African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Robert E. Ford, "Brown Chapel, A Story in Verse" (full text) (1905)

Brown Chapel, 

 The New Pastor * Parrc 7 
 Crossing of Paths " 15 
 The Parish *' 24 
 The Struggle .• '* 24 
 CANTO y. 
 The Hawkins Family ; " 44 
 The Church Conference " 58 
 The Thunder Storm " 66 
 The Morning After " 89 
 The Rumor " 103 
 Quarterly Meeting ,..,....,,, " 118 
 The Run-away 
 The Twilight Search 
 The Vision " 
 The Visitors 
 The Camp Meeting 
 October Night 
 A Strange Story - 
 Mame's Story • 
 The Winter Night Visitor 
 Winter Morning Confession 
 Christmas Eve Surprise Party 

 In coming into the literary world with the following poem, 
 1 cannot help being conscious of the seriousness of the venture. 
 I am aware that there are many faulty lines, and many 
 verses that might best be left out. Yet, feeling that there may 
 be some merit in the poem, as a whole, and unable, myself, to 
 judge what is the best and what is the worst of that, the whole 
 of which I love, I come with it into the world of letters, await- 
 ing, as many have before me, my fate, at the hands of the 
 never-mistaken critic. 
 If the people of Brown Chapel, with their pastor, will help 
 to steal away the duller hours of the reader, I shall deem the 
 task I have attempted well done. 
 Brown Chapel, its people and scenes are all, with a few ex- 
 ceptions on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, w^here I served 
 as pa'stor in the ministry of the A. M. E. connection for five 
 years. And these five years, despite their being the beginning 
 of my active work, and filled with peculiar hardships, too well- 
 known to preachers on the Eastern Shore, I shall alw^ays treas- 
 ure in memory with the fondest joy. 
 For the people of the Eastern Shore I have only words of 
 praise. There, among them of both races I found a hearty co- 
 operation in my efforts to extend the Redeemer's Kingdom, 
 and should it please God to have my lot once more cast among 
 them, I should be only too, glad to serve them. 
 Hoping that the people among whom I first labored may 
 find time to peruse these pages, and that such may be of pleas- 
 ure to them, I bid my friends farewell, till I shall again tune 
 my harp to better and nobler songs. 
 Baltimore, Aug. 27, 1903. 

 To mother who first taught these lips 
 To Hsp the measured notes of rhyme, 
 And bade my fancy take its flight 
 To fairy tales of olden time, 
 The offering of her only boy, 
 This song I sing. May she enjoy 

 Canto I. 
 This Sabbath morn the sun came up, 
 And looked from out a cloudless sky; 
 The dew besprinkled butter cup, 
 The gentle bluets growing nigh, 
 Smiled to behold the day and hear 
 The lark's glad song which filled the air ; 
 And, some how, there was quiet cheer 
 On hill and meadow everywhere; 
 Some unseen spirit seemed to say 
 "Behold, it is the Holy Day." 
 The little chapel in the lane. 
 Not far from off the public road. 
 Had all her blinds thrown back again, 
 And opened windows plainly showed 
 The good old sexton's busy form. 
 The first to see that all was right, — 
 That nothing from last Friday's storm 
 Had damaged been. The morning light 
 Streamed thro' the windows; each recess 
 Beamed back a hallowed blessedness. 

8 Mown chapel. 
 The simple color of the wall 
 Did throw a halo o'er the place; 
 Its gentle stillness might appall 
 The worldly, he with heart of grace, 
 As had the sexton, moved about, 
 In spirit of calm peace and joy, 
 With such a faith which knows no doubt. 
 That never a danger can destroy; 
 Ay, just to see this sacred spot; 
 Enough : the world was all forgot. 
 Here all alone the chapel stood 
 With not a cottage within sight ; 
 Northwestward sheltered by a wood, 
 Southeastward open to the light. 
 The blessed sun each morning brought 
 And poured upon it all alone : 
 It seemed as if an angel sought 
 Its sacred doors when night was gone. 
 His bright glow throwing all around, 
 Soft whispered, "This is holy ground." 
 No wonder then the simple folk 
 Did Sabbath after Sabbath seek 
 Its portals. Who would say to talk 
 O'er what transpired thro' the week? 
 Perhaps, perhaps, but deeper still; 
 No light-fraught gossip was their quest : 
 They came that they their souls might fill 
 With fat things of eternal rest; 
 They came to sing, they came to pray — 
 But something else brought them to-day. 

The new pastor. 
 But something else brought them to-day; 
 They came the Word of God to hear — 
 Not that they would forget to pray, 
 (The meanest there believed in prayer,) 
 And yet another motive brought 
 These goodly people to this spot. 
 If 'twere a lower end they sought — 
 If such their wrong condemn them not; 
 They came, to be more plain in speech, 
 To hear their new sent pastor preach. 
 And so both old and young w^ere glad 
 To see the sky so bright to-day, 
 And maidens were as gayly clad 
 As would be well the ''first of May." 
 The lads put on their Sunday clothes, 
 And vied with each to look their best; 
 And spinsters tied on extra bows 
 To be not wanting with the rest ; 
 While all the elder men agreed 
 To show themselves of gentle breed. 
 So when the young divine who had 
 The night before with Bro. Nooks 
 Sojourned, came down the road, neat, clad 
 Clerically, his very looks 
 Impressed them who about the door 
 In groups were standing all the while; 
 And if some liked him not before. 
 No sooner than they caught his smile 
 The most in doubt liked the divine, 
 And every maid pronounced him "fine." 

