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Stern Ludwig o'er the drawbridge passed,
And down the steep rock rode he fast,
With anger pale, as 't were with death,
Woe! woe! to poor Elizabeth!
She hears her husband's clanging spurs,
Kindling with rage his eye meets hers;
Trembling, she knows not what to dread,
Her faint limbs move not, droops her head,
And underneath her apron's folds
Her timid hand the basket holds;
She reads no mercy in his eyes,
Heart-broken upon God she cries.
But Ludwig breaks her silent prayer,
"Woman! what hast thou hidden there?"
And, curbing his wild rage no more,
The apron from the basket tore.
O miracle! therein are spread
Fairest of roses white and red
Mercy in Ludwig's soul is born,
And fills the place of lordly scorn.
He cries, subdued his stubborn will,
"O purest, noblest, love me still!
Upon thy blessed errand hie,
Thy heart's kind impulse gratify."
And still she found her basket's store,
All veiled with roses, running o'er;
And safely through the valley trod,
She who had put her trust in God.
WEE WILLIE. - Moir.
FARE-THEE-WELE, our last and fairest!
Dear wee Willie, fare-thee-well!
God, who lent thee, hath recalled thee
Back with him and his to dwell.
Fifteen moons their silver lustre
Only o'er thy brow had shed,
When thy spirit joined the seraphs,
And thy dust the dead.
Like a sunbeam, through our dwelling,
Shone thy presence bright and calm;
Thou didst add a zest to pleasure;
To our sorrows thou wert balm;
Brighter beamed thine eyes than summer,
And thy first attempt at speech
Thrilled our heart-strings with a rapture
Music ne'er could reach.
As we gazed upon thee sleeping,
With thy fine, fair locks outspread,
Thou didst seem a little angel,
Who to earth from heaven had strayed;
And, entranced, we watched the vision,
Half in hope, and half affright,
Lest what we deemed ours, and earthly,
Should dissolve in light.
Snows o'ermantled hill and valley,
Sullen clouds begrimed the sky,
When the first drear doubt oppressed us,
That our child was doomed to die!
Through each long night-watch, the taper
Showed the hectic of his cheek;
And each anxious dawn behe'd him
More worn out and weak.
Like the shot-star, in blue midnight,
Like the rainbow, ray by ray,
Thou wert waning as we watched thee,
Loveliest in thy last decay!
As a zephyr, so serenely
Came and went thy last, low breath,
That we paused, and asked our spirits,
Is it so? Can this be death?
Yet while thinking, oh! our lost ones,
Of how dear ye were to us,
Why should dreams of doubt and darkness
Haunt our troubled spirits thus ?
Why across the cold, dim churchyard,
Flit our visions of despair?
Seated on the tomb, Faith's angel
Says, "Ye are not there!"
Where, then, are ye? With the Saviour
Blest, forever blest, are ye,
'Mid the sinless little children,
Who have heard his "Come to me!
'Yond the shades of death's dark valley,
Now ye lean upon his breast,
Where the wicked dare not enter,
And the weary rest.
We are wicked
-we are weary
For us pray, and for us plead;
God, who ever hears the sinless,
May through you the sinful heed; -
Pray that, through the Mediator,
All our faults may be forgiven;
Plead that ye be sent to greet us
At the gates of heaven!
THE BOY AND THE ANGEL. - Browning.
MORNING, evening, noon, and night, "Praise God!" sang Theocrite.
Then to his poor trade he turned,
By, which the daily meal was earned.
Hard he labored, long and well;
O'er his work the boy's curls fell :
But ever, at each period,
He stopped and sang, "Praise God.”
Then back again his curls he threw,
And cheerful turned to work anew.
Said Blaise, the listening monk, “Well done! I doubt not thou art heard, my son,
"As well as if thy voice to-day
Were praising God, the Pope's great way.
"This Easter Day, the Pope at Rome Praises God from Peter's dome."
Said Theocrite, "Would God that I
Might praise Him, that great way, and die !”
Night passed, day shone,
And Theocrite was gone.
With God a day endures alway,
A thousand years are but a day.
God said in heaven, "Nor day nor night
Now brings the voice of my delight."
Then Gabriel, like a rainbow's birth,
Spread his wings, and sank to earth;
Entered, in flesh, the empty cell,
Lived there, and played the craftsman well:
And morning, evening, noon, and night,
Praised God in place of Theocrite.
And from a boy to youth he grew
The man put off the stripling's hue;
The man matured, and fell away
Into the season of decay;
And ever o'er the trade he bent,
And ever lived on earth content.
(He did God's will; to him, all one
If on the earth or in the sun.)
God said, "A praise is in mine ear;
There is no doubt in it, no fear;
"So sing old worlds, and so
New worlds that from my footstool go.
"Clearer loves sound other ways;
I miss my little human praise."
Then forth sprang Gabriel's wings, off fell
The flesh disguise, remained the cell.
'T was Easter Day; he flew to Rome,
And paused above Saint Peter's dome.
In the tiring-room, close by
The great outer gallery,