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THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS.

THERE is a Reaper, whose name is Death,

And, with his sickle keen,
He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,

And the flowers that grow between.

“Shall I have nought that is fair?” saith he;

“ Have nought but the bearded grain ! Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,

I will give them all back again.”

He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes,

He kissed their drooping leaves ; It was for the Lord of Paradise

He bound them in his sheaves.

“My Lord hath need of these flowerets gay,”

The Reaper said and smiled; “Dear tokens of the earth are they,

Where he was once a child.

They shall all bloom in fields of light,

Transplanted by my care,
And saints upon their garments white,

These sacred blossoms wear.”

And the mother gave in tears and pain,

The flowers she most did love;
She knew she should find them all again

In the fields of light above.

O, not in cruelty, not in wrath,

The Reaper came that day; 'Twas an angel visited the green earth, And took the flowers away.

LONGFELLOW.

THE SILENT LAND.

FROM THE GERMAN OF SALIS.

INTO the Silent Land !
Ah! who shall lead us thither?
Clouds in the evening sky more darkly gather,
And shattered wrecks lie thicker on the strand;
Who leads us with a gentle hand,
Thither, O thither,
Into the Silent Land :

Into the Silent Land!
To you, ye boundless regions
Of all perfection! tender morning visions
Of beauteous souls ! Eternity's own band !
Who in life's battle firm doth stand,
Shall bear hope's tender blossoms
Into the Silent Land!

O Land! O land!
For all the broken-hearted
The mildest herald by our fate allotted,
Beckons, and with inverted torch doth stand,
To lead us with a gentle hand
Into the land of the great departed,
Into the Silent Land !

LONGFELLOW. THE SLAVE'S DREAM.

BESIDE the ungathered rice he lay,

His sickle in his hand;
His breast was bare, his matted hair

Was buried in the sand.
Again, in the mist and shadow of sleep,

He saw his Native Land.

Wide through the landscape of his dreams

The lordly Niger flowed: Beneath the palm-trees on the plain

Once more a king he strode; And heard the tinkling caravans

Descend the mountain-road.

He saw once more his dark-eyed queen

Among her children stand;
They clasped his neck, they kissed his cheeks,

They held him by the hand!
A tear burst from the sleeper's lids,

And fell into the sand.

And then at furious speed he rode

Along the Niger's bank;
His bridle-reins were golden chains,

And, with a martial clank,
At each leap he could feel his scabbard of steel

Smiting his stallion's flank.

Before him, like a blood-red flag,

The bright flamingoes flew;

From morn till night he followed their flight,

O’er plains where the tamarind grew, Till he saw the roof of Caffre huts,

And the ocean rose to view.

At night he heard the lion roar,

And the hyena scream,
And the river-horse, as he crushed the reeds

Beside some hidden stream;
And it passed, like a glorious roll of drums,

Through the triumph of his dream.

The forests, with their myriad tongues,

Shouted of liberty;
And the blast of the desert cried aloud,

With a voice so wild and free,
That he started in his sleep and smiled

At their tempestuous glee.

He did not feel the driver's whip,

Nor the burning heat of day;
For death had illumined the land oi sleep,

And his lifeless body lay
A worn-out fetter, that the soul
Had broken and thrown away.

LONGFELLOW. THE CHRISTIAN SLAVE.*

A CHRISTIAN! going, gone!
Who bids for God's own image ?—for His grace
Which that poor victim of the market-place

Hath in her suffering won ?

My God! can such things be! Hast Thou not said that whatsoe'er is done Unto Thy weaker and Thy humblest one,

Is even done to Thee?

In that sad victim, then,
Child of Thy pitying love, I see Thee stand-
Once more the jest-word of a mocking hand,

Bound, sold, and scourged again!

A Christian up for sale! Wet with her blood your whips-o'ertask her frame, Make her life loathsome with your wrong and shame,

Her patience shall not fail!

A heathen hand might deal
Back on your heads the gathered wrong of years,
But her low broken prayer and nightly tears,

Ye neither heed nor feel.

Con well thy lesson o'er,
Thou prudent teacher-tell the toiling slave,

* In a late publication of L. F. Tasistro, “Random Shots and Southern Breezes," is a description of a slave auction at New Orleans, at which the auctioneer recommended the woman on the stand as “a good Christian."

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