Oldalképek
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

In short,-as it goes in the world,

They eat, and they drink, and they sleep;
They talk, and they walk, and they woo;

They sigh, and they laugh, and they weep;
They read, and they ride, and they dance;

(With other remarkable things :)
They pray, and they play, and they PAY, –

And that's what they do at the Springs!

AGONY CELLS.-ALLIE WELLINGTON.

It was formerly a custom in the Roman Catholic church to commence a solem toll of bells, --called " Agony-bells," --when any one connected with the church was supposed to be dying.

Somebody's dying to-night! Alas!

Hear ye those agony-bells,
Solemnly, mournfully break on the air,-

The saddest of all sad knells;
From yon high tower they downward float,

Like a voice from the far-off heaven.
To some soul, 'tis the last of earth,
And its tenderest ties are being riven,-

Somebody's dying !

Is it childhood, lovely and pure,

Whose spirit is cleaving ihis midnight air?
Is it youth, in the flush of hope,

With its dreams of the future radiant and fair?
Or is it manhood, strong and brave,

That's fallen in th' noontide strife ?
Or age bowed down with th' weight of years,
Treading the twilight paths of life?

Somebody's dying!

It
may

be a mother-a father--a child-
A sister-a brother-a maiden fair;
It may be a homeless, friendless one,-

A stranger, far from love's tender care!
Whoe'er it be,--was the solemn call

Welcomed? or greeted with startling fears?
Was their mission accomplished,--their life-work done?
Are they angel-voices the spirit hears?

Somebody's dying!

There are other deaths,-there are other graves,

Than those spread o'er by the grassy mound;
There are other mourners than sable clad,

And sepulchres else than on earth are found.
There are souls that to darkness and death go down,

Whose corridors echo reproachful knells;
There are friendships that languish and hopes that expire,
And hearts that e'er list their own agony-bells,–

Forever dying!

AS “OLD GILES” SAW IT.-D. S. COHEN.

Ay, lad, look on yon ocean, now, you see it's calm and still;

You wouldn't think its waves could rise,
An' seem to meet the peaceful skies;

An' take a ship of giant size,
To dash it at their will.

I've lived near ocean all my life, nigh on to eighty years ;

I've seen the cruel billows leap
O'er many a strugglin' ship, an' heap

Their deadly weight, an' to the deep
Drag earthly hopes an' fears.

I've seen staunch oak to splinters struck, an’seen the drown

in' fight;
Their cry for help has reached my ear,
When willin' help could not get near;

An' then I've hid my eyes in fear,-
They've vanished from my sight.

There's one sight as I seed, lad, and I wish I never had;

I've lived nigh on to eighty years,
Thro' all my share o' woe an' tears,

But never did these eyes an' ears
Meet anythin' so sad.

It were a couple come down here, near 'bout the close a

Spring;
Wi' babes—a sturdy chap o' three,
An' girl, as many months might be;-

It shows how wise 'tis folks can't see
What comin' moments bring.

They took that little cot-yon, there; you see the roof from

here;
It stands upon a kind o' ledge,
As overlooks the ocean's edge,

An' close up to it grows the sedge,-
Too dangerously near.
They liked it 'cause they thought they'd get such healthy,

bracin' air;
He made a palace o' the cot,
An' bought a jaunty little yacht,

That fancy kind, wi' which you've got
To take the weather fair.
He went out sailin' in the yacht,---well, e'enmost ev'ry day;

Sometimes she'd go, an' sometimes bide;
The boy were allus at his side,

'Twere plain he were his father's pride,–
His very heart's sun-ray.
They had a set o' signal flags, oʻsilk, an' made by her;

An' on the yacht a little gun,
He'd fire off, an' up they'd run

Their colors, an' enjoy the fun
Like children, which they were.
I guess they'd lived here 'bout three month, or maybe 't

might be more;
'Twere long enough for folk to find
How good an' true they were, an' kind;

