페이지 이미지

“Mother! mother! he cannot get down!”
“ Who, lad—thy father?” asked the mother.

"They have forgotten to leave him the rope," answered Tom, still scarcely able to speak. The mother started up, horror struck, and stood for a moment as if paralyzed, then pressing her hand over her face, as if to shut out the terrible picture, and breathing a prayer to God for help, she rushed out of the house,

When she reached the place where her husband was at work, a crowd had gathered round the foot of the chimney, and stood quite helpless, gazing up with faces full of sorrow.

“ He says he will throw himself down!” said they.

“Thee munna do that, lad,” cried the wife, with a clear, hopeful voice; "thee munna do that-wait a bit. Take off thy stocking, lad, and unravel it; let down the thread with a bit of mortar. Dost thou hear me, Jem?”

The man made a sign of assent; for it seemed as if he could not speak, and taking off his stocking, unraveled the worsted yarn, row after row. The people stood round in breathless silence and suspense, wondering what Tom's mother could be thinking of, and why she sent him in such haste for the carpenter's ball of twine.

"Let down one end of the thread with a bit of stone, and keep fast hold of the other.” cried she to her husband. The little thread came waving down the tall chimney, blown hither and thither by the wind, but it reached the out-stretched hands that were awaiting it. Tom held the ball of twine, while his mother tied one end of it to the thread

“Now, pull it slowly," cried she to her husband, and she gradually unwound the string until it reached her husband,

“Now, hold the string fast, and pull it up,” cried she, and the string grew heavy and hard to pull, for Tom and his mother had fastened a thick rope to it. They had it gradually and slowly uncoiling from the ground, and the string was drawn higher.

There was but one coil left. It had reached the top. "Thank God!" exclaimed the wife. She hid her face in her hands in silent prayer, and tremblingly rejoiced.

The iron to which it should be fastened was there all right, but would her husband be able to make use of it? Would

not the terror of the past have so unnerved him as to prevent him from taking the necessary measures for safety?

he did not know the magic influence which her few words exercised over him. She did not know the strength that the sound of her voice, so calm and steadfast, had given him --as if the little thread that carried to him the hope of life once more, had conveyed to him some portion of that faith in God, which nothing ever destroyed or shook in her pure heart. She did not know that, as she waited there, the words came over him:

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God.”

She lifted her heart to God for hope and strength, but could do nothing more for her husband, and her heart turned to God and rested on him as on a rock.

There was a great shout. “He's safe, mother, he's safe!” cried Tom.

“Thou hast saved my life, my Mary,” said the husband, folding her in his arms. “But what ails thee? thou seemest more sorrowful than glad about it."

But Mary could not speak, and if the strong arm of her husband had not held her up she would have fallen to the ground-the sudden joy, after such fear, had overcome her.

"Tom, let thy mother lean on thy shoulder," said his father, “and we will take her home.”

And in their happy home they poured forth thanks to God for his great goodness, and their happy life together felt dearer and holier for the peril it had been in, and the nearness of the danger had brought them unto God. And the holiday next day-was it not indeed a thanksgiving day!

THE DEMON-SHIP.-THOMAS HOOD. 'Twas off the Wash-the sun went down-the sea looked

black and grim, For stormy clouds, with murky fleece, were mustering at the

brim; Titanic shades! enormous gloom !-as if the solid night Of Erebus rose suddenly to seize upon the light!

It was a time for mariners to bear a wary eye,
With such a dark conspiracy between the sea and sky!

Down went my helm-close reef'd-the tack held freely is

my handWith ballast snug-I put about, and scudded for the land. Loud hiss'd the sea beneath her lee-my little boat flew fast, But faster still the rushing storm came borne upon the blast. Lord! what a roaring hurricane beset the straining sail! What furious sleet, with level drift, and fierce assaults of

hail! What darksome caverns yawned before! what jagged steeps

behind! Like battle-steeds, with foamy manes, wild tossing in the

wind. Each after each sank down astern, exhausted in the chase, But where it sank another rose and galloped in its place; As black as night-they turned to white, and cast against the

cloud A snowy sheet, as if each surge upturned a sailor's shroud :Still flew my boat; alas! alas! her course was nearly run! Behold yon fatal billow rise-ten billows heaped in one! With fearful speed the dreary mass came rolling, rolling fast, As if the scooping sea contained one only wave at last! Still on it came, with horrid roar, a swift pursuing grave; It seemed as though some cloud had turned its hugeness to

a wave! Its briny sleet began to beat beforehand in my faceI felt the rearward keel begin to climb its swelling base! I saw its alpine hoary head impending over mine! Another pulse--and down it rushed-an avalanche of brine! Brief pause had I, on God to cry, or think of wife and home; The waters closed-and when I shrieked, I shrieked below

the foam! Beyond that rush I have no hint of any after deedFor I was tossing on the waste, as senseless as a weed.

