Where the Blue Begins by Various - HTML preview
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Oh, Autumn! why so soon
Depart the hues that make thy forests glad;
Thy gentle wind and thy fair sunny noon, And leave thee wild and sad?
Ah! 'twere a lot too blessed
Forever in thy colored shades to stray;
Amid the kisses of the soft southwest To rove and dream for aye;
And leave the vain low strife
That makes men mad--the tug for wealth and power,
The passions and the cares that wither life, And waste its little hour.
The Drummer Boy of Mission Ridge Did you ever hear of the Drummer Boy of Mission Ridge, who lay With his face to the foe, 'neath the enemy's guns, in the charge ofthat terrible day?
They were firing above him and firing below, and the tempest of shot and shell
Was raging like death, as he moaned in his pain, by the breastworks where he fell.
"Go back with your corps," our colonel had said, but he waited the moment when
He might follow the ranks and shoulder a gun with the best of us bearded men;
And so when the signals from old Fort Wood set an army of veterans wild,
He flung down his drum, which spun down the hill like the ball of a wayward child.
As we charged by the flank, with our colors ahead, and our columns closed up like a V,
In the long, swinging lines of that splendid advance, when the flags of our corps floated out,
Like the ribbons that dance in the jubilant lines of the march of a gala day rout.
He charged with the ranks, though he carried no gun, for the colonel had said him nay,
And he breasted the blast of the bristling guns, and the shock of the sickening fray;
And when by his side they were falling like hail he sprang to a comrade slain,
And shouldered his musket and bore it as true as the hand that was dead in pain.
'Twas dearly we loved him, our Drummer Boy, with a fire in his bright, black eye,
That flashed forth a spirit too great for his form--he only was just so high,
As tall, perhaps, as your little lad who scarcely reaches your shoulder--
Though his heart was the heart of a veteran then, a trifle, it may be, bolder.
He pressed to the front, our lad so leal, and the works were almost won, A moment more and our flags had swung o'er the muzzle of murderous gun; But a raking fire swept the van, and he fell 'mid the wounded and slain, With his wee wan face turned up to Him who feeleth His children's pain.
Again and again our lines fell back, and again with shivering shocks They flung themselves on the rebels' works as ships are tossed on rocks; To be crushed and broken and scattered amain, as the wrecks of thesurging storm. Where none may rue and none may reck of aught that has human form.
So under the ridge we were lying for the order to charge again, And we counted our comrades missing, and we counted our comrades slain; And one said, "Johnny, our Drummer Boy, is grievously shot and lies Just under the enemy's breastwork; if left on the field he dies."
Then all the blood that was in me surged up to my aching brow, And my heart leaped up like a ball in my throat--I can feel it even now, And I said I would bring that boy from the field, if God would spare mybreath, If all the guns in Mission Ridge should thunder the threat of death.
I crept and crept up the ghastly ridge, by the wounded and the dead, With the moans of my comrades right and left, behind me and yet ahead, Till I came to the form of our Drummer Boy, in his blouse of dusty blue, With his face to the foe, 'neath the enemy's guns, where the blast ofthe battle blew.
And his gaze as he met my own just there would have melted a heart of stone,
As he tried like a wounded bird to rise, and placed his hand in my own;
And he said in a voice half smothered, though its whispering thrills me yet,
"I think in a moment more that I would have stood on that parapet.
"But now I nevermore will climb, and, Sergeant, when you see The men go up those breastworks there, just stop and waken me; For though I cannot make the charge and join the cheers that rise, I may forget my pain to see the old flag kiss the skies."
Well, it was hard to treat him so, his poor limb shattered sore, But I raised him on my shoulder and to the surgeon bore; And the boys who saw us coming each gave a shout of joy, And uttered fervent prayers for him, our valiant Drummer Boy.
When sped the news that "Fighting Joe" had saved the Union right, With his legions fresh from Lookout; and that Thomas massed his might And forced the rebel center; and our cheering ran like wild; And Sherman's heart was happy as the heart of a little child;
When Grant from his lofty outlook saw our flags by the hundred fly Along the slopes of Mission Ridge, where'er he cast his eye; And when we heard the thrilling news of the mighty battle done, The fearful contest ended, and the glorious victory won;
Then his bright black eyes so yearning grew strangely rapt and wide, And in that hour of conquest our little hero died.
But ever in our hearts he dwells, with a grace that ne'er is old, For him the heart to duty wed can nevermore grow cold! And when they tell of heroes, and the laurels they have won, Of the scars they are doomed to carry, of the deeds that they have done; Of the horror to be biding among the ghastly dead,
The gory sod beneath them, the bursting shell o'erhead,
With his face to the foe, 'neath the enemy's guns, in the charge of that terrible day;
And I say that the land that bears such sons is crowned and dowered with all
The dear God giveth nations to stay them lest they fall.
Oh, glory of Mission Ridge, stream on, like the roseate light of morn, On the sons that now are living, on the sons that are yet unborn! And cheers for our comrades living, and tears as they pass away! And three times three for the Drummer Boy who fought at the front thatday! If--
If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream and not make dreams your master; If you can think and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken, And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch and toss.
And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you; If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!
Some boys are mad when comp'ny comes to stay for meals. They hate To have the other people eat while boys must wait and wait, But I've about made up my mind I'm different from the rest, For as for me, I b'lieve I like the second table best.
To eat along with comp'ny is so trying, for it's tough To sit and watch the victuals when you dassent touch the stuff. You see your father serving out the dark meat and the light Until a boy is sure he'll starve before he gets a bite.
And when, he asks you what you'll have,--you've heard it all before,-- You know you'll get just what you get and won't get nothing more; For, when you want another piece, your mother winks her eye, And so you say, "I've plenty, thanks!" and tell a whopping lie.
When comp'ny is a-watching you, you've got to be polite, And eat your victuals with a fork and take a little bite. You can't have nothing till you're asked and, 'cause a boy is small, Folks think he isn't hungry, and he's never asked at all.
Since I can first remember I've been told that when the cake Is passed around, the proper thing is for a boy to take The piece that's nearest to him, and so all I ever got, When comp'ny's been to our house, was the smallest in the lot.
It worries boys like everything to have the comp'ny stay A-setting round the table, like they couldn't get away.
But when they've gone, and left the whole big shooting match to me, Say! ain't it fun to just wade in and help myself? Oh, gee!
With no one round to notice what you're doing--bet your life!-- Boys don't use forks to eat with when they'd rather use a knife, Nor take such little bites as when they're eating with the rest And so, for lots of things, I like the second table best_Nixon Waterman._ The Children
When the lessons and tasks are all ended, And the school for the day is dismissed,
And the little ones gather around me, To bid me good night and be kissed;
Oh, the little white arms that encircle My neck in their tender embrace!
Oh, the smiles that are halos of heaven, Shedding sunshine of love on my face!
And when they are gone, I sit dreaming Of my childhood, too lovely to last;
Of love that my heart will remember When it wakes to the pulse of the past,
Ere the world and its wickedness made me A partner of sorrow and sin,--
When the glory of God was about me, And the glory of gladness within.
All my heart grows weak as a woman's And the fountains of feeling will flow,
When I think of the paths steep and stony, Where the feet of the dear ones must go;
Of the mountains of sin hanging o'er them, Of the tempest of Fate blowing wild;
Oh, there's nothing on earth half so holy As the innocent heart of a child!
They are idols of hearts and of households; They are angels of God in disguise;
His sunlight still sleeps in their tresses, His glory still gleams in their eyes;
Oh, these truants from home and from heaven,-- They have made me more manly and mild;
And I know now how Jesus could liken
The kingdom of God to a child!
But that life may have just enough shadow To temper the glare of the sun;
I would pray God to guard them from evil, But my prayer would bound back to myself;
Ah! a seraph may pray for a sinner,
But a sinner must pray for himself.
The twig is so easily bended,
I have banished the rule and the rod;
I have taught them the goodness of knowledge, They have taught me the goodness of God.
My heart is the dungeon of darkness,
Where I shut them for breaking a rule;
My frown is sufficient correction;
My love is the law of the school.
I shall leave the old house in the autumn, To traverse its threshold no more;
Ah! how shall I sigh for the dear ones That meet me each morn at the door!
I shall miss the "good nights" and the kisses, And the gush of their innocent glee.
The group on its green, and the flowers That are brought every morning to me.
I shall miss them at morn and at even, Their song in the school and the street;
I shall miss the low hum of their voices, And the tread of their delicate feet.
When the lessons of life are all ended, And death says, "The school is dismissed!"
May the little ones gather around me To bid me good night and be kissed!
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,-- When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The moon, on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave a luster of midday to objects below:
When what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer, With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled and shouted, and called them by name: "Now, Dasher! now Dancer! now, Prancer! now Vixen! On, Comet, on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!-- To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall! Now, dash away, dash sway, dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky, So, up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too, And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack. His eyes how they twinkled; his dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry; His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow. The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath. He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby and plump--a right jolly old elf-- And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself. A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread. He spake not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle; But I heard him exclaim, ere they drove out of sight, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"
If you cannot on the ocean
Sail among the swiftest fleet,
Rocking on the highest billows, Laughing at the storms you meet,
You can stand among the sailors, Anchored yet within the bay,
You can lend a hand to help them, As they launch their boats away.
If you are too weak to journey Up the mountain steep and high,
You can stand within the valley, While the multitudes go by;
You can chant in happy measure, As they slowly pass along;
Though they may forget the singer, They will not forget the song.
If you have not gold and silver Ever ready to command,
If you cannot towards the needy Reach an ever-open hand,
You can visit the afflicted,
O'er the erring you can weep,
You can be a true disciple, Sitting at the Savior's feet.
If you cannot in the conflict,
Prove yourself a soldier true,
If where fire and smoke are thickest, There's no work for you to do,
When the battle-field is silent, You can go with careful tread,
You can bear away the wounded, You can cover up the dead.
Do not then stand idly waiting For some greater work to do,
Fortune is a lazy goddess, She will never come to you.
Go and toil in any vineyard, Do not fear to do or dare,
If you want a field of labor, You can find it anywhere.
There are hermit souls that live withdrawn In the peace of their self-content;
There are souls, like stars, that dwell apart, In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths Where highways never ran;
But let me live by the side of the road And be a friend to man.
Let me live in a house by the side of the road, Where the race of men go by,
The men who are good and the men who are bad, As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner's seat,
Or hurl the cynic's ban;
Let me live in a house by the side of the road And be a friend to man.
I see from my house by the side of the road, By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope, The men who are faint with the strife.
But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears, Both parts of an infinite plan;
Let me live in my house by the side of the road And be a friend to man.
I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead And mountains of wearisome height;
That the road passes on through the long afternoon And stretches away to the night.
But still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice, And weep with the strangers that moan.
Nor live in my house by the side of the road Like a man who dwells alone.
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by;
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong, Wise, foolish--so am I.
Then why should I sit in the scorner's seat, Or hurl the cynic's ban?
Let me live in my house by the side of the road And be a friend to man.
With the sleeve of my coat fast in his teeth, pulling, as much as to say:
"Come, master, awake, attend to the switch, lives now depend upon you.
Think of the souls in the coming train, and the graves you are sending them to.
Think of the mother and the babe at her breast, think of the father and son,
Think of the lover and the loved one too, think of them doomed every one
To fall (as it were by your very hand) into yon fathomless ditch,
Murdered by one who should guard them from harm, who now lies asleep at the switch."
I sprang up amazed--scarce knew where I stood, sleep had o'ermastered me so;
I could hear the wind hollowly howling, and the deep river dashing below,
I could hear the forest leaves rustling, as the trees by the tempest were fanned,
But what was that noise in the distance? That, I could not understand.
