« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Up the stairs of the garret softly the son of the mistress stepped, Leaned over the head-board, covering his face with his hands, and wept.
Out spake the mother, who watched him sharply, with brow a-frown : 'What! love you the Papist, the beggar, the charge of the town?' 'Be she Papist or beggar who lies here, I know, and God knows, I love her, and fain would go with her wherever she goes!
'O mother! that sweet face came pleading, for love so athirst: You saw but the town-charge; I knew her God's angel at first.' Shaking her gray head, the mistress hushed down a bitter cry; And, awed by the silence and shadow of death drawing nigh,
She murmured a psalm of the Bible; but closer the young girl pressed,
With the last of her life in her fingers, the cross to her breast.
'My son, come away,' cried the mother, her voice cruel grown. 'She is joined to her idols, like Ephraim; let her alone!'
But he knelt with his hand on her forehead, his lips to her ear, And he called back the soul that was passing: Marguerite, do you hear?'
She paused on the threshold of heaven; love, pity, surprise,
With his heart on his lips he kissed her, but never her cheek grew red,
And the words the living long for he spake in the ear of the dead.
And the robins sang in the orchard, where buds to blossoms
Of the folded hands and the still face never the robins knew!
THE BABY'S KISS: AN INCIDENT OF THE CIVIL WAR.
G. R. EMERSON.
Rough and ready the troopers ride,
Pistol in holster and sword by side;
They have ridden long, they have ridden hard,
The hard ground shakes with their martial tramp,
They reach a spot where a mother stands
Laughing aloud at the gallant sight
Of the mounted soldiers fresh from the fight.
'My darling's kisses cannot be sold,
'Not all for the captain,' the troopers call;
'The baby, we know, has a kiss for all.'
By the strong, rough men, and kissed and caressed;
And louder it laughs, and the woman's face
'Just such a kiss,' cries one warrior grim,
I gave to my girl as asleep she lay.'
Such were the words of these soldiers brave,
And their eyes were moist when the kiss they gave.
THE RACE AT DEVIL'S ELBOW.-JAMES BUCKHAM
Devil's Elbow was clean gone wild!
Buckskin Pete made a fling as straight
Swift the current and deep the gorge
Vain would battle the current's sweep.
Tossed and buoyed in the Father's hand,
Some one rode to the bridge that spanned
Into the roaring gulf of surge,
Who should do it must do it soon!
Every man to his saddle sprang.
Off they went, like a jangling tune—
The hoofs and the spurs and the bridles rang.
Four miles down by the river's crook,
Which of the racers were like to fail.
Always last at the dance or spree ;
With a sneer, or a curse, or a blow for all,
But ne'er was a closer bond than drew
The heart of the plainsman to his steed,
One by one fell the field behind,
Till Dan's gray horse was without a mate.
His long mane flew in his own speed's wind,
And he seemed to know he was match'd with fate
Neck and muzzle stretched out in line;
Ears, like arrow-tips, pricking back;
Save Reckless Dan! Will he brave it through?
Under him glided the narrow trail. Beat the river he would and must.
When did he ever try and fail?
Thirty minutes--and round the bend
Hold the pace, and life wins the day!
Out of the saddle sprang Reckless Dan,
And swung out over the rushing stream.
A bit of flotsam all gleaming white!
Saved!—but they drew them up half-dead,
With the joyful shouts of the rough-garbed men.