Page images
PDF
EPUB

A bright and joyous welcome to the berries and the leaves That hang about our household walls in dark and rustling

sheaves ! Up with the holly and the bay, set laurel on the board, And let the mistletoe look down while pledging draughts

are poured. But there must be some hallowed bloom to garland with

the rest; All, all must bring toward the wreath some flowers of the

breast. For though green boughs may thickly grace low root and.

palace dome, Warm hearts alone will truly serve to deck a Christmas

home.

Then fill once more, from Bounty's store, red wine, or nut

brown foam, And drink to honest hearts within an English Christmas home.

Eliza Coor.

SPEAK GENTLY.

Speak gently! it is better far

To rule by love than fear;
Speak gently ! let not harsh words mar

The good we might do here.

Speak gently! Love doth whisper low

The vows that true hearts bind ;
And gently friendship's accents flow-

Affection's voice is kind.

Speak gently to the little child

Its love be sure to gain;
Teach it in accents soft and mild-

It may not long remain.

Speak gently to the young, for they

Will have enough to bear:

Pass through this life as best they may,

'Tis full of anxious care.

Speak gently to the aged one--

Grieve not the care-worn heart; The sands of life are nearly run

Let such in peace depart.

Speak gently, kindly to the poor

Let no harsh tone be heard ;
They have enough they must endure,

Without an unkind word.

Speak gently to the erring—know

They must have toiled in vain: Perchance unkindness made them so

Oh, win them back again !

Speak gently! He who gave His life

To bend man's stubborn will, When elements were in fierce strife,

Said to them, “ Peace! be still.”

Speak gently !--'tis a little thing,

Dropped in the heart's deep well ;-The good, the joy which it may bring, Eternity shall tell.

Anon.

A CHEAP BUT PRECIOUS TREASURE.

THERE's not a cheaper thing on earth,

Nor yet one half so dear'Tis better than distinguished birth,

Or thousands gained a year. It lends the day a new delight;

'Tis virtue’s firmest shield ; It adds more beauty to the night

Than all the stars can yield.

It maketh poverty content ;

To sorrow whispers peace; .
A gift it is that Heaven has sent

For mortals to increase.
It meets you with a smile at morn,

It lulls you to repose;
A flower for peer and peasant born,-

An everlasting rose !

As smiles the rainbow through the cloud,

When threatening storm begins;
As music 'mid the tempest loud,

Its way in sweetness wins ;
As springs an arch across the tide

Where waves conflicting foam--
So comes this seraph to our side,

This angel of our home!

What may this wondrous spirit be

This power unheard before--This charm, this bright divinity ?

Good TEMPER! nothing more! Good Temper ! 'tis the choicest gift

That woman homeward brings, And can the poorest peasant lift To bliss unknown to kings.

C. Swain.

THE DYING CHILD.

“O MOTHER! what brings music here?

Now listen to the song,
So soft, so sweet, so beautiful,

The night winds bear along !"

“ My child, I only hear the wind,

As with a mournful sound
It wanders 'mid the old oak trees,

And strews their leaves around.”

And dimmer grew his heavy eyes,

His face more deadly fair ;
And down dropped from his infant hand

His book of infant prayer.

“I know it now, iny mother dear,

That song for me is given;
It is the angels' choral hymn
That welcomes me to heaven.”

L. E. LANDON.

THE MOTHER PRAYING.

SEE, in yon chamber's dim recesses,
A lady kneels with loosened tresses ;
A lovely creature, lowly kneeling,
With mournful eyes, and brow of feeling;
One hand before her meekly spreading,
The other back her ringlets shedding,
That aye come gushing down betwixt
Her eyes and that on which they're fixed.
She shudders! See! Hear how she's sighing!
Can one so young, so fair, he dying ?
Is she some favourite saint imploring?
Confessing shame, or God adoring?
Her lustrous, dark eyes, wild are straying ;
She bows her head ;-lo, she is praying!
See ! see ! before her, slumbering mild,
A fair-haired and a faded child.
He is her son ;—could any other
Look with those rapt looks, save a mother ?
That bosom, which seems nigh the bursting,
Yon child was suckled, nestled, nursed in;
That heart,—to God outpoured and offered, -
Death, for her son, hath three times suffered.
Oh! of all mortal pangs, there's nought
So dreadful as the death of thought !
IIe wakes—he smiles-looks up-and there
He rises-God hath heard her prayer !

Whilst she, 'twixt sobbing, tears, and shrieking,
Clasps him with heart too big for speaking.
She holds him up to God. And now,
Proud, boastful man! what canst thou do ?
In all thy miracles, there's nought
Like that a mother's prayers have wrought.

A. CUNNINGAAM.

THE CHILD AND THE DEW-DROPS.

“O FATHER, dear father, why pass they away,
The dew-drops that sparkled at dawning of day-
That glittered like stars by the light of the moon ;
Oh, why are those dew-drops dissolving so soon ?
Does the Sun, in his wrath, chase their brightness away,
As though nothing that's lovely might live for a day?
The moonlight has faded, the flowers still remain,
But the dew has dried out of their petals again.”—

“My child," said the father, “ look up to the skies,
Behold yon bright rainbow, those beautiful dyes ;
There, there are the dew-drops in glory reset, -
’Mid the jewels of heaven they are glittering yet !
Then are we not taught by each beautiful ray,
To mourn not for beauty, though fleeting away ?
For though youth of its brightness and beauty be riven,
All that withers on earth blooms more brightly in heaven.

Alas for the father ! how little knew he
The words he had spoken prophetic could be ;
That the beautiful child, the bright star of his day,
Was e’en then like the dew-drops--dissolving away.
Oh, sad was the father! when, lo! in the skies
The rainbow again spread its beauteous dyes ;
And then he reinembered the maxims he'd given,
And thought of his child and the dew-drops—in heaven.

J. E. CARPENTER.

« PreviousContinue »