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Ere on the finger of the bride he leaves it.

He must pronounce one word at least !
'Tis spoken; and sudden at the groomsman's side
6 'Tis he!” a well-known voice has cried.
And while the wedding guests all hold their breath,
Opes the confessional, and the blind girl, see !
"Baptiste,” she said, "since thou hast wished my death,
As holy water be my blood for thee!”
And calmly in the air a knife suspended !
Doubtless her guardian angel near attended,

For anguish did its work so well,
That, ere the fatal stroke descended,

Lifeless she fell!

At eve, instead of bridal verse,
The De Profundis filled the air;
Decked with flowers a simple hearse
To the church-yard forth they bear;
Village girls in robes of snow
Follow, weeping as they go;

Nowhere was a smile that day,
No, ah no! for each one seemed to say:
“The roads should mourn and be veiled in gloom,
So fair a corpse shall leave its home!
Should mourn and should weep, ah, well-away!
So fair a corpse shall pass to-day!

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In many respects the history of North America differs from that of

every other country, and in this difference it possesses an interest peculiar to itself, especially for those whose lot has been cast here, and who look back with a generous pride to the deeds of ancestors, by whom a nation's existence has been created, and a nation's glory adorned. We shall speak of this history, as divided into two periods, the colonial and the revolutionary.

When we talk of the history of our country, we are not to be understood as alluding to any particular book, or to the labors of any man, or number of men, in treating this subject. If we have a few compilations of merit, embracing detached portions and limited periods, there is yet wanting a work, the writer of which shall undertake the task of plodding his way through all the materials, printed and in manuscript, and digesting them into a united, continuous, lucid and philosophical whole, bearing the shape, and containing the substance of genuine history. No tempting encouragement, it is true, has been held out to such an enterprise. The absorbing present, in the midst of our stirring politics and jarring party excitements, and bustling activity, has almost obliterated the past, or at least has left little leisure for pursuing the footsteps of the pilgrims, and the devious fortunes of our ancestors. The public taste has run in other directions, and no man of genius and industry has been found so courageous in his resolves, or prodigal of his labor, as to waste his life in digging into mines for treasures which would cost him much and avail him little. But symptoms of a change are beginning to appear, which it may be hoped will ere long be realized.

And when the time shall come for illustrating this subject, it will be discovered that there are rich stores of knowledge among the hidden and forgotten records of our colonial history; that the men of those days thought and acted, and suffered with a wisdom, a fortitude, and an endurance, which would add lustre to any age; and that they have transmitted an inheritance as honorable in the mode of its acquisition as it is dear to its present possessors. Notwithstanding the comparatively disconnected incidents in the history of this period, and the separate communities and governments to which extends, it has nevertheless a unity and a consistency of parts, as well as copiousness of events, which make it a theme for the most gifted historian, and a study for every one who would enlarge his knowledge and profit by high example.

Unlike any other people, who have attained the rank of a nation, we may here trace our country's growth to the very elements of its origin, and consult the testimonies of reality, instead of the blind oracles of fable, and the legends of a dubious tradition. Besides a love of adventure and an enthusiasm that surmounted every difficulty, the character of its founders was marked by a hardy enterprise and sturdiness of purpose, which carried them onward through perils and sufferings, that would have appalled weaker minds and less resolute hearts. This is the first great feature of resemblance in all the early settlers, whether they came to the north or to the south, and it merits notice from the influence it could not fail to exercise on their future acts and character, both domestic and political. The timid, the wavering, the feeble-minded, the sons of indolence and ease, were not among those who left the comforts of home, braved the tempests of the ocean, and sought danger on the


shores of an unknown and inhospitable world. Incited by various motives they might have been; by a fondness for adventure, curiosity, gain or a dread of oppression, yet none but the bold, energetic, determined, persevering, would yield to these motives or any other.

Akin to these characteristics, and indeed a concomitant with them, was a spirit of freedom, and a restlessness under constraint. The New England settlers, we know, came away on this ground alone, goaded to a sense of their invaded rights by the thorns of religious intolerance. But whatever motives may


operated, the prominent fact remains the same, and in this we may see throughout the colonies a uniform basis of that vigor of character and indomitable love of liberty which appeared ever afterward, in one guise or another, whenever occasions called them out.

Hence it was, also, that the different colonies, although under dissimilar modes of government, some more and some less dependent on the crown, preserved a close resemblance in the spirit of their internal regulations, that spirit or those principles which entered deeply into the opinions of the people, and upon which their habits were formed.

