Page images
PDF
EPUB

“ Other friends have flown before On the morrow he will leave me,

As my hopes have flown before."
Then the bird said “ Nevermore."

Startled at the stillness broken
By reply so aptly spoken,
“ Doubtless," said I, “what it utters

Is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master
Whom unmerciful Disaster
Follow'd fast and follow'd faster,

Till his songs one burden bore-
Till the dirges of his Hope the

Melancholy burden bore
Or Nevermore'-of. Nevermore.'”

TRANSLATED FROM THE DANISI.

But the raven still beguiling
All my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheel'd a cushion'd seat in

Front of bird, and bust, and door ;
Then upon the velvet sinking,
I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking

What this ominous bird of yore-
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly,
Gaunt and ominous bird of yore

Meant in croaking “ Nevermore."

This I sat engaged in guessing,
But no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now

Burn'd into my bosom's core ;
This and more I sat divining,
With my head at ease reclining
On the cushion'd velvet lining

That the lamplight gloated o'er ;
But whose velvet violet lining

With the lamplight gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser,
Perfum'd from an unseen censer,
Swung by angels whose faint foot-lalls

Tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch," I cried, “thy God hath lent thec
By these angels he hath sent thee
Respite-respite and nepenthe

From thy memories of Lenore !
Quaff, oh quaff this kind neperthe,

And forget this lost Lenore !"
Quoth the raven "Nevermore."

Quit the bust above my door!

self the most fortunate among the villagers—he Take thy beak from out my heart,

who is about to celebrate a double festival ? Why And take thy form from off my door!"

does he throw himself down beneath yon tree, and Quoth the raven “Nevermore."

hide his face with his arm? And the raven, never fitting,

Ah! memory has recalled to him that day when Still is sitting, still is sitting

he and his brother-two strong, active boys—had On the pallid bust of Pallas Just above my chamber door,

stopped at this very place to look at a little girl who And his eyes have all the seeming

was crying bitterly. She was very poorly clad, of a demon that is dreaming

and the curiosity of the boys passing into sympathy, And the lamplight o'er him streaming

they inquired why she was in tears? It was a long Throws his shadow on the floor ;

time before she would impart the cause of her grief And my soul from out that shadow That lies floating on the floor

to them; but when they placed themselves by her Shall be lifted-nevermore.

on the grass, patted her little cheek, and spoke words of kindness to her, she confided to them that

she had recently come to their village. On the THE BROTHERS.

other side of the hill stood the small house in which her mother had lived; but she was now dead, and strangers had brought her over to the village. The

overseer of the poor had placed her in service IT

was a fresh, cool summer morning ; the birds with a peasant woman; but she felt so lonely—80

appeared to have exhausted themselves with forsaken! She would fain to return to her cottage, singing ; but the breeze was not exhausted, for, if which stood by itself on the heath ; but she dared it seemed lulled for a moment under the clustering not leave her mistress. Johan took her hand, looked leaves of the trees, it was but suddenly to shake earnestly upon her, and asked what there was so them about, and mingle its sighs with their rustling uncommon about her mother's cottage ! sound; there waved to and fro the heavy heads of “Ah! there is no house like it here in your vilthe ears of corn in the fields, and the more lowly lage," replied the little girl, with animation. “You clover scattered its fragrance around. On the sum- see, it stood so entirely alone, nobody ever came mit of yon green eminence, under the swaying near it, and out before the door the purple heather branches of those oak-trees, stands a young peasant, grew so thickly! When I lay there in the morna robust, vigorous youth. Shading his eyes with ing, it was so warm and still, and one never heard his hand, he is gazing across the fields, where the a sound but the humming of the wild bees, and the public road winds along, separated from the luxu- whirring of the great fies' wings. In the autumn, riant corn by rows of young trees, and deep narrow my mother and I used to cut off the long heather, ditches, whose edges are bordered by wild flowers. bind it into bundles, and sell them yonder in the

Yet it was but a short time before, that war- village. There was a well near our door, and when savage and bloody war—had raged there ; that the one looked down into it, oh! it was so dark, and heavy trampling of the cavalry had torn up that deep, and cold! And when one was drawing up ground, now covered with the plentiful grain ; that the bucket, it creaked, as if it were a labor to come the thunder of cannon had hushed every wild bird's up; and if it were let go again, one might wait and song, and that those flower-bordered ditches had watch a long time before it got down to where the been the death-beds of many a sinking warrior. water was. In winter, my mother sat in the house The traces of such scenes are soon effaced in spinning; then the snow almost blocked up our nature ; it is only in the minds of mankind that they little windows; we dared not peep out of the door, remain and cannot be blotted out.

