Page images

joy as her husband comes home when the shadows length. en? Ah, no: her cheek pales at the step of him who pledged her a life of devotion for the love she gave to him. All things are warning you to beware of yielding to this evil. The Scriptures; the men reeling in their cups; your poor-houses, your prisons, the forsaken wives; all cry "beware.” In the language of an eminent champion of temperance, “ When drink can easily be given up by you, give it up for the sake of your example on others; if it be difficult to give it up, give it up for your own sake.”

Choose you this day whether you will stand with us on this rock, defying the snares, and evil, and misery, and woe, and desolation of the tempter, or whether, pursuing your present habit, you will go down the easy descent, till at last, dishonored and disgraced, having lost the respect of others and your own self-respect, you end a miserable and gloomy life by a home in the tomb, from which there is, if inspiration be true, no resurrection that shall take you to a better land.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Why don't I work? Well, sir, will you,
Right here on the spot, give me suthin' to do?
Work! why, sir, I don't want no more
'N a chance in any man's shop or store;
That's what I'ın lookin' for every day,
But thar aint no jobs! Well, what d’ye say ?
Haint got nuthin' at present! Just so;
That's how it always is, I know !
Fellows like me aint wanted much;
Folks are gen'rally jubus of such;
Thinks they aint the right sort o' stuff-
Blest if it isn't kind o rough
On a man to have folks hintin' belief
That he aint to be trusted mor'n a thief,
When p'raps his fingers are cleaner far
'N them o'the chaps that talk so are!

Got a look o' the sea? Well, I 'xpect that's so;
Had a bankerin' that way some years ago,
And run off'; I shipped in a whaler fust,
And got cast away ; but that warnt the wust;
Took fire, sir, next time, we did, and-well,
We blazed up till everything standin' fell;
And then me and Tom-my mate-and some more
Got off, with a notion of goin' ashore.
But thar warnt no shore to see round thar,
So we drifted and drifted everywbar
For a week, and then all but Tom and me
Was food for the sharks or down in the sea.
But we prayed--me and Tom, the best we could-
For a sail. It come, and at last we stood
On old arth once more, and the captain told
Us we was ashore in the land of gold.

Gold! We didn't get much. But we struck
For the mines, of course, and tried our luck.
'Twarnt bad at the start, but things went wrong
Pooty soon, for one night thar come along,
While we was asleep, some red-skin chaps,
And they made things lively round thar-perhaps.
Anyhow, we left mighty quick, Tom and me,
And we didn't go back-kind o’risky, ye see!
By'n-by, sir, the war come on, and then
We 'listed. Poor Tom! I was nigh him when
It ail happened. He looked up and soz, sez he,
“Bill, it's come to partin''twixt you and me,
Old chap. I haint much to leave - here, this knife.
Stand to your colors, Bill, while you have life!”
That was all. Yes, got wounded myself, sir, here,
And - I'm pensioned on water and air a year!

It aint much to thank for that I'm alive,
Knockin' about like this-what! a five?
That's suthin' han'some, now, that is. I'm blest
If things don't quite frequent turn out for the best
Arter all! A “V!” Hi! Luck! It's far more!
Mister, I kind o'liked the looks o' your store,
You're a trump, sir, a reg-eh! Oh, all right!
I'm off, but you are, sir, a trump, honor bright!


ALFRED TENNYSON. Annie Lee, Philip Ray a'd Enoch Arden lived in a village by the sea. Philip was a miller: Enoch a sailor. Both loved Annie Lee, but her heart was given to Enoch and they two were weddod. Reverses came to Enoc“, so he shipped, on a China-bound vessel, was shipwrecked and cast upon an uninhabited island, where for many years, he lived alone, "a shipwrecked sailor waiting for a snil." In the meantime Enoch having been given up for lost, Philip sought and won the hand of his early love. A passing vessel released Enoch from his island prison, and returniug to his native village he took up his abode at a little inn, without disclosing his identity. Learning that his wife was wedded to his friend and for. mer rival, one night he softly crept towards their house to look upon the faces of wife and children whom he was never again to call his own. He saw them happy in their home-life, and, turning away, dwelt in the village until a year had passed, when the burden of life becoming too beavy to bear he confided to the mistress of the inn the secret he had so faithfully kept and which was not disclosed until after his death. The author says: “So passed the strong, heroic soul away, and when they buried the little port bad seldom seen a costlier funeral."

