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WHAT LOVE IS.

Love is the center and circumference;

The cause and aim of all things—'tis the key To joy and sorrow, and the recompense

For all the ills that have been, or may be.

How can I wait? The morning breaks the spell

A pitying night has flung upon my soul. You are not near me, and I know full well

My heart has need of patience and control; Before we meet, hours, days, and weeks must roll,

How can I wait?

Love is as bitter as the dregs of sin.

As sweet as clover-honey in its cell; Love is the password whereby souls get in To Heaven—the gate that leads, sometimes, to

Hell.

How can I wait? Oh, love, how can I wait

Until the sunlight of your eyes shall shine Upon my world that seems so desolate?

Until your hand-clasp warms my blood like wine; Until you come again, O love of mine,

How can I wait?

Love is the crown that glorifies; the curse

That brands and burdens; it is life and death. It is the great law of the universe;

And nothing can exist without its breath.

“TWO SINNERS."

Love is the impulse which directs the world,

And all things know it and obey its power. Man, in the maelstrom of his passions whirled;

The bee that takes the pollen to the flower;

The earth, uplifting her bare, pulsing breast

To fervent kisses of the amorous sun;Each but obeys creative Love's behest,

Which everywhere instinctively is done.

Love is the only thing that pays for birth,

Or makes death welcome. Oh, dear God above This beautiful but sad, perplexing earth,

Pity the hearts that know-or know not-Love!

THERE was a man, it was said one time;
Who went astray in his youthful prime.
Can the brain keep cool and the heart keep quiet
When the blood is a river that's running riot ?
And the boys will be boys, the old folks say,
And a man's the better who's had his day:
The sinner reformed, and the preacher told
Of the prodigal son who came back to the fold
And the Christian people threw open the door,
With a warmer welcome than ever before.
Wealth and honor were his to command,
And a spotless woman gave him her hand.
And the world strewed their pathway with blossoms

a-bloom,
Crying, “God bless lady and God bless groom!"
There was a maiden went astray
In the golden dawn of life's young day.
She had more passion and heart than head,
And she followed blindly where fond Love led.
And Love unchecked is a dangerous guide,
To wander at will by a fair girl's side.
The woman repented and turned from her sin,
But no door opened to let her in.
The preacher prayed that she might be forgiven,
But told her to look for mercy-in heaven.
For this is the law of the earth, we know,
That the woman is stoned, while the man may go.
A brave man wedded her, after all,
But the world said, frowning, “We shall not call."

IMPATIENCE.

How can I wait until you come to me?

The once fleet mornings linger by the way; Their sunny smiles touched with malicious glee

At my unrest, they seem to pause and play Like truant children, while I sigh and say,

How can I wait?

How can I wait? Of old, the rapid hours

Refuse to pause or loiter with me long;
But now they idly fill my hands with flowers,

And make no haste, but slowly stroll among
The summer blooms, not heeding my one song,

How can I wait?

WILL.

How can I wait? The nights alone are kind;

They reach forth to a future day, and bring Sweet dreams of you to people all my mind,

And time speeds by on light and airy wing. I feast upon vour face, I no more sing,

How can I wait?

There is no chance, no destiny, no fate,

Can circumvent or hinder or control

The firm resolve of a determined soul. Gifts count for nothing; will alone is great;

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LULAH RAGSDALE.

Jus

Yet shone this chill, pale being's yellow hair

As wintry sunshine o'er a world of snow. Such crimson were this woman's lips-as rare

As some December's burning sunset glow. Perfect each rounded limb and dimpled arm;

Each chisled feature with no fault to mar. Great steel-blue eyes that did not melt or warm,

But glittered each like some far, brilliant star.

UST after the closing of the late war, a solemn

eyed baby in the ancient family mansion of the Clover Hill plantation in Copiah county, Mississippi, attracted much attention from a wide circle of relatives and friends because of its peculiarly sorrowful advent, and because it had seemed to enter the world with a premonition of the bitterness of life. That baby, who never smiled, but whose constant, unusual sighs awoke pity and strange sympathy in all hearts, was Lulah Ragsdale, only child of the gallant Confederate officer, James L. Ragsdale, who had lately fallen in the battle field, leaving a brilliant and beautiful young wife, widowed and desolate, to whom the little one was born in the midst of bereavement. Lulah Ragsdale's rearing, and later her training and education thus became the mother's only solace, and no doubt, that mother, whose own heart had been so deeply lashed by sorrow, unconsciously did much towards developing and accentuating the fine, sensitive, imaginative characteristics of her daughter's mind.

At an early age, Lulah Ragsdale became an unsatisfyable reader, always seeking the weird, the unreal, the mystic; or else, the vivid, the passionate, the glowing in prose and poetry. The characters in her favorite books became her best friends, and in the constant company of such unreal creatures as she most fancied, her thoughts, her manners and her conversation became very odd and unchildlike.

