Angels there are who walk this troublous world, Whose wings are hid beneath poor mortal clay, Lest their effulgence to man's eyes unfurled, Might scare the timid-hearted ones away. The whispered word, the smile, the gentle tone, Love-prompted from a woman's heaving breast, Enforce her claim to make the world her throne, Beyond compare,—of all God's gifts the best.
Nettie, Nettie! oh, she's pretty! With her wreath of golden curls; None compare with charming Nettie, She's the prettiest of girls. Not her face alone is sweetest,— Nor her eyes the bluest blue, But her figure is the neatest Of all forms I ever knew. But she has a fault,—the greatest That a pretty girl could have; When she's looking the sedatist, And pretending to be grave,— You discover, 'spite of hiding, What I feel constrained to tell; That she knows she is a beauty,— Knows it,—knows it,—aye, too well. May be when the bloom has vanished; Which we know in time it will; And her foolish fancies banished, May be, she'll be lovely still. For though Time may put his finger, On her dainty-fashioned face; There will still some beauty linger, Round her form so full of grace. And her heart,—the priceless treasure, Which so many long to win, Still shall prove a fount of pleasure, To the love that enters in. Pity 'tis that fairest blossoms Must in time fall from the tree; Pity 'tis that snow-white bosoms Must yield up their symmetry. Brightest eyes will lose their love-light, Fairest cheeks grow pale and gray;— Golden locks will lose their sunlight, And the loveliest limbs decay. But whilst life is left we hunger For a taste of earthly bliss; But the man need seek no longer, Who can call sweet Nettie his.
The Dean's Brother.
A little lad, but thinly clad, All day had roamed the street; With stitled groans and aching bones, He beg'd for bread to eat.
The wind blew shrill from o'er the hili, And shook his scanty rags; Whilst cold and sleet benumbed his feet, As plodding o'er the flags.
The night drew on with thick'ning gloom,— He hailed each passer by, For help to save, but nought they gave,— Then he sat down to cry.
It was a noble portico, 'Neath which the beggar stept, And none would guess, one in distress There shiv'ring sat and wept.
But soon the door was open thrown,— The Dean, a goodly man; Who lived within, had heard a moan, And came the cause to scan.
"Ah, little boy, what want you here, On such a bitter night? Run home at once, you little dunce, Or you'll be frozen quite."
The boy looked at his cheery face, Yet hid his own in dread; "I meant no harm, the place was warm, And I am begging bread;
"And if you can a morsel spare, I'll thank you, oh! so much, For all day long I've begged and sung, And never had a touch."
"Step in," then said the kindly man, "And stand here in the hall, You shall have bread, poor starving child, I promise you you shall."
And off he went, and soon returned With a thin, tempting slice, And little Jemmy dapt his hands And cried, "Oh, Sir, that's nice!"
"And what's your name, come tell me that?" "My name is Jimmy Pool." "And do you always beg all day Instead of going to school?
"And can you read, and can you write?" Poor Jimmy shook his head, "No, sir, I have to beg all day, At night I go to bed.
"My mother lays me on the floor, Upon a little rug; And I ne'er think of nothing more, When I'm so warm and snug.
"Sometimes I wake, and when I do, Unless it's almost day, She's always there, upon her chair, Working the night away.
"It isn't much that she can make,— Sometimes I think she'd die, But for her little Jimmy's sake,— There's only her and I."
"And do you ever pray, my boy?" "No, sir, I never tried, I never heard a praying word Since my poor Daddy died."
"Then let me teach you, little boy, Just come now, let me see,— I know you'll manage if you try,— Now say it after me.
"Our Father,"—"Our Father,"—"right," "That art in heaven," "go on!" Jimmy repeated every word, Until the prayer was done.
Then turning up his hazel eyes, Which questioning light shone through, He said, "that prayer sounds very nice,— Is He your Father too?"
"Yes, He is mine as well as yours, And Lord of all you see." "Far as I know, if that be so, My brother you must be."
"Yes we are brethren, every one, All equal in His sight." "Well, I will try to think so, sir, But I can't believe it quite.
