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That, with their autographic names,
Their pride and pomp could play their games.
They'd buy for others to admire,
To make the envious perspire.
They'd buy them merely for the looks,
As they have bought their unread books.
The gavel raps, and now the sale;
Look at the buncombe zeal prevail.
In manners, they are naughty boys;
We have a perfect stock-board noise,
The women quite as loud as men.
The autographs bring five, and ten,
And fifteen, twenty. Then they rise
To heights that fill you with surprise.
A bogus Cromwell, in a flash,
Is sold for fifteen hundred-cash.
A pause. The auctioneer exclaims:
"Here's an eclipse on all these names.
Let reverence now bow the head."
They do precisely as he said.
“At a certain name your eyes must fill.
Three cheers!” They're given with a will.
“What name?” “ 'Tis Lady Geraldine.”
"Oh, yes !-related to the Queen,”
Some fellow says. 'Tis royal fun
To hear the explanations run.
The chap who never heard her name
Is telling all about her fame.
His rivals grow to seventeen,
And they have "Lady Geraldine"
Related to the queens and kings,
And writer of such brilliant things.
Says the auctioneer: “I've seen her stir"
“Great crowds !” they shout. “We know of her.”
Said he: “She never fears the broil”
“No, no!” says Blow, “In the right she'll toil.”
“Before she'd idle, she would roast.”.
“She would!” they cry. “ It is her boast.”
“Just think that she will carry coal!”
They shout: “Just like her, noble soul."
The would-knows tell how she, “so pure,
Will “carry coal for worthy poor.”
“She braves the water and the fire,
In service she will rarely tire.
When slaughter raged to her distress,
Each corpse would have the proper dress.”
Here the tender say: "Sweet Geraldine,
A nobler soul was never seen.”
The auctioneer is nearly dead;
He's laughed at everything he's said;
He blows his nose to hide his grin
And thus deludes the crowd again,
“She's daily found without a beau :
Where daring women fail to go.
While all her efforts give delight
And find a ready appetite."
Excitement now is most profound,
Her autograph is passed around
With solemn caution as to care.
What reverence, and how they stare!
They see in that bold, crooked hand
The genius that holds command !
When every one is all ablaze,
And rival spirit has a craze,
The auctioneer, in tone sincere,
Cries: “Start her high. What shall I hear!"
Now you should see the battle-sport,
Each bidder bound to hold the fort.
But mighty millions ever tell-
“Gone! Gone! Two thousand. Mr. Swell.”
With a glow and crow and pomp-parade,
The bill is very quickly paid.
Swell holds the autograph with pride
And calls the auctioneer aside.
Says he: “Look here. This thing I hold
Has cost a pretty pile of gold.
This very fact, my worthy friend,
Will bring the questions without end.
Now, as my memory is lame,
Please tell me all about her fame.
I hear of stir, and broil and roast,
As something worthy of a boast.
I hear of coal, of water, fire,
Of service that will rarely tire.
I hear of slaughter and distress,
Each corpse receiving proper dress.
You say she's found without a beau
Where daring women fail to go.
You speak of efforts that delight,
And of the ready appetite.
Now, sir, in brief, here's what I mean-
Who is this wondrous Geraldine?"
The auctioneer, to make his point,
And see the noodles out of joint,
Now shouts aloud with knowing look:
“This Geraldine 's my faithful cook !"
THE STORY OF FAITH.
A rustle of robes as the anthem
Soared gently away on the air-
The Sabbath morn's service was over,
And briskly I stepped down the stair;
When, close in a half-illumin'd corner,
Where the tall pulpit's stairway came down, Asleep crouched a tender wee maiden,
With hair like a shadowy crown.
Quite puzzled was I by the vision,
But gently to wake her I spoke,
When, at the first word, the sweet damsel
With one little gasp straight awoke.
“What brought you here, fair little angel ?”
She answered with voice like a bell: "I tum tus I've dot a sick mamma,
And I want oo to please pray her well!” "Who told you ?” began I; she stopped me;
“Don't noboby told me at all;
And papa can't see, tos he's cryin';
And 'sides, sir, I isn't so small;
I's been here before with mamma-
We tummed when you ringed the big bell;
And ev'ry time I'se heard oo prayin'
For lots o'sick folks to dit well.”
Together we knelt on the stairway
As humbly I asked the Great Power
To give back her health to the mother,
And banish bereavement's dark hour.
I finished the simple petition,
And paused for a moment, and then
A sweet little voice at my elbow
Lisped softly a gentle “ Amen!”
Hand in hand we turned our steps homeward;
The little maid's tongue knew no rest;
She prattled and mimicked and caroled-
The shadow was gone from her breast.
And lo! when we reached the fair dwelling,
The nest of my golden-haired waif,
'We found that the dearly loved mother
Was past the dread crisis,-was safe.
They listened, amazed at my story,
And wept o'er their darling's strange quest,
While the arms of the pale, loving mother
Drew the brave little head to her breast.
With eyes that were brimming and grateful
They thanked me again and again;
Yet I know in my heart that the blessing
Was won by that gentle “ Amen!”
RODNEY'S RIDE.*-ELBRIDGE S. BROOKS. In that soft mid-land where the breezes bear The north and the south on the genial air, Through the county of Kent, on affairs of state, Rode Cesar Rodney, the delegate. Burly and big, and bold and bluff, In his three-cornered hat and his suit of snuff, A foe to King George and the English state Was Cæsar Rodney, the delegate. Into Dover village he rode apace, And his kinsfolk knew, from his anxious face, It was matter grave that had brought him there, To the counties three upon Delaware. ' Money and men we must have,” he said, “Or the Congress fails and our cause is dead. Give us both and the king shall not work his will; We are men, since the blood of Bunker Hill I" Comes a rider swift on a panting bay: “ Hold, Rodney, ho! you must save the day, For the Congress halts at a deed so great,
And your vote alone may decide its fate!" *F:vm - St. Nicholas,” by permission.
Answered Rodney then: "I will ride with speed;
It is liberty's stress; it is freedom's need.
When stands it?” • To-night. Not a moment spare,
But ride like the wind, from the Delaware.”
“Ho, saddle the black! I've but half a day,
And the Congress sits eighty miles away,-
But I'll be in time, if God grants me grace,
To shake my fist in King George's face.”
He is up; he is off! and the black horse flies,
On the northward road ere the “God-speed !” dies
It is gallop and spur, as the leagues they clear,
And the clustering mile-stones move a-rear.
It is two of the clock; and the fleet hoofs fling
The Fieldsboro' dust with a clang and cling.
It is three; and he gallops with slack rein where
The road winds down to the Delaware.
Four; and he spurs into Newcastle town,
From his panting steed he gets him down-
"A fresh one, quick; not a moment's wait!”
And off speeds Rodney the delegate.
It is five; and the beams of the western sun
Tinge the spires of Wilmington, gold and dun;
Six; and the dust of the Chester street
Flies back in a cloud from his courser's feet.
It is seven; the horse boat, broad of beam,
At the Schuylkill ferry crawls over the stream;
And at seven-fifteen by the Rittenhouse clock
He flings his rein to the tavern Jock.
The Congress is met; the debate's begun,
And liberty lags for the vote of one--
When into the hall, not a moment late,
Walks Cæsar Rodney, the delegate.
Not a moment late! and that half-day's ride
Forwards the worla with a mighty stride, -
For the Act was passed, ere the midnight stroke
O'er the Quaker City its echoes woke.
At Tyranny's feet was the gauntlet Aung;
“ We are free!” all the bells through the colonies rung
And the sons of the free may recall with pride
The day of delegate Rodney's ride.