Imágenes de páginas

the hundrum affairs of poor plodding wash-wo- adored in her childhood, and still leads upon and men."

worships in her old age, she still retains that Ah, Ellen; your twelve years wisdom may beauty. She was cheerful in those young days; teach you that the history of such as old Marga- joyous as the lark that poats upward on the ret cannot be interesting; but as the leaves of wing of the morning, to pour the full tide of song life are unrolled by the busy fingers of time, you on the higher waves of the atmosphere; and will learn that the history of the heart, the sear. warble among the roseate clouds, the sweet caful, mysterious human heart, is the same in a rol he has learned from the dreamy tones of measure, through all the varied and intricate drowsy flowers, that have swayed murmuringly foldings of this shadowy existence. Margaret to the cool breath of the summer night winds. has had her dreams-high, glorious, wonderful Her spirit was attuned to music. The harmodreams. I knew her in her joyous childhood, nies of the universe met a response in her adorwhen she was the pet of fond parents, the idol- | ing heart. Her soul leapt up to the wild chant ized favorite of loving brothers and sisters. The of the gale, as it rang through the sounding solisunny radiance of happiness ever smiled on the tudes of the dark old forests; or melted in thrilrosy lip. Her dark eye glanced in the bright ling sympathy as the nightingale trilled her beams of hope, for to her spirit's eye the world plaintive melody through the embowered glens, was bathed in hues of rainbow splendor, and she until the inanimate forms of nature seemed vodreamed not that sorrow could ever efface the cal with the low-voiced echoes of spirit lyres, as glorious tints that love and happiness penciled they swept on viewless pinion across the mystic upon the horizon of her life's opening sky. Eve- cerulean, swelling the harmonial symphonies of ry thing wore a charm for her young spirit; praise to Him who poured the day-spring from when the young morning looked forth from his on high to food with glory the revolving earth, orient chambers, chasing away the dark shadows who studded the solemn banners of night with that curtained the slumbering world, the happy gems of eternal beauty; and penciled with hues child rose with a song in her heart to blend with from the fountain of light, the gorgeous coronet the glad gush of music that swelled on every of the storm. Yes, she was a vision of beauty, breeze; and the aspirations of her adoring soul in face and form; the personification of loveliwent upward to the throne on high, like the soft ress in her mental character. But the charmed mists that creep so silently up from the shady | lot of woman was upon her, the bright, the sinvale, or the bosom of the silvery waters, to the less Margaret. The lot to tread awhile in rosepurer air that flows around the blue crested hued bowers of dream-land; to have bright vismountains. No dream of loveliness that ever ions of human excellence, and sweet aspirings wooed almost to madness the frenzied soul of after that spiritual beauty that sets its high seal the artist, was more beautiful than bright-eyed on the reverent brow; to dream the soft delusive Margaret Clifton.”

dreams, that wrap the yearning soul in the gold“O now you are fooling us, grandma,” laugh. en glow of paradise ; and then to see the cold, ed Ellen Lee. “Isn't it funny that you should hard brush of reality applied to the alluring picthink of making us believe that she was ever ture, and the rainbow tints all swept away, as beautiful ?"

the purple hues of morning fade before the dark “Indeed my child, she was beautiful as a shadows of the storm. She loved, as one of her drea in of morning, when the glorious hues of pure, romantic nature alone can love; and when fairy land are hovering around the half awaken- she stood in her radiant beauty before the shrine ed spirit. Her dark eyes shone with the radiant where human hearts are pledged for weal or wo, light of a lofty and poetic mind. The soft

no heart in that gathered throng but beat more rose-tint played in changeful blushes on the fair quickly as the solemn words were said whose round cheek, and the pure high brow was crown- spell must last while the life-stream ebbs through ed with waving curls of glossy brown, that dan. its mystic channels.” ced in their silken softness to the breath of the

