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'Tis so all over the world, friend Ray !
Where'er are presented demands for pay :-
One little demand, howe'er small it may be,
May chance to affect even you and me,
Tho' made in a distant remote “countrie."
And conld we the ramification pursue,
Of all the demands that are made upon you,
Or on me, or in fact upon any other,
It might be no very great feat, to discover
That the demand, herein made upon Ray,
Might perchance had its birth off in Botany Bay.
Now after this effort, perhaps you may say
"'Tis fun to be dunned in so pleasant a way,
He's a trump of the very first water :"
If so, please send me amount of my claim,
Or else I may write in a different strain,
To say that I think you “had oughter."
It matters little where I was born,
Or if my parents were rich or poor, Whether they shrank from the cold world's kort
Or walked in the pride of wealth secure;But whether I live an honest man,
And hold my integrity firm in my clutch,
I tell you my brother, as plain as I can,
It matters much!
It matters little how long I stay
In a world of sorrow, sin, and care;
Whether in youth I am called away,
Or live till my bones of flesh are bare ;But whether I do the best I can
To soften the weight of adversity's touch
On the faded cheek of my fellow man,
It matters much!
It matters little where be my grave,
If on the land, or in the sea ;
By purling brook, 'neath stormy wave,
It matters little or nought to me;-
But whether the angel of death comes down
And marks my brow with a loving touch,
As one that shall wear the victor's crown,
It matters much!
ANNIE AND WILLIE'S PRAYER.
'Twas the eve before Christmas; “Good night,” had beeu
said, And Annie and Willie had crept into bed; There were tears on their pillows, and tears in their eyes, And each little bosom was heaving with sighs, For to-night their stern father's command had been given That they should retire precisely at seven Instead of at eight; for they troubled him more With questions unheard of than ever before ; He had told them he thought this delusion a sin, No such being as “Santa Claus' ever had been, And he hoped after this, he should never more hear, How he scrambled down chimneys with presents, each year, And this was the reason that two little heads, So restlessly tossed on their soft downy beds.
Eight, nine, and the clock on the steeple tolled ten-
Not a word had been spoken by either till then;
When Willie's sad face from the blanket did peep,
And whispered, “Dear Annie, is you fast asleep?”
“Why, no, brother Willie," a sweet voice replies,
“I've tried it in vain, but I can't shut my eyes ;
For somehow, it makes me so sorry because
Dear papa has said there is no ‘Santa Claus ;'
Now we know there is, and it can't be denied,
For he came every year before mamma died;
But then, I've been thinking that she used to pray,
And God would hear everything mamma would say,
And perhaps she asked him to send Santa Claus here,
With the sacks full of presents he brought every year.”
“Well, why tant we pay dest as manıma did then,-
And ask Ilim to send him with presents aden?”
“I've been thinking so, too,” and, without a word more
Four little bare feet
bounded out on the floor,
And four little knees the soft carpet pressed,
And two tiny hands were clasped close to each breast.
“Now, Willie, you know we must firmly believe,
That the presents we ask for we're sure to receive;
You must wait just as still till I say the 'Amen,'
And by that you will know that your turn has come then.
Dear Jesus, look down on my brother and me,
And grant us the favor we are asking of Thee,
I want a wax dolly, a tea-set and ring,
And an ebony work-box that shuts with a spring :
Bless papa_dear Jesus, and cause him to see
That Santa Claus loves us far better than he;
Don't let him get fretful and angry again,
At dear brother Willie, and Annie, Amen!"
“Peas Desus 'et Santa Taus tum down to-night,
And bing us some pesents before it is 'ight;
I want he should div me a nice ittle sed,
With bight, shiny unners, and all painted yed;
A box full of tandy, a book and a toy,-
Amen,-and then, Desus, I'll be a dood boy."
Their prayers being ended they raised up their heads,
And with hearts light and cheerful again sought their beds;
They were soon lost in slumber both peaceful and deep,
And with fairies in dreamland were roaming in sleep.
Eight, nine, and the little French clock had struck ten,
Ere the father had thought of his children again;
He seems now to hear Annie's half suppressed sighs,
And to see the big tears stand in Willie's blue eyes;
“I was harsh with my darlings,” he mentally said,
“And should not have sent them so early to bed;
But then I was troubled-my feelings found vent,
For bank-stock to-day has gone down ten per cent.
But of course they've forgotten their troubles ere this,
And that I denied them the thrice asked for kiss;
But just to make sure I'll steal up to their door,
For I never spoke harsh to my darlings before."
So saying, he softly ascended the stairs,
And arrived at the door to hear both of their prayers.
His Annie's “ bless papa," draws forth the big tears,
And Willie's grave promise falls sweet on his ears.
