A young man stood upon the side-walk watching its approach; and when the carriage in which he was seated came near where he stood, he took off his hat, pressed through the assemblage, and, urging his way towards it, grasped the hand that was extended to him. The carriage stopped. Father Mathew arose, and, as his hand lay upon the head of the young man, he repeated the words of a pledge, which the latter, in a distinct tone, repeated after him. At its close, the words "I do!" were heard far and near, and James Clifton had taken the pledge!
This was done from no sudden impulse. During the previous week he had indulged rather freely, and when its effects were over he began for the first time to give serious thought upon the question whether it was not required of him to become a pledged man. He was becoming convinced that he was unsafe. He knew how often he had fallen, how liable he was to fall again, and that it might be never to rise. He found his companions did not look upon him with as much respect as formerly; and he determined to break down the pride of opinion, rather than have it break him down.
As he thought of his situation at Messrs. Laneville & Co.'s, he for a moment drew back, yet it was but for a moment. He resolved to leave it, and beg rather than continue to disgrace himself and bring ruin upon his relatives and friends. He was cheered by the thought that he had those around him who would furnish him with employment suited to his mind, and in the steady pursuit of which he might live well. This resolution was made a few days previous to the twenty- fourth, but he communicated it to no one.
James hurried from the crowd that gathered around him, and hastened to his home. The glad news preceded him, and his wife, meeting him at the door, caressed, blessed and welcomed him. George grasped his hand, and James, with tears in his eyes, asked pardon for the past, and promised much for the future.
"Once," said he, "I refused to sign. I trusted to my own self, and thought because I was young and strong I could resist temptation. I said I would not make myself a slave to a pledge, and clung to my promise till I found myself a slave to an appetite. I ask your pardon, George, for the manner in which I treated your request."
"I grant it."
"Then I am happy, we are happy, and the future shall redeem the past."
The door opened, and a bright-eyed boy, bounding into the room, sprang upon his father, and, with a smile, said, "Father, I'm a Cadet of Temperance! We formed a little society this morning, 'cause Father Mathew has come to Boston. We've got six names, and we are to have more."
James kissed his child, and encouraged him to go on in the cause he had so early espoused.
Messrs. Laneville & Co. engaged a new clerk,—a young man of seventeen, hopeful, promising. He had heard of the fate of his predecessors, of the narrow escape of him whose place he was being trained to fill; but, like them and him, he thought himself stronger than the tempter at his side. That firm is in the home-desolating business to-day, though James has used much endeavor to induce them to relinquish it. The young man is there to-day, open to temptations which have conquered many strong men, have destroyed many mighty. The pledge is with us to-day, open for those who have fallen, for those who yet stand,—an instrument of God, in human hands, to rescue the one and to preserve the other.
BLUE-EYED child, with flaxen ringlets, 'Neath my window played, one day; And its tiny song of gladness, Sounded like an angel's lay. Roses bright in beauty blossomed Round the path the cherub trod Yet it seemed that child was fairest, Freshest from the hand of God. Watched I her till hour of sunset Told me of the coming night, And the sun o'er rock and mountain Shed its flood of golden light. Yet she gambolled, though the dew-drops Fell upon her thick and fast; Fearing ill, I went and told her,— Dearest child, the day hath past: "Haste thee to thy home,—there waiting Is thy parent, thee to bless." Then she hasted from the play-ground, To her mother's fond caress. Stars shone forth in all their splendor, And the moon with silver light Rose in beauty, and presided Queen o'er all the hosts of night. Days had passed; I had not seen her, Had not heard her merry laugh, Nor those joyous tones that told me Of the joy her spirit quaffed. Vain I asked whence Angelina Had departed,—none could tell; Feared I then that sorrow gathered O'er the child I loved so well. Funeral train passed by my window,— Banished were all thoughts of mirth; And I asked of one who lingered, "Who hath passed to heaven from earth?" In his eye a tear-drop glistened, As he, turning, to me said, "Heaven now holds another angel,— Little Angelina's dead!" I could scarce believe the tidings, Till I stood above her grave, And beheld those flaxen ringlets, That so late did buoyant wave, Lie beside a face whose features Still in death did sweetly smile And methought angelic beauty Lingered on her cheeks the while. At the pensive hour of twilight, Oft do angel-footsteps tread Near her grave, and flowers in beauty Blossom o'er the early dead; And a simple marble tablet Thence doth unassuming rise, And these simple words are on it,— "Here our Angelina lies." Oft at night, when others slumber, One bends o'er that holy spot; And the tear-drops fall unnumbered O'er her sad yet happy lot. Friends, though oft they mourn her absence, Do in meek submission bow; For a voice from heaven is whispering, "Angelina's happy now."
FAREWELL, MY NATIVE LAND.
Written for KAH-GE-GA-GAI-BOWH, a representative from the Northwest Tribes of American Indians to the Peace Convention in Frankfort-on-the- Maine, Germany; and recited by him on board the British steamship Niagara, at the hour of sailing from Boston, July 10th, 1850.
THE day is brightening which we long have sought; I see its early light and hail its dawn; The gentle voice of Peace my ear hath caught, And from my forest-home I greet the morn. Here, now, I meet you with a brother's hand- Bid you farewell-then speed me on my way To join the white men in a foreign land, And from the dawn bring on the bright noon-day. Noon-day of Peace! O, glorious jubilee, When all mankind are one, from sea to sea. Farewell, my native land, rock, hill, and plain! River and lake, and forest-home, adieu! Months shall depart ere I shall tread again Amid your scenes, and be once more with you. I leave thee now; but wheresoe'er I go, Whatever scenes of grandeur meet my eyes, My heart can but one native country know, And that the fairest land beneath the skies. America! farewell, thou art that gem, Brightest and fairest in earth's diadem. Land where my fathers chased the fleeting deer; Land whence the smoke of council-fires arose; Land whose own warriors never knew a fear; Land where the mighty Mississippi flows; Land whose broad surface spreads from sea to sea; Land where Niagara thunders forth God's praise;— May Peace and Plenty henceforth dwell with thee, And o'er thee War no more its banner raise! Adieu, my native land,—hill, stream, and dell! The hour hath come to part us,—fare thee well.
UNLEARNED TO LOVE.
HE hath unlearned to love; for once he loved A being whom his soul almost adored, And she proved faithless; turned in scorn upon His heart's affections; to another gave The love she once did pledge as all his own. And now he doth not love. Within his heart Hate dwells in sullen silence. His soul broods Over its wrongs, over deluded hopes. Fancy no more builds airy castles. Amid the crowd he passes on alone. The branches wave no more to please his eye, And the wind singeth no sweet songs to him. The murmuring brook but murmurs discontent, And all his life is death since Love hath fled. O, who shall count his sorrows? who shall make An estimate of his deep, burning woes, And place them all in order, rank on rank? Language is weak to tell the heart's deep, wrongs. We think, and muse, and in our endless thought We strive to grasp, with all the mind's vast strength, The undefinable extent of spirit grief, And fail to accomplish the herculean task.
WHAT WAS IT?
IT was a low, black, miserable place; Its roof was rotting; and above it hung A cloud of murky vapor, sending down Intolerable stench on all around. The place was silent, save the creaking noise, The steady motion of a dozen pumps, That labored all the day, nor ceased at night. Methought in it I heard a hundred groans; Dropping of widows' tears, and cries of orphans; Shrieks of some victim to the fiendish lust Of men for gold; woe echoing woe, And sighs, deep, long-drawn sighs of dark despair. Around the place a dozen hovels stood, Black with the smoke and steam that bathed them all; Their windows had no glass, but rags and boards, Torn hats and such-like, filled the paneless sash. Beings, once men and women, in and out Passed and repassed from darkness forth to light; And children, ragged, dirty, and despised, Clung to them. Children! heaven's early flowers, In their spring-time of life, blighted and lost! Children! those jewels of a parent's crown, Crushed to the ground and crumbled to the dust. Children! Heaven's representatives to man, Made menial slaves to watch at Evil's gate, And errand-boys to run at Sin's command. I asked why thus it was; and one old man Pushed up the visor of his cap, and said: "That low, black building is the cause of all." And would you know what 't was that wrought such ill, And what the name of that low building was? Go to thy neighbor, read to him these lines, And if he does not tell thee right, at first, Then come to me and you shall know its name.
LETTERS AND LETTER-WRITING.
THERE is nothing from which more real enjoyment can be derived than the art of letter-writing. All praise to the inventive genius that gave to man a written language, and with it the implements with which to talk across the world! Did you ever think, reader, what a world this would be without pen, ink, and paper? Then, the absence of friends were painful, and, as we grasped the friendly hand, bade our acquaintances "good-by," and saw the last, far-distant wave of the parting signal, we might turn aside to weep, as we thought we should never hear from them till we met face to face-perhaps never. But, as it is, when friends leave, we expect a message from their hearts soon, to solace our own. How we watch, and how we hope! What a welcome rap is the postman's! With what eagerness we loosen the seal; with what pleasure we read, from date to signature, every word!
It may not be uninteresting, nor wholly uninstructive, to examine the various modes of letter-writing, and to spend a brief half-hour with those who have by their letters made grave or gay impressions on the public mind.
Some write letters with great ease; others, with great difficulty. Miss Seward was an inveterate letter-writer. There have been published six large volumes of letters written by her; besides these, she left twelve quarto volumes of letters to a publisher of London, and these, it is said, are but a twelfth part of her correspondence. It seems as though she must have written nothing but letters, so many and various were they; but her fame as an authoress will convince any one that her industry overcame what might seem an impossibility, and that her genius in this particular resembled that of the steam-writing machine, Dumas, of the present time.
