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AN EVENING WALK WITH THE CHILDREN.
BY ELIEU BURRITT.
AND the evening is beautifull and the heavens are full of stars, mirroring their silvery faces in the snow; and the still woods are jeweled with ice-diamonds, and waiting waveless the rising moon. And the Northern Lights, like zephyrs zoned with rainbows, are waltzing on the pearly pavements of the polar sky. And the mountains look like wares of a silver sea, rising heavenward to greet the stars; and the sky like a sea of molten sapphire, with its golden tresses drooping fondly on the brow of the mountains. It is beautiful--too beautiful to shut out of our sight. Let us all go out doors and read a few paragraphs in the album of the heavens. For this firmament above is the Great Album of the Creator, and the suns are the syllables and the stars are the letters, with which he registers his handiworks. And the first man on the first evening of this new creation, looked up into the same sky-record, and tried to read the illuminated manuscript of his Maker. And the generations before the Flood gazed at these same stars : and men that saw nearly the evenings of a thousand years on the earth, looked up at these same golden eyes of heaven, which now look down on us; and they called them by name, and by their light they drove their flocks to new pastures in the old world. And when the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened, and the floods came, and a long night of darkness, the good man in the ark remembered the stars that studded the firmament in his boyhood's time, and the names they were called by among the fathers of the human race. And when the deep, black clouds rolled away, they shone out of their old places in the sky upon him, and he felt at home again, though floating over the shoreless waste of waters, without compass, chart or helm. There they were just as they were set in the sky in the morning of creation. The waters, that had washed from the earth every trace of man's existence, had not quenched one of the “lesser lights” of heaven, or moved it a hair from its place. The splendid Orion had not lost a jewel from his belt; neither the deluge nor the darkness had “loosed his bands." He walked the same king and wielded the same sceptre among the stars this evening, as in the first evening that mantled the earth. The fiery Betelguese shone with the same red brilliancy, and the sharp-eyed Rigel glowed in the left foot, a celestial diamond of the first water. There were the little Pleiades, and the great Dog-star, and the long Scorpion, trailing its gems along the southern sky: and the Eleven Stars, that the young Joseph saw in his dream ; and the Seven Stars, which the firstborn child of Adam saw in his infancy. These were the home stars to Noah; they were all that was left of the drowned world, that he had seen and loved in his youth. He knew not whither the sailless, unrud. dered ark had borne him ; the tallest mountain on the earth was buried deep beneath the waters; everything had been swept away but the stars which he had learned by name, perhaps in the tent of his grandfather Methuselah, who remembered Adam. And he felt himself at home.
To a Skylark.
Now, young friends, a deluge will never come again to bury out of sight this green, peopled world ; but storms will come, and winds will come, and you may drift far away from the home of your childhood. And what makes that home? If all your relations and friends should go with you to far-off lands and live with you there, would you not have left behind a great deal of your home? Yes ; you could not take with you the old home-stead ; the elms and the oaks under which you played ; the hills you climbed in summer to see the sun go down in the west, or in winter with your sleds; the brook that purled through the meadows ; the mountains looming up in the distance like huge cushions of green velvet for the sky; the fields of alternate green and yellow, and the faroff woods. But begin now to look up into this blue world above; to make these star-fields a part of your home; to bring these glorious constellations into the circle of your acquaintance ; to call them by name; to associate them with all the objects to which your home affections cling, and you may carry your home with you the world over. Orion, Arcturus, Bootes, Virgo, the celestial companions of Job, Noah, and David, will be yours, in every place and every condition; acquaintances, neighbors to your paternal homes. It may be your lot to see but a little space of the earth's surface; and to know but little more of the geography of the earth than what you learn from your map. But here you may study the geography of the heavens and see every celestial territory it describes. Without going a mile from your father's door, your eye may travel over worlds that arithmetic cannot compute nor geometry measure. Your eyes can do this, and when you have reached the extreme limit of their vision, your thoughts may go on forever into worlds beyond. Young friends, suppose you spend a half hour every bright evening out in the open air in appropriating these brilliant constellations; in bringing them within the home-circle of your acquaintance.
TO A SKYLARK.
ETHEREAL minstrel! pilgrim of the sky!
PROM THE GERMAN, BY THE EDITOR.
WITH wonderful gladness bounds my heart when I see a beautiful sod. I cannot express how I love the green grass; no plant, no flower do I love so inly, with such true joy of soul, as I do the green grass. There are times when I do not tire beholding it, refreshing my eyes and heart with it; and then I am glad that I live on the earth.
A green, grassy earth around me, and a blue heaven above me—these are my highest natural joy.
