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Title: Poems Teachers Ask For, Book Two
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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POEMS TEACHERS ASK FOR

BOOK TWO

Selected by
Readers of "Normal Instructor-Primary Plans"
Containing More Than Two Hundred Poems Requested for Publication in That
Magazine on the Page "Poems Our Readers Have Asked For"



INDEX OF TITLES


African Chief, The                          _Bryant_             145
Annabel Lee                                 _Poe_                 25
Annie and Willie's Prayer                   _Snow_               196
April! April! Are You Here?                 _Goodale_             59
April Showers                               _Wilkins_             26
Armageddon                                  _E. Arnold_          157
Autumn                                      _Hood_               186
Autumn Leaves                               _Wray_                65
Aux Italiens                                _Lytton_              72
Awakening                                   _Sangster_            93

Babie, The                                  _Miller_             131
Ballad of East and West, The                _Kipling_             23
Ballad of the Tempest, The                  _Fields_              56
Battle of Bunker's Hill, The                _Cozzens_            102
Bells of Ostend, The                        _Bowles_             140
Bernardo Del Carpio                         _Hemans_             160
Betty and the Bear                                               130
Bible My Mother Gave Me, The                                     117
Bill's in the Legislature                                         53
Billy's Rose                                _Sims_               104
Bivouac of the Dead, The                    _O'Hara_              15
Boy and Girl of Plymouth                    _Smith_              154
Boys, The                                   _O.W. Holmes_         27
Boy Who Didn't Pass, The                                         108
Boy with the Hoe, The                       _Weaver_             202
Break, Break, Break                         _Tennyson_            52
"Brides of Enderby, The."
   See "High Tide, The"                                          150
Bridge Builder, The                                               54
Broken Pinion, The                          _Butterworth_          9
Burial of Moses, The                        _Alexander_           45

Casabianca                                  _Hemans_             164
Charge of Pickett's Brigade, The                                 122
Children                                    _Longfellow_          16
Children, The                               _Dickinson_          133
Children We Keep, The                       _Wilson_             146
Christmas Day in the Workhouse              _Sims_               193
Christmas Long Ago, A                                             47
Chums                                       _Foley_              206
Circling Year, The                          _Graham_             208
Cleon and I                                 _Mackay_              37
Color in the Wheat                          _Garland_              8
Columbus                                    _Smith_              137
Conscience and Future Judgment                                    81
Courting in Kentucky                                              67
Courtin', The                               _Lowell_              59
Cradle Hymn                                 _Watts_               35

Dandelion                                   _Garabrant_           82
David's Lament for Absalom                  _Willis_             191
Death of the Flowers, The                   _Bryant_              21
Don't Kill the Birds                        _Colesworthy_         53
Duty                                        _Browning_            20
Dying Newsboy, The                          _Thornton_            52

Echo                                        _Saxe_                65
Encouragement                               _Dunbar_              71
Engineer's Story, The                       _Hall_                96
Ensign Bearer, The                                                11
Eve of Waterloo, The                        _Byron_               17
Excelsior                                   _Longfellow_          15

Finding of the Lyre, The                    _Lowell_             150
Fireman's Story, The                                             125
Flower of Liberty, The                      _O.W. Holmes_         85
Flying Jim's Last Leap                      _Banks_              128
Fortunate Isles, The                        _Miller_             168

Give Them the Flowers Now                   _Hodges_              84
God                                         _Derzhavin_          162
God's Message to Men                        _Emerson_             62
God's Will Is Best                          _Mason_               67
Good Shepherd, The                          _Howe_               166
Grandfather's Clock                         _Work_                35
Grandmother's Quilt                                              186
Graves of a Household, The                  _Hemans_             130
Gray Swan, The                              _A. Cary_            207
Gunga Din                                   _Kipling_             98

Hark, Hark! the Lark                        _Shakespeare_        111
Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls, The    _Moore_               71
Health and Wealth                                                103
Heartening, The                             _Webb_               103
Height of the Ridiculous, The               _O.W. Holmes_         14
Heritage, The                               _Lowell_              22
He Who Has Vision                           _McKenzie_           146
He Worried About It                         _Foss_               203
Highland Mary                               _Burns_               88
High Tide, The                              _Ingelow_            150
His Mother's Song                                                 39
Home                                        _Guest_                7
Home They Brought Her Warrior Dead          _Tennyson_            74
House with Nobody in It, The                _Kilmer_               8
How Did You Die?                            _Cooke_              132
How Salvator Won                            _Wilcox_             120
Hullo                                       _Foss_               123

If All the Skies                            _Van Dyke_            36
"If" for Girls, An                          _Otis_               153
If We Understood                                                  29
I Got to Go to School                       _Waterman_           121
I Have a Rendezvous with Death              _Seeger_             142
I Have Drank My Last Glass                                        87
Inasmuch                                    _Ford_               178
Indian Names                                _Sigourney_          135
Inventor's Wife, The                        _Corbett_             82
Isle of Long Ago, The                       _B.F. Taylor_         51

Jamie Douglas                                                      9
Jim Brady's Big Brother                     _Foley_              206
John Maynard                                _Alger_               78
John Thompson's Daughter                    _P. Cary_             34

King and the Child, The                     _Hall_               134
King's Ring, The                            _Tilton_             159
Knight's Toast, The                         _W. Scott_            57

Ladder of St. Augustine, The                _Longfellow_          33
Lamb, The                                   _Blake_               86
Land of Beginning Again, The                _Tarkington_          32
Land Where Hate Should Die, The             _McCarthy_            18
Last Leaf, The                              _O.W. Holmes_         20
Laugh in Church, A                                                29
Laughing Chorus, A                                                59
Law and Liberty                             _Cutler_              39
Leaving the Homestead                                            159
Legend Beautiful, The                       _Longfellow_         174
Legend of the Northland, A                  _P. Cary_            131
Let Me Walk with the Men in the Road        _Gresham_             28
Let Us Be Kind                              _Childress_          143
Life, I Know Not What Thou Art              _Barbauld_            65
Lincoln, the Man of the People              _Markham_            118
Little Bateese                              _Drummond_            80
Little Fir-Trees, The                       _Stein_              203
Little Willie's Hearing                                          127
Loss and Gain                               _Longfellow_          34
Lost Occasion, The                          _Whittier_            84
Lullaby                                     _Foley_              205

Mad River                                   _Longfellow_         100
Message for the Year, A                     _Hardy_               66
Minstrel-Boy, The                           _Moore_               55
Minuet, The                                 _Dodge_               48
Mizpah                                                           162
Monterey                                    _Hoffman_            165
More Cruel Than War                         _Hawkins_            136
Mortgage on the Farm, The                                        173
Mother o' Mine                              _Kipling_             70
Mothers of Men                              _Miller_              64
My Prairies                                 _Garland_             74
Mystic Weaver, The                                               171

Nearer Home                                 _P. Cary_             48
New Leaf, A                                 _Rice_               202
Newsboy, The                                _Corbett_             94
New Year, The                               _Craik_              153
Night with a Wolf, A                        _Bayard Taylor_       89
Nobody's Child                              _Case_                46
No Sects in Heaven                          _Cleaveland_         180

O'Grady's Goat                              _Hays_                44
Old Actor's Story, The                      _Sims_               106
Old Flag Forever                            _Stanton_             21
Old Kitchen Floor, The                                            75
Old Man Dreams, The                         _O.W. Holmes_         58
Old Man in the Model Church, The            _Yates_              148
Old Man's Dreams, An                        _Sherman_             61
"One, Two, Three!"                          _Bunner_              30
Our Flag                                    _Sangster_           202
Our Homestead                               _P. Cary_             55
Our Own                                     _Sangster_           119
Our Presidents                              _Gilman_             195
Out in the Snow                             _Moulton_             83
Over the Hill from the Poor-House           _Carleton_            42

Papa's Letter                                                     40
Parting of Marmion and Douglas              _W. Scott_            95
Parts of Speech, The                                             201
Petrified Fern, The                         _Branch_              36
Picciola                                    _Newell_             158
Piller Fights                               _Ellsworth_           80
Polish Boy, The                             _Stephens_            12
Poor Little Joe                             _Proudfit_            32
Prayer and Potatoes                         _Pettee_             200
Prayer for a Little Home, A                                       87
President, The                              _Johnston_           204
Pride of Battery B                          _Gassaway_           176

Quangle Wangle's Hat, The                   _Lear_                91

Railroad Crossing, The                      _Strong_             182
Rain on the Roof                            _Kinney_              97
Rainy Day, The                              _Longfellow_          28
Real Riches, The                            _Saxe_                12
Red Jacket, The                             _Baker_               77
Reply to "A Woman's Question"               _Pelham_             155
Rhodora, The                                _Emerson_             90
Ring Out, Wild Bells                        _Tennyson_            63
Roll Call, The                              _Shepherd_            86
Romance of Nick Van Stann                   _Saxe_               156
Rustic Courtship                                                  76

Sandman, The                                _Vandegrift_          62
Santa Filomena                              _Longfellow_          56
School-Master's Guest, The                  _Carleton_            68
September                                   _G. Arnold_           75
September Days                              _Smith_              153
September Gale, The                         _O.W. Holmes_        137
Sermon in Rhyme, A                                               167
Service Flag, The                           _Herschell_          127
She Was a Phantom of Delight                _Wordsworth_          89
Singing Leaves, The                         _Lowell_              92
Sin of Omission, The                        _Sangster_           116
Sin of the Coppenter Man                    _Cooke_              139
Small Beginnings                            _Mackay_              97
Solitude                                    _Wilcox_             139
Somebody's Darling                          _La Coste_           175
Song of Marion's Men                        _Bryant_              54
Song of the Chattahoochee                   _Lanier_              66
"'Specially Jim"                                                  44
Station-Master's Story, The                 _Sims_               109
Stranger on the Sill, The                   _Read_               147
Sunset City, The                            _Gilman_             183

Teacher's "If", The                         _Gale_               165
There Was a Boy                             _Wordsworth_          90
Things Divine, The                          _Burt_                64
Tin Gee Gee, The                            _Cape_               169
"Tommy"                                     _Kipling_            170
Tommy's Prayer                              _Nicholls_           112
Towser Shall Be Tied To-night                                     37
Trailing Arbutus                            _Whittier_           199
Trouble in the Amen Corner                  _Harbaugh_            18
Try, Try Again                                                   135
Two Angels, The                             _Longfellow_         187
Two Kinds of People, The                    _Wilcox_             116
Two Little Stockings, The                   _Hunt_               141
Two Pictures, The                                                114

Unawares                                    _Lent_                30

Vagabonds, The                              _Trowbridge_          49
Voice of Spring, The                        _Hemans_              26
Volunteer Organist, The                     _Foss_               149

Warren's Address to the American Soldiers   _Pierpont_            99
Washington                                  _Bryant_              37
Washington's' Birthday                      _Butterworth_         58
Water Mill, The                             _Doudney_            143
What the Choir Sang About the New Bonnet    _Morrison_           168
When Father Carves the Duck                 _Wright_              40
When My Ship Comes In                       _Burdette_           138
When Papa Was a Boy                         _Brininstool_        100
When the Light Goes Out                     _Chester_            199
Which Shall It Be?                          _Beers_              101
Who Stole the Bird's Nest?                  _Child_               41
Why the Dog's Nose Is Always Cold                                144
Wishing Bridge, The                         _Whittier_            63
Witch's Daughter, The                       _Whittier_           188
With Little Boy Blue                        _Kennedy_            122
Wolsey's Farewell to His Greatness          _Shakespeare_         94
Women of Mumbles Head, The                  _C. Scott_           123
Wood-Box, The                               _Lincoln_            177
Work: A Song of Triumph                     _Morgan_             154
Work Thou for Pleasure                      _Cox_                169

You Put No Flowers on My Papa's Grave       _C.E.L. Holmes_      140


    (An Index of First Lines is given on pages 209-213)



PREFACE


In homely phrase, this is a sort of "second helping" of a dish that has
pleased the taste of thousands. Our first collection of _Poems Teachers
Ask For_ was the response to a demand for such a book, and this present
volume is the response to a demand for "more." In Book One it was
impracticable to use all of the many poems entitled to inclusion on the
basis of their being desired. We are constantly in receipt of requests
that certain selections be printed in NORMAL INSTRUCTOR-PRIMARY PLANS on
the page "Poems Our Readers Have Asked For." More than two hundred of
these were chosen for Book One, and more than two hundred others, as
much desired as those in the earlier volume, are included in Book Two.

Because of copyright restrictions, we often have been unable to present,
in magazine form, verse of large popular appeal. By special arrangement,
a number of such poems were included in Book One of _Poems Teachers Ask
For_, and many more are given in the pages that follow. Acknowledgment
is made below to publishers and authors for courteous permission to
reprint in this volume material which they control:

THE CENTURY COMPANY--_The Minuet_, from "Poems and Verses," by Mary
Mapes Dodge.

W.B. CONKEY COMPANY--_Solitude_, from "Poems of Passion," and _How
Salvator Won_, from "Kingdom of Love," both by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY, INC.--_Encouragement_, by Paul Laurence Dunbar,
copyright by Dodd, Mead & Company; _Work_, by Angela Morgan, from "The
Hour Has Struck," copyright 1914 by Angela Morgan.

DODGE PUBLISHING COMPANY--_How Did You Die?_ from "Impertinent Poems,"
and _The Sin of the Coppenter Man_, from "I Rule the House," both by
Edmund Vance Cooke.

GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY--_The House with Nobody in It_, from "Trees and
Other Poems," by Joyce Kilmer, copyright 1914 by George H. Doran
Company, publishers.

HAMLIN GARLAND--_My Prairies and Color in the Wheat_.

ISABEL AMBLER GILMAN--_The Sunset City_.

HARPER & BROTHERS--_Over the Hill from the Poor-House_ and _The
School-Master's Guests_, from "Farm Legends," by Will Carleton.

HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY--_The Sandman_, by Margaret Vandegrift; _The
Sin of Omission_ and _Our Own_, by Margaret E. Sangster; _The Ballad of
the Tempest_, by James T. Fields; also the poems by Henry W. Longfellow,
John G. Whittier, James Russell Lowell, Alice Cary, Phoebe Cary, Oliver
Wendell Holmes, and J.T. Trowbridge, of whose works they are the
authorized publishers.

CHARLES H.L. JOHNSTON--_The President_.

RUDYARD KIPLING and DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY (A.P. WATT & SON, London,
England)--_Mother o' Mine_.

LOTHROP, LEE & SHEPARD COMPANY--_Hullo_ and _The Volunteer Organist_,
both from "Back Country Poems," by Sam Walter Foss, and _He Worried
About It_, from "Whiffs from Wild Meadows," by Sam Walter Foss.

EDWIN MARKHAM--_Lincoln, the Man of the People_.

REILLY & LEE CO.--_Home_, from "A Heap o' Livin'," by Edgar A. Guest.

FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY--_Our Flag_, by Margaret E. Sangster.

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS--_I Have a Rendezvous with Death_, by Alan
Seeger; _Song of the Chattahoochee_, by Sidney Lanier; _If All the
Skies_, by Henry van Dyke.

HARR WAGNER PUBLISHING COMPANY--_Mothers of Men_ and _The Fortunate
Isles_, by Joaquin Miller.


THE PUBLISHERS.



POEMS TEACHERS ASK FOR

BOOK TWO

 *       *       *       *       *


Home


It takes a heap o' livin' in a house t' make it home,
A heap o' sun an' shadder, an' ye sometimes have t' roam
Afore ye really 'preciate the things ye left behind,
An' hunger fer 'em somehow, with 'em allus on yer mind.
It don't make any differunce how rich ye get t' be,
How much yer chairs an' tables cost, how great yer luxury;
It ain't home t' ye, though it be the palace of a king,
Until somehow yer soul is sort o' wrapped 'round everything.

Home ain't a place that gold can buy or get up in a minute;
Afore it's home there's got t' be a heap o' livin' in it:
Within the walls there's got t' be some babies born, and then
Right there ye've got t' bring 'em up t' women good, an' men;
And gradjerly, as time goes on ye find ye wouldn't part
With anything they ever used--they've grown into yer heart;
The old high chairs, the playthings, too, the little shoes they wore
Ye hoard; an' if ye could ye'd keep the thumbmarks on the door.

Ye've got t' weep t' make it home, ye've got t' sit and sigh
An' watch beside a loved one's bed, an' know that Death is nigh;
An' in the stillness o' the night t' see Death's angel come,
An' close the eyes o' her that smiled, an' leave her sweet voice dumb.
Fer these are scenes that grip the heart, an' when yer tears are dried,
Ye find the home is dearer than it was, an' sanctified;
An' tuggin' at ye always are the pleasant memories
O' her that was an' is no more--ye can't escape from these.

Ye've got t' sing and dance fer years, ye've got t' romp an' play,
An' learn t' love the things ye have by usin' 'em each day;
Even the roses 'round the porch must blossom year by year
Afore they 'come a part o' ye, suggestin' someone dear
Who used t' love 'em long ago, an' trained 'em jes' t' run
The way they do, so's they would get the early mornin' sun;
Ye've got t' love each brick an' stone from cellar up t' dome:
It takes a heap o' livin' in a house f' make it home.

    _Edgar A. Guest._



The House with Nobody In It


Whenever I walk to Suffern along the Erie track
I go by a poor old farm-house with its shingles broken and black;
I suppose I've passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a minute
And look at the house, the tragic house, the house with nobody in it.

I've never seen a haunted house, but I hear there are such things;
That they hold the talk of spirits, their mirth and sorrowings.
I know that house isn't haunted and I wish it were, I do,
For it wouldn't be so lonely if it had a ghost or two.

This house on the road to Suffern needs a dozen panes of glass,
And somebody ought to weed the walk and take a scythe to the grass.
It needs new paint and shingles and vines should be trimmed and tied,
But what it needs most of all is some people living inside.

If I had a bit of money and all my debts were paid,
I'd put a gang of men to work with brush and saw and spade.
I'd buy that place and fix it up the way that it used to be,
And I'd find some people who wanted a home and give it to them free.

Now a new home standing empty with staring window and door
Looks idle perhaps and foolish, like a hat on its block in the store,
But there's nothing mournful about it, it cannot be sad and lone
For the lack of something within it that it has never known.

But a house that has done what a house should do, a house that has
      sheltered life,
That has put its loving wooden arms around a man and his wife,
A house that has echoed a baby's laugh and helped up his stumbling feet,
Is the saddest sight, when it's left alone, that ever your eyes could meet.

So whenever I go to Suffern along the Erie track
I never go by the empty house without stopping and looking back,
Yet it hurts me to look at the crumbling roof and the shutters fallen
      apart,
For I can't help thinking the poor old house is a house with a broken
      heart.

    _Joyce Kilmer._



Color in the Wheat


Like liquid gold the wheat field lies,
  A marvel of yellow and russet and green,
That ripples and runs, that floats and flies,
  With the subtle shadows, the change, the sheen,
    That play in the golden hair of a girl,--
      A ripple of amber--a flare
    Of light sweeping after--a curl
    In the hollows like swirling feet
      Of fairy waltzers, the colors run
      To the western sun
    Through the deeps of the ripening wheat.

Broad as the fleckless, soaring sky,
  Mysterious, fair as the moon-led sea,
The vast plain flames on the dazzled eye
  Under the fierce sun's alchemy.
    The slow hawk stoops
      To his prey in the deeps;
    The sunflower droops
      To the lazy wave; the wind sleeps--
    Then swirling in dazzling links and loops,
      A riot of shadow and shine,
      A glory of olive and amber and wine,
    To the westering sun the colors run
    Through the deeps of the ripening wheat.

O glorious land! My western land,
  Outspread beneath the setting sun!
Once more amid your swells, I stand,
  And cross your sod-lands dry and dun.
I hear the jocund calls of men
  Who sweep amid the ripened grain
With swift, stern reapers; once again
  The evening splendor floods the plain,
    The crickets' chime
    Makes pauseless rhyme,
    And toward the sun,
    The colors run
    Before the wind's feet
    In the wheat!

    _Hamlin Garland._



The Broken Pinion


I walked through the woodland meadows,
  Where sweet the thrushes sing;
And I found on a bed of mosses
  A bird with a broken wing.
I healed its wound, and each morning
  It sang its old sweet strain,
But the bird with a broken pinion
  Never soared as high again.

I found a young life broken
  By sin's seductive art;
And touched with a Christlike pity,
  I took him to my heart.
He lived with a noble purpose
  And struggled not in vain;
But the life that sin had stricken
  Never soared as high again.

But the bird with a broken pinion
  Kept another from the snare;
And the life that sin had stricken
  Raised another from despair.
Each loss has its compensation,
  There is healing for every pain;
But the bird with a broken pinion
  Never soars as high again.

    _Hezekiah Butterworth._



Jamie Douglas


It was in the days when Claverhouse
  Was scouring moor and glen,
To change, with fire and bloody sword,
  The faith of Scottish men.

They had made a covenant with the Lord
  Firm in their faith to bide,
Nor break to Him their plighted word,
  Whatever might betide.

The sun was well-nigh setting,
  When o'er the heather wild,
And up the narrow mountain-path,
  Alone there walked a child.

He was a bonny, blithesome lad,
  Sturdy and strong of limb--
A father's pride, a mother's love,
  Were fast bound up in him.

His bright blue eyes glanced fearless round,
  His step was firm and light;
What was it underneath his plaid
  His little hands grasped tight?

It was bannocks which, that very morn,
  His mother made with care.
From out her scanty store of meal;
  And now, with many a prayer,

Had sent by Jamie her ane boy,
  A trusty lad and brave,
To good old Pastor Tammons Roy,
  Now hid in yonder cave,

And for whom the bloody Claverhouse
  Had hunted long in vain,
And swore they would not leave that glen
  Till old Tam Roy was slain.

So Jamie Douglas went his way
  With heart that knew no fear;
He turned the great curve in the rock,
  Nor dreamed that death was near.

And there were bloody Claverhouse men,
  Who laughed aloud with glee,
When trembling now within their power,
  The frightened child they see.

He turns to flee, but all in vain,
  They drag him back apace
To where their cruel leader stands,
  And set them face to face.

The cakes concealed beneath his plaid
  Soon tell the story plain--
"It is old Tam Roy the cakes are for,"
  Exclaimed the angry man.

"Now guide me to his hiding place
  And I will let you go."
But Jamie shook his yellow curls,
  And stoutly answered--"No!"

"I'll drop you down the mountain-side,
  And there upon the stones
The old gaunt wolf and carrion crow
  Shall battle for your bones."

And in his brawny, strong right hand
  He lifted up the child,
And held him where the clefted rocks
  Formed a chasm deep and wild

So deep it was, the trees below
  Like stunted bushes seemed.
Poor Jamie looked in frightened maze,
  It seemed some horrid dream.

He looked up at the blue sky above
  Then at the men near by;
Had _they_ no little boys at home,
  That they could let him die?

But no one spoke and no one stirred,
  Or lifted hand to save
From such a fearful, frightful death,
  The little lad so brave.

"It is woeful deep," he shuddering cried,
  "But oh! I canna tell,
So drop me down then, if you will--
  It is nae so deep as hell!"

A childish scream, a faint, dull sound,
  Oh! Jamie Douglas true,
Long, long within that lonely cave
  Shall Tam Roy wait for you.

Long for your welcome coming
  Waits the mother on the moor,
And watches and calls, "Come, Jamie, lad,"
  Through the half-open door.

No more adown the rocky path
  You come with fearless tread,
Or, on moor or mountain, take
  The good man's daily bread.

But up in heaven the shining ones
  A wondrous story tell,
Of a child snatched up from a rocky gulf
  That is nae so deep as hell.

And there before the great white throne,
  Forever blessed and glad,
His mother dear and old Tam Roy
  Shall meet their bonny lad.



The Ensign Bearer


Never mind me, Uncle Jared, never mind my bleeding breast!
They are charging in the valley and you're needed with the rest.
All the day long from its dawning till you saw your kinsman fall,
You have answered fresh and fearless to our brave commander's call;
And I would not rob my country of your gallant aid to-night,
Though your presence and your pity stay my spirit in its flight.

All along that quivering column see the death steed trampling down
Men whose deeds this day are worthy of a kingdom and a crown.
Prithee hasten, Uncle Jared, what's the bullet in my breast
To that murderous storm of fire raining tortures on the rest?
See! the bayonets flash and falter--look! the foe begins to win;
See! oh, see our falling comrades! God! the ranks are closing in.

Hark! there's quickening in the distance and a thundering in the air,
Like the roaring of a lion just emerging from his lair.
There's a cloud of something yonder fast unrolling like a scroll--
Quick! oh, quick! if it be succor that can save the cause a soul!
Look! a thousand thirsty bayonets are flashing down the vale,
And a thousand thirsty riders dashing onward like a gale!

Raise me higher, Uncle Jared, place the ensign in my hand!
I am strong enough to float it while you cheer that flying band;
Louder! louder! shout for Freedom with prolonged and vigorous breath--
Shout for Liberty and Union, and the victory over death!--
See! they catch the stirring numbers and they swell them to the breeze--
Cap and plume and starry banner waving proudly through the trees.

Mark our fainting comrades rally, see that drooping column rise!
I can almost see the fire newly kindled in their eyes.
Fresh for conflict, nerved to conquer, see them charging on the foe--
Face to face with deadly meaning--shot and shell and trusty blow.
See the thinned ranks wildly breaking--see them scatter to the sun--
I can die, Uncle Jared, for the glorious day is won!

But there's something, something pressing with a numbness on my heart,
And my lips with mortal dumbness fail the burden to impart.
Oh I tell you, Uncle Jared, there is something back of all
That a soldier cannot part with when he heeds his country's call!
Ask the mother what, in dying, sends her yearning spirit back
Over life's rough, broken marches, where she's pointed out the track.

Ask the dear ones gathered nightly round the shining household hearth,
What to them is dearer, better, than the brightest things of earth,
Ask that dearer one whose loving, like a ceaseless vestal flame,
Sets my very soul a-glowing at the mention of her name;
Ask her why the loved in dying feels her spirit linked with his
In a union death but strengthens, she will tell you what it is.

And there's something, Uncle Jared, you may tell her if you will--
That the precious flag she gave me, I have kept unsullied still.
And--this touch of pride forgive me--where death sought our gallant host--
Where our stricken lines were weakest, there it ever waved the most.
Bear it back and tell her fondly, brighter, purer, steadier far,
'Mid the crimson tide of battle, shone my life's fast setting star.

But forbear, dear Uncle Jared, when there's something more to tell,
When her lips with rapid blanching bid you answer how I fell;
Teach your tongue the trick of slighting, though 'tis faithful to the rest,
Lest it say her brother's bullet is the bullet in my breast;
But if it must be that she learn it despite your tenderest care,
'Twill soothe her bleeding heart to know my bayonet pricked the air.

Life is ebbing, Uncle Jared, my enlistment endeth here;
Death, the Conqueror, has drafted--I can no more volunteer,--
But I hear the roll call yonder and I go with willing feet--
Through the shadows of the valley where victorious armies meet,
Raise the ensign, Uncle Jared, let its dear folds o'er me fall--
Strength and Union for my country--and God's banner over all.



The Real Riches


Every coin of earthly treasure
  We have lavished upon earth
For our simple worldly pleasure
  May be reckoned something worth;
For the spending was not losing,
  Tho' the purchase were but small;
It has perished with the using.
  We have had it,--that is all!

All the gold we leave behind us,
  When we turn to dust again,
Tho' our avarice may blind us,
  We have gathered quite in vain;
Since we neither can direct it,
  By the winds of fortune tost,
Nor in other worlds expect it;
  What we hoarded we have lost.

But each merciful oblation--
  Seed of pity wisely sown,
What we gave in self-negation,
  We may safely call our own;
For the treasure freely given
  Is the treasure that we hoard,
Since the angels keep in heaven,
  What is lent unto the Lord.

    _John G. Saxe._



The Polish Boy


Whence come those shrieks so wild and shrill,
  That cut, like blades of steel, the air,
Causing the creeping blood to chill
  With the sharp cadence of despair?

Again they come, as if a heart
  Were cleft in twain by one quick blow,
And every string had voice apart
  To utter its peculiar woe.

Whence came they? From yon temple, where
An altar, raised for private prayer,
Now forms the warrior's marble bed
Who Warsaw's gallant armies led.

The dim funereal tapers throw
A holy luster o'er his brow,
And burnish with their rays of light
The mass of curls that gather bright
Above the haughty brow and eye
Of a young boy that's kneeling by.

What hand is that, whose icy press
  Clings to the dead with death's own grasp,
But meets no answering caress?
  No thrilling fingers seek its clasp.
It is the hand of her whose cry
  Rang wildly, late, upon the air,
When the dead warrior met her eye
  Outstretched upon the altar there.

With pallid lip and stony brow
She murmurs forth her anguish now.
But hark! the tramp of heavy feet
Is heard along the bloody street;
Nearer and nearer yet they come,
With clanking arms and noiseless drum.
Now whispered curses, low and deep,
Around the holy temple creep;
The gate is burst; a ruffian band
Rush in, and savagely demand,
With brutal voice and oath profane,
The startled boy for exile's chain.

The mother sprang with gesture wild,
And to her bosom clasped her child;
Then, with pale cheek and flashing eye,
Shouted with fearful energy,
"Back, ruffians, back! nor dare to tread
Too near the body of my dead;
Nor touch the living boy; I stand
Between him and your lawless band.
Take _me_, and bind these arms--these hands,--
With Russia's heaviest iron bands,
And drag me to Siberia's wild
To perish, if 'twill save my child!"

"Peace, woman, peace!" the leader cried,
Tearing the pale boy from her side,
And in his ruffian grasp he bore
His victim to the temple door.
"One moment!" shrieked the mother; "one!
Will land or gold redeem my son?
Take heritage, take name, take all,
But leave him free from Russian thrall!
Take these!" and her white arms and hands
She stripped of rings and diamond bands,
And tore from braids of long black hair
The gems that gleamed like starlight there;
Her cross of blazing rubies, last,
Down at the Russian's feet she cast.
He stooped to seize the glittering store;--
Up springing from the marble floor,
The mother, with a cry of joy,
Snatched to her leaping heart the boy.
But no! the Russian's iron grasp
Again undid the mother's clasp.
Forward she fell, with one long cry
Of more than mortal agony.

But the brave child is roused at length,
  And, breaking from the Russian's hold,
He stands, a giant in the strength
  Of his young spirit, fierce and bold.
Proudly he towers; his flashing eye,
  So blue, and yet so bright,
Seems kindled from the eternal sky,
  So brilliant is its light.

His curling lips and crimson cheeks
Foretell the thought before he speaks;
With a full voice of proud command
He turned upon the wondering band.

"Ye hold me not! no! no, nor can;
This hour has made the boy a man.
I knelt before my slaughtered sire,
Nor felt one throb of vengeful ire.
I wept upon his marble brow,
Yes, wept! I was a child; but now
My noble mother, on her knee,
Hath done the work of years for me!"

He drew aside his broidered vest,
And there, like slumbering serpent's crest,
The jeweled haft of poniard bright
Glittered a moment on the sight.
"Ha! start ye back? Fool! coward! knave!
Think ye my noble father's glaive
Would drink the life-blood of a slave?
The pearls that on the handle flame
Would blush to rubies in their shame;
The blade would quiver in thy breast
Ashamed of such ignoble rest.
No! thus I rend the tyrant's chain,
And fling him back a boy's disdain!"

A moment, and the funeral light
Flashed on the jeweled weapon bright;
Another, and his young heart's blood
Leaped to the floor, a crimson flood.
Quick to his mother's side he sprang,
And on the air his clear voice rang:
"Up, mother, up! I'm free! I'm free!
The choice was death or slavery.
Up, mother, up! Look on thy son!
His freedom is forever won;
And now he waits one holy kiss
To bear his father home in bliss;
One last embrace, one blessing,--one!
To prove thou knowest, approvest thy son.
What! silent yet? Canst thou not feel
My warm blood o'er thy heart congeal?
Speak, mother, speak! lift up thy head!
What! silent still? Then art thou dead:
--Great God, I thank thee! Mother, I
Rejoice with thee,--and thus--to die."
One long, deep breath, and his pale head
Lay on his mother's bosom,--dead.

    _Ann S. Stephens._



The Height of the Ridiculous


I wrote some lines once on a time
  In wondrous merry mood,
And thought, as usual, men would say
  They were exceeding good.

They were so queer, so very queer,
  I laughed as I would die;
Albeit, in the general way,
  A sober man am I.

I called my servant, and he came;
  How kind it was of him
To mind a slender man like me,
  He of the mighty limb!

"These to the printer," I exclaimed,
  And, in my humorous way,
I added (as a trifling jest),
  "There'll be the devil to pay."

He took the paper, and I watched,
  And saw him peep within;
At the first line he read, his face
  Was all upon the grin.

He read the next; the grin grew broad,
  And shot from ear to ear;
He read the third; a chuckling noise
  I now began to hear.

The fourth; he broke into a roar;
  The fifth; his waistband split;
The sixth; he burst five buttons off,
  And tumbled in a fit.

Ten days and nights, with sleepless eye,
  I watched that wretched man,
And since, I never dare to write
  As funny as I can.

    _Oliver Wendell Holmes._



Excelsior


The shades of night were falling fast,
As through an Alpine village passed
A youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice,
A banner with the strange device,
      Excelsior!

His brow was sad his eye beneath
Flashed like a falchion from its sheath,
And like a silver clarion rung
The accents of that unknown tongue,
      Excelsior!

In happy homes he saw the light
Of household fires gleam warm and bright;
Above, the spectral glaciers shone,
And from his lips escaped a groan,
      Excelsior!

"Try not the Pass!" the old man said;
"Dark lowers the tempest overhead,
The roaring torrent is deep and wide!"
And loud the clarion voice replied,
      Excelsior!

"O stay," the maiden said, "and rest
Thy weary head upon this breast!"
A tear stood in his bright blue eye,
But still he answered, with a sigh,
      Excelsior!

"Beware the pine-tree's withered branch!
Beware the awful avalanche!"
This was the peasant's last Good-night,
A voice replied, far up the height,
      Excelsior!

At break of day, as heavenward
The pious monks of Saint Bernard
Uttered the oft-repeated prayer,
A voice cried through the startled air,
      Excelsior!

A traveller, by the faithful hound,
Half-buried in the snow was found,
Still grasping in his hand of ice
That banner with the strange device,
      Excelsior!

There in the twilight cold and gray,
Lifeless, but beautiful, he lay,
And from the sky, serene and far,
A voice fell, like a falling star,
      Excelsior!

    _Henry W. Longfellow._



The Bivouac of the Dead


The muffled drum's sad roll has beat
  The soldier's last tattoo;
No more on life's parade shall meet
  That brave and fallen few.
On fame's eternal camping ground
  Their silent tents are spread,
And Glory guards with solemn round
  The bivouac of the dead.

No rumor of the foe's advance
  Now swells upon the wind;
No troubled thought at midnight haunts
  Of loved ones left behind;
No vision of the morrow's strife
  The warrior's dream alarms;
No braying horn or screaming fife
  At dawn shall call to arms.

Their shivered swords are red with rust;
  Their plumèd heads are bowed;
Their haughty banner, trailed in dust,
  Is now their martial shroud;
And plenteous funeral tears have washed
  The red stains from each brow;
And the proud forms, by battle gashed,
  Are free from anguish now.

The neighing troop, the flashing blade,
  The bugle's stirring blast,
The charge, the dreadful cannonade,
  The din and shout are passed.
Nor war's wild note, nor glory's peal,
  Shall thrill with fierce delight
Those breasts that nevermore shall feel
  The rapture of the fight.

Like a fierce northern hurricane
  That sweeps his great plateau,
Flushed with the triumph yet to gain,
  Came down the serried foe,
Who heard the thunder of the fray
  Break o'er the field beneath,
Knew well the watchword of that day
  Was "Victory or Death!"

Full many a mother's breath hath swept
  O'er Angostura's plain,
And long the pitying sky hath wept
  Above its moulder'd slain.
The raven's scream, or eagle's flight,
  Or shepherd's pensive lay,
Alone now wake each solemn height
  That frowned o'er that dread fray.

Sons of the "dark and bloody ground,"
  Ye must not slumber there,
Where stranger steps and tongues resound
  Along the heedless air!
Your own proud land's heroic soil
  Shall be your fitter grave;
She claims from war its richest spoil,--
  The ashes of her brave.

Thus 'neath their parent turf they rest,
  Far from the gory field,
Borne to a Spartan mother's breast
  On many a bloody shield.
The sunshine of their native sky
  Smiles sadly on them here,
And kindred eyes and hearts watch by
  The heroes' sepulcher.

Rest on, embalmed and sainted dead!
  Dear as the blood ye gave;
No impious footsteps here shall tread
  The herbage of your grave;
Nor shall your glory be forgot
  While fame her record keeps,
Or honor points the hallowed spot
  Where Valor proudly sleeps.

Yon marble minstrel's voiceless stone
  In deathless song shall tell,
When many a vanished year hath flown,
  The story how ye fell.
Nor wreck, nor change, nor winter's blight,
  Nor time's remorseless doom,
Can dim one ray of holy light
  That gilds your glorious tomb.

    _Theodore O'Hara._



Children


Come to me, O ye children!
  For I hear you at your play,
And the questions that perplexed me
  Have vanished quite away.

Ye open the eastern windows,
  That look towards the sun,
Where thoughts are singing swallows
  And the brooks of morning run.

In your hearts are the birds and the sunshine,
  In your thoughts the brooklet's flow
But in mine is the wind of Autumn
  And the first fall of the snow.

Ah! what would the world be to us
  If the children were no more?
We should dread the desert behind us
  Worse than the dark before.

What the leaves are to the forest,
  With light and air for food,
Ere their sweet and tender juices
  Have been hardened into wood,--

That to the world are children;
  Through them it feels the glow
Of a brighter and sunnier climate
  Than reaches the trunks below.

Come to me, O ye children!
  And whisper in my ear
What the birds and the winds are singing
  In your sunny atmosphere.

For what are all our contrivings,
  And the wisdom of our books,
When compared with your caresses,
  And the gladness of your looks?

Ye are better than all the ballads
  That ever were sung or said;
For ye are living poems,
  And all the rest are dead.

    _Henry W. Longfellow._



The Eve of Waterloo

(The battle of Waterloo occurred June 18, 1815)


There was a sound of revelry by night,
  And Belgium's capital had gathered then
Her beauty and her chivalry, and bright
  The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men.
  A thousand hearts beat happily; and when
Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
  Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again,
And all went merry as a marriage bell;
But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell.

Did ye not hear it?--No; 'twas but the wind,
  Or the car rattling o'er the stony street:
On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
  No sleep till morn, when youth and pleasure meet
  To chase the glowing hours with flying feet--
But, hark!--that heavy sound breaks in once more,
  As if the clouds its echo would repeat
And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before!
Arm! arm! it is--it is the cannon's opening roar.

Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro,
  And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress,
And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago
  Blush'd at the praise of their own loveliness;
  And there were sudden partings, such as press
The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
  Which ne'er might be repeated: who could guess
If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
Since upon night so sweet such awful morn could rise!

And there was mounting in hot haste: the steed,
  The mustering squadron, and the clattering car
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
  And swiftly forming in the ranks of war;
  And the deep thunder, peal on peal afar;
And near, the beat of the alarming drum
  Roused up the soldier ere the morning star;
While thronged the citizens with terror dumb,
Or whispering with white lips, "The foe! they come! they come!"

Last noon beheld them full of lusty life,
  Last eve in Beauty's circle proudly gay,
The midnight brought the signal sound of strife,
  The morn the marshaling in arms,--the day
  Battle's magnificently stern array!
The thunder clouds close o'er it, which when rent
  The earth is covered thick with other clay,
Which her own clay shall cover, heaped and pent,
Rider and horse--friend, foe--in one red burial blent.

    _Lord Byron._



The Land Where Hate Should Die


This is the land where hate should die--
  No feuds of faith, no spleen of race,
No darkly brooding fear should try
  Beneath our flag to find a place.
Lo! every people here has sent
  Its sons to answer freedom's call,
Their lifeblood is the strong cement
  That builds and binds the nation's wall.

This is the land where hate should die--
  Though dear to me my faith and shrine,
I serve my country when I
  Respect the creeds that are not mine.
He little loves his land who'd cast
  Upon his neighbor's word a doubt,
Or cite the wrongs of ages past
  From present rights to bar him out.

This is the land where hate should die--
  This is the land where strife should cease,
Where foul, suspicious fear should fly
  Before the light of love and peace.
Then let us purge from poisoned thought
  That service to the state we give,
And so be worthy as we ought
  Of this great land in which we live.

    _Denis A. McCarthy._



Trouble In the "Amen Corner"


'Twas a stylish congregation, that of Theophrastus Brown,
And its organ was the finest and the biggest in the town,
And the chorus--all the papers favorably commented on it,
For 'twas said each female member had a forty-dollar bonnet.

Now in the "amen corner" of the church sat Brother Eyer,
Who persisted every Sabbath-day in singing with the choir;
He was poor but genteel-looking, and his heart as snow was white,
And his old face beamed with sweetness when he sang with all his might.

His voice was cracked and broken, age had touched his vocal chords,
And nearly every Sunday he would mispronounce the words
Of the hymns, and 'twas no wonder, he was old and nearly blind,
And the choir rattling onward always left him far behind.

The chorus stormed and blustered, Brother Eyer sang too slow,
And then he used the tunes in vogue a hundred years ago;
At last the storm-cloud burst, and the  church was told, in fine,
That the brother must stop singing, or the choir would resign.

Then the pastor called together in the vestry-room one day
Seven influential members who subscribe more than they pay,
And having asked God's guidance in a printed pray'r or two,
They put their heads together to determine what to do.

They debated, thought, suggested, till at last "dear Brother York,"
Who last winter made a million on a sudden rise in pork,
Rose and moved that a committee wait at once on Brother Eyer,
And proceed to rake him lively "for disturbin' of the choir."

Said he: "In that 'ere organ I've invested quite a pile,
And we'll sell it if we cannot worship in the latest style;
Our Philadelphy tenor tells me 'tis the hardest thing
Fer to make God understand him when the brother tries to sing.

"We've got the biggest organ, the best-dressed choir in town,
We pay the steepest sal'ry to our pastor, Brother Brown;
But if we must humor ignorance because it's blind and old--
If the choir's to be pestered, I will seek another fold."

Of course the motion carried, and one day a coach and four,
With the latest style of driver, rattled up to Eyer's door;
And the sleek, well-dress'd committee, Brothers Sharkey, York and Lamb,
As they crossed the humble portal took good care to miss the jamb.

They found the choir's great trouble sitting in his old arm chair,
And the Summer's golden sunbeams lay upon his thin white hair;
He was singing "Rock of Ages" in a cracked voice and low
But the angels understood him, 'twas all he cared to know.

Said York: "We're here, dear brother, with the vestry's approbation
To discuss a little matter that affects the congregation";
"And the choir, too," said Sharkey, giving Brother York a nudge,
"And the choir, too!" he echoed with the graveness of a judge.

"It was the understanding when we bargained for the chorus
That it was to relieve us, that is, do the singing for us;
If we rupture the agreement, it is very plain, dear brother,
It will leave our congregation and be gobbled by another.

"We don't want any singing except that what we've bought!
The latest tunes are all the rage; the old ones stand for naught;
And so we have decided--are you list'ning, Brother Eyer?--
That you'll have to stop your singin' for it flurrytates the choir."

The old man slowly raised his head, a sign that he did hear,
And on his cheek the trio caught the glitter of a tear;
His feeble hands pushed back the locks white as the silky snow,
As he answered the committee in a voice both sweet and low:

"I've sung the psalms of David nearly eighty years," said he;
"They've been my staff and comfort all along life's dreary way;
I'm sorry I disturb the choir, perhaps I'm doing wrong;
But when my heart is filled with praise, I can't keep back a song.

"I wonder if beyond the tide that's breaking at my feet,
In the far-off heav'nly temple, where the Master I shall greet--
Yes, I wonder when I try to sing the songs of God up high'r,
If the angel band will church me for disturbing heaven's choir."

A silence filled the little room; the old man bowed his head;
The carriage rattled on again, but Brother Eyer was dead!
Yes, dead! his hand had raised the veil the future hangs before us,
And the Master dear had called him to the everlasting chorus.

The choir missed him for a while, but he was soon forgot,
A few church-goers watched the door; the old man entered not.
Far away, his voice no longer cracked, he sang his heart's desires,
Where there are no church committees and no fashionable choirs!

    _T.C. Harbaugh._



Duty


The sweetest lives are those to duty wed,
Whose deeds, both great and small,
Are close knit strands of an unbroken thread,
Whose love ennobles all.
The world may sound no trumpet, ring no bells;
The book of life, the shining record tells.
Thy love shall chant its own beatitudes,
After its own life-working. A child's kiss
Set on thy singing lips shall make thee glad;
A poor man served by thee shall make thee rich;
A sick man helped by thee shall make thee strong;
Thou shalt be served thyself by every sense
Of service thou renderest.

    _Robert Browning._



The Last Leaf


I saw him once before,
As he passed by the door,
    And again
The pavement stones resound,
As he totters o'er the ground
    With his cane.

They say that in his prime,
Ere the pruning-knife of Time
    Cut him down,
Not a better man was found
By the Crier on his round
    Through the town.

But now he walks the streets,
And he looks at all he meets
    Sad and wan,
And he shakes his feeble head,
That it seems as if he said
    "They are gone."

The mossy marbles rest
On the lips that he has prest
    In their bloom,
And the names he loved to hear
Have been carved for many a year
    On the tomb.

My grandmamma has said,--
Poor old lady, she is dead
    Long ago,--
That he had a Roman nose,
And his cheek was like a rose
    In the snow.

But now his nose is thin,
And it rests upon his chin.
    Like a staff,
And a crook is in his back,
And a melancholy crack
    In his laugh.

I know it is a sin
For me to sit and grin
    At him here;
But the old three-cornered hat,
And the breeches, and all that,
    Are so queer!

And if I should live to be
The last leaf upon the tree
    In the spring,
Let them smile, as I do now,
At the old forsaken bough
    Where I cling.

    _Oliver Wendell Holmes._



Old Flag Forever


She's up there--Old Glory--where lightnings are sped;
She dazzles the nations with ripples of red;
And she'll wave for us living, or droop o'er us dead,--
The flag of our country forever!

She's up there--Old Glory--how bright the stars stream!
And the stripes like red signals of liberty gleam!
And we dare for her, living, or dream the last dream,
'Neath the flag of our country forever!

She's up there--Old Glory--no tyrant-dealt scars,
No blur on her brightness, no stain on her stars!
The brave blood of heroes hath crimsoned her bars.
She's the flag of our country forever!

    _Frank L. Stanton._



The Death of the Flowers


The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year,
Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sear.
Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the withered leaves lie dead;
They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbit's tread.
The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrub the jay,
And from the wood-top calls the crow, through all the gloomy day.

Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers, that lately sprang and stood
In brighter light and softer airs, a beauteous sisterhood?
Alas! they all are in their graves; the gentle race of flowers
Are lying in their lowly beds, with the fair and good of ours.
The rain is falling where they lie; but the cold November rain
Calls not from out the gloomy earth the lovely ones again.

The wind-flower and the violet, they perished long ago,
And the brier-rose and the orchis died amid the summer glow;
But on the hill the golden-rod, and the aster in the wood,
And the yellow sun-flower by the brook, in autumn beauty stood,
Till fell the frost from the clear cold heaven, as falls the plague on men,
And the brightness of their smile was gone from upland, glade and glen.

And now, when comes the calm, mild day, as still such days will come,
To call the squirrel and the bee from out their winter home,
When the sound of dropping nuts is heard, though all the trees are still,
And twinkle in the smoky light the waters of the rill,
The south wind searches for the flowers, whose fragrance late he bore,
And sighs to find them in the wood and by the stream no more.

And then I think of one who in her youthful beauty died,
The fair, meek blossom that grew up and faded by my side,
In the cold, moist earth we laid her when the forest cast the leaf,
And we wept that one so lovely should have a life so brief;
Yet not unmeet it was that one, like that young friend of ours,
So gentle and so beautiful, should perish with the flowers.

    _W.C. Bryant._



The Heritage


The rich man's son inherits lands,
  And piles of brick, and stone, and gold,
And he inherits soft white hands,
  And tender flesh that fears the cold,
  Nor dares to wear a garment old;
A heritage, it seems to me,
One scarce would wish to hold in fee.

The rich man's son inherits cares;
  The bank may break, the factory burn,
A breath may burst his bubble shares,
  And soft white hands could hardly earn
  A living that would serve his turn;
A heritage, it seems to me,
One scarce would wish to hold in fee.

The rich man's son inherits wants,
  His stomach craves for dainty fare;
With sated heart, he hears the pants
  Of toiling hinds with brown arms bare,
  And wearies in his easy-chair;
A heritage, it seems to me,
One scarce would wish to hold in fee.

What doth the poor man's son inherit?
  Stout muscles and a sinewy heart,
A hardy frame, a hardier spirit;
  King of two hands, he does his part
  In every useful toil and art;
A heritage, it seems to me,
A king might wish to hold in fee.

What doth the poor man's son inherit?
  Wishes o'erjoyed with humble things,
A rank, adjudged by toil-won merit,
  Content that from employment springs,
  A heart that in his labor sings;
A heritage, it seems to me,
A king might wish to hold in fee.

What doth the poor man's son inherit?
  A patience learned of being poor,
Courage, if sorrow come, to bear it,
  A fellow-feeling that is sure
  To make the outcast bless his door;
A heritage, it seems to me,
A king might wish to hold in fee.

O rich man's son! there is a toil
  That with all others level stands;
Large charity doth never soil,
But only whiten, soft white hands,--
  This is the best crop from thy lands;
A heritage it seems to me,
Worth being rich to hold in fee.

O poor man's son! scorn not thy state;
  There is worse weariness than thine,
In merely being rich and great;
  Toil only gives the soul to shine
  And makes rest fragrant and benign;
A heritage, it seems to me,
Worth being poor to hold in fee.

Both heirs to some six feet of sod,
  Are equal in the earth at last;
Both, children of the same dear God,
  Prove title to your heirship vast
  By record of a well-filled past;
A heritage, it seems to me,
Well worth a life to hold in fee.

    _James Russell Lowell._



The Ballad of East and West


Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, tho' they come from the ends
      of the earth!

Kamal is out with twenty men to raise the Border side,
And he has lifted the Colonel's mare that is the Colonel's pride:
He has lifted her out of the stable-door between the dawn and the day,
And turned the calkins upon her feet, and ridden her far away.
Then up and spoke the Colonel's son that led a troop of the Guides:
"Is there never a man of all my men can say where Kamal hides?"
Then up and spoke Mahommed Khan, the son of the Ressaldar,
"If ye know the track of the morning-mist, ye know where his pickets are.
At dust he harries the Abazai--at dawn he is into Bonair,
But he must go by Fort Bukloh to his own place to fare,
So if ye gallop to Fort Bukloh as fast as a bird can fly,
By the favor of God ye may cut him off ere he win to the Tongue of Jagai,
But if he be passed the Tongue of Jagai, right swiftly turn ye then,
For the length and the breadth of that grisly plain is sown with Kamal's
      men.
There is rock to the left, and rock to the right, and low lean thorn
      between,
And ye may hear a breech-bolt snick where never a man is seen."
The Colonel's son has taken a horse, and a raw rough dun was he,
With the mouth of a bell and the heart of Hell, and the head of the
      gallows-tree.
The Colonel's son to the Fort has won, they bid him stay to eat--
Who rides at the tail of a Border thief, he sits not long at his meat.
He's up and away from Fort Bukloh as fast as he can fly,
Till he was aware of his father's mare in the gut of the Tongue of Jagai,
Till he was aware of his father's mare with Kamal upon her back,
And when he could spy the white of her eye, he made the pistol crack.
He has fired once, he has fired twice, but the whistling ball went wide.
"Ye shoot like a soldier," Kamal said. "Show now if ye can ride."
It's up and over the Tongue of Jagai, as blown dust-devils go,
The dun he fled like a stag of ten, but the mare like a barren doe.
The dun he leaned against the bit and slugged his head above,
But the red mare played with the snaffle-bars, as a maiden plays with a
      glove.
There was rock to the left and rock to the right, and low lean thorn
      between,
And thrice he heard a breech-bolt snick tho' never a man was seen.
They have ridden the low moon out of the sky, their hoofs drum up the dawn,
The dun he went like a wounded bull, but the mare like a new-roused fawn.
The dun he fell at a water-course--in a woful heap fell he,
And Kamal has turned the red mare back, and pulled the rider free.
He has knocked the pistol out of his hand--small room was there to strive,
"'Twas only by favor of mine," quoth he, "ye rode so long alive:
There was not a rock of twenty mile, there was not a clump of tree,
But covered a man of my own men with his rifle cocked on his knee.
If I had raised my bridle-hand, as I have held it low,
The little jackals that flee so fast, were feasting all in a row:
If I had bowed my head on my breast, as I have held it high,
The kite that whistles above us now were gorged till she could not fly."
Lightly answered the Colonel's son: "Do good to bird and beast,
But count who come for the broken meats before thou makest a feast.
If there should follow a thousand swords to carry my bones away,
Belike the price of a jackal's meal were more than a thief could pay.
They will feed their horse on the standing crop, their men on the garnered
      grain,
The thatch of the byres will serve their fires when all the cattle are
      slain.
But if thou thinkest the price be fair,--thy brethren wait to sup.
The hound is kin to the jackal-spawn, howl, dog, and call them up!
And if thou thinkest the price be high, in steer and gear and stack,
Give me my father's mare again, and I'll fight my own way back!"
Kamal has gripped him by the hand and set him upon his feet.
"No talk shall be of dogs," said he, "when wolf and gray wolf meet.
May I eat dirt if thou hast hurt of me in deed or breath;
What dam of lances brought thee forth to jest at the dawn with Death?"
Lightly answered the Colonel's son: "I hold by the blood of my clan:
Take up the mare of my father's gift--by God, she has carried a man!"
The red mare ran to the Colonel's son, and nuzzled against his breast,
"We be two strong men," said Kamal then, "but she loveth the younger best.
So she shall go with a lifter's dower, my turquoise-studded rein,
My broidered saddle and saddle-cloth, and silver stirrups twain."
The Colonel's son a pistol drew and held it muzzle-end,
"Ye have taken the one from a foe," said he; "will ye take the mate from
      a friend?"
"A gift for a gift," said Kamal straight; "a limb for the risk of a limb.
Thy father has sent his son to me, I'll send my son to him!"
With that he whistled his only son, that dropped from a mountain-crest--
He trod the ling like a buck in spring, and he looked like a lance in rest.
"Now here is thy master," Kamal said, "who leads a troop of the Guides,
And thou must ride at his left side as shield on shoulder rides.
Till Death or I cut loose the tie, at camp and board and bed,
Thy life is his--thy fate is to guard him with thy head.
So thou must eat the White Queen's meat, and all her foes are thine,
And thou must harry thy father's hold for the peace of the Border-line,
And thou must make a trooper tough and hack thy way to power--
Belike they will raise thee to Ressaldar when I am hanged in Peshawur."
They have looked each other between the eyes, and there they found no
      fault,
They have taken the Oath of the Brother-in-Blood on leavened bread and
      salt:
They have taken the Oath of the Brother-in-Blood  on fire and fresh-cut
      sod,
On the hilt and the haft of the Khyber knife, and the wondrous Names of
      God.
The Colonel's son he rides the mare and Kamal's boy the dun,
And two have come back to Fort Bukloh where there went forth but one.
And when they drew to the Quarter-Guard, full twenty swords flew clear--
There was not a man but carried his feud with the blood of the mountaineer.
"Ha' done! ha' done!" said the Colonel's son. "Put up the steel at your
      sides!
Last night ye had struck at a Border thief--to-night 'tis a man of the
      Guides!"

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the two shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, tho' they come from the ends
      of the earth.

    _Rudyard Kipling._



Annabel Lee


It was many and many a year ago,
  In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
  By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
  Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child, and she was a child,
  In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love,
  I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
  Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
  In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
  My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
  And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
  In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
  Went envying her and me;
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
  In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
  Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
  Of those who were older than we,
  Of many far wiser than we;
And neither the angels in heaven above,
  Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
  Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
  Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
  Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:
And so all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling--my darling--my life and my bride,
  In her sepulchre there by the sea,
  In her tomb by the sounding sea.

    _Edgar Allan Poe._



April Showers


There fell an April shower, one night:
  Next morning, in the garden-bed,
The crocuses stood straight and gold:
  "And they have come," the children said.

There fell an April shower, one night:
  Next morning, thro' the woodland spread
The Mayflowers, pink and sweet as youth:
  "And they are come," the children said.

There fell an April shower, one night:
  Next morning, sweetly, overhead,
The blue-birds sung, the blue-birds sung:
  "And they have come," the children said.

    _Mary E. Wilkins._



The Voice of Spring


I come, I come! ye have called me long;
I come o'er the mountains, with light and song;
Ye may trace my step o'er the waking earth
By the winds which tell of the violet's birth,
By the primrose stars in the shadowy grass,
By the green leaves opening as I pass.

I have breathed on the South, and the chestnut flowers
By thousands have burst from the forest bowers,
And the ancient graves and the fallen fanes
Are veiled with wreaths as Italian plains;
But it is not for me, in my hour of bloom,
To speak of the ruin or the tomb!

I have looked o'er the hills of the stormy North,
And the larch has hung all his tassels forth;
The fisher is out on the sunny sea,
And the reindeer bounds o'er the pastures free,
And the pine has a fringe of softer green,
And the moss looks bright, where my step has been.

I have sent through the wood-paths a glowing sigh,
And called out each voice of the deep blue sky,
From the night-bird's lay through the starry time,
In the groves of the soft Hesperian clime,
To the swan's wild note by the Iceland lakes,
When the dark fir-branch into verdure breaks.

From the streams and founts I have loosed the chain;
They are sweeping on to the silvery main,
They are flashing down from the mountain brows,
They are flinging spray o'er the forest boughs,
They are bursting fresh from their sparry caves,
And the earth resounds with the joy of waves.

    _Felicia D. Hemans._



The Boys


Has there any old fellow got mixed with the boys?
If there has take him out, without making a noise.
Hang the Almanac's cheat and the Catalogue's spite!
Old Time is a liar! We're twenty tonight!