for fear of the cold north wind getting in ; and if Is it this remembrance which calls an expression one ventured into the outhouse to get peats for the of gloom to Johan's eyes, as he surveys the mea- little stove, one's teeth chattered with the cold. On dows, and casts a shade over his brow, as he turns the long, pitch-dark nights, when we went to bed his head and looks into the quiet valley beneath ?) early, to save candles, we used to lie awake, and In it stands a pretty cottage, newly whitewashed creep close to each other, listening to every sound. and repaired, with white curtains adorning its low Oh! how glad we were that we were too poor to windows, and surrounded by a neat little garden, fear robbers or bad men. Do you think it possible gay with flowers of every hue. There dwell his that there can be such a dear cottage as ours any. mother and his betrothed; she who is soon to be where?" come his wife—for the wedding-day is fixed

. But Johan pointed down towards the valley, and it is not the preparations for that event which have saidset the whole house astir; it is a festival of the “Do you see our house, yonder? Is it not village, a general holiday ; for this day they are pre- pretty ?" paring to receive the men who had left their homes The little girl shook her head, while she repliedin order to defend their native land. These had You think so, perhaps, for you are accustomed been long absent, had encountered many hardships to it." and perils, and many of them had been prisoners in “I should like very much to see your former the enemy's country. Most among them had one home,” said the other brother, George, who had true loving heart at least awaiting his return with been gazing upon the child with his large expresanxiety-therefore the whole of the little village sive eyes. “Could you find the way to it ?" was preparing a festal welcome for them. But why “Oh ? to be sure I could," she replied. “When does Johan look as if he did not observe the promise I go with the sheep up to the top of the hills, I can of abundance around him as if he were not him-soe it far away towards the east."

“Prophet.!” said I, “thing of evil!--
Prophet still, if bird or devil !
Whether tempest sent, or whether

Tempest toss'd thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted,
On this desert land enchanted-
On this home by Horror haunted-

Tell me truly, I implore-
Is there-is there balm in Gilead ?

Tell me-tell me, I implore !"
Quoth the raven “Nevermore."

“Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil -
Prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that heaven that bends above us-

By that God we both adore-
Tell this soul with sorrow laden
If, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden

Whom the angels name Lenoro-
Clasp å rare and radiant maiden

Whom the angels name Lepore,”
Quoth the raven “Nevermore."

“ Be that word our sign of parting,
Bird or fiend !" I shriek'd upstarting-
“Get thee back into the tempest

And the Night's Platonian shore !
Leave no black plume as a token
or that lie thy soul hath spokon !
Leave my loneliness unbroken !-

It was agreed that the following Sunday they would have led her willingly to do so ; but to make diately, Johan pressed the secret spring of a trapshould all three go to see the wonderfully beauti- the other brother unhappy! Had they not both door which led to the woods, and forced himself ful cottage the girl had described; and after that been so kind to the poor child whom they found through it. George stooped over it and was about excursion they became playfellows and fast friends. under the tree? Which, could she say, had sur-to follow his example, when an evil spirit entered In process of time, when the girl grew stronger, the passed the other in affection to her? Besides, into Johan's heart ; he thrust his brother back, drew mother of the boys, at their earnest and repeated neither of them had asked her which she liked best. down the trap-door, and rushed towards the trees. request, took her as an assistant in her household No-neither of them had ventured to do that; but Immediately he heard the sound of firing ; the smoke work, and Ellen became happier and prettier every both became more gloomy, both apparently more concealed his flight, he crept into the wood, tremblday. Johan carved wooden shoes for her, carried miserable, and the love of both became inore im- ing in every limb, and fainted away upon the

grass. water for her, and helped her at her weaving : petuous.

On recovering from his swoon, all was still around George whitewashed her little room, and planted They were all three sitting together one evening; him; but he soon fell in with some of his comrades, flowers outside her window; and neither of the for the young men's mother was now very feeble, and rejoined his regiment. The troops were shortly brothers ever went to the market-town without and mostly confined to bed. At length, Johan spoke after mustered, and the name of each individual was bringing a little gift to her.

of the news he had that day heard at the clergy-called. How intense were his feelings when his They were all three confirmed on the same day, man's house-that war had broken out, and that brother's was heard ! None answered to it; and, though the brothers were older than Ellen ; but the king had called upon all his faithful subjects to conquering with a violent effort his emotion, he from that day their peace was disturbed ; Lars, the assist him in it. For the first time for many months ventured to glance towards the place that his brother son of the clerk of the church, took it into his head the brothers looked frankly and unsuspiciously at used to occupy, and where he almost dreaded to see to make up to Ellen, presented her with flowers and each other, and, holding out his hand, George a pale and threatening spectre. He heard his coma silver ring, and, what was worse, at a dance in said

rades talk of him, but his heart appeared to have bethe village, shortly after, he danced with her almost “ Brother! shall we go to the war ?"

come seared. He felt that he ought to write to the whole evening. Why was it that the gloomy A hearty shake of the hand was Johan's reply. Ellen, and evening after evening he sat down to the looks of the dissatified brothers sought not each

