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And still she seemed to linger as if of chiding fearful
? And something chill came o'er me that felt, Bob, like a pain. She came up to the hearth side, and took the proffered
seat, And held up to the fire her poor, half-frozen feet; For they were bare and shoeless, and blue with pinching
cold, And like her dress all spattered with yellow, clayey mold; Her gown was old and tattered, and vainly lengthened out; With odds and ends all different, and patched and darned
about; An old and faded kerchief covered her unkempt hair, Which would have glowed with beauty if smoothed and
dressed with care; Her eye was of that gentle blue which artists love to paint, In ideal picture showing some sorrow-stricken saint. In fact, her gentle manners and timid modest ways All seemed to tell that she had known more bright and bet
ter days. When by the blazing fire she'd warmed her scant-clad form, I asked her what had brought her forth in such a driving
storm; 'I came,' she answered, blushing and hanging down her head, 'I came to see if I, sir, could get a little bread; And oh! I can not tell you how much I hate to beg, But poor mamma is starving and Tom has lost his leg; He lost his leg at Dallas-he was a soldier then; They took our boys to battle, as well as all the men. We all did what we could, sir, and tried to win the fight, Gave all we had to country; we thought 'twas doing right. My father died a soldier, a rebel soldier, too ; And that is why I feared, sir, to ask for bread of you ; But we are all so hungry, we've neither bread nor meat; For two long days we've fasted, with not a thing to eat; We used to have a plenty, sir, with horses, too, to ride, A happy home with servants and all we wished beside; But now we've nothing left, sir, they all went one by one; Our dear old home we lost it, and now all else has gone. We had to sell our dresses for anything they'd bring, Last week we had to sell dear mamma's wedding ring.' 'Tis long since you've seen tears, Bob, on my tough, hard
ened cheek; But then my eyes ran over, nor did I think it weak. Could you have heard her story, so sadly told, I know You'd weakened on your manhood,-grown womanish like Joe.'
Ere she came I was hungry; I could have gnawed a bone;
meat, And other things we reckoned the healthy ones could eat; Besides I gave her something to shield her ill-clad form And shoeless little feet from winter's cold and storm. It wasn't much I gave her, not much in the amount; Perhaps it will be credited upon my loose account, Help through my final papers which, much I fear, without Some lift like that, won't pass when I'm last mustered out. I wrapped my 'capote' round her; I kissed her then 'good
bye.' May God bless you!' she whispered, the bright tear in her
eye. Now though I wear the 'color, the good old 'federal blue,' Had fought against her father the weary war all through, Yet still, the proudest memory of all my life that's fled Is of my little kindness to that child of the dead. On stormy nights in winter, when winds are howling wild, I hear the sweet.God bless you,' of that dead rebel's child.”
THE THREE LITTLE CHAIRS.
They sat alone by the bright wood fire,
Dreaming of days gone by;
And each heart uttered a sigh. For their sad and tearful eyes
descried Three little chairs placed side by side,
Against the sitting-room wall;
With their backs so straight and tall.
“Mother, those empty chairs !
In the small dark room up stairs.”
That the children are away:
And sit here every day.
While Mary her patch-work sews; At evening time three childish prayers Go up to God from those little chairs,
So softly that no one knows.
To say good-night to me;
And comes to rest on my knee.
At the Father's throne to pray,
Where no child goeth away.”
THE OLD SAMPLER.-M. E. SANGSTER. In the New England kitchen at the Centennial there was a sampler one hun. dred years old, wrought, as the faded words upon it stated, by “ Elizabeth, aged eight." Studying the quaint embroidery, we could but wonder if it was not the whict of the following beautiful poem.
Out of the way, in a corner
Of the dear old attic room,
Shed ever a sweet perfume,
With hasp, and padlock, and key,
On the other side of the sea.
And we're out of heart with life, -
And sick of its restless strife,-
From the attic corner dim,
A warder faithful and grim.
Linen, and lace, and silk,
Though once they were white as milk;
Broidered with loving care
As they wrought the ruffles fair.
That flashed in the battle tide
Sorely men's souls were tried;
And many a relic fine;
Framed in by berry and vine.
And dim is the silken thread,
And a childish, sunr.y head;
In a wreath of berry and vine,
“Elizabeth, aged nine."
In and out in the sunshine
The little needle flashed,
When the merry drops down plashed,
The little Puritan maid,
While the other children played. ,
“Elizabeth, aged nine,"
Greater than any of mine!
White as the drifted snow;
On this very plumed chapeau !
Would need it nevermore,
God keeps on yonder shore.
You could not yield supine,
“ Elizabeth, aged nine.”
And patience is sublime;
And touching every time.
And womanly truth and grace,
And fill earth's lowliest place.
THE DARKEY BOOTBLACK.
The bootblack at the corner-stand on C street was looking for a customer. He was as black as the ace of spades, and as he carelessly dusted off his stand with the stump of a cornbrush, he occasionally paused and rolled his eyes hungrily up and down the street.
Presently a tall, raw-boned, middle-aged man, with a considerable length of goatee and not a little breadth of hat rim, stopped and glanced at the stand with some show of interest.