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Page:Littell's Living Age - Volume 129.djvu/778

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A SONG OF THE COUNTRY, ETC.


A SONG OF THE COUNTRY.

Away from the roar and the rattle,
The dust and the din of the town,
Where to live is to brawl and to battle,
Till the strong treads the weak man down!
Away to the bonnie green hills
Where the sunshine sleeps on the brae,
And the heart of the greenwood thrills
To the hymn of the bird on the spray.

Away from the smoke and the smother,
The veil of the dun and the brown,
The push and the plash and the pother,
The wear and the waste of the town!
Away where the sky shines clear,
And the light breeze wanders at will,
And the dark pine-wood nods near
To the light-plumed birch on the hill.

Away from the whirling and wheeling,
And steaming above and below,
Where the heart has no leisure for feeling
And the thought has no quiet to grow.
Away where the clear brook purls,
And the hyacinth droops in the shade,
And the plume of the fern uncurls
Its grace in the depth of the glade.

Away to the cottage so sweetly
Embowered 'neath the fringe of the wood,
Where the wife of my bosom shall meet me
With thoughts ever kindly and good;
More dear than the wealth of the world,
Fond mother with bairnies three,
And the plump-armed babe that has curled
Its lips sweetly pouting for me.

Then away from the roar and the rattle
The dust and the din of the town,
Where to live is to brawl and to battle
Till the strong treads the weak man down.
Away where the green twigs nod
In the fragrant breath of the May,
And the sweet growth spreads on the sod,
And the blithe birds sing on the spray.

John Stuart Blackie.
Sunday Magazine.




THEN!

Weary, and bruised, and bleeding still
From life's sharp thorns, on, on we come:
Down at our Master's feet we drop,
And here are heaven and home!

Safe at those feet, where joy, and pain,
And all that made life dark or bright,
Seem but a mist beneath the sun
Of our supreme delight.

What matter that the world has frowned,
That fortune ever was unkind,
That plans have failed, and cares have pressed?
All, all is far behind!

What matter now, the hard cold words
That smote us when for love we sought?
What matter now? The goal is reached —
The bitter past is nought.

And we can smile a bright, calm smile
At pains whereby our hearts were riven,
And wonder such small things could touch
A soul bound straight for heaven!

Wake from the dream — our glorious then
Shines like a star above our sight:
Our patient now before us lies,
And duty gives the light.

C. P..
The Month.




FIRST FRUITS.

Half covered with last year's leaves,
She peeped from her russet bed;
The great bare branches of the trees
Were tossed and swayed overhead;
The hedge looked barre'n and prickly,
Without the sign of a leaf;
Over the flower there bowed a heart
Grown cold with the snows of grief.

The violet's fragile petals
Enfolded a heart of gold,
And a deeper wealth of perfume
Than the tiny cup could hold;
So the great wind roaring above
Sent a tiny zephyr down,
To drift aside the sheltering bloom,
And bereave her of her crown.

It stole the familiar scent,
To give to the burdened heart,
With only a cold north wind
In the world to take its part:
The flower died in the bleak March air,
And the heart went on its way;
The violet's life was blooming there,
And melting the snows away.

C. Brooke.
Good Words.




SPRING'S GIFTS.

Come, when the spring the leaf unfolds,
And calls the swallow from afar;
When earth the flower no more withholds,
And beauty wakes in bird and star.
In vain the star's soft ray,
In vain the wild bird's lay,
Unless thou come,
Thou wanderer, home;
Thou, to my heart new life, to be,
Spring, with thy gracious gifts to me.

Chambers' Journal.