 And so with Deacon Nooks, he went 
 Straight to the pulpit. There he knelt, 
 And must have prayed : the moments spent, 
 Themselves betrayed in what was felt. 
 The simple choir, voices sweet, 
 Was there. The lovely organist 
 An anthem played the while. Each ?eat 
 Within the church was filled. If missed 
 Had many been the days before. 
 Here they were seen to-day for sure. 
 The hymn was sung, the prayer was prayed. 
 The choir never had before, 
 (This was what Bro. Simpson said), 
 Sung half so well ; they seemed to soar. 
 That is their voices, on the wings 
 Of heavenly mission on that day, 
 As if their minds to worldly things 
 Had never a moment chanced to stray; 
 Yet sly Rosetta missed a line, 
 In looking at the young divine. 
 The prayer was prayed; it rose aloft 
 In adoration to the Throne. 
 At times the voice was low and soft, 
 And next it had a thundering tone. 
 Which caused old Bro. Simon Snout 
 To raise his head that he might see 
 If 'twere the same voice, then to shout, 
 And let his feelings full and free 
 Have all the range they wanted ; then. 
 At every word he cried "Amen !" 

 And now the Scripture simply read ; 
 The Decalogue responded to; 
 The choir well its strength displayed 
 In bringing in a hymn or two. 
 The way is cleared, he rose to speak : 
 ''To spend and to be spent for you." 
 Such was the theme. He came to seek 
 Not his own good, but 'twas to do 
 All that was in his power to bring 
 Them to their God, their rightful King. 
 He came to tell them nothing new, 
 The old, old story would be told; 
 The Holy City brought to view, 
 Of jasper walls and streets of gold; 
 The same old chart to reach the place; 
 The same old Truths on which to stand; 
 The promise of sufficient grace 
 To lead one safely through this land ; 
 And from the spirit of each text. 
 To lead him safely to the next. 
 He came to make no difference. 
 The meanest of the flock he sought; 
 The Scripture was his evidence 
 That grace was for the vilest wrought; 
 He came to seek, he came to save. 
 He came to lift men's longings to 
 What Christ to every sinner gave, — 
 Ay, not himself but Christ to view — 
 If 'twere to stand there in Christ's stead, 
 It were to be Christ-like indeed. 

 No wonder, then, the people said, 
 When that short half an hour was o'er, 
 Commenting on the prayer prayed, 
 The sermon preached, never before 
 Had they enjoyed a better treat; 
 No wonder Sis. Lizzie Green 
 Who ne'er before had gone to meet, 
 To-day was at the altar seen; 
 And such a shaking hands, 'twas free 
 To think she'd have him home to tea. 
 And Bro. Peter Scroggins said, 
 (He was the local preacher there,) 
 He thought that Deacon Nooks had prayed, 
 But Nooks wa'n't in it in that prayer.* 
 And, well, the choir sat, and sat, 
 And hung upon his eloquence. 
 Rosetta whispered, ''Now, hear that, 
 I bet you that he has some sense." 
 And spell-bound sat the organist, 
 Nor single word was by her missed. 
 For her the morning service had 
 Far more than for the others there; 
 She saw in that tall figure clad 
 Clerically, another. Clear 
 It was his form, his very face ; 
 His deep, rich voice of other days, 
 His clear delivery of grace, 
 Which years ago had won him praise; 
 And yet that once all reckless youth. 
 To-day expounder of God's Truth ! 

 What wondrous miracle was this? 
 ''We are his workmanship," the thought 
 Came home that morn to her. The bhss 
 Which she now feh had not been wrought 
 By what he said, but what he was. 
 Did not she feel at first surprise 
 When he had entered? — when to pass 
 He turned and placed on her those eyes? 
 One look suffice, it was to say 
 He was her once fond lover, Ray. 
 And had he recognized her ? No : 
 At least it didn't seem he had. 
 The gaze spoke not of long ago 
 On his part. Some how she was sad 
 But played that morn as ne'er before. 
 And twice she thought she felt his gaze ; 
 And as she played her hands ran o'er 
 The keys as in the other days. 
 When he had at the organ stood. 
 And sung with her, as well he could. 
 "How one's paths cross," she sat and thought 
 While he with fiery eloquence 
 That little congregation .wrought 
 To highest pitch of zeal. Perchance 
 Her mind was too much occupied 
 With other thoughts, she might lose sight 
 Of the main points which he now tried - 
 To simplify in figures bright. 
 She felt reproved when he was through , 
 To think she had not "felt" him too, 

 "And you enjoyed the sermon?" said 
 Her husband to her, going home 
 *1 did ? O yes," as she betrayed 
 Her deep abstraction. "He will come,*' 
 Her husband still continued to 
 Remark, "on Thursday night to tea — 
 I had not time to speak with you, 
 So many rushed ahead of me, 
 I then and there made with him date 
 For fear that I should be too late." 
 "Of course," she bit her lips and said. 
 And tried to act as unconcerned : 
 And yet she felt that she betrayed 
 The fire that within her burned. 
 But Charles, an unsuspecting man, 
 Walked on with here and there a word 
 On general topics, or some plan, 
 The half of which she never heard, 
 Till to their cottage came at last, 
 Where they soon broke their mid-day fast. 

 Canto II. 
 The Rev. Raymond Aldrich Stone 
 Was very tall and spare in size ; 
 A clean kept face of lightish brown, 
 A massive brow and large black eyes, 
 A sharp curved nose, a well shaped mouth, 
 And chin that argued firmness, too; 
 Large, generous ears, the marks of truth; 
 Straight, wavy hair of blackest hue; 
 A face of strong intelligence, 
 A man of clean cut common sense. 
 He was yet young, the thread of Time 
 Around him measured thirty-three; 
 He thus had not yet reached his prime, 
 And still had many years to see, 
 And yet he older looked : perchance, 
 His love for learning was the cause; 
 Yes, there was every evidence; 
 Here he dared much on nature's laws, 
 'Twas common that they termed him such 
 "A man that studied far too much." 

