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130
THE DEAD VIOLET, ETC.


THE DEAD VIOLET.

Where is the hand that gathered it, the violet fresh and sweet,
From its nest mid the dewy mosses that clothed the great oak's feet?
Alas for the eager fingers!
They handled the sword-hilt well;
But they could not guard the bright young head
That found a soldier's gory bed,
When the vines were crushed 'neath the guardsmen's tread,
And the night over Alma fell.

Where is the smile that welcomed it with her gallant lover's vow,
And placed it amid the golden braids that crowned her fair young brow?
It is carved on the lips of marble
Of the statue that marks her rest,
As she lies alone in her maiden grave
In the great cathedral's solemn nave,
Where the organ's voice, like a rolling wave,
Flows over her virgin breast.

Leave the violet in the volume of the old romantic rhyme —
Pale symbol of love that has passed away, dry pledge of a sweet old time!
What would avail to place it
Again in the soft green grass?
The old oak, felled, mid the moss is flung;
The tale is told and the song is sung;
Let it moulder the mouldering pages among:
So does youth, love, and spring-time pass.

Tinsley's Magazine.S. K. Phillips.




"POST HOC EXILIUM."

After this exile: not while groping here
In this low valley full of mists and chills,
Waiting and watching till the day breaks clear
Over the brow of the eternal hills —
Mother, sweet dawn of that unsetting sun,
Show us thy Jesus when the night is done!

After this exile: when our toils are o'er,
And we, poor laborers, homeward turn our feet;
When we shall ache and work and weep no more,
But know the rest the weary find so sweet,
Mother of pity, merciful and blest,
Show us thy Jesus in the "Land of Rest."

After this exile: winter will be past,
And the rain over, and the flowers appear,
And we shall see in God's own light at last
All we have sought for in the darkness here;
Then, Mother, turn on us thy loving eyes,
And show us Jesus — our eternal prize!

Month.F. P.




CHARITY.

Only a drop in the bucket,
But every drop will tell;
The bucket would soon be empty
Without the drops in the well.

Only a poor little penny,
It was all I had to give;
But as pennies make the guineas,
It may help some cause to live.

A few little bits of ribbon
And some toys — they were not new;
But they made the sick child happy,
Which has made me happy, too.

Only some outgrown garments —
They were all I had to spare;
But they'll help to clothe the needy,
And the poor are everywhere.

A word now and then of comfort,
That cost me nothing to say;
But the poor old man died happy,
And it helped him on the way.

God loveth the cheerful giver,
Though the gift be poor and small;
What doth he think of his children
When they never give at all?




A MOTHER'S HEART.

A little dreaming, such as mothers know;
A little lingering over dainty things;
A happy heart, wherein hope all aglow
Stirs like a bird at dawn that wakes and sings —
And that is all.

A little clasping to her yearning breast;
A little musing over future years;
A heart that prays, "Dear Lord, thou knowest best,
But spare my flower life's bitterest rain of tears" —
And that is all.

A little spirit speeding through the night;
A little home grown lonely, dark, and chill;
A sad heart, groping blindly for the light;
A little snow-clad grave beneath the hill —
And that is all.

A little gathering of life's broken thread;
A little patience keeping back the tears;
A heart that sings, "Thy darling is not dead,
God keeps her safe through his eternal years" —
And that is all.

Macmillan's Magazine.