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A VILLAGE TALE.

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12. A VILLAGE TALE. The rooks are cawing in the elms,

As on the very day-
That sunny morning, mother dear,

When Lucy went away;
And April's pleasant leaves have come,

And April's gentle rain
Fresh leaves are on the vine-but when

Will Lucy come again?
The spring is as it used to be,

And all must be the same;
And yet I miss the feeling now,

That always with it came; It seems to me as if she made

The sweetness of the year-
As if I could be glad no more,

Now Lucy is not here.
A year—it seems but yesterday,

When in this very door
You stood ; and she came running back,

To say good-bye once more.
I hear you sob-your parting kiss-

The last fond words you said-
Ah! little did we think-one year

And Lucy would be dead.
How all comes back—the happy times,

Before our father died,
When blessed with him, we knew no want,

Scarce knew a wish denied;
His loss, and all our struggles on,

And that worst dread to know, From home, too poor to shelter all,

That one at last must go.

A VILLAGE TALE.

How often do I blame myself!

How often do I think,
How wrong I was to shrink from that

From which she did not shrink !
And when I wish that I had gone,

And know the wish is vain,
And say, she might have lived, I think,

How can I smile again?

I dread to be alone, for then,

Before my swimming eyes,
Her parting face, her waving hand,

Distinct before me rise;
Slow rolls the waggon down the road,

I watch it disappear;
Her last “dear sister,” faint “ good bye,"

Still lingering in my ear.

Oh, mother, had but father lived,

It would not have been thus; Or, if God still had taken her,

She would have died with us;
She would have had kind looks, fond words,

Around her dying bed,
Our hands to press her dying hands,

To raise her dying head.

I'm always thinking, mother, now,

Of what she must have thought,
Poor girl! as day on day went by,

And neither of us brought;
Oh how she must have yearned, one face

That was not strange, to see;
Have longed a moment to have set

One look on you and me.

MY COUNTRY, I LOVE THEE.

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Sometimes I dream a happy dream

I think that she is laid
Beside our own old village church,

Where we so often played ;
And I can sit upon her grave,

And with her we shall lie,
Afar from where the city's noise

And thronging feet go by.
Nay, mother-mother-weep not so,

God judges for the best,
And from a world of pain and woe

He took her to his rest;
Why should we wish her back again?

Oh! freed from sin and care,
Let us the rather pray God's love,
Ere long to join her there.

BENNETT.

13. MY COUNTRY, I LOVE THEE. Oh, England ! thy white cliffs are dearer to me i Than all the famed coast of a far foreign sea ; What emerald can peer, or what sapphire can vie With the grass of thy fields or thy summer-day sky ? They tell me of regions where flowers are found, Whose perfume and tints spread a paradise round; But brighter to me cannot garland the earth Than those that spring forth in the land of my birth. My country, I love thee: though freely I'd rove Through the western savannah, or sweet orange grove; Yet warmly my bosom would welcome the gale That bore me away with a homeward-bound sail. My country, I love thee !--and oh, may'st thou have The last throb of my heart, ere 'tis cold in the grave; May'st thou yield me that grave in thine own daisied earth, And my ashes repose in the land of my birth!

ELIZA COOK.

THE FIRST SNOW-FALL.

14. THE FIRST SNOW-FALL. THE snow had begun in the gloaming,

And busily all the night
Had been heaping field and highway

With a silence deep and white.
Every pine and fir and hemlock

Wore ermine too dear for an earl, And the poorest twig on the elm tree

Was ridged inch deep with pearl. From sheds, new roofed with Carrara,

Came Chanticleer's muffled crow, The stiff rails were softened to swans'-down:

And still fluttered down the snow.

I stood and watched by the window

The noiseless work of the sky,
And the sudden flurries of snow birds

Like brown leaves whirling by.

I thought of a mound in sweet Auburn

Where a little head-stone stood,
How the flakes were folding it gently,

As did robins the babes in the wood.

Up spoke our own little Mabel,

Saying, “Father, who makes it snow ?" And I told of the good Allfather

Who cares for us all below.
Again I looked at the snow-fall,

And thought of the leaden sky,
That arched o'er our first great sorrow,

When that mound was heaped so high,

PLEASANT THINGS.

I remembered the gradual patience

That fell from the clouds like snow,
Flake by flake, healing and hiding

The scar of that deep-stabbed woe.

And again to the child I whispered,

“ The snow that husheth alī, Darling, the merciful Father

Alone can make it fall.”

Then, with eyes that saw not, I kissed her,

And she, kissing back, could not know
That my kiss was given to her sister
Folded close under deepening snow.

J. R. LOWELL

15. PLEASANT THINGS.

_'Tis sweet to hear At midnight on the blue and moonlit deep The song and oar of Adria's gondolier,

By distance mellowed, o'er the waters sweep; 'Tis sweet to see the evening star appear ;

'Tis sweet to listen as the night-winds creep From leaf to leaf; 'tis sweet to view on high The rainbow, based on ocean, span the sky.

'Tis sweet to hear the watch-dog's honest bark " Bay deep-mouth'd welcome as we draw near homo; 'Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark

Our coming, and look brighter when we come; 'Tis sweet to be awakened by the lark,

Or lull'd by falling waters; sweet the hum Of bees, the voice of girls, the song of birds, The lisp of children, and their earliest words.

BYRON.

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