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THE INFANT'S DREAM.
Oh! cradle me on thy knee, mamma,
And sing me the holy strain
That soothed me last, as you fondly prest
And smile as you then did smile, mamma,
For I dream'd a heavenly dream, mamma,
I lived in a land where forms divine
In kingdoms of glory eternally shine,
And the world I'd give, if the world were mine,
Í fancied we roam'd in a wood, mamma,
My heart grew sick with fear, mamma,
And I loudly wept for thee;
But a white-rob'd maiden appear'd in the air, And she flung back the curls of her golden hair, And she kiss'd me softly ere I was aware, Saying "come pretty babe with me."
My tears and fears she beguiled, mamma,
And she led me far away;
We enter'd the door of the dark, dark tomb,
And heavenly forms were there, mamma,
They smiled when they saw me, but I was amaz'd,
But soon came a shining throng, mamma,
Then I mixed with the heavenly throng, mamma, With cherub and seraphim fair;
And saw as I roam'd the regions of peace,
The spirits which came from this world of distress;
Do you mind when sister Jane, mamma,
Lay dead, a short time agone?
Oh! you gaz'd on the sad, but lovely wreck,
But it lov'd, and you still sobbed on!
And seen what I saw, you ne'er had cried, Though they buried pretty Jane in the grave when she died,
For shining with the blest, and adorn'd like a bride, Sweet sister Jane was there.
Do you mind that silly old man, mamma,
Who came very late to our door,
And the night was dark, and the tempest loud,
And think what a weight of wo, mamma,
As the good man sat on papa's old chair,
Ran down from his glazing eye.
And think what a heavenly look, mamma,
As he told how he went to the baron's strong hold,
Well, he was in glory too, mamma,
As happy as the blest can be ;
He needed no alms in the mansions of light,
Now sing, for I fain would sleep mamma,
For sound was my slumber, and sweet was my rest,
Can love this world no more.
"There is a comfort in the strength of love; "Twill make a thing endurable, which else
I Would overset the brain or break the beart." WORDSWORTH.
VOICES OF THE TRUE HEARTED.
BY JOHN G. WHITTIER.
"A beautiful form is better than a beautiful face; a beautiful behavior is better than a beautiful form; it gives a higher pleasure than statues or pictures; it is the finest of the fine arts."-Emerson's Essays, Second Series, iv. p. 162.
A few days since, I was walking with a friend, who, unfortunately for himself, seldom meets with any thing in the world of realities worthy of com. parison with the ideal of his fancy, which, like the bird in the Arabian tale, glides perpetually before him, always near, yet never overtaken.
I felt my
arm suddenly pressed. Did you see that lady,
Just as if there were any standard of beauty,— fixed, arbitrary model of form and feature, and color! The beauty which my friend seemed in search of, was that of proportion and coloring; mechanical exactness; a due combination of soft curves, and obtuse angles, of warm carnation, and marble purity! Such a man, for aught I can see, might love a graven image, like the girl of Florence, who pined into a shadow for the Apollo Belvidere, looking coldly on her with his stony eyes, from his niche in the Vatican. One thing is certain; he will never find his faultless piece of artistical perfection, by searching for it amidst flesh and blood realities. Nature does not, as far as I can perceive, work with square and compass, or lay on her colors by the rules of royal artists, or the dunces of the academies. She eschews regular outlines. She does not shape her forms by a common model. Not one of Eve's numerous progeny in all respects resembles her who first culled the flowers of Eden. It is in the infinite variety and picturesque inequality of Nature, that her great charm and uncloying beauty consists. Look at her primitive
woods-scattered trees with moist sward and bright mosses at their roots-great clumps of green shadow, where limb entwists with limb, and the rustle of one leaf stirs a hundred others-stretching up steep hill-sides, flooding with green beauty the valleys, or arching over with leaves the sharp ravines,— every tree and shrub unlike its neighbor in size and proportion-the old and storm-broken leaning on the young and vigorous-intricate and confused, without order or method! Who would exchange this for artificial French gardens, where every tree stands stiff and regular, clipped and trimmed into unvarying conformity, like so many grenadiers under review? Who wants eternal sunshine or shadow? Who would fix for ever the loveliest cloud-work of an autumn sunset; or hang over him an everlasting moonlight? If the stream had no quiet eddying place, could we so admire its cascade over the rocks? Were there no clouds, could we so hail the sky shining through them in its still, calm purity? Who shall venture to ask our kind Mother Nature to remove from our sight any one of her forms or colors? Who shall decide which is beautiful, or otherwise,
in itself considered?
There are too many like my fastidious friend, who go through the world «from Dan to Beersheeba, finding all barren"—who have always some fault or other to find with Nature and Providence, seeming to consider themselves especially ill-used because the one does not always coincide with their taste, nor the other with their narrow notions of personal convenience. In one of his early poems, Coleridge has beautifully expressed a truth, which is not the less important because it is not generally admitted. I have not in my mind at this moment the entire passage, but the idea is briefly this: that the mind gives to all things their coloring, their gloom or gladness; that the pleasure we derive from external Nature is primarily from ourselves :
"From the mind itself must issue forth A light, a glory, a fair luminous mist, Enveloping the earth."
