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The outer door gently opened, and he, whose presence had, in former years, brought peace and resignation hither, when their hearts had been tried, even as they now were tried, stood before them. On the night before the Sabbath, the minister of Auchindown never left his Manse,* except as now, to visit the sick or dying bed. Scarcely could Gilbert reply to his first question about his child, when the surgeon came from the bed-room, and said, "Margaret seems lifted up by God's hand above death and the grave: I think she will recover. She has fallen asleep; and when she wakes, I hope, I believe, that the danger will be past, and that your child will live."

They were all prepared for death; but now they were found unprepared for life. One wept that had till then locked up all her tears within her heart; another gave a short palpitating shriek; and the tender-hearted Isabel, who had nursed the child when it was a baby, fainted away. The youngest brother gave way to gladsome smiles; and calling out his dog Hector, who used to sport with him and his little sister on the moor, he told the tidings to the dumb, irrational creature, whose eyes, it is certain, sparkled with a sort of joy.

The clock, for some days, had been prevented from striking the hours; but the silent fingers pointed to the hour of nine; and that, in the cottage of Gilbert Ainslie, was the stated hour of family worship. His own honored minister took the book: He waled a portion with judicious care:

And let us worship God, he said, with solemn air.

A chapter was read; a prayer said; and so, too, was sung a psalm; but it was sung low, and with suppressed voices, lest the child's saving sleep might be broken; and now and then, the female voices trembled, or some one of them ceased altogether: for there had been tribulation and anguish, and now hope and faith were tried in the joy of thanksgiving.

The child still slept; and its sleep seemed more sound and deep. It appeared almost certain that the crisis was over, and that the flower was not to fade. "Children," said Gilbert, "our happiness is in the love we bear to one another; and our duty is in submitting to, and serving God. Gracious, indeed, has he been unto us. Is not the recovery of our little, darling, dancing, singing Margaret, worth all the gold that ever was

*Manse, the parsonage, or minister's house.

mined? If we had had thousands of thousands, would we not have filled up her grave with the worthless dross of gold, rather than that she should have gone down there, with her sweet face, and all her rosy smiles?" There was no reply, but a

joyful sobbing all over the room.

"Never mind the letter, nor the debt, father," said the eldest daughter. "We have all some little things of our own-a few pounds and we shall be able to raise as much as will keep arrest and prison at a distance. Or if they do take our furniture out of the house, all except Margaret's bed, who cares? We will sleep on the floor; and there are potatoes in the field, and clear water in the spring. We need fear nothing, want nothing; blessed be God for all his mercies."

Gilbert went into the sick room, and got the letter from his wife, who was sitting at the head of the bed, watching, with a heartblessed beyond all bliss, the calm and regular breathings of her child. "This letter," said he mildly, "is not from a hard creditor. Come with me while I read it aloud to our children." The letter was read aloud, and it was well fitted to diffuse pleasure and satisfaction through the dwelling of poverty. It was from an executor to the will of a distant relative, who had left Gilbert Ainslie fifteen hundred pounds. "The sum," said Gilbert, "is a large one to folks like us, but not, I hope, large enough to turn our heads, or make us think ourselves all lords and ladies. It will do more, far more, than put me fairly aboye the world at last. I believe that, with it, I may buy this very farm, on which my forefathers have toiled. But may God, whose Providence has sent this temporal blessing, send wisdom and prudence how to use it, and humble and grateful hearts to us all." "You will be able to send me to school all the year round now, father," said the youngest boy. "And you may leave the flail to your sons now, father," said the eldest. You may hold the plow still, for you draw a straighter furrow than any of us; but hard work for young sinews; and you may sit now oftener in your arm-chair by the ingle. You will not need to rise now in the dark, cold, and snowy winter mornings, and keep thrashing corn in the barn for hours, by candle-light, before the late dawning."


