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shower soon after sunset, which, with the clearing up wind, had frozen thinly into a most fragile rime, and glazed with transparent crystal every thing open to the sky. The distant forest looked serried with metallic trees, dazzling, and unspeakably gorgeous; and, as the night wind stirred through them, and shook their crystal points in the moonlight, the aggregated stars of heaven springing from their Maker's hand to the spheres of their destiny, or the march of the host of the archangel Michael with their irradiate spear-points glittering in the air, or the diamond beds of central earth thrust up to the sun in some throe of the universe, would, each and all, have been well bodied forth by such similitude.
N. P. WILLIS.
I DEEM thee not unlovely; though thou comest
Man should rest
The ruddy boy
The timid infant learns
Come thou to life's feast,
“ It snows !" cries the School-boy, “ Hurrah !" and his shout
Is ringing through parlor and hall,
And his play-mates have answered his call;
Proud wealth has no pleasure, I trow,
As he gathers his treasures of snow;
“It snows !" sighs the Imbecile, “Ah!” and his breath
Comes heavy, as clogged with a weight: While, from the pale aspect of nature in death
He turns to the blaze of his grate ;
And nearer and nearer, his soft, cushioned chair
Is wheeled toward the life-giving flame;
Lest it wither his delicate frame;
6. It snows !” cries the Traveler, “Ho!" and the word
Has quickened his steed's lagging pace;
Unfelt the sharp drift in his face;
Ay, through leagues intervened he can see;
And his wife with her babes at her knee;
“It snows !" cries the Belle, “Dear, how lucky !" and turns
From her mirror to watch the flakes fall;
While musing on sleigh-ride and ball:
Floating over each drear winter's day ;
Will melt like the snow-flakes away:
" It snows!” cries the Widow, “Oh God!” and her sighs
Have stifled the voice of her prayer;
On her cheek sunk with fasting and care.
But “ He gives the young ravens their food,”
And she lays on her last chip of wood.
MRS. S. J. Halk.
DURING my residence in the country, I used frequently to attend at the old village church, which stood in a neighborhood filled with ancient families, and contained, within its cold and silent aisles, the congregated dust of many noble generations. Its shadowy aisles, its moldering monuments, its dark oaken panneling, all reverend with the gloom of departed years, seemed to fit it for the haunt of solemn meditation. A Sunday, too, in the country, is so holy in its repose, such a pensive quiet reigns over the face of nature, that every
passion is charmed down, and we feel all the natural religion of the soul gently springing up within us.
“Sweet day, so pure, so calm, so bright,
The bridal of the earth and sky!” I do not pretend to be what is called a devout man; but there are feelings that visit me in a country church, amid the beautiful serenity of nature, which I experience no where else; and, if not a more religious, I think I am a better man on Sunday, than on any other day of the seven.
But in this church I felt myself continually thrown back upon the world, by the frigidity and pomp of the poor worms around me. The only being that seemed thoroughly to feel the humble and prostrate piety of a true Christian, was a poor, decrepit, old woman, bending under the weight of years and infirmities. She bore the traces of something better than abject poverty. The lingerings of decent pride were visible in her appearance. Her dress, though humble in the extreme, was scrupulously clean. Some trivial respect, too, had been awarded her, for she did not take her seat among the village poor, but sat alone, on the steps of the altar.
She seemed to have survived all love, all friendship, all society; and to have nothing left her but the hope of heaven. When I saw her feebly rising and bending her aged form in prayer, habitually conning her prayer-book, which her palsied hand and failing eyes would not permit her to read, but which she evidently knew by heart, I felt persuaded that the faltering voice of that poor woman arose to Heaven far before the
responses of the clerk, the swell of the organ, or the chanting of the choir.
I am fond of loitering about country churches, and this was so delightfully situated, that it frequently attracted me. It stood on a knoll, around which a stream made a beautiful bend, and then wound its way through a long reach of soft meadow scenery. The church was surrounded by yew trees, which seemed almost coeval with itself. Its tall, Gothic spire shot up lightly from among them, with rooks and crows generally wheeling about it. I was seated there, one still, sunny morning, watching two laborers who were digging a grave. They had chosen one of the most remote and neglected corners of the church-yard; where, from the number of nameless graves around, it would appear that the indigent and friendless were huddled into the earth. I was told that the new-made grave was for the only son of widow.
While I was meditating on the distinctions of worldly rank, which extend thus down into the very dust, the toll of the bell announced the approach of the funeral. They were the obsequies of poverty, with which pride had nothing to do. A coffin of the plainest materials, without pall or other covering, was borne by some of the villagers. The sexton walked before, with an air of cold indifference.
There were no mock mourners in the trappings of affected woe; but there was one real mourner who feebly tottered after the corpse.
It was the aged mother of the deceased; the poor, old woman whom I had seen seated on the steps of the altar. She was supported by a humble friend, who was endeavoring to come fort her. A few of the neighboring poor had joined the train, and some children of the village were running hand in hand, now shouting with unthinking mirth, and now pausing to gaze, with childish curiosity, on the grief of the mourner. As the funeral train approached the
parson issued from the church porch, arrayed in the surplice, with prayerbook in hand, and attended by the clerk. The service, however, was a mere act of charity. The deceased had been destitute, and the survivor was pennyless. It was shuffled through, therefore, in form, but coldly and unfeelingly. The well-fed priest moved but a few steps from the church-door; his voice could scarcely be heard at the grave; and never did I hear the