We're twenty! We're twenty! Who says we are more?
He's tipsy--young jackanapes!--show him the door!
"Gray temples at twenty?"--Yes! _white_ if we please;
Where the snowflakes fall thickest there's nothing can freeze!

Was it snowing I spoke of? Excuse the mistake!
Look close--you will see not a sign of a flake!
We want some new garlands for those we have shed,
And these are white roses in place of the red.

We've a trick, we young fellows, you may have been told.
Of talking (in public) as if we were old;
That boy we call "Doctor," and this we call "Judge";
It's a neat little fiction--of course it's all fudge.

That fellow's the "Speaker"--the one on the right;
"Mr. Mayor," my young one, how are you to-night?
That's our "Member of Congress," we say when we chaff;
There's the "Reverend" What's-his-name?--don't make me laugh.

That boy with the grave mathematical look
Made believe he had written a wonderful book,
And the ROYAL SOCIETY thought it was _true_!
So they chose him right in; a good joke it was, too!

There's a boy, we pretend, with a three-decker brain,
That could harness a team with a logical chain;
When he spoke for our manhood in syllabled fire,
We called him "The Justice," but now he's "The Squire."

And there's a nice youngster of excellent pith:
Fate tried to conceal him by naming him Smith;
But he shouted a song for the brave and the free--
Just read on his medal, "My country," "of thee!"

You hear that boy laughing? You think he's all fun;
But the angels laugh, too, at the good he has done.
The children laugh loud as they troop to his call,
And the poor man that knows him laughs loudest of all!

Yes, we're boys--always playing with tongue or with pen;
And I sometimes have asked, Shall we ever be men?
Shall we always be youthful and laughing and gay,
Till the last dear companion drops smiling away?

Then here's to our boyhood, its gold and its gray!
The stars of its winter, the dews of its May!
And when we have done with our life-lasting toys,
Dear Father, take care of Thy children, THE BOYS!

    _Oliver Wendell Holmes._



The Rainy Day


The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
  And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
  And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
  Some days must be dark and dreary.

    _H.W. Longfellow._



Let Me Walk With the Men in the Road


'Tis only a half truth the poet has sung
  Of the "house by the side of the way";
Our Master had neither a house nor a home,
  But He walked with the crowd day by day.
And I think, when I read of the poet's desire,
  That a house by the road would be good;
But service is found in its tenderest form
  When we walk with the crowd in the road.

So I say, let me walk with the men in the road,
  Let me seek out the burdens that crush,
Let me speak a kind word of good cheer to the weak
  Who are falling behind in the rush.
There are wounds to be healed, there are breaks we must mend,
  There's a cup of cold water to give;
And the man in the road by the side of his friend
  Is the man who has learned to live.

Then tell me no more of the house by the road.
  There is only one place I can live--
It's there with the men who are toiling along,
  Who are needing the cheer I can give.
It is pleasant to live in the house by the way
  And be a friend, as the poet has said;
But the Master is bidding us, "Bear ye their load,
  For your rest waiteth yonder ahead."

I could not remain in the house by the road
  And watch as the toilers go on,
Their faces beclouded with pain and with sin,
  So burdened, their strength nearly gone.
I'll go to their side, I'll speak in good cheer,
  I'll help them to carry their load;
And I'll smile at the man in the house by the way,
  As I walk with the crowd in the road.

Out there in the road that goes by the house,
  Where the poet is singing his song,
I'll walk and I'll work midst the heat of the day,
  And I'll help falling brothers along--
Too busy to live in the house by the way,
  Too happy for such an abode.
And my heart sings its praise to the Master of all,
  Who is helping me serve in the road.

    _Walter J. Gresham._



If We Understood


Could we but draw back the curtains
That surround each other's lives,
See the naked heart and spirit,
Know what spur the action gives,
Often we should find it better,
Purer than we judged we should,
We should love each other better,
If we only understood.

Could we judge all deeds by motives,
See the good and bad within,
Often we should love the sinner
All the while we loathe the sin;
Could we know the powers working
To o'erthrow integrity,
We should judge each other's errors
With more patient charity.

If we knew the cares and trials,
Knew the effort all in vain,
And the bitter disappointment,
Understood the loss and gain--
Would the grim, eternal roughness
Seem--I wonder--just the same?
Should we help where now we hinder,
Should we pity where we blame?

Ah! we judge each other harshly,
Knowing not life's hidden force;
Knowing not the fount of action
Is less turbid at its source;
Seeing not amid the evil
All the golden grains of good;
Oh! we'd love each other better,
If we only understood.



A Laugh in Church


She sat on the sliding cushion,
  The dear, wee woman of four;
Her feet, in their shiny slippers,
  Hung dangling over the floor.
She meant to be good; she had promised,
  And so, with her big, brown eyes,
She stared at the meeting-house windows
  And counted the crawling flies.

She looked far up at the preacher,
  But she thought of the honey bees
Droning away at the blossoms
  That whitened the cherry trees.
She thought of a broken basket,
  Where, curled in a dusky heap,
_Three sleek, round puppies, with fringy ears
  Lay snuggled and fast asleep._

Such soft warm bodies to cuddle,
  Such queer little hearts to beat,
Such swift, round tongues to kiss,
  Such sprawling, cushiony feet;
She could feel in her clasping fingers
  The touch of a satiny skin
And a cold wet nose exploring
  The dimples under her chin.

Then a sudden ripple of laughter
  Ran over the parted lips
So quick that she could not catch it
  With her rosy finger-tips.
The people whispered, "Bless the child,"
  As each one waked from a nap,
But the dear, wee woman hid her face
  For shame in her mother's lap.



"One, Two, Three!"


It was an old, old, old, old lady,
  And a boy that was half past three;
And the way that they played together
  Was beautiful to see.

She couldn't go running and jumping,
  And the boy, no more could he;
For he was a thin little fellow,
  With a thin little twisted knee,

They sat in the yellow sunlight,
  Out under the maple-tree;
And the game that they played I'll tell you,
  Just as it was told to me.

It was Hide-and-Go-Seek they were playing,
  Though you'd never have known it to be--
With an old, old, old, old lady,
  And a boy with a twisted knee.

The boy would bend his face down
  On his one little sound right knee,
And he'd guess where she was hiding,
  In guesses One, Two, Three!

"You are in the china-closet!"
  He would cry, and laugh with glee--
It wasn't the china-closet;
  But he still had Two and Three.

"You are up in Papa's big bedroom,
  In the chest with the queer old key!"
And she said: "You are _warm_ and _warmer_;
  But you're not quite right," said she.

"It can't be the little cupboard
  Where Mamma's things used to be--
So it must be the clothes-press, Gran'ma!"
  And he found her with his Three.

Then she covered her face with her fingers,
  That were wrinkled and white and wee,
And she guessed where the boy was hiding,
  With a One and a Two and a Three.

And they never had stirred from their places,
  Right under the maple-tree--
This old, old, old, old lady,
  And the boy with the lame little knee--
This dear, dear, dear old lady,
  And the boy who was half past three.

    _Henry Cuyler Bunner._



Unawares


They said, "The Master is coming
  To honor the town to-day,
And none can tell at what house or home
  The Master will choose to stay."
And I thought while my heart beat wildly,
  What if He should come to mine,
How would I strive to entertain
  And honor the Guest Divine!

And straight I turned to toiling
  To make my house more neat;
I swept, and polished, and garnished.
  And decked it with blossoms sweet.
I was troubled for fear the Master
  Might come ere my work was done,
And I hasted and worked the faster,
  And watched the hurrying sun.

But right in the midst of my duties
  A woman came to my door;
She had come to tell me her sorrows
  And my comfort and aid to implore,
And I said, "I cannot listen
  Nor help you any, to-day;
I have greater things to attend to."
  And the pleader turned away.

But soon there came another--
  A cripple, thin, pale and gray--
And said, "Oh, let me stop and rest
  A while in your house, I pray!
I have traveled far since morning,
  I am hungry, and faint, and weak;
My heart is full of misery,
  And comfort and help I seek."

And I cried, "I am grieved and sorry,
  But I cannot help you to-day.
I look for a great and noble Guest,"
  And the cripple went away;
And the day wore onward swiftly--
  And my task was nearly done,
And a prayer was ever in my heart
  That the Master to me might come.

And I thought I would spring to meet Him,
  And serve him with utmost care,
When a little child stood by me
  With a face so sweet and fair--
Sweet, but with marks of teardrops--
  And his clothes were tattered and old;
A finger was bruised and bleeding,
  And his little bare feet were cold.

And I said, "I'm sorry for you--
  You are sorely in need of care;
But I cannot stop to give it,
  You must hasten otherwhere."
And at the words, a shadow
  Swept o'er his blue-veined brow,--
"Someone will feed and clothe you, dear,
  But I am too busy now."

At last the day was ended,
  And my toil was over and done;
My house was swept and garnished--
  And I watched in the dark--alone.
Watched--but no footfall sounded,
  No one paused at my gate;
No one entered my cottage door;
  I could only pray--and wait.

I waited till night had deepened,
  And the Master had not come.
"He has entered some other door," I said,
  "And gladdened some other home!"
My labor had been for nothing,
  And I bowed my head and I wept,
My heart was sore with longing--
  Yet--in spite of it all--I slept.

Then the Master stood before me,
  And his face was grave and fair;
"Three times to-day I came to your door,
  And craved your pity and care;
Three times you sent me onward,
  Unhelped and uncomforted;
And the blessing you might have had was lost,
  And your chance to serve has fled."

"O Lord, dear Lord, forgive me!
  How could I know it was Thee?"
My very soul was shamed and bowed
  In the depths of humility.
And He said, "The sin is pardoned,
  But the blessing is lost to thee;
For comforting not the least of Mine
  You have failed to comfort Me."

    _Emma A. Lent._



The Land of Beginning Again


I wish there were some wonderful place
Called the Land of Beginning Again,
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches,
And all our poor, selfish griefs
Could be dropped, like a shabby old coat, at the door,
And never put on again.

I wish we could come on it all unaware,
Like the hunter who finds a lost trail;
And I wish that the one whom our blindness had done
The greatest injustice of all
Could be at the gate like the old friend that waits
For the comrade he's gladdest to hail.

We would find the things we intended to do,
But forgot and remembered too late--
Little praises unspoken, little promises broken,
And all of the thousand and one
Little duties neglected that might have perfected
The days of one less fortunate.

It wouldn't be possible not to be kind.
In the Land of Beginning Again;
And the ones we misjudged and the ones whom we grudged
Their moments of victory here,
Would find the grasp of our loving handclasp
More than penitent lips could explain.

For what had been hardest we'd know had been best,
And what had seemed loss would be gain,
For there isn't a sting that will not take wing
When we've faced it and laughed it away;
And I think that the laughter is most what we're after,
In the Land of Beginning Again.

So I wish that there were some wonderful place
Called the Land of Beginning Again,
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches,
And all our poor, selfish griefs
Could be dropped, like a ragged old coat, at the door,
And never put on again.

    _Louisa Fletcher Tarkington._



Poor Little Joe


Prop yer eyes wide open, Joey,
  Fur I've brought you sumpin' great.
Apples? No, a derned sight better!
  Don't you take no int'rest? Wait!
Flowers, Joe--I know'd you'd like 'em--
  Ain't them scrumptious? Ain't them high?
Tears, my boy? Wot's them fur, Joey?
  There--poor little Joe--don't cry!

I was skippin' past a winder
  W'ere a bang-up lady sot,
All amongst a lot of bushes--
  Each one climbin' from a pot;
Every bush had flowers on it--
  Pretty? Mebbe not! Oh, no!
Wish you could 'a seen 'em growin',
  It was such a stunnin' show.

Well, I thought of you, poor feller,
  Lyin' here so sick and weak,
Never knowin' any comfort,
  And I puts on lots o' cheek.
"Missus," says I, "if you please, mum,
  Could I ax you for a rose?
For my little brother, missus--
  Never seed one, I suppose."

Then I told her all about you--
  How I bringed you up--poor Joe!
(Lackin' women folks to do it)
  Sich a imp you was, you know--
Till you got that awful tumble,
  Jist as I had broke yer in
(Hard work, too), to earn your livin'
  Blackin' boots for honest tin.

How that tumble crippled of you,
  So's you couldn't hyper much--
Joe, it hurted when I seen you
  Fur the first time with yer crutch.
"But," I says, "he's laid up now, mum,
  'Pears to weaken every day";
Joe, she up and went to cuttin'--
  That's the how of this bokay.

Say! it seems to me, ole feller,
  You is quite yourself to-night--
Kind o' chirk--it's been a fortnit
  Sense yer eyes has been so bright.
Better? Well, I'm glad to hear it!
  Yes, they're mighty pretty, Joe.
Smellin' of 'em's made you happy?
  Well, I thought it would, you know.

Never see the country, did you?
  Flowers growin' everywhere!
Some time when you're better, Joey,
  Mebbe I kin take you there.
Flowers in heaven? 'M--I s'pose so;
  Dunno much about it, though;
Ain't as fly as wot I might be
  On them topics, little Joe.

But I've heerd it hinted somewheres
  That in heaven's golden gates
Things is everlastin' cheerful--
  B'lieve that's what the Bible states.
Likewise, there folks don't git hungry:
  So good people, w'en they dies,
Finds themselves well fixed forever--
  Joe my boy, wot ails yer eyes?

Thought they looked a little sing'ler.
  Oh, no! Don't you have no fear;
Heaven was made fur such as you is--
  Joe, wot makes you look so queer?
Here--wake up! Oh, don't look that way!
  Joe! My boy! Hold up yer head!
Here's yer flowers--you dropped em, Joey.
  Oh, my God, can Joe be dead?

    _David L. Proudfit (Peleg Arkwright)._



The Ladder of St. Augustine


Saint Augustine! well hast thou said,
  That of our vices we can frame
A ladder, if we will but tread
  Beneath our feet each deed of shame!

All common things, each day's events,
  That with the hour begin and end,
Our pleasures and our discontents,
  Are rounds by which we may ascend.

The low desire, the base design,
  That makes another's virtues less;
The revel of the ruddy wine,
  And all occasions of excess;

The longing for ignoble things;
  The strife for triumph more than truth;
The hardening of the heart, that brings
  Irreverence for the dreams of youth;

All thoughts of ill; all evil deeds,
  That have their root in thoughts of ill;
Whatever hinders or impedes
  The action of the nobler will;--

All these must first be trampled down
  Beneath our feet, if we would gain
In the bright fields of fair renown
  The right of eminent domain.

We have not wings, we cannot soar;
  But we have feet to scale and climb
By slow degrees, by more and more,
  The cloudy summits of our time.

The mighty pyramids of stone
  That wedge-like cleave the desert airs,
When nearer seen, and better known,
  Are but gigantic flights of stairs,

The distant mountains, that uprear
  Their solid bastions to the skies,
Are crossed by pathways, that appear
  As we to higher levels rise.

The heights by great men reached and kept
  Were not attained by sudden flight.
But they, while their companions slept,
  Were toiling upward in the night.

Standing on what too long we bore
  With shoulders bent and downcast eyes,
We may discern--unseen before--
  A path to higher destinies.

Nor deem the irrevocable Past
  As wholly wasted, wholly vain,
If, rising on its wrecks, at last
  To something nobler we attain.

    _H.W. Longfellow._



Loss and Gain


  When I compare
What I have lost with what I have gained,
What I have missed with what attained,
  Little room do I find for pride.

  I am aware
How many days have been idly spent;
How like an arrow the good intent
  Has fallen short or been turned aside.

  But who shall dare
To measure loss and gain in this wise?
Defeat may be victory in disguise;
  The lowest ebb in the turn of the tide.

    _H.W. Longfellow._



John Thompson's Daughter

(A Parody on "Lord Ullin's Daughter")


A fellow near Kentucky's clime
  Cries, "Boatman, do not tarry,
And I'll give thee a silver dime
  To row us o'er the ferry."

"Now, who would cross the Ohio,
  This dark and stormy water?"
"Oh, I am this young lady's beau,
  And she John Thompson's daughter.

"We've fled before her father's spite
  With great precipitation,
And should he find us here to-night,
  I'd lose my reputation.

"They've missed the girl and purse beside,
  His horsemen hard have pressed me.
And who will cheer my bonny bride,
  If yet they shall arrest me?"

Out spoke the boatman then in time,
  "You shall not fail, don't fear it;
I'll go not for your silver dime,
  But--for your manly spirit.

"And by my word, the bonny bird
  In danger shall not tarry;
For though a storm is coming on,
  I'll row you o'er the ferry."

By this the wind more fiercely rose,
  The boat was at the landing,
And with the drenching rain their clothes
  Grew wet where they were standing.

But still, as wilder rose the wind,
  And as the night grew drearer,
Just back a piece came the police,
  Their tramping sounded nearer.

"Oh, haste thee, haste!" the lady cries,
  "It's anything but funny;
I'll leave the light of loving eyes,
  But not my father's money!"

And still they hurried in the race
  Of wind and rain unsparing;
John Thompson reached the landing-place,
  His wrath was turned to swearing.

For by the lightning's angry flash,
  His child he did discover;
One lovely hand held all the cash,
  And one was round her lover!

"Come back, come back," he cried in woe,
  Across the stormy water;
"But leave the purse, and you may go,
  My daughter, oh, my daughter!"

'Twas vain; they reached the other shore,
  (Such dooms the Fates assign us),
The gold he piled went with his child,
  And he was left there, minus.

    _Phoebe Cary._



Grandfather's Clock


My grandfather's clock was too tall for the shelf,
So it stood ninety years on the floor;
It was taller by half than the old man himself,
Though it weighed not a pennyweight more.
It was bought on the morn of the day that he was born,
And was always his treasure and pride,
But it stopped short ne'er to go again
  When the old man died.

In watching its pendulum swing to and fro,
Many hours had he spent while a boy;
And in childhood and manhood the clock seemed to know
And to share both his grief and his joy,
For it struck twenty-four when he entered at the door,
With a blooming and beautiful bride,
But it stopped short never to go again
  When the old man died.

My grandfather said that of those he could hire,
Not a servant so faithful he found,
For it wasted no time and had but one desire,
At the close of each week to be wound.
And it kept in its place, not a frown upon its face,
And its hands never hung by its side.
But it stopped short never to go again
  When the old man died.

    _Henry C. Work._



A Cradle Hymn


Hush! my dear, lie still and slumber,
  Holy angels guard thy bed!
Heavenly blessings without number
  Gently falling on thy head.

Sleep, my babe; thy food and raiment,
  House and home, thy friends provide;
All without thy care or payment:
  All thy wants are well supplied.

How much better thou'rt attended
  Than the Son of God could be,
When from heaven He descended
  And became a child like thee!

Soft and easy is thy cradle:
  Coarse and hard thy Saviour lay,
When His birthplace was a stable
  And His softest bed was hay.

Blessed babe! what glorious features--
  Spotless fair, divinely bright!
Must He dwell with brutal creatures?
  How could angels bear the sight?

Was there nothing but a manger
  Cursed sinners could afford
To receive the heavenly stranger?
  Did they thus affront their Lord?

Soft, my child: I did not chide thee,
  Though my song might sound too hard;
'Tis thy mother sits beside thee,
  And her arm shall be thy guard.

       *       *       *       *       *

See the kinder shepherds round Him,
  Telling wonders from the sky!
Where they sought Him, there they found Him,
  With His Virgin mother by.

See the lovely babe a-dressing;
  Lovely infant, how He smiled!
When He wept, His mother's blessing
  Soothed and hush'd the holy Child,

Lo, He slumbers in a manger,
  Where the hornèd oxen fed:--
Peace, my darling, here's no danger;
  There's no ox anear thy bed.

       *       *       *       *       *

May'st thou live to know and fear Him,
  Trust and love Him all thy days;
Then go dwell forever near Him,
  See His face, and sing His praise!

    _Isaac Watts._



If All the Skies


If all the skies were sunshine,
Our faces would be fain
To feel once more upon them
The cooling splash of rain.

If all the world were music,
Our hearts would often long
For one sweet strain of silence,
To break the endless song.

If life were always merry,
Our souls would seek relief,
And rest from weary laughter
In the quiet arms of grief.

    _Henry van Dyke._



The Petrified Fern


In a valley, centuries ago,
  Grew a little fern leaf, green and slender,
  Veining delicate and fibers tender,
Waving when the wind crept down so low;
Rushes tall, and moss, and grass grew round it;
Playful sunbeams darted in and found it;
Drops of dew stole down by night and crowned it;
But no foot of man e'er came that way;
Earth was young and keeping holiday.

Monster fishes swam the silent main;
  Stately forests waved their giant branches;
  Mountains hurled their snowy avalanches;
Mammoth creatures stalked across the plain,
Nature reveled in grand mysteries.
But the little fern was not like these,
Did not number with the hills and trees,
Only grew and waved its sweet, wild way;
No one came to note it day by day.

Earth, one time, put on a frolic mood,
  Heaved the rocks and changed the mighty motion
  Of the strong, dread currents of the ocean;
Moved the hills and shook the haughty wood;
Crushed the little fern in soft, moist clay,
Covered it, and hid it safe away.
Oh, the long, long centuries since that day;
Oh, the changes! Oh, life's bitter cost,
Since the little useless fern was lost!

Useless? Lost? There came a thoughtful man
  Searching Nature's secrets far and deep;
  From a fissure in a rocky steep
He withdrew a stone, o'er which there ran
Fairy pencilings, a quaint design,
Leafage, veining, fibers, clear and fine,
And the fern's life lay in every line.
So, I think, God hides some souls away,
Sweetly to surprise us the Last Day.

    _Mary L. Bolles Branch._



Cleon and I


Cleon hath ten thousand acres,
  Ne'er a one have I;
Cleon dwelleth in a palace,
  In a cottage, I;
Cleon hath a dozen fortunes,
  Not a penny, I,
Yet the poorer of the twain is
  Cleon, and not I.

Cleon, true, possesseth acres,
  But the landscape, I;
Half the charms to me it yieldeth
  Money cannot buy;
Cleon harbors sloth and dullness,
  Freshening vigor, I;
He in velvet, I in fustian--
  Richer man am I.

Cleon is a slave to grandeur,
  Free as thought am I;
Cleon fees a score of doctors,
  Need of none have I;
Wealth-surrounded, care-environed,
  Cleon fears to die;
Death may come--he'll find me ready,
  Happier man am I.

Cleon sees no charms in nature,
  In a daisy, I;
Cleon hears no anthems ringing
  'Twixt the sea and sky;
Nature sings to me forever,
  Earnest listener, I;
State for state, with all attendants--
  Who would change?--Not I.

    _Charles Mackay._



Washington


Great were the hearts and strong the minds
  Of those who framed in high debate
The immortal league of love that binds
  Our fair, broad empire, State with State.

And deep the gladness of the hour
  When, as the auspicious task was done,
In solemn trust the sword of power
  Was given to Glory's Unspoiled Son.

That noble race is gone--the suns
  Of fifty years have risen and set;--
But the bright links, those chosen ones,
  So strongly forged, are brighter yet.

Wide--as our own free race increase--
  Wide shall extend the elastic chain,
And bind in everlasting peace
  State after State, a mighty train.

    _W.C. Bryant._



Towser Shall Be Tied To-Night

A Parody on "Curfew Shall Not Ring Tonight."


Slow the Kansas sun was setting,
  O'er the wheat fields far away,
Streaking all the air with cobwebs
  At the close of one hot day;
And the last rays kissed the forehead
  Of a man and maiden fair,
He with whiskers short and frowsy,
  She with red and glistening hair,
He with shut jaws stern and silent;
She, with lips all cold and white,
Struggled to keep back the murmur,
  "Towser shall be tied to-night."

"Papa," slowly spoke the daughter,
  "I am almost seventeen,
And I have a real lover,
  Though he's rather young and green;
But he has a horse and buggy
  And a cow and thirty hens,--
Boys that start out poor, dear Papa,
  Make the best of honest men,
But if Towser sees and bites him,
Fills his eyes with misty light,
He will never come again, Pa;
  Towser must be tied to-night."

"Daughter," firmly spoke the farmer,
  (Every word pierced her young heart
Like a carving knife through chicken
  As it hunts the tender part)--
"I've a patch of early melons,
  Two of them are ripe to-day;
Towser must be loose to watch them
  Or they'll all be stole away.
I have hoed them late and early
  In dim morn and evening light;
Now they're grown I must not lose them;
  Towser'll not be tied to-night."

Then the old man ambled forward,
  Opened wide the kennel-door,
Towser bounded forth to meet him
  As he oft had done before.
And the farmer stooped and loosed him
  From the dog-chain short and stout;
To himself he softly chuckled,
  "Bessie's feller must look out."
But the maiden at the window
  Saw the cruel teeth show white;
In an undertone she murmured,--
  "Towser must be tied to-night."

Then the maiden's brow grew thoughtful
  And her breath came short and quick,
Till she spied the family clothesline,
  And she whispered, "That's the trick."
From the kitchen door she glided
  With a plate of meat and bread;
Towser wagged his tail in greeting,
  Knowing well he would be fed.
In his well-worn leather collar,
  Tied she then the clothesline tight,
All the time her white lips saying:
  "Towser shall be tied to-night,"

"There, old doggie," spoke the maiden,
  "You can watch the melon patch,
But the front gate's free and open,
  When John Henry lifts the latch.
For the clothesline tight is fastened
  To the harvest apple tree,
You can run and watch the melons,
  But the front gate you can't see."
Then her glad ears hear a buggy,
  And her eyes grow big and bright,
While her young heart says in gladness,
  "Towser dog is tied to-night."

Up the path the young man saunters
  With his eye and cheek aglow;
For he loves the red-haired maiden
  And he aims to tell her so.
Bessie's roguish little brother,
  In a fit of boyish glee,
Had untied the slender clothesline,
  From the harvest apple tree.
Then old Towser heard the footsteps,
  Raised his bristles, fixed for fight,--
"Bark away," the maiden whispers;
  "Towser, you are tied to-night."

Then old Towser bounded forward,
  Passed the open kitchen door;
Bessie screamed and quickly followed,
  But John Henry's gone before.
Down the path he speeds most quickly,
  For old Towser sets the pace;
And the maiden close behind them
  Shows them she is in the race.
Then the clothesline, can she get it?
  And her eyes grow big and bright;
And she springs and grasps it firmly:
  "Towser shall be tied to-night."

Oftentimes a little minute
  Forms the destiny of men.
You can change the fate of nations
  By the stroke of one small pen.
Towser made one last long effort,
  Caught John Henry by the pants,
But John Henry kept on running
  For he thought that his last chance.
But the maiden held on firmly,
  And the rope was drawn up tight.
But old Towser kept the garments,
  For he was not tied that night.

Then the father hears the racket;
  With long strides he soon is there,
When John Henry and the maiden,
  Crouching, for the worst prepare.
At his feet John tells his story,
  Shows his clothing soiled and torn;
And his face so sad and pleading,
  Yet so white and scared and worn,
Touched the old man's heart with pity,
  Filled his eyes with misty light.
"Take her, boy, and make her happy,--
  Towser shall be tied to-night."



Law and Liberty


O Liberty, thou child of Law,
  God's seal is on thy brow!
O Law, her Mother first and last,
  God's very self art thou!
Two flowers alike, yet not alike,
  On the same stem that grow,
Two friends who cannot live apart,
  Yet seem each other's foe.
One, the smooth river's mirrored flow
  Which decks the world with green;
And one, the bank of sturdy rock
  Which hems the river in.
O Daughter of the timeless Past,
  O Hope the Prophets saw,
God give us Law in Liberty
  And Liberty in Law!

    _E.J. Cutler._



His Mother's Song


Beneath the hot midsummer sun
  The men had marched all day,
And now beside a rippling stream
  Upon the grass they lay.
Tiring of games and idle jest
  As swept the hours along,
They cried to one who mused apart,
  "Come, friend, give us a song."

"I fear I can not please," he said;
  "The only songs I know
Are those my mother used to sing
  For me long years ago."
"Sing one of those," a rough voice cried.
"There's none but true men here;
To every mother's son of us
  A mother's songs are dear."

Then sweetly rose the singer's voice
  Amid unwonted calm:
"Am I a soldier of the Cross,
  A follower of the Lamb?
And shall I fear to own His cause?"
  The very stream was stilled,
And hearts that never throbbed with fear,
  With tender thoughts were filled.

Ended the song, the singer said,
  As to his feet he rose,
"Thanks to you all, my friends; goodnight.
  God grant us sweet repose."
"Sing us one more," the captain begged.
  The soldier bent his head,
Then, glancing round, with smiling lips,
  "You'll join with me?" he said.

"We'll sing that old familiar air
  Sweet as the bugle call,
'All hail the power of Jesus' name!
  Let angels prostrate fall.'"
Ah, wondrous was the old tune's spell.
  As on the soldiers sang;
Man after man fell into line,
  And loud the voices rang.

The songs are done, the camp is still,
  Naught but the stream is heard;
But, ah! the depths of every soul
  By those old hymns are stirred,
And up from many a bearded lip,
  In whispers soft and low,
Rises the prayer that mother taught
  Her boy long years ago.



When Father Carves the Duck


We all look on with anxious eyes
  When Father carves the duck,
And Mother almost always sighs
  When Father carves the duck;
Then all of us prepare to rise
And hold our bibs before our eyes,
And be prepared for some surprise
  When Father carves the duck.

He braces up and grabs the fork,
  Whene'er he carves the duck,
And won't allow a soul to talk
  Until he carves the duck.
The fork is jabbed into the sides,
Across the breast the knife he slides,
While every careful person hides
  From flying chips of duck.

The platter's always sure to slip
  When Father carves the duck,
And how it makes the dishes skip--
  Potatoes fly amuck.
The squash and cabbage leap in space,
We get some gravy in our face,
And Father mutters Hindoo grace
  Whene'er he carves a duck.

We then have learned to walk around
  The dining room and pluck
From off the window-sills and walls
  Our share of Father's duck.
While Father growls and blows and jaws,
And swears the knife was full of flaws,
And Mother laughs at him because
  He couldn't carve a duck.

    _E.V. Wright._



Papa's Letter


I was sitting in my study,
  Writing letters when I heard,
"Please, dear mamma, Mary told me
  Mamma mustn't be 'isturbed.

"But I'se tired of the kitty,
  Want some ozzer fing to do.
Witing letters, is 'ou, mamma?
  Tan't I wite a letter too?"

"Not now, darling, mamma's busy;
  Run and play with kitty, now."
"No, no, mamma, me wite letter;
  Tan if 'ou will show me how."

I would paint my darling's portrait
  As his sweet eyes searched my face--
Hair of gold and eyes of azure,
  Form of childish, witching grace.

But the eager face was clouded,
  As I slowly shook my head,
Till I said, "I'll make a letter
  Of you, darling boy, instead."

So I parted back the tresses
  From his forehead high and white,
And a stamp in sport I pasted
  'Mid its waves of golden light.

Then I said, "Now, little letter,
  Go away and bear good news."
And I smiled as down the staircase
  Clattered loud the little shoes.

Leaving me, the darling hurried
  Down to Mary in his glee,
"Mamma's witing lots of letters;
  I'se a letter, Mary--see!"

No one heard the little prattler,
  As once more he climbed the stair,
Reached his little cap and tippet,
  Standing on the entry stair.

No one heard the front door open,
  No one saw the golden hair,
As it floated o'er his shoulders
  In the crisp October air.

Down the street the baby hastened
  Till he reached the office door.
"I'se a letter, Mr. Postman;
  Is there room for any more?

"'Cause dis letter's doin' to papa,
  Papa lives with God, 'ou know,
Mamma sent me for a letter,
  Does 'ou fink 'at I tan go?"

But the clerk in wonder answered,
  "Not to-day, my little man."
"Den I'll find anozzer office,
  'Cause I must go if I tan."

Fain the clerk would have detained him,
  But the pleading face was gone,
And the little feet were hastening--
  By the busy crowd swept on.

Suddenly the crowd was parted,
  People fled to left and right,
As a pair of maddened horses
  At the moment dashed in sight.

No one saw the baby figure--
  No one saw the golden hair,
Till a voice of frightened sweetness
  Rang out on the autumn air.

'Twas too late--a moment only
  Stood the beauteous vision there,
Then the little face lay lifeless,
  Covered o'er with golden hair.

Reverently they raised my darling,
  Brushed away the curls of gold,
Saw the stamp upon the forehead,
  Growing now so icy cold.

Not a mark the face disfigured,
  Showing where a hoof had trod;
But the little life was ended--
  "Papa's letter" was with God.



Who Stole the Bird's Nest?


"To-whit! to-whit! to-whee!
Will you listen to me?
Who stole four eggs I laid,
And the nice nest I made?"

"Not I," said the cow, "Moo-oo!
Such a thing I'd never do;
I gave you a wisp of hay,
But didn't take your nest away.
Not I," said the cow, "Moo-oo!
Such a thing I'd never do."

"To-whit! to-whit! to-whee!
Will you listen to me?
Who stole four eggs I laid,
And the nice nest I made?"

"Not I," said the dog, "Bow-wow!
I wouldn't be so mean, anyhow!
I gave the hairs the nest to make,
But the nest I did not take.
Not I," said the dog, "Bow-wow!
I'm not so mean, anyhow."

"To-whit! to-whit! to-whee!
Will you listen to me?
Who stole four eggs I laid,
And the nice nest I made?"

"Not I," said the sheep, "oh, no!
I wouldn't treat a poor bird so.
I gave the wool the nest to line,
But the nest was none of mine.
Baa! Baa!" said the sheep; "oh, no!
I wouldn't treat a poor bird so."

"Caw! Caw!" cried the crow;
"I should like to know
What thief took away
A bird's nest to-day?"

"I would not rob a bird,"
Said little Mary Green;
"I think I never heard
Of anything so mean."

"It is very cruel, too,"
Said little Alice Neal;
"I wonder if he knew
How sad the bird would feel?"

A little boy hung down his head,
And went and hid behind the bed,
For he stole that pretty nest
From poor little yellow-breast;
And he felt so full of shame,
He didn't like to tell his name.

    _Lydia Maria Child._



Over the Hill from the Poor-House


I, who was always counted, they say,
Rather a bad stick anyway,
Splintered all over with dodges and tricks,
Known as "the worst of the Deacon's six";
I, the truant, saucy and bold,
The one black sheep in my father's fold,
"Once on a time," as the stories say,
Went over the hill on a winter's day--
  _Over the hill to the poor-house._

Tom could save what twenty could earn;
But _givin'_ was somethin' he ne'er would learn;
Isaac could half o' the Scriptur's speak--
Committed a hundred verses a week;
Never forgot, an' never slipped;
But "Honor thy father and mother," he skipped;
  _So over the hill to the poor-house!_

As for Susan, her heart was kind
An' good--what there was of it, mind;
Nothin' too big, an' nothin' too nice,
Nothin' she wouldn't sacrifice
For one she loved; an' that 'ere one
Was herself, when all was said an' done;
An' Charley an' 'Becca meant well, no doubt,
But anyone could pull 'em about;
An' all o' our folks ranked well, you see,
Save one poor fellow, an' that was me;
An' when, one dark an' rainy night,
A neighbor's horse went out o' sight,
They hitched on me, as the guilty chap
That carried one end o' the halter-strap.
An' I think, myself, that view of the case
Wasn't altogether out o' place;
My mother denied it, as mothers do,
But I am inclined to believe 'twas true.
Though for me one thing might be said--
That I, as well as the horse, was led;
And the worst of whisky spurred me on,
Or else the deed would have never been done.
But the keenest grief I ever felt
Was when my mother beside me knelt,
An' cried, an' prayed, till I melted down,
As I wouldn't for half the horses in town.
I kissed her fondly, then an' there,
An' swore henceforth to be honest and square.

I served my sentence--a bitter pill
Some fellows should take who never will;
And then I decided to go "out West,"
Concludin' 'twould suit my health the best;
Where, how I prospered, I never could tell,
But Fortune seemed to like me well;
An' somehow every vein I struck
Was always bubbling over with luck.
An', better than that, I was steady an' true,
An' put my good resolutions through.
But I wrote to a trusty old neighbor, an' said,
"You tell 'em, old fellow, that I am dead,
An' died a Christian; 'twill please 'em more,
Than if I had lived the same as before."

But when this neighbor he wrote to me,
"Your mother's in the poor-house," says he,
I had a resurrection straightway,
An' started for her that very day.
And when I arrived where I was grown,
I took good care that I shouldn't be known;
But I bought the old cottage, through and through,
Of someone Charley had sold it to;
And held back neither work nor gold
To fix it up as it was of old.
The same big fire-place, wide and high,
Flung up its cinders toward the sky;
The old clock ticked on the corner-shelf--
I wound it an' set it a-goin' myself;
An' if everything wasn't just the same,
Neither I nor money was to blame;
  _Then--over the hill to the poor-house!_

One blowin', blusterin' winter's day,
With a team an' cutter I started away;
My fiery nags was as black as coal;
(They some'at resembled the horse I stole;)
I hitched, an' entered the poor-house door--
A poor old woman was scrubbin' the floor;
She rose to her feet in great surprise,
And looked, quite startled, into my eyes;
I saw the whole of her trouble's trace
In the lines that marred her dear old face;
"Mother!" I shouted, "your sorrows is done!
You're adopted along o' your horse thief son,
  _Come over the hill from the poor-house!"_

She didn't faint; she knelt by my side,
An' thanked the Lord, till I fairly cried.
An' maybe our ride wasn't pleasant an' gay,
An' maybe she wasn't wrapped up that day;
An' maybe our cottage wasn't warm an' bright,
An' maybe it wasn't a pleasant sight,
To see her a-gettin' the evenin's tea,
An' frequently stoppin' an' kissin' me;
An' maybe we didn't live happy for years,
In spite of my brothers' and sisters' sneers,
Who often said, as I have heard,
That they wouldn't own a prison-bird;
(Though they're gettin' over that, I guess,
For all of 'em owe me more or less;)
But I've learned one thing; an' it cheers a man
In always a-doin' the best he can;
That whether on the big book, a blot
Gets over a fellow's name or not,
Whenever he does a deed that's white,
It's credited to him fair and right.
An' when you hear the great bugle's notes,
An' the Lord divides his sheep and goats,
However they may settle my case,
Wherever they may fix my place,
My good old Christian mother, you'll see,
Will be sure to stand right up for me,
  With _over the hill from the poor-house!_

    _Will Carleton._



"'Specially Jim"


I was mighty good-lookin' when I was young,
  Peart an' black-eyed an' slim,
With fellers a-courtin' me Sunday nights,
  'Specially Jim.

The likeliest one of 'em all was he,
  Chipper an' han'som' an' trim,
But I tossed up my head an' made fun o' the crowds
  'Specially Jim!

I said I hadn't no 'pinion o' men,
  An' I wouldn't take stock in him!
But they kep' up a-comin' in spite o' my talk,
  'Specially Jim!

I got so tired o' havin' 'em roun'
  ('Specially Jim!)
I made up my mind I'd settle down
  An' take up with him.

So we was married one Sunday in church,
  'Twas crowded full to the brim;
'Twas the only way to get rid of 'em all,
  'Specially Jim.



O'Grady's Goat


O'Grady lived in Shanty row,
  The neighbors often said
They wished that Tim would move away
  Or that his goat was dead.
He kept the neighborhood in fear,
  And the children always vexed;
They couldn't tell jist whin or where
  The goat would pop up next.

Ould Missis Casey stood wan day
  The dirty clothes to rub
Upon the washboard, when she dived
  Headforemosht o'er the tub;
She lit upon her back an' yelled,
  As she was lying flat:
"Go git your goon an' kill the bashte."
  O'Grady's goat doon that.

Pat Doolan's woife hung out the wash
  Upon the line to dry.
She wint to take it in at night,
  But stopped to have a cry.
The sleeves av two red flannel shirts,
  That once were worn by Pat,
Were chewed off almost to the neck.
  O'Grady's goat doon that.

They had a party at McCune's,
  An' they wor having foon,
Whin suddinly there was a crash
  An' ivrybody roon.
The iseter soup fell on the floor
  An' nearly drowned the cat;
The stove was knocked to smithereens.
  O'Grady's goat doon that.

Moike Dyle was coortin' Biddy Shea,
  Both standin' at the gate,
An' they wor just about to kiss
  Aich oother sly and shwate.
They coom togither loike two rams.
  An' mashed their noses flat.
They niver shpake whin they goes by.
  O'Grady's goat doon that.

O'Hoolerhan brought home a keg
  Av dannymite wan day
To blow a cistern in his yard
  An' hid the stuff away.
But suddinly an airthquake coom,
  O'Hoolerhan, house an' hat,
An' ivrything in sight wint up.
  O'Grady's goat doon that.

An' there was Dooley's Savhin's Bank,
  That held the byes' sphare cash.
One day the news came doon the sthreet
  The bank had gone to smash.
An' ivrybody 'round was dum
  Wid anger and wid fear,
Fer on the dhoor they red the whords,
  "O'Grady's goat sthruck here."

The folks in Grady's naborhood
  All live in fear and fright;
They think it's certain death to go
  Around there after night.
An' in their shlape they see a ghost
  Upon the air afloat,
An' wake thimselves by shoutin' out:
  "Luck out for Grady's goat."

    _Will S. Hays._



The Burial of Moses

"And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against
Bethpeor; but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day."


By Nebo's lonely mountain,
  On this side Jordan's wave,
In a vale in the land of Moab
  There lies a lonely grave,
And no man knows that sepulchre,
  And no man saw it e'er,
For the angels of God upturn'd the sod
  And laid the dead man there.

That was the grandest funeral
  That ever pass'd on earth;
But no man heard the trampling,
  Or saw the train go forth--
Noiselessly as the daylight
  Comes back when night is done,
And the crimson streak on ocean's cheek
  Grows into the great sun.

Noiselessly as the springtime
  Her crown of verdure weaves,
And all the trees on all the hills
  Open their thousand leaves;
So without sound of music,
  Or voice of them that wept,
Silently down from the mountain's crown
  The great procession swept.

Perchance the bald old eagle
  On gray Beth-peor's height,
Out of his lonely eyrie
  Look'd on the wondrous sight;
Perchance the lion, stalking,
  Still shuns that hallow'd spot,
For beast and bird have seen and heard
  That which man knoweth not.

But when the warrior dieth,
  His comrades in the war,
With arms reversed and muffled drum,
  Follow his funeral car;
They show the banners taken,
  They tell his battles won,
And after him lead his masterless steed,
  While peals the minute gun.

Amid the noblest of the land
  We lay the sage to rest,
And give the bard an honor'd place,
  With costly marble drest,
In the great minster transept
  Where lights like glories fall,
And the organ rings, and the sweet choir sings
  Along the emblazon'd wall.

This was the truest warrior
  That ever buckled sword,
This was the most gifted poet
  That ever breathed a word;
And never earth's philosopher
  Traced with his golden pen,
On the deathless page, truths half so sage
  As he wrote down for men.

And had he not high honor,--
  The hillside for a pall,
To lie in state while angels wait
  With stars for tapers tall,
And the dark rock-pines like tossing plumes,
  Over his bier to wave,
And God's own hand, in that lonely land,
  To lay him in the grave?

In that strange grave without a name,
  Whence his uncoffin'd clay
Shall break again, O wondrous thought!
  Before the judgment day,
And stand with glory wrapt around
  On the hills he never trod,
And speak of the strife that won our life
  With the Incarnate Son of God.

O lonely grave in Moab's land
  O dark Beth-peor's hill,
Speak to these curious hearts of ours,
  And teach them to be still.
God hath His mysteries of grace,
  Ways that we cannot tell;
He hides them deep like the hidden sleep
  Of him He loved so well.

    _Cecil F. Alexander._



Nobody's Child


Alone in the dreary, pitiless street,
With my torn old dress, and bare, cold feet,
All day have I wandered to and fro,
Hungry and shivering, and nowhere to go;
The night's coming on in darkness and dread,
And the chill sleet beating upon my bare head.
Oh! why does the wind blow upon me so wild?
Is it because I am nobody's child?

Just over the way there's a flood of light,
And warmth, and beauty, and all things bright;
Beautiful children, in robes so fair,
Are caroling songs in their rapture there.
I wonder if they, in their blissful glee,
Would pity a poor little beggar like me,
Wandering alone in the merciless street,
Naked and shivering, and nothing to eat?

Oh! what shall I do when the night comes down
In its terrible blackness all over the town?
Shall I lay me down 'neath the angry sky,
On the cold, hard pavement, alone to die,
When the beautiful children their prayers have said,
And their mammas have tucked them up snugly in bed?
For no dear mother on me ever smiled.
Why is it, I wonder, I'm nobody's child?

No father, no mother, no sister, not one
In all the world loves me--e'en the little dogs run
When I wander too near them; 'tis wondrous to see
How everything shrinks from a beggar like me!
Perhaps 'tis a dream; but sometimes, when I lie
Gazing far up in the dark blue sky,
Watching for hours some large bright star,
I fancy the beautiful gates are ajar,

And a host of white-robed, nameless things
Come fluttering o'er me on gilded wings;
A hand that is strangely soft and fair
Caresses gently my tangled hair,
And a voice like the carol of some wild bird--
The sweetest voice that was ever heard--
Calls me many a dear, pet name,
Till my heart and spirit are all aflame.

They tell me of such unbounded love,
And bid me come to their home above;
And then with such pitiful, sad surprise
They look at me with their sweet, tender eyes,
And it seems to me, out of the dreary night
I am going up to that world of light,
And away from the hunger and storm so wild;
I am sure I shall then be somebody's child.

    _Phila H. Case._



A Christmas Long Ago


Like a dream, it all comes o'er me as I hear the Christmas bells;
Like a dream it floats before me, while the Christmas anthem swells;
Like a dream it bears me onward in the silent, mystic flow,
To a dear old sunny Christmas in the happy long ago.

And my thoughts go backward, backward, and the years that intervene
Are but as the mists and shadows when the sunlight comes between;
And all earthly wealth and splendor seem but as a fleeting show,
As there comes to me the picture of a Christmas long ago.

I can see the great, wide hearthstone and the holly hung about;
I can see the smiling faces, I can hear the children shout;
I can feel the joy and gladness that the old room seem to fill,
E'en the shadows on the ceiling--I can see them dancing still.

I can see the little stockings hung about the chimney yet;
I can feel my young heart thrilling lest the old man should forget.
Ah! that fancy! Were the world mine, I would give it, if I might,
To believe in old St. Nicholas, and be a child to-night.

Just to hang my little stocking where it used to hang, and feel
For one moment all the old thoughts and the old hopes o'er me steal.
But, oh! loved and loving faces, in the firelight's dancing glow,
There will never come another like that Christmas long ago!

For the old home is deserted, and the ashes long have lain
In the great, old-fashioned fireplace that will never shine again.
Friendly hands that then clasped ours now are folded 'neath the snow;
Gone the dear ones who were with us on that Christmas long ago.

Let the children have their Christmas--let them have it while they may;
Life is short and childhood's fleeting, and there'll surely come a day
When St. Nicholas will sadly pass on by the close-shut door,
Missing all the merry faces that had greeted him of yore;

When no childish step shall echo through the quiet, silent room;
When no childish smile shall brighten, and no laughter lift the gloom;
When the shadows that fall 'round us in the fire-light's fitful glow
Shall be ghosts of those who sat there in the Christmas long ago.



Nearer Home


One sweetly solemn thought
  Comes to me o'er and o'er,--
I am nearer home to-day
  Than I've ever been before;--

Nearer my Father's house
  Where the many mansions be,
Nearer the great white throne,
  Nearer the jasper sea;--

Nearer the bound of life
  Where we lay our burdens down;
Nearer leaving the cross,
  Nearer gaining the crown.

But lying darkly between,
  Winding down through the night,
Is the dim and unknown stream
  That leads at last to the light.

Closer and closer my steps
  Come to the dark abysm;
Closer death to my lips
  Presses the awful chrism.

Father, perfect my trust;
  Strengthen the might of my faith;
Let me feel as I would when I stand
  On the rock of the shore of death,--

Feel as I would when my feet
  Are slipping o'er the brink;
For it may be I am nearer home,
  Nearer now than I think.

    _Phoebe Cary._



The Minuet


Grandma told me all about it,
Told me so I could not doubt it,
How she danced, my grandma danced, long ago!
How she held her pretty head,
How her dainty skirts she spread,
How she turned her little toes,
Smiling little human rose!

Grandma's hair was bright and shining,
Dimpled cheeks, too! ah! how funny!
Bless me, now she wears a cap,
My grandma does, and takes a nap every single day;
Yet she danced the minuet long ago;
Now she sits there rocking, rocking,
Always knitting grandpa's stocking--
Every girl was taught to knit long ago--
But her figure is so neat,
And her ways so staid and sweet,
I can almost see her now,
Bending to her partner's bow, long ago.

Grandma says our modern jumping,
Rushing, whirling, dashing, bumping,
Would have shocked the gentle people long ago.
No, they moved with stately grace,
Everything in proper place,
Gliding slowly forward, then
Slowly courtesying back again.

Modern ways are quite alarming, grandma says,
But boys were charming--
Girls and boys I mean, of course--long ago,
Sweetly modest, bravely shy!
What if all of us should try just to feel
Like those who met in the stately minuet, long ago.
With the minuet in fashion,
Who could fly into a passion?
All would wear the calm they wore long ago,
And if in years to come, perchance,
I tell my grandchild of our dance,
I should really like to say,
We did it in some such way, long ago.

    _Mary Mapes Dodge._



The Vagabonds


We are two travellers, Roger and I.
  Roger's my dog--Come here, you scamp!
Jump for the gentleman--mind your eye!
  Over the table--look out for the lamp!--
The rogue is growing a little old;
  Five years we've tramped through wind and weather,
And slept outdoors when nights were cold,
  And ate, and drank--and starved together.

We've learned what comfort is, I tell you:
  A bed on the floor, a bit of rosin,
A fire to thaw our thumbs (poor fellow,
  The paw he holds up there has been frozen),
Plenty of catgut for my fiddle,
  (This outdoor business is bad for strings),
Then a few nice buckwheats hot from the griddle,
  And Roger and I set up for kings!

No, thank you, Sir, I never drink.
  Roger and I are exceedingly moral.
Aren't we, Roger? see him wink.
  Well, something hot then, we won't quarrel.
He's thirsty, too--see him nod his head?
  What a pity, Sir, that dogs can't talk;
He understands every word that's said,
  And he knows good milk from water and chalk.

The truth is, Sir, now I reflect,
  I've been so sadly given to grog,
I wonder I've not lost the respect
  (Here's to you, Sir!) even of my dog.
But he sticks by through thick and thin;
  And this old coat with its empty pockets
And rags that smell of tobacco and gin,
  He'll follow while he has eyes in his sockets.

There isn't another creature living
  Would do it, and prove, through every disaster,
So fond, so faithful, and so forgiving,
  To such a miserable, thankless master.
No, Sir! see him wag his tail and grin--
  By George! it makes my old eyes water--
That is, there's something in this gin
  That chokes a fellow, but no matter!

We'll have some music, if you're willing.
  And Roger (hem! what a plague a cough is, Sir!)
Shall march a little.--Start, you villain!
  Paws up! eyes front! salute your officer!
'Bout face! attention! take your rifle!
  (Some dogs have arms, you see.) Now hold
Your cap while the gentleman gives a trifle
  To aid a poor old patriot soldier!

March! Halt! Now show how the Rebel shakes,
  When he stands up to hear his sentence;
Now tell me how many drams it takes
  To honor a jolly new acquaintance.
Five yelps--that's five; he's mighty knowing;
  The night's before us, fill the glasses;--
Quick, Sir! I'm ill, my brain is going!--
  Some brandy,--thank you;--there,--it passes!

Why not reform? That's easily said;
  But I've gone through such wretched treatment,
Sometimes forgetting the taste of bread,
  And scarce remembering what meat meant,
That my poor stomach's past reform;
  And there are times when, mad with thinking,
I'd sell out heaven for something warm
  To prop a horrible inward sinking.

Is there a way to forget to think?
  At your age, Sir, home, fortune, friends,
A dear girl's love,--but I took to drink;--
  The same old story; you know how it ends.
If you could have seen these classic features,--
  You needn't laugh, Sir; I was not then
Such a burning libel on God's creatures;
  I was one of your handsome men--

If you had seen her, so fair, so young,
  Whose head was happy on this breast;
If you could have heard the songs I sung
  When the wine went round, you wouldn't have guess'd
That ever I, Sir, should be straying
  From door to door, with fiddle and dog,
Ragged and penniless, and playing
  To you to-night for a glass of grog.

She's married since,--a parson's wife,
  'Twas better for her that we should part;
Better the soberest, prosiest life
  Than a blasted home and a broken heart.
I have seen her--once; I was weak and spent
  On the dusty road; a carriage stopped,
But little she dreamed as on she went,
  Who kissed the coin that her fingers dropped.

You've set me talking, Sir; I'm sorry;
  It makes me wild to think of the change!
What do you care for a beggar's story?
  Is it amusing? you find it strange?
I had a mother so proud of me!
  'Twas well she died before--Do you know
If the happy spirits in heaven can see
  The ruin and wretchedness here below?

Another glass, and strong, to deaden
  This pain; then Roger and I will start.
I wonder, has he such a lumpish, leaden,
  Aching thing, in place of a heart?
He is sad sometimes, and would weep, if he could,
  No doubt, remembering things that were,--
A virtuous kennel, with plenty of food,
  And himself a sober, respectable cur.

I'm better now; that glass was warming--
  You rascal! limber your lazy feet!
We must be fiddling and performing
  For supper and bed, or starve in the street.--
Not a very gay life to lead, you think.
  But soon we shall go where lodgings are free,
And the sleepers need neither victuals nor drink;--
  The sooner, the better for Roger and me.

    _J.T. Trowbridge._



The Isle of Long Ago


Oh, a wonderful stream is the river of Time,
  As it runs through the realm of tears,
With a faultless rhythm and a musical rhyme,
And a boundless sweep and a surge sublime,
  As it blends with the ocean of Years.

How the winters are drifting, like flakes of snow,
  And the summers, like buds between;
And the year in the sheaf--so they come and they go,
On the river's breast, with its ebb and flow,
  As it glides in the shadow and sheen.

There's a magical isle up the river of Time,
  Where the softest of airs are playing;
There's a cloudless sky and a tropical clime,
And a song as sweet as a vesper chime,
  And the Junes with the roses are staying.

And the name of that isle is the Long Ago,
  And we bury our treasures there;
There are brows of beauty and bosoms of snow--
There are heaps of dust--but we love them so!--
  There are trinkets and tresses of hair;

There are fragments of song that nobody sings,
  And a part of an infant's prayer,
There's a lute unswept, and a harp without strings;
There are broken vows and pieces of rings,
  And the garments that she used to wear.

There are hands that are waved, when the fairy shore
  By the mirage is lifted in air;
And we sometimes hear, through the turbulent roar,
Sweet voices we heard in the days gone before,
  When the wind down the river is fair.

Oh, remembered for aye be the blessed Isle,
  All the day of our life till night--
When the evening comes with its beautiful smile.
And our eyes are closing to slumber awhile,
  May that "Greenwood" of Soul be in sight!

    _Benjamin Franklin Taylor_.

NOTE: The last line of this poem needs explanation. "Greenwood" is the
name of a cemetery in Brooklyn, N.Y. "Greenwood of Soul" means the
soul's resting place, or heaven.



The Dying Newsboy


In an attic bare and cheerless, Jim the newsboy dying lay
On a rough but clean straw pallet, at the fading of the day;
Scant the furniture about him but bright flowers were in the room,
Crimson phloxes, waxen lilies, roses laden with perfume.
On a table by the bedside open at a well-worn page,
Where the mother had been reading lay a Bible stained by age,
Now he could not hear the verses; he was flighty, and she wept
With her arms around her youngest, who close to her side had crept.

Blacking boots and selling papers, in all weathers day by day,
Brought upon poor Jim consumption, which was eating life away,
And this cry came with his anguish for each breath a struggle cost,
"'Ere's the morning _Sun_ and _'Erald_--latest news of steamship lost.
Papers, mister? Morning papers?" Then the cry fell to a moan,
Which was changed a moment later to another frenzied tone:
"Black yer boots, sir? Just a nickel! Shine 'em like an evening star.
It grows late, Jack! Night is coming. Evening papers, here they are!"

Soon a mission teacher entered, and approached the humble bed;
Then poor Jim's mind cleared an instant, with his cool hand on his head,
"Teacher," cried he, "I remember what you said the other day,
Ma's been reading of the Saviour, and through Him I see my way.
He is with me! Jack, I charge you of our mother take good care
When Jim's gone! Hark! boots or papers, which will I be over there?
Black yer boots, sir? Shine 'em right up! Papers! Read God's book instead,
Better'n papers that to die on! Jack--" one gasp, and Jim was dead!

Floating from that attic chamber came the teacher's voice in prayer,
And it soothed the bitter sorrow of the mourners kneeling there,
He commended them to Heaven, while the tears rolled down his face,
Thanking God that Jim had listened to sweet words of peace and grace,
Ever 'mid the want and squalor of the wretched and the poor,
Kind hearts find a ready welcome, and an always open door;
For the sick are in strange places, mourning hearts are everywhere,
And such need the voice of kindness, need sweet sympathy and prayer.

    _Emily Thornton._



Break, Break, Break


Break, break, break,
  On thy cold gray stones, O sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
  The thoughts that arise in me.

O well for the fisherman's boy
  That he shouts with his sister at play!
O well for the sailor lad
  That he sings in his boat on the bay!

And the stately ships go on
  To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanished hand,
  And the sound of a voice that is still!

Break, break, break,
  At the foot of thy crags, O sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
  Will never come back to me.

    _Alfred Tennyson._



Don't Kill the Birds


Don't kill the birds, the pretty birds,
  That sing about your door,
Soon as the joyous spring has come,
  And chilling storms are o'er.
The little birds, how sweet they sing!
  Oh! let them joyous live;
And never seek to take the life
  That you can never give.

Don't kill the birds, the pretty birds,
  That play among the trees;
'Twould make the earth a cheerless place,
  Should we dispense with these.
The little birds, how fond they play!
  Do not disturb their sport;
But let them warble forth their songs,
  Till winter cuts them short.

Don't kill the birds, the happy birds,
  That bless the fields and grove;
So innocent to look upon,
  They claim our warmest love.
The happy birds, the tuneful birds,
  How pleasant 'tis to see!
No spot can be a cheerless place
  Where'er their presence be.