“Strange, strange I'd forgotten," said he with a sigh,
“ How I longed when a child to have Christmas draw nigb
I'll atone for my harshness," he inwardly said,
“By answering their prayers, ere I sleep in my bed."
Then he turned to the stairs, and softly went down,
Threw off velvet slippers and silk dressing gown;
Donned hat, coat, and boots, and was out in the street,
A millionaire forcing the cold driving sleet,
Nor stopped be until he had bought everything,
From the box full of candy to the tiny gold ring.
Indeed he kept adding so much to his store,
That the various presents outnumbered a score ;
Then homeward he turned with his holiday load,
And with Aunt Mary's aid in the nursery 'twas stowed.
Miss Dolly was seated beneath a pine tree,
By the side of a table spread out for a tea;
A work-box well filled in the centre was laid,
And on it the ring for which Annie had prayed;
A soldier in uniform stood by a sled,
With bright shining runners, and all painted red;
There were balls, dogs and horses, books pleasing to see,
And birds of all colors were perched in the tree,
While Santa Claus laughing stood up in the top,
As if getting ready more presents to drop.
And as the fond father the picture surveyed,
He thought, for his trouble he had amply been paid;
And he said to himself as he brushed off a tear,
“ I'm happier to night than I've been for a year,
I've enjoyed more true pleasure than ever before,
What care I if bank stocks fall ten per cent. more.
Hereafter I'll make it a rule, I believe,
To have Santa Claus visit us each Christmas eve."
So thinking he gently extinguished the light,
And tripped down the stairs to retire for the night.
As soon as the beams of the bright morning sun
Put the darkness to flight, and the stars, one by one ;
Four little blue eyes out of sleep opened wide,
And at the same moment the presents espied;
Then out of their beds they sprang with a bound,
And the very gifts prayed for were all of them found;
They laughed and they cried in their innocent glee,
And shouted for “papa” to come quick and see
What presents old Santa Claus brought in the night,
(Just the things that they wanted) and left before light;
• And now," added Annie, in a voice soft and low,
“You'll believe there's a Santa Claus, papa, I know ;"
While dear little Willie climbed up on his knee,
Determined no secret between them should be,
And told in soft whispers how Annie had said,
That their blessed mamma so long ago dead,
Used to kneel down and pray by the side of her chair,
And that God, up in Heaven, had answered her prayer!
“ Then we dot up, and payed dust as well as we tould,
And Dod answered our payers; now wasn't he dood ”
“I should say that he was if he sent you all these,
And knew just what presents my children would please,
Well, well, let him think so, the dear little elf,
'Twould be cruel to tell him I did it myself.”
Blind father ! who caused your proud heart to relent,
And the hasty word spoken so soon to repent?
'Twas the Being who made you steal softly up stairs,
And made you His agent to answer their prayers.
THE MONEYLESS MAN.-H. T. STANTON.
Is there no secret place on the face of the earth
Where charity dwelleth, where virtue has birth,
Where bosoms in mercy and kindness will heave,
When the poor and the wretched shall ask and receive ?
Is there no place at all, where a knock from the poor
Will bring a kind angel to open the door?
Oh! search the wide world, wherever you can,
There is no open door for a moneyless man.
Go, look in your hall where the chandelier's light
Drives off with its splendor the darkness of night;
Where the rich hanging velvet, in shadowy fold,
Sweeps gracefully down with its trimmings of gold;
And the mirrors of silver take up and renew,
In long-lighted vistas, the wildering view,
Go there at the banquet, and find, if you can,
A welcoming smile for a moneyless man.
Go, look in yon church of the cloud-reaching spiro,
Which gives to the sun his same look of red fire ;
Wbere the arches and columns are gorgeous within,
And the walls seem as pure as a soul without sin;
Walk down the long aisles ; see the rich and the great
In the pomp and the pride of their worldly estate;
Walk down in your patches, and find, if you can,
Who opens a pew for a moneyless man.
Go, look in the banks, where Mammon has told
His hundreds and thousands of silver and gold;
Where, safe from the hands of the starving and poor
Lie piles upon piles of the glittering ore;
Walk up to their counters-ah! there you may stay,
'Till your limbs shall grow old and your hair shall grow gras,
And you'll find at the bank not one of the clan
With money to lend to a moneyless man.
Go, look to your Judge, in his dark, flowing gown,
With the scales wherein law weigheth equity down;
Where he frowns on the weak and smiles on the strong,
And punishes right whilst he justifies wrong;
Where juries their lips to the Bible have laid
To render a verdict they've already made;
Go there in the court-room and find if you can
Any law for the cause of a moneyless man.