Her battlements and towers, From off their rocky steep, Have cast their trembling shadow For ages on the deep: Mountain, and lake, and valley, A sacred legend know, Of how the town was saved, one night, Three hundred years ago.
Far from her home and kindred, A Tyrol maid had fled, To serve in the Swiss valleys, And toil for daily bread; And every year that fleeted So silently and fast, Seemed to bear farther from her The memory of the Past.
She served kind, gentle masters, Nor asked for rest or change; Her friends seemed no more new ones, Their speech seemed no more strange And when she led her cattle To pasture every day, She ceased to look and wonder On which side Bregenz lay.
She spoke no more of Bregenz, While longing and with tears; Her Tyrol home seemed faded In a deep mist of years; She heeded not the rumours Of Austrian war and strife; Each day she rose, contented, To the calm toils of life.
Yet, when her master's children Would clustering round her stand, She sang them ancient ballads Of her own native land; And when at morn and evening She knelt before God's throne, The accents of her childhood Rose to her lips alone.
And so she dwelt: the valley More peaceful year by year; When suddenly strange portents Of some great deed seemed near. The golden corn was bending Upon its fragile stalk, While farmers, heedless of their fields, Paced up and down in talk.
The men seemed stern and altered— With looks cast on the ground; With anxious faces, one by one, The women gathered round; All talk of flax, or spinning, Or work, was put away; The very children seemed afraid To go alone to play.
One day, out in the meadow With strangers from the town, Some secret plan discussing, The men walked up and down. Yet now and then seemed watching A strange uncertain gleam, That looked like lances 'mid the trees That stood below the stream.
At eve they all assembled, Then care and doubt were fled; With jovial laugh they feasted; The board was nobly spread. The elder of the village Rose up, his glass in hand, And cried, "We drink the downfall Of an accursed land!
"The night is growing darker, Ere one more day is flown, Bregenz, our foemens' stronghold, Bregenz shall be our own!" The women shrank in terror (Yet Pride, too, had her part), But one poor Tyrol maiden Felt death within her heart.
Before her stood fair Bregenz; Once more her towers arose; What were the friends beside her? Only her country's foes! The faces of her kinsfolk, The days of childhood flown, The echoes of her mountains, Reclaimed her as their own.
Nothing she heard around her (Though shouts rang forth again), Gone were the green Swiss valleys, The pasture, and the plain; Before her eyes one vision, And in her heart one cry, That said, "Go forth, save Bregenz, And then, if need be, die!"
With trembling haste, and breathless, With noiseless step, she sped; Horses and weary cattle Were standing in the shed; She loosed the strong, white charger, That fed from out her hand, She mounted, and she turned his head Toward her native land.
Out—out into the darkness— Faster, and still more fast; The smooth grass flies behind her, The chestnut wood is past; She looks up; clouds are heavy; Why is her steed so slow? Scarcely the wind beside them Can pass them as they go.
"Faster!" she cries, "O faster!" Eleven the church-bells chime: "O God," she cries, "help Bregenz, And bring me there in time!" But louder than bells' ringing, Or lowing of the kine, Grows nearer in the midnight The rushing of the Rhine.
Shall not the roaring waters Their headlong gallop check? The steed draws back in terror— She leans upon his neck To watch the flowing darkness; The bank is high and steep; One pause—he staggers forward, And plunges in the deep.
She strives to pierce the blackness, And looser throws the rein; Her steed must breast the waters That dash above his mane. How gallantly, how nobly, He struggles through the foam, And see—in the far distance Shine out the lights of home!
Up the steep bank he bears her, And now, they rush again Towards the heights of Bregenz, That tower above the plain. They reach the gate of Bregenz Just as the midnight rings, And out come serf and soldier To meet the news she brings.
Bregenz is saved! Ere daylight Her battlements are manned; Defiance greets the army That marches on the land. And if to deeds heroic Should endless fame be paid, Bregenz does well to honour That noble Tyrol maid.
Three hundred years are vanished, And yet upon the hill An old stone gateway rises. To do her honour still. And there, when Bregenz women Sit spinning in the shade, They see in quaint old carving The Charger and the Maid.
And when, to guard old Bregenz, By gateway, street, and tower, The warder paces all night long And calls each passing hour: "Nine," "ten," "eleven," he cries aloud, And then (O crown of Fame!) When midnight pauses in the skies, He calls the maiden's name!
Adelaide A. Procter.
* * * * *
A TARRYTOWN ROMANCE.
'Twas in ye pleasant olden time, Oh! many years ago, When husking bees and singing-schools Were all the fun, you know.
The singing-school in Tarrytown, A quaint old town in Maine— Was wisely taught and grandly led By a young man named Paine.
A gallant gentleman was Paine, Who liked the lasses well; But best he liked Miss Patience White, As all his school could tell.
One night the singing-school had met; Young Paine, all carelessly, Had turned the leaves and said: "We'll sing On page one-seventy."
"'See gentle patience smile on pain.'" On Paine they all then smiled, But not so gently as they might; And he, confused and wild.
Searched quickly for another place, As quickly gave it out; The merriment, suppressed before, Rose now into a shout.
These were the words that met his eyes (He sank down with a groan); "Oh! give me grief for others' woes, And patience for my own!"
* * * * *
THE BISHOPS VISIT.
Tell you about it? Of course, I will! I thought 'twould be dreadful to have him come, For Mamma said I must be quiet and still, And she put away my whistle and drum—
And made me unharness the parlour chairs, And packed my cannon and all the rest Of my noisiest playthings off up stairs, On account of this very distinguished guest.
Then every room was turned upside down, And all the carpets hung out to blow; For when the Bishop is coming to town, The house must be in order you know.
So out in the kitchen I made my lair, And started a game of hide-and-seek; But Bridget refused to have me there, For the Bishop was coming—to stay a week—
And she must make cookies and cakes and pies, And fill every closet and platter and pan, Till I thought this Bishop so great and wise, Must be an awfully hungry man.
Well, at last he came; and I do declare, Dear grandpapa, he looked just like you, With his gentle voice and his silvery hair, And eyes with a smile a-shining through.
And whenever he read, or talked, or prayed, I understood every single word; And I wasn't the leastest bit afraid, Though I never once spoke or stirred;
Till, all of a sudden, he laughed right out To see me sit quietly listening so; And began to tell us stories about Some queer little fellows in Mexico.
All about Egypt and Spain—and then He wasn't disturbed by a little noise, But said that the greatest and best of men Once were rollicking, healthy boys.
And he thinks it no great matter at all If a little boy runs and jumps and climbs; And Mamma should be willing to let me crawl Through the bannister-rails, in the hall, sometimes.
And Bridget, she made a great mistake, In stirring up such a bother, you see, For the Bishop—he didn't care for cake, And really liked to play games with me.
But though he's so honoured in words and act— (Stoop down, for this is a secret now)— He couldn't spell Boston! That's a fact! But whispered to me to tell him how.
Emily Huntington Miller.
* * * * *
HANNAH BINDING SHOES.
Poor lone Hannah, Sitting at the window, binding shoes! Faded, wrinkled, Sitting, stitching, in a mournful muse. Bright-eyed beauty once was she, When the bloom was on the tree;— Spring and winter, Hannah's at the window, binding shoes.
Not a neighbour Passing, nod or answer will refuse To her whisper, "Is there from the fishers any news?" Oh, her heart's adrift with one On an endless voyage gone;— Night and morning, Hannah's at the window, binding shoes.
Fair young Hannah, Ben the sunburnt fisher, gaily woos; Hale and clever, For a willing heart and hand he sues May-day skies are all aglow, And the waves are laughing so! For her wedding Hannah leaves her window and her shoes.
May is passing; 'Mid the apple-boughs a pigeon coos; Hannah shudders, For the wild south-wester mischief brews. Round the rocks of Marblehead, Outward bound a schooner sped; Silent, lonesome, Hannah's at the window, binding shoes.
'Tis November: Now no tear her wasted cheek bedews, From Newfoundland Not a sail returning will she lose, Whispering hoarsely: "Fishermen, Have you, have you heard of Ben?" Old with watching, Hannah's at the window, binding shoes.
Twenty winters Bleak and drear the ragged shore she views, Twenty seasons! Never one has brought her any news. Still her dim eyes silently Chase the white sails o'er the sea;— Hopeless, faithful, Hannah's at the window, binding shoes.
* * * * *
BELLS ACROSS THE SNOW.
O Christmas, merry Christmas! Is it really come again? With its memories and greetings, With its joy and with its pain There's a minor in the carol, And a shadow in the light, And a spray of cypress twining With the holly wreath to-night. And the hush is never broken, By the laughter light and low, As we listen in the starlight To the bells across the snow!
O Christmas, merry Christmas! 'Tis not so very long Since other voices blended With the carol and the song! If we could but hear them singing, As they are singing now, If we could but see the radiance Of the crown on each dear brow; There would be no sigh to smother, No hidden tear to flow, As we listen in the starlight To the bells across the snow!
O Christmas, merry Christmas! This never more can be; We cannot bring again the days Of our unshadowed glee. But Christmas, happy Christmas! Sweet herald of good-will, With holy songs of glory Brings holy gladness still. For peace and hope may brighten, And patient love may glow, As we listen in the starlight To the bells across the snow!
Frances Ridley Havergal.
* * * * *
A MODEST WIT.
