Page:Littell's Living Age - Volume 139.pdf/779

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.




Just a whisper from the skies,
In the hush of midnight dreary,
Clasped with peace the aching eyes.
Bore their little sufferer weary
Home, to rest in heaven's sweet morrow;
While far round our footsteps spread
Depths of wild unwavering sorrow,
Baby's dead!

Still around that brow so fair
More than earthly beauty lingers;
Gently smoothe the falling hair,
Fold the tiny frozen fingers;
Twine the curls so proudly tended,
In a halo round his head;
Pride and hope alike are ended,
Baby's dead!

Lonely to the hopeless tomb,
Darling child! how shall we yield thee?
From its drear corroding gloom
Love would freely die to shield thee.
Can we bear that dust should gather
Round our darling's golden head?
Spare the bitter cup, O Father,
Baby's dead!

Dead! and light is quenched in tears;
Hopes that blossomed but to wither,
Sunny dreams of after years,
Lost in death's cold gulf forever.
Sun and moon and stars are smitten
With despair's dark night o'erspread;
Round the universe is written,
Baby's dead!

Darling, from your slumbers deep,
Mother calls, — will you not waken?
In that lone, mysterious sleep,
Do you dream of hearts forsaken?
Safe where joys ne'er droop and languish,
Are you watching overhead?
Oh, the passion of the anguish,
Baby's dead!

Peace, at last, may hush the strife,
Where no mists of parting sever,
We may greet thee crowned with life,
Clasp thee in our love forever.
But to-night, bereft and lonely,
Yearn we for our treasure fled,
While weird echoes answer only,
Baby's dead!

Sunday Magazine.Mary Rowles.


My better self! my Stradiuarius! we
Have done great things to-night; have help'd to bear
On outspread wings the stream of melody
Up to heaven's portals — it might enter there.

I wonder, lov'd one, was it thou or I
Who pour'd our soul forth on the music's strain?
Thou art not living — yet I hear thee sigh,
And sing, and sob, like gods more than us men.

Since he, Cremona's master, work'd and wrought
With more than human skill, he surely breath'd
Into his sweet creation speech and thought,
Best of the forest, with man's best enwreath'd.

The master breath'd upon thee, with the love
That centres in a soul; and lo! awoke
Thy sweet life-song, attun'd in heav'n above,
And soaring, thus upon the silence broke.

But no! description's vain — we cannot tell
The songster's sweetness, nor the sough of wind,
The spring-tide wonder, nor the year's sad knell;
Yet all this joy and sadness here we find.

Yet more! for in its midst, grief of a heart
That knows this life, blends with the joy of those
Who know but spirit life; and thus impart
Heav'n's bliss into the strain that richer grows.

And yet, sweet violin! without me thou wert mute,
And unresponsive in thy velvet nest would lie;
All silent as a long-forgotten lute,
Thus thou without me — thus without thee I!

Good Words.H. J. O.


Where the swift brook runs downward to the sea
Through the dark woods that border Norman's Woe,
Rippling with joy or stealing silently,
There cardinal-flowers in stately clusters grow.
They seem in their calm beauty to uprear
Their haughty heads, and blush with conscious pride,
As if the mosses, ferns and all things near
Were but as slaves and vassals at their side.
The cool, green depths where nature seems asleep,
Their passionate color fills with warmth and grace,
Till thoughts of regal pomp and splendor come;
And gazing on their hue so rich and deep
I seem to see, as in a vision, pass
Some gorgeous pageant through the streets of Rome.

Magnolia, Aug. 1878.M. B. A.