Lord Peterborough had such a faculty for this kind of composition, that, when ambassador to Turin, according to Pope, who says he was a witness of the performance, he employed nine amanuenses, who were seated in a room, around whom Lord Peterborough walked and dictated to each what he should write. These nine wrote to as many different persons, upon, perhaps, nine times as many subjects; yet the ambassador retained in his mind the connection of each letter so completely as to close each in a highly-finished and appropriate manner.
These facts show the ease and rapidity of some writers. In contradistinction to these are the letters of many eminent Latin writers, who actually bestowed several months of close attention upon a single letter. Mr. Owen says: "Such is the defect of education among the modern Roman ladies, that they are not troubled to keep up any correspondence; because they cannot write. A princess of great beauty, at Naples, caused an English lady to be informed that she was learning to write; and hoped, in the course of time, to acquire the art of correspondence."
There are many persons with whom it is the most difficult task of their existence to write a letter. They follow the old Latin writers, and make a labor of what with others is a recreation. They begin with the stereotyped words, "I take my pen in hand," as though a letter could be written without doing so. Then follows, "to inform you that I am well, and hope this will find you the same." There is a period-a full stop; and there are instances of persons going no further, but closing with, "This from your friend, JOHN SHORT."
This "difficulty" arises not from an inability, but from an excessive nicety-a desire to write a prize essay, instead of a good, sociable, familiar letter. To make a letter interesting, the writer must transfer his thoughts from his mind to his paper, as truly as the rays of the sun place the likeness of an object in front of the lens through which it acts upon the silvered plate. Seneca says, "I would have my letters be like my discourses when we sit or walk together, unstudied and easy."
Willis' letters are of a kind always "free and easy." His "Letters from Under a Bridge" are admirable specimens of letters as they should be; and his "Pencillings by the Way" owe much of their popularity to their easy, familiar, talkative style. The letters of Cicero and Pliny, of ancient, and Swift, Pope, Arbuthnot, Madame de Svign, and Lady Mary Wortley Montague, of modern times, are generally received as some of the best specimens extant of epistolary composition. The letters of Charles Lamb are a series of brilliances, though of kaleidoscope variety; they have wit without buffoonery, and seriousness without melancholy. He closes one of them by subscribing himself his friend's "afflicted, headachey, sorethroaty, humble servant, CHARLES LAMB."
Some men, and women too, of eminence, have written curiosities in the form of correspondence. The letter of the mother of Foote is a good example of this kind of correspondence. Mrs. Foote became embarrassed, and, being unable to meet a demand, was placed in prison; whereupon she wrote to Mr. Foote as follows:
"DEAR SAM: I am in prison for debt; come, and assist your loving mother, E. FOOTE.
It appears that "Sam" was equally entangled in the meshes of the law, for he answered as follows:
"DEAR MOTHER:-So am I; which prevents his duty being paid to his loving mother by her affectionate son,
"P. S.-I have sent my attorney to assist you; in the mean time, let us hope for better days."
These laconic epistles are well matched by that of a French lady, who wrote to her husband this missive of intelligence, affection, &c., &c.:
"I write to you because I have nothing to do; I end my letter because I have nothing to say."
But these are left far in the rear by the correspondence of two Quakers, the one living in Edinburgh, the other in London. The former, wishing to know whether there was anything new in London, wrote in the corner of a letter-sheet a small interrogation note, and sent it to his friend. In due time he received an answer. He opened the sheet and found, simply, O, signifying that there was none.
In the London Times of January 3d, 1820, is the following, purporting to be a copy of a letter sent to a medical gentleman:
"CER: Yole oblige me uf yole kum un ce me. I hev a Bad kowld, am Hill in my Bow Hills, and hev lost my Happy Tight."
William Cowper, the poet, being on very familiar terms with the Rev. Mr. Newton, amused himself and his friend with a letter, of which the following is a copy:
"MY VERY DEAR FRIEND: I am going to send, what, when you have read, you may scratch your head, and say, I suppose, there's nobody knows, whether what I have got be verse or not; by the tune and the time, it ought to be rhyme; but if it be, did you ever see, of late or of yore, such a ditty before?
"I have writ Charity, not for popularity, but as well as I could, in hopes to do good; and if the reviewers should say, 'To be sure the gentleman's muse wears methodist shoes, you may know by her pace, and talk about grace, that she and her bard have little regard for the taste and fashions, and ruling passions, and hoydening play, of the modern day; and though she assume a borrowed plume, and now and then wear a tittering air, 't is only her plan to catch, if she can, the giddy and gay, as they go that way, by a production on a new construction; she has baited her trap, in hopes to snap all that may come, with a sugar-plum.' His opinion in this will not be amiss; 't is what I intend my principal end; and if I succeed, and folks should read, till a few are brought to a serious thought, I shall think I am paid for all I have said, and all I have done, though I have run, many a time, after rhyme, as far as from hence, to the end of my sense, and, by hook or crook, write another book, if I live and am here, another year.
"I heard before of a room, with a floor laid upon springs, and such like things, with so much art, in every part, that when you went in, you was forced to begin a minuet pace, with an air and a grace, swimming about, now in and now out, with a deal of state, in a figure of eight, without pipe or string, or any such thing; and now I have writ, in a rhyming fit, what will make you dance, and, as you advance, will keep you still, though against your will, dancing away, alert and gay, till you come to an end of what I have penned; which that you may do ere madam and you are quite worn out with jigging about, I take my leave; and here you receive a bow profound, down to the ground, from your humble me,
At one of those famous coteries, so fashionable in the time of George Selwyn, Selwyn declared that a lady never closed a letter without a postscript. One of his fair auditors defended her sex by saying that her next letter should prove he was wrong. Soon after, Selwyn received a letter from the lady, in which, after the name, was "P. S. Who is right now, you or I?"
"We have met the enemy, and they are ours" is an example for naval letters. Commodore Walton's letter, by which he gave information of his capture of a number of Spanish vessels of war, was as follows:
"We have taken or destroyed all the enemy's ships or vessels on the coast, as per margin."
General Taylor's letters are of the same class,—brief and to the point.
As a specimen of ultra-familiarity, see the Duke of Buckingham's letter to King James the First, which he commences as follows:
"DEAR DAD AND GOSSIP,"
and concludes thus:—
"Your Majesty's most humble slave and dog,
Some letters have been distinguished for a play upon words. The following is supposed to have been written by one Zebel Rock, a stone-cutter, to a young lady for whom he cherished a love somewhat more than Platonic:
"DIVINE FLINT: Were you not harder than Porphyry or Agate, the Chisel of my love, drove by the Mallet of my fidelity, would have made some impression on thee. I, that have shaped as I pleased the most untoward of substances, hoped by the Compass of reason, the Plummet of discretion, the Saw of constancy, the soft File of kindness, and the Polish of good words, to have modelled you into one of the prettiest Statues in the world; but, alas! I find you are a Flint, that strikes fire, and sets my soul in a blaze, though your heart is as cold as marble. Pity my case, pray, madam, for I know not what I say or do. If I go to make a Dragon, I strike out a Cupid; instead of an Apothecary's Mortar, I make a Church Font for Baptism; and, dear Pillar of my hopes, Pedestal of my comfort, and Cornice of my joy, take compassion upon me, for upon your pity I build all my hope, and will, if fortunate, erect Statues, Obelisks and Pyramids, to your generosity."
As a specimen of alliteration the following may be considered a fair off-hand epistle of love:
"ADORED AND ANGELIC AMELIA: Accept An Ardent And Artless Amorist's Affections; Alleviate An Anguished Admirer's Alarms, And Answer An Amorous Applicant's Avowed Ardor. Ah, Amelia! All Appears An Awful Aspect; Ambition, Avarice, And Arrogance, Alas, Are Attractive Allurements, And Abuse An Ardent Attachment. Appease An Aching And Affectionate Adorer's Alarms, And Anon Acknowledge Affianced Albert's Alliance As Agreeable And Acceptable. Anxiously Awaiting An Affectionate And Affirmative Answer, Accept An Ardent Admirer's Aching Adieu. ALBERT."
The custom of espionage among some nations, which led the government officials' to open all letters supposed to contain matters at variance with the plans and purposes of their masters, induced the inventive to contrive various means of correspondence.
One of the most singular of these was that adopted by Histaus, the Milesian, as related by Herodotus. Histaus was "kept by Darius at Susa, under an honorable pretence, and, despairing of his return home, unless he could find out some way that he might be sent to sea, he purposed to send to Aristagoras, who was his substitute at Miletum, to persuade his revolt from Darius; but, knowing that all passages were stopped and studiously watched, he took this course: he got a trusty servant of his, the hair of whose head he caused to be shaved off, and then, upon his bald head, he wrote his mind to Aristagoras; kept him privately about him, till his hair was somewhat grown, and then bid him haste to Aristagoras, and bid him cause him to be shaved again, and then upon his head he should find what his lord had written to him."
A volume might be written of the Curiosities of Letter-writing, and it would be by no means an uninteresting production. Years ago, when New England missionaries first taught the wild men of the South Sea Islands, it so happened that one of the teachers wished to communicate with a friend, and having no pen, ink and paper at hand, he picked up a chip and wrote with a pencil his message. A native conveyed it, and, receiving some article in return, he thought the chip endowed with some miraculous power, and could he have obtained it would doubtless have treasured it as a god, and worshipped it. And so would seem to us this invaluable art of letter-writing, were we in like ignorance. We forget to justly appreciate a blessing while we have it in constant use; but let us be for a short time deprived of it, and then we lament its loss and realize its worth. Deprive mankind of pen, ink and paper, obliterate from the human mind all knowledge of letter-writing,—then estimate, if you can, thee loss that would accrue.
The good resulting from a general intercommunication of thought among the people has brought about a great reduction in the rates of postage. We look forward to the time when the tens of millions now expended in war, and invested in the ammunition of death, shall be directed into other channels, and postage shall be free. What better defence for our nation than education? It is better than forts and vessels of war; better than murderous guns, powder and ball. Hail to the day when there shall be no direct tax on the means of education!