"It seems so strange that you should be Akin to such as me, For you are rich, and great, and grand And I'm so poor you see."
"But it is true, my little lad, And if to Him you pray, He'll make your little heart feel glad,— He'll turn you not away."
"Well, if that's so, I'll learn to pray, I'll take your kind advice,— But if you are my brother, Give me just one thicker slice.
"And if He's Father of us all,— Now, as I'm going home, From your big share perhaps you'll spare Your widowed sister some?"
The Dean's face wore a puzzled look, And then a look of joy; Then said, "'tis you the teacher are, I am the scholar, boy."
That night the widow's eyes were wet, But they were tears of joy,— 'When she beheld the load of things Brought by her little boy.
And Jimmy danced upon the flags, And cried, "there's few have seen, And ever thought that in these rags, Stands brother to a Dean."
I Would not Live Alway.
"I would not live alway," Why should I wish to stay, Now, when grown old and grey, Enduring slow decay? When power to do has fled, 'Twere better to be dead— The tree that's ceased to bear, Has no right to be there. Who cares to keep a bird Whose note is never heard? Yet many things abound, Encumbering the ground; Useless, unsightly wrecks, That only serve to vex The sight of those who boast All that those wrecks have lost.
If God gave me this life,— Now, when worn out with strife, May I not give it back And move from out the track?
This world is not for drones! The right to live each owns; But he to earn that right Must work with all his might.
When power to do has fled, 'Twere better to be dead. The dog has had its day;— "I would not live alway."
How should I know, That day when first we met, I Would be a day I never can forget? And yet 'tis so. That clasp of hands that made my heartstrings thrill, Would not die out, but keeps vibrating still? How should I know?
How should I know, That those bright eyes of thine Would haunt me yet? And through Grief's dark cloud shine, With that same glow? That thy sweet smile, so full of trust and love, Should, beaming still, a priceless solace prove? How should I know?
How should I know That one so good and fair, Would condescend To spare a thought, or care, For one so low? I dared not hope such bliss could be in store;— How dare I who had known no love before? How should I know?
But now I know— Too late, alas! the prize Can ne'er be mine, Yet do I hug the pain, And bless the blow, Knowing I love, and am loved in return, Is bliss undying whilst Life's lamp shall burn. Yes, now I know.
On the Banks of the Calder.
On Calder's green banks I stroll sadly and lonely, The flowers are blooming, the birds singing sweet, The river's low murmur seems whispering only, The name of the laddie I came here to meet. He promised yestre'en, by the thorn tree in blossom, He'd meet me to-night as the sun sank to rest, And a sprig of May blossom he put on my bosom, As his lips to my hot cheeks he lovingly prest.
Oh, where is my laddie? Oh, where is my Johnnie? Oh, where is my laddie, so gallant and free? He's winsome and witty, his face is so bonny, Oh, Johnnie,—my Johnnie,—I'm waiting for thee.
The night's growing dark and the shadows are eerie, The stars now peep out from the blue vault above; Oh, why does he tarry? oh, where is my dearie? Oh, what holds him back from the arms of his love? I know he's not false, by his kind eyes so blue,— And his tones were sincere when he called me his own; Oh, he promised so fairly he'd ever be true,— But why does he leave me to wander alone?
Oh, where is my laddie? Oh, where is my Johnnie? Oh, where is my laddie so gallant and free? He's winsome and witty, his face is so bonny, Oh, Johnnie,—my Johnnie, I'm waiting for thee.
The moon now is up,—the owl hoots in the wood, The trees sigh and moan, and the water runs black; The tears down my cheeks roll a sorrowful flood,— And my heart throbs to tell me he'll never come back. Oh, woe, woe is me! Did he mean to betray? Must my ruin the price of his perfidy be? No, the river shall hide me and bear me away; Cold Calder receive me, I'm coming to thee.
Oh, where is her laddie? Oh, where is her Johnnie? Oh, where is her laddie that treated her so? But the voice of the river shall haunt him for ever, And his base heart shall never more happiness know.
Lines on Receiving a Bunch of Wild Hyacinths by Post.