O, now you are making a real love story of wooing zephyr. But she possessed beauty of a it. Who would ever have thought of any thing loftier stamp than that of finely chiseled fea- romantic in Maggie Nelson's history ?" tures, rich tresses, or complexion of lily and “Much of the romantic abounds in the history The high beauty of the soul was hers;

of every person. Could we unclasp the sealed and through the good providence of that God she volume of the hearts that throb unnoted around VOL. XX. 52

us, we should read the tale of bliss or wo, which



is only successfully imitated by writers of fic- and fear; the lonely night vigils which sorrow tion."

held by the desecrated shrine of wedded lore; “ Imitated! Why do you really suppose that the bitter tears of hopeless misery, that bring no people have such feelings and sufferings as we relief to the breaking heart. Seasons of weary read of in stories ?"

neglect passed away; the roses paled on the “Stories of fiction are of course exaggerations, cheek of that devoted wife, yet she still hoped so far as the writers are concerned; yet no hu- on-hoped even against hope, that the hour of man imagination can realize-no pen however redemption might yet arrive, and the idol of her graphic, delineate the sorrows that corrode the young love be freed from the blighting curse that secret springs of life in many a heart that is rested on his soul. veiled from us by a mantle of coldness and re- Cares pressed heavily upon her, other children

We seek the dreams of imaginative wri. clustered around her, unhappy recipients of a ters to wile away the idle hours, and forget in mother's hopeless love. Day by day, and year their perusal the hearts that are suffering, wast- by year, that once bright home grew dark and ing away under disappointment and fruitless ex- gloomy; and at last the spectre, want, threw ertions;—that are throbbing with anguish under her baleful shadow over the home circle; and our very eye, and breaking with concealed tor. such wretchedness as cannot be portrayed, was tures, for which human language has no the bitter portion of Margaret. sign."

Who can imagine the agony—the darkness “But did she love unworthily? Was she won and desolation that presses on the heart of the like other silly damsels by a fair face and fine lonely and neglected wife, as she sits through speeches ?"

the long night hours, watching the radiant stars “No. She made a good choice, so said the that shine so coldly on their thrones of light; world. Horace Nelson was one of the world's while he who swore at the altar to protect and favorites; an only son, the beloved of his father, cherish while life should last, is debasing the the joy and pride of his mother and sisters. He godlike intellect which proves him akin to the possessed talent too of no common order, had angels. How often she knelt in her desolation, won the highest collegiate honors, and had been and prayed that He who hushed to peace the admitted to practise at the bar with a high repu- stormy, waters of Galilee, would still the wild tation for forensic abilities. And all went tempest of sorrow, and once more bind her brow brightly for awhile with Margaret. The years with the garland of peace. She had removed swept by on happy pinions, and the young wife with her husband to a distant city; her parents became a happy mother. And when the bright were dead, and their wealth had passed into the blue orbs of her young son looked smilingly up- hands of strangers. A sad lot was hers, yet sbe on her from day to day, she felt how great was never wavered in the high faith which had shed a the responsibility resting upon her glad and love halo around her young spirit; and she walked ing spirit to train him up for happiness, for hon- humbly, trustingly, though sorrowfully along her or, and high usefulness. His morning had dawn- weary way, striving with woman's hopeful love ed brightly, but what was the noontide of his life to shield her boy from the contaminations of a to disclose ? Years passed on, and the mother's large city But her son wearied of the close, love and pride grew strong in the heart of Mar. hot air of the miserable rooms which poverty garet, and so absorbed was she in the guidance obliged them to occupy. He must play in the of that young immortal entrusted to her care, that clear bright sunshine that glanced on the flashshe failed at first to notice the occasional long ing waters, and drink in the pure breezes of absence of the husband she adored. But as time heaven, that came cool and fresh from the shimsped by with noiseless wing, her heart began to mering seas, or wasted the aroma of blossoms feel that a change had passed upon that heart from the green fields and flowering shrubs. 0 where her owu reposed. She could not own to that some angel might meet the children of the herself that he, so loved, so trusted, could fall poor, when they congregate together in the from the high place where her adoring soul had crowded streets of great cities. George Nelson enshrined him ; but at last the fearful truth was had no father; no kind heart to watch over his pressed upou her bleeding heart, and she bowed

young footsteps, and lead his active spirit in the her head in agony to the painful assurance that way that leads to purity and peace. Dearly as her husband was a hopeless inebriate.

