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The cottage was a thatched one,
The outside old and mean;
Was wondrous neat and clean.
The night was dark and stormy,
The wind was howling wild;
The deathbed of her child.
A little worn-out creature
His once bright eyes grown dim;
They called him little Jim.
And oh! to see the briny tears
Fast hurrying down her cheek,
She was afraid to speak,
Lest she might waken one she loved
Far better than her life;
In that poor collier's wife.
With hands uplifted, see, she kneels
Beside the suff'rer's bed; And prays that He will spare her boy,
And take herself instead!
She gets her answer from the child;
Soft fell these words from him :“Mother, the angels do so smile,
And beckon little Jim!
I have no pain, dear mother, now,
But oh! I am so dry;
And, mother, don't you cry.”
With gentle, trembling haste she held
The tea-cup to his lips;
Three little tiny sips.
“Tell father, when he comes from work,
I said good-night to him;
Alas! poor little Jim !
She saw that he was dying
The child she loved so dear,
Might ever hope to hear.
The cottage door was opened,
The collier's step was heard ; The mother and the father met,
Yet neither spoke a word !
He knew that all was over
He knew his child was dead;
And walked towards the bed.
His quivering lips gave token
Of grief he'd fain conceal;
The stricken couple kneel !
They humbly ask of Him,
THE ORPHANS' VOYAGE HOME.
The men could hardly keep the deck, so bitter was the night; Keen north-east winds sang through the shrouds, the deck
was frosty white; While overhead the glistening stars put forth their points
On deck, behind a bale of goods, two orphans crouched to
sleep; But 'twas so cold the younger boy in vain tried not to weep: They were so poor they had no right near cabin doors to
The elder round the younger wrapped his little ragged cloak, To shield him from the freezing sleet, and surf that o'er
them broke; Then drew him closer to his side, and softly to him spoke :
"The night will not be long,” he said; "and if the cold
winds blow, We shall the sooner reach our home, and see the peat-fire
glow; But now the stars are beautiful-oh, do not tremble so!
Come closer-sleep-forget the frost-think of the morning
red! Our father and our mother soon will take us to their bed; And in their warm arms we shall sleep!” He knew not
they were dead.
For thern no father to the ship shall with the morning
come; For them no mother's loving arms are spread to take them
home: Meanwhile the cabin-passengers in dreams of pleasure roam.
At length the orphans sank to sleep upon the freezing deck, Close huddled side to side,-each arm clasped round the
other's neck; With heads bent down, they dreamed the earth was fading
to a speck.
The steerage passengers have all been taken down below, And round the stove they warm their limbs into a drowsy
glow; And soon within their berths forget the icy wind and snow.
Now morning dawns: the land in sight, smiles beam on
every face! The pale and qualmy passengers begin the deck to pace, Seeking along the sun-lit cliffs some well-known spot to trace.
Only the orphans do not stir, of all this bustling train :
stir again! The winter's breath proved kind to them, and ended all
But in their deep and freezing sleep clasped rigid to each
other, In dreams they cried, “The bright morn breaks! Home,
home is here, my brother! The angel Death has been our friend !-we come! dear father! inother !”
THE BLIND GIRL'S LAMENT.
It is not that I cannot see
The birds and flowers of spring; 'Tis not that beauty seems to me
A dreamy, unknown thing;
It is not that I cannot mark
The blue and star-set sky;
That thus I weep and sigh.
They tell me that the birds, whose notes
Fall full upon mine ear, Are not all beautiful to sight,
Though sweet their songs to hear.
They tell me that the gayest flowers
Which sunshine ever brings Are not the ones I know so well,
But strange and scentless things.
D[y little brother leads me forth
To where the violets grow;
And tiny hand I know.
My mother's voice is soft and sweet,
Like music on my ear;
My father twines his arms around,
And draws me to his breast,
He says he loves the best.
'Tis then I ponder unknown things,
It may be, weep or sigh,-
To meet affection's eye.