Page images


[ocr errors]

THAT is so rare as a day in June ?

Then, if ever, come perfect days; Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,

And over it softly her warm ear lays : Whether we look, or whether we listen, We hear life murmur, or see it glisten ; Every clod feels a stir of might,

And instinct within it that reaches and towers, And, groping blindly above it for light,

Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers ; The flush of life may well be seen

Thrilling back over hills and valleys; The cowslip startles in meadows green,

The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice, And there's never a leaf nor a blade too mean

To be some happy creature's palace; The little bird sits at his door in the sun,

Atilt like a blossom among the leaves, And lets his illumined being o'errun

With the deluge of summer it receives; His mate feels the eggs beneath her wings, And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings; He sings to the wide world, and she to her nest,In the nice ear of Nature which song is the best? Now is the high-tide of the year,

And whatever of life hath ebbed away Comes flooding back with a ripply cheer,

Into every bare inlet and creek and bay; Now the heart is so full that a drop overfills it, We are happy now because God wills it;

No matter how barren the past may have been,
'Tis enough for us now that the leaves are green;
We sit in the warm shade and feel right well
How the sap creeps up and the blossoms swell;
We may shut our eyes but we cannot help knowing
That skies are clear and grass is growing ;
The breeze comes whispering in our ear,
That dandelions are blossoming near,

That maize has sprouted, that streams are flowing,
That the river is bluer than the sky,
That the robin is plastering his house hard by;
And if the breeze kept the good news back,
For other couriers we should not lack;

We could guess it all by yon heifer's lowing, And hark ! how clear bold chanticleer, Warmed with the new wine of the year,

Tells all in his lusty crowing!

Joy comes, grief goes, we know not how;
Everything is happy now,

Everything is upward striving;
'Tis as easy now for the heart to be true
As for grass to be green or skies to be blue,-

'Tis the natural way of living: Who knows whither the clouds have fled ?

In the unscarred heaven they leave no wake; And the eyes forget the tears they have shed,

The heart forgets its sorrow and ache; The soul partakes the season's youth,

And the sulphurous rifts of passion and woe Lie deep 'neath a silence pure and smooth, Like burnt-out craters healed with snow.



From Youth's Companion.


In the paper,

UNE 20.-I'll have a lot to write, now. More than

I ever had before, for I've found out something. Six months ago we moved out here on our farm, and then we didn't go to town, only just once in a while,

on the cars. They put it in the paper when we left, and once in a while they put it in that pa had been in the city-when he called on the editor. But I hadn't never been in.

mean. So I was just the surprisedest you ever saw, to read yesterday, in a little corner, “Died, June 18, in Hickory Township, of brain fever, James Willis, aged thirteen years." That was me! only, of course, I hadn't died, nor nothing, and I lived in Hickory, and all. But then, it wasn't me, of course, and still I couldn't help believin' it was, if they'd only left out the brain-fever and the dyin'.

Everybody else thought it was me, too—I mean everybody in town—and Cousin Fred came right out to see about it.

Oh, how sorry everybody was ! How they pitied pa ! and how they pitied ma ! and how sorry they were for Bess and Bob for losin' such a noble brother! and what a great man I had given promise of making! and how much good they had all calculated on my doing in the orld!

Really, I couldn't help thinkin' it would have been a downright shame if it had been me-everybody was so sorry.

It was publicly announced in the town schools, Fred said ! and the teachers were all so sorry, and the scholars just felt awful-especially the girl that had sat in front of me, and the two girls back of me, all who had borrowed my knife and things most of the time.

I think it is wrong to like a fellow as much as they did me, and never let him know it. I'd 'a' treated them lots better in life, if I'd 'a' known it.

There were resolutions drawed up, and the teachers cried and said I'd been a good boy and they'd always been so proud of me, and had so hoped I'd live to bless the world. It seems that I was the principal hope of that institution. If I'd 'a' knowed they had such hopes of me, I never would 'a' whispered or laughed or traded in school, once.

June 21.- There was a great long piece in the paper this morning. And oh, everybody's a-feeling so bad ! The resolutions came out, too. They made me feel very queer. But we've found out. Somebody did die, but it wasn't me. It was just another boy. His folks moved here lately, and are renters.

June 22, Morning.- I'm going to town to-day with Fred. He wrote his folks a postal, sayin' I was all right, but for them not to tell, but let my return be a surprise. I thought it might be too much for everybody if I just went right in to them, and I suggested the propriety of sending a telegram or something, to tell them to prepare to be awfully startled. But pa said he guessed it wasn't necessary.

So I'm going right in, just so. Oh, I am so anxious to see everybody! Won't they all be glad ? I feel as if it would be a dreadful thing for everybody if I was to die. I hope, harder'n ever, that everybody'll live to

rear me,

I mean, I hope for everybody's sake that I'll live to grow up. I never want to afflict people so again. Everybody liked me so well, and I'm so thankful, and want to stay with them! I'm going to have a good time now, with so many friends. I guess I'll amount to a considerable.

Night.-Well, most everybody was glad-I guess. But it wasn't a bit like I thought it would be. Everybody had heard about it bein' another boy, and some had been a-sayin' they knowed all along it wasn't so. I wasn't the kind of a youth to die early. And one boy said I hadn't brains enough to catch a fever in 'em. And some that had took on about it looked sheepish; and that ungrateful Ettie Green took it back, and said she never cried a bit. And I wouldn't never have nothing to say to her again, if I was a hundred years old.

The Principal laughed, and said the President's chair wouldn't have to go empty, after all, and the teachers took on some.

A good many of the boys said, “Hallo !" and didn't even shake hauds. And when I saw Ed Hunter, I thought, “ Now he's coming to tell me how much he always loved me," and I looked pleasant at him ; but he turned off another way, and looked as if he thought I was a bigger sneak than ever. I almost felt like I didn't have no right anywhere.

I suppose the folks's sorrow had kind of reconciled them to my loss, and when I came back it confused them.

I aint sorry I'm goin' home tomorrow. I'm just another boy, after all, an' I can't help thinkin' if it had been that Ed Hunter himself that had died, there'd 'a' been just as big a fuss made about it, and maybe Ettie Green would have cried too.

« PreviousContinue »