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Wife—poor thing—goes to that drawer every day of hei life, and prays over it, and lets her tears fall upon the precious articles; but I dare not go.
Sometimes we speak of little Jack, but not often. It has been a long time, but somehow we can't get over grieving. He was such a burst of sunshine into our lives that his going away has been like covering our every-day existence with a pall. Sometimes, when we sit alone of an evening, I writing and she sewing, a child on the street will call out as our boy used to, and we will both start up with beating hearts and a wild hope, only to find the darkness more of a burden than ever.
It is so still and quiet now. I look up at the window where his blue eyes used to sparkle at my coming, but he is not there. I listen for his pattering feet, his merry shout, and his ringing laugh; but there is no sound. There is no one to climb over my knees, no one to search my pockets and tease for presents: and I never find the chairs turned over, the broom down, or ropes tied to the door-knobs.
I want some one to tease me for my knife; to ride on my shoulder; to lose my axe; to follow me to the gate when I go, and be there to meet me when I come; to cad "goodnight" from the little bed, now empty. And wife, she misses him still more: there are no little feet to wash, no prayers to say; no voice teasing for lumps of sugar, or sobbing with the pain of a hurt toe; and she would give her own life, almost, to awake at midnight, and look across to the crib and see our boy there as he used to be.
So we preserve our relics; and when we are dead we hope that strangers will handle them tenderly, even if they shed no tears over them.
THE MAN WITH A COLD IN HIS HEAD.
By dabe is Jodes—Daddle Jodes. I ab the bost biserable bad udder the sud. I ab eterdally catchig cold; by doze is everlastigly plagium be so that I dever cad talk plaid. I have tried every thig id the world to prevedt it, but the cold will cub in spite of be. Subber ad widter, it is all the sabe. I breathe through by bouth frob Jaduary to Decebber, frob the begiddig to the edd of the year. I've tried Allopathy, Hydropathy, Hobeopathy, and Tobsodiadisb; every systeb of bedicid, but id vaid. All kides of teas, drobs, add old wibbed's dostrubs have bid tried; I've swallowed edough of theb to drowd be; bud's do use. Dothig udder heaved cad keep by feet warb,—dothig keep be frob catching cold.
I ab dot rich, I ab dot poor; but I rather'd be a beggar,—ad orgad grider's budkey,—the beadest thig you could dabe—adythig— rather thad be a bad with a stopped ub doze. I ab very fod of wibbed's society, but I dare dot go idto cubpady; people are too polite to evidce disgust, but everybody becubs udeasy whedever I vedture dear theb. I wad't to barry; but doboddy will have be with by doze—dever! dever! Oh! I ab idcodceivably udhappy!
Sub years ago I fell id love with a charbig girl. Iler father was a bad of beads, ad she was the bost widdig little dabsel id the world. Ad she alode of all the world seebed dot to bide by bisfortude. Ad I loved her with a love of udibadgidable idtedsity; every atob of by beig adored her. I deterbid to seredade her. Accordigly I shut byself ub id by roob ad waited a log tibe, udtil by cold got albost edtirely well. At last, wud fide Autub dight, I vedtured forth, wrapped up to the eyes id cloaks, overcoats, shawls, ad what dot; od by feet I wore the thickest kide of gub shoes. A bad of busiciads wedt alog with be. Twas after eleved o'clock whed we reached her residedce id a fashiodable ad retired street. After the bad had played a dubber of fide tudes, edough I thought to have waked her, I ordered theb to stob, so that I bight sig. I had studied several sogs, all bore or less sedibedtal ad beladcholy, udtil I thought I was perfect. But do sooder had I pulled the hadkerchief off by doze ad bouth thad I caught cold. I cobbedced,—
"Twas ted o'clock wud boodlight dight,"
it Bonded very badly, so I thought I would try
"Whed twilight dews are fallig fast:"
but that was albost as bad as the first. But I had cub there to sig, ad sig I bust. So I sug at the top of by voice,—
"Cub, oh cub with be,
The bood is beabig;
The stars are gleabig;
With beauty teabig;
Tra la lala la,"
ad so forth.
While I was goidg on with "tra la lala la," codgratulatig byself bed tally upod by success, a yug fellow livig id the house adjoidig by sweetheart threw up the widdow ad shouted, " Blow your doze, you fool! blow your doze!" Ad all the bad of busiciads laughed log ad udfeeligly. Fadcy by feligs! Shakig by cledched fist at the yug scoudrel id the widdow, I addthebatized hib with the bost awful ibpreeatiods I could thidk of, udmidful who bight hear or who bight dot. Of the iddecedt ad udfeelig busiciads, I took do further dot ice thad to hurl theb their pay upod the groud. Thed barched hobe, ad retired to by aparthedt, frob which I did dot eberge for bu4Mis.
ROCK ME TO SLEEP.—Elizareth Akees.
Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight,
Smooth the few silver threads out of my hair;
Backward, flow backward, oh, tide of the years!
I am so weary of toil and of tears,—
Toil without recompense, tears all in vain,—
Take them, and give me my childhood again!
I have grown weary of dust and decay,—
Weary of flinging my soul-wealth away;
Weary of sowing for others to reap;—
Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep I
Tired of the hollow, the base, the untrue,
Over my heart, in the days that are flown,
Come, let your brown hair, just lighted with gold,
Mother, dear mother, the years have been long
IN HEAVEN I'LL ROCK THEE TO SLEEP.
Yes, darling one, I will rock thee to sleep!
No love like that of thy mother thou'lt rind,
No hand to guide thee, no ties that will bind,
No eyes to watch thee, and no heart to love—
As love the angels in mansions above;
Still doth my heart sweetly roam to my child
When tempests come and when life's night is wild,—
Over my darling my fond watch I'll keep,
Till when in heaven I rock thee to sleep.
Soon wilt thou cross the dark river of death,
THE MAIDEN'S PRAYER.—N. P. Willis.
She ro se from her delicious sleep,
And put away her soft brown hair.
As love's first whisper, breathed a prayer;
Her blue eyes sheltered in the lid,
Just swelling with the charms it hid.
And from her long and flowing dress
Escaped a bare and snowy foot,
Like a sweet snow-flake soft and mute;
Like a young spirit fresh from heaven,
And humbly prayed to be forgiven.
Oh, God! if souls as pure as these
Need daily mercy from Thy throne—
Our holiest and our purest one—
We deem her some stray child of light;
Day after day in her young years,