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Stitch ! stitch ! stitch !
In poverty, hunger, and dirt, And still, with a voice of dolorous pitch,
She sang the “Song of the Shirt is "Work! work! work!
While the cock is crowing aloof! And work-work-work!
Till the stars shine through the roof! It's oh I to be a slave
Along with the barbarous Turk, Where woman has never a soul to save;
IL THIS is Christian work!
Till the brain begins to sivim! Work-work-work!
Till the eyes are heavy and dim! Seam, and yusset, and band,
Band, and gusset, and seam, Till over the buttons I fall asleep,
And sew them on in my dream! "Oh! men with sisters dear!
Oh! men with mothers and wives! It is not linen you're wearing out,
But human creatures' lives! Stitch-stitch-stitch!
In poverty, hunger, and dirt, Sewing at once, with a double thread,
A SIIROUD as well as a shirt!
“But why do I talk of death,
That phantom of grisly bone ? I hardly fear his terrible shape,
It seems so like my own It seems so like my own,
Because of the fast I keep :
From weary chime to chime; Work-work-work !
As prisoners work for crime ! Band, and gusset, and seam,
Seam, and gusset, and band, Till the heart is sick, and the brain benumb’d,
As well as the weary hand !
In the dull December light; And work-work-work!
When the weather is warm and bright:
The brooding swallows cling,
And twit me with the Spring. “Oh! but to breathe the breath
Of the cowslip and primrose sweet; With the sky above my head,
And the grass beneath my feet:
To feel as I used to feel,
And the walk that costs a meal!
“Oh! but for one short hour!
A respite, however brief!
But only time for grief !
But in their briny bed
Hinders needle and thread 19
With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
* PLEDGE with wine-pledge with wine!" cried the young and thoughtless Harry Wood. "Pledge with wine," lan through the brilliant crowd.
The beautiful bride grew pale—the decisive hour had come, she pressed her white hands together, and the leaves of her bridal wreath trembled on her pure brow; her breath came quicker, her heart beat wilder.
“Yes, Marion, lay aside your scruples for this once," said the Judge, in a low tone, going towards his daughter;
the company expect it, do not so seriously infringe upon the rules of etiquette ;-in your own house act as you please; but in mine, for this once please me.”
Every eye was turned towards the bridal pair. Marion's principles were well known. Henry had been a convivialist, but of late his friends noticed the change in his manners, the difference in his habits—and to-night they watched him to see, as they sneeringly said, if he was tied down to a woman's opinion so soon.
Pouring a brimming beaker, they held it with tempting smiles toward Marion. She was very pale, though more composed, and her hand shook not, as smiling back, she gratefully accepted the crystal tempter and raised it to her lips. But scarcely had she done so, when every hand was arrested by her piercing exclamation of “Oh, how terrible! 66 What is it?" cried one and all, thronging together, for she had slowly carried the glass at arm's length, and was fixedly regarding it as though it were some hideous object.
“Wait,” she answered, while an inspired light shone from her dark eyes, wait and I will tell you. 1
" she added, slowly pointing one jewelled finger at the sparkling ruby liquid, “a sight that beggars all description; and yet listen; I will paint it for you if I can : It is a lonely spot; tall mountains, crowned with verdure, rise in awful he throws the damp curls ! see him clasp his hands! hear his thrilling shrieks for life! mark how he clutches at the form of his companion, imploring to be saved. Oh! hear him call piteously his father's name ; see him twine his fingers together as he shrieks for his sister-his only sisterthe twin of his soul-weeping for him in his distant native land.
“See !” she exclaimed, while the bridal party shrank back, the untasted wine trembling in their faltering grasp, and the Judge fell, overpowered, upon his seat; 'see! his arms are lifted to heaven; he prays, how wildly, for mercy! hot fever rushes through his veins. The friend beside him is weeping; awe-stricken, the dark men move silently, and leave the living and dying together.”
There was a hush in that princely parlor, broken only by what seemed a smothered sob, from some manly bosom. The bride stood yet upright, with quivering lip, and tears stealing to the outward edge of her lashes. IIer beautiful arm had lost its tension, and the glass, with its little troubled red waves, came slowly towards the range of her vision. She spoke again; every lip was mute. Her voice was low, faint, yet awfully distinct: she still fixed her sorrowful glance upon the wine-cup.
“It is evening now; the great white 2729n is coming up, and her beams lay gently on his forehead. He moves not: his eyes are set in their sockets; dim are their piercing glances; in vain his friend whispers the name of father and sister-death is there. Death ! and no soft hand, no gentle voice to bless and soothe him. His head sinks back ! one convulsive shudder! he is dead 19
A groan ran through the assembly, so vivid was her description, so unearthly her look, so inspired her manner, that what she described seemed actually to have taken place then and there. They noticed also, that the bride groom hid his face in his hands and was weeping,
“Dead !" she repeated again, her lips quivering faster and faster, and her voice more and more broken ; "and there they scoop him a grave; and there without a shroud, they lay him down in the damp reeking earth. The only son of a proud father, the only idolized brother of a fond sister. And he sleeps to-day in that distant country, with no stone to mark the spot. There he lies-my father's son--my own twin brother I a victim to this deadly poisou. Father,” she exclaimed, turning suddenly, while the tears rained down her beautiful cheeks, “ father, shall I drink t now ???
She lifted the glittering goblet, and letting it suddenly fall to the tloor it was dashed into a thousand pieces. Many a tearful eye watched her movements, and instantaneously every wine-glass was transferred to the marble table on which it had been prepared. Then, as she looked at the fragments of crystal, she turned to the company, saying :-"Let no friend, hereafter, who loves me, tempt me to peril my soul for wine. Not firmer the everlasting hills than my resolve, God helping me, never to touch or taste that terrible poison. And he to whom I have given my hand ; who watched over my brother's dying form in that lasi solemn hour, and buried the dear wanderer there by the river in that land of gold, will, I trust, sustain me in that, resolve. Will you not, my husband ?"
His glistening eyes, his sad, sweet smile was her answer.
The Judge left the room, and when an hour later he returned, and with a more subdued manner took part i the entertainment of the bridal guests, no one could fail to read that he, too, had determined to dash the enemy at unce and forever from his princely rooms.
Those who were present at that wedding, can never forget the impression so solemnly made. Many from that hour forswore the social glass.
THE GOUTY MERCHANT AND THE STRANGER.
In Broad-street buildings (on a winter night),
He notorl 11 ocolas