페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

I am surprised at no depths to which, when once warped from its honor, humanity can be degraded. I do not wonder at the miser's death, with his hands, as they relax, dropping gold. I do not wonder at the sensualist's life, with the shroud wrapped about his feet. I do not wonder at the single-handed murder of a single victim, done by the assassin in the darkness of the railway or reed-shadow of the marsh. I do not even wonder at the myriadhanded murder of multitudes, done boastfully in the daylight by the frenzy of nations, and the immeasurable, unimaginable guilt, heaped up from hell to heaven, of their priests and kings. But this is wonderful to me-oh, how wonderful! to see the tender and delicate woman among you, with her child at her breast, and a power, if she would wield it, over it and over its father, purer than the air of heaven and stronger than the seas of earth; to see her abdicate this majesty to play at precedence with her next-door neighbor! This is wonderful-oh, wonderful !—to see her, with every innocent feeling fresh within her, go out in the morning into her garden to play with the fringes of its guarded flowers, and lift their heads when they are drooping, with her happy smile upon her face and no cloud upon her brow, because there is a little wall around her place of peace; and yet she knows, in her heart, if she would only look for its knowledge, that, outside of that little rose-covered wall, the wild grass, to the horizon, is torn up by the agony of men, and beat level by the drift of their life-blood.

Have you ever considered what a deep under-meaning there lies, or at least may be read, if we choose, in our custom of strewing flowers before those whom we think most happy? Do you suppose it is merely to deceive them into the hope that happiness is always to fall thus in showers at their feet? that the rough ground will be made smooth for them by depth of roses ? So surely as they believe that, they will have, instead, to walk on bitter herbs and thorns. But it is not thus intended they should believe; there is a better meaning in that old custom. The path of a good woman is indeed strewn with flowers; but they rise behind her steps, not before them. “Her feet have fouched the meadows, and left the daisies rosy.”

But it is little to say of a woman, that she only does not destroy where she passes, She should revive; the harebells should bloom, not stoop, as she passes. You have heard it said, that flowers only flourish rightly in the garden of someone who loves them. I know you would like that to be true; you would think it a pleasant magic if you could flush your flowers into brighter bloom by a kind look upon them; nay, more, if your look had the power, not only to cheer but to guard them; if you could bid the black blight turn away, and the knotted caterpillar spare; if you could bid the dew fall upon them in the drought, and say to the south wind, in frost: “Come, thou south, and breathe upon my garden, that the spices of it may flow out.” This you would think a great thing? And do you think it not a greater thing, that all this (and how much more than this!) you can do for fairer flowers than these,-flowers that could bless you for having blessed them, and will love you for having loved them; flowers that have eyes like yours, and thoughts like yours, and lives like yours, which, once saved, you save forever? Is this only a little power? Far among the moorlands and the rocks, far in the darkness of the terrible streets, these fecble florets are lying, with all their fresh leaves torn, and their stems broken. Will you never go down to them, nor set them in order in their little fragrant beds, nor fence them in their trembling from the fierce wind? Shall morning follow morning for you, but not for them; and the dawn rise to watch, far away, those frantic dances of death; but no dawn rise to breathe upon these living banks of wild violet and woodbine and rose, nor call to you, through your casement,-call, saying,

“Come into the garden, Maud,

For the black bat, night, has flown,
And the woodbine spices are wafted abroad

And the musk of the roses blown?"

Will you not go down among them-among those sweet living things? Still they turn to you, and for you and “the larkspur listens—I hear, I hear! And the lily whispers: I wait.”

"Come into the garden, Maud,

For the black bat, night, has flown.
Come into the garden, Maud,

I am here at the gate, alone.”