“For God's sake, do not leave me, my dear task; but he always abandoned it, for he fancied, other's sympathy? Why did not they open their brother's !” cried Ellen. “Would it not be enough that without any confession, she would discern that lips in mutual complaints—why not tell each other at least for one to ....” she added, almost in a the hand which traced the letters on the paper that they had never dreamed of any one else danc-whisper ; but she stopped suddenly, for the counte- to her had thrust his brother into the jaws of death. ing with their sister, giving her presents, and speak- nances of both the young men had darkened in a He gave up the idea of writing, but through another ing soft words to her? Was it not they who had moment. In the fierce look which they exchanged sent a message of kindness from himself, and the met her first, and had visited with her the cottage lay more than words could have expressed ; and tidings of George's death. on the heath? They, who had been so attached to Ellen felt, as if the idea had been conveyed to her When a cessation of hostilities for a time was her? But there had hitherto been two to love her in a flash of lightning, that they must both go. agreed on, and Johan was to return home, he en

-why had two suddenly become one too many ? She seized a hand of each, pressed them to her deavoured and hoped to be able to shake off his deep And when Ellen, her face radiant with joy, came beating heart, and told them, in a voice broken by gloom. He was to see Ellen again, but the thought tripping up to George, seized his hand, and said, suppressed sobs, that they must go, that they must of her no longer brought gladness to his soul. “Will you not dance one little dance with me, trust in God, and that she would pray for them It was with slow and heavy steps that he approached George ?" why did Johan spring forward with a both.

the cottage in the valley; and when Ellen came out wrathful countenance, snatch away her hand, and

That night, when she had retired to her little to meet him, and hid her tearful face on his breast, exclaim—"No; I am tired of staying here, Ellen ; chamber, she wept bitter tears, and prayed to the it did not anger him that she wept, for his own heart we must go home !"

Almighty that he would watch over them both; and was so overcharged with misery, that it seemed to Then George threw his arm round her waist, if one must fall, that he would preserve him whose weigh him down to the earth. At length he felt pushed Johan away, and said, “ Go, if you like, life would be of the greatest utility. But her sighs somewhat easier ; he tried to concentrate his thoughts Johan; but Ellen and I will dance."

were for George, and her secret wishes for his upon Ellen, and he had everything that could remind Suddenly the brothers turned upon each other as safety.

him of his brother removed from sight. Yet, when if they had been bitter enemies; and they would

The brothers joined the army. The life they led in passing through the woods, he came near some have come to blows, had Ellen not burst into tears, there, so new to both, seemed to call forth from their large tree, on which his brother and himself, as and, separating them, accompanied them home. inmost souls long-dormant feelings, and they once children, had cut their names together, painful and

From that day forth they watched narrowly each more became intimate : but of home they never dark remembrances would rush on him; and it was other's word and look, and seemed to be always in dared to speak. They often wished to write to that still worse when his mother wept, and spoke of a state of miserable anxiety about each other. If home, but something impossible seemed always to George—of what he was as a little boy, and how they were going to market, they made a point of prevent them, and neither of them would let that good, and affectionate, and kind-hearted he had starting at the same time ; for the one dared not duty devolve upon the other

. It was almost a always been. When in the society of the neighborleave the other a moment behind, for fear he should relief to them when they had to march to the field ing peasants, he was silent, and seemingly indifferent have an opportunity of saying a kind word privately of battle ; the lives of both would be exposed there to all amusement ; and when he heard them remark

And they to Ellen, or of obtaining a kind look from her, in -God would choose between them.

“ How Johan is changed since he went to the wars !" which the other could not share. If they were sit- looked earnestly one upon the other, and wrung he felt himself compelled to leave them, and fly ting together in their humble parlor, they kept a each other's hand. But when they met after the to solitude. Ellen was kind and gentle to him ; but sharp and jealous look-out upon every glance of battle, they did not shake hands, they nodded coldly when, of an evening he loitered near the window of hers; and if she spoke a little longer, or with a little to each other; and, to a comrade from their native her little chamber, he could not help hearing how more apparent interest to one, the room seemed to village, they said—“When you write home, tell she sighed and sobbed. be too confined for the other, and he would rush them that our Lord has spared us."

