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MY "CASTLE IN THE AIR."
BY MRS. I. 0. GARDNER.
My world is no myth, no chimera to me;
But when the day's toil,
Its care and turmoil,
I sit in the shade
By my fancy bower made And watch the slant day-beams, upon the green lea.
The twilight steals on,
Stealeth gently and still,
Till evening anon
But the picture ideal,
The colors unreal, Grow brighter while Sleep doth her poppies distill.
MY BIRTH DAY.
BY WAIF WOODLAND.
Afar from the noisy hum
Of the busy, restless world,
Or its cruel shafts be hurled,
In a sunny green spot,
I have builded my cot,
Not one of the proud,
Who come with the crowd, To squander the bright-jeweled moments, doth dream
That far, far away,
From their circle I stray,
They see not the nook
Where the clear little brook
A step never yet
Has the boldest one set
Have you felt the cool breeze
Or watched the glad trees
Have you tasted the flow
Of the pure gushing spring,
That th' morning doth bring?
In the dim forest heard,
Ah! then I may speak of my home;
Of the realm where my spirit doth roam. The grass never fadeth upon its green hills; There's never a shadow above its bright rills; The pale, haggard visage of want is not there; Each brow is unwrinkled by sorrow or care; Its vales never echoed the voice of despair.
Not a gay, scentless flower
Doth flaunt in the glade;
Hath my wild fancy made.
To my casement fondly cling,
Build beneath the eaves and sing.
O many a day
I've hastened away
From its gairish display,
And I've brought back the light
Of the beautiful glade,
Too exquisite to fade-
My birthday! how the tide of Time
Has hurried me along!
Some half-forgotten song.
Borne by the restless tide,
Onward I swiftly glide.
I foat upon the wave;
Will sweep me to the grave.
Is growing pale and chill;
The pulse is almost still.
Upon my neck again,
Of life's dissolving chain.
To thee this new-born beam,
Beyond the darkened stream.
What thou wouldst have me be,
Great Infinite! for thee.
BY LIZZIE MACE N'FARLAND.
Not from great sins, O Lord, Nor open wickedness, pray I thy hand My trembling steps to guard; for with the hedge Of public sentiment I'm girded round. But from my secret thoughts—from evil known Only to me and thee; from seeming good Educed from selfish motive, let me be Exempt! Give the power of wrestling Jacob 'Gainst sinful thoughts, unholy aims, and lore Of useless ease, incessant war to wage!
ing for the coming of the death-angel. The old sical talent and fine conversational powers. Over lady seemed sleeping soundly; I shaded the light George the mantle of my father's spirit seemed from her face and opened the only book in the to have fallen--a gracious boy, who, like Samroom, a Bible a hundred and fifty years old. It uel, grew in favor with God and man; the joy opened at the family record—the record of the of my mother's heart, the pattern of my early Germain family. The first record stated that on years, and the gentle check to Gertrude's casual the 25th of December, 1709, John Germain mar- extravagances. Consecrated to God in his inried Deborah King. I glanced over the numer- fancy, the seal of the covenant was upon his ous marriages, births, and deaths, and reflected spirit, and he was among us an example of rethat shortly it would be my task to add to the deeming mercy while he lived; when he died, latter the record of the death of Judith Elspeth ever present in holy recollections. Daily the Germain, the last of her family. The sleeper picture of that humble home, with my mother, breathed heavily and moved uneasily upon her sister, brother, and the elderly domestic who had pillow-opening her eyes, she beckoned me to been my mother's nurse, comes back to me. her side.
The morning and the evening worship; the week“You are not afraid to stay with me while I day, with its lessons and labors, in the first of die,” she said, "for Christ is here." After a which our mother, in the latter good Mary was pause she continued: “I have a few words to our teacher; the Sabbath, with its holy stillness say to you, then I will go to sleep. I am the and sacred instructions; the joyous sports in last of my family; for a hundred and fifty years which we joined, all make my old age beautiful the promises of God have never failed to as. in their reflected light. God sends no arctic He has been our ever-present help and our gra- winter to his children; the sun of joy does not cious friend. For a hundred and fifty years no go down when the meridian of life has passed. one has died in our family who had not hope in By a miracle of redeeming mercy the spirit is Christ. The youths and adults slept in Jesus, enabled to stand up, like Joshua, and stay the and Christ took the lambs that he called from us setting of that sun while life lasts. In early and bore them in his bosom over the dark waters; childhood we three differed essentially. Gertrude and over those waters I am not going alone. 0, was careless of study, but passionately fond of Father, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. music, and cultivated her fine voice as highly as I have four bequests to make. My clothes I give possible. She showed her admiration of her to the aged cripple, Lucy Ware. My little valu- beautiful face by her frequent visits to the glass, ables I would have sold and the money given to and loved gay dress and amusements. These buy Bibles for the
I leave old qualities distressed my gentle mother and renBible and a manuscript which I have written for dered Gertrude a source of constant solicitude; you. And, finally, I have a testimony for you but the girl had a loving heart and a most capto give to as many as you can in my name, that tivating address. George was contemplative, after sixty-one years, wherein I have professed studious, and benevole
He spent his spare the name of Christ, I can say that the Lord hath time in instructing poor children of the neighdone great things for me, whereof I am glad, borhood, and his spare pennies in buying them and that I know that my Redeemer liveth. Even primers. He encouraged them to keep little so, come Lord Jesus."