A VISION OF REALITY.
I HAD a dream: Methought one came And bade me with him go; I followed, till, above the world, I wondering gazed below. One moment, horror filled my breast; Then, shrinking from the sight, I turned aside, and sought for rest, Half dying with affright. My guide with zeal still urged me on; "See, see!" said he, "what sin hath done; How mad ambition fills each breast, And mortals spurn their needed rest, And all their lives and fortunes spend To gain some darling, wished-for end; And scarce they see the long-sought prize, When each to grasp it fails and dies." Once more I looked: in a lonely room, On a pallet of straw, were lying A mother and child; no friends were near, Yet that mother and child were dying. A sigh arose; she looked above, And she breathed forth, "I forgive;" She kissed her child, threw back her head, And the mother ceased to live. The child's blue eyes were raised to watch Its mother's smile of love; She was not there,—her child she saw From her spirit-home above. An hour passed by: that child had gone From earth and all its harms; Yet, as in sleep, it nestling lay In its dead mother's arms. I asked my guide, "What doth this mean?" He spake not a word, but changed the scene. I stood where the busy throng Was hurrying by; all seemed intent, As on some weighty mission sent; And, as I asked what all this meant, A drunkard passd by. He spake,—I listened; thus spake he: "Rum, thou hast been a curse to me; My wife is dead,—my darling child, Who, when 't was born, so sweetly smiled, And seemed to ask, in speechless prayer, A father's love, a father's care,— He, he, too, now is gone! How can I any longer live? What joy to me can earth now give? I've drank full deep from sorrow's cup,— When shall I drink its last dregs up? When will the last, last pang be felt? When the last blow on me be dealt? Would I had ne'er been born!" As thus he spake, a gilded coach In splendor passd by; And from within a man looked forth,— The drunkard caught his eye. Then, with a wild and frenzied look, He, trembling, to it ran; He stayed the rich man's carriage there, And said, "Thou art the man! "Yes, thou the man! You bade me come, You took my gold, you gave me rum; You bade me in the gutter lie, My wife and child you caused to die; You took their bread,—'t was justly theirs; You, cunning, laid round me your snares, Till I fell in them; then you crushed, And robbed me, as my cries you hushed; You've bound me close in misery's thrall; Now, take a drunkard's curse and fall!" A moment passed, and all was o'er,— He who'd sold rum would sell no more And Justice seemed on earth to dwell, When by his victim's hand he fell. Yet, when the trial came, she fled, And Law would have the avenger dead. The gilded coach may rattle by, Men too may drink, and drunkards die, And widows' tears may daily fall, And orphans' voices daily call,— Yet these are all in vain; The dealer sells, and glass by glass He tempts the man to ruin pass, And piles on high his slain. His fellows fall by scores,—what then? He, being rich (though rich by fraud), Is honored by his fellow-men, Who bend the knee and call him "lord."
Again I turned;
Enough I'd learned Of all the misery sin hath brought; I strove to leave the fearful spot, And wished the scene might be forgot, 'T was so with terror fraught.
I wished to go,
No more to know. I turned me, but no guide stood there; Alone, I shrieked in wild dismay, When, lo! the vision passed away,— I found me seated in my chair. The morning sun was shining bright, Fair children gambolled in my sight; A rose-bush in my window stood, And shed its fragrance all around; My eye saw naught but fair and good, My ear heard naught but joyous sound. I asked me, can it be on earth Such scenes of horror have their birth, As those that in my vision past, And on my mind their shadows cast? Can it be true, that men do pour Foul poison forth for sake of gold? And men lie weltering in their gore, Led on by that their brethren sold? Doth man so bend the supple knee To Mammon's shrine, he never hears The voice of conscience, nor doth see His ruin in the wealth he rears? Such questions it were vain to ask, For Reason whispers, "It is so;" While some in fortune's sunshine bask, Others lie crushed beneath their woe. And men do sell, and men do pour, And for their gold return men death; Though wives and children them implore, With tearful eyes and trembling breath, And hearts with direst anguish riven, No more to sell,—'t is all in vain; They, urged to death, by avarice driven, But laugh and turn to sell again.
JEWELS OF THE HEART.
THERE are jewels brighter far Than the sparkling diamonds are; Jewels never wrought by art,— Nature forms them in the heart! Would ye know the names they hold Ah! they never can be told In the language mortals speak! Human words are far too weak Yet, if you would really know What these jewels are, then go To some low, secluded cot, Where the poor man bears his lot! Or, to where the sick and dying 'Neath the ills of life are sighing. And if there some one ye see Striving long and patiently To alleviate the pain, Bring the light of hope again! One whose feet do lightly tread, One whose hands do raise the head, One who watches there alone, Every motion, every tone; Unaware an eye doth see All these acts of charity. Know that in that lonely cot, Where the wealth of earth is not, These bright jewels will be found, Shedding love and light around! Say, shall gems and rubies rare With these heart-shrined gems compare? Constancy, that will not perish, But the thing it loveth cherish, Clinging to it fondly ever, Fainting, faltering, wavering, never! Trust, that will not harbor doubt; Putting fear and shame to rout, Making known how, free from harm, Love may rest upon its arm. Hope, that makes the future bright, Though there come a darksome night; And, though dark despair seems nigh, Bears the soul up manfully! These are gems that brighter shine Than they of Golconda's mine. Born amid love's fond caresses, Cradled in the heart's recesses, They will live when earth is old, Marble crumble, perish gold! Live when ages shall have past, While eternity shall last; Be these gems the wealth you share, Friends of mind, where'er you are!
LIGHT FROM A BETTER LAND.
HERE at thy grave I stand, But not in tears; Light from a better land Banishes fears. Thou art beside me now, Whispering peace; Telling how happy thou Found thy release! Thou art not buried here; Why should I mourn? All that I cherished dear Heavenward hath gone! Oft from that world above Come ye to this; Breathing in strains of love Unto me bliss!
POOR AND WEARY!
IN a low and cheerless cot Sat one mourning his sad lot; All day long he'd sought for labor; All day long his nearest neighbor Lived in affluence and squandered Wealth, while he an outcast wandered, And the night with shadowy wing Heard him this low moaning sing: "Sad and weary, poor and weary, Life to me is ever dreary!" Morning came; there was no sound Heard within. Men gathered round, Peering through the window-pane; They saw a form as if 't were lain Out for burial. Stiff and gaunt Lay the man who died in want. And methought I heard that day Angel voices whispering say, "No more sad, poor and weary, Life to me no more is dreary!"
THE BANDBOX MOVEMENT.
"THERE! Mr. McKenzie, I declare! You are the most oncommon, oncivil man I ever sot eyes on!"
"Peace, my lady! I'll explain."
"Then do so."
"You must know, then, that I have a perfect hatred of bandboxes,—so great, in fact, that if I see one on the walk, I involuntarily raise my foot and kick it."
"So it appears," chimed in Mrs: McKenzie, with a significant hunch of the right shoulder.
"Well, go on! what you waitin' for?"
"Therefore, when I saw Arabella's bandbox in the entry, as I came down, sitting, as it did, directly at the foot of the stairs, I jumped on it, thinking I would come over it that time—"
"An' crushed a new spring bonnet, that cost-let me see!"
"No matter!" said Mr. McKenzie; "that will be in the bill."
Mr. McKenzie, having said thus much, placed his hat on his head and rushed from the house, fearful of another onslaught of "oncommon oncivilities."
A little shop at the North End,—seven men seated round said shop,—a small dog growling at a large cat, a large cat making a noise resembling that produced by root-beer confined in a stone bottle by a cork bound down with a piece of twine. Reader, imagine you see and hear all this!
[Enter Mr. McKenzie.] "Gentlemen, something must be done to demolish the idea held by the 'rest of mankind' that they, the women, cannot exist without owning as personal property an indefinite number of bandboxes. I therefore propose that we at once organize for the purpose; that a committee be appointed to draft resolutions, and report a name for the confederacy."
Voted unanimously; whereupon, a committee being appointed, after a short session, reported the following "whereas, etc."
"Whereas, WE, in our perambulations up and down the earth, are frequently, oftentimes, and most always, beset with annoyances of various kinds; and, as the greatest, most perplexing, most troublesome and iniquitous of these, generally assumes the shape of a bandbox, in a bag or out of one; and, whereas, our wives, our daughters, our sisters, and our female acquaintances generally and particularly, manifest a determination to put said boxes in our way, at all times, and under all circumstances, therefore
"Resolved, That we form ourselves into a society for the purpose of annihilating this grievous evil, and all bandboxes, of every size and nature.
"Resolved, That this society be known by the name of 'The Bandbox Extermination Association.'"
The chairman of the committee made a few remarks, in which he stated that, in the performance of the duties which would devolve upon the members, they would, doubtless, meet with some opposition. "But, never mind," said he; "it is a glorious cause, and if we get the tongs at one time, and the hearth-brush another time, let 'em come!" He defined the duties of members to be,—first and foremost, to pay six and a quarter cents to defray expenses; to demolish a bandbox wherever and whenever there should be one; (for instance, if a fat woman was racing for the cars, with a bandbox in her arms, that box should be forcibly taken and burned on the spot, or whittled into such minute particles that it could no more be seen; if, in an omnibus warranted to seat twelve, fifteen men are congregated, and an individual attempts to enter with a bandbox, the box shall have notice to quit.)
"The manner of demolition," he said, further, "might be variously defined. If the owner was a nervous lady, to kick the box would wound her feelings, and it were best to apparently unintentionally seat yourself on it; then beg a thousand pardons, and, as you, in your efforts to make it better, only make it worse, give it up in despair, and console the owner by a reference to spilt milk and the uselessness of crying. As to the contents of the boxes, they must look out for themselves. If they get injured, hint that they should keep out of bad company."
