Page images

And from her snowy forehead threw the long

Dark tresses, and gazed upon her wildly : The note seemed fluttering yet upon her tongueBut she was dead !- her heart had broken with her song!

Christian Adrocate and Journal.

[ocr errors][merged small]

They tell us of an Indian tree,

Which, howsoe'er the sun and sky
May tempt its boughs to wander free,

And shoot and blossom wide and high,

Far better loves to bend its arms

Downward again to that dear earth,
From which the life which fills and warms

Its grateful being once had birth.

And thus, though wooed by flattering friends,

And fed with fame-if fame it be-
This heart, my own dear mother, bends
With love's true instinct back to thee.



The wars for many a month were o'er

Ere I could reach my native shed :
My friends ne'er hoped to see me more,

And wept for me as for the dead.

As I drew near, the cottage blazed,

The evening fire was clear and bright,
As through the window long I gazed,

And saw each friend with dear delight.

My father in his corner sat,

My mother drew her useful thread;
My brothers strove to make them chat,

My sisters baked the household bread.

And Jean oft whispered to a friend,

And still let fall a silent tear ; But soon my Jessy's grief will end

She little thinks her Harry's near.

What could I do? If in I went,

Surprise would chill each tender heart; Some story, then, I must invent,

And act the poor maimed soldier's part.

I drew a bandage o'er my face,

And crooked up a lying knee;
And soon I found, in that best place,

Not one dear friend knew aught of me.

I ventured in ;-Tray wagged his tail,

He fawned, and to my mother ran : “ Come here !” she cried ;“ what can him ail ?”

While my feigned story I began.

I changed my voice to that of age :

A poor old soldier lodging craves; The very name their loves engage,

“A soldier ! aye, the best we have !"

My father then drew in a seat;

“You're welcome,” with a sigh, he said. My mother fried her best hung meat,

And curds and cheese the table spread.

“I had a son,” my father cried,

“A soldier too-but he is gone." “Have you heard from him?" I replied;

“I left behind me many a one;

And many a message have I brought

To families I cannot find-
Long for John Goodman's have I sought,

To tell them Hal's not far behind.”

“Oh! does he live?” my father cried;

My mother did not stay to speak; My Jessy now I silent eyed,

Who throbbed as if her heart would break.

My mother saw her catching sigh,

And hid her face behind the rock, While tears swam round in every eye,

And not a single word was spoke.

“He lives indeed! this kerchief see,

At parting his dear Jessy gave; He sent it far, with love, by me,

To show he still escapes the grave.”

An arrow darting from a bow

Could not more quick the token reach; The patch from off my face I drew,

And gave my voice its well-known speech.

“My Jessy dear!" I softly said,

She gazed and answered with a sigh; My sisters looked, as half afraid;

My mother fainted quite for joy.

My father danced around his son ;

My brothers shook my hand away;
My mother said “her glass might run,
She cared not now how soon the day!”


THE DYING BOY. I KNEW a boy, whose infant feet had trod Upon the blossoms of some seven springs, And when the eighth came round, and called him out To gambol in the sun, he turned away, And sought his chamber, to lie down and die ! "Twas night-he summoned his accustomed friends, And on this wise bestowed his last bequest:

“ Mother! I'm dying now ;There is deep suffocation in my breast, As if some heavy hand my bosom press’d;

And on my brow

I feel the cold sweat stand;
My lips grow dry and tremulous, and my breath
Comes feebly up. Oli! tell me, is this death?

Mother! your hand

Here-lay it on my wrist,
And place the other thus, beneath my head,
And say, sweet mother!-say, when I am dead,

Shall I be missed ?

Never beside your knee
Shall I kneel down again at night to pray;
Nor with the morning wake, and sing the lay

You taught to me!

Oh, at the time of prayer,
When you look round and see a vacant seat,
You will not wait then for my coming feet---

You'll miss me there!”

“Father! I'm going home! To the good home you speak of, that bless'd land Where it is one bright summer always, and

Storms do not come.

I must be happy then:
From pain and death you say I shall be free-
That sickness never enters there, and we

Shall meet again !” —

“ Brother! the little spot I used to call my garden, where long hours We've stayed to watch the budding things and flowers,

Forget it not !

Plant there some box or pinc-
Something that lives in winter, and will be

A verdant offering to my memory,

And call it mine!"

“Sister! my young rose tree, That all the spring has been my pleasant care, Just putting forth its leaves so green and fair,

I give it thee.

And when its roses bloom,
I shall be gone away—my short life done! .
But will you not bestow a single one

Upon my tomb?”—

“Now, mother, sing the tune You sang last night, I'm weary and must sleep! Who was it called my name ?-Nay, do not weep,

You'll all come soon!"

Morning spread over earth her rosy wings-
And that meek sufferer, cold and ivory pale,
Lay on his couch asleep! The gentle air
Came through the open window, freighted with
The savoury odours of the early spring-
He breathed it not! The laugh of passers by
Jarred like a discord in some mournful tune,
But marred not his slumbers—he was dead !


[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »