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But the young, young children, O my brothers! They are weeping bitterly!
They are weeping in the play-time of the others, In the country of the free.
Leave us quiet in the dark of our coal-shadows From your pleasures fair and fine.
"For, oh!" say the children, "we are weary, And we cannot run or leap:
Do you question the young children in their sorrow, If we cared for any meadows, it were merely
Why their tears are falling so?
The old man may weep for his to-morrow,
Which is lost in long ago,
The old tree is leafless in the forest,
The old year is ending in the frost,
The old wound, if stricken, is the sorest,
The old hope is hardest to be lost!
They look up with their pale and sunken faces,
For the Man's grief untimely draws and presses
"Your old Earth," they say, "is very dreary! Our young feet," they say, "are very weak! Few paces have we taken, yet are weary
Our grave-rest is very far to seek ! Ask the old why they weep, and not the children, For the outside earth is cold,
And we young ones stand without, in our bewild'ring, And the graves are for the old.
"True," say the children," it may happen
"That we may die before our time! Little Alice died last year,-the grave is shapen Like a snowball, in the rime.
We looked into the pit prepared to take her,
Was no room for any work in the close clay! From the sleep wherein she lieth none will wake her,
Crying-Get up, little Alice, it is day!"
If you listen by that grave in sun and shower,
With your ear down, little Alice never cries; Could we see her face, be sure we should not know her,
For the new smile which has grown within her
For merry go her moments, lulled and stilled in
The shroud, by the kirk chime!
"It is good when it happens," say the children, "That we die before our time!"
Alas, the young children! they are seeking
They are binding up their hearts away from breaking,
Go out, children, from the mine and from the city, Sing out, children, as the little thrushes do! Pluck your handfulls of the meadow cowslips pretty,
Laugh aloud to feel your fingers let them through! But the children say, " Are cowslips of the meadows Like the weeds anear the mine?
To drop down in them and sleep.
Our knees tremble sorely in the stooping,
We fall on our face trying to go;
And underneath our heavy eyelids drooping,
The reddest flower would look as pale as snow;
For all day, we drag our burden tiring,
Through the coal-dark underground,
All day long the wheels are droning, turning,
Till our hearts turn, and our heads with pulses burning,
And the walls turn in their places! Turns the sky in the high window blank and reeling, Turns the long light that droopeth down the wall, Turn the black flies that crawl along the ceiling,
All are turning all the day, and we with all! All day long, the iron wheels are droning,
And sometimes we could pray, "O, ye wheels, (breaking off in a mad moaning,) Stop! be silent for to-day!"
Ay, be silent! let them hear each other breathing, For a moment, mouth to mouth;
Let them touch each other's hands, in a fresh wreathing,
Of their tender human youth;
Let them feel that this cold metallic motion,
Is not all the life God giveth them to feel; Let them prove their inward souls against the notion That they live in you, or under you, O wheel! Still, all day, the iron wheels go onward,
As if fate in each were stark! And the children's souls, which God is calling sunward,
Spin on blindly in the dark.
Now tell the weary children, O my brothers!
For the blessed One who blesseth all the others,
They answer-Who is God, that He should hear us,
Pass unhearing-at least, answer not a word; And we hear not (for the wheels in their resounding) Strangers speaking at the door.
Is it likely God with angels singing round Him,
"Two words, indeed, of praying we remember; And at midnight's hour of harm,
Our Father! looking upward in our chamber,
We say softly for a charm.*
We say no other words except Our Father!
And we think that, in some pause of angel's song, He may pluck them with the silence sweet to gather. And hold both in his right hand, which is strong. Our Father! If He heard us, He would surely
(For they call him good and mild) Answer, (smiling down the steep world very purely,) Come and rest with me, my child.'"
"But no," say the children, weeping faster,
"Go to," say the children; up in Heaven,
Dark, wheel-like, turning clouds are all we find! Do not mock us! we are atheists in our grieving, We look up to Him, but tears have made us blind!"
Do you hear the children weeping and disproving, O my brothers, what ye teach?
INSTINCT OF CHILDHOOD.
BY JOHN NEAL.
A beautiful child stood near a large open window. The window was completely overshadowed by wild grape and blossoming honey-suckle, and the drooping branches of a prodigious elm-the largest and handsomest you ever saw. The child was leaning forward with half-open mouth and thoughtful eyes, looking into the firmament of green leaves forever at play, that appeared to overhang the whole neighborhood; and her loose, bright hair, as it broke away in the cheerful morning wind, glittered like stray sunshine among the branches and blossoms.