One afternoon, when he came slowly home from out to breathe the free air, but yet without feeling Again they went forth to meet the enemy; again his work in the fields, he began to commune with the oppression removed from his heart. At length, they participated in that fearful lottery for life himself, and his soliloquy ended by his saying to even the little friendly attentions they used to pay or death; and amidst the tumult of the fight, they himself—“I will be happy; for, as things are now, to Ellen were given up, for jealousy taught both chanced to stand side by side. At length, driven off I might as well be where George is.” And thus, the brothers what poison there might lie in them for the field, they took refuge in a small building, but it resolving, he went straight to the window of Ellen's each.

was speedily attacked by the enemy; they saw the room, at which she was standing, and leaning Perhaps it would have been botter if Ellen could bayonets glittering on the outside, and heard the against the outside frame, he saidhave then declared which she preferred ; her heart I officer in command give orders to fire at it. Imme- “Listen to me, Ellen! We have mourned long

" Tell me

enough for George. I have been fond of you ever he asked mournfully, as he laid his head on her captivity. Forgive me, Johan, that I so long forgot since you were a child—will you be my wife now ?" shoulder. -do you really believe that we we were brothers—so long, that you at last learned Ellen looked down for a moment; then, raising shall be happy ?"

to forget it too." her eyes to his, she said —

“Why not, dear Johan ?" said Ellen in a soothing

Johan stood for a few moments as if he had been “Ah, Johan! I saw very well how matters stuod manner. “We are both young-we have a sincere turned into stone, then raised his eyes, and cast one between you and George ; but I will tell you affection for each other we will do all we can for long, earnest look towards heaven; but in that look frankly, that I would have preferred to have taken our mutual happiness through life—and when one there was a world of gratitude and delight. He poor George for my husband, and kept you as my has a good conscience everything goes well.”

then threw himself on his brother's neck, and brother. However, since it was God's will to

Her last words pierced Johan to the very soul; he embraced him warmly. remove him from this world, there is no one whom I felt perfectly wretched—he became as pale as death “Go to your bride!” he cried, as he withdrew his would rather marry than you. Are you content and a confession which would have crushed his arms, and pointed to the cottage in the vale. “I with this acceptance ?"

hearer's heart trembled on his lips; but he forced it have not killed him !” he shouted; “I have not “ I suppose I must be," replied Johan ; but he be back to the depths of his own soul, and was silent. murdered my brother!-he lives! Oh! thou God of came very pale, and he added, in a lower and some- After a few moments she seemed to be listening to goodness, I thank thee that thou hast saved my what discontented tone—“There was no need for something, and suddenly she exclaimed

brother !” And he kissed the flowers, he embraced your saying all this, Ellen ; you may believe my as- “Hark! the church bells are ringing! They are the trees, he rolled on the grass in the wild delirium surance, that I am as much attached to you as ever coming-I must hasten to our poor mother.”

of his joy ; but he became calmer by degrees, his George could have been."

After she had left him, Johan remained for a time thoughts seemed to become more collected, and he “Yes, Johan, yes !" said Ellen; " but it is need-in speechless anguish. “ When one has a good con- raised his tearful eyes to the blue heavens above, less to make comparisons now ; nor ought you to be science,” he repeated at length. “Yes--it is true! while his lips murmured his thanks and praise for angry at what I have said. You are dearest to me But I, who have not a good conscience, how shall I the unexpected blessing vouchsafed to him. after him; and, even if he stood here in your place, become fortunate and happy? Oh! if she adored Several days have passed since then; the wedding I would not be happy, if you were dead and gone." me—if she would be everything to me-of what morning has come at last ; the bells ring; the church “ Hush, Ellen, hush !" cried Joban, as he glanced avail would that be to me? Do I not feel that every

is decorated with fresh flowers and green boughs, and over his shoulder with uneasiness. "Let us speak endearment is a crime—every word of love an the pealing organ is heard outside in the church-yard. about our wedding-day ; for my mother cannot live offence to him in his grave? Oh! if she knew all, See; here comes the bridal party, gaily dressed, and long, and we could not reside together after her she would spurn me from her, order me out of her adorned with garlands of flowers. The bride addeath, unless we were married.”

presence, and heap curses on my head! But soon vances between two young men, each holding one of After a little more conversation, Ellen shut the soon-she will not be able to do that. We shall her hands. The one brother gives her to the other. window, and withdrew; and the subject was not become man and wife-aye, man and wife before Long had they disputed in a friendly spirit which again alluded to the whole evening. When Johan God's holy altar ... but—will that ever be? When should be permitted to sacrifice himself, and to yield went to bed, the thought occurred to him—" It I walk with her up the church's aisle—when the Ellen; but one of them had a crime to expiate ; he was very strange that I forgot to seal our engage- bells are ringing, the church adorned with green

was most anxious to make reparation for it, and he ment with a single kiss. Am I never more to feel branches and flowers, and the rich tones of the organ triumphed in the fraternal struggle. See how his that I have a right to be happy ?"

make the heart swell in one's breast-can I be proud eyes sparkle! See with what firm and elastic steps He could not sleep that night—he could not help or happy? Can I help looking back to see if a

he advances ! And, though deeply agitated as he reflecting how it would have been, if it were George bloody shadow be not following me amongst my

holds out his right hand to place the bride by his who was about to marry Ellen, and he who was kindred and my friends, who are the bridal guests ? brother's side at the altar, how earnestly he joins in lying in the grave. “ But George would then have Oh! horror, borror! And when the pastor pro- prayer, and how distinctly gratitude and peace are caused my death, and perhaps things are better nounces that those whom God has joined together depicted in bis countenance ! as they are He tried to escape from thought-he no man shall put asunder-Oh! the blood will

