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And, stranger, it's now many a day

Since Rufus Bawling was laid away

In the graveyard over yonder.

I was a boy in those gay hours.

As full of" fun as the spring with shower*:

'Twas I and a son of Jacob Powers

That had got up all that wonder.

\Ve took a pumpkin of common size,

And, cutting some holes for the mouth and

We gave it the right expression;

We hollowed it out till its shell was thin,

And, putting a tallow dip within,

It looked as ugly and mean as sin,

Twould have scared a whole procession.

The night was dark as ever was seen,

And nothing was heard in Hufl's Ravine

But the sound of water flowing;

The parson came in a quiet way,

And, smoking his old brown pipe of clay,

Was thinking of what he was going to say,

When he got to where he was going.

The ghost he saw and the rattling bones

Were a pumpkin, a gourd, and some gravel stones,

That gave him all that glory;

But ne'er again up that mountain side,

In the night would Rufus Rawling ride,

And many a time I've laughed till I cried

To hear him tell the story.

A RIDE ON THE BLACK VALLEY RAILROAD. I. N. Tarrox.

You have heard of the ride of John Gilpin,

That captain so jocund and gay,
How he rode down to Edmonton village,

In a very remarkable way.

You have heard of the ride of Mazeppa,
Bound fast to his wing-footed steed,

How he coursed through the fields and the forests,
At a very remarkable speed.

But I sing of a trip more exciting,

In a song which I cannol restram,
Of a ride down the Black Valley Railroad,—

Of a ride on the Black Valley train.

[graphic]

The setting out place for the journey,

Is Sippington station, I think,
Where the engines for water take whiskey,

And the people take—something to drink.

From collisions you need fear no danger,

No trains are ever run back,
They all go one way—to perdition,—

Provided they keep on the track.

By the time we reach Medicine village,

The passengers find themselves sick, Have leg-ache, or back-ache, or head-ache,

Or some ache that strikes to the quick.

We are pious, and hold by the scripture,

With Paul the Apostle agree
To take " wine " instead of much " water,"

For our " often infirmity."

In fact we improve on the reading,

By just a slight change in the text,
Say "often" where the scripture says " little,"

And leave " little" for what may come next.

We break up at Tippleton station,

To try and get rid of our pain, At Topersville also we tarry,

And do the same over again.

Our spirits indeed may be willing,

But very weak is the flesh;
So oft as we stop for " five minutes,"

We use all the time to refresh.

Now we come to the great central station,

The last stopping place on the line, Drunkard's Curve— where is kept the chief store-hous»

Of rum, whiskey, brandy, and wine.

From this place on to Destruction,

The train makes no break or delay, And those who may wish to stop sooner,

Are kindly thrown out by the way.

A full supply of bad whiskey

For our engine is taken in here,
And a queer looking fellow from Hades

Steps on for our engineer.

From Drunkard's Curve to Destruction
The train is strictly express,

[graphic]

\nd will not be slowed or halted
For any flag of distress.

Vnd so when all things are ready,
From Drunkard's Curve we set out:

Let me give you some flying glimpses
Uf the places along the route:

First Rowdyville claims our attention,

Then Quarreiton comes into view,
Then Riotville breaks on the vision,

And the filthy Beggarstown, too.

As we rush by the village of Woeland,

Three wretches are thrown from the train,

We can see them roll over and over,
Through the darkness the mud and the rain.

Our engineer chuckles and dances
In the wild lurid flashes he throws,

Hotter blaze the red fires of his furnace,
As on into blackness he goes.

Oh, the sounds that we hear in the darkness,
The laughter and crying and groans,

The ravings of anger and madness,
The sobbings and pitiful moans!

For now we have entered the regions

Where all things horrible dwell,
Where the shadows are peopled with goblins,

With the fiends and the furies of hell.

In this deep and Stygian darkness,
Lost spirits have made their abode;

It is plain we are near to Destruction,—
Very near to the end of the road.

Would you like, my young friend, to take passage

To this region of horror and pain?
Here stretches the Black Valley Railroad,

And here stands the Black Valley train.

Old Reuben Fisher, who lived in the lane,

Was never in life disposed to complain;

If the weather proved fair, he thanked God for the sun,

And if it were rainy, with him 'twas all one;—

TRUE FAITH—B. P. Shillarer.

[graphic]

* I have just the weather 1 fancy," said he;
'' For what pleases God always satislies me."

If trouble assailed, his brow was ne'er dark,

And his eye never lost its happiest spark.

"Twill not better (ix it to gloom or to sigh;

To make the best of it I always shall try!

So. care, do your worst," said Reuben with glee,

"And which of us conquers, we shall see, we shall see."

Tf his children were wild, as children will prove,
His temper ne'er lost its warm aspect of love;
"My dear wife," he'd say,"don't worry nor fret;
Twill all be right with the wayward ones yet;
Tis the folly of youth, that must have its way;
They'll penitent turn from their evil some day."

If a name were assailed, he would cheerily say,.
"Well, well; we'll not join in the cry. any way;
There are always two sides to every tale—
And the true one at last is sure to prevail.
There is an old rule that I learned when a lad,—
'Deem every one good till he's proved to be bad.'"

And wh"n in the meshes of sin tightly bound,

The reckless and luckless mortal was found,

Proscribed by every woman and man,

And put under rigid and merciless ban,

Old Reuben would say, with sympathy fraught,

"We none of us do half as well as we ought."

If friends waxed cold, he'd say with a smile—
"Well, if they must go, Heaven bless them the while;
We walked a sweet path till the crossing ways met,
And though we have parted, I'll cherish them yet;
They'll go by their way and I'll go by mine—
Perhaps in the city ahead we shall join.

There were sickness and death at last in his cot,
But still Reuben Fisher in sorrow blenched not:
"Tis the Father afflicts: let Him do what He will;
What comes from His hand can me m us no ill;
I cheerfully give back the blessing He lent,
And through faith in the future lind present content."

Then he lav cm his death-bed at last undismayed;
No terror h id death at which he was afraid;
"Living or dying, 'tis all well with me,
For (.tod's will is my will." submissive said he.
And so Reub' u died, wit!, his breast full of grace,
That beamed in a smil" o.i hi.i time-furrowed face.

[graphic]

ONLY A WOMAN.—Hester A. Benedict.

Only a .woman, shriveled and old!

The play of the winds and the prey of the cold'
Cheeks that are shrunken,
Eyes that are sunken,
Lips that were never o'er bold.

Only a woman forsaken and poor,

Asking an alms at the bronze church door.

Hark to the organ! roll upon roll

The waves of the music go over her soul!

Silks rustle past her

Thicker and faster;

The great bell ceases its toll.
Fain would she enter, but not for the poor
Bwingeth wide open the bronze church door.

Only a woman—waiting alone,
Icily cold, on an ice-cold throne.

What do they care for her?

Mumbling a prayer for her,

Giving not bread, but a stone.
Under old laces their haughty hearts beat,
Mocking the woes of their kin in the street.

Only a woman! In the old days
Hope caroled to her her happiest lays;

Somebody missed her,

Somebody kissed her,

Somebody crowned her with praise;
Somebody faced up the battles of life
Strong for her sake who was mother, or wife.

Somebody lies with a tress of her hair

Light on his heart where the death-shadows are;

Somebody waits for her,

Opening the gates for her,

Giving delight for despair.
Only a woman—nevermore poor—
Dead in the snow at the bronze church door.

COURTSHIP UNDEIt DIFFICULTIES.

Snobbliion. Yes, there is that fellow Jones, again. I declare, the man is ubiquitous. Wherever I go with my cousin Prudence we stumble across him, or he follows her

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