The real difficulty of these life-long hunters after the Beautiful, exists in their own spirits. They set up certain models of perfection in their imaginations, and then go about the world in the vain expectation of finding them actually wrought out according to pattern; very unreasonably calculating that nature will suspend her everlasting laws for the purpose of creating faultless prodigies for their espe cial gratification.
men of Lapland, who wrapped him in their furs, and ministered to his necessities with kindness and gentle words of compassion. Lovely to the home
The authors of "Gaities and Gravities," give it | winter, seemed the diminutive, smoke-stained woas their opinion, that no object of sight is regarded by us as a simple, disconnected form, but that an instantaneous reflection as to its history, purpose, or associations, converts it into a concrete one-a pro-sick heart of Park seemed the dark maids of Sego, cess, they shrewdly remark, which no thinking being can prevent, and which can only be avoided by the unmeaning and stolid stare of "a goose on the common, or a cow on the green." The senses and the faculties of the understanding are so blended with, and dependent upon, each other, that not one of them can exercise its office alone, and without the modification of some extrinsic interference or suggestion. Grateful or unpleasant associations cluster around all which sense takes cognizance of the beauty which we discern in an external object is often but the reflection of our own minds.
as they sung their low and simple song of welcome beside his bed, and sought to comfort the white stranger, who had no mother to bring him milk, and no wife to grind him corn." O! talk as we may, of beauty as a thing to be chiselled from marble or wrought out on canvass,-speculate as we may upon its colors and outlines, what is it but an intellectual abstraction, after all? The heart feels a beauty of another kind;-looking through the outward environment, it discovers a deeper and more real loveliness,
This was well understood by the old painters. In their pictures of Mary, the Virgin Mother, the beauty which melts and subdues the gazer, is that of the soul and the affections-uniting the awe and myste
What is Beauty, after all? Ask the lover, who kneels in homage to one who has no attractions for others. The cold on-looker wonders that he can call that unclassic combination of features, and that awk-ry of that mother's miraculous allotment with the ward form, beautiful. Yet so it is. He sees, like Desdemona, her visage in her mind," or her affections. A light from within shines through the ex ternal uncomelinesss, softens, irradiates and glorifies That which to others seems common-place and unworthy of note, is to him, in the words of Spenser,
irrepressible love, the unutterable tenderness of young maternity-Heaven's crowning miracle with Nature's holiest and sweetest instinct. And their pale Magdalens, holy with the look of sins forgiven, how the divine beauty of their penitence sinks into the heart? Do we not feel that the only real deformity is sin, and that goodness evermore hallows and sanctifies its dwelling place? When the soul is at rest. when the passions and desires are all attuned to the divine harmony,—
Spirits moving musically
To a lute's well ordered law,"
The lineaments of Gospel books." "Handsome is that handsome does-hold up your heads, girls!" was the language of Primrose in the play, when addressing her daughters. The worthy matron was right. Would that all my female readers, who are sorrowing foolishly because they are not in all respects like Dubufe's Eve, or that Statue of the Venus," which enchants the world," could be persuaded to listen to her. What is good looking, as Horace Smith remarks, but looking good? Be good, be womanly, be gentle-generous in your sympathies, heedful of the well-being of all around you, and my word for it, you will not lack kind words of admiration. Loving and pleasant associations will gather about you. tion which your glass may give you. That mirror has no heart. But quite another picture is yours Quite the ugliest face I ever saw was that of a on the retina of human sympathy. There the beau. woman whom the world calls beautiful. Through ty of holiness, of purity, of that inward grace "which its "silver veil" the evil and ungentle passions lookpasseth show," rests over it, softening and mellow-ed out, hideous and hateful, On the other hand, ing its features, just as the full, calm moonlight melts those of a rough landscape into harmonious lovelinesss. "Hold up your heads, girls!" I repeat after Primrose. Why should you not?-Every mother's daughter of you can be beautiful. You can envelope yourselves in an atmosphere of moral and intellectual beauty, through which your otherwise plain faces will look forth like those of angels. Beautiful to Ledyard, stiffening in the cold of a Northern
do we not read the placid significance thereof in the human countenance ? "I have seen," said Charles Lamb, "faces upon which the dove of peace sat brooding." In that simple and beautiful record of a holy life, the Journal of John Woolman, there is a passage of which I have been more than once reminded in my intercourse with my fellow beings :— "Some glances of real beauty may be seen in their faces, who dwell in true meekness. There is a harNever mind the ugly reflec-mony in the sound of that voice to which divine love gives utterance."
there are faces which the multitude at the first glance pronounce homely, unattractive, and such as "nature fashions by the gross," which I always recognize with a warm heart-thrill; not for the world would I have one feature changed; they please me as they are; they are hallowed by kind memories; they are beautiful through their associations; nor are they any the less welcome, that with my admiration of them, "the stranger intermeddleth not."