I remember how in childhood it made me happy to find grass spoken of in the Bible; and that holy book became the more precious to me when I read how God has there honored the grass. With what delight did I read: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, and the herb yielding seed. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yield. ing seed after its kind." Then I felt at home on the earth. How deeply also was my heart impressed by the words of our Saviour: “If God so clothe the grass of the field !” I could scarcely think of God in a more tender way, than as the kind being who clothes the grass of the field. After I felt the sweet force of that passage I could pray to Him with more confidence and love. When I read, in the history of the miraculous feeding of the multitude: “There was much grass in the place”-how this occurrence moved my heart; how I felt that the miraculous had associated itself in the most friendly way with the natural course of the world and entered the sphere of human life! It seemed to me a very important circumstance that where the divine-human Sa. viour walked among the people and blessed them, there was much grass; and exceedingly pleasant, it seemed to me, it must have been to the thousands who were hungry to sit down on the grass and be fed by the friend of man.
It is not merely the refreshing green, so pleasant to the eye, the color of hope, that I love in the grass. It grows so luxuriantly; and the blessings of heaven are so plainly seen in it. It exists so plentifully. Where nothing else is seen, there is still the grass—a symbol of overflowing goodness, and a pledge of every kindly gift of nature.
More than all do we see the effect upon the grass, when after a long drought, the fruitful showers begin to descend. Before all else it is green in the spring. The first green grass in warm moist places, how it rejoices the heart—this sign of regeneration and of heavenly promise! The pearly dew glistens most richly in the green grass.
The grass clothes so beautifully mother earth ; even the grass makes it more maternal. Where grass grows I feel at home, even when separated from all else that is familiar to me—where no grass grows, 0 hon desolate and cheerless! However much art and industry may do to beautify earth, the curse of God seems to rest on those spots where Do grass grows. On the soft grass the weary one who has no other place of repose lies down and sinks into refreshing slumbers.
Whatever of beauty the earth possesses, my fancy ever associates
My Mother's Voice.
with the green, green grass. In the grass glitter the lovely fountains. Through flowery grass pure and sing the joyful rills; and the loveliest children of nature bloom in the grass.
In youth the grass was my place to play and tumble. In the grass I gathered flowers. Reclining on the grass on a serene summer evening
—how often have I been winged in my dreams into the eternal paradise where nothing fades !
The grass also covers the graves of our dead ! and 0, how precious is it there ! Under the green hillock-so our feelings cheer us-it must be peaceful to repose.
At last on my grave~no flowers ; only green, green grass—the symbol of life and hope !
MY MOTHER'S VOICE.
Around the dripping eaves ;
Among the fallen leaves.
Along the pebbly shores
And boughs are swayed no more.
I hear through evening's shade,
Returning from the glade.
That greet the sad or gay,
Rejoicing in its play.
In memore than tliis-
Now in the land of bliss ;
I hear it in ny dreams,
Once more upon me beams.
In mansions in the skies--
Like inother's gentle voice.
And sadness in my lirain,
She will not come again.
Her like is never known;
Of only, only one!
Through all the changing years-
The cup of sorrow's tears.
THE WANDERER'S RETURN.
PROM THE GERMAN, BY THE EDITOR.
WE speak of a youth. He was born in the bosom of a solitary valley and grew up in an humble and quiet hut, under the eye of a venerable father. The son was the joy of his father; the will of the one was also the will of the other, and they lived a joyous, pions, and simple life.
A change came. One evening as the youth sat alone at the door of the hut, he saw how the flaming sun sunk behind the blue mountains, saw how the purple vapor and the glowing red of evening blazed up the sky and gilded the mountain's edge, he felt himself drawn by a great and indescribable longing to follow the sun. He closed not his eyes that night; and as soon as the morning dawned, he came to his father and said: Bless me, my father, and let me go to the land of the setting sun, that I may see where it is that he sinks to his nightly rest. For I rest no more, day nor night, so strongly do my longings draw me towards the dim distant realms of evening.
The father said to him: Go under God's protection, my son; but wherever you may be think of me, and the quiet home of your youth, and of all the instructions I have given you. Then he blessed him, and gave him a mirror, and said : Whenever you look into this glass, you will see this hut, and the face of your father, and then you will think of me, and I will help you when wants and woes overtake you.
The youth departed. Quick and joyful steps bore him from his father's door; and soon the hut and home of youth lay far behind him. As the sun began to set he halted on the top of a hill, and looked back toward the valley which he had left, and with a tender swelling heart be thought of his father. He drew forth his glass, and saw in it-or thought he saw-the pleasant form and countenance of the venerable old man. Then he slept. The stars shed down mild beams upon him, and sweet dreams held festival in the spirit of the youth. When the morning came he sprang to his feet, glad and ready, greeted once more the region of his home, and set his pilgrim staff farther, and still farther; and every morning and every evening he turned toward the rising of the sun, and looked into the glass to see the image of his father.
At length he came into inhabited borders, and into large cities: he saw the ways and doings of men, how they labor with each other and against each other, how they loved and hated one another, and how they rushed after fortune and pleasure, some in one path and some in another. After he looked on for awhile, he was seized with a desire to do likewise; and he mingled in the tumult, rushed with the multitude, and like them reached not what he sought.
Many days now passed in which he never looked toward his home, por thought of his father; for all his soul was in that which was doing around him, and in the joy that he had in it, or expected to gain. Now it came to pass that he went one day with evil companions, who mal