Sweet, drooping, azure tinted bells, How dear you are; Bringing the scent of shady dells, To me from far; Telling of spring and gladsome sunny hours,— Nature's bright jewels!=-heart-refreshing flowers!
Oh, for a stroll when opening day Silvers the dew, Kissing the buds, whilst zephyrs play As though they knew Their gentle breath was needed, just to shake Your slumbering beauties, and to bid you wake.
Far from the moilding town and trade, How sweet to spend An hour amid the misty glade, And find a friend In every tiny blossom, and to lie, And dream of Him whose love can never die.
Ye are Gael's messengers, sent here To make us glad; Mute, and yet eloquent, to cheer The heart that's sad; To turn our thoughts from sordid earthly gains, To that bright home where peace for ever reigns.
How dare we murmur, when around On every side, Such proofs of His great love abound, O'er the world wide? Faith cannot die within these hearts of ours, If we but learn the lessons of the flowers.
Thanks to the one whose kindly heart Was moved to send This gift, when we were far apart, To cheer a friend. Sweet meditation now my mind employs; A pleasure pure, and one which never cloys.
Dullest month of all the year,— Suicidal atmosphere, Everything is dark and drear, Filling nervous minds with fear, Skies are seldom ever clear, Fogs are ever hov'ring near,— 'Tis a heavy load to bear.
Were it not that life is dear, We should wish to disappear, For it puts us out of gear.
But in vain we shed the tear, We must still cling to the rear Of the year that now is near.
Though our eyes begin to blear, With fogs thick enough to shear, And we feel inclined to swear, At the month that comes to smear All things lovely, all things dear; We must bear and yet forbear.
But some thoughts our spirits cheer, Christmas time will soon be here, Then at thee we'll scoff and jeer, Smoke our pipes and drink our beer,— Sit until brave chanticleer Tells us that the morn is here.
Do thy worst, November drear! We can stand it, never fear,— Christmas time will soon be here.
My Mary's as sweet as the flowers that grow, By the side of the brooklet that runs near her cot; Her brow is as fair as the fresh fallen snow, And the gleam of her smile can be never forgot. Her figure is lithe and as graceful I ween As was Venus when Paris awarded the prize, She's the wiles of a fairy,—the step of a queen, And the light of true love's in her bonny brown eyes.
To see was to love her,—to love was to mourn,— For her heart was as fickle as April days When you'd given her all and asked some return, You got but a taste of her false winsome ways. You never could tell, though you knew her so well, That her sweet fascinations were nothing but lies, Like a fool you loved on when of hope there was none And your heart sought relief in her bonny brown eyes.
Yet 'tis sad to relate, though unhappy my fate, I would sacrifice all that on earth I hold dear, If she would but consent to be true, and content, With the heart that is faithful when distant or near. Through pleasure and pain we together again, May never commingle our smiles and our sighs, But when sleeping or waking, I struggle in vain, To forget the sweet maid with the bonny brown eyes.
Oh, Mary, my love! with the coo of the dove, I would woo thee to win thee, and ever to live, Where thy bright loving face and thy figure of grace, Could surround me with joys that none other can give. Oh, say but a word, and I'll fly like a bird, To the one whom my heart will beat for till it dies, Bid me come to my home, bid me come, bid me come, And bask in the light of thy bonny brown eyes.
When Cora Died.
Bells ring out a joyful sound, Old and young alike seem gay; One more year has gone its round, Again we greet a New Year's Day. Whilst to some they tell of cheer, Other hearts may grief betide, For 'twas in the glad New Year When our darling Cora died.
Like a snowdrop, pure and fair, She had blossomed in our home; Her we nursed with tender care, Lest Death's blighting frost should come. And we prayed to keep her here, But our pleading was denied;— Early in the glad New Year, Little darling Cora died.
Death had taken some before, Some from whom 'twas hard to part; And their voices now no more, Come to cheer the longing heart. In that one frail blossom dear, Centered all our hope and pride; Alas! Then came the sad New Year, When our darling Cora died.
Since that time the pealing bells Wake sad echoes in the heart; And the grief that in us dwells Makes the tears unbidden start. Though they ring so loud and clear, Flinging gladness far and wide, They to me recall the year, When our darling Cora died.
