페이지 이미지
PDF

"Good-night, papa," sounded from the stairs. What was there in the voice? was it the echo of the mandate, " Bring me the babe?"—a silvery plaintive sound, a lingering music that touched the father's heart, as when a cloud crosses the sun. "Good-night, my darling;" but his lips quivered and his broad brow grew pale. "Is Jessie sick, mother? Her cheeks are flushed, and her eyes have a strange light."

"Not sick," and the mother stooped to kiss the flushed brow; "she may have played too much. Pet is not sick?"

"Jessie tired, mamma; good-night, papa; Jessie see you in the morning."

"That is all, she is only tired," said the mother as she took the small hand. Another kiss and the father turned away; but his heart was not satisfied.

Sweet lullabies were sung; but Jessie was restless and could not sleep. "Tell me a story, mamma;" and the mother told of the blessed babe that Mary cradled, following along the story till the child had grown to walk and play. The blue, wide open eyes filled with a strange light, as though she saw and comprehended more than the mother knew.

That night the father did not visit the saloon; tossing on his bed, starting from a feverish sleep and bending over the crib, the long weary hours passed. Morning revealed the truth—Jessie was smitten with the fever.

"Keep her quiet," the doctor said; "a few days of good nursing, and she will be all right."

Words easy said; but the father saw a look on the sweet face such as he had seen before. He knew the messenger was at the door.

Night came. "Jessie is sick; can't say good-night, papa;' and the little clasping fingers clung to the father's hand.

"O God, spare her! I cannot, cannot bear it I" was wrung from his suffering heart.

Days passed; the mother was tireless in her watching. With her babe cradled in her arms her heart was slow to Uke in the truth, doing her best to solace the father's heart; 'A light case! the doctor says, Pet will soon be well."

Calmly as one who knows his doom, the father laid his hand upon the hot brow, looked into the eyes even then covered with the film of death, and with all the strength ot his manhood cried, "Spare her, O God! spare my child, and 1 will follow thee."

With a last painful effort the parched lips opened: " Jessie's too sick; can't say good-night, papa—in the morning." There was a convulsive shudder, and the clasping fingers relaxed their hold; the messenger had taken the child.

Months have passed. Jessie's crib stands by the side of her father's couch; her blue embroidered dress and white hat hang in his closet; her boots with the print of her feet just as she had last worn them, as sacred in his eyes as they are in the mother's. Not dead, but merely risen to a higher life; while, sounding down from the upper stairs, " Goodnight, papa, Jessie see you in the morning," has been the means of winning to a better way one who had shown himself deaf to every former call.

REVERIE IN CHURCH.—Geo. A. Baker, Jr.

Too early of course! How provoking!

I told ma just how it would be.
t might as well have on a wrapper,

For there's not a soul here yet to see.
There! Sue Delaplaine's pew is empty,—

I declare if it isn't too bad I
I know my suit cost more than her's did,

And I wanted to see her look mad.
I do think that sexton's too stupid—

He's put some one else in our pew—
And the girl's dress just kills mine completely;

Now what am I going to do?
The psalter, and Sue isn't here yet!

I don't care, I think it's a sin
For people to get late to service,

Just to make a great show coming in.
Perhaps she is sick, and can't get here—

She said she'd a headache last night.
How mad she'll be after her fussing!

I declare it would serve her just right.
Oh, you've got here at last, my dear, have you?

Well, I don't think you need be so proud

Of that bonnet if Virot did make it,

It's horrid fast-looking and loud. What a dress!—for a {rirl in her senses

To go on the street m light blue!— And those coat-sleeves—they wore them last summer

Don't doubt, though, that she thinks they're new. Mrs. Gray's polonaise was imported—'

So dreadful!—a minister's wife,
And thinking so much about fashion !—

A pretty example of life!
The altar's dressed sweetly—I wonder

Who sent those white flowers for the font!—
Some girl who's gone on the assistant—

Don t doubt it was Bessie Lamont. Just look at her now, little humbug!—

So devout—I suppose she don't know That she's bending her head too far over

And the end of her switches all show. What a sight Mrs. Ward is this morning!

That woman will kill me some day, With her horrible lilacs and crimsons,

Why will these old things dress so gay? And there's Jenny Wells with Fred Tracy—

She's engaged to him now—horrid thing!
Dear me! I'd keep on my glove sometimes,

If I did have a solitaire ring!
How can this girl next to me act so—

The way that she turns round and stares,
And then makes remarks about people:—

She'd better be saying her prayers.
Oh, dear, what a dreadful long sermon!

