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most pastoral poet; and yet it had a pleasing rural look. A wild vine had overrun one end with a profusion of foliage; a few trees threw their branches gracefully over it; and I observed several pots of flowers, tastefully disposed about the door, and on the grass-plot in front. A small wicket-gate opened upon a footpath, that wound through some shrubbery to the door. Just as we approached, we heard the sound of music. Leslie grasped my arm; we paused and listened. It was Mary's voice, singing, in a style of the most touching simplicity, a little air, of which her husband was peculiarly fond.
I felt Leslie's hand tremble on my arm. He stepped forward, to hear more distinctly. His step made a noise on the gravel-walk A bright, beautiful face glanced out at the window, and vanished; a light footstep was heard, and Mary came tripping forth to meet us. She was in a pretty rural dress of white; a few wild flowers were twisted in her fine hair; a fresh bloom was on her cheek; her whole countenance beamed with smiles. I had never seen her look so lovely.
"My dear George," cried she, "I am so glad you are come! I have been watching and watching for you; and running down the lane, and looking out for you. I've set out a table under a beautiful tree behind the cottage; and I've been gathering some of the most delicious strawberries, for I know you are fond of them; and we have such excellent cream, and every thing is so sweet and still here.-Oh!" said she, putting her arm within his, and looking up brightly in his face, "Oh! we shall be so happy!"
Poor Leslie was overcome. He caught her to his bosom; he folded his arms round her; he could not speak; but the tears gushed into his eyes; and he has often assured me, that though the world has since gone prosperously with him, and his life has indeed been a happy one, yet never has he experienced a moment of more exquisite felicity.
THERE is something in the word home, that wakes the kindliest feelings of the heart. It is not merely friends and kindred that render that place so dear, but the very hills, and rocks and rivulets throw a charm around the place of one's nativity. It is no wonder that the loftiest harps have been tuned to sing of home, "sweet home." The rose that bloomed in the garden where one has wandered in early years, a thoughtless child, careless in innocence, is lovely in its bloom, and lovelier in its decay.
No songs are sweet like those we heard among the boughs that shade a parent's dwelling, when the morning or the evening hour found us gay as the birds that warbled over us. No waters are bright like the clear silver streams that wind among the flower-decked knolls where in childhood we have often strayed to pluck the violet, or the lily, or to twine a garland for some loved schoolmate.
We may wander away and mingle in the "world's fierce strife," and form new associations and friendships, and fancy we have almost forgotten the land of our birth; but at some evening hour, as we listen perchance to the autumn winds, the remembrance of other days comes over the soul, and fancy bears us back to childhood's scenes, and we roam again the old familiar haunts, and press the hands of companions long since cold in the grave-and listen to the voices we shall hear on earth no more. It is then a feeling of melancholy steals over us, which, like Ossian's music, is pleasant, though mournful to the soul.
The African, torn from his willow-braided hut, and borne away to the land of charters and of chains, weeps as he thinks of home, and sighs and pines for the cocoa land beyond the waters of the sea. Years may have passed over him, and strifes and toil may have crushed his spirits-all his kindred may have found graves upon the corals of the ocean; yet were he free, how soon would he seek the shores and skies. of his boyhood dreams?
The New-England mariner-amid the icebergs of the Northern seas, or breathing the spicy gales of the ever-green isles, or coasting along the shores of the Pacific, though the hand of time may have blanched his raven locks, and care have plowed deep furrows on his brow, and his heart have been chilled by the storms of ocean, till the fountains of his love had almost ceased to gush with the heavenly current-yet, upon some summer's evening, as he looks out upon the sun sinking behind the western wave, he will think of
home, and his heart will yearn for the loved of other days, and his tears flow like the summer rain.
How does the heart of the wanderer, after long years of absence, beat, and his eyes fill as he catches a glimpse of the hills of his nativity; and when he has pressed the lip of a brother or sister, how soon does he hasten to see if the garden, and the orchard, and the stream look as in days gone by! We may find climes as beautiful, and skies as bright, and friends as devoted; but that will not usurp the place of home.
Upon the far-off mountain's brow
The angry storm has ceased to beat;
In thunder on his breast descending;
I've seen him when the morning sun
Burn'd like a bale-fire on the height;
And there, forever firm and clear,
No sovereign but the King of kings.
Outlives the mightiest of them all.
Than even the works his hand in raising,
Its loves and sorrows, joys and fears,
Unchang'd, though years are passing o'er him And time withdraws his powerless hands,
While ages melt away before him.
So should it be for no heart beats
The soothing words that make us blest.
No cause to hope, or fear to-morrow.