I heard it at first indistinctly, like the rolling of some muffled drum,
Then nearer and nearer it came to me, till it made my very ears hum;
What is this light that surrounds me and seems to set fire to my brain?
What whistle's that, yelling so shrill? Ah! I know now; it's the train.
So I stood--with this demon before me, its heated breath scorching my face;
Its headlight made day of the darkness, and glared like the eyes of some witch,--
The train was almost upon me before I remembered the switch.
I sprang to it, seizing it wildly, the train dashing fast down the track;
The switch resisted my efforts, some devil seemed holding it back;
On, on came the fiery-eyed monster, and shot by my face like a flash;
I swooned to the earth the next moment, and knew nothing after the crash.
How long I lay there unconscious 'twas impossible for me to tell; My stupor was almost a heaven, my waking almost a hell,-- For then I heard the piteous moaning and shrieking of husbands and wives, And I thought of the day we all shrink from, when I must account for
Mothers rushed by me like maniacs, their eyes glaring madly and wild; Fathers, losing their courage, gave way to their grief like a child; Children searching for parents, I noticed, as by me they sped, And lips, that could form naught but "Mamma," were calling for one
My mind was made up in a moment, the river should hide me away, When, under the still burning rafters I suddenly noticed there lay A little white hand; she who owned it was doubtless an object of love To one whom her loss would drive frantic, though she guarded him now
I tenderly lifted the rafters and quietly laid them one side; How little she thought of her journey when she left for this dark, fatal
I lifted the last log from off her, and while searching for some spark of life,
Turned her little face up in the starlight, and recognized--Maggie, my wife!
O Lord! my scourge is a hard one, at a blow thou hast shattered my pride; My life will be one endless nightmare, with Maggie away from my side. How often I'd sat down and pictured the scenes in our long, happy life; How I'd strive through all my lifetime, to build up a home for my wife; How people would envy us always in our cozy and neat little nest; How I should do all the labor, and Maggie should all the day rest; How one of God's blessings might cheer us, how some day I perhaps shouldbe rich:-- But all of my dreams had been shattered, while I lay there asleep at the switch!
I fancied I stood on my trial, the jury and judge I could see; And every eye in the court room was steadily fixed upon me; And fingers were pointed in scorn, till I felt my face blushing blood-red, And the next thing I heard were the words, "Hanged by the neck untildead."
Then I felt myself pulled once again, and my hand caught tight hold of a dress,
And I heard, "What's the matter, dear Jim? You've had a bad nightmare, I guess!"
And there stood Maggie, my wife, with never a scar from the ditch,
I'd been taking a nap in my bed, and had not been "asleep at the switch."
A fire-mist and a planet,
A crystal and a cell,
A jellyfish and a saurian,
And caves where the cavemen dwell;
Then a sense of law and beauty, And a face turned from the clod,--
Some call it Evolution,
And others call it God.
A haze in the far horizon,
The infinite, tender sky;
The ripe, rich tints of the cornfields, And the wild geese sailing high;
And all over upland and lowland The charm of the goldenrod,--
Some of us call it Nature,
And others call it God.
Like tides on a crescent sea-beach, When the moon is new and thin,
Into our hearts high yearnings Come welling and surging in,--
Come from the mystic ocean. Whose rim no foot has trod,--
Some of us call it Longing,
And others call it God.
A mother starved for her brood,
Socrates drinking the hemlock,
And Jesus on the rood;
The millions who, humble and nameless,
The straight, hard pathway trod,-- Some call it Consecration,
And others call it God.
Come, listen all unto my song; It is no silly fable;
'Tis all about the mighty cord They call the Atlantic Cable.
Bold Cyrus Field he said, says he, I have a pretty notion
That I can run the telegraph Across the Atlantic Ocean.
Then all the people laughed, and said They'd like to see him do it;
He might get half-seas over, but He never could go through it;
To carry out his foolish plan He never would be able;
He might as well go hang himself With his Atlantic Cable.
But Cyrus was a valiant man, A fellow of decision;
And heeded not their mocking words, Their laughter and derision.
Twice did his bravest efforts fail, And yet his mind was stable;
He wa'n't the man to break his heart Because he broke his cable.
"Once more, my gallant boys!" he cried; "_Three times!_--you know the fable,--
(_I'll make it thirty_," muttered he, "But I will lay this cable!")
Once more they tried--hurrah! hurrah! What means this great commotion?
The Lord be praised! the cable's laid Across the Atlantic Ocean.
Loud ring the bells,--for, flashing through Six hundred leagues of water,
Old Mother England's benison
Salutes her eldest daughter.
O'er all the land the tidings speed, And soon, in every nation,
They'll hear about the cable with Profoundest admiration!
Jane Jones keeps talkin' to me all the time, An' says you must make it a rule
To study your lessons 'nd work hard 'nd learn, An' never be absent from school.
Remember the story of Elihu Burritt,
An' how he clum up to the top,
Got all the knowledge 'at he ever had
Down in a blacksmithing shop?
Jane Jones she honestly said it was so! Mebbe he did--
O' course what's a-keepin' me 'way from the top,
Is not never havin' no blacksmithing shop.
She said 'at Ben Franklin was awfully poor, But full of ambition an' brains;
An' studied philosophy all his hull life, An' see what he got for his pains!
He brought electricity out of the sky, With a kite an' a bottle an' key,
An' we're owing him more'n any one else For all the bright lights 'at we see.
Jane Jones she honestly said it was so! Mebbe he did--
O' course what's allers been hinderin' me
Is not havin' any kite, lightning er key.
Jane Jones said Abe Lincoln had no books at all, An' used to split rails when a boy;
An' General Grant was a tanner by trade
An' lived 'way out in Illinois.
So when the great war in the South first broke out He stood on the side o' the right,
An' when Lincoln called him to take charge o' things, He won nearly every blamed fight.
Jane Jones she honestly said it was so!
Mebbe he did--
Still I ain't to blame, not by a big sight, For I ain't never had any battles to fight.
She said 'at Columbus was out at the knees When he first thought up his big scheme,
An' told all the Spaniards 'nd Italians, too, An' all of 'em said 'twas a dream.
But Queen Isabella jest listened to him, 'Nd pawned all her jewels o' worth,
'Nd bought him the Santa Maria 'nd said, "Go hunt up the rest o' the earth!"
Mebbe he did--
O' course that may be, but then you must allow
They ain't no land to discover jest now!
Roushan Beg, called Kurroglou, Son of the road and bandit chief, Seeking refuge and relief,Up the mountain pathway flew. Such was Kyrat's wondrous speed, Never yet could any steed
Reach the dust-cloud in his course. More than maiden, more than wife, More than gold and next to lifeRoushan the Robber loved his horse. In the land that lies beyond Erzeroum and Trebizond,
Garden-girt his fortress stood; Plundered khan, or caravan
Journeying north from Koordistan,
Loud the torrent roars unseen; Thirty feet from side to side
Yawns the chasm; on air must ride
Reyhan the Arab of Orfah Halted with his hundred men, Shouting upward from the glen,"La Illah illa Allah!" Gently Roushan Beg caressed Kyrat's forehead, neck, and breast,
Kissed him upon both his eyes; Sang to him in his wild way, As upon the topmost spraySings a bird before it flies. "O my Kyrat, O my steed, Round and slender as a reed,
Carry me this peril through! Satin housings shall be thine, Shoes of gold, O Kyrat mine,O thou soul of Kurroglou! "Soft thy skin as silken skein, Soft as woman's hair thy mane,
Tender are thine eyes and true; All thy hoofs like ivory shine, Polished bright; O life of mine,Leap, and rescue Kurroglou!"
Kyrat, then, the strong and fleet, Drew together his four white feet, Paused a moment on the verge, Measured with his eye the space, And into the air's embraceLeaped, as leaps the ocean surge. As the ocean surge o'er sand Bears a swimmer safe to land,
Kyrat safe his rider bore; Rattling down the deep abyss, Fragments of the precipice Rolled like pebbles on a shore.
Roushan's tasseled cap of red Trembled not upon his head, Careless sat he and upright; Neither hand nor bridle shook, Nor his head he turned to look, As he galloped out of sight.Flash of harness in the air, Seen a moment like the glare
Of a sword drawn from its sheath; Thus the phantom horseman passed, And the shadow that he castLeaped the cataract underneath. Reyhan the Arab held his breath While this vision of life and death
Passed above him. "Allahu!" Cried he. "In all Koordistan Lives there not so brave a manAs this Robber Kurroglou!" _Henry W. Longfellow._ Old Ironsides
Ay, tear her tattered ensign down! Long has it waved on high,
And many an eye has danced to see That banner in the sky;
Beneath it rung the battle shout, And burst the cannon's roar;--
The meteor of the ocean air
Shall sweep the clouds no more!
Her deck, once red with heroes' blood, Where knelt the vanquished foe,
When winds were hurrying o'er the flood, And waves were white below,
No more shall feel the victor's tread, Or know the conquered knee;--
The harpies of the shore shall pluck The eagle of the sea!
Her thunders shook the mighty deep, And there should be her grave;
Nail to the mast her holy flag,
Set every threadbare sail,
And give her to the god of storms, The lightning and the gale!
Tell me not, in mournful numbers, "Life is but an empty dream!"
For the soul is dead that slumbers, And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
"Dust thou art, to dust returnest," Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow, Is our destined end or way;
But to act that each to-morrow Finds us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world's broad field of battle, In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle! Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant! Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, act in the living Present! Heart within, and God o'erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another, Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother, Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing, With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait.
I think, of all the things at school A boy has got to do,
That studyin' hist'ry, as a rule, Is worst of all, don't you?
Of dates there are an awful sight,
An' though I study day an' night,
There's only one I've got just right-- That's fourteen ninety-two.
Columbus crossed the Delaware
In fourteen ninety-two;
We whipped the British, fair an' square, In fourteen ninety-two.
At Concord an' at Lexington.
We kept the redcoats on the run,
While the band played Johnny Get Your Gun, In fourteen ninety-two.
Pat Henry, with his dyin' breath--
In fourteen ninety-two--
Said, "Gimme liberty or death!"
In fourteen ninety-two.
An' Barbara Frietchie, so 'tis said,
Cried, "Shoot if you must this old, gray head,
But I'd rather 'twould be your own instead!" In fourteen ninety-two.
The Pilgrims came to Plymouth Rock In fourteen ninety-two,
An' the Indians standin' on the dock Asked, "What are you goin' to do?" An' they said, "We seek your harbor drear That our children's children's children dear
May boast that their forefathers landed here In fourteen ninety-two."
Miss Pocahontas saved the life--
In fourteen ninety-two--
Of John Smith, an' became his wife In fourteen ninety-two.
An' the Smith tribe started then an' there,
An' now there are John Smiths ev'rywhere,
But they didn't have any Smiths to spare In fourteen ninety-two.
Kentucky was settled by Daniel Boone In fourteen ninety-two,
An' I think the cow jumped over the moon In fourteen ninety-two.
Ben Franklin flew his kite so high
He drew the lightnin' from the sky,
An' Washington couldn't tell a lie, In fourteen ninety-two.
Singing through the forests, rattling over ridges, Shooting under arches, rumbling over bridges, Whizzing through the mountains, buzzing o'er the vale,-- Bless me! this is pleasant, riding on the rail!
Men of different stations in the eye of Fame, Here are very quickly coming to the same; High and lowly people, birds of every feather, On a common level, traveling together!
Gentlemen in shorts, blooming very tall; Gentlemen at large, talking very small; Gentlemen in tights, with a loosish mien; Gentlemen in gray, looking very green!
Gentlemen quite old, asking for the news; Gentlemen in black, with a fit of blues; Gentlemen in claret, sober as a vicar; Gentlemen in tweed, dreadfully in liquor! Stranger on the right looking very sunny,
Obviously reading something very funny.
