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And when the arrows of sunset
Lodged in the tree tops bright, He fell, in his saint-like beauty,
Asleep by the gates of light. Therefore of all the pictures,
That hang on memory's wall, The one of the dim old forest Seemeth the best of all.
YRACIE'S kitty, day by day,
Moped beside the fire and pined; Would no longer frisk or play,
Or the worsted ball unwind. Gracie coaxed, "Play, kitty, do!" Kitty answered sadly, “Mew!" All in vain were dainty fare,
Bread and milk all warm and new,
Thinner, weaker still she grew,
Down the stairs at early light,
Any better over night ;"
Where the morning glories climb;
With red rose-leaves lined and spread,
And perfumed with pinks and thyme,
Gracie's little tender hands
End at last their loving task;
Then she lifts her face to ask,
THE SOLDIERS' HOME, WASHINGTON.
THE monument, tipped with electric fire,
Blazed high in a halo of light below My low cabin door on the hills that inspire;
And the dome of the Capitol gleamed like snow In a glory of light, as higher and higher
This wondrous creation of man was sent
To challenge the lights of the firmament. A tall man, tawny and spare as bone,
With battered old hat and with feet half bare, With the air of a soldier that was all his own
Maybe something more than a soldier's air Came clutching a staff as in sheer despair;
Limped in through my gate—and I thought to beg
Light clutching a staff, slow dragging a leg. The moon, like a sharp-drawn cimeter,
Kept watch in heaven. All earth lay still. Some sentinel stars stood watch afar,
Some crickets kept clanging along the hill,
As the tall, stern relic of blood and war
Limped in, and, with hand up to brow half raised, Looked out as one that is dazed or crazed,—
His gaunt face pleading for food and rest,
His set lips white as a tale of shame, His black coat tight to a shirtless breast,
His black eyes burning in mine like flame.
Their vision of beautiful earth, I think.
Were growing brighter as he neared the brink
For his face was as hard as the hard, thin hand
“Sir, I am a soldier !” The battered old hat
Stood up as he spake, like to one on paradeStood taller and braver as he spake out that
And the tattered old coat, that was tightly laid
Searched up and down for my regiments.
Have they pitched in Heaven their cloud-white tents ? Or, tell me, my friend, shall I find them here
On the hill beyond, at the Soldiers' Home,
Where the weary soldiers have ceased to roam ? "Aye, I am a soldier and a brigadier!
Is this the way to the Soldiers' Home ? There is plenty and rest for us all, I hear,
And a bugler, biąding us cease to roam,
Rides over the hill the livelong year
Rides calling and calling the brave to come
“What battle? What deeds did I do in the fight?
Why, sir, I have seen green fields turn as red As yonder red town in that marvelous light! Then the great blazing guns! Then the ghastly white
deadBut, tell me, I faint, I must cease to roam !
This battered leg aches! Then this sabered old head! Is—is this the way to the Soldiers' Home ?
“Why, I hear men say 'tis a paradise
On the green oak hills by the great red town; That many
old comrades shall meet my eyes ; That a tasseled young trooper rides up and rides down, With bugle-horn blowing to the still blue skies,
Calling and calling to rest and stay
“My leg is so lame! Then this sabered old head
Ah! pardon me, sir, I never complain ; But the road is so rough, as I just now said ;
And then there is something that troubles my brain. It makes the light dance from yon Capitol's dome;
It makes the road dim as I doubtfully tread. But is this the way to the Soldiers' Home?
“From the first to the last in that desperate war
Why, I did my part. If I did not fall,
Was all that was wanting; and then this ball
But what cared I? Ah! better by far
Have a sabered old head, and a shattered old knee To the end, than not had that praise of Lee.
" What! What do I hear? No home there for
Why, I heard men say that the war was at end ! Oh! my head świms 80;
and I scarce can see! But a soldier's a soldier, I think, my friend, Wherever that soldier may chance to be!
And wherever a soldier may chance to roam,
He turned as to go; but he sank to the grass ;
And I lifted my face to the firmament;
Leading the way the old soldier went.
Brighter indeed from the monument,
DON'T BE MEAN, BOYS.
IOMETIMES I wonder what a mean man thinks
about when he goes to bed. When he turns out the light and lies down alone he is then compelled to be honest with himself. Not a bright thought, not a generous impulse, not a word of blessing, not a grateful look comes back to him; not a penny dropped into the palm of poverty, nor the balm of a loving word dropped into an aching heart; no sunbeam of encouragement cast upon a struggling life; no strong right hand of fellowship reached out to help some fallen man to his