 He was not married. Somehow, he, 
 Up to this time, had led a Hfe 
 Of bachelorhood, yet seemed to be 
 Just as content without a wife. 
 Some eight years as a pastor, now. 
 With some experience, he went 
 Among his flock, nor would allow 
 A minute o'er his time be spent 
 In any visit, so exact 
 Was he in each pastoral act. 
 His elder brethren watched his course, 
 And wondered at his sturdy gait, 
 Seemed not to realize the force 
 That gave to him such powerful weight. 
 He all unconscious of his power. 
 Pursued his path day after day; 
 Stood at his post the darkest hour, 
 Nor in it all forgot to pray; 
 And yet, the Rev. Stone was human: 
 Once in his life he loved a woman ! 
 Once in his life, his early life, 
 He loved a woman only as 
 A boy could love, make her his wiie 
 His only hope, but Fate, alas, 
 (Or better still, wise Providence,) 
 Saw fit to have it different; 
 A bitter blow, and yet the sense 
 0(f it he saw, knew what it meant, 
 His worldly longings sacrificed 
 Upon the altar of his Christ, 

 And that was o'er ten years ago ; 
 Since then all life had different been ; 
 And, women, he had come to know 
 In many ways. Ah, he had seen 
 Through different glasses, learnt to smile 
 When not a single joy he felt; 
 And with his brain hard learnt to toil, — 
 Deep in life's mysteries had dealt; 
 Had learnt ere life had half begun 
 The loss was less than what was won. 
 The loss was less than what was won; 
 Alone within the world, he strove 
 Not in the world to live alone. 
 But love the world in that one love — 
 That love, which, crushed, had never died. 
 Ay, though the heart had wounded been. 
 It still lived on, now sanctified, 
 It burned, now flaming pure and clean, 
 And having all its fullness known. 
 He lived that he might serve alone. 
 Then with a perfect solid sense 
 Of all that God would have him do, 
 Blessed with the conscious evidence 
 Of his conversion, to pursue 
 The chosen path of duty, he 
 Found not too hard, despite the rough; 
 He went his way diligently , 
 In the firm steps of faith : enough, 
 Though he must travel on alone. 
 To know t^he Master led hjm on. ' , 

 This was the secret of it all ; 
 A simple boy whose only trust 
 Was God. Then if he did not fall, 
 Despite that others said he ''must," 
 Is not there reason? 'Twas that grace. 
 Of which St. Paul, so hampered, spoke: 
 This kept our hero ''in his place," 
 And by it every band he broke. 
 Wrought to entrap him. All may be 
 Sustained by it as well as he. 
 And that was o'er ten years ago, 
 A college man, a reckless lad. 
 He met her, and he loved her so. 
 And she was lovely, but she- had 
 A horror for his reckless ways; 
 And if she loved him, would not own. 
 Refused to see him. Rumor says. 
 Went home; got married; and poor Stone, 
 Though staggering beneath the stroke. 
 From it to better things awoke. 
 An orphan, he had made his way 
 By his own hands into the world ; 
 Learnt by sheer force with fate to play. 
 Learnt to escape the darts she hurled. 
 He joined the church of his own choice. 
 And forthwith to her conference; 
 'Twas soon the elders heard his voice 
 And recognized his eloquence. 
 He at the Seminary spent 
 Two years, degreed, thus out he went, 

 And yet, the Rev. Raymond Stone 
 Saw nothing m himself; a sense 
 Of lowHness there was alone, 
 Which seemed to fill him with intense 
 Desire to improve, to grow 
 In grace and knowledge ; ever bent 
 To learn those things he did not know, 
 Each moment in the day was spent 
 In diligence, and when the sun 
 Went down, it left that day's work done. 
 At night, the church was packed, the fame 
 Of the new pastor went abroad ; 
 And those who by misfortune came 
 Too late, stood patient in the road. 
 'Tor me to live is Christ." His theme 
 Was lofty, and his audience 
 Sat wrought up like a mighty stream 
 That rages from the swells intense 
 Of recent storms augmenting sway, 
 Might any moment burst away ! 
 This was the pinnacle, he said. 
 Of Christian excellence, the place 
 Of all, who by the Spirit led, 
 Would live beneath the smile of Grace. 
 He lived in vain who would not crave 
 To reach that summit. Selfishness 
 Of such a man had made a slave. 
 That in this world would aim at less. 
 ''Life's not mere meat and drink alone," 
 The speaker said in solemn tone, 

 Again the service closed, the day 
 Had thus been spent; another week 
 Before the people came that way 
 Again to hear their pastor speak. 
 Around the altar now to-night 
 They crowd and firmly press his hand. 
 They speak of spiritual delight 
 In ways he could but understand. 
 He spoke just as the Spirit led, 
 Explaining, that was what he said. 
 The choir, too, deserved some praise, 
 It had assisted him so much 
 Within the human way. He stays 
 To see the singers. It was such 
 As he had always done before. 
 He said, he thought they should be "one." 
 • The leader stood down at the door. 
 Yes, they had all splendidly done. 
 And then her hand he might have missed. 
 But there she stood, the organist. 
 "Ah, thank you for your work," and he 
 Took her long slender hand, her eyes 
 Met his. 'Tt did so much for me; 
 I do love music." She replies 
 Some little nothing ; but the sound 
 Of that clear voice caused him to look 
 Again at her. Somehow he found 
 Himself recalling — then he took 
 Her hand again with "You-you-you- 
 Remind me niuch of one I knew !" 

 "Ah, Rev., don't forget our tea 
 On Thursday night." Her husband came 
 That moment. Thus awakened he 
 Controlled himself. ''Regard your claim 
 Brother-r-r — " ''Melville," he helped out with a smile. 
 "Yes, yes, that's so ; you see I can't 
 Just now hold names, but wait awhile 
 And I shall know you all. I want 
 To visit all your section then ; 
 And SO I'll see you soon again." 
 May Melville heard, smiled, bowed and went 
 In company with her husband home. 
 . And Stone, alone with Nooks, intent 
 Upon this voice, he thought that some 
 Where he had heard it — "Bro. Nooks, 
 Who- was the organist before 
 She married?" "Mary-Mary Brooks," 
 The old man said, "Tho' I'm not sure, 
 But Betsy knows ; you see she's not 
 Just all together of our lot." 
 No, that did not suggest at all 
 Who she might be. "What do you mean — 
 Is this her home?" Just then a call 
 From one ahead, "Is that you, Jean ?" 
 'Twas Sis. Nooks who'd gone ahead 
 With other sisters, waiting stood 
 Now all alone, since not afraid 
 Had parted at the crossing road. 
 "Yes, hit's me, Betsy." Then he said, 
 "What was that gal's name Melville wed?" 

