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For a Friend in Sorrow.
It was a tender hand that drew my boy away,
Out of earth's shadow into heaven's day;
It was a loving voice that called him home,
I catch its distant music, —“Darling — come ! ”

I know he lives with angels now, my boy,
He sees their radiant faces, feels their joy;
And heaven is dearer, nearer and so fair,
Since this dear treasure of my heart is there.

And yet my arms are empty - oh! to hold
His face against my bosom as of old,
To clasp him close and feel the tender bliss
Of his warm nestling touch, and baby kiss.

Lord, help me if I sometimes wonder why
The message came for him and passed me by,
And marvel in my sad perplexity
How he can be content away from me!

His little life was woven close with mine
As vines in summer meet and intertwine,
So when the summons came for us part,
The severing touch, though tender, broke my

heart.

Yet dearest Lord, I will not long repine,
My bleeding heart shall find its balm in thine,
In the dark shadows I will feel for thee
And trust thee
as my baby trusted me.

Anonymous.

The Reaper and the Flowers.

There is a Reaper whose name is Death,

And, with his sickle keen,
He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,

And the flowers that grow between.

“ Shall I have naught that is fair ? ” saith he;

“ Have naught but the bearded grain ?
Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,

I will give them all back again.”

He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes,

He kissed their drooping leaves; It was for the Lord of Paradise

He bound them in his sheaves.

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My Lord has need of these flowerets gay,”

The Reaper said, and smiled; “Dear tokens of the earth are they,

Where he was once a child."

“ They shall all bloom in fields of light,

Transplanted by my care,
And saints upon their garments white,

These sacred blossoms wear."

And the mother gave, in tears and pain,

The flowers she most did love ;
She knew she should find them all again

In the fields of light above.

Oh, not in cruelty, not in wrath,

The Reaper came that day ; 'Twas an angel visited the green earth, And took the flowers away.

H. W. Longfellow.

The Alpine Sheep.
After our child's untroubled breath

Up to the Father took its way,
And on our home the shade of death

Like a long twilight haunting lay;

And friends came round, with us to weep

Her little spirit's swift remove,-
The story of the Alpine sheep

Was told to us by one we love.

They, in the valley's sheltering care,

Soon crop the meadow's tender prime, And when the sod grows brown and bare

The shepherd strives to make them climb

To airy shelves of pastures green,

That hang along the mountain's side, Where grass and flowers together lean,

And down through mists the sunbeams slide.

But nought can tempt the timid things

The steep and rugged path to try, Though sweet the shepherd calls and sings,

And seared below the pastures lie,

Till in his arms their lambs he takes,

Along the dizzy verge to go,
Then, heedless of the rifts and breaks,

They follow on, o'er rock and snow.

And in those pastures, lifted fair,

More dewy soft than lowland mead, The shepherd drops his tender care,

And sheep and lambs together feed.

This parable, by nature breathed,

Blew on me as the south wind free O'er frozen brooks, that flow unsheathed

From icy thraldom to the sea.

A blissful vision, through the night,

Would all my happy senses sway, Of the good shepherd on the height,

Or climbing up the stony way,

Holding our little lamb asleep,

While, like the murmur of the sea, Sounded that voice along the deep, Saying “ Arise, and follow me!”

Maria Lowell.

Little Children
In the baron's hall of pride,
By the poor man's dull fireside,
'Mid the mighty, ʼmid the mean,
Little children

may

be

seen,
Like the flowers that spring up fair,
Bright and countless everywhere !
Blessings on them! they in me
Move a kindly sympathy,
With their wishes, hopes and fears;
With their laughter and their tears;
With their wonder so intense,
And their small experience!

Little children, not alone
On this wide earth are ye known;
'Mid its labors and its cares,
'Mid its sufferings and its snares;
Free from sorrow, free from strife,
In the world of love and life,
Where no sinful thing hath trod-
In the presence of your God,
Spotless, blameless, glorified -
Little children, ye abide.

Mary Howitt.

Buried To-may. Buried to-day;

When the soft green buds are bursting out,

And up on the south-wind comes a shout
Of village boys and girls at play
In the mild spring evening gray.

Taken away;

Sturdy of heart and stout of limb,

From eyes that drew half their light from him,
And put low, low underneath the clay,
In his spring, on this spring day.

Passes away,

All the pride of boy-life begun,

All the hope of life yet to run ;
Who dares to question when One saith “Nay."
Murmur not, — only pray

Enters to-day,

Another body in church-yard sod,

Another soul on the life in God.
His Christ was buried — and lives alway;
Trust him and go your way.

D. M. Mulock-Craik.

The Changeling. I had a little daughter,

And she was given to me To lead me gently backward

To the heavenly Father's knee, That I by the force of nature,

Might, in some dim wise, divine The depth of his infinite patience

To this wayward soul of mine.
I know not how others saw her,

But to me she was wholly fair,
And the light of the heaven she came from

Still lingered and gleamed in her hair ;
For it was as wavy and golden,

And as many changes took,
As the shadows of sun-gilt ripples

On the yellow bed of a brook.
She had been with us scarce a twelvemonth,

And it hardly seemed a day,
When a troop of wandering angels

Stole my little daughter away;
Or perhaps those heavenly guardians

But loosed the hampering strings,
And when they had opened her cage door

My little bird used her wings.

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