Now the smiles are thicker--wonder what they mean? Faith, he's got the Knickerbocker Magazine!
Stranger on the left, closing up his peepers; Now he snores again, like the Seven Sleepers; At his feet a volume gives the explanation, How the man grew stupid from "association"!
Ancient maiden lady anxiously remarks That there must be peril 'mong so many sparks; Roguish-looking fellow, turning to the stranger, Says 'tis his opinion _she_ is out of danger!
Woman with her baby, sitting _vis a vis_; Baby keeps a-squalling, woman looks at me; Asks about the distance--says 'tis tiresome talking, Noises of the cars are so very shocking!
Market woman, careful of the precious casket, Knowing eggs are eggs, tightly holds her basket; Feeling that a smash, if it came, would surely Send her eggs to pot rather prematurely.
Singing through the forests, rattling over ridges, Shooting under arches, rumbling over bridges, Whizzing through the mountains, buzzing o'er the vale,-- Bless me! this is pleasant, riding on the rail!_J.G. Saxe._ The Building of the Ship EXTRACT
Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State! Sail on, O Union, strong and great! Humanity with all its fears,
With all the hopes of future years, Is hanging breathless on thy fate! We know what Master laid thy keel, What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel, Who made each mast, and sail, and rope, What anvils rang, what hammers beat, In what a forge and what a heat
Were shaped the anchors of thy hope! Fear not each sudden sound and shock, 'Tis of the wave and not the rock;
'Tis but the flapping of the sail,
And not a rent made by the gale!
In spite of rock and tempest's roar,
In spite of false lights on the shore,
Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!
Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee, Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears, Our faith truiumphant o'er our fears, Are all with thee,--are all with thee!
You's as stiff an' as cold as a stone,
Dey's done frowed you out an' left you alone, Little cat!
I's a-strokin' you's fur,
But you don't never purr
Nor hump up anywhere,
W'y is dat?
Is you's purrin' an' humpin'-up done?
An' w'y fer is you's little foot tied, Little cat?
Did dey pisen you's tummick inside, Little cat?
Did dey pound you wif bricks,
Or wif big nasty sticks,
Or abuse you wif kicks,
Tell me dat,
Did dey holler at all when you cwied?
Did it hurt werry bad w'en you died, Little cat?
Oh, w'y didn't yo wun off and hide, Little cat?
I is wet in my eyes,
'Cause I most always cwies
W'en a pussy cat dies,
Tink of dat,
An' I's awfully solly besides!
Dest lay still dere in de sof gwown', Little cat,
W'ile I tucks de gween gwass all awoun', Little cat.
Dey can't hurt you no more
W'en you's tired an' so sore,
Dest sleep twiet, you pore
Wif a pat,
An' fordet all de kicks of de town.
"Who stuffed that white owl?" No one spoke in the shop; The barber was busy, and he couldn't stop;
The customers, waiting their turns, were all reading The _Daily_, the _Herald_, the _Post_, little heeding The young man who blurted out such a blunt question; Not one raised a head, or even made a suggestion;
"Don't you see, Mister Brown,"
Cried the youth, with a frown,
"How wrong the whole thing is,
How preposterous each wing is.
How flattened the head is, how jammed down the neck is-- In short, the whole owl, what an ignorant wreck 'tis! I make no apology; I've learned owleology.
I've passed days and nights in a hundred collections, And cannot be blinded to any deflections
Arising from unskilful fingers that fail
To stuff a bird right, from his beak to his tail.
Mister Brown! Mister Brown! Do take that bird down, Or you'll soon be the laughing-stock all over town!"
"I've _studied_ owls, And other night fowls, And I tell you
What I know to be true:
An owl cannot roost
With his limbs so unloosed;
No owl in this world
Ever had his claws curled,
Ever had his legs slanted,
Ever had his bill canted,
Ever had his neck screwed
Into that attitude.
He can't _do_ it, because
'Tis against all bird laws.
An owl has a toe
That _can't_ turn out so!
I've made the white owl my study for years,
And to see such a job almost moves me to tears! Mister Brown, I'm amazed
You should be so gone crazed
As to put up a bird
In that posture absurd!
To _look_ at that owl really brings on a dizziness; The man who stuffed him don't half know his business!"
"Examine those eyes.
I'm filled with surprise
Taxidermists should pass
Off on you such poor glass;
So unnatural they seem
They'd make Audubon scream, And John Burroughs laugh
To encounter such chaff.
Do take that bird down;
Have him stuffed again, Brown!"
"With some sawdust and bark
I could stuff in the dark
An owl better than that.
I could make an old hat
Look more like an owl
Than that horrid fowl,
Stuck up here so stiff like a side of coarse leather. In fact, about _him _there's not one natural feather." Just then, with a wink and a sly normal lurch, The owl, very gravely, got down from his perch, Walked round, and regarded his fault-finding critic (Who thought he was stuffed) with a glance analytic, And then fairly hooted, as if he should say: "Your learning's at fault this time, anyway; Don't waste it again on a live bird, I pray. I'm an owl; you're another. Sir Critic, good-day!"
The end has come, as come it must To all things; in these sweet June days
The teacher and the scholar trust Their parting feet to separate ways.
They part: but in the years to be
Shall pleasant memories cling to each,
As shells bear inland from the sea The murmur of the rhythmic beach.
One knew the joys the sculptor knows When, plastic to his lightest touch,
His clay-wrought model slowly grows To that fine grace desired so much.
So daily grew before her eyes
The living shapes whereon she wrought,
Strong, tender, innocently wise,
The child's heart with the woman's thought.
And one shall never quite forget
The voice that called from dream and play,
The firm but kindly hand that set
Her feet in learning's pleasant way,--
The joy of Undine soul-possessed, The wakening sense, the strange delight
That swelled the fabled statue's breast And filled its clouded eyes with sight!
O Youth and Beauty, loved of all! Ye pass from girlhood's gate of dreams;
In broader ways your footsteps fall, Ye test the truth of all that seems.
Hers is the sober summer noon Contrasted with your morn of spring;
The waning with the waxing moon, The folded with the outspread wing.
She sends her God-speed back to you; She has no thought of doubts or fears;
Be but yourselves, be pure, be true,
And prompt in duty; heed the deep, Low voice of conscience; through the ill
And discord round about you, keep Your faith in human nature still.
Be gentle: unto griefs and needs Be pitiful as woman should,
And, spite of all the lies of creeds, Hold fast the truth that God is good.
Give and receive; go forth and bless The world that needs the hand and heart
Of Martha's helpful carefulness
No less than Mary's better part.
So shall the stream of time flow by And leave each year a richer good,
And matron loveliness outvie
The nameless charm of maidenhood.
And, when the world shall link your names With gracious lives and manners fine,
The teacher shall assert her claims, And proudly whisper, "These were mine!"
It was peeping through the brambles, that little wild white rose, Where the hawthorn hedge was planted, my garden to enclose. All beyond was fern and heather, on the breezy, open moor; All within was sun and shelter, and the wealth of beauty's store. But I did not heed the fragrance of flow'ret or of tree, For my eyes were on that rosebud, and it grew too high for me. In vain I strove to reach it through the tangled mass of green, It only smiled and nodded behind its thorny screen. Yet through that summer morning I lingered near the spot: Oh, why do things seem sweeter if we possess them not? My garden buds were blooming, but all that I could see Was that little mocking wild rose, hanging just too high for me.
So in life's wider garden there are buds of promise, too, Beyond our reach to gather, but not beyond our view; And like the little charmer that tempted me astray, They steal out half the brightness of many a summer's day. Oh, hearts that fail with longing for some forbidden tree, Look up and learn a lesson from my white rose and me. 'Tis wiser far to number the blessings at my feet, Than ever to be sighing for just one bud more sweet. My sunbeams and my shadows fall from a pierced Hand, I can surely trust His wisdom since His heart I understand; And maybe in the morning, when His blessed face I see, He will tell me why my white rose grew just too high for me._Ellen H. Willis._ L'Envoi
When Earth's last picture is painted, and the tubes are twisted and dried, When the oldest colors have faded, and the youngest critic has died, We shall rest, and, faith, we shall need it--lie down for an aeon or two, Till the Master of All Good Workmen shall set us to work anew!
And those who were good shall be happy: they shall sit in a golden chair; They shall splash at a ten-league canvas with brushes of comet's hair; They shall find real saints to draw from--Magdalene, Peter and Paul; They shall work for an age at a sitting and never be tired at all.
And only the Master shall praise us, and only the Master shall blame; And no one shall work for money, and no one shall work for fame; But each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star, Shall draw the Thing as he sees It for the God of Things as They Are!_Rudyard Kipling._ Whistling in Heaven
You're surprised that I ever should say so? Just wait till the reason I've given
Why I say I sha'n't care for the music, Unless there is whistling in heaven.
Then you'll think it no very great wonder, Nor so strange, nor so bold a conceit,
That unless there's a boy there a-whistling, Its music will not be complete.
It was late in the autumn of '40;
We had come from our far Eastern home
Just in season to build us a cabin,
Ere the cold of the winter should come;
And we lived all the while in our wagon That husband was clearing the place
Where the house was to stand; and the clearing And building it took many days.
So that our heads were scarce sheltered In under its roof when our store
Of provisions was almost exhausted,
And husband must journey for more;
And the nearest place where he could get them Was yet such a distance away,
That it forced him from home to be absent At least a whole night and a day.
You see, we'd but two or three neighbors, And the nearest was more than a mile;
And we hadn't found time yet to know them, For we had been busy the while.
And the man who had helped at the raising Just staid till the job was well done;
And as soon as his money was paid him Had shouldered his axe and had gone.
Well, husband just kissed me and started-I could scarcely suppress a deep groan
At the thought of remaining with baby So long in the house alone;
For, my dear, I was childish and timid, And braver ones might well have feared,
For the wild wolf was often heard howling. And savages sometimes appeared.
But I smothered my grief and my terror Till husband was off on his ride,
And then in my arms I took Josey, And all the day long sat and cried,
As I thought of the long, dreary hours When the darkness of night should fall,
And I was so utterly helpless,
With no one in reach of my call.
And when the night came with its terrors, To hide ev'ry ray of light,
I hung up a quilt by the window,
And, almost dead with affright,
I kneeled by the side of the cradle, Scarce daring to draw a full breath,
Lest the baby should wake, and its crying Should bring us a horrible death.
There I knelt until late in the evening And scarcely an inch had I stirred,
When suddenly, far in the distance, A sound as of whistling I heard.
I started up dreadfully frightened, For fear 'twas an Indian's call;
And then very soon I remembered The red man ne'er whistles at all.
And when I was sure 'twas a white man, I thought, were he coming for ill,
He'd surely approach with more caution-- Would come without warning, and still.
Then the sound, coming nearer and nearer, Took the form of a tune light and gay,
And I knew I needn't fear evil
From one who could whistle that way.
Very soon I heard footsteps approaching, Then came a peculiar dull thump,
As if some one was heavily striking An ax in the top of a stump;
And then, in another brief moment, There came a light tap on the door,
When quickly I undid the fast'ning, And in stepped a boy, and before
There was either a question or answer Or either had time to speak,
I just threw my glad arms around him, And gave him a kiss on the cheek.
Then I started back, scared at my boldness. But he only smiled at my fright,
As he said, "I'm your neighbor's boy, Ellick, Come to tarry with you through the night.
"We saw your husband go eastward, And made up our minds where he'd gone,
And I said to the rest of our people, 'That woman is there all alone,
And I venture she's awfully lonesome, And though she may have no great fear,
I think she would feel a bit safer
If only a boy were but near.'
"So, taking my axe on my shoulder, For fear that a savage might stray
Across my path and need scalping, I started right down this way;
And coming in sight of the cabin, And thinking to save you alarm,
I whistled a tune, just to show you I didn't intend any harm.