    _D.C. Colesworthy._



Bill's in the Legislature


I've got a letter, parson, from my son away out West,
An' my old heart is heavy as an anvil in my breast,
To think the boy whose future I had once so nicely planned
Should wander from the right and come to such a bitter end.

I told him when he left us, only three short years ago,
He'd find himself a-plowing in a mighty crooked row;
He'd miss his father's counsel and his mother's prayers, too,
But he said the farm was hateful, an' he guessed he'd have to go.

I know there's big temptations for a youngster in the West,
But I believed our Billy had the courage to resist;
An' when he left I warned him of the ever waitin' snares
That lie like hidden serpents in life's pathway everywheres.

But Bill, he promised faithful to be careful, an' allowed
That he'd build a reputation that'd make us mighty proud.
But it seems as how my counsel sort o' faded from his mind,
And now he's got in trouble of the very worstest kind!

His letters came so seldom that I somehow sort o' knowed
That Billy was a-trampin' of a mighty rocky road;
But never once imagined he would bow my head in shame,
And in the dust would woller his old daddy's honored name.

He writes from out in Denver, an' the story's mighty short--
I jess can't tell his mother!--It'll crush her poor old heart!
An' so I reckoned, parson, you might break the news to her--
Bill's in the Legislature but he doesn't say what fur!



The Bridge Builder


An old man going a lone highway,
Came, at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm vast and deep and wide,
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim near,
"You are wasting your strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day,
Yon never again will pass this way;
You've crossed the chasm, deep and wide,
Why build this bridge at evening tide?"

The builder lifted his old gray head;
"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,
"There followed after me to-day
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been as naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be;
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him!"

    _Anonymous._



Song of Marion's Men


Our band is few, but true and tried,
  Our leader frank and bold;
The British soldier trembles
  When Marion's name is told.
Our fortress is the good green wood,
  Our tent the cypress tree;
We know the forest round us
  As seamen know the sea;
We know its walls of thorny vines,
  Its glades of reedy grass,
Its safe and silent islands
  Within the dark morass.

Woe to the English soldiery
  That little dread us near!
On them shall light at midnight
  A strange and sudden fear:
When, waking to their tents on fire,
  They grasp their arms in vain,
And they who stand to face us
  Are beat to earth again;
And they who fly in terror deem
  A mighty host behind,
And hear the tramp of thousands
  Upon the hollow wind.

Then sweet the hour that brings release
  From danger and from toil;
We talk the battle over
  And share the battle's spoil.
The woodland rings with laugh and shout
  As if a hunt were up,
And woodland flowers are gathered
  To crown the soldier's cup.
With merry songs we mock the wind
  That in the pine-top grieves,
And slumber long and sweetly
  On beds of oaken leaves.

Well knows the fair and friendly moon
  The band that Marion leads--
The glitter of their rifles,
  The scampering of their steeds.
'Tis life our fiery barbs to guide
  Across the moonlight plains;
'Tis life to feel the night wind
  That lifts their tossing manes.
A moment in the British camp--
  A moment--and away--
Back to the pathless forest
  Before the peep of day.

Grave men there are by broad Santee,
  Grave men with hoary hairs;
Their hearts are all with Marion,
  For Marion are their prayers.
And lovely ladies greet our band
  With kindliest welcoming,
With smiles like those of summer,
  And tears like those of spring.
For them we wear these trusty arms,
  And lay them down no more
Till we have driven the Briton
  Forever from our shore.

    _William Cullen Bryant._



The Minstrel-Boy


The Minstrel-Boy to the war is gone,
  In the ranks of death you'll find him;
His father's sword he has girded on,
  And his wild harp slung behind him.--
"Land of song!" said the warrior-bard,
  "Though all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
  One faithful harp shall praise thee!"
The Minstrel fell!--but the foeman's chain
  Could not bring his proud soul under;
The harp he loved ne'er spoke again,
  For he tore its chords asunder;
And said, "No chains shall sully thee,
  Thou soul of love and bravery!
Thy songs were made for the pure and free,
  They shall never sound in slavery!"

    _Thomas Moore._



Our Homestead


Our old brown homestead reared its walls,
  From the wayside dust aloof,
Where the apple-boughs could almost cast
  Their fruitage on its roof:
And the cherry-tree so near it grew,
  That when awake I've lain,
In the lonesome nights, I've heard the limbs,
  As they creaked against the pane:
And those orchard trees, O those orchard trees!
  I've seen my little brothers rocked
In their tops by the summer breeze.

The sweet-brier under the window-sill,
  Which the early birds made glad,
And the damask rose by the garden fence
  Were all the flowers we had.
I've looked at many a flower since then,
  Exotics rich and rare,
That to other eyes were lovelier,
  But not to me so fair;
O those roses bright, O those roses bright!
  I have twined them with my sister's locks,
That are hid in the dust from sight!

We had a well, a deep old well,
  Where the spring was never dry,
And the cool drops down from the mossy stones
  Were falling constantly:
And there never was water half so sweet
  As that in my little cup,
Drawn up to the curb by the rude old sweep,
  Which my father's hand set up;
And that deep old well, O that deep old well!
  I remember yet the splashing sound
Of the bucket as it fell.

Our homestead had an ample hearth,
  Where at night we loved to meet;
There my mother's voice was always kind,
  And her smile was always sweet;
And there I've sat on my father's knee,
  And watched his thoughtful brow,
With my childish hand in his raven hair,--
  That hair is silver now!
But that broad hearth's light, O that broad hearth's light!
  And my father's look, and my mother's smile,--
They are in my heart to-night.

    _Phoebe Gary._



The Ballad of the Tempest


We were crowded in the cabin,
  Not a soul would dare to sleep,--
It was midnight on the waters,
  And a storm was on the deep.

'Tis a fearful thing in winter
  To be shattered by the blast,
And to hear the rattling trumpet
  Thunder, "Cut away the mast!"

So we shuddered there in silence,--
  For the stoutest held his breath,
While the hungry sea was roaring
  And the breakers talked with Death.

As thus we sat in darkness,
  Each one busy with his prayers,
"We are lost!" the captain shouted,
  As he staggered down the stairs.

But his little daughter whispered,
  As she took his icy hand,
"Isn't God upon the ocean,
  Just the same as on the land?"

Then we kissed the little maiden,
  And we spoke in better cheer,
And we anchored safe in harbor,
  When the morn was shining clear.

    _James T. Fields._



Santa Filomena


Whene'er a noble deed is wrought,
Whene'er is spoken a noble thought,
Our hearts, in glad surprise,
To higher levels rise.

The tidal wave of deeper souls
Into our inmost being rolls
And lifts us unawares
Out of all meaner cares.

Honor to those whose words or deeds
Thus help us in our daily needs,
And by their overflow,
Raise us from what is low!

Thus thought I, as by night I read
Of the great army of the dead,
The trenches cold and damp,
The starved and frozen camp,--

The wounded from the battle-plain,
In dreary hospitals of pain,
The cheerless corridors,
The cold and stony floors.

Lo! in that house of misery
A lady with a lamp I see
Pass through the glimmering gloom,
And flit from room to room.

And slow, as in a dream of bliss,
The speechless sufferer turns to kiss
Her shadow, as it falls
Upon the darkening walls.

As if a door in heaven should be
Opened and then closed suddenly,
The vision came and went,
The light shone and was spent.

On England's annals, through the long
Hereafter of her speech and song,
That light its rays shall cast
From portals of the past.

A lady with a lamp shall stand
In the great history of the land
A noble type of good,
Heroic Womanhood.

Nor even shall be wanting here
The palm, the lily, and the spear,
The symbols that of yore
Saint Filomena bore.

    _Henry W. Longfellow._



The Knight's Toast


The feast is o'er! Now brimming wine
In lordly cup is seen to shine
  Before each eager guest;
And silence fills the crowded hall,
As deep as when the herald's call
  Thrills in the loyal breast.

Then up arose the noble host,
And, smiling, cried: "A toast! a toast!
  To all our ladies fair!
Here before all, I pledge the name
Of Staunton's proud and beauteous dame,
  The Ladye Gundamere!"

Then to his feet each gallant sprung,
And joyous was the shout that rung,
  As Stanley gave the word;
And every cup was raised on high,
Nor ceased the loud and gladsome cry
  Till Stanley's voice was heard.

"Enough, enough," he, smiling, said,
And lowly bent his haughty head;
  "That all may have their due,
Now each in turn must play his part,
And pledge the lady of his heart,
  Like gallant knight and true!"

Then one by one each guest sprang up,
And drained in turn the brimming cup,
  And named the loved one's name;
And each, as hand on high he raised,
His lady's grace or beauty praised,
  Her constancy and fame.

'Tis now St. Leon's turn to rise;
On him are fixed those countless eyes;--
  A gallant knight is he;
Envied by some, admired by all,
Far famed in lady's bower and hall,--
  The flower of chivalry.

St. Leon raised his kindling eye,
And lifts the sparkling cup on high:
  "I drink to one," he said,
"Whose image never may depart,
Deep graven on this grateful heart,
  Till memory be dead.

"To one, whose love for me shall last
When lighter passions long have past,--
  So holy 'tis and true;
To one, whose love hath longer dwelt,
More deeply fixed, more keenly felt,
  Than any pledged by you."

Each guest upstarted at the word,
And laid a hand upon his sword,
  With fury flashing eye;
And Stanley said: "We crave the name,
Proud knight, of this most peerless dame,
  Whose love you count so high."

St. Leon paused, as if he would
Not breathe her name in careless mood,
  Thus lightly to another;
Then bent his noble head, as though
To give that word the reverence due,
  And gently said: "My Mother!"

    _Sir Walter Scott._



The Old Man Dreams


O for one hour of youthful joy!
  Give back my twentieth spring!
I'd rather laugh a bright-haired boy
  Than reign a gray-beard king;

Off with the spoils of wrinkled age!
  Away with learning's crown!
Tear out life's wisdom-written page,
  And dash its trophies down!

One moment let my life-blood stream
  From boyhood's fount of flame!
Give me one giddy, reeling dream
  Of life all love and fame!

My listening angel heard the prayer,
  And, calmly smiling, said,
"If I but touch thy silvered hair,
  Thy hasty wish hath sped.

"But is there nothing in thy track
  To bid thee fondly stay,
While the swift seasons hurry back
  To find the wished-for day?"

Ah! truest soul of womankind!
  Without thee what were life?
One bliss I cannot leave behind:
  I'll take--my--precious--wife!

The angel took a sapphire pen
  And wrote in rainbow dew,
"The man would be a boy again,
  And be a husband, too!"

"And is there nothing yet unsaid
  Before the change appears?
Remember, all their gifts have fled
  With those dissolving years!"

"Why, yes; for memory would recall
  My fond paternal joys;
I could not bear to leave them all:
  I'll take--my--girl--and--boys!"

The smiling angel dropped his pen--
  "Why, this will never do;
The man would be a boy again,
  And be a father too!"

And so I laughed--my laughter woke
  The household with its noise--
And wrote my dream, when morning broke,
  To please the gray-haired boys.

    _Oliver Wendell Holmes._



Washington's Birthday


The bells of Mount Vernon are ringing to-day,
  And what say their melodious numbers
To the flag blooming air? List, what do they say?
  "The fame of the hero ne'er slumbers!"

The world's monument stands the Potomac beside,
  And what says the shaft to the river?
"When the hero has lived for his country, and died,
  Death crowns him a hero forever."

The bards crown the heroes and children rehearse
  The songs that give heroes to story,
And what say the bards to the children? "No verse
  Can yet measure Washington's glory.

"For Freedom outlives the old crowns of the earth,
  And Freedom shall triumph forever,
And Time must long wait the true song of his birth
  Who sleeps by the beautiful river."

    _Hezekiah Butterworth._



April! April! Are You Here?


April! April! are you here?
  Oh, how fresh the wind is blowing!
See! the sky is bright and clear,
  Oh, how green the grass is growing!
April! April! are you here?

April! April! is it you?
  See how fair the flowers are springing!
Sun is warm and brooks are clear,
  Oh, how glad the birds are singing!
April! April! is it you?

April! April! you are here!
  Though your smiling turn to weeping,
Though your skies grow cold and drear,
  Though your gentle winds are sleeping,
April! April! you are here!

    _Dora Read Goodale._



A Laughing Chorus


Oh, such a commotion under the ground
  When March called, "Ho, there! ho!"
Such spreading of rootlets far and wide,
  Such whispering to and fro;
And, "Are you ready?" the Snowdrop asked,
  "'Tis time to start, you know."
"Almost, my dear," the Scilla replied;
  "I'll follow as soon as you go."
Then, "Ha! ha! ha!" a chorus came
  Of laughter soft and low,
From the millions of flowers under the ground,
  Yes--millions--beginning to grow.

O, the pretty brave things! through the coldest days,
  Imprisoned in walls of brown,
They never lost heart though the blast shrieked loud,
  And the sleet and the hail came down,

But patiently each wrought her beautiful dress,
  Or fashioned her beautiful crown;
And now they are coming to brighten the world,
  Still shadowed by Winter's frown;
And well may they cheerily laugh, "Ha! ha!"
  In a chorus soft and low,
The millions of flowers hid under the ground
  Yes--millions--beginning to grow.



The Courtin'


God makes sech nights, all white an' still
  Fur 'z you can look or listen,
Moonshine an' snow on field an' hill,
  All silence an' all glisten.

Zekle crep' up quite unbeknown
  An' peeked in thru the winder.
An' there sot Huldy all alone,
  'ith no one nigh to hender.

A fireplace filled the room's one side
  With half a cord o' wood in--
There warn't no stoves (tell comfort died)
  To bake ye to a puddin'.

The wa'nut logs shot sparkles out
  Towards the pootiest, bless her,
An' leetle flames danced all about
  The chiny on the dresser.

Agin the chimbley crook-necks hung,
  An' in amongst 'em rusted
The ole queen's-arm thet gran'ther Young
  Fetched back from Concord busted.

The very room, coz she was in,
  Seemed warm from floor to ceilin',
An' she looked full ez rosy agin
  Ez the apples she was peelin'.

'Twas kin' o' kingdom-come to look
  On sech a blessed cretur,
A dogrose blushin' to a brook
  Ain't modester nor sweeter.

He was six foot o' man, A 1,
  Clear grit an' human natur';
None couldn't quicker pitch a ton
  Nor dror a furrer straighter,

He'd sparked it with full twenty gals,
  Hed squired 'em, danced 'em, druv 'em,
Fust this one, an' then thet, by spells--
  All is, he couldn't love 'em,

But long o' her his veins 'ould run
  All crinkly like curled maple,
The side she breshed felt full o' sun
  Ez a south slope in Ap'il.

She thought no v'ice hed sech a swing
  Ez hisn in the choir;
My! when he made Ole Hunderd ring,
  She _knowed_ the Lord was nigher.

An' she'd blush scarlet, right in prayer,
  When her new meetin'-bunnit
Felt somehow thru its crown a pair
  O' blue eyes sot upun it.

Thet night, I tell ye, she looked _some!_
  She seemed to 've gut a new soul,
For she felt sartin-sure he'd come,
  Down to her very shoe-sole.

She heered a foot, an' knowed it tu,
  A-raspin' on the scraper,--
All ways to once her feelin's flew
  Like sparks in burnt-up paper.

He kin' o' l'itered on the mat,
  Some doubtfle o' the sekle,
His heart kep' goin' pity-pat,
  But hern went pity Zekle.

An' yit she gin her cheer a jerk
  Ez though she wished him furder,
An' on her apples kep' to work,
  Parin' away like murder.

"You want to see my Pa, I s'pose?"
  "Wal--no--I come dasignin'"--
"To see my Ma? She's sprinklin' clo'es
  Agin to-morrer's i'nin'."

To say why gals acts so or so,
  Or don't, 'ould be presumin';
Mebby to mean _yes_ an' say _no_
  Comes nateral to women.

He stood a spell on one foot fust,
  Then stood a spell on t'other,
An' on which one he felt the wust
  He couldn't ha' told ye nuther.

Says he, "I'd better call agin";
  Says she, "Think likely, Mister";
Thet last work pricked him like a pin,
  An'--Wal, he up an' kist her.

When Ma bimeby upon 'em slips,
  Huldy sot pale ez ashes,
All kin' o' smily roun' the lips
  An' teary roun' the lashes.

For she was jes' the quiet kind
  Whose naturs never vary,
Like streams that keep a summer mind
  Snowhid in Jenooary.

The blood clost roun' her heart felt glued
  Too tight for all expressin',
Tell mother see how metters stood,
  An' gin 'em both her blessin'.

Then her red come back like the tide
  Down to the Bay o' Fundy.
An' all I know is they was cried
  In meetin' come nex' Sunday.

    _James Russell Lowell._



An Old Man's Dreams


 It was the twilight hour;
Behind the western hill the sun had sunk,
Leaving the evening sky aglow with crimson light.
The air is filled with fragrance and with sound;
High in the tops of shadowy vine-wreathed trees,
Grave parent-birds were twittering good-night songs,
To still their restless brood.
  Across the way
A noisy little brook made pleasant
Music on the summer air,
And farther on, the sweet, faint sound
Of Whippoorwill Falls rose on the air, and fell
Like some sweet chant at vespers.
  The air is heavy
With the scent of mignonette and rose,
And from the beds of flowers the tall
White lilies point like angel fingers upward,
Casting on the air an incense sweet,
That brings to mind the old, old story
Of the alabaster box that loving Mary
Broke upon the Master's feet.

  Upon his vine-wreathed porch
An old white-headed man sits dreaming
Happy, happy dreams of days that are no more;
And listening to the quaint old song
With which his daughter lulled her child to rest:

    "Abide with me," she says;
      "Fast falls the eventide;
    The darkness deepens,--
      Lord, with me abide."

And as he listens to the sounds that fill the
Summer air, sweet, dreamy thoughts
Of his "lost youth" come crowding thickly up;
And, for a while, he seems a boy again.
  With feet all bare
He wades the rippling brook, and with a boyish shout
Gathers the violets blue, and nodding ferns,
That wave a welcome from the other side.
  With those he wreathes
The sunny head of little Nell, a neighbor's child,
Companion of his sorrows and his joys.
Sweet, dainty Nell, whose baby life
Seemed early linked with his,
And whom he loved with all a boy's devotion.

  Long years have flown.
No longer boy and girl, but man and woman grown,
They stand again beside the brook, that murmurs
Ever in its course, nor stays for time nor man,
And tell the old, old story,
And promise to be true till life for them shall end.

  Again the years roll on,
And they are old. The frost of age
Has touched the once-brown hair,
And left it white as are the chaliced lilies.
Children, whose rosy lips once claimed
A father's blessing and a mother's love,
Have grown to man's estate, save two
Whom God called early home to wait
For them in heaven.

  And then the old man thinks
How on a night like this, when faint
And sweet as half-remembered dreams
Old Whippoorwill Falls did murmur soft
Its evening psalms, when fragrant lilies
Pointed up the way her Christ had gone,
God called the wife and mother home,
And bade him wait.
  Oh! why is it so hard for
Man to wait? to sit with folded hands,
Apart, amid the busy throng,
And hear the buzz and hum of toil around;
To see men reap and bind the golden sheaves
Of earthly fruits, while he looks idly on,
And knows he may not join,
But only wait till God has said, "Enough!"
  And calls him home!

And thus the old man dreams,
And then awakes; awakes to hear
The sweet old song just dying
On the pulsing evening air:

    "When other helpers fail,
      And comforts flee,
    Lord of the helpless,
      Oh, abide with me!"

    _Eliza M. Sherman._



God's Message to Men


God said: I am tired of kings;
  I suffer them no more;
Up to my ear the morning brings
  The outrage of the poor.

Think ye I have made this ball
  A field of havoc and war,
Where tyrants great and tyrants small
  Might harry the weak and poor?

My angel--his name is Freedom--
  Choose him to be your king.
He shall cut pathways east and west
  And fend you with his wing.

I will never have a noble;
  No lineage counted great,
Fishers and choppers and plowmen
  Shall constitute a state,

And ye shall succor man,
  'Tis nobleness to serve;
Help them who cannot help again;
  Beware from right to swerve.

    _Ralph Waldo Emerson._



The Sandman


The rosy clouds float overhead,
  The sun is going down,
And now the Sandman's gentle tread
  Comes stealing through the town.
"White sand, white sand," he softly cries,
  And, as he shakes his hand,
Straightway there lies on babies' eyes
  His gift of shining sand.
Blue eyes, gray eyes, black eyes and brown,
As shuts the rose, they softly close,
  when he goes through the town.

From sunny beaches far away,
  Yes, in another land,
He gathers up, at break of day,
  His store of shining sand.
No tempests beat that shore remote,
  No ships may sail that way;
His little boat alone may float
  Within that lovely bay.
Blue eyes, gray eyes, black eyes and brown,
As shuts the rose, they softly close,
  when he goes through the town.

He smiles to see the eyelids close
  Above the happy eyes,
And every child right well he knows--
  Oh, he is very wise!
But if, as he goes through the land,
  A naughty baby cries,
His other hand takes dull gray sand
  To close the wakeful eyes.
Blue eyes, gray eyes, black eyes and brown,
As shuts the rose, they softly close,
  when he goes through the town.

So when you hear the Sandman's song
  Sound through the twilight sweet,
Be sure you do not keep him long
  A-waiting in the street.
Lie softly down, dear little head,
  Rest quiet, busy hands,
Till by your bed when good-night's said,
  He strews the shining sands.
Blue eyes, gray eyes, black eyes and brown,
As shuts the rose, they softly close,
  when he goes through the town.

    _Margaret Vandegrift._



Ring Out, Wild Bells


Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
  The flying cloud, the frosty light:
  The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
  Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
  The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
  For those that here we see no more;
  Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
  And ancient forms of party strife;
  Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
  The civic slander and the spite;
  Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
  Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
  Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
  The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
  Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

    _Alfred, Lord Tennyson._



The Wishing Bridge


Among the legends sung or said
  Along our rocky shore,
The Wishing Bridge of Marblehead
  May well be sung once more.

An hundred years ago (so ran
  The old-time story) all
Good wishes said above its span
  Would, soon or late, befall.

If pure and earnest, never failed
  The prayers of man or maid
For him who on the deep sea sailed,
  For her at home who stayed.

Once thither came two girls from school
  And wished in childish glee:
And one would be a queen and rule,
  And one the world would see.

Time passed; with change of hopes and fears
  And in the selfsame place,
Two women, gray with middle years,
  Stood wondering, face to face.

With wakened memories, as they met,
  They queried what had been:
"A poor man's wife am I, and yet,"
  Said one, "I am a queen.

"My realm a little homestead is,
  Where, lacking crown and throne,
I rule by loving services
  And patient toil alone."

The other said: "The great world lies
  Beyond me as it laid;
O'er love's and duty's boundaries
  My feet have never strayed.

"I see but common sights at home,
  Its common sounds I hear,
My widowed mother's sick-bed room
  Sufficeth for my sphere.

"I read to her some pleasant page
  Of travel far and wide,
And in a dreamy pilgrimage
  We wander side by side.

"And when, at last, she falls asleep,
  My book becomes to me
A magic glass: my watch I keep,
  But all the world I see.

"A farm-wife queen your place you fill,
  While fancy's privilege
Is mine to walk the earth at will,
  Thanks to the Wishing Bridge."

"Nay, leave the legend for the truth,"
  The other cried, "and say
God gives the wishes of our youth
  But in His own best way!"

    _John Greenleaf Whittier._



The Things Divine


These are the things I hold divine:
A trusting chi id's hand laid in mine,
Rich brown earth and wind-tossed trees,
The taste of grapes and the drone of bees,
A rhythmic gallop, long June days,
A rose-hedged lane and lovers' lays,
The welcome smile on neighbors' faces,
Cool, wide hills and open places,
Breeze-blown fields of silver rye,
The wild, sweet note of the plover's cry,
Fresh spring showers and scent of box,
The soft, pale tint of the garden phlox,
Lilacs blooming, a drowsy noon,
A flight of geese and an autumn moon,
Rolling meadows and storm-washed heights,
A fountain murmur on summer nights,
A dappled fawn in the forest hush,
Simple words and the song of a thrush,
Rose-red dawns and a mate to share
With comrade soul my gypsy fare,
A waiting fire when the twilight ends,
A gallant heart and the voice of friends.

    _Jean Brooks Burt._



Mothers of Men


The bravest battle that ever was fought!
  Shall I tell you where and when?
On the map of the world you will find it not,
  'Twas fought by the mothers of men.

Nay, not with cannon or battle shot,
  With sword or nobler pen,
Nay, not with eloquent words or thought
  From mouths of wonderful men;

But deep in the walled-up woman's heart--
  Of woman that would not yield,
But bravely, silently, bore her part--
  Lo, there is that battle field!

No marshaling troup, no bivouac song,
  No banner to gleam or wave,
But oh! these battles, they last so long--
  From babyhood to the grave.

Yet, faithful as a bridge of stars,
  She fights in her walled-up town--
Fights on and on in the endless wars,
  Then, silent, unseen, goes down.

Oh, ye with banner and battle shot,
  And soldiers to shout and praise,
I tell you the kingliest victories fought
  Were fought in those silent ways.

Oh, spotless in a world of shame,
  With splendid and silent scorn,
Go back to God as white as you came--
  The kingliest warrior born!

    _Joaquin Miller._



Echo


"I asked of Echo, t'other day
  (Whose words are often few and funny),
What to a novice she could say
  Of courtship, love and matrimony.
  Quoth Echo plainly,--'Matter-o'-money!'

"Whom should I marry? Should it be
  A dashing damsel, gay and pert,
A pattern of inconstancy;
  Or selfish, mercenary flirt?
  Quoth Echo, sharply,--'Nary flirt!'

"What if, aweary of the strife
  That long has lured the dear deceiver,
She promise to amend her life.
  And sin no more; can I believe her?
  Quoth Echo, very promptly;--'Leave her!'

"But if some maiden with a heart
  On me should venture to bestow it,
Pray should I act the wiser part
  To take the treasure or forgo it?
  Quoth Echo, with decision,--'Go it!'

"But what if, seemingly afraid
  To bind her fate in Hymen's fetter,
She vow she means to die a maid,
  In answer to my loving letter?
  Quoth Echo, rather coolly,--'Let her!'

"What if, in spite of her disdain,
  I find my heart entwined about
With Cupid's dear, delicious chain
  So closely that I can't get out?
  Quoth Echo, laughingly,--'Get out!'

"But if some maid with beauty blest,
  As pure and fair as Heaven can make her,
Will share my labor and my rest
  Till envious Death shall overtake her?
Quoth Echo (sotto voce),-'Take her!'"

    _John G. Saxe._



Life, I Know Not What Thou Art


Life! I know not what thou art,
But know that thou and I must part;
And when, or how, or where we met
I own to me's a secret yet.

Life! we've been long together
Through pleasant and through cloudy weather;
'Tis hard to part when friends are dear--
Perhaps 'twill cost a sigh, a tear;

Then steal away; give little warning,
Choose thine own time;
Say not Good Night, but in some brighter clime
Bid me Good Morning.

    _Anna L. Barbauld._



Autumn Leaves


In the hush and the lonely silence
  Of the chill October night,
Some wizard has worked his magic
  With fairy fingers light.

The leaves of the sturdy oak trees
  Are splendid with crimson and red.
And the golden flags of the maple
  Are fluttering overhead.

Through the tangle of faded grasses
  There are trailing vines ablaze,
And the glory of warmth and color
  Gleams through the autumn haze.

Like banners of marching armies
  That farther and farther go;
Down the winding roads and valleys
  The boughs of the sumacs glow.

So open your eyes, little children,
  And open your hearts as well,
Till the charm of the bright October
  Shall fold you in its spell.

    _Angelina Wray._



A Message for the Year


Not who you are, but what you are,
  That's what the world demands to know;
Just what you are, what you can do
  To help mankind to live and grow.
Your lineage matters not at all,
  Nor counts one whit your gold or gear,
What can you do to show the world
  The reason for your being here?

For just what space you occupy
  The world requires you pay the rent;
It does not shower its gifts galore,
  Its benefits are only lent;
And it has need of workers true,
  Willing of hand, alert of brain;
Go forth and prove what you can do,
  Nor wait to count o'er loss or gain.

Give of your best to help and cheer,
 The more you give the more you grow;
This message evermore rings true,
  In time you reap whate'er you sow.
No failure you have need to fear,
  Except to fail to do your best--
What have you done, what can you do?
  That is the question, that the test.

    _Elizabeth Clarke Hardy._



Song of the Chattahoochee[*]


  Out of the hills of Habersham,
  Down the valleys of Hall,
I hurry amain to reach the plain,
Run the rapid and leap the fall,
Split at the rock and together again,
Accept my bed, or narrow or wide,
And flee from folly on every side
With a lover's pain to attain the plain
  Far from the hills of Habersham,
  Far from the valleys of Hall.

  All down the hills of Habersham,
  All through the valleys of Hall,
The rushes cried "Abide, abide,"
The wilful waterweeds held me thrall,
The laving laurel turned my tide,
The ferns and the fondling grass said "Stay,"
The dewberry dipped for to work delay,
And the little reeds sighed "Abide, abide
  Here in the hills of Habersham,
  Here in the valleys of Hall."

  High o'er the hills of Habersham,
  Veiling the valleys of Hall,
The hickory told me manifold
Fair tales of shade, the poplar tall
Wrought me her shadowy self to hold,
The chestnut, the oak, the walnut, the pine,
O'erleaning, with flickering meaning and sign,
Said, "Pass not, so cold, these manifold
  Deep shades of the hills of Habersham,
  These glades in the valleys of Hall."

  And oft in the hills of Habersham,
  And oft in the valleys of Hall,
The white quartz shone, and the smooth brookstone
Did bar me of passage with friendly brawl,
And many a luminous jewel lone
--Crystals clear or a-cloud with mist,
Ruby, garnet, and amethyst--
Made lures with the lights of streaming stone,
  In the clefts of the hills of Habersham,
  In the beds of the valleys of Hall.

  But oh, not the hills of Habersham,
  And oh, not the valleys of Hall
Avail: I am fain for to water the plain.
Downward the voices of Duty call--
Downward, to toil and be mixed with the main.
The dry fields burn, and the mills are to turn,
And a myriad flowers mortally yearn,
And the lordly main from beyond the plain
  Calls o'er the hills of Habersham,
  Calls through the valleys of Hall.

    _Sidney Lanier._

[Footnote *: Used by special permission of the publishers, Charles
Scribner's Sons.]



Courting in Kentucky


When Mary Ann Dollinger got the skule daown thar on Injun Bay
I was glad, fer I like ter see a gal makin' her honest way,
I heerd some talk in the village abaout her flyin' high,
Tew high for busy farmer folks with chores ter dew ter fly;
But I paid no sorter attention ter all the talk ontell
She come in her reg-lar boardin' raound ter visit with us a spell.
My Jake an' her has been cronies ever since they could walk,
An' it tuk me aback ter hear her kerrectin' him in his talk.

Jake ain't no hand at grammar, though he hain't his beat for work;
But I sez ter myself, "Look out, my gal, yer a-foolin' with a Turk!"
Jake bore it wonderful patient, an' said in a mournful way,
He p'sumed he was behindhand with the doin's at Injun Bay.
I remember once he was askin' for some o' my Injun buns,
An' she said he should allus say, "them air," stid o' "them is" the ones.
Wal, Mary Ann kep' at him stiddy mornin' an' evenin' long,
Tell he dassent open his mouth for fear o' talkin' wrong.

One day I was pickin' currants down by the old quince tree,
When I heerd Jake's voice a-sayin', "Be ye willin' ter marry me?"
An' Mary Ann kerrectin', "Air ye willin', yeou sh'd say."
Our Jake he put his foot daown in a plum decided way.
"No wimmen-folks is a-goin' ter be rearrangin' me,
Hereafter I says 'craps,' 'them is,' 'I calk'late,' an' 'I be.'
Ef folks don't like my talk they needn't hark ter what I say;
But I ain't a-goin' to take no sass from folks from Injun Bay;
I ask you free an' final, 'Be ye goin' to marry me?'"
An' Mary Ann sez, tremblin', yet anxious-like, "I be."



God's Will is Best


Whichever way the wind doth blow,
Some heart is glad to have it so;
Then blow it east, or blow it west,
The wind that blows, that wind is best.
My little craft sails not alone,--
A thousand fleets, from every zone,
Are out upon a thousand seas,
And what for me were favoring breeze
Might dash another with the shock
Of doom upon some hidden rock.

I leave it to a higher Will
To stay or speed me, trusting still
That all is well, and sure that He
Who launched my bark will sail with me
Through storm and calm, and will not fail,
Whatever breezes may prevail,
To land me, every peril past,
Within His Haven at the last.
Then blow it east, or blow it west,
The wind that blows, that wind is best.

    _Caroline H. Mason._



The School-Master's Guests


I

The district school-master was sitting behind his great book-laden desk,
Close-watching the motions of scholars, pathetic and gay and grotesque.
As whisper the half-leafless branches, when autumn's brisk breezes have
      come,
His little scrub-thicket of pupils sent upward a half-smothered hum.
There was little Tom Timms on the front seat, whose face was withstanding
      a drouth.
And jolly Jack Gibbs just behind him, with a rainy new moon for a mouth;
There were both of the Smith boys, as studious as if they bore names that
      could bloom,
And Jim Jones, a heaven-built mechanic, the slyest young knave in the room,
With a countenance grave as a horse's, and his honest eyes fixed on a pin,
Queer-bent on a deeply-laid project to tunnel Joe Hawkins's skin.
There were anxious young novices, drilling their spelling-books into their
      brain,
Loud-puffing each half-whispered letter, like an engine just starting its
      train;
There was one fiercely muscular fellow, who scowled at the sums on his
      slate,
And leered at the innocent figures a look of unspeakable hate;
And set his white teeth close together, and gave his thin lips a short
      twist,
As to say, "I could whip you, confound you! could such things be done with
      the fist!"
There were two knowing girls in the corner, each one with some beauty
      possessed,
In a whisper discussing the problem which one the young master likes best;
A class in the front, with their readers, were telling, with difficult
      pains,
How perished brave Marco Bozzaris while bleeding at all of his veins;
And a boy on the floor to be punished, a statue of idleness stood,
Making faces at all of the others, and enjoying the scene all he could.


II

Around were the walls, gray and dingy, which every old school-sanctum hath,
With many a break on their surface, where grinned a wood-grating of lath.
A patch of thick plaster, just over the school-master's rickety chair,
Seemed threat'ningly o'er him suspended, like Damocles' sword, by a hair.
There were tracks on the desks where the knife-blades had wandered in
      search of their prey;
Their tops were as duskily spattered as if they drank ink every day.
The square stove it puffed and it crackled, and broke out in red flaming
      sores,
Till the great iron quadruped trembled like a dog fierce to rush
      out-o'-doors.
White snowflakes looked in at the windows; the gale pressed its lips to the
      cracks;
And the children's hot faces were streaming, the while they were freezing
      their backs.


III

Now Marco Bozzaris had fallen, and all of his suff'rings were o'er,
And the class to their seats were retreating, when footsteps were heard
      at the door;
And five of the good district fathers marched into the room in a row,
And stood themselves up by the fire, and shook off their white cloaks of
      snow.
And the spokesman, a grave squire of sixty, with countenance solemnly sad,
Spoke thus, while the children all listened, with all of the ears that
      they had:
"We've come here, school-master, in-tendin' to cast an inquirin' eye
      'round,
Concernin' complaints that's been entered, an' fault that has lately been
      found;
To pace off the width of your doin's, an' witness what you've been about,
An' see if it's paying to keep you, or whether we'd best turn ye out.

"The first thing I'm bid for to mention is, when the class gets up to read
You give 'em too tight of a reinin', an' touch 'em up more than they need;
You're nicer than wise in the matter of holdin' the book in one han',
An' you turn a stray _g_ in their _doin's_, an' tack an odd _d_
      on their _an'_;
There ain't no great good comes of speakin' the words so polite, as I see,
Providin' you know what the facts is, an' tell 'em off jest as they be.
An' then there's that readin' in corncert, is censured from first unto
      last;
It kicks up a heap of a racket, when folks is a-travelin' past.
Whatever is done as to readin', providin' things go to my say,
Shan't hang on no new-fangled hinges, but swing in the old-fashioned way."
And the other four good district fathers gave quick the consent that was
      due,
And nodded obliquely, and muttered: "Them 'ere is my sentiments tew."
"Then as to your spellin': I've heern tell, by the mas has looked into
      this,
That you turn the _u_ out o' your _labour_, an' make the word shorter
      than 'tis;
An' clip the _k_ off yer _musick_, which makes my son Ephraim perplexed,
An' when he spells out as he ought'r, you pass the word on to the next.
They say there's some new-grafted books here that don't take them letters
      along;
But if it is so, just depend on 't, them new-grafted books is made wrong.
You might just as well say that Jackson didn't know all there was about
      war,
As to say that old Spellin'-book Webster didn't know what them letters was
      for."
And the other four good district fathers gave quick the consent that was
      due,
And scratched their heads slyly and softly, and said: "Them's my sentiments
      tew."
"Then, also, your 'rithmetic doin's, as they are reported to me,
Is that you have left Tare an' Tret out, an' also the old Rule o' Three;
An' likewise brought in a new study, some high-steppin' scholars to please,
With saw-bucks an' crosses and pothooks, an' _w's, x's, y's_ an' _z's_.
We ain't got no time for such foolin'; there ain't no great good to be
      reached
By tiptoein' childr'n up higher than ever their fathers was teached."
And the other four good district fathers gave quick the consent that was
      due,
And cocked one eye up to the ceiling, and said: "Them's my sentiments tew."
"Another thing, I must here mention, comes into the question to-day,
Concernin' some things in the grammar you're teachin' our gals for to say.
My gals is as steady as clockwork, and never give cause for much fear,
But they come home from school t'other evenin' a-talking such stuff as this
      here:
'I love,' an' 'Thou lovest,' an' 'He loves,' an' 'We love,' an' 'You love,'
      an' 'They--'
An' they answered my questions: 'It's grammar'--'twas all I could get 'em
      to say.
Now if, 'stead of doin' your duty, you're carryin' matters on so
As to make the gals say that they love you, it's just all that I want to
      know."


IV

Now Jim, the young heaven-built mechanic, in the dusk of the evening
      before,
Had well-nigh unjointed the stovepipe, to make it come down on the floor;
And the squire bringing smartly his foot down, as a clincher to what he had
      said,
A joint of the pipe fell upon him, and larruped him square on the head.
The soot flew in clouds all about him, and blotted with black all the place
And the squire and the other four fathers were peppered with black in the
      face.
The school, ever sharp for amusement, laid down all their cumbersome books
And, spite of the teacher's endeavors, laughed loud at their visitors'
      looks.
And the squire, as he stalked to the doorway, swore oaths of a violet hue;
And the four district fathers, who followed, seemed to say: "Them's my
      sentiments tew."

    _Will Carleton._



Mother o' Mine


If I were hanged on the highest hill,
  Mother o' mine!
  Oh, mother o' mine!
I know whose love would follow me still;
  Mother o' mine!
  Oh, mother o' mine!

If I were drowned in the deepest sea,
  Mother o' mine!
  Oh, mother o' mine!
I know whose tears would flow down to me,
  Mother o' mine!
  Oh, mother o' mine!

If I were damned o' body and soul,
  Mother o' mine!
  Oh, mother o' mine!
I know whose prayers would make me whole,
  Mother o' mine!
  Oh, mother o' mine!

    _Rudyard Kipling._



Encouragement


Who dat knockin' at de do'?
Why, Ike Johnson--yes, fu' sho'!
Come in, Ike. I's mighty glad
You come down. I t'ought you's mad
At me 'bout de othah night,
An' was stayin' 'way fu' spite.
Say, now, was you mad fu' true
W'en I kin' o' laughed at you?
  Speak up, Ike, an' 'spress yo'se'f.

'Tain't no use a-lookin' sad,
An' a-mekin' out you's mad;
Ef you's gwine to be so glum,
Wondah why you evah come.
I don't lak nobidy 'roun'
Dat jes' shet dey mouf an' frown--
Oh, now, man, don't act a dunce!
Cain't you talk? I tol' you once,
  Speak up, Ike, an' 'spress yo'se'f.

Wha'd you come hyeah fu' to-night?
Body'd t'ink yo' haid ain't right.
I's done all dat I kin do--
Dressed perticler, jes' fu' you;
Reckon I'd a' bettah wo'
My ol' ragged calico.
Aftah all de pains I's took,
Cain't you tell me how I look?
  Speak up, Ike, an' 'spress yo'se'f.

Bless my soul! I 'mos' fu'got
Tellin' you 'bout Tildy Scott.
Don't you know, come Thu'sday night,
She gwine ma'y Lucius White?
Miss Lize say I allus wuh
Heap sight laklier 'n huh;
An' she'll git me somep'n new,
Ef I wants to ma'y too.
  Speak up, Ike, an' 'spress yo'se'f.

I could ma'y in a week,
If de man I wants 'ud speak.
Tildy's presents 'll be fine,
But dey wouldn't ekal mine.
Him whut gits me fu' a wife
'll be proud, you bet yo' life.
I's had offers, some ain't quit;
But I hasn't ma'ied yit!
  Speak up, Ike, an' 'spress yo'se'f.

Ike, I loves you--yes, I does;
You's my choice, and allus was.
Laffin' at you ain't no harm--
Go 'way, dahky, whah's yo' arm?
Hug me closer--dah, da's right!
Wasn't you a awful sight,
Havin' me to baig you so?
Now ax whut you want to know--
  Speak up, Ike, an' 'spress yo'se'f.

    _Paul Laurence Dunbar._



The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls


The harp that once through Tara's halls
  The soul of music shed,
Now hangs as mute on Tara's walls
  As if that soul were fled.
So sleeps the pride of former days,
  So glory's thrill is o'er,
And hearts, that once beat high for praise,
Now feel that pulse no more.

No more to chiefs and ladies bright
  The harp of Tara swells:
The chord alone, that breaks at night,
  Its tale of ruin tells.
Thus freedom now so seldom wakes,
  The only throb she gives
Is when some heart indignant breaks,
  To show that still she lives.

    _Thomas Moore._



Aux Italiens


At Paris it was, at the opera there;--
  And she looked like a queen in a book that night,
With the wreath of pearl in her raven hair,
  And the brooch on her breast so bright.

Of all the operas that Verdi wrote,
  The best, to my taste, is the Trovatore;
And Mario can soothe, with a tenor note,
  The souls in purgatory.

The moon on the tower slept soft as snow;
  And who was not thrilled in the strangest way,
As we heard him sing, while the gas burned low,
  _Non ti scordar di me?_[A]

The emperor there, in his box of state,
  Looked grave, as if he had just then seen
The red flag wave from the city gate,
  Where his eagles in bronze had been.

The empress, too, had a tear in her eye,
  You'd have said that her fancy had gone back again,
For one moment, under the old blue sky,
  To the old glad life in Spain.

Well, there in our front-row box we sat
  Together, my bride betrothed and I;
My gaze was fixed on my opera hat,
  And hers on the stage hard by.

And both were silent, and both were sad.
  Like a queen she leaned on her full white arm,
With that regal, indolent air she had;
  So confident of her charm!

I have not a doubt she was thinking then
  Of her former lord, good soul that he was!
Who died the richest and roundest of men.
  The Marquis of Carabas.

I hope that, to get to the kingdom of heaven,
  Through a needle's eye he had not to pass;
I wish him well, for the jointure given
  To my Lady of Carabas.

Meanwhile, I was thinking of my first love,
  As I had not been thinking of aught for years,
Till over my eyes there began to move
  Something that felt like tears.

I thought of the dress that she wore last time,
  When we stood 'neath the cypress trees together,
In that lost land, in that soft clime,
  In the crimson evening weather:

Of that muslin dress (for the eve was hot);
  And her warm white neck in its golden chain;
And her full soft hair, just tied in a knot,
  And falling loose again;

And the jasmine flower in her fair young breast;
  (Oh, the faint, sweet smell of that jasmine flower!)
And the one bird singing alone to his nest;
  And the one star over the tower.

I thought of our little quarrels and strife,
  And the letter that brought me back my ring;
And it all seemed then, in the waste of life,
  Such a very little thing!

For I thought of her grave below the hill,
  Which the sentinel cypress tree stands over;
And I thought, "Were she only living still,
  How I could forgive her and love her!"

And I swear, as I thought of her thus, in that hour,
  And of how, after all, old things are best,
That I smelt the smell of that jasmine flower
  Which she used to wear in her breast.

It smelt so faint, and it smelt so sweet,
  It made me creep, and it made me cold;
Like the scent that steals from the crumbling sheet
  Where a mummy is half unrolled.

And I turned and looked: she was sitting there,
  In a dim box over the stage, and drest
In that muslin dress, with that full, soft hair,
  And that jasmine in her breast!

I was here, and she was there;
  And the glittering horse-shoe curved between:--
From my bride betrothed, with her raven hair,
  And her sumptuous, scornful mien,

To my early love, with her eyes downcast,
  And over her primrose face the shade,
(In short, from the future back to the past,)
  There was but a step to be made.

To my early love from my future bride
  One moment I looked. Then I stole to the door,
I traversed the passage; and down at her side
  I was sitting, a moment more.

My thinking of her or the music's strain,
  Or something which never will be exprest,
Had brought her back from the grave again,
  With the jasmine in her breast.

She is not dead, and she is not wed!
  But she loves me now, and she loved me then!
And the very first word that her sweet lips said,
  My heart grew youthful again.

The marchioness there, of Carabas,
  She is wealthy, and young, and handsome still;
And but for her--well, we'll let that pass;
  She may marry whomever she will.

But I will marry my own first love,
  With her primrose face, for old things are best;
And the flower in her bosom, I prize it above
  The brooch in my lady's breast.

The world is filled with folly and sin,
  And love must cling where it can, I say:
For beauty is easy enough to win;
  But one isn't loved every day,

And I think in the lives of most women and men,
  There's a moment when all would go smooth and even,
If only the dead could find out when
  To come back, and be forgiven.

But oh the smell of that jasmine flower!
  And oh, that music! and oh, the way
That voice rang out from the donjon tower,
  _Non ti scordar di me_,
    _Non ti scordar di me!_

    _Robert Bulwer Lytton._

[Footnote A: A line in the opera "II Trovatore" meaning "Do not forget
me."]



My Prairies


I love my prairies, they are mine
  From zenith to horizon line,
Clipping a world of sky and sod
  Like the bended arm and wrist of God.

I love their grasses. The skies
  Are larger, and my restless eyes
Fasten on more of earth and air
  Than seashore furnishes anywhere.

I love the hazel thickets; and the breeze,
  The never resting prairie winds. The trees
That stand like spear points high
  Against the dark blue sky

Are wonderful to me. I love the gold
  Of newly shaven stubble, rolled
A royal carpet toward the sun, fit to be
  The pathway of a deity.

I love the life of pasture lands; the songs of birds
  Are not more thrilling to me than the herd's
Mad bellowing or the shadow stride
  Of mounted herdsmen at my side.

I love my prairies, they are mine
  From high sun to horizon line.
The mountains and the cold gray sea
  Are not for me, are not for me.

    _Hamlin Garland._



Home They Brought Her Warrior Dead

(_From "The Princess"_)


Home they brought her warrior dead:
  She nor swoon'd, nor utter'd cry:
All her maidens, watching, said,
  "She must weep or she will die."
Then they praised him, soft and low,
  Call'd him worthy to be loved,
Truest friend and noblest foe;
  Yet she neither spoke nor moved.
Stole a maiden from her place,
  Lightly to the warrior stept,
Took the face-cloth from the face;
  Yet she neither moved nor wept.
Rose a nurse of ninety years,
  Set his child upon her knee--
Like summer tempest came her tears--
  "Sweet my child, I live for thee."

    _Alfred, Lord Tennyson._



September


  Sweet is the voice that calls
  From babbling waterfalls
In meadows where the downy seeds are flying;
  And soft the breezes blow,
  And eddying come and go
In faded gardens where the rose is dying.

  Among the stubbled corn
  The blithe quail pipes at morn,
The merry partridge drums in hidden places,
  And glittering insects gleam
  Above the reedy stream,
Where busy spiders spin their filmy laces.

  At eve, cool shadows fall
  Across the garden wall,
And on the clustered grapes to purple turning;
  And pearly vapors lie
  Along the eastern sky,
Where the broad harvest-moon is redly burning.

  Ah, soon on field and hill
  The wind shall whistle chill,
And patriarch swallows call their flocks together,
  To fly from frost and snow,
  And seek for lands where blow
The fairer blossoms of a balmier weather.

  The cricket chirps all day,
  "O fairest summer, stay!"
The squirrel eyes askance the chestnuts browning;
  The wild fowl fly afar
  Above the foamy bar,
And hasten southward ere the skies are frowning.

  Now comes a fragrant breeze
  Through the dark cedar-trees
And round about my temples fondly lingers,
  In gentle playfulness,
  Like to the soft caress
Bestowed in happier days by loving fingers.

  Yet, though a sense of grief
  Comes with the falling leaf,
And memory makes the summer doubly pleasant,
  In all my autumn dreams
  A future summer gleams,
Passing the fairest glories of the present!

    _George Arnold._



The Old Kitchen Floor


Far back, in my musings, my thoughts have been cast
To the cot where the hours of my childhood were passed.
I loved all its rooms from the pantry to hall,
But the blessed old kitchen was dearer than all.
Its chairs and its tables no brighter could be
And all its surroundings were sacred to me,
From the nail in the ceiling to the latch on the door,
And I loved every crack in that old kitchen floor.

I remember the fireplace with mouth high and wide
And the old-fashioned oven that stood by its side
Out of which each Thanksgiving came puddings and pies
And they fairly bewildered and dazzled our eyes.
And then old St. Nicholas slyly and still
Came down every Christmas our stockings to fill.
But the dearest of memories laid up in store
Is my mother a-sweeping that old kitchen floor.

To-night those old musings come back at their will
But the wheel and its music forever are still.
The band is moth-eaten, the wheel laid away,
And the fingers that turned it are mold'ring in clay.
The hearthstone so sacred is just as 'twas then
And the voices of children ring out there again.
The sun at the window looks in as of yore,
But it sees other feet on that old kitchen floor.



Rustic Courtship


The night was dark when Sam set out
  To court old Jones's daughter;
He kinder felt as if he must,
  And kinder hadn't oughter.
His heart against his waistcoat throbbed,
  His feelings had a tussle,
Which nearly conquered him despite
  Six feet of bone and muscle.

The candle in the window shone
  With a most doleful glimmer,
And Sam he felt his courage ooze,
  And through his fingers simmer.
Says he: "Now, Sam, don't be a fool,
  Take courage, shaking doubter,
Go on, and pop the question right,
  For you can't live without her."

But still, as he drew near the house,
  His knees got in a tremble,
The beating of his heart ne'er beat
  His efforts to dissemble.
Says he: "Now, Sam, don't be a goose,
  And let the female wimmin
Knock all your thoughts a-skelter so,
  And set your heart a-swimmin'."

So Sam, he kinder raised the latch,
  His courage also raising,
And in a moment he sat inside,
  Cid Jones's crops a-praising.
He tried awhile to talk the farm
  In words half dull, half witty,
Not knowing that old Jones well knew
  His only thought was--Kitty.

At last the old folks went to bed--
  The Joneses were but human;
Old Jones was something of a man,
  And Mrs. Jones--a woman.
And Kitty she the pitcher took,
  And started for the cellar;
It wasn't often that she had
  So promising a feller.

And somehow when she came upstairs,
  And Sam had drank his cider,
There seemed a difference in the chairs,
  And Sam was close beside her;
His stalwart arm dropped round her waist,
  Her head dropped on his shoulder,
And Sam--well, he had changed his tune
And grown a trifle bolder.

But this, if you live long enough,
  You surely will discover,
There's nothing in this world of ours
  Except the loved and lover.
The morning sky was growing gray
  As Sam the farm was leaving,
His face was surely not the face
  Of one half grieved, or grieving.

And Kitty she walked smiling back,
  With blushing face, and slowly;
There's something in the humblest love
  That makes it pure and holy.
And did he marry her, you ask?
  She stands there with the ladle
A-skimming of the morning's milk--
  That's Sam who rocks the cradle.



The Red Jacket


'Tis a cold, bleak night! with angry roar
The north winds beat and clamor at the door;
The drifted snow lies heaped along the street,
Swept by a blinding storm of hail and sleet;
The clouded heavens no guiding starlight lend
But o'er the earth in gloom and darkness bend;
Gigantic shadows, by the night lamps thrown,
Dance their weird revels fitfully alone.

In lofty halls, where fortune takes its ease,
Sunk in the treasures of all lands and seas;
In happy homes, where warmth and comfort meet
The weary traveler with their smiles to greet;
In lowly dwellings, where the needy swarm
Round starving embers, chilling limbs to warm,
Rises the prayer that makes the sad heart light--
"Thank God for home, this bitter, bitter night!"

But hark! above the beating of the storm
Peals on the startled ear the fire alarm.
Yon gloomy heaven's aflame with sudden light,
And heart-beats quicken with a strange affright;
From tranquil slumbers springs, at duty's call,
The ready friend no danger can appall;
Fierce for the conflict, sturdy, true, and brave,
He hurries forth to battle and to save.

From yonder dwelling, fiercely shooting out,
Devouring all they coil themselves about,
The flaming furies, mounting high and higher,
Wrap the frail structure in a cloak of fire.
Strong arms are battling with the stubborn foe
In vain attempts their power to overthrow;
With mocking glee they revel with their prey,
Defying human skill to check their way.

And see! far up above the flame's hot breath,
Something that's human waits a horrid death;
A little child, with waving golden hair,
Stands, like a phantom, 'mid the horrid glare,--
Her pale, sweet face against the window pressed,
While sobs of terror shake her tender breast.
And from the crowd beneath, in accents wild,
A mother screams, "O God! my child! my child!"

Up goes a ladder. Through the startled throng
A hardy fireman swiftly moves along;
Mounts sure and fast along the slender way,
Fearing no danger, dreading but delay.
The stifling smoke-clouds lower in his path,
Sharp tongues of flame assail him in their wrath;
But up, still up he goes! the goal is won!
His strong arm beats the sash, and he is gone!

Gone to his death. The wily flames surround
And burn and beat his ladder to the ground,
In flaming columns move with quickened beat
To rear a massive wall 'gainst his retreat.
Courageous heart, thy mission was so pure,
Suffering humanity must thy loss deplore;
Henceforth with martyred heroes thou shalt live,
Crowned with all honors nobleness can give.

Nay, not so fast; subdue these gloomy fears;
Behold! he quickly on the roof appears,
Bearing the tender child, his jacket warm
Flung round her shrinking form to guard from harm,
Up with your ladders! Quick! 'tis but a chance!
Behold, how fast the roaring flames advance!
Quick! quick! brave spirits, to his rescue fly;
Up! up! by heavens, this hero must not die!

Silence! he comes along the burning road,
Bearing, with tender care, his living load;
Aha! he totters! Heaven in mercy save
The good, true heart that can so nobly brave!
He's up again! and now he's coming fast--
One moment, and the fiery ordeal's passed--
And now he's safe! Bold flames, ye fought in vain.
A happy mother clasps her child again.

    _George M. Baker._



John Maynard


'Twas on Lake Erie's broad expanse
  One bright midsummer day,
The gallant steamer Ocean Queen
  Swept proudly on her way.
Bright faces clustered on the deck,
  Or, leaning o'er the side,
Watched carelessly the feathery foam
  That flecked the rippling tide.

Ah, who beneath that cloudless sky,
  That smiling bends serene,
Could dream that danger, awful, vast,
  Impended o'er the scene;
Could dream that ere an hour had sped
  That frame of sturdy oak
Would sink beneath the lake's blue waves,
  Blackened with fire and smoke?

A seaman sought the captain's side,
  A moment whispered low;
The captain's swarthy face grew pale;
  He hurried down below.
Alas, too late! Though quick, and sharp,
  And clear his orders came,
No human efforts could avail
  To quench th' insidious flame.

The bad news quickly reached the deck,
  It sped from lip to lip,
And ghastly faces everywhere
  Looked from the doomed ship.
"Is there no hope, no chance of life?"
  A hundred lips implore;
"But one," the captain made reply,
  "To run the ship on shore."

A sailor, whose heroic soul
  That hour should yet reveal,
By name John Maynard, eastern-born,
  Stood calmly at the wheel.
"Head her southeast!" the captain shouts,
  Above the smothered roar,
"Head her southeast without delay!
  Make for the nearest shore!"

No terror pales the helmsman's cheek,
  Or clouds his dauntless eye,
As, in a sailor's measured tone,
  His voice responds, "Ay! ay!"
Three hundred souls, the steamer's freight,
  Crowd forward wild with fear,
While at the stern the dreaded flames
  Above the deck appear.

John Maynard watched the nearing flames,
  But still with steady hand
He grasped the wheel, and steadfastly
  He steered the ship to land.
"John Maynard, can you still hold out?"
  He heard the captain cry;
A voice from out the stifling smoke
  Faintly responds, "Ay! ay!"

But half a mile! a hundred hands
  Stretch eagerly to shore.
But half a mile! That distance sped
  Peril shall all be o'er.
But half a mile! Yet stay, the flames
  No longer slowly creep,
But gather round that helmsman bold,
  With fierce, impetuous sweep.

"John Maynard!" with an anxious voice
  The captain cries once more,
"Stand by the wheel five minutes yet,
  And we shall reach the shore."
Through flame and smoke that dauntless heart
  Responded firmly still,
Unawed, though face to face with death,
  "With God's good help I will!"

The flames approach with giant strides,
  They scorch his hand and brow;
One arm, disabled, seeks his side,
  Ah! he is conquered now.
But no, his teeth are firmly set,
  He crushes down his pain,
His knee upon the stanchion pressed,
  He guides the ship again.

One moment yet! one moment yet!
  Brave heart, thy task is o'er,
The pebbles grate beneath the keel,
  The steamer touches shore.
Three hundred grateful voices rise
  In praise to God that He
Hath saved them from the fearful fire,
  And from the engulfing sea.

But where is he, that helmsman bold?
  The captain saw him reel,
His nerveless hands released their task,
  He sank beside the wheel.
The wave received his lifeless corse,
  Blackened with smoke and fire.
God rest him! Never hero had
  A nobler funeral pyre!