Little simple violet, Glittering with dewy wet, Hidden by protecting grass All unheeded we should pass Were it not the rich perfume, Leads us on to find the bloom Which so modestly does dwell, Sweetly scenting all the dell.
Simple little violet;— Lessons I shall ne'er forget By thy modest mien were taught,— Rich in peace,—with wisdom fraught. Oft I've laid me down to rest, With thy blossoms on my breast; Screen'd from noontide's sunny flood, By some monarch of the wood.
I have thought and dreamed of thee, Clad in such simplicity; Yet so rich in fragrance sweet, That exhales from thy retreat; And I've seen the gaudy flower Blest alone with beauty's dower;— Have looked,—admired,—then bid them go,— Violet,—I love thee so.
Rival, thou hast none to fear, For to me thou art most dear;— Buttercups and daisies vie, 'With thy charms to please the eye, Roses red and lillies white, All enchanting to the sight; Yield me joys sincere, but yet Thou'rt my favorite,—Violet.
Oh lend me thy hand in the darkness, Lead me once more to the light, Bear with my folly and weakness, Point me the way to do right. Long have I groped in the shadow Of error, temptation and doubt, In the maze I've strayed hither and thither, Vainly seeking to find a way out.
When I grasp thy firm hand in the darkness, Courage takes place of my fear; No more do I shudder and tremble, When I know that my loved one is near. From sorrow and trouble, oh, lead me;— From dangers that sorely affright, Till at last every terror shall leave me, And I rest in thine own loving light.
Rest! Aye, rest! If I have thy forgiveness, If thy strong arm about me is twined; Let the past, like a horrible vision, Be for ever cast out of thy mind. When I wilfully all my vows slighted, And sought joy in a glittering sin, I found but two lives that were blighted, Two hearts filled with ruin within.
Oh, take me again to thy bosom, With a kiss, tho' it be on my brow; And forgive one who wayward and sinful, Ne'er knew how she loved thee till now. And keep me away from the darkness, Let thy hand lead me on evermore, Let me cling to thee, bless thee, and love thee, As no loved one was e'er loved before.
Last eve the sun went down Like a globe of glorious fire; Into a sea of gold I watched the orb expire. It seemed the fitting end For the brightness it had shed, And the cloudlets he had kissed Long lingered over head.
All vegetation drooped, As if with pleasure faint: The lily closed its cup To guard 'gainst storm and taint. The cool refreshing dew Fell softly to the earth, All lovely things to cheer, And call more beauties forth.
And as I sat and thought On Nature's wond'rous plan, I felt with some regret, How small a thing is man. However bright he be, His efforts are confined, Yet maybe, if he will, Leave some rich fruits behind.
The sun that kissed the flowers, And made the earth look gay, Was culling, through the hours, Rich treasures on his way. And when the day was dead, His stored up riches fell, And to the moon arose Incense from hill and dell.
And when our span of life Is ended, will it be Through such a glorious death We greet Eternity? What have we said or done In all the long years passed! And may not such as me, Forgotten, die at last?
Poetry and Prose.
Do you remember the wood, love, That skirted the meadow so green; Where the cooing was heard of the stock-dove, And the sunlight just glinted between. The trees, that with branches entwining Made shade, where we wandered in bliss, And our eyes with true love-light were shining,— When you gave me the first loving kiss?
The ferns grew tall, graceful and fair, But none were so graceful as you; Wild flow'rs in profusion were there, But your eyes were a lovelier blue; And the tint on your cheek shamed the rose, And your brow as the lily was white, And your curls, bright as gold, when it glows, In the crucible, liquid and bright.
And do you remember the stile, Where so cosily sitting at eve, Breathing forth ardent love-vows the while, We were only too glad to believe? And the castles we built in the air, Oh! what glorious structures were they! No temple all earth was so fair,— But alas! they all vanished away.
And do you remember the time, When cruel fate forced us apart, When with resignation sublime We obeyed, though with pain in each heart. Then years dragged their wearisome round, And we ne'er again met as of yore,— But we did meet at last and we found, Things were not as they had been before.