“Where am I? in the breathing world, or in the world of

death?" With sharp and sudden pang I drew another birth of breath; My eyes drank in a doubtful light, my ears a doubtful

soundAnd was that ship a real ship whose tackle seemed around ? A moon as if the earthly moon, was shining up aloft; But were those beams the very beams that I had seen so oft? A face, that mocked the human face, before me watched alone; But were those eyes the eyes of man that looked against

my own?

Oh I never may the moon again disclose me such a sight
As met my gaze, when first I looked, on that accursed night!
I've seen a thousand horrid shapes begot of fierce extremes
Of fever; and most frightful things have haunted in my

Hyenas, cats, blood-loving bats, and apes with hateful stare,
Pernicious snakes, and shaggy bulls—the lion, and she-bear-
Strong enemies, with Judas looks, of treachery and spite-
Detested features, hardly dimmed and banished by the light!
Pale-sheeted ghosts, with gory locks, upstarting from their

tombs ; All phantasies and images that fit in midnight gloomsHags, goblins, demons, lemures, have made me all aghast,But nothing like that GRIMLY ONE who stood beside the mast!

His cheek was black, his brow was black, his eyes and hair

as dark : His hand was black, and where it touched, it left a sable

mark; His throat was black, his vest the same, and when I looked

beneath, His breast was black-all, all was black, except his grinning

teeth. His sooty crew were like in hue, as black as Afric slaves ! Oh, horror! e'en the ship was black that plowed the inky

waves! “Alas !” I cried, “ for love of truth and blessed mercy's sake, Where am I? in what dreadful ship? upon what dreadful

lake? What shape is that, so very grim, and black as any coal ? It is Mahound, the Evil One, and he has gained my soul ! Oh, mother dear! my tender nurse! dear meadows that be


My happy days, when I was yet a little sinless child,
My mother dear-my native fields, I never more shall see:
I'm sailing in the Devil's ship, upon the Devil's sea!”
Loud laughed that sable mariner, and loudly in return
His sooty crew sent forth a laugh that rang from stem to stern;
A dozen pair of grimly cheeks were crumpled on the nonce,
As many sets of grinning teeth came shining out at once:
A dozen gloomy shapes at once enjoyed the merry fit,
With shriek and yell, and oaths as well, like demons of the pit.
They crowed their fill, and then the chief made answer for

the whole :"Our skins," said he, “are black ye see, because we carry coal ; You'll find your mother sure enough, and see your native

fields, For this here ship has picked you up—the Mary Ann of



The great Pacific journey I have done;

In many a town and tent I've found a lodgment. I think I've traveled to the setting sun,

And very nearly reached the day of judgment! Like Launcelot, in the quest of Holy Grail,

From Western Beersheba to Yankee Dan I've been a seeker; yet I sadly fail

To find the genuine type American.

Where is this object of my youthful wonder,

Who met me in the pages of Sam Slick ?
Who opened every sentence with “ By thunder!”

And whittled always on a bit of stick?
The more the crowd of friends around me thickens

The less my chance to meet him seems to be;
Why did he freely show himself to Dickens,

To Dixen, Sala, Trollope-not to me?

No one accosts me with the words: “ Wa'll strangei !"

Greets me with “ festive cuss," or shouts “old hos" No grim six-shooter threatens me with danger,

If I don't quickly “ Pass the butter, boss."
I, too, have sat, like every other fellow,

In many a railway, omnibus, street car;
No girl has spiked me with a fierce umbrella,

And said: “ You git, I mean to sit right thar!"

Gone are the Yankees of my early reading!

Faded the Yankee Land of eager quest!
I meet with culture, courtesy, good breeding,

Art, letters,-men and women of the best.
Oh! fellow-Britons, all my hopes are undone;

Take counsel of a disappointed man;
Don't come out here, but stay at home in London,

And seek in books the true American.


There's mony a wee sweet lily sair nipped wi’ the cold ;
There's mony a cannie sparrow fa's upon the bleakie wold ;
The wind hae aft times killit wee birdies on the tree;
But He will gaither in His nest weak bairns like you and me.

« 이전계속 »