Just underneath her feet, and almost within reach of her little hand, swung a large and prettily covered bird cage, all open to the sky! The broad plentiful grape leaves lay upon it in heaps-the morning wind blew pleasantly through it, making the very music that birds and children love best—and the delicate branches of the drooping elm swept over it—and the glow of blossoming herbage round about fell with a sort of shadowy lustre upon the
For God's possible is taught by His world's loving, basin of bright water, and the floor of glittering
And the children doubt of each!
And well may the children weep before ye,
They are weary ere they run!
They have never seen the sunshine, nor the glory
Which is brighter than the sun!
They know the grief of men, but not the wisdom,
Are martyrs by the pang, without the palm!
Are orphans of the earthly love and heavenly-
They look up, with their pale and sunken faces,
For you think you see their angels in their places,
"How long," they say, " how long, O cruel nation! Will you stand, to move the world, on a child's heart?
Trample down with mailed heel its palpitation,
And tread onward to your throne amid the mart? Our blood splashes upward, O our tyrants!
And your purple shows your path,
The report of the commissioners present repeated instances of children, whose religious devotion is confined to the repetition of the two first words of the Lord's Prayer,
"A spirit of pure and intense humanity, a spirit of love and kindness, to which nothing is too large, for which nothing is too small, will always be its own" exceeding great reward."
sand within the cage.
"Well, if ever!" said the child; and then she stooped and pulled away the trailing branches and looked into the cage; and then her lips began to tremble, and her soft eyes filled with tears.
Within the cage was the mother bird, fluttering and whistling-not cheerfully, but mournfully-and beating herself to death against the delicate wires; and three little bits of birds watching her, openmouthed, and trying to follow her from perch to perch, as she opened and shut her golden wings, like sudden flashes of sunshine, and darted hither and thither, as if hunted by some invisible thing—or a a cat foraging in the shrubbery.
There, now! there you go again! you foolish thing, you! Why what is the matter? I should be ashamed of myself! I should so! Hav'nt we bought the prettiest cage in the world for you? Hav'nt you had enough to eat, and the best that could be had for love or money-sponge cake-loaf sugar, and all sorts of seeds? Didn't father put up a nest with his own hands; and havn't I watched over you? you ungrateful little thing! till the eggs they put there had all turned to birds, no bigger than grasshoppers, and so noisy-ah, you can't think! Just look at the beautiful clear water there-and the clean white sand-where do you think you could find such water as that, or such a pretty glass dish, or such beautiful bright sand, if we were to take you at your word, and let you out, with that little nest full of young ones, to shift for yourselves, hey ?"
The door opened, and a tall benevolent looking man stepped up to her side.
The father looked down among the grass and shrubbery, and up into the top branches, and then into the cage-the countenance of the poor little girl growing more and more perplexed and more sorrowful every moment.
"But father-dear father!" laying her little hand on the spring of the cage door, "dear father! would you? ?"
"And why not, my dear child?" and the father's eyes filled with tears, and he stooped down and "Well, father-what is it? does it see any kissed the bright face upturned to his, and glowing thing?" as if illuminated with inward sunshine.
"No my love, nothing to frighten her; but where not ?" is the father bird?"
"He's in the other cage. He made such a to-do when the birds began to chipper this morning, that I was obliged to let him out; and brother Bobby, he frightened him into the cage and carried him off." "Was that right, my love?"
"I was only thinking, father, if I should let them out, who will feed them?"
"Who feeds the young ravens, dear? Who feeds the ten thousand little birds that are flying about us
"True, father; but they have never been impri"Why not, father? He would'nt be quiet, you soned, you know, and have already learned to take know; and what was I to do ?" care of themselves."
"But, Moggy, dear, these little birds may want their father to help to feed them; the poor mother bird may want him to take care of them, or sing to her ?
Or, perhaps, to show them how to fly, father?" Yes, dear. And to separate them just nowhow would you like to have me carried off, and put into another house, leaving nothing at home but your mother to watch over you and the rest of my little birds ?"
The child grew more thoughtful. She looked up into her father's face, and appeared as if more than half disposed to ask a question, which might be a little out of place; but she forbore, and after musing a few moments, went back to the original subject:
"But father, what can be the matter with the poor thing? you see how she keeps flying about, and the little ones trying to follow her, and tumbling upon their noses, and toddling about as if they were tipsy, and could'nt see straight."
"I am afraid she is getting discontented." "Discontented! How can that be, father? Has'nt she her little ones about her, and every thing on earth she can wish, and then, you know, she never used to be so before."
The father looked up and smiled.
Worthy of profound consideration, my dear; I admit your plea; but have a care lest you overrate the danger and the difficulty, in your unwillingness to part with your beautiful little birds."
"Father!" and the little hand pressed upon the spring, and the door flew open-wide open!
"Stay, my child! What you do must he done thoughtfully, conscientiously, so that you may be satisfied with yourself, hereafter, and allow me to hear all your objections."
"I was thinking, father, about the cold rains, and the long winters, and how the poor little birds that have been so long confined would never be able to find a place to sleep in, or water to wash in, or seeds for their little ones."
"In our climate, my love, the winters are very short; and the rainy season itself does not drive the birds away; and then, you know, birds always fol. low the sun; if our climate is too cold for them, they have only to go farther south. But in a word, my love, you are to do as you would be done by. As you would not like to have me separated from your mother and you; as you would not like to be imprisoned for life, though your cage were crammed with loaf sugar and sponge cake-as you-”
"That'll do father! that's enough! Brother Bobby hither Bobby! bring the little cage with you; there's a dear !"
"When her mate was with her, perhaps." "Yes, father; and yet now I think of it, the moment these little witches began to peep-peep, and tumble about so funny, the father and mother began to fly about in the cage, as if they were crazy. What can be the reason? The water, you see, is cool and clear; the sand bright; they are out in the open air, with all the green leaves blowing about them; their cage has been scoured with soap and sand; the fountain filled; and the seed box-and-among the bright green leaves. The children clapand-I declare I cannot think what ails them."
Brother Bobby sang out in reply; and after a moment or two of anxious inquiry, appeared at the window with a little cage. The prison doors were opened: the father bird escaped; the mother bird immediately followed, with a cry of joy; and then came back and tolled her little ones forth
ped their hands in an ecstacy, and the father fell upon their necks and kissed them; and the mother, who sat by, sobbed over them both for a a whole hour, as if her heart would break; and told her neighbors with tears in her eyes.
"The ungrateful hussy! What! after all that we
have done for her; giving her the best room that we could spare; feeding her from our own table; clothing her from our own wardrobe; giving her the handsomest and shrewdest fellow for a husband within twenty miles of us; allowing them to live together till a child is born; and now, because we have thought proper to send him away for a while, where he may earn his keep-now, forsooth! we are to find my lady discontent with her situation!"
"Ay, discontented-that's the word-actually dissatisfied with her condition! the jade! with the best of every thing to make her happy-comforts and luxuries she could never dream of obtaining if she were free to-morrow-and always contented; never presuming to be discontented till now."
"And what does she complain of father?"
Why, my dear child, the unreasonable thing complains just because we have sent her husband away to the other plantation for a few months; he was idle here, and might have grown discontented, too, if we had not picked him off. And then, instead of being happier, and more thankful-more thankful to her heavenly Father, for the gift of a man child, Martha tells me that she found her crying over it, calling it a little slave, and wished the Lord would take it away from her-the ungrateful wench! when the death of that child would be two hundred dollars out of my pocket-every cent of it!"
"After all we have done for her too!" sighed the mother.
"I declare I have no patience with the jade!" continued the father.
"Be quiet, Moggy? don't teaze me now."
But, father!" and, as she spoke, the child ran up to her father and drew him to the window, and threw back her sun-shiny tresses, and looked up into his eyes with the face of an angel, and pointed to the cage as it still hung at the window, with the door wide open!
The father understood her, and colored to the eyes; and then, as if half ashamed of the weakness, bent over and kissed her forehead-smoothed down her silky hair-and told her she was a child now, and must not talk about such matters till she had grown older.
"Why not, father?"
"Why not? Why bless your little heart! Suppose I were silly enough to open my doors and turn her adrift, with her child at her breast, what would become of her? Who would take care of her? who feed her?"
"Who feeds the ravens, father? Who takes care of all the white mothers, and all the white babes we see?" "Yes, child—but then-I know what you are think. ing of; but then-there's a mighty difference, let me tell you, between a slave mother and a white mother -between a slave child and a white child."
"Don't interrupt me. You drive every thing out of my head. What was I going to say? Oh! ah! that in our long winters and cold rains, these poor things who have been hrought up in our houses, and who know nothing about the anxieties of life, and have never learned to take care of themselvs-anda-"
"Yes, falher; but could't they follow the sun, too? or go further south ?"
"And why not be happy here?"
"But, father-dear father! How can they teach their little ones to fly in a cage ?"
Child, you are getting troublesome!" "And how teach their young to provide for themselves, father?"
Wearing no friend-like smile
When thine heart is not within, Making no truce with fraud or guile, No compromise with sin.
Open of eye and speech,
Open of heart and hand, Holding thine own but as in trust For thy great brother-band. Patient and stout to bear,
Yet bearing not for ever; Gentle to rule, and slow to bind, Like lightning to deliver!
True to thy fatherland,
True to thine own true love;
For faith sincere as thine,
Remembering Him who spake
I bar thee not from faultsGod wot it were in vain! Inalienable heritage
Since that primeval stain!
The wisest have been fools
The surest stumbled sore:
This do, and thou shalt knit
Closely my heart to thine; Next the dear love of God above, Such friend on earth, be mine!
THE FACTORY GIRLS OF LOWELL.
BY JOHN G. WHITTIER.
Acres of girlhood - beauty reckoned by the square rod, or miles by long measure!-The young, the graceful, the gay-flowers gathered from a thousand hill-sides and green vallies of New Englandfair, unveiled Nuns of Industry-Sisters of Thrift,and are ye not also Sisters of Charity, dispensing comfort and hope and happiness around many a hearthstone of your native hills, making sad faces cheerful and hallowing age and poverty with the sunshine of your youth and love!-Who shall sneer at your calling? Who shall count your vocation otherwise than noble and ennobling?
World. The slaveholder dragging his languid frame from the rice-region and the sugar-plantation, full of contempt for the laborer, and bitter in his scorn of Yankee meanness, has been awed into reverence for Industry in the presence of the working-women of Lowell; and, painfully contrasting the unpaid and whip-driven labor of his plantation, with the free and happy thrift of the North, he has returned home, "A sadder but a wiser man,"
feeling from henceforth that woman may labor with her hands," and lose nothing of the charm and glory of womanhood by so doing-that it is only his own dreadful abuse of labor, attempting to reverse its just and holy laws, and substitute brutal compulsion for generous and undegrading motives, that has made the women of his plantation mere beasts of burden, or objects of unholy lust, cursing alike themselves and their oppressors.
Thus is it, that our thousands of "Factory Girls," become apostles of Democracy, and teachers of the great truth, which even John C. Calhoun, slaveholder as he is, felt constrained to recognize in his controversy with Webster: "The laborer has a title to the fruits of his industry against the universe." They demonstrate the economy of free and paid labor.— They dignify woman, by proving that she can place herself in independent circumstances, without derogating from the modesty and decorum of her character :-that she can blend the useful with the beauti
expensive burthen upon the other sex-its plaything and its encumbrance--she is capable of becoming a help-mete and a blesssing.
Yet, I do not overlook the trials and disadvantages of their position. Not without a struggle have many of these females left the old paternal home-stead, and the companions of their childhood. Not as a matter of taste and self-gratification have many of them exchanged the free breezes, and green mead. ows, and household duties, of the country, for the close, hot city, and the jar and whirl of these crowd
Four years ago, in a hasty visit to Lowell I was, at the Boott Corporation in company with JOSEPH STURGE, of Birmingham, the calm, devoted leader of the Democracy of England, and my friend Lt. Ren-ful, and that, instead of casting herself, as a fair but shaw, of South Carolina, and more recently a missionary in Jamaica, among the newly emancipated blacks of that Island. As the bell was ringing, and the crowd of well-dressed, animated and intelligentlooking young women passed by us on their way to their lodgings, the philanthropic Englishman could not repress his emotions at the strong contrast they presented to the degraded and oppressed workingwomen of his own country; and the spectacle, I doubt not, confirmed and strengtheend his determination to consecrate his time, wealth, and honorable reputation, to the cause of the laborer, at home.-ed and noisy mills. In the midst of the dizzy rush My friend Renshaw, who was banished from his of machinery, they can hear in fancy the ripple of mother's fireside, and his father's grave, for the cause brooks, the low of cattle, the familiar sound of the of abolitionism, deeply impressed with the beauty voices of home. Nor am I one of those who count of Freedom, and hope-stimulated industry, exclaim-steady, daily toil, consuming the golden hours of the ed-Would to God my mother could see this!" At home, he had seen the poor working-women of the South driven by the whip to their daily tasks; here with gaiety and hope, and buoyant gracefulness, he saw the women of New England pass from their labors, making industry beautiful, and throwing the charm of romance and refinement over the dull monotony of their self-alloted tasks. Not in vain then, are the lessons of Free Labor taught by the « Factory Girls." The foreign traveller has repeated them in aristocratic England, in Germany, in France, and Prussia-and thus have the seeds of democratic truth been sown in the waste places of the Old
day, and leaving only the night for recreation, study and rest, as in itself a pleasurable matter. There have been a good many foolish essays written upon the beauty and divinity of labor by those who have never known what it really is to earn one's livelihood by the sweat of the brow-who have never, from year to year, bent over the bench or loom, shut out from the blue skies, the green grass, and sweet waters, and felt the head reel, and the heart faint, and the limbs tremble with the exhaustion of unremitted toil. Let such be silent. Their sentimentalism is a weariness to the worker. Let not her who sits daintily with her flowers, "herself the fairest,"