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FATHER, hold thou my hands; the way is steep,
I cannot see the path my feet must keep;
I cannot tell, so dark the tangled way,
Where next to step. Oh, stay;

Come close; take both my hands in thine;
Make thy way mine.
I may not stay:

Lead me.

I must move on, but oh, the way!
I must be brave and go;
Step forward in the dark nor know
If I shall reach the goal at all—
If I shall fall

Take thou my hand: Take it! thou knowest best

How I should go, and all the rest; I cannot, cannot see;

Lead me; I hold my hands to thee; I own no will but thine; Make thy way mine.


SHE laid in his hand a tangled thorn
Crimsoned with berries, mountain-born;
She had nothing else, though his locks were white,
Nothing to give on the Christmas night:
But he smiled and laid on her braids of gold
The fingers, shriveled and spare and old,
And was gone; but a cross of silver light
Lay where he stood on the snow-drifts white.

A morsel of porridge; the hands were small
That divided the porridge, then gave it all.
But he smiled, and bowed his locks of white-
Frosted with snow of the Christmas night—
Smiled and bent to the child-face cold,
Touched it with fingers shriveled and old,
And was gone; but a cross of silver light
Lay where he stood on the drifts of white.

Faces peered from cottage and hall—
Out on the midnight, great and small,
Out on the pilgrim, shriveled and old,
Pleading for alms; but who could have told
That the little Christ on the threshold stood-
In strange disguise, for evil or good,

That the angels bearing His gifts might know
The Blessed by the cross on the drifts of snow.


No life so high but it may stoop to take
The hand of evil-stoop to wake

Some sleeping thing debased which might have




ALTER MALONE was born in De Soto County, Miss., February 10, 1866. He attended the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., from the year 1883 to 1887, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy. During his collegiate career he won a medal for elocution and was several times elected to deliver orations by the literary societies. He also edited the College Magazine for three years. While a boy of sixteen years of age, in 1882, he published in Louisville, a volume of poems of 300 pages entitled "Claribel and Other Poems." In 1885, at the age of nineteen, he published a second volume of poems through the Riverside Press, containing 315 pages and entitled "The Outcast and Other Poems." These two books are the largest volumes of verse ever composed by a minor, and it will be seen that Mr. Malone has written more in that line than any other boy with poetic aspirations. But since the author has reached more mature years, he has made no effort to perpetuate the works of his boyhood, because, on account of his inexperience, his early verses have not that polish and finish which would entitle them, in his opinion, to be classed among his representative works. Mr. Malone has just had published a new volume of poems, "Narcissus and Other Poems (Philadelphia, 1893) which has been generally praised by critics and by the reading public, and in this volume are to be found his ablest efforts.

Mr Malone belongs to the romantic school of poets, has no tendency to the didactic or philosophic and is fond of brilliant coloring, and passionate, sensuous verbiage. He is best, probably, in descriptions of natural scenery in vivid and startling coloring.

Mr. Malone was admitted to the bar in 1887, and since then has continued to practice law in Memphis, Tenn. H. H. McG.


EVE, Sweet tempter, lovely sinner, God hath cursed the deed which thou hast done, Paradise is lost forever, and the stricken world's woes have begun.

Over Eden's eastern mountains flame the purple glories of the morn, Welcomed by the waking warblers and the dewy blossoms newly born.

But I see the green leaves trembling, and I hear the quivering breezes sigh, Feeling that for thy transgression thou and I and all the world must die.

Yet a spirit whispers to me that to save the world 'tis not too late,

If I turn my heart against thee, sin not, and desert thee to thy fate.

Then the fleeting years would scatter pallid autumn lilies on thy tomb,

I, thy consort, live forever, radiant with immortal youthful bloom.

Then mayhap the great Creator would another woman mould for me;

I would twine her locks with roses, give her kisses that I once gave thee.

But I cannot, wondrous being! for thy smiles and wistful, pleading tears

Still would follow, hunt and haunt me through the maze of never-dying years.

Night's dim shades would find me ever lying by the bride I could not save,

And the piping birds at morning still would find me weeping at thy grave.

Each would be a barren kingdom when, without my queen, to rest I stole,

Life eternal, bitter anguish, if I lost the idol of my soul.

Thou hast conquered, sweet enchantress! I forsake the fields of Paradise

For thy bosom's realm of rapture and the blissful glory of thine eyes.

It is done! I see the tiger, maddened, eyes ablaze, come creeping hither!

It is done! The birds cease singing, and our glorious garden bowers wither!

So my sons shall ruin empires, cast away their honor, treasures, fame.

Sink to Hell and turn from Heaven, when a woman bids them share her shame.


THE children, robed in spotless white, I see
Kneel for a blessing at the bishop's feet,
And, as I gaze upon their faces sweet,
As pure as doves, from stain of sin so free,

Before the priest whose sins unnumbered be,
Whose heart for selfish, sordid aims doth beat,
I marvel why his blessing they entreat,
When he to them should rather bend the knee.

Dear little hearts, my soul adopts your creed;

Dear little feet, your pathway I shall share; Dear little hands, my wanderings ye shall lead! Dear little brows, guide with your golden hair; Dear little lips, my God's forgiveness plead; Dear little eyes, shine on my soul's despair!


HE who hath loved hath borne a vassal's chain,
And worn the royal purple of a king;

Hath shuddered 'neath the icy Winter's sting,
Then revelled in the golden Summer's reign;
He hath within the dust and ashes lain,

Then soared o'er mountains on an eagle's wing; A hut hath slept in, worn with wandering, And hath been lord of castle-towers in Spain. He who hath loved hath starved in beggar's cell, Then in Aladdin's jewelled chariot driven; He hath with passion roamed a demon fell,

And had an angel's raiment to him given; His restless soul hath burned with flames of hell. And winged through ever-blooming fields of heaven.


Of all the sweet names that ever were given
To mortals on earth or seraphs in heaven,
No matter if borne by milkmaid or fairy,
The sweetest of all must ever be "Mary."

There's "Helen," the star of romance and story, Men perished to wreathe her ringlets with glory; There also is "Ruth," so true and so tender, Whose meekness and faith make mankind surrender.


And "Mable 's a name that ever sounds sweetly, And charms and enchants a mortal completely, While "Katie" suggests brown eyes and brown tresses,

Created for love and lover's caresses.

There's "Blanche" and "Adele," that sound auto


Poor "Sarah" and "Jane" that dwell in an attic, While "Emma" is dear, all dote upon "Jenny," And "Annie" is loved not least among many.

There's "Maud" with a mouth as red as a cherry, With kisses so sweet, with laughter so merry; There's “Edith," whose eyes are as blue as the fountains,

With ringlets of gold like morn on the mountains.

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