It is night in the valley; the wind is hushed, and tried to sleep, and at last sleep came ; but it brought freeze in my veins. No-living man—but a shadow not a leaf is stirring ; all is so still, that the gentle no relief, for he found himself again standing in that from a tomb—a spectre-a murdered brother's re- trickling of the water in the little rivulet near can well-remembered wood, and saw again before him vengeful ghost—will appear. Oh! George, George! be heard at an usual distance. The quiet moonthat small house, with its dreadful recollections. He arise from your grave, and let me change places beams shine on the windows of the cottage where felt himself struggling violently to keep the trap-door with you!"

George and Ellen, the newly-married couple, are ; shut, till the perspiration poured down his face ; Drops of agony are falling from his brow, every and the roses which cluster round them exhale their and then he awoke in his agitation, and anything joint seems rigid in his closely-clasped hands, and sweetest perfumes. But what wanderer is yon, who, was better than the horror of such a vivid dream. cvery limb of the unhappy sinner is trembling. But with a knapsack on his back and a staff in his hand, "Oh! why is it not all a dream!” he exclaimed, as what angel from heaven is yon? He kneels by his stands beneath the oak trees on the hill! He stretches he wrung his hands in agony of spirit.

side-he pushes back the thick hair, and wipes off out his arms towards that lowly house in a last adieu, And there he stood now upon the hill, hiding his the clammy dew of mortal anguish from his forehead. for his path must henceforth lead elsewhere. Why face from the sweetness of the morning, and the Johan looks up.

does he now kneel on the grassy height? why does cheerful rays of the sun, as if he feared to pollute the "Oh! is it a spectre from the grave, or is it he ? he lift his hands to heaven in prayer? Can it be glorious gifts which God had bestowed on creation George !-George! No-no-no!-he smiles—it possible that he thanks God because his beloved is and felt that they were not intended for his enjoy- cannot be himself!"

his brother's bride? Can it be possible that, with a ment. Suddenly, he fung himself down, and buried Johan stretched out his feverish, trembling hands, heart unbroken by grief—that with tears, which are his face amidst the early dew that stood upon the and grasped his brother's arm.

not of sorrow, in his eyes, he can leave all he has ground, mingling with it the hot tears that chased "Is it you, George ? Merciful God, can it be ever loved, to become a pilgrim in a foreign land ? each other swiftly down his cheeks. At that moment, yourself?"

It is—for a conscience, released from the heavy bura soft hand was gently laid upon his head, and a " It is I–I myself !" replied George, approaching den of guilt, snpports and blesses him, and transmild voice exclaimedcloser to his brother.

forms every sigh into gratitude and joy. “But, Johan! why are you lying here? What “And you are not dead ?" cried Johan. “Answer can be the matter with you ?”

me, for God's sake! Have I not murdered you ?" “WALLED Towns," says Bacon, “ stored arsenals And when he raised his head, and Ellen saw his “Hush !-hush!" said George ; "you pushed me and armouries, goodly races of horse, chariots of disturbed look, she sat down by him, and put her back from the trap-door, indeed, but I fell down flat, war, elephants, ordnance; all this is but sheep in a arm affectionately round him.

and the guns did not injure me. The enemy took lion's skin, except the breed and disposition of the “Do you believe that we shall be happy, Ellen?" Ime prisoner, however, and I have just come from people be stout and warlike.”

[ocr errors]

Contributed to the Ilustrated New York Journal. mands. And if the carved statue can lift one poor then; here we go. Come, my little Button! Come ST. PAUL'S.

soul out of its misery, not in vain was it lifted to its up, Button!” And gracefully, but firmly, reining high place.

him in, she started out of the yard on a slow and

very agreeable canter. STAN "TANDING the other day underneath Mr.

The girl was a good horseman, and entertained Barnum's balcony, looking wistfully towards Contributed to the Ilustrated New York Journal

not the first fear for her ability to keep her seat in St. Paul's opposite, and wondering by what inA HORSEBACK RIDE.

