« PreviousContinue »
At length the old man's limbs grew weak,
His eyes grew pale and dim:
Became a guide to him;
His spirit passed away,
Whose lips he taught to pray.
They roved in summer weather, And gazing on the stars, she sighs,
"We there may bide together!"
J. E. Carpenter,
WOODMAN, SPARE THAT TREE.
Woodman, spare that tree!
Touch not a single bough! In youth it sheltered me,
And I'll protect it now. 'Twas my forefather's hand
That placed it near his cot: There, woodman, let it stand—
Thy axe shall harm it not!
That old familiar tree,
Whose glory and renown Are spread o'er land and sea,
And wouldst thou hew it down 1 Woodman, forbear thy stroke!
Cut not its earth-bound ties; Oh, spare that aged oak,
Now towering to the skies!
When but an idle boy,
I sought its grateful shade;
In all their gushing joy,
My mother kissed me here;
Forgive this foolish tear,
My heart-strings round thee cling
Close as thy bark, old friend! Here shall the wild-bird sing,
And still thy branches bend. Old tree, the storm still brave!
And, woodman, leave the spot;— While I've a hand to save,
Thy axe shall harm it not!
Q. P. Morris.
THE RISING MOON.
The moon is up! How calm and slow'
The weary winds forget to blow,
The way-worn travellers with delight
The rising brightness see, Revealing all the paths and plains,
And gilding every tree.
It glistens where the hurrying stream
Its little ripple leaves;
And sparkles on the leaves.
So once, on Judah's evening hills,
The gospel sounded from the blaze,
And still that light upon the world
Its guiding splendour throws; Bright in the opening hours of life, But brighter at the close.
THE PIED PIPER OF HAMEIIN.
Hamelin town's in Brunswick,
By famous Hanover city:
But, when begins my ditty,
From vermin, was a pity.
They fought the dogs, and killed the cats,
And bit the babies ill the cradles; And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cooks' own ladles; Split open the kegs of salted sprats, Made nests inside men's Sunday hats, And even spoiled the women's chats,
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking In fifty different sharps and flats.
At last the people in a body
To the Town Hall came flocking:
And as for our corporation—shocking:
An hour they sate in council;
At length the mayor broke silence: "For a guilder I'd my ermine gown sell;
I wish I were a mile hence! It's easy to bid one rack one's brain— I'm sure my poor head aches again, I've scratched it so, and all in vain. O for a trap, a trap, a trap!" Just as he said this, what should hap At the chamber door but a gentle tap 1 "Bless us !" cried the mayor, "what's that?" "Only a scraping of shoes on the mat; Anything like the sound of a rat Makes my heart go pit-a-pat!" "Come in !" the mayor cried, looking bigger; And in did come the strangest figure! His queer long coat, from heel to head, Was half of yellow and half of red; And he himself was tall and thin, With sharp blue eyes, each like a pin, And light loose hair, yet swarthy skin; No tuft on, cheek, nor beard on chin, But lips where smiles went out and in— There was no guessing his kith and kin. And nobody could enough admire The tall man and his quaint attire: Quoth one, "It's as my great grandsire, Starting up at the trump of doom's tone, Had walked this way from his painted tombstone!"
He advanced to the council table,
And "Please your honours," said he, "I'm able,
By means of a secret charm, to draw
All creatures living beneath the sun,
That creep, or swim, or fly, or run,
(And here they noticed round his neck
A scarf of red and yellow stripe, To match with his coat of the self-same check:
And at the scarf's end hung a pipe; And his fingers, they noticed, were ever straying, As if impatient to be playing Upon this pipe, as low it dangled Over his vesture so old-fangled.) "Yet," said he, "poor piper as I am, In Tartary I freed the Cham,
Last June, from his huge swarms of gnats; I eased in Asia the Nizam
Of a monstrous brood of vampyre bats; And, as for what your brain bewilders,
If I can rid your town of rats, Will you give me a thousand guilders?" "One 1—fifty thousand !" was the exclamation Of the astonished mayor and corporation.
Into the street the piper stepped,
Smiling first a little smile,
In his quiet pipe the while;
Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins, Curling tails and pricking whiskers,
Families by tens and dozens, Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives— Followed the piner for their lives.