Page images
PDF
EPUB

DR E A MS OF THE LO V E D.

BY OLIVE #. FRASER.

My heart is lone and sad!
Sweet strains of music on the zephyr float,
Appealing to the heart in each deep note,
To wake glad echoes by their magic spell,
And all of grief and dark despair to quell -

To make the spirit glad!

Mine gives it no response !
Waked from a dream of glory not to be,
Too beautiful for eyes of earth to see ;
And when recalled from bliss, how deeply then
I longed to languish into it again ;

But that could be but once !

To dream we dwell above
This weary earth, with all its pain and wo,
And see its mad ambition all below;
Its thirst of wealth and pomp, its love of power,
To all forget, and breathe for one short hour

An atmosphere of love !

To breathe it- not alone!
How few are they who never gladly met
Eyes whose deep truth they could not well forget ;
Destined to meet them in that world of bliss,
In which the pain and sorrowing of this

Are all unfelt - unknown.

'T was thus I met the loved;
They whom mine eyes had kindled fondly o'er,
When the whole soul gushed through affection's door,
And found its silent eloquence returned,
From hearts in which love's flame had brightly burned,

Whose truth had oft been proved.

'T was sweet to meet them there;
Those dear, kind faces, in that land of dreams;
To meet again their eyes' love-laden beams;
Again to hear their voices, and to feel
The witchery of their presence o'er me steal;

Yet was the dream too fair !

Such scenes, so bright and brief,
When earthly duties call the spirit back,
That has been roaming on ethereal track,
Make it a stranger in a dreary wild,
And the full heart, that late with rapture smiled,

Is wrapped in robes of grief !
Mecklenburgh, (N. Y.,) January, 1847.

THE ISRAEL ITISH MAIDEN.

BY ROSE STANDISE.

• But it's not her air, her form, her face,

Though matching beauty's fabled queen;
But the mind that shines in every grace,

And chiefly, in her sparklin' o'en!' - BURNS.

On a low divan, in an apartment of a princely dwelling in the environs of D- , sat two maidens, young and fair. In those two words how much are comprised of love, of joy, of hope, of grace !

Oh precious hours! oh golden prime,
And affluence of love and time?

A book was in the hand of one, and her cheek was flushed. Its dark hue, and the whole contour of the countenance, proclaimed clearly her descent from the house of Abraham. The face of the maiden who sat by her side no less plainly revealed her origin; a beautiful scion of the Saxon race.

Oh, Bertha, my cheek burns, and my blood is fevered, to read the wrongs suffered by my forefathers! Though but a work of fiction, the history of the past, my own limited experience, and their present condition, all tell me the picture is life-like and true. Old Isaac and his noble daughter are no less living personages than weak King John and his unworthy satellites ; than the worshipped knight of the tournament and the proud lady of the ring !' . But, Adab, you cannot admire old Isaac ?

No, but I pity; and believe that oppression, wrong, reviling and contempt, crushing him to the earth, so exasperated and embittered his spirit, that he became, as did his suffering progenitor, 'a worm and no man !'

"I know, Bertha, that my people were then, and are now, a proverb for meanness, extortion and cupidity; but I know too that the name of Gentile and Christian cannot soon be dissevered in their minds from hatred, cruelty and oppression !

Yes, Adah, the ancient glory of your people has long since departed. And yet I have been taught to honor and mourn for them. Into their hands were committed the oracles of God. Patriarchs, prophets, priests and kings were Israelites, as were the Holy Apostles. Jewish blood was shed upon the cross, and they were our LORD'S kinsmen in the flesh!'

Yet the times are changing, Adah. A sympathy and interest is dawning for your people. Judea will yet lift up her head among the nations. Graver heads than mine predict it, to say nothing of the inspired penmen. But in the mean while grieve not: if you could but know some dear ones I could name, I think you would be softened a little toward us. The past would be forgiven ; you would not stop to inquire whether Jew or Gentile, but rather sigh :

"I know that I love thee, whatever thou art!'

• Thou knowest that I love thee, Bertha.'

• Nay, give me not thy whole heart; reservea little space for my beloved brother; neither let him crowd me quite out.'

Never fear, Bertha ; thy brother will scarce deem it worth his while to win a smile from a daughter of the proscribed race.'

Go smooth your raven hair, and don your brightest looks. He will love you, for my sake if not for your own.'

A few points in the previous history of the two maidens may here be told. Their friendship had been formed at school; taken root then, and ripened since. ' Adah's parents were not living: she the adopted daughter of an uncle, a man of uncounted wealth ; a Jew of high descent, nurtured in all the prejudices of his nation. His lineage could be traced from generation to generation; almost to the palmy days of the Holy Čity. Yet in the place where they dwelt, he lived apart; he associated only with his own people. Though mingling with men in the busy mart and crowded thoroughfare, he was to them socially a stranger and an alien. To the qualities of his heart and the true lineaments of his mind they were the entirest strangers. Perpetually, betwixt them and him, there was a great gulf fixed.' It could not be passed. There were neither sympathies, desires nor affections in common to bridge it over. Oh! wonderful fulfilment of prophecy! — their very name is a name of reproach!'

Little Bertha Linton was the first to break the spell, and like a sun-beam, to cross the threshold of that stately mansion. The heart of old Solomon softened and warmed toward the children of the Christians for her sake. Sweet Bertha ! gentle and meek; were there more like thee, the world would soon be evangelized.