he loved his inother, and the little sisters that Then came the long days of alternate hope I looked sadly on him with their soft bright eyes,

yet the sight of their privation was working a loving, high souled man of honor, to rest in the curse on his sensitive spirit.

pauper's burying ground. But two days elapsed None can guess, save those who have witnes- ere little Flora, the last remaining daughter, was sed the result, how wrong and sorrow can warp folded in the mantle of the shadowy angel, but the young soul, and drag it down from its love- the beauty that crowned the other dying cherliness and innocence. Disrespect, anger, hatred, ubs, and rested on their cold, still lips, even in took the place of that confiding love, which is the coffin, was not here. The distorted features, the child's only safeguard from sin ; and when the livid hue, that characterizes the fearful George was eighteen he was inured to the deg. scourge, made the mother turn in involuntary radation of poverty, and no stranger to the mys- terror from the face that had nestled so lovingly teries of iniquity.

in her bosom. She sunk in despair almost, and And deeper grief was weaving its mantle of never stirred when stranger hands bore forth gloom for the soul of Margaret. Two of her that blighted flower, to brighten no more the little ones sickened, and in a few days passed dark pathway of her life. But when their footfrom the darkness of their wretched home, to the steps died away, and the wheels were heard bright gardens above, where angels train the rumbling in the distance, she heaved a quick blossoming vines in the fadeless bowers that gasping sigh, and said like one of old, “The bloom on the banks of life's glorious river. Ought Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.” we to mourn thus sadly when the young immor. Then the long sealed fountain of tears welled tals seek early their home on the spirit shore ? forth, and the sore and throbbing brain found reThey escape the sorrows that blight the trust- lief, and the burdened heart at last grew still, ing spirit-the low sad wail of misery shall nev- baptized in the soothing dews of love and hal. er thrill their young heart-strings, for they stand lowed trust. Kneeling by the couch of her last on the flowery margin of the crystal fountain of remaining child, she silently poured out her sorlife, and learn the glad song that rings from the rows into the ear of Him who watches the young lyres of the blest, through the lapse of eternal sparrows when they fall; and worn out with years.

sorrowful vigils with the dead and dying, and Yet the head of that worn mother bowed in wasted with hunger and bitterness of spirit, she bitter grief over those sweet young faces, as slept the weary sleep of exhaustion, with her they were laid on the coffin pillow; and her head resting on the couch of her only son. He soul yearned for that rest which they had gain- awoke at early dawn to find bis inother reclining ed. Darker and darker grew the sky above her, by his side. Remorse smote that young spirit; more desolate the wide world around. The hus.

young in years, yet all too old in the blighting band to whom she had pligoted her soul's truth experience that shrouds the life of the soul. He when life's young morning smiled on the sweet wept the bitter tears of regret, shame, and sorflowers of hope, had become a thing of terror row, as he thought of all she had suffered, and and scorn. The light of intelligence that once of his own mis-spent days. More sinned against lit up the beaming eye, had given place to the than sinning, (though he knew it not) was that rolling, vacant stare of idiocy. The intellect wretched lad who now saw the utter desolation that once held the listening multitude in rapt of that mother who had ever been to him an anadmiration, had been shrouded in the pall of self gel of kindness. degradation; and he who had sworn before the The stricken spirit struggled in that hour of holy altar to love, to protect and cherish the fair grey twilight to rise above the dark influences girl by his side, was now dependant upon her that had clouded the young heart's pure trusting labor for the scanty food which his abused na- love, and holy innocence; and be resolved to ture required.

break the dark bands that bouod him down to In the fearful period when the pestilence went poverty. Strong hope sprung up in bis heart. abroad on destroying pinion, breathing blight, He would be a man, he would strive with the and terror, alike at noonday or at the solemn world, and win for his poor mother a home and midnight, Horace Nelson was among the first a competence. Alas for the resolves of neglectwho fell a victim to the terrible scourge. When ed childhood, and contaminated youth. Few the holy stars looked quietly down on the rip- are the hands reached forth at the right moment pling waters, and the hushed breeze scarcely to rescue the falling spirit. woke an ecbo amid the silent leaves, the dead