At sixteen, Miss Ragsdale was graduated from the Whitworth College, Brookhaven, Miss., and though she had been for some years writing in secret, it was not until about three years ago that her first published poem, “ My Love," appeared in the New Orleans Times-Democrat. It at once created a furore in the South, and was copied widely. Her “Galatea,” “Upton Rey” and many other poems were stereotyped and reproduced throughout the United States. She lives in her magnolia-shadowed Southern home at Brookhaven, Miss., where she devotes nearly all of her time to her fancies and her writing.

D. H J.

And yet I loved this statue-woman's face,
Her cold, white brow, her smiles like moonlight

gleams,
Her every chilling, scintillating grace,

Was more to me than other's sunny beams. I went anear this woman, where, like stone,

She stood mute, moveless, frozen in her place; “I love you, pure, cold marble"-wild my tone

A sudden transformation warmed that face.
My hand to those loose-bended fingers strayed,

And felt their pulses quiveringly start.
My lips full on that sculptured mouth I laid;-

I heard-ah! wonder rare-a beating heart.
And now that statue lives and breathes and loves!

And to pink fushes marble brow and cheeks, When'er with stately grace she near me moves,

Or when with tender lips to me she speaks.

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GALATEA.

The frozen snow beneath our feet,
Trod icy hard as cruel sleet;
My heart foreknew that we would meet.
With scorn we met, with pride we passed:
A bitter sigh seemed in the blast;
No look my haughty eyes upcast.

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CLARENCE A. BUSKIRK.

No threatening swords of Moslem hosts,
No frightful gifts on Pagan shrines,
No awful menaces and signs,
The true Messiah's kingdom boasts.

A SUNSET.

LARENCE A. BUSKIRK was born in the

pleasant little village of Friendship, in Allegany county, N. Y., on the 8th day of November, 1842. He enjoyed good educational opportunities, studied law, and entered the practice at Princeton, Gibson county, Ind., in 1866. He was a close student and won ready recognition in his chosen profession. He has made Princeton his home, with the exception of the four years from 1874 to 1878, when, as Attorney-General for the State, he resided in Indianapolis. He has been somewhat active in politics, and, prior to his election to the Attorney-Generalship was a member of the State legislature, chosen in 1872. But notwithstanding these preferments, he has not been in any sense a place-seeker, being more at home in the practice of his profession and in giving rein, as leisure has permitted, to his love for poetry. In addition to poetry he is deeply interested in the related pursuit of horticulture, and, in the practice of these favorite arts finds relaxation from the everyday routine of legal practice.

Mr. Buskirk is endowed with a fine poetic tem. perament. As a poet he is painstaking and cautious and yet not to the extent of bridling in his muse or restraining her flights. He possesses a fine vein of humor that finds easy and natural expressions in his limpid verse.

B. S. P.

A SINGLE sunset hath more loveliness
Than all the boasted paintings kings possess.
Take the rare moinent ere the large sun sinks
Behind far hills and their mysterious brinks, -
Then Nature revels in most glorious mood,
And shows her powers as if to shame our brood:-
The sky uncloses like a radiant rose,
Blooming beside a zenith where repose
White fakes and threads of vapor, and cloud-

shapes
Of wondrous grace, and airy gulfs and capes;
Soon the whole sky becomes a molten sea
Of climbing fire and color; shadowy
Ravines receive the mantling streams of gold;
And marvelous scarlet hues, too manifold
And beautiful for human words to tell,
Or thought to treasure, in bright billows swell
Up to the very edges of the blue;
And every instant splendors ever new
With still unfolding charms enwrapt the view.

NATURE'S BALM.

THE MESSIAH.

A MAN among his fellow-men
Oft finds himself by wolves beset,
Whose hungry eyes devour his soul,
Whose teeth are with his life-blood wet:
At last he wearies of the strise,
And hates the vile, voracious herd;
He fees to Nature's outstretched arms,
And hears her voice in brook and bird.

THE FLOWERS OF THOUGHT.

The true Messiah came to earth,
Not as a kingly conquerer comes,
In jeweled pomp and noise of drums,
But a lone manger gave him birth.
Poor fishermen composed the band
With whom He moved in humblest guise,
Nor wealth nor greatness reached His eyes,
Nor sword nor sceptre stained his hand.
He saw the strutting Cæsars pass,
He saw the parasites of power,
All as the insects of an hour,
Or flitting shadows on the grass.
Unlike all other princes born
He valued not what men most prized;
So Gentiles doubted and despised,
And Jews and Romans laughed in scorn.

The Flowers of Thought, with their divine perfume,
How shall we tell the gardens where they bloom ?
Their lusty roots what rich soil nourishes,
To clothe them in perrenial loveliness?
What purer air and light their leaves unclose,
That they outvie the splendor of the rose?
Not on the hillside where the golden grain
Couquets till comes the scythe by which 'tis slain;
Not where Anacreon-hearted bobolinks
Loiter in the meadows till the warm sun sinks;
Not in romantic woods where Dryads dream;
Not fed by kisses of Arcadian stream;-
Where nurtured, then, those fair immortal flowers,
Strewing our pathways like Idalian bowers ?

The light of the Messiah's birth,
Still as the centuries go by,
A quiet daybreak in the sky,
Broadens its radiance round the earth.

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