Though often wearied and soul-sickened by the exact attention to forms, fasts and observances, the clinging to a lifeless body from which the spirit has long departed no look of disgust nor smile of ridicule ever crossed her face.

As the lengthened shadows betokened the approach of evening, Adah and Bertha would take their accustomed stroll through the shaded avenues and beautiful gardens, whose bright flowers lent perfume to the air. There would they hold sweet converse, linked together arm-in-arm as heart to heart. And as Bertha discoursed of the great world, of its glittering pleasures, the bright scenes she had passed through, her descriptions sent a thrill of delight through Adah's frame, and a longing possessed her soul to participate in those fascinations so brightened to her view by the you thful imagination of her friend, in such mournful contrast with her own secluded and monotonous life. And then a look of sadness crossed her face, as she said in mournful accents :

• Bertha, such joys are not for me, a despised Jewish maiden.'

All the efforts of the light-hearted Bertha were at such times required to dissipate the sad memories of the past and forebodings of the future, that came crowding on her view; and they were generally triumphant. By her mild demeanor and gentle sweetness, and by some coaxing and pleading too, Bertha obtained the old man's consent that Adah should return her visit, and spend a month at Riverside.

ONE week has passed since Adah came to Riverside. It was a charming rural place; the lawn of the deepest green ; flowers the most fragrant, songsters the sweetest; its surrounding willows the most graceful, to which the bright oriole never failed to return each spring, to build her nest; springs the clearest and softest; meadows the most luxuriant; shadows at sun-down the most beautiful, and noon-day quiet the most dreamy.

To Adah, time flew on swift pinions. The days were passed delightfully in walks and drives and pic-nics. With many of Bertha's friends she sympathized and assimilated, as though one faith, one hope animated them. They no longer eyed her with reserve and mistrust, but gazed with looks of admiration and approval on her beautiful countenance, which, hitherto saddened and thoughtful, now beamed with content and happiness.

CEAPTER SROOND.

•ALL men honor the skilful leech; from land to land he goes,
Safe in his privilege; the sword of war
Spares him; kings welcome him with costly gifts;
And he who late had from the couch of pain
Lifted a languid look to him for aid,
Views him with brightened eyes, and blesscs him
In his first thankful prayer.' --SOUTIEY'S TUALADA.

ADAH had once before met Edward Linton ; she now saw him every day. His life was devoted to the healing art,' and his attachment to his vocation was romantic; nay, even chivalric. An universal benevolence, a missionary spirit, seemed to have animated him in the choice of a profession. Never was being more endowed by nature to win confidence and affection, and to diffuse peace and repose by his presence, than he. His gentle voice, quiet demeanor and truthful words, made the sufferer to feel that if there was help in arm of flesh the cunning of his hand would be blessed. A conscientious mind, illumined understanding and sympathizing heart would insure the blessing. The mild spirit and tone of Bertha and her brother, as they conversed with Adah on the Religion of the Cross, awakened interest and inspired confidence, if it did not bring immediate conviction to her mind. Day by day her prejudices grew fainter, and by-and-by a consciousness, full of peace and joy and hope, pervaded her spirit, that the faith must be a holy one which wrought such blessed effects.

Adah could not choose but admire the character of the young physician, for she was of a kindred mind and heart, and could ap

preciate his noble virtues. Love is founded on admiration; it begins with it. Some hold that · Pity is akin to Love ;' I am sure that Appreciation is a near relative, at least with superior beings, where love is inseparable from respect and esteem; those names so despised by lovers.

A friend once said to me : I hate the word esteem !' "Why ?' I asked. Because,' said he, it is the word women use when they reject the addresses of a lover : 'I esteem, but cannot love you ;' • I shall ever esteem you.''

• They may esteem without loving, but be assured,' said I, those whose love is worth the possessing cannot love without esteeming.'

Pity may have preceded young Linton's love for Adah; for he did most deeply sympathize with her in the isolated position in which she lived, and her shrinking sensitiveness to the contumely heaped upon her people. Let us analyze no more, but simply say:

He loved her for the wrongs that she had suffered,
And she loved him that he did pity her.'

The same great poet hath it :

"The course of true love never yet ran smooth;' and my story forms no exception to the general rule. Uncle Solomon was inexorable. In vain did even Bertha plead. Adah thought that nothing short of a miracle could move him, and the day of miracles was passed. Yet over the spirit, if not over matter, they are wrought every day; in stubborn wills subdued ; inveterate habits overcome ; tastes, desires and opinions changed. God in his providence is hourly bringing mighty things to pass, which man in his blindness attributeth to accident, chance, time--any thing but His power working in us, “to will and to do of His good pleasure.' Adah meekly and patiently resigned herself to what she deemed inevitable. She rarely saw Bertha. In vain her brother persuaded to disobedience. Gratitude, affection and maiden reserve all forbade. Yet they sometimes met; and hope did not altogether give place to despair.

CHAPTER THIRD.

.WATCHMAN, tell us of the night!

What the signs of promise are;
Traveller, o'er yon mountain's height

See that glory-beaming star!
Watchman, doth its beauteous ray

Aught of peace or joy foretell?
'Traveller, ycs; it brings the day,

The promised day of ISRAEL 1

One only child had Uncle Solomon— the child of his old age, the child of his love, the child of his hopes. The little David was in the house “a well-spring of pleasure, a messenger of peace and love ; a resting-place for innocence on earth ; a link between angels and men ;' a link between his earthly parent and his angel-mother in Heaven.

« PreviousContinue »