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But it is blessedness! A year ago
I did not see it as I do to-day-
To catch the sunshine till it slips away.
That while I wore the badge of motherhood, I did not kiss more oft and tenderly
The little child that brought me only good.
And if some night when you sit down to rest,
You miss this elbow from your tired knee, This restless curling head from off your breast,
This lisping tongue that chatters constantly; If from your own the dimpled hands had slipped,
And ne'er would pestle in your palm again; If the white feet into their grave had tripped,
I could not blame you for your heartache then.
I wonder so that mothers ever fret
At little children clinging to their gown;
Are ever black enough to make them frown.
Or cap, or jacket, on my chamber floor,
And hear it patter in my house once more, -
To-morrow make a kite to reach the sky,
She was more blissfully content than I.
Is never rumpled by a shining head;
- May Riley Smith.
Courtesies to Parents.
PARENTS lean upon their children, and especially their sons, much earlier than either of
them imagine. Their love is a constant inspiration, a perennial fountain of delight, from which other lips may quaff, and be comforted thereby. It may be that the mother has been left a widow, depending on her only son for support. He gives her a comfortable home, sees that she is well clad, and allows no debts to accumulate, and that is all. It is considerable, more even than some sons do, but there is a lack. He seldom thinks it worth while to give her a caress; he has forgotten all those affectionate ways that kept the wrinkles from her face, and made her look so much younger, than her years; he is ready to put his hand in his pocket and gratify her slightest request, but to give of the abundance of his heart is another thing entirely. He loves his mother? Of course he does! Are there not proofs enough of his filial regard? Is he not continually making sacrifices for her benefit? What more can any reasonable woman ask?
Ah, but it is the mother heart that craves an occasional kiss, the support of your youthful arm, the little attentions and kindly courtesies of life, that smooth down so many of its asperities, and make the journey less wearisome. Material aid is good so far as it goes, but it has not the sustaining power which the loving, sympathetic heart bestows upon its object. You think she has outgrown these weaknesses and follies, and is content with the crust that is left; but you are mistaken. Every little offer of attention,—your escort to church or concert, or for a quiet walk, brings back the youth of her heart; her cheeks glow and her eyes sparkle with pleasure, and oh! how proud she is of her son !
Even the father, occupied and absorbed as he may be, is not wholly indifferent to these filial expressions of devoted love. He may pretend to care very little for them, but having faith in their sincerity, it would give him serious pain were they entirely withheld. Fathers need their sons quite as much as the sons need the fathers, but in how many deplorable inStances, do they fail to find in them a staff for their declining years !
My son, are you a sweetener of life? You may disappoint the ambition of your parents; may be unable to distinguish yourself as they fondly hoped; may find your intellectual strength inadequate to your own desires, but let none of these things move you from a determination to be a son of whose moral character they need never be ashamed. Begin early to cultivate a habit of thoughtfulness and cousideration of others, especially for those whom you are commanded to honor. Can you begrudge a few extra steps, for the mother who never stopped to number those you demanded during your helpless infancy? Have you the heart to slight her requests, or treat her remarks with indifference, when you cannot begin to measure the patient devotion with which she bore with your peculiarities ? Anticipate her wants, invite her confidence, be prompt to offer assistance, express your affection as heartily as you did when a child, that the mother may never grieve in secret for the son she has lost.
-S. S. Times.
A Winter's Evening Hymn to My Fire.
THOU of home the guardian Lar,
And when our earth hath wandered far
As who would say, “ 'Tis those, I ween,
That win the laurel ;”.
Sun of all inmost confidence !
That close against rude day's offences,
-James Russell Lowell.
By the Fireside.
THAT is it fades and flickers in the fire,
Walleteris lade sights
, ainde yields reluctant breath,
As if in the red embers some desire,
Some word prophetic burned, defying death ? Lords of the forest, stalwart oak and pine,
Lie down for us in flames of martyrdom: A human household warmth, their death-fires shine ;
Yet fragrant with high memories they come, Bringing the mountain winds that in their boughs
Sang of the torrent, and the plashy edge Of
storm-swept lakes ; and echoes that arouse The eagles from a splintered eyrie ledge; And breath of violets sweet about their roots;
And earthy odors of the moss and fern ;
And green leaves that to gold and crimson turn.
What rare Octobers drop with every coal !
Are hid spring's budding hope, and summer's soul. Pictures far lovelier smolder in the fire,
Visions of friends who walked among these trees, Whose presence, like the free air, could inspire
A winged life and boundless sympathies. Eyes with a glow like that in the brown beech,
When sunset through its autumn beauty shines ;
Or the blue gentian's look of silent speech,
To heaven appealing as earth's light declines; Voices and steps forever Aled away
From the familiar glens, the haunted hillsMost pitiful and strange it is to stay
Without you in a world your lost love fills.
Or in full sunshine on the hills of God-
And tints and perfumes of the woodland sod ?
Watching these sad, bright pictures come and go ; That waning years are with your memory lit,
Is the one lonely comfort that we know. Is it all memory? Lo, these forest boughs
Burst on the hearth into fresh leaf and bloom ; Waft a vague, far-off sweetness through the house,
And give close walls the hillside's breathing-room.
A second life, more spiritual than the first,
They find-a life won only out of death. O sainted souls, within you still is nursed
For us a flame not fed by mortal breath!
Unseen, ye bring to us, who love and wait,
Wafts from the heavenly hills, immortal air ; No flood can quench your heart's warmth, or abate ; Ye are our gladness, here and everywhere.
solid happiness we prize,
And they are fools who roam:
And that dear place-our home.
Our portion is not large indeed;
For nature's calls are few:
And make that little do.
We'll therefore relish with content Whate'er kind Providence has sent,
Nor aim beyond our power: For if our stock be very small, Tis prudence to enjoy it all,
Nor lose the present hour.
Thus, hand in hand, through life we'll go; Its checkered paths of joy and woe
With cautious steps we'll tread; Quit its vain scenes without a tear, Without a trouble or a fear,
And mingle with the dead:
To be resigned when ills betide,
And pleased with savors given;
Whose fragrance smells to heaven.
While conscience, like a faithful friend,
And cheer our dying breath;
- Nathaniel Cotton.
My Own Fireside.
A babe, whose beauty's half divine,
In sleep his mother's eyes doth hide; Where may love seek a fitter shrine.
My own-my own fireside!
ET others seek for empty joys,
At ball or concert, rout or play; Whilst far from Fashion's idle noise,
Her gilded domes and trappings gay, I while the wintry eve away.
'Twixt book and lute the hours divide; And marvel how I e'er could stray
From thee-my own fireside! My own fireside! Those simple words
Can bid the sweetest dreams arise; Awaken feeling's tenderest chords,
And fill with tears of joy mine eyes. What is there my wild heart can prize,
That does not in thy sphere abide; Haunt of my home-bred sympathies,
My own-my own fireside! A gentle form is near me now;
A small white hand is clasped in mine; I gaze upon her placid brow,
And ask, what joys can equal thine?
Shrine of my household deities;
Bright scene of home's unsullied joys; To thee my burdened spirit flies,
When Fortune frowns, or Care annoys! Thine is the bliss that never cloys;
The smile whose truth hath oft been tried; What then, are this world's tinsel toys,
To thee-my own fireside!
That bid my thoughts be all of thee,
To my heart soothing sanctuary! Whate'er my future years may be,
Let joy or grief my fate betide; Be still an Eden bright to me,
My own-my own fireside!
Y the fireside there are old men seated,
By the fireside there are youthful dreamers,