You'd a child on your rough sunburned arm, And your husband had one on his knee, And I had my own little swarm, For I was the father of three. And I know we both thought of the days When love and romance filled each heart, Now, we both have our children to raise,— You're washing,—I'm driving a cart.
Annie I dreamed a strange dream last night, At my bedside, I dreamed, you stood clad in white; Your dark curly hair 'round your snow-white brow,— (Are those locks as raven and curly now?) And those rosebud lips, which in days lang syne, I have kissed and blest, because they were mine. And thine eyes soft light, Shone as mellow and bright, As it did years ago,— Years ago.
And I fancy I heard the soft soothing sound Of thy voice, that sweet melody breathed all around, Whilst enraptured I gazed, and once more the sweet smile, Made sunshine, my sorrowing heart to beguile, And thy milkwhite hands stroked my heated brow;— (Oh! what would I give could I feel them now!) But alas! Woe is me! No more can it be, As it was years ago,— Years ago.
I awoke with a gnawing pain at my heart, The vision had vanished,—but oh, the smart Of the wound, which no time can ever heal, Was a torment, which only lost souls can feel. Yet in spite of the pain, the woe, the despair, I dote, as I look on a lock of dark hair, That I culled from the head, Of the loveliest maid; Many long years ago,— Years ago.
Will fate ever bring us together again? Will my heart never know a surcease from pain? Are the dark locks I worshipped, now mingled with grey? Has Time stolen brightness and beauty away? I care not,—for years have but made thee more dear; But my longing is vain, Thou wilt ne'er come again. Lost,—lost,—years ago,— Years ago.
Oh, isn't it nice to be somebody's?— Somebody's darling and pet, To be shrined in the heart of a dear one, Whose absence fills soul with regret? To be dreamed of, and longed for, and courted, As the Queen whom his heart holds in thrall,— As the one—the great one, priceless jewel, That outweighs and outvalues them all?
Oh,—I'd rather my head should be resting, On the breast of the man that I love; And my hand in his strong grasp be nestling, And bask in the light of his love:— I would rather,—far rather, my darling Should be loving, and faithful, and brave, Than be titled, and wealthy, and fickle;— E'en though poverty held him a slave.
Oh, my heart yearns for one that is noble,— In mind, not in riches or birth, Who would love me, and value my love too, Then my lot would be heaven on earth. But where, alas, where shall I find him? This man, that my heart longs for so? This idol I picture and dream of,— Does he live? I'm inclined to say, no.
He is merely a fanciful hero, That my heart has pictured so fair: I must stoop from my realm of wild fancy, And take what may fall to my share. Some plain, honest, working mechanic, May be the prize I may call mine, But if shaped like a man he'll be better, Nor be left lonely, without Valentine.
I named him Claude, 'twas a strange conceit, 'Twas a name that no relatives ever bore; Yet there lingered around it a mem'ry sweet, Of a face and a voice I miss evermore.
I was pacing the deck of a captive ship, That was straining its cables to get away, From the parched up town, and its crowded slip, To its home on the wave and its life in the spray.
When I saw the beautiful, sorrowful dame,— And never, oh, never, shall I forget The sweet chord struck as she spoke the name, That thrilled through my being and lingers yet.
'Twas a winsome woman with raven hair, And a lovely face, and a beaming eye, With a smile that of joy and sorrow had share, And her form had the charms for which sculptors vie.
I never had seen such a lovely hand, As the one that she pressed to her snowy brow; And her parted lips, showed a glistening band, Of pearly teeth in an even row.
A fragrant scent like a rose's breath, Hung round her and seemed of herself a part, And a bouquet of lillies as pale as death, Drooped sadly above her beating heart.
She only uttered the one word, "Claude," But oh! 'twas so touchingly, sweetly said;— A volume of grief expressed in a word, As she stedfastly gazed through the void overhead.
Then I noticed the sombre garments she wore, And I knew the grim reaper had gathered her flower 'Twas the sense of the heart-crushing sorrow she bore, Invested that name with such marvellous power.
She went ashore, and we sailed away, 'Twas the first and the only time ever we met, But my memory limns her as lovely to-day, As she was on that day I can never forget.
