the leather string that was attached to the wooden latch, to
raise it, thus betraying her own secret. After pounding upon the door
for some time, and threatening to break it down if it was not opened,
the storm subsided, and she hoped, by the sound of retreating
footsteps, they were pursuing their journey.

She was soon undeceived, by hearing her own name called, by the gentle
voice of Sousup's wife, or "squaw," as he called her.

She stepped forward and opened the door, and discovered a large horde
of red men, wrapped in dirty blankets, reeling under the influence of
the fire-water. The squaws were in a squalid condition, and equally
drunk with the men, while the papooses, that were placed in sacks upon
their backs, peeping up, with their bare heads and dirty faces, added
to the wretchedness of the scene, and the sight of them blanched the
cheek of the poor woman, as she tremblingly looked upon them.

Dove Eye marked her fear, and informed her, in broken English, that
the Penobscot tribe had joined with them, and they were going towards
the rising sun, to hunt moose and deer, and make mats and baskets, to
carry to Boston.

"But," added she, "Sousup drink fire-water and git much drunk; me feel
bad, but Dove Eye no help it."

She told her they were going to have a pow-wow, and wished to go into
a little cleared spot, in the edge of the forest, near her dwelling.
Mrs. Fuller dared not refuse, and so she tremblingly consented.

She told her tribe the result of their confab, and they came forward,
to a man, and laid down their rifles, tomahawks and scalping knives at
her feet, saying,

"Me no hurt white squaw."

They collected a large pile of brush, kindled their fire, lit their
pipes, and prepared their evening meal, after which they commenced
their savage revelry.

They daubed their faces with red paint, while their greasy black hair
hung in dishevelled masses down their backs, and waved to and fro as
they jumped or ran, and performed the various evolutions of their mazy
dance.

Mrs. Fuller lit no candle during that fearful night. She watched their
dusky forms, as they flitted by, dimly seen through the trees, by the
glaring blaze of the fire, that crackled up, throwing a flickering
light upon the majestic forest trees that waved in solemn grandeur
above their heads, and sighed mournfully as the night winds floated
among their branches. The Indians formed a circle round the fire, by
joining hands, and their frantic gestures were teriffic to behold, and
their wild shrieks rent the air. Twice, and twice only, the fearful
war-whoop resounded, filling the heart of that lonely watcher with
indescribable fear.

It was past midnight; the moon had passed her zenith in the sky,
and the swarthy band seemed frantic with their wild orgies and
intoxication.

Many had fallen, beastly drunk, while others swayed like the forest
trees, rocked by the wintry whirlwind.

Dove Eye sat on a mossy rock looking upon the scene with a melancholy
expression of countenance. Near her lay stretched upon the bare
ground, Eagle Eye, the wife of the swarthy chief, who had joined their
tribe in their hunting excursions.

Suddenly a furious din arose, and it was evident that anger was added
to the other debasing passions that were holding control over their
benighted souls. Furious was the strife of words, and fearful menaces
and threats fell from brutal, savage lips.

Suddenly the stranger chief seized a burning torch, and accompanied by
a fierce looking companion, strode hastily toward the house. Dove Eye
saw their movements and sprang hurriedly to their side, endeavoring
to stop their progress; but they pushed her aside and proceeded. Mrs.
Fuller, too, saw them through the small pane of glass that was placed
in her board window, and hope almost forsook her. They passed on: the
light gleamed through the pane and flickered upon the face of her
sleeping infant. She heard distinctly their voices in low, guttural
tones, and their heavy tread fell painfully upon her ear. They passed
round the corner of the house, and she lost sight and sound of them.
She opened the door into an adjoining apartment, and the light burst
upon her with such intense brightness that she thought at first they
had fired the house. Upon approaching the window, she again discovered
them by the wood pile searching for the axe, which they soon raised,
and cutting several sticks of wood, bore it away to replenish their
fire.

In a short time their dusky forms wrapped in their dirty blankets,
were stretched upon the damp ground, with their greasy heads turned
towards the fire, and sleep descended upon their weary lids, and
silence once more reigned round that forest home.

Dove Eye still reclined upon the rock, watching the moon as it hid
its silver beams behind a dark mountain, whose eternal summit lay
stretched along the western horizon.

Mrs. Fuller, too, kept anxious watch. She knew from many of them she
had nothing to fear; they had often warmed themselves by her fire,
had eaten of her bread, and in many ways been partakers of her
hospitality, and she knew the Indian never forgets a kindness.

She gently hushed the feeble wailings of her infant, lest it should
awaken them to savage rage. She almost resolved to take her children
and leave the house while that savage band were weighed down by sleep
and intoxication. But she feared it might exasperate them if they
found her gone, and so she waited the event, lifting her heart to God
in prayer, for he was the refuge of that christian woman, in every
hour of trial.

The sun came up at length, and shed his glorious beams over the face
of rejoicing nature. The birds sang their matin hymns of praise. The
dew drops glittered upon the green grass and tender herbage, and the
restless cows lowed, impatient to wander forth at their accustomed
hour. The children arose, refreshed by their slumber, and as they
looked out upon the dusky sons of the forest, their hearts quaked
within them, and stealing silently into a corner, they awaited their
fate with pale faces.

Dove Eye stole quietly from the rock, and kindling the almost
extinguished fire, hastily prepared their simple morning meal. She
took from a deer skin knapsack, which she carried upon her back, a
neat white cloth, and repaired to the house of Mrs. Fuller, wishing
to exchange some nice dried moose meat for some new milk. Mrs. Fuller
hastily milked, and filling a large pail, Dove Eye bore it to their
place of rendezvous, and the cows went forth to crop the dewy grass.

She then awoke her husband, and soon the dusky group were partaking of
their morning repast, with evident satisfaction, after which they made
preparations to depart. They came, one after another, to get their
hunting utensils and their implements of war, from Mrs. Fuller,
telling her,

"Me no forget white squaw--me bring moose meat for white squaw."

Soon they marched away, in Indian file, and as their dusky forms
disappeared, one after another, behind the forest trees, her heart
rose in thanksgiving to God, for her preservation. Dove Eye lingered
till the rest of her tribe vanished from sight; there was sadness in
her countenance, and sadness in her voice, as she said,

"Dove Eye see white squaw no more. Dove Eye go toward the rising sun,
but Dove Eye come no more."

Mrs. Fuller pressed her hand affectionately, and commending her to the
Great Spirit, she departed to overtake her companions. The children
emerged from their hiding places, a cheerful fire burned upon the
hearth, and the weary mother prepared the morning meal for herself and
her children, with a grateful heart.

When the wandering tribe returned again towards the setting sun, Dove
Eye was not with them--she had "gone to the land where her fathers had
gone."

Years passed on--years of trial, of anxiety, and of change. The tall
forest trees gave place to cultivated fields and blooming orchards.

Roads traversed the vast country in every direction. Numerous villages
rose up, on the flourishing banks of the winding Kennebec, and its
proud waters bore many a whitened sail upon its surface.

The red men of the forest have passed away, like the withered leaves
before the autumnal gale, and the wild bear and deer are now strangers
in their secluded haunts.

The young wife and mother passed from the sober matron to mature age,
and there were deep furrows upon her cheek, and the frosts of many
winters whitened her hair; but when she related the events of that
night to her grand-children, or great-grand-children, she ever spoke
with trembling voice, and called it the "long fearful night."




On Hearing a Bird Sing,

December, 1826.


  Cease, little warbler, cease thy lay,
  For summer, with her sunny day,
  Far to the south has fled away;
      And autumn's chilly finger
  Has touch'd the leaf on ev'ry tree,--
  And blighted everything we see;
      Then, warbler, do not linger.

  Fly where groves of citron bloom,
  And orange orchards shed perfume,
  And birds of ev'ry varied plume
      With music charm thee:
  Fly, little warbler, quickly fly,
  Far, far away to southern sky,
      Where nought can harm thee.

  For, oh, it is no careless voice--
  That bids thee fly and seek for joys,
  And shun the rushing whirlwind's noise,
      That soon will pass before thee.
  But one, whose bosom knows full well,
  The heartless scene, the winter spell,
      That soon will hover o'er thee.




Variety.


  Variety is sweet to me
  As many blossoms to the bee;
  And I will roam from flower to flower,
  Sipping honey ev'ry hour;
  I will wander with the bee,
  And drink thy sweets, variety.

  But if I idly flit away,
  All my sunny summer day,
  Dancing round from flow'r to flow'r;
  What shall grace my winter bow'r?
  No, I'll not wander with the bee,
  So tempt me not, variety.

  But I will prune my myrtle tree,
  That in winter green will be,
  When other flow'rs are pale and dead:
  Their color gone, their beauty fled,
  No, I'll not wander with the bee;
  So away, variety.

  My myrtle then shall be my care,
  That's green and fragrant all the year;
  I will not spend the fleeting hours
  Flitting round more fragrant flow'rs.
  I'll not wander with the bee,
  So begone, variety.

  This in youth should be our care,
  To improve for future years;
  For if we flit from toy to toy,
  Chasing the painted bubble, joy,
  No real substance shall we find
  To nourish or improve the mind.
  Then I'll not wander with the bee
  Since it leads to misery.

  And youth's fair morn will vanish soon,
  And the bright sun grow dim at noon;
  Trials will rise along the way,
  To cloud the dreary winter day;
  Then I'll not wander with the bee,
  So farewell, variety.




Henriette Clinton;

Or,

Reverses of Fortune.


At the foot of the Alleghany Mountains stands the flourishing village
of Hollidaysburg. On the banks of the blue Juniata, that winds on till
it buries its waters in the rolling Susquehannah, stood the elegant
mansion of Esquire Clinton, the village lawyer. He had lost his young
wife many years since, and Henriette, his only child, shared largely
in the affection of her father. Her every wish was gratified, and she
was educated in the fashionable etiquette of the place. She was the
guiding star in the fashionable circle in which she moved, and a
general favorite.

But there came a change. The father was seized with sudden illness,
and in a few short hours was no more. The grief-stricken Henriette
had watched with an agonized heart the progress of the disease, had
attended to his wants, and supplied his necessities with her own
hands. A skillful physician had done all that medical aid could do,
but nothing could avail. The grim messenger lingered not, and the
beautiful Henriette was left sole mistress of the splendid mansion.

But Frederic Clinton had made preparation for that event, and his lamp
was trimmed and burning when the Master came.

Henriette, too, had given her heart to God, while the freshness of
youth was yet upon it, and now he supported her in her hour of trial.
Her father was borne to the grave, with all the splendor of wealth, a
long train of sympathizing friends following in the procession, and
showing every attention to the bereaved orphan, who was the only
mourner.

Henriette returned with an aching heart, to the home of her childhood,
and seated herself in her father's library, overwhelmed with grief.

It was a cheerless autumn day, and nature seemed sympathizing in her
sorrow. The fitful gusts of wind came sighing down the mountains, and
sweeping over the usually placid waters of the Juniata, tossed its
waves into tumultuous motion, and drove it more rapidly on in its
serpentine course. The beautiful magnolia that stood before the
window, was filled with its second crop of yellow flowers, that were
faded and ready to pass away, and the surging blasts swept them
unceremoniously from the branches, as it came sighing down the
mountains, and sweeping along the valley. The sun had long since hid
himself behind the summit of the eternal hills, that she had loved to
watch with her father, from that window, while learning lessons
from his lips, of the grandeur and sublimity of God, who spake that
stupendous chain of mountains into existence. And her thought was
turned to that God, who has promised to be "the father of the
fatherless." To him she knelt--to him she prayed. Soothed and
comforted, she arose and entered the parlor. Sympathizing domestics
awaited her pleasure, and obeyed her commands.

Proper measures were taken for an investigation of Mr. Clinton's
affairs, and the estate was pronounced insolvent, and all was offered
for sale. At first Henriette could scarcely believe the assertion, but
when she became convinced of its truth, she nerved her mind to meet
the trial, relying upon that God "who tempers the wind to the shorn
lamb."

She immediately dismissed her domestics, who had been faithful so
long to the family, watching over their young mistress, during her
childhood and early youth, and now they felt grieved to leave her. She
gave each one a present from her own treasures, procured good places
for them, retaining only the dear old nurse in her service, for a few
days, till the auction had taken place.

Henriette had never been accustomed to labor, and old Mary was
surprised upon seeing her enter the dining room, with her glossy brown
hair parted neatly over her high marble forehead, clad in a simple
gingham, which she had prepared for a morning dress, with a brown
linen apron, to assist her in making the necessary arrangements for
her removal and the coming sale.

The rooms were put in the best possible order, and the luxurious
furniture arranged with great care, that everything might show to the
best advantage. She selected a few choice volumes from the library,
and placed them in a large trunk, which was to contain her own
wardrobe, and which she had decided upon keeping, if circumstances
would permit.

This had been her favorite room; one window looked out upon the
mountains, that lifted their heads in majestic grandeur, and seemed
supporting the very clouds upon their lofty summits, while their
jagged sides looked as though they would drop upon the valley below.
But they had stood for ages the same, braving the fury of the wintry
storm as its surging blasts swept over them, or parched by the burning
rays of the noonday sun, as he poured his fierce scorching beams upon
them. She had looked upon them too in the twilight hour, when the
coming darkness would present strange, mysterious shadows, and the
craggy rocks would assume the forms of men, and fancy would conjure up
a lawless band of midnight plunderers emerging from their dark caves,
upon the mountain side.

But now she was looking out of that window perhaps for the last time,
and the unbidden tear would spring to her eye. The books were nicely
dusted, the comfortable stuffed rocking chair stood in its usual place
where her father used to love to sit so well, and a splendid ottoman
stood before it, which was usually her seat. Her elegant little chair
covered with crimson velvet, stood by the window, where she ever loved
to linger to look out upon the mountains, always finding some new
trace of beauty, as she gazed upon their cloud capped summits. But now
she must linger no longer; the rich covering was placed exactly square
upon the elegant little table, and every particle of dust was banished
from the room, and there were duties elsewhere that demanded her
attention. As she turned to leave the room, she raised her eyes to the
portraits of her parents that hung suspended on the wall opposite her,
in heavy gilt frames. The likenesses were very natural, and now seemed
smiling upon her with life-like affection. At this time the man
entered with whom she had procured board, and who had kindly offered
to assist in removing any articles she might wish to convey to his
house. The dear resemblances of her idolized parents were removed
from the spot they had occupied so many years, to be carried to a
stranger's home. Henriette felt less regret at parting from the place
now those loved faces were removed. There were many little treasures
associated with dear memories she would gladly have taken, but a
strict sense of honor forbade her. She turned away, locking the door,
but leaving the key in it, to be turned next by a stranger's hand. She
drew up her music stool, and seating herself upon it touched the keys
of her piano with a skillful hand, and sang with a trembling voice,

  "Farewell, farewell, is a lonely sound."

She closed the instrument as she finished the pieced saying,

"It is the last time."

There was one hour before the auction, and already were curious eyes
peering round the premises. Every thing being arranged to their minds,
Henriette dismissed the dear old nurse with many tears and a generous
reward. She would live near by and would see her every day, and this
was a source of great comfort to both.

Henriette now ran down the beautiful terraced walk, through her
father's garden, till she reached a beautiful arbor on the brink of
the river, where she had spent so many happy hours. Here was her
guitar, her father's flute, and the book they had last read together.
She seated herself upon the richly cushioned seat, and looked upon
the winding waters that seemed mocking her sad heart as they danced
sparkling on beneath the mellow rays of the autumnal sun, its bosom
ruffled by the autumnal breeze. At the foot of the terrace her fairy
skiff lay moored, which used to dance upon the wave by moonlight,
while she and her father made the air resound with the melody of their
music; but there was little time to linger here.

She put the little arbor in order, and repaired next to her
conservatory, filled with rich and rare exotics, took a hasty glance,
moving the choice plants into the position that best suited her good
taste, and wiping the dust from its polished shelves. Her father's
chair occupied its place by his favorite window that looked out upon
the Juniata that was indistinctly seen, peeping its little spots of
blue through the thick leaves of the plants that almost hid it from
view. She took a last look, passing on to the aviary, where a choice
collection of birds filled the ear with their melody. Old nurse had
attended to this department, and she caressed her pets, and smoothed
their feathers, and breathing a sad adieu, turned to take a last look
at her favorite Sullensifadda, as she had named her noble steed. She
patted his neck, told him coaxingly he would never again climb the
mountain pass with her upon his back; took a last look of her father's
splendid saddle horse of dapple grey, and his jet black span of
carriage horses, and passed round through the richly cultivated
grounds, and gardens where every thing that wealth could procure lay
spread out before the eye. She took a hasty look, a hasty leave of all
and felt that sense of desolation known to almost every human heart,
when called upon to part from dear familiar objects. She looked at her
elegant gold watch, and finding her time had expired, returned to
the house. Already there had many arrived who wished to attend the
auction. Henriette entered a small apartment, seated herself upon a
low stool, and wept as she heard the unfeeling remarks and low jests,
as the vulgar crowd pulled about the furniture, turning it from side
to side, declaring they had no idea Esq. Clinton's mansion was so
meanly furnished. But we will not dwell upon this painful scene.

Mr. Charles Norcross purchased the house with all its appurtenances.
The furniture was distributed about here and there among the
wealthy citizens, who wished to add some article of luxury to their
establishment. And all was gone. Sold for less than half its value,
and poor Henriette had the mortification of hearing that the debts
were not cancelled. So she disposed of her gold watch and pencil, her
father's watch, a box of rich jewelry, and every available article in
her possession to contribute her mite to keep dishonor from resting
upon her father's name. She then went forth penniless upon the world.
But there was a light in her eye and firmness in her step that told of
a "will to do, a soul to dare." She had been educated in the customs
of the village, and had been an aristocrat. Now she had another lesson
to learn, a sad lesson speaking of the depravity of the human heart,
and now she must learn all the cold heartlessness of that world that
had heretofore shone so brightly upon her pathway. She did not once
think in her grief that her change in fortune would make any change in
friendship's tone, but alas! the society in which she had moved was
very, very exclusive, and to labor with the hands was to bar the door
of that society forever against one.

Henriette at first did not realize this, and when she met her former
gay companions, was surprised when they passed her with an averted
eye, or a slight nod of recognition. Frequently was she called upon to
meet that sudden death chill that falls so often upon the human heart,
when the fond affections of many years gush warmly up to the eye and
lip, as we meet some long cherished friend who passes us by with a
cold, scornful glance. O this is poverty's bitterest curse, and this
too must be met. Those who might have removed many a sharp thorn from
the pathway of the lonely Henriette, but added sharpness to their
point, and made her feel and deeply feel,

  "Man's inhumanity to man,
  Makes countless thousands mourn."

The poor girl felt there was no time to sit still, for she was a
destitute orphan, and she must try to help herself, and so she
repaired to Mrs. Cobb, the most fashionable dress maker in the
village, to see if she could learn her trade.

Matters were satisfactorily arranged, and she commenced immediately.
A willing hand and active mind made the task easier than she had
anticipated. It was soon a matter of conversation through all the
village, when it became known that the haughty Henriette Clinton was
going to be a dress maker, and many were the remarks that were made
upon her everlasting gingham dress, for her nice sense of propriety
prevented her from wearing the rich articles of apparel contained in
her wardrobe; and at present she could procure no other. She formed
the resolution sometimes of disposing of some of her costly garments
to relieve her present necessity, but they had been selected by her
dear father, and were all that remained to her as a link of her past
intercourse with him, and so she clung to them as dear remembrances of
the past, the happy past.

She sat through the long weary hours with her eyes bent upon her work,
and made rapid proficiency in the art she was acquiring.

Mr. Norcross, who purchased the Clinton estate, was a man of a low
sordid mind not at all calculated to appreciate the elegance of his
domicile. He was a merchant, and had rapidly come into possession of
great wealth, and wishing to climb a little higher upon the ladder
of aristocracy, he thought a purchase of the lawyer's splendid
establishment would forward his progress. Therefore, selling his own
place at a very high price, and purchasing that at an equally low one,
did not much diminish his hoarded gold. But after all they were not
the Clintons. It was only Mr. Norcross the store-keeper, and they had
many steps to climb before they could reach that position in society
they were so desirous of attaining. They bowed to one, scraped to
another, parties were made, and many means devised, all of which were
accompanied with disappointment, as the least desired would come, and
those for whom the party was made would just as surely stay away.

Mrs. Norcross was a large coarse woman, with red hair, light blue
eyes, and freckled face, but with a good humored expression of
countenance. Her two daughters, Araminta and Clarinda, were not very
refined in their manners, owing to a deficiency in their education,
but were good hearted, cheerful girls. Araminta was much pleased with
Henriette's horse, but did not appreciate the name, and declared he
should be called Selim, for she knew she had read of some great
man who had a horse by that name, and who ever heard of one named
Sullensifadda, ugly name. She mounted him one day, gaily caparisoned,
but he being equally unaccostomed to his new name and rider, soon
convinced her he had a light pair of heels.

Henriette sat busily at work by the window, when the clatter of the
well known hoofs sounded upon her ear, and she raised her eyes just in
time to see her well remembered steed flying toward the mountain
pass with the speed of lightning, while the frightened Araminta was
clinging to his mane to prevent falling to the ground, her long riding
dress and veil were streaming behind her their full length in the
wind, which was blowing pretty briskly, and her small riding-cap was
drawn a little farther upon one side than the rules of gentility
seemed to require. Henriette pitied the poor girl, but she could not
help smiling at her ludicrous appearance. She turned pale when she
saw the horse turn suddenly down a narrow path that led to the river,
plunge into its dashing waves, and swimming round a circuitous route,
spring back upon the shore, and setting his face towards home, bore
back the mortified girl all wet and dripping through the streets at
too rapid a rate for any one to interfere with his arrangements,
arriving at home apparently well satisfied with his performance.

Months passed away, such months as Henriette had never known before.
She could have borne her toil, her simple fare, and the ten thousand
deprivations she was subjected to, had this been all; but the averted
looks of her friends were more than all these. She used to sit a
little while in the twilight hour upon her parents' graves, and recall
their loved forms and tender words, and people her imagination with
by-gone scenes, and then, as she contrasted the present, her cherished
text would come to illuminate her mind and calm her troubled spirit,
"all things work together for good to them that fear God," and she was
comforted and strengthened to go on her weary way, for this took in
life with all its little incidents, its every day trials, and she
returned to the active duties of life, realizing that "this is not our
home."

Ere the spring returned she had accomplished her wish, and entered
into many families as dress maker where she used to be admitted as an
equal, if not superior. She maintained her dignity of deportment, for
now she well knew poverty did not deteriorate from worth, a
lesson perhaps she too might have been slow to learn under some
circumstances, but which now had been taught her by stern necessity,
and her rigid lessons are never soon forgotten.

She had taken the rich trimming from some of her plainest dresses, and
wore them when she could not possibly avoid it. She did her work with
great neatness and dispatch, and was supplied with all she could
possibly do, so that she remunerated the kind hearted woman who had
boarded her through her apprenticeship, and been very attentive to her
in many ways, for she truly pitied the poor orphan.

In the spring Mr. Clinton's vacant office was again occupied by a
young lawyer, who came into the village, from New York, named Henry
Lorton, and half the young ladies' heads were turned, by the beauty
and elegance of the young northerner. Parties were formed, walks
projected up the mountains, moonlight sails upon the silvery bosom of
the Juniata, and every means devised to draw the young lawyer into
company, and love with the southern beauties; but they declared his
heart was as cold as the region he came from.

All these things Henriette heard, as she sat plying her needle, or
stood fitting a dress to the forms of some of her gay companions;
but now her interests were separate from theirs, and she toiled on,
through the weary day. There were some who appreciated her motives,
and spoke kindly to the poor orphan, and the sweet consciousness of
well doing sweetened her cup of toil.

Henry Lorton was educated upon liberal New England principles, and
his mother was a dress-maker before her marriage with his father, and
besides, he had ever been taught to respect the industrious part
of the community, and his high minded principles revolted from the
overbearing aristocracy of the place, and therefore, he appeared
reserved to those with whom he associated.

