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Thanks be to the Eternal Father, who has made us one with Him through the benign Spirit of Christianity!

PART I.

THROUGH the wide world went Marien

On a holy mission sent,
A little child of tender years,

Throughout the world she went.
And ever, as she went along,

Sweet flowers sprang 'neath her feet;
All flowers that were most beautiful,

Of virtues strong and sweet.
And ever, as she went along,

The desert beasts grew tame;
And man, the savage, dyed with blood,

The merciful became.
Now, if you will attend to me,

I will in order tell
The history of this little child,

And what to her befel.
No friend at all had Marien,

And at the break of day,
In a lonesome place within the world,

In quiet thought she lay.
The stars were lost in coming morn,

The moon was pale and dim,
And the golden sun was rising

Over the ocean's rim.
With upturned eye lay Marien ;-

“And I am alone,” said she,
“Though the blackbird and the nightingale

Sing in the forest-tree :
“ Though the weak woodland creatures

Come to me when I call,
And eat their food from out my hand;

And I am loved by alt: “Though sun, and moon, and stars come out,

And flowers of fairest grace, And whate'er God made beautiful,

Are with me in this place : “ Yet I am all alone, alone,

Alone both night and day! So I will forth into the world,

And do what good I may: "For many a heart is sorrowful,

And I that heart may cheer;And many a weary captive pines

In dungeons dark and drear; And I the iron bonds may loose, —

Then why abide I here?
“And many a spirit dark with crime,

Yet longeth to repent ;
And many a grievous wrong is done

To the weak and innocent ;

And I may do the injured right,

May save the penitent!
"Up, I will forth into the world!"

And, thus as she did say,
Sweet Marien from the ground rose up

And went forth on her way.
Through the wood went Marien,

The thick wood and the green;
And not far had she travelled ere

A cruel sight was seen.
Under the green and leafy boughs

Where singing birds were set ;
At strife about their heritage,

Two ruffian brothers met. “ Thou shalt not of our father's land,”

The elder said, “ have part!"
The younger brother spoke no word,

But stabbed him to the heart.
Then deep into the forest dark

With desperate speed he ran, And gentle Marien stood beside

The bleeding, murdered man.
With pitying tears that would not cease,

She washed his wounded side,
And prayed him to have faith in Him

Who for the sinner died.
But no sign made the murdered man,

There stiff in death he lay; –
And Marien through the forest wild

Went mourning on her way.
Ere long, as she went wandering on,

She came to where there sat,
With folded arms apon her breast,

A woman desolate.
Pale was she as the marble stone,

And steadfast was her eye;
She sat enchained, as in a trance,

By her great misery. “What ails thee, mother!" Marien said,

In a gentle voice and sweet; “What aileth thee, my mother ?"

And knelt down at her feet.
“What aileth thee, iny mother ?"'

Kind Marien still did say;
And those two words, my mother,

To the lone heart found their way.
As one who wakeneth in amaze,

She quickly raised her head ;; And “Who is 't calls me mother?"

Said she, “my child is dead!" “He was the last of seven sons

He is dead - I have none other; This is the day they bury him ;

Who is it calls me mother !" ""Tis I," said gentle Marien, " Dear soul, be comforted !"

And the peace of God that passeth word,

Upon her spirit lay,
And oftentimes she sang aloud

As she went on her way.

The joyfulest song sang Marien

That e'er left human tongue; The very birds were mute to hear

The holy words she sung.

But now the darksome night came on,

And Marien lay her down Within a little way-side cave,

On mosses green and brown.

But the woman only wrung her hands,

And cried, “ My son is dead!" " Be comforted," said Marien,

And then she sweetly spake
Of Jesus Christ, and how he came

The sting from death to take.
She told of all his life-long love,

His soul by suffering tried : And how at last his mother stood

To see him crucified. of the disciples' broken hearts

She told, of pangs and pain; Of Mary at the sepulchre,

And Christ arisen again. “ Then sorrow not,” she said, “ as though

Thou wert of all berest;
For still, though they beloved are not,

This blessed faith is left.
“That when thy dream of life is o'er

Thou shalt embrace thy seven, More beautiful than earthly sons,

With our dear Lord in heaven!" Down on her knees the woman fell,

And " blessed be God," said she, “Who in my sorest need hath sent

This comforter to me!"