almost any emergency. The horse, to be sure, was genious means we could reach it through the solid

a new one, and she quite unused to him ; but she bulwark of jammed-up vehicles that interposed, we

had unbounded confidence in herself, and that is chanced to look up, when our gaze suddenly rested THE hired man had saddled the horse, and brought invariably the first and last requisite of good horseupon the benign face of the old Apostle, looking him round to the side where he stood proudly manship. In her hand she carried a light ridingdown from his lofty niche in the church upon the pawing the dirt with his hoof. He was a new horse, whip, with the silky end of which she patted ever frightful clatter at his feet. He looked so majestic, that had been purchased but a few days before of

the little horse's mane, while she continued so calm, so passionless, that it seemed to us that he one of the farmers in an adjacent town; and being talking to him almost as to a child. As he bore her would extend his arm, and calm down into awful young, spirited, and handsome, he was just such a away, she turned her face around just as she was silence the irreverent bustle of the scene. Wo won- creature as Martha would be likely to pet. And going into the arched avenue of a wooded lane, and dered that his lips did not open, and that the grand while the man was still engaged in smoothing out his beheld her sister still standing in the yard, looking old eloquence that inspired of yore those of Roine mane, and the two sisters stood regarding him, after her with an appearance of deep interest. and Corinth, did not flow out to hold spell-bound Martha declared she would give him a name; Martha hastily waved her hand, spoke encouragall that he looked upon. But, sternly motionless," and it shall be Button!” she exclaimed, holding ing again to Button, and in another moment was there he stood, strangely contrasted with the fran- out her hand to receive the caress she fancied he lost in the winding aisle of the forest by-road. tic babel, of which we formed a part. The clashing would repay her with for her compliment.

As she got on, and as she felt her confidence each of vehicles, the angry oaths of excited drivers, the “Now be very careful that your Button doesn't swiftly-moving, jostling, and impatient crowd, the run away with you, Mat!" warned her sister Mary, the natural objects around her engrossed nearly the

moment more and more established, her interest in clang of a dozen hoarse instruments of music, that assisting her into the saddle with her hand and whole of her attention ; and she fell into her wonted brayed out distracting discord from Mr. Barnum's shoulder.

habit of admiration and reverie immediately. Her show windows, the jargon of trade-a strange scene, “I wish you had promised to ride first,” returned indeed for St. Paul to preside over. To preside Martha. “I'm sure I had much rather you would." eyes ran quickly up and down the moss-spotted over!

“Ah, that indeed, now! When you begin to in the thick clusters of the green leaves ; or swept

trunks of the trees, and lodged their arrowy glances It is profanation to him that he should forever be think that somebody's neck is likely to be broken,

away bound to such a scene, that around him there should then you feel a little more willing it should be mine and hillsides, scouring the whole country for objects

with a single, far-reaching gaze over meadows prevail so much discord, passion, and worldliness, than your own! No, I thank you. I must posi

of beauty. without even a reverent thought, or a holy impulse tively decline your kind offer. Pray, let me insist floating up to him. His statue should stand in a on your making the first experiment yourself.”

After a while, she suffered the horse to walk; more congenial place, where brows might be bared,

and she thought he threw down his head upon his

Martha turned upon her a face of innocent surand hearts bow down to him. But as it is, we won- prise, and exclaimed—Why, sister! you know I breast, and arched his neck with such a proud pretder when it occurs to any of the crowd passing by "Well, well, Mat," broke forth her sister, eager racter of both his rider and the excursion. The

tiness, that he was perfectly satisfied with the chameant no such thing! How cruel !" of the nearness of his symbolized presence ? Not often. The church itself, with its old grave-yard, so full of to smooth out the wrinkles caused by the speech, cool air in the glades fell refreshingly on her fore

head and cheeks, and insensibly almost her spirits many associations, that in another place would " it will be soon enough for me to ride, when you awaken emotions of reverence and holiness, here return. I'm in no particular worry to view the passed from a state of exhilaration to one of compossesses no such influence, or possesses it but country to-day. So cut up your little Button, and parative repose. faintly! The monuments to Montgomery and Em-away with you!"

The pictures such as her imagination had hitherto met elsewhere would attract pilgrims—but here, The little horse laid his ears back close to his painted for her, were now about her on every side ; rarely is an eye turned upon them. The crowds head, not wickedly so much as playfully, and began and she felt that the mere paintings had never yet rush on in choked and angry streams, full of all the switching his long tail hither and thither, whilst equalled the realities. It seemed to do her eyes mad hopes, passions, fears, and aspirations of human Martha self-possessedly kept her seat in the saddle, good, to get unbounded views of such beautiful landnature, muttering curses at the church door, and and commenced stroking his glossy neck ever so scapes. The horse walked slowly on. The bridle and hurling maledictions up into the face of the gently with her hand. On his back, she looked like rein hung loosely about his neck. The air was enApostle above them.

a picture of health and beauty. The blood richly ticing. And the girl was in a dream ; and a dream, But stop! Here is one as calm, as passionless, mantled her cheeks, from merely the inspiriting too, on horseback ! as rigid as the stone figure of the Apostle itself. thoughts that danced in her brain; and her eyes

She could not help thinking—as indeed all think Can there be any sympathy between them? It is glowed and sparkled with pleasure, in expectation who know anything about it—that views from the the bent and withered form of a hag seated upon the of nothing but the beautiful ovening ride she was saddle are brighter views, and fresher views, and Museum steps. By her side there is a mean basket going to have.

