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THE SINGER. *

YEARS sinco (but names to me before,)
Two sisters sought at eve my door;
Two song-birds wandering from their nest,
A gray old farm-house in the West.

Timid and young, the elder had
Even then à voice too sweetly sad ;
The crown of pain that all must wear
Too early pressed her midnight hair,

Yet ere the summer eve grew long
Her modest lips grew sweet withi song ;
A memory haunted all her words,
Of clover fields and singing birds.

Her dark, dilating eyes expressed
The broacl horizons of the West;
ller speech dropped prairie flowers; the gold
Of harvest wlicat about her rolled.

Fore-doomed to song she seemed to me:
I queried not with destiny ;
I knew the trial and the need,
Yet, all the more, I said, God speed !

What could I other than I did ?
Could I a singing bird forbid ?
Deny the wind-stirred leaf? Rebuke
The music of the forest brook?

She went with morning from my door,
But left me richer than before ;
Thenceforth I knew her voice of cheer,
The welcome of her partial ear.

Years passed; through all the land her namo
A pleasant household word became;
All felt behind the singer stood
A sweet and gracious womanhood.

Her life was earnest work, not play ;
Her tired feet climbed a weary way;
And even through ber lightest strain
We heard an undertone of paili.

Unseen of her, her fair fame grew,
The good she did she rarely knew,
Unguessed of her in life the love
T at rained its tears her grave above.

When last I saw her, full of peace,
She waited for her great release;
And that old friend so sage and bland,
Our later Franklin, hield her hand.

For all that patriot bosoms stirs
Had moved that woman's heart of hers,
And men who toiled in storm and sun
Found lier their meet companion.

Our converse, from her suffering bed
To liealthful themes of life she led ;
The outdoor world of bud and bloom
And light and sweetness filled her room.

Yet evermore an underthought
Of loss to come within us wrought,
And all the while we felt the strain
Of the strong will that conquered pain.

God givetli quietness at last !
The common way that all have passed
She went, with mortal yearnings fond,
To fuller live and love beyond.

Fold the rapt soul in your embrace,
My dear ones! Give the singer place
To you, to her;-I know not where, -
I lift the silence of a prayer.
For only thus our own we find ;
The gone before, the left behind,
All mortal voices die between;
The unheard reaches the unscen.
Again the blackbirds sing; the streams
Wake, laughing, from their winter dreams,
Aud tremble in the April showers
The tassels of the maple llowers.

But not for her has spring renewed
The sweet surprises of the wood;
And bird and flower are lost to her
Who was their best interpreter !
What to shut eyes has God revealed ?
What hear the ears that death has sealed ?
What undreamerl beauty passing show
Requites the loss of all we know?
Oh, silent land, to which we inove,
Enough if there alone be love;
And mortal need can ne'er outgrow
What it is waiting to bestow !
Oh, wbite soul! from that far-off shoid
Float some sweet song the waters o'er,
Our faith contirm, our fears dispel,
With the old voice we loved so well.

J. G. Whiltier.

MARK TWAIN'S DESCRIPTION OF EUROPEAN

GUIDES.
From The Innocents Abroad."

EUROPEAN guides know about enough English to tan gle everything up so that a man can make neither head por tail of it. They know their story by heart, the history of every statue, painting, cathedral, or other wonder they show you. They know it and tell it as a parrot would,—and if you interrupt, and throw them off the track, they have to go back and begin over again. All their lives long, they are employed in showing strange things to foreigners and listening to their bursts of admiration.

It is human nature to take delight in exciting admiration. It is what prompts children to say “smart” things, and do absurd ones, and in other ways' show off” when company is present. It is what makes gossips turn out in rain and storm to go and be the first to tell a startling bit of news.

Think, then, what a passion it becomes with a guide, whose privilege it is, every day, to show to strangers wonders that throw them into perfect ecstasieg of admiration! He gets so that he could not by any possibility live in a soberer atmosphere.

After we discovered this, we never went into ecstasies any more,—we never admired anything,--we never show. ed any but impassible faces and stupid indifference in the presence of the sublimest wonders a guide had to display. We had found their weak point. We have made good use of it ever since. We have made some of those people sarage, at times, but we have never lost our serenity.

The doctor asks the questions generally, because he can keep his countenance, and look more like an inspired idiot, and throw more imbecility into the tone of his voice than any man that lives. It comes natural tn him.

The guides in Genoa are delighted to secure an American party, because Americans so much wonder, and deal so much in sentiment and emotion before any relic of Columbus. Our guide there fidgeted about as if he had swallowed a spring mattress. lle was full of animation, -full of impatience. He said :

Come wis me, genteelmen !--come! I show you ze letter writing by Christopher Columbo !—write it bimself !-write it wis his own hand !--come!"

He took us to the municipal palace. After much impressive fumbling of keys and opening of locks, the stained and aged document was spread before us. The guide's eyes sparkled. He danced about us and tapped the parchment with his finger:

“What I tell you, genteelmen! Is it not so? See! handwriting Christopher Colombo !—write it himself!"

We looked indifferent,-unconcerned. The doctor es. amined the document very deliberately, during a painful pause. Then he said, without any show of interest,

“Ah,—Ferguson,what—what did you say was the name of the party who wrote this ?"

"Christopher Colombo! ze great Christopher Colombo!" Another deliberate examination. “Ah,—did be write it himself, or, or how?

"He write it himself!-Christopher Colombo! he's own handwriting, write by himself!"

Then the doctor laid the document down and said,

“Why, I have seen boys in America only fourteen years old that could write better than that.”

“But zis is ze great Christo—” “I don't care who it is! It's the worst writing I ever saw. Now you mustn't think you can impose on us because we are strangers. We are not fools, by a good deal. If you have got any specimens of penmanship of real merit, trot them out !—and if you haver't, drive on!"

We drove on. The guide was considerably shaken up: but he made one more venture. He had something which he thought would overcome us. He said,

“Ah, genteelmen, you come wis us! I show you beautiful, oh, magnificent bust Christopher Colombo splendid, grand, magnificent !"

He brought us before the beautiful bust,-for it was beautiful,—and sprang back and struck an attitude:

"Ah, look, genteelmen !-beautiful, grand,-bust Chris. topher Colombo !-beautiful bust, beautiful pedestal !"

The doctor put up his eye-glass,-procured for such occasions :

Ah,—what did you say this gentleman's name was ?". “Christopher Colombo!

ze great Christopber Colombo!" Christopher Colombo,—the great Christopher Colombo. Well, what did he do ?”

“Discover America !-discover America, oh, ze devil !"

“Discover America ? No,—that statement will hardly wash. We are just from America ourselves. We heard nothing about it. Christopher Colombo,-pleasant name, -is-is he dead ?"

"Oh, corpo di Baccho !-three hundred year!"
“ What did he die of ?”
“I do not know. I cannot tell.”

Small-pox, think?" “I do not know, gentcelmen,—I do not know what he die of.”

"Measles, likely ?"

“Maybe, -maybe. I do not know,-I think he die of something."

Parents living ?" "Im-posseeble!” Ab, —which is the bust and which is the pedestal ?" “ Santa Maria Izis ze bust!zis ze pedestal!"

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