And in the deepest hush of night

Rude robbers entered in; And first they ate and drank, then rose

To do a deed of sin.

For with them was a feeble man,

Whom they had robbed, and they Here came to foully murder him,

And hide him from the day. Up from her bed sprang Marien,

With heavenly power endued ; And in her glorious innocence,

Stood 'mong the robbers rude. “Ye shall not take the life of man!"

Spake Marien low and sweet; “For this will God take strict account,

Before his judgment-seat!"

PART II.

Out from the cave the robbers fled,

For they believed there stood, A spirit stern and beautiful,

Not aught of flesh and blood.

And two from out the robber-band

Thenceforward did repent, And lived two humble Christian men,

On righteous deeds intent.

Now Marien in the woman's house Abode a little space,

And comfort to the mother came; And a dear daughter's place

Had Marien in the woman's heart,

Doing the while a daughter's part. But now 't was time that she must go;

For Marien's duty was not there, Now grief was past and woe was done; So, with the rising of the sun,

She rose up forth to fare. " Nay, bide with me," the woman said,

« Or, if as thou dost say, Duty forbids that this may be, I a day's journey go with thee,

To speed thee on the way." So forth the loving pair set out,

The woman and the child ; And first they crossed the desert heath,

And then the mountains wild. And in the woman's arms she lay,

That night within the forest hoar, And the next morn, with loving heart, They said farewell, as those who part

To meet on earth no more. Upon her way went Marien, From morn till set of day,

When from the cave the robber-band

Had fled, the aged man
Rose from the floor where he was laid,

And marvelling much, began. “ Who art thou, child ? and those few words

Of might which thou hast spoken,
What may they be? My foes have fled

And lo! my bonds are broken;
At thy few words my foes have fled,

My rigid bonds have broken !"
Then Maria 'gan to tell him how,

Through her God's power had wrought; And him from peril, nigh to death,

Thus wondrously had brought. She told him how holy Daniel's faith

The caged beasts disarmed ; How the three righteous children walked Through raging fire unharmed.

PART III.

She told how Peter, bound with chains,

Lay in the prison-ward, How God's good angel freed him straight, And the strong prison's iron gate

Oped of its own accord.

“God knows our wants," said Marien

“ And in our sorest need, Puts forth his arm to rescue us, For he is merciful, and thus

It is that thou art freed."

"Let us go hence !" the old man said,

And o'er the forest sod, They, hand in hand, with quiet steps,

Went forward praising God. Ere noontide, to a forest grange

They came, a sylvan place, Where trooped, no longer searing man,

The forest's native race, The white doo and the antlered slag,

And every beast of chase.

'Twas joy to see them drawing near

The old man as he came; And this he stroked, and that he called

By some familiar name.

'Twas joy unto the little child

This little pleasant place to see; “ This is my home," he said, " and here

Thou shalt abide with me."

“I have no child to be mine heir,

And I am growing old ;-
Thou shalt be heir of all my lands,

And heir of all my gold.
“Thou shalt be comfort to mine age,

And here within this wood, 'Mongst faithful, gentle things, shalt thou

Grow up to womanhood !"
There dwelt the lovely Marien,

Within the forest wild,
And she unto the lone old man

Was dearer than a child.

TAROUGH the wild wood went Marien,

For many a weary day;
Her food the forest-fruits, and on

The forest-turf she lay.
The wildern wood was skirted

By moorlands dry and brown;
And after them came Marien

Into a little town.
At entrance of the little town

A cross stood by the way,
A rude stone cross, and there she knelt

A little prayer to say.
Then on the stone-steps sate her down;

And soon beside her crept,
A pale child with a clasped book,

And all the while she wept. “Why weep you, child," asked Marien,

“What troubleth you so sore ?" At these words spoken tenderly,

The child wept more and more. " I have not heard," at length he said,

“ Kind words this many a year, My mother is dead - and my father

Is a hard man and severe. “I sit in corners of the house

Where none can see me weep; And in the quiet of the day

"Tis here I often creep. “The kid leaps by his mother's side,

The singing birds are glad : But when I play me in the sun,

My heart is ever sad.
" They say this blessèd book can heal

All trouble, and therefore
All day I keep it in my sight;
I lay it 'neath my head at night,
But it doth bring no cure to me:-
I know not what the cause may be,

For I of learning have no store !"
Thereat, like to a broken flower

The child drooped down his head;
Then Marien took the clasped book

And of the Saviour read.
She read of him the humble child

Of poverty and scorn;
How holy angels sang for him

The night that he was born.
How blessèd angels came from heaven

To hail that Christmas night,
And shepherd people with their flocks

Beheld the glorious sight.
Then read she how, a growing youth,

His parents he obeyed,
And served with unrepining will
St. Joseph at his trade.

