Page:Littell's Living Age - Volume 131.djvu/776

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Don't tell me of the pauper brood,
Who daily cry for a crust of food;
The badly-clothed or the evil-shoed,
Or the bare, blue toes of the crossing-sweeper!
Don't tell me of the white, wan faces,
The dirty lodgings and crowded places,
Where Poverty grins and Sin grimaces! —
"Am I my brother's keeper?"

Don't tell me of the "awkward squad,"
The loafers who get kept in "quad,"
Or tired men, laid beneath the sod,
In graves where they get house-room cheaper!
Dear me! I've hardly time to think,
With business first, and then the rink,
And a fellow must sometimes eat and drink, —
"Am I my brother's keeper?"

Don't tell me of the murky air
That chokes the lungs and breeds despair,
Where none are young, and few are fair,
And men drink deep, but women deeper!
Don't tell me of the moral obliquity,
In those low dens of vulgar iniquity!
My views may claim a Scriptural antiquity, —
"Am I my brother's keeper?"

What! come and help, you say? Oh no!
Some man of coarser grain may go,
'Twould break me down to see such woe.
Have you no shepherd for your sheep, sir?
An honest missionary, say, —
A Biblewoman. By the way,
I'm rather out of cash to-day,
Or I would give a trifle. Pray
Look in again! I'll help to pay
To keep my brother's keeper.



Through mists that hide from me my God, I see
A shapeless form; Death comes, and beckons me:
I scent the odors of the spirit land:
And, with commingled joy and terror, hear
The far-off whispers of a white-robed band: —
Nearer they come — yet nearer — yet more near:
Is it rehearsal of a "welcome" song
That will be in my heart and ear, ere long?
Do these bright spirits wait till Death may give
The soul its franchise — and I die to live?

Does fancy send the breeze from yon green mountain?
(I am not dreaming when it cools my brow.)
Are they the sparkles of an actual fountain
That gladden and refresh my spirit now?
How beautiful the burst of holy light!
How beautiful the day that has no night!

Open! ye everlasting gates! I pray —
Waiting, but yearning — for that perfect day!
Hark! to these allelujahs! "Hail! all hail!"
Shall they be echoed by a sob and wail?
Friends, "gone before," these are your happy voices:
The old, familiar sounds: my soul rejoices!

Ah! through the mists, the great white throne I see:
And now a saint in glory beckons me.
Is Death a foe to dread? the Death who giveth
Life — the unburthened life that ever liveth!
Who shrinks from Death? Come when he will or may,
The night he brings will bring the risen day;
His call — his touch — we neither seek nor shun:
His life is ended when his work is done.
Our spear and shield no cloud of Death can dim:
He triumphs not o'er us — we conquer him!

How long, O Lord, how long, ere I shall see
The myriad glories of a holier sphere?
And worship in thy presence: — not as here
In chains that keep the shackled soul from thee!

My God! let that eternal home be near!

Master! I bring to Thee a soul opprest:
"Weary and heavy laden:" seeking rest:
Strengthen my faith: that, with my latest breath,
I greet thy messenger of mercy — Death!

Argosy.S. C. Hall.



O silence marvellous and deep,
How lies the world in peaceful sleep!
The woods alone all trembling sigh,
As if a spirit passed by.

I feel new life within me rise,
While anxious sorrow swiftly flies
Before the dayspring's glorious light,
To hide in darkest shades of night.

With hopes sure fixed on heaven my home,
A pilgrim through the world I'll roam,
And deem it o'er time's stream to be
The bridge which leads, my God, to thee.

And should my harp forgetful praise
Earth's fleeting joys with traitor lays,
Oh! rend its chords, and evermore
In trembling silence I'll adore!

Golden Hour.Isabel M. Mortimer.