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TO MY MOTHER

FORRESTER.

(It is hardly necessary to say that too much tenderness cannot be imparted to the voice while reading these beautiful lines. The heart that rocals a departed mother's memory will be the best monitor.)

GIVE me my old seat, mother,

With my head upon thy knee:
I've passed through many a changing scene,

Since thus I sat by thee.
O! let me look into thine eyes ;

Their meek, soft, loving light
Falls like a gleam of holiness,

Upon my heart, to-night.

I've not been long away, mother;

Few suns have risen and set,
Since last the tear-drop on thy cheek,

My lips in kisses met.
Tis but a little time, I know,

But very long it seems;
Though every night I came to thee,

Dear mother, in my dreams.

The world has kindly dealt, inother,

By the child thou lov'st so well;
The prayers have circled round her path;

And 'twas their holy spell
Which made that path so dearly bright;

Which strewed the roses there;
Which gave the light, and cast the balm

On every breath of air.

I bear a happy heart, mother;

A happier never beat;
And, even now, new buds of hope

Are bursting at my feet.
Oh! mother! life may be a dream;

But if such dreams are given,
While at the portals thus we stand,

What are the truths of Heaven !

I bear a happy heart, mother!

Yet, when fond eyes I see,
And hear soft tones and winning words,

I ever think of thee.
And then, the tears my spirit weeps

Unbidden fill my eye;
And, like a houseless dove, I long

Unto thy breast to fly.

Then I am very sad, mother,

I'm very sad and lone:
O! there's no heart whose inmost fold

Opes to me like thine own!
Though sunny smiles wreath blooming lips,

While love-tones meet my ear ;
My mother, one fond glance of thine

Were thousand times more dear.

Then with a closer clasp, mother,

Now hold me to thy heart:
I'll feel it beating 'gainst my own,

Once more before we part.
And, mother, to this love-lit spot,

When I am far away,
Come oft-too oft thou canst not come!

And for thy darling pray.

FOOTSTEPS OF ANGELS.

LONGFELLOW.

(Like most of the poems of this master-spirit of lyrio art, this speci men is pervaded by a tone of sad sweetness, like the odor of flowers which blossom upon children's graves. It should be recited with a modulated cadence, and at times the voice should be slightly tremu-' lous.)

When the hours of day are numbered,

And the voices of the night
Wake the better soul that slumbered,

To a holy, calm delight;
Ere the evening lamps are lighted,

And, like phantoms grim and tall,

Shadows from the fitful firelight

Dance upon the parlor wall;

Then the forms of the departed

Enter at the open door ;
The beloved, the true-hearted,

Come to visit me once more.

He, the young and strong, who cherished

Noble longings for the strife, By the roadside fell and perished, Weary with the march of lite !

They, the holy ones and weakly,

Who the cross of suffering bore, Folded their pale hands so meekly,

Spake with us on earth no more!

And with them the being beauteous,

Who unto my youth was given, More than all things else to love me,

And is now a saint in heaven.

With a slow and noiseless footstep,

Comes that messenger divine, Takes the vacant chair beside me,

Lays her gentle hand in mine.

And she sits and gazes at me,

With those deep and tender eyes, Like the stars, so still and saintlike,

Looking downward from the skies.

Uttered not, yet comprehended,

Is the spirit's voiceless prayer, Soft rebukes, in blessings ended,

Breathing from her lips of air.

Oh, though oft depressed and lonely,

All my fears are laid aside, If I but remember only

Such as these have lived and died !

THE VULTURE OF THE ALPS

ANONYMOUS.

(The following stirring poem is highly dramatic. The reader should, as far as possible, realize the feelings of the shepherd-parent as he sees " the youngest of his babes” borne in the iron-claws of the vul. ture high in mid air towards his golgotha of a nest. Much force of attitude and gesture is not only admissable, but called for, as the agonized father leans forward following the flight of the vulture.]

I've been among the mighty Alps, and wandered through

their vales, And heard the honest mountaineers relate their dismal

tales, As round the cottage blazing hearth, when their daily

work was o'er, They spake of those who disappeared, and ne'er were

heard of more.

And there I from a shepherd heard a narrative of fear,
A tale to rend a mortal heart, which mothers might not

hear : The tears were standing in his eyes, his voice was tremu

lous. But, wiping all those tears away, he told his story thus :

“ It is among these barren cliffs the ravenous vulture dwells,
Who never fattens on the prey which from afar he smells;
But, patient, watching hour on hour upon a lofty rock,
He singles out some truant lamb, a victim, from the flock.

66 One cloudless Sabbath summer morn, the sun was rising

high, When, from my children on the green, I heard a fearful

cry, As if some awful deed were done, a shriek of grief and pain, A cry, I humbly trust in God, I ne'er may hear again.

“ I hurried out to learn the cause; but, overwhelmed with

fright,

The children never ceased to shriek, and from my frenzied

sight I missed the youngest of my babes, the darling of my care, But something caught my searching eyes, slow sailing

through the air.

"Oh! what an awful spectacle to meet a father's eye!
His infant made a vulture's prey, with terror to descry!
And know, with agonizing breast, and with a maniac rave,
That earthly power could not avail, that innocent to save!

“My infant stretched his little hands imploringly to me, And struggled with the ravenous bird, all vainly to get

free, At intervals, I heard his cries, as loud he shrieked and

screamed : Until, upon the azure sky, a lessening spot he seemed."

6 The vulture flapped his sail-like wings, though heavily

he flew, A mote upon the sun's broad face he seemed unto my

view : But once I thought I saw him stoop, as if he would alight; 'T was only a delusive thought, for all had vanished quite.

“ All search was vain, and years had passed; that child was

; ne'er forgot, When once a daring hunter climbed unto a lofty spot, From whence, upon a rugged crag the chamois never

reached, He saw an infant's fleshless bones the elements had

bleached !

“I clambered up that rugged cliff; I could not stay away; I knew they were my infant's bones thus hastening to de

cay; A tattered garment yet remained, though torn to many a

shred, The crimson cap he wore that morn was still upon the

head."

That dreary spot is pointed out to travelers passing by, Who often stand, and, musing; gaze, nor go without a sigh. And as I journeyed, the next morn, along my sunny way, The precipice was shown to me, whereon the infant lay.

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