For a while he strove to stem the tide of opcart bore from that miserable home the once posing influences, but the motber was sick for

long months, and attended by the hand of chari- that brings blight and ruin to so many poble ty, and the lonely boy had none to cheer, none hearts--so many happy circles, began to show to encourage him, save outcasts like himself. In its fearful influence. George Nelson lived in that lonely period habits long begun, had gained that sweet little cottage just over the brook, an influence over him which could never be whose silvery song makes music through the counteracted.

live-long night, and its cool, damp breath gives When Margaret arose once more from her bed a richer green to the shrubbery that half bides of sickness, she yearned to come back to the old the building from view. O how often our hearts place. It seemed to her sorrowing heart that ached at sunset, when we walked over the little she could find somewhat of the happiness that bridge, to spend a few moments with the lone blest her youth, if she could hear the winds sing widow ; for in a little nook near the brook-side, again through the apple boughs, and listen to sheltered by the interlacing boughs that shut out the robin's carol among the cherry trees, or the the prying sunbeams, we were almost sure to whip-poor-will's plaint in the adjacent thicket. find the poor, pale Agnes, looking wistfully toShe pined for the sweet breath of flowers that ward the village. She would smile—a faini, bloomed by the remembered window, where oft- sad smile as I approached her, and rise and go en she had watched the mellow twilight fading into the house with me, talking all the while in from the arching sky, and gathered rich lessons a merry strain, or singing, may be, some light of wisdom from the open volume, till gathering carol of the olden time. But I was not deceiv. darkness veiled the page. Through the long ed. I knew this feigned inerriment was but the days of her sickness there had been intervals of white foam that gathers on the wave,that seems blissful ease, a half-consciousness that deluded so calm and still; while far down, the dark wathe fluttering spirit with visions of the olden ters are fretting against the jagged rocks. time, when sitting by her mother's side she

A few more months, and Agnes lay on her breathed the rich perfume of lilac or rose ; and death-bed. Those small white hands, where the listened with rapture to the chant of the fresh delicate veins seemed like purple threads, were breeze that bore on its wings the wild moan of

thin and transparent, and but for the tracery of the waves, and mingled its dying cadence with

life's mysterious meshes would scarce be noticed the melody of forest-lyres that floated from moun

on the snowy counterpane. Her life was slow. tain and valley, and rose in a harmonious swell, ly ebbing out, yet the spirit's concentrated love like the song of the lute or the light toned gui. beamed in her soul-lit orbs, and rested ever and tar. And when her health was sufficiently re- anon upon a tiny bud of being that lay sleeping stored, she came by weary and toilsome stages, by her side. She had looked for love, the high, to this pleasant valley where her happy infancy the pure; she had given her soul's adoration to and childhood had been passed. But poor Mar.

one whom her fond imagination had endowed garet found not the home she knew in the bright with all noble qualities. She had made her an days of youth. Strangers dwelt in the home of idol, and bound it around with the tendrils of her parents. The grove was gone to make

her own heart, and gave it the rich incense of room for new improvements, and the old time.

woman's undying love. She found that idol worn church had been taken down, and a new

clay, yet hers was not a nature to bewail that and imposing edifice stood in its place. And

worship. So for a few short months she looked when she entered the sanctuary of worship, she sadly out on the ever varying beauties of nature, felt indeed that she was a stranger. I knew her

and then lay quietly down to find that rest in when a young girl, and had been present at her

the embrace of the Savior, which human love wedding; so w ben I heard of her return, I sought had denied her. That long tried mother stood her out, and extended to her that friendsip she

by her, consoling her in the solemn hour of deso much needed.

parture, and the young husband was there too; Her son, by this time near twenty-two, was a

crushed and heart-broken by a sense of his own fine looking young man, and to us who knew

sin. “I have murdered you, Agnes," he cried not the canker that bad preyed upon bis heart,

in husky tones, “I have murdered you, my own bid fair to be the support and consolation of his

life; yet God knows how well I have loved you. mother's decliniog years.

