« AnteriorContinuar »
And the yellow sun-flower by the brook
In autumn beauty stood,
As falls the plague on men,
From upland, glade, and glen.
And now, when comes the calm, mild day.
As still such days will come,
From out their winter home;
Though all the trees are still,
The waters of the rill,
Whose fragrance late he bore,
And by the stream no more.
And then I think of one, who in
Her youthful beauty died,
And faded by my side;
When the forest cast the leaf,
Should have a life so brief: Yet not unmeet it was that one,
Like that young friend of ours, So gentle and so beautiful,
Should perish with the flowers.
W. C. BRYANT.
Those few, pale,autumn flowers,
How beautiful they are ! Than all that went before, Than all the summer store,
How lovelier far!
And why? They are the last !
The last! the last! the last!
That sister of the past!
Ye're types of precious things :
On rapid, rapid wings;
(That time the fastest spends,)
Last looks of dying friends.
A Jife in a day?
Must leave us, and for aye!
Pale flowers ! ye're types of those;
To an eternal close.
Pale flowers ! pale, perishing flowers !
I woo your gentle breath ;
Miss C. BOWLES.
SPIRIT OF THE ROSE-BUSH.
The Moss-Rose. The angel that nurses the flowers, and sprinkles the dew upon them in the stilly night, was slumbering, one spring day, in the shadow of a rose-bush. When he awoke, with smiling countenance, he said: “Loveliest of my children, I thank thee for thy reviving odor, and thy cooling shade. Couldst thou yet pray for anything more, how cheerfully would I grant it to thee!” “Adorn me then with some new grace," at once entreated the spirit of the rose-bush; and the angel of the flowers adorned the most beautiful of flowers with the simple moss. Then stood it forth, in modest grace, the mossrose, the choicest of its kind.
Beautiful Lina, let alone the spangled attire and precious stones, and follow the beck of maternal nature.
The Defense. WHEN Nature, by her almighty creative breath, had formed the loveliest of flowers, the rose, the spirit of the rose-bush said to the angel of flowers : “ Wilt thou not grant also to the noble bush a defense, which shall secure it from harm and evil? Nature has given to the thorn-bush large and sharp prickles!"
“The thorn-bush," replied the angel of flowers, “belongs not to the noble, but to the servants in the kingdom of creation. Its design is to protect the tender plants against irrational animals, and on that account nature gave to it the thorns. Yet thy wish shall be fulfilled !” Thus he spake, and covered the rose-bush with delicate prickles. Then said the spirit of the rose:
“To what purpose are these slender thorns ? they will not defend the splendid flower.”
The angel of flowers replied: “ They are intended only to restrain the hand of the thoughtless child. Resistance would only more powerfully allure to mischief. That which is holy and beautiful has its defense in itself: therefore nature gave to it the most delicate defense, which only admonishes, but does not wound; for with the beautiful must only the delicate be associated.” So has she given to innocence, bashfulness and blushing.
F. A. KRUMMACHER.
THE PENITENT SON.
Ere the psalm was yet over, the door was opened, and a tall, fine-looking man entered, but with a lowering, dark countenance, seemingly in sorrow, in misery, and remorse. Agitated, confounded, and awe-struck, by the melancholy, and dirge-like music, he sat down on a chair, and looked, with a ghastly face, towards his father's death-bed. When the psalm ceased, the father said with a solemn voice, “My son, thou art come in time to receive thy father's blessing. May the remembrance of what shall happen in this room, win thee from the error of thy ways.
Thou art here to witness the mercy of thy God and Savior, whom thou hast denied.”
The minister looked, if not with a stern, yet with an upbraiding countenance, on the young man, who had not recovered his speech, and said, “ William! for three years past your shadow has not darkened the doop of the house of God. They who fear not the thunder, may tremble at the still, small voice. Now is the hour for repentance, that your father's spirit may carry up to heaven tidings of a contrite soul, saved from the company of sinners.”
The young man, with much effort, advanced to the bed-side, and at last found voice to say, “ Father, I am not without the affections of nature, and I hurried home as soon as I heard that the minister had been seen riding toward our house. I hope that you will yet recover; and if ever I have made you unhappy, I ask your forgiveness; for though I may not think as you do on matters of religion, I have a human heart. Father, I may have been unkind, but I am not cruel. I ask your forgiveness."
“ Come nearer to me, William ; kneel down by the bedside, and let my hand find the head of my beloved son, for blindness is coming fast upon me. Thou wert my first-born, and thou art my only living son. All thy brothers and sisters are lying in the church-yard, beside her whose sweet face thine own, William, did once so much resemble. Long wert thou the joy, the pride, ay, too much the pride of my soul. If thy heart has since been changed, God may inspire it again with right thoughts. Could I die for thy sake! could I purchase thy salvation with the outpouring of my blood I but this the Son of God has done for thee, who hast denied him! I have sorely wept for thee, ay, William, when there was none near me, even as David wept for Absalom ; for thee, my son,
A long, deep groan was the only reply; but the whole body of the kneeling man, was convulsed; and it was easy to see his suffering, his contrition, his remorse, and his despair. The pastor said, with a sterner voice and austerer countenance than were natural to him, “Know you whose hand is now lying on your rebellious head? But what signifies the word father to him who has denied God, the father of us all ?" “Oh! press him not so hardly,” said the weeping wife, coming forward from a dark corner of the room, where she had tried to conceal herself in grief, fear, and shame ; spare,
oh! spare my husband ! he has ever been kind to me:" and with that she knelt down beside him, with her long, soft, white arms mournfully and affectionately laid across his neck.
6 Go thou, likewise, my sweet, little Jamie,” said the dying man, “go even out of my bosom, and kneel down beside thy father and thy mother, so that I may bless you all at once."
The child did as that solemn voice commanded, and knelt down somewhat timidly by his father's side ; nor did that unhappy man decline encircling in his arms the child, too much neglected, but still dear to him as his own blood, in spite of the deadening and debasing influence of infidelity. “ Put the Word of God into the hands of my son, and let him read aloud to his dying father the 25th, 26th, and 27th verses of the eleventh chapter of the gospel according to St. John.” The pastor went up to the kneelers, and with a voice of pity, condolence, and pardon, said, “There was
time when none, William, could read the scriptures better than couldst thou : can it be that the son of my friend hath forgotten the lessons of his youth?”
He had not forgotten them: there was no need for the repentant sinner to raise his eyes from the bed-side. The sacred stream of the gospel had worn a channel in his heart, and the waters were again flowing. With a choked voice he said, “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live;