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An' they're honest, an' decent an' happy, an' the very best Christians I know,

Though I reckon in brilliant comp'ny they'd be voted a leetle slow.

Oh, you're pressed for time-excuse you ?

I kept you so long;

Sure, I'm sorry

Good by. Now he looked kind o' bored like, an' I reckon that I was wrong

To tell such a commonplace story of two such commonplace


But we can't all git drunk an' gamble an' fight, an' run off with other men's wives.



By the merest chance, in the twilight gloom,
In the orchard path he met me ;
In the tall, wet grass, with its faint perfume,
And I tried to pass, but he made no room,
Oh, I tried, but he would not let me.
So I stood and blushed till the grass grew red,
With my face bent down above it,

While he took my hand as he whispering said-
(How the clover lifted each pink, sweet head,
To listen to all that my lover said;

Oh, the clover in bloom, I love it!)

In the high, wet grass went the path to hide,
And the low, wet leaves hung over;

But I could not pass upon either side,
For I found myself, when I vainly tried,
In the arms of my steadfast lover.

And he held me there and he raised my head,
While he closed the path before me,

And he looked down into my eyes and said—

(How the leaves bent down from the boughs o’erhead, To listen to all that my lover said,

Oh, the leaves hanging lowly o'er me !)

Had he moved aside but a little way,

I could surely then have passed him ;
And he knew I never could wish to stay,
And would not have heard what he had to say,
Could I only aside have cast him.

It was almost dark, and the moments sped,
And the searching night wind found us,
But he drew me nearer and softly said—
(How the pure, sweet wind grew still, instead,
To listen to all that my lover said;

Oh, the whispering wind around us!)

I am sure he knew when he held me fast,
That I must be all unwilling;

For I tried to go, and I would have passed,
As the night was come with its dew, at last,

And the sky with its stars was filling.

But he clasped me close when I would have fled,
And he made me hear his story,

And his soul came out from his lips and said—
(How the stars crept out where the white moon led,
To listen to all that my lover said;

Oh, the moon and the stars in glory!)

I know that the grass and the leaves will not tell,
And I'm sure that the wind, precious rover,
Will carry my secret so safely and well

That no being shall ever discover

One word of the many that rapidly fell

From the soul-speaking lips of my lover;

And the moon and the stars that looked over

Shall never reveal what a fairy-like spell

They wove round about us that night in the dell,
In the path through the dew-laden clover,
Nor echo the whispers that made my heart swell
As they fell from the lips of my lover.



OH, with what pride I used

'Twas free

To walk these hills, and look up to my God,
And thank him that the land was free.
From end to end, from cliff to lake 'twas free!
Free as our torrents are that leap our rocks,
And plow our valleys without asking leave!
Or as our peaks, that wear their caps of snow
In very presence of the regal sun!

How happy was it then!

Its very storms. Yes, I have sat

I loved

In my boat at night, when, midway o'er the lake,
The stars went out, and down the mountain gorge
The wind came roaring. I have sat and eyed
The thunder breaking from his cloud, and smiled
To see him shake his lightnings o'er my head,
And think I had no master save his own!

On yonder jutting cliff-o'ertaken there
By the mountain blast, I've laid me flat along,
And while gust followed gust more furiously,
As if to sweep me o'er the horrid brink,

And I have thought of other lands, whose storms
Are summer-flaws to those of mine, and just

Have wished me there—the thought that mine was free
Has checked that wish, and I have raised my head,

And cried in thralldom to that furious wind,

Blow on!-this is the land of liberty!


IF we knew the woe and heartache
Waiting for us down the road,
If our lips could taste the wormwood,
If our backs could feel the load;
Would we waste the day in wishing
For a time that ne'er can be?
Would we wait with such impatience
For our ships to come from sea ?

If we knew the baby fingers,

Pressed against the window pane,
Would be cold and stiff to-morrow,
Never trouble us again;

Would the bright eyes of our darling
Catch the frown upon our brow?
Would the prints of rosy fingers
Vex us then as they do now?

Ah, those little ice-cold fingers!
How they point our memories back

To the hasty words and actions

Strewn along our backward track !
How those little hands remind us,
As in snowy grace they lie,
Not to scatter thorns, but roses,
For our reaping by and by.

Strange we never prize the music

Till the sweet-voiced bird has flown; Strange that we should slight the violets Till the lovely flowers are gone; Strange that summer skies and sunshine Never seem one-half so fair,

As when winter's snowy pinions

Shake their white down in the air.

Lips from which the seal of silence
None but God can roll away,
Never blossomed in such beauty
As adorns the mouth to-day;

And sweet words that freight our memory

With their beautiful perfume,

Come to us in sweeter accents

Through the portals of the tomb.

Let us gather up the sunbeams,
Lying all around our path;
Let us keep the wheat and roses,
Casting out the thorns and chaff;
Let us find our sweetest comfort
In the blessings of to-day;
With a patient hand removing
All the briers from our way.



"How many days since you were a child?"


The blue-eyed boy looked upand smiled

Grannam, the days since you were a child ?" "Dear soul, I cannot tell ;

Would I had lived them well."

"How many months since you were a child ? " He climbed her knee and sweeter smiled"Grannam, the months since you were a child?" "'Twere wiser far for me

To count the few to be."

"How many years since you were a child?" Blue as the sky his eyes, so mild— Grannam, the years since you were a child? ” "The years are not for me;

God give a-many to thee !"


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