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Of the barn-yard creaked beneath the merry weight Of sun-brown children, listening, while they
The welcome sound of supper-call to hear;
And down the shadowy lane, in tinklings clear,
The pastoral curfew of the cow-bell rung.
Thus soothed and pleased, our backward path we
Praising the farmer's home. He only spake,
Looking into the sunset o'er the lake,
Like onę to whom the far-off is most near:
"Yes, most folks think it has a pleasant look;
I love it for my good old mother's sake,
Who lived and died here in the peace of
The lesson of his words we pondered o'er,
As silently we turned the eastern flank
Of the mountain, where its shadow deepest sank,
Doubling the night along our rugged road:
We felt that man was more than his abode,—
The inward life than Nature's raiment more;
And the warm sky, the sundown-tinted hill,
The forest and the lake, seemed dwarfed and dim
Before the saintly soul, whose human will
Meekly in the Eternal footsteps trod,
Making her homely toil and household ways
An earthly echo of the song of praise
Swelling from angel lips and harps of seraphim!
FOR A SUMMER FESTIVAL AT "THE LAURELS" ON THE MERRIMACK.
ONCE more on yonder laurelled height
The summer flowers have budded;
Once more with summer's golden light
The vales of home are flooded;
And once more, by the grace of Him
Of every good the Giver,
We sing upon its wooded rim
The praises of our river:
Its pines above, its waves below,
The west wind down it blowing,
As fair as when the young Brissot
Beheld it seaward flowing,-
And bore its memory o'er the deep,
To soothe a martyr's sadness,
And fresco, in his troubled sleep,
His prison-walls with gladness.
We know the world is rich with streams
Renowned in song and story,
Whose music murmurs through our dreams
Of human love and glory:
We know that Arno's banks are fair,
And Rhine has castled shadows,
And, poet-tuned, the Doon and Ayr
Go singing down their meadows.
But while, unpictured and unsung
By painter or by poet,
Our river waits the tuneful tongue
And cunning hand to show it,-
We only know the fond skies lean
Above it, warm with blessing,
And the sweet soul of our Undine
Awakes to our caressing.
No fickle Sun-God holds the flocks
That graze its shores in keeping;
No icy kiss of Dian mocks
The youth beside it sleeping:
Our Christian river loveth most
The beautiful and human;
The heathen streams of Naiads boast,
But ours of man and woman.
The miner in his cabin hears
The ripple we are hearing;
It whispers soft to homesick ears
Around the settler's clearing:
In Sacramento's vales of corn,
Or Santee's bloom of cotton,
Our river by its valley-born
Was never yet forgotten.
The drum rolls loud,-the bugle fills
The summer air with clangor;
The war-storm shakes the solid hills
Beneath its tread of anger:
Young eyes that last year smiled in ours
Now point the rifle's barrel,
And hands then stained with fruits and flowers
Bear redder stains of quarrel.
But blue skies smile, and flowers bloom on,
And rivers still keep flowing,-
The dear God still his rain and sun
On good and ill bestowing.
His pine-trees whisper, "Trust and wait!"
His flowers are prophesying
That all we dread of change or fate
His love is underlying.
And thou, O Mountain-born !-no more
We ask the wise Allotter
Than for the firmness of thy shore,
The calmness of thy water,
The cheerful lights that overlay
Thy rugged slopes with beauty,
To match our spirits to our day
And make a joy of duty.
ANDREW RYKMAN's dead and gone :
You can see his leaning slate
In the graveyard, and thereon
Read his name and date.
"Trust is truer than our fears," Runs the legend through the moss, "Gain is not in added years,
Nor in death is loss."
Still the feet that thither trod,
All the friendly eyes are dim;
Only Nature, now, and God
Have a care for him.
There the dews of quiet fall,
Singing birds and soft winds stray;
Shall the tender Heart of all
Be less kind than they?
What he was and what he is
They who ask may haply find,
If they read this prayer of his
Which he left behind.
Pardon, Lord, the lips that dare
Shape in words a mortal's prayer!
Prayer, that, when my day is done,
And I see its setting sun,
Shorn and beamless, cold and dim,
Sink beneath the horizon's rim,-
When this ball of rock and clay
Crumbles from my feet away,
And the solid shores of sense
Melt into the vague immense,
Father! I may come to Thee
Even with the beggar's plea,
As the poorest of Thy poor,
With my needs, and nothing more.
Not as one who seeks his home
With a step assured I come;
Still behind the tread I hear
Of my life-companion, Fear;
Still a shadow deep and vast
From my westering feet is cast,
Wavering, doubtful, undefined,
Never shapen nor outlined:
From myself the fear has grown,
And the shadow is my own.
Yet, O Lord, through all a sense
Of Thy tender providence
Stays my failing heart on Thee,
And confirms the feeble knee;
And, at times, my worn feet press
Spaces of cool quietness,
Lilied whiteness shone upon
Not by light of moon or sun.
Hours there be of inmost calm,
Broken but by grateful psalm,
When I love Thee more than fear Thee,
And Thy blessed Christ seems near me,
With forgiving look, as when
He beheld the Magdalen.
Well I know that all things move
To the spheral rhythm of love,-
That to Thee, O Lord of all!
Nothing can of chance befall:
Child and seraph, mote and star,
Well Thou knowest what we are;
Through Thy vast creative plan