Henriette felt grieved as she visited her father's grave; there was no
monument erected at his head, while at her mother's stood an elegant
polished marble one, of great value, having a female bearing an infant
in her arms, chiselled upon it, and this one thought occupied her
mind; she would rise early and eat the bread of carefulness, might she
but erect a monument to her father's grave; and often she burned the
midnight lamp, and rose before the stars had faded from the sky, to
accomplish her holy purpose.

A young lady, who was married about that time, saw and wished to
purchase an elegantly trimmed satin dress, and Henriette assented,
thinking the value of it would be more sacred to her eyes, in her
father's monument, than elsewhere. The young lady paid her the full
value of this and several other articles of clothing, and she soon had
the pleasure of seeing the splendid monument reared over her father's
grave.

Ellen Horton had ever met Henriette with a cordial greeting, and she
did not feel the same shrinking when she was requested to spend a few
days at the residence of the wealthy Edward Horton that she did in
going to many other places, and she went with a cheerful heart to
prepare the splendid bridal dress for Ellen.

Next day, Charles Hunter, the future bridegroom, arrived from
Providence, the future home of the fair Ellen, and the young ladies
and gentlemen of the place were invited to spend the evening.

Mr. Horton was formerly from Philadelphia, and an intimate friend of
Charles Hunter's father, who was a sea captain, and being shipwrecked
during one of his voyages, was conveyed in a pitiful condition to the
house of Mr. Horton, and thus commenced an ardent friendship, to be
ended only by death.

The nuptials of Charles and Ellen were looked forward to with great
interest, by both families. Especially, was Mrs. Hunter, much pleased,
as she was an invalid, and had no daughter.

But evening came--bright, beautiful evening, and with it came bright,
beautiful eyes--bright, beautiful faces, and all was gaiety and
joyousness, In the brilliantly illuminated parlors of Mr. Horton.
Henriette, yielding to the wishes of Ellen and her mother, and the
express commands of Mr. Horton, consented to join the party. She
entered the room with the dignity of a queen; but the scornful toss
of many a young head, and the averted gaze of many a familiar eye,
brought the deep blush of wounded feelings to her cheek, ere she
reached her seat. As she raised her eyes she met those of Henry Lorton
fixed upon her, with an expression that her woman's intuitive sense
easily read.

They had frequently met before, but had never formed any acquaintance.

Each one was winning a name. Henry Lorton had made rapid advancement
in his profession, and stood high in the estimation of his fellow men,
for honesty and integrity of principle.

Many a match-making mother would gladly have entrapped him for her
daughter, and many a daughter, perchance, might have accepted his
hand, had it been offered, but it was not. No one could elicit
anything beyond politeness from him.

He turned to a dark-eyed beauty, who sat beside him, asking her if she
was acquainted with Miss Clinton.

She blushed, stammered,

"Why, no; I am not now--that is, I used to be when she went into
society, that is before her father's death--before she was a
dress-maker."

Henry turned away, disgusted with this indefinite intelligence. For
a moment a slight smile of scorn rested upon his lip, and a darker
expression shaded his countenance; but it lingered not. The usual
happy smile returned again, and holy charity came back to his heart.

The evening passed sadly to Henriette. She was with her dear
schoolmates--the friends of her early days, and her heart yearned for
the dear familiar tones that then fell upon her ear, and in spite of
her every effort, the tear trickled down her cheek. She turned to the
window, and looked out upon the blue waters and the grey sides of the
lofty mountain, that seemed looking down upon her in sympathy, like
the Mighty Power that created it.

She was roused from her reverie by the voice of Ellen, who presented
Mr. Lorton, he having earnestly solicited an introduction. They
conversed pleasantly upon the beauties of the surrounding scenery, and
before the party broke up he requested permission to visit her at her
boarding house, the next evening.

There were some sly glances, but it was the independent Henry Lorton,
and little was said.

The next evening he visited Henriette, offered her his heart and hand,
and was accepted. They appointed an early day for the wedding. Henry
adding,

"We will give the people an agreeable surprise."

She finished Ellen's work. The happy pair were united, and started for
Providence. Henriette declined taking any more work, as she affirmed
she must take a few stitches in her own wardrobe.

Great was the consternation when the banns of marriage between Henry
Lorton and Henriette Clinton were published, the Sabbath preceding
their wedding. Many a deep flush darted over the youthful cheek, and
many a head was tossed scornfully, and a sea of eyes were turned
towards the humble seat Henriette usually occupied.

Arrayed in a simple robe of India muslin, Henry led the blushing
Henriette to the altar of Hymen. They were acquainted with each
other's characters, in the abstract.

After a pleasant tour north, they returned again to the village, and
Henriette was surprised when they arrived there, to find the carriage
stop at the home of her childhood.

Mr. Norcross, failing from his former premises, to reach the station
he wished in society, was about returning to Philadelphia, and Henry
Lorton, who in reality was a very wealthy man, had purchased it,
unbeknown to any one.

The dear familiar faces of her parents were again hung in the old
familiar places, upon the library walls, beaming upon her with looks
of fond affection, and shedding the sweet smile of earlier days upon
her. The books were neatly arranged on the polished shelves, and as
she again resumed her accustomed seat by the window, and looked out
upon the summit of the lofty mountains, they seemed like old familiar
friends, welcoming her return, and assumed the strange, mysterious
shapes, that so attracted her childish gaze; and the trees that stood
nodding in the pure winds of heaven, seemed beckoning her to their
cooling shades, and she felt that the sunlight of her early home was
again shedding its glad beams around her, and enjoyed that subdued
happiness, that only can be learned by an acquaintance with sorrow.

Often as she thus sat in the pensive twilight hour, listening to the
murmur of the evening breeze, the voices of her dear parents would
seem stealing upon her ear in well remembered tones, whispering of
happiness and heaven; and she felt a sweet and holy calm steal over
her spirits, and felt that "angels indeed ministered" unto her.

Henry invited her to ride with him, and her beautiful Sullensifadda
stood pawing at the door, richly caparisoned, while the groom held her
father's dapple grey by the bridle for Henry. As they galloped slowly
up the mountain pass, the monuments of her dear parents glittering in
the sun admonished her that connubial bliss cannot shield from death,
for her mother had fallen a victim when she was a young and happy
bride, and her young heart had just felt the dawnings of a mother's
love. She raised her thoughts to God in fervent supplication, that He
still would be the Father of the fatherless.

It was painful to Henriette to witness the cringing servility of many
who formerly treated her with contempt; but she had learned many
useful lessons in poverty, that affluence never would have taught her,
and she ever endeavored to throw the sweet garb of charity over the
frailties of her fellow men, and especially did the destitute orphan
ever find sympathy and assistance from her generous aid. Fleeting
years have borne away many of the actors in this little drama, and the
grass grows green upon their graves. Other eyes have learned to look
upon the mountains, and trace ideal imagery upon their shadowy sides.
Little feet imprint the terraced walk to the winding banks of the blue
Juniata, and watch the bubbles that float upon the stream. No change
had passed upon the silver bosom of the waters.

Henriette is happy in the dear old home. Her old nurse is the nurse of
her children. A manly form is by her side; tender words are spoken in
a deep-toned voice; but it is the husband of her youth instead of the
father of her childhood. Happy in the affections of her husband and
children, and in the faithful performance of those sweet duties that
devolve upon her as a wife and mother, Henriette spends her useful
life in the exercise of those virtues she only learned from reverses
in fortune. Henry too is happy. Disgusted with flattering attentions
paid to wealth, he had won him a name and a bride, while his
circumstances were unknown. He had watched unobserved the patient
endurance and unwavering industry of Henriette Clinton, and resolved
they should not go unrewarded.

The smile of heaven rests upon the happy household, and it is invoked
by the voice of ardent prayer, and the family kneel together around
the family altar, and the rich, deep-toned voice of Henry offers up
the morning and evening sacrifice, rendering praise and thanksgiving
to the giver of every good and perfect gift.




The Child.


  Laughing child of the noble brow,
  Whither, say, whither comest thou?
  I've been wandering long in sunlit bow'rs,
  Chasing butterflies and flow'rs;
  And this bright garland round my hair,
  Is one that I've been twining there.

  Happy child of the garland gay,
  Whither wanderest thou to play?
  I've been floating bubbles on silver streams:
  Printing the sand with golden dreams;
  I've wandered widely all the day,
  And feel much wearied with my play.

  Gentle child of the languid brow,
  What is this comes o'er thee now?
  My wearied limbs are filled with pain,
  A scorching fever burns my brain;
  Hope dances not before my eyes,
  But only points beyond the skies.

  Wasted child of the marble brow,
  Mysterious death steals o'er thee now.
  How pale and ghastly is thy cheek,
  Thy quiv'ring lips refuse to speak;
  Fluttering and pausing comes thy breath:--
  It ceases now, thou 'rt cold in death.

  There hangs the wreath which yesterday,
  Like thee, was blooming bright and gay;
  Emblem still, its leaves are dead,
  Their colors gone, their beauty fled;
  But withered roses shed perfume,
  That live beyond the mould'ring tomb.

  Happy child of the angel brow,
  Brighter wreaths entwine thee now;
  Thy paths are spread thro' fairer bow'rs,
  Adorned with amaranthine flow'rs,
  And ever happy thou wilt be,
  Thro' a blest eternity.

  But I must bid thee farewell now,
  Beautiful child of the death cold brow.




Lines, Written on the Death of Ellen A---- B----.


  Could infant grace and beauty's bloom
    Turn fate's decrees aside,
  Death had not borne her to the tomb,--
    Thy Ellen had not died.

  But God, in mercy, from his throne
    Looks down, on earth below,
  And plucks from thence, to be his own,
    The fairest flowers that grow.

  What once was clay, suff'ring, distress'd,
    Subject to pain and ire,--
  A happy spirit, with the bless'd,
    Now tunes a seraph's lyre.

  One little lock of silken hair
    Is all that's to thee given;--
  The rest lies buried deep in earth,--
    The soul with God in heaven.

  The night winds sigh around her grave,
    The night dews there descend;
  And there the tears of anguish lave
    Thy pallid cheeks, my friend.

  But, oh! forbear, nor let thy tears,
    Drop on this mould'ring sod;--
  Reflect, 'tis dust that slumbers here,
    The spirit's with its God.

  For ere her fragile life had closed,
    What blissful hopes were given;--
  Those parted lips and beaming eyes
    Spake less of earth than heaven,

  And soon thy dream of life will close,--
    Its hopes and joys be o'er;
  In death's cold arms thy limbs repose,--
    Thy soul to glory soar.

  And then, perhaps, this cherub form,
    From sin so soon set free,
  May, with a daughter's greeting warm,
    Be first to welcome thee.

  Perhaps, the joys on earth denied,
    In full fruition given,
  May more abundant be supplied,
    For rip'ning thus, in heaven.

  Perhaps, 'mid splendor spread around,
    Which thou shalt see, and hear,
  Mother, may be the sweetest sound
    That strikes thy ravished ear.

  Then do not mourn those early called
    To yonder blissful sky,--
  They drink full draughts of living bliss,
    From founts that never dry.




The Order of Nature.


The strictest harmony and order pervade nature in all her works. She
is governed by laws and regulations which the nicest art may attempt
in vain to imitate. If we contemplate the azure sky, with all its
glittering host of golden stars, and watch them as they run their
nightly course through the boundless fields of ether, we shall readily
perceive they are led by a systematic hand.

The sun, as he unlocks the rosy gates of the east, and comes forth to
run his glad journey across the sky, diffusing light and warmth upon
the vegetable world beneath, moves with the utmost regularity, giving
to each succeeding year, "the seasons and their changes."

The gentle moon, as she sheds her borrowed light from the blue
chambers of the sky, throwing her silver mantle overnight's sable
form, performs her varied evolutions without "variableness or shadow
of turning." Every planet and every star has its fixed place assigned
it, and even the fiery comet has its appointed orbit, and the man of
science can tell the exact time of its appearance, and the course it
will run, and now it is accounted for by the laws of nature, rather
than regarded as a fearful herald of war or devastation; and even the
meteor flash, that glares for a moment and then disappears forever, is
awakened into action by the density of the atmosphere, and regulated
by the same common laws.

The portentous thunder clouds that emit the vivid lightning's flash,
and the deep-toned thunder reverberating through the sky, speak of
the sublimity of their Author, and perform their destined missions of
purifying the air and increasing the health of man.

The sea, the deep blue sea, too, has its bounds that it cannot pass.
Its tides may ebb and flow, its bounding waves make music on their
winding shore, or heave in their giant strength, and dash their foam
and spray before the raging tempest, but they are curbed by that
Eternal fiat, which says, "So far shalt thou go and no farther," or
hushed by the same voice saying, "Peace, be still!"

Rivers run in their destined courses, and pay constant tribute to
old ocean, and even the sparkling brook that bubbles over its pebbly
bottom, dances not in vain, for the grass upon its margin assumes a
deeper green and marks the threading of its silver current.

The gentle dew that distils upon the tender herbage in the deep
silence of midnight, of the mist that rises from the bosom of
the earth, are not without design. The mountain rising in its
magnificence, the gently sloping hill and verdant vale, are so
arranged as to fill the mind of the beholder with satisfaction, while
the eye gazes upon the perfect harmony that pervades great nature's
works.

Every thing that is beautiful, every thing that is sublime, is
depicted in the order and perfection of the natural world, where each
has its appropriate sphere and fulfils its appropriate destiny.

This is a theme upon which the most powerful mind may expand itself,
stretching from thought to thought, and from object to object, without
grasping half the amazing whole. When we contemplate the forest
standing in silent grandeur, the tree, the shrub, the flower in all
its beautiful varieties, the rock, the precipice, the foaming cataract
that has thundered on for ages with the same deafening roar, and all
the ten thousand varied objects of inanimate creation, and observe
the nice regulations in which they are placed, we can but remark with
reverential awe, "In wisdom hast thou made them all."

If we find beauty thus depicted in the inanimate, how much greater
will be our admiration in the contemplation of animate creation? If
we descend into the depths of the ocean we shall find it teeming with
life, from the sponge that clings to the rock, to the mighty leviathan
that sports amid the bounding billows.

Or search we the air, we find it peopled with myriads of floating
insects, on silken wings, each moving in its own little sphere, and
then passing away. The spotted butterfly, that flits through the air,
on fairy wing, or rests its downy pinions on the bosom of the fragrant
rose; the bird that carols on the spray, or warbles sweetly through
the air; the mountain bee, that comes humming round the summer
flower, sipping its store of sweets, and even the drowsy hum of the
summer-fly, as it floats in mazy circles, are all connecting links in
nature's chain.

But where shall we stop? the spider, the cricket, the beetle, the
glow-worm, with his feeble lamp, the firefly that flies twinkling
through the air all the "midsummer night," and every beast that roams
the field, whether wild or tame, all--all have their proper sphere,
and are in proper order.

But we have still to contemplate the most beautiful piece of
mechanism, of nature's plastic hand, in the formation of man, for
whose convenience and use, all things else seem created. A careless
observer looks upon man, and sees in the general outline a beautiful
piece of mechanism, moving in grace and dignity, and standing in an
exalted position upon the earth. He, too, has his place assigned him,
by the order of nature, and moves in the highest sphere of earthly
being. By the useful and interesting study of physiology, we are
enabled to define the construction of his system, to delineate the
muscles, nerves, veins and fibres, and the complicated mass that forms
the man, with all their separate dependencies upon each other. But
the mind, the great moving spring of action that gives motion to the
whole, who can analyze or delineate? That will live forever, when the
stillness of death rests upon the pulses. That is the great connecting
link between time and eternity, and doomed, by the order of nature,
to live forever, and the boundless ages of eternity alone can fully
develop its faculties, or define its station.

And too, there is another upon earth, whose presence is often felt,
but is never seen. The pale horse and his rider leave unmistakable
evidences of their sojourn with the generations of men, They pass on,
breathing upon them a chilling breath, and they are seen no more. They
go forth, conquering and to conquer, and the king, and the beggar,
fall alike, before their ruthless sway.

But, there is yet the great unchanging God, for whose honor and glory
all things are and were created, who "spake and it was done," and who
has taught us by revelation, that the heavens shall be rolled together
as a scroll, and the spirit alone remain of man.




The Seasons.


  Swift rolls the fast revolving year,
  As months and seasons disappear;
  And scarce we greet the vernal Spring,
  Ere Summer spreads her sultry wing;
  And she retires with hasty pace
  To give to sober Autumn place;
  Who scatters fruits and flowers around,
  And then to Winter leaves the ground;
  With frost and snow and tempests drear,
  He closes each succeeding year.
  But though so swift they pass from view,
  Each has its portioned work to do.
  Spring must unbind the icy chains,
  And send the streamlet o'er the plains;
  Call the feather'd songsters home,
  That far in southern climates roam:
  Must bid the springing grass appear,
  And daisies crown the bright parterre;
  Gently distil her silent show'rs,
  And propagate her budding flow'rs;
  Thus gathering up her treasures fair,
  A gift for Summer, rich and rare.

  She takes the garland bright and gay,
  Fresh from the blooming lap of May:
  Unfolds the casings from the flow'rs,
  And flings them o'er her sylvan bow'rs;
  Brings all their hidden tints to view,
  Gives to their leaves a deeper hue:
  Sends forth the bee and butterfly,
  On downy pinions soaring high,
  Or sporting gay from flow'r to flow'r,
  Through the short lived Summer hour.
  She brings, on every passing breeze,
  Some fragrant odor from the trees;
  Spreads out rich beauties to the eye,
  And softly breathes her gentlest sigh;
  That wakes the ripple on the stream,--
  That dances in the sun's bright beam.
  But summer beauties vanish soon,--
  As shadows dim the sun at noon;
  And Autumn comes with aspect mild,
  Meditation's favorite child.

  She takes the gift from Summer fair,--
  Unbraids the tresses of her hair,
  Mellows her fruits, scatters her flow'rs,
  And blights the leaves upon her bow'rs,
  Then, breathes a mournful sigh around,
  And whirls them, wither'd, o'er the ground.

  Then Winter comes, with tempest wild,
  Nature's boisterous, willful child,
  To bind the streams in icy chains,--
  Drive sleet and snow across the plains;
  And howling through the wintry sky,
  The drifting winds shriek loud and high.

  Thus Winter closes every year,
  With snow, and ice, and tempest drear.
  So human life is but a span,--
  A title, portion'd out to man;
  A tale, a song, a fev'rish dream,--
  A bubble floating on a stream,
  A tear, a sigh, a passing breath,--
  A meteor, swallow'd up in death.
  But though so brief the space we view,
  Each has its portion'd work to do:
  Youth must unbind and bud the flow'rs,
  To bloom o'er manhood's sylvan bow'rs;
  He must propel the early shoot,
  And ripen it to golden fruit,
  And weave a chaplet, rich and rare,
  For age to twine around his hair,--
  As Faith looks up, with trusting eye,
  To brighter worlds beyond the sky.




Dedication in an Album.


Pure, unsullied pages lay before me. How chaste should be the thought,
how refined the sentiment here inscribed. May this book be dedicated
to Religion, Morality and Virtue, and a deep toned piety pervade the
thoughts and emotions here portrayed, which shall find a deep response
in your own heart. Like these spotless pages, the mind of youth lays
unoccupied, spread out for the reception of the seed committed to its
trust. May it be yours to propagate high and holy principles, that
shall be watered by the dews of divine grace, ripened by the Sun of
Righteousness, and bring forth fruit to eternal life.

As passing years bear away the glad season of youth, and usher in
a more mature period, may the traces upon these pages bring back
pleasant recollections of dear friends, some, perchance, who may have
passed away with passing years, and the hand that now writes may be
mouldering in the dust; for disguise as we may, "it is appointed to
all men once to die." Those who live well, live in preparation for
death.

When in future years your eye glances upon this page, my prayer for
your enduring happiness will meet it. May flowers bloom beside your
pathway, that never fade.

  Sweet flowers beside thy pathway
    Are blooming, bright and gay,
  Fann'd gently by the zephyr's wing,--
    Kiss'd by the sun's warm ray.

  But soon they fold their withered leaves,
    And fade away and die;
  But still they shed a sweet perfume,
    Where fallen low they lie.

  But there are flowers, perennial flowers,
    That bloom within the mind:
  Shedding a fragrance o'er the life,
    Leaving perfume behind.

  Henry, may these adorn your mind,
    Religion, Virtue, Truth;
  And thus diffuse their odor sweet,
    O'er the glad days of youth.

  They shall not fade, but brighter bloom,
    As years are flitting by;--
  Cast a sweet fragrance round the tomb,
    And bloom in worlds on high.




Lines, Written to Mrs. S----, On the Death of Her Infant.


  Thy anxious watchings now are past,
    The summons has been given,
  Thy gentle one has breath'd her last,
    And gone from earth to heaven.

  Yet do not mourn that she from earth
    Thus early passed away;
  A pitying Saviour call'd her hence,
    To realms of endless day.

  And she is free from earth-born cares,
    Which we must still endure;
  Her little dream of life is o'er,
    Her crown of glory sure.

  Though icy death, like winter's shroud,
    Surrounds the mould'ring tomb,
  Upon the resurrection morn
    Eternal spring shall bloom.

  Mother of angels, softly tread,
    Perchance to thee 'tis given,
  To hold communings with the dead,
    Who live and reign in heaven.

  And as thy treasures there are laid,
    There thy warm hopes will rise;
  Thou hast an added golden link
    To draw thee to the skies.

  Thy mission is a holy one:
    Thy honor'd husband stands
  A watchman upon Zion's walls,
    Its standard in his hands.

  'Tis thine to aid the glorious work,
    Thy ransom'd soul may tell
  The wonders of a Saviour's love,
    Who "doeth all things well."

  Press onward in thy heav'nly task,
    And drink in full supplies
  From free Salvation's living springs,
    That in the gospel rise.

  God speed thee, sister, on thy way;
    May many souls be giv'n
  In answer to thy fervent prayers,
    To form thy crown in heav'n.




Lines, To Mrs. S----, On the Death of Her Son, Who Died March, 1854.


  Smooth gently back the silken hair,
    From off the death-damp brow;
  Life's feeble struggles all are o'er,--
    Free is that spirit now.

  Mother, no more those anxious eyes
    Will seek thy loving face;
  That little, pulseless, marble form,
    Heeds not thy fond embrace.

  Fold the hands lightly on his breast,
    And close his weary eyes,
  Then gently seek the place of rest,
    Where his sweet sister lies.

  And place their coffins side by side,
    Within the narrow tomb.
  Sweetly, the gentle Saviour said,
    "To me, let children come."

  Then bring pure buds of snowy white,
    And strew them by their side,
  Meet emblems, these, of their frail lives,--
    That in the blooming--died.

  They lov'd each other while on earth,
    And now a purer love
  Than earth can give, shall elevate
    Their intercourse above.

  Three cherubs now, before the throne,
    Join in the anthem sweet;
  Perchance, it lack'd thy Linnae's voice,
    To make that song complete.

  Thou hast a trio angel band,
    In heaven's high court above;--
  There Freddie, Lizzie, Linnae stand,
    Before a God of love.

  Thou soon must join that angel band,
    For earthly must decay;
  Thy children from the spirit land,
    Seem beck'ning thee away.

  And now a threefold golden cord,
    Has unto thee been given,
  Gently to draw thy trusting heart
    Away from earth to heaven.

  And though mysterious are God's ways--
    His promises are sure;
  Earth no affliction has so deep,
    "That heaven cannot cure."

  And though so dark appears the cloud--
    Its silver lining, see;
  The Sun of Righteousness there sheds
    His healing beams for thee.

  Thou hast one jewell'd casket yet--
    Thy Eddie still remains;
  O, may a dying Saviour's blood
    Cleanse all his guilty stains.

  That he may be prepared to go,
    When Christ shall bid him come,
  And join that glittering, angel band,
    In their eternal home.

  Then when the last loud trump shall sound,
    And wake the sleeping dead;
  Thy family shall all be found,
    With Christ, their Living Head.




The First and Last Voyage of The Atlantic.


It was a delightful afternoon in midsummer, when I passed through New
York, that great thoroughfare of human life, to pursue my passage
towards my own New England home, with a heart filled with those
inexpressible emotions that crowd upon us, when, after a long absence
we anticipate a return to the bosom of a loved family.