In less than two years he led to the altar a fair young being,

O if you could live, I might yet reform."

Weep not for me, George," said the young beautiful as the spring-time flowers, and alas, as

mother in the low sad tones that speak of the frail. It was not long before the besetting sin

cold, dark grave. “Do not accuse yourself; you

have always been kind to me. Never has a trust are meted out to her, as to one of the nofrown, or an unkind word from you cast a shad- blest of sorrow's children. ow on my heart. Remember love we shall soon Now from the simple story of poor Margaret meet, where the flowers are all deathless, and learn this truth; that a pure, loving, trusting the bright skies are never overcast with clouds. spirit, is a talisman to sustain the sorrowing Take little Margaret, for I have named her after heart in the darkest hours of trial-that a firm our mother ; cherish her as a sweet blossom to dependance upon Him who sits enthroned withremind you of me. I shall not forget you in the in the circles of ineffable light, will lessen the land to which I go, and if the beings of that burden of poverty, wrong and woe, and calmly bright sphere are permitted to visit the scenes lead the soul down the shadowy vale to the porwhere the soul has been gladdened, I shall come tals which open to those glorious realms where to you often, though unseen; and wait with joy truth unrolls her star-gemmed banner on the to greet you on that starry shore."

cloudless air; and the kind angel who wore on You will not wait long. I cannot live now. earth the pale lineaments of sorrow, lifts her raI have poisoned the cup of life for you, and that diant brow to the arching heaven that is bright corroding memory will soon wear out the links with the glory of the Father.” of life's mysterious chain.”

S. BROUGHTON. He spoke but too truly. In three days Agnes

Ulica, Mich. was laid in the quiet mansion where earth's weary ones forget their sorrows. One would think the circumstances of her death would ex. ert a restraining influence on the erring man;

TAY LOTE. but sorrow and remorse increased the madness that follows intemperance. Before little Mar. I sit beside the casement, with the soft air stealgaret was a year old, her wretched father filled ing through a drunkard's grave. Poor Margaret did not bear 'Tis the balmy breath of evening all laden with this all unmoved; she had been more or less

the dew, than woman if she had. But she still trusted in And its viewless finger strayeth o'er my flushed that God she had worshiped in her youth-who

and fevered brow; adorns the green meadows with the smiles of Like a spirit touch it seemeth, 'mid the twilight his love,—who heedeth the cry of the famishing

shadows now. raven, and careth for the sparrows of the field. Out in silent worship gaze I, out upon the starry She has lived for the lovely little grandchild,

night, who is now the only link that binds her to earth. And my soul goes forth in homage to the glorious To cultivate that infant mind-to inspire it with

God of light, a love for all things pure and beautiful- to lead And it craves one earnest blessing from the Father it up to maturity in that trusting love which is a

who is love, shield and a support in the hours of human trial,

And the pure and spotless angels, round his glo

rious throne aboveis her highest ambition.

For the dear and ever cherished, whom my heart And she will go on in her secluded pathway,

as fondly shrines striving to fuôll her mission in the manner most

As the flower enfolds the dew-drop ere the mornacceptable to that. Savior who toiled sorrowfully

ing sunlight shines ; over the dusty thoroughfares of life, to show us

And a prayer my heart is swelling that my inmost the excellency of that life, which in humble trust

soul gave birth, leads us ever nearer the throne, where gush the

That their guardian power may'shield thee-ever pure waters of spiritual peace. All the bright

from the ills of earth ; dreams of her youth have faded; those yearning

That the mantle of His glory, more radiant than hopes which are the crown of joy to woman's

the sun, heart so long as she can dream of their fulfill

Be thy portion when the trials and the toils of ment, have been crushed and blighted. Yet her

earth are done. faith in God has not failed, and she looks forward with joyful hope to that glad morning Now, a sweeter breath of fragrance floats across when she shall rest from earth's trials in the

the dewy lawn, bosom of eternal love. Nor is her lot wholly Wakening sad, yet pleasant memories of the unblest even here. Sympathy, and love and happy days agone ;

« AnteriorContinuar »