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Love is the centre and circumference;

The cause and aim of all things — 'tis the key To joy and sorrow, and the recompense

For all the ills that have been, or may be.

Love is as bitter as the dregs of sin,

As sweet as clover-honey in its cell; Love is the password whereby souls get in To Heaven — the gate that leads, sometimes,

to Hell. Love is the crown that glorifies; the curse

That brands and burdens; it is life and death. It is the great law of the universe;

And nothing can exist without its breath.

Love is the impulse which directs the world,

And all things know it and obey its power. Man, in the maelstrom of his passions whirled;

The bee that takes the pollen to the flower;

The earth, uplifting her bare, pulsing breast

To fervent kisses of the amorous sun;Each but obeys creative Love's behest,

Which everywhere instinctively is done.

Love is the only thing that pays for birth,

Or makes death welcome. Oh, dear God above This beautiful but sad, perplexing earth, Pity the hearts that know - or know not — Love.

ELLA WHEELER Wilcox. - America, June 23, 1888.

This love I thought immutable as law.
Sublime as universal order; true
As Godward instinct in the finite mind;
This love has faltered, faded, colder grown,
Than winter twilight when the sun goes down.
Loving thee I've changed not, nor can change.
The love I gave thee, now thy love is cold,
Shivers, a starv'ling child, within a home
With broken casement and dismantled door.
And I am bankrupt, for the love I gave
Thee was my all. High, the measure heaped,
Was shaken and heaped high again; all
Unto thee given; and from love and thee
Nothing withheld. So trusting thee, I went,
And for a space remained; nor did fear
Foreshadow evil. Craven doubt concealed
His face from love. What matter ? Time might

His shuttle through the web. And year on year
Roll into cycles. Changes come to all.
To all save love.

What sayest thou ? Even love Can change? does change? a moment hold, until I grasp thy meaning. So to thee sweet love May vacillate and falter; may grow cold, Skulk like a brute to cover; wilt like a vine O'er-sapped and rank; worthless to withstand A breath of winter.

A lie, in very truth; A lie to say love changes. False as the lips That utter vows from which the heart holds back; False as the courage which shall loose a grip Once taken. False as the hand that strikes not When blows are needed. False as the tongue That holds back speech from others' wrong; the

That leaves its trust unfilled, its faith unkept;
Its truth ungleaned, like grainless wheat.
'Tis thou who changeth, thou. Love changes not,
Nor can it change. If to thee steadfast love
Doth wear a changeable face, thou ne'er hast seen
His face. Thou know'st him not, nor canst.
It is thyself thou seest, thine own image pale,
Reflected in a pool whose lowest depth
Were plumbed by a finger.

'Tis the law
That love should be immutable. For love,
Is heat and light and omnipresent force,
It binds the universe; the power is,
That regulates the worlds in space. 'Tis all
Omnipotence condensed into a word,
Can law change, or truth?

No more can love;
For as the body, soul, and sphere are one,
So they are one.

Love vitalizes law,

LOVE AND CHANGE. 'Tis said the heart in absence fonder grows, Increasing still in tenderness and truth; Till it is welded close to other hearts, As bark is welded to the growing tree. And I, believing this, and deeming thee, Faithful as throbbing pulse and teeming brain Unto the law of life, didst go away, A little absence — months, or was it days? A passing from this room to that, a space 'Twixt end and start of chapter, breathing time, 'Twixt sentences. And thou didst change As changes still the ever-moving vane, Obedient to naught save ceaseless change. And this thy love; the love that to me seemed Fixed as a granite range of hills on hills Uplifted heavenward, as thought of thee, Within my soul was lifted; this sweet love I held as iron wrought on iron; welded true, With heat and strength and steady clanging blows,

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An' after that he ust to come
An' cheer me up if I was glum.
An' when he went I'd feel content,
An' work an' sing, or set an' hum.
The empty house, it seemed to me,
Wuz full of his good company.

And quickens truth. It is the breath of life
Within the nostrils of created things.
If love could fail, the universal flow
Of order through ten million, million worlds
Would cease. And for the deep enduring calm
Of steadfastness and truth would chaos come.
All things would die; perish to nothingness;
Resolve to elemental forces from which love,
Creative love hath formed them, Then
Would silence be and emptiness and void.

M. G. MCCLELLAND. -New Jerusalem Magazine, August, 1888.

An' every thought of ma an' Jim
Would somehow make me think of him.
It brought relief to bygone grief
An' filled my heart up to the brim,
Especial when he offered me
Himself for stiddy company.


An' now, with hope in by-an'-by,
As new-year time is drawin' nigh,
The tears I shed fer them that's dead
Ain't sech as when I ust to cry.
I only trust that they kin see
How I enjoy my company.

MRS. GEORGE ARCHIBALD. - Judge, January 5, 1889.

When ma died I wuz only jest
Fourteen, but older than the rest.
'Twuz new-year day she went away
An' left an achin' in my breast.
It seemed so cheerless like to me
Without my mother's company.
Says pa, “ They's no one I kin get
Kin do as well as you, Janet."
So school an' fun fer me wuz done,
An' still I managed not to fret.
The young ones thrived, and as fer me,
I'd Jim and work fer company.
Poor Jim wuz lame, an' that wuz why
I always had him settin' by.
His lovin' ways made glad the days,
Till all at once he had to die.
The neighbors they wuz glad fer me —
But how I missed his company!


THE RIVALS, AT FORTRESS MONROE, Oh, what shall I do with them both ?

What a puzzle it is to decide, Since I know that I really am loath

To send either away from my side!
If one were but ugly or small,

That one I would gladly resign;
But they both are so handsome and tall,

And the buttons of both - how they shine!

I worked along; the children dear,
They married off, from year to year.
An' one cold night, at candle-light,
Says pa, “ It's purty lonesome here,
An' new-year you shall have," says he,

A nice, new ma fer company!”

I met Tom at West Point in June,

The night of the graduates' ball.
Then there was Crow's Nest and the moon -

How well I remember it all!
We walked through those shadowy lands

As if in a dream or a spell;
And here he is, home from the plains,

Where, they say, he has done very well.


He laughed an' set an' talked awhile;
But as fer me, I couldn't smile.
An' all night long my tears run down
As I lay rasslin' with my trial.
I wisht that I, like Jim, could be
In my dead mother's company.
It's odd how things turns out; next day
In walked our neighbor, Zenas Gray.
My eyes wuz red, an' Zenas said:
“ Janet, ben cryin'? What's to pay?"
“Oh, nothin' much,” says I. Says he,
“I reckon you need company."

He has fought in an Indian fight,

And received a slight scratch on his hand; He has been “ on a trail" day and night;

He has grown very earnest — and tanned, He doesn't like men of the sea,

Though the squadron is frequently here; And he's asking such questions of me!

And he lives in a casemate-how queer!


But at Newport that very same year

I met Jack on the Richmond, and then I forgot Tom, a little, I fear.

Brass buttons were gleaming again,

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