"And so here I am, at your service; But if you don't want me to stay,
Why, all you need do is to say so,
And should'ring my axe, I'll away."
I dropped in a chair and near fainted, Just at thought of his leaving me then,
And his eye gave a knowing bright twinkle As he said, "I guess I'll remain."
And then I just sat there and told him How terribly frightened I'd been,
How his face was to me the most welcome Of any I ever had seen;
And then I lay down with the baby, And slept all the blessed night through,
For I felt I was safe from all danger Near so brave a young fellow, and true.
So now, my dear friend, do you wonder, Since such a good reason I've given,
Why I say I sha'n't care for the music, Unless there is whistling in heaven?
Yes, often I've said so in earnest,
And now what I've said I repeat,
That unless there's a boy there a-whistling, Its music will not be complete.
Sleep, Baby, Sleep
Sleep, baby, sleep!
Thy father's watching the sheep,
Thy mother's shaking the dreamland tree, And down drops a little dream for thee.
Sleep, baby, sleep!
The large stars are the sheep,
The little stars are the lambs, I guess, The bright moon is the shepherdess.
Sleep, baby, sleep!
Thy Savior loves His sheep;
He is the Lamb of God on high Who for our sakes came down to die.
Seated one day at the organ, I was weary and ill at ease,
And my fingers wandered idly Over the noisy keys.
I do not know what I was playing, Or what I was dreaming then;
But I struck one chord of music, Like the sound of a great Amen.
It flooded the crimson twilight, Like the close of an angel's psalm;
And it lay on my fevered spirit With a touch of infinite calm.
It quieted pain and sorrow, Like love overcoming strife;
It seemed the harmonious echo From our discordant life.
It linked all perplexing meanings Into one perfect peace,
And trembled away into silence As if it were loth to cease.
I have sought, but I seek it vainly, That one lost chord divine,
That came from the soul of the organ, And entered into mine.
It may be that Death's bright angel Will speak in that chord again;
It may be that only in Heaven I shall hear that grand Amen.
Between the dark and the daylight, When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day's occupations, That is known as the Children's Hour.
I hear in the chamber above me The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened, And voices soft and sweet.
From my study I see in the lamplight, Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra, And Edith with golden hair.
A whisper, and then a silence:
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together To take me by surprise.
A sudden rush from the stairway, A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded They enter my castle wall!
They climb up into my turret
O'er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me; They seem to be everywhere.
They almost devour me with kisses, Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen In his Mouse-tower on the Rhine!
Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti, Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am Is not a match for you all!
I have you fast in my fortress, And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon In the round-tower of my heart.
And there will I keep you forever, Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin, And moulder in dust away!
Woodman, spare that tree! Touch not a single bough!
In youth it sheltered me, And I'll protect it now.
'T was my forefather's hand That placed it near his cot;
There, woodman, let it stand. Thy ax shall harm it not!
That old familiar tree,
Whose glory and renown
Are spread o'er land and sea-- And wouldst thou hew it down?
Woodman, forbear thy stroke! Cut not its earth-bound ties;
Oh, spare that aged oak,
Now towering to the skies!
When but an idle boy,
I sought its grateful shade;
In all their gushing joy
Here, too, my sisters played.
My mother kissed me here; My father pressed my hand--
Forgive this foolish tear,
But let that old oak stand!
My heart-strings round thee cling, Close as thy bark, old friend!
Here shall the wild-bird sing, And still thy branches bend.
Old tree! the storm still brave! And, woodman, leave the spot;
While I've a hand to save,
Thy ax shall harm it not!
They drive home the cows from the pasture, Up through the long shady lane,
Where the quail whistles loud in the wheat-fields, That are yellow with ripening grain.
They find, in the thick waving grasses,
Where the scarlet-lipped strawberry grows.
They gather the earliest snowdrops,
And the first crimson buds of the rose.
They toss the new hay in the meadow, They gather the elder-bloom white,
They find where the dusky grapes purple In the soft-tinted October light.
They know where the apples hang ripest, And are sweeter than Italy's wines;
They know where the fruit hangs the thickest On the long, thorny blackberry vines.
They gather the delicate sea-weeds, And build tiny castles of sand;
They pick up the beautiful sea shells-- Fairy barks that have drifted to land.
They wave from the tall, rocking tree-tops, Where the oriole's hammock-nest swings,
And at night time are folded in slumber By a song that a fond mother sings.
Those who toil bravely are strongest; The humble and poor become great;
And so from these brown-handed children Shall grow mighty rulers of state.
The pen of the author and statesman,-- The noble and wise of the land,--
The sword, and the chisel, and palette, Shall be held in the little brown hand.
Bravest of all in Frederick town,
She took up the flag the men hauled down; In her attic window the staff she set, To show that one heart was loyal yet.
I started on a journey just about a week ago,
For the little town of Morrow, in the State of Ohio. I never was a traveler, and really didn't know
That Morrow had been ridiculed a century or so. I went down to the depot for my ticket and applied For the tips regarding Morrow, not expecting to be guyed. Said I, "My friend, I want to go to Morrow and return Not later than to-morrow, for I haven't time to burn."
Said he to me, "Now let me see if I have heard you right, You want to go to Morrow and come back to-morrow night. You should have gone to Morrow yesterday and back to-day, For if you started yesterday to Morrow, don't you see, You could have got to Morrow and returned to-day at three. The train that started yesterday--now understand me right-- To-day it gets to Morrow, and returns to-morrow night."
Said I, "My boy, it seems to me you're talking through your hat, Is there a town named Morrow on your line? Now tell me that." "There is," said he, "and take from me a quiet little tip-- To go from here to Morrow is a fourteen-hour trip.
The train that goes to Morrow leaves to-day eight-thirty-five; Half after ten to-morrow is the time it should arrive.
Now if from here to Morrow is a fourteen-hour jump,
Can you go to-day to Morrow and come back to-day, you chump?"
Said I, "I want to go to Morrow; can I go to-day
And get to Morrow by to-night, if there is no delay?"
"Well, well," said he, "explain to me and I've no more to say; Can you go anywhere to-morrow and come back from there to-day?" For if to-day you'd get to Morrow, surely you'll agree
You should have started not to-day, but yesterday, you see. So if you start to Morrow, leaving here to-day, you're flat, You won't get to Morrow till the day that follows that.
"Now if you start to-day to Morrow, it's a cinch you'll land To-morrow into Morrow, not to-day, you understand. For the train to-day to Morrow, if the schedule is right, Will get you into Morrow by about to-morrow night." Said I, "I guess you know it all, but kindly let me say, How can I go to Morrow, if I leave the town to-day?" Said he, "You cannot go to Morrow any more to-day, For the train that goes to Morrow is a mile upon its way."FINALE
I was so disappointed I was mad enough to swear; The train had gone to Morrow and had left me standing there. The man was right in telling me I was a howling jay; I didn't go to Morrow, so I guess I'll go to-day.Out in the Fields
The little cares that fretted me, I lost them yesterday
Among the fields above the seas, Among the winds at play;
Among the lowing of the herds, The rustling of the trees,
Among the singing of the birds, The humming of the bees.
The foolish fears of what might happen,-- I cast them all away
Among the clover-scented grass,
Among the new-mown hay;
Among the husking of the corn,
Where drowsy poppies nod,
Where ill thoughts die and good are born, Out in the fields with God.
I know the song that the bluebird is singing, Out in the apple tree where he is swinging. Brave little fellow! the skies may be dreary-Nothing cares he while his heart is so cheery.
Hark! how the music leaps out from his throat! Hark! was there ever so merry a note?
Listen a while, and you'll hear what he's saying, Up in the apple tree swinging and swaying.
"Dear little blossoms down under the snow, You must be weary of winter I know. Listen, I'll sing you a message of cheer! Summer is coming! and springtime is here!
"Little white snowdrop! I pray you arise; Bright yellow crocus! please open your eyes; Sweet little violets, hid from the cold, Put on your mantles of purple and gold; Daffodils! Daffodils! say, do you hear?-- Summer is coming, and springtime is here!"_Emily Huntington Miller._ The Main Truck, or a Leap for Life
Old Ironsides at anchor lay,
In the harbor of Mahon;
A dead calm rested on the bay,-- The waves to sleep had gone;
When little Hal, the Captain's son, A lad both brave and good,
In sport, up shroud and rigging ran, And on the main truck stood!
A shudder shot through every vein,-- All eyes were turned on high!
There stood the boy, with dizzy brain, Between the sea and sky;
No hold had he above, below;
Alone he stood in air:
To that far height none dared to go,-- No aid could reach him there.
We gazed, but not a man could speak,-- With horror all aghast,--
In groups, with pallid brow and cheek,-- We watched the quivering mast.
The atmosphere grew thick and hot, And of a lurid hue;-
As riveted unto the spot,
Stood officers and crew.
The father came on deck:--he gasped, "Oh, God; thy will be done!"
Then suddenly a rifle grasped,
And aimed it at his son.
"Jump, far out, boy, into the wave! Jump, or I fire," he said;
"That only chance your life can save; Jump, jump, boy!" He obeyed.
He sunk,--he rose,--he lived,--he moved,-- And for the ship struck out.
On board we hailed the lad beloved, With many a manly shout.
His father drew, in silent joy,
Those wet arms round his neck,
And folded to his heart his boy,--
Then fainted on the deck.
I shot an arrow into the air, It fell to earth, I knew not where; For, so swiftly it flew, the sight Could not follow it in its flight.
I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where; For who has sight so keen and strong, That it can follow the flight of song?
Long, long afterward, in an oak I found the arrow, still unbroke; And the song, from beginning to end, I found again in the heart of a friend. _H.W. Longfellow._The Green Mountain Justice
"The snow is deep," the Justice said; "There's mighty mischief overhead." "High talk, indeed!" his wife exclaimed; "What, sir! shall Providence be blamed?" The Justice, laughing, said, "Oh no! I only meant the loads of snow
Upon the roofs. The barn is weak; I greatly fear the roof will break.
So hand me up the spade, my dear, I'll mount the barn, the roof to clear." "No!" said the wife; "the barn is high, And if you slip, and fall, and die,
How will my living be secured?-- Stephen, your life is not insured. But tie a rope your waist around, And it will hold you safe and sound." "I will," said he. "Now for the roof-- All snugly tied, and danger-proof! Excelsior! Excel--But no!
The rope is not secured below!"
Said Rachel, "Climb, the end to throw Across the top, and I will go
And tie that end around my waist." "Well, every woman to her taste;
You always would be tightly laced. Rachel, when you became my bride, I thought the knot securely tied;
But lest the bond should break in twain, I'll have it fastened once again."
Below the arm-pits tied around,
She takes her station on the ground, While on the roof, beyond the ridge, He shovels clear the lower edge.
But, sad mischance! the loosened snow Comes sliding down, to plunge below. And as he tumbles with the slide, Up Rachel goes on t'other side.
Just half-way down the Justice hung; Just half-way up the woman swung. "Good land o' Goshen!" shouted she; "Why, do you see it?" answered he. The couple, dangling in the breeze,
Like turkeys hung outside to freeze,
At their rope's end and wits' end, too,
Shout back and forth what best to do.
Cried Stephen, "Take it coolly, wife;
All have their ups and downs in life."
Quoth Rachel, "What a pity 'tis
To joke at such a thing as this!
A man whose wife is being hung
Should know enough to hold his tongue."
"Now, Rachel, as I look below,
I see a tempting heap of snow.
Suppose, my dear, I take my knife,
And cut the rope to save my life?"
She shouted, "Don't! 'twould be my death--
I see some pointed stones beneath.
A better way would be to call,
With all our might, for Phebe Hall."