Nature seemed tuned to sweet harmonies, and echoing the happiness that
filled the heart, produced no discordant note. Gentle breezes fanned
the cheek, and bore sweet perfume from the waving branches of the
trees as they gently swung before it, and their trembling leaves
fluttered before the passing breath of the summer wind; for summer was
brightly clad in all her robes of glory.

Birds carolled in wild melody their hymns of praise, and lifted their
glad voices to Him "who tipped their glittering wings with gold, and
tuned their voice to praise." Flowers were blooming in all their rich
varieties, and the splendid boquet that had been presented me from the
lady with whom I had been boarding several weeks, bespoke the handy
work of its Creator, and involuntarily raised the thoughts to that
land, where the flowers fade not, where change and decay come not.

Our journey led us by the quiet Cemetery of Greenwood, that vast
receptacle of the city dead. As we mused upon its peaceful rest, its
quiet shades, the transparency of the waters, that sleep in the bosom
of the sylvan lake, and then glanced upon the great thoroughfare,
teeming with life in all its varied and changeful positions, and
reflected that every individual in that moving mass possessed an
immortal mind, and was pressing their way to these grassy avenues,
passing on, step by step, toward the silent grave, the thought was
overwhelming, and the question came up, "Lord, what is man that thou
art mindful of him, or the Son of man that thou regardest him?"

As we crossed Fulton ferry at Brooklyn, the waters spoke in low, dirge
like voices of the same Almighty hand, and their waves were tossed
into gentle motion by the passing breeze, and seemed to reflect
myriads of diamonds upon its sparkling bosom, as it lay spread out
before the eye of the beholder.

The bustling throng of the city were moving down by the Battery toward
the steamboat wharf. The silver fountain sent forth its sparkling
waters, and the white swan curved its graceful neck in its mimic
lake, and the walks in the Battery were neat and inviting; but these
attracted not the attention of the passing throng. There was a more
intense object of curiosity.

The beautiful Atlantic lay at the wharf, lifting high her huge steam
pipes, emitting her blinding steam, and impatient to try her strength
upon the bosom of the deep. Her deck was thronged with human beings,
filled with impatient curiosity to see the gallant boat launch forth,
and pursue her way over the waste of waters.

Little thought that gaping multitude of the rich freight that was on
board that floating bark, that was now to try its giant strength upon
the billowy waves, the ocean of human mind broader, deeper than the
watery waste of the wide Atlantic. O, no, they thought not of those
priceless treasures, but it was the boat and her noble bearings that
attracted all eyes and was the absorbing theme of conversation.

Near by lay the proud Oregon, apparently boasting that she had tried
her strength, and was now willing to contest the point with the
stranger boat, and be her pilot down the Sound. Her decks, too, were
crowded with passengers anxious for the approaching race, for which
every preparation was making.

The sun was sinking towards the west, and shed his subduing beams over
the face of nature. No cloud hung its fleecy curtains over the canopy
of heaven, but the arch of cerulean blue hung in deep solemn grandeur
over the gathered crowd, over the boats at their moorings, and over
the rippling waves that mirrored back its placid smile from their own
tranquil bosom.

The hour came, the cheerful bells pealed their cordial invitation for
all to come on board, and so they hastened on; the second bell rang
its departure to the multitude on the shore, and soon the sound of the
fierce steam whistle, the noise of the machinery, and the splash of
the waters, told that the boats were moving like a thing of life
over the bounding billows. The officers of the boat and many of the
passengers were hurrying round, with busy feet, and using necessary
efforts to propel their speed. As a bird cuts the air or an arrow
wings its feathery course, so sped the boats upon their onward way.

The crowd on the shore watched them till they became small black
specks in the distance, and then the tumultuous tide of human life
turned towards the city's mart, and mingled again in its busy
fluctuations and its change.

There was a delightful view as the boat passed the beautiful villages
and elegant mansions of the wealthy citizens upon the surrounding
shore, reflecting the mild radiance of the setting sun.

When the shadows of twilight deepened, and the sable curtains of night
hid more distant objects from view, we could see in the dim distance
upon the waste of waters, the heated steam pipes of the swift
Atlantic, shedding a lurid glare upon the surrounding darkness.

By some failure in the fire works of the Oregon, one of the boilers
refused to do its office, and it was a fearful sight to some on board
to witness the high pressure principle that was applied to the other
to raise the steam. The blue sky was above us and the blue waters
beneath, and midnight shed her mysterious shapes and phantom shadows
around us, and awoke memories of steamboat disasters and perishing
crews sinking into a watery grave.

The ill-fated Lexington that was burned upon this very track, came up,
haunting the imagination with wild, fantastic dreams.

But turning from a land of fancies and of shadows, we raised a
trusting eye to the glittering host of silent stars that glistened in
all their matchless beauty in heaven's blue vault above, then listened
to the dashing of the briny wave, and felt that God was there, that
His eye slumbereth not, and His hand holds not only individual life,
but the destinies of nations, and at this solemn midnight hour, when
there was no object of His creative power in sight save the spangled
arch above and the foaming waters beneath, it was sweet to look up
to Him in confidence and trust, feeling that His Almighty arm is
omnipotent to save.

About midnight the ardor of the race abated. The Atlantic veered off
in a different direction toward her destined port, and the Oregon
pursued her accustomed way to her usual landing in Stonington.

Both boats reached their places of destination in safety, and thus
passed the first night of the gallant boat upon the ocean wave.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was a cold day when sober autumn had almost accomplished her
appointed task, and swept cleanly away the beautiful shrubs and
flowers, and rolled the withered leaves before his chilling breath to
prepare for the entrance of cold, freezing winter, that already began
to send his icy messengers before him, touching the streams with their
freezing breath, and scattering snow flakes upon the barren earth.

It was on such a day when autumn came forth dressed in the icy garb of
winter, that the Atlantic again prepared to loose from her accustomed
moorings and ply her destined way to the busy city. Day after day she
had performed her journey, and was winning public confidence in her
safety and expedition.

Notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, many sought a passage,
desirous of reaching the distant city to spend the coming thanksgiving
with absent friends. The wind sighed in low, fitful murmurs as it
bore the fleecy snow flakes upon its airy pinions, and flung them
unceremoniously into the face of the passing traveler, thus warning
him of a fiercely coming storm.

The officers hesitated, as the ominous sea swell came surging on, and
the dashing waves moaning upon the winding shore, seemed shrieking a
sad requiem over the departed.

But finally the urgency of the passengers was so great, that they
concluded to put forth upon the waste of waters and brave the fury of
the midnight storm.

The bell gave its usual signal, and as its stifled sounds were borne
upon the ear by the howling winds, they sounded like a death knell.

There were hurrying vehicles, and the busy tread of active feet, and
the motley group were all on board, and many sorrowing friends stood
upon the shore, breathing a tearful farewell, to the dear ones who
were going from them.

The man of God was there; he had committed his interests to the "God
of the winds and the waves," and his heart was at peace.

The gay and thoughtless were there, who heeded not that "human life is
a vapor, that passeth soon away."

The second bell rang, and the sound fell with that leaden weight upon
many hearts, that so often comes upon us, when we are called to part
from some dearly loved objects, and we feel that it may be an eternal
separation.

The boat was soon gliding over the foaming ocean, and the sorrowing
friends returned to their homes, for the driving snow and sleet would
not permit them to linger long, to watch its progress.

The last fond look was given, white handkerchiefs fluttered a moment
in the sweeping blast, and the last farewell had passed between many
fond, loving hearts.

The boat pursued her dangerous way, amid "the windy storm and
tempest," and hope animated their bosoms, and some felt sure they
should arrive in safety.

The storm and darkness increased, the wind blew with greater violence,
and the tumultous sea hove up a hollow, bellowing sound, and seemed
threatening swift destruction.

About midnight the boat became unmanageable, and it became evident to
all on board, that many, if not all, must perish.

O, who may paint the agony of that fearful night? when death was
heralding his approach, in the loud surging of the ruthless blast, and
the deep toned thunder of the many voiced waters, as they dashed their
giant waves against the ill-fated bark, that groaned and trembled
beneath their mighty pressure.

Mingling with the tumultous groans of troubled nature, arose a fearful
cry, from lips white with fear.

The solemn voice of prayer went up, and there were none to scoff, when
the aged man bent his knee, and lifted his heart to God in prayer,
beseeching him, for Jesus Christ's sake, to have mercy upon their
souls. Many prayed in that hour of trial that never prayed before.
It was an hour that closed the scorner's lip, and made the most
profligate feel he was in the presence of a prayer-hearing God.

The bell, as if by some mysterious agency, commenced tolling, and its
sad knell sounded through that long night, over the bosom of the lone
sea. It was the same bell that rang so loud and clear on the day of
the boat's first departure from New York; but now how different are
the tones as they mingle with ocean's wail, and the fearful shriek of
the howling blast.

It was like the changes that come over us so often, as we toss upon
the tide of life, and buffet its adverse storms.

Many, ere morning dawned, found a watery grave.

It is not my intention to particularize, but draw the contrast of the
first and last night the beautiful boat tossed upon the mighty deep.

Perchance the same eyes that witnessed her departure from the shore,
anxiously watched her return that morning, and the anticipated
greeting of many a dear friend burned bright in many a heart, but was
soon--very soon--to be forever extinguished, as the loved, expected
form was even then buried beneath the ocean wave. Many a mother had
prepared the sumptuous thanksgiving breakfast, for a long-absent
expected son, who, perchance, was offering up his thanksgiving anthem
before the throne of God.

Hoary age and helpless infancy fell alike, before the destroying
angel, and there were vacancies in almost all the relations of life.

How often it is thus with those who sail in life's frail bark, out
upon the ocean of time. The morning may be calm and serene, and the
golden sun shed his glad beams upon our joyous pathway, or the pale
moon may walk forth in her beauty, accompanied by all the hosts of
twinkling stars, to gladden the night, while gentle winds sigh around
our dwellings, and we may pass on in the sunshine and the calm. But
clouds will arise, tempests will come, for the waves and billows of
human passions will surge over us, and many a frail bark is shattered
and stranded beneath their giant strength.

Weary pilgrim in life's rugged journey, there is a haven of peace,
where thy worn spirit may find rest. There is a chart to guide thee
over the troubled sea, and a pilot stands ready to steer thy little
bark aright.

His beams can ever shed a cheering ray upon thy toilsome way; and, oh,
may you see light in his light.

The broad ocean of eternity lays before us; into that must our little
shallop pass, and meet its final award. This, this is all that is
worth living for--happy entrance into the presence of God, that

  "We may bathe our weary souls,
  In seas of heavenly rest."




The Fatal Feast.


  Wealth would have a birth-day ball,
    A high and lordly feast:
  And open'd wide his spacious hall,
    And ask'd in many a guest.

  They came--the trifling ones of earth,--
    A gay and thoughtless throng,
  To join in revelry and mirth,
    With music, dance and song.

  High waxen tapers burning bright,
    Illum'd the brilliant hall,
  And threw their soft, enchanting light,
    In dazzling rays o'er all.

  Soft music echoed sweetest tones,
    By unseen minstrels breath'd;
  The air was laden with perfume,
    From flow'rs that round were wreath'd.

  Beauty was there, with brilliant eye.
    And Health, with rosy cheek,--
  Manhood, with forehead stern and high,
    And youth with many a freak.

  All--all were sparkling, bright and gay,
    And join'd the dance or song,--
  And seem'd unto the gazer's eye,
    A happy, joyous throng.

  And Wealth spread out his costly feast,
    And gaily all partook:
  The choicest viands cheered each guest,
    As all with pleasure look.

  For Luxury's self ne'er spread a board
    With dainties so profuse,--
  The most fastidious must be pleas'd,
    For he had but to choose.

  One goblet fill'd with nectar bright,
    The centre seem'd to keep;
  And when 'twas pass'd among the guests,
    They all quaff'd long and deep.

  The music never ceas'd its strain;
    But warbl'd low and sweet;--
  Sometimes, soft wailing, 'twould complain--
    Then mirth the ear would greet.

  All seem'd enchantment spread around,--
    A golden, fairy dream;
  And far off, mingling in the sound,
    Was heard a murmuring stream.

  And summer breezes softly sigh'd,--
    And wasted sweet perfume,
  Through door and lattice, open'd wide,
    Around the spacious room.

  When mirth was in its wildest mood,
    And reign'd in every breast,
  Sudden there stalk'd into the hall,
    An uninvited guest.

  The air grew chill, the lamps burn'd pale,--
    All gaz'd with wild dismay,
  The music turn'd a funeral wail,--
    Then sighing, died away.

  Twas Death that came into the hall,
    With visage wan and grim,
  And throwing off his sickly pall,
    Disclos'd each meagre limb.

  Some rose to flee, but palsied fell,
    "I'm monarch here," cries Death;
  And falling bodies quickly tell
    His power o'er life and breath.

  Beauty lies cold in his embrace,
    And pale is manhood's brow;
  The rose that crimson'd youth's fair cheek,
    Lies a crush'd lily now.

  All, all have sank beneath his dart,
    Save fashion's ruthless hold;
  She still maintains her iron grasp
    O'er bodies pale and cold.

  Gold glitters on the pallid brow,
    And glassy eye-balls stare
  Through glossy ringlets, clustering bright,
    Of silken, raven hair.

  All, all had bow'd to Fashion's shrine,
    To deck the living form,
  Through which will drag its length'ned slime,
    The crawling coffin worm.

  The morning sun had risen high,
    And brightly shone o'er all;
  But comes no voice, and wakes no eye
    Within that spacious hall.

  A traveller passing by that morn,
    Marvell'd that all so long
  Should linger in that festive hall
    With revelry and song.

  And so alighting from his steed,
    He cross'd the portal high,
  And glancing o'er the silent hall,
    The sad sight met his eye.

  With lightning's speed he hurri'd forth
    To tell the dismal tale,
  And soon were gather'd sorrowing friends
    From mountain, hill, and dale.

  Sad was the fun'ral wail that rose
    From that infected hall;
  Nought could the different forms define,
    But Fashion's slimpsey pall.

  And there they rais'd one common tomb,
    And left them to their sleep,
  'Till Christ's loud trump shall wake the dead
    From slumber, long and deep.

  The marble monument they rais'd
    Doth this instruction bear:
  "The things of earth pass soon away,
    To meet your God prepare."

  Many voices from the dead,
    Here bid you well beware;
  Tho' youth may bloom upon your cheek,
    Still, still for death prepare.

  The flowing nectar that had grac'd
    The centre of the whole,
  And so enlivened every guest,
    Had death within the bowl.

  Some small ingredient, when 'twas fix'd,
    Was left by a mistake,
  And others were together mix'd,
    That active poison make.




To the Maiden


  Maiden, have not the joys of earth
  Prov'd fleeting, and of little worth?
  And when the summer sun rode high,
  Have clouds ne'er flitted o'er the sky?
  Has Hope ne'er sprung beside thy way,
  And blossom'd only to decay?
  Has Friendship never chang'd her tone,
  And 'woke a sigh for pleasures gone?
  Has Love ne'er shed his fitful gleam
  Across thy path--then hid his beam?
  Hast thou ne'er felt the solemn truth--
  That palsied age must steal o'er youth;
  And that the auburn tresses gay
  Must soon be chang'd for mournful gray?
  Has sickness never pal'd the rose,
  That on the cheek of beauty glows,
  And ghastly death, with funeral gloom,
  Oft call'd the lovely to the tomb?
  Ah, maiden, yes, that tell-tale sigh,
  The downcast glances of thine eye,
  Say that thy heart is but the tomb
  Of hopes that wither'd in their bloom;--
  Say that, where all things else decay,
  Thy fragile form must pass away.
  Then why so fondly cling to earth,
  Whose joys are of so little worth?
  But rather raise your thoughts on high,
  Where Hope's fair promises ne'er die,
  Where ghastly death holds no domain,
  But endless youth and beauty reign.




To Mrs. B----, On the Death of a Son.


  How frail are all the things of earth,
    How subject to decay;
  Scarce they receive their fragile birth
    Ere they are swept away.

  And tyrant death, with icy hand,
    Is ever lurking near,
  And binding in his frozen band,
    The forms to us most dear.

  But do not mourn the early dead,
    Whose thread of life is riven;
  'Tis Jesus calls them from the earth,
    To be with Him in heaven.

  Spotless and pure they pass from earth,
    And Jesus bids them come;
  And glorious is their heavenly birth
    In their eternal home.

  No more you'll hear the plaintive voice;--
    "Mother, dear mother, where?"
  Your child shall with his God rejoice
    In full fruition there.

  No more shall burning fever rage,
    No more shall pain oppress,
  But angel strains his tongue engage
    In hymns of righteousness.

  And when life's ebbing sands shall fail,
    And pallid death shall come,
  May you then look within the vail,
    To that eternal home.

  And then, perhaps, your gentle child,
    So soon from sin set free,
  May be the first of angel bands,
    Brightly to welcome thee.

  So do not mourn the early dead,
    So sinless and so fair,
  But be prepared to join their bliss,
    Thus is the stranger's prayer.




O Come Back, My Brother.


  My brother, O, come back to play,
  For all the flow'rs are springing gay,
  And all the birds sing on the spray;
          So, come back, my brother.

  'Twas winter when you hung your head,
  And lay so pale upon your bed,
  And mother told me you were dead,
          My poor little brother.

  Then the birds all went away,
  And all the leaves fell from the spray,
  And all the streams forgot to play,
          Just like you, my brother.

  Then deep fell the drifting snow,
  And loud the wintry winds did blow,
  And all the flow'rs were buried low,
          Just like you, my brother.

  But now the sun is riding high,--
  The busy bee comes humming by,
  And spring's soft gales around us sigh;
          O come back, my brother.

  Your little rose-bush springs to view,
  Your daffodils and daisies too,
  And ev'rything comes back but you,
          My poor little brother.

  O, could I ope the grassy mound,
  With which your lovely form is bound,
  And break your slumber, so profound,
          My poor little brother.

  Then gentle mother'd cease to mourn,
  And speak to me in that sad tone;
  And pity me because alone;
          O, come back, my brother.

  And yet, I know, it cannot be,
  That thou wilt ever come to me;
  But I must shortly go to thee,
          My poor little brother.

  I know that thy once lovely form,
  Now feeds the cruel coffin worm,--
  And that corruption doth deform
          All traces of my brother,

  I know that life will swiftly glide,--
  That death's bark floats upon the tide,
  And soon will lay me by your side,
          My dear buried brother.

  Then may our souls together reign,
  On yonder bright, aerial plain,
  And shout a loud, seraphic strain,
          In happiness, my brother.




The Twins


It was a sad day in autumn, pale, withering autumn, when a little
group of friends collected round the cradle of an infant of a few
weeks, who had tasted the cup of life, and now was turning seemingly
disappointed away from the bitter portion. The mild blue eyes were
raised to heaven, and that heavenly angelic expression, so peculiar
to expiring infancy rested upon his face, which was lovely in the
extreme, though wasted by disease. He was tenacious of life, and
lingered long in the embrace of the pale messenger, although the eye
was dim and the wrist pulseless.

The father, mother, sister, and brother, and grandmother, sat watching
the quivering flame that would rally for a few moments, then wane
again. Near by sat the nurse, bearing upon her lap the little twin
sister, who had her birth at the same hour with him, and who, like him
too, was passing away.

How soon they wearied of life, those frail, gentle ones, and the angel
came to bear them to a brighter, holier world, where the purity of
their sinless spirits should remain untarnished by the blight and
pollutions of earth.

We watched till the sun went down in the western sky, dim and shadowy,
enshrined long before his setting by a yellow autumnal haze, that cast
a melancholy subduing shade over the face of decaying nature that hung
out her fading flowers and withered leaves, as a token of the sad
change that was passing in her realm, while the evening breeze, as it
swayed the branches of the trees, bearing many a leaf to the ground,
and drifting them before his melancholy breath, seemed sighing a sad
requiem over departed glory.

Such a scene, at such an hour, spoke forcibly of the varied changes
and uncertainties of life, and as we looked upon the marble paleness
of the dear children, and compared them with the withering flowers
beneath the window, we felt that human life is but a flower that
perisheth.

In this instance, the worm had sapped the bud ere the brighter tints
were developed. As we stood in that chamber of death, we felt that God
was present, that He who had given life was about to take it back to
reign with Him, and though the deep fountains of grief were stirred,
there came a "still, small voice," heard through the silence of
that lone room, "Be still, and know that I am God," and we bowed in
submission to the Divine will.

The mist broke from the face of the sun, and his last setting beams
looked forth clear and bright upon the earth, tinging the fleecy
clouds with gold and purple, and they looked like gorgeous piles
of molten gold, over hung with crimson purple curtains, forming a
sumptuous canopy to decorate the heavens.

Even so with the babe, life's feeble taper seemed to revive and emit a
brilliant glare for a moment, the lips parted, the eyes wandered from
object to object, and seemed to survey all the room contained, gazing
most earnestly upon the face of the little sister, so soon to follow
him, then wearily closing them with a slight struggle, the spirit
passed away.

As we folded him in the vestments of the grave and laid him into the
silent halls of death, hope whispered of a glorious resurrection morn,
when those blue orbs should again awake from that long peaceful sleep,
and look out upon the beauties of the upper world.

They placed his little form in a wide coffin, and laid it in the tomb
to await the coming of his little sister.

A week passed away, a week of weary watchfulness and anxiety, of pain,
suffering and distress, and the angel returned again for the twin
spirit.

It was at the deep midnight hour when he announced his mysterious
presence, by laying his icy hand and spreading his marble paleness
over the form of the departing sister. The little frame was convulsed,
and writhed beneath the grasp of the pale visitant, but he pitied not,
relented not, but steady to his purpose, snapped the brittle thread of
life, performed the task he had been commissioned with, and hurried
away from that place of tears to cast his deep shadow over the sun
light of other homes, and fill other hearts with grief, and cause
other eyes to look red with weeping, "because death has come into the
world," and the children of men must fall before his withering blight.

Already had decomposition commenced its repulsive work in the form of
the little son, and he was laid away, while the coffin returned
for the other dear one, who was to moulder with him in its narrow
confines.

Deposited in the same tomb, was a coffin covered with mould, and
just ready to drop from the shelf upon which it was placed, and the
shrunken boards had separated, and it was perforated with large cracks
where it had been joined together. The lid was always unscrewed, and
was often raised by the hand of a fond mother, who looked upon the
dust of an only daughter, who had been the idol of her heart. She had
spared no pains in educating her, and she had well repaid the labor
bestowed upon her in the acquisition of knowledge.

She was beautiful in person, amiable in disposition, and was beloved
by a large circle of acquaintances. She was married early, to the
companion of her choice, who had been attentive to her from childhood,
declaring the first time he saw her, he never saw such beautiful curls
in his life, as Annie Grey's.

She had two little sons, and all looked bright and prosperous; Annie
was happy in the affection of her husband, her children and her
friends, but death lingered not for these things; he came, a most
unwelcome visitant, and bore his unwilling victim from the presence of
her agonized mother, "to join the pale nations of the dead."

She dressed her in the gilded trappings of life, bolstered her up in
bed, and curling her beautiful hair in glossy ringlets over her pale
face, had her likeness taken as large as life, and touched with
natural coloring, thus preserving the form and features of her child,
upon the senseless canvass, which was kept hung up in her room,
covered with black crape, during her life time.

Annie ever expressed repugnance at the idea of being deposited in
the ground, and her mother had this tomb built that she might there
repose, and she could watch her sleeping dust as it crumbled to decay.

Who that looked in upon that mouldering mass of blackened dust, and
contrasted it with the beautiful form that moved in life, but learned
an impressive lesson of the change that death makes upon the form of
youth and beauty? She had slept there many years, and the mother felt
the time was approaching, when she must take the last look of those
dear remains, and have them removed to the second vault, or buried
beneath the grassy turf; but ere the time arrived, the great reaper
gathered father and mother into his abundant harvest, and laid them by
her side.

Her husband, many years before, had passed from life's busy scenes,
and closed his eyes forever upon earth.

The little girl was placed in a coffin, and borne by weeping friends
to the burial place, and with her dead brother, lay side by side,
beautiful in death.

