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passing the globe, follow him wherever he goes. Their prayers blend with all the winds which swell his sails. Their affections hover over his dreams. Children count the months and the days of a father's absence. The babe learns to love him and to lisp his name.
10. Not a midnight storm strikes their dwelling, but the wife starts from her sleep, as if she heard, in the wailings of the wind, the sad forebodings of danger and wreck. Not a soft wind blows, but comes to her heart, as a gentle messenger from the distant seas.
11. And after years of absence, they approach their native shores. As the day closes, they can see the summits of the distant highlands, hanging like stationary clouds on the horizon. And long before the night is over, their sleepless eyes catch the light glancing across the rim of the seas, from the lighthouse at the entrance of the bay.
12. With the morning, they are moored in the harbor. The newspapers announce her arrival. But, here again, how little of her cargo is of that material kind, which can be reckoned in dollars and cents! She is freighted with human hearts, with anxieties, and hopes, and fears. Many of the crew have not dared to ask the pilot of home.
13. The souls of many, yesterday full of joyful. expectation, are now overshadowed with anxiety. They almost hesitate to leave the ship, and pause for some one from the shore, to answer those questions of home and of those they love, which they dare not utter. There are many joyous meetings, and some that are full of sorrow.
1. Let us follow one of the ship's crew. He is still a youth. Years ago, of a wild, and reckless, and roving spirit, he left his home. He had fallen into temptations, which had been too strong for his feeble virtue. His feet had been familiar with the paths of sin and shame. But during the present voyage, sickness and reflection have brought him to himself.”
2. Full of remorse for evil courses, and for that parental love which he has slighted, he has said, “I will arise and go to my father's house;" they who gave me birth, shall no longer mourn over me as lost. I will smooth the pathway of age for them, and be the support of their feeble steps. He is on his way to where they dwell in the country. 3. As the sun is setting, he can see, from an emi
over which the road passes, their solitary home on a distant hillside. O scene of beauty, such as, to him, no other land can show! There is the church, here a school house, and the abodes of those whom he knew in childhood.
4. He can see the places where he used to watch the golden sunset, not, as now, with a heart full of penitence, and fear, and sorrow for wasted years, but in the innocent days of youth.
5. There are the pastures and the woods, where he wandered full of the dreams and hopes of childhood; fond hopes and dreams, that have issued in such sad realities. The scene to others would be but an ordinary one. But to him, the spirit gives it life. It is covered all over with the golden hues of memory His heart leaps forward to his home, but his feet linger.
6. May not death have been there? May not those lips be hushed in the silence of the grave,
froin which he hoped to hear the words of love and forgiveness? He pauses on the way, and does not approach, till he beholds a light shining through the uncurtained windows of the humble dwelling. And even now his hand is drawn back, which was raised to lift the latch.
7. He would see if all are there. With a trembling heart he looks into the window; and there, blessed sight! he beholds his mother, busy, as was her wont, and his father, only grown more reverend with increasing age, reading that holy book which he taught his son to revere, but which that son has so forgotten.
8. But there were others; and lo! one by one they enter, young sisters, who, when he last saw them, were but children that sat on the knee, but who have now grown up almost to womanly years.
9. And now another fear seizes him. How will they receive him? May not he be forgotten? May they not reject him? But he will, at least, enter. He raises the latch; with a heart too full for utterance, he stands silent and timid in the doorway. The father raises his head, the mother pauses and turns to look at the guest who enters.
10. It is but a moment, when burst from their lips the fond words of recognition, “My son! my son!” „Blessed words, which have told, so fully that nothing remains to be told, the undying strength of parental love.
11. To a traveller, who might that night have passed this cottage among the hills, if he had observed it at all, it would have spoken of nothing but daily toil, of decent comfort, of obscure fortunes. Yet, at that very hour, it was filled with thanksgiv. ings which rose like incense to the heavens, because that “he who was lost, was found ; and he that was dead, was alive again."
12. Thus ever under the visible, is the invisible. Through dead material forms, circulate the currents of spiritual life. Desert rocks, and seas, and shores, are humanized by the presence of man, and become alive with memories and affections. There is a life which appears, and under it, in every heart, is a life which does not appear, which is, to the former, as the depths of the sea to the waves, and the bubbles, and the spray on its surface.
13. There is not an obscure house among the mountains, where the whole romance of life, from its dawn to its setting, through its brightness and through its gloom, is not lived through. The commonest events of the day are products of the same passions and affections, which, in other spheres, decide the fate of kingdoms.
14. Outwardly, the ongoings of ordinary life are like the movements of machinery, lifeless, mechanical, commonplace repetitions of the same trifling events But they are neither lifeless, nor old, nor trifling. The passions and affections make them ever new and original, and the most unimportant acts of the day, reach forward in their results into the shadows of eternity.
THE SWEET FLAG.
1. Can I forget when first I met
The sweet flag's graceful form ?
Mid hearts as bright and warm,
2. 'Mid hearts as warm as sunny gleams,
And eyes as kind and bright,
Are cheering, loved, and light.
3. If you could fancy fairy folks
Would mimic works of ours,
Had wrought mosaic flowers. 4. The tiny petals, neatly formed,
With geometric skill,
Its proper place to fill.
5. And stamens, like fine golden dust,
Spangle the flowerets green;
have never seen.
So mighty nice and clever, —
And oil cloth dreamed of never,
7. When wide, bare floors of good hard mud
Or stone, not over even,
Or dames' light steps, were given,
8. When common rushes strewed the halls
Where royal banquets were,
Beside the banks of Yare !
9. Perhaps to strew a lady's bower,
Perhaps some castle hall,
At holy festival.
10. And then the gray and solemn aisles,
• And all the ancient floor,
Bestrewéd thickly o’er.