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for brilliantly-lighted halls, where the blaze of beauty is yet brighter; that the touch of soft hands, the gleaming of bright eyes, have peculiar attractions for this moody man; and when there is music to be heard, the slanderers further say that he has not the power to resist, but gives himself up, heart and soul, to the delicious melody leaping gaily from violins, stealing out from flutes and clarionets; that he thinks he hears spirit-voices in the wild, wailing oboe, and has all sorts of feeling when he hears skilfully touched the unearthly, almost human violoncello, and is ready to fall down and worship the high art that can portray human passions by such delicious floods of harmony. It may be so; perhaps I must plead guilty to these charges; but, thank Heaven! my ear is not impaired for these old familiar sounds, musical as when I had not heard the Germania, and the opera was a thing unknown. There is a majestic ' movement to that tenth wave; a glorious 'crescendo' in its gathering roar; a delightful shake' is performed when, nearly spent, it rushes far up on the beach, and some delicate • fingering' in those points of foam, thrusting by the rest, curling round the pebbles, as if to find something the last wave had left; there is ‘minor sound in its deep-drawn sigh when it sweeps back, that increases to a sullen roar; the wind through the pines is a pleasing accompaniment,' and not inharmonious is the distant cawing of sombre crows and the scream of the white-winged sea-gull. There is no discord, no false note, here. Nature paints and shifts the scenes with her own hand, and there needs no prompting

When I cease to find beauty in these scenes, and to delight in these sounds; when they cease to rouse in me all my better nature, awake me to whatever is lovely and pleasant, noble and grand, beautiful and bright,' then may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, and my right hand forget its cunning !'

S T A N ZA S..

To me it is a quiet spot,

A sacred holy place
Where, with a veilless eye, I see

Our Father's smiling face.

To me it is an angel's form,

With angel's vestments clad;
And with a voice of softest tone

It cheers me when I'm sad.

To me it is a gladsome eye,

That beams with nature's soul ;
And waking joyous thoughts in mine,

How swift the minutes roll.

To me it is a guide to heaven,

A resting place from care;
And buoyant faith the while espys

Eternal glories there.

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264

Stanzas: The Dearest Friend of Man. [September,

IX.

Sudden a Voice upon them broke!

Like the deep thunder was its tone,
And thus in accents clear it spoke,

While all around strange brightness shone:

Cease, cease your vain tumultuous strife ;

Mine is the name !?—so Death began; 'I loose the weary load of life

I am the dearest friend of man.'

XI.

"And thou !' cried one, and dost thou claim

That noblest title Earth can give ?
Man trembles when he hears thy name -

Thou bane, thou curse of all that live !'

XII.

· And think'st thou, then,' the spectre cried,

* That life's a treasure so much prized ? Hast thou ne'er seen it cast aside,

A tattered garment most despised ?

XIII.

"See yonder couch, where groaning lies

A victim of disease and pain;
Hark! list his agonizing cries !

Confess your boasted skill is vain.

XIV.

• But see! a smile lights up his brow,

Like sunbeams on a stormy sea;
What, what can soothe the sufferer now?

'Tis thus, 't is thus he welcomes me!

XV.

'What skill can soothe the broken heart,

Or bid the mourner's sorrow cease ?
How far beyond your vaunted art

To give the wounded spirit peace!

XVI.

""Tis mine alone to grant relief

When nought can still the mourner's sighs ;
When ’neath its weary load of grief

Poor feeble Nature prostrate lies.

XVII.

'I burst the chains that bind the slave,

I set the pining captive free;
They gently slumber in the grave

They find their dearest friend in me.

XVIIT.

Ah! like an angel clothed in light,

I close the Christian's dying es ;
With holy rapture, sweet delight,

His spirit greets me ere it flies.

XIX.

"Your arts but lengthen life's short span,

Or heal the body's agony;
I am the dearest friend of man

His guide to immortality!'

THE MINSTREL OF THE WORKING ROOMS.'

BY A NEW CONTRIBUTOR.