Fresh buds were placed in the hands of each, as they lay, with their
little arms entwined around each other, and their white marble
faces, looking up to the pure sky above, while their half-open lids
displaying their blue orbs, seemed looking out beneath the drooping
fringes, to take a last farewell of earth, sun, sky, friends, and all
the endearing associations of life.

A little mound was raised beside the grave of the maternal
grandfather, who had fallen suddenly, in the meridian of life, while
the strength of manhood was yet upon him. As the aged grandmother
turned from the grave of the little ones, she gave one lingering
glance to her husband's grave, and removing her glove from her hand,
pressed the marble slab, that stood at the head of it, and passed on,
with a sigh and a tear, to fulfil the remaining duties that awaited
her in life.

She had parted from him, many long years before, and now she had lived
her threescore years and ten, and her head was whitened with passing
years; but the infant of a few days had gone before her. But a few
more years passed, and you looked in vain upon earth for that weary
voyager,




On the Frailty of Earthly Things.


  The things of earth are false, as fair,
    And glitter to betray,
  They scarce outlive the sunny glare
    Of one short summer day.

  The hours--how rapid in their flight,
    And days pass swift away,
  Scarce dawning ere the shades of night
    Chase its bright beams away.

  The dew-drop trembling on the flow'r,
    Gemm'd by the morning's ray,--
  Glitters scarce one little hour,
    Ere it is dried away.

  The butterfly with gilded wing,
    That flits from spray to spray,
  Is but an evanescent thing,
    That passeth soon away.

  The flow'rs--those gay and brilliant things,
    So charming to the eye,
  Soon fold their withered petals up,
    And fade away and die.

  The busy bee, with drowsy hum,
    That through the summer day,
  Flies sipping round from flow'y to flow'r,
    Bearing its sweets away,

  Is soon constrain'd by wintry winds,
    To seek her honi'd cell,
  And giving o'er her wandering life,
    In quiet there, to dwell.

  And rosy health that paints the cheek
    With richest crimson dye,
  And bids the heart of kindness speak
    From beauty's flashing eye,

  Soon, soon withdraws the blushing rose,
    And leaves the lily there:
  Bedims the lustre of the eye,
    And pales the cheek with care.

  I saw a smiling infant stand
    By its fond mother's side:
  She fondly pressed one dimpl'd hand
    With sweet maternal pride.

  Her form was faultless to behold,
    And every infant grace
  Beam'd sweetly from her radiant eye,
    And rosy dimpl'd face.

  But sudden stiffness seiz'd those limbs,
    A gurgling stopp'd her breath:
  Those eyes that shone so bright before,
    Were soon upturn'd in death.

  And love that fills the youthful breast,
    With visions bright and gay,
  Oft strews his downy nest with thorns,
    And quickly flies away.

  And friendship, that peculiar boon,
    From God to mortals given,
  That seems a brilliant golden link,
    Uniting earth with heaven,

  Is broken off, and often turn'd
    With careless heart away,
  And hatred fills the self same place
    Where gentle love had sway.

  But oh! how poison'd is the dart
    That sheds its venom there,
  And drives uncherish'd from the heart,
    The gift so good and fair.

  An aching void must ever dwell
    Within the stricken heart;
  For who can all the suff'ring tell
    When friends in hatred part?

  Then do not fondly cling to earth,
    Where all things must decay:
  Where happiness scarce has its birth
    Ere it is swept away.

  Lean not on earth, 'twill pierce the heart,
    At best a broken reed,
  And oft a spear where hope expires,
    And peace as often bleeds.

  But far beyond yon azure sky,
    Yon sparkling star-lit dome,
  Let your aspiring hopes ascend,
    For there's your heav'nly home.




To a Friend


  I love to watch thy youthful eye,
    That speaks thy fond affection;
  I love to hear thy tender sigh,--
    It charms my deep dejection.

  The gentle beamings of that eye
    Have power to soothe each sorrow,
  While casting hope's refulgent dye,
    In glances, on to-morrow.

  My love is clear as crystal streams,
    Flowing from sylvan fountains,--
  And pure as Phoebus' noon-day beams,
    That gild yon rising mountains.

  And constant as the Northern Bear,
    That guards the pole unceasing,
  And ushers in the new-born year,--
    Nor waning, nor decreasing.

  But still, shouldst thou faithless prove,
    Thy plighted vows resigning,
  Leave me and seek another love,
    I'd bear, without repining.

  No discontent should fill my breast,
    But calm as summer even,
  I'd still look forward to my rest,
    In yonder vaulted heaven.

  And still I'd breathe my pray'r for thee
    With all my soul's devotion,
  Till life itself should cease to be,
    And death chill'd each emotion.

  Then calm as day's expiring breath,
    Each injury forgiven,
  My ransom'd soul should take its flight,
    And wing its way to Heaven.




The Mother and Her Child.


  Child, raise a fervent prayer to heav'n,
  That this day's sin may be forgiv'n,
  Ere you sink to sweet repose,
  While evening's shadows round you close.

  The golden sun has sunk to rest,
  Behind the curtains of the west,
  And rosy twilight, soft and mild,
  Brings gentle slumber to my child.

  The busy, bustling cares of day,
  In noise and tumult pass'd away;
  Solemn night, so still and deep,
  Bids nature's wearied children sleep.

  Soft is the pillow of your rest,--
  With health and friends, and comforts blest;
  Then raise a fervent prayer to heav'n,
  That ev'ry sin may be forgiv'n.

  The child began, "Father forgive
  My many sins, and bid me live:
  May I be humble, meek and mild,
  Like Jesus, when a little child.

  "O may this feeble soul of mine,
  Be join'd to Christ, the living vine;
  May I ever bow the knee,
  And 'Abba, Father,' cry, to thee.

  "Father, in heaven, hear my prayer,
  And make a little child thy care,
  Jesus has said, so let it be,
  'Suffer such to come to me.'

  "But, mother, why's my pulse so still?
  Mother, why is the air so chill?
  And, mother, why are angels fair
  Hov'ring o'er me, in the air?

  "Mother, with thee I cannot stay,--
  Those angels beckon me away;
  I feel this night, so still, so deep,
  Will bring to me a lasting sleep."

  "My child, my child, can it be so?
  Can I let my darling go?
  Oh, yes--I see it plainly now,--
  'Tis death's cold hand upon thy brow.

  "Come, lay thy icy cheek to mine,--
  I'd kiss thee once, ere I resign
  To icy death, thy lovely form,
  To feed the gnawing coffin worm.

  "Corruption, nor the coffin worm,
  Can thy triumphant soul deform;
  That, enraptur'd, shall arise,
  To dwell with Christ, beyond the skies.

  "'Tis the dear Saviour bids thee come,--
  His angels wait to bear thee home;
  Loudly, he's saying now to thee,--
  'Suffer such to come to me.'"

  "Mother, all things are pure and bright;--
  I see them by a heavenly light,
  And beaming in the distance far,
  I see the glorious morning Star.

  "Farewell, mother," but the name
  Died on her lips--life's quiv'ring flame
  Had just expir'd; that deathless soul
  Had burst its chains, and pass'd the goal.

  The mother meekly knelt in prayer,--
  She felt that God's own hand was there,
  Then wip'd one pearly tear away,
  And rose to shroud her lifeless clay.

  So sweet a smile the lips still wreath'd,
  It seemed life through their parting breath'd,
  So gently death had o'er her crept,
  That all who gaz'd might deem she slept.

  The mother watch'd, with earnest eye,
  Her youngest Child before her lie,
  Then meekly glancing up to heaven,
  "Father, she was not lent, but given.

  "Father, thou hast in mercy spoken,--
  A tender tie from earth is broken,
  But that same tie is link'd to heaven,
  And stronger faith and hope are given."




A Mother's Prayer.


  My children all have sunk to rest,
  The youngest pillow'd on my breast,
  And though 'tis midnight, stern and deep,
  I still a mother's vigil keep.
  Why comes so oft the unbidden sigh?
  Why springs the tear-drop to my eye,
  And why this agonizing prayer,
  Ming'ling with the midnight air?
  O, God, to thee I lift mine eye,
  Help thou, or else my children die.
  To thee my inmost thoughts arise;
  By faith I pierce the vaulted skies,
  And there I see thy risen Son,
  Seated beside thee on the throne,
  His pitying accents cry "Forgive,"
  And let the thoughtless sinner live.
  "Father, I have been crucified--"
  "An ignominious death have died,--"
  "Deep agony for sin have known;"
  "Father, and will not this atone?"
  I come, too, leaning on His breast,
  There all my hopes and wishes rest,
  And join with His my pleading voice,
  That they may all in god rejoice.
  May one melodious concert rise
  From angels, bending from the skies:--
  O'er new-born souls, redeemed on earth,
  Rejoicing in their heav'nly birth.
  Lead them in pastures green and fair,
  And gardens planted by thy care;
  Where streams of free salvation flow,
  And fruitful trees of knowledge grow.
  Father, I ask not sordid wealth,
  Nor the more precious boon of health;
  The only blessing that I crave
  Is endless life beyond the grave;
  That when the icy hand of death
  Shall seize their frames, and stop their breath,
  Their souls on wings of faith may rise
  To life and joy beyond the skies.
  O Father, grant me this request
  And I shall be supremely bless'd;
  Bend ev'ry stubborn, wilful knee,
  And draw each wand'ring heart to thee.
  But hark! I hear a cheering voice
  That bids my waiting soul rejoice.
  "Be still, and know that I am God,"
  And bow submissive to the rod.
  It seems almost that voice from heav'n,
  Had spoke my childrens' sins forgiven,
  So suddenly had calmness stole
  O'er the deep currents of my soul.
  Glory to God, who whispers peace,
  And bids our hope and faith increase;
  Glory to God, be echoed then,
  'Till earth repeats the long amen.




Lines, Written in an Album.


  Earthly beauties soon decay,
  Earthly pleasures fade away;
  Then raise your fond desires to heaven,
  And let not all to earth be giv'n.

  Though touch'd by brilliant rainbow dyes,
  Earth can contain no lasting prize.
  But high above yon azure dome,
  The ransom'd spirit finds a home.

  O, then make wisdom's ways your choice
  In early youth. You will rejoice
  To tread the straight and narrow way,
  That upward leads to endless day.

  Then when life's little day is past,
  Angels shall welcome thee at last
  To yonder blissful, happy shore,
  Where sin and sorrow come no more.




On The Death of a Mother.


  O bring a robe of snowy white,
    And fold it lightly o'er her breast;
  Cold and pulseless now it lies,
    The sainted spirit's sunk to rest;

  And gently fold the toil-worn hands,
    And softly close the weary eyes;
  Life's rugged journey now is past,
    And calm in death's cold sleep she lies.

  That gentle heart has ceas'd to feel
    The gushings of a mother's love;
  But now a purer, holier flame,
    Springs up in brighter realms above.

  And mother, though the tender tie
    Uniting us, has thus been riven,
  May we not feel a stronger bond
    Drawing our trusting hearts to heaven?

  Now oft when evening's shadows steal
    Across my path, thy voice I hear;
  Again its well remember'd tones
    Seem murmuring on my childish ear.

  And oft, when sorrow fills my breast,
    And my worn spirit turns from earth,
  There comes a gentle, well known voice,
    Whisp'ring of the spirit's birth.

  'Twas hers to guide our infant feet
    In wisdom's straight and narrow way,
  To lead us to a Saviour's cross,
    And teach our infant lips to pray.

  But now how blissful is her state,
    Free from this cumb'rous, earthly clod,
  Her ransom'd spirit fill'd with praise,
    Joins the pure throngs that worship God.

  She's join'd her children in their home,
    In those bless'd mansions far away,
  Where sin nor death can ever come,
    But all is bright, eternal day.

  And though our mother's pass'd from earth,
    An angel bending from the skies,
  Is ever hov'ring o'er our path,
    Urging our weary souls to rise.

  Then let us her sweet precepts take,
    Tread in the paths our mother trod,
  Walk prayerfully the narrow way.
    Directed by the word of God,

  Cleans'd by a dying Saviour's blood,
    We may obtain the promis'd rest;
  And when we pass away from earth,
    Join our dear mother with the bless'd.

  Peace to thy memory, mother dear,
    Sweet be thy slumber in the tomb,
  'Till Christ in judgment shall appear,
    And call His ransom'd children home.




The Music of Earth.


  There's music in the summer breeze,
    That sighs along the bow'rs;
  There's music in the hum of bees,
    That flit among the flow'rs.
  There's music in the gentle show'r
    That patters on the spray;
  And music in the bubbling brook
    That dances on its way.
  There's music in the rustling leaf,
    Before the zephyr's sigh,
  And music in sweet childhood's laugh,
    As it comes ringing by.
  There's music in the warbler's song,
    That trills his matin lay;
  And music in the evening breeze,
    As soft it dies away.
  There's music in "Old Ocean's" wave,
    That breaks upon the shore;
  And music in the tempest's moan,--
    The distant thunder's roar.
  There's music in the things of earth,
    Sweet music that we love;
  But oh, there's music sweeter far
    In yon bright world above.
  Where angel bands, with golden harps,
    Sing loud of sins forgiven;
  And praises to a Saviour slain,
    Fill the high dome of heaven.




Lines, Written on the Death of Mrs. Caroline P. Baldwin, Who Died
July 6, 1827.


  O bring a wreath of summer flow'rs,
    And twine it lightly round her brow;
  How calmly pass these holy hours--
    Mysterious death is with her now.

  His icy breath is on her cheek,
    His dew is freezing on her brow;
  Her eyes no more earth's shadows seek--
    Eternity's before them now.

  She sees a glittering angel band,
    On downy pinions floating by,
  To waft her to the spirit land,
    Beyond the blue etherial sky.

  And hears low music stealing by,--
    From golden harps the concert rings;
  Earth mingles in the melody
    That rises, to the King of kings.

  "Husband, I know I'm dying now,
    Life's golden sands are waning fast;
  Seal on my lips the parting kiss,--
    It is the last one--yes, the last.

  "Now bring to me our blue eyed boy,--
    I'd gaze upon his face once more;
  May he, kept from earth's alloy,
    Meet me on yon blissful shore."

  "Mother, your love is pure and deep--
    I know the fount will never dry;
  But in its onward current keep,
    Through a long eternity.

  "Sister, I'm passing to the tomb,
    When life's young morn is fair and bright;
  And shrouded soon, my youthful bloom
    Shall dreamless sleep in death's dark night.

  "Dark, did I say--O, no, I see
    The golden city full in view;
  The pitying Saviour smiles on me,
    And angel-bands conduct me through.

  "Sweet as the carol of a bird,
    Soft as the gentlest summer sigh,
  When scarce one trembling leaf is stirr'd
    My sinking pulses faint and die."

  And so death rested on her cheek,--
    Lingering in "strange beauty there;"
  That seraph smile a rapture speaks--
    That earthly pleasures may not share.




Lines, Written in a Sick-Room, April 15, 1855.


  O, fold my flowing curtains by,
    I fain would catch the breath of spring,
  And breathe its gentle, balmy sigh,
    As soft it floats on silken wing.

  Lightly it fans my pallid cheek,
    And cools the fever of my brow,
  And seems of coming health to speak,
    As soft it murmurs round me now.

  Oh, there are those in life's young morn,
    Who, gazing forth with earnest eye,
  Feel that spring's joyous, glad return,
    Brings but to them the time to die.

  While I, a pilgrim, worn and gray,
    Wearied with care, still linger on,
  Life's path to tread, one little day,
    Before the feverish race is run.

  On the great battle-field of life,
    The warp of destiny is spread,
  And countless millions in the strife,
    Supply the woof with varied thread.

  O, there are some, with hearts of truth,
    With courage bold, and daring high,
  Whose texture scarce from early youth,
    Presents one blemish to the eye.

  And there are those all steeped in crime,
    Whose fabric is one constant stain;
  Who fill up their appointed time,
    With conduct vile, and lips profane.

  There are bright streaks of glowing hope,
    And blackened shades of deep despair,--
  All smiles of joy, all tears of grief,
    Like rainbow dyes are blended there.

  Repentance, with her bitter tears,
    Would wash some dismal crime away;
  And Terror, arm'd with many fears,
    Stands pointing to a future day.

  And Happiness, with sunny smile,
    Weaves in her roses, rich and rare,
  Love, Constancy and Truth, we find,
    And trusting Faith, with humble prayer.

  Vain were the effort to portray
    The varied shades life's scenes present;
  But oh, how swift the shuttles play,
    By every thought or action sent.

  And so each one is weaving fast
    His little web of human life;--
  Happy those, who find at last,
    They have conquered in the strife.

  It matters not how short the warp,
    If to the goal the object tend,
  For, oh, we know, "That life is long
    That answers life's great end."




Lines, Written in a Sick Room, July 20th, 1855.


  The voice of "many waters"
  Is murmuring on my ear,
  And mingling in the mystic strains
  A mother's voice I hear.
  Two white rob'd cherub sisters
  Stand harping by her side;
  A brother in the concert joins,
  Who erst in Jesus died.

  And other sainted spirits,
  Who've pass'd from earth away,--
  Stand wooing me to join their bands
  In realms of endless day.
  The flow'rs are blooming brightly,
  The tree of life is seen;
  And so inviting stand the fields,
  "Array'd in living green."

  The Saviour sheds his presence,
  In radiance round the place:
  And joy and adoration
  Beams bright on ev'ry face.
  Loud swells the pealing anthem,
  Through the high dome of heav'n,
  "Worthy the Lamb, who once was slain,"
  And hath our sins forgiv'n.

  As thus I gaze enraptur'd,
  And drink heav'n's spirit in
  Earth's costliest tow'rs and palaces
  Look faded, worn and dim;
  And death's cold stream that murmurs
  So hoarsely on my ear;
  If Jesus were my pilot
  I'd cross without a fear.

  But oh! the tide is turning,
  Health flows through ev'ry vein:
  And I a little longer
  On time's dark shore remain.
  But thou, celestial city!
  I'd keep thee still in view,
  And gladly would the summons heed
  That wafts my soul to you.




To a Friend


  Sweet comes the gentle breath of spring,
    Sighing soft among the flow'rs,
  Or sporting high on airy wings,
    Fanning the leaves upon the bow'rs.

  The golden sun looks gladly down
    Upon the vari'gated earth;
  Encouraged by his genial rays,
    Her garner'd treasures have their birth.

  But though the face of earth is fair,
    Chance and change are busy here;
  And her rugg'd, chequer'd path,
    Is water'd oft by sorrow's tear.

  Her bosom holds our treasured dead,
    The lov'd who in our pathway trod:
  Whose place is found on earth no more,
    But the freed spirit's soar'd to God.

  When ling'ring in the place of graves,
    Came there no voice from out the tomb,
  Whisp'ring to thy spirit's ear,
    "Mother, when will the morning come?"

  "O mother, yes, it soon will come,
    The glorious resurrection morn,
  When Christ shall wake the sleeping dead,
    And an immortal day shall dawn."

  And though your path may lead you forth
    From early friends far, far away;
  Far from your darling children's graves,
    Jacob's God shall be your stay.

  Your chasten'd soul from sorrow's cup,
    Has often drank the bitter draught;
  But ere the portion was consumed,
    A mingled sweet thy spirit quaff'd.

  Sister in Christ, God be thy stay,
    And lead as He has led before;
  And keep thee "in the narrow way,"
    Where pleasures dwell for ever more.

  Perchance we may not meet again
    While ling'ring in this vale of tears;
  But mem'ry casts a hallow'd spell
    Over the scenes of other years.

  And treasur'd in her secret cells,
    My much loved friend, are thoughts of thee;
  And if we meet no more on earth,
    I feel thou'lt sometimes think of me.

  Now fare thee well, sweet sister dear,
    God speed thy bark o'er life's dark sea;
  Safe moor it in the port of peace,
    Thy pilot, friend, and helper be.




The Mother's Watch.


  O, no, he will not come to-night,--
    The stars are fading from the sky;
  I've watch'd their dim, expiring light,
    With an unwearied, earnest eye,

  And soon the golden king of day
    Morn's eastern gates will open wide;
  And mounted on his fiery car,
    Triumphant over earth will ride.

  And she array'd in robes of green,
    Adorned with vari'gated flowers,
  Will welcome him with smiling mien,
    While soft winds sigh along the bowers.

  He'll kiss the roses on her cheek,
    And dry the tear-drop from her eye,--
  Cast a glad smile o'er all her face,
    And gild each stream that glances by.

  And she'll spread out her tempting store
    Of fruits and flow'ers, to his warm ray;
  He'll touch them with his genial smile,
    As glad he runs his joyous way.

  But soon his journey will be o'er,
    And the dun curtains of the west,
  Will hide his beams, while low he sinks
    Upon the pillow of his rest.

  And soft will steal the twilight hour,
    And bring again my watch for thee;
  Oh, who may tell a mother's love,
    Or fathom that unbounded sea?

  Time, that has pass'd with rapid flight,
    On silent pinions, hurrying by,
  Has witness'd oft the midnight watch,
    Of the fond mother's earnest eye.

  In infancy, when feverish dreams
    Disturb'd her darling as he slept,
  How anxious was the mother's watch,
    As she her nightly vigil kept.

  Her watch is o'er the cradle cast,
    Through childhood's wild and flow'ry maze;
  Her hand would lead through youth's gay scenes,
    And smooth the path of riper days.

  Would shield from each impending ill,--
    Would guard from ev'ry dang'rous snare.
  Instruct the reason, curb the will,
    And lift to heaven the trusting prayer.

  And should the pois'nous flowers that bloom
    Beside his path, tempt him to rove,
  To bring the thoughtless wanderer back,--
    How earnest is a mother's love.

  And so we watch from youth to age,--
    From the soft cradle to the grave;
  No power can check a mother's love,
    That would from sin and sorrow save.




Why Should I Smile?


  Why should I smile in mockery now,
  When grief sits heavy on my brow?
  Or strive in anguish to repress
  The tears of gushing tenderness,
  That from my heart's deep fountain rise,
  And rush unbidden to my eyes?
  Oh let me weep, for there's a balm
  In tears, they bring a holy calm:
  And yield a soothing, sweet relief
  To hearts that else would burst with grief.
  Yes, I will weep in hopeless woe,
  Until my tears refuse to flow;
  For lo! before my mental gaze,
  The hopes and joys of other days,
  Come gathering round, a mystic band,
  Like phantoms from the spirit land;
  And one by one they pass me by,
  "With bloodless cheek and hollow eye,"
  And seem to mock me as they go,
  In tones of bitterness and woe.
  Oh, how unlike the glittering throng
  That smiling beckon'd me along,
  And strewd with fragrant flow'rs my way,
  In childhood's bright and sunny day.
  They came in glittering robes arrayed,
  O'er golden harps their fingers strayed,
  And from their robes of spotless white
  They scattered showers of sparkling light.
  O, how could my fond heart believe
  They glittered only to deceive;
  To visions bright as fairy land.
  Hope pointed with her magic hand,
  And love, with soft and speaking eye,
  And tones of thrilling witchery,
  A dream like mist around me threw,
  Ting'd by many a rainbow hue.
  And friendship, with her smiling face,
  Clasped me within her warm embrace,
  And fondly whisper'd in mine ear,
  Sweet words of hope I loved to hear.
  And O, how fondly did I fling
  On friendship's shrine, the offering
  Of my young heart: nor could I deem
  Her words were but an idle dream;
  But oh, the illusion fled too late,
  It left my heart all desolate.




The Youth's Return.


  'Twas evening, and sweet melting strains
    Of music floated by,
  While the soft splendor glowed around,
    Of an Italian sky.

  Within a green and fragrant bower,
    Sat a young, dark eyed girl;
  And midst her glossy raven hair,
    Shone many a costly pearl.

  Fair was that high born maiden's brow,
    And stately was her air;
  And the proud beauty of her face
    Was all undimmed by care.

  And in her dark and shadowy eye
    There dwelt a tender light,
  Like some soft trembling star that shines
    Upon the brow of night.

  And the sweet music of her voice
    Was thrilling, soft and low,
  As tones of an Aeolian harp,
    When southern breezes blow.

  And costly gems that lady wore,
    And jewels rich and rare,
  But her beauty far outshone
    The brightest jewel there.

  Bright, glowing pictures hung around,
    So exquisitely fair--
  Touched with such wondrous skill they seemed
    To breathe in beauty there.