The chairman sat down, and, the question being put, it was more than unanimously voted (inasmuch as one man voted with both hands That was McKenzie. ) to adopt the resolutions, the name, and all the remarks that had been made in connection with them. Members paid their assessments, and with a hearty good will.
Thus we see how "oaks from acorns grow." Mrs. McKenzie's fretfulness on account of her husband's patriotism led to the formation of a society that will make rapid strides towards the front rank of the army now at work for the amelioration of the condition of mankind.
NEW ENGLAND HOMES.
I've been through all the nations, have travelled o'er the earth, O'er mountain-top and valley, far from my land of birth; But whereso'er I wandered, wherever I did roam, I saw no spot so pleasant as my own New England home. I've seen Italia's daughters, beneath Italian skies Seen beauty in their happy smiles, and love within their eyes; But give to me the fairer ones that grace New England's shore, In preference to the dwellers in the valley of Lanore. I've watched the sun's departure behind the "Eternal Hills," When with floods of golden light the vaulted heaven it fills; But Italy can never boast, with its poetic power, More varied beauties than those of New England's sunset hour. I love my own New England; I love its rocks and hills; I love its trees, its mossy banks, its fountains and its rills; I love its homes, its cottages, its people round the hearth; I love, O, how I love to hear New England shouts of mirth! Tell me of the sunny South, its orange-groves and streams, That they surpass in splendor man's most enraptured dreams; But never can they be as fair, though blown by spicy gales, As those sweet homes, those cottages, within New England vales. O, when life's cares are ending, and time upon my brow Shall leave a deeper impress than gathers on it now; When age shall claim its sacrifice, and I no more shall roam, Then let me pass my latter days in my New England home!
LOVE THAT WANES NOT.
O, WHEN should Love's true beacons glow the brightest, If not when darkness shrouds the path we tread? When should its tokens, though they be the slightest, Be given, if not when clouds are overhead? When light is 'round us, and when joys are glowing, Some hand may press our own, and vow to cherish A love for us which ne'er shall cease its flowing,— And yet that love, when darkness comes, may perish. But there is love which will outlive all sorrow, And in the darkest hour be nigh to bless,— Which need not human art or language borrow, Its deep affection fondly to express. The mother o'er the child she loveth bending Need not in words tell others of her love; For, on the wings of earnest prayer ascending, It rises, and is registered above. O, such is love-all other is fictitious; All other's vanquished by disease and pain; But this, which lives when fate is unpropitious, Shall rise to heaven, and there an entrance gain.
BEND thee to action-nerve thee to duty! Whate'er it may be, never despair! God reigns on high,—pray to him truly, He will an answer give to thy prayer. Shrinketh thyself from crosses before thee? Art thou so made as to tremble and fear? Confide in thy God; he will watch o'er thee; Humbly and trustingly, brother, draw near! Clouds may be gathering, light may depart, Earth that thou treadest seem crumbling away; New foes, new dangers, around thee may start, And spectres of evil tempt thee astray. Onward courageously! nerved for the task, Do all thy duty, and strength shall be thine; Whate'er you want in humility ask, Aid shall be given from a source that's divine. Do all thy duty faithful and truly; Trust in thy Maker,—he's willing to save Thee from all evil, and keep thee securely, And make thee triumphant o'er death and the grave.
A FOREST PIC-NIC SONG.
WITHIN these woods, beneath these trees, We meet to-day a happy band; All joy is ours,—we feel the breeze Blow gently o'er our native land. How brightly blooms each forest flower! What cheerful notes the wild bird sings! How nature charms our festive hour, What beauty round our pathway springs! The aged bear no weight of years; The good old man, the matron too, Forget their ills, forget their fears, And range the dim old forests through With youth and maiden on whose cheek The ruddy bloom of health doth glow, And in whose eyes the heart doth speak Oft more than they would have us know. How pleasant thus it is to dwell Within the shadow of this wood, Where rock and tree and flower do tell To all that nature's God is good! Here nature's temple open stands,— There's none so nobly grand as here,— The sky its roof; its floor, all lands, While rocks and trees are worshippers. There's not a leaf that rustles now, A bird that chants its simple lays, A breeze that passing fans our brow, That speaks not of its Maker's praise. O, then, let us who gather here Praise Him who gave us this glad day, And when the twilight shades appear Pass with his blessing hence away!
THE WARRIOR'S BRIDE.
ROME was enjoying the blessings of peace; and so little employment attended the soldier's every-day life, that the words "as idle as a soldier" became a proverb indicative of the most listless inactivity.
The people gave themselves up to joy and gladness. The sound of music was heard from all parts of the city, and perfumed breezes went up as an incense from the halls of beauty and mirth.
It was, indeed, a blessed time for the city of the seven hills; and its people rejoiced as they had not for many a long, long year-ay, for a century.
"Peace, sweet peace, a thousand blessings attend thy glad reign. See you how quietly the peasant's flocks graze on our eternal hills? The tinkling bell is a sweeter sound than the trumpet's blast; and the curling smoke, arising from the hearth-stones of contented villagers, is a truer index of a nation's power than the sulphurous cloud from the field of battle. What say you, Alett,—is it not?"
Thus spake a youth of noble mien, as he stood with one arm encircling the waist of a lady, of whose beauty it were useless to attempt a description. There are some phases of beauty which pen cannot describe, nor pencil portray,—a beauty which seems to hover around the form, words, and motions of those whose special recipients it is; a sort of ethereal loveliness, concentrating the tints of the rainbow, the sun's golden rays, and so acting upon the mind's eye of the observer as almost to convince him that a visitant from a sphere of perfection is in his presence.
Such was that of Alett. She was the only daughter of a distinguished general, whose name was the terror of all the foes, and the confidence of all the friends, of Italy-his eldest daughter; and with love approaching idolatry he cherished her. She was his confidant. In the privacy of her faithful heart he treasured all his plans and purposes. Of late, the peaceful security in which the nation dwelt gave him the opportunity of remaining at home, where, in the companionship of a wife he fondly loved, children he almost idolized, and friends whose friendship was not fictitious, he found that joy and comfort which the camp could never impart.
Alett was ever in the presence of her father, or the young man whose apostrophe to peace we have just given.
Rubineau was not the descendant of a noble family, in the worldly acceptation of the term. It was noble, indeed, but not in deeds of war or martial prowess. Its nobleness consisted in the steady perseverance in well-doing, and a strict attachment to what conscience dictated as right opinions. The general loved him for the inheritance he possessed in such traits of character, and the love which existed between his daughter and the son of a plebeian was countenanced under such considerations, with one proviso; which was, that, being presented with a commission, he should accept it, and hold himself in readiness to leave home and friends when duty should call him to the field of battle.
We have introduced the two standing on a beautiful eminence, in the rear of the general's sumptuous mansion.
The sun was about going down, and its long, golden rays streamed over hill and dale, palace and cot, clothing all in a voluptuous flow of rich light.
They had stood for several moments in silence, gazing at the quiet and beautiful scene before them, when the musical voice of Rubineau broke forth in exclamations of delight at the blessings of peace.
Alett was not long in answering. It was a theme on which she delighted to dwell. Turning the gaze of her large, full eyes up towards those of Rubineau, she said,
"Even so it is. Holy Peace! It. is strange that men will love the trumpet's blast, and the smoke and the heat of the conflict, better than its gentle scenes. Peace, peace! blessings on thee, as thou givest blessings!"
Rubineau listened to the words of his Alett with a soul of admiration. He gazed upon her with feelings he had never before felt, and which it was bliss for him to experience.
She, the daughter of an officer, brought up amid all the glare and glitter, show and blazonry, of military life,—she, who had seen but one side of the great panorama of martial life,—to speak thus in praise of peace, and disparagingly of the profession of her friends-it somewhat surprised the first speaker.
"It is true," he replied; "but how uncertain is the continuance of the blessings we now enjoy! To-morrow may sound the alarm which shall call me from your side to the strife and tumult of war. Instead of your gentle words, I may hear the shouts of the infuriated soldiery, the cry of the wounded, and the sighs of the dying."
"Speak not so," exclaimed Alett; "it must not be."
"Do you not love your country?" inquired the youth.
"I do, but I love Rubineau more. There are warriors enough ready for the battle. It need not be that you go. But why this alarm? We were talking of peace, and, behold, now we have the battle-field before us-war and all its panoply!"
"Pardon me, my dearest Alett, for borrowing trouble; but at times, when I am with you, and thinking of our present joy, the thought will arise that it may be taken from us." No more words were needed to bring to the mind of Alett all that filled that of Rubineau. They embraced each the other more affectionately than ever, and silently repaired to the house of the general.
"To remain will be dishonor; to go may be death! When a Roman falls, the foe has one more arrow aimed at his heart; an arrow barbed with revenge, and sent with unerring precision. Hark! that shout is music to every soldier's ear. Hear you that tramp of horsemen? that rumbling of chariot-wheels?"
Twelve months had passed since the time of the last chapter, and, after repeated threatening, war had actually begun. Instead of idle hours, the soldiers had busy moments, and every preparation was made to meet the opposing array in a determined manner, and with a steadiness of purpose that should insure success.
The general watched for some time the fluctuating appearance of public affairs, and it was not until war was not only certain, but actually in progress, that he called upon Rubineau to go forth.
A week hence Rubineau and Alett were to be united in marriage; and invitations had been extended far and near, in anticipation of the event. It had been postponed from week to week, with the hope that the various rumors that were circulated respecting impending danger to the country might prove untrue, or at least to have a foundation on some weak pretence, which reasonable argument might overthrow.
Day by day these rumors increased, and the gathering together of the soldiery betokened the certainty of an event which would fall as a burning meteor in the midst of the betrothed and their friends.
The call for Rubineau to depart was urgent, and its answer admitted of no delay.
"To remain," said the general, "will be dishonor; to go may be death: which will you choose?"