A supercilious nabob of the East— Haughty, being great—purse-proud, being rich— A governor, or general, at the least, I have forgotten which— Had in his family a humble youth, Who went from England in his patron's suite, An unassuming boy, and in truth A lad of decent parts, and good repute.
This youth had sense and spirit; But yet, with all his sense, Excessive diffidence Obscured his merit.
One day, at table, flushed with pride and wine, His honour, proudly free, severely merry, Conceived it would be vastly fine To crack a joke upon his secretary.
"Young man," he said, "by what art, craft, or trade, Did your good father gain a livelihood?" "He was a saddler, sir," Modestus said, "And in his time was reckon'd good."
"A saddler, eh! and taught you Greek, Instead of teaching you to sew! Pray, why did not your father make A saddler, sir, of you?"
Each parasite, then, as in duty bound, The joke applauded, and the laugh went round. At length Modestus, bowing low, Said (craving pardon, if too free he made), "Sir, by your leave, I fain would know Your father's trade!"
"My father's trade! by heaven, that's too bad! My father's trade? Why, blockhead, are you mad? My father, sir, did never stoop so low— He was a gentleman, I'd have you know."
"Excuse the liberty I take," Modestus said, with archness on his brow, "Pray, why did not your father make A gentleman of you?"
* * * * *
"NAY, I'LL STAY WITH THE LAD."
Six hundred souls one summer's day, Worked in the deep, dark Hutton seams; Men were hewing the coal away, Boys were guiding the loaded teams. Horror of darkness was everywhere; It was coal above, and coal below, Only the miner's guarded lamp Made in the gloom a passing glow.
Down in the deep, black Hutton seams There came a flowery, balmy breath; Men dropped their tools, and left their teams, They knew the balmy air meant death, And fled before the earthquake shock, The cruel fire-damp's fatal course, That tore apart the roof and walls, And buried by fifties, man and horse.
"The shaft! the shaft!" they wildly cried; And as they ran they passed a cave, Where stood a father by his son— The child had found a living grave, And lay among the shattered coal, His little life had almost sped. "Fly! fly! For there may yet be time!" The father calmly, firmly said: "Nay; I'll stay with the lad."
He had no hurt; he yet might reach The blessed sun and light again. But at his feet his child lay bound, And every hope of help was vain. He let deliverance pass him by; He stooped and kissed the little face; "I will not leave thee by thyself, Ah! lad; this is thy father's place."
So Self before sweet Love lay slain. In the deep mine again was told The story of a father's love. Older than mortal man is old; For though they urged him o'er and o'er, To every prayer he only had The answer he had found at first, "Nay; I'll stay with the lad."
And when some weary days had passed, And men durst venture near the place, They lay where Death had found them both, But hand in hand, and face to face. And men were better for that sight, And told the tale with tearful breath; There was not one but only felt, The man had died a noble death, And left this thought for all to keep— If earthly fathers can so love, Ah, surely, we may safely lean Upon the Fatherhood above!
Lillie E. Barr.
* * * * *
MARY MALONEY'S PHILOSOPHY.
"What are you singing for?" said I to Mary Maloney.
"Oh, I don't know, ma'am, without it's because my heart feels happy."
"Happy are you, Mary Maloney? Let me see; you don't own a foot of land in the world?"
"Foot of land, is it?" she cried, with a hearty Irish laugh; "oh, what a hand ye be after joking; why I haven't a penny, let alone the land."
"Your mother is dead!"
"God rest her soul, yes," replied Mary Maloney, with a touch of genuine pathos; "may the angels make her bed in heaven."
"Your brother is still a hard case, I suppose."
"Ah, you may well say that. It's nothing but drink, drink, drink, and beating his poor wife, that she is, the creature."
You have to pay your little sister's board."
"Sure, the bit creature, and she's a good little girl, is Hinny, willing to do whatever I axes her. I don't grudge the money what goes for that."
"You haven't many fashionable dresses, either, Mary Maloney."
"Fashionable, is it? Oh, yes, I put a piece of whalebone in my skirt, and me calico gown looks as big as the great ladies. But then ye says true, I hasn't but two gowns to me back, two shoes, to me feet, and one bonnet to me head, barring the old hood you gave me."
"You haven't any lover, Mary Maloney."
"Oh, be off wid ye—ketch Mary Maloney getting a lover these days, when the hard times is come. No, no, thank Heaven I haven't got that to trouble me yet, nor I don't want it."
"What on earth, then, have you got to make you happy? A drunken brother, a poor helpless sister, no mother, no father, no lover; why, where do you get all your happiness from?"
"The Lord be praised, Miss, it growed up in me. Give me a bit of sunshine, a clean flure, plenty of work, and a sup at the right time, and I'm made. That makes me laugh and sing, and then if deep trouble comes, why, God helpin' me, I'll try to keep my heart up. Sure, it would be a sad thing if Patrick McGrue should take it into his head to come an ax me, but, the Lord willin', I'd try to bear up under it."
* * * * *
THE POLISH BOY.
Whence came those shrieks, so wild and shrill, That like an arrow cleave the air, Causing the blood to creep and thrill With such sharp cadence of despair? Once more they come! as if a heart Were cleft in twain by one quick blow, And every string had voice apart To utter its peculiar woe!
Whence came they? From yon temple, where An altar raised for private prayer Now forms the warrior's marble bed, Who Warsaw's gallant armies led. The dim funereal tapers throw A holy lustre o'er his brow, And burnish with their rays of light The mass of curls that gather bright Above the haughty brow and eye Of a young boy that's kneeling by.
What hand is that whose icy press Clings to the dead with death's own grasp, But meets no answering caress— No thrilling fingers seek its clasp? It is the hand of her whose cry Rang wildly late upon the air, When the dead warrior met her eye, Outstretched upon the altar there.
Now with white lips and broken moan She sinks beside the altar stone; But hark! the heavy tramp of feet Is heard along the gloomy street; Nearer and nearer yet they come, With clanking arms and noiseless drum. They leave the pavement. Flowers that spread Their beauties by the path they tread Are crushed and broken. Crimson hands Rend brutally their blooming bands. Now whispered curses, low and deep, Around the holy temple creep.
The gate is burst. A ruffian band Rush in and savagely demand, With brutal voice and oath profane, The startled boy for exile's chain.
The mother sprang with gesture wild, And to her bosom snatched the child; Then with pale cheek and flashing eye, Shouted with fearful energy,— "Back, ruffians, back! nor dare to tread Too near the body of my dead! Nor touch the living boy—I stand Between him and your lawless band! No traitor he—but listen! I Have cursed your master's tyranny. I cheered my lord to join the band Of those who swore to free our land, Or fighting, die; and when he pressed Me for the last time to his breast, I knew that soon his form would be Low as it is, or Poland free. He went and grappled with the foe, Laid many a haughty Russian low; But he is dead—the good—the brave— And I, his wife, am worse—a slave! Take me, and bind these arms, these hands, With Russia's heaviest iron bands, And drag me to Siberia's wild To perish, if 'twill save my child!"
"Peace, woman, peace!" the leader cried, Tearing the pale boy from her side; And in his ruffian grasp he bore His victim to the temple door.
"One moment!" shrieked the mother, "one; Can land or gold redeem my son? If so, I bend my Polish knee, And, Russia, ask a boon of thee. Take palaces, take lands, take all, But leave him free from Russian thrall. Take these," and her white arms and hands She stripped of rings and diamond bands, And tore from braids of long black hair The gems that gleamed like star-light there; Unclasped the brilliant coronal And carcanet of orient pearl; Her cross of blazing rubies last Down to the Russian's feet she cast.
He stooped to seize the glittering store; Upspringing from the marble floor; The mother, with a cry of joy, Snatched to her leaping heart the boy! But no—the Russian's iron grasp Again undid the mother's clasp. Forward she fell, with one long cry Of more than mother's agony.
But the brave child is roused at length, And breaking from the Russian's hold, He stands, a giant in the strength Of his young spirit, fierce and bold.
Proudly he towers, his flashing eye, So blue and fiercely bright, Seems lighted from the eternal sky, So brilliant is its light. His curling lips and crimson cheeks Foretell the thought before he speaks. With a full voice of proud command He turns upon the wondering band.
"Ye hold me not! no, no, nor can; This hour has made the boy a man. The world shall witness that one soul Fears not to prove itself a Pole.
"I knelt beside my slaughtered sire, Nor felt one throb of vengeful ire; I wept upon his marble brow— Yes, wept—I was a child; but now My noble mother on her knee, Has done the work of years for me. Although in this small tenement My soul is cramped—unbowed, unbent I've still within me ample power To free myself this very hour. This dagger in my heart! and then, Where is your boasted power, base men?"
He drew aside his broidered vest, And there, like slumbering serpent's crest, The jewelled haft of a poinard bright, Glittered a moment on the sight. "Ha! start ye back? Fool! coward! knave! Think ye my noble father's glaive, Could drink the life blood of a slave? The pearls that on the handle flame, Would blush to rubies in their shame. The blade would quiver in thy breast, Ashamed of such ignoble rest! No; thus I rend thy tyrant's chain, And fling him back a boy's disdain!"
