Page images

turn gray,


MAY MIGNONETTE. Over the hills to the poor-house sad paths have been made

to-day, For sorrow is near, such as maketh the heads of the young Causing the heart of the careless to throb with a fevered

breath,The sorrow that leads to the chamber whose light has gone

out in death. To Susan, Rebecca and Isaac, to Thomas and Charley, word

sped That mother was ill and fast failing, perhaps when they

heard might be dead; But e'en while they wrote she was praying that some of her

children might come, To hear from her lips their last blessing before she should

start for her home. To Susan, poor Susan! how bitter the agony brought by the

call, For deep in her heart for her mother wide rooms had been

left after all; And now, that she thought, by her fireside one place had

been vacant for years, And while “o'er the hills” she was speeding her path might

be traced by her tears. Rebecca , she heard not the tidings, but those who bent

over her knew That led by the Angel of Death, near the waves of the river

she drew; Delirious, ever she told them her mother was cooling her

head, While, weeping, they thought that ere morning both mother

and child might be dead. And, kneeling beside her, stern Isaac was quiv’ring in aspen

like grief, While waves of sad memory surged o'er him like billows of

wind o'er the leaf; "Too late," were the words that had humbled his cold, Bowel over his letters and papers, sat Thomas, his brow

haughty pride to the dust, And Peace, with her olive-boughs laden, crowned loving for

giveness with trust. *Thoughts suggested by Will Carleton's "Over the Hill to the Poor-house," in No. 4 of this Series.." Over the Hill from the Poor-house," by Will Carleton,

is in No. 19.

lined by thought, But little he heeded the markets or news of his gains that

they brought; His lips grew as pale as his cheek, but new purpose seemed

born in his eye, And Thomas went over the hills," to the mother that shortly

must die. To Charley, her youngest, her pride, came the mother's mes

sage that morn, And he was away “o'er the hills” ere the sunlight blushed

over the corn; And, strangest of all, by his side, was the wife he had

"brought from the town," W'ho silentiy wept, while her tears strung with diamonds her

plain mourning gown. For each had been thinking, of late, how they missed the

old mother's sweet smile, And wondering how they could hare been so blind and un

just all that while; They thought of their harsh, cruel words, and longed to a.

tone for the past, When swift o'er the heart of vain dreams swept the presence

of death's chilling blast. So into the chamber of death, one by one, these sad children

bad crept, As thev, in their childhood, had done, when mother was

tired and slept; And peace, rich as then, came to cach, as they drank in her

blessing, so deep, That, breathing into her life, she fell back in her last blessed

sleep. And when "o'er the hills from the poor-house,” that mother

is tenderly borne, The life of her life, her loved children, tread softly, and si

lently mourn, For theirs is no rivulet sorrow, but deep as the ocean is deep, And into our lives, with sweet healing, the balm of their

bruising may creep. For swift come the flashings of temper, and torrents of words

come as swift, Till out 'mong the tide-waves ofanger, how often we thought

lessly drift! And heails that are gray with life's ashes, and feet that walk

down 'mong the dead, We send "o'er the hills to the poor-house" for love, and, it

may be', for bread.

Oh! when shall we value the living while yet the keen

sickle is stayed, Nor slight the wild flower in its blooming, till all its sweet

life is decayed ? Yet often the fragrance is richest when poured from the

bruised blossom's soul, And "over the hills from the poor-house” the rarest of mel.

odies roll.

What shall I do with all the days and hours

That must be counted ere I see thy face?
How shall I charm the interval that lowers

Between this time and that sweet time of grace?
Shall I in slumber steep each weary sense, -

Weary with longing ? Shall I flee away
Into past days, and with some fond pretence

Cheat myself to forget the present day?
Shall love for thee lay on my soul the sin

Of casting from me God's great gift of time?
Shall I, these mists of memory locked within,

Leave and forget life's purposes sublime?
Oh, how or by what means may I contrive

To bring the hour that brings thee back more near?
How may I teach my drooping hope to live

Until that blessed time, and thou art here?
I'll tell thee; for thy sake I will lay hold

Of all good aims, and consecrate to thee,
In worthy deeds, each moment that is told

While thou, beloved one! art far from me.
For thee I will arouse my thoughts to try

All heavenward flights, all high and holy strains;
For thy dear sake I will walk patiently

Through these long hours, nor call their minutes pains.
I will this dreary blank of absence make

A noble task-time; and will therein strive
To follow excellence, and to o'ertake

More good than I have won since yet I live.
So may this doomed time build up in me

A thousand graces, which shall thus be thine ;
So may my love and longing hallowed be,

And thy dear thought an influence divine.


ANCE.-SCHUYLER COLFAX. I have come before you this beautiful Sabbath afternoon not to speak to you about political parties nor about the details of legislation. I come to speak to you, if possible, heart to heart, soul to soul, not to denounce, but if possible, to persuade. I come not to demand, but to plead with every one of you. I come to speak for that liberty which makes us free; that liberty which elevates body and soul above the thraldom of the intoxicating cuj). We have passed through scenes that have rocked this land to its centre, on the question whether human slavery should continue on our soil. It was but the slavery of the body. It was but for this life. But the slavery against which I speak to-day is the slavery of not only soul and body and talent and heart for this life, but is e slavery which goes beyond the gates of the tomb to an unending eternity.

We speak of the horrors of war, and there are horrors in war. Carnage, and bloodshed, and mutilation, and broken frames, and empty sleeves, and widows' weeds, and children's woes, and enormous debts and grinding taxation, all come from war, though war may be a necessity for saving a nation's life. But it fails in all its horrors, compared with those that flow from intoxication. We shudder at the ravages of pestilence, and famine, but they sink into msignificance when compared with the sorrow and anguish that follow in the train of this conqueror of fallen humanity.

I see before me many distinguished in political, social, and business life; and some of them I fear are to-day voluntarily enrolled in the great army of moderate drinkers. When you appeal to them to give the force of their influence and example to the prevention of the evil, their answer is that they have strength to resist, they can quit when they please. Possibly they can, but before you all I can frankly acknowledge, from what I have seen in public and private life, that I dare not touch or taste or handle the wine bowl. You say you are strong. I can point you to those stronger tenfold over than you who began as you have, and who lost the power of resistance before they knew they were in the power of the tempter. This demon, like death, seems to love a shining mark. He only is fortified who has determined not to yield to the first temptation.

There is but one class whence he has never drawn a victim. That class has defied him, and will to the end. It is we who stand, God helping us, with our feet on this rock of safety, against which the waves may dash, but they shall dash in vain. I implore you to come and stand with us. I plead with you to come, for I believe that all mankind are my brethren. I believe in the fatherhood of God and in the brotherhood of man. And when I see an inebriate reeling along the streets I feel that, though debased and fallen, he is my brother still. created in the image of God, destined to an eternal hereafter; and it should be your duty and mine to take him by the hand and seek to place his feet on the same rock on which we stand.

That is what gave such a wonderful triumph to the Washingtonians, this recognizing the duty of individual responsibility. How many of you have gone to your tellow-man when you have seen him on the shore of destruction and tried to save him? Not one! Not one! How dare you on your knees ask God to bless you and yours, when you have not thus proved that you love your neighbor as yourself! This duty should be impressed on your souls by your ministers in tl e pulpit, by your writers in the public press. More than all things else in the land we need a temperance revival. Whom would it harm ? No one.

But come down to the individual home of the man who has become a slave to this demon. Do you find happiness there? Do you find contentment, prosperity ? Ah, no. Do you find the wife's cheek lighting up with

« PreviousContinue »