    _Horatio Alger, Jr._



Piller Fights


Piller fights is fun, I tell you;
There isn't anything I'd rather do
Than get a big piller and hold it tight,
Stand up in bed and then just fight.

Us boys allers have our piller fights
And the best night of all is Pa's lodge night.
Soon as ever he goes, we say "Good night,"
Then go right upstairs for a piller fight.

Sometimes maybe Ma comes to the stairs
And hollers up, "Boys, have you said your prayers?"
And then George will holler "Yes, Mamma," for he always has;
Good deal of preacher about George, Pa says.

Ma says "Pleasant dreams," and shuts the door;
If she's a-listenin' both of us snore,
But as soon as ever she goes we light a light
And pitch right into our piller fight.

We play that the bed is Bunker Hill
And George is Americans, so he stands still.
But I am the British, so I must hit
As hard as ever I can to make him git.
We played Buena Vista one night--
Tell you, that was an awful hard fight!

Held up our pillers like they was a flag,
An' hollered, "Little more grape-juice, Captain Bragg!"
That was the night that George hit the nail--
You just ought to have seen those feathers sail!

I was covered as white as flour,
Me and him picked them up for 'most an hour;
Next day when our ma saw that there mess
She was pretty mad, you better guess;

And she told our pa, and he just said,
"Come right on out to this here shed."
Tell you, he whipped us till we were sore
And made us both promise to do it no more.

That was a long time ago, and now lodge nights
Or when Pa's away we have piller fights,
But in Buena Vista George is bound
To see there aren't any nails anywhere 'round.

Piller fights is fun, I tell you;
There isn't anything I'd rather do
Than get a big piller and hold it tight,
Stand up in bed, and then just fight.

    _D.A. Ellsworth._



Little Bateese


You bad leetle boy, not moche you care
How busy you're kipin' your poor gran'pere
Tryin' to stop you ev'ry day
Chasin' de hen aroun' de hay.
W'y don't you geev' dem a chance to lay!
          Leetle Bateese!

Off on de fiel' you foller de plough,
Den we'en you're tire, you scare de cow,
Sickin' de dog till dey jamp de wall
So de milk ain't good for not'ing at all,
An' you're only five an' a half this fall--
          Leetle Bateese!

Too sleepy for sayin' de prayer tonight?
Never min', I s'pose it'll be all right;
Say dem to-morrow--ah! dere he go!
Fas' asleep in a minute or so--
An' he'll stay lak dat till the rooster crow--
          Leetle Bateese.

Den wake up right away, toute suite,
Lookin' for somethin' more to eat,
Makin' me t'ink of dem long-lag crane,
Soon as they swaller, dey start again;
I wonder your stomach don't get no pain,
          Leetle Bateese.

But see heem now lyin' dere in bed,
Look at de arm onderneat' hees head;
If he grow lak dat till he's twenty year,
I bet he'll be stronger than Louis Cyr
And beat de voyageurs leevin' here--
          Leetle Bateese.

Jus' feel de muscle along hees back,--
Won't geev' heem moche bodder for carry pack
On de long portage, any size canoe;
Dere's not many t'ings dat boy won't do,
For he's got double-joint on hees body too--
          Leetle Bateese.

But leetle Bateese! please don't forget
We rader you're stayin' de small boy yet.
So chase de chicken and mak' dem scare,
An' do w'at you lak wit' your ole gran'pere,
For w'en you're beeg feller he won't be dere--
          Leetle Bateese!

    _W.H. Drummond._



Conscience and Future Judgment


I sat alone with my conscience,
In a place where time had ceased,
And we talked of my former living
In the land where the years increased;
And I felt I should have to answer
The question it might put to me,
And to face the question and answer
Throughout an eternity.

The ghosts of forgotten actions
Came floating before my sight,
And things that I thought had perished
Were alive with a terrible might;
And the vision of life's dark record
Was an awful thing to face--
Alone with my conscience sitting
In that solemnly silent place.

And I thought of a far-away warning,
Of a sorrow that was to be mine,
In a land that then was the future,
But now is the present time;
And I thought of my former thinking
Of the judgment day to be;
But sitting alone with my conscience
Seemed judgment enough for me.

And I wondered if there was a future
To this land beyond the grave;
But no one gave me an answer
And no one came to save.
Then I felt that the future was present,
And the present would never go by,
For it was but the thought of a future
Become an eternity.

Then I woke from my timely dreaming,
And the vision passed away;
And I knew the far-away warning
Was a warning of yesterday.
And I pray that I may not forget it
In this land before the grave,
That I may not cry out in the future,
And no one come to save.

I have learned a solemn lesson
Which I ought to have known before,
And which, though I learned it dreaming,
I hope to forget no more.

So I sit alone with my conscience
In the place where the years increase,
And I try to fathom the future,
In the land where time shall cease.
And I know of the future judgment,
How dreadful soe'er it be,
That to sit alone with my conscience
Will be judgment enough for me.



Dandelion


There's a dandy little fellow,
Who dresses all in yellow,
In yellow with an overcoat of green;
With his hair all crisp and curly,
In the springtime bright and early
A-tripping o'er the meadow he is seen.
Through all the bright June weather,
Like a jolly little tramp,
He wanders o'er the hillside, down the road;
Around his yellow feather,
Thy gypsy fireflies camp;
His companions are the wood lark and the toad.

But at last this little fellow
Doffs his dainty coat of yellow,
And very feebly totters o'er the green;
For he very old is growing
And with hair all white and flowing,
A-nodding in the sunlight he is seen.
Oh, poor dandy, once so spandy,
Golden dancer on the lea!
Older growing, white hair flowing,
Poor little baldhead dandy now is he!

    _Nellie M. Garabrant._



The Inventor's Wife


It's easy to talk of the patience of Job, Humph! Job hed nothin' to try
    him!
Ef he'd been married to 'Bijah Brown, folks wouldn't have dared come
    nigh him.
Trials, indeed! Now I'll tell you what--ef you want to be sick of your
      life,
Jest come and change places with me a spell--for I'm an inventor's wife.
And such inventions! I'm never sure, when I take up my coffee-pot,
That 'Bijah hain't been "improvin'" it and it mayn't go off like a shot.
Why, didn't he make me a cradle once, that would keep itself a-rockin';
And didn't it pitch the baby out, and wasn't his head bruised shockin'?
And there was his "Patent Peeler," too--a wonderful thing, I'll say;
But it hed one fault-it never stopped till the apple was peeled away.
As for locks and clocks, and mowin' machines and reapers, and all such
    trash,
Why, 'Bijah's invented heaps of 'em but they don't bring in no cash.
Law! that don't worry him--not at all; he's the most aggravatin'est man--
He'll set in his little workshop there, and whistle, and think, and plan,
Inventin' a jew's-harp to go by steam, or a new-fangled powder-horn,
While the children's goin' barefoot to school and the weeds is chokin'
    our corn.
When 'Bijah and me kep' company, he warn't like this, you know;
Our folks all thought he was dreadful smart--but that was years ago.
He was handsome as any pictur then, and he had such a glib, bright way--
I never thought that a time would come when I'd rue my weddin' day;
But when I've been forced to chop wood, and tend to the farm beside,
And look at Bijah a-settin' there, I've jest dropped down and cried.
We lost the hull of our turnip crop while he was inventin' a gun
But I counted it one of my marcies when it bu'st before 'twas done.
So he turned it into a "burglar alarm." It ought to give thieves a fright--
'Twould scare an honest man out of his wits, ef he sot it off at night.
Sometimes I wonder if 'Bijah's crazy, he does sech cur'ous things.
Hev I told you about his bedstead yit?--'Twas full of wheels and springs;
It hed a key to wind it up, and a clock face at the head;
All you did was to turn them hands, and at any hour you said,
That bed got up and shook itself, and bounced you on the floor,
And then shet up, jest like a box, so you couldn't sleep any more.
Wa'al, 'Bijah he fixed it all complete, and he sot it at half-past five,
But he hadn't mor'n got into it when--dear me! sakes alive!
Them wheels began to whiz and whir! I heered a fearful snap!
And there was that bedstead, with 'Bijah inside, shet up jest like a trap!
I screamed, of course, but 'twan't no use, then I worked that hull long
    night
A-trying to open the pesky thing. At last I got in a fright;
I couldn't hear his voice inside, and I thought he might be dyin';
So I took a crow-bar and smashed it in.--There was 'Bijah peacefully
    lyin',
Inventin' a way to git out agin. That was all very well to say,
But I don't b'lieve he'd have found it out if I'd left him in all day.
Now, sence I've told you my story, do you wonder I'm tired of life?
Or think it strange I often wish I warn't an inventor's wife?

    _Mrs. E.T. Corbett._



Out in the Snow


The snow and the silence came down together,
  Through the night so white and so still;
And young folks housed from the bitter weather,
  Housed from the storm and the chill--

Heard in their dreams the sleigh-bells jingle,
  Coasted the hill-sides under the moon,
Felt their cheeks with the keen air tingle,
  Skimmed the ice with their steel-clad shoon.

They saw the snow when they rose in the morning,
  Glittering ghosts of the vanished night,
Though the sun shone clear in the winter dawning,
  And the day with a frosty pomp was bright.

Out in the clear, cold, winter weather--
  Out in the winter air, like wine--
Kate with her dancing scarlet feather,
  Bess with her peacock plumage fine,

Joe and Jack with their pealing laughter,
  Frank and Tom with their gay hallo,
And half a score of roisterers after,
  Out in the witching, wonderful snow,

Shivering graybeards shuffle and stumble,
  Righting themselves with a frozen frown,
Grumbling at every snowy tumble;
  But young folks know why the snow came down.

    _Louise Chandler Moulton._



Give Them the Flowers Now


Closed eyes can't see the white roses,
  Cold hands can't hold them, you know;
Breath that is stilled cannot gather
  The odors that sweet from them blow.
Death, with a peace beyond dreaming,
  Its children of earth doth endow;
Life is the time we can help them,
  So give them the flowers now!

Here are the struggles and striving,
  Here are the cares and the tears;
Now is the time to be smoothing
  The frowns and the furrows and fears.
What to closed eyes are kind sayings?
  What to hushed heart is deep vow?
Naught can avail after parting,
  So give them the flowers now!

Just a kind word or a greeting;
  Just a warm grasp or a smile--
These are the flowers that will lighten
  The burdens for many a mile.
After the journey is over
  What is the use of them; how
Can they carry them who must be carried?
  Oh, give them the flowers now!

Blooms from the happy heart's garden,
  Plucked in the spirit of love;
Blooms that are earthly reflections
  Of flowers that blossom above.
Words cannot tell what a measure
  Of blessing such gifts will allow
To dwell in the lives of many,
  So give them the flowers now!

    _Leigh M. Hodges._



The Lost Occasion

(Written in memory of Daniel Webster.)


Some die too late and some too soon,
At early morning, heat of noon,
Or the chill evening twilight. Thou,
Whom the rich heavens did so endow
With eyes of power and Jove's own brow,
With all the massive strength that fills
Thy home-horizon's granite hills,
With rarest gifts of heart and head
From manliest stock inherited--
New England's stateliest type of man,
In port and speech Olympian;
Whom no one met, at first, but took
A second awed and wondering look
(As turned, perchance, the eyes of Greece
On Phidias' unveiled masterpiece);
Whose words, in simplest home-spun clad,
The Saxon strength of Caedmon's had,
With power reserved at need to reach
The Roman forum's loftiest speech,
Sweet with persuasion, eloquent
In passion, cool in argument,
Or, ponderous, falling on thy foes
As fell the Norse god's hammer blows.
Crushing as if with Talus' flail
Through Error's logic-woven mail,
And failing only when they tried
The adamant of the righteous side,--
Thou, foiled in aim and hope, bereaved
Of old friends, by the new deceived,
Too soon for us, too soon for thee,
Beside thy lonely Northern sea,
Where long and low the marsh-lands spread,
Laid wearily down thy august head.

Thou shouldst have lived to feel below
Thy feet Disunion's fierce upthrow,--
The late-sprung mine that underlaid
Thy sad concessions vainly made.
Thou shouldst have seen from Sumter's wall
The star-flag of the Union fall,
And armed Rebellion pressing on
The broken lines of Washington!
No stronger voice than thine had then
Called out the utmost might of men,
To make the Union's charter free
And strengthen law by liberty.
How had that stern arbitrament
To thy gray age youth's vigor lent,
Shaming ambition's paltry prize
Before thy disillusioned eyes;
Breaking the spell about thee wound
Like the green withes that Samson bound;
Redeeming, in one effort grand,
Thyself and thy imperiled land!
Ah cruel fate, that closed to thee,
O sleeper by the Northern sea,
The gates of opportunity!
God fills the gaps of human need,
Each crisis brings its word and deed.
Wise men and strong we did not lack;
But still, with memory turning back,
In the dark hours we thought of thee,
And thy lone grave beside the sea.

Above that grave the east winds blow,
And from the marsh-lands drifting slow
The sea-fog comes, with evermore
The wave-wash of a lonely shore,
And sea-bird's melancholy cry,
As Nature fain would typify
The sadness of a closing scene,
The loss of that which should have been.
But, where thy native mountains bare
Their foreheads to diviner air,
Fit emblem of enduring fame,
One lofty summit keeps thy name.
For thee the cosmic forces did
The rearing of that pyramid,
The prescient ages shaping with
Fire, flood, and frost thy monolith.
Sunrise and sunset lay thereon
With hands of light their benison,
The stars of midnight pause to set
Their jewels in its coronet.
And evermore that mountain mass
Seems climbing from the shadowy pass
To light, as if to manifest
Thy nobler self, they life at best!

    _John G. Whittier._



The Flower of Liberty


What flower is this that greets the morn,
Its hues from Heaven so freshly born?
With burning star and flaming band
It kindles all the sunset land:
O tell us what its name may be,--
Is this the Flower of Liberty?
    It is the banner of the free,
    The starry Flower of Liberty!

In savage Nature's far abode
Its tender seed our fathers sowed;
The storm-winds rocked its swelling bud,
Its opening leaves were streaked with blood,
Till lo! earth's tyrants shook to see
The full-blown Flower of Liberty!
    Then hail the banner of the free,
    The starry Flower of Liberty!

Behold its streaming rays unite,
One mingling flood of braided light--
The red that fires the Southern rose,
With spotless white from Northern snows,
And, spangled o'er its azure, see
The sister Stars of Liberty!
    Then hail the banner of the free,
    The starry Flower of Liberty!

The blades of heroes fence it round,
Where'er it springs is holy ground;
From tower and dome its glories spread;
It waves where lonely sentries tread;
It makes the land as ocean free,
And plants an empire on the sea!
    Then hail the banner of the free,
    The starry Flower of Liberty!

Thy sacred leaves, fair Freedom's flower,
Shall ever float on dome and tower,
To all their heavenly colors true,
In blackening frost or crimson dew,--
And God love us as we love thee,
Thrice holy Flower of Liberty!
    Then hail the banner of the free,
    The starry Flower of Liberty!

    _Oliver Wendell Holmes._



The Lamb


  Little lamb, who made thee?
  Dost thou know who made thee,
Gave thee life, and made thee feed
By the stream and o'er the mead?
Gave thee clothing of delight,--
Softest clothing, woolly, bright?
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
  Little lamb, who made thee?
  Dost thou know who made thee?

  Little lamb, I'll tell thee;
  Little lamb, I'll tell thee;
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a lamb.
He is meek and He is mild;
He became a little child:
I a child, and thou a lamb,
We are called by His name.
  Little lamb, God bless thee!
  Little lamb, God bless thee!

    _William Blake._



The Roll Call


"Corporal Green!" the orderly cried;
  "Here!" was the answer, loud and clear,
  From the lips of the soldier standing near,
And "Here" was the answer the next replied.

"Cyrus Drew!"--then a silence fell--
  This time no answer followed the call,
  Only the rear man had seen him fall,
Killed or wounded he could not tell.

There they stood in the failing light,
  These men of battle, with grave dark looks,
  As plain to be read as open books,
While slowly gathered the shades of night.

The fern on the hillside was splashed with blood,
  And down in the corn, where the poppies grew
  Were redder stains than the poppies knew
And crimson-dyed was the river's flood.

"Herbert Kline!" At the call there came
  Two stalwart soldiers into the line,
  Bearing between them Herbert Kline,
Wounded and bleeding, to answer his name.

"Ezra Kerr!"--and a voice said "Here!"
  "Hiram Kerr!"--but no man replied.
  They were brothers, these two; the sad winds sighed,
And a shudder crept through the cornfield near.

"Ephraim Deane!" then a soldier spoke;
  "Deane carried our regiment's colors," he said;
  "Where our ensign was shot, I left him dead,
Just after the enemy wavered and broke.

"Close by the roadside his body lies;
  I paused a moment and gave him a drink,
  He murmured his mother's name I think,
And Death came with it and closed his eyes."

'Twas a victory; yes, but it cost us dear--
  For that company's roll when called that night,
  Of a hundred men who went into the fight,
Numbered but twenty that answered "Here!"

    _N.G. Shepherd._



A Prayer for a Little Home


God send us a little home
To come back to when we roam--
Low walls and fluted tiles,
Wide windows, a view for miles;
Red firelight and deep chairs;
Small white beds upstairs;
Great talk in little nooks;
Dim colors, rows of books;
One picture on each wall;
Not many things at all.
God send us a little ground--
Tall trees standing round,
Homely flowers in brown sod,
Overhead, Thy stars, O God!
God bless, when winds blow,
Our home and all we know.

    _London "Spectator."_



I Have Drank My Last Glass


No, comrades, I thank you--not any for me;
My last chain is riven--henceforward I'm free!
I will go to my home and my children to-night
With no fumes of liquor their spirits to blight;
And, with tears in my eyes, I will beg my poor wife
To forgive me the wreck I have made of her life.
_I have never refused you before?_ Let that pass,
  For I've drank my last glass, boys,
  I have drank my last glass.

Just look at me now, boys, in rags and disgrace,
With my bleared, haggard eyes, and my red, bloated face;
Mark my faltering step and my weak, palsied hand,
And the mark on my brow that is worse than Cain's brand;
See my crownless old hat, and my elbows and knees,
Alike, warmed by the sun, or chilled by the breeze.
Why, even the children will hoot as I pass;--
  But I've drank my last glass, boys,
  I have drank my last glass.

You would hardly believe, boys, to look at me now
That a mother's soft hand was pressed on my brow--
When she kissed me, and blessed me, her darling, her pride,
Ere she lay down to rest by my dead father's side;
But with love in her eyes, she looked up to the sky
Bidding me meet her there and whispered "Good-bye."
And I'll do it, God helping! Your _smile_ I let pass,
  For I've drank my last glass, boys,
  I have drank my last glass.

Ah! I reeled home last night, it was not very late,
For I'd spent my last sixpence, and landlords won't wait
On a fellow who's left every cent in their till,
And has pawned his last bed, their coffers to fill.
Oh, the torments I felt, and the pangs I endured!
And I begged for one glass--just one would have cured,--
But they kicked me out doors! I let that, too, pass,
  For I've drank my last glass, boys,
  I have drank my last glass.

At home, my pet Susie, with her rich golden hair,
I saw through the window, just kneeling in prayer;
From her pale, bony hands, her torn sleeves hung down,
And her feet, cold and bare, shrank beneath her scant gown,
And she prayed--prayed for _bread_, just a poor crust of bread,
For one crust, on her knees my pet darling plead!
And I heard, with no penny to buy one, alas!
  For I've drank my last glass, boys,
  I have drank my last glass.

For Susie, my darling, my wee six-year-old,
Though fainting with hunger and shivering with cold,
There, on the bare floor, asked God to bless _me_!
And she said, "Don't cry, mamma! He will; for you see,
I _believe_ what I ask for!" Then sobered, I crept
Away from the house; and that night, when I slept,
Next my heart lay the PLEDGE! You smile! let it pass,
  For I've drank my last glass, boys
  I have drank my last glass.

My darling child saved me! Her faith and her love
Are akin to my dear sainted mother's above!
I will make my words true, or I'll die in the race,
And sober I'll go to my last resting place;
And she shall kneel there, and, weeping, thank God
No _drunkard_ lies under the daisy-strewn sod!
Not a drop more of poison my lips shall e'er pass,
  For I've drank my last glass, boys,
  I have drank my last glass.



Highland Mary


Ye banks, and braes, and streams around
  The castle o' Montgomery,
Green be your woods, and fair your flowers,
  Your waters never drumlie!
There simmer first unfauld her robes,
  And there the langest tarry;
For there I took the last fareweel
  O' my sweet Highland Mary.

How sweetly bloom'd the gay green birk,
  How rich the hawthorn's blossom,
As, underneath their fragrant shade,
  I clasp'd her to my bosom!
The golden hours, on angel wings,
  Flew o'er me and my dearie;
For dear to me as light and life
  Was my sweet Highland Mary!

Wi' mony a vow, and lock'd embrace,
  Our parting was fu' tender;
And, pledging aft to meet again,
  We tore oursels asunder;
But, oh, fell death's untimely frost,
  That nipp'd my flower sae early!
Now green's the sod and cauld's the clay,
  That wraps my Highland Mary!

Oh, pale, pale now, those rosy lips,
  I aft ha'e kiss'd, sae fondly!
And closed for aye the sparkling glance
  That dwalt on me sae kindly!
And mouldering now in silent dust,
  That heart that lo'ed me dearly;
But still within my bosom's core
  Shall live my Highland Mary!

    _Robert Burns._



A Night with a Wolf


Little one, come to my knee!
  Hark, how the rain is pouring
Over the roof, in the pitch-black night,
  And the wind in the woods a-roaring!

Hush, my darling, and listen,
  Then pay for the story with kisses;
Father was lost in the pitch-black night,
  In just such a storm as this is!

High up on the lonely mountains,
  Where the wild men watched and waited
Wolves in the forest, and bears in the bush,
  And I on my path belated.

The rain and the night together
  Came down, and the wind came after,
Bending the props of the pine-tree roof,
  And snapping many a rafter.

I crept along in the darkness,
  Stunned, and bruised, and blinded,--
Crept to a fir with thick-set boughs,
  And a sheltering rock behind it.

There, from the blowing and raining
  Crouching, I sought to hide me:
Something rustled, two green eyes shone,
  And a wolf lay down beside me.

Little one, be not frightened;
  I and the wolf together,
Side by side, through the long, long night
  Hid from the awful weather.

His wet fur pressed against me;
  Each of us warmed the other;
Each of us felt, in the stormy dark,
  That beast and man was brother.

And when the falling forest
  No longer crashed in warning,
Each of us went from our hiding-place
  Forth in the wild, wet morning.

Darling, kiss me in payment!
  Hark, how the wind is roaring;
Father's house is a better place
  When the stormy rain is pouring!

    _Bayard Taylor._



She Was a Phantom of Delight


She was a Phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight;
A lovely Apparition sent
To be a moment's ornament;
Her eyes as stars of Twilight fair;
Like Twilight's, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful Dawn;
A dancing Shape, an Image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and way-lay.

I saw her upon nearer view,
A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin-liberty;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A Creature not too bright or good
For human nature's daily food;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears and smiles.

And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine;
A Being breathing thoughtful breath,
A Traveler between life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
A perfect Woman, nobly planned,
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright
With something of angelic light.

    _William Wordsworth._



The Rhodora

(_On Being Asked Whence Is The Flower_)


In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes,
I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods,
Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook,
To please the desert and the sluggish brook.
The purple petals, fallen in the pool,
Made the black water with their beauty gay;
Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool,
And court the flower that cheapens his array.
Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why
This charm is wasted on the earth and sky,
Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,
Then Beauty is its own excuse for being:
Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose!
I never thought to ask, I never knew:
But, in my simple ignorance, suppose
The self-same Power that brought me there brought you.

    _Ralph Waldo Emerson._



There Was a Boy


There was a Boy; ye knew him well, ye cliffs
And islands of Winander!--many a time,
At evening, when the earliest stars began
To move along the edges of the hills,
Rising or setting, would he stand alone,
Beneath the trees, or by the glimmering lake;
And there, with fingers interwoven, both hands
Pressed closely palm to palm and to his mouth
Uplifted, he, as through an instrument,
Blew mimic hootings to the silent owls,
That they might answer him,--And they would shout
Across the watery vale, and shout again,
Responsive to his call,--with quivering peals,
And long halloos, and screams, and echoes loud
Redoubled and redoubled; concourse wild
Of jocund din! and, when there came a pause
Of silence such as baffled his best skill,
Then, sometimes, in that silence, while he hung
Listening, a gentle shock of mild surprise
Has carried far into his heart the voice
Of mountain-torrents; or the visible scene
Would enter unawares into his mind
With all its solemn imagery, its rocks,
Its woods, and that uncertain heaven received
Into the bosom of the steady lake.
This boy was taken from his mates, and died
In childhood, ere he was full twelve years old.
Pre-eminent in beauty is the vale
Where he was born and bred: the church-yard hangs
Upon a slope above the village-school;
And through that church-yard when my way has led
On Summer-evenings, I believe, that there
A long half-hour together I have stood
Mute--looking at the grave in which he lies!

    _William Wordsworth._



The Quangle Wangle's Hat


On the top of the Crumpetty Tree
  The Quangle Wangle sat,
But his face you could not see,
  On account of his Beaver Hat.
For his hat was a hundred and two feet wide,
With ribbons and bibbons on every side,
And bells, and buttons, and loops, and lace,
So that nobody ever could see the face
  Of the Quangle Wangle Quee.

The Quangle Wangle said
  To himself on the Crumpetty Tree,
"Jam, and jelly, and bread
  Are the best of food for me!
But the longer I live on this Crumpetty Tree
The plainer than ever it seems to me
That very few people come this way
And that life on the whole is far from gay!"
  Said the Quangle Wangle Quee.

But there came to the Crumpetty Tree
  Mr. and Mrs. Canary;
And they said, "Did ever you see
  Any spot so charmingly airy?
May we build a nest on your lovely Hat?
Mr. Quangle Wangle, grant us that!
Oh, please let us come and build a nest
Of whatever material suits you best,
  Mr. Quangle Wangle Quee!"

And besides, to the Crumpetty Tree
  Came the Stork, the Duck, and the Owl;
The Snail and the Bumblebee,
  The Frog and the Fimble Fowl
(The Fimble Fowl, with a corkscrew leg);
And all of them said, "We humbly beg
We may build our homes on your lovely Hat,--
Mr. Quangle Wangle, grant us that!
  Mr. Quangle Wangle Quee!"

And the Golden Grouse came there,
  And the Pobble who has no toes,
And the small Olympian bear,
  And the Dong with a luminous nose.
And the Blue Baboon who played the flute,
And the Orient Calf from the Land of Tute,
And the Attery Squash, and the Bisky Bat,--
All came and built on the lovely Hat
  Of the Quangle Wangle Quee.

And the Quangle Wangle said
  To himself on the Crumpetty Tree,
"When all these creatures move
  What a wonderful noise there'll be!"
And at night by the light of the Mulberry Moon
They danced to the Flute of the Blue Baboon,
On the broad green leaves of the Crumpetty Tree,
And all were as happy as happy could be,
With the Quangle Wangle Quee.

    _Edward Lear._



The Singing Leaves


I

"What fairings will ye that I bring?"
  Said the King to his daughters three;
"For I to Vanity Fair am boun,
  Now say what shall they be?"

Then up and spake the eldest daughter,
  That lady tall and grand:
"Oh, bring me pearls and diamonds great,
  And gold rings for my hand."

Thereafter spake the second daughter,
  That was both white and red:
"For me bring silks that will stand alone,
  And a gold comb for my head."

Then came the turn of the least daughter,
  That was whiter than thistle-down,
And among the gold of her blithesome hair
  Dim shone the golden crown.

"There came a bird this morning,
  And sang 'neath my bower eaves,
Till I dreamed, as his music made me,
  'Ask thou for the Singing Leaves.'"

Then the brow of the King swelled crimson
  With a flush of angry scorn:
"Well have ye spoken, my two eldest,
  And chosen as ye were born,

"But she, like a thing of peasant race,
  That is happy binding the sheaves";
Then he saw her dead mother in her face,
  And said, "Thou shalt have thy leaves."


II

He mounted and rode three days and nights
  Till he came to Vanity Fair,
And 'twas easy to buy the gems and the silk,
  But no Singing Leaves were there.

Then deep in the greenwood rode he,
  And asked of every tree,
"Oh, if you have, ever a Singing Leaf,
  I pray you give it me!"

But the trees all kept their counsel,
  And never a word said they,
Only there sighed from the pine-tops
  A music of seas far away.

Only the pattering aspen
  Made a sound of growing rain,
That fell ever faster and faster.
  Then faltered to silence again.

"Oh, where shall I find a little foot-page
  That would win both hose and shoon,
And will bring to me the Singing Leaves
  If they grow under the moon?"

Then lightly turned him Walter the page,
  By the stirrup as he ran:
"Now pledge you me the truesome word
  Of a king and gentleman,

"That you will give me the first, first thing
  You meet at your castle-gate,
And the Princess shall get the Singing Leaves,
  Or mine be a traitor's fate."

The King's head dropt upon his breast
  A moment, as it might be;
'Twill be my dog, he thought, and said,
  "My faith I plight to thee."

Then Walter took from next his heart
  A packet small and thin,
"Now give you this to the Princess Anne,
  The Singing Leaves are therein."


III

As the King rode in at his castle-gate,
  A maiden to meet him ran,
And "Welcome, father!" she laughed and cried
  Together, the Princess Anne.

"Lo, here the Singing Leaves," quoth he,
  "And woe, but they cost me dear!"
She took the packet, and the smile
  Deepened down beneath the tear.

It deepened down till it reached her heart,
  And then gushed up again,
And lighted her tears as the sudden sun
  Transfigures the summer rain.

And the first Leaf, when it was opened,
  Sang: "I am Walter the page,
And the songs I sing 'neath thy window
  Are my only heritage."

And the second Leaf sang: "But in the land
  That is neither on earth nor sea,
My lute and I are lords of more
  Than thrice this kingdom's fee."

And the third Leaf sang, "Be mine! Be mine!"
  And ever it sang, "Be mine!"
Then sweeter it sang and ever sweeter,
  And said, "I am thine, thine, thine!"

At the first Leaf she grew pale enough,
  At the second she turned aside,
At the third,'twas as if a lily flushed
  With a rose's red heart's tide.

"Good counsel gave the bird," said she,
  "I have my hope thrice o'er,
For they sing to my very heart," she said,
  "And it sings to them evermore."

She brought to him her beauty and truth,
  But and broad earldoms three,
And he made her queen of the broader lands
  He held of his lute in fee.

    _James Russell Lowell._



Awakening


Never yet was a springtime,
  Late though lingered the snow,
That the sap stirred not at the whisper
  Of the south wind, sweet and low;
Never yet was a springtime
  When the buds forgot to blow.

Ever the wings of the summer
  Are folded under the mold;
Life that has known no dying
  Is Love's to have and to hold,
Till sudden, the burgeoning Easter!
  The song! the green and the gold!

    _Margaret E. Sangster._



Wolsey's Farewell to His Greatness

_(From "King Henry VIII")_


Farewell! a long farewell, to all my greatness!
This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hope, to-morrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honours thick upon him:
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
And,--when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a-ripening,--nips his root,
And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured,
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
This many summers in a sea of glory,
But far beyond my depth: my high-blown pride
At length broke under me, and now has left me
Weary, and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me.
Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye:
I feel my heart new opened. O, how wretched
Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favours!
There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
More pangs and fears than wars or women have;
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again.

    _William Shakespeare._



The Newsboy


Want any papers, Mister?
  Wish you'd buy 'em of me--
Ten year old, an' a fam'ly,
  An' bizness dull, you see.
Fact, Boss! There's Tom, an' Tibby,
  An' Dad, an' Mam, an' Mam's cat,
None on 'em earning money--
  What do you think of that?

_Couldn't Dad work?_ Why yes, Boss,
  He's workin' for Gov'ment now--
They give him his board for nothin',
  All along of a drunken row,
_An' Mam?_ well, she's in the poor-house,
  Been there a year or so,
So I'm taking care of the others,
  Doing as well as I know.

_Tibby my sister?_ Not much, Boss,
  She's a kitten, a real Maltee;
I picked her up last summer--
  Some boys was a drownin' of she;
Throw'd her inter a hogshead;
  But a p'liceman came along,
So I jest grabbed up the kitten
  And put for home, right strong.

And Tom's my dog; he an' Tibby
  Hain't never quarreled yet--
They sleep in my bed in winter
  An' keeps me warm--you bet!
Mam's cat sleeps in the corner,
  With a piller made of her paw--
Can't she growl like a tiger
  If anyone comes to our straw!

_Oughtn't to live so?_ Why, Mister,
  What's a feller to do?
Some nights, when I'm tired an' hungry,
  Seems as if each on 'em knew--
They'll all three cuddle around me,
  Till I get cheery, and say:
Well, p'raps I'll have sisters an' brothers,
  An' money an' clothes, too, some day.

But if I do git rich, Boss,
  (An' a lecturin' chap one night
Said newsboys could be Presidents
  If only they acted right);
So, if I was President, Mister,
  The very first thing I'd do,
I'd buy poor Tom an' Tibby
  A dinner--an' Mam's cat, too!

None o' your scraps an' leavin's,
  But a good square meal for all three;
If you think I'd skimp my friends, Boss,
  That shows you don't know _me_.
So 'ere's your papers--come take one,
  Gimme a lift if you can--
For now you've heard my story,
You see I'm a fam'ly man!

    _E.T. Corbett._



Parting of Marmion and Douglas


Not far advanced was morning day,
When Marmion did his troop array
  To Surrey's camp to ride;
He had safe conduct for his band,
Beneath the royal seal and hand,
  And Douglas gave a guide:
The ancient Earl, with stately grace,
Would Clara on her palfrey place,
And whispered in an undertone,
"Let the hawk stoop, his prey is flown."
The train from out the castle drew,
But Marmion stopped to bid adieu.--
"Though something I might plain," he said,
"Of cold respect to stranger guest,
Sent hither by your king's behest,
While in Tantallon's towers I stayed,
Part we in friendship from your land,
And, noble Earl, receive my hand."--
But Douglas round him drew his cloak,
Folded his arms, and thus he spoke:--
"My manors, halls, and bowers shall still
Be open, at my sovereign's will,
To each one whom he lists, howe'er
Unmeet to be the owner's peer.
My castles are my king's alone,
From turret to foundation-stone,--
The hand of Douglas is his own;
And never shall in friendly grasp
The hand of such as Marmion clasp."

Burned Marmion's swarthy cheek like fire,
And shook his very frame for ire,
  And--"This to me!" he said,--
"An't were not for thy hoary beard,
Such hand as Marmion's had not spared
  To cleave the Douglas' head!
And, first, I tell thee, haughty Peer,
He who does England's message here,
  Even in thy pitch of pride,
Here in thy hold, thy vassals near,
(Nay, never look upon your lord,
And lay your hands upon your sword,)
  I tell thee thou'rt defied!
And if thou said'st I am not peer
To any lord in Scotland here,
Lowland or Highland, far or near,
  Lord Angus, thou hast lied!"--
On the Earl's cheek the flush of rage
O'ercame the ashen hue of age:
Fierce he broke forth,--"And dar'st thou then
To beard the lion in his den,
  The Douglas in his hall?
And hop'st thou hence unscathed to go?
No, by St. Bride of Bothwell, no!
Up drawbridge, grooms,--what, warder, ho!
  Let the portcullis fall."--
Lord Marmion turned,--well was his need!--
And dashed the rowels in his steed;
Like arrow through the archway sprung;
The ponderous grate behind him rung;
To pass there was such scanty room,
The bars, descending, razed his plume.

The steed along the drawbridge flies.
Just as it trembled on the rise;
Not lighter does the swallow skim
Along the smooth lake's level brim;
And when Lord Marmion reached his band,
He halts, and turns with clenched hand,
And shout of loud defiance pours,
And shook his gauntlet at the towers,
"Horse! horse!" the Douglas cried, "and chase!"
But soon he reined his fury's pace:
"A royal messenger he came,
Though most unworthy of the name.

       *       *       *       *       *

St. Mary, mend my fiery mood!
Old age ne'er cools the Douglas blood,
I thought to slay him where he stood.
'Tis pity of him too," he cried;
"Bold can he speak, and fairly ride:
I warrant him a warrior tried."
With this his mandate he recalls,
And slowly seeks his castle halls.

    _Sir Walter Scott._



The Engineer's Story


Han'som, stranger? Yes, she's purty an' ez peart ez she kin be.
Clever? W'y! she ain't no chicken, but she's good enough for me.
What's her name? 'Tis kind o' common, yit I ain't ashamed to tell,
She's ole "Fiddler" Filkin's daughter, an' her dad he calls her "Nell."

I wuz drivin' on the "Central" jist about a year ago
On the run from Winnemucca up to Reno in Washoe.
There's no end o' skeery places. 'Taint a road fur one who dreams,
With its curves an' awful tres'les over rocks an' mountain streams.

'Twuz an afternoon in August, we hed got behind an hour,
An' wuz tearin' up the mountain like a summer thunder-shower,
Round the bends an' by the ledges, 'bout ez fast ez we could go,
With the mountain peaks above us an' the river down below.

Ez we come nigh to a tres'le 'crost a holler, deep an' wild,
Suddenly I saw a baby, 'twuz the station-keeper's child,
Toddlin' right along the timbers with a bold an' fearless tread,
Right afore the locomotive, not a hundred rods ahead.

I jist jumped an' grabbed the throttle an' I fa'rly held my breath,
Fur I felt I couldn't stop her till the child wuz crushed to death,
When a woman sprang afore me, like a sudden streak o' light.
Caught the boy, an' 'twixt the timbers in a second sank from sight.

I jist whis'l'd all the brakes on. An' we worked with might an' main,
Till the fire flew from the drivers, but we couldn't stop the train,
An' it rumbled on above her. How she screamed ez we rolled by,
An' the river roared below us--I shall hear her till I die!

Then we stopt; the sun wuz shinin'; I ran back along the ridge
An' I found her--dead? No! livin'! She wuz hangin' to the bridge
Where she dropt down thro' the crossties, with one arm about a sill,
An' the other round the baby, who wuz yellin' fur to kill!

So we saved 'em. She wuz gritty. She's ez peart ez she kin be--
Now we're married--she's no chicken, but she's good enough for me.
An' ef eny ask who owns her, w'y, I ain't ashamed to tell--
She's my wife. Ther' ain't none better than ole Filkin's daughter "Nell."

    _Eugene J. Hall._



Small Beginnings


A traveler on the dusty road
  Strewed acorns on the lea;
And one took root and sprouted up,
  And grew into a tree.
Love sought its shade, at evening time,
  To breathe his early vows;
And age was pleased, in heats of noon,
  To bask beneath its boughs;
The dormouse loved its dangling twigs,
  The birds sweet music bore;
It stood a glory in its place,
  A blessing evermore.

A little spring had lost its way
  Amid the grass and fern,
A passing stranger scooped a well
  Where weary men might turn;
He walled it in, and hung with care
  A ladle at the brink;
He thought not of the deed he did,
  But judged that all might drink.
He paused again, and lo! the well,
  By summer never dried,
Had cooled ten thousand parching tongues
  And saved a life beside.

A dreamer dropped a random thought;
  'Twas old, and yet 'twas new;
A simple fancy of the brain,
  But strong in being true.
It shone upon a genial mind,
  And, lo! its light became
A lamp of life, a beacon ray,
  A monitory flame;
The thought was small, its issue great;
  A watch-fire on the hill;
It shed its radiance far adown,
  And cheers the valley still.

A nameless man, amid a crowd
  That thronged the daily mart,
Let fall a word of Hope and Love,
  Unstudied from the heart;
A whisper on the tumult thrown,
  A transitory breath--
It raised a brother from the dust,
  It saved a soul from death.
O germ! O fount! O word of love!
  O thought at random cast!
Ye were but little at the first,
  But mighty at the last.

    _Charles Mackay._



Rain on the Roof


When the humid showers gather over all the starry spheres,
And the melancholy darkness gently weeps in rainy tears,
'Tis a joy to press the pillow of a cottage chamber bed,
And listen to the patter of the soft rain overhead.

Every tinkle on the shingles has an echo in the heart,
And a thousand dreamy fancies into busy being start;
And a thousand recollections weave their bright hues into woof,
As I listen to the patter of the soft rain on the roof.

There in fancy comes my mother, as she used to years agone,
To survey the infant sleepers ere she left them till the dawn.
I can see her bending o'er me, as I listen to the strain
Which is played upon the shingles by the patter of the rain.

Then my little seraph sister, with her wings and waving hair,
And her bright-eyed, cherub brother--a serene, angelic pair--
Glide around my wakeful pillow with their praise or mild reproof,
As I listen to the murmur of the soft rain on the roof.

And another comes to thrill me with her eyes' delicious blue,
I forget, as gazing on her, that her heart was all untrue,
I remember that I loved her as I ne'er may love again,
And my heart's quick pulses vibrate to the patter of the rain.

There is naught in art's bravuras that can work with such a spell,
In the spirit's pure, deep fountains, whence the holy passions swell,
As that melody of nature, that subdued, subduing strain,
Which is played upon the shingles by the patter of the rain!

    _Coates Kinney._



Gunga Din

The "bhisti," or water-carriers attached to regiments in India, is often
one of the most devoted subjects of the British crown, and he is much
appreciated by the men.


You may talk o' gin an' beer
When you're quartered safe out 'ere,
An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it;
But if it comes to slaughter
You will do your work on water,
An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it.
Now in Injia's sunny clime,
Where I used to spend my time
A-servin' of 'Er Majesty the Queen,
Of all them black-faced crew
The finest man I knew
Was our regimental _bhisti_, Gunga Din.
  He was "Din! Din! Din!
  You limping lump o' brick-dust, Gunga Din!
  Hi! _Slippy hitherao!_
  Water, get it! _Panee lao!_
  You squidgy-nosed, old idol, Gunga Din!"

The uniform 'e wore
Was nothin' much before,
An' rather less than 'arf o' that be'ind,
For a twisty piece o' rag
An' a goatskin water bag
Was all the field-equipment 'e could find,
When the sweatin' troop-train lay
In a sidin' through the day,
Where the 'eat would make your bloomin' eyebrows crawl,
We shouted "Harry By!"
Till our throats were bricky-dry,
Then we wopped 'im 'cause 'e couldn't serve us all,
  It was "Din! Din! Din!
  You 'eathen, where the mischief 'ave you been?
  You put some _juldee_ in it,
  Or I'll _marrow_ you this minute
  If you don't fill up my helmet, Gunga Din!"

'E would dot an' carry one
Till the longest day was done,
An' 'e didn't seem to know the use o' fear.
If we charged or broke or cut,
You could bet your bloomin' nut,
'E'd be waitin' fifty paces right flank rear.
With 'is _mussick_ on 'is back,
'E would skip with our attack,
An' watch us till the bugles made "Retire."
An' for all 'is dirty 'ide
'E was white, clear white, inside
When 'e went to tend the wounded under fire!
  It was "Din! Din! Din!"
  With the bullets kickin' dust-spots on the green.
  When the cartridges ran out,
  You could 'ear the front-files shout:
  "Hi! ammunition-mules an' Gunga Din!"

I sha'n't forgit the night
When I dropped be'ind the fight
With a bullet where my belt-plate should 'a' been.
I was chokin' mad with thirst,
An' the man that spied me first
Was our good old grinnin', gruntin' Gunga Din.
'E lifted up my 'ead,
An' 'e plugged me where I bled,
An' 'e guv me arf-a-pint o' water--green:
It was crawlin' and it stunk,
But of all the drinks I've drunk,
I'm gratefullest to one from Gunga Din.
  It was "Din! Din! Din!
  'Ere's a beggar with a bullet through 'is spleen;
  'E's chawin' up the ground an' 'e's kickin' all around:
  For Gawd's sake git the water, Gunga Din!"

'E carried me away
To where a _dooli_ lay,
An' a bullet come an' drilled the beggar clean.
'E put me safe inside,
An', just before 'e died:
"I 'ope you liked your drink," sez Gunga Din.
So I'll meet 'im later on
In the place where 'e is gone--
Where it's always double drill and no canteen;
'E'll be squattin' on the coals
Givin' drink to pore damned souls,
An' I'll get a swig in Hell from Gunga Din!
  Din! Din! Din!
  You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!
  Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you,
  By the livin' Gawd that made you,
  You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

    _Rudyard Kipling._

"Panee lao"--Bring water swiftly.

"Harry Ry"-The British soldier's equivalent of "O Brother!"

"Put some juldee in it"--Be quick.

"Marrow you"--Hit you.

"Mussick"--Water-skin.



Warren's Address to the American Soldiers

(_Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775_)


Stand! the ground's your own, my braves!
Will ye give it up to slaves?
Will ye look for greener graves?
  Hope ye mercy still?
What's the mercy despots feel?
Hear it in that battle peal!
Read it on yon bristling steel!
  Ask it--ye who will.

Fear ye foes who kill for hire?
Will ye to your homes retire?
Look behind you! They're afire!
  And, before you, see
Who have done it! From the vale
On they come! and will ye quail?
Leaden rain and iron hail
  Let their welcome be!

In the God of battles trust!
Die we may--and die we must;
But, O where can dust to dust
  Be consigned so well,
As where Heaven its dews shall shed
On the martyred patriot's bed,
And the rocks shall raise their head,
  Of his deeds to tell!

    _John Pierpont._



Mad River

IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS


_Traveler_

Why dost thou wildly rush and roar,
  Mad River, O Mad River?
Wilt thou not pause and cease to pour
Thy hurrying, headlong waters o'er
  This rocky shelf forever?

What secret trouble stirs thy breast?
  Why all this fret and flurry?
Dost thou not know that what is best
In this too restless world is rest
  From overwork and worry?


_The River_

What wouldst thou in these mountains seek,
  O stranger from the city?
Is it perhaps some foolish freak
Of thine, to put the words I speak
  Into a plaintive ditty?


_Traveler_

Yes; I would learn of thee thy song,
  With all its flowing numbers,
And in a voice as fresh and strong
As thine is, sing it all day long,
  And hear it in my slumbers.


_The River_

A brooklet nameless and unknown
  Was I at first, resembling
A little child, that all alone
Comes venturing down the stairs of stone,
  Irresolute and trembling.

Later, by wayward fancies led,
  For the wide world I panted;
Out of the forest dark and dread
Across the open fields I fled,
  Like one pursued and haunted.

I tossed my arms, I sang aloud,
  My voice exultant blending
With thunder from the passing cloud,
The wind, the forest bent and bowed,
  The rush of rain descending.

I heard the distant ocean call,
  Imploring and entreating;
Drawn onward, o'er this rocky wall
I plunged, and the loud waterfall
  Made answer to the greeting.

And now, beset with many ills,
  A toilsome life I follow;
Compelled to carry from the hills
These logs to the impatient mills
  Below there in the hollow.

Yet something ever cheers and charms
  The rudeness of my labors;
Daily I water with these arms
The cattle of a hundred farms,
  And have the birds for neighbors.

Men call me Mad, and well they may,
  When, full of rage and trouble,
I burst my banks of sand and clay,
And sweep their wooden bridge away,
  Like withered reeds or stubble.

Now go and write thy little rhyme,
  As of thine own creating.
Thou seest the day is past its prime;
I can no longer waste my time;
  The mills are tired of waiting.

    _Henry W. Longfellow._



When Papa Was a Boy


When papa was a little boy you really couldn't find
In all the country round about a child so quick to mind.
His mother never called but once, and he was always there;
He never made the baby cry or pulled his sister's hair.
He never slid down banisters or made the slightest noise,
And never in his life was known to fight with other boys.
He always rose at six o'clock and went to bed at eight,
And never lay abed till noon; and never sat up late.

He finished Latin, French and Greek when he was ten year old,
And knew the Spanish alphabet as soon as he was told.
He never, never thought of play until his work was done,
He labored hard from break of day until the set of sun.
He never scraped his muddy shoes upon the parlor floor,
And never answered, back his ma, and never banged the door.
"But, truly, I could never see," said little Dick Molloy,
"How he could never do these things and really be a boy."

    _E.A. Brininstool._



Which Shall It Be?


"Which shall it be? which shall it be?"
I looked at John,--John looked at me,
(Dear, patient John, who loves me yet
As well as though my locks were jet.)
And when I found that I must speak,
My voice seemed strangely low and weak;
"Tell me again what Robert said";
And then I listening bent my head.
"This is his letter:
                        'I will give
A house and land while you shall live,
If, in return, from out your seven,
One child to me for aye is given.'"

I looked at John's old garments worn,
I thought of all that John had borne
Of poverty, and work, and care,
Which I, though willing, could not share;
Of seven hungry mouths to feed,
Of seven little children's need,
And then of this.
                    "Come John," said I,
"We'll choose among them as they lie
Asleep"; so walking hand in hand,
Dear John and I surveyed our band.

First to the cradle lightly stepped,
Where Lilian, the baby, slept;
Her damp curls lay, like gold alight,
A glory 'gainst the pillow white;
Softly her father stooped to lay
His rough hand down in loving way,
When dream or whisper made her stir,
And huskily he said, "Not _her_."
We stooped beside the trundle-bed,
And one long ray of lamp-light shed
Athwart the boyish faces there,
In sleep so pitiful and fair.
I saw on Jamie's rough red cheek
A tear undried; ere John could speak,
"He's but a baby too," said I,
And kissed him as we hurried by.
Pale, patient Robby's angel face
Still in his sleep bore suffering's trace;
"No, for a thousand crowns not him,"
He whispered, while our eyes were dim.
Poor Dick! sad Dick! our wayward son,
Turbulent, reckless, idle one,--
Could _he_ be spared? "Nay, He who gave
Bids us befriend him to the grave;
Only a mother's heart can be
Patient enough for such as he;
And so," said John, "I would not dare
To send him from her bedside prayer."
Then stole we softly up above,
And knelt by Mary, child of love;
"Perhaps for _her_ 'twould better be,"
I said to John. Quite silently
He lifted up a curl, that lay
Across her cheek in wilful way,
And shook his head; "Nay, love, not thee";
The while my heart beat audibly.
Only one more, our eldest lad,
Trusty and truthful, good and glad,--
So like his father: "No, John, no;
I cannot, will not, let him go!"

And so we wrote, in courteous way,
We could not give one child away;
And afterward toil lighter seemed,
Thinking of that of which we dreamed;
Happy, in truth, that not one face
We missed from its accustomed place;
Thankful to work for all the seven,
Trusting then to One in heaven.

    _Ethel Lynn Beers._



The Battle of Bunker's Hill


It was a starry night in June, the air was soft and still,
When the "minute-men" from Cambridge came, and gathered on the hill;
Beneath us lay the sleeping town, around us frowned the fleet,
But the pulse of freemen, not of slaves, within our bosoms beat;
And every heart rose high with hope, as fearlessly we said,
"We will be numbered with the free, or numbered with the dead!"

"Bring out the line to mark the trench, and stretch it on the sward!"
The trench is marked, the tools are brought, we utter not a word,
But stack our guns, then fall to work with mattock and with spade,
A thousand men with sinewy arms, and not a sound is made;
So still were we, the stars beneath, that scarce a whisper fell;
We heard the red-coat's musket click, and heard him cry, "All's well!"

See how the morn, is breaking; the red is in the sky!
The mist is creeping from the stream that floats in silence by;
The "Lively's" hall looms through the fog, and they our works have spied,
For the ruddy flash and round-shot part in thunder from her side;
And the "Falcon" and the "Cerberus" make every bosom thrill,
With gun and shell, and drum and bell, and boatswain's whistle shrill;
But deep and wider grows the trench, as spade and mattock ply,
For we have to cope with fearful odds, and the time is drawing nigh!

Up with the pine-tree banner! Our gallant Prescott stands
Amid the plunging shells and shot, and plants it with his hands;
Up with the shout! for Putnam comes upon his reeking bay,
With bloody spur and foaming bit, in haste to join the fray.
But thou whose soul is glowing in the summer of thy years,
Unvanquishable Warren, thou, the youngest of thy peers,
Wert born and bred, and shaped and made, to act a patriot's part,
And dear to us thy presence is as heart's blood to the heart!

Hark! from the town a trumpet! The barges at the wharf
Are crowded with the living freight; and now they're pushing off;
With clash and glitter, trump and drum, in all its bright array,
Behold the splendid sacrifice move slowly o'er the bay!
And still and still the barges fill, and still across the deep,
Like thunder clouds along the sky, the hostile transports sweep.

And now they're forming at the Point; and now the lines advance:
We see beneath the sultry sun their polished bayonets glance;
We hear anear the throbbing drum, the bugle-challenge ring;
Quick bursts and loud the flashing cloud, and rolls from wing to wing;
But on the height our bulwark stands, tremendous in its gloom,--
As sullen as a tropic sky, and silent as a tomb.

And so we waited till we saw, at scarce ten rifles' length,
The old vindictive Saxon spite, in all its stubborn strength;
When sudden, flash on flash, around the jagged rampart burst
From every gun the livid light upon the foe accursed.
Then quailed a monarch's might before a free-born people's ire;
Then drank the sward the veteran's life, where swept the yeoman's fire.

Then, staggered by the shot, he saw their serried columns reel,
And fall, as falls the bearded rye beneath the reaper's steel;
And then arose a mighty shout that might have waked the dead,--
"Hurrah! they run! the field is won! Hurrah! the foe is fled!"
And every man hath dropped his gun to clutch a neighbor's hand,
As his heart kept praying all the while for home and native land.

Thrice on that day we stood the shock of thrice a thousand foes,
And thrice that day within our lines the shout of victory rose;
And though our swift fire slackened then, and, reddening in the skies,
We saw from Charlestown's roofs and walls the flamy columns rise,
Yet while we had a cartridge left, we still maintained the fight,
Nor gained the foe one foot of ground upon that blood-stained height.

What though for us no laurels bloom, and o'er the nameless brave
No sculptured trophy, scroll, nor hatch records a warrior grave!
What though the day to us was lost!--upon that deathless page
The everlasting charter stands for every land and age!

For man hath broke his felon bonds, and cast them in the dust,
And claimed his heritage divine, and justified the trust;
While through his rifted prison-bars the hues of freedom pour,
O'er every nation, race and clime, on every sea and shore,
Such glories as the patriarch viewed, when, mid the darkest skies,
He saw above a ruined world the Bow of Promise rise.

    _F.S. Cozzens._



Health and Wealth


We squander health in search of wealth;
  We scheme and toil and save;
Then squander wealth in search of health,
  But only find a grave.
We live, and boast of what we own;
We die, and only get a stone.



The Heartening


It may be that the words I spoke
  To cheer him on his way,
To him were vain, but I myself
  Was braver all that day.

    _Winifred Webb._



Billy's Rose


Billy's dead, and gone to glory--so is Billy's sister Nell:
There's a tale I know about them, were I poet I would tell;
Soft it comes, with perfume laden, like a breath of country air
Wafted down the filthy alley, bringing fragrant odors there.

In that vile and filthy alley, long ago one winter's day,
Dying quick of want and fever, hapless, patient Billy lay,
While beside him sat his sister, in the garret's dismal gloom,
Cheering with her gentle presence Billy's pathway to the tomb.

Many a tale of elf and fairy did she tell the dying child,
Till his eyes lost half their anguish, and his worn, wan features smiled;
Tales herself had heard haphazard, caught amid the Babel roar,
Lisped about by tiny gossips playing round their mothers' door.

Then she felt his wasted fingers tighten feebly as she told
How beyond this dismal alley lay a land of shining gold,
Where, when all the pain was over,--where, when all the tears were shed,--
He would be a white-frocked angel, with a gold thing on his head.

Then she told some garbled story of a kind-eyed Saviour's love,
How He'd built for little children great big playgrounds up above,
Where they sang and played at hopscotch and at horses all the day,
And where beadles and policemen never frightened them away.

This was Nell's idea of heaven,--just a bit of what she'd heard,
With a little bit invented, and a little bit inferred.
But her brother lay and listened, and he seemed to understand,
For he closed his eyes and murmured he could see the promised land.

"Yes," he whispered, "I can see it, I can see it, sister Nell,
Oh, the children look so happy and they're all so strong and well;
I can see them there with Jesus--He is playing with them, too!
Let as run away and join them, if there's room for me and you."

She was eight, this little maiden, and her life had all been spent
In the garret and the alley, where they starved to pay the rent;
Where a drunken father's curses and a drunken mother's blows
Drove her forth into the gutter from the day's dawn to its close.

But she knew enough, this outcast, just to tell this sinking boy,
"You must die before you're able all the blessings to enjoy.
You must die," she whispered, "Billy, and I am not even ill;
But I'll come to you, dear brother,--yes, I promise that I will.

"You are dying, little brother, you are dying, oh, so fast;
I heard father say to mother that he knew you couldn't last.
They will put you in a coffin, then you'll wake and be up there,
While I'm left alone to suffer in this garret bleak and bare."

"Yes, I know it," answered Billy. "Ah, but, sister, I don't mind,
Gentle Jesus will not beat me; He's not cruel or unkind.
But I can't help thinking, Nelly, I should like to take away
Something, sister, that you gave me, I might look at every day.

"In the summer you remember how the mission took us out
To a great green lovely meadow, where we played and ran about,
And the van that took us halted by a sweet bright patch of land,
Where the fine red blossoms grew, dear, half as big as mother's hand.

"Nell, I asked the good kind teacher what they called such flowers as
      those,
And he told me, I remember, that the pretty name was rose.
I have never seen them since, dear--how I wish that I had one!
Just to keep and think of you, Nell, when I'm up beyond the sun."

Not a word said little Nelly; but at night, when Billy slept,
On she flung her scanty garments and then down the stairs she crept.
Through the silent streets of London she ran nimbly as a fawn,
Running on and running ever till the night had changed to dawn.

When the foggy sun had risen, and the mist had cleared away,
All around her, wrapped in snowdrift, there the open country lay.
She was tired, her limbs were frozen, and the roads had cut her feet,
But there came no flowery gardens her poor tearful eyes to greet.

