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If I can, I'll come again, mother, from out my resting place ;
Though you'll not see me, mother, I shall look upon your face,
Though I cannot speak a word, I shall hearken what you say,
And be often often with you when you think I'm far away.
Good night, good night, when I have said good night for evermore,
And you see me carried out from the threshold of the door ;
Don't let Effie come to see me till my grave be growing green:
She'll be a better child to you than ever I have been.
She'll find my garden tools upon the granary floor :
Let her take 'em: they are hers: I shall never garden more:
But tell her when I'm gone, to train the rose bush that I set
About the parlour window, and the box of mignonette.
Good night, sweet mother: call me before the day is born,
All night I lie awake, but I fall asleep at morn;
But I would see the sun rise upon the glad new-year,
So, if you're waking, call me, call me early, mother dear.
I thought to pass away before, and yet alive I am ;
And in the fields all round I hear the bleating of the lamb.
How sadly, I remember, rose the morning of the year!
To die before the snow-drop came, and now the violet's here.
O sweet is the new violet, that comes beneath the skies,
And sweeter is the young lamb's voice to me that cannot rise,
And sweet is all the land about, and all the flowers that blow,
And sweeter far is death than life to me that long to go.
It seem'd so hard at first, mother, to leave the blessed sun,
And now it seems as hard to stay, and yet His will be done!
But still I think it can't be long before I find release;
And that good man, the clergyman, has told me words of peace.
O blessings on his kindly voice, and on his silver hair!
And blessings on his whole life long, until he meet me there!
O blessings on his kindly heart and on his silver head!
A thousand times I blest him, as he knelt beside my bed.
He showed me all the mercy, for he taught me all the sin ;
Now, though my lamp was lighted late, there's One will let me in:
Nor would I now be well, mother, again, if that could be,
For my desire is but to pass to Him that died for me.
I did not hear the dog howl, mother, or the death-watch beat,
There came a sweeter token when the night and morning meet:
But sit beside my bed, mother, and put your hand in mine,
And Effie on the other side, and I will tell the sign.
All in the wild March morning I heard the angels call;
It was when the moon was setting, and the dark was over all ;
The trees began to whisper, and the wind began to roll,
And in the wild March morning I heard them call my soul.
For lying broad awake I thought of you and Effie dear;
I saw you sitting in the house, and I no longer here;
With all my strength I pray'd for both, and so I felt resign'd,
And up the valley came a swell of music on the wind.
I thought that it was fancy, and I listen'd in my bed,
And then did something speak to me-I know not what was said ;
For great delight and shuddering took hold of all my mind,
And up the valley came again the music on the wind.
But you were sleeping; and I said, “It's not for them; it's mine!”
And if it comes three times, I thought, I take it for a sign.
And once again it came, and close beside the window-bars,
Then seem'd to go right up to Heaven, and die among the stars.
So now I think my time is near. I trust it is. I know
The blessed music went that way my soul will have to go.
And for myself, indeed, I care not if I go to-day;
But, Effie, you must comfort her when I am passed away.
O look! the sun begins to rise, the heavens are in a glow;
He shines upon a hundred fields, and all of them I know.
And there I move no longer now, and there his light may shine-
Wild flowers in the valley for other hands than mine.
O sweet and strange it seems to me, that ere this day is done,
The voice, that now is speaking, may be beyond the sun-
For ever and for ever with those just souls and true-
And what is life, that we should moan? why make we such ado?
For ever and for ever, all in a blessed home-
And there to wait a little while till you and Effie come-
To lie within the light of God, as I lie upon your breast-
And the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest.
TO A CITY PIGEON.
Stoop to my window, thou beautiful dove!
Thy daily visits have touched my love!
I watch thy coming, and list the note
That stirs so low in thy mellow throat,
And my joy is high
To catch the glance of thy gentle eye.
Why dost thou sit on the heated eaves,
And forsake the wood with its freshened leaves ?
Why dost thou haunt the sultry street,
When the paths of the forest are cool and sweet?
How canst thou bear
This noise of people—this breezeless air ?
Thou alone of the feathered race,
Dost look unscared on the human face;
Thou alone, with a wing to flee,
Dost love with man in his haunts to be ;
And the " gentle dove”
Has become a name for trust and love.
A holy gift is thine, sweet bird !
Thou'rt named with childhood's earliest word!
Thou’rt linked with all that is fresh and wild
In the prisoned thoughts of the city child-
And thy even wings
Are its brightest image of moving things.
It is no light chance. Thou art set apart
Wisely by Him who tamed thy heart-
To stir the love for the bright and fair,
That else were sealed in the crowded air-
I sometimes dream
Angelic rays from thy pinions stream.
Come, then, ever when day light leaves
The page I read, to my humble eaves,
And wash thy breast in the hollow spout,
And murmur thy low, sweet music out-
I hear and see
Lessons of heaven, sweet bird, in thee!
CEUR DE LION AT THE BIER OF HIS FATHER.