Ah ! these busy wheels and engines ! I remember a scrap of poetry that went the rounds of the newspapers a year or so ago, bemoaning that our sylvan streams had been degraded to such servile use. They turn a mill! Every poet-aping spirit in the land declaimed against the outrage. But blessings on them, I say: it is good to hear their hum on the clear river banks. There is a life, a real poetry about them. Instead of tales of want and drudgery, their din has a tone of music in it, and it talks of thrift, and hope, and cheerful songs. Ay, it is good to look out when the summons of their bells is answered now-a-days. Forth they come, human beings from all lands and climes ; thrifty Yankees, and sons and daughters of old Ireland; girls from the far backwoods of Maine and Canada; children with the sunshine of France and Spain in their eyes, and men from rovings on the broad, deep seas; all mingle on the way, and all unconsciously I had almost said, so blessed is the law of industry and social intercourse, imbibing and imparting good.

Instead of losing their humanity amid the discords within doors, humanity seems only the more spiritual. There is always some redeeming angel in the room; something to love, and that calls up pure associations; a mere tame bird or squirrel it may be; or a mild-voiced old man; or, oftenest of all, a young child, to shed a halo on the spot and make the dusty arches beautiful.

Thus associated, I always love to hear the people of a certain district talk of one ANTOINE. The joyous little Antoine, they will say, (I never heard him called there by any other name,) with his dancing brown locks and songs flowing out upon the air the whole day long. He alighted in their midst on a summer's morning, just as the swallows came, nobody knew how or whence; but there he was with the children on the green, singing and fluttering about to his own music, as though he had been a very bird and that spot his chosen summer-haunt his life time long.

266

The Minstrel of the Working Rooms.'

[September,

SO

He might have dropped from the clouds for all that could be gleaned from him; for to all questions as of who he was, or whence he came, he only answered • Antoine,' and · I'm only the little boy, you know, that comes to sing to you.'

At the end of every song, however, he held out his little soiled cap to intimate his errand; but still it never entered into a single heart to call him vagabond or stroller. No; he looked so beautiful and sent so much sunshine into the atmosphere, that before an hour he was found out to be kindred to every heart in the village, and the half-dimes and coppers were raining into the little cap at a great rate.

It was ascertained at length that the boy had stolen from a circus that was going the rounds, and was now wandering unconstrained, whither he listed. But no one cared to send him back. When the day wore on and he was found still hovering about the place, there was just the same kind of rejoicing among the groups that there is in the far northern latitudes when the ice breaks up in spring. His coming was to the neighborhood like the sight of the Good Spirits' to the heroes and heroines in the old German legends. They would as soon have shut their eyes upon their sunniest day-dreams as to have driven him away who seemed sent there on purpose to tell of hope and promise.

I said the neighborhood was made up of people from all lands; but he was a very child of the house, go where he would. No matter how many

there were to feed and clothe already, there was not a home poor but the door flew open to let him in, and not a hearth so crowded but there was ample room for him.

And it was wonderful how the musical little stranger took to the place. There must have existed some secret affinity between his heart and theirs from the first. On the morrow his little face had found the way inside the mills, and his fingers were trying to get the ways of work. In vain : the task was strangely bungled, and the child, as though in fault of other resources, drowned inquiry with a gush of song. Still he showed no inclination to depart, but, encouraged by his new friends, came and went as regularly as the best of them.

And now they knew more of him, what a singularity for a child he was! Some said they had been entertaining an angel unawares. While the other children blustered up and down, he loved best of all things to tell tales with the old people by the hearth-side, or to sit down among the men and talk of times and changes; or to creep away by himself among the shade-trees, and listen to the waters. He was never rude or boisterous; and yet, save in a wondrous kind of wisdom that looked out from every thing he said and did, never unchild-like. Thus goes

the story.

But his work — alas ! he tried again and again, but again and again he failed. At last, however, it was observed that his little face was melancholy at those times, and finally the truth came out: little Antoine was almost blind. •Blind !' — that explained the whole.

He had not been connected with his old associates by any ties of love or kindred, and when the infirmity had come upon him, instead of making him an object of peculiar interest, it only shut him out from sympathy. He was alone in his gathering darkness, and how could his

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