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So the women kiss'd
Each other, and set out, and reach'd the farm.
The door was off the latch. They peep'd, and saw
The boy set up betwixt his grandsire's knees,
Who thrust him in the hollows of his arm,
And clapt him on the hands and on the cheeks,
Like one that loved him; and the lad stretch'd out
And babbled for the golden seal, that hung
From Allan's watch, and sparkled by the fire.
Then they came in; but when the boy beheld
His mother, he cried out to come to her,
And Allan set him down, and Mary said,

O Father ! — if you let
I never came a-begging for myself,
Or William, or this child; but now I come
For Dora. Take her back, she loves you

O Sir, when William died, he died at peace
With all men; for I ask'd him, and he said,
He could not ever rue his marrying me
I had been a patient wife; but, Sir, he said
That he was wrong to cross his father thus,
‘God bless him !' he said, 'and may he never know
The troubles I have gone thro!' Then he turn'd
His face and pass'd — unhappy that I am!
But now, Sir, let me have my boy, for you
Will make him hard, and he will learn to slight
His father's memory; and take Dora back,
And let all this be as it was before."

So Mary said, and Dora hid her face
By Mary. There was silence in the room;
And all at once the old man burst in sobs:

“I have been to blame to blame. I have kill'd my son.
I have kill'd him but I loved him my dear son.
May God forgive me! — I have been to blame.
Kiss me, my children.”

Then they clung about
The old man's neck, and kiss'd him many times.
And all the man was broken with remorse;
And all his love came back a hundred-fold;
And for three hours he sobb'd o'er William's child
Thinking of William.

So those four abode
Within one house together; and as years
Went forward, Mary took another mate;
But Dora lived unmarried till her death.



When Parepa was here she was everywhere the people's idol. The great opera houses in all our cities and towns were thronged. There were none to criticise or carp. Her young, rich, grand voice was beyond compare. Its glorious tones are remembered with an enthusiasm like that which greeted her when she sung.

Her company played in New York during the Easter holidays, and I, as an old friend, claimed some of her leisure hours. We were friends in Italy, and this Easter day was to be spent

with me.

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At eleven in the morning she sang at one of the large churches; I waited for her, and at last we two were alone in my snug little room. At noon the sky was overcast and gray.

Down came the snow, whitening the streets and roofs. The wind swept icy breaths from the water as it came up from the bay and rushed past the city spires and over tall buildings, whirling around us the snow and storm. We had hurried home, shut and fastened our blinds, drawn close the curtains, and piled coal higher on the glowing grate. We had taken off our wraps, and now sat close to the cheery fire for a whole afternoon's blessed enjoyment.

Parepa said, “Mary, this is perfect rest! We shall be quite alone for four hours."

“Yes, four long hours !" I replied. "No rehearsals, no engagements. Nobody knows where you are!”

Parepa laughed merrily at this idea.

“Dinner shall be served in this room, and I won't allow even the servant to look at you !” I said.

She clasped her dimpled hands together, like a child in enjoyment, and then sprang up to roll the little center-table near the grate.

The snow had now turned into sleet; a great chill fell over the whole city. We looked out of our windows, peeping through the shutters, and pitying the people as they rushed past.

A sharp rap on my door. John thrust in a note.

“MY DEAR FRIEND: Can you come? Annie has gone. She said you would be sure to come to her funeral.

She spoke of you to the last. She will be buried at four.”

I laid the poor little blotted note in Parepa's hand. How it stormed! We looked into each other's faces helplessly. I said, “Dear, I must go, but you sit by the fire and rest. I'll be at home in two hours. And

poor Annie has gone!” "Tell me about it, Mary, for I am going with you," she answered.

She threw on her heavy cloak, wound her long white woolen scarf closely about her throat, drew on her woolen gloves, and we set out together in the wild Easter storm.

Annie's mother was a dressmaker, and sewed for me and my friends. She was left a widow when her one little girl was five years old. Her husband was drowned off the Jersey coast, and out of blinding pain and loss and anguish had grown a sort of idolatry for the delicate, beautiful child whose brown eyes looked like the young husband's.

For fifteen years this mother had loved and worked for Annie, her whole being going out to bless her one child. I had grown fond of them; and in small ways, with books and flowers, outings and simple pleasures, I had made myself dear to them. The end of the delicate girl's life had not seemed near, though her doom had been hovering about her for years.

I had thought it all over as I took the Easter lilies from my window-shelf and wrapped them in thick papers and hid them out of the storm under my cloak. I knew there would be no other flowers in their wretched room. How endless was the way to this East-Side tenement house! No elevated roads, no rapid transit across the great city then as there are now. At last we reached the place. On the street stood the canvascovered hearse, known only to the poor.

We climbed flight after flight of narrow dark stairs to the small upper rooms. In the middle of the floor stood a stained coffin, lined with stiff, rattling cambric and cheap gauze, resting on uncovered trestles of wood.

We each took the mother's hand and stood a moment with her, silent. All hope had gone out of her face. She shed no tears, but as I held her cold hand I felt a shudder go over her, but she neither spoke nor sobbed.

The driving storm had made us late, and the plain, hardworking people sat stiffly against the walls. Some one gave us chairs and we sat close to the mother.

The minister came in, a blunt, hard-looking man, selfsufficient and formal. A woman said the undertaker brought him. Icier than the pitiless storm outside, yes, colder than ice were his words. He read a few verses from the Bible, and warned “the bereaved mother against rebellion at the divine decrees.” He made a prayer and was gone.

A dreadful hush fell over the small room. I whispered to the mother and asked: “Why did you wait so long to send for me? All this would have been different."

With a kind of stare, she looked at me.

"I can't remember why I didn't send," she said, her hand to her head, and added: "I seemed to die, too, and forget, till they brought a coffin. Then I knew it all."

The undertaker came and bustled about. He looked at myself and Parepa, as if to say: “It's time to go.” The wretched funeral service was over.

Without a word Parepa rose and walked to the head of the coffin. She laid her white scarf on an empty chair, threw her cloak back from her shoulders, where it fell in long, soft, black lines from her noble figure like the drapery of mourning. She laid her soft, fair hand on the cold forehead, passed it tenderly over the wasted delicate face, looked down at the dead girl a moment, and moved my Easter lilies from the stained box to the thin fingers, then lifted up her head, and with illumined eyes sang the glorious melody:

"Angels, ever bright and fair,
Take, oh! take her to thy care.”

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Her magnificent voice rose and fell in all its richness and power and pity and beauty! She looked above the dingy room and the tired faces of men and women, the hard hands and the struggling hearts. She threw back her head and sang till the choirs of paradise must have paused to listen to the Easter music of that day.

She passed her hand caressingly over the girl's soft dark hair, and sang on

-“Take – oh! take her to thy care!The mother's face grew rapt and white. I held her hands and watched her eyes. Suddenly she threw my hand off and knelt at Parepa's feet, close to the wooden trestles. She locked her fingers together, tears and sobs breaking forth. She prayed aloud that God would bless the angel singing for Annie. A patient smile settled about her lips, the light came back into her poor, dulled eyes, and she kissed her daughter's face with a love

- and on


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