A moment, and the funeral light Flashed on the jewelled weapon bright; Another, and his young heart's blood Leaped to the floor a crimson flood. Quick to his mother's side he sprang, And on the air his clear voice rang— "Up, mother, up! I'm free! I'm free! The choice was death or slavery: Up! mother, up! look on my face, I only wait for thy embrace. One last, last word—a blessing, one, To prove thou knowest what I have done, No look! No word! Canst thou not feel My warm blood o'er thy heart congeal? Speak, mother, speak—lift up thy head. What, silent still? Then thou art dead! Great God, I thank thee! Mother, I Rejoice with thee, and thus to die." Slowly he falls. The clustering hair Rolls back and leaves that forehead bare. One long, deep breath, and his pale head Lay on his mother's bosom, dead.
Mrs. Ann S. Stephens.
* * * * *
THOUGH LOST TO SIGHT, TO MEMORY DEAR.
Sweetheart, good-bye! the flutt'ring sail Is spread to waft me far from thee, And soon before the favouring gale My ship shall bound upon the sea. Perchance, all desolate and forlorn, These eyes shall miss thee many a year; But unforgotten every charm— Though lost to sight, to memory dear.
Sweetheart, good-bye! one last embrace; O, cruel fate, two souls to sever! Yet in this heart's most sacred place Thou, thou alone shalt dwell forever; And still shall recollection trace In fancy's mirror, ever near, Each smile, each tear—that form, that face— Though lost to sight, to memory dear.
* * * * *
Once upon an evening bleary, While I sat me dreaming, dreary, In the parlour thinking o'er Things that passed in days of yore, While I nodded, nearly sleeping, Gently came something creeping, Creeping upward from the floor. "'Tis a cooling breeze," I muttered, "From the regions 'neath the floor: Only this and nothing more."
Ah! distinctly I remember— It was in that wet September, When the earth and every member Of creation that it bore, Had for weeks and months been soaking In the meanest, most provoking, Foggy rain, that without joking, We had ever seen before. So I knew it must be very Cold and damp beneath the floor, Very cold beneath the floor.
So I sat me, nearly napping, In the sunshine, stretching, gaping, With a feeling quite delighted With the breezes 'neath the floor, Till I felt me growing colder, And the stretching waxing bolder, And myself now feeling older, Older than I felt before; Feeling that my joints were stiffer Than they were in days of yore, Stiffer than they'd been before.
All along my back, the creeping Soon gave place to rustling, leaping, As if countless frozen demons Had concluded to explore All the cavities—the varmints!— 'Twixt me and my nether garments, Through my boots into the floor: Then I found myself a shaking, Gently shaking more and more, Every moment more and more.
'Twas the ague; and it shook me Into heavy clothes, and took me Shaking to the kitchen, every Place where there was warmth in store, Shaking till the china rattled, Shaking till the morals battled; Shaking, and with all my warming, Feeling colder than before; Shaking till it had exhausted All its powers to shake me more. Till it could not shake me more.
Then it rested till the morrow, When it came with all the horror That it had the face to borrow, Shaking, shaking as before, And from that day in September— Day which I shall long remember— It has made diurnal visits, Shaking, shaking, oh! so sore, Shaking off my boots, and shaking Me to bed if nothing more, Fully this if nothing more.
And to-day the swallows flitting Bound my cottage see me sitting Moodily within the sunshine Just inside my silent door, Waiting for the ague, seeming Like a man forever dreaming, And the sunlight on me streaming, Casts no shadow on the floor, For I am too thin and sallow To make shadows on the floor, Never a shadow any more.
* * * * *
THE OLD MAN IN THE MODEL CHURCH.
Well, wife, I've found the model church! I worshipped there to-day! It made me think of good old times before my hairs were gray; The meetin' house was fixed up more than they were years ago, But then I felt, when I went in, it wasn't built for show.
The sexton didn't seat me away back by the door; He knew that I was old and deaf, as well as old and poor; He must have been a Christian, for he led me boldly through The long aisle of that crowded church to find a pleasant pew.
I wish you'd heard the singin'; it had the old-time ring; The preacher said, with trumpet voice: "Let all the people sing!" The tune was "Coronation," and the music upward rolled, Till I thought I heard the angels striking all their harps of gold.
My deafness seemed to melt away; my spirit caught the fire; I joined my feeble, trembling voice with that melodious choir, And sang as in my youthful days: "Let angels prostrate fall; Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all."
I tell you, wife, it did me good to sing that hymn once more; I felt like some wrecked mariner who gets a glimpse of shore; I almost wanted to lay down this weather-beaten form, And anchor in that blessed port, forever from the storm.
The prech'en? Well, I can't just tell all that the preacher said; I know it wasn't written; I know it wasn't read; He hadn't time to read it, for the lightnin' of his eye Went flashin' 'long from pew to pew, nor passed a sinner by.
The sermon wasn't flowery; 'twas simple gospel truth; It fitted poor old men like me; it fitted hopeful youth; 'Twas full of consolation, for weary hearts that bleed; 'Twas full of invitations to Christ and not to creed.
How swift the golden moments fled, within that holy place; How brightly beamed the light of heaven from every happy face; Again I longed for that sweet time, when friend shall meet with friend, "When congregations ne'er break up, and Sabbath has no end."
I hope to meet that minister—that congregation, too— In that dear home beyond the stars that shine from heaven's blue; I doubt not I'll remember, beyond life's evenin' gray, The happy hour of worship in that model church to-day.
Dear wife, the fight will soon be fought—the victory soon be won; The shinin' goal is just ahead; the race is nearly run; O'er the river we are nearin', they are throngin' to the shore, To shout our safe arrival where the weary weep no more.
John H. Yates.
* * * * *
THE YOUNG GRAY HEAD.
I'm thinking that to-night, if not before, There'll be wild work. Dost hear old Chewton roar. It's brewing up, down westward; and look there! One of those sea-gulls! ay, there goes a pair; And such a sudden thaw! If rain comes on As threats, the water will be out anon. That path by the ford is a nasty bit of way, Best let the young ones bide from school to-day.
The children join in this request; but the mother resolves that they shall set out—the two girls, Lizzie and Jenny, the one five, the other seven. As the dame's will was law, so—
One last fond kiss— "God bless my little maids," the father said, And cheerily went his way to win their bread.
Prepared for their journey they depart, with the mother's admonition to the elder—
"Now mind and bring Jenny safe home," the mother said. "Don't stay To pull a bough or berry by the way; And when you come to cross the ford hold fast Your little sister's hand till you're quite past, That plank is so crazy, and so slippery If not overflowed the stepping stones will be; But you're good children—steady as old folk, I'd trust ye anywhere." Then Lizzie's cloak (A good gray duffle) lovingly she tied, And amply little Jenny's lack supplied With her own warmest shawl. "Be sure," said she, "To wrap it round, and knot it carefully, (Like this) when you come home—just leaving free One hand to hold by. Now, make haste away— Good will to school, and then good right to play."
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 hidden in his hat—
A plaything for the young ones he has found— A dormouse nest; the living ball coil'd round For its long winter sleep; all his thought As he trudged stoutly homeward, was of naught But the glad wonderment in Jenny's eyes, And graver Lizzie'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?"—t'was, "No," To throw his tools down, hastily unhook The old crack'd lantern from its dusky 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 neighbour 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 he 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 stop't 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 I;" 'Twas Lizzie's. There she crouched with face as white, More ghastly, by the flickering lantern light, Than sheeted corpse. The pale blue lips drawn tight, Wide parted, showing all the pearly teeth, And eyes on some dark object underneath, Washed by the turbid waters, fix'd like stone— One arm and hand stretched out, and rigid grown, Grasping, as in the death-grip, Jenny's frock. There she lay, drown'd. They lifted her from out her watery bed— Its covering gone, the lovely little head 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 hold, 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 Lizzie," was the thought that rived The wretched mother'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 won't move—we slept—I don't know how— But I held on, and I'm so weary now— And its so dark and cold! Oh, dear! oh, dear! And she won't move—if father were but here!" All night long from side to side she turn'd, Piteously plaining like a wounded dove. With now and then the murmur, "She won't move," And lo! when morning, as in mockery, bright Shone on that pillow—passing strange the sight, The young head's raven hair was streaked with white!
* * * * *
SCENE AT NIAGARA FALLS.
It is summer. A party of visitors are just crossing the iron bridge that extends from the American shore to Goat's Island, about a quarter of a mile above the Falls. Just as they are about to leave, while watching the stream as it plunges and dashes among the rocks below, the eye of one fastens on something clinging to a rock, caught on the very verge of the Falls. Scarcely willing to believe his own vision, he directs the attention of his companions. The terrible news spreads like lightning, and in a few minutes the bridge and the surrounding shore are covered with thousands of spectators. "Who is he?" "How did he get there?" are questions every person proposed, but answered by none. No voice is heard above the awful flood, but a spy-glass shows frequent efforts to speak to the gathering multitude. Such silent appeals exceed the eloquence of words; they are irresistible, and something must be done. A small boat is soon upon the bridge, and with a rope attached sets out upon its fearless voyage, but is instantly sunk. Another and another are tried, but they are all swallowed up by the angry waters. A large one might possibly survive; but none is at hand. Away to Buffalo a car is despatched, and never did the iron horse thunder along its steel-bound track on such a godlike mission. Soon the most competent life- boat is upon the spot. All eyes are fixed upon the object, as trembling and tossing amid the boiling white waves it survives the roughest waters. One breaker past and it will have reached the object of its mission. But being partly filled with water and striking a sunken rock, that next wave sends it hurling to the bottom. An involuntary groan passes through the dense multitude, and hope scarcely nestles in a single bosom. The sun goes down in gloom, and as darkness comes on and the crowd begins to scatter, methinks the angels looking over the battlements on high drop a tear of pity on the scene. The silvery stars shine dimly through their curtain of blue. The multitude are gone, and the sufferer is left with his God. Long before morning he must be swept over that dreadful abyss; he clings to that rock with all the tenacity of despair, and as he surveys the horrors of his position strange visions in the air come looming up before him. He sees his home, his wife and children there; he sees the home of his childhood; he sees that mother as she used to soothe his childish fears upon her breast; he sees a watery grave, and then the vision closes in tears. In imagination he hears the hideous yells of demons, and mingled prayers and curses die upon his lips.
