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Halfway up the

stairs it stands, And points and

beckons with its

hands From its case of

massive oak, Like a monk, who,

under his cloak, Crosses himself, and

sighs, alas! With sorrowful

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By day its voice is

low and light; But in the silent

dead of night,

Distinct as a pass6 POINTS AND BECKONS WITH ITS HANDS, LIKE A MONK, WHO, UNDER HIS CLOAK."

ing footstep's

fall,
It echoes along the vacant hall,
Along the ceiling, along the floor,
And seems to say, at each chamber-door,--

“Forever-never !

Never—forever!”

Through days of sorrow and of mirth,
Through days of death and days of birth,

Through every swift vicissitude
Of changeful time, unchanged it has stood,
And as if, like God, it all things saw,
It calmly repeats those words of awe, -

“Forever-never!

Never-forever!”

In that mansion used to be
Free-hearted Hospitality;
His great fires up the chimney roar'd;
The stranger feasted at his board;
But, like the skeleton at the feast,
That warning timepiece never ceased,

“Forever-never !

Never-forever!”

There groups of merry children play'd,
There youths and maidens dreaming stray’d;
O precious hours! O golden prime,
And affluence of love and time!
Even as a miser counts his gold,
Those hours the ancient timepiece told, -

“Forever-never !
Never-forever!”

From that chamber, clothed in white,
The bride came forth on her wedding-night;
There, in that silent room below,
The dead lay in his shroud of snow;
And in the hush that follow'd the prayer,
Was heard the old clock on the stair,-

Forever-never!
Never—forever!”

60

All are scatter'd now and fled,
Some are married, some are dead;
And when I ask with throbs of pain,
“Ah! when shall they all meet again,”
As in the days long since gone by,
The ancient timepiece makes reply,–

Forever-never !
Never-forever!”

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Never here, forever there,
Where all parting, pain, and care,
And death, and time shall disappear, -
Forever there, but never here !
The horologe of Eternity
Sayeth this incessantly,--

“ Forever—never !

Never-forever!”

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TOO LATE.

Ah! si la jeunesse savait,-si la vieillesse pouvait !"

THERE sat an old man on a rock,

And unceasing bewailed him of Fate,That concern where we all must take stock

Though our vote has no bearing or weight; And the old man sang him an old, old song,— Never sang voice so clear and strong That it could drown the old man's long,

For he sang the song, “ Too late! too late!”

When we want, we have for our pains

The promise that if we but wait
Till the want has burned out of our brains,

Every means shall be present to sate;
While we send for the napkin the soup gets cold,
While the bonnet is trimming the face grows old,
When we've matched our buttons the pattern is

sold,
And everything comes too late,—too late!

“ When strawberries seemed like red heavens,

Terrapin stew a wild dream, -
When my brain was at sixes and sevens,

If my mother had · folks’ and ice-cream,
Then I gazed with a lickerish hunger
At the restaurant-man and fruit-monger,-
But oh! how I wished I were younger
When the goodies all came in a stream, in a

stream!

“ I've a splendid blood horse, and—a liver

That it jars into torture to trot; My row-boat's the gem of the river,

Gout makes every knuckle a knot ! I can buy boundless credits on Paris and Rome, But no palate for ménus--no eyes for a dome, Those belonged to the youth who must tarry at

home, When no home but an attic he'd got,-he'd got !

“ How I longed, in the lonest of garrets,

When the tiles baked my brains all July, For ground to grow two pecks of carrots,

Two pigs of my own in a sty, A rosebush-a little thatched cottage,Two spoons—lovema basin of pottage ! Now in freestone I sit,--and my dotage, With a woman's chair empty close by,—close

by!

Ah! now, though I sit on a rock,

I have shared one seat with the great ;
I have sat-knowing naught of the clock-

On love's high throne of state;
But the lips that kissed, and the arms that ca-

ressed, To a mouth grown stern with delay were pressed, And circled a breast that their clasp had blessed Had they only not come too late,—too late!”

Fitz-Hugh Ludlow,

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