Months after, my baby boy came unto me, And I gave him the name she had breathed in her sigh, He was fair and sweet as the bloom on the tree, Yet he never felt mine, though I could not tell why.
But that musical note floated round in the air,— "Claude!—Claude!" sang the zephyrs that softly sped by, And his eyes had a far-a way look, as if there, Far beyond, he could see what I failed to descry.
One eve, in the gloaming, I hushed him to rest, And the trees whispered "Claude" as they waved overhead, He smiled as he nestled more close to my breast,— And I wept,—for I knew that my darling was dead.
All on a Christmas Morning.
The wind it blew cold, and the ice was thick, Deeper and deeper the snowdrifts grew; A young mother lay in her cottage, sick,— Her needs were many, her comforts few. Clasped to her breast was a newborn child, Unknowing, unmindful of weal or woe; And away, far away, in the tempest wild, Was a husband and father, kneedeep in the snow. All on a Christmas morning, long ago.
The lamp burned low, and the fire was dead, And the snow sifted in through each crevice and crack: As she tossed and turned in her lowly bed, And murmured, "Good Lord, bring my husband back." The clocks in the city had told the hour With a single stroke, for young was the day But no swelling note from the loftiest tower, Could reach that lone cot where a mother lay. All on a Christmas morning, long ago.
High on the moorland that crowned the hill, Bewildered, benumbed, midst the snow, so deep, Fighting for life with a desperate will, Lost,—wearied and worn, and oppressed with sleep, Was the husband and father, with grief almost wild, Bearing cordials and medicine safely bestowed, That he'd been to obtain for his wife and child;— Then exhausted he sank.—And it snowed,—and it snowed. All on a Christmas morning, long ago.
The sun arose on a world so white, That glistened and sparkled beneath his ray: And the children's faces looked just as bright, As they cried, "What a glorious Christmas day!" In a lowly cot lay a stiff white form,— And all was still, save a pitiful wail;— No more should that mother fear sickness or storm;— Together, two spirits sped through the dark vale. All on a Christmas morning, long ago.
Friends who were coming to bring good cheer, Found a young babe sucking a cold white breast. Noiselessly, reverently, gathering near, The orphan to full hearts was lovingly pressed. The parents were laid side by side in the grave, And the babe grew in beauty of face and of form; And they still call her Snowdrop, the name that they gave,— Sweet Snowdrop,—the frail little flower of the storm. All on a Christmas morning, long ago.
Once Upon a Time.
When dull November's misty shroud, All Nature's charms depress, Flinging a damp, dark, deadening cloud, O'er each heart's joyousness. Our fancies quit their lighter vein, And out from Memory's shrine, We marshal thoughts of grief and pain, Known,—once upon a time.
'Tis then that faces, long forgot, In shadows reappear;— Voices, that once we heeded not, Come whispering in the ear; And ghosts of friends whom once we met, When life was in its prime, Recall acts we would fain forget, Done,—once upon time.
Regretfull sighs for thoughtless deeds, That worked another wrong; Vows that we broke, like rotten reeds Like spectres glide along; Tears naught avail to heal the smart, We caused—nor deemed it crime, Whilst selfishly we wrung a heart, Loved,—once upon a time.
Oh, could we but, as on we go, Care more for other's weal, Nor deem all joys earth can bestow, Are but for us to feel; Then howe'er humble, howe'er poor, Our lives would be sublime, Nor should we dread to ponder o'er, Days,—once upon a time.
We are near the last bend of the river, Soon will the prospect be bright; Already the waves seem to quiver, As touched with celestial light. Since first we were launched on its bosom, Strange hap'nings and perils we've passed, But we've braved and endured them together And we're nearing the haven at last.
We are near the last bend of lifes river, Around, all is tranquil and calm; The tempests that passed us can never, Again strike our souls with alarm. We are drifting,—unconsciously gliding, Down Time's river—my darling and me. And soon in love's sweet trust abiding, We shall sail on Eternities sea.
Oh, how the soul strains with its yearning To see what is hid beyond this, This life, with its pain and heartburning— The beyond, where is nothing but bliss. Our life's Sun has touched the horizon, It will speedily dip out of sight, And then what? Will a new morn be rising? Or will it for ever be night?