She had traced the road by asking, she had learnt the way to go;
She had found the famous meadow--it was wrapped in cruel snow;
Not a buttercup or daisy, not a single verdant blade
Showed its head above its prison. Then she knelt her down and prayed;

With her eyes upcast to heaven, down she sank upon the ground,
And she prayed to God to tell her where the roses might be found.
Then the cold blast numbed her senses, and her sight grew strangely dim;
And a sudden, awful tremor seemed to seize her every limb.

"Oh, a rose!" she moaned, "good Jesus,--just a rose to take to Bill!"
And as she prayed a chariot came thundering down the hill;
And a lady sat there, toying with a red rose, rare and sweet;
As she passed she flung it from her, and it fell at Nelly's feet.

Just a word her lord had spoken caused her ladyship to fret,
And the rose had been his present, so she flung it in a pet;
But the poor, half-blinded Nelly thought it fallen from the skies,
And she murmured, "Thank you, Jesus!" as she clasped the dainty prize.

Lo! that night from but the alley did a child's soul pass away,
From dirt and sin and misery up to where God's children play.
Lo! that night a wild, fierce snowstorm burst in fury o'er the land,
And at morn they found Nell frozen, with the red rose in her hand.

Billy's dead, and gone to glory--so is Billy's sister Nell;
Am I bold to say this happened in the land where angels dwell,--
That the children met in heaven, after all their earthly woes,
And that Nelly kissed her brother, and said, "Billy, here's your rose"?

    _George R. Sims._



The Old Actor's Story


Mine is a wild, strange story,--the strangest you ever heard;
There are many who won't believe it, but it's gospel, every word;
It's the biggest drama of any in a long, adventurous life;
The scene was a ship, and the actors--were myself and my new-wed wife.

You musn't mind if I ramble, and lose the thread now and then;
I'm old, you know, and I wander--it's a way with old women and men,
For their lives lie all behind them, and their thoughts go far away,
And are tempted afield, like children lost on a summer day.

The years must be five-and-twenty that have passed since that awful night,
But I see it again this evening, I can never shut out the sight.
We were only a few weeks married, I and the wife, you know,
When we had an offer for Melbourne, and made up our minds to go.

We'd acted together in England, traveling up and down
With a strolling band of players, going from town to town;
We played the lovers together--we were leading lady and gent--
And at last we played in earnest, and straight to the church we went.

The parson gave us his blessing, and I gave Nellie the ring,
And swore that I'd love and cherish, and endow her with everything.
How we smiled at that part of the service when I said "I thee endow"!
But as to the "love and cherish," I meant to keep that vow.

We were only a couple of strollers; we had coin when the show was good,
When it wasn't we went without it, and we did the best we could.
We were happy, and loved each other, and laughed at the shifts we made,--
Where love makes plenty of sunshine, there poverty casts no shade.

Well, at last we got to London, and did pretty well for a bit;
Then the business dropped to nothing, and the manager took a flit,--
Stepped off one Sunday morning, forgetting the treasury call;
But our luck was in, and we managed right on our feet to fall.

We got an offer for Melbourne,--got it that very week.
Those were the days when thousands went over to fortune seek,
The days of the great gold fever, and a manager thought the spot
Good for a "spec," and took us as actors among his lot.

We hadn't a friend in England--we'd only ourselves to please--
And we jumped at the chance of trying our fortune across the seas.
We went on a sailing vessel, and the journey was long and rough;
We hadn't been out a fortnight before we had had enough.

But use is a second nature, and we'd got not to mind a storm,
When misery came upon us,--came in a hideous form.
My poor little wife fell ailing, grew worse, and at last so bad
That the doctor said she was dying,--I thought 'twould have sent me mad,--

Dying where leagues of billows seemed to shriek for their prey,
And the nearest land was hundreds--aye, thousands--of miles away.
She raved one night in a fever, and the next lay still as death,
So still I'd to bend and listen for the faintest sign of breath.

She seemed in a sleep, and sleeping, with a smile on her thin, wan face,--
She passed away one morning, while I prayed to the throne of grace.
I knelt in the little cabin, and prayer after prayer I said,
Till the surgeon came and told me it was useless--my wife was dead!

Dead! I wouldn't believe it. They forced me away that night,
For I raved in my wild despairing, the shock sent me mad outright.
I was shut in the farthest cabin, and I beat my head on the side,
And all day long in my madness, "They've murdered her!" I cried.

They locked me away from my fellows,--put me in cruel chains,
It seems I had seized a weapon to beat out the surgeon's brains.
I cried in my wild, mad fury, that he was a devil sent
To gloat o'er the frenzied anguish with which my heart was rent.

I spent that night with the irons heavy upon my wrists,
And my wife lay dead quite near me. I beat with my fettered fists,
Beat at my prison panels, and then--O God!--and then
I heard the shrieks of women and the tramp of hurrying men.

I heard the cry, "Ship afire!" caught up by a hundred throats,
And over the roar the captain shouting to lower the boats;
Then cry upon cry, and curses, and the crackle of burning wood,
And the place grew hot as a furnace, I could feel it where I stood.

I beat at the door and shouted, but never a sound came back,
And the timbers above me started, till right through a yawning crack
I could see the flames shoot upward, seizing on mast and sail,
Fanned in their burning fury by the breath of the howling gale.

I dashed at the door in fury, shrieking, "I will not die!
Die in this burning prison!"--but I caught no answering cry.
Then, suddenly, right upon me, the flames crept up with a roar,
And their fiery tongues shot forward, cracking my prison door.

I was free--with the heavy iron door dragging me down to death;
I fought my way to the cabin, choked with the burning breath
Of the flames that danced around me like man-mocking fiends at play,
And then--O God! I can see it, and shall to my dying day.

There lay my Nell as they'd left her, dead in her berth that night;
The flames flung a smile on her features,--a horrible, lurid light.
God knows how I reached and touched her, but I found myself by her side;
I thought she was living a moment, I forgot that my Nell had died.

In the shock of those awful seconds reason came back to my brain;
I heard a sound as of breathing, and then a low cry of pain;
Oh, was there mercy in heaven? Was there a God in the skies?
The dead woman's lips were moving, the dead woman opened her eyes.

I cursed like a madman raving--I cried to her, "Nell! my Nell!"
They had left us alone and helpless, alone in that burning hell;
They had left us alone to perish--forgotten me living--and she
Had been left for the fire to bear her to heaven, instead of the sea.

I clutched at her, roused her shrieking, the stupor was on her still;
I seized her in spite of my fetters,--fear gave a giant's will.
God knows how I did it, but blindly I fought through the flames and the
      wreck
Up--up to the air, and brought her safe to the untouched deck.

We'd a moment of life together,--a moment of life, the time
For one last word to each other,--'twas a moment supreme, sublime.
From the trance we'd for death mistaken, the heat had brought her to life,
And I was fettered and helpless, so we lay there, husband and wife!

It was but a moment, but ages seemed to have passed away,
When a shout came over the water, and I looked, and lo, there lay,
Right away from the vessel, a boat that was standing by;
They had seen our forms on the vessel, as the flames lit up the sky.

I shouted a prayer to Heaven, then called to my wife, and she
Tore with new strength at my fetters--God helped her, and I was free;
Then over the burning bulwarks we leaped for one chance of life.
Did they save us? Well, here I am, sir, and yonder's my dear old wife.

We were out in the boat till daylight, when a great ship passing by
Took us on board, and at Melbourne landed us by and by.
We've played many parts in dramas since we went on that famous trip,
But ne'er such a scene together as we had on the burning ship!

    _George B. Sims._



The Boy Who Didn't Pass


A sad-faced little fellow sits alone in deep disgrace,
There's a lump arising in his throat, tears streaming down his face;
He wandered from his playmates, for he doesn't want to hear
Their shouts of merry laughter, since the world has lost its cheer;
He has sipped the cup of sorrow, he has drained the bitter glass,
And his heart is fairly breaking; he's the boy who didn't pass.

In the apple tree the robin sings a cheery little song,
But he doesn't seem to hear it, showing plainly something's wrong;
Comes his faithful little spaniel for a romp and bit of play,
But the troubled little fellow sternly bids him go away.
All alone he sits in sorrow, with his hair a tangled mass,
And his eyes are red with weeping; he's the boy who didn't pass.

How he hates himself for failing, he can hear his playmates jeer,
For they've left him with the dullards--gone ahead a half a year,
And he tried so hard to conquer, oh, he tried to do his best,
But now he knows, he's weaker, yes, and duller than the rest.
He's ashamed to tell his mother, for he thinks she'll hate him, too--
The little boy who didn't pass, who failed of getting through.

Oh, you who boast a laughing son, and speak of him as bright,
And you who love a little girl who comes to you at night
With smiling eyes, with dancing feet, with honors from her school,
Turn to that lonely little boy who thinks he is a fool,
And take him kindly by the hand, the dullest in his class,
He is the one who most needs love, the boy who didn't pass.



The Station-Master's Story


Yes, it's a quiet station, but it suits me well enough;
I want a bit of the smooth now, for I've had my share o' rough.
This berth that the company gave me, they gave as the work was light;
I was never fit for the signals after one awful night,
I'd been in the box from a younker, and I'd never felt the strain
Of the lives at my right hand's mercy in every passing train.
One day there was something happened, and it made my nerves go queer,
And it's all through that as you find me the station-master here.

I was on at the box down yonder--that's where we turn the mails,
And specials, and fast expresses, on to the center rails;
The side's for the other traffic--the luggage and local slows.
It was rare hard work at Christmas, when double the traffic grows.
I've been in the box down yonder nigh sixteen hours a day,
Till my eyes grew dim and heavy, and my thoughts went all astray;
But I've worked the points half-sleeping--and once I slept outright,
Till the roar of the Limited woke me, and I nearly died with fright.

Then I thought of the lives in peril, and what might have been their fate
Had I sprung to the points that evening a tenth of a tick too late;
And a cold and ghastly shiver ran icily through my frame
As I fancied the public clamor, the trial, and bitter shame.
I could see the bloody wreckage--I could see the mangled slain--
And the picture was seared for ever, blood-red, on my heated brain.
That moment my nerve was shattered, for I couldn't shut out the thought
Of the lives I held in my keeping, and the ruin that might be wrought.

That night in our little cottage, as I kissed our sleeping child,
My wife looked up from her sewing, and told me, as she smiled,
That Johnny had made his mind up--he'd be a pointsman, too.
"He says when he's big, like daddy, he'll work in the box with you."
I frowned, for my heart was heavy, and my wife she saw the look;
Lord bless you! my little Alice could read me like a book.
I'd to tell her of what had happened, and I said that I must leave,
For a pointsman's arm ain't trusty when terror lurks in his sleeve.

But she cheered me up in a minute, and that night, ere we went to sleep,
She made me give her a promise, which I swore that I'd always keep--
It was always to do my duty. "Do that, and then, come what will,
You'll have no worry." said Alice, "if things go well or ill.
There's something that always tells us the thing that we ought to do"--
My wife was a bit religious, and in with the chapel crew.
But I knew she was talking reason, and I said to myself, says I,
"I won't give in like a coward, it's a scare that'll soon go by."

Now, the very next day the missus had to go to the market town;
She'd the Christmas things to see to, and she wanted to buy a gown.
She'd be gone for a spell, for the Parley didn't come back till eight,
And I knew, on a Christmas Eve, too, the trains would be extra late.
So she settled to leave me Johnny, and then she could turn the key--
For she'd have some parcels to carry, and the boy would be safe with me.
He was five, was our little Johnny, and quiet, and nice, and good--
He was mad to go with daddy, and I'd often promised he should.

It was noon when the missus started,--her train went by my box;
She could see, as she passed my window, her darling's curly locks,
I lifted him up to mammy, and he kissed his little hand,
Then sat, like a mouse, in the corner, and thought it was fairyland.
But somehow I fell a-thinking of a scene that would not fade,
Of how I had slept on duty, until I grew afraid;
For the thought would weigh upon me, one day I might come to lie
In a felon's cell for the slaughter of those I had doomed to die.

The fit that had come upon me, like a hideous nightmare seemed,
Till I rubbed my eyes and started like a sleeper who has dreamed.
For a time the box had vanished--I'd worked like a mere machine--
My mind had been on the wander, and I'd neither heard nor seen,
With a start I thought of Johnny, and I turned the boy to seek,
Then I uttered a groan of anguish, for my lips refused to speak;
There had flashed such a scene of horror swift on my startled sight
That it curdled my blood in terror and sent my red lips white.

It was all in one awful moment--I saw that the boy was lost:
He had gone for a toy, I fancied, some child from a train had tossed;
The local was easing slowly to stop at the station here,
And the limited mail was coming, and I had the line to clear.
I could hear the roar of the engine, I could almost feel its breath,
And right on the center metals stood my boy in the jaws of death;
On came the fierce fiend, tearing straight for the center line,
And the hand that must wreck or save it, O merciful God, was mine!

'Twas a hundred lives or Johnny's. O Heaven! what could I do?--
Up to God's ear that moment a wild, fierce question flew--
"What shall I do, O Heaven?" and sudden and loud and clear
On the wind came the words, "Your duty," borne to my listening ear.
Then I set my teeth, and my breathing was fierce and short and quick.
"My boy!" I cried, but he heard not; and then I went blind and sick;
The hot black smoke of the engine came with a rush before,
I turned the mail to the center, and by it flew with a roar.

Then I sank on my knees in horror, and hid my ashen face--
I had given my child to Heaven; his life was a hundred's grace.
Had I held my hand a moment, I had hurled the flying mail
To shatter the creeping local that stood on the other rail!
Where is my boy, my darling? O God! let me hide my eyes.
How can I look--his father--on that which there mangled lies?
That voice!--O merciful Heaven!--'tis the child's, and he calls my name!
I hear, but I cannot see him, for my eyes are filled with flame.

I knew no more that night, sir, for I fell, as I heard the boy;
The place reeled round, and I fainted,--swooned with the sudden joy.
But I heard on the Christmas morning, when I woke in my own warm bed
With Alice's arms around me, and a strange wild dream in my head,
That she'd come by the early local, being anxious about the lad,
And had seen him there on the metals, and the sight nigh drove her mad--
She had seen him just as the engine of the Limited closed my view,
And she leapt on the line and saved him just as the mail dashed through.

She was back in the train in a second, and both were safe and sound;
The moment they stopped at the station she ran here, and I was found
With my eyes like a madman's glaring, and my face a ghastly white:
I heard the boy, and I fainted, and I hadn't my wits that night.
Who told me to do my duty? What voice was that on the wind?
Was it fancy that brought it to me? or were there God's lips behind?
If I hadn't 'a' done my duty--had I ventured to disobey--
My bonny boy and his mother might have died by my hand that day.

    _George R. Sims._



Hark, Hark! the Lark

_(From "Cymbeline")_


Hark, hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings,
  And Phoebus 'gins arise,
His steeds to water at those springs
  On chaliced flowers that lies;
And winking Mary-buds begin
  To ope their golden eyes:
With every thing that pretty is,
  My lady sweet, arise!
    Arise, arise!

    _William Shakespeare._



Tommy's Prayer


In a dark and dismal alley where the sunshine never came,
Dwelt a little lad named Tommy, sickly, delicate, and lame;
He had never yet been healthy, but had lain since he was born
Dragging out his weak existence well nigh hopeless and forlorn.

He was six, was little Tommy, 'twas just five years ago
Since his drunken mother dropped him, and the babe was crippled so.
He had never known the comfort of a mother's tender care,
But her cruel blows and curses made his pain still worse to bear.

There he lay within the cellar, from the morning till the night,
Starved, neglected, cursed, ill-treated, nought to make his dull life
      bright;
Not a single friend to love him, not a loving thing to love--
For he knew not of a Saviour, or a heaven up above.

'Twas a quiet, summer evening, and the alley, too, was still;
Tommy's little heart was sinking, and he felt so lonely, till,
Floating up the quiet alley, wafted inwards from the street,
Came the sound of some one singing, sounding, oh! so clear and sweet.

Eagerly did Tommy listen as the singing came--
Oh! that he could see the singer! How he wished he wasn't lame.
Then he called and shouted loudly, till the singer heard the sound,
And on noting whence it issued, soon the little cripple found.

'Twas a maiden rough and rugged, hair unkempt, and naked feet,
All her garments torn and ragged, her appearance far from neat;
"So yer called me," said the maiden, "wonder wot yer wants o' me;
Most folks call me Singing Jessie; wot may your name chance to be?"

"My name's Tommy; I'm a cripple, and I want to hear you sing,
For it makes me feel so happy--sing me something, anything,"
Jessie laughed, and answered smiling, "I can't stay here very long,
But I'll sing a hymn to please you, wot I calls the 'Glory Song.'"

Then she sang to him of heaven, pearly gates, and streets of gold,
Where the happy angel children are not starved or nipped with cold;
But where happiness and gladness never can decrease or end,
And where kind and loving Jesus is their Sovereign and their Friend.

Oh! how Tommy's eyes did glisten as he drank in every word
As it fell from "Singing Jessie"--was it true, what he had heard?
And so anxiously he asked her, "Is there really such a place?"
And a tear began to trickle down his pallid little face.

"Tommy, you're a little heathen; why, it's up beyond the sky,
And if yer will love the Saviour, yer shall go there when yer die."
"Then," said Tommy, "tell me, Jessie, how can I the Saviour love,
When I'm down in this 'ere cellar, and He's up in heaven above?"

So the little ragged maiden who had heard at Sunday School
All about the way to heaven, and the Christian's golden rule,
Taught the little cripple Tommy how to love, and how to pray,
Then she sang a "Song of Jesus," kissed his cheek and went away.

Tommy lay within the cellar which had grown so dark and cold,
Thinking all about the children in the streets of shining gold;
And he heeded not the darkness of that damp and chilly room,
For the joy in Tommy's bosom could disperse the deepest gloom.

"Oh! if I could only see it," thought the cripple, as he lay,
"Jessie said that Jesus listens and I think I'll try and pray";
So he put his hands together, and he closed his little eyes,
And in accents weak, yet earnest, sent this message to the skies:--

"Gentle Jesus, please forgive me as I didn't know afore,
That yer cared for little cripples who is weak and very poor,
And I never heard of heaven till that Jessie came to-day
And told me all about it, so I wants to try and pray.

"Yer can see me, can't yer, Jesus? Jessie told me that yer could,
And I somehow must believe it, for it seems so prime and good;
And she told me if I loved you, I should see yer when I die,
In the bright and happy heaven that is up beyond the sky.

"Lord, I'm only just a cripple, and I'm no use here below,
For I heard my mother whisper, she'd be glad if I could go;
And I'm cold and hungry sometimes; and I feel so lonely, too,
Can't yer take me, gentle Jesus, up to heaven along o' you?

"Oh! I'd be so good and patient, and I'd never cry or fret,
And your kindness to me, Jesus, I would surely not forget;
I would love you all I know of, and would never make a noise--
Can't you find me just a corner, where I'll watch the other boys?

"Oh! I think yer'll do it, Jesus, something seems to tell me so,
For I feel so glad and happy, and I do so want to go,
How I long to see yer, Jesus, and the children all so bright!
Come and fetch me, won't yer, Jesus? Come and fetch me home tonight!"

Tommy ceased his supplication, he had told his soul's desire,
And he waited for the answer till his head began to tire;
Then he turned towards his corner and lay huddled in a heap,
Closed his little eyes so gently, and was quickly fast asleep.

Oh, I wish that every scoffer could have seen his little face
As he lay there in the corner, in that damp, and noisome place;
For his countenance was shining like an angel's, fair and bright,
And it seemed to fill the cellar with a holy, heavenly light.

He had only heard of Jesus from a ragged singing girl,
He might well have wondered, pondered, till his brain began to whirl;
But he took it as she told it, and believed it then and there,
Simply trusting in the Saviour, and his kind and tender care.

In the morning, when the mother came to wake her crippled boy,
She discovered that his features wore a look of sweetest joy,
And she shook him somewhat roughly, but the cripple's face was cold--
He had gone to join the children in the streets of shining gold.

Tommy's prayer had soon been answered, and the Angel Death had come
To remove him from his cellar, to his bright and heavenly home
Where sweet comfort, joy, and gladness never can decrease or end,
And where Jesus reigns eternally, his Sovereign and his Friend.

    _John F. Nicholls._



The Two Pictures


It was a bright and lovely summer's morn,
Fair bloomed the flowers, the birds sang softly sweet,
The air was redolent with perfumed balm,
And Nature scattered, with unsparing hand,
Her loveliest graces over hill and dale.
An artist, weary of his narrow room
Within the city's pent and heated walls,
Had wandered long amid the ripening fields,
Until, remembering his neglected themes,
He thought to turn his truant steps toward home.
These led him through a rustic, winding lane,
Lined with green hedge-rows spangled close with flowers,
And overarched by trees of noblest growth.
But when at last he reached the farther end
Of this sweet labyrinth, he there beheld
A vision of such pure, pathetic grace,
That weariness and haste were both obscured,
It was a child--a young and lovely child
With eyes of heavenly hue, bright golden hair,
And dimpled hands clasped in a morning prayer,
Kneeling beside its youthful mother's knee.
Upon that baby brow of spotless snow,
No single trace of guilt, or pain, or woe,
No line of bitter grief or dark despair,
Of envy, hatred, malice, worldly care,
Had ever yet been written. With bated breath,
And hand uplifted as in warning, swift,
The artist seized his pencil, and there traced
In soft and tender lines that image fair:
Then, when 'twas finished, wrote beneath one word,
A word of holiest import--Innocence.

Years fled and brought with them a subtle change,
Scattering Time's snow upon the artist's brow,
But leaving there the laurel wreath of fame,
While all men spake in words of praise his name;
For he had traced full many a noble work
Upon the canvas that had touched men's souls,
And drawn them from the baser things of earth,
Toward the light and purity of heaven.
One day, in tossing o'er his folio's leaves,
He chanced upon the picture of the child,
Which he had sketched that bright morn long before,
And then forgotten. Now, as he paused to gaze,
A ray of inspiration seemed to dart
Straight from those eyes to his. He took the sketch,
Placed it before his easel, and with care
That seemed but pleasure, painted a fair theme,
Touching and still re-touching each bright lineament,
Until all seemed to glow with life divine--
'Twas innocence personified. But still
The artist could not pause. He needs must have
A meet companion for his fairest theme;
And so he sought the wretched haunts of sin,
Through miry courts of misery and guilt,
Seeking a face which at the last was found.
Within a prison cell there crouched a man--
Nay, rather say a fiend--with countenance seamed
And marred by all the horrid lines of sin;
Each mark of degradation might be traced,
And every scene of horror he had known,
And every wicked deed that he had done,
Were visibly written on his lineaments;
Even the last, worst deed of all, that left him here,
A parricide within a murderer's cell.

Here then the artist found him; and with hand
Made skillful by its oft-repeated toil,
Transferred unto his canvas that vile face,
And also wrote beneath it just one word,
A word of darkest import--it was Vice.
Then with some inspiration not his own,
Thinking, perchance, to touch that guilty heart,
And wake it to repentance e'er too late,
The artist told the tale of that bright morn,
Placed the two pictured faces side by side,
And brought the wretch before them. With a shriek
That echoed through those vaulted corridors,
Like to the cries that issue from the lips
Of souls forever doomed to woe,
Prostrate upon the stony floor he fell,
And hid his face and groaned aloud in anguish.
"I was that child once--I, yes, even I--
In the gracious years forever fled,
That innocent and happy little child!
These very hands were raised to God in prayer,
That now are reddened with a mother's blood.
Great Heaven! can such things be? Almighty power,
Send forth Thy dart and strike me where I lie!"

He rose, laid hold upon the artist's arm
And grasped it with demoniac power,
The while he cried: "Go forth, I say, go forth
And tell my history to the tempted youth.
I looked upon the wine when it was red,
I heeded not my mother's piteous prayers,
I heeded not the warnings of my friends,
But tasted of the wine when it was red,
Until it left a demon in my heart
That led me onward, step by step, to this,
This horrible place from which my body goes
Unto the gallows, and my soul to hell!"
He ceased as last. The artist turned and fled;
But even as he went, unto his ears
Were borne the awful echoes of despair,
Which the lost wretch flung on the empty air,
Cursing the demon that had brought him there.



The Two Kinds of People


There are two kinds of people on earth to-day;
Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.

Not the sinner and saint, for it's well understood,
The good are half bad and the bad are half good.

Not the rich and the poor, for to rate a man's wealth,
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.

Not the humble and proud, for in life's little span,
Who puts on vain airs is not counted a man.

Not the happy and sad, for the swift flying years
Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears.

No; the two kinds of people on earth I mean,
Are the people who lift and the people who lean.

Wherever you go, you will find the earth's masses
Are always divided in just these two classes.

And, oddly enough, you will find, too, I ween,
There's only one lifter to twenty who lean.

In which class are you? Are you easing the load
Of overtaxed lifters, who toil down the road?

Or are you a leaner, who lets others share
Your portion of labor, and worry and care?

    _Ella Wheeler Wilcox._



The Sin of Omission


It isn't the thing you do, dear,
  It's the thing you leave undone
That gives you a bit of a heartache
  At the setting of the sun.
The tender word forgotten;
  The letter you did not write;
The flowers you did not send, dear,
  Are your haunting ghosts at night.

The stone you might have lifted
  Out of a brother's way;
The bit of hearthstone counsel
  You were hurried too much to say;
The loving touch of the hand, dear,
  The gentle, winning tone
Which you had no time nor thought for
  With troubles enough of your own.

Those little acts of kindness
  So easily out of mind,
Those chances to be angels
  Which we poor mortals find--
They come in night and silence,
  Each sad, reproachful wraith,
When hope is faint and flagging
  And a chill has fallen on faith.

For life is all too short, dear,
  And sorrow is all too great,
To suffer our slow compassion
  That tarries until too late;
And it isn't the thing you do, dear,
  It's the thing you leave undone
Which gives you a bit of a heartache
  At the setting of the sun,

    _Margaret E. Sangster._



The Bible My Mother Gave Me


Give me that grand old volume, the gift of a mother's love,
Tho' the spirit that first taught me has winged its flight above.
Yet, with no legacy but this, she has left me wealth untold,
Yea, mightier than earth's riches, or the wealth of Ophir's gold.

When a child, I've kneeled beside her, in our dear old cottage home,
And listened to her reading from that prized and cherished tome,
As with low and gentle cadence, and a meek and reverent mien,
God's word fell from her trembling lips, like a presence felt and seen.

Solemn and sweet the counsels that spring from its open page,
Written with all the fervor and zeal of  the prophet age;
Full of the inspiration of the holy bards who trod,
Caring not for the scoffer's scorn, if they gained a soul to God.

Men who in mind were godlike, and have left on its blazoned scroll
Food for all coming ages in its manna of the soul;
Who, through long days of anguish, and nights devoid of ease,
Still wrote with the burning pen of faith its higher mysteries.

I can list that good man yonder, in the gray church by the brook,
Take up that marvelous tale of love, of the story and the Book,
How through the twilight glimmer, from the earliest dawn of time,
It was handed down as an heirloom, in almost every clime.

How through strong persecution and the struggle of evil days
The precious light of the truth ne'er died, but was fanned to a beacon
      blaze.
How in far-off lands, where the cypress bends o'er the laurel bough,
It was hid like some precious treasure, and they bled for its truth, as
      now.

He tells how there stood around it a phalanx none could break,
Though steel and fire and lash swept on, and the cruel wave lapt the stake;
How dungeon doors and prison bars had never damped the flame,
But raised up converts to the creed whence Christian comfort came.

That housed in caves and caverns--how it stirs our Scottish blood!--
The Convenanters, sword in hand, poured forth the crimson flood;
And eloquent grows the preacher, as the Sabbath sunshine falls,
Thro' cobwebbed and checkered pane, a halo on the walls!

That still 'mid sore disaster, in the heat and strife of doubt,
Some bear the Gospel oriflamme, and one by one march out,
Till forth from heathen kingdoms, and isles beyond the sea,
The glorious tidings of the Book spread Christ's salvation free.

So I cling to my mother's Bible, in its torn and tattered boards,
As one of the greatest gems of art, and the king of all other hoards,
As in life the true consoler, and in death ere the Judgment call,
The guide that will lead to the shining shore, where the Father waits
      for all.



Lincoln, the Man of the People

This poem was read by Edwin Markham at the dedication of the Lincoln
Memorial at Washington, D.C., May 30, 1922. Before reading, he said: "No
oration, no poem, can rise to the high level of this historic hour.
Nevertheless, I venture to inscribe this revised version of my Lincoln
poem to this stupendous Lincoln Memorial, to this far-shining monument
of remembrance, erected in immortal marble to the honor of our deathless
martyr--the consecrated statesman, the ideal American, the ever-beloved
friend of humanity."


When the Norn Mother saw the Whirlwind Hour
Greatening and darkening as it hurried on,
She left the Heaven of Heroes and came down
To make a man to meet the mortal need,
She took the tried clay of the common road--
Clay warm yet with the genial heat of Earth,
Dasht through it all a strain of prophecy;
Tempered the heap with thrill of human tears;
Then mixt a laughter with the serious stuff.
Into the shape she breathed a flame to light
That tender, tragic, ever-changing face;
And laid on him a sense of the Mystic Powers,
Moving--all husht--behind the mortal veil.
Here was a man to hold against the world,
A man to match the mountains and the sea.

The color of the ground was in him, the red earth;
The smack and tang of elemental things;
The rectitude and patience of the cliff;
The good-will of the rain that loves all leaves;
The friendly welcome of the wayside well;
The courage of the bird that dares the sea;
The gladness of the wind that shakes the corn;
The pity of the snow that hides all scars;
The secrecy of streams that make their way
Under the mountain to the rifted rock;
The tolerance and equity of light
That gives as freely to the shrinking flower
As to the great oak flaring to the wind--
To the grave's low hill as to the Matterhorn
That shoulders out the sky. Sprung from the West,
He drank the valorous youth of a new world.
The strength of virgin forests braced his mind,
The hush of spacious prairies stilled his soul.
His words were oaks in acorns; and his thoughts
Were roots that firmly gript the granite truth.

Up from log cabin to the Capitol,
One fire was on his spirit, one resolve--
To send the keen ax to the root of wrong,
Clearing a free way for the feet of God,
The eyes of conscience testing every stroke,
To make his deed the measure of a man.
He built the rail-pile as he built the State,
Pouring his splendid strength through every blow;
The grip that swung the ax in Illinois
Was on the pen that set a people free.

So came the Captain with the mighty heart;
And when the judgment thunders split the house,
Wrenching the rafters from their ancient rest,
He held the ridgepole up, and spikt again
The rafters of the Home. He held his place--
Held the long purpose like a growing tree--
Held on through blame and faltered not at praise.
And when he fell in whirlwind, he went down
As when a lordly cedar, green with boughs,
Goes down with a great shout upon the hills,
And leaves a lonesome place against the sky.

    _Edwin Markham._



Our Own


If I had known in the morning
  How wearily all the day
    The words unkind
    Would trouble my mind
  I said when you went away,
I had been more careful, darling,
  Nor given you needless pain;
    But we vex "our own"
    With look and tone
  We may never take back again.

For though in the quiet evening
  You may give me the kiss of peace,
    Yet it might be
    That never for me,
  The pain of the heart should cease.
How many go forth in the morning,
  That never come home at night!
    And hearts have broken
    For harsh words spoken
  That sorrow can ne'er set right.

We have careful thoughts for the stranger,
  And smiles for the sometime guest,
    But oft for "our own"
    The bitter tone,
  Though we love "our own" the best.
Ah, lips with the curve impatient!
  Ah, brow with that look of scorn!
    'Twere a cruel fate,
    Were the night too late
  To undo the work of morn.

    _Margaret E. Sangster._



How Salvator Won


The gate was thrown open, I rode out alone,
More proud than a monarch, who sits on a throne.
I am but a jockey, but shout upon shout
Went up from the people who watched me ride out.
And the cheers that rang forth from that warm-hearted crowd
Were as earnest as those to which monarch e'er bowed.
My heart thrilled with pleasure so keen it was pain,
As I patted my Salvator's soft, silken mane;
And a sweet shiver shot from his hide to my hand
As we passed by the multitude down to the stand.
The great wave of cheering came billowing back
As the hoofs of brave Tenny ran swift down the track,
And he stood there beside us, all bone and all muscle,
Our noble opponent, well trained for the tussle
That waited us there on the smooth, shining course.
My Salvator, fair to the lovers of horse
As a beautiful woman is fair to man's sight--
Pure type of the thoroughbred, clean-limbed and bright--
Stood taking the plaudits as only his due
And nothing at all unexpected or new.

And then there before us as the bright flag is spread,
There's a roar from the grand stand, and Tenny's ahead;
At the sound of the voices that shouted, "A go!"
He sprang like an arrow shot straight from the bow.
I tighten the reins on Prince Charlie's great son;
He is off like a rocket, the race is begun.
Half-way down the furlong their heads are together,
Scarce room 'twixt their noses to wedge in a feather;
Past grand stand, and judges, in neck-to-neck strife,
Ah, Salvator, boy, 'tis the race of your life!
I press my knees closer, I coax him, I urge,
I feel him go out with a leap and a surge;
I see him creep on, inch by inch, stride by stride,
While backward, still backward, falls Tenny beside.
We are nearing the turn, the first quarter is passed--
'Twixt leader and chaser the daylight is cast;
The distance elongates; still Tenny sweeps on,
As graceful and free-limbed and swift as a fawn,
His awkwardness vanished, his muscles all strained--
A noble opponent well born and well trained.

I glanced o'er my shoulder; ha! Tenny! the cost
Of that one second's flagging will be--the race lost;
One second's yielding of courage and strength,
And the daylight between us has doubled its length.
The first mile is covered, the race is mine--no!
For the blue blood of Tenny responds to a blow;
He shoots through the air like a ball from a gun,
And the two lengths between us are shortened to one.
My heart is contracted, my throat feels a lump,
For Tenny's long neck is at Salvator's rump;
And now with new courage grown bolder and bolder,
I see him once more running shoulder to shoulder.
With knees, hands and body I press my grand steed;
I urge him, I coax him, I pray him to heed!
O Salvator! Salvator! List to my calls,
For the blow of my whip will hurt both if it falls.
There's a roar from the crowd like the ocean in storm,
As close to the saddle leaps Tenny's great form;
One mighty plunge, and with knee, limb and hand,
I lift my horse first by a nose past the stand.
We are under the string now--the great race is done--
And Salvator, Salvator, Salvator won!

Cheer, hoary-headed patriarchs; cheer loud, I say;
'Tis the race of a century witnessed to-day!
Though ye live twice the space that's allotted to men
Ye never will see such a grand race again.
Let the shouts of the populace roar like the surf,
For Salvator, Salvator, king of the turf,
He has rivaled the record of thirteen long years;
He has won the first place in the vast line of peers.
'Twas a neck-to-neck contest, a grand, honest race,
And even his enemies grant him his place.
Down into the dust let old records be hurled,
And hang out 2:05 to the gaze of the world!

    _Ella Wheeler Wilcox._



I Got to Go to School


I'd like to hunt the Injuns 't roam the boundless plain!
I'd like to be a pirate an' plow the ragin' main!
An' capture some big island, in lordly pomp to rule;
But I just can't be nothin' cause I got to go to school.

'Most all great men, so I have read, has been the ones 'at got
The least amount o' learnin' by a flickerin' pitch pine knot;
An' many a darin' boy like me grows up to be a fool,
An' never 'mounts to nothin' 'cause he's got to go to school.

I'd like to be a cowboy an' rope the Texas steer!
I'd like to be a sleuth-houn' or a bloody buccaneer!
An' leave the foe to welter where their blood had made a pool;
But how can I git famous? 'cause I got to go to school.

I don't see how my parents kin make the big mistake.
O' keepin' down a boy like me 'at's got a name to make!
It ain't no wonder boys is bad, an' balky as a mule;
Life ain't worth livin' if you've got to waste your time in school.

I'd like to be regarded as "The Terror of the Plains"!
I'd like to hear my victims shriek an' clank their prison chains!
I'd like to face the enemy with gaze serene an' cool,
An' wipe 'em off the earth, but pshaw! I got to go to school.

What good is 'rithmetic an' things, exceptin' jest for girls,
Er them there Fauntleroys 'at wears their hair in pretty curls?
An' if my name is never seen on hist'ry's page, why, you'll
Remember 'at it's all because I got to go to school.

    _Nixon Waterman._



With Little Boy Blue

(_Written after the death of Eugene Field._)


Silent he watched them--the soldiers and dog--
  Tin toys on the little armchair,
Keeping their tryst through the slow going years
  For the hand that had stationed them there;
And he said that perchance the dust and the rust
  Hid the griefs that the toy friends knew,
And his heart watched with them all the dark years,
  Yearning ever for Little Boy Blue.

Three mourners they were for Little Boy Blue,
  Three ere the cold winds had begun;
Now two are left watching--the soldier and dog;
  But for him the vigil is done.
For him too, the angel has chanted a song
  A song that is lulling and true.
He has seen the white gates of the mansions of rest,
  Thrown wide by his Little Boy Blue.

God sent not the Angel of Death for his soul--
  Not the Reaper who cometh for all--
But out of the shadows that curtained the day
  He heard his lost little one call,
Heard the voice that he loved, and following fast,
  Passed on to the far-away strand;
And he walks the streets of the City of Peace,
  With Little Boy Blue by the hand.

    _Sarah Beaumont Kennedy._



The Charge of Pickett's Brigade


In Gettysburg at break of day
  The hosts of war are held in leash
To gird them for the coming fray,
  E'er brazen-throated monsters flame,
  Mad hounds of death that tear and maim.
Ho, boys in blue,
And gray so true,
  Fate calls to-day the roll of fame.

On Cemetery Hill was done
  The clangor of four hundred guns;
Through drifting smoke the morning sun
  Shone down a line of battled gray
  Where Pickett's waiting soldiers lay.
Virginians all,
Heed glory's call,
  You die at Gettysburg to-day,

'Twas Pickett's veteran brigade,
  Great Lee had named; he knew them well;
Oft had their steel the battle stayed.
  O warriors of the eagle plume,
  Fate points for you the hour of doom.
Ring rebel yell,
War cry and knell!
  The stars, to-night, will set in gloom.

O Pickett's men, ye sons of fate,
  Awe-stricken nations bide your deeds.
For you the centuries did wait,
  While wrong had writ her lengthening scroll
  And God had set the judgment roll.
A thousand years
Shall wait in tears,
  And one swift hour bring to goal.

The charge is done, a cause is lost;
  But Pickett's men heed not the din
Of ragged columns battle tost;
  For fame enshrouds them on the field,
  And pierced, Virginia, is thy shield.
But stars and bars
Shall drape thy scars;
  No cause is lost till honor yield.



Hullo


W'en you see a man in woe,
Walk right up and say "Hullo!"
Say "Hullo" and "How d'ye do?
How's the world a-usin' you?"
Slap the fellow on the back;
Bring your hand down with a whack;
Walk right up, and don't go slow;
Grin an' shake, an' say "Hullo!"

Is he clothed in rags? Oh! sho;
Walk right up an' say "Hullo!"
Rags is but a cotton roll
Jest for wrappin' up a soul;
An' a soul is worth a true
Hale and hearty "How d'ye do?"
Don't wait for the crowd to go,
Walk right up and say "Hullo!"

When big vessels meet, they say
They saloot an' sail away.
Jest the same are you an' me
Lonesome ships upon a sea;
Each one sailin' his own log,
For a port behind the fog;
Let your speakin' trumpet blow;
Lift your horn an' cry "Hullo!"

Say "Hullo!" an' "How d'ye do?"
Other folks are good as you.
W'en you leave your house of clay
Wanderin' in the far away,
W'en you travel through the strange
Country t'other side the range,
Then the souls you've cheered will know
Who ye be, an' say "Hullo."

    _Sam Walter Foss._



The Women of Mumbles Head


Bring, novelist, your note-book! bring, dramatist, your pen!
And I'll tell you a simple story of what women do for men.
It's only a tale of a lifeboat, of the dying and the dead,
Of the terrible storm and shipwreck that happened off Mumbles Head!
Maybe you have traveled in Wales, sir, and know it north and south;
Maybe you are friends with the "natives" that dwell at Oystermouth;
It happens, no doubt, that from Bristol you've crossed in a casual way,
And have sailed your yacht in the summer in the blue of Swansea Bay.

Well! it isn't like that in the winter, when the lighthouse stands alone,
In the teeth of Atlantic breakers that foam on its face of stone;
It wasn't like that when the hurricane blew, and the storm-bell tolled,
      or when
There was news of a wreck, and the lifeboat launched, and a desperate cry
      for men.
When in the world did the coxswain shirk? a brave old salt was he!
Proud to the bone of as four strong lads as ever had tasted the sea,
Welshmen all to the lungs and loins, who, about that coast, 'twas said,
Had saved some hundred lives apiece--at a shilling or so a head!

So the father launched the lifeboat, in the teeth of the tempest's roar,
And he stood like a man at the rudder, with an eye on his boys at the oar,
Out to the wreck went the father! out to the wreck went the sons!
Leaving the weeping of women, and booming of signal guns;
Leaving the mother who loved them, and the girls that the sailors love;
Going to death for duty, and trusting to God above!
Do you murmur a prayer, my brothers, when cozy and safe in bed,
For men like these, who are ready to die for a wreck off Mumbles Head?
It didn't go well with the lifeboat! 'twas a terrible storm that blew!
And it snapped the' rope in a second that was flung to the drowning crew;

And then the anchor parted--'twas a tussle to keep afloat!
But the father stuck to the rudder, and the boys to the brave old boat.
Then at last on the poor doomed lifeboat a wave broke mountains high!
"God help us now!" said the father. "It's over, my lads! Good-bye"!
Half of the crew swam shoreward, half to the sheltered caves,
But father and sons were fighting death in the foam of the angry waves.

Up at a lighthouse window two women beheld the storm,
And saw in the boiling breakers a figure--a fighting form;
It might be a gray-haired father, then the women held their breath;
It might be a fair-haired brother, who was having a round with death;
It might be a lover, a husband, whose kisses were on the lips
Of the women whose love is the life of men going down to the sea in ships.
They had seen the launch of the lifeboat, they had seen the worst, and
      more,
Then, kissing each other, these women went down from the lighthouse,
straight to shore.

There by the rocks on the breakers these sisters, hand in hand,
Beheld once more that desperate man who struggled to reach the land,
'Twas only aid he wanted to help him across the wave,
But what are a couple of women with only a man to save?
What are a couple of women? well, more than three craven men
Who stood by the shore with chattering teeth, refusing to stir--and then
Off went the women's shawls, sir; in a second they're torn and rent,
Then knotting them into a rope of love, straight into the sea they went!

"Come back!" cried the lighthouse-keeper. "For God's sake, girls, come
      back!"
As they caught the waves on their foreheads, resisting the fierce attack.
"Come back!" moaned the gray-haired mother, as she stood by the angry sea,
"If the waves take you, my darlings, there's nobody left to me!"

"Come back!" said the three strong soldiers, who still stood faint and
      pale,
"You will drown if you face the breakers! you will fall if you brave the
      gale!"
"_Come back_!" said the girls, "we will not! go tell it to all the town,
We'll lose our lives, God willing, before that man shall drown!"

"Give one more knot to the shawls, Bess! give one strong clutch of your
      hand!
Just follow me, brave, to the shingle, and we'll bring him safe to land!
Wait for the next wave, darling! only a minute more,
And I'll have him safe in my arms, dear, and we'll drag him to the shore."
Up to the arms in the water, fighting it breast to breast,
They caught and saved a brother alive. God bless them! you know the rest--
Well, many a heart beat stronger, and many a tear was shed,
And many a glass was tossed right off to "The Women of Mumbles Head!"

    _Clement Scott._



The Fireman's Story


"'A frightful face'? Wal, yes, yer correct;
  That man on the enjine thar
Don't pack the han'somest countenance--
  Every inch of it sportin' a scar;
But I tell you, pard, thar ain't money enough
  Piled up in the National Banks
To buy that face, nor a single scar--
  (No, I never indulges. Thanks.)

"Yes, Jim is an old-time engineer,
  An' a better one never war knowed!
Bin a runnin' yar since the fust machine
  War put on the Quincy Road;
An' thar ain't a galoot that pulls a plug
  From Maine to the jumpin' off place
That knows more about the big iron hoss
  Than him with the battered-up face.

"'Got hurt in a smash-up'? No,'twar done
  In a sort o' legitimate way;
He got it a-trying to save a gal
  Up yar on the road last May.
I heven't much time for to spin you the yarn,
  For we pull out at two-twenty-five--
Just wait till I climb up an' toss in some coal,
  So's to keep old '90' alive.

"Jim war pullin' the Burlin'ton passenger then,
  Left Quincy a half an hour late,
An' war skimmin' along purty lively, so's not
  To lay out No. 21 freight.
The '90' war more than whoopin' 'em up
  An' a-quiverin' in every nerve!
When all to once Jim yelled 'Merciful God!'
  As she shoved her sharp nose 'round a curve.

"I jumped to his side o' the cab, an' ahead
  'Bout two hundred paces or so
Stood a gal on the track, her hands raised aloft,
  An' her face jist as white as the snow;
It seems she war so paralyzed with the fright
  That she couldn't move for'ard or back,
An' when Jim pulled the whistle she fainted an' fell
  Right down in a heap on the track!

"I'll never forgit till the day o' my death
  The look that cum over Jim's face;
He throw'd the old lever cl'r back like a shot
  So's to slacken the '90's' wild pace,
Then let on the air brakes as quick as a flash,
  An' out through the window he fled,
An' skinned 'long the runnin' board cla'r in front,
  An' lay on the pilot ahead.

"Then just as we reached whar the poor creetur lay,
  He grabbed a tight hold, of her arm,
An' raised her right up so's to throw her one side
  Out o' reach of danger an' harm.
But somehow he slipped an' fell with his head
  On the rail as he throw'd the young lass,
An' the pilot in strikin' him, ground up his face
  In a frightful and horrible mass!

"As soon as we stopped I backed up the train
  To that spot where the poor fellow lay,
An' there sot the gal with his head in her lap
  An' wipin' the warm blood away.
The tears rolled in torrents right down from her eyes,
  While she sobbed like her heart war all broke--
I tell you, my friend, such a sight as that 'ar
  Would move the tough heart of an oak!

"We put Jim aboard an' ran back to town,
  What for week arter week the boy lay
A-hoverin' right in the shadder o' death,
  An' that gal by his bed every day.
But nursin' an' doctorin' brought him around--
  Kinder snatched him right outer the grave--
His face ain't so han'some as 'twar, but his heart
  Remains just as noble an' brave.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Of course thar's a sequel--as story books say--
  He fell dead in love, did this Jim;
But hadn't the heart to ax her to have
  Sich a batter'd-up rooster as him.
She know'd how he felt, and last New Year's day
  War the fust o' leap year as you know,
So she jist cornered Jim an' proposed on the spot,
  An' you bet he didn't say no.

"He's building a house up thar on the hill,
  An' has laid up a snug pile o' cash,
The weddin's to be on the first o' next May--
  Jist a year from the day o' the smash--
The gal says he risked his dear life to save hers,
  An' she'll just turn the tables about,
An' give him the life that he saved--thar's the bell.
  Good day, sir, we're goin' to pull out."



Little Willie's Hearing


Sometimes w'en I am playin' with some fellers 'at I knows,
My ma she comes to call me, 'cause she wants me, I surpose:
An' then she calls in this way: "Willie! Willie, dear! Willee-e-ee!"
An' you'd be surprised to notice how dretful deef I be;
An' the fellers 'at are playin' they keeps mos' orful still,
W'ile they tell me, jus' in whispers: "Your ma is callin', Bill."
But my hearin' don't git better, so fur as I can see,
W'ile my ma stan's there a-callin': "Willie! Willie, dear! Willee-e-ee!"

An' soon my ma she gives it up, an' says: "Well, I'll allow
It's mighty cur'us w'ere that boy has got to, anyhow";
An' then I keep on playin' jus' the way I did before--
I know if she was wantin' much she'd call to me some more.
An' purty soon she comes agin an' says: "Willie! Willee-e-ee!"
But my hearin's jus' as hard as w'at it useter be.
If a feller has good judgment, an' uses it that way,
He can almos' allers manage to git consid'ble play.

But jus' w'ile I am playin', an' prob'ly I am "it,"
They's somethin' diff'rent happens, an' I have to up, an' git,
Fer my pa comes to the doorway, an' he interrup's our glee;
He jus' says, "William Henry!" but that's enough fer me.
You'd be surprised to notice how quickly I can hear
W'en my pa says, "William Henry!" but never "Willie, dear!"
Fer though my hearin's middlin' bad to hear the voice of ma,
It's apt to show improvement w'en the callin' comes from pa.



The Service Flag


Dear little flag in the window there,
Hung with a tear and a woman's prayer,
Child of Old Glory, born with a star--
Oh, what a wonderful flag you are!

Blue is your star in its field of white,
Dipped in the red that was born of fight;
Born of the blood that our forebears shed
To raise your mother, The Flag, o'er-head.

And now you've come, in this frenzied day,
To speak from a window--to speak and say:
"I am the voice of a soldier son,
Gone, to be gone till the victory's won.

"I am the flag of The Service, sir:
The flag of his mother--I speak for her
Who stands by my window and waits and fears,
But hides from the others her unwept tears.

"I am the flag of the wives who wait
For the safe return of a martial mate--
A mate gone forth where the war god thrives,
To save from sacrifice other men's wives.

"I am the flag of the sweethearts true;
The often unthought of--the sisters, too.
I am the flag of a mother's son,
Who won't come home till the victory's won!"

Dear little flag in the window there,
Hung with a tear and a woman's prayer,
Child of Old Glory, born with a star--
Oh, what a wonderful flag you are!

    _William Herschell._



Flying Jim's Last Leap

(_The hero of this tale had once been a famous trapeze performer._)


Cheeriest room, that morn, the kitchen. Helped by Bridget's willing hands,
Bustled Hannah, deftly mixing pies, for ready waiting pans.
Little Flossie flitted round them, and her curling, floating hair
Glinted gold-like, gleamed and glistened, in the sparkling sunlit air;
Slouched a figure o'er the lawn; a man so wretched and forlore,
Tattered, grim, so like a beggar, ne'er had trod that path before.
His shirt was torn, his hat was gone, bare and begrimed his knees,
Face with blood and dirt disfigured, elbows peeped from out his sleeves.
Rat-tat-tat, upon the entrance, brought Aunt Hannah to the door;
Parched lips humbly plead for water, as she scanned his misery o'er;
Wrathful came the dame's quick answer; made him cower, shame, and start
Out of sight, despairing, saddened, hurt and angry to the heart.
"_Drink_! You've had enough, you rascal. Faugh! The smell now makes me
      sick,
Move, you thief! Leave now these grounds, sir, or our dogs will help you
      quick."
Then the man with dragging footsteps hopeless, wishing himself dead,
Crept away from sight of plenty, starved in place of being fed,
Wandered farther from the mansion, till he reached a purling brook,
Babbling, trilling broken music by a green and shady nook,
Here sweet Flossie found him fainting; in her hands were food and drink;
Pale like death lay he before her, yet the child-heart did not shrink;
Then the rags from off his forehead, she with dainty hands offstripped,
In the brooklet's rippling waters, her own lace-trimmed 'kerchief dipped;
Then with sweet and holy pity, which, within her, did not daunt,
Bathed the blood and grime-stained visage of that sin-soiled son of want.
Wrung she then the linen cleanly, bandaged up the wound again
Ere the still eyes opened slowly; white lips murmuring, "Am I sane?"
"Look, poor man, here's food and drink. Now thank our God before you
      take."
Paused he mute and undecided, while deep sobs his form did shake
With an avalanche of feeling, and great tears came rolling down
O'er a face unused to showing aught except a sullen frown;
That "our God" unsealed a fountain his whole life had never known,
When that human angel near him spoke of her God as his own.
"Is it 'cause my aunty grieved you?" Quickly did the wee one ask.
"I'll tell you my little verse then, 'tis a holy Bible task,
It may help you to forgive her: 'Love your enemies and those
Who despitefully may use you; love them whether friends or foes!'"

Then she glided from his vision, left him prostrate on the ground
Conning o'er and o'er that lesson--with a grace to him new found.
Sunlight filtering through green branches as they wind-wave dance and dip,
Finds a prayer his mother taught him, trembling on his crime-stained lip.
Hist! a step, an angry mutter, and the owner of the place,
Gentle Flossie's haughty father, and the tramp stood face to face!
"Thieving rascal! you've my daughter's 'kerchief bound upon your brow;
Off with it, and cast it down here. Come! be quick about it now."
As the man did not obey him, Flossie's father lashed his cheek
With a riding-whip he carried; struck him hard and cut him deep.
Quick the tramp bore down upon him, felled him, o'er him where he lay
Raised a knife to seek his life-blood. Then there came a thought to stay
All his angry, murderous impulse, caused the knife to shuddering fall:
"He's her father; love your en'mies; 'tis 'our God' reigns over all."
At midnight, lambent, lurid flames light up the sky with fiercest beams,
Wild cries, "Fire! fire!" ring through the air, and red like blood each
      flame now seems;
They faster grow, they higher throw weird, direful arms which ever lean
About the gray stone mansion old. Now roars the wind to aid the scene;
The flames yet higher, wilder play. A shudder runs through all around--
Distinctly as in light of day, at topmost window from the ground
Sweet Flossie stands, her golden hair enhaloed now by firelit air.
Loud rang the father's cry: "O God! my child! my child! Will no one dare
For her sweet sake the flaming stair?" Look, one steps forth with muffled
      face,
Leaps through the flames with fleetest feet, on trembling ladder runs a
      race
With life and death--the window gains. Deep silence falls on all around,
Till bursts aloud a sobbing wail. The ladder falls with crashing sound--
A flaming, treacherous mass. O God! she was so young and he so brave!
Look once again. See! see! on highest roof he stands--the fiery wave
Fierce rolling round--his arms enclasp the child--God help him yet to save!
"For life or for eternal sleep,"
He cries, then makes a vaulting leap,
A tree branch catches, with sure aim,
And by the act proclaims his name;
The air was rent, the cheers rang loud,
A rough voice cried from out the crowd,
"Huzza, my boys, well we know him,
None dares that leap but Flying Jim!"
A jail-bird--outlaw--thief, indeed,
Yet o'er them all takes kingly lead.
"Do now your worst," his gasping cry,
"Do all your worst, I'm doomed to die;
I've breathed the flames, 'twill not be long";
Then hushed all murmurs through the throng.
With reverent hands they bore him where
The summer evening's cooling air
Came softly sighing through the trees;
The child's proud father on his knees
Forgiveness sought of God and Jim,
Which dying lips accorded him.
A mark of whip on white face stirred
To gleaming scarlet at his words.
"Forgive them all who use you ill,
She taught me that and I fulfill;
I would her hand might touch my face,
Though she's so pure and I so base."
Low Flossie bent and kissed the brow,
With smile of bliss transfigured now:
Death, the angel, sealed it there,
'Twas sent to God with "mother's prayer."

    _Emma Dunning Banks._



Betty and the Bear


In a pioneer's cabin out West, so they say,
A great big black grizzly trotted one day,
And seated himself on the hearths and began
To lap the contents of a two gallon pan
Of milk and potatoes,--an excellent meal,--
And then looked, about to see what he could steal.
The lord of the mansion awoke from his sleep,
And, hearing a racket, he ventured to peep
Just out in the kitchen, to see what was there,
And was scared to behold a great grizzly bear.

So he screamed in alarm to his slumbering frau,
"Thar's a bar in the kitchen as big's a cow!"
"A what?" "Why, a bar!" "Well murder him, then!"
"Yes, Betty, I will, if you'll first venture in."
So Betty leaped up, and the poker she seized.
While her man shut the door, and against it he squeezed,
As Betty then laid on the grizzly her blows.
Now on his forehead, and now on his nose,
Her man through the key-hole kept shouting within,
"Well done, my brave Betty, now hit him agin,
Now poke with the poker, and' poke his eyes out."
So, with rapping and poking, poor Betty alone
At last laid Sir Bruin as dead as a stone.

Now when the old man saw the bear was no more,
He ventured to poke his nose out of the door,
And there was the grizzly stretched on the floor,
Then off to the neighbors he hastened, to tell
All the wonderful things that that morning befell;
And he published the marvellous story afar,
How "me and my Betty jist slaughtered a bar!
O yes, come and see, all the neighbors they seed it,
Come and see what we did, me and Betty, we did it."



The Graves of a Household


They grew in beauty, side by side,
  They filled one home with glee;---
Their graves are severed, far and wide,
  By mount, and stream and sea.

The same fond mother bent at night
  O'er each fair sleeping brow;
She had each folded flower in sight--
  Where are those dreamers now?

One, 'midst the forest of the West,
  By a dark stream is laid--
The Indian knows his place of rest
  Far in the cedar shade.

The sea, the blue lone sea, hath one--
  He lies where pearls lie deep;
_He_ was the loved of all, yet none
  O'er his low bed may weep.

One sleeps where southern vines are drest
  Above the noble slain:
He wrapped his colors round his breast
  On a blood-red field of Spain.

And one--o'er _her_ the myrtle showers
  Its leaves, by soft winds fanned;
She faded 'midst Italian flowers--
  The last of that bright band.

And parted thus they rest, who play'd
  Beneath the same green tree;
Whose voices mingled as they pray'd
  Around the parent knee.

They that with smiles lit up the hall,
  And cheer'd with song the hearth!--
Alas! for love, if _thou_ wert all,
  And naught beyond, O earth!

    _Felicia Dorothea Hemans._



The Babie


Nae shoon to hide her tiny taes,
  Nae stockings on her feet;
Her supple ankles white as snow,
  Or early blossoms sweet.
Her simple dress of sprinkled pink,
  Her double, dimpled chin;
Her pucker'd lip and bonny mou',
  With nae ane tooth between.
Her een sae like her mither's een,
  Twa gentle, liquid things;
Her face is like an angel's face--
  We're glad she has nae wings.

    _Hugh Miller._



A Legend of the Northland


Away, away in the Northland,
  Where the hours of the day are few,
And the nights are so long in winter,
  They cannot sleep them through;

Where they harness the swift reindeer
  To the sledges, when it snows;
And the children look like bears' cubs
  In their funny, furry clothes:

They tell them a curious story--
  I don't believe 't is true;
And yet you may learn a lesson
  If I tell the tale to you

Once, when the good Saint Peter
  Lived in the world below,
And walked about it, preaching,
  Just as he did, you know;

He came to the door of a cottage,
  In traveling round the earth,
Where a little woman was making cakes,
  And baking them on the hearth;

And being faint with fasting,
  For the day was almost done,
He asked her, from her store of cakes,
  To give him a single one.

