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I made this cap of red and blue,
To match the dress! This collar, too,
Is lace from off my wedding gown.
'Tis old, you see, and getting brown.
His curling hair, so long and bright,
Resembled corn silk in the light.
His little hands so pink and soft-
O, sir, 'tis true I've seen him oft
Clasp them tight and bend his head
Until it touched his trundle-bed ;
In baby lisp then say the prayer
That angels listen to and share.
You'll paint him, please? Don't say me nay."
He was so good, so sweet, and gay ;
He was the last one of my race ;
In his I saw my husband's face.
Why look you sad and turn away
From his dear clothes ? What do you say?
Have I no picture of his face?
O painter great, were this the case
I would not beg you for your art
To comfort thus
They say you are so wise and good-
That magic guides your pencil's mood.
Pray give me back my laddie's face,
And I will bless the hands that trace
His sweet blue eyes. Must I sit down?
Indeed I will. I've come to town
To get his picture, then go home
Where I was born no more to roam.
Master, days have passed, a score,
Since first I crossed your open door,
And since your promise to restore
My laddie to these eyes once more.
You draw the curtain ? God be praised !
There kneels my laddie! Am I dazed,
Or is that mine, that wrinkled hand
Resting on the golden strand
Of my kneeling laddie's hair
While his face is hid in prayer-
Kneeling in the same blue dress
And yellow shoes? O God, I bless-
But, sir, I do not see his
I beg your pardon. My surprise
It is so like
My bonny lad. Does it not strike
You that his eyes are hid ?
But oh, he did as he was bid,
And hid his face behind his hand
As he his lisping prayer began.
That head pressed close up to my knee
I feel him near.
Almost I see
Beneath the hand those eyes I love
That smile on me from realms above.
MARY BEALE BRAINERD.
The Peri are mythologically represented as descendants of fallen angels, excluded from Paradise until, through some holy deed, their penance is accomplished. In this instance a Peri is described as having twice appeared at the Gate of Heaven, bearing the first time a drop of blood from the heart of an expiring warrior; the second time a farewell sigh from the lips of a dying lover. In each case she is refused admission-the gift not being deemed sufficiently worthy-the angel bids her seek again, and this time she bears to Heaven a tear of repentance from the eye of a hardened sinner.
VE morn a Peri at the gate
Of Eden stood, disconsolate;
And as she listened to the springs
Of life within, like music flowing,
And caught the light upon her wings
Through the half-open portal glowing,
She went to think her recreant race
Should e'er have lost that glorious place!
“ How happy,” exclaimed this child of air, “Are the holy spirits who wander there,
'Mid flowers that never shall fade or fall! Though mine are the gardens of earth and sen, One blossom of Heaven outblooms them all!”.
The glorious angel who was keeping
The gates of light, beheld her weeping;
And, as he nearer drew and listened,
A tear within his eyelids glistened.
Nymph of a fair but erring line !"
Gentle he said, “one hope is thine
'Tis written in the book of fate,
The Peri yet may be forgiven,
Who brings to this eternal gate
The gift that is most dear to Heaven!
Go, seek it, and redeem thy sin ;
Tis sweet to let the pardoned in!”
Rapidly as comets run
To the embraces of the sun,
Down the blue vault the Peri flies,
And, lighted earthward by a glance
That just then broke from morning's eyes,
Hung hovering o'er our world's expanse.
Over the vale of Baalbec winging,
The Peri sees a child at play, Among the rosy wild-flowers singing,
As rosy and as wild as they ; Chasing with eager hands and eyes, The beautiful blue damsel-flies That fluttered round the jasmine stems, Like winged flowers or flying gems : And near the boy, who, tired with play, Now nestling 'mid the roses lay, She saw a wearied man dismount
From his hot steed, and on the brink Of a small temple’s rustic fount
Impatient fling him down to drink.
Then swift his haggard brow he turned
To the fair child, who fearless satThough never yet hath day-beam burned
Upon a brow more fierce than that, Sullenly fierce-a mixture dire, Like thunder-clouds of gloom and fire, In which the Peri's eye could read Dark tales of many a ruthless deed.
Yet tranquil now that man of crime
(As if the balmy evening time
Softened his spirit) looked and lay,
Watching the rosy infant's play;
Though still, whene'er his eye by chance
Fell on the boy's, its lurid glance
Met that unclouded, joyous gaze,
As torches that have burnt all night
Encounter morning's glorious rays.
But hark! the vesper call to prayer,
As slow the orb of daylight sets, Is rising sweetly on the air
From Syria's thousand minarets!
The boy has started from the bed
Of flowers, where he had laid his head,
And down upon the fragrant sod
Kneels, with his forehead to the south,
Lisping th' eternal name of God
From purity's own cherub mouth;
And looking, while his hands and eyes
Are lifted to the glowing skies,
Like a stray babe of paradise,
Just lighted on that flowery plain,
And seeking for its home again!
And how felt he, the wretched man
Reclining there-while memory ran
O’er many a year of guilt and strife
That marked the dark flood of his life,
Nor found one sunny resting-place,
Nor brought him back one branch of grace " There was a time,” he said, in mild,
Heart-humbled tones, "thou blessed child !
When young, and haply pure as thou,
I looked and prayed like thee; but now"
He hung his head; each nobler aim
And hope and feeling which had slept
From boyhood's hour, that instant came
Fresh o'er him, and he wept-he wept !
And now ! behold him kneeling there,
By the child's side in humble prayer,