There dwelt the lovely Marien

Yet not long dwelt she there ;
The old man died; and then came forth

A kinsman for the heir.
A lean and rugged man of pelf,

In wickedness grown old ;
From some vile city-den he came

And seized upon the gold;He slew the tamed forest-beasts,

The forest-grange he sold.
And with hard speeches, coarse and rude,

Away the child he sent :
Meek Marien answered not a word,

But through the forest went.

Then how he grew to man's estate

And wandered up and down,
Preaching upon the lone sea-side,

And in the busy town.
Of all his tenderness, his love,

Page after page she read;
How he made whole the sick, the maimed,

And how he raised the dead.
And how he loved the children small,

Even of low degree;
And how he blessed them o'er and o'er,

And set them on his knee.
When this the little child had heard

He spoke in accents low,
« Would that I had been one with them

To have been blessèd so!" “Thou shalt be blessed, gentle one!"

Said Marien kind and mild, “Christ, the Great Comforter, doth bless

Thee, even now, poor child!"
So conversed they of holy things

Until the closing day,
Then Marien and the little child

Rose up to go their way.
As to the town they came, they passed

An ancient church, and here
Let us go in!" the pale child said,

“For the organ pealeth over head, And that sweet strain of holy sound Like a heavenly vesture wraps me round,

And my heavy heart doth cheer.” So Marien and the little child

Into the church they stole; And many voices rich and soft Rose upward from the organ loft, And the majestic instrument Pealed to an anthem that was sent

To soothe a troubled soul.
Anon the voices died away,

The pealing organ ceased,
And through the church's ancient door

Passed chorister and priest.
And Marien and the little child

Went forward hand in hand Adown the chancel aisle, and then

At once they made a stand. Over the altar hung a piece

With holy influence fraught,
A work divine of wondrous skill

By some old painter wrought.
The gracious Saviour breathing love,

Was there like life expressed,
And round his knees the children small

Were thronging to be blessed.
Down dropped the child upon his knees,

And weeping, tenderly
Cried bless me also, poor and weak,

Or let me go to thee!"

Anon his little head dropped low,

And his white lips 'gan to say, “Oh kiss me gentle one, for now

Even I am called away -
The blessed mother's voice I hear,

It calleth me away!"
So died the child ; - and Marien laid

His meek arms on his breast,
With the clasped book between his hands :-

Thus God had given him rest!
And Marien, weeping holy tears,

Sate down beside the dead,
And slept that night within the church,

As in a kingly bed.
Scarce from the church had Marien passed,

When came the father there,
As was his wont, though fierce and bad,

To say a morning prayer.
Not seven paces had he gone,

When, heart-struck, he surveyed
Before his feet, that little child

In his dead beauty laid.
At once as by a lightning stroke

His softened soul was torn
With a deep sense of all the wrong

That little child had borne.
And then came back the timid voice

The footstep faint and low,
The many little arts to please,

The look of hopeless woe. And many a shuddering memory

or harsh rebuke and blow.
No prayer of self-approving words,

As was his wont, he said,
But humbled, weeping, self-condemned,

He stood before the dead.

PART IV.

Ten long days' travel Marien went,

O'er woodland and o'er wold, Teaching and preaching by the way,

Like Jesus Christ of old.
Sometimes within the Baron's hall

A lodging she would find,
And never went she from the door

But blessings staid behind;
Proud foes forgiven, revenge withheld,

And plenteous peace of mind. With shepherd people on the hills;

With toiling peasant men, She sate ; with women dwelling lone,

On mountain or in glen. By wayside wells she sate her down,

With pilgrims old and bent; Or, hand in hand, with children small, To the village school she went.

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Forth from the tent sped Marien;

And many a summer's day Throughout a blessed land of peace She journeyed on her way.

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