It was a hard question for the young man to answer. But it must be met. The general loved him, and with equal unwillingness the question was presented and received.
"I go. If Rubineau falls—"
"If he returns," exclaimed the general, interrupting him, "honor, and wealth, and a bride who loves and is loved, shall be his-all his."
It was a night of unusual loveliness. The warm and sultry atmosphere of the day had given place to cool and gentle breezes. The stars were all out, shining as beacons at the gates of a paradise above; and the moon began and ended her course without the attendance of one cloud to veil her beauties from the observation of the dwellers on earth.
Rubineau and Alett were seated beneath a bower, cultivated by the fair hand of the latter.
The next morning Rubineau was to depart. All the happy scenes of the coming week were to be delayed, and the thought that they might be delayed long-ay, forever-came like a shadow of evil to brood in melancholy above the place and the hour.
We need not describe the meeting, the parting.
"Whatever befalls me, I shall not forget you, Alett. Let us hope for the best. Yet a strange presentiment I have that I shall not return."
"O that I could go with you!" said Alett. "Think you father would object?"
"That were impossible. Nothing but love, true and enduring, could make such a proposal. It would be incurring a two-fold danger."
"Death would be glorious with you,—life insupportable without you!"
In such conversation the night passed, and when the early light of morning came slowly up the eastern sky, the sound of a trumpet called him away.
The waving of a white flag was the last signal, and the general, all unused to tears as he was, mingled his with those of his family as the parting kiss was given, and Rubineau started on a warfare the result of which was known only to Him who governs the destinies of nations and of individuals.
And now, in the heat of the conflict, the war raged furiously. Rubineau threw himself in the front rank, and none was more brave than he. It seemed to his fellow-officers that he was urged on by some unseen agency, and guarded from injury by some spirit of good.
To himself but one thought was in his mind; and, regardless of danger, he pressed forward for a glorious victory, and honor to himself and friends.
Those whose leader he was were inspirited by his courageous action, and followed like true men where he led the way.
They had achieved several victories, and were making an onset upon numbers four-fold as large as their own, when their leader received a severe wound, and, falling from his noble horse, would have been trampled to death by his followers, had not those who had seen him fall formed a circle around as a protection for him.
This serious disaster did not dampen the ardor of the soldiers; they pressed on, carried the point, and saw the foe make a rapid retreat.
The shouts of victory that reached the ears of Rubineau came with a blessing. He raised himself, and shouted, "On, brave men!" But the effort was too much for him to sustain for any length of time, and he fell back completely exhausted.
He was removed to a tent, and had every attention bestowed upon him. As night approached, and the cool air of evening fanned his brow, he began to revive, but not in any great degree.
The surgeon looked sad. There was evidently reason to fear the worst; and, accustomed as he was to such scenes, he was now but poorly prepared to meet it.
"Rubineau is expiring," whispered a lad, as he proceeded quietly among the ranks of soldiers surrounding the tent of the wounded.
And it was so. His friends had gathered around his couch, and, conscious of the approach of his dissolution, he bade them all farewell, and kissed them.
"Tell her I love, I die an honorable death; tell her that her Rubineau fell where the arms of the warriors clashed the closest, and that victory hovered above him as his arm grew powerless; and, O, tell her that it was all for her sake,—love for her nerved his arm, and love for her is borne upward on his last, his dying prayer. Tell her to love as I—"
"He is gone, sir," said the surgeon.
"Gone!" exclaimed a dozen voices.
"A brave man has fallen," remarked another, as he raised his arm, and wiped the flowing tears from his cheek.
At the mansion of the old general every arrival of news from the war sent a thrill of joy through the hearts of its inmates. Hitherto, every despatch told of victory and honor; but now a sad chapter was to be added to the history of the conflict.
Alett trembled as she beheld the slow approach of the messenger, who, at all previous times, had come with a quick step. In her soul she felt the keen edge of the arrow that was just entering it, and longed to know all, dreadful though it might be.
Need we describe the scene of fearful disclosure? If the reader has followed the mind of Alett, as from the first it has presumed, conjectured, and fancied,—followed all its hopes of future bliss, and seen it revel in the sunshine of honor and earthly fame,—he can form some idea, very faint though it must be, of the effect which followed the recital of all the facts in regard to the fallen.
In her wild frenzy of grief, she gave utterance to the deep feelings of her soul with words that told how deep was her sorrow, and how unavailing every endeavor which friends exerted to allay its pangs.
She would not believe him dead. She would imagine him at her side, and would talk to him of peace, "sweet peace," and laugh in clear and joyous tones as she pictured its blessings, and herself enjoying with him its comforts.
Thus, with enthroned reason, she would give vent to grief; and, with her reason dethroned, be glad and rejoice.
And so passed her lifetime.
Often, all day long, attired in bridal raiment, the same in which she had hoped to be united indissolubly to Rubineau, she remained seated in a large oaken chair, while at her side stood the helmet and spear he had carried forth on the morning when they parted. At such times, she was as calm as an infant's slumberings, saying that she was waiting for the sound of the marriage-bells; asked why they did not ring, and sat for hours in all the beauty of loveliness-the Warrior's Bride.
THE ADVENT OF HOPE.
ONCE on a time, from scenes of light An angel winged his airy flight; Down to this earth in haste he came, And wrote, in lines of living flame, These words on everything he met,— "Cheer up, be not discouraged yet!" Then back to heaven with speed he flew, Attuned his golden harp anew; Whilst the angelic throng came round To catch the soul-inspiring sound; And heaven was filled with new delight, For HOPE had been to earth that night.
CHILD AND SIRE.
"KNOW you what intemperance is?" I asked a little child, Who seemed too young to sorrow know, So beautiful and mild. It raised its tiny, blue-veined hand, And to a church-yard near It pointed, whilst from glistening eye Came forth the silent tear.
"Yes, for yonder, in that grave, Is my father lying; And these words he spake to me While he yet was dying: "'Mary, when the sod lies o'er me And an orphan child thou art,— When companions ask thy story, Say intemperance aimed the dart. When the gay the wine-cup circle, Praise the nectar that doth shine, When they'd taste, then tell thy story, And to earth they'll dash the wine.' "And there my dear-loved mother lies,— What bitter tears I've shed Over her grave!-I cannot think That she is really dead. And when the spring in beauty blooms, At morning's earliest hour I hasten there, and o'er her grave I plant the little flower. "And patiently I watch to see It rise from out the earth, To see it from its little grave Spring to a fairer birth. For mother said that thus would she, And father, too, and I, Arise from out our graves to meet In mansions in the sky. "O, what intemperance is, there's none On earth can better tell. Intemperance me an orphan made, In this wide world to dwell; Intemperance broke my mother's heart, It took my father's life, And makes the days of man below With countless sorrows rife." "Know you what intemperance is?" I asked a trembling sire, Whose lamp of life burned dim, and seemed As though 'twould soon expire. He raised his bowd head, and then Methought a tear did start, As though the question I had put Had reached his very heart. He raised his head, but 't was to bow It down again and sigh; Methought that old man's hour had come In which he was to die. Not so; he raised it up again, And boldly said, "I can! Intemperance is the foulest curse That ever fell on man. "I had a son, as fair, as bright As ever mortal blest; And day passed day, and year passed year, Whilst I that son carest. For all my hopes were bound in him; I thought, from day to day, That when old age should visit me That son would be my stay. "I knew temptations gathered near, And bade him warning take,— Consent not, if enticed to sin, E'en for his father's sake. But in a fearful hour he drank From out the poisonous bowl, And then a pang of sorrow lodged Within my inmost soul. "A year had passed, and he whom I Had strove in vain to save Fell, crushed beneath intemperance, Into a drunkard's grave. O, brother, I can tell to thee What vile intemperance is, When one in whom I fondly hoped Met such an end as his! "This was not all; a daughter I Was blest with, and she passed Before me like an angel-form Upon my pathway cast. She loved one with a tender love, She left her father's side, And stood forth, in her robes of white, A young mechanic's bride. "She lived and loved, and loved and lived, For many a happy year; No sorrow clouded o'er her path, But joy was ever near. Ay, those were pleasant hours we spent, Were joyful ones we passed; Alas! too free from care were they On earth to always last. "Then he was tempted, tasted, drank, And then to earth he fell; And ever after misery Within that home did dwell. And soon he died, as drunkards die, With scarce an earthly friend, Yet one bent o'er him tenderly Till life itself did end, "And when life's chord was broken, when His spirit went forth free, In all her anguish then she came To bless and comfort me. Yet she, too, died, ere scarce twelve months Had passed o'er her head, And in yon much-loved church-yard now She resteth with the dead. That little child you spoke to is The child she left behind; I love her for her mother's sake, And she is good and kind. And every morning, early, to Yon flowery grave she'll go; And I thank my God she's with me To bless me here below. "I had a brother, but he died The drunkard's fearful death; He bade me raise a warning voice Till Time should stay my breath. And thousands whom in youth I loved Have fallen 'neath the blast Of ruin which intemperance Hath o'er the wide world cast." He spoke no more,—the gushing tears His furrowed cheeks did leap; The little child came quick to know What made the old man weep. He, trembling, grasped my hand and said (The little child grasped his), "May you ne'er know, as I have known, What sad intemperance is!" And since that hour, whene'er I look Around me o'er the earth, And see the wine-cup passing free 'Mid scenes of festive mirth, I think how oft it kindleth up Within its raging fire, And fain would tell to all the truths I heard from "Child and Sire."
A BROTHER'S WELCOME.