"Agreed!" he roared. First he, then she
Gave tongue; "O Phebe! Phebe! _Phe-e-be_ Hall!" in tones both fine
Now Phebe, over at the farm,
Was sitting, sewing, snug and warm; But hearing, as she thought, her name, Sprang up, and to the rescue came; Beheld the scene, and thus she thought: "If now a kitchen chair were brought, And I could reach the lady's foot,
I'd draw her downward by the boot, Then cut the rope, and let him go;
He cannot miss the pile of snow."
He sees her moving toward his wife. Armed with a chair and carving-knife, And, ere he is aware, perceives
His head ascending to the eaves;
And, guessing what the two are at, Screams from beneath the roof, "Stop that! You make me fall too far, by half!"
But Phebe answers, with a laugh,
"Please tell a body by what right
You've brought your wife to such a plight!" And then, with well-directed blows, She cuts the rope and down he goes. The wife untied, they walk around
When lo! no Stephen can be found. They call in vain, run to and fro;
They look around, above, below;
No trace or token can they see, And deeper grows the mystery. Then Rachel's heart within her sank; But, glancing at the snowy bank, She caught a little gleam of hope,-- A gentle movement of the rope. They scrape away a little snow; What's this? A hat! Ah! he's below; Then upward heaves the snowy pile, And forth he stalks in tragic style, Unhurt, and with a roguish smile; And Rachel sees, with glad surprise, The missing found, the fallen rise.
About the time of Christmas
(Not many months ago),
When the sky was black
With wrath and rack,
And the earth was white with snow, When loudly rang the tumult
Of winds and waves of strife, In her home by the sea,
With her babe on her knee,
Sat Harry Conquest's wife.
And he was on the ocean,
Although she knew not where, For never a lip
Could tell of the ship,
To lighten her heart's despair. And her babe was fading and dying;
The pulse in the tiny wrist
Was all but still,
And the brow was chill,
And pale as the white sea mist.
Jane Conquest's heart was hopeless; She could only weep and pray That the Shepherd mild
Would take her child
And the storm grew stronger still, And buried in deep
And dreamless sleep
The fire was dead on the hearthstone Within Jane Conquest's room, And still sat she,
With her babe on her knee,
At prayer amid the gloom.
When, borne above the tempest,
A sound fell on her ear,
Thrilling her through,
For well she knew
'Twas the voice of mortal fear.
And a light leaped in at the lattice, Sudden and swift and red;
The whited wall,
And the floor, and the roof o'erhead. For one brief moment, heedless
Of the babe upon her knee,
With the frenzied start
Of a frightened heart,
Upon her feet rose she.
And through the quaint old casement She looks upon the sea;
Thank God that the sight
She saw that night
So rare a sight should be!
Hemmed in by many a billow
With mad and foaming lip,
A mile from shore,
Or hardly more,
She saw a gallant ship.
And to her horror she beheld it Aflame from stem to stern;
For there seemed no speck On all that wreck
Where the fierce fire did not burn; Till the night was like a sunset,
And the sea like a sea of blood, And the rocks and shore
Were bathed all o'er
And drenched with the gory flood.
She looked and looked, till the terror Went creeping through every limb; And her breath came quick, And her heart grew sick,
And her sight grew dizzy and dim; And her lips had lost their utterance,
For she tried but could not speak; And her feelings found
No channel of sound
In prayer, or sob, or shriek.
Once more that cry of anguish Thrilled through the tempest's strife, And it stirred again
In heart and brain
And the light of an inspiration
Leaped to her brightened eye, And on lip and brow
Was written now
Swiftly she turns, and softly
She crosses the chamber floor, And faltering not,
In his tiny cot
She laid the babe she bore.
And then with a holy impulse,
She sank to her knees, and made A lowly prayer,
In the silence there,
And this was the prayer she prayed:
And who now dost wear the crown, I at Thy feet,
O True and Sweet,
Would lay my burden down.
Thou bad'st me love and cherish
The babe Thou gavest me,
And I have kept
Thy word, nor stept
Aside from following Thee.
And vain is all my care;
And my burden's weight
Is very great,
Yea, greater than I can bear! O Lord, Thou know'st what peril
Doth threat these poor men's lives, And I, a woman,
Most weak and human,
Do plead for their waiting wives.
Up, Lord, in Thy strength, and save From the scorching breath
Of this terrible death
On this cruel winter wave.
Take Thou my babe and watch it,
No care is like to Thine;
And let Thy power
In this perilous hour
Supply what lack is mine."
And so her prayer she ended,
And rising to her feet,
Gave one long look
And then with softest footsteps Retrod the chamber floor,
And noiselessly groped
And through the tempest bravely Jane Conquest fought her way, By snowy deep
And slippery steep
To where her duty lay.
And she journeyed onward, breathless,
And weary and sore and faint,
Yet forward pressed
With the strength, and the zest,
And the ardor of a saint.
Solemn, and weird, and lonely Amid its countless graves,
Stood the old gray church
On its tall rock perch,
Secure from the sea and its waves; And beneath its sacred shadow
Lay the hamlet safe and still; For however the sea
And the wind might be,
There was quiet under the hill.
Jane Conquest reached the churchyard, And stood by the old church door, But the oak was tough
And had bolts enough,
And her strength was frail and poor; So she crept through a narrow window,
And climbed the belfry stair,
And grasped the rope,
Sole cord of hope,
For the mariners in despair.
And the wild wind helped her bravely, And she wrought with an earnest will, And the clamorous bell
Spoke out right well
To the hamlet under the hill.
And it roused the slumbering fishers,
Nor its warning task gave o'er
Till a hundred fleet
And eager feet
Were hurrying to the shore.
And then it ceased its ringing, For the woman's work was done, And many a boat
That was now afloat
Showed man's work had begun. But the ringer in the belfry
Lay motionless and cold,
With the cord of hope.
The church-bell rope,
Still in her frozen hold.
How long she lay it boots not,
But she woke from her swoon at last In her own bright room.
To find the gloom,
And the grief, and the peril past, With the sense of joy within her,
And the Christ's sweet presence near; And friends around,
And the cooing sound
Of her babe's voice in her ear.
And they told her all the story, How a brave and gallant few O'ercame each check,
And reached the wreck,
And saved the hopeless crew. And how the curious sexton
Had climbed the belfry stair, And of his fright
When, cold and white, He found her lying there;
And how, when they had borne her Back to her home again,
The child she left
With a heart bereft
Of hope, and weary with pain, Was found within his cradle
In a quiet slumber laid;
With a peaceful smile
On his lips the while,
And the wasting sickness stayed.
And she said "Twas the Christ who watched it, And brought it safely through";
And she praised His truth
And His tender ruth
To drum beat and heart beat, A soldier marches by,
There is color in his cheek, There is courage in his eye;
Yet to drum beat and heart beat, In a moment he must die.
By starlight and moonlight, He seeks the Britons' camp;
He hears the rustling flag, And the armed sentry's tramp;
And the starlight and moonlight His silent wanderings lamp.
With a slow tread and still tread, He scans the tented line,
And he counts the battery guns By the gaunt and shadowy pine,
And his slow tread and still tread Gives no warning sign.
The dark wave, the plumed wave, It meets his eager glance;
And it sparkles 'neath the stars, Like the glimmer of a lance--
A dark wave, a plumed wave, On an emerald expanse.
A sharp clang, a steel clang, And terror in the sound!
For the sentry, falcon-eyed, In the camp a spy has found;
With a sharp clang, a steel clang, The patriot is bound.
With calm brow, steady brow, He listens to his doom.
In his look there is no fear, Nor a shadow trace of gloom,
But with calm brow, steady brow, He robes him for the tomb.
In the long night, the still night, He kneels upon the sod;
And the brutal guards withhold E'en the solemn word of God!
In the long night, the still night, He walks where Christ hath trod.
'Neath the blue morn, the sunny morn, He dies upon the tree;
And he mourns that he can give But one life for liberty;
And in the blue morn, the sunny morn His spent wings are free.
But his last words, his message words, They burn, lest friendly eye
Should read how proud and calm A patriot could die.
With his last words, his dying words, A soldier's battle cry.
From Fame-leaf and Angel-leaf, From monument and urn,
The sad of earth, the glad of Heaven, His tragic fate shall learn;
And on Fame-leaf and Angel-leaf, The name of Hale shall burn.
You are coming to woo me, but not as of yore, When I hastened to welcome your ring at the door; For I trusted that he who stood waiting me then, Was the brightest, the truest, the noblest of men. Your lips on my own when they printed "Farewell," Had never been soiled by "the beverage of hell"; But they come to me now with the bacchanal sign, And the lips that touch liquor must never touch mine.
I think of that night in the garden alone,
When in whispers you told me your heart was my own, That your love in the future should faithfully be Unshared by another, kept only for me.
Oh, sweet to my soul is the memory still
Of the lips which met mine, when they murmured "I will"; But now to their pressure no more they incline, For the lips that touch liquor must never touch mine!
O John! how it crushed me, when first in your face The pen of the "Rum Fiend" had written "disgrace"; And turned me in silence and tears from that breath All poisoned and foul from the chalice of death. It scattered the hopes I had treasured to last; It darkened the future and clouded the past; It shattered my idol, and ruined the shrine, For the lips that touch liquor must never touch mine.
I loved you--Oh, dearer than language can tell, And you saw it, you proved it, you knew it too well! But the man of my love was far other than he Who now from the "Tap-room" comes reeling to me; In manhood and honor so noble and right-- His heart was so true, and his genius so bright-- And his soul was unstained, unpolluted by wine; But the lips that touch liquor must never touch mine.
You promised reform, but I trusted in vain;
Your pledge was but made to be broken again: And the lover so false to his promises now,
Will not, as a husband, be true to his vow.
The word must be spoken that bids you depart-- Though the effort to speak it should shatter my heart-- Though in silence, with blighted affection, I pine, Yet the lips that touch liquor must never touch mine!
If one spark in your bosom of virtue remain, Go fan it with prayer till it kindle again;
Resolved, with "God helping," in future to be From wine and its follies unshackled and free! And when you have conquered this foe of your soul,-In manhood and honor beyond his control-- This heart will again beat responsive to thine, And the lips free from liquor be welcome to mine.
When you come to the end of a perfect day And you sit alone with your thought
While the chimes ring out with a carol gay For the joy that the day has brought,
Do you think what the end of a perfect day Can mean to a tired heart?
When the sun goes down with a flaming ray And the dear friends have to part?
Well, this is the end of a perfect day, Near the end of a journey, too;
But it leaves a thought that is big and strong, With a wish that is kind and true;
For mem'ry has painted this perfect day With colors that never fade,
And we find, at the end of a perfect day, The soul of a friend we've made.
Kate Ketchem on a winter's night Went to a party dressed in white. Her chignon in a net of gold,
Was about as large as they ever sold. Gayly she went, because her "pap" Was supposed to be a rich old chap.
But when by chance her glances fell On a friend who had lately married well, Her spirits sunk, and a vague unrest And a nameless longing filled her breast-- A wish she wouldn't have had made known, To have an establishment of her own.
Tom Fudge came slowly through the throng, With chestnut hair, worn pretty long. He saw Kate Ketchem in the crowd,
And knowing her slightly, stopped and bowed; Then asked her to give him a single flower, Saying he'd think it a priceless dower.
Out from those with which she was decked, She took the poorest she could select.
And blushed as she gave it, looking down To call attention to her gown.
"Thanks," said Fudge, and he thought how dear Flowers must be at that time of year.
Then several charming remarks he made, Asked if she sang, or danced, or played; And being exhausted, inquired whether She thought it was going to be pleasant weather. And Kate displayed her "jewelry,"
And dropped her lashes becomingly;
And listened, with no attempt to disguise The admiration in her eyes.
At last, like one who has nothing to say, He turned around and walked away.