  Delicious odor fill'd the room,
    Wafted from orange bow'rs:
  The fragrance mingling with perfume,
    Of rare exotic flow'rs.

  In thoughtful mood that lady sat,
    While her dark, lustrous eye,
  Looked out in pensive tenderness,
    Upon the glowing sky.

  She thought upon a noble youth,
    A brave and gallant knight,
  Whose heart was true to woman's love,
    And strong amid the fight.

  And noble deeds that youth had done,
    And won a glorious name;
  Which future ages would enroll
    Upon the book of fame.

  E'en now, he hastes that maid to greet--
    Safe from the war returned;
  Impatient at her feet to lay
    The laurels he had earned.

  Ah, lady, thou wilt never more
    Thy gallant lover see;
  His eye of melting tenderness
    Will never rest on thee.

  Death saw that gentle maiden there,
    By dreams of love beguiled;
  He gazed upon her winning charms,
    As hideously he smiled.

  Full many a bright and lovely form,
    Beneath his touch had died;
  But she, the loveliest of them all,
    He thought to make his bride.

  With noiseless step and watchful eye
    He stole into her bower;
  She felt his chill and icy breath,
    And withered in an hour.

  The soft light faded from her eye,
    And pallid grew her face,
  As folded in Death's icy arms,
    She felt his cold embrace.

  Her breath came heavily and slow,
    Vainly she tried to speak;
  The life blood froze around her heart,
    And curdled in her cheek.

  And when her maidens sought her there
    At the accustomed hour,
  They found her cold and motionless,
    Within that leafy bower.




To A----.


When the spring tide of thy life shall have passed away, with all its
joyous anticipations and budding hopes--when Summer with the music of
its birds and the perfume of its flowers, and melancholy Autumn, with
its faded leaf and sighing winds, shall have chased each other down
the tide of time, and the cold blasts of Winter have begun to chill
the life-blood in thy veins--when the hand that penned these lines
shall be mouldering in dust, and the friends of thy youth who
journeyed with thee along the pathway of life, and who cheered thee
with the music of their voices and the light of their smiles have,
perchance, one by one passed away, and left thee to journey on in
loneliness of heart, when the light of thine own eye shall have become
dimmed, and thy sunny hair whitened by the frosts of age--when thy
voice, which was wont to gush forth in melody and song, entrancing
the ear and cheering the heart of the listener, has become weak and
tremulous, and care and sorrow have set their seal upon thy brow.
Oh, then may the recollection of no misspent hours, of no neglected
opportunities for doing good, or wasted privileges, arise like dim
meteors from the tomb to haunt thee with their reproach, but may the
smiles of an approving conscience beam upon thee; may sweet peace and
hope administer the balm of consolation to thy wounded spirit; may
angels hover o'er the couch of thy repose, and fan thee with their
balmy wings, and when thy tired spirit shall burst its prison house of
clay,

  May they bear it to mansions of the blest,
  There to repose on Jesus' breast;
  From every pain and sorrow free,--
  This is the boon I ask for thee.




Beauties of Nature.


This is indeed a beautiful world. As we sit by our window, and gaze
out upon the landscape that lies spreads out, diversified by hill and
dale, and and waving tree and murmuring rivulet; as we listen to the
warbling of the birds, the dreamy hum of the insects, and the low
whispering of the soft summer air, as it floats by, redolent with
perfume of flowers, we are deeply impressed with the truth, that the
Being, who could create such a world, must be a great and glorious
Being, before whom we ought to humble ourselves in deep humility.

Yet the little that we are able to behold at one view, is but as a
grain of sand upon the sea-shore, compared with the vast world that
lies stretched out beyond our vision. Diversified by lofty mountains,
whose snow-capped summits tower far up towards the blue vault of
heaven, and are covered with perpetual clouds and mists; the mighty
ocean, whose bosom heaves, and moans, and wails, as though convulsed
by some terrible agony, and which, in its frantic fits, rages with
ungovernable fury; the deep, broad, glassy rivers, that flow in quiet
beauty, to mingle their waters with the ocean, the foaming cataract,
the broad green prairie, variegated by nature's choicest flowers, the
old majestic woods, that have been styled nature's cathedral, whose
dim, silent, far-stretching aisles have never been trodden by the foot
of man; but I must stop, overwhelmed by the magnitude of my subject.
It were impossible for the most gifted pen to do justice to the
beauty, the grandeur, the sublimity of the theme.

Even those who have climbed the lofty mountain tops, and found
themselves lost amidst the clouds, who have been rocked upon the bosom
of the heaving ocean, and seen it when the elements held terrible
contest, when the howling winds lashed its waves to wild frenzy, when
the sheeted lightnings played upon its surface, and the deep, heavy
peals of thunder reverberated through the heaven's vast concave, and
those, too, who have traversed the broad prairie, that far as the
eye can reach, stretches out in wavy undulations, who have heard the
eternal thunder of the cataract, as its waters plunge madly into the
abyss below, who have wandered amidst orange bowers and spicy groves,
and as Pollock expresses it, "have mused on ruins grey with years, and
drank from old and fabulous wells, and plucked the vine that first
born prophets plucked; and mused on famous tombs, and on the waves of
ocean mused, and on the desert waste: the heavens and earth of every
country, seen where'er the old inspiring Genii dwelt, aught that could
rouse, expand, refine the soul," even such would fail to do justice to
the glowing theme.

What renders the pleasure that nature confers doubly valuable, is,
that it is free for all. The poor as well as the rich participate
in its enjoyment. The sun dispenses its genial light and warmth as
generously upon the beggar, who seeks his daily bread from door to
door, as upon the crowned monarch. The bird carols as sweet a lay for
the toil-worn peasant, who labors from morn till night, to gain a
scanty subsistence, as for the titled nobleman, who rolls along in his
gilded chariot. The little ragged sunburnt child of poverty may pluck
the wayside flowers with as much freedom as the child of wealth, who
is nurtured upon the lap of luxury and ease. The cool summer breeze,
laden with grateful perfume, fans the hot brow of the slave, weary and
fainting beneath his task, as freely as it does that of his pompous
and lordly master. Our souls seem to be united by a bond of sympathy,
with the inanimate objects of creation. There are many poor beings who
are obliged to toil from early dawn far into the hours of night, to
obtain bread for themselves and those who are dearer to them than
life, and who have never been instructed, even in the first rudiments
of science. Yet, are they conscious of possessing bright gems of
thought, which they find it impossible to detach from the dust and
rubbish and cobwebs of ignorance, with which their minds are filled.
There are many such, who, bound down by the grinding hand of
oppression, which would, if it were possible, crush out all
aspirations of the mind for something higher, nobler, more exalted in
the scale of being, are obliged to suppress that longing of the soul
that will at times arise to explore the mysterious labyrinths of
knowledge, yet, even such, can hold sweet communion with the works
of creation. The great volume of nature lies open before them, and
though, in studying its pages, they often make wild mistakes, yet they
fear no ridicule.

When they gaze upon the blue vault of heaven, bespangled with all its
countless gems, though the conclusions they arrive at are far--very
far from truth, yet the placid moon looks down upon them as queenly as
though they understood all the laws by which she is governed. As they
contemplate, with wonder and admiration, the shining stars with which
the brow of night is studded, though they understood not all the
principles that astronomy unfolds, concerning those heavenly bodies,
yet, no scornful light flashes from those brilliant orbs, as they look
down from their high estate; and although they do sometimes emit a
merry twinkle, yet, there is nothing of ridicule in the expression:
but it seems rather to woo the beholder, to gaze upon their wondrous
beauty.

The sweet flowers look up to them as lovingly inviting them to partake
of their precious sweets, as though they understood all their several
properties, and knew how to assign to each its place in the vegetable
kingdom. It is true, the poor possess not all the means of the rich
for exploring what is rare and curious in the works of nature. They
are obliged to confine themselves to what is presented to their view
in their own immediate neighborhood; but there is enough even in the
tamest prospect, to excite the wonder and admiration of the beholder,
and to inspire them with emotions of love and gratitude towards the
great Creator.

Yet, grand and beautiful and sublime as this world is, God has only
fitted it up as a temporary abode for man; he does not consider it a
fit dwelling place for his children to inhabit through all eternity.
We are told that when the "spirits of the just made perfect" leave
this world, they will go to a better world: a more costly and
magnificent abode, that God has prepared for them. Yes, costly indeed,
since a title to an inheritance in that better world is purchased by
the blood of his only Son; and we are told that it is not in the heart
of man to concieve of the glory and magnificence of that place, that
is to be the home of those who accept of the terms by which it is
to be secured; and what are those terms? why, merely to repent and
believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and to seek forgivness for our sins
through his blood.

To put our trust in God, to love him supremely, and to seek to do his
will; and are not these conditions very easy? Can we help loving such
a God, so great, so good, and who has been at such infinite pains, and
given such a costly sacrifice to secure the happiness of his subjects?
And can we help loving the Saviour who was willing to be made a
sacrifice to secure the eternal happiness of a lost and ruined race;
and who left a home of glory, of bliss, and joy inexpressible, to come
to a world where he must suffer persecution, contempt, and mockery;
where he would be reviled, and spit upon, and taunted, and finally die
a cruel and ignominous death upon the cross?

All this he suffered, that sinners through his sufferings might
receive a title to the joys of that better world that God has prepared
for those that love him. Oh how cold, how hard, how utterly lost to
all grateful emotions, must that heart be that could treat with scorn
or indifference that dear Saviour who has done so much for them, and
prepared for all who will accept, a happy entrance into a world of
ineffable light and glory.

Where the sun does not emit its golden beams, nor the moon shed
her paler rays, and no golden star spangles the canopy, but God's
countenance lights the place, and the Lamb is in the midst; He who was
offered for the remission of sin. Who would not enter this world, of
happiness, where sin enters not, pain or sickness come not, and death
is swallowed up in victory? Where the saints of the most high God are
clothed upon with the righteousness of Christ, and the "spirits of the
just made perfect" join with angels and arch-angels, in singing sweet
songs of redeeming love.

But angels cannot appreciate the full rapture of the redeemed soul.
We cannot comprehend here, fully, but the mind is overwhelmed when
we contemplate the revelations of the Gospel, "Come then expressive
silence, muse His praise."




On the Death of Willie White, Who Was Drowned Sept. 21, 1856.


  How suddenly this opening flow'r
    Was borne from earth away;
  In sweeter fragrance to unfold
    In realms of endless day.

  The angel gaz'd with pitying eye
    O'er all life's devious way;
  Then pluming bright his golden wings,
    Bore his freed soul away.

  Now when you gather round your hearth,
    There's Willie's vacant chair;
  And Willie's voice of childish mirth,
    Is missing every where.

  And oft you gaze upon his toys,
    'Till weeping eyes grow dim;
  You know he cannot come to you,
    But you must go to him.




The Human Heart


  The human heart's a mystery,
    That few can understand;
  And all its trembling chords should be
    Swept with a gentle hand.

  For if we rudely strike the strings
    Whence melody should flow,
  A harsh, unnatural discord rings,
    Of bitterness and woe.

  We mingle with the joyous crowd,
    Where all is bright and gay,
  With music light, and laughter loud,
    They pass the hours away.

  How oft, amid such scenes, the heart
    Is sad, we know not why;
  And though a smile the lips may part,
    A tear steals to the eye.

  And then we quickly turn away
    To hide the starting tear,
  While the music of their laughter falls
    Dirge-like upon the ear.

  And we wonder why, when all around
    Is song and revelry,
  Their joyous mirthfulness should sound,
    To us, so mournfully.

  And yet, sometimes the simplest thing,
    Such happiness affords,
  It seems as though an angel's wing
    Had swept the trembling chords.

  The gushing music of the rill,
    The whisp'ring of the breeze,
  And the low and gentle rustling
    Of the leaves upon the trees.

  The sweet, sad sighing autumn winds,
    As mournfully they blend,
  Speak to the heart as if in words,
    Of a departed friend.

  And as we listen, breathlessly,
    To the low, mysterious tone,
  We deem some angel spirit
    Is whisp'ring to our own.

  But suddenly, a careless tone,
    Or word in harshness spoken,
  Recalls the wand'ring spirit home,
    And the spell is rudely broken.

  And then a sad, lone feeling steals
    Upon the weary heart,
  And amid the gloom we only feel
    A longing to depart.

  A longing to depart and be
    Amid the angel choir,
  Where perfect love and sympathy
    Shall tune each heart and lyre.




Lines, Written on the Death of a Friend.


  Oh, who would check the starting tear,
    Or who suppress the rising sigh,
  When those we fondly cherished here,
    In early youth are called to die?

  Such was thy fate, my early friend,
    Thus snatch'd away in beauty's bloom;
  No aid that earthly love might lend,
    Could save thee, dear one, from the tomb.

  I call to mind thy greetings warm,
    Thy gentle smile, thy winning grace,
  And weep that now thy fragile form,
    Lies cold and still in Death's embrace.

  But though I miss thy winning smile,
    And the sweet music of thy voice,
  That could my weary heart beguile;
    Yet I, amid my tears, rejoice,

  That thou, thus early, didst depart:
    When all around was fair and bright:
  Ere yet thy fond, confiding heart
    Had felt of earthly woe the blight.

  For it is sweeter, far, to die
    When the young heart with hope is fill'd,
  Than live o'er ruined hopes, to sigh
    When cold distrust that heart has chill'd.

  Who would not rather pass away
    From earth, like some sweet summer flow'r,
  When the soft murmuring zephyrs play.
    Than live till wintry tempests lower?

  We trust thy sins have been forgiv'n;
    Thy soul made pure from guilt's dark stain;
  And that a ransom'd soul in heav'n,
    Thou'lt raise to God the angelic strain.

  Then let no murmuring thought arise,
    Though lonely oft my path may be,
  And bitter tears oft dim my eyes,
    Unbidden, at the thought of thee.

  Still the sweet memory of thy love,
    Has power to sooth my aching heart;
  Even as crush'd and withered flow'rs,
    A lasting fragrance oft impart.




To a Friend.


  Dear girl, thine eye is clear and bright,
  Fill'd with a glad and joyous light;
  And thy young brow is pure and fair,
  As thou hadst never known a care.

  Full oft, I gaze upon thy face,
  Where dwells a sweet and quiet grace;
  And wonder what thy fate may be,
  Upon life's dark and dangerous sea.

  Ah, many a rude, tempestous gale,
  Perchance, may rend thy little sail,
  Ere thou wilt reach that blissful shore,
  Where loving friends have gone before.

  Even now, sweet girl, young as thou art,
  Sorrow hath touched thy loving heart,
  And clouds have dimmed thy sky, so fair,
  And left a shadow resting there.

  Thou'st lost a mother, kind and dear,
  No more her sweet voice greets thine ear--
  In winning tones, that could impart
  Gladness and joy to thy young heart.

  No more her gentle hand is laid
  In loving kindness on thy head;--
  No more her soft eyes rest on thee,
  Fill'd with a tender sympathy.

  Oft will the world seem cold the while,
  Without her sweet, approving smile;
  Oft will thy heart be sad and weary,
  With no fond mother's voice to cheer thee.

  Thy loved and honored father, too,--
  Thy faithful guardian, kind and true,
  Whose stronger arm could shield thy form,
  And guard it from the impending storm;--

  Who loved to watch thine infant glee,
  And shared thy childish sports with thee,--
  He, too, from earthly scenes has fled,
  And joined the numbers of the dead.

  Brothers and sisters, a happy band,
  Await thee in the spirit land;
  Bright amaranthine crowns they wear;
  They long to greet their Ella there.

  Prepare thee for that better land,--
  Prepare to stand at God's right hand;
  Soon may the fatal summons come,
  To call thy waiting spirit home.

  Oh, then slight not the Saviour's call,--
  Into the arms of Jesus fall;
  Sweetly resign to him thy soul,
  Yield all thy powers to his control.




Happiness.


  Say, what is Happiness?--a gem
  That glitters in the diadem
    That decks the monarch's brow?
  Or does this gem, of form divine,
  Gild fortune's gay and jewell'd shrine,
    Where heartless flatterers bow?

  Or dwells it in the sparkling eye,--
  Or hides it 'neath the witchery
    Of beauty's loveliness?
  Or comes it with refreshing power,
  Like dewdrops to the fainting flower,
    The miser's heart to bless?

  No, seek it not in Monarchs' hall,
  Nor yet beneath the glittering pall,
    That hides Ambition's fane;
  Nor yet with Beauty does it dwell:
  It is not charm'd by magic spell,
    Nor bound by golden chain,

  But they whose hearts with love are fill'd,
  "Whose words like heav'nly dew distill'd,"
    Are ever just and kind;
  Who seek God's favor to obtain,
  Rather than praise of man to gain,
    This gem will surely find.




A Picture of Human Life.


It was morning. Rosy fingered Aurora lifted the gorgeous curtains of
the east, and unlocked the golden gates of light, ushering in the
young king of day. The glad earth, bathed with the dews of night, and
redolent with flowers, lay blushing and rejoicing beneath his radiant
beams, and blooming nature strode forth, clad in his most beautiful
garments, while the murmurs of the waterfall, the sigh of the breeze,
the carol of the birds, and the hum of busy life--all fell upon the
ear, making enchanting melody--music that touched the soul.

Cradled in its downy bed, beneath a window closely curtained, to
obstruct the light, lay a sleeping infant, whose dawn of life had just
begun. Its very helplessness demanded our love and pity. It smiled and
wept, but knew not why; but succeeding days added strength and vigor
to his frame, and he came forth in all the sportiveness and beauty of
infant loveliness.

It was noon; the sun had gained his zenith in the heavens, and shed
down his scorching rays upon the parched earth, that lay drooping
beneath his noon-day beams. Scarce a leaf was seen to move, the birds
sat silent with folded wing, in the leafy branches, the flowers hung
fainting upon their stems, and nature shrank from the oppressive heat.

The cradled infant had passed from infancy to childhood, from
childhood to youth, from youth to manhood, through the various changes
that mark each successive period, and he now stood in the meridian of
life,

  "With all his blushing honors thick upon him."

His brow was marked by care and anxiety, and he seemed ambitious
to win a name. "Fear first assailed the child, and he trembled and
screamed; but at a frown, with youth came love, torturing the hapless
bosom, where fierce flames of rage, resentment, jealousy contend.
Disturbed ambition presented next, to bid him grasp the moon and
waste his days in angry sighs, add deep rivalry for shadows, till
to conclude the wretched catalogue, appears pale avarice, straining
delusive counters to his breast, e'en in the hour of death." Such are
human passions.

It was evening; the curtains of the west were tinged with the varied
dyes of sunset, and nature seemed revived by the cool, fresh evening
breeze, and smiled complacently beneath the sun's last ray. The full
orbed moon arose in the east, and the crystal streams reflected
myriads of diamonds beneath her silver beams, and the stars, those
golden lamps of night, shone bright in the blue chambers of the sky.
An aged man was leaning on his staff, the vigor of life had departed,
his locks were thin and scattered, his palsied limbs would scarce
perform their office. His eye was dim--no longer beaming with
intelligence, and he muttered to himself, as he groped his way along,
worn out with the cares, sorrows and perplexities of a busy life,
deep furrows were upon his cheeks, and his whole appearance bespoke
a weary, way-worn child of earth. He took his solitary way, down a
retired path, thickly shaded with fir, holly and yew, through whose
thick foliage the struggling moonbeam scarce could penetrate, and
the air was filled with humid vapors, gloomy silence as of the tomb
reigned around, but exhausted nature sank, and the aged man pillowed
his head upon the bosom of earth, and closed his weary eyes to rest,
for he was a homeless wanderer.

It was deep, solemn midnight; a dense cloud had obscured the sky,
and hid the refulgent light of the moon; the wind howled in fitful
murmurs, the thunder rolled in the distance, lightnings glared, and
nature wrapped herself in the sable shroud of midnight, and seemed
shrieking a death-wail in her many voices.

Beside the gray haired man stood a pale visitant from the spirit land,
to summons him away; he laid his icy hand upon his waning pulse, and
chilled the current of his struggling breath. No friend was nigh, but
his spirit passed gently away, leaving his countenance placid and
serene in death.

Such is the end of human life. A little mound of heaped up earth marks
the spot, where the weary pilgrim is at rest. All who tread in the
path way of life, must lie down too, "with the pale nations of the
dead," mingle with common dust, and become the sport of the winds.




Flowers.


  Flowers are emblems of our youth,
  Emblems of innocence and truth,
  For though their freshness must decay,
  Their fragrance will not pass away.
  So, youthful beauty soon must fail;
  The eye grow dim, the cheek grow pale;
  The brow that now is pure and fair,
  May soon be shaded o'er by care.

  But if within the trusting heart
  Goodness and innocence have part;
  If we God's holy law fulfil,
  And bow submissive to his will,
  Then shall the heart, like some sweet flow'r,
  That's lightly pluck'd from beauty's bow'r,
  And rudely crush'd beneath the feet,
  Yield fragrance far more pure and sweet
  Than when in sunshine and the dew,
  A fair and beauteous flow'r it grew,




The Old Castle.


  In olden times, so legends tell,
  In lordly castle there did dwell
  A lady fair, of noble birth,
  Of beauty rare and matchless worth.

  And she was flattered and caressed,--
  The poor her generous bounty blessed;
  Princes and lords, a gorgeous crowd,
  Before her peerless beauty bow'd.

  Lady and courtiers passed away,
  This ivyed tower, these ruins gray
  Are all that's left to tell the story,
  Of grandeur, pomp, and former glory.

  Thus, Time moves on, with ceaseless tread,
  Still adding to the silent dead;
  Nor power, nor splendor can withstand
  The touch of its effacing hand.




The Myrtle.


  This Myrtle wreath will never fade,
    In sunshine or in gloom,
  When wintry storms sweep o'er the glade,
    Its flow'rs will brighter bloom,
  So Virtue's lamp will brighter be,
    'Mid storms of dark adversity.




Death.


Thou pale visitant of the spirit land, why dost thou hover ever round
the shades of time, and ever ply thy bark on yonder sluggish stream,
whose oozy waters bear thee on its bosom? Why dost thou ever bear away
a victim that returns not with thee? As we look for thy returning bark
"through the vista, long and dark it comes with thee alone." Thou
mysterious messenger, where dost bear those whom thou dost convey
away?--but hark! that voice! husky, hollow, but impressive, the spirit
shall return unto God who gave it. But now I see thee more distinctly,
thou grisly monster; I know thy form, thou conqueror of conquerors,
and thou king of kings. But yesterday I saw a smiling infant in its
fond mother's arms; a thousand dimpling smiles played around its
beautiful features, and its eyes beamed with brilliancy; thou didst
approach, and lay thy icy hand upon its fluttering pulses, and all
was still. The parted lips had closed with the passing smile yet
upon them, the eye had ceased to roll, that little form was cold
and motionless as the clods of the valley, life had ebbed away, the
mysterious link that bound the soul to the body was broken; the spirit
had departed; many witnessed the expiring struggle, but none saw the
spirit as it took its flight from its clay tenement; yet it had gone
with thee over yon dark stream.

Again I entered the chamber where a father lay, upon whom a numerous
family were dependant. Thou wast there; thy icy breath was upon him;
thy agonizing throes were depicted on his pallid countenance; his
expansive chest heaved laboriously; his shortening breath came up
convulsively, and his eyes seemed starting from their sockets. He had
been called suddenly--unexpectedly to meet thee. A tearful wife and
children gathered around the bed, formed an interesting group, and
strove in vain to allay the agony of the husband and father. But a
sterner blow, and that wife was a widow, those children fatherless.
Thou hadst taken that father to "that undiscovered country from whose
bourne no traveler e'er returns." That weeping wife and those children
"were cast abandoned on the world's wide stage, doomed in scanty
poverty to roam." But still I followed thee, thou fell destroyer of the
human race, determined to portray thy doings.