The instructive lesson of history, teaching by example, can nowhere be studied with more profit, or with better promise, than in the revolutionary period of America, and especially by us, who sit under the tree our fathers have planted, enjoy its shade, and are nourished by its fruits. But little is our merit or gain that we applaud their deeds, unless we emulate their virtues. Love of country was in them an absorbing principle, an undivided feeling; not of a fragment, a section, but of the whole country.

Union was the arch on which they raised the strong tower of a nation's independence. Let the arm be palsied that would loosen one stone in the basis of this fair structure, or mar its beauty; the tongue mute that would dishonor their names by calculating the value of that which they deemed without price.

They have left us an example already inscribed in the world's memory; an example portentous to the aims of tyranny in every land; an example that will console in all ages the drooping aspirations of oppressed humanity. They have left us a written charter as a legacy, and as a guide to our course. day convinces us that a written charter may become powerless. Ignorance may misinterpret it; ambition may assail and faction destroy its vital parts, and aspiring knavery may at last sing its

But every

requiem on the tomb of departed liberty. It is the spirit which lives in this are our safety and our hope—the spirit of our fathers—and while this dwells deeply in our remembrance, and its flame is cherished, ever burning, ever pure, on the altar of our hearts; while it incites us to think as they have thought, and do as they have done, the honor and praise will be ours, to have preserved unimpaired the rich inheritance, which they so nobly achieved.


Do ye hear the children weeping, O my brothers!

Ere the sorrow comes with years ?
They are leaning their young heads against their mothers,

And that cannot stop their tears.
The young lambs are bleating in the meadows,

The young birds are chirping in the nest,
The young fawns are playing in the shadows,

The young flowers are blowing from the west;
But the young, young children, O my brothers !

They are weeping bitterly!
They are weeping in the playtime of the others,

In the country of the free.
Do you question the young children in their sorrow,

Why their tears are falling so?
The old man may weep for his to-morrow,

Which is lost in long ago.
The old tree is leafless in the forest,

The old year is ending in the frost;
The old wound, if stricken, is the sorest,

The old hope is hardest to be lost!
But the young, young children, O my brothers,

Do you ask them why they stand
Weeping sore before the bosoms of their mothers,

In our happy fatherland?
They look up with their pale and sunken faces,

And their looks are sad to see;
For the man's grief untimely draws and presses

Down the cheeks of infancy.
"Your old earth,” they say, "is very dreary;

“Our young feet," they say, "are very weak!
Few paces have we taken, yet are weary-

Our grave-rest is very far to seek !
Ask the old why they weep, and not the children,

For the outside earth is cold.
And we young ones stand without, in our bewild'ring,

And the graves are for the old."

“True," say the young children, “it may happen

That we die before our time!
Little Alice died last year,—the grave is shapen

Like a snow-ball in the rime.
We looked into the pit prepared to take her,

Was no room for any work in the close clay!
From the sleep wherein she lieth none will wake her,

Crying—“Get up, little Alice, it is day!”
If you listen by that grave in sun and shower,

With your ear down, little Alice never cries;
Could we see her face, be sure we should not know her,

For the new smile which has grown within her eyes.
For merry go her moments, lull'd and still'd in

The shroud, by the kirk chime!
It is good when it happens," say the children,

“That we die before our time!"
Alas, the young children! they are seeking

Death in life, as best to have!
They are binding up their hearts away from breaking,

With a cerement from the grave.
Go out, children, from the mine and from the city,

Sing out, children, as the little thrushes do!
Pluck your handfuls of the meadow cowslips pretty,

Laugh aloud to feel your fingers let them through i
But the children say, “ Are cowslips of the meadows

Like the weeds anear the mine?
Leave us quiet in the dark of our coal shadows,

From your pleasures fair and fine.
“For oh !" say the children, “we are weary,

And we cannot run or leap;
If we cared for any meadow's, it were merely

To drop down in them and sleep.
Our knees tremble sorely in the stooping,

We fall on our face trying to go;
And underneath our heavy eyelids drooping,

The reddest flowers would look as pale as snow;
For all day, we drag our burden tiring,

Through the coal-dark underground, Or, all day we drive the wheels of iron

In the factories round and round.
"All day long the wheels are droning, turning,

Their wind comes in our faces!
Till our hearts turn, and our heads with pulses burning,

And the walls turn in their places!
Turns the sky in the high window blank and reeling,

Turns the long light that droopeth down the wall,
Turn the black flies that crawl along the ceiling,

Are all turning all the day, and we with all!
All day long, the iron wheels are droning,

And sometimes we could pray,
O ye wheels, (breaking off in a mad moaning,)
Stop! be silent for to-day!'”

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