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THE FAREWELL OF THE OLD YEAR, ETC.


THE FAREWELL OF THE OLD YEAR.

When the moments of friendship are numbered,
How oft it appears
That the love which in laughter has slumbered
Awakes now in tears!

We are friends that have journeyed together
Long time, you and I;
Through sunshine and stormiest weather,
But the old year must die.

And awhile in your hearts will awaken
A bitter regret;
And the paths that your feet have forsaken
You cannot forget.

Yet I pray you to mourn not my going,
Though we have been friends;
What am I but one billow, whose flowing
Has touched shore, and ends?

And the tale of my joy and my sorrow
Lives but as the trace
Of the waves, that the tides of the morrow
In turn shall efface.

Yet I leave you, as waves leave their treasures
Of coral and shell,
A gift, passing sorrows and pleasures,
Our friendship to tell.

I leave you the friendships, whose growing
Has been from my birth;
There is nought that the tide brings in flowing
Can equal their worth.
 
For as shells from the murmurs of ocean
Steal echoes that last,
So in friendship is stored the emotion
Of years that are past.

F. W. B. Spectator.




AFTERNOON.

"Oh, sweet," she said, "that afternoon,
The smile of God on land and sea;
And sweet through many a vanished June
Comes back, like a remembered tune,
The silence of the shore to me!
Oh, sweet the moment was! the scene!
The flashing of the shingles wet,
The scent of clover and of bean,
Warm fragrance of the fields that met
The salt fresh breezes of the sea!
The white sails dropping out of sight
Were kindled into tawny flame,
And all the moor lay steeped in light
The way he came, the way he came!"
"Oh, sweet," she said, "the warm, wet reach
Of glittering sand! the tide that woke
In tumult all along the beach,
Yet made the very calm it broke!
Blue was the heaven that o'er us bent;
The sheep upon a sunward slope
A quiet to the landscape lent;
And all things gave a widening scope
To thoughts of peace and calm content,
And all things seemed in league with hope
The way we went, the way we went!"

Dora Greenwell. Good Words.



TWO SONNETS BY TWO SISTERS.


I. — LET THE PAST BE PAST.

"Bury, oh dead, thy dead!" Hearken the call,
Christ bids us leave our dead and follow him;
What tho' the steps be feeble, and eyes dim
With tears that rise and burn, but may not fall?
Leave the unburied dead in. Death's great hall:
For Christ is waiting and the dead are dead;
We may not pause to smooth their burial bed,
We may not stay to spread their funeral pall.
Farewell, oh lovely dead, oh tender past!
Who liest with stone-cold brow and lips that miss
The passionate farewell and last long kiss.
Oh dead! shall this cold parting be the last?
In the dim future's promise may there be
No past, no present — knit in one for thee?

L.


II. — WILL THE PAST BE PAST?

"Bury, oh dead, thy dead!" Can Death's behest
Close the pale eyelids? Can dead fingers fold
Dead hands in peace, or in the graveyard cold
Commit the soulless body to its rest?
guns rise and set; each evening in the west
Dim clouds attend the funeral of the day;
Night falls; men sleep; and still, oh dead: ye stay.
No peace for me on earth's unearthly breast
Haunted by you. I would, I would, oh dead,
I would ye had no immortality!
I would ye too could sleep and let me be!
Rest, rest! hath not your requiem been said?
Ah no! With faces turned to me they lie;
They rise, they answer — "No, we cannot die!"

U. Macmillan's Magazine.