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'Twas Christmas ove, and all the day

The snow had fallen tine and fast;
In banks and drifted heaps it lay

Along the streets. A piercing blast
Blew cuttingly. The storm was past,
And now the stars looked coldly down
Upon the snow-enshrouded town.
Ah, well it is if Christmas brings
Good will and peace which poet sings!
How full are all the streets to-night
With happy faces, flushed and bright!
The matron in her silks and furs,

The pompous banker, fat and sleek,
The idie, well-fed loiterers,

The merchant trim, the churchman meek, Forgetful now of hate and spite, For all the world is glad to-night! All, did I say? Ah, no, not all, For sorrow throws on some its pall; And here, within the broad, fair city,

The Christmas time no beauty brings
To those who plead in vain for pity,

To those who cherish but the stings
Of wretchedness and want and woe,
Who never love's great bounty know.
Whose grief no kindly hands assuage,
Whose misery mocks our Christian age.
Pray ask yourself what means to them
That Christ is born in Bethlehem !
But Rocket? On this Christmas eve

You might have seen him standing where The city's streets so interweave

They form that somewhat famous square Called Printing House. His face was bright,

And at this gala, festive season
You could not find a heart more light-

I'll tell you in a word the reason :
By dint of patient toil in shining

Patrician shoes and Wall street boots,
He had within his jacket’s lining,

A dollar and a half-the fruits
Of pinching, saving, and a trial
Of really Spartan self-denial.
That dollar and a half was more
Than Rocket ever owned before.
A princely fortune, so he thought,

And with those hoarded dimes and nickels What Christmas pleasures may be bought!

A dollar and a half! It tickles

The boy to say it over, musing Upon the money's proper using; “I'll go a gobbler, leg and breast,

With cranberry sauce and fixin's nice,
And pie, mince pie, the very best,

And puddin'--say a double slice
And then to doughnuts how I'll freeze;
With coffee-guess that ere's the cheese!
And after grub I'll go to see
The 'Seven Goblins of Dundee.'
If this yere Christmas ain't a buster,
I'll let yer rip my Sunday duster!"
So Rocket mused as he hurried along,

Clutching his money with grasp yet tighter,
And humıning the air of a rollicking song,

With a heart as light as his clothes--or lighter. Through Centre street he makes his way,

When, just as he turns the corner at Pearl, He hears a voice cry out in dismay,

And sees before him a slender girl,
As ragged and tattered in dress as he,

With hand stretched forth for charity.
In the street-light's fitful and fickering glare

He caught a glimpse of the pale, pinched faceSo gaunt and wasted, yet strangely fair,

With a lingering touch of childhood's grace On her delicate features. Her head was bare,

And over her shoulders disordered there hung A mass of tangled, nut-brown hair.

In misery old as in years she was young,
She gazed in his face. And, oh! for the eyes--
The big, blue, sorrowful, hungry eyes, –

That were fixed in a desperate frightened stare. Hundreds have jostled her by to-night

The rich, the great, the good, and the wise,
Hurrying on to the warmth and light
Of happy homes-they have jostled her by,
And the only one wlio has heard her cry,
Or, hearing, has felt his heartstrings stirred,

Is Rocket-this youngster of coarser clay,
This gamin, who never so much as heard

The beautiful story of Him who lay

In the manger of old on Christmas day! With artless pathos and simple speech,

She stands and tells him her pitiful tale; Ah, well if those who pray and preach

Could catch an echo of that sad wail!

She tells of the terrible battle for bread,

Tells of a father brutal with crime, Tells of a mother lying dead,

At this, the gala Christmas-time;
Then adds, gazing up at the starlit sky,
"I'm hungry and cold, and I wish I could die
What is it trickles down the cheek

Of Rocket-can it be a tear?
He stands and stares, but does not speak;

He thinks again of that good cheer
Which Christmas was to bring; he sees

Visions of turkey, steaming pies, The play-bills-then, in place of these,

The girl's beseeching, hungry eyes; One mighty effort, gulping down

The disappointment in his breast,
A quivering of the lip, a frown,

And then, while pity pleads her best,
He snatches forth his cherished hoard,
And gives it to her like a lord !
“Here, freeze to that ; I'mn flush, yer see,
And then you needs it more 'an me!"
With that he turns and walks away,
So fast the girl can nothing say,
So fast he does not hear the prayer
That sanctifies the winter air.
But He who blessed the widow's mite
Looked down and smiled upon the sight.
No feast of steaming pies or turkey,

No ticket for the matinee,
All drear and desolate and murky,

In truth, a very dismal day.
With dinner on a crust of bread,

And not a penny in his pocket, A friendly ash-box for a bed

Thus came the Christmas day to Rocket, And yet-and here's the strangest thing

As best befits the festive season, The boy was happy as a king

I wonder can you guess the reason ?