 " 'Twas Mary, Mary Brookins ; yes, 
 That was her name; she's from the North, 
 And too a hkely gal. I guess 
 She's certainly a lot of worth 
 Now to our church. She made the choir. 
 And bought the organ, taught the school, 
 And raised it up just two grades higher. 
 Then spoiled it all by turning fool 
 To marry Melville, may be though 
 For our own good 'twas better so." 
 That night, the Rev. Raymond Stone 
 Sat in the room assigned to him. 
 Half dressed. The house to sleep had js:one. 
 His lamp was burning rather dim. 
 And in his hand a photograph 
 Which he had always carried near 
 His beating heart. A low soft laugfh. 
 And gazing on it, thus : "My dear, 
 'Thy sins,' 'tis said, 'shall find thee out,' 
 And here 'tis proved beyond a doubt. 
 'T might have known those eyes at once, 
 And yet, how she has changed since then. 
 Ah, well, 'twas then I played the dunce. 
 Yes, sowed wild oats like other men ; 
 And now when many years have rolled 
 Around, Mame Brookins, you and I 
 Must meet — no, neither as of old — 
 Yet gladly, I must not deny. 
 And now yotir husband asking me 
 On Thursday evening to tea. 

Crossing of paths. 2J 
 *'God give me strength to meet you here, 
 Yes, may He richly send that grace 
 Of which I preach, for it is clear, 
 I well may need it in this place. 
 These simple people all too much 
 Have fallen in love with me, so short 
 A time. I do not like it, such 
 Forbodes me ill. Let me resort 
 To God lest I be found undone." 
 So musing, prayed the Rev. Stone. 
 For, on his knees that night, he put 
 Those thoughts in 'Avords. Experience 
 Had taught him when he placed his foot 
 Upon some grounds. He felt the sense 
 Of greatest need just now. He poured 
 His soul in supplication out. 
 He pleaded on the promised Word, 
 He begged deliverance from all doubt : 
 He gave himself to God to keep. 
 Then like a child, he fell asleep. 

 Canto III. 
 Brown Chapel had no parsonage, 
 Though well it could afford to have. 
 Its people in a healthy stage 
 Of thriftness could easily save 
 From off their crops enough to build 
 A small neat cottage near the church. 
 However, they must be instilled 
 With the great need. And then to search 
 For men to do it, see it done, — 
 And this not long, concluded Stone. 
 'His eight .years' preaching taught him that 
 A pastor was the best off. when 
 Left to himself, no matter what 
 The good intents of other men 
 Might be, 'twere few could understand 
 A preacher's place. Therefore, to be 
 Housed in with others when there's land 
 Just waiting to be built on, he 
 Had no intentions, even though, 
 Among them it might start a row- 

 And so^ he brought this up at board, 
 These five men heard, two kicked, of course, 
 But all would get the people's word, 
 And this would let them know their force. 
 "A parsonage," said Bro. Brown, 
 He always thought the 'Very thing." 
 He didn't care, but he was "down" 
 O'n keeping the pastor in a "ring." 
 He thought the man was handicapped — 
 'Twas true, he cared not whom he "slapped." 
 And Bro. Azariah Jones 
 Considered it was, after all, 
 The only thing. He'd furnish stones, 
 And even give a team to haul, 
 If all the people would agree. 
 He was full certain that he could 
 Also obtain for them a tree 
 From "outen" Mr. Atkins' wood. 
 He, too, declared the pastor ought 
 Be where 'twas quiet for one's thought. 
 And Bro. Johnson cleared his throat. 
 Then said "Yer know I tol' yer so. 
 Not one ob ye would gimme note 
 When I sed dis a yeah ago. 
 An' now hit's come ter pass, yer see, 
 And I se glad hit has, I say, 
 Right heah, afore yer, es fer me, 
 I'll wuk fum fus' till de las' day 
 Ter buir a fittin' house, so dah ! 
 I'll tak wid any man mah shah." 

 "An' now I reckon I mus' speak," 
 Said Bro. Smith, as he arose. 
 *'0b co'se, my voice is one an' weak, 
 But what we aih, now ye all knows. 
 While I don' jes' say not ter staht, 
 I reckon hit would betteh be, 
 Foh any ob us gits so puht, 
 Ter fin' out whetheh de folks '11 'gree : 
 'Tis cheap ter talk, and' we knows dat, 
 But doin' of de t'ings is w'at." 
 And Bro. Zechariah Sands 
 Agreed with Bro. Smith, he thought, 
 Before they got too deep their hands 
 Into the thing, of course, they ought 
 Consult the people's wishes. He, 
 If 'twas in order now, would move 
 That it be put to popular vote; 
 And if the people would approve, 
 Why, he had no objections to it, 
 And having spoken he sat down, 
 Exchanging looks with Bro. Brown. 
 The move was put and carried. Then, 
 The pastor spoke; his words were clear. 
 Assured he had to deal with men. 
 Whose hearts and minds were just and fair, 
 He had no doubt their influence 
 Would all be used toward the plan. 
 He knew them men of solid sense. 
 And thus was sure that to a man, 
 Would urge the people of the need ; 
 By this no doubt it would succeed. 

