Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

The mother watches them with foreboding, though she knows not why. In a little while the threatened storm sets in. Night comes, and with it comes the father from his daily toil; There's a treasure hiddeu in his hat, A plaything for liis young ones, he has found A dormouse nest; tlie living ball coiled round For its long winter sleep; and all his thought, As he trudged stoutly homeward, was of naught But the glad wonderment in Jenny's eyes, And graver Lizzy's quieter surprise, When he should yield, by guess, and kiss, and prayer, Hard won, the frozen captive to their care.

No little faces greet him as wont at the threshold; and to his hurried question, “ Are they come?" 'twas “no." To throw his tools down, hastily unbook The old cracked lantern from its dusty nook, And, while he lit it, speak a cheering word That almost choked him, and was scarcely heard, Was but a moment's act, and he was gone To where a fearful foresight led him on.

A neiglibor goes with him, and the faithful dog follows the children's tracks. "Hold the light Low down, he's making for the water. Hark! I know that whine; the old dog's found them, Mark;" So speaking, breathlessly lie hurried on Toward the old crazy foot-bridge. It was gone! And all his dull, contracted light could show, Was the black void, and dark swollen stream below. “Yet there's life somewhere, more than Tinker's whine, That's sure," said Mark. “So, let the lantern shine Down yonder. There's the dog, -and hark!" “O dear!" And a low sob came faintly on the ear, Mocked by the sobbing gust. Down, quick as thought Into the stream leaped Ambrose, where he caught Fast hold of something,–

-a dark, huddled heap, Half in the water, where 'twas scarce knee-deep For a tall man, and half above it propped By some old ragged side-piles, that had stopped, Endways, the broken plank, when it gave way With the two little ones, that luckless day. “My babes, my lambkins!" was the father's cry; One little voice made answer, “Here am 1;"' 'Twas Lizzy's. There she crouched, with face as white, More glastiy, by the flickering lantern light, Than sheeted corpse; the pale blue lips drawn tight,

Wide parted, showing all the pearly teetl.,
And eyes on some dark object underneatli,
Washed by the turbid waters, fixed like stone;
One arm and hand stretched out, and rigid grown,
Grasping, as in the death-gripe, Jenny's frock.
There she lay, drowned.
They listed her from out her watery bed;
Its covering gone, the lovely little lead
Hung like a broken snowdrop all aside,
And one small hand; the mother's shawl was tied,
Leaving that free, about the child's small form,
As was her last injunction, “fast and warm;"
'Too well obeyed,- too fast! A fatal hol!.
Affording to the scrag, by a thick fold,
That caught and pinned her to the river's bed;
While, through the reckless water overhead,
Her life breath bubbled up.
“She might have lived,
Struggling like Lizzy," was the thought that rived
The wretched motler's heart when she heard all,
“But for my foolishness about that shawl."
“Who says I forgot ?
Mother, indeed, indeed I kept fast hold,
And tied the shawl quite close, -she can't be cold;
· But she wont move--we slept, I don't know how,
But I held on, and I'm so weary now,
And it's so dark and cold! Oh dear! oh dear!-
And she won't move-is father were but here!"
All night long from side to side she turned,
Piteously plaining like a wounded dove,
With now and then the murmur, "She won't move;"
And lo! when morning, as in mockery, bright
Slone on that pillow,-passing strange the sight,-
The young head's raren hair was streaked with white!

Carolina A. Sjulney. No matter what the journey be,

Adventures dangerous, far
To the wild deep, or bleak frontier,

To solitude, or war,-
Still something cheers tho heart that dares,

In all of human kind;
And they who go are happier

Than those they leave behind.

The bride goes to the bridegroom's home

With doubtings and with tears,
But does not Hope her rainbow spread

Across her cloudy fears ?
Alas! the mother who remains,

What comfort can she find
But this,-the gone is happier

Than the one she leaves behind?

Have you a trusty comrade dear,

An old and valued friend ?
Be sure your term of sweet concourse

At length will have an end.
And when you part, -as part you will,-

O take it not unkind,
If he who goes is happier

Than you he leaves behind.

God wills it so, and so it is:

The pilgrims on their way,
Though weak and worn, more cheerful are

Than all the rest who stay.
And when, at last, poor man, subdued,

Lies down, to death resigned,
May he not still be happier far
Than those he leaves behind ?

Eduard Pollock.

ADAMS AND JEFFERSON.

Adams and Jefferson, I have said, are no more. As human beings, indeed, they are no more. They are no more, as in 1776, bold and fearless advocates of independence; no more, as on subsequent periods, the head of the government; no more, as we have recently reen them, aged and venerable objects of admiration and regard. They are no more. They are dead.

But how little is there of the great and good wbich can die! To their country they yet live, and live forever. They live in all that perpetuates the remembrance of men on earth; in the recorded proofs of their own great actions, in the offspring of their intellect, in the deep engraved lines of public gratitude, and in the respect and homage of mankind. They live in their example; and they live, emphatically, and will live, in the influence which their lives and efforts, their principles and opinions, now exercise, and will continue to exercise, on the afrairs of men, not only in their own country, but throughout the civilized world.

A superior and commanding human intellect, a truly great man,—when Heaven vouchsafes so rare a gift,-is not a temporary flame, burning bright for a while, and then expiring, giving place to returning darkness. It is rather a spark of fervent heat, as well as radiant light, with power to enkindle the common mass of human mind; so that, when it glimmers in its own decay, and finally goes out in death, no night follows; but it leaves the world all light, all on fire, from the potent contact of its own spirit.

Bacon died; but the human understanding, roused by the touch of his miraculous wand to a perception of the true philosophy and the just mode of inquiring after truth, has kept on its course successfully and gloriously. Newton died; yet the courses of the spheres are still known, and they yet move on, in the orbits which he saw and described for them, in the infinity of space.

No two men now live,-perhaps it may be doubted whether any two men have ever lived in one age,—who, more than those we now commemorate, have impressed i heir own sentiments, in regard to politics and government, on mankind; infused their own opinions more deeply into the opinions of others; or given a more lasting direction to the current of human thought. Their work doth not perish with them. The tree which they assisted to plant will flourish, although they water it and protect it no longer; for it bas struck its roots deep; it has sent them to the very centre; no storm, not of forca

to burst the orb, can overturn it; its branches spread wide; they stretch their protecting arms broader and broader, and its top is destined to reach the heavens.

We are not deceived. There is no delusion here. No age will come, in which the American revolution will appear less than it is,—one of the greatest events in human history. No age will come, in which it will cease to be seen and felt, on either continent, that a mighty step, a great advance, not only in American affairs, but in human affairs, was made on the 4th of July, 1776. And no age will come, we trust, so ignorant, or so unjust, as not to see and acknowledge the efficient agency of these we now honor, in producing that momentous event.

Daniel Webster.

THE FRENCHMAN AND THE FLEA POWDER.

A Frenchman once,-so runs a certain ditty, -
Had crossed the Straits to famous London city,
To get a living by the arts of France,
And teach his neighbor, rough Jolm Bull, to dance.
But, lacking pupils, vain was all his skill;
His fortunes sank from low to lower still;
Until, at last, -pathetic to relate, -
Poor Monsieur landed at starvation's gate.
Standing, one day, beside a cook-shop door,
And gazing in, with aggravation sore,
He mused within himself what he should do
To fill his empty maw, and pocket too.
By nature shrewd, he soon contrived a plan,
And thus to execute it straight began:
A piece of common brick he quickly found,
And with a harder stone to powder around.

« ZurückWeiter »