Who is it, think you, who stands at the gate of this sweeter garden, alone, waiting for you? Did you ever hear, not of a Maud but a Madeleine, who went down to her garden in the dawn, and found One waiting at the gate, whom she supposed to be the gardener ? Have you not sought Him often,—sought Him in vain, all through the night, sought Him in vain at the gate of that old garden where the fiery sword is set ? He is never there; but at the gate of this garden He is waiting always, -waiting to take your hand, ready to go down to see the fruits of the valley, to see whether the vine has flourished and the pomegranate budded. There you shall see with Him the little tendrils of the vines that His hand is guiding; there you shall see the pomegranate springing where His hand cast the sanguine seed; more, you shall see the troops of the angel keepers that, with their wings, wave away the hungry birds from the pathsides where He has sown, and call to each other between the vineyard rows, “Take us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.” Oh, you queens, you queens! Among the hills and happy greenwood of this land of yours, shall the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; and in your cities, shall the stones cry out against you, that they are the only pillows where the Son of Man can lay His head?

SONG OF THE CHATTAHOOCHEE.

BY SIDNEY LANIER.

Out of the hills of Habersham,

Down in the valleys of Hall,
I hurry amain to reach the plain,
Run the rapid and leap the fall,
Split at the rock and together again,
Accept my bed, or narrow or wide,
And flee from folly on every side
With a lover's pain to attain the plain

Far from the hills of Habersham,
Far from the valleys of Hall.

All down the hills of Habersham,

All through the valleys of Hall,
The rushes cried, Abide, abide,
The wilful water-weeds held me thrall,
The waving laurel turned my tide,
The ferns and the fondling grass said Stay,
The dewberry dipped for to work delay,
And the little reeds sighed Abide, abide,

Here in the hills of Habersham,
Here in the valley of Hall.

High over the hills of Habersham,

Veiling the valley of Hall,
The hickory told me manifold
Fair tales of shade, the poplar tall
Wrought me her shadowy self to hold,
The chestnut, the oak, the walnut, the pine,
Overleaning, with flickering meaning and sign,
Said, Pass ņot, so cold, these manifold

Deep shades of the hills of Habersham,
These glades in the valley of Hall.

And oft in the hills of Habersham,

And oft in the valley of Hall,
The white quartz shone, and the smooth brook-stone
Did bar me of passage with friendly brawl,
And many a luminous jewel lone-
Crystals clear or a-cloud with mist,
Ruby, garnet, and amethyst-
Made lures with the lights of streaming stone

In the clefts of the hills of Habersham,
In the beds of the valleys of Hall.

But oh, not the hills of Habersham,

And oh, not the valleys of Hall
Avail: I am fain for to water the plain.
Downward the voices of Duty call-
Downward, to toil and be mixed with the main,
The dry fields burn and the mills are to turn,

And a myriad flowers mortally yearn,
And the lordly main from beyond the plain

Calls o'er the hills of Habersham,
Calls through the valleys of Hall.

THE GREAT SCHOOLS OF THE WORLD.

BY HON. JOHN P. JONES.

(From speech delivered in the U.S. Senate, September 10, 1890.)

The great schools of the world are no longer those in which the dead languages are taught. They are the mechanical workshops, in which young men learn to build Corliss engines, Walthan watches, dynamos, and the long list of other marvelous machines that but herald the approach of greater marvels. The professors of the new philosophy are not those who despise industry; they are the chieftains of industry. “This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.”

These are the schools—the true “universities”—that a nation needs. The instruction which they impart has all the accuracy of mathematics, all the grace of rhetoric, all the rhythm of poetry. The implements of thought are not words, but the tools of labor. The processes of analysis and synthesis are taught by real, not mimic, object-lessons. The constructive faculty is exercised where it should be exercised—in construction. The imagination has free play in the realm of invention and experiment. The reasoning powers are disciplined to an extent unknown to the logicians. In the making of an argument men may err without detection; in the making of a watch or a window-sash they cannot do so.

Says Macaulay :

"Bacon has remarked that in all ages when philosophy was stationary the mechanical arts went on improving. Why was this? Evidently because the mechanic was not content with so careless a mode of induction as served the purpose of the philoso

« 이전계속 »