broader, and far more beautiful than from almost half full of decayed apples. Observe how immov- It was just at the close of a charming spring day, any other situation ; and the heightened spirits able, how calm she is. The furious clatter disturb the sun playing about the summits of the hills, gild- never fail to flush them with the warmth of their her not; she heeds not the passing of the multi- ing the wood-spires that shot up in serried rows from own coloring, and to impart to them the glowing tude. One would think that to sit so, hour after their soil, and throwing back over the lowlands and life with which they are themselves overflowingly hour, in so much noise, would madden her poor, old, the plains the reflections of its dying brilliancy. full. Her enjoyment she thought was perfect; weak brain. What is there within her? Light or The air of the evening was bland and soft ; just indeed, she questioned if ever in her life she had darkness ? Lethargic despair, or brilliant hope? strong enough, thought the fair horseman, to be a been happier than she was at this moment. Who knows but that her soul is only dead and deaf, little invigorating. It would serve to heighten still Down into a beautiful dell she slowly trotted, her because it soars beyond the clamor and clatter of more the fresh color of the rider's cheeks, and excite face turned first to one side of the road and then to the world, with her gaze fixed upon the brow of the to still a pleasanter pitch the tone of her sympathiz- the other. It was a spot-she thought within herApostlo, whose presence is as sunlight to her. If ing spirits.

self—quiet enough for the fairios to hold their midso, what is it more than the re-acting of the scenes Possibly you are anxious to get rid of me!” said night revels in. The broad bands of green turf of old, when Paul went forth at his Master's com- 1 she, in reply to her sister's urgency. Very well, striped the road, and little Button trotted evenly

you?"

[ocr errors]

the very

between them. She had gathered up the reins a in a small coppice of chesnuts, accompanied too wrought up to its highest tension, and that they trifle, though they still hung rather loosely over with a vivid flash of light, so startled the little steed tingled like strings to the very ends of her fingers. his neck, as if she would say to him in all can- from his pleasant equanimity that he sprang with a Her eyes rested on nothing, but all objects ran into dor and friendliness—“Now, you mustn't play mo wild and terrific bound from the road, almost throw- one confused and continuous blur. She felt as if she false, Button! I put full confidence in you, you ing his rider from the saddle! Giving a loud snort, were flying-swimming-sailing through the air, understand; so be sure and do your very best for that betokened his intense affright, he switched his and each moment her respiration became more and me this time, and you will find me the truest of tail very swiftly two or three times, and the next more difficult.Oh, if she could but touch her foot friends hereafter! You hear me, Button-don't instant set out on a dead and desperate run. for a moment to the ground ! If she could but break

“Whoa, Button! Steady, Button!” spake she, the monotony of this swift and continuous line of As if he really did hear her, he laid his small ears in the firmest voice she could command, while she objects! She thought rapidly of her sister-of her back close upon his head, switched the air briskly grasped the reins and drew upon them with all her father-of her mother-of all her friends. She with his tail, and fell forthwith from a trot into quite might.

tried to think of herself-of where she was—and a lively canter.

But every second now that he ran, he seemed to of what might be the ending of this fearful ride; "Not too fast, Button! Not too fast, sir! I want grow more and more unmanagable ; and his fright but her mind was going round and round in the time to look about me a little, you know !" said she, increased upon him continually. He tore away like vortex of a whirlpool of fears ; her thoughts were reining him in somewhat. “Button," she went on,

wind. All that she could do—all she too swift even to be thoughts, or to take any distinct “I like the scenery hereabouts, and I mean to try to could say, had no more influence over him than the shape or direction. And the horse still bore hermake you like it too !"

whistling of the air in his ears. Faster and faster with cattle of hoofs and recklessness of motion-on, Out from the forest-road she emerged upon the each moment he flew, till the walls, and rocks, and on, on ! broad and open plain, where the fading sunlight lay trees, all seemed running in one smooth line toge- She finally reached a spot where the country road with a dying glory, gilding leaves, and grass, and ther. His hoofs rattled over the turf and the gravel, forked. If she could guide him to the left, he rocks together. The little brooks went singing as if he scarcely allowed them time to strike the would be obliged to climb a long and precipitous along by the roadside, gurgling and gushing with a ground beneath them at all. His long and abundant hill ; that much she could sufficiently collect her perfect joy. Squirrels began to chirp and chatter mane streamed away from his neck, and his nostrils thoughts to understand. And she pulled with all upon the gray stone-walls, now racing along on their dilated frightfully. Like a wild horse of the prairies, her failing strength of hand upon the rein. But tops, and now hiding themselves a moment over the he felt for once the full strength and freedom of his she might as well have pulled at a rope around an other side, whisking their bushy tails in the fullness limbs.

oak, so little heeded he the power that should have of their delight. Birds were putting up their grate- As excellent a horseman as Martha knew herself directed him. He tore along by the other road, and ful evening chorals, their feathered throats swelling to be, she nevertheless experienced the overwhelm- now she knew nothing of what was next to come. and ruffling with song.

