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They gathered round the spot where the dying soldier lay,
To catch the broken accents he was struggling then to say;
And a change came o'er the features where death had set his

"It is growing very dark, mother, -very, very dark."

Far away his mind had wandered, to Ohio's hills and vales. Where the loved ones watched and waited with that love that never fails;

He was with them as in childhood, seated in the cottage door, Where he watched the evening shadows slowly creeping on the floor;

Bend down closely, comrades, closely, he is speaking now, and hark,

"It is growing very dark, mother,—very, very dark.”

He was dreaming of his mother,—that her loving hand was pressed

On his brow for one short moment, ere he sank away to rest; That her lips were now imprinting a fond kiss upon his cheek, And a voice he well remembered spoke so soft, and low, and


Her gentle form was near him, her footsteps he could mark,But it's growing very dark, mother,―very, very dark.”

And the eye that once had kindled, flashing forth with patriot light,

Slowly gazing, vainly strove to pierce the gathering gloom of night;

Ah, poor soldier! ah, fond mother! you are severed now for aye;

Cold and pulseless, there he lieth, where he breathed his life away;

Through this heavy cloud of sorrow shines there not one hea venly spark?

Ah! it has grown dark, mother,―very, very dark.


The city slumbers. O'er its mighty walls
Night's dusky mantle, soft and silent, falls;
Sleep o'er the world slow waves its wand of lead,
And ready torpors wrap each sinking head.
Stilled is the stir of labor and of life;
Hushed is the hum, and tranquilized the strife.

Man is at rest, with all his hopes and fears;
The young forget their sports, the old their cares;
The grave are careless; those who joy or weep
All rest contented on the arm of sleep.

Sweet is the pillowed rest of beauty now,
And slumber smiles upon her tranquil brow;
Her bright dreams lead her to the moonlit tide,
Her heart's own partner wandering by her side;
'Tis summer's eve; the soft gales scarcely rouse
The low-voiced ripple and the rustling boughs;
And, faint and far, some minstrel's melting tone
Breathes to her heart a music like its own.

When, hark! O, horror! what a crash is there!
What shriek is that which fills the midnight air?
'Tis fire! 'tis fire! She wakes to dream no more;
The hot blast rushes through the blazing door;
The dun smoke eddies round; and, hark! that cry:
"Help! help! Will no one aid? I die, I die!"
She seeks the casement; shuddering at its height
She turns again; the fierce flames mock her flight;
Along the crackling stairs they fiercely play,
And roar, exulting, as they seize their prey.
"Help! help! Will no one come ?" She can no more,
But, pale and breathless, sinks upon the floor.

Will no one save thee? Yes, there yet is one
Remains to save, when hope itself is gone;
When all have fled, when all but he would fly,
The fireman comes, to rescue or to die.

He mounts the stair,-it wavers 'neath his tread;
He seeks the room, flames flashing round his head;
He bursts the door; he lifts her prostrate frame,
And turns again to brave the raging flame.
The fire-blast smites him with its stifling breath;
The falling timbers menace him with death;
The sinking floors his hurried step betray;
And ruin crashes round his desperate way;
Hot smoke obscures, ten thousand cinders rise,


(From the Widow Bedott Papers.)

He was a wonderful hand to moralize, husband was, 'specially after he begun to enjoy poor health. He made an observation once, when he was in one of his poor turns, that I shall never forget the longest day I live. He says to me, one winter evenin', as we was a settin' by the fire; I was a knittin', (I was always a wonderful great knitter,) and he was a smokin', (he was a master hand to smoke, though the doctor used to tell him he'd be better off to let tobacker alone; when he was well, used to take his pipe and smoke a spell after he'd got the chores done up, and when he wa'n't well, used to smoke the biggest part o' the time.) Well, he took his pipe out o' his mouth, and turned toward me, and I knowed something was comin', for he had a pertikkeler way of lookin' round when he was gwine to say anything oncommon. Well, he says to me, says he, "Silly," (my name was Prissilly naterally, but he most ginerally always called me Silly, 'cause 'twas handier, you know.) Well, he says to me, says he, "Silly," and he looked pretty sollem. I tell you, he had a sollem countenance naterally,—and after he got to be deacon 'twas more so, but since he'd lost his health he looked sollemer than ever, and certingly you wouldent wonder at it if you knowed how much he underwent. He was troubled with a wonderful pain in his chest, and amazin' weakness in the spine of his back, besides the pleurissy in the side, and having the ager a* considerable part of the time, and bein broke of his rest o' nights, 'cause he was so put to't for breath when he laid down.