No sooner does morning dawn than the multitude again rush to the scene of horror, Soon a shout is heard: he is there; he is still alive. Just now a carriage arrives upon the bridge, and a woman leaps from it and rushes to the most favourable point of observation. She had driven from Chippewa, three miles above the Falls; her husband had crossed the river night before last, and had not returned, and she fears he may be clinging to that rock. All eyes are turned for a moment toward the anxious woman, and no sooner is a glass handed to her fixed upon the object than she shrieks, "Oh, my husband!" and sinks senseless to the earth. The excitement, before intense, seems now almost unendurable, and something must again be tried. A small raft is constructed, and, to the surprise of all, swings up beside the rock to which the sufferer had clung for the last forty-eight hours. He instantly throws himself full length upon it. Thousands are pulling at the end of the rope, and with skillful management a few rods are gained toward the nearest shore. What tongue can tell, what pencil can paint, the anxiety with which that little bark is watched as, trembling and tossing amid the roughest waters, it nears that rock-bound coast? Save Niagara's eternal roar, all is silent as the grave. His wife sees it and is only restrained by force from rushing into the river. Hope instantly springs into every bosom, but it is only to sink into deeper gloom. The angel of death has spread his wings over that little bark; the poor man's strength is almost gone; each wave lessens his grasp more and more, but all will be safe if that nearest wave is past. But that next surging billow breaks his hold upon the pitching timbers, the next moment hurling him to the awful verge, where, with body, erect, hands clenched, and eyes that are taking their last look of earth, he shrieks, above Niagara's eternal roar, "Lost!" and sinks forever from the gaze of man.
* * * * *
"CURFEW MUST NOT RING TO-NIGHT."
Slowly England's sun was setting o'er the hilltops far away, Filling all the land with beauty at the close of one sad day, And the last rays kissed the forehead of a man and maiden fair,— He with footsteps slow and weary, she with sunny, floating hair; He with bowed head, sad and thoughtful, she with lips all cold and white, Struggled to keep back the murmur,— "Curfew must not ring to-night."
"Sexton," Bessie's white lips faltered, pointing to the prison old, With its turrets tall and gloomy, with its walls dark, damp and cold, "I've a lover in that prison, doomed this very night to die, At the ringing of the curfew—and no earthly help is nigh; Cromwell will not come till sunset," and her lips grew strangely white As she breathed the husky whisper,— "Curfew must not ring to-night"
"Bessie," calmly spoke the sexton, every word pierced her young heart Like the piercing of an arrow, like a deadly, poisoned dart. "Long, long years I've rung the curfew from that gloomy, shadowed tower; Every evening, just at sunset, it has told the twilight hour; I have done my duty ever, tried to do it just and right, Now I'm old I still must do it, Curfew it must ring to-night."
Wild her eyes and pale her features, stern and white her thoughtful brow, And within her secret bosom, Bessie made a solemn vow. She had listened while the judges read without a tear or sigh, "At the ringing of the curfew, Basil Underwood must die." And her breath came fast and faster, and her eyes grew large and bright— In an undertone she murmured,— "Curfew must not ring to-night."
She with quick steps bounded forward, sprung within the old church door, Left the old man treading slowly paths so oft he'd trod before; Not one moment paused the maiden, but with eye and cheek aglow, Mounted up the gloomy tower, where the bell swung to and fro; And she climbed the dusty ladder on which fell no ray of light, Up and up—her white lips saying— "Curfew shall not ring to-night."
She has reached the topmost ladder, o'er her hangs the great dark bell; Awful is the gloom beneath her, like a pathway down to hell. Lo, the ponderous tongue is swinging, 'tis the hour of curfew now And the sight has chilled her bosom, stopped her breath, and paled her brow. Shall she let it ring? No, never! Flash her eyes with sudden light, And she springs and grasps it firmly— "Curfew shall not ring to-night."
Out she swung, far out, the city seemed a speck of light below, 'Twixt heaven and earth her form suspended, as the bell swung to and fro, And the sexton at the bell rope, old and deaf, heard not the bell, But he thought it still was ringing fair young Basil's funeral knell. Still the maiden clung most firmly, and with trembling lips and white, Said to hush her heart's wild beating,— "Curfew shall not ring to-night."
It was o'er, the bell ceased swaying, and the maiden stepped once more Firmly on the dark old ladder, where for hundred years before, Human foot had not been planted. The brave deed that she had done Should be told long ages after, as the rays of setting sun Should illume the sky with beauty; aged sires with heads of white, Long should tell the little children, Curfew did not ring that night.
O'er the distant hills came Cromwell; Bessie sees him and her brow, Full of hope and full of gladness, has no anxious traces now. At his feet she tells her story, shows her hands all bruised and torn; And her face so sweet and pleading, yet with sorrow pale and worn, Touched his heart with sudden pity, lit his eye with misty light: "Go, your lover lives," said Cromwell, "Curfew shall not ring to-night!"
* * * * *
GERTRUDE OF WYOMING.
Here were not mingled, in the city's pomp, Of life's extremes the grandeur and the gloom; Judgment awoke not here her dismal trump, Nor sealed in blood a fellow-creature's doom; Nor mourned the captive in a living tomb. One venerable man, beloved of all, Sufficed, where innocence was yet in bloom, To sway the strife, that seldom might befall; And Albert was their judge in patriarchal hall.
How reverend was the look, serenely aged, He bore, this gentle Pennsylvanian sire, Where all but kindly fervours were assuaged, Undimmed by weakness' shade, or turbid ire! And though, amidst the calm of thought, entire, Some high and haughty features might betray A soul impetuous once, 'twas earthly fire That fled composure's intellectual ray, As Aetna's fires grow dim before the rising day.
I boast no song in magic wonders rife; But yet, O Nature! is there naught to prize, Familiar in thy bosom scenes of life? And dwells in daylight truth's salubrious skies No form with which the soul may sympathize?— Young, innocent, on whose sweet forehead mild The parted ringlet shone in sweetest guise, An inmate in the home of Albert smiled, Or blessed his noonday walk;—she was his only child.
The rose of England bloomed on Gertrude's cheek:— What though these shades had seen her birth, her sire A Briton's independence taught to seek Far western worlds; and there his household fire The light of social love did long inspire; And many a halcyon day he lived to see, Unbroken but by one misfortune dire, When fate had reft his mutual heart—but she Was gone;—and Gertrude climbed a widowed father's knee.
A loved bequest;—and I may half impart To them that feel the strong paternal tie, How like a new existence to his heart That living flower uprose beneath his eye, Dear as she was from cherub infancy, From hours when she would round his garden play, To time when, as the ripening years went by, Her lovely mind could culture well repay, And more engaging grew, from pleasing day to day.
I may not paint those thousand infant charms; (Unconscious fascination, undesigned!) The orison repeated in his arms, For God to bless her sire and all mankind; The book, the bosom on his knee reclined; Or how sweet fairy-lore he heard her con, (The playmate ere the teacher of her mind!) All uncompanioned else her heart had gone, Till now, in Gertrude's eyes, their ninth blue summer shone.
* * * * *
AN AUTUMN DAY.
But now a joy too deep for sound, A peace no other season knows, Hushes the heavens, and wraps the ground,— The blessing of supreme repose. Away! I will not be, to-day, The only slave of toil and care; Away! from desk and dust, away! I'll be as idle as the air. Beneath the open sky abroad, Among the plants and breathing things, The sinless, peaceful works of God, I'll share the calm the season brings. Come thou, in whose soft eyes I see The gentle meaning of the heart,— One day amid the woods with thee, From men and all their cares apart;— And where, upon the meadow's breast, The shadow of the thicket lies, The blue wild flowers thou gatherest Shall glow yet deeper near thine eyes. Come,—and when 'mid the calm profound, I turn those gentle eyes to seek, They, like the lovely landscape round, Of innocence and peace shall speak. Rest here, beneath the unmoving shade; And on the silent valleys gaze, Winding and widening, till they fade In yon soft ring of summer haze. The village trees their summits rear Still as its spire; and yonder flock, At rest in those calm fields, appear As chiselled from the lifeless rock. One tranquil mount the scene o'erlooks, Where the hushed winds their Sabbath keep, While a near hum from bees and brooks, Comes faintly like the breath of sleep.— Well might the gazer deem, that when, Worn with the struggle and the strife, And heart-sick at the sons of men, The good forsake the scenes of life,— Like the deep quiet, that awhile Lingers the lovely landscape o'er, Shall be the peace whose holy smile Welcomes them to a happier shore!
* * * * *
Our love is not a fading earthly flower: Its winged seed dropped down from Paradise, And, nursed by day and night, by sun and shower Doth momently to fresher beauty rise. To us the leafless autumn is not bare, Nor winter's rattling boughs lack lusty green: Our summer hearts make summer's fullness where No leaf or bud or blossom may be seen: For nature's life in love's deep life doth lie, Love,—whose forgetfulness is beauty's death, Whose mystic key these cells of Thou and I Into the infinite freedom openeth, And makes the body's dark and narrow grate The wide-flung leaves of Heaven's palace-gate.