When shall we three meet again-
When shall we three meet again?
Oft shall glowing hope expire,
Oft shall wearied love retire,

Oft shall death and sorrow reign,
Ere we three shall meet again.
Though in distant lands we sigh,
Parched beneath a burning sky;
Though the deep between us rolls,
Friendship shall unite our souls;
Oft in fancy's rich domain;
Oft shall we three meet again.
When our burnished locks are gray,
Thinned by many a toil-spent day;
When around this youthful pine
Moss shall creep and ivy twine, ---
Long may this loved bower remain-
Here may we three meet again.
When the dreams of life are fled;
When its wasted lamps are dead;
When in cold oblivion's shade
Beauty, wealth, and fame are laid, -
Where immortal spirits reign,
There may we three meet again.


About half past eleven o'clock on Sunday night a human leg, en veloped in blue broadeloth, might have been seen entering Cephas Barberry's kitchen window. The leg was followed finally by the entire person of a lively Yankee, attired in his Sunday-go-to-meetin' clothes. It was, in short, Joe Mayweed, who thus burglariously, in the dead of night, won his way into the deacon's kitchen.

“Wonder how much the old deacon made by orderin' me not to darken his door again ?" soliloquized the young man. "Promised him I wouldn't but didn't say nothin' about winders. Winders is just as good as doors, if there ain't no nails to tear your trousers onto. Wonder if Sal 'll come down? The critter promised me. I'm afraid to move here, 'cause I might break my shins over somethin' or 'nother, and wake the old folks. Cold enough to freeze a polar-bear here. Oh, here comes Sally!"

The beautiful maiden descended with a pleasant smile, a tallow candle, and a box of matches.

After receiving a rapturous greeting, she made up a roaring fire in the cooking-stove, and the happy couple sat down to enjoy the sweet interchange of views and hopes. But the course of true love ran no smoother in old Barberry's kitchen than it did elsewhere, and Joe, who was making up mind to treat himself to a kiss, was startled by the voice of the deacon, her father, shouting from her chamber door:

"Sally, what are you getting up in the middle of the night for?"

"Tell him it's most morning," whispered Joe. "I can't tell a fib,” said Sally.

"I'll make it a truth, then," said Joe, and running to the huge old-fashioned clock that siva in wea:

he set it at five.

“Look at the clock and tell me what time it is," cried the old gentleman up stairs.

“It's five by the clock," answered Sally, and, corroborating the words, the clock struck five.

The lovers sat down again, and resumed the conversation. Suddenly the staircase began to creak.

“Good gracious! it's father.” “The deacon, by jingo!" cried Joe; “ hide me, Sal!" “Where can I hide you?” cried the distracted girl. “Oh, I know,” said he; “ I'll squeeze into the clock-case.”

And without another word he concealed himself in the case, and drew to the door behind him.

The deacon was dressed, and sitting himself down by the cooking-stove, pulled out his pipe, lighted it, and commenced smoking very deliberately and calmly.

“ Five o'clock, eh ?" said he. “Well, I shall have time to smoke three or four pipes; then I'll go and feed the critters.”

“Hadn't you better go and feed the critters first, sir, and smoke afterward ?" suggested the dutiful Sally.

"No; smokin' clears my head and wakes me up,” answered the deacon, who seemed not a whit disposed to hurry his enjoyment.

Bur-r-r-r-whiz-z-ding-ding! went the clock.

“ Torinented lightning !" cried the deacon, starting up, and dropping his pipe on the stove. “What in creation is that?":

Whiz! ding! ding! ding! went the old clock, furiously. " It's only the clock striking five," said Sally, tremulously.

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