Why, it's an onaccountable fact, that when that man died he hadent seen a well day in fifteen year, though

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I'd no idee then that Sal Smith was a gwine to be married to Sam Pendergrass. She'd ben keepin' company with Mose Hewlitt for better'n a year, and everybody said that was a settled thing, and, lo and behold! all of a sudding she up and took Sam Pendergrass. Well that was the first time I ever see my husband, and if anybody'd a told me then that I should ever marry him, I should a said-but, lawful sakes! I most forgot, I was gwine to tell you what he said to me that evenin', and when a body begins to tell a thing, I believe in finishin' on't some time or other. Some folks have a way of talkin' round and round and round for evermore, and never comin' to the pint. Now there's Miss Jinkins, she that was Poll Bingham afore she was married, she is the tejusest indiwidooal to tell a story that ever I see in all my born days. But I was gwine to tell you what husband said. He says to me, says he, "Silly;" says I, "What?" I dident say "What Hezekier?" for I dident

like his name. The first time I ever heard it I near killed myself a laffin'. "Hezekier Bedott;" says I. "Well, I would give up if I had such a name;" but then you know I had no more idee o' marryin' the feller than you have this minit o' marryin' the governor. I s'pose you think it's curus we should ha' named our oldest son Hezekier. Well, we done it to please father and mother Bedott; it's father Bedott's name, and he and mother Bedott both used to think that names had ought to go down from gineration to gineration. But we always call him Kier, you know. Speakin o' Kier, he is a blessin', ain't he? and I ain't the only one that thinks so, 1 guess. Now don't you never tell nobody that I said so, but between you and me, I rather guess that if Kezier Winkle thinks she's a gwine to ketch Kier Bedott, she's a leetle out o' her reckonin’. But I was gwine to tell what hus

though I'd no idee what he was gwine to say; dident know but what 'twas something about his sufferings, though he wa'n't apt to complain, but he frequently used to remark that he wouldent wish his worst enemy to suffer one minnit as he did all the time, but that can't be called grumblin'; think it can? Why, I've seen him in sitivations when you'd a thought no mortal could a helped grumblin', but he dident. He and me went once in the dead o' winter in a one-hoss shay out to Boonville, to see a sister o' hisen. You know the snow is amazin' deep in that section o' the kentry. Well, the hoss got stuck in one o' them 'ere flambergasted snow-banks, and there we sot, onable tq,stir, and to cap all, while we was a-sittin' there husband was took with a dretful crick in his back. Now that was what I call a perdickerment, don't you? Most men would a swore, but husband dident. He only said, says he, "Consarn it!" How did we get out, did you ask? Why, we might a been sittin' there to this day, fur as I know, if there hadent a happened to come along a mess o' men in a double team, and they hysted us out.

But I was gwine to tell you that observation o' hisen. Says he to me, says he, "Silly." I could see by the light of the fire, (there dident happen to be no candle burnin', if I don't disremember, though my memory is sometimes ruther forgetful, but I know we wa'n't apt to burn candles 'ceptin' when we had company.) I could see by the light of the fire that his mind was oncommonly sollemnized. Says he to me, says he, "Silly;" I says to him, says I, "What?" He says to me, says he, "We're all poor critters!"

F. M. Whitcher


Would you know why I summoned you together?
Ask ye what brings me here? Behold this dagger,
Clotted with gore. Behold that frozen corse!
See where the lost Lucretia sleeps in death!
She was the mark and model of the time,
The mould in which each female face was formed,

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