 The people of Brown Chapel were, 
 Upon the whole, a goodly set ; 
 And pastored by a minister 
 Of sense, it was not hard to get 
 Them to do any reasonable thing, 
 According if they could afford. 
 They practiced what they tried to sing — 
 "Help us to help each other, Lord," 
 Tho' in prayer meetings they might do 
 Things funny to a stranger's view. 
 One hundred strong, their membership, 
 This plus a goodly following. 
 With those who now and then would slip. 
 Fall back, come forward, shout and sing, 
 In big revivals cry aloud 
 For mercy, feel their sins forgiven, 
 Go on rejoicing with the crowd. 
 Declare themselves brand new from heaven, 
 Then when the heat of battle's o'er. 
 Go back into the world once more. 
 They were African Methodist, 
 Ah ! came of sainted Allen's clan. 
 Perhaps, they knew he did exist. 
 But very little of the man. 
 Except a few, the gifted ones. 
 Who boasted of a book or two, 
 Alluding to themselves as "sons 
 Of Allen," what they ought to do; 
 And in class meeting oft referred 
 To him, desiring to be heard. 

 Indeed, could one condemn the zeal? 
 For every one should love his line. 
 To hear one boast doth make us feel 
 Proud of the man, though coarse or fine 
 His manners be. A drunkard e'en 
 Will win respect when he declares 
 His loyalty to king or queen. 
 Or president, although he swears ; 
 And so with Allen's followers, 
 Tho' they may seem his worshippers. 
 They had six classes. Two there were 
 Which met on Sunday, one at nine, 
 The other three. Now it was clear 
 That these the young folks wished to join. 
 When asked, as custom was, the class 
 Desired, one would likely say, 
 Especiallv if 'twere a lass, 
 'The one that's led by Bro. Gray." 
 And Bro. Gray would smiling come, 
 "Yes, honey, I will lead you home." 
 Gray's was the class that met at three, 
 And that which met at nine was led 
 By Melville. Quite a leader he, 
 A man of good parts, somewhat read. 
 True African Methodist, a heart 
 In which there could be found no guile ; 
 Determined e'er to do his part. 
 And for his church and wife to toil. 
 A few cleared acres, also some 
 On which was wood, he called his home. 

 He was not old, some thirty-five, 
 Tall, dark, with looks intelligent, 
 A disposition that could live 
 On anything and be content. 
 A man who loved not passionate 
 And yet who firmly loved; whose trust 
 Was perfect ; whom to aggravate, 
 Was hard; who deemed all men were just; 
 Would treat them so until the light 
 Revealed them different to his sight. 
 This man, had Mary Brookins seen, 
 And learned his noble character; 
 Learnt, too, he loved her ; had it been 
 Aught else, he had not married her. 
 She could not love, but high respect, 
 She thought she well could substitute; 
 And being strong, she could subject 
 Herself, and yielded to his suit. 
 He, who could no conclusions draw, 
 Saw this, and thought 'twas love he saw. 
 His class was twenty, old and young. 
 Both male and female who enjoyed 
 His exhortations. Well he sung. 
 And when by worldly matters cloyed. 
 They sought their class ; and when he spoke, 
 As oft with fiery eloquence, 
 It was not long the bands were broke. 
 And they were brought unto the sense 
 Of joy and peace, which none could know, 
 Except they to class meeting §^0. 

 Who contradicts? be his poor joy, 
 Let him, who will, emotion curse, 
 And stop his ears if we annoy; 
 He will do well, who does no worse. 
 My feeling may not well be his, 
 Yet the same Spirit makes us feel ; 
 Should he be silent in his bliss. 
 He must some other way reveal. • 
 What then is all this cant about. 
 If he shed tears and I should shout? 
 The personnel of Melville's class, 
 To man and woman, all were strong, 
 And every character would *'pass," 
 Examined upon moral wrong-; 
 And yet mischievous, there were some, 
 Rosetta Hawkins them among, 
 Who whether at her church or home 
 Did seldom e'er control her tongue. 
 By such the neighborhood was e'er 
 Kept in a most amusing stir. 
 If there was anything to know, 
 Why Rosie Hawkins knew it first ; 
 Could she not say, "I told you so," 
 'Twas certain that her pride would burst. 
 And when the young folks wanted news. 
 They hung or sat on Rosie's bars. 
 Some thought she could express her views 
 On all of earth and half the stars. 
 'Twas certainly when Rosie said, 
 "The thing is," then the thing was made. 

 So Rosie said that Rev. Stone 
 Was quite a preacher, and unwed, 
 No body else heard this, not one 
 Would contradict what Rosie said. 
 More, she was certain that he had 
 No one in mind; and this was heard, 
 As gossip, for it would be bad 
 To doubt one moment Rosie' s word. 
 Then Rosie said he looked at her, 
 Despite he was their minister. 
 Now, had not Rosie been away 
 To some repute academy, 
 They'd not believed the half she'd say; 
 But, now, being held in some degree. 
 These girls who had not had her chance, 
 Were sure to listen much to her. 
 And had he really given the glance, 
 Why, Rosie was in all his peer. 
 And, though they heard with jealous sighs, 
 They thought that she could win the prize. 
 Lord, take us from designing maids. 
 We who are wed, we who are not. 
 What can withstand their cruel raids 
 When they are fixed to take the spot ? 
 He must be fire-proof indeed ; 
 He must have eyes to pierce them through. 
 If he in battle doth succeed, 
 Despite the things resorted to ; 
 Yet one thing holds him in his place, 
 And that is God Almighty's grace. 

 Ah, they may tempt, but never draw 
 A man imwilHng in their net. 
 Ah, they may learn to meet with awe 
 The man on whom 'twas first they set 
 Their cunning wiles. And he may be 
 The means of lifting them above 
 The depths of sensuality, 
 The dangers of a carnal love ; 
 And, then, they will appreciate 
 In him alone the good and great. 
 And he who stands this awful test, 
 Himself by it is nobler made. 
 That which is easiest is not best : 
 Gold's the result of pick and Spade; 
 The soldier stands the rough affray ; 
 The vessel rides the storm-tossed sea ; 
 And nothing comes except we pay 
 Its price: the price of purity 
 Is suffering and self sacrifice — 
 To bring forth fruit, the seed first dies ! 

