Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

“THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY.”

Could we but know
The land that ends our dark, uncertain travel,

Where lie those happier hills and meadows low,-
Ah if beyond the spirit's inmost cavil,
Aught of that country could we surely know,

Who would not go ?

Might we but hear
The hovering angels' high imagined chorus,

Or catch, betimes, with wakeful eyes and clear,
One radiant vista of the realm before us,-
With one rapt moment given to see and hear,

Ah, who would fear?

Were we quite sure
To find the peerless friend who left us lonely,

Or there, by some celestial stream as pure,
To gaze in eyes that here were lovelit only,-
This weary mortal coil, were we quite sure,
Who would endure?

E. C. STEDMAN.

THE TWO VILLAGES.

Over the river, on the hill,
Lieth a village white and still ;
All around it the forest trees
Shiver and whisper in the breeze ;
Over it sailing shadows go
Of soaring hawk and screaming crow,

And mountain grasses, low and sweet,
Grow in the middle of every street.

Over the river, un

der the hill, Another village

lieth still ; There I see in the

cloudy night Twinkling stars of

household

light, Fires hat gleam

from the

smithy's door, Mists that curl on

“ OVER THE RIVER, ON THE HILL, the river

LIETH A VILLAGE WHITE AND STILL," shore ; And in the roads no grasses grow, For the wheels that hasten to and fro,

[graphic]

In that village on the hill
Never is sound of smithy or mill;
The houses are thatched with grass and flowers;
Never a clock to toll the hours ;
The marble doors are always shut,
You cannot enter in hall or hut;
All the villagers lie asleep;
Never a grain to sow or reap ;
Never in dreams to moan or sigh ;
Silent and idle and low they lie.

In that village under the hill,
When the night is starry and still,
Many a weary soul in prayer
Looks to the other village there,
And weeping and sighing, longs to go
Up to that home from this below;
Longs to sleep in the forest wild,
Whither have vanished wife and child,
And heareth, praying, this answer fall:
“Patience! that village shall hold you all!”

Rose TERRY Cooke.

OVER THE RIVER.

Over thi river they beckon to me,

Loved ones who've cross'd to the farther side ; The gleam of their snowy robes I see,

But their voices are drown'd in the rushing tide. There's one with ringlets of sunny gold,

And eyes, the reflection of heaven's own blue; He cross’d in the twilight, gray and cold,

And the pale mist hid him from mortal view. We saw not the angels who met him there ;

The gates of the city we could not see; Over the river, over the river,

My brother stands waiting to welcome me!

Over the river, the boatman pale

Carried another,—the household pet : Her brown curls waved in the gentle gale

Darling Minnie ! I see her yet.

She cross'd on her bosom her dimpled hands,

And fearlessly enter'd the phantom bark ; We watch'd it glide from the silver sands,

And all our sunshine grew strangely dark. We know she is safe on the farther side,

Where all the ransom'd and angels be; Over the river, the mystic river,

My childhood's idol is waiting for me.

For none return from those quiet shores,

Who cross with the boatman cold and pale ; We hear the dip of the golden oars,

And catch a gleam of the snowy sail, — And lo! they have pass’d from our yearring heart ;

They cross the stream, and are gone fri aye ; We may not sunder the veil apart,

That hides from our vision the gates of day.
We only know, that their barks no more

May sail with us o'er life's stormy sea;
Yet somewhere, I know, on the unseen shore,

They watch, and beckon, and wait for me.

And I sit and think, when the sunset's gold

Is flushing river, and hill, and shore,
I shall one day stand by the water cold,

And list for the sound of the boatman's oar;
I shall watch for a gleam of the flapping sail;

I shall hear the boat as it gains the strand; I shall pass from sight, with the boatman pale,

To the better shore of the spirit land;

I shall know the loved who have gone before,

And joyfully sweet will the meeting be, When over the river, the peaceful river, The Angel of Death shall carry me.

NANCY A. W. WAKEFIELD.

THE DEATH-BED.
WE watch'd her breathing through the night,

Her breathing soft and low,
As in her breast the wave of life

Kept heaving to and fro.

So silently we seem'd to speak,

So slowly moved about,
As we had lent her half our powers

To eke her living out.

Our very hopes belied our fears,

Our fears our hopes belied-
We thought her dying when she slept,

And sleeping when she died.

For when the morn came dim and sad

And chill with early showers,
Her quiet eyelids closed-she had

Another morn than ours.

THOMAS Hood.

IN MEMORIAM.
FAREWELL! since never more for thee

The sun comes up our eastern skies,
Less bright henceforth shall sunshine be

To some fond hearts and saddened eyes.

« ForrigeFortsett »