WELCOME, brother, welcome home! Here's a father's hand to press thee; Here's a mother's heart to bless thee; Here's a brother's will to twine Joys fraternal close with thine; Here's a sister's earnest love, Equalled but by that above; Here are friends who once did meet thee, Gathered once again to greet thee. Welcome, brother, welcome home! Thou hast wandered far away; Many a night and many a day We have thought where thou might'st be, On the land or on the sea; Whether health was on thy cheek, Or that word we dare not speak Hung its shadowy wing above thee, Far away from those who love thee. Welcome, brother, welcome home! Here, where youthful days were spent Ere life had its labor lent, Where the hours went dancing by, 'Neath a clear, unclouded sky. And our thanks for blessings rendered Unto God were daily tendered, Here as ever pleasures reign, Welcome to these scenes again!
THE IMMENSITY OF CREATION.
IT is well for man to consider the heavens, the work of God's hands; the moon and the stars, which he has created. To look forth upon the universe, of which we form a part, fills us with high and ennobling thoughts, and inspires us with an earnest desire to press onward in the endless path, at every step of which new wonders and new joys spring up to greet our vision, and to gladden our souls.
Whichever way we look, above or below us, to the right or the left, we find a boundless expanse teeming with life and its enjoyments. This earth, large as it may appear to us, is less than a grain of sand in size, when compared with the vastness around it.
Take your soul away from earth, and send it on a mission of research among other worlds. Let it soar far away to where the dog-star, Sirius, holds its course; and then, though nineteen billion two hundred million miles from earth, a distance so great, that light, travelling, as it does, at the rate of six million six hundred and twenty thousand miles a minute, would require three years to pass it,—even then, when the journeying spirit had reached such a point, it might pass on and on,—new worlds meeting its gaze at every advance, and new wonders being seen as far beyond the point it had attained as the inconceivable length of the path it had already travelled multiplied a myriad of times.
We can scarcely comprehend the vast distance of Sirius; yet, great as this distance is, it is the nearest star to our system, and stars have been seen whose distance from the earth is estimated to be a thousand times as great!
Can human mind mark that range? A thousand times nineteen billion two hundred million! And were we to stand on the last of these discovered stars, we might look yet far beyond, and see "infinity, boundless infinity, stretching on, unfathomed, forever."
To have an idea of the vastness of creation, we must possess the mind of the Creator. What are we? We live and move and have our being on a grain of creation, that is being whirled through boundless space with inconceivable rapidity. And we affect to be proud of our estate! We build houses and we destroy them; we wage war, kill, brutify, enslave, ruin each other; or, we restore, beautify, and bless. We are vain, sometimes. We think the world was made for us; the stars shine for us, and all the hosts that gem the drapery of night created for our special benefit. Astonishing presumption!-born of ignorance and cradled in credulity!
The mind grows dizzy as it attempts to conceive of constellation beyond constellation, on and on, through endless space.
Commencing with this earth, the mind given up to serious reflection muses upon its broad extent of territory, its continents and its oceans, and it appears very large indeed. Forgetting, for a moment, its knowledge of other planets, it believes that this world is the whole universe of God; that the sun, moon and stars, are but lights in the firmament of heaven to give light upon the earth. But truth steps in and change the mind's view. It shows that, large and important as this earth may appear, the sun, which is spoken of as inferior, is three hundred and fifty-four thousand nine hundred and thirty six times larger; and the stars, that seem like diamond points above us, are, many of them, larger than the sun, one being one billion eight hundred million miles in diameter. Yet, such a bulk, when compared to the universe, is less than a monad.
A "monad" is an indivisible atom. It is as incomprehensible as the mysteries of creation, or the duration of eternity.
Tripoli, or rotten-stone, an article used in every family, and tons of which are daily employed in manufactories, is composed entirely of animalcul. In each cubic inch there are forty-one billion, that is, forty-one million-million of these living, breathing creatures, each of whom has organs of sight, hearing and digestion. Think, if you can, of the internal organization of beings a million of whom could rest on the point of a cambric needle!
But there are more minute forms of creation than even those. Deposit a grain, the four hundred and eightieth part of an ounce of musk, in any place, and, for twenty years, it will throw off exhalations of fragrance, without causing any perceptible decrease of weight. The fragrance that for so many years goes forth from that minute portion of matter is composed of particles of musk. How small must each of those particles be, that follow each other in ceaseless succession for twenty years, without lessening, to any perceptible degree, the weight of the deposit! And yet we have not reached the monad. A celebrated author
Niewentyt. made a computation which led to the conclusion that six billion as many atoms of light flow from a candle in one second as there are grains of sand in the whole earth, supposing each cubic inch to contain one million!
Here we must stop. Further advances are impossible, yet our end is not attained; we have not yet reached the monad, for the animalcul and the less sentient particles of matter, light, are not, for they are divisible.
The insect can be divided, because it has limbs with which to move; and an intelligence higher than man can doubtless see emanations from those particles of light. But a monad is indivisible! Think of each cubic inch of this great earth containing a million grains of sand, and those countless grains multiplied by one billion, or a million-million, and that the product only shows the number of particles of light that flow from a candle in one second of time!-and not a monad yet! Minds higher than ours can separate each of these particles, and yet perhaps they find not the indivisible, but assign over to other minds the endless task.
With such thoughts let us return to our first point, and remark that the star tens of billions of miles distant, one billion eight hundred million miles in diameter, is but a monad when compared with the creations of the vast universe of God!
Here the mind sinks within itself, and gladly relinquishes the herculean task of endeavoring to comprehend, for a single moment, a fractional part of the stupendous whole.
Deep below us, high above us, far as the eye of the mind can see around us, are the works of our Creator, marshalled in countless hosts. All animated by his presence, all breathed upon by his life, inspired by his divinity, fostered by his love, supported by his power.
And in all things there is beauty-sunbeams and rainbows; fragrant flowers whose color no art can equal. In every leaf, every branch, every fibre, every stone, there is a perfect symmetry, perfect adaptation to the conditions that surround it. And thus it is, from the minutest insect undiscernible by human eye, to the planet whose size no figures can represent. Each and all the works of God order governs, symmetry moulds, and beauty adorns.
There are all grades of beings, from the monad to the highest intelligences, and man occupies his position in the endless chain. Could you hear and see, as seraphs listen and behold, you would hear one continuous song of glad praise go up from all creation; you would see all things radiant with smiles, reflecting the joys of heaven. And why? Because they follow nature's leading, and, in doing so, live and move in harmony.
Who can scale the heights above us, or fathom the depths below us? Who can comprehend the magnitude of countless worlds that roll in space-the distance that separates the nearest orb from our earth, the worlds of being in a drop of water, the mighty array of angel forms that fill immensity?
Well may we exclaim, "Great and marvellous are thy works, O Lord of Hosts, and that my soul knoweth right well!"
A VISION OF HEAVEN.
NIGHT had shed its darkness round me; Wearied with the cares of day, Rested I. Sleep's soft folds bound me, And my spirit fled away. As on eagle pinions soaring, On I sped from star to star, Till heaven's high and glistening portals Met my vision from afar. Myriad miles I hasted over; Myriad stars I passd by: On and on my tireless spirit Urged its ceaseless flight on high. Planets burned with glorious radiance, Lighting up my trackless way; On I sped, till music coming From the realms of endless day Fell upon my ear,—as music Chanted by celestial choirs Only can,—and then my spirit Longed to grasp their golden lyres Stood I hear that portal wondering Whether I could enter there: I, of earth and sin the subject, Child of sorrow and of care! There I stood like one uncalled for, Willing thus to hope and wait, Till a voice said, "Why not enter? Why thus linger at the gate? "Know me not? Say whence thou comest Here to join our angel band. Know me not? Here, take thy welcome- Take thine angel-sister's hand." Then I gazed, and, gazing, wondered; For 't was she who long since died,— She who in her youth departed, Falling early at my side. "Up," said she, "mid glorious temples! Up, where all thy loved ones rest! They with joy will sing thy welcome To the mansions of the blest. Mansions where no sin can enter, Home where all do rest in peace; Where the tried and faithful spirit From its trials finds release; "Golden courts, where watchful cherubs Tune their harps to holy praise; Temples in which countless myriads Anthems of thanksgiving raise." I those shining portals entered, Guided by that white-robed one, When a glorious light shone round me, Brighter than the noonday sun! Friends I met whom death had severed From companionship below; All were there-and in each feature Immortality did glow. I would touch their golden lyres, When upon my ear there broke Louder music—at that moment I from my glad vision woke. All was silent; scarce a zephyr Moved the balmy air of night; And the moon, in meekness shining, Shed around its hallowed light.
THERE'S HOPE FOR THEE YET.
WHAT though from life's bounties thou mayest have fallen? What though thy sun in dark clouds may have set? There is a bright star that illumes the horizon, Telling thee truly, "There's hope for thee yet." This earth may look dull, old friends may forsake thee; Sorrows that never before thou hast met May roll o'er thy head; yet that bright star before thee Shines to remind thee "there's hope for thee yet." 'T is but folly to mourn, though fortune disdain thee, Though never so darkly thy sun may have set; 'T is wisdom to gaze at the bright star before thee, And shout, as you gaze, "There's hope for me yet."
SOLILOQUY OVER THE GRAVE OF A WIFE.
IT cannot be that thou art dead; that now I watch beside thy grave, and with my tears Nourish the flowers that blossom over thee; I cannot think that thou art dead and gone; That naught remains to me of what thou wert, Save that which lieth here,—dust unto dust. When the bright sun arises, and its rays Pass noiseless through my chamber, then methinks That thou art with me still; that I can see Thy flowing hair; and thy bright glancing eye Beams on me with a look none other can. And when at noon life's busy tumult makes My senses reel, and I almost despair, Thou comest to me and I'm cheered again; Thine own bright smile illuminates my way, And one by one the gathered clouds depart, Till not a shadow lies upon my path. Night, with its long and sombre shadows, treads Upon the steps that morn and noon have trod; And, as our children gather round my knee, And lisp those evening prayers thy lips have taught, I cannot but believe that thou art near. But when they speak of "mother," when they say "'T is a long time since she hath left our side," And when they ask, in their soft infant tones, When they again shall meet thee,—then I feel A sudden sadness o'er my spirit come: And when sleep holds them in its silken bands I wander here, to this fair spot they call Thy grave (as though this feeble earth could hold Thee in its cold embrace), and weep and sigh; Yet, trusting, look above to yon bright sphere, And feel thou art not dead, but living there. It is not thou that fills this spot of earth, It is not thou o'er whom these branches wave, These blooming roses only mark the spot Where but remaineth that thou couldst not wear Amid immortal scenes. Thou livest yet! Thy feet do tread the golden courts of heaven; Thy hands have touched the harps that angels use; Thy eyes have seen the glory of our Lord; Thy ears have listened to that song of praise Which angels utter, and which God accepts.
