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Oh, loud and fierce the organ sounds,
Like fire and flash of steel;
And meet, and part, and reel;
Death-pain could almost feel.
A dirge?-an elegy?
And that dame, was it she
His widow now to be ?
His brave steed, and behind
And then the sad tones wind
And the love-thoughts it enshrined.
Came a sweet tune that raised
Down in the ball and praised
Through lone long years, and gazed
Where he had gone before-
She kneeling on the floor,
“ The God whom I adore.”
Before the yellow keys;
The lone bird calling,—these
The ghosts the organ sees.
THE MOUNTAIN AND THE SQUIRREL.- EMERSON.
The mountain and the squirrel
Had a quarrel,
To make up a year,
And a sphere;
To occupy my place.
You are not so small as I,
I'll not deny you make
A very pretty squirrel track.
If I cannot carry forests on my back,
A MESSAGE FROM BONY. His name was Johnny,-Johnny Bohn, if there had been any record made of it, but “Rack-o'-Bones” was what he said they usually called him, except a few who shortened it to “Bony."
Bony was an appropriate title for the little fellow. As he lay back on the pillow in the hospital ward he looked little else than bones. Dark rings encircled his eyes, and his pale, pinched face told of great suffering.
“ He is a great deal more than ordinary!” said, the nurse of that ward on visitors' day, “and patient, ma am; there never was anything like it! He's pretty cheerful too, except when I tell him I hope he will soon be well; then his face grows long and sad, and he always says 'I want to die!' Poor lad, he'll get his wish soon, I'm thinkin'. The doctors say he will never go out alive!"
“Poor little fellow,” the visitor said, approaching him. And then Johnny turned his great eyes on the lady and exclaimed:
“ Mother used to say that 'fore she died,'poor little fellow, and what's goin' to become o' you ? I don't know which she said the most, but 'twas al'ys one or tother.” Then as the lady seated berself beside him, and put a bunch of roses in his trembling hand, he added : “She never dreamed I'd have a bed all my own-a bed with sheets on-and folks a-steppin' soft around me like as I was of some account, and a-waitin' on me and givin' me med'cin' like I was worth sayin'!
Mother never dreamed o' that! I s'pose if I hadn't been so lame, an' could ’a got out o' the way of the horses that day I'd never 'a come to this! But oh, ma'am, it's nice when yer bones is achin' to have a bed to lie on! Seems like I'd been tired ever since I could think, just ever so tired ma'am! I'm gettin' rested now. Oh, don't say you hope I'll be well soon, I haint no call to git well, at all-no call at all, ma'am-an’ I'd rayther die than not. Yes ma'am, I've heard about God and about heaven the man at the funeral told us, an' I've been to them mission schools sometimes !”
It was a full half hour before the lady rose to go; she sat there talking lovingly and tenderly to the boy, who lay there drinking in eagerly every word she uttered.
“ Yes ma'am," said Johnny replying to her parting words, “I'll be sure to remember what you have said. I can read a little, and I guess I can read this’ere card better when you come ag'in. Thank you, ma'am, you was kind to explain it! I didn't get the meaning at first, but it's clear enough now. Good-bye. Please ma'am, before you go wont you say 'poor little fellow'once more; it sounds 80 like mother. You needn't say the other, 'I wonder what'll become o' you'—the kick o' them horses has settled that !” and a wan little smile crept out on his face and softened its angles.
“My---s-t-, oh, yes, that's strength,” said Johnny, trying to read in his poor little way the text on the card the lady had left. "My strength is m-a-made p-e-r-f-e-c-t, perfect in w-e-a-oh, yes, weakness ! That weakness means me, he said; “the strength is Him! I wish I'd a-known it afore,” he murmured—"why didn't some one tell me!”
And then the nurse came near and said: “Well, my little man, here's your medicine!” And though she was always kind, Johnny was glad she had said “my little man,” instead of “poor little fellow,” for no one had ever said the latter, with just the mother tone in it, until this day, and it was still like music in his ears.
And when he had taken the medicine, Johnny put the card with the great word strength on it right under his little tired head and thus he fell asleep.
He had grown very weak when the lady called again, and she said “poor little fellow" a great many times, because she felt so sorry. But Johnny's face was very bright, and the pain was gone out of it. He could still speak, but his voice was faint and far away!
" I'm gittin' better, I guess,” he whispered; but he failed to add, "I want to die!” “I dreamed last night I went to heaven, ma'am; it was full o'them beautiful flowers you bring, and folks was there with faces sweet like yours, ma'am! He came up to me,—the one you told me about the man o' sorrows,' you said, 'acquainted with grief. His face was all sort o'sunlighty around it, and his voice tender-like and full o’ love. He just came ever so close to me, and says He: ‘Bony, what do you want ?' said He. Says I: 'I want to die.' “How's that?' said He. Then I made a clean breast of it, and told Him all, just as you said I should! Haint no call to live,' says I, ‘I've al’ys been tired, al'ys been lame, al’ys been of no account, an' now the horses has run over me, an' broke my leg that was straight, an’smashed my only decent arra. I haint no home to speak of—no place—an’ folks as don't know me find me onpleasant to look upon, an' turns their heads away!'
“ Then He comes still closer to me, and He takes my hand, and He: ‘Bony, I know what sorrow an’ sufl'rin is! I know what it is to have no place! I know what it is to be without friends. I've come into great glory an' power now, Bony, but all the same I haven't forgotten what earth's sorrows is, and I'm full o’great sympathy, Bony, for them that suffers. You are about as miserable as a little fellow can be; but don't say as you haven't a call to live! It aint for the poorest creature on earth to jedge that! As long as life is yours, you are wanted on earth, and it aint soldier like to lie down and die in the midst of a battle. You are just the one to go back to earth and live for Me; just the one to tell the tired ones, the sufførin' ones, the folks as is battlin' for their lives, not to lay the trouble too much to heart. Tell them to take hold o' Me, to lay hold o' my strength, and say that I have great love for them. • Bony,' said He, sort o'soft like, 'fight it through, then you too shall come into glory.'
“I thought I had hold o’His hand, ma'am, and I held it tighter and tighter, and just then I woke up, and I had hold o' this card instid! But it's like takin' hold o’His hand to read them words since you told me about ’em! And I'll go back to where I came from, ma'am, if He wants me to, an' it wont be so hard agin, since He is lookin' on, and a-reachin' out help, and a-lovin' me!”
But the dear God never asked Johnny to go back, except in the dream. The little fellow grew weaker and weaker, but he never knew it. The arms underneath him were so strong, so tender and loving, so full of sweet comfort, they soothed him to sleep-but it was to the sleep God gives to His beloved.
A SIMPLE SIGN.
That she saw a simple sign.
While her blue eyes seemed to shine.
As she tossed her pretty hat,
With a good plain sign, like that.”
Near that favored grocer's shop,
“This Corn Warranted to Pop.”