So she made a very little cake,
  But as it baking lay,
She looked at it, and thought it seemed
  Too large to give away.

Therefore she kneaded another,
  And still a smaller one;
But it looked, when she turned it over,
  As large as the first had done.

Then she took a tiny scrap of dough,
  And rolled, and rolled it flat;
And baked it thin as a wafer--
  But she couldn't part with that.

For she said, "My cakes that seem too small
  When I eat of them myself,
Are yet too large to give away,"
  So she put them on the shelf.

Then good Saint Peter grew angry,
  For he was hungry and faint;
And surely such a woman
  Was enough to provoke a saint.

And he said, "You are far too selfish
  To dwell in a human form,
To have both food and shelter,
  And fire to keep you warm.

"Now, you shall build as the birds do,
  And shall get your scanty food
By boring, and boring, and boring,
  All day in the hard dry wood,"

Then up she went through the chimney,
  Never speaking a word,
And out of the top flew a woodpecker.
  For she was changed to a bird.

She had a scarlet cap on her head,
  And that was left the same,
Bat all the rest of her clothes were burned
  Black as a coal in the flame.

And every country school boy
  Has seen her in the wood;
Where she lives in the woods till this very day,
  Boring and boring for food.

And this is the lesson she teaches:
  Live not for yourself alone,
Lest the needs you will not pity
  Shall one day be your own.

Give plenty of what is given to you,
  Listen to pity's call;
Don't think the little you give is great,
  And the much you get is small.

Now, my little boy, remember that,
  And try to be kind and good,
When you see the woodpecker's sooty dress,
  And see her scarlet hood.

You mayn't be changed to a bird, though you live
  As selfishly as you can;
But you will be changed to a smaller thing--
  A mean and selfish man.

    _Phoebe Cary._



How Did You Die?


Did you tackle the trouble that came your way
  With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide year face from the light of day
  With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble's a ton, or a trouble's an ounce,
  Or a trouble is what you make it,
And it isn't the fact that you're hurt that counts,
  But only how did you take it?

You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what's that?
  Come up with a smiling face,
Its nothing against you to fall down flat,
  But to lie there--that's disgrace.
The harder you're thrown, why, the higher the bounce;
  Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn't the fact that you're licked that counts;
  It's how did you fight--and why?

And though you be done to the death, what then?
  If you battled the best you could,
If you played your part in the world of men,
  Why, the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
  And whether he's slow or spry,
It isn't the fact that you're dead that counts,
  But only how did you die?

    _Edmund Vance Cooke._



The Children


When the lessons and tasks are all ended,
  And the school for the day is dismissed,
And the little ones gather around me,
  To bid me good-night and be kissed,--
Oh, the little white arms that encircle
  My neck in a tender embrace!
Oh, the smiles that are halos of Heaven,
  Shedding sunshine and love on my face!

And when they, are gone, I sit dreaming
  Of my childhood, too lovely to last;
Of love that my heart will remember
  When it wakes to the pulse of the past;
Ere the world and its wickedness made me
  A partner of sorrow and sin;
When the glory of God was about me,
  And the glory of gladness within.

Oh, my heart grows as weak as a woman's
  And the fountains of feeling will flow,
When I think of the paths, steep and stony
  Where the feet of the dear ones must go.
Of the mountains of sin hanging o'er them,
  Of the tempests of fate blowing wild--
Oh, there's nothing on earth half so holy
  As the innocent heart of a child!

They are idols of hearts and of households,
  They are angels of God in disguise.
His sunlight still sleeps in their tresses,
  His glory still beams in their eyes:
Oh, those truants from earth and from heaven,
  They have made me more manly and mild!
And I know how Jesus could liken
  The Kingdom of God to a child.

Seek not a life for the dear ones
  All radiant, as others have done.
But that life may have just enough shadow
  To temper the glare of the sun;
I would pray God to guard them from evil,
  But my prayer would bound back to myself.
Ah! A seraph may pray for a sinner,
  But the sinner must pray for himself.

The twig is so easily bended,
  I have banished the rule of the rod;
I have taught them the goodness of Knowledge,
  They have taught me the goodness of God.
My heart is a dungeon of darkness,
  Where I shut them from breaking a rule;
My frown is sufficient correction,
  My love is the law of the school.

I shall leave the old house in the autumn
  To traverse the threshold no more,
Ah! how I shall sigh for the dear ones
  That meet me each morn at the door.
I shall miss the good-nights and the kisses,
  And the gush of their innocent glee;
The group on the green and the flowers
  That are brought every morning to me.

I shall miss them at morn and at evening.
  Their song in the school and the street,
I shall miss the low hum of their voices
  And the tramp of their delicate feet.
When the lessons and tasks are all ended,
  And death says the school is dismissed,
May the little ones gather around me
  To bid me good-night and be kissed.

    _Charles M. Dickinson._



The King and the Child


The sunlight shone on walls of stone,
  And towers sublime and tall,
King Alfred sat upon his throne
  Within his council hall.

And glancing o'er the splendid throng,
  With grave and solemn face,
To where his noble vassals stood,
  He saw a vacant place.

"Where is the Earl of Holderness?"
  With anxious look, he said.
"Alas, O King!" a courtier cried,
  "The noble Earl is dead!"

Before the monarch could express
  The sorrow that he felt,
A soldier, with a war-worn face,
  Approached the throne, and knelt.

"My sword," he said, "has ever been,
  O King, at thy command,
And many a proud and haughty Dane
  Has fallen by my hand.

"I've fought beside thee in the field,
  And 'neath the greenwood tree;
It is but fair for thee to give
  Yon vacant place to me."

"It is not just," a statesman cried,
  "This soldier's prayer to hear,
My wisdom has done more for thee
  Than either sword or spear.

"The victories of thy council hall
  Have made thee more renown
Than all the triumphs of the field
  Have given to thy crown.

"My name is known in every land,
  My talents have been thine,
Bestow this Earldom, then, on me,
  For it is justly mine."

Yet, while before the monarch's throne
  These men contending stood,
A woman crossed the floor, who wore
  The weeds of widowhood.

And slowly to King Alfred's feet
  A fair-haired boy she led--
"O King, this is the rightful heir
  Of Holderness," she said.

"Helpless, he comes to claim his own,
  Let no man do him wrong,
For he is weak and fatherless,
  And thou art just and strong."

"What strength or power," the statesman cried,
  "Could such a judgement bring?
Can such a feeble child as this
  Do aught for thee, O King?

"When thou hast need of brawny arms
  To draw thy deadly bows,
When thou art wanting crafty men
  To crush thy mortal foes."

With earnest voice the fair young boy
  Replied: "I cannot fight,
But I can pray to God, O King,
  And God can give thee might!"

The King bent down and kissed the child,
  The courtiers turned away,
"The heritage is thine," he said,
  "Let none thy right gainsay.

"Our swords may cleave the casques of men,
  Our blood may stain the sod,
But what are human strength and power
  Without the help of God?"

    _Eugene J. Hall._



Try, Try Again


'Tis a lesson you should heed,
  Try, try again;
If at first you don't succeed,
  Try, try again;
Then your courage shall appear,
For if you will persevere,
You will conquer, never fear,
  Try, try again.

Once or twice though you should fail,
  Try, try again;
If at last you would prevail,
  Try, try again;
If we strive 'tis no disgrace
Tho' we may not win the race,
What should you do in that case?
  Try, try again.

If you find your task is hard,
  Try, try again;
Time will bring you your reward,
  Try, try again;
All that other folks can do,
Why, with patience, may not you?
Only keep this rule in view,
  Try, try again.



Indian Names


Ye say they all have passed away--that noble race and brave,
That their light canoes have vanished from off the crested wave;
That,'mid the forests where they roamed, there rings no hunter's shout,
But their name is on your waters--ye may not wash it out.

'Tis where Ontario's billow like ocean's surge is curled,
Where strong Niagara's thunders wake the echo of the world;
Where red Missouri bringeth rich tribute from the west,
And Rappahannock sweetly sleeps on green Virginia's breast.

Ye say their cone-like cabins, that clustered o'er the vale,
Have fled away like withered leaves, before the autumn's gale;
But their memory liveth on your hills, their baptism on your shore,
Your everlasting rivers speak their dialect of yore.

Old Massachusetts wears it upon her lordly crown,
And broad Ohio bears it amid his young renown;
Connecticut hath wreathed it where her quiet foliage waves,
And bold Kentucky breathes it hoarse through all her ancient caves.

Wachusett hides its lingering voice within his rocky heart,
And Alleghany graves its tone throughout his lofty chart;
Monadnock on his forehead hoar doth seal the sacred trust;
Your mountains build their monument, though ye destroy their dust.

Ye call those red-browed brethren the insects of an hour,
Crushed like the noteless worm amid the regions of their power;
Ye drive them from their fathers' lands, ye break of faith the seal,
But can ye from the court of heaven exclude their last appeal?

Ye see their unresisting tribes, with toilsome steps and slow,
On through the trackless desert pass, a caravan of woe.
Think ye the Eternal Ear is deaf? His sleepless vision dim?
Think ye the soul's blood may not cry from that far land to Him?

    _Lydia H. Sigourney._



More Cruel Than War

(During the Civil War, a Southern prisoner at Camp Chase in Ohio lay
sick in the hospital. He confided to a friend, Colonel Hawkins of
Tennessee, that he was grieving because his fiancee, a Nashville girl,
had not written to him. The soldier died soon afterward, Colonel Hawkins
having promised to open and answer any mail that came for him. This poem
is in reply to a letter from his friend's fiancee, in which she curtly
broke the engagement.)


Your letter, lady, came too late,
  For heaven had claimed its own;
Ah, sudden change--from prison bars
  Unto the great white throne;
And yet I think he would have stayed,
  To live for his disdain,
Could he have read the careless words
  Which you have sent in vain.

So full of patience did he wait,
  Through many a weary hour,
That o'er his simple soldier-faith
  Not even death had power;
And you--did others whisper low
  Their homage in your ear,
As though among their shallow throng
  His spirit had a peer?

I would that you were by me now,
  To draw the sheet aside
And see how pure the look he wore
  The moment when he died.
The sorrow that you gave to him
  Had left its weary trace,
As 'twere the shadow of the cross
  Upon his pallid face.

"Her love," he said, "could change for me
  The winter's cold to spring."
Ah, trust of fickle maiden's love,
  Thou art a bitter thing!
For when these valleys, bright in May,
  Once more with blossoms wave,
The northern violets shall blow
  Above his humble grave.

Your dole of scanty words had been
  But one more pang to bear
For him who kissed unto the last
  Your tress of golden hair;
I did not put it where he said,
  For when the angels come,
I would not have them find the sign
  Of falsehood in the tomb.

I've read your letter, and I know
  The wiles that you have wrought
To win that trusting heart of his,
  And gained it--cruel thought!
What lavish wealth men sometimes give
  For what is worthless all!
What manly bosoms beat for them
  In folly's falsest thrall!

You shall not pity him, for now
  His sorrow has an end;
Yet would that you could stand with me
  Beside my fallen friend!
And I forgive you for his sake,
  As he--if he be forgiven--
May e'en be pleading grace for you
  Before the court of Heaven.

To-night the cold winds whistle by,
  As I my vigil keep
Within the prison dead-house, where
  Few mourners come to weep.
A rude plank coffin holds his form;
  Yet death exalts his face,
And I would rather see him thus
  Than clasped in your embrace.

To-night your home may shine with light
  And ring with merry song,
And you be smiling as your soul
  Had done no deadly wrong;
Your hand so fair that none would think
  It penned these words of pain;
Your skin so white--would God your heart
  Were half as free from stain.

I'd rather be my comrade dead
  Than you in life supreme;
For yours the sinner's waking dread,
  And his the martyr's dream!
Whom serve we in this life we serve
  In that which is to come;
He chose his way, you--yours; let God
  Pronounce the fitting doom.

    _W.S. Hawkins._



Columbus


A harbor in a sunny, southern city;
Ships at their anchor, riding in the lee;
A little lad, with steadfast eyes, and dreamy,
Who ever watched the waters lovingly.

A group of sailors, quaintly garbed and bearded;
Strange tales, that snared the fancy of the child:
Of far-off lands, strange beasts, and birds, and people,
Of storm and sea-fight, danger-filled and wild.

And ever in the boyish soul was ringing
The urging, surging challenge of the sea,
To dare,--as these men dared, its wrath and danger,
To learn,--as they, its charm and mystery.

Columbus, by the sunny, southern harbor,
You dreamed the dreams that manhood years made true;
Thank God for men--their deeds have crowned the ages--
Who once were little dreamy lads like you.

    _Helen L. Smith._



The September Gale


I'm not a chicken; I have seen
  Full many a chill September,
And though I was a youngster then,
  That gale I well remember;
The day before, my kite-string snapped,
  And I, my kite pursuing,
The wind whisked off my palm-leaf hat;--
  For me two storms were brewing!

It came as quarrels sometimes do,
  When married folks get clashing;
There was a heavy sigh or two,
  Before the fire was flashing,--
A little stir among the clouds,
  Before they rent asunder,--
A little rocking of the trees,
  And then came on the thunder.

Lord! how the ponds and rivers boiled,
  And how the shingles rattled!
And oaks were scattered on the ground,
  As if the Titans battled;
And all above was in a howl,
  And all below a clatter,--
The earth was like a frying-pan.
  Or some such hissing matter.

It chanced to be our washing-day,
  And all our things were drying:
The storm came roaring through the lines,
  And set them all a-flying;
I saw the shirts and petticoats
  Go riding off like witches;
I lost, ah! bitterly I wept,--
  I lost my Sunday breeches!

I saw them straddling through the air,
  Alas! too late to win them;
I saw them chase the clouds, as if
  The devil had been in them;
They were my darlings and my pride,
  My boyhood's only riches,--
"Farewell, farewell," I faintly cried,--
"My breeches! O my breeches!"

That night I saw them in my dreams,
  How changed from what I knew them!
The dews had steeped their faded threads,
  The winds had whistled through them!
I saw the wide and ghastly rents
  Where demon claws had torn them;
A hole was in their amplest part,
  As if an imp had worn them.

I have had many happy years
  And tailors kind and clever,
But those young pantaloons have gone
  Forever and forever!
And not till fate has cut the last
  Of all my earthly stitches,
This aching heart shall cease to mourn
  My loved, my long-lost breeches!

    _O.W. Holmes_



When My Ship Comes In


Somewhere, out on the blue sea sailing,
  Where the winds dance and spin;
Beyond the reach of my eager hailing,
  Over the breakers' din;
Out where the dark storm-clouds are lifting,
Out where the blinding fog is drifting,
Out where the treacherous sand is shifting,
  My ship is coming in.

O, I have watched till my eyes were aching,
  Day after weary day;
O, I have hoped till my heart was breaking
  While the long nights ebbed away;
Could I but know where the waves had tossed her,
Could I but know what storms had crossed her,
Could I but know where the winds had lost her,
  Out in the twilight gray!

But though the storms her course have altered,
  Surely the port she'll win,
Never my faith in my ship has faltered,
  I know she is coming in.
For through the restless ways of her roaming,
Through the mad rush of the wild waves foaming,
Through the white crest of the billows combing,
  My ship is coming in.

Beating the tides where the gulls are flying,
  Swiftly she's coming in:
Shallows and deeps and rocks defying,
  Bravely she's coming in.
Precious the love she will bring to bless me,
Snowy the arms she will bring to caress me,
In the proud purple of kings she will dress me--
  My ship that is coming in.

White in the sunshine her sails will be gleaming,
  See, where my ship comes in;
At masthead and peak her colors streaming,
  Proudly she's sailing in;
Love, hope and joy on her decks are cheering,
Music will welcome her glad appearing,
And my heart will sing at her stately nearing,
  When my ship comes in.

    _Robert Jones Burdette._



Solitude


Laugh, and the world laughs with you,
  Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
  But has trouble enough of its own.

Sing, and the hills will answer,
  Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
  But shirk from voicing care.

Rejoice and men will seek you;
  Grieve, and they turn and go;
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
  But they do not need your woe.

Be glad, and your friends are many;
  Be sad, and you lose them all,
There are none to decline your nectar'd wine,
  But alone you must drink life's gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
  Fast, and the world goes by;
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
  But no man can help you die.

There is room in the halls of pleasure
  For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
  Through the narrow aisle of pain.

    _Ella Wheeler Wilcox._



Sin of the Coppenter Man


The coppenter man said a wicked word,
  When he hitted his thumb one day,
En I know what it was, because I heard,
  En it's somethin' I dassent say.

He growed us a house with rooms inside it,
  En the rooms is full of floors
It's my papa's house, en when he buyed it,
  It was nothin' but just outdoors.

En they planted stones in a hole for seeds,
  En that's how the house began,
But I guess the stones would have just growed weeds,
  Except for the coppenter man.

En the coppenter man took a board and said
  He'd skin it and make some curls,
En I hung 'em onto my ears en head,
  En they make me look like girls.

En he squinted along one side, he did,
  En he squinted the other side twice,
En then he told me, "You squint it, kid,"
  'Cause the coppenter man's reel nice.

But the coppenter man said a wicked word,
  When he hitted 'his thumb that day;
He said it out loud, too, 'cause I heard,
  En it's something I dassent say.

En the coppenter man said it wasn't bad,
  When you hitted your thumb, kerspat!
En there'd be no coppenter men to be had,
  If it wasn't for words like that.

    _Edmund Vance Cooke_.



The Bells of Ostend


No, I never, till life and its shadows shall end,
Can forget the sweet sound of the bells of Ostend!
The day set in darkness, the wind it blew loud,
And rung as it passed through each murmuring shroud.
My forehead was wet with the foam of the spray,
My heart sighed in secret for those far away;
When slowly the morning advanced from the east,
The toil and the noise of the tempest had ceased;
The peal from a land I ne'er saw, seemed to say,
"Let the stranger forget every sorrow to-day!"
Yet the short-lived emotion was mingled with pain,
I thought of those eyes I should ne'er see again;
I thought of the kiss, the last kiss which I gave,
And a tear of regret fell unseen on the wave;
I thought of the schemes fond affection had planned,
Of the trees, of the towers, of my own native land.
But still the sweet sounds, as they swelled to the air,
Seemed tidings of pleasure, though mournful to bear,
And I never, till life and its shadows shall end,
Can forget the sweet sound of the bells of Ostend!

    _W.L. Bowles._



You Put No Flowers on My Papa's Grave


With sable-draped banners and slow measured tread,
The flower laden ranks pass the gates of the dead;
And seeking each mound where a comrade's form rests
Leave tear-bedewed garlands to bloom, on his breast.
Ended at last is the labor of love;
Once more through the gateway the saddened lines move--
A wailing of anguish, a sobbing of grief,
Falls low on the ear of the battle-scarred chief;
Close crouched by the portals, a sunny-haired child
Besought him in accents with grief rendered wild:

"Oh! sir, he was good, and they say he died brave--
Why, why, did you pass by my dear papa's grave?
I know he was poor, but as kind and as true
As ever marched into the battle with you;
His grave is so humble, no stone marks the spot,
You may not have seen it. Oh, say you did not!
For my poor heart will break if you knew he was there,
And thought him too lowly your offerings to share.
He didn't die lowly--he poured his heart's blood
In rich crimson streams, from the top-crowning sod
Of the breastworks which stood in front of the fight--
And died shouting, 'Onward! for God and the right!'
O'er all his dead comrades your bright garlands wave,
But you haven't put _one_ on _my_ papa's grave.
If mamma were here--but she lies by his side,
Her wearied heart broke when our dear papa died!"

"Battalion! file left! countermarch!" cried the chief,
"This young orphaned maid hath full cause for her grief."
Then up in his arms from the hot, dusty street,
He lifted the maiden, while in through the gate
The long line repasses, and many an eye
Pays fresh tribute of tears to the lone orphan's sigh.
"This way, it is--here, sir, right under this tree;
They lie close together, with just room for me."
"Halt! Cover with roses each lowly green mound;
A love pure as this makes these graves hallowed ground."

"Oh! thank you, kind sir! I ne'er can repay
The kindness you've shown little Daisy to-day;
But I'll pray for you here, each day while I live,
'Tis all that a poor soldier's orphan can give.
I shall see papa soon and dear mamma, too--
I dreamed so last night, and I know 'twill come true;
And they will both bless you, I know, when I say
How you folded your arms round their dear one to-day;
How you cheered her sad heart and soothed it to rest,
And hushed its wild throbs on your strong, noble breast;
And when the kind angels shall call _you_ to come
We'll welcome you there to our beautiful home
Where death never comes his black banners to wave,
And the beautiful flowers ne'er weep o'er a grave."

    _C.E.L. Holmes._



The Two Little Stockings


Two little stockings hung side by side,
Close to the fireside broad and wide.
"Two?" said Saint Nick, as down he came,
Loaded with toys and many a game.
"Ho, ho!" said he, with a laugh of fun,
"I'll have no cheating, my pretty one.

"I know who dwells in this house, my dear,
There's only one little girl lives here."
So he crept up close to the chimney place,
And measured a sock with a sober face;
Just then a wee little note fell out
And fluttered low, like a bird, about.

"Aha! What's this?" said he, in surprise,
As he pushed his specs up close to his eyes,
And read the address in a child's rough plan.
"Dear Saint Nicholas," so it began,
"The other stocking you see on the wall
I have hung up for a child named Clara Hall.

"She's a poor little girl, but very good,
So I thought, perhaps, you kindly would
Fill up her stocking, too, to-night,
And help to make her Christmas bright.
If you've not enough for both stockings there,
Please put all in Clara's, I shall not care."

Saint Nicholas brushed a tear from his eye,
And, "God bless you, darling," he said with a sigh;
Then softly he blew through the chimney high
A note like a bird's, as it soars on high,
When down came two of the funniest mortals
That ever were seen this side earth's portals.

"Hurry up," said Saint Nick, "and nicely prepare
All a little girl wants where money is rare."
Then, oh, what a scene there was in that room!
Away went the elves, but down from the gloom
Of the sooty old chimney came tumbling low
A child's whole wardrobe, from head to toe.

How Santa Clans laughed, as he gathered them in,
And fastened each one to the sock with a pin;
Right to the toe he hung a blue dress,--
"She'll think it came from the sky, I guess,"
Said Saint Nicholas, smoothing the folds of blue,
And tying the hood to the stocking, too.

When all the warm clothes were fastened on,
And both little socks were filled and done,
Then Santa Claus tucked a toy here and there,
And hurried away to the frosty air,
Saying, "God pity the poor, and bless the dear child
Who pities them, too, on this night so wild."

The wind caught the words and bore them on high
Till they died away in the midnight sky;
While Saint Nicholas flew through the icy air,
Bringing "peace and good will" with him everywhere.

    _Sara Keables Hunt._



I Have a Rendezvous with Death


  I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air--
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

  It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath--
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.

  God knows't were better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where Love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath--
Where hushed awakenings are dear....
But I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.

    _Alan Seeger._



Let Us Be Kind

  Let us be kind;
The way is long and lonely,
And human hearts are asking for this blessing only--
  That we be kind.
We cannot know the grief that men may borrow,
We cannot see the souls storm-swept by sorrow,
But love can shine upon the way to-day, to-morrow--
  Let us be kind.

  Let us be kind;
This is a wealth that has no measure,
This is of Heaven and earth the highest treasure--
  Let us be kind.
A tender word, a smile of love in meeting,
A song of hope and victory to those retreating,
A glimpse of God and brotherhood while life is fleeting--
  Let us be kind.

  Let us be kind;
Around the world the tears of time are falling,
And for the loved and lost these human hearts are calling--
  Let us be kind.
To age and youth let gracious words be spoken;
Upon the wheel of pain so many lives are broken,
We live in vain who give no tender token--
  Let us be kind.

  Let us be kind;
The sunset tints will soon be in the west,
Too late the flowers are laid then on the quiet breast--
  Let us be kind.
And when the angel guides have sought and found us,
Their hands shall link the broken ties of earth that bound us,
And Heaven and home shall brighten all around us--
  Let us be kind.

    _W. Lomax Childress._



The Water Mill


Oh! listen to the water mill, through all the livelong day,
As the clicking of the wheels wears hour by hour away;
How languidly the autumn wind does stir the withered leaves
As in the fields the reapers sing, while binding up their sheaves!
A solemn proverb strikes my mind, and as a spell is cast,
"The mill will never grind again with water that is past."

The summer winds revive no more leaves strewn o'er earth and main,
The sickle nevermore will reap the yellow garnered grain;
The rippling stream flows on--aye, tranquil, deep and still,
But never glideth back again to busy water mill;
The solemn proverb speaks to all with meaning deep and vast,
"The mill will never grind again with water that is past."

Ah! clasp the proverb to thy soul, dear loving heart and true,
For golden years are fleeting by and youth is passing too;
Ah! learn to make the most of life, nor lose one happy day,
For time will ne'er return sweet joys neglected, thrown away;
Nor leave one tender word unsaid, thy kindness sow broadcast--
"The mill will never grind again with water that is past."

Oh! the wasted hours of life, that have swiftly drifted by,
Alas! the good we might have done, all gone without a sigh;
Love that we might once have saved by a single kindly word,
Thoughts conceived, but ne'er expressed, perishing unpenned, unheard.
Oh! take the lesson to thy soul, forever clasp it fast--
"The mill will never grind again with water that is past."

Work on while yet the sun doth shine, thou man of strength and will,
The streamlet ne'er doth useless glide by clicking water mill;
Nor wait until to-morrow's light beams brightly on thy way,
For all that thou canst call thine own lies in the phrase "to-day."
Possession, power and blooming health must all be lost at last--
"The mill will never grind again with water that is past."

Oh! love thy God and fellowman, thyself consider last,
For come it will when thou must scan dark errors of the past;
Soon will this fight of life be o'er and earth recede from view,
And heaven in all its glory shine, where all is pure and true.
Ah! then thou'lt see more clearly still the proverb deep and vast,
"The mill will never grind again with water that is past."

    _Sarah Doudney._



Why the Dog's Nose Is Always Cold


What makes the dog's nose always cold?
I'll try to tell you, Curls of Gold,
If you will good and quiet be,
And come and stand by mamma's knee.
Well, years and years and years ago--
How many I don't really know--
There came a rain on sea and shore,
Its like was never seen before
Or since. It fell unceasing down,
Till all the world began to drown;
But just before it began to pour,
An old, old man--his name was Noah--
Built him an Ark, that he might save
His family from a wat'ry grave;
And in it also he designed
To shelter two of every kind
Of beast. Well, dear, when it was done,
And heavy clouds obscured the sun,
The Noah folks to it quickly ran,
And then the animals began
To gravely march along in pairs;
The leopards, tigers, wolves and bears,
The deer, the hippopotamuses,
The rabbits, squirrels, elks, walruses,
The camels, goats, cats and donkeys,
The tall giraffes, the beavers, monkeys,
The rats, the big rhinoceroses,
The dromedaries and the horses,
The sheep, and mice and kangaroos,
Hyenas, elephants, koodoos,
And hundreds more-'twould take all day,
My dear, so many names to say--
And at the very, very end
Of the procession, by his friend
And master, faithful dog was seen;
The livelong time he'd helping been,
To drive the crowd of creatures in;
And now, with loud, exultant bark,
He gaily sprang abroad the Ark.
Alas! so crowded was the space
He could not in it find a place;
So, patiently, he turned about,
Stood half way in, half way out,
And those extremely heavy showers
Descended through nine hundred hours
And more; and, darling, at the close,
'Most frozen was his honest nose;
And never could it lose again
The dampness of that dreadful rain.
And that is what, my Curls of Gold,
Made all the doggies' noses cold.



The African Chief


Chained in the market-place he stood,
  A man of giant frame,
Amid the gathering multitude
  That shrunk to hear his name--
All stern of look and strong of limb,
  His dark eye on the ground:--
And silently they gazed on him,
  As on a lion bound.

Vainly, but well, that chief had fought,
  He was a captive now,
Yet pride, that fortune humbles not,
  Was written on his brow.
The scars his dark broad bosom wore
  Showed warrior true and brave;
A prince among his tribe before,
  He could not be a slave.

Then to his conqueror he spake:
  "My brother is a king;
Undo this necklace from my neck,
  And take this bracelet ring,
And send me where my brother reigns,
  And I will fill thy hands
With store of ivory from the plains,
  And gold-dust from the sands."

"Not for thy ivory nor thy gold
  Will I unbind thy chain;
That bloody hand shall never hold
  The battle-spear again.
A price thy nation never gave
  Shall yet be paid for thee;
For thou shalt be the Christian's slave,
  In lands beyond the sea."

Then wept the warrior chief and bade
  To shred his locks away;
And one by one, each heavy braid
  Before the victor lay.
Thick were the platted locks, and long,
  And deftly hidden there
Shone many a wedge of gold among
  The dark and crispèd hair.

"Look, feast thy greedy eye with gold
  Long kept for sorest need:
Take it--thou askest sums untold,
  And say that I am freed.
Take it--my wife, the long, long day
  Weeps by the cocoa-tree,
And my young children leave their play,
  And ask in vain for me."

"I take thy gold--but I have made
  Thy fetters fast and strong,
And ween that by the cocoa shade
  Thy wife will wait thee long,"
Strong was the agony that shook
  The captive's frame to hear,
And the proud meaning of his look
  Was changed to mortal fear.

His heart was broken--crazed his brain;
  At once his eye grew wild;
He struggled fiercely with his chain,
  Whispered, and wept, and smiled;
Yet wore not long those fatal bands,
  And once, at shut of day,
They drew him forth upon the sands,
  The foul hyena's prey.

    _William Cullen Bryant._



He Who Has Vision

_Where there is no vision the people perish.--Prov. 29:17._


He who has the vision sees more than you or I;
He who lives the golden dream lives fourfold thereby;
Time may scoff and worlds may laugh, hosts assail his thought,
But the visionary came ere the builders wrought;
Ere the tower bestrode the dome, ere the dome the arch,
He, the dreamer of the dream, saw the vision march!

He who has the vision hears more than you may hear,
Unseen lips from unseen worlds are bent unto his ear;
From the hills beyond the clouds messages are borne,
Drifting on the dews of dream to his heart of morn;
Time awaits and ages stay till he wakes and shows
Glimpses of the larger life that his vision knows!

He who has the vision feels more than you may feel,
Joy beyond the narrow joy in whose realm we reel--
For he knows the stars are glad, dawn and middleday,
In the jocund tide that sweeps dark and dusk away,
He who has the vision lives round and all complete,
And through him alone we draw dews from combs of sweet.

    _Folger McKinsey._



The Children We Keep


The children kept coming one by one,
  Till the boys were five and the girls were three.
And the big brown house was alive with fun,
  From the basement floor to the old roof-tree,
Like garden flowers the little ones grew,
  Nurtured and trained with tenderest care;
Warmed by love's sunshine, bathed in dew,
  They blossomed into beauty rare.

But one of the boys grew weary one day,
  And leaning his head on his mother's breast,
He said, "I am tired and cannot play;
  Let me sit awhile on your knee and rest."
She cradled him close to her fond embrace,
  She hushed him to sleep with her sweetest song,
And rapturous love still lightened his face
  When his spirit had joined the heavenly throng.

Then the eldest girl, with her thoughtful eyes,
  Who stood where the "brook and the river meet,"
Stole softly away into Paradise
  E'er "the river" had reached her slender feet.
While the father's eyes on the graves were bent,
  The mother looked upward beyond the skies:
"Our treasures," she whispered, "were only lent;
  Our darlings were angels in earth's disguise."

The years flew by, and the children began
  With longings to think of the world outside,
And as each in turn became a man,
  The boys proudly went from the father's side.
The girls were women so gentle and fair,
  That lovers were speedy to woo and to win;
And with orange-blooms in their braided hair,
  Their old home they left, new homes to begin.

So, one by one the children have gone--
  The boys were five, the girls were three;
And the big brown house is gloomy and alone,
  With but two old folks for its company.
They talk to each other about the past,
  As they sit together at eventide,
And say, "All the children we keep at last
  Are the boy and girl who in childhood died."

    _Mrs. E.V. Wilson._



The Stranger on the Sill


Between broad fields of wheat and corn
Is the lowly home where I was born;
The peach-tree leans against the wall,
And the woodbine wanders over all;
There is the shaded doorway still,--
But a stranger's foot has crossed the sill.

There is the barn--and, as of yore,
I can smell the hay from the open door,
And see the busy swallows throng,
And hear the pewee's mournful song;
But the stranger comes--oh! painful proof--
His sheaves are piled to the heated roof.

There is the orchard--the very trees
Where my childhood knew long hours of ease,
And watched the shadowy moments run
Till my life imbibed more shade than sun:
The swing from the bough still sweeps the air,--
But the stranger's children are swinging there.

There bubbles the shady spring below,
With its bulrush brook where the hazels grow;
'Twas there I found the calamus root,
And watched the minnows poise and shoot,
And heard the robin lave his wing:--
But the stranger's bucket is at the spring.

Oh, ye who daily cross the sill,
Step lightly, for I love it still!
And when you crowd the old barn eaves,
Then think what countless harvest sheaves
Have passed within' that scented door
To gladden eyes that are no more.

Deal kindly with these orchard trees;
And when your children crowd your knees,
Their sweetest fruit they shall impart,
As if old memories stirred their heart:
To youthful sport still leave the swing,
And in sweet reverence hold the spring.

    _Thomas Buchanan Read._



The Old Man In the Model Church


Well, wife, I've found the _model_ church! I worshiped there to-day!
It made me think of good old times before my hair was gray;
The meetin'-house was fixed up more than they were years ago.
But then I felt, when I went in, it wasn't built for show.

The sexton didn't seat me away back by the door;
He knew that I was old and deaf, as well as old and poor;
He must have been a Christian, for he led me boldly through
The long aisle of that crowded church to find a pleasant pew.

I wish you'd heard that singin'; it had the old-time ring;
The preacher said, with trumpet voice: "Let all the people sing!"
The tune was "Coronation," and the music upward rolled,
Till I thought I heard the angels striking all their harps of gold.

My deafness seemed to melt away; my spirit caught the fire;
I joined my feeble, trembling voice with that melodious choir,
And sang as in my youthful days: "Let angels prostrate fall,
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all."

I tell you, wife, it did me good to sing that hymn once more;
I felt like some wrecked mariner who gets a glimpse of shore;
I almost wanted to lay down this weatherbeaten form,
And anchor in that blessed port forever from the storm.

_The preachin'_? Well, I can't just tell all that the preacher said;
I know it wasn't written; I know it wasn't read;
He hadn't time to read it, for the lightnin' of his eye
Went flashin' long from pew to pew, nor passed a sinner by.

The sermon wasn't flowery; 'twas simple Gospel truth;
It fitted poor old men like me; it fitted hopeful youth;
'Twas full of consolation, for weary hearts that bleed;
'Twas full of invitations, to Christ and not to creed.

The preacher made sin hideous in Gentiles and in Jews;
He shot the golden sentences down in the finest pews;
And--though I can't see very well--I saw the falling tear
That told me hell was some ways off, and heaven very near.

How swift the golden moments fled within that holy place!
How brightly beamed the light of heaven from every happy face!
Again I longed for that sweet time when friend shall meet with friend--
"When congregations ne'er break up, and Sabbaths have no end."

I hope to meet that minister--that congregation, too--
In that dear home beyond the stars that shine from heaven's blue;
I doubt not I'll remember, beyond life's evenin' gray,
The happy hour of worship in that model church today.

Dear wife, the fight will soon be fought; the vict'ry soon be won;
The shinin' goal is just ahead; the race is nearly run;
O'er the river we are nearin', they are throngin' to the shore,
To shout our safe arrival where the weary weep no more.

    _John H. Yates._



The Volunteer Organist


The gret big church wuz crowded full uv broadcloth an' of silk,
An' satins rich as cream thet grows on our ol' brindle's milk;
Shined boots, biled shirts, stiff dickeys, an' stove-pipe hats were there,
An' doodes 'ith trouserloons so tight they couldn't kneel down in prayer.

The elder in his poolpit high, said, as he slowly riz:
"Our organist is kept' to hum, laid up 'ith roomatiz,
An' as we hev no substitoot, as brother Moore ain't here,
Will some 'un in the congregation be so kind's to volunteer?"

An' then a red-nosed, blear-eyed tramp, of low-toned, rowdy style,
Give an interductory hiccup, an' then swaggered up the aisle.
Then thro' that holy atmosphere there crep' a sense er sin,
An' thro' thet air of sanctity the odor uv ol' gin.

Then Deacon Purington he yelled, his teeth all set on edge:
"This man perfanes the house of God! W'y, this is sacrilege!"
The tramp didn' hear a word he said, but slouched 'ith stumblin' feet,
An' stalked an' swaggered up the steps, an' gained the organ seat.

He then went pawin' thro' the keys, an' soon there rose a strain
Thet seemed to jest bulge out the heart, an' 'lectrify the brain;
An' then he slapped down on the thing 'ith hands an' head an' knees,
He slam-dashed his hull body down kerflop upon the keys.

The organ roared, the music flood went sweepin' high an' dry,
It swelled into the rafters, an' bulged out into the sky;
The ol' church shook and staggered, an' seemed to reel an' sway,
An' the elder shouted "Glory!" an' I yelled out "Hooray!!"

An' then he tried a tender strain that melted in our ears,
Thet brought up blessed memories and drenched 'em down 'ith tears;
An' we dreamed uv ol' time kitchens, 'ith Tabby on the mat,
Uv home an' luv an' baby days, an' Mother, an' all that!

An' then he struck a streak uv hope--a song from souls forgiven--
Thet burst from prison bars uv sin, an' stormed the gates uv heaven;
The morning stars together sung--no soul wuz left alone--
We felt the universe wuz safe, an' God was on His throne!

An' then a wail of deep despair an' darkness come again,
An' long, black crape hung on the doors uv all the homes uv men;
No luv, no light, no joy, no hope, no songs of glad delight,
An' then--the tramp, he swaggered down an' reeled out into the night!

But we knew he'd tol' his story, tho' he never spoke a word,
An' it was the saddest story thet our ears had ever heard;
He had tol' his own life history, an' no eye was dry thet day,
W'en the elder rose an' simply said: "My brethren, let up pray."

    _Sam Walter Foss._



The Finding of the Lyre


There lay upon the ocean's shore
What once a tortoise served to cover;
A year and more, with rush and roar,
The surf had rolled it over,
Had played with it, and flung it by,
As wind and weather might decide it,
Then tossed it high where sand-drifts dry
Cheap burial might provide it.
It rested there to bleach or tan,
The rains had soaked, the suns had burned it;
With many a ban the fisherman
Had stumbled o'er and spurned it;
And there the fisher-girl would stay,
Conjecturing with her brother
How in their play the poor estray
Might serve some use or other.

So there it lay, through wet and dry,
As empty as the last new sonnet,
Till by and by came Mercury,
And, having mused upon it,
"Why, here," cried he, "the thing of things
In shape, material, and dimension!
Give it but strings, and, lo, it sings,
A wonderful invention!"

So said, so done; the chords he strained,
And, as his fingers o'er them hovered,
The shell disdained a soul had gained,
The lyre had been discovered.
O empty world that round us lies,
Dead shell, of soul and thought forsaken,
Brought we but eyes like Mercury's,
In thee what songs should waken!

    _James Russel Lowell._



The High Tide (1571)

(_Or "The Brides of Enderby"_)


The old mayor climbed the belfry tower,
  The ringers rang by two, by three;
"Pull, if ye never pulled before;
  Good ringers, pull your best," quoth he.
"Play uppe, play uppe O Boston bells!
Play all your changes, all your swells,
  Play uppe 'The Brides of Enderby.'"

Men say it was a stolen tyde--
  The Lord that sent it, He knows all;
But in myne ears doth still abide
  The message that the bells let fall:
And there was naught of strange, beside
The flight of mews ans peewits pied
  By millions crouched on the old sea-wall.

I sat and spun within the doore,
  My thread break off, I raised myne eyes;
The level sun, like ruddy ore,
  Lay sinking in the barren skies,
And dark against day's golden death
She moved where Lindis wandereth,
My sonne's faire wife, Elizabeth.

"Cusha! Cusha!" all along;
Ere the early dews were falling,
Farre away I heard her song.
"Cusha! Cusha!" all along;
Where the reedy Lindis floweth,
  Floweth, floweth,
From the meads where melick groweth
Faintly came her milking song:

"Cusha! Cusha! Cusha!" calling,
"For the dews will soone be falling;
Leave your meadow grasses mellow,
  Mellow, mellow;
Quit your cowslips, cowslips yellow;
Come uppe Whitefoot, come uppe Lightfoot,
Quit the stalks of parsley hollow,
  Hollow, hollow;
Come uppe Jetty, rise and follow,
From the clovers lift your head;
Come uppe Whitefoot, come uppe Lightfoot,
Come uppe Jetty, rise and follow,
Jetty, to the milking shed."

If it be long, ay, long ago,
  When I beginne to think howe long,
Againe I hear the Lindis flow,
  Swift as an arrowe, sharp and strong;
And all the aire, it seemeth mee,
Bin full of floating bells (sayeth she),
That ring the tune of Enderby.

Alle fresh the level pasture lay,
  And not a shadowe mote be seene,
Save where full fyve good miles away
  The steeple towered from out the greene;
And lo! the great bell farre and wide
Was heard in all the country side
That Saturday at eventide.

The swanherds where there sedges are
  Moved on in sunset's golden breath,
The shepherde lads I heard affare,
  And my sonne's wife, Elizabeth;
Till floating o'er the grassy sea
Came down that kindly message free,
The "Brides of Mavis Enderby."

Then some looked uppe into the sky,
  And all along where Lindis flows
To where the goodly vessels lie,
  And where the lordly steeple shows,
They sayde, "And why should this thing be?
What danger lowers by land or sea?
They ring the tune of Enderby!

"For evil news from Mablethorpe,
  Of pyrate galleys warping downe;
For shippes ashore beyond the scorpe,
  They have not spared to wake the towne;
But while the west bin red to see,
And storms be none, and pyrates flee,
Why ring 'The Brides of Enderby'?"

I looked without, and lo! my sonne
  Came riding down with might and main:
He raised a shout as he drew on,
  Till all the welkin rang again,
"Elizabeth! Elizabeth!"
(A sweeter woman ne'er drew breath
Than my sonne's wife, Elizabeth.)

"The old sea wall (he cried) is downe,
  The rising tide comes on apace,
And boats adrift in yonder towne
  Go sailing uppe the market-place."
He shook as one that looks on death:
"God save you, mother!" straight he saith,
"Where is my wife, Elizabeth?"

"Good sonne, where Lindis winds away,
  With her two bairns I marked her long;
And ere yon bells beganne to play
  Afar I heard her milking song."
He looked across the grassy lea,
To right, to left, "Ho, Enderby!"
They rang "The Brides of Enderby"!

With that he cried and beat his breast;
  For, lo! along the river's bed
A mighty eygre reared his crest,
  And uppe the Lindis raging sped.
It swept with thunderous noises loud;
Shaped like a curling snow-white cloud,
Or like a demon in a shroud.

And rearing Lindis backward pressed,
  Shook all her trembling bankes amaine,
Then madly at the eygre's breast
  Flung uppe her weltering walls again.
Then bankes came downe with ruin and rout--
Then beaten foam flew round about--
Then all the mighty floods were out.

So farre, so fast the eygre drave,
  The heart had hardly time to beat,
Before a shallow seething wave
  Sobbed in the grasses at oure feet.
The feet had hardly time to flee
Before it brake against the knee,
And all the world was in the sea.

Upon the roofe we sat that night,
  The noise of bells went sweeping by;
I marked the lofty beacon light
  Stream from the church tower, red and high,--
A lurid mark and dread to see;
And awesome bells they were to mee,
That in the dark rang "Enderby."

They rang the sailor lads to guide
  From roofe to roofe who fearless rowed;
And I--my sonne was at my side,
  And yet the ruddy beacon glowed;
And yet he moaned beneath his breath,
"Oh, come in life, or come in death!
Oh, lost! my love, Elizabeth."

And didst thou visit him no more?
  Thou didst, thou didst, my daughter deare;
The waters laid thee at his doore,
  Ere yet the early dawn was clear;
Thy pretty bairns in fast embrace,
The lifted sun shone on thy face,
Downe drifted to thy dwelling-place.

That flow strewed wrecks about the grass,
  That ebbe swept out the flocks to sea;
A fatal ebbe and flow, alas!
  To manye more than myne and me:
But each will mourn his own (she saith),
And sweeter woman ne'er drew breath
Than my sonne's wife, Elizabeth.

I shall never hear her more
By the reedy Lindis shore,
"Cusha! Cusha! Cusha!" calling
Ere the early dews be falling;
I shall never hear her song,
"Cusha! Cusha!" all along,
Where the sunny Lindis floweth,
  Goeth, floweth;
From the meads where melick groweth,
When the water winding down,
Onward floweth to the town.

I shall never see her more
Where the reeds and rushes quiver,
  Shiver, quiver;
Stand beside the sobbing river,
Sobbing, throbbing, in its falling
To the sandy lonesome shore;
I shall never hear her calling,
"Leave your meadow grasses mellow,
  Mellow, mellow;
Quit your cowslips, cowslips yellow;
Come uppe Whitefoot, come uppe Lightfoot;
Quit your pipes of parsley hollow,
  Hollow, hollow;
Come uppe Lightfoot, rise and follow;
  Lightfoot, Whitefoot,
From your clovers lift the head;
Come uppe Jetty, follow, follow,
Jetty, to the milking-shed."

    _Jean Ingelow._



September Days


O month of fairer, rarer days
Than Summer's best have been;
When skies at noon are burnished blue,
And winds at evening keen;
When tangled, tardy-blooming things
From wild waste places peer,
And drooping golden grain-heads tell
That harvest-time is near.

Though Autumn tints amid the green
Are gleaming, here and there,
And spicy Autumn odors float
Like incense on the air,
And sounds we mark as Autumn's own
Her nearing steps betray,
In gracious mood she seems to stand
And bid the Summer stay.

Though 'neath the trees, with fallen leaves
The sward be lightly strown,
And nests deserted tell the tale
Of summer bird-folk flown;
Though white with frost the lowlands lie
When lifts the morning haze,
Still there's a charm in every hour
Of sweet September days.

    _Helen L. Smith_



The New Year


Who comes dancing over the snow,
  His soft little feet all bare and rosy?
Open the door, though the wild wind blow,
  Take the child in and make him cozy,
Take him in and hold him dear,
Here is the wonderful glad New Year.

    _Dinah M. Craik_



An "If" For Girls

(_With apologies to Mr. Rudyard Kipling_.)


If you can dress to make yourself attractive,
  Yet not make puffs and curls your chief delight;
If you can swim and row, be strong and active,
  But of the gentler graces lose not sight;
If you can dance without a craze for dancing,
  Play without giving play too strong a hold,
Enjoy the love of friends without romancing,
  Care for the weak, the friendless and the old;

If you can master French and Greek and Latin,
  And not acquire, as well, a priggish mien,
If you can feel the touch of silk and satin
  Without despising calico and jean;
If you can ply a saw and use a hammer,
  Can do a man's work when the need occurs,
Can sing when asked, without excuse or stammer,
  Can rise above unfriendly snubs and slurs;

If you can make good bread as well as fudges,
  Can sew with skill and have an eye for dust,
If you can be a friend and hold no grudges,
  A girl whom all will love because they must;

If sometime you should meet and love another
  And make a home with faith and peace enshrined,
And you its soul--a loyal wife and mother--
  You'll work out pretty nearly to my mind
The plan that's been developed through the ages,
  And win the best that life can have in store,
You'll be, my girl, the model for the sages--
  A woman whom the world will bow before.

    _Elizabeth Lincoln Otis._



Boy and Girl of Plymouth


Little lass of Plymouth,--gentle, shy, and sweet;
Primly, trimly tripping down the queer old street;
Homespun frock and apron, clumsy buckled shoe;
Skirts that reach your ankles, just as Mother's do;
Bonnet closely clinging over braid and curl;
Modest little maiden,--Plymouth's Pilgrim girl!

Little lad of Plymouth, stanchly trudging by;
Strong your frame, and sturdy; kind and keen your eye;
Clad in belted doublet, buckles at your knee;
Every garment fashioned as a man's might be;
Shoulder-cloak and breeches, hat with bell-shaped crown;
Manly little Pilgrim,--boy of Plymouth town!

Boy and girl of Plymouth, brave and blithe, and true;
Finer task than yours was, children never knew;
Sharing toil and hardship in the strange, new land;
Hope, and help, and promise of the weary band;
Grave the life around you, scant its meed of joy;
Yours to make it brighter,--Pilgrim girl and boy!

    _Helen L. Smith_.



Work: A Song of Triumph


Work!
  Thank God for the might of it,
  The ardor, the urge, the delight of it,
  Work that springs from the heart's desire,
  Setting the brain and the soul on fire--
  Oh, what is so good as the heat of it,
  And what is so glad as the beat of it,
  And what is so kind as the stern command,
  Challenging brain and heart and hand?

Work!
  Thank God for the pride of it,
  For the beautiful, conquering tide of it,
  Sweeping the life in its furious flood,
  Thrilling the arteries, cleansing the blood,
  Mastering stupor and dull despair,
  Moving the dreamer to do and dare--
  Oh, what is so good as the urge of it,
  And what is so glad as the surge of it,
  And what is so strong as the summons deep,
  Rousing the torpid soul from sleep?

Work!
  Thank God for the pace of it,
  For the terrible, swift, keen race of it,
  Fiery steeds in full control,
  Nostrils a-quiver to reach the goal.
  Work, the power that drives behind,
  Guiding the purposes, taming the mind,
  Holding the runaway wishes back,
  Reining the will to one steady track,
  Speeding the energies, faster, faster,
  Triumphing ever over disaster;
  Oh, what is so good as the pain of it,
  And what is so great as the gain of it,
  And what is so kind as the cruel goad,
  Forcing us on through the rugged road?

Work!
  Thank God for the swing of it,
  For the clamoring, hammering ring of it,
  Passion of labor daily hurled
  On the mighty anvils of the world.
  Oh, what is so fierce as the flame of it?
  And what is so huge as the aim of it?
  Thundering on through dearth and doubt,
  Calling the plan of the Maker out,
  Work, the Titan; Work, the friend,
  Shaping the earth to a glorious end,
  Draining the swamps and blasting hills,
  Doing whatever the Spirit wills--
  Rending a continent apart,
  To answer the dream of the Master heart.
  Thank God for a world where none may shirk--
  Thank God for the splendor of Work!

    _Angela Morgan._



Reply to "A Woman's Question"

(_"A Woman's Question" is given on page 129 of Book I, "Poems Teachers
Ask For_.")


You say I have asked for the costliest thing
  Ever made by the Hand above--
A woman's heart and a woman's life,
  And a woman's wonderful love.

That I have written your duty out,
  And, man-like, have questioned free--
You demand that I stand at the bar of your soul,
  While you in turn question me.

And when I ask you to be my wife,
  The head of my house and home,
Whose path I would scatter with sunshine through life,
  Thy shield when sorrow shall come--

You reply with disdain and a curl of the lip,
  And point to my coat's missing button,
And haughtily ask if I want a _cook_,
  To serve up my _beef_ and my _mutton_.

'Tis a _king_ that you look for. Well, I am not he,
  But only a plain, earnest man,
Whose feet often shun the hard path they should tread,
  Often shrink from the gulf they should span.

'Tis hard to believe that the rose will fade
  From the cheek so full, so fair;
'Twere harder to think that a heart proud and cold
  Was ever reflected there.

True, the rose will fade, and the leaves will fall,
  And the Autumn of life will come;
But the heart that I give thee will be true as in May,
  Should I make it thy shelter, thy home.

Thou requir'st "all things that are good and true;
  All things that a man should be";
Ah! lady, my _truth_, in return, doubt not,
  For the rest, I leave it to thee.

    _Nettie H. Pelham._



The Romance of Nick Van Stann


I cannot vouch my tale is true,
Nor say, indeed, 'tis wholly new;
But true or false, or new or old,
I think you'll find it fairly told.
A Frenchman, who had ne'er before
Set foot upon a foreign shore,
Weary of home, resolved to go
And see what Holland had to show.
He didn't know a word of Dutch,
But that could hardly grieve him much;
He thought, as Frenchmen always do,
That all the world could "parley-voo."
At length our eager tourist stands
Within the famous Netherlands,
And, strolling gaily here and there,
In search of something rich or rare,
A lordly mansion greets his eyes;
"How beautiful!" the Frenchman cries,
And, bowing to the man who sate
In livery at the garden gate,
"Pray, Mr. Porter, if you please,
Whose very charming grounds are these?
And, pardon me, be pleased to tell
Who in this splendid house may dwell."
To which, in Dutch, the puzzled man
Replied what seemed like "Nick Van Stann,"[*]

"Thanks!" said the Gaul; "the owner's taste
Is equally superb and chaste;
So fine a house, upon my word,
Not even Paris can afford.
With statues, too, in every niche;
Of course Monsieur Van Stann is rich,
And lives, I warrant, like a king,--
Ah! wealth mast be a charming thing!"
In Amsterdam the Frenchman meets
A thousand wonders in the streets,
But most he marvels to behold
A lady dressed in silk and gold;
Gazing with rapture on the dame,
He begs to know the lady's name,
And hears, to raise his wonders more,
The very words he heard before!
"Mercie!" he cries; "well, on my life,
Milord has got a charming wife;
'Tis plain to see, this Nick Van Stann
Must be a very happy man."

Next day our tourist chanced to pop
His head within a lottery shop,
And there he saw, with staring eyes,
The drawing of the mammoth prize.
"Ten millions! 'tis a pretty sum;
I wish I had as much at home:
I'd like to know, as I'm a sinner,
What lucky fellow is the winner?"
Conceive our traveler's amaze
To hear again the hackneyed phrase.
"What? no! not Nick Van Stann again?
Faith! he's the luckiest of men.
You may be sure we don't advance
So rapidly as that in France:
A house, the finest in the land;
A lovely garden, nicely planned;
A perfect angel of a wife,
And gold enough to last a life;
There never yet was mortal man
So blest--as Monsieur Nick Van Stann!"

Next day the Frenchman chanced to meet
A pompous funeral in the street;
And, asking one who stood close by
What nobleman had pleased to die,
Was stunned to hear the old reply.
The Frenchman sighed and shook his head,
"Mon Dieu! poor Nick Van Stann is dead;
With such a house, and such a wife,
It must be hard to part with life;
And then, to lose that mammoth prize,--
He wins, and, pop,--the winner dies!
Ah, well! his blessings came so fast,
I greatly feared they could not last:
And thus, we see, the sword of Fate
Cuts down alike the small and great."

[Footnote *: Nicht verstehen:--"I don't understand."]

    _John G. Saxe._



Armageddon


Marching down to Armageddon--
  Brothers, stout and strong!
Let us cheer the way we tread on,
  With a soldier's song!
Faint we by the weary road,
  Or fall we in the rout,
Dirge or Pæan, Death or Triumph!--
  Let the song ring out!

We are they who scorn the scorners--
  Love the lovers--hate
None within the world's four corners--
  All must share one fate;
We are they whose common banner
  Bears no badge nor sign,
Save the Light which dyes it white--
The Hope that makes it shine.

We are they whose bugle rings,
  That all the wars may cease;
We are they will pay the Kings
  Their cruel price for Peace;
We are they whose steadfast watchword
  Is what Christ did teach--
"Each man for his Brother first--
  And Heaven, then, for each."

We are they who will not falter--
  Many swords or few--
Till we make this Earth the altar
  Of a worship new;
We are they who will not take
  From palace, priest or code,
A meaner Law than "Brotherhood"--
  A lower Lord than God.

Marching down to Armageddon--
  Brothers, stout and strong!
Ask not why the way we tread on
  Is so rough and long!
God will tell us when our spirits
  Grow to grasp His plan!
Let us do our part to-day--
  And help Him, helping Man!

Shall we even curse the madness
  Which for "ends of State"
Dooms us to the long, long sadness
  Of this human hate?
Let us slay in perfect pity
  Those that must not live;
Vanquish, and forgive our foes--
  Or fall--and still forgive!

We are those whose unpaid legions,
  In free ranks arrayed,
Massacred in many regions--
  Never once were stayed:
We are they whose torn battalions,
  Trained to bleed, not fly,
Make our agonies a triumph,--
  Conquer, while we die!

Therefore, down to Armageddon--
  Brothers, bold and strong;
Cheer the glorious way we tread on,
  With this soldier song!
Let the armies of the old Flags
  March in silent dread!
Death and Life are one to us,
  Who fight for Quick and Dead!

    _Edwin Arnold._



Picciola


It was a sergeant old and gray,
  Well singed and bronzed from siege and pillage.
Went tramping in an army's wake
  Along the turnpike of the village.

For days and nights the winding host
  Had through the little place been marching,
And ever loud the rustics cheered,
  Till every throat was hoarse and parching.

The squire and farmer, maid and dame,
  All took the sight's electric stirring,
And hats were waved and staves were sung,
  And kerchiefs white were countless whirring.

They only saw a gallant show
  Of heroes stalwart under banners,
And, in the fierce heroic glow,
  'Twas theirs to yield but wild hosannas.

The sergeant heard the shrill hurrahs,
  Where he behind in step was keeping;
But, glancing down beside the road,
  He saw a little maid sit weeping.

"And how is this?" he gruffly said,
  A moment pausing to regard her;--
"Why weepest thou, my little chit?"
  And then she only cried the harder.

"And how is this, my little chit?"
  The sturdy trooper straight repeated,
"When all the village cheers us on,
  That you, in tears, apart are seated?

"We march two hundred thousand strong,
  And that's a sight, my baby beauty,
To quicken silence into song
  And glorify the soldier's duty."

"It's very, very grand, I know,"
  The little maid gave soft replying;
"And father, mother, brother too,
  All say 'Hurrah' while I am crying;

"But think, oh, Mr. Soldier, think,
  How many little sisters' brothers
Are going all away to fight,
  And may be killed, as well as others!"

"Why, bless thee, child," the sergeant said,
  His brawny hand her curls caressing,
"'Tis left for little ones like thee
  To find that war's not all a blessing."