Kate Ketchem smiled, and said, "You bet. I'll catch that Fudge and his money yet. He's rich enough to keep me in clothes, And I think I could manage him as I chose. He could aid my father as well as not, And buy my brother a splendid yacht. My mother for money should never fret, And all it cried for the baby should get; And after that, with what he could spare, I'd make a show at a charity fair."
Tom Fudge looked back as he crossed the sill, And saw Kate Ketchem standing still. "A girl more suited to my mind
It isn't an easy thing to find;
And every thing that she has to wear Proves her as rich as she is fair.
Would she were mine, and I to-day
Had the old man's cash my debts to pay! No creditors with a long account,
No tradesmen wanting 'that little amount'; But all my scores paid up when due By a father-in-law as rich as a Jew!"
But he thought of her brother, not worth a straw, And her mother, that would be his, in law; So, undecided, he walked along,
And Kate was left alone in the throng.
But a lawyer smiled, whom he sought by stealth, To ascertain old Ketchem's wealth;
And as for Kate, she schemed and planned Till one of the dancers claimed her hand.
He married her for her father's cash;
She married him to cut a dash,
But as to paying his debts, do you know, The father couldn't see it so;
And at hints for help, Kate's hazel eyes Looked out in their innocent surprise. And when Tom thought of the way he had wed He longed for a single life instead,
And closed his eyes in a sulky mood,
Regretting the days of his bachelorhood; And said, in a sort of reckless vein,
"I'd like to see her catch me again,
If I were free, as on that night
When I saw Kate Ketchem dressed in white!"
She wedded him to be rich and gay;
But husband and children didn't pay,
He wasn't the prize she hoped to draw, And wouldn't live with his mother-in-law. And oft when she had to coax and pout In order to get him to take her out,
She thought how very attentive and bright He seemed at the party that winter's night; Of his laugh, as soft as a breeze of the south, ('Twas now on the other side of his mouth); How he praised her dress and gems in his talk, As he took a careful account of stock.
Sometimes she hated the very walls-- Hated her friends, her dinners, and calls; Till her weak affection, to hatred turned, Like a dying tallow-candle burned.
And for him who sat there, her peace to mar, Smoking his everlasting cigar--
He wasn't the man she thought she saw, And grief was duty, and hate was law. So she took up her burden with a groan, Saying only, "I might have known!"
Alas for Kate! and alas for Fudge! Though I do not owe them any grudge; And alas for any who find to their shame That two can play at their little game! For of all hard things to bear and grin, The hardest is knowing you're taken in. Ah, well! as a general thing, we fret About the one we didn't get;
But I think we needn't make a fuss, If the one we don't want didn't get us.
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' eastward to the sea, There's a Burma girl a-settin', an' I know she thinks o' me; For the wind is in the palm-trees, an' the temple-bells they say: "Come you back, you British soldier: come you back to Mandalay!"
Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old flotilla lay:
Can't you 'ear their paddles chunkin' from Rangoon to Mandalay? On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin'-fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!
'Er petticut was yaller an' 'er little cap was green,
An' 'er name was Supi-yaw-lat--jes' the same as Theebaw's Queen, An' I seed her fust a-smokin' of a whackin' white cheroot, An' a-wastin' Christian kisses on an 'eathen idol's foot;
Bloomin' idol made o' mud--
Wot they called the Great Gawd Budd--
Plucky lot she cared for idols when I kissed 'er where she stud! On the road to Mandalay--
When the mist was on the rice-fields an' the sun was droppin' low, She'd git 'er little banjo an' she'd sing "_Kul-la-lo-lo_!" With 'er arm upon my shoulder an' her cheek agin my cheek We useter watch the steamers and the _hathis_ pilin' teak.
Elephints a-pilin' teak
In the sludgy, squdgy creek,
Where the silence 'ung that 'eavy you was arf afraid to speak! On the road to Mandalay--
But that's all shove be'ind me--long ago an' fur away, An' there ain't no 'buses runnin' from the Benk to Mandalay; An' I'm learnin' 'ere in London what the ten-year sodger tells: "If you've 'eard the East a-callin', why, you won't 'eed nothin' else."
No! you won't 'eed nothin' else
But them spicy garlic smells
An' the sunshine an' the palm-trees an' the tinkly temple-bells! On the road to Mandalay--
I am sick o' wastin' leather on these gutty pavin'-stones, An' the blasted Henglish drizzle wakes the fever in my bones; Tho' I walks with fifty 'ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand, An' they talk a lot o' lovin', but wot do they understand?
Beefy face an' grubby 'and--
Law! wot _do_ they understand?
I've a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land! On the road to Mandalay--
Ship me somewheres east of Suez where the best is like the worst, Where there aren't no Ten Commandments, an' a man can raise a thirst; For the temple-bells are callin', an' it's there that I would be-- By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' lazy at the sea--
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay,
With our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay! On the road to Mandalay!
Where the flyin'-fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!
Behind him lay the gray Azores,
Behind the Gates of Hercules;
Before him not the ghost of shores, Before him only shoreless seas.
The good mate said: "Now must we pray, For lo! the very stars are gone.
Brave Adm'r'l, speak; what shall I say?" "Why, say: 'Sail on! sail on! and on!'"
"My men grow mutinous day by day; My men grow ghastly wan and weak."
The stout mate thought of home; a spray Of salt wave washed his swarthy cheek,
"What shall I say, brave Adm'r'l, say, If we sight naught but seas at dawn?"
"Why, you shall say at break of day: 'Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!'"
They sailed and sailed, as winds might blow, Until at last the blanched mate said:
"Why, now not even God would know Should I and all my men fall dead.
These very winds forget their way,
For God from these dread seas is gone.
Now speak, brave Adm'r'l, speak and say--" He said: "Sail on! Sail on! and on!"
They sailed. They sailed. Then spake the mate: "This mad sea shows his teeth tonight.
He curls his lips, he lies in wait
With lifted teeth, as if to bite!
Brave Adm'r'l, say but one good word: What shall we do when hope is gone?
The words leapt like a leaping sword;
"Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!"
Then, pale and worn, he kept his deck, And peered through darkness. Ah, that night
Of all dark nights! And then a speck-- A light! a light! a light! a light!
It grew, a starlit flag unfurled!
It grew to be Time's burst of dawn.
He gained a world; he gave that world Its grandest lesson; "On! sail on!"
My sister's best feller is 'most six-foot-three,
And handsome and strong as a feller can be;
And Sis, she's so little, and slender, and small, You never would think she could boss him at all; But, my jing!
She don't do a thing
But make him jump 'round, like he worked with a string! It jest made me 'shamed of him sometimes, you know, To think that he'll let a girl bully him so.
He goes to walk with her and carries her muff And coat and umbrella, and that kind of stuff; She loads him with things that must weigh 'most a ton; And, honest, he _likes_ it,--as if it was fun!
And, oh, say!
When they go to a play,
He'll sit in the parlor and fidget away,
And she won't come down till it's quarter past eight, And then she'll scold _him_ 'cause they get there so late.
He spends heaps of money a-buyin' her things, Like candy, and flowers, and presents, and rings; And all he's got for 'em's a handkerchief case-- A fussed-up concern, made of ribbons and lace; But, my land! He thinks it's just grand,
"'Cause she made it," he says, "with her own little hand"; He calls her "an angel"--I heard him--and "saint," And "beautif'lest bein' on earth"--but she ain't,
'Fore I go on an errand for her any time, I just make her coax me, and give me a dime; But that great big silly--why, honest and true-- He'd run forty miles if she wanted him to. Oh, gee whiz!
I tell you what 'tis!
I jest think it's _awful_--those actions of his. I won't fall in love, when I'm grown--no sir-ee! My sister's best feller's a warnin' to me!
That's where the West begins.
Out where the sun's a little brighter,
Where the snow that falls is a trifle whiter, Where the bonds of home are a wee bit tighter,
That's where the West begins. Out where a fresher breeze is blowing, Where there is laughter in every streamlet flowing, Where there's more of reaping and less of sowing,That's where the West begins. Out where the world is in the making, Where fewer hearts with despair are aching;
That's where the West begins.
Where there is more of singing and less of sighing, Where there is more of giving and less of buying, And a man makes friends without half trying--
Let us take to our hearts a lesson--no lesson can braver be-- From the ways of the tapestry weavers on the other side of the sea. Above their heads the pattern hangs, they study it with care, The while their fingers deftly move, their eyes are fastened there.
They tell this curious thing, besides, of the patient, plodding weaver: He works on the wrong side evermore, but works for the right side ever. It is only when the weaving stops, and the web is loosed and turned, That he sees his real handiwork--that his marvelous skill is learned.
Ah, the sight of its delicate beauty, how it pays him for all his cost! No rarer, daintier work than his was ever done by the frost. Then the master bringeth him golden hire, and giveth him praise as well, And how happy the heart of the weaver is, no tongue but his can tell.
The years of man are the looms of God, let down from the place of the sun, Wherein we are weaving ever, till the mystic web is done.
Weaving blindly but weaving surely each for himself his fate-- We may not see how the right side looks, we can only weave and wait.
But, looking above for the pattern, no weaver hath to fear; Only let him look clear into heaven, the Perfect Pattern is there. If he keeps the face of the Savior forever and always in sight His toil shall be sweeter than honey, his weaving sure to be right.
And when the work is ended, and the web is turned and shown, He shall hear the voice of the Master, it shall say unto him, "Well done!" And the white-winged Angels of Heaven, to bear him shall come down; And God shall give him gold for his hire--not a coin--but a glowing crown. When the Teacher Gets Cross
When the teacher gets cross, and her blue eyes gets black, And the pencil comes down on the desk with a whack, We chillen all sit up straight in a line,
As if we had rulers instead of a spine,
And it's scary to cough, and it a'n't safe to grin, When the teacher gets cross, and the dimples goes in.
When the teacher gets cross, the tables get mixed, The ones and the twos begins to play tricks. The pluses and minuses is just little smears, When the cry babies cry their slates full of tears, And the figgers won't add,--but just act up like sin, When the teacher gets cross, and the dimples goes in.
When the teacher gets cross, the reading gets bad. The lines jingle round till the' chillen is sad.
And Billy boy puffs and gets red in the face, As if he and the lesson were running a race, Until she hollers out, "Next!" as sharp as a pin, When the teacher gets cross, and the dimples goes in.
When the teacher gets good, her smile is so bright, That the tables gets straight, and the reading gets right. The pluses and minuses comes trooping along, And the figgers add up and stop being wrong,
And we chillen would like, but we dassent, to shout, When the teacher gets good, and the dimples comes out.
God of our fathers, known of old, Lord of our far-flung battle line,
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold Dominion over palm and pine-
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget--lest we forget!
The tumult and the shouting dies; The captains and the kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice, An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget--lest we forget!
Far-called, our navies melt away; On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget--lest we forget!
If, drunk with sight of power, we loose Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe--
Such boasting as the Gentiles use, Or lesser breeds without the Law--
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget--lest we forget!
For heathen heart that puts her trust In reeking tube and iron shard,
All valiant dust that builds on dust, And guarding, calls not Thee to guard,
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy Mercy on Thy People, Lord!
O Friends! with whom my feet have trod The quiet aisles of prayer,
Glad witness to your zeal for God And love of man I bear.
I trace your lines of argument; Your logic linked and strong
I weigh as one who dreads dissent, And fears a doubt as wrong.
But still my human hands are weak To hold your iron creeds:
Against the words ye bid me speak My heart within me pleads.
Who fathoms the Eternal Thought? Who talks of scheme and plan?
The Lord is God! He needeth not The poor device of man.
I walk with bare, hushed feet the ground Ye tread with boldness shod;
I dare not fix with mete and bound The love and power of God.
