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'Twas the best nursing that I ever did,
for Him, Who called her to the knowledge of Himself, Then took her out of this poor sinful world ?"
To the sound of evening bells
All that lives to rest repairs,
Beasts unto their forest lairs.
All things wear an home-bound look,
From the weary hind that plods
Sailing tow'rd the glimmering woods,
'Tis the time with power to bring
Tearful memories of home
On the far-off barren foam.
What a still and holy time!
Yonder glowing sunset seems
Suddenly struck her,—“This is not the way
sounds, My heart grows somewhat lighter, till the weight Of all comes back at evening again.
The very day before she died, she said, * Dear mother, would you lift me in your arms, And carry me this once over the door, That I might look on the green fields again ?' The day was cold and raw - and I refused, Till seeing that her mind was set on this,
I wrapt the blanket round her safe and warm ;
heart-I raised her with such ease! She had so pined and wasted, that her weight Was even as nothing ; but I bore her out Into the air, and carried her all round The clover-field, and showed her everything ; And as I brought her back she only said, Supposing I was wearied with her weight, I never shall be asking this again.'
And the last day, the morning that she died, She was as usual reading in the book Which had been given her when she quitted
school; Ah ! Sir, I have forgotten most of what Was in that book; but when I call to mind Its beautiful words, it makes me sad to think That there was no such learning in my time, For so I might be reading now myself The
very words that I have heard her read, And maybe might find comfort for my grief; I know at least that she found comfort there, 'Twas that which made her happy at the last. For at the first, when first her pains began, She could not bear to think that she was dying, And would grow angry if a neighbour spoke As though her end was near; and the first time She was persuaded she should not recover, Oh, mother !' she cried out in agony,
That I had died when I was of your age,
But I was saying that the day she died She had been reading for some little time, And then complained her eyes were growing
dim, And bade me wipe them. I was just then
sweeping The hearth, and had made up our little fire ; But when I heard her speak this way, I knew What now was coming ; but I wiped her eyes As she desired-I knew it was no use, And presently she gave me back the book : 'For, mother dear,' she said, I cannot see To read a single word ;' and just as though She felt she would not want it any more, Bade me to place it carefully aside, And, putting on the cover, set it by In the hand-basket. There was no one else In all the house, excepting she and meThe others all were gone unto their work. And now I knew the time was close at hand, Which had been drawing on for near three
years. And presently I spoke to her again, And now she made no answer -only stretched Her hand out to me. I took hold of it, But in a moment let it go again,
And lighting the twelve tapers held them there-
And she is gone, Sir,--but what matter now,
be I shall follow before long,