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LEONA.-Jas. G. CLARKE.
Leona, the hour draws nigh,
The hour we've awaited so long,
Its voice in an infinite song.
Just now, as the slumbers of night
Came o'er me with peace-giving breath, The curtain half lifted, revealed to my sight Those windows which look on the kingdom of light
That borders the river of death.
And a vision fell, solemn and sweet,
Bringing gleams of a morning-lit land; I saw the white shore which the pale waters beat, And I heard the low lull as they broke at their feet
Who walked on the beautiful strand.
And I wondered why spirits should cling
To their clay with a struggle and sigh,
In a climate where leaves never die.
Leona, come close to my bed,
And lay your dear hand on my brow; The same touch that thrilled me in days that are fled, And raised the lost roses of youth from the dead,
Can brighten the brief moments now.
We have loved from the cold world apart,
And your trust was too generous and true For their hate to o'erthrow; when the slanderer’s dart Was rankling deep in my desolate heart,
I was dearer than ever to you.
I thank the great Father for this,
That our love is not lavished in vain; Each germ in the future will blossom to bliss, And the forms that we love, and the lips that we kiss,
Never shrink at the shadow of pain.
In the strength of this hope have I struggled and fought With the legions of wrong, till my armor has caught
The gleam of Eternity's sun.
From headland, from hillside, and deep,
And the dews are beginning to weep.
Down the broad-breasted mountains away;
I shall rise in a limitless day.
Nor plant with frail flowers the sod;
In the balm-breathing gardens of God.
Which bind me to you and to earth, And I sometimes have thought that my being would yearn In the bowers of its beautiful home to return,
And visit the home of its birth.
'Twould even be pleasant to stay,
And walk by your side to the last;
And its tumult is hushed in the past.
That is gathering now, ever be Too dark for your faith, you will long for relief, And remember, the journey, though lonesome, is brief,
Over lowland and river to me.
ANSWER TO “LEONA."
My darling, I'm close to your bed,
My hand is still laid on your brow,
And my life seems all desolate now.
Oh, speak to me, darling, once more!
Once more lift your eyes to my face, With the same trusting glance that so blessed me of yore, And the same tender smile that to greet me you wore,
When I thrilled at your loving embrace.
Let me feel the caress of your hand,
Hear your voice in its sweet melody, Teach me more of that home in the morning-itt land," Before you cross o'er to the “beautiful strand,"
Leaving time and its trials to me.
All alone in the darkness I weep,
But you heed not my tears as they fall;
And I cannot hear their soft call.
"Leona,"—the whisper comes low,
Like the soft summer wind through the trees, And I listen to catch the faint murmurous flow Of the musical words that are rippling so low,
While my spirit is fanned by the breeze
That is wafted on angels' white wings
From the “balm-breathing gardens” above;
And shows me the form that I love.
Oh, friend of my youth's happy hours!
Oh, love of my life's later years! As I gaze on you now, in those heavenly bowers, Where angels have welcomed and crowned you with flowers
Enchanted I smile through my tears,
But the mist from life's river will rise
And hide the dear vision from view;
And light me o'er lowland to you.
A CAPITAL STORY AS TOLD BY JOHN B. GOUGH.
We have the subjoined discourse, delivered by a Southern divine, who had removed to a new field of labor. To his new flock, on the first day of his ministration, he gave some reminiscences of his former charge, as follows:
“My beloved brethering, before I take my text I must tell you about my parting with my old congregation. On the morning of last Sabbath I went into the meeting-house to preach my farewell discourse. Just in front of me sot the old fathers and mothers in Israel; the tears coursed down their furrowed cheeks; their tottering forms and quivering lips breathed out a sad-fare ye uell, brother Watkins-ah! Behind them sot the middle-aged men and matrons; health and vigor beamed from every countenance; and as they looked up I could see in their dreamy eyes-fare ye well, brother Watkins-ah! Behind them sot the boys and girls that I had baptized and gathered into the Saboath-school. Many times had they been rude and boisterous, but now their merry laugh was hushed, and in the silence I could hear, fare ye well, brother Watkins-ah! Around, on the back seats, and in the aisles, stood and sot the colored brethering, with their black faces and honest hearts, and as I looked upon them I could see a--fare ye well, brother Watkins--aih! When I had finished my discourse and shaken hands with the brethering—ah! I passed out to take a last look at the old church-ah! the broken steps, the flopping blinds, and mosscovered roof, suggested only-fare ye well, brother Watkinsah! I mounted my old gray mare, with my earthly possessions in my saddle-bags, and as I passed down the street the servant-girls stood in the doors, and with their brooms waved me a-fare ye well, brother Watkins-ah! As I passed out of the village the low wind blew softly through the waving branches of the trees, and moaned-fare ye well, brother Watkins-ah! I came down to the creek, and as the old mare stopped to drink I could hear the water rippling over the pebbles a-fare ye well, brother Watkins--ah! And even the little fishes, as their bright fins glistened in the sunlight, i
thought, gathered around to say, as best they could-fare ye well, brother Watkins-ah! I was slowly passing up the hill, meditating upon the sad vicissitudes and mutations of life, when suddenly out bounded a big hog from a fence-corner, with aboo! aboo! and I came to the ground with my saddlebags by my side. As I lay in the dust of the road my old gray mare run up the hill; and as she turned the top she waved her tail back at me, seemingly to say-fare ye well, brother Watkins-ah! I tell you, my brethering, it is affecting times to part with a congregation you have been with for over thirty years—ah!”
NOT VERY FAR.-IIORATIUS BONAR.
Surely yon heaven, where angels see God's face,
Is not so distant as we deem
The narrow crossing of a slender stream;
The land of which I dream.
These peaks are nearer heaven than earth below,
These hills are higher than they seem;
Of the o'erbending azure, as we deem.
The land of which I dream.
These ocean waves, in their unmeasured sweep,
Are brighter, bluer than they seem;
Fed from the fulness of the unfailing stream--
The land of which I dream.