gardens and taught them hymns from a little
book Bible as a precious memento of those concerning great chestnut-tree which stood in our garden. whom such joyful testimony could be borne that As for myself, at the age of eight I fell and inthey had all died believers.
jured myself so seriously that for seven years I A few days after the death of my aged friend was a cripple. During the first part of this time I perused the manuscript she left me. It had I was very exacting, repining, which I have never been written two years before, in a remarkably- ceased to regret, for my misfortune was as great legible hand for a woman of seventy-six. Thus a trial to my dear mother as myself; for her tenit read: “We were three, the children of a mother der heart suffered acutely in the pain of her widowed before my birth. My sister Gertrude child. And moreover, as medicine and doctors was five, and my brother George three years my were expensive, she was harassed with cares senior. My father had left my mother sufficient | arising from her straitened circumstances.
It pleased the Father to lead me very tenderly of a man of questionable character, and my to the paths of righteousness. My mother's beau- mother had disapproved it, and, ever hasty, Gertiful example, the lovely demeanor of George, trude had left her home secretly for him. Poor the holy exhortations of our pastor, with the mother! Poor Gertrude! quiet life, so removed from temptation, which I “Truly the hand of God was heavy upon us. led, drew me gradually to seek for Christ and | The days wore wearily away, one dear one slowly mercy in his name.
When I had ceased to look but surely going from us through the gates of for any thing more than a life of dependence death; another, whose place and fate were unand suffering my health began to improve, and known, and who seemed raising a barrier beto the surprise of all who knew me I at last fully tween herself and us forever. How we sent up recovered. The first Sabbath I was able to walk | eager prayers to the ear of infinite Mercy that out I took the vows of God upon me in our vil- he would save the wanderer from the second lage church.
death! Nearly two years went by. Wasted by “I was then fifteen years old. I expected now suffering and waiting George lingered yet Day to see the shadows leave my mother's face and after day he lay silently watching the garden the light to return to her eyes, but a deeper gloom gate and praying God that Gertrude might come rested upon her, and unwonted tears fell upon home. With every evening we thought he would her books or work. She made no reply when die with the twilight, and every morning seemed ever I attempted to draw from her the cause of as if it would be his last. The cold winds of her grief. I sometimes thought her glance fell March visited the earth a second time while he mournfully on Gertrude, but I found explanation lingered, and the next June Gertrude would have for those anxious looks in Gertrude's gay life been two years away. One evening he was and acquaintances. I saw little of my sister, as worse. I felt that the trial was very near; and indeed I had seen but little of her for two years while my mother watched him I wrapped myself past, she had so many visits to make, and walks, in my cloak and sought the church-yard by my and rides, and picnics; and she spent much time father's grave to beseech his God to strengthen altering and arranging her dresses. I found It was a chill, cloudy night. As I neared now, when I did see her for a few hours, that she the grave I thought I saw a figure gliding from was very impatient and captious, and seemed to it and disappearing among the tombs; yet I asfeel unsettled and weary all the time. George sured myself it was but a fancy, and approached grew pale and thin; his eyes were sunken and the consecrated spot. A faint wail met my ear his hands were very white.
a something lay among the long sear grasses. “Late one summer night we were aroused by a It was a babe. I knew but one would place her cry and call from George's room. We hurried child by our father's ashes, and praying God to in to find him attacked by a violent hemorrhage guard my steps aright I sought her in the darkfrom the lungs. We watched with him all night. She was hidden by a stone, her maternal My whole heart was wrung with agony to see my heart would not suffer her to go far away till she beloved brother perhaps dying; but my mother saw how her babe was received. I clasped her seemed lost in some fearful dream. She per- in my arms, 'O Gertrude, Gertrude! God has formed all the little services necessary mechan- sent you home,' I cried. She would not rise, but ically, and I was terrified at the utter woe of her kneeled before me sobbing. Then I implored face. At dawn George fell into a light sleep, her to return to our home with me. I promised and my mother and I went into an adjoining her a warm welcome from the hearts that loved
My mother,' I said, 'this is a deep grief; her so well. I told her how our brother had let us ask help to bear it patiently as from the lingered so long at the very gate of heaven, perLord.'
