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"Thought" is the gazer's brightest star,
But, as I'm not particular,
Never sigh when you can sing,
But laugh, like me, at everything!
Ah! in this troubled world of ours,
A laughter-mine's a glorious treasure; And separating thorns from flowers,
Is half a pain and half a pleasure; And why be grave instead of gay?
Why feel athirst while folks are quaffing? Oh! trust mo, whatsoe'er they say,
There's nothing half so good as laughing! Never cry while you can sing, But laugh, like me, at everything!
IN MEMORIAM.—Geo. D. Peentio.
On the bosom of a river
Where the sun unloosed his quiver,
On the star-lit stream forever,
Sailed a vessel light and free: Morning dew-drops hung like manna On the bright folds of her banner, While the zephyrs rose to fan her
Softly to the radiant sea.
At her prow a pilot beaming,
In the flush of youth stood dreaming,
And he was in glorious seeming
Like an angel from above:
Warbled lays of hope and love.
Through those locks so brightly flowing,
Music from a lyre of gold:
On his canvas' snowy fold.
Anxious hearts, with fond devotion,
'Midstthe elements might rise:
Trembled to his music sighs.
But those purple waves enchanted,
And pale marble statues, numbered
Then there rushed, with lightning quickness,
O'er his face a mortal sickness,
Gathered o'er his temples fair:
Perished by that city there.
Still rolls on that radiant river,
On its bosom as before:
On the purple waves no more.
The funeral services were ended; and, as the voice of prayer ceased, tears were hastily wiped from wet cheeks, and long-drawn sighs relieved suppressed and choking sobs, as the mourners prepared to take leave of the corpse. It was an old man who lay there, robed for the grave. More than three-score years had whitened those locks, and furrowed that brow, and made those stilf limbs weary of life's
THE OLD WIFE'S KISS.
journey, and the more willing to be at rest where weariness is no longer a burden.
The aged have few to weep for them when they die. The most of those who would have mourned their loss have gone to the grave before them; harps that would have sighed sad harmonies are shattered and gone; and the few that remain are looking cradleward, rather than to life's closing goal; are bound to and living in the generation rising, more than the generation departing. Youth and beauty have many admirers while living,—have many mourners when dying,—and many tearful ones bend over their coffined clay, many sad hearts follow in their funeral train; but age has few admirers, few mourners.
This was an old man, and the circle of mourners was small: two children, who had themselves passed the middle of life, and who had children of their own to care for and be cared for by them. Beside these, and a few friends who had seen and visited him while he was sick, and possibly had known him for a few years, there were none others to shed a tear, except his old wife; and of this small company, the old wife seemed to be the only heart-mourner. It is respectful for his friends to be sad a few moments, till the service is performed and the hearse out of sight. It is very proper and suitable for children, who have outgrown the fervency and affection of youth, to shed tears when an aged parent says farewell, and lies down to quiet slumber. Soma regrets, some recollection of the past, some transitory griefe, and the pangs are over.
The old wife arose with difficulty from her seat, and went to the coffin to look her last look—to take her last farewell. Through the fast falling tears she gazed long and fondly down into the pale, unconscious face. What did she see there? Others saw nothing but the rigid features of the dead; she saw more. In every wrinkle of that brow she read the history of years; from youth to manhood, from manhood to old age, in joy and sorrow, in sickness and health, it was all there; when those children, who had not quite outgrown the sympathies of childhood, were infants lying on her bosom, and every year since then—there it was. To others those dull, mute monitors were unintelligible; to her they were the alphabet ot the heart, fiuniliat
W household words.
Then the future: "What will become of me? What shall I do now?" She did not say so, but she felt it. The prospect of the old wife is clouded; the home circle is broken, never to be reunited; the visions of the hearth-stone are scattered forever. Up to that hour there was a home to which the heart always turned with fondness. That magic is now sundered, the key-stone of that sacred arch has fallen, and home is nowhere this side of heaven! Shall she gather up the scattered fragments of the broken arch, make them her temple and her shrine, sit down in 1it chill solitude beside its expiring fires, and die? What shall she do now?
They gently crowded her away from the dead, and the undertaker came forward, with the coffin-lid in his hand. It is all right and proper, of course, it must be done; but to the heart-mourner it brings a kind of shudder, a thrill of agony. The undertaker stood for a moment, with a decent propriety, not wishing to manifest rude haste, but evidently desirous of being as expeditious as possible. Just as he was about to close the coffin, the old wife turned back, and stooping down, imprinted one long, last kiss upon the A,ld lips of her dead husband, then staggered to her seat, buried her face in her hands, and the closing coffin hid him from her sight forever I
That kiss! fond token of affection, and of sorrow, and memory, and farewell! I have seen many kiss their dead, many such seals of love upon clay-cold lips, but never did I see one so purely sad, so simply heart-touching and hopeless as that. Or, if it had hope, it was that which looks beyond coffins, and charnel houses, and damp, dark tombd, to the joys of the home above. You would kiss the cold cheek of infancy; there is poetry; it is beauty hushed; there is romance there, for the faded flower is still beautiful. In childhood the heart yields to the stroke of sorrow, but recoils again with elastic faith, buoyant with hope; but here was no beauty, no poetry, no romance.
The heart of the old wife was like the weary swimmer, whose strength has often raised him above the stormj waves, but now, exhausted, sinks amid the surges. The c«mp)e of her earth!; no," laj mut.n and whai. ^at „aere left for her but to sit down in despondency, among its lonely ruins, and weep and die! or, in the spirit of a better hope, await the dawning of another day, when a Hand divine shall gather its sacred dust, and rebuild for immortality iu broken walls!
A LAY OF REAL LIFE—Thomas Hood.
Who ruined me ere I was born,
Who said my mother was no nurse,
Who left me in my seventh year,
Who let me starve to buy her gin,
Till all my bones came through my skin,
Then called me " ugly little sm?"
Who said my mother was a Turk,
And took me home and made me work,
But managed half my meals to shirk?
Who "of all earthly things" would boast,
Who got in scrapes, an endless score,
Who took me home when mother died,
Again with father to reside,—
Black shoes, clean knives, run far and wide!