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But a hundred sons couldn't be to me,
Like the woman I made my bride.
And white shoes upon her feet;
That we stood up to be wed?
My little Polly—so bright and fair!
So winsome and good and sweet!
The Old Arm-Chair.
LOVE it, I love it! and who shall dare
To chide me for loving that old arm-chair ?
[sighs, I've bedewed it with tears, I've embalmed it with
'Tis bound by a thousand bands to my heart;
And I almost worshiped her when she smiled,
A Good Old Age.
GOOD old age is a beautiful sight, and there is nothing earthly that is as noble,—in my
eyes, at least. And so I have often thought, a ship is a fine object, when it comes up into a port, with all its sails set, and quite safely, from a long voyage. Many a thousand miles it has come, with the sun for guidance, and the sea for its path, and the winds for its speed. What might have been its grave, a thousand fathoms deep, has yielded it a ready way; and winds that might have been its wreck have been its service. It has come from another meridian than ours; it has come through day and night; it has come by reefs and banks that have been avoided, and past rocks that have been watched for. Not a plank has started, nor one timber in it proved rotten. And now it comes like an answer to the prayers of many hearts; a delight to the owner, a joy to many a sailor's family, and a pleasure to all ashore that see it. It has been steered over the ocean, and been piloted through dangers, and now it is safe. But still more interesting than this is a good life, as it approaches its threescore years and ten. It began in the century before the present; it has lasted on through storms and sunshine; and it has been guarded against many a rock, on which shipwreck of a good conscience might have been made. On the course it has taken, there has been the influence of Providence; and it has been guided by Christ, that day-star from on high. Yes, old age is even a nobler sight than a ship completing a long, long voyage.
On a summer's evening, the setting sun is grand to look at. In his morning beams, the birds awoke and sang, men rose for their work, and the world grew light. In his mid-day heat, wheat-fields grew yellower, and fruits were ripened, and a thousand natural purposes were answered, which we mortals do not know of. And at his setting, all things seem to grow harmonious and solemn in his light.
But what is all this to the sight of a good life, in those years that go down into the grave? In the early days of it, old events had their happenings; with the light of it many a house has been brightened; and under the good influence of it, souls have grown better, some of whom are now on high, and then the closing period of such a life,—how almost awful is the beauty of it! From his setting, the sun will rise again to-morrow; and he will shine on men and their work, and on children's children and their labors. But when once finished, even a good life has no renewal in this world. It will begin again; but it will be in a new earth, and under new heavens. Yes, nobler than a ship safely ending a long voyage, and sublimer than the setting sun, is the old age of a just, a kind, and useful life.
- From Mountford's Euthanasy.
the bow, because your fingers are too stiff, and drop ten foot sculls because your arms are too weak, and after dallying awhile with eyeglasses, come at last to the undisguised reality of spectacles; if the time comes when that fire of life we spoke of has burned so low, that where its flames reverberated, there is only the somber stain of regret, and where its coals glowed, only the white ashes that cover the embers of memory-don't let your heart grow cold, and you may carry cheerfulness and love with you into the teens of your second century if you can last so long.
-0. W. Holmes.
Evening Oftener Pleasanter than Morning.
eventide it shall be light. To many saints, old age is the choicest season of their lives. A balmier air fans the mariner's cheek as he nears the shores of immortality, fewer waves rufile his sea, quiet reigns—deep, still, and solemn. From the altar of age the flashes of the Tre of youth are gone, but the more real flame of earnest feeling remains. The pilgrims have reached the land Beulah, that happy country whose days are as the days of heaven upon earth. Angels visit it, celestial gales blow over it, flowers of Paradise grow in it, and the air is filled with seraphic music. Some dwell here for years, and others come to it but a few hours before their departure, but it is an Eden on earth We may well long for the time when we shall recline in its shady groves, and be satisfied with hope until the time of fruition comes. The setting sun seems larger than when aloft in the sky, and a splendor of glory tinges all the clouds which surround his going down. Pain breaks not the calm of the sweet twilight of age, for strength made perfect in weakness bears up with patience under it all. Ripe fruits of choice experience are gathered as the rare repast of life's evening, and the soul prepares itself for rest, The Lord's people shall also enjoy light in the hour of death. Unbelief laments; the shadows fall, the night is coming, existence is ending. Ah! no, cries faith, the night is far spent, the true day is at hand. Light is come—the light of immortality, the light of a Father's countenance. Gather up thy feet in the bed; see the waiting band of spirits! Angels waft thee away. Farewell, beloved one, thou art gone; thou wavest thine hand. Ah! now it is light. The pearly gates are open, the golden streets shine in the jasper light. We cover our eyes, but thou beholdest the unseen. Adieu, brother; thou hast light at eventide, such as we have not yet.
-Charles Spurg con.
HOME AND FIRESIDE.
The Return of Youth.
He shall bring back, but brighter, broader still,
Life's early glury to thine eyes again,
Thy leaping heart with warmer love than then.
Of mountains where immortal morn prevails;
A gentle rustling of the morning gales;
Of streams that water banks forever fair,
-William Cullen Bryant.
There shall he welcome thee, when thou shalt stand
On his bright morning hills, with smiles more sweet Than when at first he took thee by the hand,
Through the fair earth to lead thy tender feet.
A Winters' Evening.
(Adapted from Snow Bound.) JNWARMED by any sunset light
We piled, with care, our nightly stack The gray day darkened into night,
Of wood against the chimney backA night made hoary with the swarm,
The oaken log, green, huge and thick, And whirl-dance of the blinding storm,
And on its top the stout back stick; As zigzag wavering to and fro
The knotty fóre-stick laid apart, Crossed and recrossed the winged snow;
And filled between with curious art And ere the early bedtime came
The ragged brush; then, hovering near, The white drist piled the window frame,
We watched the first red blaze appear, And through the glass the clothes-line posts
Heard the sharp crackle, caught the gleam Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts.
On whitewashed wall and sagging beam,
Until the old, rude-furnished room Meanwhile we did our nightly chores
Burst, flower-like, into rosy bloom, Brought in the wood from out of doors,
While radiant with a mimic flame Littered the stalls, and from the mows
Outside the sparkling drift became, Raked down the herd's grass, for the cows;
And through the bare-boughed lilac tree Heard the horse whinnying for his corn;
Our own warm hearth seemed blazing free. And, sharply clashing horn on horn, Impatient down the stanchion rows
Shut in from all the world without, The cattle shake their walnut bows.
We sat the clean-winged hearth about, While peering from his early perch
Content to let the north wind roar Upon the scaffold's pole of birch,
In bafiled rage at pane and door, The cock his crested helmet bent
While the red logs before us beat And down his querulous challenge sent.
frost-line back with tropic eat;