James Russell Lowell.
* * * * *
My baby boy sat on the floor; His big blue eyes were full of wonder For he had never seen before That baby in the mirror door— What kept the two, so near, asunder? He leaned toward the golden head The mirror border framed within, Until twin cheeks, like roses red, Lay side by side; then softly said, "I can't get out; can you come in?"
* * * * *
God! do not let my loved one die, But rather wait until the time That I am grown in purity Enough to enter Thy pure clime Then take me, I will gladly go, So that my love remain below!
Oh, let her stay! She is by birth What I through death must learn to be, We need her more on our poor earth Than Thou canst need in heaven with Thee; She hath her wings already: I Must burst this earth-shell ere I fly.
Then, God, take me! we shall be near, More near than ever, each to each: Her angel ears will find more clear My earthly than my heavenly speech; And still, as I draw nigh to Thee, Her soul and mine shall closer be.
James Russell Lowell.
* * * * *
THERE'S NOTHING TRUE BUT HEAVEN.
This world is all a fleeting show, For man's illusion given; The smiles of joy, the tears of woe, Deceitful shine, deceitful flow— There's nothing true but Heaven.
And false the light on glory's plume, As fading hues of even; And love, and hope, and beauty's bloom, Are blossoms gathered for the tomb— There's nothing bright but Heaven.
Poor wanderers of a stormy day, From wave to wave we're driven; And fancy's flash, and reason's ray, Serve but to light the troubled way— There's nothing calm but Heaven.
* * * * *
Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest; Home-keeping hearts are happiest, For those that wander they know not where Are full of trouble and full of care; To stay at home is best.
Weary and homesick and distressed, They wander east, and they wander west, And are baffled and beaten and blown about By the winds of the wilderness of doubt; To stay at home is best.
Then stay at home, my heart, and rest; The bird is safest in its nest; O'er all that flutter their wings and fly A hawk is hovering in the sky; To stay at home is best.
H. W. Longfellow.
* * * * *
Crouching in the twilight-gray, Like a hunted thing at bay, In his brain one thought is rife: Why not end the bootless strife?
Who in God's wide world would weep, Should he brave death's dreamless sleep? Hark! a child's voice, soft and clear, Pulsing through the gloaming drear;
And the word the singer brings Like a new evangel rings; "Jesus loves me! this I know," Swift his thoughts to childhood go.
Memories of a mother's face Bending to her boy's embrace, And the boy at eventide Kneeling by the mother's side,
Like "sweet visions of the night" Fill the lonesome place with light, While the singer's tender trill— "Jesus loves me! loves me still"—
Hovers in the dreamlit air Like an answer to the prayer. Offered in those happy days When he walked in sinless ways.
"Jesus loves me!" Can it be His, this benedicite? Is there One who knows and cares? One who all his sorrow shares?
"Jesus loves me!" While the song Guileless lips with joy prolong, Lo! a soul has ceased its strife, Reconciled to God and life.
Mary B. Sleight.
* * * * *
SONG OF BIRDS.
Did you ne'er think what wondrous beings these? Did you ne'er think who made them, and who taught The dialect they speak, where melodies Alone are the interpreters of thought? Whose household word are songs in many keys, Sweeter than instrument of man e'er caught; Whose habitations in the tree-tops even Are half-way houses on the road to heaven!
Think, every morning, when the sun peeps through The dim, leaf-latticed windows of the, grove, How jubilant the happy birds renew Their old melodious madrigals of love! And, when you think of this, remember, too, 'Tis always morning somewhere, and above The awakening continents, from shore to shore, Somewhere the birds are singing evermore!
* * * * *
JIMMY BUTLER AND THE OWL.
'Twas in the summer of '46 that I landed at Hamilton, fresh as a new pratie just dug from the "old sod," and wid a light heart and a heavy bundle I sot off for the township of Buford, tiding a taste of a song, as merry a young fellow as iver took the road. Well, I trudged on and on, past many a plisint place, pleasin' myself wid the thought that some day I might have a place of my own, wid a world of chickens and ducks and pigs and childer about the door; and along in the afternoon of the sicond day I got to Buford village. A cousin of me mother's, one Dennis O'Dowd, lived about sivin miles from there, and I wanted to make his place that night, so I enquired the way at the tavern, and was lucky to find a man, who was goin' part of the way an' would show me the way to find Dennis. Sure, he was very kind indade, and when I got out of his wagon, he pointed me through the wood and told me to go straight south a mile an' a half, and the first house would be Dennis's.
"An' you have no time to lose now," said he, "for the sun is low, and mind you don't get lost in the woods."
"Is it lost now," said I, "that I'd be gittin, an' me uncle as great a navigator at iver steered a ship across the thrackless say! Not a bit of it, though I'm obleeged to ye for your kind advice, an thank yez for the ride."
An' wid that he drove off an' left me alone. I shouldered my bundle bravely, an' whistling a bit of tune for company like, I pushed into the bush. Well, I went a long way over bogs, and turnin' round among the bush and trees till I began to think I must be well nigh to Dennis's. But, bad cess to it! all of a sudden, I came out of the woods at the very identical spot where I started in, which I knew by an ould crotched tree that seemed to be standin' on its head an' kicking up its heels to make divarsion of me. By this time it was growing dark, and as there was no time to lose, I started in a second time, determined to keep straight south this time and no mistake. I got on bravely for awhile, but och hone! och hone! it got so dark I couldn't see the trees, and I bumped me nose and barked me shins, while the miskaties bit me hands and face to a blister; and after tumblin' and stumblin' around till I was fairly bamfoozled, I sat down on a log, all of a trimble, to think that was lost intirely, and that maybe a lion or some other wild craythur would devour me before morning.
Just then I heard somebody a long way off say, "Whip poor Will!" "Bedad!" sez I, "I'm glad it isn't Jamie that's got to take it, though it seems its more in sorrow than in anger they're doin' it, or why should they say, 'poor Will?' and sure they can't be Injin, haythen, or naygur, for its plain English they're afther spakin?"
Maybe they might help me out o' this, so I shouted at the top of my voice, "A lost man!" Thin I listened. Prisintly an answer came.
"Who: Whoo! Whooo!"
"Jamie Butler, the waiver," sez I, as loud as I could roar, an' snatchin' up me bundle an' stick, I started in the direction of the voice. Whin I thought I had got near the place I stopped and shouted again, "A lost man!"
"Who! Whoo! Whooo!" said a voice right over my head.
"Sure," thinks I, "it's a quare place for a man to be at this time of night; maybe it's some settler scrapin' sugar off a sugar bush for the childher's breakfast in the mornin'. But where's Will and the rest of them?" All this wint through me head like a flash, an' thin I answered his enquiry.
"Jamie Butler, the waiver," sez I; "and if it wouldn't inconvanience your honour, would yez be kind enough to step down and show me the way to the house of Dennis O'Dowd?"
"Who! Whoo! Whooo!" sez he.
"Dennis O'Dowd!" sez I, civil enough, "and a dacent man he is, and first cousin to me own mother."
"Who! Whoo! Whooo!" sez he again.
"Me mother!" sez I, "and as fine a woman as ever peeled a biled pratie wid her thumb nail, and her maiden name was Molly McFiggin."
"Who! Whoo! Whooo!"
"Paddy McFiggin! bad luck to your deaf ould head, Paddy McFiggin, I say—do you hear that? And he was the tallest man in all the county Tipperary, excipt Jim Doyle, the blacksmith."
"Who! Whoo! Whooo!"
"Jim Doyle the blacksmith," sez I, "ye good for nothin' naygur, and if yez don't come down and show me the way this min't I'll climb up there and break ivery bone in your own skin, ye spalpeen, so sure as me name is Jimmy Butler!"
"Who! Whoo! Whooo!" sez he, as impident as iver.
I said niver a word, but layin' down me bundle, and takin' me stick in me teeth, I began to climb the tree. Whin I got among the branches I looked quietly round till I saw a pair of big eyes just forninst me.
"Whist," sez I, "and I let him have a taste of an Irish stick," an' wid that I let drive an' lost me balance an' came tumblin' to the ground, nearly breaking me neck wid the fall. Whin I came to me sinsis I had a very sore head wid a lump on it like a goose egg, and half me Sunday coat-tail tore off intirely. I spoke to the chap in the tree, but could get niver an answer at all, at all.
Sure, thinks I, he must have gone home to rowl up his head, for I don't throw me stick for nothin'.
Well, by this time the moon was up and I could see a little, and I detarmined to make one more effort to reach Dennis's.
I went on cautiously for awhile, an' thin I heard a bell. "Sure," sez I, "I'm comin' to a settlement now, for I hear the church bell." I kept on toward the sound till I came to an ould cow wid a bell on. She started to run, but I was too quick for her, and got her by the tail and hung on, thinkin' that maybe she would take me out of the woods. On we wint, like an ould country steeple chase, till, sure enough, we came out to a clearin' and a house in sight wid a light in it. So leavin' the ould cow puffin and blowin' in a shed, I wint to the house, and as luck would have it, whose should it be but Dennis's?