And "Bless thee!" once again he cried,
  Then cleared his throat and looked indignant
And marched away with wrinkled brow
  To stop the struggling tear benignant.

And still the ringing shouts went up
  From doorway, thatch, and fields of tillage;
The pall behind the standard seen
  By one alone of all the village.

The oak and cedar bend and writhe
  When roars the wind through gap and braken;
But 'tis the tenderest reed of all
  That trembles first when Earth is shaken.

    _Robert Henry Newell._



The King's Ring


Once in Persia reigned a king
Who upon his signet ring
Graved a maxim true and wise
Which, if held before his eyes,
Gave him counsel at a glance
Fit for every change and chance.
Solemn words; and these are they:
"Even this shall pass away."

Trains of camels through the sand
Brought him gems from Samarcand,
Fleets of galleys through the seas
Brought him pearls to match with these;
But he counted not his gain--
Treasurer of the mine and main,
"What is wealth?" the king would say;
"Even this shall pass away."

In the revels of his court
At the zenith of the sport,
When the palms of all his guests
Burned with clapping at his jests,
He, amid his figs and wine,
Cried: "O loving friends of mine!
Pleasures come, but not to stay,
Even this shall pass away."

Fighting on a furious field
Once a javelin pierced his shield;
Soldiers with loud lament
Bore him bleeding to his tent,
Groaning with his tortured side.
"Pain is hard to bear," he cried;
"But with patience day by day,
Even this shall pass away."

Struck with palsy, sere and old,
Waiting at the gates of gold,
Spake he with his dying breath:
"Life is done, but what is death?"
Then, in answer to the king,
Fell a sunbeam on his ring,
Showing by a heavenly ray:
"Even this shall pass away."

    _Theodore Tilton._



Leaving the Homestead


You're going to leave the homestead, John,
  You're twenty-one to-day:
And very sorry am I, John,
  To see you go away.
You've labored late and early, John,
  And done the best you could;
I ain't going to stop you, John,
  I wouldn't if I could.

Yet something of your feelings, John,
  I s'pose I'd ought to know,
Though many a day has passed away--
  'Twas forty years ago--
When hope was high within me, John,
  And life lay all before,
That I, with strong and measured stroke,
  "Cut loose" and pulled from shore.

The years they come and go, my boy,
  The years they come and go;
And raven locks and tresses brown
  Grow white as driven snow.
My life has known its sorrows, John,
  Its trials and troubles sore;
Yet God withal has blessed me, John,
  "In basket and in store."

But one thing let me tell you, John,
  Before you make a start,
There's more in being honest, John,
  Twice o'er than being smart.
Though rogues may seem to flourish, John,
  And sterling worth to fail,
Oh! keep in view the good and true;
  'Twill in the end prevail.

Don't think too much of money, John,
  And dig and delve and plan,
And rake and scrape in every shape,
  To hoard up all you can.
Though fools may count their riches, John,
  In dollars and in cents,
The best of wealth is youth and health,
  And good sound common sense.

And don't be mean and stingy, John,
  But lay a little by
Of what you earn; you soon will learn
  How fast 'twill multiply.
So when old age comes creeping on,
  You'll have a goodly store
Of wealth to furnish all your needs--
  And maybe something more.

There's shorter cuts to fortune, John,
  We see them every day;
But those who save their self-respect
  Climb up the good old way.
"All is not gold that glitters," John,
  And makes the vulgar stare,
And those we deem the richest, John,
  Have oft the least to spare.

Don't meddle with your neighbors, John,
  Their sorrows or their cares;
You'll find enough to do, my boy,
  To mind your own affairs.
The world is full of idle tongues--
  You can afford to shirk!
There's lots of people ready, John,
  To do such dirty work.

And if amid the race for fame
  You win a shining prize,
The humbler work of honest men
  You never should despise;
For each one has his mission, John,
  In life's unchanging plan--
Though lowly be his station, John,
  He is no less a man.

Be good, be pure, be noble, John;
  Be honest, brave, be true;
And do to others as you would
  That they should do to you;
And put your trust in God, my boy,
  Though fiery darts be hurled;
Then you can smile at Satan's rage,
  And face a frowning world.

Good-by! May Heaven guard and bless
  Your footsteps day by day;
The old house will be lonesome, John,
  When you are gone away.
The cricket's song upon the hearth
  Will have a sadder tone;
The old familiar spots will be
  So lonely when you're gone.



Bernardo Del Carpio

King Alphonso of Asturias had imprisoned the Count Saldana, about the
time of the birth of the Count's son Bernardo. In an effort to secure
his father's release, Bernardo, when old enough, took up arms. Finally
the King offered Bernardo possession of his father's person, in exchange
for the Castle of Carpio and all the King's subjects there imprisoned.
The cruel trick played by the King on Bernardo is here described.


The warrior bowed his crested head, and tamed his heart of fire,
And sued the haughty king to free his long-imprisoned sire;
"I bring thee here my fortress-keys, I bring my captive train,
I pledge thee faith, my liege, my lord!--oh break my father's chain!"
"Rise, rise! even now thy father comes, a ransomed man this day;
Mount thy good horse; and thou and I will meet him on his way."

Then lightly rose that loyal son, and bounded on his steed,
And urged, as if with lance in rest, the charger's foamy speed.
And lo! from far, as on they pressed, there came a glittering band,
With one that midst them stately rode, as leader in the land:
"Now haste, Bernardo, haste! for there, in very truth, is he,
The father whom thy faithful heart hath yearned so long to see."

His dark eye flashed, his proud breast heaved, his cheek's hue came and
      went;
He reached that gray-haired chieftain's side, and there, dismounting, bent;
A lowly knee to earth he bent, his father's hand he took--
What was there in its touch that all his fiery spirit shook?
That hand was cold,--a frozen thing,--it dropped from his like lead!
He looked up to the face above,--the face was of the dead!
A plume waved o'er the noble brow,--the brow was fixed and white,
He met, at last, his father's eyes, but in them was no sight!

Up from the ground he sprang and gazed, but who could paint that gaze?
They hushed their very hearts that saw its horror and amaze.
They might have chained him, as before that stony form he stood,
For the power was stricken from his arm, and from his lip the blood.
"Father!" at length he murmured low, and wept like childhood then;
Talk not of grief till thou hast seen the tears of warlike men!

He thought on all his glorious hopes, and all his young renown;
He flung the falchion from his side, and in the dust sat down.
Then covering with his steel-gloved hands his darkly mournful brow:
"No more, there is no more," he said, "to lift the sword for now;
My king is false, my hope betrayed, my father--oh, the worth,
The glory, and the loveliness, are passed away from earth!
I thought to stand where banners waved, my sire, beside thee, yet!
I would that there our kindred blood on Spain's free soil had met!
Thou wouldst have known my spirit then;--for thee my fields were won;
And thou hast perished in thy chains, as though thou hadst no son!"

Then, starting from the ground once more, he seized the monarch's rein,
Amidst the pale and 'wildered looks of all the courtier train;
And, with a fierce, o'ermastering grasp, the rearing war-horse led,
And sternly set them face to face, the king before the dead:
"Came I not forth, upon thy pledge, my father's hand to kiss?
Be still, and gaze thou on, false king! and tell me what is this?
The voice, the glance, the heart I sought--give answer, where are they?
If thou wouldst clear thy perjured soul, send life through this cold clay!
Into these glassy eyes put light; be still! keep down thine ire;
Bid these white lips a blessing speak, this earth is not my sire.
Give me back him for whom I strove, for whom my blood was shed!
Thou canst not?--and a king!--his dust be mountains on thy head."

He loosed the steed--his slack hand fell; upon the silent face
He cast one long, deep, troubled look, then turned from that sad place.
His hope was crushed, his after fate untold in martial strain;
His banner led the spears no more, amidst the hills of Spain.

    _Felicia Hemans._



Mizpah


Go thou thy way, and I go mine,
  Apart--but not afar.
Only a thin veil hangs between
  The pathways where we are,
And God keep watch 'tween thee and me
  This is my prayer.
He looks thy way--He looketh mine
  And keeps us near.

I know not where thy road may lie
  Nor which way mine will be,
If thine will lead through parching sands
  And mine beside the sea.
Yet God keeps watch 'tween thee and me,
  So never fear.
He holds thy hand--He claspeth mine
  And keeps us near.

Should wealth and fame perchance be thine
  And my lot lowly be,
Or you be sad and sorrowful
  And glory be for me,
Yet God keep watch 'tween thee and me,
  Both are his care.
One arm round me and one round thee
  Will keep us near.

I sigh sometimes to see thy face
  But since this may not be
I leave thee to the love of Him
  Who cares for thee and me.
"I'll keep ye both beneath My wings,"
  This comforts--dear.
One wing o'er thee--and one o'er me,
  So we are near.

And though our paths be separate
  And thy way be not mine--
Yet coming to the mercy seat
  My soul shall meet with thine.
And "God keep watch 'tween thee and me"
  I'll whisper there.
He blesses me--He blesses thee
  And we are near.



God


O Thou eternal One! whose presence bright
All space doth occupy, all motion guide--
Unchanged through time's all-devastating flight!
Thou only God--there is no God beside!
Being above all beings! Mighty One,
Whom none can comprehend and none explore,
Who fill'st existence with Thyself alone--
Embracing all, supporting, ruling o'er,--
Being whom we call God, and know no more!

In its sublime research, philosophy
May measure out the ocean-deep--may count
The sands or the sun's rays--but, God! for Thee
There is no weight nor measure; none can mount
Up to thy mysteries:* Reason's brightest spark,
Though kindled by Thy light, in vain would try
To trace Thy counsels, infinite and dark:
And thought is lost ere thought can soar so high,
Even like past moments in eternity.

Thou from primeval nothingness didst call
First chaos, then existence--Lord! in Thee
Eternity had its foundation; all
Sprung forth from Thee--of light, joy, harmony,
Sole Origin--all life, all beauty Thine;
Thy word created all, and doth create;
Thy splendor fills all space with rays divine;
Thou art and wert and shalt be! Glorious! Great!
Light-giving, life-sustaining Potentate!

Thy chains the unmeasured universe surround--
Upheld by Thee, by Thee inspired with breath!
Thou the beginning with the end hast bound,
And beautifully mingled life and death!
As sparks mount upward from the fiery blaze,
So suns are born, so worlds spring forth from Thee;
And as the spangles in the sunny rays
Shine round the silver snow, the pageantry
Of heaven's bright army glitters in Thy praise.

A million torches, lighted by Thy hand,
Wander unwearied through the blue abyss--
They own Thy power, accomplish Thy command,
All gay with life, all eloquent with bliss.
What shall we call them? Piles of crystal light--
A glorious company of golden streams--
Lamps of celestial ether burning bright--
Suns lighting systems with their joyous beams?
But Thou to these art as the noon to night.

Yes! as a drop of water in the sea,
All this magnificence in Thee is lost:--
What are ten thousand worlds compared to Thee?
And what am I then?--Heaven's unnumbered host,
Though multiplied by myriads, and arrayed
In all the glory of sublimest thought,
Is but an atom in the balance, weighed
Against Thy greatness--is a cipher brought
Against infinity! What am I then? Naught!

Naught! But the effluence of Thy light divine,
Pervading worlds, hath reached my bosom too;
Yes! in my spirit doth Thy spirit shine
As shines the sunbeam in a drop of dew.
Naught! but I live, and on hope's pinions fly
Eager toward Thy presence; for in Thee
I live, and breathe, and dwell; aspiring high,
Even to the throne of Thy divinity.
I am, O God! and surely Thou must be!

Thou art!--directing, guiding all--Thou art!
Direct my understanding then to Thee;
Control my spirit, guide my wandering heart;
Though but an atom midst immensity,
Still I am something, fashioned by Thy hand!
I hold a middle rank 'twixt heaven and earth--
On the last verge of mortal being stand.
Close to the realm where angels have their birth,
Just on the boundaries of the spirit-land!

The chain of being is complete in me--
In me is matter's last gradation lost,
And the next step is spirit--Deity!
I can command the lightning, and am dust!
A monarch and a slave--a worm, a god!
Whence came I here, and how? so marvelously
Constructed and conceived? unknown! this clod
Lives surely through some higher energy;
For from itself alone it could not be!

Creator, yes! Thy wisdom and Thy word
Created me! Thou source of life and good!
Thou spirit of my spirit, and my Lord!
Thy light, Thy love, in their bright plenitude
Filled me with an immortal soul, to spring
Over the abyss of death; and bade it wear
The garments of eternal day, and wing
Its heavenly flight beyond this little sphere,
Even to its source--to Thee--its Author there.

O thoughts ineffable! O visions blest!
Though worthless our conceptions all of Thee,
Yet shall Thy shadowed image fill our breast.
And waft its homage to Thy Deity.
God! thus alone my lowly thoughts can soar,
Thus seek thy presence--Being wise and good!
Midst Thy vast works admire, obey, adore;
And when the tongue is eloquent no more
The soul shall speak in tears of gratitude.

    _Gabriel Somanovitch Derzhavin._



Casabianca


The boy stood on the burning deck,
  Whence all but him had fled;
The flame that lit the battle's wreck
  Shone round him o'er the dead.

Yet beautiful and bright he stood,
  As born to rule the storm;
A creature of heroic blood,
  A proud, though childlike form.

The flames roll'd on--he would not go
  Without his father's word;
That father, faint in death below,
  His voice no longer heard.

He called aloud: "Say, father, say
  If yet my task is done?"
He knew not that the chieftain lay
  Unconscious of his son.

"Speak, father!" once again he cried,
  "If I may yet be gone!"
And but the booming shots replied,
  And fast the flames roll'd on.

Upon his brow he felt their breath,
  And in his waving hair;
And looked from that lone post of death
  In still, yet brave despair.

And shouted but once more aloud,
  "My father! must I stay?"
While o'er him fast, through sail and shroud,
  The wreathing fires made way.

They wrapt the ship in splendor wild,
  They caught the flag on high,
And streamed above the gallant child,
  Like banners in the sky.

There came a burst of thunder sound--
  The boy--oh! where was he?
Ask of the winds that far around
  With fragments strewed the sea!

With mast, and helm, and pennon fair,
  That well had borne their part--
But the noblest thing that perished there
  Was that young, faithful heart.

    _Felicia Hemans._



Monterey


We were not many,--we who stood
  Before the iron sleet that day;
Yet many a gallant spirit would
Give half his years if he but could
  Have been with us at Monterey.

Now here, now there, the shot it hailed
  In deadly drifts of fiery spray,
Yet not a single soldier quailed
When wounded comrades round them wailed
  Their dying shout at Monterey.

And on, still on our column kept,
  Through walls of flame, its withering way;
Where fell the dead, the living stept,
Still charging on the guns which swept
  The slippery streets of Monterey.

The foe himself recoiled aghast,
  When, striking where he strongest lay,
We swooped his flanking batteries past,
And braving full their murderous blast,
  Stormed home the towers of Monterey.

Our banners on those turrets wave,
  And there our evening bugles play;
Where orange boughs above their grave
Keep green the memory of the brave
  Who fought and fell at Monterey.

We are not many, we who pressed
  Beside the brave who fell that day;
But who of us has not confessed
He'd rather share their warrior rest,
  Than not have been at Monterey?

    _Charles Fenno Hoffman._



The Teacher's "If"


If you can take your dreams into the classroom,
  And always make them part of each day's work--
If you can face the countless petty problems
  Nor turn from them nor ever try to shirk--
If you can live so that the child you work with
  Deep in his heart knows you to be a man--
If you can take "I can't" from out his language
  And put in place a vigorous "I can"--

If you can take Love with you to the classroom,
  And yet on Firmness never shut the door--
If you can teach a child the love of Nature
  So that he helps himself to all her store--
If you can teach him life is what we make it,
  That he himself can be his only bar--
If you can tell him something of the heavens,
  Or something of the wonder of a star--

If you, with simple bits of truth and honor,
  His better self occasionally reach--
And yet not overdo nor have him dub you
  As one who is inclined to ever preach--
If you impart to him a bit of liking
  For all the wondrous things we find in print--
Yet have him understand that to be happy,
  Play, exercise, fresh air he must not stint--

If you can give of all the best that's in you,
  And in the giving always happy be--
If you can find the good that's hidden somewhere
  Deep in the heart of every child you see--
If you can do these things and all the others
  That teachers everywhere do every day--
You're in the work that you were surely meant for;
  Take hold of it! Know it's your place and stay!

    _R.J. Gale._



The Good Shepherd


There were ninety and nine
Of a flock, sleek and fine
  In a sheltering cote in the vale;
But a lamb was away,
On the mountain astray,
  Unprotected within the safe pale.

Then the sleet and the rain
On the mountain and plain,
  And the wind fiercely blowing a gale,
And the night's growing dark,
And the wolf's hungry bark
  Stir the soul of the shepherd so hale.

And he says, "Hireling, go;
For a lamb's in the snow
  And exposed to the wild hungry beast;
'Tis no time to keep seat,
Nor to rest weary feet,
  Nor to sit at a bounteous feast."

Then the hireling replied,
"Here you have at your side
  All your flock save this one little sheep.
Are the ninety and nine,
All so safe and so fine,
  Not enough for the shepherd to keep?"

Then the shepherd replied,
"Ah! this lamb from my side
  Presses near, very near, to my heart.
Not its value in pay
Makes me urge in this way,
  But the longings and achings of heart."

"Let me wait till the day,
O good shepherd, I pray;
  For I shudder to go in the dark
On the mountain so high
And its precipice nigh
  'Mong the wolves with their frightening bark."

Then the shepherd said, "No;
Surely some one must go
  Who can rescue my lamb from the cold,
From the wolf's hungry maw
And the lion's fierce paw
  And restore it again to the fold."

Then the shepherd goes out
With his cloak girt about
  And his rod and his staff in his hand.
What cares he for the cold
If his sheep to the fold
  He can bring from the dark mountain land?

You can hear his clear voice
As the mountains rejoice,
  "Sheepy sheep, sheepy sheep, sheepy sheep!"
Up the hillside so steep,
Into caverns so deep,
  "Sheepy sheep, sheepy sheep, sheepy sheep!"

Now he hears its weak "baa,"
And he answers it, "Ah!
  Sheepy sheep, sheepy sheep, sheepy sheep!"
Then its answering bleat
Hurries on his glad feet,
  And his arms gather up his lost sheep.

Wet and cold on his breast
The lost lamb found its rest
  As he bore it adown to the fold.
And the ninety and nine
Bleat for joy down the line,
  That it's safe from the wolf and the cold.

Then he said to his friends,
"Now let joy make amends
  For the steeps and the deeps I have crossed--
For the pelting of sleet
And my sore, weary feet,
  For I've found the dear lamb that was lost."

Let the hirelings upbraid
For the nights that He stayed
  On the mountains so rugged and high.
Surely never a jeer
From my lips shall one hear,
  For--that poor lonely lambkin--was--I.

While the eons shall roll
O'er my glad ransomed soul
  I will praise the Good Shepherd above,
For a place on His breast,
For its comfort and rest,
  For His wonderful, wonderful love.

    _D. N. Howe._



A Sermon in Rhyme


If you have a friend worth loving,
  Love him. Yes, and let him know
That you love him ere life's evening
  Tinge his brow with sunset glow;
Why should good words ne'er be said
Of a friend--till he is dead?

If you hear a song that thrills you,
  Sung by any child of song,
Praise it. Do not let the singer
  Wait deserved praises long;
Why should one that thrills your heart
Lack that joy it may impart?

If you hear a prayer that moves you
  By its humble pleading tone,
Join it. Do not let the seeker
  Bow before his God alone;
Why should not your brother share
The strength of "two or three" in prayer?

If you see the hot tears falling
  From a loving brother's eyes,
Share them, and by sharing,
  Own your kinship with the skies;
Why should anyone be glad,
When his brother's heart is sad?

If a silver laugh goes rippling
  Through the sunshine on his face,
Share it. 'Tis the wise man's saying,
  For both grief and joy a place;
There's health and goodness in the mirth
In which an honest laugh has birth.

If your work is made more easy
  By a friendly helping hand,
Say so. Speak out brave and truly,
  Ere the darkness veil the land.
Should a brother workman dear
Falter for a word of cheer?

Scatter thus your seed of kindness,
  All enriching as you go--
Leave them, trust the Harvest-Giver;
  He will make each seed to grow.
So, until its happy end,
Your life shall never lack a friend.



The Fortunate Isles


You sail and you seek for the Fortunate Isles,
  The old Greek Isles of the yellow bird's song?
Then steer right on through the watery miles,
  Straight on, straight on, and you can't go wrong.
Nay, not to the left, nay, not to the right;
But on, straight on, and the Isles are in sight,
The Fortunate Isles, where the yellow birds sing
And life lies girt with a golden ring.

These Fortunate Isles, they are not far;
  They lie within reach of the lowliest door;
You can see them gleam by the twilight star;
  You can hear them sing by the moon's white shore,
Nay, never look back! Those leveled gravestones,
They were landing steps; they were steps unto thrones
Of glory for souls that have sailed before
And have set white feet on the fortunate shore.

And what are the names of the Fortunate Isles?
  Why, Duty and Love and a large content.
Lo! there are the isles of the watery miles
  That God let down from the firmament;
Lo! Duty and Love, and a true man's trust;
Your forehead to God and your feet in the dust;
Lo! Duty and Love, and a sweet babe's smiles,
And there, O friend, are the Fortunate Isles.

    _Joaquin Miller._



What the Choir Sang About the New Bonnet


A foolish little maiden bought a foolish little bonnet,
With a ribbon, and a feather, and a bit of lace upon it;
And that the other maidens of the little town might know it,
She thought she'd go to meeting the next Sunday just to show it.

But though the little bonnet was scarce larger than a dime,
The getting of it settled proved to be a work of time;
So when 'twas fairly tied, all the bells had stopped their ringing,
And when she came to meeting, sure enough the folks were singing.

So this foolish little maiden stood and waited at the door;
And she shook her ruffles out behind and smoothed them down before.
"Hallelujah! hallelujah!" sang the choir above her head.
"Hardly knew you! hardly knew you!" were the words she thought they said.

This made the little maiden feel so very, very cross,
That she gave her little mouth a twist, her little head a toss;
For she thought the very hymn they sang was all about her bonnet,
With the ribbon, and the feather, and the bit of lace upon it.

And she would not wait to listen to the sermon or the prayer,
But pattered down the silent street, and hurried up the stair,
Till she reached her little bureau, and in a band-box on it,
Had hidden, safe from critics' eyes, her foolish little bonnet.

Which proves, my little maidens, that each of you will find
In every Sabbath service but an echo of your mind;
And the silly little head, that's filled with silly little airs,
Will never get a blessing from sermon or from prayers.

    _M. T. Morrison._



Work Thou for Pleasure


Work thou for pleasure; paint or sing or carve
The thing thou lovest, though the body starve.
Who works for glory misses oft the goal;
Who works for money coins his very soul.
Work for work's sake then, and it well may be
That these things shall be added unto thee.

    _Kenyon Cox._



The Tin Gee Gee


I was strolling one day down the Lawther Arcade,
That place for children's toys,
Where you can purchase a dolly or spade
For your good little girls and boys.
And as I passed a certain stall, said a wee little voice to me:
O, I am a Colonel in a little cocked hat, and I ride on a tin Gee Gee;
O, I am a Colonel in a little cocked hat, and I ride on a tin Gee Gee.

Then I looked and a little tin soldier I saw,
In his little cocked hat so fine.
He'd a little tin sword that shone in the light
As he led a glittering line of tin hussars,
Whose sabers flashed in a manner à la military.
And that little tin soldier he rode at their head,
So proud on his tin Gee Gee.

Then that little tin soldier he sobbed and he sighed,
So I patted his little tin head.
What vexes your little tin soul? said I,
And this is what he said:
I've been on this stall a very long time,
And I'm marked twenty-nine, as you see;
Whilst just on the shelf above my head,
There's a fellow marked sixty-three.

Now he hasn't got a sword and he hasn't got a horse,
And I'm quite as good as he.
So why mark me at twenty-nine,
And him at sixty-three?
There's a pretty little dolly girl over there,
And I'm madly in love with she.
But now that I'm only marked twenty-nine,
She turns up her nose at me,
She turns up her little wax nose at me,
And carries on with sixty-three.

And, oh, she's dressed in a beautiful dress;
It's a dress I do admire,
She has pearly blue eyes that open and shut
When worked inside by a wire,
And once on a time when the folks had gone,
She used to ogle at me.
But now that I'm only marked twenty-nine,
She turns up her nose at me.
She turns up her little snub nose at me,
And carries on with sixty-three.

Cheer up, my little tin man, said I,
I'll see what I can do.
You're a fine little fellow, and it's a shame
That she should so treat you.
So I took down the label from the shelf above,
And I labeled him sixty-three,
And I marked the other one twenty-nine,
Which was _very, very_ wrong of me,
But I felt so sorry for that little tin soul,
As he rode on his tin Gee Gee.

Now that little tin soldier he puffed with pride,
At being marked sixty-three,
And that saucy little dolly girl smiled once more,
For he'd risen in life, do you see?
And it's so in this world; for I'm in love
With a maiden of high degree;
But I am only marked twenty-nine,
And the other chap's sixty-three--
And a girl never looks at twenty-nine
With a possible sixty-three!

    _Fred Cape._



"Tommy"


I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again, an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play.

I went into a theater as sober as could be,
They give a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins," when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, etc.

O makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken sodgers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, etc.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints.
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy fall be'ind";
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, etc.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face,
The Widow's uniform[1] is not the soldierman's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool--you bet that Tommy sees!

    _Rudyard Kipling._

[Footnote 1: "Widow's uniform"--i. e., uniform of a soldier of Queen
Victoria, who was often affectionately called "the Widow of Windsor."]



The Mystic Weaver


The weaver at his loom is sitting,
Throws his shuttle to and fro;
    Foot and treadle,
    Hand and pedal,
Upward, downward, hither, thither,
How the weaver makes them go:
As the weaver wills they go.
Up and down the web is plying,
And across the woof is flying;
    What a rattling!
    What a battling!
    What a shuffling!
    What a scuffling!
As the weaver makes his shuttle
Hither, thither, scud and scuttle.
Threads in single, threads in double;
How they mingle, what a trouble!
Every color, what profusion!
Every motion, what confusion!
While the web and woof are mingling,
Signal bells above are jingling,--
Telling how each figure ranges,
Telling when the color changes,
As the weaver makes his shuttle
Hither, thither, scud and scuttle.

The weaver at his loom is sitting,
Throws his shuttle to and fro;
'Mid the noise and wild confusion,
Well the weaver seems to know,
As he makes his shuttle go,
    What each motion
    And commotion,
    What each fusion
    And confusion,
In the grand result will show.
    Weaving daily,
    Singing gaily,
As he makes his busy shuttle
Hither, thither, scud and scuttle.

The weaver at his loom is sitting,
Throws his shuttle to and fro;
See you not how shape and order
From the wild confusion grow,
As he makes his shuttle go?--
As the web and woof diminish,
Grows beyond the beauteous finish,--
    Tufted plaidings,
    Shapes, and shadings;
    All the mystery
    Now is history;--
And we see the reason subtle,
Why the weaver makes his shuttle
Hither, thither, scud and scuttle.

See the Mystic Weaver sitting
High in heaven--His loom below;
Up and down the treadles go;
Takes for web the world's long ages,
Takes for woof its kings and sages,
Takes the nobles and their pages,
Takes all stations and all stages,--
Thrones are bobbins in His shuttle;
Armies make them scud and scuttle;
Web into the woof must flow,
Up and down the nations go,
As the weaver wills they go;
    Men are sparring,
    Powers are jarring,
Upward, downward, hither, thither
Just like puppets in a show.
Up and down the web is plying,
And across the woof is flying,
    What a battling!
    What a rattling!
    What a shuffling!
    What a scuffling!
As the weaver makes his shuttle
Hither, thither, scud and scuttle.

Calmly see the Mystic Weaver
  Throw His shuttle to and fro;
'Mid the noise and wild confusion.
  Well the Weaver seems to know
    What each motion
    And commotion,
    What each fusion
    And confusion,
  In the grand result will show,
    As the nations,
    Kings and stations,
Upward, downward, hither, thither,
As in mystic dances, go.
In the present all is mystery;
In the past, 'tis beauteous history.
O'er the mixing and the mingling,
How the signal bells are jingling!
See you not the Weaver leaving
Finished work behind, in weaving?
See you not the reason subtle,
As the web and woof diminish,
Changing into beauteous finish,
_Why_ the Weaver makes his shuttle,
Hither, thither, scud and scuttle?

Glorious wonder! what a weaving!
To the dull beyond believing!
Such, no fabled ages know.
Only _Faith_ can see the mystery,
How, along the aisle of history
Where the feet of sages go,
Loveliest to the purest eyes,
Grand the mystic tapet lies,--
Soft and smooth, and even spreading
Every figure has its plaidings,
As if made for angels' treading;
Tufted circles touching ever,
Inwrought figures fading never;
Brighter form and softer shadings;
Each illumined,--what a riddle
From a cross that gems the middle.

'Tis a saying--some reject it--
That its light is all reflected;
That the tapet's hues are given
By a sun that shines in heaven!
'Tis believed, by all believing,
That great God himself is weaving,--
Bringing out the world's dark mystery,
In the light of truth and history;
And as web and woof diminish,
Comes the grand and glorious finish;
When begin the golden ages
Long foretold by seers and sages.



The Mortgage on the Farm


'Tis gone at last, and I am glad; it stayed a fearful while,
And when the world was light and gay, I could not even smile;
It stood before me like a giant, outstretched its iron arm;
No matter where I looked, I saw the mortgage on the farm.

I'll tell you how it happened, for I want the world to know
How glad I am this winter day whilst earth is white with snow;
I'm just as happy as a lark. No cause for rude alarm
Confronts us now, for lifted is the mortgage on the farm.

The children they were growing up and they were smart and trim.
To some big college in the East we'd sent our youngest, Jim;
And every time he wrote us, at the bottom of his screed
He tacked some Latin fol-de-rol which none of us could read.

The girls they ran to music, and to painting, and to rhymes,
They said the house was out of style and far behind the times;
They suddenly diskivered that it didn't keep'm warm--
Another step of course towards a mortgage on the farm.

We took a cranky notion, Hannah Jane and me one day,
While we were coming home from town, a-talking all the way;
The old house wasn't big enough for us, although for years
Beneath its humble roof we'd shared each other's joys and tears.

We built it o'er and when 'twas done, I wish you could have seen it,
It was a most tremendous thing--I really didn't mean it;
Why, it was big enough to hold the people of the town
And not one half as cosy as the old one we pulled down.

I bought a fine pianner and it shortened still the pile,
But, then, it pleased the children and they banged it all the while;
No matter what they played for me, their music had no charm,
For every tune said plainly: "There's a mortgage on the farm!"

I worked from morn till eve, and toiled as often toils the slave
To meet that grisly interest; I tried hard to be brave,
And oft when I came home at night with tired brain and arm,
The chickens hung their heads, they felt the mortgage on the farm.--

But we saved a penny now and then, we laid them in a row,
The girls they played the same old tunes, and let the new ones go;
And when from college came our Jim with laurels on his brow,
I led him to the stumpy field and put him to the plow.

He something said in Latin which I didn't understand,
But it did me good to see his plow turn up the dewy land;
And when the year had ended and empty were the cribs,
We found we'd hit the mortgage, sir, a blow between the ribs.

To-day I harnessed up the team and thundered off to town,
And in the lawyer's sight I planked the last bright dollar down;
And when I trotted up the lanes a-feeling good and warm,
The old red rooster crowed his best: "No mortgage on the farm!"

I'll sleep almighty good to-night, the best for many a day,
The skeleton that haunted us has passed fore'er away.
The girls can play the brand-new tunes with no fears to alarm,
And Jim can go to Congress, with no mortgage on the farm!



The Legend Beautiful


"Hadst thou stayed, I must have fled!"
That is what the vision said.

In his chamber all alone,
Kneeling on the floor of stone,
Prayed the Monk in deep contrition
For his sins of indecision,
Prayed for greater self-denial
In temptation and in trial;
It was noonday by the dial,
And the Monk was all alone.

Suddenly, as if it lightened,
An unwonted splendor brightened
All within him and without him
In that narrow cell of stone;
And he saw the blessed vision
Of our Lord, with light Elysian
Like a vesture wrapped about Him,
Like a garment round Him thrown.

Not as crucified and slain
Not in agonies of pain,
Not with bleeding hands and feet,
Did the Monk his Master see;
But as in the village street,
In the house or harvest field,
Halt and lame and blind He healed,
When He walked in Galilee.

In as attitude imploring,
Hands upon his bosom crossed,
Wondering, worshiping, adoring,
Knelt the Monk, in rapture lost,
Lord, he thought, in heaven that reignest,
Who am I that thus Thou deignest
To reveal Thyself to me?
Who am I, that from the center
Of Thy glory Thou shouldst enter
This poor cell, my guest to be?

Then amid his exaltation,
Loud the convent bell appalling,
From its belfrey calling, calling,
Rang through court and corridor
With persistent iteration,
He had never heard before.
It was now the appointed hour
When alike in shine or shower,
Winter's cold or summer's heat,
To the convent portals came
All the blind and halt and lame,
All the beggars of the street,
For their daily dole of food
Dealt them by the brotherhood;

And their almoner was he
Who upon his bended knees
Rapt in silent ecstasy
Of divinest self-surrender,
Saw the vision and the splendor.

Deep distress and hesitation
Mingled with his adoration;
Should he go, or should he stay?
Should he leave the poor to wait
Hungry at the convent gate,
Till the vision passed away?
Should he slight his radiant guest,
Slight this visitant celestial
For a crowd of ragged, bestial
Beggars at the convent gate?
Would the vision there remain?
Would the vision come again?
Then a voice within his breast
Whispered audible and clear,
As if to the outward ear:
"Do thy duty; that is best;
Leave unto thy Lord the rest!"

Straightway to his feet he started,
And with longing look intent
On the blessed vision bent,
Slowly from his cell departed,
Slowly on his errand went.

At the gate the poor were waiting,
Looking through the iron grating,
With that terror in the eye
That is only seen in those
Who amid their wants and woes
Hear the sound of doors that close.
And of feet that pass them by:
Grown familiar with disfavor,
Grown familiar with the savor
Of the bread by which men die;
But to-day, they knew not why,
Like the gate of Paradise
Seemed the convent gate to rise,
Like a sacrament divine
Seemed to them the bread and wine.
In his heart the Monk was praying,
Thinking of the homeless poor,
What they suffer and endure;
What we see not, what we see;
And the inward voice was saying:
"Whatsoever thing thou doest
To the least of mine and lowest,
That thou doest unto me."

Unto me! but had the vision
Come to him in beggar's clothing,
Come a mendicant imploring,
Would he then have knelt adoring,
Or have listened with derision,
And have turned away with loathing?

Thus his conscience put the question,
Full of troublesome suggestion,
As at length, with hurried pace,
Toward his cell he turned his face,
And beheld the convent bright
With a supernatural light,
Like a luminous cloud expanding
Over floor and wall and ceiling.

But he paused with awe-struck feeling
At the threshold of his door,
For the vision still was standing
As he left it there before,
When the convent bell appalling,
From its belfry calling, calling,
Summoned him to feed the poor.
Through the long hour intervening
It had waited his return,
And he felt his bosom burn,
Comprehending all the meaning,
When the blessed vision said:
"Hadst thou stayed, I must have fled."

    _Henry W. Longfellow._



Somebody's Darling


Into a ward of the whitewashed halls,
  Where the dead and dying lay,
Wounded by bayonets, shells, and balls,
  Somebody's Darling was borne one day--

Somebody's Darling, so young and so brave,
  Wearing yet on his pale, sweet face,
Soon to be hid by the dust of the grave,
  The lingering light of his boyhood's grace.

Matted and damp are the curls of gold,
  Kissing the snow of the fair young brow,
Pale are the lips of delicate mold--
  Somebody's Darling is dying now.

Back from his beautiful blue-veined brow
  Brush all the wandering waves of gold,
Cross his hands on his bosom now--
  Somebody's Darling is still and cold.

Kiss him once for somebody's sake,
  Murmur a prayer both soft and low;
One bright curl from its fair mates take--
  They were somebody's pride, you know.

Somebody's hand hath rested there--
  Was it a mother's, soft and white?
And have the lips of a sister fair
  Been baptized in their waves of light?

God knows best! he was somebody's love;
  Somebody's heart enshrined him there;
Somebody wafted his name above,
  Night and morn on the wings of prayer.

Somebody wept when he marched away,
  Looking so handsome, brave, and grand;
Somebody's kiss on his forehead lay,
  Somebody clung to his parting hand.

Somebody's waiting and watching for him--
  Yearning to hold him again to her heart;
And there he lies with his blue eyes dim,
  And the smiling, child-like lips apart.

Tenderly bury the fair young dead,
  Pausing to drop on his grave a tear;
Carve in the wooden slab at his head,
  "Somebody's Darling slumbers here."

    _Maria La Coste._



The Pride of Battery B


South Mountain towered upon our right, far off the river lay,
And over on the wooded height we held their lines at bay.
At last the muttering guns were still; the day died slow and wan;
At last the gunners pipes did fill, the sergeant's yarns began.
When, as the wind a moment blew aside the fragrant flood
Our brierwoods raised, within our view a little maiden stood.
A tiny tot of six or seven, from fireside fresh she seemed,
(Of such a little one in heaven one soldier often dreamed.)
And as we stared, her little hand went to her curly head
In grave salute. "And who are _you_?" at length the sergeant said.
"And where's your home?" he growled again. She lisped out, "Who is me?
Why, don't you know? I'm little Jane, the Pride of Battery B.
My home? Why, that was burned away, and pa and ma are dead;
And so I ride the guns all day along with Sergeant Ned.
And I've a drum that's not a toy, a cap with feathers, too;
And I march beside the drummer boy on Sundays at review.
But now our 'bacca's all give out, the men can't have their smoke,
And so they're cross--why, even Ned won't play with me and joke.
And the big colonel said to-day--I hate to hear him swear--
He'd give a leg for a good pipe like the Yanks had over there.
And so I thought when beat the drum,  and the big guns were still,
I'd creep beneath the tent and come out here across the hill
And beg, good Mister Yankee men, you'd give me some 'Lone Jack.'
Please do: when we get some again, I'll surely bring it back.
Indeed I will, for Ned--says he,--if I do what I say,
I'll be a general yet, maybe, and ride a prancing bay."

We brimmed her tiny apron o'er; you should have heard her laugh
As each man from his scanty store shook out a generous half.
To kiss the little mouth stooped down a score of grimy men,
Until the sergeant's husky voice said,"'Tention squad!" and then
We gave her escort, till good-night the pretty waif we bid,
And watched her toddle out of sight--or else 'twas tears that hid
Her tiny form--nor turned about a man, nor spoke a word,
Till after awhile a far, hoarse shout upon the wind we heard!
We sent it back, then cast sad eyes upon the scene around;
A baby's hand had touched the ties that brothers once had bound.

That's all--save when the dawn awoke again the work of hell,
And through the sullen clouds of smoke the screaming missiles fell,
Our general often rubbed his glass, and marveled much to see
Not a single shell that whole day fell in the camp of Battery B.

    _Frank H. Gassaway._



The Wood-Box


It was kept out in the kitchen, and 'twas long and deep and wide,
And the poker hung above it and the shovel stood beside,
And the big, black cookstove, grinnin' through its grate from ear to ear,
Seemed to look as if it loved it like a brother, pretty near.
Flowered oilcloth tacked around it kept its cracks and knot-holes hid,
And a pair of leather hinges fastened on the heavy lid,
And it hadn't any bottom--or, at least, it seemed that way
When you hurried in to fill it, so's to get outside and play.

When the noons was hot and lazy and the leaves hung dry and still,
And the locust in the pear tree started up his planin'-mill,
And the drum-beat of the breakers was a soothin', temptin' roll,
And you knew the "gang" was waitin' by the brimmin' "swimmin' hole"--
Louder than the locust's buzzin,' louder than the breakers' roar,
You could hear the wood-box holler, "Come and fill me up once more!"
And the old clock ticked and chuckled as you let each armful drop,
Like it said, "Another minute, and you're nowheres near the top!"

In the chilly winter mornin's when the bed was snug and warm,
And the frosted winders tinkled 'neath the fingers of the storm,
And your breath rose off the piller in a smoky cloud of steam--
Then that wood-box, grim and empty, came a-dancin' through your dream,
Came and pounded at your conscience, screamed in aggravatin' glee,
"Would you like to sleep this mornin'? You git up and 'tend to me!"
Land! how plain it is this minute--shed and barn and drifted snow,
And the slabs of oak a-waitin!, piled and ready, in a row.

Never was a fishin' frolic, never was a game of ball,
But that mean, provokin' wood-box had to come and spoil it all;
You might study at your lessons and 'twas full and full to stay,
But jest start an Injun story, and 'twas empty right away.
Seemed as if a spite was in it, and although I might forgit
All the other chores that plagued me, I can hate that wood-box yit:
And when I look back at boyhood--shakin' off the cares of men--
Still it comes to spoil the picture, screamin', "Fill me up again!"

    _Joseph C. Lincoln._



Inasmuch


Good Deacon Roland--"may his tribe increase!"--
Awoke one Sabbath morn feeling at peace
With God and all mankind. His wants supplied,
He read his Bible and then knelt beside
The family altar, and uplifted there
His voice to God in fervent praise and prayer;
In praise for blessings past, so rich and free,
And prayer for benedictions yet to be.
Then on a stile, which spanned the dooryard fence,
He sat him down complacently, and thence
Surveyed with pride, o'er the far-reaching plain,
His flocks and herds and fields of golden grain;
His meadows waving like the billowy seas,
And orchards filled with over-laden trees,
Quoth he: "How vast the products of my lands;
Abundance crowns the labor of my hands,
Great is my substance; God indeed is good,
Who doth in love provide my daily food."

While thus he sat in calm soliloquy,
A voice aroused him from his reverie,--
A childish voice from one whose shoeless feet
Brought him unnoticed to the deacon's seat;
"Please mister, I have eaten naught to-day;
If I had money I would gladly pay
For bread; but I am poor, and cannot buy
My breakfast; mister, would you mind if I
Should ask for something, just for what you call
Cold pieces from your table, that is all?"
The deacon listened to the child's request,
The while his penetrating eye did rest
On him whose tatters, trembling, quick revealed
The agitation of the heart concealed
Within the breast of one unskilled in ruse,
Who asked not alms like one demanding dues.
Then said the deacon: "I am not inclined
To give encouragement to those who find
It easier to beg for bread betimes,
Than to expend their strength in earning dimes
Wherewith to purchase it. A parent ought
To furnish food for those whom he has brought
Into this world, where each one has his share
Of tribulation, sorrow, toil and care.
I sympathize with you, my little lad,
Your destitution makes me feel so sad;
But, for the sake of those who should supply
Your wants, I must your earnest plea deny;
And inasmuch as giving food to you
Would be providing for your parents, too,
Thus fostering vagrancy and idleness,
I cannot think such charity would bless
Who gives or takes; and therefore I repeat,
I cannot give you anything to eat."
Before this "vasty deep" of logic stood
The child nor found it satisfying food.
Nor did he tell the tale he might have told
Of parents slumbering in the grave's damp mould,
But quickly shrank away to find relief
In giving vent to his rekindled grief,
While Deacon Roland soon forgot the appeal
In meditating on his better weal.

Ere long the Sabbath bells their peals rang out
To summon worshippers, with hearts devout,
To wait on God and listen to His word;
And then the deacon's pious heart was stirred;
And in the house of God he soon was found
Engaged in acts of worship most profound.
Wearied, however, with his week-day care,
He fell asleep before the parson's prayer
Was ended; then he dreamed he died and came
To heaven's grand portal, and announced his name:
"I'm Deacon Roland, called from earth afar,
To join the saints; please set the gates ajar,
That I may 'join the everlasting song,'
And mingle ever with the ransomed throng."
Then lo! "a horror of great darkness" came
Upon him, as he heard a voice exclaim:
"Depart from me! you cannot enter here!
I never knew you, for indeed, howe'er
You may have wrought on earth, the sad, sad fact
Remains, that life's sublimest, worthiest act--"
The deacon woke to find it all a dream
Just as the minister announced his theme:
"My text," said he, "doth comfort only such
As practice charity; for 'inasmuch
As ye have done it to the least of these
My little ones' saith He who holds the keys
Of heaven, 'ye have done it unto me,'
And I will give you immortality."

Straightway the deacon left his cushioned pew,
And from the church in sudden haste withdrew,
And up the highway ran, on love's swift feet
To overtake the child of woe, and greet
Him as the worthy representative
Of Christ the Lord and to him freely give
All needful good, that thus he might atone
For the neglect which he before had shown.
Thus journeying, God directed all his way,
O'er hill and dale, to where the outcast lay
Beside the road bemoaning his sad fate.
And then the deacon said, "My child, 'tis late;
Make haste and journey with me to my home;
To guide you thither, I myself have come;
And you shall have the food you asked in vain,
For God himself hath made my duty plain;
If he demand it, all I have is thine;
Shrink not, but trust me; place thy hand in mine."
And as they journeyed toward the deacon's home,
The child related how he came to roam,
Until the listening deacon understood
The touching story of his orphanhood.
Then, finding in the little waif a gem
Worthy to deck the Saviour's diadem,
He drew him to his loving breast, and said,
"My child, you shall by me be clothed and fed;
Nor shall you go from hence again to roam
While God in love provides for us a home."
And as the weeks and months roll on apace,
The deacon held the lad in love's embrace;
And being childless did on him confer
The boon of sonship.

                     Thus the almoner
Of God's great bounty to the destitute
The deacon came to be; and as the fruit
Of having learned to keep the golden rule
His charity became all-bountiful;
And from thenceforth he lived to benefit
Mankind; and when in life's great book were writ
Their names who heeded charity's request,
Lo! Deacon Roland's "name led all the rest."

    _S.V.R. Ford._



No Sects in Heaven


Talking of sects quite late one eve,
What one and another of saints believe,
That night I stood in a troubled dream
By the side of a darkly-flowing stream.

And a "churchman" down to the river came,
When I heard a strange voice call his name,
"Good father, stop; when you cross this tide
You must leave your robes on the other side."

But the aged father did not mind,
And his long gown floated out behind
As down to the stream his way he took,
His hands firm hold of a gilt-edged book.

"I'm bound for heaven, and when I'm there
I shall want my book of Common Prayer,
And though I put on a starry crown,
I should feel quite lost without my gown."

Then he fixed his eye on the shining track,
But his gown was heavy and held him back,
And the poor old father tried in vain,
A single step in the flood to gain.

I saw him again on the other side,
But his silk gown floated on the tide,
And no one asked, in that blissful spot,
If he belonged to "the church" or not.

Then down to the river a Quaker strayed;
His dress of a sober hue was made,
"My hat and coat must be all of gray,
I cannot go any other way."

Then he buttoned his coat straight up to his chin
And staidly, solemnly, waded in,
And his broad-brimmed hat he pulled down tight
Over his forehead, so cold and white.

But a strong wind carried away his hat,
And he sighed a few moments over that,
And then, as he gazed to the farther shore
The coat slipped off and was seen no more.

Poor, dying Quaker, thy suit of gray
Is quietly sailing--away--away,
But thou'lt go to heaven, as straight as an arrow,
Whether thy brim be broad or narrow.

Next came Dr. Watts with a bundle of psalms
Tied nicely up in his aged arms,
And hymns as many, a very wise thing,
That the people in heaven, "all round," might sing.

But I thought that he heaved an anxious sigh,
As he saw that the river ran broad and high,
And looked rather surprised, as one by one,
The psalms and hymns in the wave went down.

And after him, with his MSS.,
Came Wesley, the pattern of godliness,
But he cried, "Dear me, what shall I do?
The water has soaked them through and through."

And there, on the river, far and wide,
Away they went on the swollen tide,
And the saint, astonished, passed through alone,
Without his manuscripts, up to the throne.

Then gravely walking, two saints by name,
Down to the stream together came,
But as they stopped at the river's brink,
I saw one saint from the other shrink.

"Sprinkled or plunged--may I ask you, friend,
How you attained to life's great end?"
"_Thus_, with a few drops on my brow";
"But I have been _dipped_, as you'll see me now.

"And I really think it will hardly do,
As I'm 'close communion,' to cross with you.
You're bound, I know, to the realms of bliss,
But you must go that way, and I'll go this."

And straightway plunging with all his might,
Away to the left--his friend at the right,
Apart they went from this world of sin,
But how did the brethren "enter in"?

And now where the river was rolling on,
A Presbyterian church went down;
Of women, there seemed an innumerable throng,
But the men I could count as they passed along.

And concerning the road they could never agree,
The _old_ or the _new_ way, which it could be;
Nor ever a moment paused to think
That both would lead to the river's brink.

And a sound of murmuring long and loud
Came ever up from the moving crowd,
"You're in the old way, and I'm in the new,
That is the false, and this is the true":
Or, "I'm in the old way, and you're in the new,
_That_ is the false, and _this_ is the true."

But the brethren only seemed to speak,
Modest the sisters walked, and meek,
And if ever one of them chanced to say
What troubles she met with on the way,
How she longed to pass to the other side,
Nor feared to cross over the swelling tide,
A voice arose from the brethren then,
"Let no one speak but the 'holy men,'
For have ye not heard the words of Paul?
'Oh, let the women keep silence all.'"

I watched them long in my curious dream.
Till they stood by the border of the stream,
Then, just as I thought, the two ways met.
But all the brethren were talking yet,
And would talk on, till the heaving tide
Carried them over, side by side;
Side by side, for the way was one,
The toilsome journey of life was done,
And priest and Quaker, and all who died,
Came out alike on the other side;
No forms or crosses, or books had they,
No gowns of silk, or suits of gray,
No creeds to guide them, or MSS.,
For all had put on "Christ's righteousness."

    _Elizabeth H. Jocelyn Cleaveland._



The Railroad Crossing


I can't tell much about the thing, 'twas done so powerful quick;
But 'pears to me I got a most outlandish heavy lick:
It broke my leg, and tore my skulp, and jerked my arm 'most out.
But take a seat: I'll try and tell jest how it kem about.

You see, I'd started down to town, with that 'ere team of mine,
A-haulin' down a load o' corn to Ebenezer Kline,
And drivin' slow; for, jest about a day or two before,
The off-horse run a splinter in his foot, and made it sore.

You know the railroad cuts across the road at Martin's Hole:
Well, thar I seed a great big sign, raised high upon a pole;
I thought I'd stop and read the thing, and find out what it said,
And so I stopped the hosses on the railroad-track, and read.

I ain't no scholar, rekollect, and so I had to spell,
I started kinder cautious like, with R-A-I and L;
And that spelt "rail" as clear as mud; R-O-A-D was "road."
I lumped 'em: "railroad" was the word, and that 'ere much I knowed.

C-R-O and double S, with I-N-G to boot,
Made "crossing" jest as plain as Noah Webster dared to do't.
"Railroad crossing"--good enough!--L double-O-K, "look";
And I wos lookin' all the time, and spellin' like a book.

O-U-T spelt "out" just right; and there it was, "look out,"
I's kinder cur'us like, to know jest what't was all about;
F-O-R and T-H-E; 'twas then "look out for the--"
And then I tried the next word; it commenced with E-N-G.

I'd got that fur, when suddintly there came an awful whack;
A thousand fiery thunderbolts just scooped me off the track;
The hosses went to Davy Jones, the wagon went to smash,
And I was histed seven yards above the tallest ash.

I didn't come to life ag'in fur 'bout a day or two;
But, though I'm crippled up a heap, I sorter struggled through;
It ain't the pain, nor 'taint the loss o' that 'ere team of mine;
But, stranger, how I'd like to know the rest of that 'ere sign!

    _Hezekiah Strong._



The Sunset City


I

Turn back the leaves of history. On yon Pacific shore
A world-known city's fall and rise shall thrill your hearts once more.
'Twas April; nineteen-six the year; old San Francisco lay
Effulgent in the splendor of the dying orb of day
That bathed in flood of crimson light Mount Tamalpais' lonely height
And kissed the sister towns "goodnight" across the misty bay.

It burst in glory on the hills, lit up the princely homes,
And gleamed from lofty towers and spires and flashed from gilded domes;
It glorified the massive blocks caught in its widening flow,
Engulfed the maze of streets and parks that stretched away below,
Till marble white and foliage green and vales of gray, and silvery sheen
Of ocean's surface vast, serene, were tinted by its glow.

The tranquil murmurs of the deep were borne on balmy air
All odorous with lily breath and roses sweet and rare.
The zephyrs sang a lullaby as the slow, fiery ball
Ended its trail of gorgeousness behind horizon's wall.
Then gray absorbed each rainbow hue and dark the beauteous landscape grew
As shadowy Evening softly drew her curtain over all.


II

That night around the festal board, 'mid incandescence gay,
Sat Pomp and Pride and Wealth and Power, in sumptuous array,
That night the happy, careless throng were all on pleasure bent,
And Beauty in her jewelled robes to ball and opera went.
'Mid feasting, laughter, song and jest; by music's soothing tones caressed;
The Sunset City sank to rest in peace, secure, content.


III

Unconscious of approaching doom, old San Francisco sleeps
While from the east, all smilingly, the April morning creeps.
See! Playful sunbeams tinge with gold the mountains in the sky,
And hazy clouds of gray unfold--but, hark! What means that cry?
The ground vibrates with sadden shock. The buildings tremble, groan
      and rock.
Wild fears the waking senses mock, and some wake but to die.

A frightful subterranean force the earth's foundation shakes;
The city quivers in the throes of fierce, successive quakes,
And massive structures thrill like giant oaks before the blast;
Into the streets with deafening crash the frailer ones are cast.
Half garbed, the multitude rush out in frantic haste, with prayer and
      shout,
To join the panic stricken rout. Ho! DEATH is marching past.

A rumbling noise! The streets upheave, and sink again, like waves;
And shattered piles and shapeless wrecks are strewn with human graves.
Danger at every corner lurks. Destruction fills the air.
Death-laden showers of mortar, bricks, are falling everywhere.


IV

"_Fire! Fire!_" And lo! the dread fiend starts. Mothers with babes clasped
      to their hearts
Are struggling for the open parts in frenzy of despair.

A hundred tiny tongues of flame forth from the ruins burst.
No water! God! what shall we do to slake their quenchless thirst?
The shocks have broken all the mains! "_Use wine!_" the people cry.
The red flames laugh like drunken fiends; they stagger as to die,
Then up again in fury spring, on high their crimson draperies fling;
From block to block they leap and swing, and smoke clouds hide the sky.

Ha! from the famed Presidio that guards the Golden Gate
Come Funston and his regulars to match their strength with Fate.
The soldiers and the citizens are fighting side by side
To check that onslaught of red wrath, to stem destruction's tide.
With roar, and boom, and blare, and blast, an open space is cleared at
      last.
The fiends of fury gallop past with flanks outstretched and wide;

Around the city's storehouses they wreathe and twine and dance,
And wealth and splendor shrivel up before their swift advance.
Before their devastating breath the stricken people flee.
"Mine, mine your treasures are!" cried Death, and laughs in fiendish glee.
Into that vortex of red hell sink church and theatre, store, hotel.
With thunderous roar and hissing yell on sweeps the crimson sea.

Again with charge of dynamite the lurid clouds are riven;
Again with heat and sulphur smoke the troops are backward driven.
All day, all night, all day again, with that infernal host
They strive in vain for mastery. Each vantage gained is lost,--
On comes the bellowing flood of flame in furious wrath its own to claim;
Resistless in its awful aim each space is bridged and crossed.

Ah God! the miles and miles of waste! One half the city gone!
And westward now--toward Van Ness--the roaring flames roll on.
"Blow up that mile of palaces!" It is the last command,
And there, at broad Van Ness, the troops make their heroic stand.
The fight is now for life--sweet life, for helpless babe and homeless
      wife--
The culmination of the strife spectacularly grand.

On sweeps the hurricane of fire. The fatal touch is given.
The detonation of the blast goes shrieking up to heaven.
The mansions of bonanza kings are tottering to their doom;
That swirling tide of fiery fate halts at the gaping tomb.
Beyond the cataclysm's brink, the multitude, too dazed to think,
Behold the red waves rise and--sink into the smoldering gloom.


V

The fire has swept the waterfront and burned the Mission down,
The business section--swallowed up, and wiped out Chinatown--
Full thirty thousand homes destroyed, Nob Hill in ashes lies,
And ghastly skeletons of steel on Market Street arise.
A gruesome picture everywhere! 'Tis desolation grim and bare
Waits artisan and millionaire beneath rank sulphurous skies.

To-night, within the city parks, famished, benumbed and mute,
Two hundred thousand refugees, homeless and destitute!
Upon the hard, cold ground they crouch--the wrecks of Pomp and Pride;
Milady and the city waifs are huddled side by side.
And there, 'neath shelter rude and frail, we hear the new-born infants
      wail,
While' nations read the tragic tale--how San Francisco died.


VI

PROPHECY--1906

Not dead! Though maimed, her Soul yet lives--indomitable will--
The Faith, the Hope, the Spirit bold nor quake nor fire can kill.
To-morrow hearts shall throb again with western enterprise,
And from the ruins of to-day a city shall arise--
A monument of beauty great reared by the Conquerors of Fate--
The City of the Golden Gate and matchless sunset skies!


VII

FULFILLMENT--1915

Reborn, rebuilt, she rose again, far vaster in expanse--
A radiant city smiling from the ashes of romance!
A San Francisco glorified, more beauteous than of yore,
Enthroned upon her splendid hills, queen of the sunset shore;
Her flags of industry unfurled, her portals open to the world!
Thus, in the Book of Destiny, she lives for evermore.

    _Isabel Ambler Gilman._



Autumn

A DIRGE


The autumn is old;
The sere leaves are flying;
He hath gathered up gold,
And now he is dying:
Old age, begin sighing!

The vintage is ripe;
The harvest is heaping;
But some that have sowed
Have no riches for reaping:--
Poor wretch, fall a-weeping!

The year's in the wane;
There is nothing adorning;
The night has no eve,
And the day has no morning;
Cold winter gives warning.

The rivers run chill;
The red sun is sinking;
And I am grown old,
And life is fast shrinking;
Here's enow for sad thinking!