 Canto IV. 
 'Twas Thursday night, a crescent moon 
 Stood in the sky, and every star 
 Beamed forth, the frogs in Hvely tune 
 Kept up their serenade afar ; 
 The pine trees lumed up against the sky ; 
 A balmy breeze came from the south; 
 The maple leaves with pensive sigh, 
 Bowed to the moon in tender youth ; 
 An owl was heard to hoot somewhere 
 And winged bats skimmed thro' the air. 
 The Rev. Stone along the way 
 Was going home from Melville's tea. 
 Yes, that had been a busy day 
 In making calls, and, tired, he 
 Walked slowly now. He had howe'er, 
 Refused to have Melville to drive ; 
 He knew the way, the night was clear. 
 And he could walk. Perhaps 'twould give 
 Him food for thought to walk that night 
 Beneath th^ mpon and stars, so bright. 

 He thought he saw ahnost a smile 
 On Mrs. Melville's face, at this, 
 Who standing held his hat the while, 
 It was an old-time phrase of his — 
 This "food for thought" in early days, 
 When he was but a careless lad 
 And asked the world for neither praise, 
 Nor censure be he good or bad. 
 But well she was aware he sought 
 A lonely walk as food for thought. 
 As food for thought, especially 
 When he and she had angry been ; 
 And once it was he knew that she 
 Upon these very walks, had* seen 
 Him sauntering sadly, and had called 
 Him to her as he passed her gate. 
 And there he was again installed 
 In her sweet favor, lost of late. 
 He thought he saw her at this smile 
 There as she held his hat the while. 
 Enough to stand there at the side 
 Of some one else, another's wife; 
 Not, too, with mocking looks deride 
 Him for his very lonely life. 
 He took the hat she held, he heard 
 The gracious voice of Melville say, 
 As quick he made his way toward 
 The gate, "Now come and spend the day, 
 We'll make it pleasant for you." Then 
 He found himself alone again, 

 He went there just about sunset. 
 Melville had not come from the field. 
 Then he and Mary Brookins met. 
 If aught there were 'twas not revealed 
 In Mary Brookin's face. She took 
 His hat and sweetly placed it on 
 The rack, there in the hall. Her look 
 Was such a welcome due to one 
 She slightly knew. She led him now 
 Into the parlor. With a bow, 
 She flitted out, and left him there. 
 "She does not recognize me," so 
 He thought; and in an easy chair 
 He glanced about the room. The show 
 Of culture met him everywhere. 
 The papered walls of polished green, 
 Threw over him a peaceful air. 
 On these, well hung about, were seen 
 Some pretty pictures, richly cased 
 In frames that marked artistic taste. 
 The furniture was rich. The rugs. 
 The large square one, the Japanese 
 Screen near the mantel and the jugs 
 Of clay burned, painted, all of these 
 With many other bric-a-brac. 
 Spoke of a gentle taste refined ; 
 Showed, too, that some one did not lack 
 Love for the beautiful. A mind 
 Filled with new ideas that might be 
 Sought even by Society. 

 A table in the centre -^ood, 
 Which held a bronze lamp; underneath, 
 A photo album. The hot blood 
 Rushed to Stone's face. Quick came his breath 
 The moment that he saw it there. 
 She had his "photo," had she put 
 It also with her others where 
 She oft could see it ? Ah, 'twas but 
 To take it up and look it through : 
 And this he soon decided to. 
 Ah, there was Jackson, handsome youth, 
 On the first page. He knew him well ; 
 And quite a lad he was, forsooth, 
 He used to sing Poe's "Anabelle." 
 Then, there was Dodson, faultless clad. 
 He almost spoke to him, Stone thought. 
 His eyes were large, deep set, and sad. 
 Stone passed him; 'twas his own he sought. 
 Still turning nervously, and lo ! 
 He saw himself of years ago. 
 Yes, that was what he looked like then, 
 But that was now ten years or more. 
 He sat, looked long, and often, when 
 Unseen, unheard, 'twas through the door 
 She came and took a rocker near. 
 "It's been a lovely day," she said. 
 He turned, surprised, to see her there, 
 In a soft muslin arrayed, 
 Her hair but loosely rolled. 'Twas tru^ 
 That she was beautiful to view, 

 He felt it. "Did not know you were 
 So near me, madam," and aside 
 He laid the album. "Did not hear?" 
 "It seems so," smiling, he replied. 
 And she smiled too. "How have you spent 
 The day ? You have not walked too much ?" 
 "Not over much, although I went 
 To many. One to be in touch 
 With all his flock, it means to be 
 A member of each family." ; 
 "And risk his life in doing it? 
 I'm sure it would not do for me. 
 My ! I prefer such days to sit 
 And idly dream," soft murmured she. 
 "But pardon me, your words I doubt. 
 You're 'made of sterner stuff,' " he said. 
 "^Were it your life you would be out 
 Like to myself to-day, and made ' 
 As many calls ; you know it not, 
 Unless it came to be your lot." 
 "Which lot I would not have," she said. 
 So promptly that he started quite. 
 A pretty picture now she made, 
 Within that gown, so soft and light 
 That e'en the corset waist beneath, 
 And petticoat were plainly seen. 
 A moment 'twas he caught his breath, 
 And wild thoughts crowded in between. 
 "Perhaps you love your present life?" 
 "Indeed, an honest farmer's wife." 

