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We think of the many dear ones,
Whose lives touched ours, at times,
Float back like vesper chimes;
We might have lightened then,—
Could we " begin again!"
And yet, how vain the seeking!
Life's duties press all of us on,
Or sigh for the sunshine that's gone?
Wait fairer places than then; Our paths may lead by still waters,
Though we may not " begin again."
Yes, upward and onward forever
Be our path on the hills of life!
"Will glorify trial and strife,
Tenderly upward then,—
He'll let us " Degin again."
LIGHTS AND SHADES—Mrs. Hemani
The gloomiest day hath gleams of light,
And twinkles through the cloudiest night
The gloomiest soul is not all gloom,
And sweetly o'er the darkest doom
Despair is never quite despair,
And round the shadowy brow of care
THE BUMPKIN'S COURTSHIP.
While on a visit to a relation in the celebrated city of York, I was acquainted with an honest farmer in the neighborhood, who, having resided there from a youth, was respected, and admitted into the society of most of the count ry gentlemen. He was a constant visitor at the house of my uncle; and his conversation, teeming with merry stories which served to delight the ear at the expense of our sides, told in his simple, unadorned manner, could not but render Jiis society agreeable to me.
Honest old Farmer Burton had an only son, who had reached the age of forty without entering into the matrimonial state; he was, in fact, as true a picture of a country bumpkin as ever graced a pitchfork. One day our discourse happening to turn upon the said bumpkin, I expressed my surprise that he should never have had the good fortune to get married. "Why," said the farmer, " it be not the fem't o' his face, I reckon; for he be as pratty a lad as here and there be one ; ees, an' he ha' had his chances, by my feekins! and, had he been as 'cute as mysen, he might ha' had a buxom lass, with no little o' money eitlter.* This excited my curiosity; and I requested the farmer to acquaint me with the particulars, which he did as follows:
"You mun know, that my son used to work wi' me in the field; that is, he drived plough, sowed, and reaped, and all other 'cultural works loike; and a steady, hard-working lad he wur too; till all on a sudden he becomed lazy loike, and wouldn't work at all. So I couldn't tell what to make on't: If I snubbed un 'twere all the same; and so at last, thinks I to mysen, I'll speak to un about it calmly loike; an' so I did, and axt un what wur the matter wi' un; and so says he, 'Why, I dosen't know disactly, he, he, he! but ever sin' I ha' seed Molly Grundy at our village church, feather, I ha' felt all over in sic'conflagration loike, he, he, he!' 'Why, ye beant in love, be ye?' 'Why, he, he, he! I can't say for sartin; haply I mought; but dang my buttons, feather! if I dosen't think Molly bees in love wi' I, he, he, he!' 'Be she?'says I: 'odds dickens! then you mmi mind your p's and q's, lad; for she ha' money. But did she speak to ye I' 'Ees; to be sure she did, and said I wur a pratty lad, he, he, he!' 'And what answer did you make?' 'Why, I—I—la'ft'' 'Ah, but,' said I,' you should ha' made love to her.' 'But I don't know how, feather: what be I to say?' 'Why, I'll tell ye. When you see her again, you thus address her: O thou most incomparable of thy sex! Thy eyes of diamond light have pierced my heart's core; thy cheeks are carnation red; thy lips like coral, thy alabaster skin, thy teeth, good lack i —and graceful mien, have scorched and burned up all the particles of my heart. Deign, then, to dispense thy passions to me alone, thy faithful swain, who is this moment ready to espouse thee, thou irresistible and adorable woman!'"
"Well," said I, " and did he say so?"
"Why, no," said the farmer: "a sad blunder he made on it, all through his being no scholard; and lost both his sweetheart Molly, and her money into the bargain. When he got to Molly Grundy's, he dropped on both knees, scratched his head, and thus began :—
"' O Molly Grundy! feather ha' sent I here to dress ye. O thou most unbearable of my sex! Thy eyes of light have pierced my heart sore; thy cheeks are tarnation red; thy lips like mackerel, thy plaster skin, thy teeth so black and hateful and mean,—have scorched and burned up all the articles of my heart. Feign, then, to expend thy passion on me alone thy hateful swine, who is this moment ready to spouse thee, thou detestable and deplorable 'ooman!'"
"Molly Grundy no sooner heard his speech, than she took up a long hair broom, wopped poor Robin out o' the house; and he has never been able to get a wife, or had courage enough to make love to another woman since."
THE MISER.—George W. Cutter.
An old man sat by a flreless hearth,
Though the night was dark and chill,
The wind sobbed loud and shrill.
And dim, but not with tears;
With penury, more than years.
A rush-light was casting its fitful glare
O'er the damp and dingy walls,
And the venomous spider crawls;
Was the miser worn and bare,
On his broken and only chair.
He had bolted the window and barred the door,
And every nook had scanned; And felt the fastening o'er and o'er,
With his cold and skinny hand;
And trembled with silent fear,
That fell on his coward ear.
"Ha, ha!" laughed the miser: "I'm safe at last,
From this night so cold and drear,
With my gold and treasures here.
And my health is bad, 'tis true; Yet if I should light that fire again,
It would cost me a cent or two.
"But I'll take a sip of the precious wine:
It will banish my cold and fears:
I have kept it for many years."
And drank of its ruby tide;
And his bosom swelled with pride.
"Let me see: let me see!" said the miser then,
'Tis some sixty years or more Since the happy hour when I began
To heap up the glittering store;
As my crowded chest will show:
Or an emperor could bestow."
He turned to an old worm-eaten chest,
And cautiously raised the lid,
With the sun in their splendor hid:
Are raised with exulting smile:
And It; counted and counted them o'er and o'er, In many a glittering pile.
Why comes the Bush to his pallid brow,
While his eyes like his diamonds shine? Why writhes he thus in such torture now?
What was there in the wine? He strove his lonely seat to gain:
To crawl to his nest he tried; But finding his efforts all in vain,
He clasped his gold, and—died.
THE OLD HOUSE IN THE MEADOW.
It stands in a sunny meadow,
With its cumbrous old stone chimneys,
The trees fold their green arms round it—
The trees a century old,—
And the sunbeams drop their gold.
The cowslips spring in the marshes,
The roses bloom on the hill,
The herds go feeding at will.
Their children have gone and left them;
They sit in the sun alone;
As she harks to the well-known tone
That won her heart in her girlhood,—
And praises her now for the brightness
She thinks again of her bridal—
She stood by her gay young lover,
Oh! the morn is as rosy as ever,
And the sunshine still is golden,