But Enoch yearned to see her face again :
"If I might look on her sweet face again
And know that she is happy.” So the thought
Haunted and harassed him, and drove him forth
At evening when the dull November day
Was growing duller twilight, to the hill.
There he sat down gazing on all below;
There did a thousand memories roll upon him,
Unspeakable for sadness. By and by
The ruddy square of comfortable light,
Far-blazing from the rear of Philip's house,
Allured him, as the beacon-blaze allures
The bird of passage, till he madly strikes
Against it, and beats out his weary life.

For Philip's dwelling fronted on the street,
The latest house to landward; but behind,
With one small gate that opened on the waste,
Flourished a little garden, square and walled,
And in it throve an ancient evergreen,
A yewtree, and all round it ran a walk
Of shingle, and a walk divided it.
But Enoch shunned the middle walk and stole
Up by the wall behind the yew ; and thence
That which he better might have shunned, if griefs
Like his have worse or better, Enoch saw.

For cups and silver on the burnished board
Sparkled and shone; so genial was the hearth;

And on the right hand of the hearth he saw
Philip, the slighted suitor of old times,
Stout, rosy, with his babe across his knees;
And o'er her second father stoopt a girl,
A later but a loftier Annie Lee,
Fair-haired and tall, and from her lifted hand
Dangled a length of ribbon and a ring
To tempt the babe, who reared his creasy arms,
Caught at and ever missed it, and they laughed.
And on the left hand of the hearth he saw
The mother glancing often toward her babe,
But turning now and then to speak with him,
Her son, who stood beside her tall and strong,
And saying that which pleased him, for he smiled.

Now when the dead man come to life beheld
His wife, his wife no more, and saw the babe-
Hers, yet not his -- upon the father's knee,
And all the warmth, the peace, the happiness,
And his own children tall and beautiful,
And him, that other, reigning in his place,
Lord of his rights and of his children's love,-
Then he, though Miriam Lane had told him all,
Because things seen are mightier than things heard,
Staggered and shook, holding the branch, and feared
To send abroad a shrill and terrible cry,
Which in one moment, like the blast of doom,
Would shatter all the happiness of the hearth.

He, therefore, turning softly like a thief,
Lest the harsh shingle should grate underfoot,
And feeling all along the garden-wall,
Lest he shoulil swoon and tumble and be found,
Crept to the gate, and opened it, and closed,
As lightly as a sick man's chamber-door,
Behind him, and came out upon the waste.

And there he would have knelt, but that his knees
Were feeble, so that falling prone he dug
His fingers into the wet earth, and prayed:
“Too hard to bear! why did they take me thence ?
O God Almighty, blessed Saviour, thou
That didst uphold me on my lonely isle,
Uphold me, Father, in my loneliness
A little longer! aid me, give me strength
Not to tell her, never to let her know.

Help me not to break in upon her peace.
My children too! must I not speak to these ?
They know me not. I should betray myself.
Never: no father's kiss for me,-the girl
So like her mother, and the boy, my son.”

There speech and thought and nature failed a little
And he lay tranced; but when he rose and paced
Back toward his solitary home again,
All down the long and narrow street he went
Beating it in upon his weary brain,
As tho' it were the burthen of a song,
“Not to tell her, never to let her know.”

THOUGHTS OF “ ENOCH ARDEN." I've been reading “Enoch Arden,"

Where, with slow and measured tread, He approaches through the garden,

That they still might think him dead. He would view his children's faces

If they her resemblance bore,
And observe their childish graces

Once again, and then no more.
He would see if time's rough fingers

Had not many a wrinkle traced-
While awaiting him she lingered –

On that dear, familiar face;
And perhaps he hoped such feeling

Might have left its traces there,
And that gray was deftly stealing

In among the auburn hair.
For the greatest earthly gladness,

Almost like the joys above,
Which we crave, even to madness,

Is the love of those we love. If gray hair and pallid faces

Youthful charms completely veil,
In our eyes they seem like graces

If we think for us they pale.
When he turned, and, slowly leaving,

His poor heart with torment wrung

« PreviousContinue »