A CHRISTMAS HYMN.
BY ALFRED DOMMETT.
It was the calm and silent night!
Seven hundred years and fifty-three Had Rome been growing up to might,
And now was queen of land and sea. No sound was heard of clashing wars,Peace brooded o'er the hushed domain : Apollo, Pallas, Jove, and Mars
Held undisturbed their ancient reign,
"T was in the calm and silent night, The senator of haughty Rome Impatient urged his chariot's flight,
From lordly revel rolling home: Triumphal arches gleaming swell
His breast with thoughts of boundless sway; What recked the Roman what befell
A paltry province far away,
Within that province far away,
A streak of light before him lay,
Fallen through a half-shut stable-door Across his path. He passed,-for naught Told what was going on within; How keen the stars, his only thought,The air, how calm, and cold, and thin, In the solemn midnight, Centuries ago!
O, strange indifference! low and high
Drowsed over common joys and cares; The earth was still,-but knew not why The world was listening,-unawares. How calm a moment may precede
One that shall thrill the world for ever! To that still moment, none would heed, Man's doom was linked no more to sever, In the solemn midnight, Centuries ago.
It is the calm and solemn night!
A thousand bells ring out, and throw Their joyous peals abroad, and smite
The darkness, charmed and holy now! The night that erst no shame had worn, To it a happy name is given; For in that stable lay, new-born,
The peaceful prince of earth and heaven, In the solemn midnight,
THE GOOD PART THAT SHALL NOT BE TAKEN AWAY.
BY HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.
She dwells by Great Kenhawa's side,
In valleys green and cool; And all her hopes and all her pride
Are in the village school.
Her soul, like the transparent air That robes the hills above, Though not of earth, encircles there All things with arms of love.
And thus she walks among her girls
She reads to them at eventide,
And oft the blessed time foretells When all men shall be free; And musical, as silver bells,
Their falling chains shall be.
And following her beloved Lord,
In decent poverty,
She makes her life one sweet record
For she was rich, and gave up all
Of those who waited in her hall,
Long since, beyond the Southern Sea
Now earns her daily bread.
It is their prayers, which never cease, That clothe her with such grace; Their blessing is the light of peace That shines upon her face.
So should we live, that every hour
That every thought, and every deed,
Esteeming sorrow,-whose employ
Far better than a barren joy. R. M. MILNES.
NOT ON THE BATTLE FIELD.
BY JOHN PIERPONT.
"To fall on the battle field, fighting for my dear countrythat would not be hard.-MS. in Miss Bremier's "Neighbors."
O, no, no,-let me lie
Not on a field of battle, when I die!
Let not the iron tread
Of the mad war-horse crush my helmed head, Nor let the reeking knife,
That I have drawn against a brother'slife,
Be in my hand, when death
Thunders along, and tramples me beneath
Or gory felloes of his cannon's wheels.
From such a dying bed,
Though o'er it float the stripes of white and red,
And the bald Eagle brings
The clustered stars upon his wide-spread wings, To sparkle in my sight,
O, never let my spirit take her flight.
I know that beauty's eye
Is all the brighter where gay penants fly,
And sunshine flashes on the lifted lance :-
And people shouted, till the welkin rung,
Who on the battle-field have found a grave;-
Have grateful hands piled monumental stones.
Some of these piles I've seen :The one at Lexington, upon the green,
Where the first blood was shed, That to my country's independence led; And others, on our shore,
"The battle monument," at Baltimore, And that on Bunker's Hill,
Aye, and abroad, a few more famous still :
That issue from the gulf of Salamis :-
The mound of earth, Patroclus, robed in green, 'That, like a natural knoll,
Sheep climb and nibble over, as they stroll,
Such honors grace the bed,
Jknow, whereon the warrior lays his head,
And hears, as life ebbs out,
The conquered flying, and the conqueror's shout.
What is a column, or a mound, to him?
The mellow notes of bugles? What the roll
Of drums? No-let me die
Where the blue heaven bends o'er me lovingly,
As it goes by me, stirs my thin, white hair,
The death-damp, as it gathers, and the skies
My soul to their clear depths! Or, let me leave
And holy hymning shall my soul prepare
With kindred spirits-spirits who have blessed
By labors, cares, and counsels for their good.
And in my dying hour,
When riches, fame, and honor, have no power
Or from my lips to turn aside the cup,
O, let me draw refreshment from the past!
With peace and joy, along my earthly track,
That I have scattered there, in virtuous deeds,
And, though no grassy mound
Or granite pile, say 'tis heroic ground,
Still will I hope-vain hope, perhaps !-that those
The wanderer reclaimed, the fatherless,
May stand around my grave,
With the poor prisoner, and the poorer slave,And breathe an humble prayer,
That they may die like him, whose bones are mouldering there.
BY WILLIAM W. STORY.
Be of good cheer, ye firm and dauntless few,
With the great harmony, beyond all time!