THEY had escaped the galling chain and fetters, Had gained the freedom which they long had sought, And lived like men-in righteous deeds abettors, Loving the truth which God to them had taught Some at the plough had labored late and early; And some ascended Learning's glorious mount; And some in Art had brought forth treasures pearly, Which future history might with joy recount As gems wrought out by hands which God made free, But man had sworn should chained and fettered be. They lived in peace, in quietness, and aided In deeds of charity-in acts of love; Nor cared though evil men their works upbraided, While conscience whispered of rewards above. And they had wives to love, children who waited At eve to hear the father's homeward tread, And clasped the hand,—or else, with joy elated, Sounding his coming, to their mother sped. Thus days and years passed by, and hope was bright, Nor dreamed they of a dark and gloomy night. Men came empowered, with handcuffs and with warrants, And, entering homes, tore from their warm embrace Husbands and fathers, and in copious torrents Poured forth invective on our northern race, And done all "lawfully;" because 't was voted By certain men, who, when they had the might, Fostered plans on which their passions doted, Despite of reason and God's law of right; And, bartering liberties, the truth dissembled, While Freedom's votaries yielded as they trembled. Shall we look on and bear the insult given? O, worse than "insult" is it to be chained, To have the fetters on thy free limbs riven, When once the prize of Freedom has been gained. No! by the granite pointing high above us, By Concord, Lexington, and, Faneuil Hall, By all these sacred spots, by those who love us, We pledge to-day our hate of Slavery's thrall; And give to man, whoever he may be, The power we have to make and keep him free.
THE UNIVERSAL JUBILEE.
WHAT shouts shall rise when earth shall hold Its universal jubilee! When man no more is bought and sold, And one and all henceforth are free!
Then songs they'll sing, That loud shall ring From rock to rock, from shore to shore. "Hurra!" they'll shout, "we're free, we're free, From land to land, from sea to sea, And chains and fetters bind no more!" Let every freeman strive to bring The universal jubilee; All hail the day when earth shall ring With shouts of joy, and men are free!
Then each glad voice Shall loud rejoice, And chains shall fall from every hand, Whilst myriad tongues shall loudly tell The grateful joy of hearts that swell, Where Freedom reigns o'er sea and land.
TAPVILLE was situated on the borders of one of the most beautiful rivers that grace and refresh the soil of New England. It was once a quiet place, once as perfect in its character as any of its sisterhood. A moral atmosphere pervaded it, and the glorious and divine principle of doing unto others as they would have others do unto them governed its inhabitants; and, therefore, it was not strange that its farmers and storekeepers kept good the proverbial honesty and hospitality of their progenitors. Tradition said (but written history was silent) that a few of those who landed at Plymouth Rock separated from the main body, and took up their abode further in the interior; and that, from these "few," a flourishing company arose, and the place they inhabited was "Springvale." But time and circumstances having much to do with the concerns of earth's inhabitants, changed the character as well as the name of this ancient town, and "Springvale" became "Tapville."
One evening, in the year one thousand eight hundred and I don't remember what, after a somewhat fatiguing ride on horseback all day, my heart was cheered on coming in view of the town. I had never visited Tapville, but, from accounts I had heard, judged it to be a sort of Pandemonium-a juvenile Bedlam. As I entered, troops of children greeted me with shouts, and my horse with stones. Despite of my treatment, I could not but compare their appearance, to say nothing of their conduct, with those I had last seen in another town, thirty miles distant. These were attired in rags, those in good clothing; these with unwashed faces, uncombed hair, and bearing every mark of neglect,—those bright and smiling, happy themselves, and making all around them so.
I did not much fancy my reception, I assure you. My horse seemed wondering at the cause of it, for he suddenly halted, then turned slowly about, and began to canter away with a speed that I thought quite impossible for a beast after a long day's work. I reined him in, turned about, and entered the town by a small and not much frequented pathway.
There was a large building at my left, with a huge sign over its principal door, from which I learned that "Good Entertainment for Man and Beast" might be had within. Appearances, however, indicated that a beast must be a very bad beast who would accept its "entertainment."
A fat man, wearing a green jacket on his back, an old torn and tattered straw hat on his head, and both hands in his pockets, stood lazily at the door; before which half a score of dirty children were playing with marbles, and a short distance from which a couple of children were fighting, upon whose pugilistic exercises a woman, with a child in her arms and a pipe in her mouth, was gazing with intense interest.
The general appearance of the town was far from pleasing. At nearly every window, hats, or shingles, or bundles of rags, took the place of glass, and the doors, instead of being hung on hinges, were "set up," liable to be set down by the first gust of wind.
Near one miserable shantee, poor, very poor apology for a dwelling-house, one man was endeavoring to get another into the house; at least, so I thought; but both were so much intoxicated that I could not tell, for my life, which the latter was. At one moment, the man with the blue coat with the tails cut off seemed to be helping the man without a coat; the next moment, I thought the coatless man was trying to help the other. The fact was, both needed help, which neither could give; so they remained "in a fix."
Now and then, a bare-footed little child would run across my path, and hurry out of sight, as if fearful of being seen where so much that was neither of heaven nor of earth was discernible.
In striking contrast with the want and desolation around, stood a beautiful mansion. Around it was a garden of choice flowers, and the vine, with its rich clusters of luscious grapes, shaded the path to the entrance of the house.
I continued on. Far up a shaded avenue I perceived a small, yet neat cottage, so different in general appearance from those around it, that I turned my way thither, in hopes of resting in quiet, and, if possible, of learning something relative to the town. I alighted, knocked, and soon an old lady requested me to enter, saying that Tommy would see that my horse was cared for. It was a small room that I entered; everything was as neat and clean as a New Year's gift, and there was so much of New England about it, that I felt at home. Near an open window, in an easy-chair, sat a young lady of decidedly prepossessing appearance but evidently wasting beneath that scourge of eastern towns and cities-consumption. There was a hue upon her cheek that was in beautiful contrast with the pure white of her high forehead, and the dark, penetrating eye that flashed with the deep thoughts of her soul.
The old lady was one of those good-natured, motherly women, whom you will find at the firesides of New England homes, generous to a fault; and whom you cannot but love, for the interest she takes in you, and the solicitude she manifests for your welfare.
A repast was soon at hand, and when it was over the lady said,
"You are from Boston, then?"
"Yes," I replied; "and, having heard considerable respecting this place, have come hither to satisfy myself whether or not any good would be likely to result from a temperance lecture here."
"Temperance lecture!" she exclaimed, as she grasped my hand. "Do, sir, for Heaven's sake, do something, do anything you possibly can, to stay the ravages of the rum fiend in this place!"
She would have said more, but she could not. The fountains of her heart seemed breaking, and a flood of tears flowed from her eyes. The daughter buried her face in her hands, and the sighs that arose from both mother and child told me that something had been said that deeply affected them.
Tommy at this moment came in, happy and joyous; but, as soon as he saw his mother and sister weeping, his whole appearance changed. He approached his mother, and, looking up in her face, said, "Don't cry, mother. Jenny will be better soon, and Tommy will work and make you and her happy. Don't cry, mother!"
The child's simple entreaty brought more copiously the tears to the mourner's eyes, and some time elapsed before they became in the least degree comforted.
"You will excuse me, sir," said she, "I know you will, for my grief; but, O, if temperance had been here ten years ago, we should have been so happy!"
"Yes," said the boy; "then father would not have died a drunkard!"
The surmises I had entertained as to the cause of this sorrow were now confirmed; and, at my request, she told me her story, with a hope that it might prove a warning to others.
"You must know, sir, that when we came here to live we were just married. Alfred, my husband, was a good mechanic, industrious, frugal and kind-hearted. He had by his labor and economy accumulated a small amount, enough to purchase an estate consisting of a house, shop and farm. He had many and good customers, and our prospects were very fair. We attended church regularly, for we thought that, after enjoying the bounties of a beneficent Ruler all of six days, it was our duty, as well as privilege, to devote the seventh to His praise.
"Years passed by, when one morning Jenny, who was then about seven years old, came running in, and told me that a new store had been opened; that the man had nothing but two or three little kegs, and a few bottles and tumblers. I went out, and found it as she had stated. There was the man; there was his store; there were his kegs, bottles and tumblers.
"The next day some changes were made; a few signs were seen, and the quiet villagers gazed in wonder, if not admiration, at the inscriptions, 'Rum,' 'Gin,' 'Brandies,' 'Wines and Cigars.' Old men shook their heads, and looked wise. Old women peered from beneath their specs, and gave vent to many predictions. Children asked what the words meant.
"That night I talked with my husband about it. He thought that there was no danger; that social enjoyment would harm no one; and seemed astonished, to use his own words, 'that such a sensible woman as I was should express any anxiety about the matter.' That night, to me, was a long and sad one. I feared the result of the too much dependence on self which he seemed to cherish.
"The rumseller soon gathered a number of townsmen about him. His establishment became a place of frequent resort by many, and soon we had quarrelling neighbors, and disturbances at night. Boys became dishonest, and thus the fruits of the iniquitous traffic became visible.
