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The poor, the rich, but all for heart or flesh
Among that crowd
Up from her bed of weary pain,
But hark! He speaks!
IT'S MY NATURE. An aged colored man rose to a standing position and a point of order the other night with a tremulous voice and a feeble mien, and combated a sentiment adverse to the crushing out of old King Alcohol. Said he:
"You'mind me, my bredern an’my sistern, of a nannecot I wonse heerd when I was nigh about a pickaninny. Dar was a sh’t ho'n kalf a ramblin' ob hisself down a shady lane, when wot should he see but a snaik a lying on the ground wid a big rock on his hed.
“Says Mr. Kalf: 'Wot's de matter ob you ?' “Says Mr. Snaik: 'Please, Mr. Kalf, to take dis stone
hed.' "Dunno,' says Mr. Kalf,''spec you'll bite me.'
“ 'Deed, no,' says Mr. Snaik ; 'you take de stone off an’ sure I'll nebber bite you.'
“ So Mr. Kaif he knocked de stone off Mr. Snaik's hed. “Which way you gwine, Mr. Kalf?' says Mr. Snaik, “ Down dis way,' said Mr. Kalf. “So dey started off togedder. “Bine by, Mr. Snaik says: 'Mr. Kalf, guess I'll bite you.'
“Why,' said Mr. Kalf, ‘you said you wouldn't bite if I turned you loose.
“I know dat,' says Mr. Snaik, “but I kan't help it; it's my nature.'
“Well, says Mr. Kalf, 'we'll leave that queschun to de fust niggah we meet.'
"Well, de fust niggah they met was a fox.
“Mr. Fox,' says Mr. Kalf, 'I took a stone offen Mr. Snaik's bed awhile back, an' he promised he wouldn't bite me; an' now he wants to bite anyhow.'
“Well,' says Mr. Fox, 'de only way I can arborate de matter is to see de 'rig'nal persishuns ob de parties.'
“So dey went back, an' Mr. Snaik laid hisself down and Mr. Kalf put de stone on his hed.
“Now,' says Mr. Fox, 'dat am de 'rig'nal persishuns ob de 'sputants, am it?!
Dey boff said it was. “Well,' said Mr. Fox, Mr. Kalf, you just go 'bout yo'bis'ness and Mr. Snaik wont bite you.'
“Dass it, my bredern, dass it. You mus' put de stone on de hed an' gwine about yo’ bis’ness, an' de Snaik wont
APOSTROPHE TO THE MISSISSIPPI.
MRS. A. M. Wilcox.
Onward forever to the far-off sea !
Thy presence glorified, when life was free;
Glad in its freedom from belief in sin;
Which bred the canker of distrust within.
But not like thee with current strong and deep,
By turgid breasting of some rocky steep,
Lies the great ocean of Infinite Love,
With heavens like thine own summer skies above.
Thy restless ripples toss like flying feet
With golden prow and white, wide-flowing sheet,
Into the harbor where no storms can come.
Back to oncoming shallops, in the mists and foam.
Let thy broad breast bear out these waifs to sea,
Tides us along into eternity.
In whose deep breast thy rushing waves shall sleep.
Surges with grander harmony as on we sweep.
THE KEEPERS OF THE LIGHT.*
LETITIA VIRGINIA Douglas. In the grim old light-house tower, with his daughter, lived
Old Grey, Keeper was he of the beacon that illumined Starhead Bay; "'Twas a baddish spot as ever rocked a boat, on windy night,” So were wont to say the sailors wbo depended on the light. Surly graybeard was the father; his repute had traveled far; And his daughter's was as widespread,-she was called the
“Light-house Star;" So the gallant "tars” had named her, for her brilliant beauty
bore Likeness to a star that glimmered, flashing, on that lonely
sbore. Margot's beauty was a wonder,-ill did she seem formed for
work! And her surly, silent father watched his daughter like a Turk. In his half-fierce, half-fond fashion--oft by softer mood be
guiledHe did seem to love his daughter, to adore his only child. Loved ? aye loved in such a fashion as the desert lions do! He would brook that none should rob him--for her hand
none dared to sue. Yet Love laughs at bars and padlocks, and he breaks them
like frail toy. Margot had a secret lover, he a handsome sailor-boy! Chey had met—no matter, reader, how to pass the meeting
came; In their case, as in all others, the old story is the same! They had met not once but often; at the meeting lately past He had whispered ; “Please God, darling, this farewell shall
be our last! When I come back from this voyage, see once more old Star
head Light, (Three short weeks from now expect me; keep your lamp
aglow, that night, With the green side turned to seaward; it shall serve for
token, dear, To assure me that my Margot feels her sailor lover near!) When I come back flushed with victory, conqueror in for
tune's strife, I shall face your father boldly and demand of him my wife !" “Three long, weary weeks are drawing, thank God!" sighs
she, "to a close, And to-morrow night--"The secr t none but enger Margot knows !
*Written expressly for this Collection,
Yet, a trifle, how a trifle may change joy to blank despair! “In the sighing of a woman there is sign of love or care,” Whispered Grey, and eyed her sidelong, saw her changing
color light, Like a flame, her soft cheek burning, as she trimmed her
lamp that night. Something's in the wind,” he muttered, as he watched her
all day long Singing o'er her homely duties, “Love” the burden of her
song. One more night," she whispered lowly, "one more night
my eager heart! Then, ah! then my love will join me, and we twain no more
will part.” Trifles turn the wheel of fortune, have done so since time
began : 'Twas a trifle, but a trifle, caused the fall of yielding man,One taste of the tempting apple, pleading smile on woman's
face, And the dire result, accomplished, was the ruin of a race! 'Twas a scrap of written paper, 'twas a letter, one week old, Fluttering out at open window, that to Grey the secret told Of his daughter's stolen amour; but he showed it by no word, Though ye well may guess, who know him, that to fury him
it stirred. “ Turn the green light out, my darling!” scoffed he low, and
loud laughed he With a mirth that made one shudder and a look not good
to see. Sank the sun like ball of fire in the bosom of the bay, And the wind rose, wild and gusty, at the closing of the day. Margot's yearning eyes strained seaward. There will be
wild work to-night! But he's close to home by this time-it is time to set the
light.” But when, toiling up the stairway, she had reached the tower
door, Throbbed her heart in sudden terror-Grey himself was there
before! Laughed he in her face his scorning; in his outstretched
hand he held, Close before her eyes the letter—then she knew her love was
knelled. Writ as 'twere in words of fire, she could read his message
sweet : * "Twill be but a few short hours, dear my love, ere we shall