He gave me a raal Irish, welcome, and introduced me to his two daughters— as purty a pair of girls as iver ye clapped an eye on. But whin I tould him me adventure in the woods, and about the fellow who made fun of me, they all laughed and roared, and Dennis said it was an owl.
"An ould what," sez I.
"Why, an owl, a bird," sez he.
"Do you tell me now!" sez I. "Sure it's a quare country and a quare bird."
And thin they all laughed again, till at last I laughed myself, that hearty like, and dropped right into a chair between the two purty girls, and the ould chap winked at me and roared again.
Dennis is me father-in-law now, and he often yet delights to tell our children about their daddy's adventure wid the owl.
* * * * *
THE QUAKER WIDOW.
Thee finds me in the garden, Hannah,—come in! 'Tis kind of thee To wait until the Friends were gone, who came to comfort me. The still and quiet company a peace may give indeed, But blessed is the single heart that comes to us in need.
Come, sit thee down! Here is the bench where Benjamin would sit On First-day afternoons in spring, and watch the swallows flit: He loved to smell the sprouting box, and hear the pleasant bees Go humming round the lilacs and through the apple-trees.
I think he loved the spring: not that he cared for flowers: most men Think such things foolishness,—but we were first acquainted then, One spring: the next he spoke his mind: the third I was his wife, And in the spring (it happened so) our children entered life.
He was but seventy-five! I did not think to lay him yet In Kennett graveyard, where at Monthly Meeting first we met. The Father's mercy shows in this: 'tis better I should be Picked out to bear the heavy cross—alone in age—than he.
We've lived together fifty years. It seems but one long day, One quiet Sabbath of the heart, till he was called away; And as we bring from meeting-time a sweet contentment home, So, Hannah, I have store of peace for all the days to come.
I mind (for I can tell thee now) how hard it was to know If I had heard the spirit right, that told me I should go; For father had a deep concern upon his mind that day, But mother spoke for Benjamin,—she knew what best to say.
Then she was still; they sat awhile: at last she spoke again, "The Lord incline thee to the right!" and "Thou shalt have him, Jane!" My father said. I cried. Indeed it was not the least of shocks, For Benjamin was Hicksite, and father Orthodox.
I thought of this ten years ago, when daughter Ruth we lost; Her husband's of the world, and yet I could not see her crossed. She wears, thee knows, the gayest gowns, she hears a hireling priest! Ah, dear! the cross was ours; her life's a happy one, at least.
Perhaps she'll wear a plainer dress when she's as old as I,— Would thee believe it, Hannah? once I felt temptation nigh! My wedding-gown was ashen silk, too simple for my taste: I wanted lace around the neck, and ribbon at the waist.
How strange it seemed to sit with him upon the women's side! I did not dare to lift my eyes: I felt more fear than pride; Till, "in the presence of the Lord," he said, and then there came A holy strength upon my heart, and I could say the same.
I used to blush when he came near, but then I showed no sign; With all the meeting looking on, I held his hand in mine. It seemed my bashfulness was gone, now I was his for life; Thee knows the feeling, Hannah,—thee, too, hast been a wife.
As home we rode, I saw no fields look half so green as ours; The woods were coming to leaf, the meadows full of flowers; The neighbours met us in the lane, and every face was kind,— 'Tis strange how lively everything comes back upon my mind.
I see, as plain as thee sits there, the wedding-dinner spread; At our own table we were guests, with father at the head, And Dinah Passmore helped us both,—'twas she stood up with me, And Abner Jones with Benjamin,—and now they're gone, all three!
It is not right to wish for death, the Lord disposes, best. His spirit comes to quiet hearts, and fits them for His rest; And that He halved our little flock was merciful, I see: For Benjamin has two in heaven and two are left with me.
Eusebius never cared to farm,—'twas not his call, in truth, And I must rent the dear old place, and go to daughter Ruth. Thee'll say her ways are not like mine,—young people now-a-days Have fallen sadly off, I think, from all the good old ways.
But Ruth is still a Friend at heart; she keeps the simple tongue, The cheerful, kindly nature we loved when she was young; And it was brought upon my mind, remembering her, of late, That we on dress and outward things perhaps lay too much weight.
I once heard Jesse Kersey say, a "spirit clothed with grace, And pure, almost, as angels are, may have a homely face. And dress may be of less account; the Lord will look within: The soul it is that testifies of righteousness or sin."
Thee mustn't be too hard on Ruth: she's anxious I should go, And she will do her duty as a daughter should, I know. 'Tis hard to change so late in life, but we must be resigned; The Lord looks down contentedly upon a willing mind.
* * * * *
The bairnies cuddle doon at nicht, Wi' mickle faucht an' din; "Oh, try and sleep, ye waukrife rougues, Your faither's comin' in." They never heed a word I speak; I try to gie a froon, But aye I hap them up, an' cry, "Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon."
Wee Jamie wi' the curly head— He aye sleeps next the wa', Bangs up an' cries, "I want a piece"— The rascal starts them a'. I rin' an' fetch them pieces, drinks; They stop awee the soun', Then draw the blankets up an' cry, "Noo, weanies, cuddle doon."
But ere five minutes gang, wee Rab Cries out frae' neatn the claes, "Mither, mak' Tarn gie ower at ance, He's kittlin wi' his taes.", The mischief's in that Tam for tricks, He'd bother half the toon, But aye I hap them up an' cry, "Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon."
At length they hear their faither's fit, An' as he steeks the door They turn their faces to the wa', While Tam pretends to snore. "Hae a' the weans been gude?" he asks As he pits off his shoon, "The bairnies, John, are in their beds, An' lang since cuddle doon."
An' just afore we bed oursel's, We look at oor wee lambs; Tam has his airm roun' wee Rab's neck, An' Rab his airm roun' Tam's. I lift wee Jamie up the bed, An' as I straik each croon I whisper, till my heart fills up, "Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon."
The bairnies cuddle doon at nicht. Wi' mirth that's dear to me; But sune the big warl's cark an' care Will quaten doon their glee. Yet come what will to ilka ane May He who sits aboon, Aye whisper, though their pows be bauld, "Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon."
* * * * *
PER PACEM AD LUCEM. I do not ask, O Lord! that life may be A pleasant road; I do not ask that Thou wouldst take from me Aught of its load: I do not ask that flowers should always spring Beneath my feet; I know too well the poison and the sting Of things too sweet. For one thing only, Lord, dear Lord! I plead: Lead me aright— Though strength should falter, and though heart should bleed— Through Peace to Light. I do not ask, O Lord! that Thou shouldst shed Full radiance here; Give but a ray of peace, that I may tread Without a fear. I do not ask my cross to understand, My way to see,— Better in darkness just to feel Thy hand, And follow Thee. Joy is like restless day, but peace divine Like quiet night. Lead me, O Lord! till perfect day shall shine, Through Peace to Light.
Adelaide Anne Procter.
* * * * *
THE NEWSBOY'S DEBT.
Only last year, at Christmas time, while pacing down the city street, I saw a tiny, ill clad boy—one of the many that we meet— As ragged as a boy could be, with half a cap, with one good shoe, Just patches to keep out the wind—I know the wind blew keenly too:
A newsboy, with a newsboy's lungs, a square Scotch face, an honest brow, And eyes that liked to smile so well, they had not yet forgotten how: A newsboy, hawking his last sheets with loud persistence; now and then Stopping to beat his stiffened hands, and trudging bravely on again.
Dodging about among the crowd, shouting his "Extras" o'er and o'er; Pausing by whiles to cheat the wind within some alley, by some door. At last he stopped—six papers left, tucked hopelessly beneath his arm— To eye a fruiterer's outspread store; here, products from some country farm;
And there, confections, all adorned with wreathed and clustered leaves and flowers, While little founts, like frosted spires, tossed up and down their mimic showers. He stood and gazed with wistful face, all a child's longing in his eyes; Then started as I touched his arm, and turned in quick, mechanic wise,
Raised his torn cape with purple hands, said, "Papers, sir? The Evening News!" He brushed away a freezing tear, and shivered, "Oh, sir don't refuse!" "How many have you? Never mind—don't stop to count—I'll take them all; And when you pass my office here, with stock on hand, give me a call."
He thanked me with a broad Scotch smile, a look half wondering and half glad. I fumbled for the proper "change," and said, "You seem a little lad To rough it in the streets like this." "I'm ten years old on Christmas-day!" "Your name?" "Jim Hanley." "Here's a crown, you'll get change there across the way.
"Five shillings. When you get it changed come to my office—that's the place. Now wait a bit, there's time enough: you need not run a headlong race. Where do you live?" "Most anywhere. We hired a stable-loft to day. Me and two others." "And you thought, the fruiterer's window pretty, hey?"
"Or were you hungry?" "Just a bit," he answered bravely as he might. "I couldn't buy a breakfast, sir, and had no money left last night." "And you are cold?" "Ay, just a bit; I don't mind cold." "Why, that is strange!" He smiled and pulled his ragged cap, and darted off to get the "change."
So, with a half unconscious sigh, I sought my office desk again; An hour or more my busy wits found work enough with book and pen. But when the mantel clock struck six I started with a sudden thought, For there beside my hat and cloak lay those six papers I had bought.
Why where's the boy? and where's the 'change' he should have brought an hour ago? Ah, well! ah, well! they're all alike! I was a fool to tempt him so, Dishonest! Well, I might have known; and yet his face seemed candid too. He would have earned the difference if he had brought me what was due.
