Imágenes de páginas

have grown

With the joy of life and loving. Gretel wept in bower, apart, With her sad eyes full of sorrow, and a load upon her heart: Often, as she paced the forest, to that turret high she turnea Wistful eye and wishful bosom, where his night-lamp dimly

burned. Then she speeded up the stairway, in the gloaming, like a

ghost, Heeding not the spectral shadows in the corners, nor the

hosts Of grim steel-men,-empty armors,—to his turret-chamber

locked; Then she beat upon its portals; stood, and tremblingly sbe

knocked. Dear my lord !” she cried, entreating, “let me in! for 1 Pale with pining, sad with waiting for your coming, all

alone !" “Nay,” he answered Gretel sternly : “hearken to thy lord's

desireMeddle not with red-hot irons, lest your fingers touch the

fire !” Day by day the same stern answer, day by day more loud

she prayed At the Wizard's turret portal by its terrors undismayed; Till be yielded to her praying-for he loved her—though he

told Of strange horrors she must witness with a courage strong

and bold, And tried to intimidate her; but he only tried in vain : For she beat his portals louder, and besought him once

again. In that dim, mysterious chamber, with its awful gramarye, Gretel only clasped her hands, and begged its wonders

strange to see; Till worn out with her entreating, he consented to enact For his lady; so he cased him in his wondrous cataphract. Thence he spoke - involuntary fear began to blanch her

cheek: * When the spell is strong upon me, ye must neither scream

nor speak! Fearful things, as I have told ye, ere you forced me with

vour prayers, Must be seen by her who listens, who the Wizard's secret

shares ! When the spell is strong upon me, at the wonders you

shall see If ye lisp a cry of horror it will bring catastrophe !

'Neath this castle, unsuspected, lies a stream, which there

hath run Since the stars were lit in heaven and first blazed the virgin

sun! Bottomless it is, and inky-for there wafts it o'er a breath From the sluggish, dank miasma of the chilly land of deatŁ ! If ye speak or shriek or whisper when the evil spell is on, Up shall rise the lake—the castle shall be none, ere light

of dawn!" Grave she grew, but brave she listened to the wonders he

disclosed, As she knelt upon a divan, pale and outwardly composed. Now the formula is spoken--barred and locked the turret

door; and the Wizard's form lies writhing like a serpent on the

floor. Horrid ! how the scales so burnished on the cataphract, ap

palled, Rose and bristled-as the Wizard through the chamber, sinuous,

crawled ! Longer stretched his forin and thinner, yonder waved the

forky tail ! And the serpent's eyes fixed on her, made the Wizard's lady

quail Nearer came the human monster, till its hot breath fanned

her cheek, And the gaping jaws seemed ready some dark prophecy to

speak. Hush !-a cry. The spell is broken by the lady's piercing

shriek ! One loud crash, a sullen murmur sounded through that lonely

wood, And a coal-black tarn was dimpling where the castle lately

stood! And to-day the peasant, stopping, as he passes through that

vale, Pale with awe, in frightened murmurs, tells the traveler thu



Written expressly for this Collection.
'Tis early morn.

The clash of arms
Is heard midst nature's fairest charms;
Loud peals the bugle's stirring note,
And on the breeze bright banners float;
The trumpet's call echoes afar-
An army marches on to war!

With stately step they pass us by, Each head with pride erected high ; Each eye with daring bravery fired; Each heart with deepest hate inspired, Hate to the foe they long to meet, The enemy they must defeat. Clear on their swords the sunlight glows And all their glittering armor shows, While every waving plume with dew Sparkles like diamonds through and through. Still swells the thrilling music, still The brilliant pageant passes, till The last plume glistens in the sun, The last sword flashes-they are gone! 'Tis night, the smoke has cleared away That hid the battle-field all day; And the pale moon looks coldy down On Victory with his bloody crown, Lighting the dreadful place where lie The dead and those who soon must die. White faces, stern in death, are there; Hands clasped and stiffened in despair, The veteran of many a fight; The boy with hair still childish bright; Rank's noblest sons, and those whose fame Is all forgotten, with their name; The sunburnt brow, the cheek of snow, Master and servant, friend and foeAre heaped together, pile on pile; The lips of some wreathed with a smile While others frown in rage and clutch Their swords, or on the trigger touch As if they just had sped the ball, And, dying, seen the foeman fall; Some limbless, some with shattered face; E'en those who loved them could not trace A feature, but would pass them by Shuddering, and with averted eye. Here is a headless body; there, A head with tangled bloody hair; And plumes, balls, sworils, torn banners, lie With mangled limbs, mixed horribly. But oh, the dying! there alone, Without a tear, or one kind tone,

Praying for water, all in vain
Though blood is round them thick as rain ;
Some sobbing like weak women, some
Cursing the day they left their home;
Calling on mother, sister, wife,
To save them from the dreadful strife.
No loved hand wipes the anguished brow;
No kiss is on the hot lips now,
As groaning in deep agony,
Upon the battle-field they die.
But famished wolves a requiem howl,
And o'er the scene of slaughter prowl.
The vulture and her hideous brood,
Drawn by the sickening smell of blood;
And ere the victims cease to feel
Banquet upon their human meal.
Nor is this all. Who can relate
How many homes are desolate;
The widow's lonely grief express ;
The sorrow of the fatherless;
Or know what bitter tears are shed
By aged mothers of the dead ?
Oh! turn we from the saddening story-
This, this is what the world calls—Glory!


MRS. Alex. Mc Veigu MILLER.
A moment, scarcely more, I stood

In reverent silence, waiting there;
Nor dared profane with footsteps rude

The brooding hush of earnest prayer.
But in that moment's solemn space

How sad a fancy touched my soul,
And brought me, trembling, face to face

With fears beyond my weak control.
I thought, oh! if I stood to-night

From this chill earthly bondage free,
Were these the golden gates of light-

Would these closed doors swing wide for me? *Written expressly for this Collection,

Would angels barp my welcome home,

Or that dear Lord, tou oft forgot,
Reproachfuliy pronounce my doom:

" Depart from me, I know you not.”
Wild thought! my startled spirit swayed

By one sharp pulse of agony,
Wavered on doubting wings, afraid

Of that sad thought that came to me.
But softly fell the deep “Amen!”

And rose the voice of praise in song,
A moment's pause, a step, and then-

I stood among the singing throng.
From darkness into light-oh! heart,

So weary of life's glare and din,
Thus mayst thou hear, oh! not “ Depart!”

But “Knock and ye shall enter in.”

THE CHOIR'S WAY OF TELLING IT. Attending services not long ago in an elegant church edifice, where they worship God with taste in a highly æsthetic manner, the choir began that scriptural poem which compares Solomon with the lilies of the field somewhat to the former's disadvantage. Although not possessing a great admiration for Solomon, nor considering him a suitable person to hold up as a shining example -before the Young Men's Christian Association, still a pang of pity for him was felt when the choir, after expressing unbounded admiration for the lilies of the field, which it is doubtful if they ever observed very closely, began to tell the congregation, through the mouth of the soprano, that “Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed.” Straightway the soprano was re-inforced by the bass, who declared that Solomon was most decidedly and emphatically not arrayed, --was not arrayed. Then the alto ventured it as her opinion that Solomon was not arrayed; when the tenor, without a moment's hesitation, sung, as if

« AnteriorContinuar »