 ''Then blessed you are, if such be true; 
 For the content are always blest." 
 ''Contented did I say to you ?" . 
 She quickly asked. 'T make the best 
 Of life, that's all. I shape my course,, 
 I watch my chances, make my move 
 For better; if I get the worse, 
 I make the best of it, and prove 
 That life is only what we make it; 
 None but ourselves can really break it." 
 "True/' he assented, as he thought 
 That Mary Brookins was the same 
 Cold philosophic girl he sought 
 In former days burned by the -flame 
 Of boyish love. He thought he saw 
 A burnt out heart, a semblance but 
 Of that which years ago could draw 
 His heart from him. Words like these DUt 
 A bar between them. Fool, he knew 
 Not what such words were leading to. 
 He would have spoken more, but now, 
 Her husband in the kitchen door. 
 Called to her. With a gracious bow, 
 She rose and left him to muse o'er 
 Her words, to ask himself just what 
 She meant, *T make the best of life." 
 Ah, whether, after all, 'twas that. 
 Although she was another's wife, 
 A vision of the past came up 
 To bitter make her sweetest cup? 

 . 'Twas in this frame that Melville found 
 Him when into the room he came. 
 He didn't hear, despite the sound, 
 Until the latter spoke his name. 
 And as awakened from a sleep, 
 He rose to meet his gracious host. , 
 "Now pardon, if I've had to keep 
 You waiting long. You see we've lost 
 So much time since the spring begun 
 We generally work long after sun." 
 Thus Melville, in explaining, said. 
 "Indeed there's no excuse to make, 
 The hours made are so much bread ; i 
 And in these days \\t must not take : 
 The time that we should be afield ; 
 To spend in entertaining guest. j 
 Your place in general has revealed : 
 The fact you take but little rest ; 
 Go on, 'tis well," said Stone, "to toil 
 To bring the best out of your soil.'* * 
 "I thank you. I was so inspired 
 Last Sunday by your words. To go 
 On and upward. I have desired 
 The Truth of God to plainly know. 
 So many, Reverend, there are, ] 
 That do not make the Scriptures plain : \ 
 To me they leap from star to star. 
 When here on earth they might remain. 
 And teach us who desire to know i 
 Just what our duty is below." 

 " 'Tis true we make mistakes," said Stone, 
 "We don't always the Word divide 
 That it without mistakes be known, 
 Tho' I'm not sure but w^hat we've tried ; 
 Some of us weak enough might be 
 To show our learning, others zeal. 
 Some men will not sit down till they 
 In some way make their hearers feel, 
 And while I must not all condemn, 
 I do not follow most of them. 
 'The simple story should be told, 
 Told so a child might understand ; 
 Told not in formal heads and cold, 
 But simplest figures at command. 
 The doctrine, duty plainly given, 
 Till every soul might know his worth ; 
 Not all the bliss we'll find in heaven. 
 But how to bring this bliss to earth ; 
 Just how to live in love below 
 Till we in love might heaven know." 
 And thus they sat and talked till tea. 
 Announced by Madame Melville, they 
 Entered the dining room. To see, 
 As in the parlor, rich display 
 Of furniture antique and grand, 
 Stone was on entering not long. 
 Nor blind to signs of dainty hand 
 Whose simple touch corrected wrong. 
 But above all, the table spread 
 A very pretty picture made; 

 A very pretty picture made, 
 With her the hostess standing there, 
 In that light muslin arrayed. 
 Displaying form of beauty rare. 
 Stone gulped a jealous sigh and bit 
 His lips just as his gracious host 
 Bade him to ask the blessing. It 
 Was very low, in fact, almost 
 Inaudible. And as they took 
 Their seats his hand for seconds shook. 
 They chatted for an hour around 
 A sumptuous feast. And then they rose 
 And soon were in the parlor found. 
 May at the organ sat. She chose 
 A sacred anthem, first of all, 
 Where she her talent well displayed. 
 And then, as if she would recall 
 The past, aside the anthem laid — 
 "This is a favorite of mine," 
 She said, and rendered "Auld Lang Syne." 
 Oh, songs there are which constant preach ! 
 And songs there are which can recall 
 The past, tho' dark or bright, can reach 
 Back to the grave and bring- up all. 
 If this be true, the case with Stone 
 But emphasized the fact. He felt 
 A moment, it is true, but one. 
 Again 'twas in the past he dwelt. 
 A tell-tale tear stole in the eye 
 As closed the music with a sigh. 

 So passed the evening away 
 Till Stone concluded he would go. 
 He now decided not to say 
 A word about the past, no, no, 
 If she did not design to speak, 
 He would not. Let it buried be. 
 He blamed himself for being weak, 
 And wished that he were strong as she. 
 Since she was happy, he w^as glad ; 
 What was the passion of a lad? 
 All this, as walking home that night, 
 Came to his mind. The stars above, 
 That filled the w^ood with silvery light, 
 Witnessed the burial of his love. 
 Ay, he was messenger of God ! 
 The Master went the lonely road, 
 And should he shun the path He trod, 
 Or shrink to shoulder up his load ? 
 No, he would not : the stars beheld 
 Him crush the heart that had rebelled. 
 He walked on slow now through the wood. 
 Disturbing here and there a snake. 
 As he his lonely way pursued ; 
 Or trod on twigs that sharp would break. 
 And now and then a rustling sound 
 Of something skurrying through the leaves ; 
 Or treading on the springy ground, 
 The earth beneath his footstep gives, 
 A^muddy pool along the way, 
 Scarce lighted by the moon's pale ray. 

 Now through a large strawberry patch 
 His pathway leads, and on the air 
 The odor of the fruit to catch, 
 He lingers for a moment there. 
 The crescent moon looks from above; 
 A !^right star, which begins to set 
 Behind yon dark and sombre grove, 
 Is sending forth its streamers yet ; 
 And here and there across the sky 
 White flaky clouds are floating by. 
 At such a time, in such a place, 
 One's mind doth oft transcend this sod ; 
 And one doth find him face to face, 
 In blest communion with his God, 
 Like him of old who stood alone, 
 Then wrestled till the break of day 
 With God Himself. Thus 'twas with Stone 
 Here standing was constrained to pray. 
 There on his knees he wrestled long. 
 Arose and felt that he was strong. 

