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I begged him, for dear Christ his sake,
"So, though my tears were blinding me, I ran back, fast as fast could be,
To come again to you; And here—close by—tliis squire I met, Who asked, so mild, what made me fret;
And when I told him true,—
"' I will go with you, child,' he said, 'God sends me to this dying bed,'—
Mother, he's here, hard by." While thus the little maiden spoke, The man, his back against an oak,
Looked on with glistening eye.
The bridle on his neck hung free.
With quivering flank and tremblmg knse,
Pressed close his bonny bay;
Than those stood there that day.
So, while the little maiden spoke,
Looked on with glistening eye
Preached,—" All is vanity."
But when the dying woman's face Turned toward him with a wishful gaze,
He stepped to where she lay; And, kneeling down, bent over her, Saying, " I am a minister,
My sister! let us pray."
And well, withouten book or stole,
Into the dying ear
And death's dark shadows clear.
He spoke of sinners' lost estate,
Of God's most blest decree,
"Be merciful to me."
He spoke of trouble, pain, and toil,
In patience, faith, and love,—
Of happiness above.
Then as the spirit ebbed away,
He raised his hands and eyes to pray
That peaceful it might pass;
Close round on the green grass.
Such was the sight their wandering eyee
Who reined their coursers back,
Had wandered from their track.
But each man reined his pawing steed,
In silence at his side;
That day for mortal pride.
For of the noblest of the land
Was that deep-hushed, bareheaded band;
And central in the ring,
Kneti, their anointed king.*
THE RIGHTEOUS NEVER FORSAKiEN.
It was Saturday night, and the widow of the pine cottage sat by her blazing fagots with her five tattered children at her side, endeavoring, by listening to the artlessness ot their juvenile prattle, to dissipate the heavy gloom that pressed
bpon her mind. For a year, her own feeble hands had protided for her helpless family, for she had no supporter; she t nought of no friend in all the wide, unfriendly world around. Hut that mysterious Providence, the wisdom of whose ways ere above human comprehension, had visited her with wasting sickness, and her little means had become exhausted. It was now, too, midwinter, and the snow lay heavy and deep through all the surrounding forests, while storms still seemed gathering in the heavens, and the driving wind roared amidst the bending pines, and rocked her puny mansion.
The last herring smoked upon the hearth before her: it was the only article of food she possessed; and no wonder her forlorn desolate state brought up in her lone bosom all the anxieties of a mother, when she looked upon her children; and no wonder, forlorn as she was, if she suffered the heatt-swellings of despair to rise, even though she knew that He whose promise is to the widow and the orphan cannot forget his word. Many years before, her eldest son had left his forest home to try his fortune on the billowy wave—of him the had heard no note or tidings; and in latter times Providence had deprived her of the companion and staff of her worldly pilgrimage, in the person of her husband. Vet to this hour she had been upborne; she had rtot only been able to provide for her little flock, but had never lost an opportunity of ministering to the wants of the miberable and destitute.
The indolent may well bear with poverty while the ability to gain sustenance remains. The individual who has but his own wants to supply may suffer with fortitude the winter of want; his affections are not wounded, his heart not wrung. The most desolate in populous cities may hope, for charity has not quite closed her hand and heart, and shut her eyes on misery. But the industrious mother of helpless and depending children, far from the reach of human charity, has none of these to console her. And such a one was the widow of the pine cottage; but as she bent ovei the fire and took up the last scanty remnant of food to spread before her children, her spirits seemed to brighten up, aa by some sudden and mysterious impulse, and Cowper's beautiful lines came uncalled across her mind—
Judgo not the Lord by feeble senM,
But Crust him for his grace;
He hides a smiling face.
The smoked herring wits scarce laid upon the table, when a gentle rap at the door and loud barking of a dog attracted the attention of the family. The children flew to open it, and a weary traveler, in tattered garments, and apparently indifferent health, entered and begged a lodging and a mouthful of food. Said he, " It is now twenty-four hours since I tasted bread." The widow's heart bled anew, as under a fresh complication of distresses; for her sympathies lingered not round her fireside. She hesitated not even now; rest and share of all she had, she proffered to the stranger. "We shall not be forsaken," said she, "or suffer deeper for an act of charity."
The traveler drew near the board; but when he saw the scanty fare, he raised his eyes towards heaven with astonishment. "And is this all your store?" said he; "and a share of this do you offer to one you know not? Then never saw I charity before! But, madam," he continued, " do you not wrong your children by giving a part of your last mouthful to a stranger?" "Ah," said the poor widow, and the teardrops gushed from her eyes as she said it, " I have a boy, a darling son, somewhere on the face of the wide world, unless heaven has taken him away, and I only act towards you as I would that others should act towards him. God, who sent manna from heaven, can provide for us as he did for Israel; and how should I this night offend him, if my son should be a wanderer, destitute as you, and should have provided for him a home even poor as this, were I to turn you unrelieved away!"
The widow ended, and the stranger springing from his seat clasped her in his arms. "God indeed has provided just such a home for your wandering son, and has given him wealth to reward the goodness of his benefactress. My mother! O my mother!"
It was her long-lost son, returned to her bosom from the Indies. He had chosen that disguise, that he might the more completely surprise his family; and never was surprise more perfect, or followed by a sweeter cup of joy. That humble residence in the forest was exchanged for one comfortable, indeed beautiful, in the valley, and the widow lived long with herdutiful son in the enjoyment of worldly plenty and in the delightful employments of virtue; and at thil day, the passer-by is pointed to the luxuriant willow that spreads its branches broad and green above her grave, while he listens to the recital of this simple and homely, but not altogether worthless tale.
SCHNEIDER'S RIDE.—Gus Phillips.
From agroos der rifer, ad der broke of day,
Bringin' of Brooklyn vresh dismay,
Der noos vas brou;.;hd by a Dootchman dhrue,
Dot der officers of der refenue
Voult be ofer in less as a' hour or two,
To confershkate all der vhiskey dher got
In Schneider's blace, or near dot shpot.
Und vilder vet der roomers flew,
Dill Schneider didn't know vhat ter do;
So he glosed der door, und he barr't 'em dight,
Saying," Dhey may hammer avay mit all dheir might;
But ofe dhey got in, dhen ve shall see,
Vhich vas der shmartest—dhem or me."
For a' hour or dhree no resht he got,
Shtill Schneider shtayed right on der shpot.
But dhere is a shtreed in Brooklyn town,
Dot ishn't bafed—dot leads right down
To Coney Island; und vot ish more,
It's a voonder dot nefer vas used pefore—
It vas right in vrondt of der back of der shtore;
Und dhere on dot shtreed vos nine drucks und a card,
All loaded mit vhiskey und ready to shtard;
Dhey're most all loaded, und Schneider ish gay,
For m ten minutes he'll be more as a mile avay.
Dhey're ofe, und nodings ish left ter show