Bes' liked-an' by us poor folk, mind-
O’ all along the shore.
It were a hot an’ heavy day, barely a touch o' breeze;

One o' the days wi' blood-red sun,
As makes you think the world's begun

To scorch, an' judge 't would be rare fun
To sail due North-an' freeze.
He went out early in the yacht-I seed him put away-

I stood upon the beach the while,
He nodded, wi’ a pleasant smile;

The little fellow said, “Ol' Gile, We goin' to fish to-day.” 'Bout four o'clock the storm come up-I'd felt it sure since

An'round about the cot I stayed,
For truth I felt a bit afraid;

An' all the arternoon I prayed
It wouldn't come so soon.

noon

An' what a storm! the billows raged-a storm, too, in the

skies-
The sea wind blew wi' might an' main,
Well, fact, e'enmost a hurricane;

The thunder roared, an' flashed again
The lightnin' in our eyes.
Oh! lad, the terror in the cot my tongue can ne'er relate;

Wi' glass in hand she scanned the shore,-
I tell you, lad, it grieved me sore,

I couldn't hope to see 'em more,
I couldn't doubt their fate.
But soon she thought she saw the yacht, a speck upon the

wave,
A little more-an' she could tell;
It were—the signal waved, “All's well,”

An' on her knees she prayerful fell"O God! my dear ones save!" The storm waxed high, the billows rose like monsters in hot

wrath;
The air wi' heavy vapors teemed;
We saw, as bright the lightnin' gleamed,

The yacht, as through the waves she seemed
To cut hersel' a path.
As fixed we gazed, wi' beatin' hearts, the air grew bright a

spell;
The little yacht kep' bravely on,
An' faintly then we heerd the gun,

Thanked God, the fight seemed nearly won;
The signal waved—“All's well.”
Nearer and nearer still it come, she seed her darlin' boy,

She seed her husband, tall an' fair;
He stood erect, his head were bare,

The wind played wi' his flowin'hair,
Her heart were full wi' joy.
Don't mind me, lad—there, look ahead; you see yon jagged

rock?-
They'll put a safeguard there some day,
When more dear lives are dashed away;--

His eyes, I judge, were blind wi' spray,
He only felt the shock.
Down like a stone! I heerd the scream, the terrible death,

knell ;-
It were the folk as stood wi’ her
She didn't speak and didn't stir;

An' there above the water, sir,
The signal waved, “All's well."

*

66

She stood like dead-it seemed an age to those who were

around,-
Although it may seem strange to say,
I b'lieve her soul had fled its clay,

An' for the moment sped away,
To whisper wi' the drowned.
At las' she turned; wi' tearless eye, an' face like sculptured

stone,
She bade 'em all to leave the room;
Said she, We can't avert God's doom,

He chooses where shall be man's tomb;
Pray leave me, frien's, alone."
The storm now ceased, its fury spent, the air were still once

more;
The men went out wi' rope an’ hook-
Too ol' to go, I stood to look,

An' all my limbs a-tremblin' shook
To see her at her door.
Her babe lay sleepin' in her arms, an' stony still her face;

I felt my heart within me sink-
I told you 'bout that ledge, I think-

She walked right close up to the brink;
I since ha' marked the place.
I started to come near her, for I feared o' somethin’ill ;

I'd walked about a rod-nay, less-
When to her, wi' a crazed caress,

Her child I seed her closely press, -
A plunge-an' all were still.
Well, God is good! an' let us hope that in his realms above,

Her anguished mind an' grief intense,
Atone in mercy her offence,

An' that they're joined forever, hence,
In constancy an' love.

[ocr errors]

NOBLE REVENGE.-THOMAS DE QUINCEY.

A young officer (in what army no matter) had so far forgotten himself, in a moment of irritation, as to strike a private soldier, full of personal dignity (as sometimes happens in all ranks), and distinguished for his courage. The inexorable laws of military discipline forbade to the injurel sol

« ElőzőTovább »