Ye praise His justice; even such His pitying love I deem;
Ye seek a king; I fain would touch The robe that hath no seam.
Ye see the curse which overbroods A world of pain and loss;
I hear our Lord's beatitudes And prayer upon the cross.
More than your schoolmen teach, within Myself, alas! I know;
Too dark ye cannot paint the sin, Too small the merit show.
I bow my forehead to the dust, I veil mine eyes for shame,
And urge, in trembling self-distrust, A prayer without a claim.
I see the wrong that round me lies, I feel the guilt within;
I hear, with groan and travail-cries, The world confess its sin.
Yet, in the maddening maze of things, And tossed by storm and flood,
To one fixed stake my spirit clings; I know that God is good!
Not mine to look where cherubim And seraphs may not see,
But nothing can be good in Him Which evil is in me.
The wrong that pains my soul below I dare not throne above;
I know not of His hate,--I know His goodness and His love.
I dimly guess from blessings known Of greater out of sight,
And, with the chastened Psalmist, own His judgments too are right.
I long for household voices gone, For vanished smiles I long,
But God hath led my dear ones on, And he can do no wrong.
I know not what the future hath Of marvel or surprise,
Assured alone that life and death His mercy underlies.
And if my heart and flesh are weak To bear an untried pain,
The bruised reed He will not break, But strengthen and sustain.
No offering of my own I have, Nor works my faith to prove;
I can but give the gifts He gave, And plead His love for love.
And so beside the Silent Sea, I wait the muffled oar;
No harm from Him can come to me On ocean or on shore.
I know not where His islands lift Their fronded palms in air;
I only know I cannot drift
Beyond His love and care.
O brothers! if my faith is vain, If hopes like these betray,
Pray for me that my feet may gain The sure and safer way.
And Thou, O Lord! by whom are seen Thy creatures as they be,
Forgive me if too close I lean
My human heart on Thee!
Out of the clover and blue-eyed grass He turned them into the river-lane;
One after another he let them pass. Then fastened the meadow-bars again.
Under the willows and over the hill, He patiently followed their sober pace;
The merry whistle for once was still, And something shadowed the sunny face.
Only a boy! and his father had said He never could let his youngest go;
Two already were lying dead
Under the feet of the trampling foe.
But after the evening work was done,
And the frogs were loud in the meadow swamp,
Over his shoulder he slung his gun,
And stealthily followed the footpath damp,--
Across the clover and through the wheat. With resolute heart and purpose grim,
Though cold was the dew on his hurrying feet, And the blind bat's flitting startled him.
Thrice since then had the lanes been white, And the orchards sweet with apple bloom;
And now, when the cows came back at night, The feeble father drove them home.
That three were lying where two had lain; And the old man's tremulous, palsied arm
Could never lean on a son's again.
The summer day grew cool and late;
He went for the cows when the work was done;
But down the lane, as he opened the gate, He saw them coming, one by one,--
Shaking their horns in the evening wind, Cropping the buttercups out of the grass--
But who was it following close behind?
For southern prisons will sometimes yawn, And yield their dead unto life again;
And the day that comes with a cloudy dawn In golden glory at last may wane.
The great tears sprang to their meeting eyes; For the heart must speak when the lips are dumb,
And under the silent evening skies
Together they followed the cattle home.
Your Flag and my Flag!
And, oh, how much it holds--
Your land and my land--
Secure within its folds!
Your heart and my heart
Beat quicker at the sight;
Sun-kissed and wind-tossed,
Red and blue and white.
The one Flag--the great Flag--the Flag for me and you-- Glorified all else beside--the red and white and blue!
Your Flag and my Flag!
To every star and stripe
The drums beat as hearts beat
And fifers shrilly pipe!
Your Flag and my Flag--
A blessing in the sky;
Your hope and my hope--
It never hid a lie!
Home land and far land and half the world around, Old Glory hears our glad salute and ripples to the sound!
When the Minister Comes to Tea Oh! they've swept the parlor carpet, and they've dusted every chair, And they've got the tidies hangin' jest exactly on the square; And the what-not's fixed up lovely, and the mats have all been beat, And the pantry's brimmin' over with the bully things ter eat; Sis has got her Sunday dress on, and she's frizzin' up her bangs; Ma's got on her best alpacky, and she's askin' how it hangs;
Pa has shaved as slick as can be, and I'm rigged way up in G,-- And it's all because we're goin' ter have the minister ter tea.
Oh! the table's fixed up gaudy, with the gilt-edged chiny set, And we'll use the silver tea-pot and the comp'ny spoons, you bet; And we're goin' ter have some fruitcake and some thimbleberry jam, And "riz biscuits," and some doughnuts, and some chicken, and some ham. Ma, she'll 'polergize like fury and say everything is bad,
And "Sich awful luck with cookin'," she is sure she never had; But, er course, she's only bluffin,' for it's as prime as it can be, And she's only talkin' that way 'cause the minister's ter tea.
Everybody'll be a-smilin' and as good as ever was,
Pa won't growl about the vittles, like he generally does.
And he'll ask me would I like another piece er pie; but, sho!
That, er course, is only manners, and I'm s'posed ter answer "No." Sis'll talk about the church-work and about the Sunday-school, Ma'll tell how she liked that sermon that was on the Golden Rule, And if I upset my tumbler they won't say a word ter me:--
Yes, a boy can eat in comfort with the minister ter tea!
Say! a minister, you'd reckon, never'd say what wasn't true;
But that isn't so with ours, and I jest can prove it, too;
'Cause when Sis plays on the organ so it makes yer want ter die, Why, he sets and says it's lovely; and that, seems ter me,'s a lie: But I like him all the samey, and I only wish he'd stay
At our house fer good and always, and eat with us every day; Only think of havin' goodies _every_ evenin'! Jimmin_ee_!
And I'd _never_ git a scoldin' with the minister ter tea!
When klingle, klangle, klingle, Far down the dusty dingle, The cows are coming home;
Now sweet and clear, now faint and low, The airy tinklings come and go,
Like chimings from the far-off tower, Or patterings of an April shower That makes the daisies grow; Ko-ling, ko-lang, kolinglelingle Far down the darkening dingle, The cows come slowly home.
And old-time friends, and twilight plays, And starry nights and sunny days, Come trooping up the misty ways
When the cows come home,
With jingle, jangle, jingle,
Soft tones that sweetly mingle-- The cows are coming home;
Malvine, and Pearl, and Florimel,
DeKamp, Red Rose, and Gretchen Schell. Queen Bess and Sylph, and Spangled Sue, Across the fields I hear her "loo-oo"
And clang her silver bell;
Go-ling, go-lang, golingledingle,
With faint, far sounds that mingle, The cows come slowly home.
And mother-songs of long-gone years, And baby-joys and childish fears, And youthful hopes and youthful tears,
When the cows come home.
With ringle, rangle, ringle,
By twos and threes and single, The cows are coming home.
Through violet air we see the town, And the summer sun a-sliding down, And the maple in the hazel glade Throws down the path a longer shade,
And the hills are growing brown; To-ring, to-rang, toringleringle, By threes and fours and single, The cows come slowly home.
The same sweet sound of wordless psalm, The same sweet June-day rest and calm, The same sweet smell of buds and balm,
When the cows come home.
With tinkle, tankle, tinkle,
Through fern and periwinkle,
The cows are coming home.
A-loitering in the checkered stream, Where the sun-rays glance and gleam, Clarine, Peach-bloom and Phebe Phillis Stand knee-deep in the creamy lilies,
In a drowsy dream;
To-link, to-lank, tolinklelinkle,
O'er banks with buttercups a-twinkle, The cows come slowly home.
And up through memory's deep ravine
Come the brook's old song and its old-time sheen, And the crescent of the silver queen,
When the cows come home.
With klingle, klangle, klingle,
With loo-oo, and moo-oo and jingle,
The cows are coming home.
And over there on Merlin Hill
Sounds the plaintive cry of the whip-poor-will, And the dew-drops lie on the tangled vines, And over the poplars Venus shines,
And over the silent mill.
Ko-ling, ko-lang, kolinglelingle,
With ting-a-ling and jingle,
The cows come slowly home.
Let down the bars; let in the train Of long-gone songs, and flowers, and rain; For dear old times come back again,When the cows come home. _Agnes E. Mitchell._ Custer's Last Charge
Dead! Is it possible? He, the bold rider,
Custer, our hero, the first in the fight,
Charming the bullets of yore to fly wider, Shunning our battle-king's ringlets of light!
Dead! our young chieftain, and dead all forsaken! No one to tell us the way of his fall!
Slain in the desert, and never to waken, Never, not even to victory's call!
Comrades, he's gone! but ye need not be grieving; No, may my death be like his when I die!
No regrets wasted on words I am leaving, Falling with brave men, and face to the sky.
Death's but a journey, the greatest must take it: Fame is eternal, and better than all;
Gold though the bowl be, 'tis fate that must break it, Glory can hallow the fragments that fall.
Proud for his fame that last day that he met them! All the night long he had been on their track,
Scorning their traps and the men that had set them, Wild for a charge that should never give back.
There, on the hilltop he halted and saw them-- Lodges all loosened and ready to fly;
Hurrying scouts with the tidings to awe them, Told of his coming before he was nigh.
All the wide valley was full of their forces,
Gathered to cover the lodges' retreat,--
Warriors running in haste to their horses,
Thousands of enemies close to his feet!
Down in the valleys the ages had hollowed,
There lay the Sitting Bull's camp for a prey!
Numbers! What recked he? What recked those who followed? Men who had fought ten to one ere that day?
Out swept the squadrons, the fated three hundred, Into the battle-line steady and full;
Then down the hillside exultingly thundered Into the hordes of the Old Sitting Bull!
Wild Ogalallah, Arapahoe, Cheyenne,
Wild Horse's braves, and the rest of their crew,
Shrank from that charge like a herd from a lion. Then closed around the great hell of wild Sioux.
Right to their center he charged, and then, facing-- Hark to those yells and around them, Oh, see!
Over the hilltops the devils come racing,
Coming as fast as the waves of the sea!
Red was the circle of fire about them,
No hope of victory, no ray of light,
Shot through that terrible black cloud about them, Brooding in death over Custer's last fight.
THEN DID HE BLENCH? Did he die like a craven, Begging those torturing fiends for his life?
Was there a soldier who carried the Seven Flinched like a coward or fled from the strife?
No, by the blood of our Custer, no quailing! There in the midst of the devils they close,
Hemmed in by thousands, but ever assailing, Fighting like tigers, all bayed amid foes!
Swiftly the warriors round them were ringing, Circling like buzzards awaiting their fall.
See the wild steeds of the mountain and prairie, Savage eyes gleaming from forests of mane;
Quivering lances with pennons so airy; War-painted warriors charging amain.
Shrinking to close with the lost little band;
Never a cap that had worn the bright Seven
Bowed till its wearer was dead on the strand.
Closer and closer the death-circle growing,
Even the leader's voice, clarion clear,
Rang out his words of encouragement glowing,
"We can but die once, boys, but SELL YOUR LIVES DEAR!"
Dearly they sold them, like Berserkers raging, Facing the death that encircled them round;
Death's bitter pangs by their vengeance assuaging, Marking their tracks by their dead on the ground.
Comrades, our children shall yet tell their story,-- Custer's last charge on the Old Sitting Bull;
And ages shall swear that the cup of his glory Needed but that death to render it full.
What's the matter, stummick? Ain't I always been your friend? Ain't I always been a pardner to you? All my pennies don't I spend In getting nice things for you? Don't I give you lots of cake? Say, stummick, what's the matter, You had to go an' ache?
Why, I loaded you with good things yesterday;
I gave you more corn an' chicken than you'd ever had before; I gave you fruit an' candy, apple pie an' chocolate cake, An' last night when I got to bed you had to go an' ache.
