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I thought of Willie's clear blue eye,

His wavy hair of gold,
That clustered on a fearless brow

Of purest Saxon mold;
Of Harry, with his raven locks,

And eagle glance of pride;
Of how they clasped each other's Hand

And left their mother's side;
How hand in hand they bore my prayers

And blessings on the way—
A noble heart beneath the blue,

Another 'ueath the gray.

The dead, with white and folded hands,

That hushed our village homes, I've seen laid calmly, tenderly,

Within their darkened rooms;
But there I saw distorted limbs,

And many an eye aglare,
In the soft purple twilight of

The thunder-smitten air;
Along the slope and on the sward

In ghastly ranks they lay,
And there was blood upon the blue

And blood upon the gray.

I looked and saw his blood, and his',

A swift and vivid dream
Of blended years flashed o'er me, when

Like some cold shadow, came
A blindness of the eye and brain—

The same that seizes one
When men are smitten suddenly

Who overstare the sun;
And while blurred with the sudden stroke

That swept my soul, I lay,— They buried Willie in his blue,

And Harry in his gray.

The shadows fall upon their graves;

They fall upon my heart;
And through the twilight of my soul

Like dew the tears will start,—
The starlight comes so silently,

And lingers where they rest;
So hope's revealing starlight sinks

And shines within my breast.
They ask not there where yonder heaven

Smiles with eternal day,
Why Willie wore the loyal blue—

Why Harry wore the gray.

[graphic]

MTJRILLO'S TRANCE—Margaret J. Presto*.

"Here, Pedro, while I quench these candles, hold
My lantern; for, I promise you, we burn
No waxiights at our chapel-shrines till morn,
As in the great Cathedral, kept ablaze
Like any crowded plaza in Seville,
From sun to sun. I wonder if they think
That the dead knights,—Fernando and the rest,—
Whose bronze and marble couches line the walls,
Like to scared children, cannot sleep i' the dark:"
And, muttering thus, the churlish sacristan
Went, snuffing out the lights that only served
To worsen the wan gloom.

And (mindful still
Of his Dolores' greed of candle-ends)
He chid, at whiles, some lagging worshipper,
Nor spared to hint, above the low-dropped heads,
Grumblings of sunshine being in Seville
Cheaper than waxiight, and 'twere best to pray
When all the saints were broad awake, and thus
Liker to hear.

So shuffling on, he neared
The altar with its single lamp a-light.
Above, touched with its glow, the chapel's pride,
Its one Ribfira hung,—a fearfulrsad,
Soul-harrowing picture of the stark dead Christ,
Stretched on the cross beneath a ghastly glare
Of lurid rift, that made more terrible
The God-forsaken loneliness. In front,
A chasm of shadow clove the checkered floor,
And hastening towards it, the old verger called
Wonderingly back:

"Why, Pedro, only see!
The boy kneels still! What ails him, think you? Here
He came long hours before the vesper-chime;
And all the while, as to and fro I've wrought,—
Cleansing of altar-steps and dusting shrines,
And such like tasks, I have not missed him once
From that same spot. What marvel if he were
Some lunatic escaped from Caridadt
Observe! he takes no heed of aught I say:
Tis time he waked."

As moveless as the statues Niched round, a youth before the picture knelt, His hands tight clenched, and his moist forehead strewn

[graphic]

With tossings of dank hair. Upon his arm
The rude old man sprang such a sudden grasp
As caused a start; while in his ear he cried
Sharply, " Get hence! What do you here so late T"

Slow on the questioner a face was turned
That caused the heavy hand to drop; a face
Strangely pathetic, with wide-gazing eyes
And wistful brows, and lips that wanly made
Essay to speak before the words would come;
And an imploring lifting of the hands
That seemed a prayer:

—" I wail,I wait" he said,
"Till Joseph bring the linen, pare and white,
Till Mary fetch the spires; till they come,
Peter and John and ail the holy women,
And take Him down; but 0, they tarry long!
See how the darkness grows! So long, . . . so long!"

FATHER, LEAD ON.

