Слике страница

MISS EDITH HELPS THINGS ALONG.-BRET HARTE. "My sister'll be down in a minute, and says you're to wait, If you please;

And says I might stay till she came, if I'd promise her never

to tease,

Nor speak tiil you spoke to me first. But that's nonsense; for how would you know

Don't you really and

What she told me to say, if I didn't?

truly think so?

"And then you'd feel strange here alone. And you wouldn't know just where to sit;

For that chair isn't strong on its legs, and we never use it a bit:

We keep it to match with the sofa; but Jack says it would be like you

To flop yourself right down upon it, and knock out the very last screw.


"Suppose you try! I won't tell. You're afraid to! Oh! you're afraid they would think it was mean! Well, then, there's the album: that's pretty, if you're sure that your fingers are clean.

For sister says sometimes I daub it; but she only says that when she's cross.

It's like her; but she

There's her picture. You know it? ain't as good-looking, of course. "This is ME. It's the best of 'em all. never have thought 'That once I was little as that? It's the only one that could

Now, tell me, you'd

be bought;

For that was the message to pa from the photograph-man

where I sat,

That he wouldn't print off any more till he first got his money for that.

"What? Maybe you're tired of waiting. Why, often she's longer than this.

There's all her back hair to do up, and all of her front curls to friz.

But it's nice to be sitting here talking like grown people, just you and me!

Do you think you'll be coming here often? Oh, do! But don't come like Tom Lee,

"Tom Lee, her last beau. Why, my goodness! he used to be here day and night,

Till the folks thought he'd be her husband; and Jack says that gave him a fright

You won't run away then, as he did? for you're not a rich man, they say.

Pa says you're poor as a church-mouse. Now, are you? and how poor are they?

"Ain't you glad that you met me? Well, I am; for I know now your hair isn't red;

But what there is left of it's mousy, and not what that naughty Jack said.

But there! I must go: sister's coming! But I wish I could wait, just to see

If she ran up to you, and she kissed you in the way she used to kiss Lee."


The farmer came in from the field one day;

His languid steps and his weary way,

His beaded brow, his sinewy hand,

All showed his work for the good of his land:

For he sows, sows, sows,

For he hoes, hoes, hoes,

And he mows, mows, mows,
All for the good of the land.

By the kitchen fire stood his patient wife,
Light of his home and joy of his life,
With face all aglow, and busy hand
Preparing the meal for her household band:
For she must boil, boil, boil,
And she must broil, broil, broil,
And she must toil, toil, toil,
All for the good of the home.

The bright sun shines when the farmer goes out,
The birds sing sweet, songs, lambs frisk about;
The brook babbles softly in the glen

While he works so bravely for the good of the men:

For he sows, sows, sows,

For he mows, mows, mows,
And he hoes, hoes, hoes,
All for the good of the land.

How briskly the wife steps about within,
The dishes to wash, the milk to skim;
The fire goes out, the flies buzz about;

For the dear ones at home her heart is kept stout.
There are pies to make, make, make,
There is bread to bake, bake, bake,
And steps to take, take, take,
All for the sake of the home.

When the day is o'er and evening has come,
The creatures are fed, the milking done,
He takes his rest 'neath the old shade tree,
From the labor of the land his thoughts are free;
Though he sows, sows, sows,
And he hoes, hoes, hoes,

And he mows, mows, mows,

He rests from the work of the land.

But the faithful wife from sun to sun,
Takes her burden up that 's never done;
There is no rest, there is no play,
For the good of her house she must work away;
For to mend the frock, frock, frock,
For to knit the sock, sock, sock,
And the cradle to rock, rock, rock,
All for the good of the home.

When autumn is here with its chilling blast,
The farmer gathers his crops at last;
His barns are full, his fields are bare;
For the good of the land he ne'er hath care.
While it blows, blows, blows,

And it snows, snows, snows,

Till the winter goes, goes, goes,

He rests from the work of the land.