Those Tiny Fingers.
She has gone for ever from earth away, Yet those tiny fingers haunt me still; In the silent night, when the moons pale ray, Silvers the leaves on the window sill. Just between sleeping and waking I lie, Makebelieve feeling their velvet touch, Darling! My darling! Oh, why should you die! Leaving me lonely, who loved so much?
Those tiny fingers that used to stray Over my face which is wrinkled now; Those little white hands—how they used to play, With the wanton curls round my once fair brow. Thy soft blue eyes and thy dimpled cheeks, I seem to see now as I saw them then; And a whispering voice to my sad heart speaks,— 'Thou shalt meet her again,'—but when? oh, when?
Deep in the grave was the coffin laid, And buried with it was my purest love; Oh, how I'd hoped, and watched, and prayed, That Death would pass by and spare my dove, Was it in mercy God took thee hence? Was it because I had worshipped thee so? Was my devotion to thee an offence? I was thy mother,—and God must know.
If it were sinful, my tears have atoned; At last I can murmur, "Thy will be done," Sweet little cherub, to me but loaned, Now safe at home, far beyond the sun. Soon the dark river I too shall cross, And hopefully climb up that golden stair, And all this world's riches will be but dross, If those tiny fingers beckon me there.
Place thy lilly-white hand in mine, Maid with the wealth of golden hair;— Tresses, that gleaming like gold, entwine, Round about a sweet face so fair.
Sweetheart, oh! whisper once more the words, That came from those coral lips of thine, And bound thee to me by those silken cords,— And place thy lilly-white hand in mine,
Place thy lilly-white hand in mine, That its gentle pressure may tell my heart That the idol round which I had reared a shrine, Is mine,—mine,—never from me to part.
Sweetest and fairest of woman kind! Gentlest, kindest, lovingest, best,— Virtues with beauties are so combined, That manhood pays homage at love's behest.
Place thy lilly-white hand in mine, Let its velvet touch on my horny palm, Comfort, encourage, embolden, refine,— This grosser clay, by its subtle charm.
Long as life lasts let me clasp thy hand, As a pledge of our oneness, existing now; And when I depart for the better land, Let it rest for a while on my death-cold brow.
Falsehood, treachery, sickness, pain,— I have endured, yet hopefully stand Strong in the thought I have lived not in vain. Had I won but this treasure,—this lilly-white hand.
"The drunkard shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven."
Far, far beyond the skies, The land of promise lies; When Death our souls release, A home of love and peace, Has been prepared for all, Who heed the gracious call, Drunkards that goal ne'er win,— They cannot enter in.
Time noiselessly flits by, Eternity draws nigh; Will the fleet joy you gain, Compensate for the pain, That through an endless day, Will wring your soul for aye? Slave to beer, rum, or gin, You cannot enter in.
Dash down the flowing bowl, Endanger not thy soul; Ponder those words of dread, That God Himself has said. Hurl the vile tempter down, And win and wear the crown, Drunkard, forsake thy sin, Thou mayst then enter in.
"O! charming May!" That's what they say. The saying is not new,— The saying is not true;— O! May!
Bare fields and icebound streams, Sunshine in fitful gleams, May smile Beguile, And dispel poets' dreams.
Was ever May so gay As what the poets say? If so, We know, We live not in their day.
A cosy coat and wrap, You may not find mishap— Propo You know When comes the next cold snap.
A heavy woollen scarf, Strong boots that reach the calf,— Away we go Through snow and slush and wet,— And can we once forget 'Tis May? Oh, no!
Best is the old advice Which we so oft despise, "Cast not a clout Till May goes out." May like a maiden, lies.
A Maypole dance.—O, my! Such sport is all "my eye," Just try, I tried it and I know, The snow, the blow, The aching toes, the smarting nose.
I all defied, And loudly cried "Come on, Each one, Be gay! be gay!—'Tis May! Tis May" They laughed and shook the head, And this is what they said, "Old Skunk, he's drunk."
