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NEARING HOME.
“And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of hab
itation." Psalm cvii: 7.
We have heard of the city so shining and fair,

In the far-away land of the blest,
Of the mansions of glory preparing for those

Who there, and there only, would rest.
In those bright habitations we, too, long to dwell;

To that city as pilgrims we roam;
Though the journey be long, we are traveling on,

For each day is a day nearer home.
Thro’ the cold wintry storm, and the summer's fierce heat,

In conflict, and sorrow, and pain,
Over mountain and valley, and deep-rolling floods,

We must pass ere that city we gain.
Though toilsome the "way,” it must surely be “right,"

Since God is our leader and guide,
In the pillar of cloud and of flame, day and night,

He has promised with us to abide.
O'er the wide trackless plain, where no rock lifts its head,

Beneath whose cool shade we may stand,
With our strength almost gone, our feet bleeding and torn

We press on through the hot, burning sand;
But e'en in the desert we shall find some green spot,

Some murmuring “brook in the way,”
And shall lift up the head that was drooping and bowed

Through the wearying march of the day.
And when from the hill-tops we catch the first gleam

Of the walls, and the gates of pure gold,
When faintly the echo seems borne on the air

Of a rapture and joy uncontrolled ;
When we feel the light touch of invisible hands,

And hear the soft rustling of wings;
When the thought that his angels are guarding our way,

New strength and encouragement brings,-
We are nearing “the land that was very far off,"

The home of the ransomed and blest;
Soon the “King in His beauty" our eyes shall behold,

And forever with him we shall rest.
Then as down through the valley of shadows we go,

Hope sings her sweet song to the end;
And faith follows the voice, till in triumph 'tis lost,

And to glory and God we ascend.

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UP THAR BEHIND THE SKY!-J. M. MUNYON.

I beg your pardon, misters,
For 'truding here on you;
But though I'm looking seedy
You'll find me straight and true.
Oh, no, I aint no stranger,
As Injuns round here know,
I came to these yere diggins
Some forty years ago.
How come I to leave the East ?
I swow 'tis hard to tell;
A word or two with dad,
And-and-and-well,
Never mind how or why,
We pulled up stakes-
Old Ben Green and I-
And started for the plains.
That was long afore
Thar was any railroad trains,
And traveling then, boys,
I tell yer was mighty tuff,
"Twixt fighting them pesky Injuns
And getting grub enough.
Well, nothing special happened
Until, one summer night,
When quartered in our cabin,
Snugly out of sight.
We'd eat our scanty supper,
And jist laid down to sleep,
When we heard a cry below us,
That caused our flesh to creep.
The moon was shining brightly,
And thar as plain as day,
Stood a dozen painted redskins,
Not twenty rods away.
In the centre was a half-breed,
With a white gal by his side,
And he swore that he'd scalp her,
Unless she'd be his bride.
“ Strike, strike, you villain,” she said,
“I gladly give my life;
I'd rather be burned at the stake
Than ever become your wife."

Then quick as a flash of lightning, He seized that gal by the hair; With an oath that was fit for the devil, He raised his knife in the air, But jist as the blade was descending, I sent a ball through his head; And he fell like a dog that he was, At the feet of his victim, dead. Them Injuns was fairly bewildered. And run like deer for the plain, And I knew by the way they skedaddled, We shouldn't be troubled again. We carried the gal to our cabin, For she'd fainted clean dead away, And thar for five long weeks With a burning fever lay. One night, 'twas jist at sunset, We tho't her time had come. Old Ben looked down at the heel, And I felt mighty glum. She beckoned us to her bedside, And whispered, “Kneel down and pray, Perhaps 'twill cool my forehead And take the pain away.” Well, thar we stood like boobies, We didn't know what to say, For chaps what's fighting Injuns, Don't arger their case that way. Old Ben wa’n’t much on weeping, You could see the grit in his eye, But he blubbered that night like a baby, And said, “ Come, Jim, let's try.” His prayer wa’n’t much like preachers', But I reckon it went as high, For angels seemed to nuss her, And God himself drew nigh. The gal grew strong and hearty, And sorter took to me: And I was jist as lovesick, As a lovesick chap could be. 'Twa'n't long afore a preacher man Stopped at our ranch one day, And spliced us both together, In the good old-fashioned way. She wa’n’t so dreadful handsome,

But her heart was true as steel,
And she wa’n't afraid to help me,
With her shoulder to the wheel.
She allers read the Scripter,
And used to pray and sing;
Why I wouldn't er swapped that home,
For the palace of a king.
I tho't the Lord was with us,
For things all seemed to thrive
And Ben, he used to call me
The happiest man alive.
And so we kept on prosp'ring
Till at last we had a boy;
Perhaps he wa'n't a comfort,
Perhaps he wa'n't a joy.
I hadn't a care or trouble,
Until one winter's day
i oad to go to town,
Some twenty miles away.
'Twas night when I returned,
And, oh, what a sight to see!
Nothing but burning timber,
Of the home that used to be.
Nothing but smoke and ashes,
Nothing but wild despair,
Nothing but mocking winds,
Nothing but biting air.
I called for wife and baby,
I called for poor old Ben,
I prayed to God for wisdom,
I prayed for the help of men.
Then up like a hound I started
In sarch of sign or trail,
For I knew 'twas the work of Injuns,
And vowed I would not fail.
But now 'tis twenty years and past
I've tramped these regions o'er
In hopes that I might find
My wife and boy once more.
Don't think I'm chicken-hearted,
Or a man that often cries,
But thar's a big lump in my throat,
And water in my eyes.
For I've been thinking lately
As how the time is nigh

ok

When I shall meet my darlings
Up thar behind the sky.
What's that? speak quick! you know me
Your name, Jim Smith, my son ?
Your marm, my wife? where is she?
In thar? come, boy, let's run.

I WONDER WHY.

I wonder why this world's good things

Should fall in such unequal shares;
Why some should taste of all the joys,

And others only feel the cares!
I wonder why the sunshine bright

Should fall in paths some people tread,
While others shiver in the shade

Of clouds that gather overhead ! I wonder why the trees that hang

So full of luscious fruit should grow
Only where some may reach and eat,

While others faint and thirsty go!
Why should sweet flowers bloom for some

For others only thorns be found;
And some grow rich on fruitful earth,.

While others till but barren ground? I wonder why the hearts of some

O'erflow with joy and happiness, While others go their lonely way

Unblessed with aught of tenderness! I wonder why the eyes of some

Should ne'er be moistened with a tear, While others weep from morn till night,

Their hearts so crushed with sorrow here! Ah well! we may not know indeed

The whys, the wherefores of each life! But this we know,-there's One who sees

And watches us through joy or strife. Each life its mission here fulfills,

And only He may know the end, And loving him we may be strong,

Though storm or sunshine he may send.

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