Page images

obliged twice to speak to her daughter before she could draw her attention.

“ Alice, look here-Alice, my dear." “What is it, mamma ? something new of yours ?” No; guess again, Alice.” Of one of my aunts, of course ?”.

" Neither, dear, neither. Come and look for yourself, and see if you can then tell whose it is.”

Alice dutifully laid aside her work, approached and took the book. The moment her eye glanced on the fatal page, all her apathy vanished-deep crimson overspread her cheeks, brow, and neck. She burst into tears of irrepressible vexation, and threw the book into the blazing fire.

The gentle Alice! Never had she been guilty of such an ebullition of temper. Her poor dismayed aunts retreated; her mother looked at her in mute" astonishment; and Ralph, struck, with her emotion, started from the desk, and would have asked an explanation, but Alice exclaimed—" Don't say any thing about it, mamma-I cannot bear it now.”

Mrs. Courland knew instinctively that Ralph would sympathize entirely with Alice, and quite willing to avoid an éclaircissement, she said—“Some other time, Ralph, I'll tell you the whole. Show me now what you have written. How have you begun?”

Ralph handed her the paper with a novice's trembling hand.

“Oh! how very little! and so scratched and inter

lined! but never mind c'est le premier pas qui


While making these general observations, the good mother was getting out and fixing her spectacles, and Alice and Ralph had retreated behind her. Alice rested her head on his shoulder, and Ralph's lips were not far from her ear, Whether he was soothing her ruffled spirit, or what he was doing, is not recorded. Mrs. Courland read and re-read the sentence. She dropped a tear on it. She forgot her literary aspirations for Ralph and Alice-forgot she was herself an author-forgot every thing but the mother; and rising, embraced them both as her dear children, and

expressed, in her raised and moistened eye, consent to their union, which Ralph had dutifully and prettily asked in that short and true story of his love for his sweet cousin Alice.

In due time the village of H. was animated with the celebration of Alice's nuptials: and when her mother and aunts saw her the happy mistress of the Hepburn farm, and the happiest of wives, they relinquished, without a sigh, the hope of ever seeing her an Au..




66–Fair Earth! such destiny for thee was made.”

I stood on the uplifted hills,
At that bright hour when sunset fills
All earth with beauty:-the cool breeze,
As it crept upward through the trees,
Came from the busy haunts of men
Like a faint sigh,—and slept again.

I saw a long and silent crowd
Wind through the woods,-and heads were bow'd
As the slow hearse creak'd on its way,
Veil'd in its deathlike canopy. .
A low deep voice breath'd on the air,
Like the wind's whisper,—Death is there!'

I look'd far down the misty vale,
And cheerily o'er hill and dale

The harvest song came loud and clear;
And, faintly chiming on the ear,
The far off tinkling of the bells,
From the lake side and forest dells,
As the slow herds toil'd on their way,
Swept by like some sweet melody.

I saw by that lake's silver flood,
Hush'd as the deep wood's solitude,
A new made grave;—and flowers were springing
From the fresh mould, and birds were singing
Their requiem o'er that lonely one,
Who slept forgotten and alone.
Faintly that voice breath'd on the air,
Like the wave's murmur,— Death is there!

I look'd upon the gentle flowers,
And thought how soon the wintry hours
Would mourn, along the bleak hill side,
That forms so fair should e'er have died;
And sadly on the cold damp air,
The night wind whisper’d,— Death is there!'

I turn'd, and look'd upon the sky,
And saw the evening clouds go by;
And thought on those whose smiles and tears
On earth had ceased,—whose few brief years
Had pass'd like one short summer day,
In sunshine and in smiles away.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

I thought on those to whom 'twas given,
To sweep the golden harps of heaven;
And voices chanted in the air
In seraph tones,—Death is not there!'



The birds, when winter shades the sky,

Fly o'er the seas away,
Where laughing isles in sunshine lie,

And summer breezes play.
And thus the friends, that flutter near

While fortune's sun is warm,
Are startled if a cloud appear,

And fly before the storm.

But when from winter's howling plains

Each other warbler 's past,
The little snow-bird still remains,

And cherups midst the blast.
Love, like that bird, when friendship’s throng

With fortune's sun depart,
Still lingers with its cheerful song,

And nestles on the heart.

« PreviousContinue »