A gentle mother next received thy visitation, falling a prey to thy
relentless hand. Five darling children shared her maternal love, as
day by day she ministered to their necessities. The rose had long
since faded from her cheek; an unwonted lustre lit up her eye, and her
step became more and more feeble, 'till thou didst summon her away,
leaving a void in the hearts of those children that can never be
filled. Sad, sickening was the sight as I followed in thy train, and
saw father, mother, sister, brother, and all the endearing relations
of life, fall before thy sway. But thou art coeval with the race;
there lives not a man who will not bow before thy sceptre; all must
drink from thy cup. The crowned monarch and the beggar sleep side by
side, and their mingled dust is the sport of the winds of the heavens.
Then may we

    "So live, that when our summons comes to join
  The innumerable caravan, that moves
  To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take
  His chambers in the silent halls of death,
  We go not like the quarry slave at night,
  Scourged to his dungeon; but sustained and soothed
  By an unfaltering trust, approach our graves
  Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
  About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams."




The Home of Childhood.


  Home of my childhood, once again,
    With fond delight, I turn to thee;
  Here, in this green and silent glen,
    I'll sit beneath the o'ershadowing tree;
  While memory, with its magic power,
    Summons to my enraptured mind,
  Scenes, which, till this mysterious hour,
  Had been to Lethean waves consign'd.

  Sweet visions rise before my gaze,
    All dim and meagre, like ruins old;
  Which seen beneath the moon's pale rays,
    Scarce can their real form be told.
  Yet, beautiful and fair they seem,--
    Those shadowy visions of the past;
  And to my soul they bring a dream
  Of happines, too bright to last.

  Soft eyes are gazing on my own,--
    Sweet voices fall upon my ear,--
  I feel that I am not alone,
    For spirits of the loved are near;
  And joyfully my soul goes forth,
    Mingling with theirs in blissful love,
  Linked in the bonds of union sweet--
    Through the past scenes of life we rove.

  And once again, they spring to life,--
    The hopes and joys of other years;
  Fresh as before the world's rude strife
    Had changed their fount to bitter tears,
  Smiles, looks and words that long had been
    Erased from memory's tablet leaves,
  Come thronging o'er my soul again,
    Bright as the spell which Fancy weaves.

  Oh, could the dream forever last,--
    Could those loved forms forever stay;
  But no, e'en now the visions past,--
    Like rainbow hues they fade away.
  And I am left to muse alone,
    As one by one, those forms depart:
  The chill wind blows with hollow moan,
    And sadness broodeth o'er my heart.

  Well, I must nerve my spirit up,
    To meet life's trials, stern and dark;
  I'll shrink not from the bitter cup,
    For fear, though storms assail my bark.
  But I will trust in him, whose power
    Curbs the proud billows in their might,
  Whose presence cheers the darkest hour,
    And guides the wanderer's bark aright.




The Happy Land.


  There is a land beyond the sky,
    Where all is fair and bright,
  No tear there dims the sparkling eye,
    No cloud obscures the light.

  There, in those bright elysian fields,
    Bloom flow'rs that never fade;
  And seraphs tune their golden harps,
    In spotless robes arrayed.




Devotion.

  Tempted, my cottage home to leave,
  I wandered forth one dewy eve,
    When all was hushed and still;
  Save the low music of the breeze,
  That murmur'd through the leafy trees,
    And gushing of the rill.

  An unfrequented path I took,
  That led to a sequester'd nook--
    That 'neath the moon's pale beams,
  Seemed like some spirit-haunted dell,
  Where those light, airy phantoms dwell,
    That visit us in dreams.

  The sweet flowers, bathed in pearly dew,
  Half veil'd their glowing charms from view
    And drooped their lowly heads;
  While out, upon the evening air,
  A grateful incense, rich and rare,
    Stole up from their low beds.

  The green trees seemed to tower on high,
  And mingle with the deep blue sky;
    While in the moon's soft light,
  The noiseless shadows came and went,
  Waver'd and glanced, and graceful bent,
    Like champions in fight.

  There was a little, fragrant bower,
  That nature, in some sportive hour,
    Had gracefully arrayed;
  And overgrown with creeping vines,
  Their tendrils with the green bows twined,
    Formed an imperious shade.

  As near this fairy bower I drew,
  An object met my startled view,
    Entrancing all my powers;
  A fair young girl was kneeling there,
  Her white hands clasped in fervent prayer,--
    Her dark hair wreathed with flowers.

  Meekly her eyes to heav'n were turned,
  While in her trusting heart there burned
    The fire of holy love;
  So fair, so heavenly, looked her face,
  Less seemed she one of mortal race,
    Than angel from above.

  It was a lovely, starry night,
  And softly in the silver light,
    Did flickering shadows fall;
  And bright the flowers that blossomed there;
  But the incense of that maiden's prayer,
    Was purer, far, than all.

  The sweetest sight below the skies,--
  And sweetest in holy angels' eyes,
    Is the young heart, when given,
  With all its hopes and fears,--
  Its sunny smiles and gushing tears,
    An offering unto Heaven.




To a Friend


  Oh, wherefore ask a song of me;
    Romance within my heart is dead;
  Hush'd is my spirit's minstrelsy,
    Youth's golden visions all have fled.

  Life's rainbow hues have pass'd away,
    With clearer vision now I see;
  And I more deeply feel each day,
    That life's a stern reality.

  It is no dream, or fairy tale,
    Or minstrel's strain of music rare;
  But ever foremost in its train,
    Walk duty stern, and weary care.

  We may not linger by the way,
   To pluck the lily or the rose,
  Too soon will pass the summer day,
   And evening shadows round us close.

  Yet there's within each heart a chord
    That vibrates with a music tone;
  Duty performed brings its reward,
    We live not for ourselves alone.

  Life has a higher, nobler aim,
    A destiny beyond earth's toys;
  A richer heritage we claim,
    A title to celestial joys.

  Then upward look, with firm resolve,
    Thy spirit's precious plume to rise;
  What though thine earthly house dissolve;
    Thou hast a mansion in the skies.




Lines, Written upon the Death of Two Sisters.


  What heav'nly music greets mine ear!
  What seraph's voice is that I hear,
  Breathing in numbers soft and low?
  Methinks th' angelic strains I know.

  Dearest sister, come away,
  There's nought on earth that's worth thy stay;
  Then, sister, linger not, but haste
  The joys of paradise to taste.

  The songs of praise we utter here,
  Have ne'er been heard by mortal ear;
  Nor mortal eye hath ever seen
  "The fields array'd in living green."

  The gates of precious stone unfold,
  The streets are paved with shining gold;
  Pure crystal streams of water flow,
  And trees of fadeless verdure grow.

  There is no sighing here, nor tears,
  No guilty thoughts, no doubts or fears;
  But love is pure and never dies,
  And songs of endless praise arise.

  Then sister, linger not, but come,
  Angels await to guard thee home;
  Here, in the mansions of the blest,
  Here shall thy weary soul find rest.

  Sister, I come, thy cheering voice
  Bids my whole heart and soul rejoice;
  Fain would my ling'ring spirit rise
  On wings of Faith beyond the skies.

  I linger but a little space,
  To gaze upon my husband's face;
  My gentle infant's lips to press,
  And fold my first born to my breast.

  My mother's voice once more to hear,--
  Once more to see a brother dear,
  A sister's parting kiss receive,--
  Then, dearest sister, I will leave.

  E'en now my clouded senses feel
  A heav'nly transport o'er them steal;
  My sight grows dim, thick comes my breath;
  Sister, I come, for this is death.




To I----.


  My long neglected lyre I'll take,
  And seek its echoes to awake;
  But it hath lain untuned so long,
  Scarce can I hope to frame a song.

  Yet, when I sweep the trembling strings,
  A low sad wail of music rings;
  Encouraged by that gentle strain,
  I'll touch the silken cords again.

  I wish thee happiness, my friend,--
  Such as on virtue doth attend;
  And pray that grief's dark funeral pall
  May ne'er upon thy young heart fall.

  O may an interest in Christ's blood,--
  Thy soul, bathed in that crimson flood,
  Shall be from guilt's dark stain set free,
  Thy sins no more imputed thee.

  I wish a friend, faithful and kind,
  Noble, sincere, pure and refined,
  Whose sympathy with thine shall blend,
  And to life's duties sweetness lend.

  Loving and loved, thy bark shall glide
  Smoothly along life's rapid tide,
  Until 'tis launched upon the sea
  Of infinite eternity.




Lines, Written for a Friend upon the 20th Anniversary of Her Birthday.


  Would some kind Muse my heart inspire,
  With the poetic heaven-born fire,
  That did in olden times belong
  To gifted bards, of ancient song.

  Then could I wake a thrilling strain
  That would with mystic power enchain,
  But now, alas! my untaught lyre
  Can to no lofty themes aspire.

  How many scenes of joy and grief,
  Trac'd o'er life's ever-varying leaf,
  Have pass'd since first thy mother smiled
  On thee, a little helpless child.

  Though few thy years on earth have been,
  In the past view, dark clouds are seen;
  The cup prepared for thee to drain,
  Has not been all unmix'd with pain,

  The future now before thee lies,
  Still unreveal'd to human eyes;
  But to imagination's view,
  Bright visions gleam the vista through.

  The future, who would dare to look
  Into that still unopened book?
  What mortal would presume to read
  The hidden mysteries there decreed.

  Oh, Ellen, let it be thy prayer,
  What e'er of ill is written there,
  That thou may'st ever bear thy part,
  With humble and submissive heart.

  But if its pages should unfold
  Thy destiny, inscribed in gold,
  If radiant joy, with pinions bright,
  Should round thy path shed rosy light,

  Oh, then forget not those whom God
  Has chasten'd with a heavy rod,
  Let the poor stricken mourner find
  In thee, a friend sincere and kind.

  And when old Time, with sly embrace,
  Steals the bright rose-tint from thy face,
  Still keep thy heart in love and truth,
  Guileless as in thy early youth.

  As you review each closing year,
  May no grim phantoms there appear
  Casting dark shadows in the scene,
  Thy view and happiness between.

  But in their stead may sweet content,
  A consciousness of life well spent,--
  A trusting heart to thee be given,
  And last of all a crown in heav'n.




Human Thought


Oh, how deep and unfathomable is human thought. It descends into the
lowest depths of the ocean, and into the mines, caverns and inmost
recesses of the earth, or is borne aloft upon the soaring pinions of
imagination, to the vaulted, star-lit sky above our heads; we can
trace the azure canopy, and wander from star to star, or contemplate
the silvery moon, in all her full-orbed glory, or trace the golden
sun, as he runs his journey through the heavens, and hides behind the
crimson curtains of the west, in majestic splendor. And though the
body be confined to the restless, feverish couch of pain, thought
flies untrammelled through the circuit of the globe, far--far to the
frigid regions of the north, where almost eternal winter reigns, and
we view the hardy inhabitant of that sterile clime, wrapped in his
furs, drawn by the swift-footed reindeer, across the barren glebe.

But, sudden as the lightning's flash, thought wings us across
intervening space, to the sultry, arid plains of India, where seated
upon the huge elephant, the inhabitants screen themselves from the
burning rays of the vertical sun, and all nature seems fainting
beneath the oppressive heat; there the deluded mother tosses her
struggling infant into the serpentine Granges, and bowing before her
idol, thinks she has appeased her God; we at a glance visit Afric's
billowy strand, her vast sandy deserts, spotted here and there with
an oasis, where the toil-worn traveller stops to refresh himself; and
then turning to America--our own happy America, the land of freedom,
we there see thousands of Afric's sable sons groaning beneath the
galling bondage of slavery.

But after thought thus visits every portion of the globe, and sits
down to contemplate what is the conclusion of the whole matter, is not
"passing away" legibly written upon the whole earth, and upon each
succeeding generation of man, for "one generation passeth away and
another generation cometh," and death conquers all. Happy are they,
whose thoughts, enriched by the promises of the gospel, "can soar
beyond the narrow bounds of time, and fix their hopes of happiness on
heaven."



Lines, Written on the Departure of a Brother.


  Dear brother, is it even so?
    And are we doomed to part?--
  We who have been through weal and woe
    United, hand and heart.

  Ah, would that I could share thy fate,
    Upon Life's stormy sea;
  I'd deem no sacrifice too great,
    That I might make for thee.

  But no, it may not--cannot be,--
    The world before thee lies;
  And fairer lands are spread for thee,
    Beneath more genial skies.

  There's many a spot, of which we're told,
    In legend and romance,
  Where plumed knights were wont of old
    To meet with sword and lance.

  And there's a charm that lingers round
    Each ruined tower and shrine;--
  Full well I know its magic power,
    On such a heart as thine.

  Then go; I would not seek to chain
    Thy spirit bold and free;
  Although I feel when thou art gone,
  How lonely I shall be.

  I know thee noble; have I not
    From childhood's earliest hour
  Witnessed thy spirit's mastery
    O'er dark temptation's power.

  Go, and ambition's heights explore,--
    Seek Honor, Wealth and Fame;
  But prize than gold or jewels more
    A pure, untarnished name.

  But when far o'er the deep blue sea,
    In other lands you roam,
  Forget not those who prayed with thee,
    In thy sunny childhood's home,

  Forget not, when you mingle with
    The beautiful and gay,
  And yield your heart to pleasure's charms,
    A sister far away.

  Though rosy lips may on you smile,
    And bright eyes turn to thine,
  Dear brother, thou wilt never find
    One truer heart than mine.




Lines, on the Death of a Friend.


  Mournfully, tearfully, twine we a wreath,
    To the memory of one who sleeps with the dead;
  Calmly she slumbers the cold sod beneath,
    While the wind chants a requiem over her bed.

  Early she drank of the fountain of sorrow.
    Cold press'd the hand of grief on her heart;
  No gleam from the sunshine of hope could she borrow,
    In earthly enjoyments her soul had no part.

  She pass'd from the earth like a beautiful vision;
    Pale grew her cheek, and sunken her eye,
  Yet her spirit evinc'd a noble decision,
    Still strong in affection and fearless to die.

  Her husband and child had pass'd on before her,
    Through the dark valley and shadow of death;
  Her Saviour, she hop'd, to their love would restore her.
    Then she fear'd not the summons to yield up her breath.

  To rest near the spot where those lov'd ones were sleeping,
    Was the last earthly wish of her desolate heart;
  And she pray'd whilst disease to her vitals was creeping,
    That God would his grace and protection impart.

  The tears of fond sisters, the love of a brother,
    From that hallow'd spot could not tempt her to stay;
  Though dear to her heart, the love of another
    Still o'er her spirit held mightier sway.

  She left the dear spot of her childhood's affection,
    For her own belov'd home in the far distant west;
  Her fond heart still clung to the sweet recollection
    Of hours she had pass'd there, contented and bless'd.

  But now all her trials and sorrows are ended,
    Clos'd are her eyes in "death's dreamless sleep;"
  Her spirit, we trust, has to glory ascended,
    Hope whispers sweet peace while in sadness we weep.




The Power of Custom.


Custom is a despotic tyrant, wielding an iron sceptre over man,
before whose unbounded sway unnumbered millions hourly bend. We are
controlled by its influence from earliest infancy to latest age, even
from the making of an infant's frock to the shroud. In early youth
we must go to this school, or that lecture, or to that resort of
fashionable amusement, because others go, and it is the custom.

It seems strange that custom should hold such a dominion over us--we,
the people of this enlightened age, be bound to such a tyrant! it
seems almost impossible, but so it is. We see it in the professional
man, the man of business, and men in all grades of society, and from
the lady at her toilet to the factory operative. We must have our
clothing cut after such a style, and wear it after such a manner; and
why? O, it is the custom. It is too much the custom for people to look
with contempt upon those who have not quite so good advantages, or
more especially, those who have not so much wealth, without regard to
intellect or education.

Custom has introduced into society vices of all descriptions. Not long
since it was the custom to pass the social glass, and it has been the
means of making a great many inebriates, and making beggars of a great
many families; thus we see the effects of that custom. The custom of
revelry, balls, parties, and gay assemblies, tend to dissipate the
minds of youth, and lead them into the paths of vice. The custom
of card-playing has led to the gaming-table, and been the ruin of
thousands.

  "The suns of riot flow down the loose stream,
  Of false and tainted joy on the rankled soul,
  The gaming fury falls, till in one gulf
  Of total ruin; honor, virtue, peace,
  Friends, families, and fortune
  Headlong sink."




Annie Howard.


It was a chill, dreary day in November. The autumn winds swept with
a dirge-like sound through the tops of the tall old trees that
overshadowed a stately mansion, where a group of sorrowing friends
had collected, to pay the last sad rite, to one of earth's fairest,
loveliest flowers. All without wore an air of gloom and melancholy.
Ever and anon a sere and yellow leaf would fall with a faint rustling
sound, speaking in mournful language to the heart, that all things
earthly must decay; and well did the scene accord with the sadness and
sorrow that reigned in the hearts of those who had assembled on that
mournful occasion.

The deceased was one whom we had all known and loved, for she was one
of those sweet angelic beings, whom it is impossible not to love. Her
presence, like sunshine, seemed to diffuse light and cheerfullness
upon all who came within the magic circle of her influence.

Her glad laugh fell like music upon the ear. Her large dark eyes
beamed with the light of intelligence and affection. The softest rose
tint tinged her alabaster cheek, and the tones of her voice were like
the melody of an Aeolian harp, when touched by the wandering zephyrs.

But youth, beauty, and goodness could not shield her from the cruel
shafts of the destroyer. The hand of disease fell heavily upon her,
and her fragile form sank beneath the blow, and faded like a blighted
flower. There sat her parents bowed down by grief, for the being whom
they most loved on earth, the light of their home, the joy, the hope,
the pride of their hearts, had been taken from them, and they were
indeed left desolate.

One ray of light alone illumined the darkness that overshadowed them
like a pall. But one star shone out upon the dim horizon of the
future, the hope of being reunited with their beloved child in that
better land, where tears shall be wiped from all eyes--where love
never dies, and parting scenes are never known.

The funeral services were performed in a solemn and impressive manner.
The coffin was then opened, and one by one we approached to take the
last fond look of its frail tenant. Oh, could it be that that form, so
cold and motionless, clad in the white habiliments of the grave, was
that of the once lovely and fascinating Annie Howard? Were those lips
that were wont to entrance with their melody forever sealed in death?
Would those eyes never again beam with the light of affection, or
kindle with the glow of enthusiasm? Oh, how forcibly were we reminded
that "passing away" is written upon all things here below, and that
the fairest forms that walk the earth, in all the pride of beauty,
must go down to the dark, cold grave, to be food for the loathesome
worm. With slow and faltering steps, and with tear-suffused eyes,
we followed the remains to the narrow house, appointed for all the
living; and then mournfully returned to our homes, to muse upon the
uncertainty, and the perishable nature of all earthly joys.

Annie Howard was one of my earliest and dearest friends, and thinking
that, perhaps, her history might be interesting to some who may chance
to peruse these pages, I have endeavored, although but imperfectly, to
give a brief sketch of her life.

She was the only child of wealthy and highly respectable parents.
Possessed of refined and cultivated minds, they were anxious that
their daughter should be educated in all the more solid branches,
which would render her a useful member of society, as well as the
lighter graces and accomplishments which, too often, in the present
day, supercede the cultivation of the mind. Endowed with a brilliant
intellect, she excelled in whatever she attempted, and the fond
anticipations of her friends were more than realized. The acquirement
of literature was to her a source of exquisite delight. Her thirsty
soul drank at the fountain of knowledge, with as much avidity as the
weary traveller slakes his thirst at the fountain of cool waters, that
bubbles up in the midst of the sandy desert. Her inquiring mind was
never weary of exploring the deep mysteries of science or poring over
the pages of ancient lore. Music, painting and poetry seemed to form
the etherial essence of her mind. She played with exquisite skill and
taste, and sang with surpassing sweetness and melody.

Her brilliant powers of mind, the beauty of her person, her graceful,
winning manners, the sweetness of her disposition, and the unaffected
goodness of her heart, rendered her a universal favorite in the circle
in which she moved.

Yet, was she ever modest and unassuming. She was far from that
vain haughtiness that is the common characteristic of narrow and
superficial minds, and which, too often, displays itself in persons of
cultivated intellect, where there is not a corresponding goodness
of heart. It seemed to be her aim to render those with whom she
associated, pleased with themselves rather than to impress upon them
a sense of her own superiority. This trait in her character had in it
nothing allied to sycophancy, which quickly disgusts persons of sense
and refinement; neither did it originate merely in the desire to
please, but had its source in an inherent principle of her nature,
which prompted her to seek to promote the happiness of others.

She possessed an intuitive knowledge of human nature, which, together
with her extreme delicacy, with regard to the feelings of others,
formed the keystone which unlocked to her the secret recesses of
hearts, which, to a less careless observer, would have been veiled in
impenetrable coldness and reserve.

In early life she had given her heart to the Saviour, and had
consecrated herself to the service of God; and she sought to follow
the example of the meek and lowly Jesus.

The poor, the sick, and the sorrowful, were objects of her peculiar
care and attention. Many a poor, crushed and broken-hearted being,
borne down by poverty and affliction, was made glad by her sympathy
and kindness. She possessed that sweet, graceful way of offering a
benefit which rendered a favor from her doubly acceptable. Among the
gentlemen of her acquaintance, there were many who, fascinated by the
charms both of her mind and person, sought to win her heart, but of
all her numerous admirers, there was but one whose affection was
reciprocated, and that one was well worthy the love and confidence of
such a being as Annie Howard. He possessed those noble qualities of
heart and mind which command the admiration of the great and good, and
which render man, in the true sense of the term, the noblest work of
God. Gifted with strong powers of mind, which had been disciplined
by a thorough education, possessing principles of the strictest
integrity, and an elegant and prepossessing exterior, he was beloved
and esteemed by all who knew him. He was a physician, and had the
reputation of being a skilful practitioner. He had resided in the same
village with Annie some two or three years, and being of congenial
dispositions, and thrown much into each others' society, a strong
attachment had sprung up between them, which was sanctioned by the
friends of both parties.

But brilliant intellect, beauty of person, sweetness of disposition,
goodness of heart, nor love of friends could save her from death's
relentless dart. In her case, the words of the poet Wordsworth were
verrified,

        "The good die first,
  And they whose hearts are dry as summer dust
  Burn to the socket."

Ere nineteen summers had passed over her head, consumption had
fastened upon her vitals. At first the symptoms were so slight that
her friends felt little alarm, but soon the hollow cough, which sounds
so much like a funeral knell, the unnatural brilliancy of the eye, the
hectic glow upon the cheek, and the short, labored breathing, told but
too plainly that death was not to be cheated of his prey. It has been
said that death loves a shining mark, and it is true that he often
passes by the loathsome form, shriveled by age, and want, and
lingering disease, to feast upon the sparkling eye, the ruby lips, and
glowing cheek of youth and beauty.

Annie soon became fully sensible that she was not long for this world,
but was perfectly calm and resigned. She possessed that hope that
alone can sustain the soul in sickness and suffering, when we feel
that our hold upon earth is each day growing weaker, and eternity,
vast, boundless, with all its untried scenes, with all its deep
mysteries, and overwhelming interests, lies stretched out before us,
when the soul feels that it must soon be called upon to enter upon
those untried scenes, and to fathom the deep mysteries of that endless
existence, and that it must go alone and unattended into the presence
of its Maker, there to render up its account. She felt that, although
she was unworthy of God's favor, yet Christ had shed his blood for
her, and she trusted that her sins had been washed away by that blood,
and her soul made meet for the heavenly inheritance. She strove to
console the grief of her parents, who were almost heartbroken at the
thought of parting from their child. She pointed them to that home
beyond the grave, where they should be reunited never more to part;
never more to suffer pain, or sorrow, or care; where tears are wiped
from all eyes, and the ransomed spirit will be permitted to join with
the heavenly host in singing praises to the Redeemer.

She bore her sufferings with sweet resignation. As her bodily strength
failed her mind seemed to expand, and her intellectual powers to grow
higher. Her love of the beautiful seemed also to increase. The deep
blue sky, when studded by a countless host of brilliant stars; the
soft, fleecy clouds when reflecting the gorgeous hues of sunset; the
music of the birds; the whispering of the breeze, making mysterious
melody as it mingled with the rustling of the leaves; these, with a
thousand other sweet but incomprehensible charms of nature, seemed to
form the link that bound her soul to earth.