Say, what's the matter with you? Ain't you satisfied at all? I gave you all you wanted; you was hard jes' like a ball, An' you couldn't hold another bit of puddin'; yet last night You ached most awful, stummick! That ain't treatin' me jest right.
I've been a friend to you, I have! Why ain't you a friend o' mine? They gave me castor oil becoz you made me whine.
I'm feelin' fine this mornin'; yes it's true;
But I tell you, stummick, you better appreciate things I do for you.
"Move my arm-chair, faithful Pompey, In the sunshine bright and strong,
For this world is fading, Pompey-- Massa won't be with you long;
And I fain would hear the south wind Bring once more the sound to me,
Of the wavelets softly breaking On the shores of Tennessee.
"Mournful though the ripples murmur As they still the story tell,
How no vessels float the banner That I've loved so long and well,
I shall listen to their music,
Dreaming that again I see
Stars and Stripes on sloop and shallop Sailing up the Tennessee;
"And Pompey, while old Massa's waiting For Death's last dispatch to come,
If that exiled starry banner
Should come proudly sailing home,
You shall greet it, slave no longer-- Voice and hand shall both be free
That shout and point to Union colors On the waves of Tennessee."
"Massa's berry kind to Pompey; But old darkey's happy here,
Where he's tended corn and cotton For dese many a long-gone year.
Ober yonder, Missis' sleeping-- No one tends her grave like me;
Mebbe she would miss the flowers She used to love in Tennessee.
"'Pears like, she was watching Massa-- If Pompey should beside him stay,
Mebbe she'd remember better
How for him she used to pray;
Telling him that way up yonder White as snow his soul would be,
If he served the Lord of Heaven While he lived in Tennessee."
Silently the tears were rolling Down the poor old dusky face,
As he stepped behind his master, In his long-accustomed place.
Then a silence fell around them, As they gazed on rock and tree
Pictured in the placid waters Of the rolling Tennessee;--
Where he fought by Marion's side, Where he bid the haughty Tarleton
Stoop his lordly crest of pride:-Man, remembering how yon sleeper
Once he held upon his knee. Ere she loved the gallant soldier,
Ralph Vervair of Tennessee.
Still the south wind fondly lingers 'Mid the veteran's silver hair;
Still the bondman, close beside him Stands behind the old arm-chair.
With his dark-hued hand uplifted, Shading eyes, he bends to see
Where the woodland, boldly jutting, Turns aside the Tennessee.
Thus he watches cloud-born shadows Glide from tree to mountain-crest,
Softly creeping, aye and ever
To the river's yielding breast.
Ha! above the foliage yonder
Something flutters wild and free!
"Massa! Massa! Hallelujah!
The flag's come back to Tennessee!"
"Pompey, hold me on your shoulder, Help me stand on foot once more,
That I may salute the colors
As they pass my cabin door.
Here's the paper signed that frees you, Give a freeman's shout with me--
'God and Union!' be our watchword Evermore in Tennessee!"
Then the trembling voice grew fainter, And the limbs refused to stand;
One prayer to Jesus--and the soldier Glided to the better land.
When the flag went down the river Man and master both were free;
While the ring-dove's note was mingled With the rippling Tennessee.
It was a hundred years ago,
When, by the woodland ways,
The traveler saw the wild deer drink, Or crop the birchen sprays.
Beneath a hill, whose rocky side O'er-browed a grassy mead,
And fenced a cottage from the wind, A deer was wont to feed.
She only came when on the cliffs The evening moonlight lay,
And no man knew the secret haunts In which she walked by day.
White were her feet, her forehead showed A spot of silvery white,
That seemed to glimmer like a star In autumn's hazy night.
And here, when sang the whippoorwill, She cropped the sprouting leaves,
And here her rustling steps were heard On still October eves.
But when the broad midsummer moon Rose o'er the grassy lawn,
Beside the silver-footed deer
There grazed a spotted fawn.
The cottage dame forbade her son To aim the rifle here;
"It were a sin," she said, "to harm Or fright that friendly deer.
"This spot has been my pleasant home Ten peaceful years and more;
And ever, when the moonlight shines, She feeds before our door,
"The red men say that here she walked A thousand moons ago;
They never raise the war whoop here, And never twang the bow.
"I love to watch her as she feeds, And think that all is well
While such a gentle creature haunts The place in which we dwell."
The youth obeyed, and sought for game In forests far away,
Where, deep in silence and in moss, The ancient woodland lay.
But once, in autumn's golden time, He ranged the wild in vain,
Nor roused the pheasant nor the deer, And wandered home again.
The crescent moon and crimson eve Shone with a mingling light;
The deer, upon the grassy mead, Was feeding full in sight.
He raised the rifle to his eye, And from the cliffs around
A sudden echo, shrill and sharp, Gave back its deadly sound.
Away, into the neighboring wood, The startled creature flew,
And crimson drops at morning lay Amid the glimmering dew.
Next evening shone the waxing moon As sweetly as before;
The deer upon the grassy mead Was seen again no more.
But ere that crescent moon was old, By night the red men came,
And burnt the cottage to the ground, And slew the youth and dame.
Now woods have overgrown the mead, And hid the cliffs from sight;
There shrieks the hovering hawk at noon, And prowls the fox at night.
Where Potomac's stream is flowing Virginia's border through,
Where the white-sailed ships are going Sailing to the ocean blue;
Hushed the sound of mirth and singing, Silent every one!
While the solemn bells are ringing By the tomb of Washington.
Tolling and knelling,
With a sad, sweet sound,
O'er the waves the tones are swelling By Mount Vernon's sacred ground.
Long ago the warrior slumbered-- Our country's father slept;
Long among the angels numbered They the hero soul have kept.
But the children's children love him, And his name revere,
So where willows wave above him, Sweetly still his knell you hear.
Sail, oh ships, across the billows, And bear the story far;
How he sleeps beneath the willows,-- "First in peace and first in war,"
Tell while sweet adieus are swelling, Till you come again,
He within the hearts is dwelling, Of his loving countrymen.
Heaven is not reached at a single bound; But we build the ladder by which we rise From the lowly earth to the vaulted skies,And we mount to the summit round by round,
I count this thing to be grandly true: That a noble deed is a step toward God, Lifting a soul from the common sodTo a purer air and a broader view.
We rise by things that are under our feet; By what we have mastered of good and gain, By the pride deposed and the passion slain,And the vanquished ills that we hourly meet.
We hope, we aspire, we resolve, we trust, When the morning calls us to life and light; But our hearts grow weary, and ere he nightOur lives are trailing the sordid dust.
We hope, we resolve, we aspire, we pray, And we think that we mount the air on wings, Beyond the recall of sensual things,While our feet still cling to the heavy clay.
Only in dreams is a ladder thrown
From the weary earth to the sapphire walls; But the dreams depart, and the vision falls,
Heaven is not reached at a single bound; But we build the ladder by which we rise From the lowly earth to the vaulted skies,And we mount to the summit round by round. _J.G. Holland._ Mr. Finney's Turnip Mr. Finney had a turnip
And it grew behind the barn; It grew there, and it grew there,
And the turnip did no harm,
It grew and it grew,
Till it could get no taller;
Mr. Finney pulled it up And put it in his cellar.
It lay there and it lay there, Till it began to rot;
His daughter Sallie took it up, And put it in the pot.
She boiled it, and she boiled it, As long as she was able;
His daughter Peggy fished it out. And put it on the table.
Mr. Finney and his wife. They sat down to sup,
And they ate, and they ate, Until they ate the turnip up.
Under a spreading chestnut tree The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he, With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms Are strong as iron bands.
His hair is crisp, and black and long, His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat, He earns whate'er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face, For he owes not any man.
Week in, week out, from morn till night, You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge, With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell, When the evening sun is low.
And children coming home from school Look in at the open door;
They love to see the flaming forge, And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly Like chaff from a threshing floor.
He goes on Sunday to the church, And sits among his boys;
He hears the parson pray and preach, He hears his daughter's voice,
Singing in the village choir,
And it makes his heart rejoice.
It sounds to him like her mother's voice, Singing in Paradise!
He needs must think of her once more, How in the grave she lies;
And with his hard, rough hand he wipes A tear out of his eyes.
Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begun, Each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, something done, Has earned a night's repose.
Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend, For the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped Each burning deed and thought.
Every one of you won the war-- You and you and you--
Each one knowing what it was for, And what was his job to do.
Every one of you won the war,
Obedient, unwearied, unknown,
Dung in the trenches, drift on the shore, Dust to the world's end blown;
Every one of you, steady and true, You and you and you--
Down in the pit or up in the blue, Whether you crawled or sailed or flew, Whether your closest comrade knew Or you bore the brunt alone--
All of you, all of you, name after name, Jones and Robinson, Smith and Brown, You from the piping prairie town,
You from the Fundy fogs that came,
You from the city's roaring blocks,
You from the bleak New England rocks With the shingled roof in the apple boughs, You from the brown adobe house--
You from the Rockies, you from the Coast, You from the burning frontier-post
And you from the Klondyke's frozen flanks, You from the cedar-swamps, you from the pine, You from the cotton and you from the vine, You from the rice and the sugar-brakes, You from the Rivers and you from the Lakes, You from the Creeks and you from the Licks And you from the brown bayou-
You and you and you--
You from the pulpit, you from the mine, You from the factories, you from the banks, Closer and closer, ranks on ranks,
Airplanes and cannon, and rifles and tanks, Smith and Robinson, Brown and Jones, Ruddy faces or bleaching bones,
After the turmoil and blood and pain
Swinging home to the folks again
Or sleeping alone in the fine French rain-- Every one of you won the war.
Every one of you won the war--
You and you and you--
Pressing and pouring forth, more and more, Toiling and straining from shore to shore To reach the flaming edge of the dark
Where man in his millions went up like a spark, You, in your thousands and millions coming, All the sea ploughed with you, all the air humming, All the land loud with you,
All our hearts proud with you,
All our souls bowed with the awe of your coming!
Where's the Arch high enough,
Lads, to receive you,
Where's the eye dry enough,
Dears, to perceive you,
When at last and at last in your glory you come, Tramping home?
Every one of you won the war,
You and you and you--
You that carry an unscathed head, You that halt with a broken tread,
And oh, most of all, you Dead, you Dead! Lift up the Gates for these that are last, That are last in the great Procession. Let the living pour in, take possession, Flood back to the city, the ranch, the farm, The church and the college and mill, Back to the office, the store, the exchange, Back to the wife with the babe on her arm, Back to the mother that waits on the sill, And the supper that's hot on the range.
To let those Others in,
Those Others, their brothers, that softly tread, That come so thick, yet take no ground, That are so many, yet make no sound, Our Dead, our Dead, our Dead!
O silent and secretly-moving throng,
In your fifty thousand strong,
Coming at dusk when the wreaths have dropt, And streets are empty, and music stopt, Silently coming to hearts that wait
Dumb in the door and dumb at the gate, And hear your step and fly to your call-- Every one of you won the war,
But you, you Dead, most of all!
The snow had begun in the gloaming, And busily all the night
Had been heaping field and highway With a silence deep and white.
Every pine and fir and hemlock Wore ermine too dear for an earl,
And the poorest twig on the elm tree Was ridged inch-deep with pearl.
From sheds new-roofed with Carrara Came Chanticleer's muffled crow,
The stiff rails were softened to swan's-down, And still fluttered down the snow.
I stood and watched by the window The noiseless work of the sky,
And the sudden flurries of snow-birds, Like brown leaves whirling by.
I thought of a mound in sweet Auburn Where a little headstone stood;
How the flakes were folding it gently, As did robins the babes in the wood.
Up spoke our own little Mabel,
Saying, "Father, who makes it snow?"
And I told of the good All-father Who cares for us here below.