"But caution often comes too late." And so I took my homeward way. Deeming distrust of human kind the only lesson of the day. Just two days later, as I sat, half dozing, in my office chair, I heard a timid knock, and called in my brusque fashion, "Who is there?"
An urchin entered, barely seven—the same Scotch face, the same blue eyes— And stood, half doubtful, at the door, abashed at my forbidding guise. "Sir, if you please, my brother Jim—the one you give the crown, you know— He couldn't bring the money, sir, because his back was hurted so.
"He didn't mean to keep the 'change.' He got runned over, up the street; One wheel went right across his back, and t'other forewheel mashed his feet. They stopped the horses just in time, and then they took him up for dead, And all that day and yesterday he wasn't rightly in his head.
"They took him to the hospital—one of the newsboys knew 'twas Jim— And I went, too, because, you see, we two are brothers, I and him. He had that money in his hand, and never saw it any more. Indeed, he didn't mean to steal! He never stole a pin before.
"He was afraid that you might think, he meant to keep it, anyway; This morning when they brought him to, he cried because he couldn't pay. He made me fetch his jacket here; it's torn and dirtied pretty bad; It's only fit to sell for rags, but then, you know, it's all he had.
"When he gets well—it won't be long—if you will call the money lent. He says he'll work his fingers off but what he'll pay you every cent." And then he cast a rueful glance at the soiled jacket where it lay, "No, no, my boy! take back the coat. Your brother's badly hurt you say?
"Where did they take him? Just run out and hail a cab, then wait for me. Why, I would give a thousand coats, and pounds, for such a boy as he!" A half-hour after this we stood together in the crowded wards, And the nurse checked the hasty steps that fell too loudly on the boards.
I thought him smiling in his sleep, and scarce believed her when she said, Smoothing away the tangled hair from brow and cheek, "The boy is dead." Dead? dead so soon? How fair he looked! One streak of sunshine on his hair. Poor lad! Well it is warm in Heaven: no need of "change" and jackets there.
And something rising in my throat made it so hard for me to speak, I turned away, and left a tear lying upon his sunburned cheek.
* * * * *
Have you read in the Talmud of old, In the Legends the Rabbins have told, Of the limitless realms of the air,— Have you read it,—the marvellous story Of Sandalphon, the Angel of Glory, Sandalphon, the Angel of Prayer?
How erect, at the outermost gates Of the City Celestial he waits, With his feet on the ladder of light, That, crowded with angels unnumbered, By Jacob was seen, as he slumbered Alone in the desert at night?
The Angels of Wind and of Fire Chant only one hymn, and expire With the song's irresistible stress; Expire in their rapture and wonder, As harp strings are broken asunder By music they throb to express.
But serene in the rapturous throng, Unmoved by the rush of the song, With eyes unimpassioned and slow, Among the dead angels, the deathless Sandalphon stands listening breathless To sounds that ascend from below;—
From the spirits on earth that adore, From the souls that entreat and implore; In the fervour and passion of prayer; From the hearts that are broken with losses, And weary with dragging the crosses Too heavy for mortals to bear.
And he gathers the prayers as he stands, And they change into flowers in his hands, Into garlands of purple and red, And beneath the great arch of the portal, Through the streets of the City Immortal, Is wafted the fragrance they shed.
It is but a legend I know,— A fable, a phantom, a show, Of the ancient Rabbinical lore; Yet the old mediaeval tradition, The beautiful, strange superstition, But haunts me and holds me the more.
When I look from my window at night, And the welkin above is all white, All throbbing and panting with stars, Among them majestic is standing, Sandalphon, the angel, expanding His pinions in nebulous bars.
And the legend, I feel, is a part Of the hunger and thirst of the heart, The frenzy and fire of the brain, That grasps at the fruitage forbidden, The golden pomegranates of Eden, To quiet its fever and pain.
* * * * *
HAGAR IN THE WILDERNESS
The morning broke.—Light stole upon the clouds With a strange beauty.—Earth received again Its garment of a thousand dyes; and leaves, And delicate blossoms, and the painted flowers, And every thing that bendeth to the dew, And stirreth with the daylight, lifted up Its beauty to the breath of that sweet morn. All things are dark to sorrow; and the light And loveliness, and fragrant air, were sad To the dejected Hagar. The moist earth Was pouring odours from its spicy pores; And the young birds were singing as if life Were a new thing to them: but oh! it came Upon her heart like discord; and she felt How cruelly it tries a broken heart, To see a mirth in any thing it loves. The morning passed; and Asia's sun rode up In the clear heaven, and every beam was heat. The cattle of the hills were in the shade, And the bright plumage of the Orient lay On beating bosoms, in her spicy trees. It was an hour of rest!—But Hagar found No shelter in the wilderness; and on She kept her weary way, until the boy Hung down his head, and opened his parched lips For water; but she could not give it him. She laid him down beneath the sultry sky;— For it was better than the close, hot breath Of the thick pines,—and tried to comfort him; But he was sore athirst; and his blue eyes Were dim and bloodshot; and he could not know Why God denied him water in the wild.— She sat a little longer; and he grew Ghastly and faint, as if he would have died. It was too much for her. She lifted him, And bore him farther on, and laid his head Beneath the shadow of a desert shrub; And, shrouding up her face, she went away, And sat to watch, where he could see her not, Till he should die; and watching him, she mourned:—
"God stay thee in thine agony, my boy! I cannot see thee die; I cannot brook Upon thy brow to look, And see death settle on my cradle joy. How have I drunk the light of thy blue eye And could I see thee die?
"I did not dream of this, when thou wast straying Like an unbound gazelle, among the flowers, Or wiling the soft hours, By the rich gush of water-sources playing, Then sinking weary to thy smiling sleep, So beautiful and deep.
"Oh no! and when I watched by thee, the while, And saw thy bright lip curling in thy dream, And thought of the dark stream In my own land of Egypt, the far Nile, How prayed I that my fathers' land might be A heritage for thee!
"And now the grave for its cold breast hath won thee, And thy white delicate limbs the earth will press; And oh! my last caress Must feel thee cold, for a chill hand is on thee— How can I leave my boy, so pillowed there Upon his clustering hair"
* * * * *
She stood beside the well her God had given To gush in that deep wilderness, and bathed The forehead of her child until he laughed In his reviving happiness, and lisped His infant thought of gladness at the sight Of the cool plashing of his mother's hand.
N. P. Willis
* * * * *
THE MODEL WIFE
His house she enters there to be a light, Shining within when all around is night, A guardian angel o'er his life presiding, Doubling his pleasures and his cares dividing: Winning him back when mingling with the throng Of this vain world we love, alas, too long, To fireside's happiness and hours of ease, Blest with that charm, the certainty to please; How oft her eyes read his! Her gentle mind To all his wishes, all his thoughts inclined; Still subject—ever on the watch to borrow Mirth of his mirth and sorrow of his sorrow.
* * * * *
Falling leaf and fading tree, Lines of white in a sullen sea, Shadows rising on you and me— The swallows are making them ready to fly. Goodbye, Summer! Goodbye! Goodbye!
Hush! A voice from the far away!— "Listen and learn," it seems to say, "All the to-morrows shall be as to-day." The cord is frayed and the cruse is dry. The ink must break and the lamp must die. Goodbye, Hope! Goodbye! Goodbye!
What are we waiting for? Oh! my heart, Kiss me straight on the brows and part! Again! again! My heart! my heart! What are we waiting for, you and I? A pleading look—a stifled cry— Goodbye forever! Goodbye! Goodbye!
MAKIN' AN EDITOR OUTEN 0' HIM.
"Good morning, sir, Mr. Printer; how is your body today? I'm glad you're to home, for you fellers is al'ays a runnin' away. But layin' aside pleasure for business, I've brought you my little boy, Jim; And I thought I would see if you couldn't make an editor outen o' him. He aint no great shakes for to labour, though I've laboured with him a good deal, And give him some strappin' good arguments I know he couldn't help but to feel; But he's built out of second-growth timber, and nothin' about him is big, Exceptin' his appetite only, and there he's as good as a pig. I keep him a carryin' luncheons, and fillin' and bringin' the jugs, And take him among the pertatoes, and set him to pickin' the bugs; And then there is things to be doin' a helpin' the women indoors; There's churnin' and washin' o' dishes, and other descriptions of chores; But he don't take to nothin' but victuals, and he'll never be much, I'm afraid. So I thought it would be a good notion to larn him the editor's trade. His body's too small for a farmer, his judgment is rather too slim, But I thought we perhaps could be makin' an editor outen o' him! It aint much to get up a paper, it wouldn't take him long for to learn; He could feed the machine, I am thinkin', with a good strappin' fellow to turn. And things that was once hard in doin', is easy enough now to do; Just keep your eye on your machinery, and crack your arrangements right through. I used for to wonder at readin', and where it was got up, and how; But 'tis most of it made by machinery, I can see it all plain enough now. And poetry, too, is constructed by machines of different designs, Each one with a gauge and a chopper, to see to the length of the lines; An' since the whole trade has growed easy, 'twould be easy enough, I've a whim, If you was agreed, to be makin' an editor outen o' Jim!"
