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Eve, Cain and Abel, the Flood, Pharoah in the Red Sea, David and Goliath, &c.! This last was my favourite. I once read the whole narrative through without making a blunder, though only just breeched. Well do I remember it. For when I had done, my Grandmother patted me on the head, said I should be a parson, and gave me a silver sixpence. I never was so rich in my life! I bardly knew how much I was worth ; but my Father gave me twelve half-pennies for my bit of silver, and then I comprehended the full value of my prize.
But how few of those happy days came, and how soon they passed away! Grandfather and Grandmother soon died,
-nearly together. A kind Uncle, their eldest son, occupied the farm, and always made us welcome; but there was DO
Grandmother in the corner, and the house did not look right without her. I remember going to the funeral; but ah ! the selfishness there is in the heart of a child—I thought more that day of my new suit of black clothes, than of poor Grandfather or Grandmother.
Well: they are gone; and so is my Father, and that Uncle too. His son, my cousin, now stands in the place of his father. But what is our life! A vapour that appeareth for a little time and then passeth away ?
“ Our fathers, where are they,
With all they call'd their own?
“When I was a little child, (said a good old man,) my mother used to bid me kneel down beside her, and place her hand upon my head, while she prayed. Ere I was old enough to know her worth, she died, and I was left too much to my own guidance. Like others, I was inclined to evil passions, but often felt myself checked, and, as it were, drawn back by a soft hand upon my head. When a young man, I travelled in foreign lands, and was exposed to many temptations : but when I would have yielded, the same hand was upon my head, and I was saved. I seemed to feel its pressure, as in the days of my happy infancy, and sometimes there came with it a voice to my heart, a voice that must be obeyed, -' 0, do not this wickedness, my son, nor sin against thy God.""
Why gaze ye on my hoary hairs,
Ye children young and gay?
Will bleach as white as they.
I had a Mother once,
Who o'er my pillow hung,
And taught my faltering tongue.
She, when the nightly couch was spread,
Would bow my infant knee,
And, kneeling, pray for me.
But, then, there came a fearful day,
I sought my Mother's bed,
And told me she was dead.
MY MOTHER'S HAND.
I plucked a fair white rose, and stole
To lay it by her side, And thought strange sleep enchained her soul,
For no fond voice replied.
That eve I knelt me down in woe
And said a lonely praver;
As if that hand were there.
Years Aed, and left me childhood's joy
Gay sports and pastimes dear; I rose a wild and wayward boy,
Who scorned the curb of fear.
Fierce passions shook me like a reed !
Yet, ere at night I slept,
And down I fell, and wept.
But oft, at day's decline,
Blest Mother, was it thine ?
In foreign lands I travelled wide,
My pulse was bounding high, Vice spread her meshes at my side,
And pleasure lured my eye;-
Maintained its mystic sway,
With gentle weight it lay.
And with it breathed a voice of care,
As from the lowly sod, “My son-my only one-beware!
Nor sin against thy God."
Yo think, perchance, that age hath stole
My kindly warmth away,
But still I answer"Nay.”
That hallowed touch was ne'er forgot!
And now, though time hath set His frosty seal upon my lot,
These temples feel it yet.
And if I e'er in heaven appear,
A Mother's holy prayer,
Have led the Wanderer there.
MY BROTHER'S BIRTHDAY.
On thy little grave, my brother,
My own lost brother dear.
MY BROTHER'S BIRTHDAY.
I look toward the sunny heavens, And know that thou art there, With angel's wings, and white raiment, And face so mild and fair. Oh! then I think of death's dark gates Without a throb of fear, God grant we meet beyond them My own lost brother dear. There's many a scowling cloud, brother, Across our earthly way; The midnight frost oft chills the flower That blossom'd sweet by day. Then, if it bloom in fairer climes, No gathering tempest near, Should we wish we had it here to pineMy own lost brother dear? No! wherefore should we mourn for thee, Thou art not lost for ayeThough thy mother for her own dear boy Hath wept for many a day; For, if these bodies sleep in Him, Our spirits shall appear Once more in holy fellowship With thine-my brother dear, When the dark billows bear us, brother, Beyond the gloomy strand, Mayst thou be there to welcome us To the long-promised land ! May we, a happy family, Then fill'd with heavenly cheer, Dwell there in love, to part no more From theemmy brother dear.