My Father God, lead on!
Calmly I follow where thy guiding hand
Directs my steps. I would not trembling stand,
Though all before the way
Is dark as night, I stay
My soul on thee, and say—
Father, 1 trust thy love; lead on I

Just as thou wilt; lead on!
For I am as a child, and know not how
To tread the starless path whose windings now
Lie hid from mortal ken.
Although I know not when
Sweet day will dawn again,
Father I wait thy will; lead on.

I ask not why; lead on!
Mislead, thou canst iiot. Though through days of grief
And nights of anguish, pangs without relief
Or fears that would o'erthrow
My faith, thou bidst me go,
Thy changeless love, I know,
Father, my soul will keep; lead on.

With thee is light ; lead on!
When dark and chill at eve the night-mists fall,
O'erhanging all things like a dismal pall.

[graphic]

The gloom with dawn hath fled!
So, though 'mid shades I tread,
The dayspring o'er my head,
Father, from thee shall break; lead on.

Thy way is peace; lead on!
Made heir of all thmgs, I were yet unblest,
Didst thou not dwell with me and make me rest
Beneath the brooding wing
That thou dost o'er me fling,
Till thou thyself shalt bring,
Father, my spirit home; lead on.

Thou givest strength; lead on!
I cannot sink while thy right hand upholds,
Nor comfort lack while thy kind arm enfolds.
Through all my soul I feel
A healing influence steal,
While at thy feet I kneel,
Father, in lovely trust: lead on.

Twill soon be o'er; lead on!
Left all behind, earth's heartaches then shall seem
E'en as memories of a vanished dream;

And when of griefs and tears
The golden fruit appears,
Amid the eternal years,
Father, all thanks be thine! Lead on.

A VENTRILOQUIST ON A STAGE-COACH.
Henry Cockton.

"Now then, look alive there!" shouted the coachman from the booking-office door, as Valentine and his Uncle John approached. "Have yow got that are mare's shoe made comfor'ble, Simon?"

"All right, sir," said Simon, and he went round to see if it were so, while the luggage was being secured.

"Jimp up, genelmen!" cried the coachman, as he waddled from the office with his whip in one hand and his huge way-bill in the other; and the passengers accordingly proceeded to arrange themselves on the various parts of the coach,—Valentine, by the particular desire of Uncle John, having deposited himself immediately behind the seat of the coachman.

[graphic]

"If you please," said an old lady, who had been standing in the gateway upwards of an hour, " will you be good enow, please, to take care of my darter?"

"All safe," said the coachman, untwisting the reins. "She shaunt take no harm. Is she going all the way?"

"Yes, sir," replied the old lady; "God bless her! She's got a place in Lunnun, an' I'm told—"

"Hook on them ere two sacks o' whoats there behind," cried the coachman ; "I marn't go without 'em this time.— Now, all right there?"

"Good-by, my dear," sobbed the old lady, " do write to me soon, be sure you do,—I only want to hear from you often. Take care of yourself."

"Hold hard!" cried the coachman, as the horses were dancing, on the cloths being drawn from their loins. "Whit, whit!" and away they pranced, as merrily as if they had known that their load was nothing when compared with the load they left behind them. Even old Uncle John, as ho cried " Good-by, my dear boy," and waved his hand for the last time, felt the tears trickling down his cheeks.

The salute was returned, and the coach passed on.

The fulness of Valentine's heart caused him for the first hour to be silent; but after that, the constant change of scene and the pure bracing air had the effect of restoring his spirits, and he felt a powerful inclination to sing. Just, however, as he was about to commence for his own amusement, the coach stopped to change horses. In less than two minutes they started again, and Valentine, who then felt ready for anything, began to think seriously of the exercise of his power as a ventriloquist.

"Whit, whit!" said Tooler, the coachman, between a whisper and a whistle, as the fresh horses galloped up the hill.

"Stop! hoa!» cried Valentine, assuming a voice, the sound of which appeared to have traveled some distance.

"You have left, some one behind," observed a gentleman in black, who had secured the box seat.

"Oh, let un run a bit!" said Tooler. "Whit! I'll give un a winder up this little hill, and teach un to be up in time in future. If we was to wait for every passenger as chooses to lag behind, we shouldn't git over the ground in » fortnit."

[graphic]
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