HENRY II. eldest son of Geoffrey Plantagenet, (so named from a sprig of broom-in Latin, planta genista—in French, plante genet, which he used to wear in his cap) was born at Le Mans, in March 1133; began to reign Dec. 8th 1154, and died July 6th 1189, after having reigned 344 years. The latter part of his reign was spent in opposing the rebellions of his own sons, Henry, Geoffrey, Richard, and John, who being impatient for their father's death, and urged on by their own mother, took up arms to dethrone him. They did not succeed in their purpose;—Henry (the eldest son) died of a fever, Geoffrey was killed in a tournament or mock fight at Paris; and Richard collected an army to go to Palestine to fight against Saladin, but instead of going there he led it against his own father. Henry II. being quite unprepared for this attack, was obliged to make a treaty with his son, in which it was stipulated that all the Barons who had joined Richard should be freely pardoned. The King complied with this condition, but when he saw the name of his youngest and favourite son John among the rebels, he seemed to be broken-hearted, fell ill of a fever, and died. Henry Il. was perhaps the ablest king that ever sat on the throne of England. The body of
Henry II. lay in state in the Abbey-church of Fontevraud, where it was visited by
Richard Cour de Lion, who, on beholding it, was struck with horror and remorse, and
reproached himself bitterly for that rebellious conduct which had been the means of
brtnging his father to an untimely grave.
TORCHES were blazing clear, hymns pealing deep and slow,
Where a king lay stately on his bier, in the church of Fontevraud,'
Banners of battle o'er him hung, and warriors slept beneath,
And light, as noon's broad light, was flung on the settled face of death.
On the settled face of death a strong and ruddy glare,
Though dimmed at times by the censer's breath, yet it fell still brightest
As if each deeply-furrowed trace of earthly years to show,-
Alas! that sceptred mortal's race had surely closed in woe.
The marble floor was swept by many a long dark stole,
As the kneeling priests, round him that slept, sang mass for the parted
soul; And solemn were the strains they poured through the stillness of the
night, With the cross above, and the crown and sword, and the silent king in
sight.There was heard a heavy clang, as of steel-girt men the tread, And the tombs and the hollow pavement rang with a sounding thrill
of dread; And the holy chaunt was hushed awhile, as, by the torches' flame, A gleam of arms, up the sweeping aisle, with a mail-clad leader came. He came with haughty look, an eagle glance and clear, But his proud heart through his breast-plate shook, when he stood
beside the bier ! He stood there still, with a drooping brow, and clasp'd hands o'er it
For his father lay before him low-it was Caur-de-Lion’ gazed !
And silently he strove with the workings of his breast;
But there's more in late repentant love than steel may keep suppressed!
And his tears brake forth, at last, like rain,-men held their breath in
awe, For his face was seen by his warrior train, and he recked not that they
He looked upon the dead, and sorrow seemed to lie,
A weight of sorrow, even like lead, pale on thc fast-shut eye.
He stooped—and kissed the frozen cheek, and the heavy hand of clay,
Till bursting words-yet all too weak-gave his soul's passion way.
“O, father! is it vain, this late remorse and deep?
Speak to me, father! once again !—I weep—- behold, I weep!
Alas! my guilty pride and ire! were but this work undone,
I would give England's crown, my sire, to hear thee bless thy son!
1 Fontevraud, (Fong-te-vro) a village in France.
2 Cour-de-Lion, that is, lion-hearted, Richard was so called for his bravery.
"Speak to me:-mighty grief ere now the dust hath stirred :
Hear me! but hear me l-father! chief! my king! I must be heard !
Hushed, hushed !-how is it that I call, and that thou answerest not?
When was it thus ?-woe, woe for all the love my soul forgot !
" Thy silver hairs I see—so still, so sadly bright!
And, father, father! but for me they had not been so white !
I bore thee down, high heart at last ; no longer couldst thou strive--
Oh! for one moment of the past, to kneel and say “forgive!'
"Thou wert the noblest king, on a royal throne e'er seen,
And thou didst wear, in knightly ring, of all, the stateliest mien;
And thou didst prove, where spears are proved, in war the bravest heart-
Oh! ever the renowned and loved thou wert--and there thou art !
“Thou that my boyhood's guide didst take fond joy to be !---
The times I've sported at thy side, and climbed thy parent knee!
And there before the blessed shrine, my sire, I see thee lie,-
How will that sad still face of thine look on me till I die!"
1. Why was Henry II. called Planta- of Fontevraud, where the king lay in genet?
state. 2. Where and when was he born ?
11. Describe the mail-clad warrior who 3. When did he ascend the throne ? entered the church.
4. When did he die, and how long did 12. Who was he, and what brought him he reign?
there? 5. What embittered the latter part of 13. What would he have given to obtain his reign ?
his father's blessing and forgiveness? 6. Name his four sons, and say what 14. What does he say on beholding his came of them.
father's gray hairs? 7. What stipulation had he to agree to, 15. How does he speak of his father as when he was forced to treat with his own a king? son Richard ?
16. Explain to me the last line. 8. What seemed to break his heart? 17. Can these children expect God's 9. What was his son Richard called ? blessing who bring down their father's 10. Describe the scene in the church gray hairs with sorrow to the grave ?