"I noticed that Alfred was not as punctual in his return as formerly; and my fears that he visited this pest-house of the town were soon confirmed. I hinted to him my suspicions. He was frank, and freely admitted that he visited the bar-room; said he had become acquainted with a few choice spirits, true friends, who had sworn eternal friendship. 'Danger,' said he, 'there is none! If I thought I endangered your happiness, I would not visit it again.' I recollect the moment. He looked me steadily in the face, and, as he did so, a tear escaped my eye. He, smiling, wiped it away, promised that when he saw evil he would avoid it, and left me alone to my reflections.
"But I will be brief. I need not tell you how, step by step, he descended that ladder whose end rested in the grave. I need not tell you how I warned him of dander; how I entreated him to avoid it; how I watched him in sickness, and bathed his fevered brow; how my heart was gladdened when I saw his health returning, and heard his solemn promise to reform.
"Nor need I tell you how he was again led astray, and his hand encircled that cup which he had once dashed aside. O, sir, he was a good man; and, in his sober moments, he would weep like a child, as he thought of his situation! He would come to me and pour out his soul in gratitude for my kindness; and would beg my forgiveness, in the tenderest manner, till his heart became too full for utterance, and his repentance found vent in his tears.
"What could I do but forgive him, as I did a hundred times!
"Disheartened, I became sick. I was not expected to survive; and Jenny, poor, child, watched by my side, and contracted an illness, from which, I fear, she will not be freed till the God she loves calls her home to himself.
"When I recovered, Alfred remained for some time sober and happy. But he fell! Yes, sir; but God knows he tried to stand, and would have done so had not the owner of that groggery, by foul stratagem, hurled him to the ground. I went, my daughter went, friends went, to ask the destroyer of our happiness to desist; but he turned us away with an oath and a laugh, saying, 'he would sell to all who wanted.'
"Frequent exposure brought disease; disease brought death, and my husband died.
"All our property was sold to meet the demands of merciless creditors, the principal one of whom was this very rumseller who turned me from his doors. A friend furnished us with the cottage in which we have since lived. Many kind-hearted friends have gathered around us, and we have been happy, save when the recollections of the past rise before us. Others, beside myself, have had cause to mourn and our town, once inhabited by happy, quiet and contented families, has become noted as a seat of iniquity.
"He who has caused this change is now the wealthiest man in town. You might have seen his stately palace as you rode up, environed with fruits and flowers. He lives there; but, within the shade of that mansion, are the wretched hovels of those upon whose ruin he sits enthroned. He has roses and fruits at his door, but they have been watered by widows' tears; and the winds that reach his home amid rich vines and laden trees may bear to his ears the orphan's cry, from whose mouth he has taken the daily bread."
When the old lady had finished her narrative, she could restrain her tears no longer, and they burst forth as freely as at first.
I inquired whether there were any beside herself who would become interested in a temperance movement. She replied that there were many, but they wished some one to start it.
I had left a gentleman at the town I last came from, who was an eloquent advocate; and my first act, after listening to the widow's narrative, was to write a note, and send it in all possible haste to him.
The next day he came; and, if you could have seen the joy of that family as I told them that we had announced a meeting, you would have some faint idea of the happiness which the temperance reform has produced.
From what I had learned, I expected that we should meet with some opposition from the wealthy individual before alluded to, or from his agents, who were so blinded to their own interests that they could not be easily induced to move for their own good.
The evening came, and the room we had engaged was well filled. My friend arose, when a stone, hurled at him from without, missed its aim, and struck a lamp at his side, dashing it into a hundred fragments. Little disconcerted at this, he began his address; and, in a short time, gained the attention of the audience in so perfect a manner, that they heeded not the attempts of a noisy crowd without to disturb them.
He continued on. Men leaned forward to catch his words, and some arose and stood as motionless as statues, with eyes fixed intently on the speaker. Women wept; some in sorrow for the past, others in joy for the future. A deep feeling pervaded all. The disturbance without ceased, and one by one the disturbers came to the door; one by one they entered, and began to feel the truths which the speakers uttered.
The only interruption was made by an aged man, who bowed his silvery head, and, in trembling accents, moaned out, "My son, my son!" These words, uttered at the expiration of every few minutes, increased the solemnity of the occasion, and added power to the lecturer's remarks, for all knew the story of his son, and all knew that he was carried home dead from the groggery.
When, at the end of the lecture, it was asked who would sign the pledge, the whole assembly started to respond to the call, and each one that night became pledged to total abstinence.
The next day a great excitement existed relative to the groggeries in town; a meeting was called, and a committee appointed to act in a manner they thought best calculated to promote the interests of the people at large.
This committee determined to present the facts to the keepers of the places in question, and request them to renounce the traffic.
The facts were presented. They saw that their customers had all left them, and why should they continue? It would be a losing business.
The effect of the moral suasion had been powerful; it labored with the very soul of the traffic, with those who put the pence in the dealers' coffers. It was more powerful than all laws that could have been enacted. Forbidding them to sell while customers crowded their doors would have had no effect, unless to create riot; inducing their customers to leave them soon induced them to leave the business, for where there are none to buy there will be none to sell.
In view of all this, the rumsellers of Tapville gave up; and, strange to say, joined with the people that night in their rejoicing, and made a bonfire of their stock in trade.
By the light of that fire my friend and I left the town; and when far away we could see its glare, and hear the shouts of a disenthralled people.
After a few months' travel in the south and west, I revisited Tapville, or rather the place where it once stood; but no Tapville was there. The town had regained its former sobriety and quiet, and became "Springvale."
I called at the widow's cottage; Tommy ran out to meet me, and I received a welcome I shall never forget. But Jenny was no more; with her last breath she had blessed the temperance cause, and then her pure spirit winged its way to that home where sorrows never come, and where the troubles of earth are forgotten amid the joys of heaven.
THE BATTLE OF THE RED MEN.
'T WAS cold, bleak winter, on a rock-bound coast, When bands of exiles trod its frozen shore. Who then stood forth to greet the coming host And shelter freely give when storms did pour?
Old Samoset-peace to his memory still!-
He bade them welcome, welcome, with good will. Then was the red man's nation broad and strong- O'er field and forest he held firm control; Then power was his to stay the coming throng, And back the wave of usurpation roll.
He might have crushed them on old Plymouth's rock,
And freedom to this day have felt the shock. Not so he willed it; he would have them sit In peace and amity around his door; The pipe of peace in friendship would have lit, And, as its white cloud up towards heaven did soar,
Learned that like it the spirits pure and white
Ascend, to live in never-ceasing light. But what return did they profusely give Who were dependent on the red man's corn? Not even to them the privilege to live, But war and fire, torture, hate and scorn!
Hunted like wild beasts through the forests' track;
For food and welcome such they gave him back. Then roused to madness was the Indian's soul, Then grasped with firmness every one his bow; No mortal power his purpose could control, Till he had seen the traitors lying low.
Revenge! revenge! was sounded far and wide,
O'er every field and every river's tide. The little child that scarce could lisp a word Was taught to hate the white man; maidens fair Were roused to fearful vengeance, as they heard Their brothers' wrongs, and madly tore their hair;
Old men urged on the young, and young men fled
Swift to increase the armies of the dead. And thus the war began,—the fearful war That swept o'er happy homesteads like a flood; The white and red man knew no other law Than that which wrote its every act in blood.
Daylight beheld the ball and arrow's flight,
And blazing homes made terrible the night. The rifle's sharp report, the arrow's whiz, The shout, the yell, the fearful shriek of death; Despair in him who saw the last of his, And heard "good-by" from children's dying breath;
The last sad look of prisoners borne away,
And groan of torture, marked the night and day. With arms more skilful-not with hearts more true, Or souls more brave to battle for the right- The white the unjust warfare did pursue, Till, inch by inch, the red man took his flight
From homes he loved, from altars he revered,
And left, forever, scenes to him endeared. O, what an hour for those brave people that! Old men, whose homes were loved as homes can be; Young men and maidens who had often sat In love and peace beneath the forest tree;
Parents who'd planted flowers; and with warm tears
Watered the graves of dearest-gone for years! From every tree a voice did seem to start, And every shrub that could a shadow cast Seemed to lament the fate that bade them part, So closely twined was each one with the past.
O, was it strange they fought with furious zeal?
Say, men who think, and have warm hearts to feel. And thus they went,—a concourse of wronged men,— Not with a speedy flight; each inch they gave, Each blade of grass that passed beyond their ken, Was sold for blood, and for a patriot's grave;
And white men paid the price-and now they hold
This broad, broad land for cost more dear than gold. And yet 't is not enough; the cry for more Hath vexed the Indian, till the Atlantic's wave Now blends with it the thunder of its roar, And soon shall sound the requiem o'er the grave
Of the last Indian,—last of that brave band
Who once held sway o'er all this fertile land. Methinks to-day I see him stand alone, Drawing his blanket close around his form; He hath braved all, hath heard the dying moan Rise from the fields of strife; and now the storm
That hath swept all before it, age on age,
On him, the last, seeks to pour forth its rage. Raising his hand appealing to the sun, He swears, by all he hath or now could crave, That when his life is closed, his life-race run, A white man ne'er shall stand above his grave.
Shall he, the last of a once noble race,
Consign himself to such a dire disgrace? Never! let rock to rock the word resound; Never! bear witness all ye gods to-day; Never! ye streams and rivers, as ye bound, Write "Never" on your waves, and bear away;
Tell to the world that, hunted, wronged, abused,
With such reproach he ne'er shall be accused, The red man's brethren, tell him where are they; The red man's homes and altars, what their fate? Shall he who stands the last, the last to-day, Forget with his last breath to whisper hate?
Hate, deep and fathomless, and boundless too,
Such as to fiendish cruelty is due. He cannot bear the white man's presence now, Or bear to hear his name or see his works; He thinks that wrong is stamped upon his brow, That in his good deeds selfish purpose lurks.