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A patron or two went out, talking across the tables. O'Rourke thumbed steadily away at his account book, with one parental eye on Liz. A hackman was trotting up and down in front of the door, eyeing the roast turkey in the window. Whenever anyone came out he turned enquiringly.
“So it's losin' Liz yer be, Meakim !" said a neighbor.
“ It's not tellin' you if I am," answered Meakim sullenly.
But when he caught her eye he smiled. He tried to think that it was all right, that Liz could do as she would, when she wore his roses, but his eyes flashed fiercely when Magee spoke to her. He shuffled his feet ominously. Magee took the rose from her belt and put it in his buttonhole. Meakim was furious in a moment; he slammed his knife down on his plate and pushed his chair back noisily. Liz looked up. Meakim gave her an imploring glance; she blushed and would have answered him, but Magee was watching her. She rose and held out her hand to Magee with a smile, and they both went off, where Meakim could see them, by the stove in the corner. O'Rourke was radiant. She was obeying his injunctions very well, he thought.
Meakim swore to himself. He writhed in his seat and gripped his hands convulsively, as if he had Magee's throat there, and O'Rourke in the bargain. O'Rourke passed by with uplifted chin. Meakim could stand it no longer. He sprang from his seat with a stifled oath. Just then Magee and Liz came back, and Meakim sat down. The two laughed gayly as Magee put on his overcoat. O'Rourke gave him his change and a hearty hand shake and Magee went out.
Then all but Meakim had gone. He coughed once or twice and shuffled his feet, but Liz did not notice. She was helping her father make the fire for the morning. Meakim took down his faded overcoat and waited a moment more. “ Liz!" he whispered. But O'Rourke was there, and Liz did not answer. Then he took a toothpick from the table and went out. Liz heard him go.
O'Rourke put a stick of wood on the fire. He touched Liz on the shoulder.
“It's good yer likin' Magee more, Liz,” he said. “'E'll make a good man fer yer, Liz-he 's of a good fam'ly.”
There was a tear in the girl's eye as she met his gaze. She glanced around at Meakim looking back through the doorway. Then she blushed and gave a little sigh. She took the rose out of her hair and looked at it. Her hand trembled a little as she held it.
Magee threw off his great coat in the morning and rubbed his hands over the stove in the corner. The tables were vacant.
Hey there! Misther O'Rourke-any breakfast this mornin'! Hey! man, where's the gel now, Liz, the darlin'?"
The old man smoothed his forehead helplessly a moment. One tremulous hand closed the account book feebly. Then he got down from his chair and went and looked out of the window. There was only a lonely hackman across by the corner. She's runned away wid Meakim,” he said.
Edwin Sidney Oviatt.
All Eden slumbers, wreathed in peace, and robed
In loveliness that knows no hours of toil.
The flowers are burdened with the dew, while on
Their boughs the birds have sung their last good-night,
And in the starry sheen the fountains glow.
Each guardian angel takes his special post,
To keep from Eden evil power, that seeks
To work destruction on the mortal pair.
At Eastern gate, as lovely as a dream
Stands Aratil, the youngest of the guard ;
Far mightier than a host of foes that lurk
In envy 'neath the veil of outer night,
In robes of purest white whose magic glow
Holds spellbound many bands of demons near.
The earth is in its golden prime, and grows
Beneath the love of Heaven, a shrine of song:
Nor grief, nor gloom, had marred its purity.
The angel looks and cannot turn away,
Such beauty thrills him, holds his heart in thrall.
He longs to leave his post to a better know
The yearning of his heart, that weaker grows
And yields at last to unfulfilled desire.
Then half in air and half on earth, he speeds
His noiseless way, as new enchantments rise.
For one who knows the fairer bloom of Heaven
Too well the angel loves these Eden bowers,
And roaming midst them soon forgets his charge ;
While as he farther strays, the serpent leads
The darker spirits toward the garden fair.
The angel knoweth not the hours have fled,
Or that at Eden's door the demons lie,
For can it be that any wrong is near
Such Heavenly peace, that breathes its silent joy
About the bower, where fair as morning's breath,
Eve rests in sleep, the first true Spirit-flower,
Whose gentle radiance, whose sweet grace outvies
E'en Nature, now in all her quietude.
Where moving to and fro, the other guards
Are seeking for the Messenger of Sin,
That entering in hath changed the garden fair,
The air is chill, and by the wind that grows
More sad, the serpent's taint is borne afar :
But he in densest solitude, evades
The heavenly luster that the angels shed.
• Thou basely hast betrayed thy highest trust."
They speak to Aratil, who knows the doom
Of sin is warring o'er his faithless soul.
At last the guardian host return to Heaven ;
All save the wayward Aratil who cleaves
To earth alone, with deepest sorrow thrilled.
But now no luster from his presence shines,
His happy heart hath lost its dearest joy.
Then as the noonday grows to somber eve,
The Lord appears and drives the mortals forth.
The angel hears their bitter curse and knows
His punishment will be far worse, than that
Of those who met their doom by his neglect.
“Ah Aratil, ah Aratil,
Since death by thee is come to earth, be thou
Its messenger, a dread to all who live,
The shadow of the tomb forevermore.”
The gates are closed against the erring souls
And in Eve's bower, alone, stands Aratil,
Above his head a bird, whose cheery notes
But mock the Angel's speechless misery.
Unwittingly yet of all his power must mean
He grasps the branch that shrivels in his hand;
The bird upon it falls to earth and dies;
He picks the rose that Eve had held ; before
His awful touch it withers, drops to ground.
“Alas, ah bitter grief, and this is death,
And this the meaning of my doom, that all
Which I approach shall alter, droop and die.”
So in fulfillment of his dreadful fate,
Invisible, a wanderer, he roamed
Upon the earth, and where he went, death came.
But since his curse long years have passed away,
And now upon a mountain near the walls
Of old Jerusalem, the angel stands.
Not far apart is seen a little band
Of faithfuls to a Master, who hath led
Them to this mount to worship once again.
But o'er this throng the angel holds no sway,
Because a greater power than death is near,
The one who mocked the grave.
“Ah Aratil !"
The angel looks and bows his guilty head
Before the brow of such majestic grace,
That oft on him in happier morn, had shone
From far 'Eternal Hill, before his doom.
“Behold thou Aratil," and as he speaks
The Master takes within his hand a flower
That as the rose in Eden's bower, had drooped.
Its petals seem like magic to unfold,
The blossom wakes again, and breathes and glows ;
A bird as in the garden long ago,
Beneath the angel's power had dropped to earth,
But as it meets the Master's loving touch,
It flutters, plumes its wings, ascends toward Heaven.
“See Aratil, to me a boon is given;
Do thou go forth and do the will of him
Who laid thy fate on thee; but crowned anew
Thou shalt go hand in mine forevermore.”
And then the angel rose, and wandered forth
To wield the power no more a grief to him,
In garments white is Aratil become
The Messenger of Peace, that like a sleep,
Or as the still soft tread of Time that goes,
Steals o'er the world and bears its souls away.
Lewis L. Brastow.