ing and paralyzing sensations of fear. They crept Her heart sunk now quite within her. If ever beauty was to be found anywhere, surely, coldly over her, in spite of all her resolution to Hardly had she proceeded a dozen rods, when the thought Martha, here it was all about her. If any- keep them down. She tried to be calm and self- figure of something—she could not tell whatwhere nature was charming, throwing out her arms possessed; but there was a something that shook sprang out of a thick clump of bushes near the

-as it were—for one, smiling broadly and benig- her nerves, till she began to think she had no power roadside, and the next instant was hanging and dannantly, blessing her children and asking to be blessed more over them.

gling from her horse's neck. For the first time in return-surely, surely, it was here.

Her grasp on the bridle was tight and firm, yet it since the beginning of this terrific race, she uttered She watched as closely the changing hues of the seemed as if her hand had no strength left to check a low cry. A voice shouted to the horse in shrillest clouds, as the manifold pictures the landscape offered his impetuous career. She was unable even to tones, and a person was perseveringly dragging and her; and her soul seemed to have put on etherial guide him. He had his head, and threw out his fore pulling his head downwards to the earth. The aniwings, that wafted her far beyond the atmosphere of feet with a swift stretch that told the observer at a mal shook--became irregular in his motion-tremsordid realities, and bathed itself in the resplendent glance that the animal was a desperate runaway. bled convulsively-and as a last resort tried to rear colors that floated in the heavens. What poetry her One moment the girl's cheeks would be highly on his hind feet. But the grasp upon the bit was as nature possessed was excited now to its extreme flushed with color, red and burning; and the next, the hold of a vice. It was not to be shaken off at limit of passionateness. What dreams had ever they were as pale as whiteness itself. As she all. It finally succeeded in breaking down the mad dawned on her soul's sight before, at this time swept swiftly through the air, the wind shrieking strength of the runaway, and bringing him to a seemed to clothe themselves with the attributes of a with a fearful sound in her ears, cold chills crept complete stand still

. Martha almost fell into the living reality. Oh, those evening clouds !-those over her, the dampness stood in the palms of her stranger's arms, while, without a syllable, he offered evening clouds! Grand, massy, and glorious—piled hands, and the strength slowly left her limbs. She to assist her from her dizzy seat in the saddle. She up in battlements of such gorgeous colors, with knew too well how fearful a ride she was taking, leaned heavily on his shoulder, and immediately streamers sailing and swimming away from them and could clearly calculate the very few chances sank down on a rock by the side of the road. The all-rolling slowly hither and thither, like great bil- there were of her final escape. Her heart almost reaction from excessive fear to calmness of perfect lows, in the far off sea of cloudless ether-showing ceased to beat ; her pulses were still ; and the blood safety, was too overwhelming. mysterious cliffs, and suggesting unfathomable deeps quite curdled within her for terror. Still on dashed

Securing the horse to a tree close at hand, the beyond, where only brightness and unbroken blue the frightened animal, heedless of bridle or bit, as if stranger hastened to lend assistance to the fainting stretched away for ever and for ever-how they he were bent on rushing forward to his own de girl; and lifting her again from her seat, he carried wrought in the soul of the enthusiastic girl, kindling struction-on, on, on!

her slowly to a little run of water that fortunately her emotions to a warmth that was little less than a Her sensations now were indescribable. There

was but a few paces off. There he bathed her temliving ecstasy!

ples in the cooling stream, dipping it up in the palm was a swimming in her eyes, and a giddiness in her of his hand, and still supporting her with his arm. She soliloquized all the time, in low and broken brain, that, as she was borne along past walls, rocks, It was with a feeling of profound joy, therefore, sentences, on the beauties and the splendors that so and trees so swiftly, seemed almost to overwhelm that he heard her exclaim at length in a low voiceheld her enchanted. Forgetful of her situation, and her. To cry out, would be worse than useless; for

“I am better now! Oh, what an escape !" thinking only of the scenes that so enraptured her it could scarcely be possible that any assistance vision, she had thoughtlessly suffered the bridle to should be near, and to frighten the animal still lie loosely over Button's neck again, leaving him to more would be the height of insane folly. So she pursue the course that best pleased himself. It was only held on by the reins, though as for speaking a SOME OF Hood's Puns.- :The • Echo,' we fear, but a moderate gait, and such as assisted her greatly word then to the horse, it was without her power, will not answer ;" “ Alien is foreign to his subject ;" in her tranquil enjoyment. But the sharp and sud- entirely. It was as if her blood was all on fire. It “W.'s Tears of Sensibility' had better be dropped ;" den report of a gun from very near the roadside, just appeared to her that her nerves were every one I“ Y. Y., a word to the Y.'s is sufficient.”

« PreviousContinue »