    _Thomas Hood_.



Grandmother's Quilt


Why, yes, dear, we can put it by. It does seem out of place
On top of these down comforts and this spread of silk and lace,
You see, I'm used to having it lie so, across my feet,
But maybe I won't need it here, with this nice furnace heat;
I made it? Yes, dear, long ago. 'Twas lots of work, you think?
Oh, not so much. My rose quilt, now, all white and green and pink,
Is really handsome. This is just a plain, log cabin block,
Pieced out of odds and ends; but still--now that's your papa's frock
Before he walked, and this bit here is his first little suit.
I trimmed it up with silver braid. My, but he did look cute!
That red there in the centers, was your Aunt Ruth's for her name,
Her grandmother almost clothed the child, before the others came.
Those plaids? The younger girls', they were. I dressed them just alike.
And this was baby Winnie's sack--the precious little tyke!
Ma wore this gown to visit me (they drove the whole way then).
And little Edson wore this waist. He never came again.
This lavender par'matta was your Great-aunt Jane's--poor dear!
Mine was a sprig, with the lilac ground; see, in the corner here.
Such goods were high in war times. Ah, that scrap of army blue;
Your bright eyes spied it! Yes, dear child, that has its memories, too.
They sent him home on furlough once--our soldier brother Ned;
But somewhere, now, the dear boy sleeps among the unknown dead.
That flowered patch? Well, now, to think you'd pick that from the rest!
Why, dearie--yes, it's satin ribbed--that's grandpa's wedding vest!
Just odds and ends! no great for looks. My rose quilt's nicer, far,
Or the one in basket pattern, or the double-pointed star.
But, somehow--What! We'll leave it here? The bed won't look so neat,
But I think I would sleep better with it so, across my feet.



The Two Angels


Two angels, one of Life and one of Death,
  Passed o'er our village as the morning broke;
The dawn was on their faces, and beneath,
  The sombre houses hearsed with plumes of smoke.

Their attitude and aspect were the same,
  Alike their features and their robes of white;
But one was crowned with amaranth, as with flame,
  And one with asphodels, like flakes of light.

I saw them pause on their celestial way;
  Then said I, with deep fear and doubt oppressed,
"Beat not so loud, my heart, lest thou betray
  The place where thy beloved are at rest!"

And he who wore the crown of asphodels,
  Descending, at my door began to knock,
And my soul sank within me, as in wells
  The waters sink before an earthquake's shock.

I recognized the nameless agony,
  The terror and the tremor and the pain,
That oft before had filled or haunted me,
  And now returned with threefold strength again.

The door I opened to my heavenly guest,
  And listened, for I thought I heard God's voice;
And, knowing whatsoe'er he sent was best,
  Dared neither to lament nor to rejoice.

Then with a smile, that filled the house with light,
  "My errand is not Death, but Life," he said;
And ere I answered, passing out of sight,
  On his celestial embassy he sped.

'Twas at thy door, O friend! and not at mine,
  The angel with the amaranthine wreath,
Pausing, descended, and with, voice divine,
  Whispered a word that had a sound like Death.

Then fell upon the house a sudden gloom,
  A shadow on those features fair and thin;
And softly, from that hushed and darkened room,
  Two angels issued, where but one went in.

All is of God! If he but waves his hand,
  The mists collect, the rain falls thick and loud,
Till, with a smile of light on sea and land,
  Lo! he looks back from the departing cloud.

Angels of Life and Death alike are his;
  Without his leave they pass no threshold o'er;
Who, then, would wish or dare, believing this,
  Against his messengers to shut the door?

    _Henry W. Longfellow._



The Witch's Daughter


It was the pleasant harvest-time,
  When cellar-bins are closely stowed,
  And garrets bend beneath their load,
And the old swallow-haunted barns--
  Brown-gabled, long, and full of seams
  Through which the moted sunlight streams--

And winds blow freshly in, to shake
  The red plumes of the roosted cocks,
  And the loose hay-mow's scented locks--
Are filled with summer's ripened stores,
  Its odorous grass and barley sheaves,
  From their low scaffolds to their eaves.

On Esek Harden's oaken floor,
  With many an autumn threshing worn,
  Lay the heaped ears of unhusked corn.
And thither came young men and maids,
  Beneath a moon that, large and low,
  Lit that sweet eve of long ago,
They took their places; some by chance,
  And others by a merry voice
  Or sweet smile guided to their choice.

How pleasantly the rising moon,
  Between the shadow of the mows,
  Looked on them through the great elm-boughs!--
On sturdy boyhood, sun-embrowned,
  On girlhood with its solid curves
  Of healthful strength and painless nerves!
And jests went round, and laughs that made
  The house-dog answer with his howl,
  And kept astir the barn-yard fowl.

And quaint old songs their fathers sung,
  In Derby dales and Yorkshire moors,
  Ere Norman William trod their shores;
And tales, whose merry license shook
  The fat sides of the Saxon thane,
  Forgetful of the hovering Dane!

But still the sweetest voice was mute
  That river-valley ever heard
  From lip of maid or throat of bird;
For Mabel Martin sat apart,
  And let the hay-mow's shadow 'fall
  Upon the loveliest face of all.
She sat apart, as one forbid,
  Who knew that none would condescend
  To own the Witch-wife's child a friend.

The seasons scarce had gone their round,
  Since curious thousands thronged to see
  Her mother on the gallows-tree;
And mocked the palsied limbs of age,
  That faltered on the fatal stairs,
  And wan lip trembling with its prayers!

Few questioned of the sorrowing child,
  Or, when they saw the mother die,
  Dreamed of the daughter's agony.
They went up to their homes that day,
  As men and Christians justified:
  God willed it, and the wretch had died!

Dear God and Father of us all,
  Forgive our faith in cruel lies,--
  Forgive the blindness that denies!
Forgive Thy creature when he takes,
  For the all-perfect love Thou art,
  Some grim creation of his heart.
Cast down our idols, overturn
  Our bloody altars; let us see
  Thyself in Thy humanity!

Poor Mabel from her mother's grave
  Crept to her desolate hearth-stone,
  And wrestled with her fate alone;
With love, and anger, and despair,
  The phantoms of disordered sense,
  The awful doubts of Providence!
The school-boys jeered her as they passed,
  And, when she sought the house of prayer,
  Her mother's curse pursued her there.
And still o'er many a neighboring door
  She saw the horseshoe's curved charm,
  To guard against her mother's harm;--

That mother, poor, and sick, and lame,
  Who daily, by the old arm-chair,
  Folded her withered hands in prayer;--
Who turned, in Salem's dreary jail,
  Her worn old Bible o'er and o'er,
  When her dim eyes could read no more!

Sore tried and pained, the poor girl kept
  Her faith, and trusted that her way,
  So dark, would somewhere meet the day.
And still her weary wheel went round,
  Day after day, with no relief:
  Small leisure have the poor for grief.

So in the shadow Mabel sits;
  Untouched by mirth she sees and hears,
  Her smile is sadder than her tears.
But cruel eyes have found her out,
  And cruel lips repeat her name,
  And taunt her with her mother's shame.

She answered not with railing words,
  But drew her apron o'er her face,
  And, sobbing, glided from the place.
And only pausing at the door,
  Her sad eyes met the troubled gaze
  Of one who, in her better days,
Had been her warm and steady friend,
  Ere yet her mother's doom had made
  Even Esek Harden half afraid.

He felt that mute appeal of tears,
  And, starting, with an angry frown
  Hushed all the wicked murmurs down,
"Good neighbors mine," he sternly said,
  "This passes harmless mirth or jest;
  I brook no insult to my guest.

"She is indeed her mother's child;
  But God's sweet pity ministers
  Unto no whiter soul than hers.
Let Goody Martin rest in peace;
  I never knew her harm a fly,
  And witch or not, God knows,--not I.
I know who swore her life away;
  And, as God lives, I'd not condemn
  An Indian dog on word of them."

Poor Mabel, in her lonely home,
  Sat by the window's narrow pane,
  White in the moonlight's silver rain.
The river, on its pebbled rim,
  Made music such as childhood knew;
  The door-yard tree was whispered through
By voices such as childhood's ear
  Had heard in moonlights long ago;
  And through the willow boughs below
She saw the rippled waters shine;
  Beyond, in waves of shade and light
  The hills rolled off into the night.

Sweet sounds and pictures mocking so
  The sadness of her human lot,
  She saw and heard, but heeded not.
She strove to drown her sense of wrong,
  And, in her old and simple way,
  To teach, her bitter heart to pray.

Poor child! the prayer, began in faith,
  Grew to a low, despairing cry
  Of utter misery: "Let me die!
Oh! take me from the scornful eyes,
  And hide me where the cruel speech
  And mocking finger may not reach!

"I dare not breathe my mother's name;
  A daughter's right I dare not crave
  To weep above her unblest grave!
Let me not live until my heart,
  With few to pity, and with none
  To love me, hardens into stone.
O God! have mercy on thy child,
  Whose faith in Thee grows weak and small,
  And take me ere I lose it all."

The broadest lands in all the town,
  The skill to guide, the power to awe,
  Were Harden's; and his word was law.
None dared withstand him to his face,
  But one sly maiden spake aside:
  "The little witch is evil-eyed!
Her mother only killed a cow,
  Or witched a churn or dairy-pan;
  But she, forsooth, must charm a man!"

A shadow on the moonlight fell,
  And murmuring wind and wave became
  A voice whose burden was her name.
Had then God heard her? Had he sent
  His angel down? In flesh and blood,
  Before her Esek Harden stood!

He laid his hand upon her arm:
  "Dear Mabel, this no more shall be;
  Who scoffs at you, must scoff at me.
You know rough Esek Harden well;
  And if he seems no suitor gay,
  And if his hair is mixed with gray,
The maiden grown shall never find
  His heart less warm than when she smiled
  Upon his knees, a little child!"

Her tears of grief were tears of joy,
  As folded in his strong embrace,
  She looked in Esek Harden's face.
"O truest friend of all!" she said,
  "God bless you for your kindly thought,
  And make me worthy of my lot!"

He led her through his dewy fields,
  To where the swinging lanterns glowed,
  And through the doors the huskers showed.
"Good friends and neighbors!" Esek said,
  "I'm weary of this lonely life;
  In Mabel see my chosen wife!

"She greets you kindly, one and all:
  The past is past, and all offence
  Falls harmless from her innocence.
Henceforth she stands no more alone;
  You know what Esek Harden is;--
  He brooks no wrong to him or his."

Now let the merriest tales be told,
  And let the sweetest songs be sung,
  That ever made the old heart young!
For now the lost has found a home;
  And a lone hearth shall brighter burn,
  As all the household joys return!

Oh, pleasantly the harvest moon,
  Between the shadow of the mows,
  Looked on them through the great elm-boughs!
On Mabel's curls of golden hair,
  On Esek's shaggy strength it fell;
  And the wind whispered, "It is well!"

    _John G. Whittier._



David's Lament for Absalom


King David's limbs were weary. He had fled
From far Jerusalem; and now he stood
With his faint people for a little rest
Upon the shore of Jordan. The light wind
Of morn was stirring, and he bared his brow
To its refreshing breath; for he had worn
The mourner's covering, and he had not felt
That he could see his people until now.

They gathered round him on the fresh green bank
And spoke their kindly words, and as the sun
Rose up in heaven he knelt among them there,
And bowed his head upon his hands to pray.
Oh! when the heart is full--where bitter thoughts
Come crowding thickly up for utterance,
And the poor common words of courtesy,--
Are such a mockery--how much
The bursting heart may pour itself in prayer!
He prayed for Israel--and his voice went up
Strongly and fervently. He prayed for those
Whose love had been his shield--and his deep tones
Grew tremulous. But, oh! for Absalom,
For his estranged, misguided Absalom--
The proud, bright being who had burst away
In all his princely beauty to defy
The heart that cherished him--for him he prayed,
In agony that would not be controll'd,
Strong supplication, and forgave him there
Before his God for his deep sinfulness.

The pall was settled. He who slept beneath
Was straightened for the grave, and as the folds
Sank to their still proportions, they betrayed
The matchless symmetry of Absalom,
The mighty Joab stood beside the bier
And gazed upon the dark pall steadfastly,
As if he feared the slumberer might stir.
A slow step startled him. He grasped his blade
As if a trumpet rang, but the bent form
Of David entered; and he gave command
In a low tone to his few followers,
And left him with the dead.

    The King stood still
Till the last echo died; then, throwing off
The sackcloth from his brow, and laying back
The pall from the still features of his child.
He bowed his head upon him and broke forth
In the resistless eloquence of woe:

"Alas! my noble boy; that thou shouldst die!
  Thou who were made so beautifully fair!
That death should settle in thy glorious eye,
  And leave his stillness in this clustering hair!
How could he mark thee for the silent tomb,
    My proud boy, Absalom!

"Cold is thy brow, my son! and I am chill
  As to my bosom I have tried to press thee!
How was I wont to feel my pulses thrill
  Like a rich harp-string yearning to caress thee,
And hear thy sweet 'my father!' from those dumb
    And cold lips, Absalom!

"But death is on thee! I shall hear the gush
  Of music, and the voices of the young;
And life will pass me in the mantling blush,
  And the dark tresses to the soft winds flung;--
But thou no more, with thy sweet voice, shalt come
    To meet me, Absalom!

"And oh! when I am stricken, and my heart,
  Like a bruised reed, is waiting to be broken,
How will its love for thee, as I depart,
  Yearn for thine ear to drink its last deep token!
It were so sweet, amid death's gathering gloom,
    To see thee, Absalom!

"And now, farewell! 'Tis hard to give thee up,
  With death so like a gentle slumber on thee!--
And thy dark sin! Oh! I could drink the cup,
  If from this woe its bitterness had won thee.
May God have called thee, like a wanderer, home,
    My lost boy, Absalom!"

He covered up his face, and bowed himself
A moment on his child; then, giving him
A look of melting tenderness, he clasped
His hands convulsively, as if in prayer,
And, as if strength were given him of God,
He rose up calmly, and composed the pall
Firmly and decently--and left him there,
As if his rest had been a breathing sleep.

    _N.P. Willis_.



Christmas Day in the Workhouse


It is Christmas day in the workhouse,
  And the cold bare walls are bright
With garlands of green and holly,
  And the place is a pleasant sight:
For with clean-washed hands and faces,
  In a long and hungry line
The paupers sit at the tables,
  For this is the hour they dine.

And the guardians and their ladies,
  Although the wind is east,
Have come in their furs and wrappers
  To watch their charges feast;
To smile and be condescending,
  Put pudding on pauper plates,
To be hosts at the workhouse banquet
  They've paid for--with the rates.

Oh, the paupers are meek and lowly
  With their "Thank'ee kindly, mum's";
So long as they fill their stomachs,
  What matter whence it comes?
But one of the old men mutters,
  And pushes his plate aside:
"Great God!" he cries; "but it chokes me;
  For this is the day _she_ died."

The guardians gazed in horror,
  The master's face went white:
"Did a pauper refuse their pudding?"
  "Could their ears believe aright?"
Then the ladies clutched their husbands
  Thinking the man would die,
Struck by a bolt, or something,
  By the outraged One on high.

But the pauper sat for a moment,
  Then rose 'mid a silence grim,
For the others had ceased to chatter,
  And trembled in every limb.
He looked at the guardians' ladies,
  Then, eyeing their lords, he said:
"I eat not the food of villains
  Whose hands are foul and red,

"Whose victims cry for vengeance
  From their dark unhallowed graves."
"He's drunk!" said the workhouse master,
  "Or else he's mad, and raves."
"Not drunk or mad," cried the pauper,
  "But only a hunted beast,
Who, torn by the hounds and mangled,
  Declines the vulture's feast.

"I care not a curse for the guardians,
  And I won't be dragged away.
Just let me have the fit out,
  It's only on Christmas day
That the black past comes to goad me,
  And prey on my burning brain,
I'll tell you the rest in a whisper,--
  I swear I won't shout again,

"Keep your hands off me, curse you!
  Hear me right out to the end,
You come here to see how paupers
  The season of Christmas spend.
You come here to watch us feeding,
  As they watch the captured beast,
Hear why a penniless pauper
  Spits on your palfry feast.

"Do you think I will take your bounty,
  And let you smile and think
You're doing a noble action
  With the parish's meat and drink?
Where is my wife, you traitors--
  The poor old wife you slew?
Yes, by the God above us,
  My Nance was killed by you!

"Last winter my wife lay dying,
  Starved in a filthy den;
I had never been to the parish,--
  I came to the parish then.
I swallowed my pride in coming,
  For, ere the ruin came.
I held up my head as a trader,
  And I bore a spotless name.

"I came to the parish, craving
  Bread for a starving wife,
Bread for the woman who'd loved me
  Through fifty years of life;
And what do you think they told me,
  Mocking my awful grief?
That 'the House' was open to us,
  But they wouldn't give 'out relief.'

"I slunk to the filthy alley--
 'Twas a cold, raw Christmas eve--
And the bakers' shops were open,
  Tempting a man to thieve:
But I clenched my fists together,
  Holding my head awry,
So I came to her empty-handed
  And mournfully told her why.

"Then I told her 'the House' was open;
  She had heard of the ways of _that_,
For her bloodless cheeks went crimson,
  And up in her rags she sat,
Crying, 'Bide the Christmas here, John,
  We've never had one apart;
I think I can bear the hunger,--
  The other would break my heart.'

"All through that eve I watched her,
  Holding her hand in mine,
Praying the Lord, and weeping
  Till my lips were salt as brine.
I asked her once if she hungered,
  And as she answered 'No,'
The moon shone in at the window
  Set in a wreath of snow.

"Then the room was bathed in glory,
  And I saw in my darling's eyes
The far-away look of wonder
  That comes when the spirit flies;
And her lips were parched and parted,
  And her reason came and went,
For she raved of our home in Devon
  Where our happiest years were spent.

"And the accents, long forgotten,
  Came back to the tongue once more,
For she talked like the country lassie
  I woo'd by the Devon shore.
Then she rose to her feet and trembled,
  And fell on the rags and moaned,
And, 'Give me a crust--I'm famished--
  For the love of God!' she groaned.

"I rushed from the room like a madman,
  And flew to the workhouse gate,
Crying 'Food for a dying woman?'
  And the answer came, 'Too late.'
They drove me away with curses;
  Then I fought with a dog in the street,
And tore from the mongrel's clutches
  A crust he was trying to eat.

"Back, through the filthy by-lanes!
  Back, through the trampled slush!
Up to the crazy garret,
  Wrapped in an awful hush.
My heart sank down at the threshold,
  And I paused with a sudden thrill,
For there in the silv'ry moonlight
  My Nance lay, cold and still.

"Up to the blackened ceiling
  The sunken eyes were cast--
I knew on those lips all bloodless
  My name had been the last:
She'd called for her absent husband--
  O God! had I but known!--
Had called in vain, and in anguish
  Had died in that den--_alone_.

"Yes, there, in a land of plenty,
  Lay a loving woman dead,
Cruelly starved and murdered
  For a loaf of the parish bread.
At yonder gate, last Christmas,
  I craved for a human life.
You, who would feast us paupers,
  _What of my murdered wife!_

       *       *       *       *       *

"There, get ye gone to you dinners;
  Don't mind me in the least;
Think of the happy paupers
  Eating your Christmas feast;
And when you recount their blessings
  In your snug, parochial way,
Say what you did for _me_, too,
  Only last Christmas Day."

    _George R. Sims._



Our Presidents--A Memory Rhyme


First on the list is Washington, Virginia's proudest name;
John Adams next, the Federalist, from Massachusetts came;
Three sons of old Virginia into the White House go--
'Twas Jefferson, and Madison, and then came James Monroe.

Massachusetts for one term sent Adams called John Q.,
And Tennessee a Democrat, brave Jackson staunch and true.
Martin Van Buren of New York, and Harrison we see,
And Tyler of Virginia, and Polk of Tennessee.

Louisiana Taylor sent; New York Millard Fillmore;
New Hampshire gave us Franklin Pierce; when his term was o'er
The keystone state Buchanan sent.  War thunders shook the realm
Abe Lincoln wore a martyr's crown, and Johnson took the helm.

Then U.S. Grant of Illinois who ruled with sword and pen;
And Hayes, and Garfield who was shot, two noble Buckeye men.
Chester Arthur from New York, and Grover Cleveland came;
Ben Harrison served just four years, then Cleveland ruled again.

McKinley--shot at Buffalo--the nation plunged in grief,
And "Teddy" Roosevelt of New York served seven years as chief.
Taft of Ohio followed him. Then Woodrow Wilson came--
New Jersey's learned Democrat; war set the world aflame;

And when the tide of strife and hate its baneful course had run,
The country went Republican and Warren Harding won.
No duty would he shirk,--he died while on a western trip;
Coolidge of Massachusetts then assumed the leadership.

    _Isabel Ambler Gilman._



Annie and Willie's Prayer


'Twas the eve before Christmas; "Good night" had been said,
And Annie and Willie had crept into bed;
There were tears on their pillows, and tears in their eyes,
And each little bosom was heaving with sighs,
For to-night their stern father's command had been given
That they should retire precisely at seven
Instead of at eight; for they troubled him more
With questions unheard of than ever before;
He had told them he thought this delusion a sin,
No such being as Santa Claus ever had been,
And he hoped, after this, he should never more hear
How he scrambled down chimneys with presents, each year,
And this was the reason that two little heads
So restlessly tossed on their soft downy beds.

Eight, nine, and the clock on the steeple tolled ten;
Not a word had been spoken by either till then;
When Willie's sad face from the blanket did peep,
And whispered, "Dear Annie, is oo fast asleep?"
"Why, no, brother Willie," a sweet voice replies,
"I've tried it in vain, but I can't shut my eyes;
For somehow, it makes me so sorry because
Dear papa has said there is no Santa Claus;
Now we know there is, and it can't be denied,
For he came every year before mamma died;
But then I've been thinking that she used to pray,
And God would hear everything mamma would say;
And perhaps she asked him to send Santa Claus here
With the sacks full of presents he brought every year."
"Well, why tant we pray dest as mamma did then,
And ask Him to send him with presents aden?"
"I've been thinking so, too," and, without a word more,
Four little bare feet bounded out on the floor,
And four little knees the soft carpet pressed,
And two tiny hands were clasped close to each breast.
"Now, Willie, you know we must firmly believe
That the presents we ask for we're sure to receive;
You must wait just as still till I say the 'Amen,'
And by that you will know that your turn has come then.
Dear Jesus, look down on my brother and me.
And grant as the favor we are asking of Thee!
I want a wax dolly, a tea-set and ring,
And an ebony work-box that shuts with a spring.
Bless papa, dear Jesus, and cause him to see
That Santa Claus loves us far better than he;
Don't let him get fretful and angry again
At dear brother Willie, and Annie, Amen!"
"Peas Desus 'et Santa Taus tum down to-night,
And bing us some pesents before it is 'ight;
I want he should div me a nice ittle sed,
With bight, shiny unners, and all painted yed;
A box full of tandy, a book and a toy--
Amen--and then Desus, I'll be a dood boy."
Their prayers being ended they raised up their heads,
And with hearts light and cheerful again sought their beds;
They were soon lost in slumber both peaceful and deep,
And with fairies in dreamland were roaming in sleep.

Eight, nine, and the little French clock had struck ten
Ere the father had thought of his children again;
He seems now to hear Annie's half suppressed sighs,
And to see the big tears stand in Willie's blue eyes.
"I was harsh with my darlings," he mentally said,
"And should not have sent them so early to bed;
But then I was troubled,--my feelings found vent,
For bank-stock to-day has gone down ten per cent.
But of course they've forgotten their troubles ere this,
And that I denied them the thrice asked-for kiss;
But just to make sure I'll steal up to their door,
For I never spoke harsh to my darlings before."
So saying, he softly ascended the stairs,
And arrived at the door to hear both of their prayers.
His Annie's "bless papa" draws forth the big tears,
And Willie's grave promise falls sweet on his ears.
"Strange, strange I'd forgotten," said he with a sigh,
"How I longed when a child to have Christmas draw nigh.
I'll atone for my harshness," he inwardly said,
"By answering their prayers, ere I sleep in my bed."

Then he turned to the stairs, and softly went down,
Threw off velvet slippers and silk dressing-gown;
Donned hat, coat, and boots, and was out in the street,
A millionaire facing the cold driving sleet,
Nor stopped he until he had bought everything,
From the box full of candy to the tiny gold ring.
Indeed he kept adding so much to his store
That the various presents outnumbered a score;
Then homeward he turned with his holiday load
And with Aunt Mary's aid in the nursery 'twas stowed.
Miss Dolly was seated beneath a pine-tree,
By the side of a table spread out for a tea;
A work-box well filled in the centre was laid,
And on it the ring for which Annie had prayed;
A soldier in uniform stood by a sled
With bright shining runners, and all painted red;
There were balls, dogs and horses, books pleasing to see,
And birds of all colors--were perched in the tree,
While Santa Claus, laughing, stood up in the top,
As if getting ready more presents to drop.
And as the fond father the picture surveyed,
He thought for his trouble he had amply been paid;
And he said to himself as he brushed off a tear,
"I'm happier to-night than I've been for a year,
I've enjoyed more true pleasure than ever before--
What care I if bank-stocks fall ten per cent more.
Hereafter I'll make it a rule, I believe,
To have Santa Claus visit us each Christmas eve."
So thinking he gently extinguished the light,
And tripped down the stairs to retire for the night.

As soon as the beams of the bright morning sun
Put the darkness to flight, and the stars, one by one,
Four little blue eyes out of sleep opened wide,
And at the same moment the presents espied;
Then out of their beds they sprang with a bound,
And the very gifts prayed for were all of them found;
They laughed and they cried in their innocent glee,
And shouted for papa to come quick and see
What presents old Santa Claus brought in the night
(Just the things that they wanted) and left before light;
"And now," added Annie, in a voice soft and low,
"You'll believe there's a Santa, Clans, papa, I know";
While dear little Willie climbed up on his knee,
Determined no secret between them should be,
And told in soft whispers how Annie had said
That their blessed mamma, so long ago dead,
Used to kneel down and pray by the side of her chair,
And that God, up in heaven, had answered her prayer!
"Then we dot up, and payed dust as well as we tould,
And Dod answered our payers; now wasn't he dood?"

"I should say that he was if he sent you all these,
And knew just what presents my children would please.
Well, well, let him think so, the dear little elf,
'Twould be cruel to tell him I did it myself."

Blind father! who caused your proud heart to relent,
And the hasty word spoken so soon to repent?
'Twas the Being who made you steal softly upstairs,
And made you His agent to answer their prayers.

    _Sophia P. Snow._



Trailing Arbutus


I wandered lonely where the pine-trees made
Against the bitter East their barricade,
  And, guided by its sweet
Perfume, I found, within a narrow dell,
The trailing spring flower tinted like a shell
  Amid dry leaves and mosses at my feet.

From under dead boughs, for whose loss the pines
Moaned ceaseless overhead, the blossoming vines
  Lifted their glad surprise,
While yet the bluebird smoothed in leafless trees
His feathers ruffled by the chill sea-breeze,
  And snow-drifts lingered under April skies.

As, pausing, o'er the lonely flower I bent,
I thought of lives thus lowly clogged and pent,
  Which yet find room,
Through care and cumber, coldness and decay,
To lend a sweetness to the ungenial day
  And make the sad earth happier for their bloom.

    _J.G. Whittier._



When the Light Goes Out


Tho' yer lamp o' life is burnin' with a clear and steady light,
An' it never seems ter flicker, but it's allers shinin' bright;
Tho' it sheds its rays unbroken for a thousand happy days--
Father Time is ever turnin' down the wick that feeds yer blaze.
So it clearly is yer duty ef you've got a thing to do
Ter put yer shoulder to ther wheel an' try to push her through;
Ef yer upon a wayward track you better turn about--
You've lost ther chance to do it
  When the
    Light
      Goes
        Out.

Speak kindly to the woman who is working fer yer praise,
Ther same way as you used ter in those happy courtin' days;
She likes appreciation just the same ez me an' you,
And it's only right and proper that yer give her what is due.
Don't wait until her lamp o' life is burnin' dim an' low,
Afore you tell her what you orter told her long ago--
Now's ther time ter cheer her up an' put her blues to rout--
You've lost ther chance to do it
  When the
    Light
      Goes
        Out.

Don't keep a-puttin' matters off an' settin' dates ahead--
To-morrow's sun'll find a hundred thousand of us dead;
Don't think because yer feelin well you won't be sick no more--
Sometimes the reddest pippin has a  worm-hole to the core.
Don't let a killin' habit grow upon you soft and still
Because you think thet you ken throw  it from you at your will--
Now's ther time ter quit it when yer feelin' brave an' stout--
You've lost ther chance to do it
  When the
    Light
      Goes
        Out.

I'd rather die with nothin' then ter hev ther people say
That I had got my money in a robbin', graspin' way;
No words above my restin' place from any tongue or pen
Would hev a deeper meanin' than "He helped his fellow-men."
So ef you hev a fortune and you want to help the poor,
Don't keep a-stavin' off until yon get a little more;
Ef yer upon a miser's track you better turn about--
Yer record keeps on burnin'
  When the
    Light
      Goes
        Out.

    _Harry S. Chester._



Prayer and Potatoes


An old lady sat in her old arm-chair,
With wrinkled visage and disheveled hair,
  And pale and hunger-worn features;
For days and for weeks her only fare,
As she sat there in her old arm-chair,
  Had been potatoes.

But now they were gone; of bad or good.
Not one was left for the old lady's food
  Of those potatoes;
And she sighed and said, "What shall I do?
Where shall I send, and to whom shall I go
  For more potatoes?"

And she thought of the deacon over the way,
The deacon so ready to worship and pray,
  Whose cellar was full of potatoes;
And she said: "I will send for the deacon to come;
He'll not mind much to give me some
  Of such a store of potatoes."

And the deacon came over as fast as he could,
Thinking to do the old lady some good,
  But never thought of potatoes;
He asked her at once what was her chief want,
And she, simple soul, expecting a grant,
  Immediately answered, "Potatoes."

But the deacon's religion didn't lie that way;
He was more accustomed to preach and pray
  Than to give of his hoarded potatoes;
So, not hearing, of course, what the old lady said,
He rose to pray with uncovered head,
  But _she_ only thought of potatoes.

He prayed for patience, and wisdom, and grace,
But when he prayed, "Lord, give her peace,"
  She audibly sighed "Give potatoes";
And at the end of each prayer which he said,
He heard, or thought that he heard in its stead,
  The same request for potatoes.

The deacon was troubled; knew not what to do;
'Twas very embarrassing to have her act so
  About "those carnal potatoes."
So, ending his prayer, he started for home;
As the door closed behind him, he heard a deep groan,
  "Oh, give to the hungry, potatoes!"

And that groan followed him all the way home;
In the midst of the night it haunted his room--
  "Oh, give to the hungry, potatoes!"
He could bear it no longer; arose and dressed;
From his well-filled cellar taking in haste
  A bag of his best potatoes.

Again he went to the widow's lone hut;
Her sleepless eyes she had not shut;
But there she sat in that old arm-chair,
With the same wan features, the same sad air,
And, entering in, he poured on the floor
A bushel or more from his goodly store
  Of choicest potatoes.

The widow's cup was running o'er,
Her face was haggard and wan no more.
"Now," said the deacon, "shall we pray?"
"Yes," said the widow, "_now_ you may."
And he kneeled him down on the sanded floor,
Where he had poured his goodly store,
And such a prayer the deacon prayed
As never before his lips essayed;
No longer embarrassed, but free and full,
He poured out the voice of a liberal soul,
And the widow responded aloud "Amen!"
  But spake no more of potatoes.

And would you, who hear this simple tale,
Pray for the poor, and praying, "prevail"?
Then preface your prayers with alms and good deeds;
Search out the poor, their wants and their needs;
Pray for peace, and grace, and spiritual food,
For wisdom and guidance,-for all these are good,--
  _But don't forget the potatoes_.

    _J.T. Pettee._



The Parts of Speech


Three little words you often see
Are articles _a_, _an_, and _the_.
A noun's the name of anything,
As _house_ or _garden_, _hoop_ or _swing_.
Instead of nouns the pronouns stand--
_Her_ head, _your_ face, _his_ arm, _my_ hand.
Adjectives tell the kind of noun,
As _great_, _small_, _pretty_, _white_ or _brown_.
Verbs tell something to be done--
To _read_, _count_, _sing_, _laugh_ or _run_.
How things are done the adverbs tell,
As _slowly_, _quickly_, _ill_ or _well_.
Conjunctions join the words together,
As men _and_ women, wind _or_ weather.
The preposition stands before
A noun, as _in_ or _through_ a door.
The interjection shows surprise,
As _oh!_ how pretty, _ah!_ how wise.
The whole are called nine parts of speech,
Which reading, writing, speaking teach.



A New Leaf


He came to my desk with, quivering lip--
  The lesson was done.
"Dear Teacher, I want a new leaf," he said,
  "I have spoiled this one."
I took the old leaf, stained and blotted,
And gave him a new one all unspotted,
  And into his sad eyes smiled,
  "Do better, now, my child."

I went to the throne with a quivering soul--
  The old year was done.
"Dear Father, hast Thou a new leaf for me?
  I have spoiled this one."
He took the old leaf, stained and blotted,
And gave me a new one all unspotted,
  And into my sad heart smiled,
  "Do better, now, my child."

    _Carrie Shaw Rice._



The Boy With the Hoe


How are you hoeing your row, my boy?
  Say, how are you hoeing your row?
    Do you hoe it fair?
    Do you hoe it square?
  Do you hoe it the best that you know?
Do you cut out the weeds as you ought to do?
  Do you plant what is beautiful there?
    For the harvest, you know,
    Will be just what you sow;
  Are you working it on the square?

Say, are you killing the weeds, my boy?
  Are you hoeing your row neat and clean?
    Are you going straight
    At a hustling gait?
  Are you cutting out all that is mean?
Do you whistle and sing as you toil along?
  Are you finding your work a delight?
    If you do it this way
    You will gladden the day,
  And your row will be tended right.

Hoeing your row with a will, my boy,
  And giving it thought and care,
    Will insure success
    And your efforts bless,
  As the crop to the garner you bear;
For the world will look on as you hoe your row,
  And will judge you by that which you do;
    Therefore, try for first prize,
    Though your utmost it tries,
  For the harvest depends on you.

    _T.B. Weaver._



Our Flag


Fling it from mast and steeple,
  Symbol o'er land and sea
Of the life of a happy people,
  Gallant and strong and free.
Proudly we view its colors,
  Flag of the brave and true,
With the clustered stars and the steadfast bars,
  The red, the white, and the blue.

Flag of the fearless-hearted,
  Flag of the broken chain,
Flag in a day-dawn started,
  Never to pale or wane.
Dearly we prize its colors,
  With the heaven light breaking through,
The clustered stars and the steadfast bars,
  The red, the white, and the blue.

Flag of the sturdy fathers,
  Flag of the loyal sons,
Beneath its folds it gathers
  Earth's best and noblest ones.
Boldly we wave its colors,
  Our veins are thrilled anew
By the steadfast bars, the clustered stars,
  The red, the white, and the blue.

    _Margaret E. Sangster._



The Little Fir-Trees


Hey! little evergreens,
  Sturdy and strong,
Summer and autumn-time
  Hasten along.
Harvest the sunbeams, then,
  Bind them in sheaves,
Range them and change them
  To tufts of green leaves.
Delve in the mellow-mold,
  Far, far below.
  And so,
  Little evergreens, grow!
  Grow! Grow!
  Grow, little evergreens, grow!

Up, up so airily,
  To the blue sky,
Lift up your leafy tips
  Stately and high;
Clasp tight your tiny cones,
  Tawny and brown,
By and by buffeting
  Rains will pelt down.
By and by bitterly
  Chill winds will blow,
  And so,
  Little evergreens, grow!
  Grow! Grow!
  Grow, little evergreens, grow!

Gather all uttermost
  Beauty, because,--
Hark, till I tell it now!
  How Santa Claus,
Out of the northern land,
  Over the seas,
Soon shall come seeking you,
  Evergreen trees!
Seek you with reindeer soon,
  Over the snow:
  And so,
  Little evergreens, grow!
  Grow! Grow!
  Grow, little evergreens, grow!

What if the maple flare
  Flaunting and red,
You shall wear waxen white
  Taper instead.
What if now, otherwhere,
  Birds are beguiled,
You shall yet nestle
  The little Christ-Child.
Ah! the strange splendor
  The fir-trees shall know!
  And so,
  Little evergreens, grow!
  Grow! Grow!
  Grow, little evergreens, grow!

    _Evaleen Stein._



He Worried About It


The sun's heat will give out in ten million years more--
    And he worried about it.
It will sure give out then, if it doesn't before--
    And he worried about it.
  It will surely give out, so the scientists said
  In all scientifical books he had read,
  And the whole boundless universe then will be dead--
    And he worried about it.

And some day the earth will fall into the sun--
    And he worried about it--
Just as sure and as straight as if shot from a gun--
    And he worried about it.
  When strong gravitation unbuckles her straps,
  "Just picture," he said, "what a fearful collapse!
  It will come in a few million ages, perhaps"--
    And he worried about it.

And the earth will become much too small for the race--
    And he worried about it--
When we'll pay thirty dollars an inch for pure space--
    And he worried about it.
  The earth will be crowded so much, without doubt,
  That there won't be room for one's tongue to stick out,
  Nor room for one's thought to wander about--
    And he worried about it.

And the Gulf Stream will curve, and New England grow torrider--
    And he worried about it--
Than was ever the climate of southernmost Florida--
    And he worried about it.
  Our ice crop will be knocked into small smithereens,
  And crocodiles block up our mowing-machines,
  And we'll lose our fine crops of potatoes and beans--
    And he worried about it.

And in less than ten thousand years, there's no doubt--
    And he worried about it--
Our supply of lumber and coal will give out--
    And he worried about it.
  Just then the ice-age will return cold and raw,
  Frozen men will stand stiff with arms outstretched in awe,
  As if vainly beseeching a general thaw--
    And he worried about it.

His wife took in washing--half a dollar a day--
    He didn't worry about it--
His daughter sewed shirts the rude grocer to pay--
    He didn't worry about it.
  While his wife beat her tireless rub-a-dub-dub
  On the washboard drum of her old wooden tub,
  He sat by the stoves and he just let her rub--
    He didn't worry about it.

    _Sam Walter Foss._



The President


No gilt or tinsel taints the dress
Of him who holds the natal power,
No weighty helmet's fastenings press
On brow that shares Columbia's dower,
No blaring trumpets mark the step
Of him with mind on peace intent,
And so--HATS OFF! Here comes the State,
A modest King:
      THE PRESIDENT.

No cavalcade with galloping squads
Surrounds this man, whose mind controls
The actions of the million minds
Whose hearts the starry banner folds;
Instead, in simple garb he rides,
The King to whom grim Fate has lent
Her dower of righteousness and faith
To guide his will:
      THE PRESIDENT.

The ancient lands are struck with awe,
Here stands a power at which they  scoffed,
Kings, rulers, scribes of pristine states.
Are dazed,--at Columbia they mocked;
Yet human wills have forged new states,
Their wills on justice full intent,
And fashioned here a lowly King,
The People's choice:
      THE PRESIDENT.

War-ravaged, spent, and torn--old worlds
With hatred rent, turn to the West,
"Give help!" they cry--"our souls are wracked,
On every side our kingdom's pressed."
And see! Columbia hastens forth,
Her healing hand to peace is lent,
Her sword unsheathed has forged the calm,
Her sons sent by
      THE PRESIDENT.

Full many a storm has tossed the barque
Since first it had its maiden trip,
Full many a conflagration's spark
Has scorched and seared the laboring ship;
And yet it ploughs a straightway course,
Through wrack of billows; wind-tossed, spent,
On sails the troubled Ship of State,
Steered forward by
      THE PRESIDENT.

STAND UP! HATS OFF! He's coming by,
No roll of drums peals at his course,
NOW GIVE A CHEER! He's part of you,
Your will with his: the nation's force.
And--as he passes--breathe a prayer,
May justice to his mind be lent,
And may the grace of Heaven be with
The man who rules:
      OUR PRESIDENT.

    _Charles H.L. Johnston._



Lullaby


Sleepy little, creepy little goblins in the gloaming,
  With their airy little, fairy little faces all aglow,
Winking little, blinking little brownies gone a-roaming,
  Hear the rustling little, bustling little footfalls as they go.
Laughing little, chaffing little voices sweetly singing
  In the dearest little, queerest little baby lullabies,
    Creep! Creep! Creep!
    Time to go to sleep!
Baby playing 'possum with his big brown eyes!

Cricket in the thicket with the oddest little clatter
  Sings his rattling little, prattling little, tattling little tune;
Fleet the feet of tiny stars go patter, patter, patter,
  As they scamper from the heavens at the rising of the moon.
Beaming little, gleaming little fireflies go dreaming
  To the dearest little, queerest little baby lullabies.
    Creep! Creep! Creep!
    Time to go to sleep!
Baby playing 'possum with his big brown eyes!

Quaking little, shaking little voices all a-quiver
  In the mushy little, rushy little, weedy, reedy bogs,
Droning little, moaning little chorus by the river,
  In the croaking little, joking little cadence of the frogs.
Eerie little, cheery little glowworms in the gloaming
  Where the clover heads like fairy little nightcaps rise,
    Creep! Creep! Creep!
    Time to go to sleep!
Baby playing 'possum with his big brown eyes!

    _J.W. Foley._



Chums


If we should be shipwrecked together
And only had water for one,
And it was the hottest of weather
Right out in the boiling sun,
He'd tell me--no matter how bad he
Might want it--to take a drink first;
And then he would smile--oh, so glad he
Had saved me!--and perish from thirst!

Or, if we were lost on the prairie
And only had food for a day,
He'd come and would give me the share he
Had wrapped up and hidden away;
And after I ate it with sadness
He'd smile with his very last breath,
And lay himself down full of gladness
To save me--and starve right to death.

And if I was wounded in battle
And out where great danger might be,
He'd come through the roar and the rattle
Of guns and of bullets to me,
He'd carry me out, full of glory,
No matter what trouble he had,
And then he would fall down, all gory
With wounds, and would die--but be glad!

We're chums--that's the reason he'd do it;
And that's what a chum ought to be.
And if it was fire he'd go through it,
If I should call him to me.
You see other fellows may know you,
And friends that you have go and come;
But a boy has one boy he can go to,
For help all the time--that's his chum.

    _J.W. Foley._



Jim Brady's Big Brother


Jim Brady's big brother's a wonderful lad,
And wonderful, wonderful muscles he had;
He swung by one arm from the limb of a tree
And hung there while Jim counted up forty-three
Just as slow as he could; and he leaped at a bound
Across a wide creek and lit square on the ground
Just as light as a deer; and the things he can do,
So Jimmy told us, you would hardly think true.

Jim Brady's big brother could throw a fly ball
From center to home just like nothing at all;
And often while playing a game he would stand
And take a high fly with just only one hand;
Jim Brady showed us where he knocked a home run
And won the big game when it stood three to one
Against the home team, and Jim Brady, he showed
The place where it lit in the old wagon road!

Jim Brady's big brother could bat up a fly
That you hardly could see, for it went up so high;
He'd bring up his muscle and break any string
That you tied on his arm like it wasn't a thing!
He used to turn handsprings, and cartwheels, and he
Could jump through his hands just as slick as could be,
And circuses often would want him to go
And be in the ring, but his mother said no.

Jim Brady's big brother would often make bets
With boys that he'd turn two complete summersets
From off of the spring-board before he would dive,
And you'd hardly think he would come up alive;
And nobody else who went there to swim
Could do it, but it was just easy for him;
And they'd all be scared, so Jim said, when he'd stay
In under and come up a half mile away.

Jim Brady's big brother, so Jim said, could run
Five miles in a race just as easy as one.
Right often he walked on his hands half a block
And could have walked more if he'd wanted to walk!
And Jimmy says wait till he comes home from school,
Where he is gone now, and some day, when it's cool,
He'll get him to prove everything to be true
That Jimmy told us his big brother could do!

    _J.W. Foley._



The Gray Swan


"Oh tell me, sailor, tell me true,
Is my little lad, my Elihu,
  A-sailing with your ship?"
The sailor's eyes were dim with dew,--
"Your little lad, your Elihu?"
  He said with trembling lip,--
  "What little lad? what ship?"

"What little lad! as if there could be
Another such a one as he!
  What little lad, do you say?
Why, Elihu, that took to the sea
The moment I put him off my knee!
  It was just the other day
  The _Gray Swan_ sailed away."

"The other day?" the sailor's eyes
Stood open with a great surprise,--
  "The other day? the _Swan?_"
His heart began in his throat to rise.
"Ay, ay, sir, here in the cupboard lies
  The jacket he had on."
  "And so your lad is gone?"

"Gone with the _Swan_." "And did she stand
With her anchor clutching hold of the sand,
  For a month, and never stir?"
"Why, to be sure! I've seen from the land,
Like a lover kissing his lady's hand,
  The wild sea kissing her,--
  A sight to remember, sir."

"But, my good mother, do you know
All this was twenty years ago?
  I stood on the _Gray Swan's_ deck,
And to that lad I saw you throw,
Taking it off, as it might be, so,
  The kerchief from your neck."
  "Ay, and he'll bring it back!"

"And did the little lawless lad
That has made you sick and made you sad,
  Sail with the _Gray Swan's_ crew?"
"Lawless! the man is going mad!
The best boy ever mother had,--
  Be sure he sailed with the crew!
  What would you have him do?"

"And he has never written line,
Nor sent you word, nor made you sign
  To say he was alive?"
"Hold! if 'twas wrong, the wrong is mine;
Besides, he may be in the brine,
  And could he write from the grave?
  Tut, man, what would you have?"

"Gone twenty years,--a long, long cruise,
'Twas wicked thus your love to abuse;
  But if the lad still live,
And come back home, think you you can
Forgive him?"--"Miserable man,
  You're mad as the sea,--you rave,--
  What have I to forgive?"

The sailor twitched his shirt so blue,
And from within his bosom drew
  The kerchief. She was wild.
"My God! my Father! is it true
My little lad, My Elihu?
  My blessed boy, my child!
  My dead,--my living child!"

    _Alice Cary._



The Circling Year


SPRING

The joys of living wreathe my face,
My heart keeps time to freshet's race;
Of balmy airs I drink my fill--
Why, there's a yellow daffodil!
Along the stream a soft green tinge
Gives hint of feathery willow fringe;
Methinks I heard a Robin's "Cheer"--
  I'm glad Spring's here!


SUMMER

An afternoon of buzzing flies.
Heat waves that sear, and quivering rise;
The long white road, the plodding team,
The deep, cool grass in which to dream;
The distant cawing of the crows,
Tall, waving grain, long orchard rows;
The peaceful cattle in the stream--
  Midsummer's dream!


AUTUMN

A cold, gray day, a lowering sky,
A lonesome pigeon wheeling by;
The soft, blue smoke that hangs and fades,
The shivering crane that flaps and wades;
Dead leaves that, whispering, quit their tree,
The peace the river sings to me;
The chill aloofness of the Fall--
  I love it all!


WINTER

A sheet of ice, the ring of steel,
The crunch of snow beneath the heel;
Loud, jingling bells, the straw-lined sleigh,
A restless pair that prance and neigh;
The early coming of the night,
Red glowing logs, a shaded light;
The firelit realm of books is mine--
  Oh, Winter's fine!

    _Ramona Graham._



INDEX OF FIRST LINES


A fellow near Kentucky's clime                                         34
A foolish little maiden bought a foolish little bonnet                168
'A frightful face'? Wal, yes, yer correct                            125
A harbor in a sunny, southern city                                    137
Alone in the dreary, pitiless street                                   46
Among the legends sung or said                                         63
An old lady sat in her old arm-chair                                  200
An old man going a lone highway                                        54
April! April! are you here?                                            59
A sad-faced little fellow sits alone in deep disgrace                 108
At Paris it was, at the opera there                                    72
A traveler on the dusty road                                           97
Away, away in the Northland                                           131

Beneath the hot midsummer sun                                          39
Between broad fields of wheat and corn                                147
Billy's dead, and gone to glory--so is Billy's sister Nell            104
Break, break, break                                                    52
Bring, novelist, your note-book! bring, dramatist, your pen!          123
By Nebo's lonely mountain                                              45

Chained in the market-place he stood                                  145
Cheeriest room, that morn, the kitchen                                128
Cleon hath ten thousand acres                                          37
Closed eyes can't see the white roses                                  84
Come to me, O ye children!                                             16
"Corporal Green!" the orderly cried                                    86
Could we but draw back the curtains                                    29

Dear little flag in the window there                                  127
Did you tackle the trouble that came your way                         132
Don't kill the birds, the pretty birds                                 53

Every coin of earthly treasure                                         12

Far back, in my musings, my thoughts have been cast                    75
Farewell! a long farewell, to all my greatness!                        94
First on the list is Washington, Virginia's proudest name             195
Fling it from mast and steeple                                        202

Give me that grand old volume, the gift of a mother's love            117
God makes sech nights, all white an' still                             59
God said: I am tired of kings                                          62
God send us a little home                                              87
Good Deacon Roland--"May his tribe increase!"                         178
Go thou thy way, and I go mine                                        162
Grandma told me all about it                                           48
Great were the hearts and strong the minds                             37

"Hadst thou stayed, I must have fled!"                                174
Han'some, stranger? Yes, she's purty an' ez peart as she kin be        96
Hark, hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings                           111
Has there any old fellow got mixed with the boys?                      27
He came to my desk with quivering lip                                 202
He who has the vision sees more than you or I                         146
Hey! little evergreens                                                203
Home they brought her warrior dead                                     74
How are you hoeing your row, my boy?                                  202
Hush! my dear, lie still and slumber                                   35

I asked of Echo, t'other day                                           65
I cannot vouch my tale is true                                        156
I can't tell much about the thing, 'twas done so powerful quick       182
I come, I come! ye have called me long                                 26
I'd like to hunt the Injuns 't roam the boundless plain!              121
If all the skies were sunshine                                         36
If I had known in the morning                                         119
If I were hanged on the highest hill                                   70
If we should be shipwrecked together                                  206
If you can dress to make yourself attractive                          153
If you can take your dreams into the classroom                        165
If you have a friend worth loving                                     167
I have a rendezvous with Death                                        142
I love my prairies, they are mine                                      74
I'm not a chicken; I have seen                                        137
In a dark and dismal alley where the sunshine never came              112
In an attic bare and cheerless, Jim the newsboy dying lay              52
In a pioneer's cabin out West, so they say                            130
In a valley, centuries ago                                             36
In Gettysburg at break of day                                         122
In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes                           90
In the hush and the lonely silence                                     65
Into a ward of the whitewashed halls                                  175
I sat alone with my conscience                                         81
I saw him once before                                                  20
It is Christmas day in the workhouse                                  193
It isn't the thing you do, dear                                       116
It may be that the words I spoke                                      103
It's easy to talk of the patience of Job                               82
It takes a heap o' livin' in a houst t' make it home                    7
It was a bright and lovely summer's morn                              114
It was an old, old, old, old lady                                      30
It was a sergeant old and gray                                        158
It was a starry night in June, the air was soft and still             102
It was in the days when Claverhouse                                     9
It was kept out in the kitchen, and 'twas long and deep and wide      177
It was many and many a year ago                                        25
It was the pleasant harvest-time                                      188
It was the twilight hour                                               61
I've got a letter, parson, from my son away out West                   53
I walked through the woodland meadows                                   9
I wandered lonely where the pine-trees made                           199
I was mighty good-lookin' when I was young                             44
I was sitting in my study                                              40
I was strolling one day down the Lawther Arcade                       169
I went into a public 'ouse to get a pint of beer                      170
I, who was always counted, they say                                    42
I wish there were some wonderful place                                 32
I wrote some lines once on a time                                      14

Jim Brady's big brother's a wonderful lad                             206

King David's limbs were weary. He had fled                            191

Laugh, and the world laughs with you                                  139
Let us be kind                                                        143
Life! I know not what thou art                                         65
Like a dream, it all comes o'er me as I hear the Christmas bells       47
Like liquid gold the wheat field lies                                   8
Little lamb, who made thee?                                            86
Little lass of Plymouth,--gentle, shy, and sweet                      154
Little one, come to my knee!                                           89

Marching down to Armageddon                                           157
Mine is a wild, strange story,--the strangest you ever heard          106
My grandfather's clock was too tall for the shelf                      35

Nae shoon to hide her tiny taes                                       131
Never mind me, Uncle Jared, never mind my bleeding breast              11
Never yet was a springtime                                             93
No, comrades, I thank you--not any for me                              87
No gilt or tinsel taints the dress                                    204
No, I never, till life and its shadows shall end                     140
Not far advanced was morning day                                       95
Not who you are, but what you are                                      66

O for one hour of youthful joy!                                        58
O'Grady lived in Shanty row                                            44
Oh, a wonderful stream is the river of Time                            51
Oh, East is East, and West is West                                     23
Oh! listen to the water mill through all the livelong day             143
Oh, such a commotion under the ground                                  59
"Oh tell me, sailor, tell me true"                                     207
O Liberty, thou child of Law                                           39
O month of fairer, rarer days                                         153
Once in Persia reigned a king                                         159
One sweetly solemn thought                                             48
On the top of the Crumpetty Tree                                       91
O Thou eternal One! whose presence bright                             162
Our band is few, but true and tried                                    54
Our old brown homestead reared its walls                               55
Out of the hills of Habersham                                          66

Piller fights is fun, I tell you                                       80
Prop yer eyes wide open, Joey                                          32

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky                                  63

Saint Augustine! well hast thou said                                   33
She sat on the sliding cushion                                         29
She's up there--Old Glory--where lightnings are sped                   21
She was a Phantom of delight                                           89
Silent he watched them--the soldiers and dog                          122
Sleepy little, creepy little goblins in the gloaming                  205
Slow the Kansas sun was setting                                        37
Some die too late and some too soon                                    84
Sometimes w'en I am playin' with some fellers 'at I knows             127
Somewhere, out on the blue sea sailing                                138
South mountain towered upon our right, far off the river lay          176
Stand! the ground's your own, my braves!                               99
Sweet is the voice that called                                         75

Talking of sects quite late one eve                                   180
The autumn is old                                                     186
The bells of Mount Vernon are ringing to-day                           58
The boy stood on the burning deck                                     164
The bravest battle that ever was fought                                64
The children kept coming one by one                                   146
The coppenter man said a wicked word                                  139
The day is cold, and dark, and dreary                                  28
The district school-master was sitting behind his great book-laden
     desk                                                              68
The feast is o'er! Now brimming wine                                   57
The gate was thrown open, I rode out alone                            120
The gret big church wuz crowded full uv broadcloath an' of silk       149
The harp that once through Tara's halls                                71
The joys of living wreathe my face                                    208
The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year                  21
The Minstrel-Boy to the war is gone                                    55
The muffled drum's sad roll has beat                                   15
The night was dark when Sam set out                                    76
The old mayor climbed the belfry tower                                150
There are two kinds of people on earth to-day                         116
There fell an April shower, one night                                  26
There lay upon the ocean's shore                                      150
There's a dandy little fellow                                          82
There was a Boy; you knew him well, ye cliffs                          90
There was a sound of revelry by night                                  17
There were ninety and nine                                            166
The rich man's son inherits lands                                      22
The rosy clouds float overhead                                         62
These are the things I hold divine                                     64
The shades of night were falling fast                                  15
The snow and the silence came down together                            83
The sunlight shone on walls of stone                                  134
The sun's heat will give out in ten million years more                203
The sweetest lives are those to duty wed                               20
The warrior bowed his crested head, and tamed his heart of fire       160
The weaver at this loom is sitting                                    171
They grew in beauty, side by side                                     130
They said, "The Master is coming"                                       30
This is the land where hate should die                                 18
Tho' yer lamp o' life is burnin' with a clear and steady light        199
Three little words you often see                                      201
'Tis a cold, bleak night! with angry roar                              77
'Tis a lesson you should heed                                         135
'Tis gone at last, and I am glad; it stayed a fearful while           173
'Tis only a half truth the poet has sung                               28
"To-whit! to-whit! to-whee!"                                            41
Turn back the leaves of history. On yon Pacific shore                 183
'Twas a stylish congregation, that of Theophrastus Brown               18
'Twas on Lake Erie's broad expanse                                     78
'Twas the eve before Christmas; "Good-night" had been said            196
Two angels, one of Life and one of Death                              187
Two little stockings hung side by side                                141

Want any papers, Mister?                                               94
We all look on with anxious eyes                                       40
We are two travellers, Roger and I                                     49
Well, wife, I found the _model_ church! I worshipped there to-day     148
W'en you see a man in woe                                             123
We squander health in search of wealth                                103
We were crowded in the cabin                                           56
We were not many,--we who stood                                       165
"What fairings will ye that I bring?"                                  92
What flower is this that greets the morn                               85
What makes the dog's nose always cold?                                144
Whence come those shrieks so wild and shrill                           12
Whene'er a noble deed is wrought                                       56
Whenever I walk to Suffern along the Erie track                         8
When I compare                                                         34
When Mary Ann Dollinger got the skule daown thar on Injun Bay          67
When papa was a little boy you really couldn't find                   100
When the humid showers gather over all the starry spheres              97
When the lessons and tasks are all ended                              133
When the Norn Mother saw the Whirlwind Hour                           118
Whichever way the wind doth blow                                       67
"Which shall it be? which shall it be?"                               101
Who comes dancing over the snow                                       153
Who dat knockin' at de do'?                                            71
Why dost thou wildly rush and roar                                    100
Why, yes, dear, we can put it by. It does seem out of place           186
With sable-draped banners and slow measured tread                     140
Work! Thank God for the might of it                                   154
Work thou for pleasure; paint or sing or carve                        169

Ye banks, and braes, and streams around                                88
Ye say that all have passed away--that noble race and brave           135
Yes, it's a quiet station, but it suits me well enough                109
You bad leetle boy, not moche you care                                 80
You may talk o' gin an' beer                                           98
You're going to leave the homestead, John                             159
Your letter, lady, came too late                                      136
You sail and you seek for the Fortunate Isles                         168
You say I have asked for the costliest thing                          155



Transcriber's note:

   The poem "Try Try Again" is not credited with an author in
   the table of contents. The author of this poem is _William E.
   Hickerson_.





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