Gradually her strength failed; each day her fragile form became more
attenuated, and her thin hand more transparent. There was nothing
terrible in the approach of death. Nothing that was revolting to the
most sensitive mind; but when we were summoned to stand around her
dying bed, there was something so calm, so heavenly, so peaceful, in
the expression of her countenance, that we all felt that it was indeed
a privilege to witness the departure of her soul to the world of
spirits, and we involuntarily exclaimed, "Let me die the death of the
righteous, and let my last end be like his."




We All Do Perish Like the Leaf.


  One rosy cloud lay cradled
    In the chambers of the sky;
  Rock'd gently by the autumn winds,
    As they came sighing by;

  Touching, oh, so lightly,
    Each leaf on ev'ry tree,
  Yet wafting them in tinted show'rs,
    O'er mountain, hill, and lee.

  For autumn's chilling finger
    Has touch'd them, by decay;
  And now the slightest zephyr's wing
    Bears their frail form away:

  And strews them o'er the barren glebe,
    In withered heaps to lie
  The sport of many a wintry storm,
    As it comes surging by.

  So man, with earthly honor,
    Stands proudly forth, to-day,--
  To-morrow Death's untimely frost
    His glory sweeps away.

  And down in Death's dark chambers,
    With folded hands he lies;
  The things of earth excluded
    Forever from his eyes.




Life Compared to the Seasons.


  Loud blows the stern December blast;
  The snow is falling thick and fast;
  And all around so cold and drear,--
  Proclaims the winter of the year.
  Touched by the finger of decay,
  Summer beauties passed away--
  Her fragrant flowers forgot to bloom,
  And slept within their winter tomb.
  The butterfly, that airy thing,
  That floated on its gilded wing,
  And birds that with their music rare,
  Warbling filled the summer air;
  Dewdrops that gemm'd the morning flower,
  All--all were pageants of an hour,--
  The trappings of a summer day,
  That sank with her into decay.
  But though bleak winter reigns around,--
  Nor fruit, nor flower adorns the ground,
  We know that Spring will wake again
  All the pageant Summer train.
  And Winter has its store of mirth,
  Its studies and its social hearth,
  And by nature seems designed
  To elevate the human mind.
  The seed committed to its trust
  Will not decay, and sink to dust,--
  It will not with the summer die,
  And dormant through the winter lie;
  But ever fruitful, it will be,
  Even through eternity.




Writing Composition.


Well, here I am, sitting down with inkstand, pen and paper all before
me, to write a composition. And what is composition? It is thought
drawn from the resources of the mind, and portrayed upon the unsullied
page. The mind, that mysterious, unfathomable, undying, immortal part
of man; that immaterial essence, which contemplates upon past and
future scenes, from which emanates all our thoughts and passions--and
all our happiness or misery. If we would have our composition correct,
the mind must be well cultivated, for that, like a well cultivated
garden, will produce fine fruit and beautiful flowers, where no noxous
weed should be allowed to intrude, or delicate plant wither and die
for want of culture. The mind should be strengthened and nourished
by solid reading, well digested. The rich volume of nature lies open
before us, where all who will read, may improve the intellect.

Do we seek for the beautiful? we see it around us in the gently
sloping hill, the verdant vale, the fragrant flowers, and the
whispering rill, and the ten thousand varied beauties with which
nature is decked. Or seek we for the sublime, we must contemplate the
whirlwind in its fury, the vivid lightning's flash, and the deep toned
thunder, reverberating peal on peal, the mountain torrent, dashing
down the stupendous height, and hurrying to embosom itself in the
ocean below; or the forest, standing unbroken in its silent majesty,
till the thoughts instinctively rise from the sublimities of nature,
to nature's God, the maker and former of them all.

Composition is said to be the index of the mind, if so, how necessary
it is that there should be no improper word or idea expressed, no blot
or tarnish should be upon the fair page; how chaste and elegant should
be the diction, how pure and refined the idea, how simple and concise
the expression. It should be like the glassy lake that reflects an
unclouded sky--the mirror of a spotless mind.




Lines, Written in Answer to the Question "Where Is Our Poet?"


  Ask you for the poet lyre?
  What can touch his soul with fire,
  When from ev'ry passing cloud
  The storm-king whistles shrill and loud,
  And nature shrieks her requiem wild,
  O'er summer, her departed child.
  When through the shortened winter day
  The languid sun sheds sickly ray,
  And struggling moonbeams seem at most,
  Dim meteor forms of Ossian's ghost.
  Then shall not I, a feeble maid,
  Of the Muses be afraid?
  When poets sleep with talents fine,
  Shall I approach the "sacred Nine?"
  But when I heard the vesper bell
  Mournful peal its sad farewell;
  And murmuring through the evening air,
  Echo only answered, "where?"
  I thought I'd chase my fears away,
  And conjure up a simple lay.
  Ye poets who have talents ten,
  Excuse the errors of my pen;
  The best I could do I have done,
  For reader I have scarcely one.




My Husband's Grave.


In looking over the foregoing pages, I feel that sad indeed have been
my wanderings in the shady paths of life. The aged friends of my
childhood have been buried over again. The last sad parting from many
dear friends has been noted down; the deaths of sister, brother and
mother, have been noticed in sad rotation; grand-children have sprung
up, beside the way, flourished for a little season, then faded like
the pale, withering leaves of autumn, and passed away from earth
forever.

O, Memory, thy garland has indeed been entwined, with many a withered
flower, whose leaves though faded, emit a sweet fragrance to the
heart, and lead it to a purer, holier trust in heaven.

But there is a deeper shadow, a gloomier shade, a sadder spot upon
earth, than we have yet visited. It is the recently made grave of my
husband--the father of my children, who passed suddenly away, leaving
his afflicted family, bereft of his counsel, his watch care, and his
support.

As I stand in this sad spot, and gaze upon that lone grave, with
tearful eyes and a bursting heart, memory comes like a tide, throwing
over my soul the remembrances of the many--many years we have
journeyed on together, since our first acquaintance in academic
halls (for our intimacy first commenced in school), and all the sad
loneliness of the present presses like a weight upon me, crushing me
to the earth, and obscuring all the sunshine of earthly bliss.

How sad and desolate is the home from which some loved one has been
borne suddenly away, with the firm assurance that "the places that
once knew them shall know them no more forever."

The vacant seat at table, the return of their usual hour of arrival,
all places and all things remind us of the departed one, and bring
up harrowing remembrances of the past, that add deeper pangs to our
sorrow, and fill our hearts with more unendurable anguish, and suffuse
our cheeks with more scalding tears, as the stern reality presses upon
us, that it always must be thus.

Companion of my youth, can it be possible thy manly form is hid
beneath this grassy mound at my feet? that I never again shall hear
the sound of that voice, whose endearing tone won me to thy side,
to unite my destiny with thine, and float with thee over life's
tempestous ocean?

Rough, indeed, has been the passage, and many the adverse storms we
have encountered, during our thirty-two years companionship, and now,
way-worn and weary, the grave--the greedy grave claims thee for its
occupant. How sweet is the assurance "that the graves shall give up
their dead, and this mortal shall put on immortality." Yes, this dear
dust shall rise again, and be clothed in undying youth.

O, how stealthily the stern messenger came, laying low the form of the
strong man, ere we were aware of his danger. One week--one short week,
and yet to him a week of agonizing suffering, and all was over. Yet,
in that week, what a volume might be written, of deep, intense
thought and feeling, of fervent prayer and supplication, and tearful,
childlike submission to the divine will. Might be written did I say?
Is it not written--even in the book of God's remembrance? Neither sigh
or tear were unnoticed, or prayer unheard, by that God who careth for
us, and numbereth the very hairs of our heads. How often the prayer
ascended from the lips of the dying man, "O my Father, help me in this
my extremity," and it was indeed his hour of extreme necessity, for he
was wrestling with his last enemy.

A smile sat upon his countenance, even while struggling for that frail
life that was so soon to end, and it is now very evident to those
that were in attendance upon him, that he was more fully aware of his
situation than they. Every arrangement and every observation plainly
shows now that he had little, if any hope of recovery.

But still the attending physician spoke very encouragingly to him, and
to others, and so we hoped and believed he would yet be well.

He was grateful for every attention. Ere the disease (which was
pneumonia) assumed its most fearful aspect; a daughter, who was
watching by the bed, hearing him whisper, thought he was addressing
her; but bending over the pillow, she heard him say,

"Oh, my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me."

Then raising his clasped hands, said, fervently, "Nevertheless, not my
will, but thine be done." Towards morning, reason became dethroned,
and the bewildered imagination wandered in the land of shadows. There
was an extremely anxious expression of countenance, and he would look
earnestly upon his attendants, as though he thought we could relieve
him. He was incessantly springing from his bed in his struggles for
breath, and trying every new position that the extremity of his case
could possibly suggest, but all to no avail.

But why dwell upon the fearful scene? We have seen the little child
contending with the strong arm of the destroyer, and felt it was a
fearful thing for it to yield up its little life and pass forever away
from earth. But when we see the strong man cut suddenly down, the man
who has scarcely passed the meridian of life, we "feel how dreadful
'tis to die." The love of life is strengthened by years. There are
cords of association binding him to it, the rolling, restless tide of
business, with its fluctuations and its cares, sweeps over him, and
seems binding him to earth. The love of children, for whose welfare a
kind father has so long been mindful, and all the fond endearments of
home and kindred, are so many sacred ties binding him to life. But all
must be severed before the ruthless tyrant who conquers conquerers,
and has justly been styled, "the king of terrors."

And so it was in this case. Nature yielded reluctantly every advantage
gained by the fearful foe, 'till her energies were exhausted, and
sinking down in quiet slumber, she yielded the contest without a
struggle.

About eight o'clock on Thursday evening, a heavy stupor came over him,
and the fearful death-rattle warned us of the approach of the grim
messenger. We watched his failing breath with agonizing emotions. But
we turned from him one little moment, and when we turned again, the
lamp of life was extinguished. O, the fearful agonizing cry that arose
by that death bed, when we realized that the husband and father had
passed away, forever away. But while we wept and mourned, he slept on
unheeding. Death made little change in his countenance, and when he
was dressed in his accustomed clothing, and laid in his coffin, he
looked like a weary man taking rest in sleep.

It was a pleasant day in mid April that we bore him to his grave, and
laid him down beneath the green branches of the arbor vitae tree. How
many mournful thoughts pressed upon the heart, almost crushing out the
very life, as the mournful train followed him to that sacred spot. Who
that has looked into an open grave, and seen the coffin of the dearly
loved lowered into it, but has felt an indiscribable agony filling the
heart, and blotting out all the prospect of future earthly happiness?
And who that listens to the sound of the heavy, damp earth as it falls
upon the coffin, but will say, "oh, has earth another sound like
this?" And there we left the husband and the father reposing beneath
the tree his own hand had trained, and in the yard where he had spent
so many hours laboring to beautify the spot where he was so soon to
lie down in his last long sleep. By his side are the graves of the two
dear grand-children, who were wont to share in his caresses, and his
smiles. Silent now is their greeting, as the weary grandfather lays
down with them in the place of graves: But eternity! oh eternity!
how is the meeting there? Have they met? There are father, mother,
brothers, sister, and a long train of relatives from whom he has
been long separated. Have they recognized each other? O, bewildering
thoughts, be still, and cease your restless longings; "secret things
belong to God," and "what we know not now we shall know hereafter."
But now, while the soft winds of summer are gently sighing through the
branches of the arbor vitae tree that stands at the head of the grassy
mound that rises over the form of my buried husband, I see by his
side, the spot where, in all human probability, this frame will soon
be deposited, to sleep with him in death's silent halls, even as I
have journeyed with him through life. 'Till then, let me turn to
my mission, and endeavor by a faithful discharge of every duty,
to prepare for that time, and strive by a holy life and godly
conversation, to so influence my children, that they may all seek a
city not made with hands eternal, and in the heavens. And thus shall
be answered my daily prayer, that we may be a united family in heaven.

So we returned to the house beneath the mild radiance of a Sabbath
sun, to experience that awful void that death makes in the domestic
circle to which so many bereaved hearts can respond.




Lines, Written upon the Young Who Have Recently Died in Our Village.


  Why are the young and beautiful
    Call'd so early to the tomb?
  Death surely loves a shining mark,--
    And sweetly feeds on youthful bloom!

  Go, wander in the place of graves,
    When softly steals the autumn's sigh,
  And on the sculptured marble read,
    How many in life's morning die.

  Beauty may bloom upon the cheek,
    And brightly sparkle in the eye;
  But soon the fatal hectic streak
    Proclaims that stealthy Death is nigh.

  Maria, by her mother's side,
    So young, in Death's dark chambers laid,
  And Lottie, soon to be a bride,
    Have seen earth's fairest vision fade.

  A lovely vision floating fair,
    In Memory's chambers now is seen,
  With sparkling eyes and glossy hair,
    A radiant brow, and gentle mien.

  She stole by fond and winning ways,
    Into many a loving heart;
  And with a sweet and childish grace,
    Well performed her little part.

  But death soon laid her beauty low,
    Like spring flowers fading on the stem,
  And, blighting all her youthful bloom,
    Laid Clara, mould'ring now with them.

  Dear Willie too, that child of prayer,
    So suddenly has pass'd away,
  And enter'd those bless'd mansions where
    All is bright, eternal day.

  Here, many a loving name is found,
    Of those who in life's pathway trod;
  Who slumber now, beneath the mound,
    Their spirits summon'd to their God.

  Some by long disease confin'd,
    Have slowly wasted day by day;
  Health, strength and beauty--all declin'd,
    And Youth's bright visions pass'd away.

  But wander on; the sculptured stone
    In thunder tones is speaking here;
  The name--the age--it loudly tells,
    To eye and heart, if not the ear.

  They sleep when winter's winds are loud,
    And snow and sleet come drifting by;
  And when light sails the rosy cloud,
    And Spring's sweet gales around them sigh.

  They sleep--ah, yes--that dreamless sleep,
    That never shall know waking more;
  They've cross'd the icy steam of death,
    And pass'd unto the viewless shore.




Conscience.


Conscience, and what is conscience? Is it not that silent but powerful
monitor within that weighs our every motive? is it not the small still
voice that whispers its approval when we have acted right, but bursts
like the crashing thunder peal or the terrific earthquake, when we
have acted wrong? She stands with extended finger a silent though
faithful friend, and points us onward in the plain path of duty. We
have only to follow her dictates, and all will be well. But many gaudy
flowers are blooming here and there beside the path, to tempt the
thoughtless one to step aside and pluck; but though they are beautiful
to the eye, and their fragrance borne to us by the breeze, seems to
woo us temptingly, yet, concealed within their leaves is a deadly
scorpion or poisonous asp, whose sting is instant death, or some,
perhaps, contain a more slow and sluggish poison, that creeps into the
mind, and instilling its venom by slow degrees, corrupts the whole.
Conscience has well been called the tell tale of our breasts.

How does it harrow up the mind at the still hours of midnight, when
all nature sleeps around, and depict crimes that no eye has witnessed
but God and their perpetrators; how does the murderer toss from side
to side beneath her lash, and see his victim for the thousandth time
in the agonies of death; over and over again, she acts the bloody
scene, and, while he turns restless and feverish upon his pillow,
still holds the picture bleeding fresh to fancy's wearied gaze, and as
in Macbeth, presents the dagger, while "on its blade and bludgeon are
drops of blood that were not so before." Crimes of dye not so deep,
are conjured up to harrow up the breast and rack the brain, and render
the victim of a disapproving conscience a miserable wretch indeed.

Truly she is placed within us as a friend, warning us of danger and
pressaging good. If we would listen to her dictates, we must be happy,
for she never argues wrong. And superlatively happy are they who can
lay calmly down on the bed of death cheered by her approving smiles,
for a "death bed is a detector of the heart;" here tired dissimulation
drops the mark that through life's grimace has kept up the scene.




Lines, Written in an Album.


  The autumn winds are sighing loud,
    And wither'd leaves come flitting by,
  And slowly sails the gath'ring cloud,
    Across the bleak November sky.

  The flow'rs have perish'd on the stem,
    Their brilliant beauty all decayed,
  And many golden hope like them,
    In disappointment's tomb is laid.

  But yet, far sinking to his rest,
    The golden king of day behold,
  The crimson curtains of the west
    Are richly fring'd with molten gold.

  Thus brightly may your life decline,
    Though youth may fade upon your brow,
  May Truth and Virtue radiant shine,
    E'en like yon sinking sun beam now.




Letter, from the Pen of My Husband, Now Deceased.


_Pawtucket, June_ 20, 1852.

Mrs. M. M. Bucklin:

My daughter in affliction, I would that, like Paul on Mars Hill, I
could enter at once, with eloquence and persuasion, on a subject that
might have the influence of restoring or bringing back your natural
buoyancy and elasticity of spirit. I need not tell you that I feel
earnestly, sensibly and deeply for you; and any mortal effort or
sacrifice within my power should not be wanting to effect an object so
desirable by your friends. But Malvina, an arm of flesh is not to
be relied upon; no human ken can reach the mysterious windings and
wonderful intricacies of a mother's love for her offspring. That
is, as yet, the unrevealed handiwork of Omnipotence, who in wisdom
conceived the beautiful mechanism, and brought to perfection the
refinements of our nature; and to his almighty fiat are we indebted,
both for the boon of death and the glorious hope of the resurrection.
How peculiarly adapted to our consolation is the doctrine of the
resurrection. The angel of mercy has withdrawn from your boson a
beloved child. O, how sweet the consolation of hope through the very
life-giving words of Him who cannot lie, as so beautifully and so
tenderly expressed to Martha, "Thy brother shall rise again." And, my
daughter, be assured that your little Emma shall rise again, for said
the same Almighty Comforter, "of such is the Kingdom of Heaven."
Therefore it would be wise in us not to sorrow for her who is asleep.
I know you believe that Jesus died and rose again. And so, also, of
them who sleep in Jesus, will God bring with him.

The question by the afflicted man of Uz might once, with some degree
of propriety have been asked, "If a man die shall he live again?"
But we believe in the resurrection of the dead, because He who
has promised is able to perform, and no science however new, nor
speculation however magnificent, should be allowed to rob us of this
beautiful and life-giving hope. I know that it is hard for us to
concieve the mighty power of transformation or to demonstrate the
great principle of a spiritual ascension from our decayed bodies, of
those seraphic hosts, who are to stand as ministering angels around
the majesty of Heaven, through all the never ending cycles of
eternity, no matter what objections skepticism may urge of the
impossibility of conceiving how the dead can be raised up to a newness
of life. Our faith receives it as a revealed fact, and our hearts
rejoice in the glorious hope, because we know that our Redeemer
liveth, and that he will again stand upon this earth. And though these
our frail bodies may be destroyed by death, yet shall we see God.
Marvellous as may be the transition, at death and the resurrection,
we shall all preserve our own identity, and see and know the beloved
companions of our earthly pilgrimage.

Blessed be God for this sweet hope in the resurrection of the
dead, that so clothes the far off and unseen world with ecstatic
anticipations of the renewed presence of our friends, to whom, even
in their glorified appearance, we shall be no strangers. We must not
persuade ourselves that the preservation of little Emma's sacred dust
is a mere tribute of affection to her memory; but rather a prophecy of
that precious hope, that she shall awake from this sleep and meet
us again, and that we shall know her again, and that we shall be
together, and unitedly hear that voice, sublime and almighty, yet
tender and soothing, saying, "I am the resurrection and the life; he
that believeth in me though he were dead, yet shall he live."

The resurrection of the dead is the crowning act of the Redeemer's
power, and the consummation of his work. How beautiful to contemplate
the spiritual import and eternal grandeur of his mission:

  "We may be blest, but Emma's glorious--
  O'er all the stings of death victorious."

Dear M.M.:

  "You feel like Eve, when Eden's gate
    Had closed on her forevermore;--
  You feel that life is desolate,
    And Paradise is o'er.
  No tears be yours, for tears are vain;
    Your heart and not your robe is rent:
  If God who gave did take again,
    'Tis folly to lament.
  Then drop the curtain, fold by fold,
    O'er her consecrated bower;
  And veil from curious eyes, and cold,
    Your dead, yet living flower."

Affectionately, your

Father.




Hope.


  A little skiff on time's dark stream,
    With silken sail and golden oar,
  Is floating like a fairy dream,
    And pointing to some distant shore,
      Where brighter bloom more fragrant flow'rs,
      Perfuming amaranthine bow'rs.

  The oar that dips the sullen wave,
    Throws up some diamond rich and rare,
  Striving the sinking soul to save,
    From the dark shadows of despair;
      And though the night be e'er so dark,
      Light hovers o'er this little bark.

  'Tis Hope unfurls that silken sail,
    And dips her oar in life's deep tide;
  And dancing on before the gale,
    Throws sparkling diamonds far and wide,
      And paints in brilliant rainbow dyes,
      Onward to some radiant prize.




Visit to Mount Auburn.


It was a beautiful day in autumn, when the mellow sun shed his
subduing rays Over the face of decaying nature, that we entered the
elegant carriage of an esteemed friend, and pursued our way towards
Mount Auburn, that quiet resting place of the dead.

As we pursued our way from East Boston, the water in the harbor,
whitened with many a sail, sparkled in the morning sun, and glittered
like ten thousand diamonds.

It was Saturday, busy, bustling Saturday, when all the world seemed
hurrying on as if to make amends for any deficiency in the other days
of the week.

The white sea-gulls were floating through the air, often stooping as
if to dip their wings in the ocean waves, that murmured gently upon
the winding shore.

There was scarce a cloud to be seen in the sky, and the calmness of
nature whispered peace to the weary spirit.

As we crossed the ferry and entered the city, and witnessed the moving
tide of human life that was surging through the city mart jostling
against each other in their eager chase; and as we looked out upon the
motly group, human life was to be seen in almost all its forms.

Wealth hung out his golden trappings, and rolled by in all the
splendor of ease and luxury The children of poverty trudged on in
tattered garments, stung by pinching want, bearing heavy burdens upon
their heads, and weighed down by oppression.

These scenes awoke many reflections in the mind, and presented the
contrast of life.

Passing through the city with its tumults and its changes, we pursued
our way through Cambridge to the Cemetery.

The scenery was beautiful, and as we passed the elm tree where
Washington stood to give command to his army, how many associations
rushed upon the mind, filling it with remembrances of our country's
early struggles.

We entered the quiet shades "where rest the dead," sleeping beneath
the sober shadows of the forest trees that were scattering now and
then a withered leaf upon the grassy mounds that lay at their feet.
Here still, even here too, is the same contrast so visible in the
moving, active life of the city.

Wealth here has the splendid monument, embellished with all the
sculptor's art, while the poor sleep as sweetly beneath the simple
sod.

Our first visit was to the Chapel. You are struck upon your entrance
with the hollow sounds that reverberate at every footfall, reminding
one of the emptiness of all earthly things.

There was a coffin within the paling, covered with a black pall,
speaking to us of death and decay; but as we raised our eyes to the
stained glass windows, through which the autumnal sun was pouring his
mellow rays, and casting such a subdued and peculiar light upon all
things in the Chapel, and saw the heavenly expression of the angels as
they took their upward flight, the soul seemed big with immortality,
and the Christian's hope teeming with a better life, was cheering
to it, lifting it up till the things of earth looked dim, distant,
shadowy.

The beautiful statue, too, touched so nicely by the hand of art, as to
look like breathing marble, points the beholder upward to the skies.
This Chapel, standing as it does at the entrance of the Cemetery,
is well calculated to solemnize, the mind, and prepare it for the
contemplations of the surrounding scene.

As we left its quiet retreat and pursued our onward way, sad thoughts
came stealing over the mind, as we reflected how many aching hearts
and tearful eyes had passed over that road to deposit the dearly
loved, and lost in their last resting places.

How proper it seems that a navigator should stand at the entrance to
pilot the way, and we can but think Spurzheim is taking his scientific
observations, as his bust stands as though looking upon the passers by
as they pursue their way to the city of the dead.

We passed on our way through the winding avenues, presenting their
striking and varied emblems, speaking so forcibly to the mind. The
white dove with open beak and half spread wing; the harp with
the broken string, and the broken column, are all beautiful and
significant representations, preaching loudly for the silent dust that
slumbers beneath them.

