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Not braver he that leaps the wall
By level musket-flashes litten, Than I, who stepped before them all,
Who longed to see me get the mitten.
But no; she blushed, and took my arm!
We let the old folks have the highway, And started toward the Maple Farm
Along a kind of lover's by-way.
I can't remember what we said,
Yet that rude path by which we sped
The snow was crisp beneath our feet,
By hood and tippet sheltered sweet,
The little hand outside her muff—
O sculptor, if you could but mould it I—>.
So lightly touched my jacket-cuff,
To have her with me there alone,—
At last we reached the foot-worn stone
The old folks, too, were almost home;
Her dimpled hand the latches fingered, We heard the voices nearer come,
Yet on the doorstep still we lingered.
She shook her ringlets from her hood,
And with a "Thank you Ned," dissembled
But yet I knew she understood
A cloud passed kindly overhead,
Yet hid its face, as if it said,
My lips till then had only known
The kiss, of mother and of sister, But somehow full upon her own
Sweet, rosy, darling mouth—I kissed herl
Perhaps't was boyish love, yet still,
Oh, listless woman! wearv lover!
I'd give—but who can live youth over?
1 iras the last new boy at school:
I must pay my " initiation fee,"— Twelve boys wanted a thieving tool;
The latter the reason, the former the pie*. With boast and bluster and bullying air, They won consent from " the last boy there."
A stealthy walk 'neath a silver moon;
Then an orchard wall looking e'er so high; Next, " Here's the plunder! climb like a coon,"
From the biggest boy with the blackest eye. "What a ninny you are; and how you stare 1 Nobody will hurt you: nobody's there."
They knew the place for scaling well,
Till, trembling and weak, their victim fell
"A crooked tree leans down like a stair,"
They told me; and there it was,—right there!
Bight there! And, on that stairway swung,
To right, to left, the ripe fruit hung
On that first and fairest of autumn eves,—
Crimson and gold, in a silver air,
Apple on apple, pear on pear,
Just within reach of my tempting hold,
Globe of crimson, pendant of gold:
Silent I hung on the old tree stair:
As silent the orchard,—nobody there.
High in the heavens hung the harvest moon: .Strange!—but it brought my mother's smile.
"Tell me all that happens, and write me soon* She said, through smiles and tears the while.
There were two of us onlv: God took one,—
A sister, the sweetest under the sun.
Somehow in that silvery hush,
And a little stream, 'mid banks of rush,
Still, crimson and gold, in a silver air,
Hung apple on apple, pear on pear.
Down in the dark some tiny thing,
Under the daisies' silken hood,
Bringing an answer out of the wood,—
The twelve in waiting saw me bound
Over the wall with empty hands,
Far beyond lay the tempting lands.
LAND POOR.—J. W. Donovan.
Pve had another offer, wife—a twenty acres more,
Of high and dry prairie land, as level as a floor.
I thought I'd wait and see you first, as lawyer Brady said,
To tell how things will turn out best, a woman is ahead.
And when this lot is paid for, and we have got the deed,
And manage in the course of time to have a better home.
There is no use of talking, Charles—you buy that twenty more And we'll go scrimping all our lives, and always be land poor. For thirty years we've tugged and saved, denying half our needs,
While all we have to show for it is tax receipts and deeds!
I'd sell the land if it were mine, and have a better home, With broad, light rooms to front the street, and take life as it come.
If we could live as others live, and have what others do, We'd live enough sight pleasanter, and have a plenty too.
While others have amusements and luxury and books, Just think how stingy we have lived, and how this old place looks.
That othor farm you bought of Wells, that took so many vears
Of clearing up and fencing in, has cost me many tears.
Yes, Charles, I've thought of it a hundred times or more, And wondered if it really paid to always be land poor,— That had we built a cozy house, took pleasure as it come, Our children, once so dear to us, had never left our home.
I grieve to think of wasted weeks and years and months and days,
While for it all we never yet have had one word of praise. Men call us rich, but we are poor—would we not freely give The land with all its fixtures for a biter way to livet
Don't think I'm blaming you, Charles—you're not a whit to blame,
I've pitied you these many years, to see you tired and lame.
Tis putting off enjoyment long after we enjoy,—
Our brightest earthly happiness is buried in the past,
That life is short and full of care, the end is always nigh, We seldom half begin to live before we're doomed to die. IVere I to start my life again, I'd mark each separate day, ind never let a single one pass unenjcyed away.
(f there were things to envy, I'd have them now and then, And have a home that was a home, and not a cage or pen. I'd sell some land if it were mine, and fit up well the rest, I've always thought, and think so yet—small farms well worked are best.
THE LAWYERS AND THE CAT.
Two Arkansas lawyers were domesticated in the rude hotel of a country town. The hotel was crowded, and the room allotted to our heroes was also occupied by six or eight others. Shake down beds, enough to accommodate the guests, were disposed about the room, against the four walls, leaving an open space in the centre of the apartment.
Judge Clafk lay with his head to the north, on one stcfe, and Judge Thomas lay with his head to the south on the other side of the room. So far as that room was concerned, it might be said that their heads represented the north and south poles respectively.
All the other beds in the room were occupied. The central part of the room was deemed neutral ground, in which the occupants of the different beds had equal rights. Here, in picturesque confusion lay the boots, hats, coats, and breeches of the sleepers. There were no windows, and though the door was open, there being no moon, the night was very dark in that room.
The wily lawyers, who had been opposing counsel in a case tried in the town court that day, and had opposed each other with the contumacity of wild pigs, were now the very incarnations of meekness, for when the hungry swarm of mosquitoes settled down and bit them on the one cheek they slowly turned the other to be bitten also.
But hush! hark I
A deep sound strikes the ear like a rising knell.
Judge Clark and Thomas were wide awake, and sitting bolt upright in an instant. Again the startling cry! "Ye-ow, ye-ow!"
"There's a cat I" whispered Clark. "Scat you!" hissed Thomas.
Cat paid no attention to these demonstrations, but gava vent to another yowl.
"Oh, gracious!" cried Clark, " I can't stand this! Where is he, Thomas?"
"On your side of the room somewhere," replied Thomas.
"No, he's on your side." said Clark.
"There I told you he was on your side," they both exclaim. ed in a breath. And still the howl went on.
The idea now entered the heads of both the lawyers, that oy the exercise of a certain strategy they might be enabled to execute a certain flank movement on the cat, and totally