There was silence, gladness, and sorrow, and but little sleep in Moss-side, between the rising and setting of the stars, that

were now out in thousands, clear, bright, and sparkling over the unclouded sky. Those who had lain down, for an hour or two, in bed, could scarcely be said to have slept; and when, about morning, little Margaret awoke, an altered creature, pale, languid, and unable to turn herself on her lowly bed, but with meaning in her eyes, memory in her mind, affection in her heart, and coolness in all her veins, a happy group were watching the first faint smile that broke over her features; and never did one who stood there forget that Sabbath morning, on which she seemed to look round upon them all with a gaze of fair and sweet bewilderment, like one half conscious of having been rescued from the power of the grave.




A YOUTH rode forth from his childhood's home,
Through the crowded paths of the world to roam;
And the green leaves whispered as he passed,
"Wherefore, thou dreamer, away so fast?

"Knew'st thou with what thou art parting here,

Long wouldst thou linger in doubt and fear;

Thy heart's light laughter, thy sunny hours,

Thou hast left in our shades with the spring's wild flowers.

“Under the arch, by our mingling made,
Thou and thy brother have gayly played;
Ye may meet again where ye roved of yore,
But, as ye have met there,--oh! never more

On rode the youth, and the boughs among
Thus the free birds o'er his pathway sung:
"Wherefore so fast unto life away?
Thou art leaving forever thy joy in our lay!


"Thou mayst come to the summer woods again,
And thy heart have no echo to greet their strain;
Afar from the foliage its love will dwell;
A change must pass o'er thee,-farewell! farewell!"

On rode the youth, and the founts and streams
Thus mingled a voice with his joyous dreams:

"We have been thy playmates through many a day, Wherefore thus leave us? oh! yet delay!

"Listen but once to the sound of our mirth!

For thee 'tis a melody passing from earth,
Never again wilt thou find in its flow,
The peace it could once on thy heart bestow.

“Thou wilt visit the scenes of thy childhood's glee,
With the breath of the world on thy spirit free;
Passion and sorrow its depth will have stirred,
And the singing of waters be vainly heard.

"Thou wilt bear in our gladsome laugh no part;
What should it do for a burning heart ?
Thou wilt bring to the banks of our freshest rill,
Thirst which no fountain on earth may still.

"Farewell! when thou comest again to thine own,
Thou wilt miss from car music its loveliest tone;
Mournfully true is the tale we tell;

Yet on, fiery dreamer! farewell! farewell!"

And a something of gloom on his spirit weighed,
As he caught the last sounds of his native shade;
But he knew not, till many a bright spell broke,
How deep were the oracles Nature spoke.




"HAST thou come with the heart of thy childhood back: The free, the pure, the kind?"

So murmured the trees in my homeward track
As they played to the mountain-wind.

"Hath thy soul been true to its early love?"
Whispered my native streams;

“ Hath thy spirit, nursed amid hill and grove, Still revered its first high dreams?"

"Hast thou borne in thy bosom the holy prayer
Of the child in his parent halls?"

Thus breathed a voice on the thrilling air,
From the old ancestral walls.

"Hast thou kept thy faith with the faithful dead
Whose place of rest is nigh?

With the father's blessing o'er thee shed,
With the mother's trusting eye?"

Then my tears gushed forth in sudden rain,
As I answered, "Oh ye shades!

I bring not my childhood's heart again
To the freedom of your glades.


"I have turned from my first, pure love aside, O bright and happy streams!

Light after light, in my soul have died

The day-spring's glorious dreams.

"And the holy prayer from my thoughts hath passed. The prayer at my mother's knee;

Darkened and troubled, I come at last,

Home of my boyish glee!

"But I bear from my childhood a gift of tears,

To soften and atone;

And oh, ye scenes of those blessed years!

They shall make me again your own.





WE'LL miss her at the morning hour,
When leaves and eyes unclose;
When sunshine calls the dewy flower
To waken from repose;

For, like the singing of a bird,

When first the sunbeams fall,

The gladness of her voice was heard
The earliest of us all.

We'll miss her at the evening time,

For then her voice and lute

Best loved to sing some sweet old rhyme,
When other sounds were mute.

Twined round the ancient window-seat,

While she was singing there,

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