As we ascended to the tower, we passed the yard enclosed with the
beautiful bronze fence. Looking from the tower you witnessed life with
its struggles, its comforts and luxuries; but the graves beneath us
say, "we must leave all, and come and make our beds with them."

How striking is the anxious expression of the faithful dog, keeping
patient watch over the grave of his young master, through summer's
sultry heat, and winter's pinching cold, never betraying his trust.
How beautiful, and yet how simple is the touching inscriptions,
"My Father," "My Mother." Neither name or age are mentioned to the
stranger, yet what a volume is spoken directly to the heart. The white
lambs reposing upon the grassy mounds represent the innocence that
slumbers beneath.

Many little tokens are scattered round here and there, as mementoes of
fond affection. As we gazed upon the fresh boquets, wet with the dew
of night, we felt that love lingered around those places, and the
tears of affection often fell there.

The flowers, beautiful though they are, either at the tomb or the
bridal, give us no name or trace of former days, but lay scattered
round in rich profusion, telling us of love and affection that cannot
perish, because they are amaranthine flowers that have their root in
the mind, and bear the impress of immortality; and as we gaze upon the
beautiful, either in nature or art, it becomes daguerreotyped upon the
soul, and thus lives forever, coming up at the touch of memory's wand,
with all the vividness of a first impression.

The forest trees standing in solemn grandeur, the winding avenues,
the sloping hills, the deep dells, with the placid waters sleeping in
their bosoms, with the bright red flowers contrasting with the white
polished marble monuments, all conspire to render the place one
of extreme beauty and interest. But when we compare this with the
descriptions we have read of Westminster Abbey, covered with the
mouldering dust of ages, as generation after generation has been added
to it, we can picture to the imagination the change passing years
will make here. The silent hand of time will steal by degrees,
the freshness and beauty from the polished marble, effacing their
beauties, one by one, 'till all are obliterated, and green mould
and moss occupy their places, and the monument shall cease to be a
memorial.

Such is time with its changes, and yet the thoughtless race of man
pass on, unheeding the destiny that awaits them, slow to learn the
lessons these solemn places are calculated to teach.

The birds as they sang in the branches, seemed breathing a dirge-like
melody over the departed, and even their thrilling notes sounded
solemn in this sacred place, so strong is the power of association
over the human mind.

After spending some hours in this shady place, and drinking in its
beauties and its solemnities, 'till the mind became softened and
subdued by surrounding influences, we left it, bearing in the memory
all the rich variety of landscape, we had been gazing on.

We visited Fresh Pond, where so many go for amusement. Thus it is
ever, the living sport upon the very graves of the departed. The
scenery here, though beautiful and picturesque, has not the touching
influences of the Cemetery, and so we lingered not there, but returned
again to the busy city to contrast its bustle, and its stir, with the
deep quiet and silent shades of Mount Auburn.




Lines, From Mary to Her Father in California, with Her Daguerreotype.


  Papa, I have hither come,
  To cheer you in your lonely home;
  No wealth of mind to you I bring,
  But I would touch the secret spring
  That can your best affections move,
  The fountain of a father's love.
  My perfect likeness here you see,
  In infantile sobriety;
  But then I jump, and laugh, and play,
  And call on mamma all the day;
  And though you distant are so far,
  I'm calling ever on papa.
  If I a hoe or spade could hold,
  I'd dig for California gold:
  Or wash your clothes--prepare your bread,
  Or sweep your room, or make your bed.
  But many a year must pass away
  Ere I one kindness can repay;
  For I can only have control
  O'er the deep currents of the soul;
  I feel I have a kindly part
  Within many a human heart.
  Should life be spared as years pass by,
  To win approval I must try.
  Perchance in passing o'er life's stage,
  That I may soothe your weary age;
  And then in part the debt repay,
  That now increases day by day.
  But papa, dig your heap of gold,
  That we may soon your face behold;
  But to be patient we will try,
  One kiss, papa, and now good by.




A Reminiscence.


Early in the evening of a beautiful summer's day, I stood, with
thousands of my fellow creatures, on the dock of one of our northern
cities, to witness the departure of a noble steamer, which sat upon
the blue waters like a sea bird at rest, freighted with the wealth and
beauty of the land. The golden sun had sunk behind the curtains of the
west, bathing the earth with a flood of crimson glory; and the noisy
hum of busy life was hushed, as the quiet shades of twilight fell upon
the tired citizens of the great metropolis.

Here and there among the crowd could be distinguished a group of kind
friends, gathered around some loved companion, who would soon be

  "Far out o'er the ocean blue."

Here a careless, merry set of fellows were trying, with their bright
wit and lively sallies, to cheer a young companion who was about to
leave the home of his boyhood, to seek a name and a fortune a far
distant land.

There stands a pale, care-worn, yet lovely woman, with a tear which
she cannot restrain, coursing down her cheek, as with a convulsive
pressure of the hand and a murmured, "God bless you," she parts with
her son. He is her only son, and she is a widow.

In yonder proud city a home awaits him, where he can earn a slight
pittance, to keep them from starving.

The grey-haired sire, the blooming youth, the middle aged, are all
here, parting with their friends, while yonder gay throng, with light
laugh and bandied jest, are offering the congratulations and the
parting salutations to a fair young bride, arrayed in all the
gorgeousness of wealth and beauty.

The last word is spoken, the last fond pressure of the hand, and
the last farewell kiss are all given, and amid the cheers of the
multitude, and the whistle of the engine, the ringing of the bell, and
the puff of the steam, the noble ship leaves the wharf, and ploughs
her way on the billowy deep, and the busy throng seek their homes,
their hearts beating high in anticipation of a coming day, when they
shall again welcome the absent friends, scarcely a thought of pain or
death mars their bright hope.

       *       *       *       *       *

The hours pass on. The full orbed moon rides forth, enthroned among
her retinue of stars, in a clear cerulean sky, bathing all things
beautiful in a mellow light. Far out upon the blue waters rides the
noble steamer, like a thing of life, leaving a long wake of white foam
behind. Her numerous passengers had laid down to dream of home and
happiness. The gay youth is with his companions, the poor boy with his
widowed mother, the bride in the home of her youth--all are living
over again the scenes that are past.

As they thus lie, lulled in security, the startling cry of "Fire!
fire?--the ship is on fire!" breaks in an appalling sound on the ear.
Every one springs instantly to their feet, and every possible means
are resorted to, to quench the flames, but all in vain; the flames
rush on, and in agony the passengers and crew await their doom. The
man of God, with his white hair streaming over his shoulders, is
calling upon them to make their peace with God; and anon he kneels
and commends them to his kind care. The voice of prayer, the hymn of
praise, the groan of agony, the silent tear, the piercing shriek, are
alike in vain. The destroyer speeds on; the awful announcement is made
that there is powder on board! Oh, the untold misery of that hour, as
in speechless agony they watch the flames. It came at last--and with
one shriek of despair, the doomed victims were hurled into eternity,
and far and wide over the waters were scattered the remains of the
steamer and her crew.

Morn came. The waves sparkled merrily in the sunbeams, and not a trace
of the fell destroyer remains; but far--far down in the depth of the
ocean, on a bed of green sea flowers, reposes the form of that fair
young bride--the friend of my youth.




Letter of Resignation, from Mrs. Hanna to The Maternal Association


_February, 11th_.

Dear Sisters in Christ:

We have journeyed on together, through another year, until we have
reached that elevated period, where it has been our wont to pause and
take a retrospective view of the past, and lay plans for the future.

Has the progress of our Association been satisfactory? I feel, my dear
sisters, that while we have some things to deplore, we have much to be
thankful for. No mother has been taken by death from our circle, and
we have been called to part with but one darling child; and while God
has taken from us one immortal spirit to bloom in his paradise above,
he has in his rich mercy bestowed upon us another to claim our
sympathies and our prayers.

Another year is gone--solemn thought! As we glance at the record of
its events, and contemplate its changes, we can but feel a realizing
sense of the shortness of time, and the necessity of improving the
present to the best possible advantage. One after another has dropped
from our little circle, till we are left but few in number; but enough
to claim the precious promise of the blessed Saviour, that he will be
with us if we meet in his name. And, my sisters, has he not verified
his promise unto us? for have we not felt our hearts burn within us,
when we have knelt together before a mercy seat, and poured forth our
prayers into the ear of that pitying Saviour, beseeching him to have
compassion upon us and our children. Have not the hours we have spent
together, conversing upon the things that pertain to the kingdom of
God, and the moral and spiritual improvement of our children, been to
us like the oasis in the desert to the weary traveller? and may we not
look back upon them as the spots where we rested beneath the shadow of
the Almighty, and drank from the healing waters of salvation. And my
sisters, though we may not see the immediate results of our labors,
let us rely upon the rich promises of God, that in due time the
seed shall spring up and bear fruit, some ten, twenty, thirty,
sixty--perchance some an hundred fold. Then let us be encouraged to do
with all our might what our hands find to do.

As we see the vacancies the past year has made, we can but feel, with
Job, "that when a few more years are come, I shall go the way whence
I shall not return." And truly we may adopt the language of Paul,
"Seeing these things are so, what manner of persons ought we to be, in
all holy conversation and godliness."

My dear sisters, it now devolves upon me to resign the office
necessity rather than choice compelled me to accept, and I feel that
in so doing, I shall best promote the interests of the Association.
I thank you for your kind forbearance toward my short comings, which
have been many. I regret that I have served you so inefficiently, and
hope the better offices of the succeeding year may tend to the greater
promotion of the holy objects of your Association. And while we meet
together, and pray together, and together wait for the harvest, may we
be bound together in the love of Christ, and each succeeding year add
new supplies of grace.

Yours, affectionately, in Christ,

A. S. Hanna.




Improvement of Time


There is nothing more necessary for our future welfare than the
improvement of time. Our time is too valuable to be spent in idleness.
If we wish to be respected, we must be industrious; and to be
industrious we must know how to value our time. Every moment must
be spent as we should wish it had been when we come to years of
discretion. There are many things that we can busy ourselves in doing
that will fill up a few leisure moments, and perhaps it will do some
good. If we are poor, we can relieve our parents in trying to assist
them in the daily labors and toils of life, for hard must be the lot
of that toil-worn father, and care-worn mother, who have a numerous
family to maintain by their daily labor, all careless and indifferent
of their hardships and fatigues. If we are rich, we can make those
happy around us by the thousand nameless attentions which the hand of
industry alone can supply. Therefore, whatever our situation in life
may be, the good improvement of our time will not only tend to promote
our usefulness, but our happiness. Take for instance a man who has
indulged in habits of indolence from his childhood, and see what it
has brought him to. He has been in the habit of lounging about
the streets unemployed, or perhaps watching for opportunities for
mischief; step by step he descends in his moral degradation; vice
succeeds folly, till a dark catalogue of crimes brings him to a
drunkard's grave. State prison, or the gallows. While, on the other
hand, take a man who has been accustomed to labor and toil for
his daily food, and see how much more he is respected, and what a
difference there is in the lives of those two men. The one is beloved
and respected, and the other is miserable and degraded.

The industrious man begins life, and perhaps has no better prospects
before him than his companion; but see how much better he ends life
than the other. He begins to climb the ladder of science, and by
perseverance, he will soon reach the top round, and he can not do this
unless he improves his time.

We have ample proof that unless we improve our time we can not be
happy or respected, and when we have a feeling of indolence come over
us, we must shake it off and try to arouse our energies, and we must
bear in mind that for every idle moment we must give an account at the
bar of God on the judgment day, before God and man.




Lines, Written on the Death of Frank.


  For their darling boy they weep,--
    For their beautiful and bright,
  Who sweetly fell asleep,
    One mild, autumnal night,
  And the wind his requiem sang,
    As his spirit passed away,
  From this world of toil and pain,
    To the realms of endless day.

  They bore him to the grave,--
    To his long and silent home,
  Where the trees in summer wave.
    And the birds and blossoms come;--
  Where the sunlight faintly creeps,
    And the autumn breezes moan,
  There the loved one softly sleeps,
    In his chamber dark and lone.

  Now vacant is the chair,
    At the table and the hearth,--
  They miss him everywhere,
    With the voice of joy and mirth.
  They seek for him in vain,
    In the chamber where he lay,
  Through weary months of pain,
    Wasting slowly, day by day.

  He sweetly fell asleep,
    As an infant sinks to rest,
  When sunlight shadows creep.
    Along the rosy west.
  Gently as falls the rose,
    Fanned by the zephyr's breath,
  So his eyelids softly closed,
    In the quiet sleep of death.

  He has gone to his rest;
    Oh! weep not for the dead,--
  For the loved and the lost
    Let no bitter tears be shed.
  We trust that he has gone.
    With the glorified to dwell,
  And say, "God's will be done--
    He doeth all things well."




The Pleasures of Memory.


Memory is a choice gift bestowed on man. It is a boundless source of
pleasure to most all persons, unless their lives have been fraught
with crimes of so daring a nature, that it makes the the heart revolt
at the very thought of them. It is pleasant at times to revert to the
scenes of by-gone days, and recall one beloved companion and another,
that have passed away, and to think of the many happy interviews we
have held with them.

It is necessary for the scholar to improve his memory, that he may
retain what he learns; that it may be of use to him at some future
time; that he may receive the reward he has anxiously sought for. It
is pleasant to the aged to recall the scenes that have long since
slumbered in oblivion, and awaken from the hallowed precincts of the
dead, thoughts of friends with whom they were wont to associate in
their early days, and retrace the sports of their childhood, when
health and activity nerved their limbs, and happiness filled their
bosoms.

It is pleasant to look back upon past pleasures, to recall the
beautiful scenes we have once witnessed, the smile of friendship, the
tear of sympathy, the glance of affection, the tone of love, or to
listen again to the thrilling sounds of soul-enrapturing music, that
has once delighted us. But so varied is our pathway of life, that
a thorough retrospection must ever be fraught with sad as well as
pleasing reflection. Is memory thus faithful to her trust? Then how
necessary that we should improve each moment, as it glides along into
the unbounded ocean of eternity, that it may bear a good record to the
future hour. And, O, how necessary that we should so spend our lives,
that when we come to be laid upon our death-bed, in the last agonies
of expiring nature, if reason does not forsake her throne, and
memory still proves true to her trust, it may bring up the pleasing
recollection that life has been well spent.




The Song of the Weary One.


  There is no music in my heart,--
    No joy within my breast;
  In scenes of mirth I have no part,--
    In quiet scenes no rest.

  Mine is a weariness of life,--
    A sickness of the soul;
  An ever constant struggling strife,
    My feelings to control.

  Oh, it was ever--ever thus,
    From childhood's earliest hour;
  My spirits ever were weighed down,
    By some mysterious power.

  There seemed some dark, unearthly fate,
    Around my life to twine;
  That which brings joy to other hearts,
    Brings mournfulness to mine.

  And yet I am too proud to weep,
    I never could complain;
  And so they deem my spirit feels
    No weariness or pain.

  They read not in my sunken eye,
    And in my faded cheek.
  A weight of wretchedness and woe,
    That words could never speak.

  Oh, 'tis a weary--weary lot,
    To live when joy is gone;--
  To feel life has no sunny spot,
    Yet still we must live on.

  To mingle with the laughing crowd,
    Yet feel we are alone;
  To know there's not one human heart
    Can understand our own.

  Oh, Thou, who sitt'st enthroned on high,
    Who every heart can see,
  Look down in pity and in love,
    and take me home to thee.




Lines, Inscribed to a Brother.


  A New Year's gift I send to thee,
    A volume filled with quaint old rhymes;
  And may it wake the memory
    Within thy heart, of olden times.

  When we by the cheerful fireside hearth,
    Together conned the glowing page,
  Grave themes, and subjects full of mirth,
    Did each by turns our minds engage.

  Oh, then, what rapture filled my heart,
    How throbb'd my brow--how burn'd my brain,
  As the poet with his magic art,
    Wove the deep mysteries of his strain.

  But now a leaden stupor lies
    Upon my dull, inactive soul;
  In vain my spirit strives to rise,
    From the dark mists that o'er it roll.

  Nor legend old, nor wild romance.
    Nor fairy tale, nor minstrel lyre,
  Can with their magic power entrance,
    Or one impassion'd thought inspire.

  Thus, like the rosy sunset hues,
    Fade fancy's pictures from the soul,
  The light that youth's fair skies imbued,
    Is merged in clouds that o'er us roll.




Changes


Who has not observed the mutability and ever changing aspect of
earthly things? Here, in this pleasant village, where rises the
towering spire, the lofty mansion and the humble cottage, with all
the varieties appertaining to our village, its numerous factories
and pleesant school houses, its well erected bridge over its foaming
waters, once the Indian roamed, in untamed freedom, through forests
unbroken by the woodman's axe. Here resounded the fierce war-whoop,
and here the wild death song; here was built the council-fire, and
here was smoked the pipe of peace; in fine, here on this very spot
existed all the elements of savage life. The light canoe was paddled
over the roaring stream, that thundered on in its majesty, even as
now.

But the white man came and scattered the race, and civilization spread
its changes over the scene. Thus society is ever changing; even
beautiful cities that have existed in all the pomp of wealth and
elegance, have now become extinct, and are covered by the dust of
ages.

Man's life, too, is one constant scene of change, from infancy to
childhood, from childhood to manhood, and from manhood to old age. And
many are the vicissitudes which await us during our journey through
life. One generation passes away to be succeeded by another; we
too must change, and when we shall be sought by our friends in our
accustomed places, and they shall ask, "Where are they?" Echo shall
answer, "Where?"




To Mr. and Mrs. S----, On the Death of an Infant.


  The fairest flow'r that blooms on earth,
    And charms the gazer's eye,
  Is first to lose its brilliant hues,
    And fade away and die.

  Soft it unfolds its petals rare,
    To gentle dew and sun,
  But come one blast of chilling air,
    And all its beauty's gone.

  E'en so is life; the glow of health
    That warms the youthful cheek,
  Seems to invite the tyrant Death,
    His helpless prey to seek.

  Thy little babe scarce 'woke to life,
    And promised fair to bloom,
  Ere cruel Death his victim seiz'd,
    And bore it to the tomb.

  We fondly watch'd with anxious eye,
    For Hope had promise giv'n;
  And little deem'd that passing sigh,
    Had borne his soul to heav'n.

  Calm as the breath of summer eve,
    On flow'r and foliage shed,
  And pure as midnight's heav'nly dew,
    His gentle spirit fled.

  Then let not grief for him abide
    Within a parent's breast,
  For while his flesh returns to dust,
    His soul's with God at rest.

  When we from earth are call'd away;
    By God's own summons giv'n,
  May we as tranquilly depart,
    And be as sure of heav'n.




The Spirits of the Dead.


    "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister unto
    them who shall be heirs of salvation?"

  Some say the spirits of the dead,
    Are hovering o'er our way;
  At night they watch around our bed,
    And guard our steps by day.

  Their shadowy forms are floating round,
    In parlor and in hall;
  They come and go without a sound,--
    As night dews gently fall.

  One writer says, "Their airy forms
    Are round us everywhere;
  They are flitting in and out the door,
    And up and down the stairs."

  Others the theory deride;
    But oft it seems to me,
  Beings are present by my side,
    Which yet, I cannot see.

  Sometimes I start and gaze around,
    With half-bewildered air,
  Thinking some lov'd one's form to see,
    Within the vacant chair.

  Sometimes a gentle rustling
    Falls faintly on the ear;
  Some angel, with the radiant wing,
    Perchance is hov'ring near.

  We watch the dying Christian's bed,
    When death has marked his prey;
  He struggles painfully for breath,
    And longs to pass away.

  But suddenly his eye grows bright,
    Lit by unearthly fires;
  He gazes upward with delight,--
    The angels strike their lyres.

  The music falls upon his ear,
    In sweet seraphic strains;
  Nought earthly can detain him here,--
    His spirit bursts its chains,

  Ossian, old Scotia's ancient bard,
    The genius of the past;
  Saw ghosts upon the fleecy clouds,
    And heard them in the blast.

  The spirits of the mighty dead,
    That were in battle slain,
  Came by his master spirit led,
    Back to this earth again,

  Their shadowy forms, in mist arrayed,
    Rode on the drifting clouds;
  The fork'd lightnings round them play'd,
    And thunders echo'd loud.

  Fiercely they shook their airy spears,
    And clos'd in deadly fight
  Shriek'd, as in agony and fear,
    Then vanish'd from the sight.

  Thus did old Scotia's ancient bard,
    Hold converse with the dead;
  "Back in the dim and shadowy past;
    Those phantoms all had fled."

  There let them rest; years have rolled on,
    Down the dark tide of time;
  Our loftier faith is built upon
    A structure more sublime.

  We know if angel spirits come
    From other worlds to this,
  They are sent to guide us to our home,
    Where God our Father is.




The Widow's Home


  Alas, my home is lonely,--
    They've parted from my side;
  My husband in the church yard's laid,
    My daughter is a bride.

  She's stood beside the altar,
    And breath'd that solemn vow,
  From which she may not falter,
    Till life is ended now.

  But, oh, my home is lonely,--
    I miss them by the hearth;
  When evening shadows gather 'round,
    I miss their social mirth.

  I miss the glances of the eye,
    The old familiar tone,--
  And feel indeed, the widow's home
    Is desolate and lone.

  And when we gather round the board,
    There's each one's vacant chair;
  And, oh, I miss them every hour--
    And miss them everywhere.

  But still there must be changes,
    While time is stealing by,
  Alternate sun and shadow
    Will flit across the sky.




To Mrs. J. C. Bucklin, by Her Father.


My child, why weepest thou? Are these drawn lines of sorrow alone thy
garlands? Why this dreary awe, this languishing on all around you? But
hush, these are the foot-prints of Death; he has indeed been with you
in his uncertain rounds. The deep, reposing influences indicate his
path. I will not dare to question a mother's love, so strange and
inexplicable in power, and so mysterious in operation, gentle as the
breathing of the memory, ungovernable as the whirlwind in its frenzy,
tender as the angel of sympathy, yet stronger than the bands of Death,
it is painful to witness such a cloud of sorrow resting on one so
young as you, without an atheistic questioning, the all-wise purposes
of our Father in heaven.

  Your own lovely babe you so fondly adored,
  Death's torn from the heart of her mother,
  So full was your soul of a mother's deep love,
  You would gladly have died to restore her.
      Poor fragile, fading, short-lived flow'r,
      She was bright and lovely for an hour.




To The Reader.


And now, courteous reader, perchance thou art weary with thy
wanderings, and the flowers we have gathered may appear withered to
thee, and devoid of beauty or fragrance, and the peep into memory's
inner chambers may not have afforded thee the pleasure that I have
derived from the survey. If so, farewell, I will intrude no more upon
thy time or patience. The curtain has fallen, the dim, misty curtain,
and memory has turned her golden key, closed her portfolio, and sat
down with folded hands, to brood over her hoarded treasures, placing
each in its proper place, to be brought forward again at her mandate,
to beguile, perchance, other weary midnight hours with their magic
spell. The past cannot be redeemed, and the future is hid in
uncertainty; but the present, the golden present is ours, and while
our little bark is floating upon the stream of time, let us improve
the precious moments as they fly, and spend them in a cultivation of
the best affections of the human mind. The mind, that boundless ocean
of human thought that is placed within each individual, stretching
on throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity. But there must come a
solemn time to all who live. Death is upon our track, and will surely
soon overtake us, and our decaying bodies must be hid forever from
sight beneath the clods of the valley: but these minds shall then
live, and happy they who, by a cultivation of the best principles of
our nature, have an antepast of heaven while upon earth.

May this be our happy case, gentle reader, if we meet not again on
earth, we shall meet in heaven, "for we must all stand before the
judgment seat of Christ." I have spread out before you the secret
musings of many a midnight hour, and I feel that I am responsible for
what I have written. May God grant forgivness for the wrong. And thus
we part, gentle reader, to toss yet a little longer upon the stream of
time, ere its waves and its billows pass over us forever.

  "When midnight o'er the moonless skies,
    Her shades of mimic death has spread,
  When mortals sleep, when spectres rise;
    And nought is wakeful but the dead.
  No bloodless shape my path pursues;
    No shiv'ring ghost my couch annoys,
  Visions more sad my fancy views,
    Visions of dear departed joys,--
  The shade of youthful hope is there."







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