chance that he might rejoice at her return. I “My mother covered her face and groaned. showed her how it would solace our mother's 0,' she said, when she could command herself heart, while she wept over her dead, to have her sufficiently to speak, 'George, whether he lives lost one back again. I recalled the days of our or dies, is with Jesus—but Gertrude, my poor, childhood and our early love that might not sufmisguided childi 0, Judith, she has gone-left fer change, and reminded her that Christ would us-given up her mother's care and her peaceful purify and love her still. So she rose and I took home for a man who only fancies for the present her by the hand to lead her home, and just then her beauty, and will make her utterly miserable.' the clouds broke and the full moonlight fell over
“It was even so. Gertrude had left her home us where we stood. I took up the little babe early the preceding night, and when my mother and carried it, and still leading her by the hand sent to call her to George's aid she discovered brought her within our door again. But just her departure. She had received the addresses | then a great cry arose and sobbed itself away,
and I knew that the death-angel, that had hov-wounded, didst sit down there and the Savior ered over us so long, had now crossed our thresh- blessed thee with the baptism of his Spirit. old and stood with folded wings among us.
“And that little child-Agatha—was dear to us "I forgot all but the one for whom the Master for her own and her mother's sake. She had all had called, and flung open the door and hurried of Gertrude's surpassing beauty, but softened to the bedside. Our old servant kneeled at the and refined. There was a something spiritual foot of the bed, her face hidden in the clothes; | about her little face that made one think of anour mother hung over the pillow of her boy. gels. The white lids almost always drooped over She did not look up as I entered, and I stood her large violet eyes, and her soft, golden curls speechless by the dying one. George opened his fell about her bowed face. Thus would she sit eges; he did not look on me, but past me to the for hours, with a grave look that was not born crouching, shivering figure in the doorway. of a shadowed heart, and yet we knew not what
“Gertrude! Gertrnde! God has sent you it was till our eyes were open and we knew that home,' he said, bolding out his hand.
she was blind and mute. Dear Gertrude, when “My mother saw her then and flew to her side. she felt that it was so, but bowed her head and There was no bitterness in her fond heart for the whispered it was well. But we, alasl rebelled erring one, only love and welcome. She clasped when we found that God had taken to himself her to her heart with words of joy and led her the keys of the casket we deemed so full of purity in. Gertrude took the babe I had held uncon and joy. In Agatha we had hoped to have the sciously in my arms and laid it before our brother glad bloom of Gertrude and the pure heart of as he sat bolstered up in the bed. George laid George. How could it be that those
should his hand on its head and prayed that the good never be gladdened by the sunshine and the flowShepherd would make it his own. Then he ers; that the sweet, peaceful look would be a turned to Gertrude; her arms were flung over the perpetual, unchanging thing; that her lips would bed as she kneeled, hiding her face, beside it. never be parted by speech! He clasped her thin, cold hands in his and spoke “It seems strange now that we were so impaof Christ; and when his faltering tongue could tient of the chastenings of our Lord; that while no longer urge his Master's cause, his glazing he was teaching us such priceless lessons of his eyes and the pressure of his chilling hands spoke power and love, we cried out after what his wisof Christ and him crucified. Thus God called dom withheld. We thought that days might our brother home. To us it was a night of min come when the helpless one would be alone in gled joy and grief; but in heaven all was joy, the world, and we forgot the goodness and love for a sinner bad repented, and another soul was of God. Our brother's prayer was answered; new-born into the upper kingdom to wear the the good Shepherd cared for the lamb, but he white robes and the crown of light, and to go no carried it away from the fields where his earthly more out forever.
flock are feeding to the heavenly fold. Little “ The funeral over, our stricken hearts bad no Agatba slept under the late violets. time to sorrow in quiet and solitude, for disease “Gertrude's sufferings were over before the had not departed from among us. Consumption first snows fell, and the autumn winds heaped had stretched forth his hand and laid it upon the sear leaves above her grave. Gertrude, and day by day she faded, like a crush “One evening, a few days after Gertrude died, ed rose exbaling a rare perfume in that slow a man came to our door. 'Is Gertrude here?' dying How different was she from the gay, he said. I only replied, 'No.' “Yes, she is here. healthy Gertrude of other days! Once ever sing Let me come in; I must see her,' he persisted. ing, we now heard her voice but in whispers. She is not here,' I said, and shut the door. All pride had left her; humility sat in its place, Something in his appearance repelled me; I and she loved much her God who had much for- could not say, 'She is dead.' I went back into given.
O how she wound herself about our the room where my mother sat. "That was John hearts in her patience and meekness!