The Editor sat in his sanctum and looked the old man in the eye, Then glanced at the grinning young hopeful, and mournfully made a reply: "Is your son a small unbound edition of Moses and Solomon both? Can he compass his spirit with meekness, and strangle a natural oath? Can he leave all his wrongs to the future, and carry his heart in his cheek? Can he do an hour's work in a minute, and live on a sixpence a week? Can he courteously talk to an equal, and brow-beat an impudent dunce? Can he keep things in apple-pie order, and do half-a-dozen at once? Can he press all the springs of knowledge, with quick and reliable touch? And be sure that he knows how much to know, and knows how not to know too much? Does he know how to spur up his virtue, and put a check-rein on his pride? Can he carry a gentleman's manners within a rhinoceros hide? Can he know all, and do all, and be all, with cheerfulness, courage, and vim? If so, we, perhaps, can be makin' an editor outen o' him.'"
The farmer stood curiously listening, while wonder his visage o'erspread, And he said: "Jim, I guess we'll be goin', he's probably out of his head."
Will M. Carleton.
* * * * *
Attend, all ye who list to hear our noble England's praise; I tell of the thrice famous deeds she wrought in ancient days, When that great fleet invincible against her bore in vain, The richest spoils of Mexico, the stoutest hearts of Spain.
It was about the lovely close of a warm summer day, There came a gallant merchant ship full sail to Plymouth Bay; Her crew had seen Castile's black fleet, beyond Aurigny's isle, At earliest twilight, on the waves lie heaving many a mile, At sunrise she escaped their van, by God's especial grace; And the tall Pinta, till the noon, had held her close in chase. Forthwith a guard at every gun was placed along the wall; The beacon blazed upon the roof of Edgecombe's lofty hall; Many a light fishing bark put out to pry along the coast; And with loose rein, and bloody spur, rode inland many a post.
With his white hair unbonneted, the stout old sheriff comes, Behind him march the halberdiers, before him sound the drums; The yeomen, round the market cross, make clear an ample space, For there behoves him to set up the standard of her Grace; And haughtily the trumpets peal, and gaily dance the bells, As slow upon the labouring wind the royal blazon swells. Look how the Lion of the sea lifts up his ancient crown, And underneath his deadly paw treads the gay lilies down! So stalked he when he turned to flight, on that famed Picard field, Bohemia's plume, and Genoa's bow, and Caesar's eagle shield: So glared he when at Agincourt, in wrath he turned to bay, And crushed and torn, beneath his claws, the princely hunters lay. Ho! strike the flagstaff deep, sir knight! Ho! scatter flowers, fair maids! Ho, gunners! fire a loud salute! Ho, gallants! draw your blades! Thou, sun, shine on her joyously; ye breezes, waft her wide; Our glorious semper eadem, the banner of our pride. The fresh'ning breeze of eve unfurled that banner's massy fold— The parting gleam of sunshine kissed that haughty scroll of gold: Night sank upon the dusky beach, and on the purple sea; Such night in England ne'er had been, nor ne'er again shall be. From Eddystone to Berwick bounds, from Lynn to Milford bay, That time of slumber was as bright, as busy as the day; For swift to east, and swift to west the warning radiance spread— High on St Michael's Mount it shone—it shone on Beachy Head; Far o'er the deep the Spaniard saw, along each southern shire, Cape beyond cape, in endless range, those twinkling points of fire. The fisher left his skiff to rock on Tamar's glittering waves, The rugged miners poured to war, from Mendip's sunless caves; O'er Longleat's towers, o'er Cranbourne's oaks, the fiery herald flew, And roused the shepherds of Stonehenge—the rangers of Beaulieu. Right sharp and quick the bells all night rang out from Bristol town; And, ere the day, three hundred horse had met on Clifton Down.
The sentinel on Whitehall gate looked forth into the night, And saw o'erhanging Richmond Hill, the streak of blood-red light; Then bugle's note, and cannon's roar, the death-like silence broke, And with one start, and with one cry, the royal city woke; At once, on all her stately gates, arose the answering fires; At once the wild alarum clashed from all her reeling spires; From all the batteries of the Tower pealed loud the voice of fear, And all the thousand masts of Thames sent back a louder cheer; And from the furthest wards was heard the rush of hurrying feet, And the broad streams of pikes and flags dashed down each roaring street:
And broader still became the blaze, and louder still the din, As fast from every village round the horse came spurring in; And eastward straight, from wild Blackheath, the warlike errand went; And roused, in many an ancient hall, the gallant squires of Kent: Southward, from Surrey's pleasant hills, flew those bright couriers forth; High on bleak Hampstead's swarthy moor, they started for the north; And on, and on, without a pause, untired they bounded still; All night from tower to tower they sprang, they sprang from hill to hill; Till the proud peak unfurled the flag o'er Derwent's rocky dales; Till like volcanoes, flared to heaven the stormy hills of Wales; Till twelve fair counties saw the blaze on Malvern's lonely height; Till streamed in crimson on the wind, the Wrekin's crest of light; Till broad and fierce, the star came forth, on Ely's stately fane, And town and hamlet rose in arms, o'er all the boundless plain;
Till Belvoir's lordly terraces the sign to Lincoln sent, And Lincoln sped the message on, o'er the wide vale of Trent: Till Skiddaw saw the fire that burned on Gaunt's embattled pile, And the red glare on Skiddaw roused the burghers of Carlisle.
* * * * *
TRIAL SCENE FROM THE MERCHANT OF VENICE.
DUKE. You hear the learned Bellario, what he writes; And here, I take it, is the doctor come.—
Enter PORTIA, dressed like a doctor of laws.
Give me your hand: Came you from old Bellario?
POR. I did, my lord.
DUKE. You are welcome: take your place. Are you acquainted with the difference That holds this present question in the court?
POR. I am informed thoroughly of the cause. Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew?
DUKE. Antonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.
POR. Is your name Shylock?
SHYLOCK. Shylock is my name.
POR. Of a strange nature is the suit you follow; Yet in such rule that the Venetian law Cannot impugn you, as you do proceed.— You stand within his danger, do you not? [To ANT.
ANTONIO. Ay, so he says.
POR. Do you confess the bond?
ANT. I do.
POR. Then must the Jew be merciful.
SHY. On what compulsion must I? tell me that.
POR. The quality of mercy is not strain'd; It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd; It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes: 'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes The throned monarch better than his crown; His sceptre shows the force of temporal power, The attribute to awe and majesty, Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings; But mercy is above this sceptred sway, It is enthroned in the heart of kings, It is an attribute to God himself; And earthly power doth then show likest God's When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew, Though justice be thy plea, consider this— That in the course of justice, none of us Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy; And that same prayer doth teach us all to render The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much, To mitigate the justice of thy plea; Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.
SHY. My deeds upon my head: I crave the law, The penalty and forfeit of my bond.
POR. Is he not able to discharge the money?
BASSANIO. Yes, here I tender it for him in the court Yea, twice the sum: if that will not suffice, I will be bound to pay it ten times o'er, On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart: If this will not suffice, it must appear That malice bears down truth. And I beseech you, Wrest once the law to your authority: To do a great right do a little wrong: And curb this cruel devil of his will.
POR. It must not be; there is no power in Venice Can alter a decree established: 'Twill be recorded for a precedent; And many an error, by the same example, Will rush into the state: it cannot be.
SHY. A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a Daniel O wise young judge, how do I honour thee!
POR. I pray you, let me look upon the bond.
SHY. Here 'tis, most reverend doctor, here it is.
POR. Shylock, there's thrice thy money offer'd thee.
SHY. An oath, an oath, I have an oath in heaven: Shall I lay perjury upon my soul? No, not for Venice.
POR. Why, this bond is forfeit; And lawfully by this the Jew may claim A pound of flesh, to be by him cut off Nearest the merchant's heart:—be merciful; Take thrice thy money; bid me tear the bond.
SHY. When it is paid according to the tenour. It doth appear you are a worthy judge; You know the law, your exposition Hath been most sound: I charge you by the law Whereof you are a well-deserving pillar, Proceed to judgment: by my soul I swear There is no power in the tongue of man To alter me: I stay here on my bond.
ANT. Most heartily I do beseech the court To give the judgment.
POR. Why then, thus it is: You must prepare your bosom for his knife.
SHY. O noble judge! O excellent young man!
POR. For the intent and purpose of the law Hath full relation to the penalty, Which here appeareth due upon the bond.
SHY. 'Tis very true: O wise and upright judge! How much more elder art thou than thy looks.
POR. Therefore, lay bare your bosom.
SHY. Ay, his breast. So says the bond;—Doth it not, noble judge? Nearest his heart, those are the very words.
POR. It is so. Are there balance here, to weigh The flesh?
SHY. I have them ready.
POR. Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your charge To stop his wounds, lest he should bleed to death.
SHY. Is it so nominated in the bond?
POR. It is not so express'd; but what of that? 'Twere good you do so much for charity.
SHY. I cannot find it; 'tis not in the bond.
POR. Come, merchant, have you anything to say?
ANT. But little; I am arm'd, and well prepar'd,— Give you your hand, Bassanio; fare you well! Grieve not that I am fallen to this for you; For herein fortune shows herself more kind Than is her custom: it is still her use, To let the wretched man outlive his wealth, To view with hollow eye, and wrinkled brow, An age of poverty; from which lingering penance Of such a misery doth she cut me off. Commend me to your honourable wife; Tell her the process of Antonio's end, Say, how I lov'd you, speak me fair in death; And, when the tale is told, bid her be judge Whether Bassanio had not once a love. Repent not you that you shall lose your friend, And he repents not that he pays your debt; For, if the Jew do cut but deep enough, I'll pay it instantly with all my heart.