But the willing wife, till life's closing day,
Is the children's guide, the husband's stay;
From day to day she has done her best,
Until death alone can give her rest;

For after the test, test, test,
Comes the rest, rest, rest,
With the blest, blest, blest,
In the Father's heavenly home.


There's not a hearth, however rude,
But hath some little flower
To brighten up its solitude,

And scent the evening hour;
There's not a heart, however cast
By grief and sorrow down,
But hath some memory of the past
To love, and call its own!


One day, through a narrow and noisome street,
Where naught but squalor and poverty greet
The passer-by, I chanced to stray.
'Twas a mellow and bright October day,
A genial autumn sun shone down
On rich and poor in that crowded town;
And over the house-tops a deep blue sky
Greeted each beggar's upturned eye,
While the very heavens seemed to smile
His hunger and weariness to beguile.
Bare-headed children, ragged and free,
Over the curb-stones romped in glee.
Lazily by, a policeman walked;
Shop-men stood in their doors and talked;
Now and then, with a glance downcast,
Some wreck of a sot went staggering past,
With a trembling form and a visage wan;
Yet the current of life went flowing on;
And the sky was blue and the sunlight fell
On the happy ones, and the sad as well.
But hark! through that narrow and crowded street,

Of a sudden there poured a melody sweet,
A volume of soft harmonious sound
Strangely contrasting with all around;
And I paused to listen, while each sweet note,
Pure as a warbling from robin's throat,
Seemed to float on the idle air

To attic, and cellar, and crazy stair,
And carry a whisper of peace and rest
Wherever it went on its pathway blest.
"Sweet and low, sweet and low,

Wind of the western sea,
Low, low, breathe and blow,

Wind of the western sea!
Over the rolling waters go,

Come from the dying moors, and blow,
Blow him again to me;

While my little one, while my pretty one sleeps."

'Twas a strolling minstrel band of four
Who, standing before a groggery door,
With puffed out cheeks and beating feet
Were playing there in that busy street,
Vagabonds, they, no doubt; in fact

Their garb was ragged, the trumpets cracked,
And they looked like men who seldom knew
What 'twas to own a dollar or two.

Yet, spite of this, as I listened there


To the sweet soft notes of the plaintive air
That came from those minstrels, ragged and odd,
I thought, "Tis a message sent from God,
Bringing reminders pure and sweet,
To the poor sad souls in this narrow street."
Then the little children over the way
Looked and wondered and stopped their play,
And the officer paused in his weary walk,
While the gossiping shop-men ceased to talk;
And from tenement windows all about,
There was many a weary face peeped out
And smiled at the joy that had suddenly come
To cheer its poverty-stricken home.
Out of the groggery, reeling, came
Into the sunlight (oh, for shame!)
One whose visage and mien bespoke
A dreadful bondage to liquor's yoke-
A soul of honor and pride bereft,
Yet, there were traces of manhood left,
And as the music reached his ear

He, staggering, paused-then lingered near,
Abashed and doubting-then gave a start,
For the melody sweet had touched his heart;
Those strains, so plaintive and soft and low,
Recalled the lullaby, long ago,

That his mother in tones so sweet and mild
Had sung to him as a little child.

"Sleep and rest, sleep and rest,

Father will come to thee soon;
Rest, rest, on mother's breast,

Father will come to thee soon;
Father will come to his babe in the nest,

Silver sails all out of the west

Under the silver moon.

Sleep, my little one, sleep my pretty one, sleep."

Then, over him like a torrent, came
The sense of his present sin and shame,
And the tears came pouring down his cheek.
"Oh God!" he cried, " I am frail and weak!"
And he hid his face and murmured a prayer
Out of the depths of his dark despair,

God grant his penitent prayer was heard!)
He turned away and without a word,
But with steady step, and a figure bowed,
Was lost in the hurrying, passing crowd.
The music ceased and I went my way,
But I ne'er shall forget that sunny day
When I heard that music so soft and sweet,
Wafted down through that narrow street.

« ПретходнаНастави »