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Crime skulks on
With a cat-like trend.
Close to the good;—on they go,
Some to joy, and some to woe,
On, like the waves of a swelling sea,
Annie R. Blount.
THE SAILOR'S FUNERAL.
The ship's bell tolled, and lo! a youthful form,
But there came a tone,
There was a plunge! The riven sea complained, -
Lydia II. Sigourney.
FOES UNITED IN DEATII.
There was no fierceness in the eyes of those men now, as they sat face to face on the bank of the stream; the strife and the anger had all gone now, and they sat still, —dying men, who but a few hours before had been deadly foes,sat still and looked at each other. At last one of them spoke: “We haven't either of us a chance to hold out much longer, I judge.”
“No," said the other, with a little mixture of sadness and recklessness, "you did that last job of yours well, us that bears witness," and he pointed to a wound a little above the heart, from which the life blood was slowly oozing.
“Not better than you did yours," answered the other, with a grim smile, and he pointed io a wound a little higher up, larger and more ragged--a deadly one. And then the two men gazed upon each other again in the dim light; for the moon had come over the hills now, and stood among the stars like a pearl of great price. And as they looked a soft feeling stole over the heart of each toward his fallen foe,-a feeling of pity for the strong manly life laid low,—a feeling of regret for the inexorable necessity of war which made each man the slayer of the other; and at last one spoke: “There are some folks in the world that'll feel worse when you are gone out of it.”
A spasm of pain was on the bronzed, ghastly features. "Yes," said the man, in husky tones, “there's one woman with a boy and girl, away up aniong the New Hampshire mountains, that it will well nigh kill to hear of this;" and the man groaned out in bitter anguish, “O God, have pity on my wife and children !”
And the other drew closer to him: “And away down among the cotton fields of Georgia, there's a woman and a little girl whose hearts will break when they hear what this day has done;" and then the cry wrung itself sharply out of his heart, “ O God, have pity upon them !”
And from that moment the Northerner and the Southerner ceased to be foes. The thought of those distant homes on wbich the anguish was to fall
, drew them closer together in that last hour, and the two men wept like little children.
And at last the Northerner spoke, talking more to hinself than to any one else, and he did not know that the other was listening greedily to every word:
“She used to come, my little girl, bless her heart! every night to meet me when I came home from the fields; and she would stand under the great plum tree, that's just beyond the back door at home, with the sunlight making yellow brown in her golden curls, and the laugh dancing in her eyes when she heard the click of the gate,- I see her now,—and I'd take her in my arms, and she'd put up her little red lips for a kiss; but my little darling will never watch under the old plum tree by the well, for her father, again. I shall never hear the cry of joy as she catches a glimpse of me at the gate. I shall never see her little feet running over the grass to spring into my arms again!"
“And then,” said the Southerner, "there's a little brown-eyed, brown-haired girl, that used to watch in the cool afternoons for her father, when he rode in from bis visit to the plantations. I can see her sweet little face shining out now, from the roses that covered the pillars, and hear her shout of joy as I bounded from my horse, and chased the little flying feet up and down the verandah again."
And the Northerner drew near to the Southerner, and spoke now in a husky whisper, for the eyes of the dying men were glazing fast, “ We have fought here, like men, together. We are going before God in a little while. Let us forgive each other."
The Southerner tried to speak, but the sound died away in a murmur from his white lips; but he took the band of his fallen foe, and his stiffening fingers closed over it, and his last look was a smile of forgiveness and peace When the next morning's sun walked up the gray stairs of the dawn, it looked down and saw the two foes lying dead, with their hands clasped in each other, by the stream which ran close to the battle-field. And the little girl with golden hair, that watched under the plum tree among the hills of New Hampshire, and the little girl with bright brown hair, that waited by the roses among the green fields of Georgia, were fat'erless.
THE JESTER CONDEMNED,
A royal jester
Who used to pester
Which wholesome rule
Some sin, at last, beyond all measure,
Of his serene and raging lighuess;
And sacred beard,
Exclaimed, “'Tis time to stop that breath;
Thou stand'st condemned to certain death.
But such is my indulgence still,
“Since, my last moments to assuage,
I'll die, so please you, of old age !" II Smith.
Set with gems, leads up the blue ?
Eyes of angels looking through?
Paved with stars, across the skies,
That the ransomed spirit flies?
Undivined by human sight?