Gray,' she said. I looked out of the window and “She never spoke of that long, fearful year; we could see him standing in the road. I took my could but judge of it when terrible recollections shawl and went out. You asked for Gertrude,' would seem to overpower her, and forgetful of I said. 'I did not know who you were. I know our presence she would tremble and shudder, and you now, John Gray. Come, I will show you clasp her babe close to her bosom, while the look where Gertrude is.' I led him by an unfrequentof horror and agony on her features filled our ed path to a gate of the church-yard close by our souls with a great grief and sympathy. O, Ger- loved ones' graves. I opened the gate, and, trude! thou wert led by a hard path to the foot' grasping his arm, drew him in with me to the of the cross; but, thank God, thou, wayworn and grave. Then I said, 'Here is Gertrude, and here
her child, and her soul is with God.' He grew All the peace and hope of my maturity and whiter than the gleaming stones around, and age are the fruits of the trials I bore in my clinching his hands fled away, and I went home youth. Long and useful was my mother's life, alone. God forgive me, I had not forgiven John and for her to die was gain. Gray! After that ever, when I kneeled to pray, "I adopted a little orphan girl and educated and true to the custom of childhood repeated her. She was a loving and lovable child, and the Lord's prayer, with the words 'as we forgive my heart clung to her, and she gave me a daughour debtors,' came a memory of twilight shadows, ter's love. She married a missionary and died and a new-made grave, and John Gray, with his in India, after fourteen years of labor among blanched face and clinched hands, flying away the heathen. It has been very blessed to live from it into the darkness. The consciousness of and labor, but my work is almost done. You my hard heart and sins against my God con have often asked me for the story of my life; 80 strained me to cry, 'Lord, teach me to forgive!' I have written it for you, and if it will please y.1 So I prayed for months and still did not forgive, I am glad. and the dark picture haunted my hours of wor "All the days of my appointed time I wait ship.
till my change come.'” "One winter's night, after my mother had gone Thus the manuscript finished, and I rememto her bed, while I kneeled in our little parlor, bered the crowds that had followed Judith Gerwith that prayer on my lips and that picture be- main to her grave, blessing her memory. I refore me, there came a trampling of feet and membered how she had visited the sick, clothed neighbors' voices calling to us. I hastened to the paked, fed the hungry, and daily broken the open the door, and they brought in a man they bread of life to perishing souls. A humble wa had found lying in the road before our bouse. man, in straitened circumstances, she had laid The snow clung to his feet and clothes, and his up for herself treasure in heaven. Then at midbeard was stiff with his frozen breath. They night was a cry heard, “Behold the Bridegroom laid their burden down on the settle and thought cometh; go ye out to meet him," and she went that he was dead. Then God taught me to for- forth with her lamp trimmed and burning. And give. They rubbed him and gave him wine, and I pray that in every land may live many a Judith after several hours' exertion succeeded in par-Germain to serve the Lord. tially reviving him, and he knew where he was. He looked on me and shuddered, heart was softened, and I kneeled down and said,
ANOTHER YEAR HAS GONE: 'Forgive me, John Gray.'
“By and by they left us alone with him, and he opened his eyes again and said, 'God has
ANOTHER year has gone; alas, for me, visited me with his wrath, and by his anger am That ever I was born to such a lot; I troubled. I am dying. God help me! For My time is nearing to eternity, give me that I took from you your loved one. And the good thing I looked for cometh not. Forgive me that I left my wife, Gertrude, alone
I had more hope than this a year ago, to her remorse, and poverty, and suffering. God For I remember now that then I said, has abandoned me as I abandoned her, and after If any comfort is for me below, death there is no space for penitence or forgive It must be mine before the year is dead. ness.' God helped me, and I kneeled down and
Now this has failed, nor can I any more wept and prayed for him; and he joined me in
Delade myself with idle words, and say, my prayers, and I cried to God for him till day Though all my life was sorrowful before, break, and when I rose from my knees he was To-morrow may be better than to-day. dead.
Sometimes old spells of charmed rhymes I 're told “So for a year death had been among us con Over the new moon, when it met my sight, stantly. Four times had the funeral train passed Saying, when this is full, or this is old, from our door in twelve months, and we two were Life may be brighter than it is to-night. alone. How calmly years went by after that!
I have had visions in my sleep, that seemed Springs, summers, and harvest-times, and the
Sweet presages of future happiness; white winters, and we were at peace. Once God But all that ever came, of all I dreamed, tried me. O what a bitter trial!
Was the sad waking, sadder after bliss. me strength to do right, and my mother never
Now hope is done, and dreams delude me not; knew of that trial. Thereafter there was for me
Night follows weary night, morn joyless morn; one more grave, where not a coffin but a dead
Alas, that I was born to such a lot! hope was hidden. Trials are blessed teachers.
Alas, for me, that ever I was born!
BY PHEBE CARY.
But he gave