He must love to hear himself talk!
And it's after twelve now,—how provoking!

I wanted to have a nice walk.
Through at last. Well, it isn't so dreadful

After all, for we don't dine till one;
. How can people say church is poky !—

So wicked!—I think it's real fun.

Srribner's Monthly.

THE RUINS OF BABYLON—Hi'sen-reth.

The desert was my dwelling,—and I stood
Where once in pride of power stood Babylon,—
Ay, fallen Babylon! That pompous queen
Of nations, ruler of the universe;
She of the brazen gates and loftiest towers

Reared on her mighty walls; she that o'erlooked
Cities and tribes of men, and warrior bands,
Vassals and tributaries, countless stores
Of wealth, the springs of glory and dominion
Flowing beneath her feet,—and called them hers!
Here was her throne:—Alas! how desert now,
How silent is the scene! Still as the grave,
And rightly still,—for 'tis a deep wide grave,
Holding the relics of fallen majesty!

Come and contemplate! come and read the fate
Of fallen Babel, on her sepulchre!
Here are a thousand hillocks, where there stood,
Long years ago, a thousand palaces;
Here are long mounds of rum, stietching on
Where once extended Babel's busy streets,
Thronged in their day with wealthy citizens,
Merchants from other lands, captives and free.
Lords of the east, and princely visitors,
Who came to gaze on mighty Babylon.
There are the shapeless ruins, rising high,
And sadly showing where in other days
The far-famed gardens of great Babel rose,
To claim the wonder of the universe.
The strong huge walls, that once defied her foes,
Long leveled, and their fragments deeply sunk,
Are now but faintly traced 'mid broken mounds,
And scattered masses spared as yet by time.
Amid these ruins, and above them, still
Stands one stupendous pile, though but a wreck,
A moldering monument of what it was—
And this was once the temple of great Bel,
The idol of Chaldea; broken now,
Confounded, and forever overthrown.

Such now is Babylon! A dwelling-place _
For beasts and monsters, as the prophets said;
A desert where the owl and ostrich meet,
The lion stalks in gloomv sovereignty,
The bittern finds a marsh, a stagnant pool,
Left by the floods within her cavities:
Serpents, and creeping things, and reptiles now
Dwell in the caves of moldering Babylon!

But still, amid these lone and awful wrecks,
These poor remains of glory all gone by,
In solitude and silence wanders on
The great Euphrates—monarch of the streams,
Majestic, sole survivor, still the same,
Unhurt, unchanged bv all the woes poured out
On guilty Babylon :—he lives like one
Left of a mighty race, alone and sad.
His banks are hoary with the whistling reeds,
The waving willows fringe his borders still,
Where the poor captive Israelites would sit,
And weep for Zion :—where their silent harps
Hung o'er the stream, nor gave one plaintive sound,
Save when the wind swept o'er their broken chords,
And made wild music as the captives wept.

And these are all that tell of Babylon!
The foot of man hath rarely trodden there,
And never staid. These fragments scattered round,
These birds and savage beasts, this solitude,
This death-like stillness, and this widowed stream,
All witness to the world the awful fete
Of her, whose crimes had mounted up to heaven,
And drawn the vengeance down which seers foretold,
And long had been accomplished.—" She shall be-
That mighty Babylon, Chaldea's pride,
Glorious amon^ the kingdoms of the earth—
No more inhabited forever; nor
Shall the Arabian's tent be fastened there:
Serpents shall fill her houses, beasts shall roam
Free in her temples and wide palaces;
They that pass by shall hiss at all her plagues,
And in astonishment exclaim,' How changed
Is Babylon! how lone and desert now
Among the nations!' None shall build her up;
Forever she shall lie, wasted, and spoiled,
And desolate—the Lord hath spoken it!"

BEGINNING AGAIN.

When sometimes our feet grow weary

On the rugged hills of life,
The path stretching long and dreary

With trial and labor rife,
We pause on the upward journey,

Glancing backward o'er valley and glen,
And sigh with an infinite longing

To return and "begin again."

For behind is the dew of the morning

With all its freshness and light,
And before ar1 doubts and shadows,

And the chill and gloom of the night;
And we think of the sunny places

We passed so carelessly then,
And we sigh. "O Father, permit me

To return and begin again."

« 이전계속 »