Still we do love her so,— Her truth? O, no! She's like some fancy fickle, She lands you in a pickle, You grin and bear, Maybe you swear In manner most alarming, And yet—Sweet May is charming.
Down in a cellar cottage In a dark and lonely street, Was sat a widow and her boy, With nothing left to eat.
The night was wild and stormy, The wind howl'd round the door, And heavy rain drops from above Kept dripping to the floor.
They had no candle burning, The fire was long since dead, A wretched heap of straw was all They had to call a bed.
They nestled close together, On the cold and dampy ground, And as the storm rush'd past them, They trembled at the sound.
"Mother," the poor boy whispered, "May I not go again? I do not heed the wind, mother, I'm not afraid of rain.
"May I not go and beg, mother, For you are very ill; Some one will give me something, Mother, I'm sure they will?
"Do let me go and try, mother, You know I won't be long; I did feel weak and tired, mother, But now I feel quite strong.
"Give me a kiss before I go, And pray whilst I'm away, That I may meet some Christian friend, Who will not say me nay."
"Dear boy, the night is stormy, Your ragged clothes are thin, And soon the heavy rain-drops Will wet you to the skin.
"I would go out myself, boy, But, oh! I cannot rise, I am too weak to dry the tears That roll down from my eyes.
"I fear I soon must go, love, And leave my boy alone. And oh! what can you do, love, When I am dead and gone?"
"Mother, you set me weeping, Don't talk in such a strain, Your tears are worse for me to bear Than all the wind and rain.
"Wait till I'm rather bigger, And then I'll work all day, And shan't we both be happy When I bring you home my pay?
"Then you shall have some tea, mother, And bread as white as snow; You won't be sickly then, mother, You'll soon get well, I know.
"And when that time shall come, mother, You shall have some Sunday clothes, Then you can go to church, mother— You cannot go in those.
"And then I'll take you walking, And you shall see the flowers, And sit upon the sweet green grass Beneath the trees for hours.
"But I will haste away, mother, I won't be long—good bye!" "Farewell, my boy," she murmured, Then she laid her down to die.
The lamps were dimly shining, And the waters in a flood, Came rolling o'er the pavement, Where the little beggar stood.
He listened for a footstep, Then he hurried on the street, But the wind roared with such fury, Till he scarce could keep his feet.
A few there were who passed him, But they had no time to stay; They did not even stop to look, But hurried quick away.
He passed the marts of business, Where the gaslights were ablaze, And saw the countless heaps of things Displayed to meet the gaze.
One window held him spell-bound— From end to end 'twas piled With loaves of bread a tempting sight To a half-famished child.
He clapped his little cold wet hands, And almost danced for joy, It seemed a glimpse of paradise To that poor hungry boy.
With timid step he ventured in, And, trembling, thus began:— "Please, sir, I've come to beg for bread— Do help me if you can.
"I do not want it for myself, My mother, too, shall share; Do give me just one little crust, If you've a crust to spare."
"Give!" cried the shopman in a rage— "What shall we live to see? Go tell your mother she must work, And earn her bread, like me."
"But mother, sir, is very sick, She cannot work, I'm sure; Father died some months ago, And left us very poor.
"She has not tasted food for days. And die I fear she must. Unless you'll help us, Christian sir; Do spare a little crust!"
"I'll spare you nothing, saucy imp! Away this moment! run! And tell your sickly mother I cannot thus be done!"
He left the shop, and in the street He sat him down to cry, He heard the trampling of the feet Of those who passed him by.
He could not ask another, For his every hope had fled,— ('Tis sad that in a land like this A child needs beg for bread.)
Wet, cold, and faint, he reached his home, No richer than before, And noiselessly he entered in, And gently closed the door.
There is no sound, the mother sleeps— Then groping for the bed, He bent his weak and stiffened knees, And bowed his weary head,
And pray'd "that God would grant them help, And bring them safely through." The whisper'd prayer was borne above, Was heard, and answered too:
And when the morning's sun looked in, And filled the place with light, Two lifeless bodies on the straw Was all that met the sight.
Thus were they found, alone, and dead, No reason left to show How they had come to that sad end; And no one cared to know.