 Canto V. 
 To call a meeting now, of course, 
 That was the only thing to do. 
 Stone saw the logic, felt its force, 
 And thought this path well to pursue. 
 His stewards to a man agreed. 
 Class leaders thought it quite-a plan, 
 'Twas every thing there to succeed, 
 'Twas e'en begun, the gossip ran. 
 Rosetta Hawkins first of all 
 To Willing Workers issued call. 
 'Twas the next Sabbath at the close 
 Of meeting, with good confidence. 
 The pastor in the "stand" arose 
 And called for a church conference. 
 There was a smile on every face, 
 Just as if all the secret knew^ 
 And one could in each countenance trace 
 Just what those followers would do. 
 Gossip in fact was all the rage 
 About the chapel's parsonage. 

 So he appointed Friday night, 
 And brought the service to a close. 
 With face all beaming with delight, 
 Now at the altar met him, Rose. 
 "Now, Reverend," she smiling said, 
 I have been delegated to 
 Invite you to our house ; and spread, 
 The table now awaits for you. 
 There, don't refuse, of course you can't, 
 Because, in fact, because you shan't." 
 ''He shall!" said Sister Jenkins, who 
 That moment came to press his hand. 
 "He b'longs as much to me as you, 
 Now, Miss, I'll have you understand. 
 Now, pastor," speaking soft to Stone, 
 "And won't you come to dine with me?" 
 The pastor stood and looked from one 
 Unto the other. "Well," said he, 
 "Since this young lady came ahead, 
 I am her guest, I am afraid." 
 "Thanks," said sly Rosie with a glance 
 At Mrs. Jenkins all undone. 
 Stone did not understand, perchance, 
 What had been seen by everv one 
 O'f that small crowd of lassies, who 
 Sang with Rosetta in the choir.. 
 "And, Maggie, I dO' feel for you ; • ? 
 It is no use, you can't get by her," 
 Said one to Maggie Jenkins when 
 They from the church walked down the lan^ 

 Rosetta who had gone ahead, 
 In company with the minister, 
 Had never a thought of what was said 
 This moment by these folks of her. 
 "She thinks that she is very fine !" 
 Snapped Maggie as she let her gaze 
 Follow the handsome young divine 
 With Rosie at his side. ''Her ways 
 No sooner known to him than he 
 Will let her drop, now you will see !" 
 "Wrong, Maggie, wrong; there's nothing bad 
 In Rosie," said another maid. 
 "You must acknowledge you are mad 
 Simply because she got ahead. 
 And more than this, I think you ought 
 Remember just one year ago — 
 Before you give another thought — 
 You in the church-yard buried Joe." 
 "And what of that?" one tossed her head. 
 "Folks can't be living by the dead — " 
 "When there's the living," said a sly 
 Young woman with a pretty face, 
 "And he a preacher ; goodness, why 
 I'll take my chances in the race !" 
 "You, girls, be careful !" said a dame 
 Of forty, coming up behind. 
 "I think you all should have some shame 
 To have such trash upon the mind 
 After the sermon you heard preached, 
 Surely some of your hearts was reachedf" 

 Most of the houses there about, 
 Were very rudely built affairs ; 
 And as a general thing without 
 A room of any size upstairs. 
 A story and a-half could boast. 
 Not more than three rooms at the best ; 
 Two down, one up, the last almost 
 A simple hole in which to rest 
 One's body when the day was done — - 
 A hole in which to sleep alone. 
 Nor thrown aside the fire place, 
 The old Dutch oven hanging high 
 Where ''sweetenin' " pone was baked to grace 
 The table, never hard and dry; 
 And ''Jo^''^'^y~ki^^s" still on the hearth 
 Browned as they browned long years ago ; 
 Hot coals and ashes still drawn forth 
 To heat the oven of biscuit dough ; 
 In large pots hanging from their hooks 
 The chicken pot-pie slowly cooks. 
 Some of the houses, early made, 
 One story, high pitched, gabled ends, 
 The great house, then the colonade, 
 From which the kitchen then extends. 
 And all of this facing the road. 
 These oft moss covered, silent stand. 
 Reminders of the early mode 
 When rough-heeled Thraldom ruled the land, 
 But here and there a cottage, white, 
 Yellow or green, would greet the sight, 

 These often had six rooms or more, 
 El-shapecl with porches front and side, 
 Great shading trees, too, stood before, 
 Them from the pubHc road would hide.. 
 A graded terrace, level sward. 
 With here and there a flowered mound, 
 C Folks will have flowers in their yard,) 
 Where stood these cottages, were found. 
 Tho' white folks owned most of these kind, 
 A Negro's now and then you'd find. 
 And one of these was Hawkins' home. 
 He was the preacher's steward, strong, 
 With the best people, though by some 
 He was disliked. His only wrong 
 Was that a very thrifty man. 
 He saved his money, owned his place, 
 And mixed not with the idle clan. 
 And had some color in his face ; 
 But deep at heart, search all around 
 A better man could not be found. 
 He'd raised a good, large family. 
 His baby, nine years, little Nell. 
 A man who had reached fifty-three, 
 And for these years was looking well ; 
 For, to look at him, one would say — 
 His clean cut face, his hair so black — 
 He was but forty, if a day; 
 And when one saw him jump and crack 
 His heels together, would declare 
 Him thirty, not another year. 

 Now Mrs. Hawkins was sedate, 
 One of the gentle kind whose way 
 Kept in an even tenor ; late 
 Or early, she went thro' the day 
 Without a worry. Having seen 
 Some fifty summers in her life, 
 And given birth to just thirteen, 
 She might be called a model wife. 
 Of lightish brown, height moderate, 
 One hundred and sixty pounds her weight. 
 Of thirteen children there were ten. 
 Three girls, one married, doing well. 
 The boys but one all full grown men 
 And this one stood twix Rose and Nell, 
 Some twelve years old. The family 
 •Made up of Hawkins and his wife : 
 And this most interesting three 
 Had in that home a happy life. 
 The six young men, two were away; 
 Four married, settled, with a start; 
 To own theirs. Took one another's part, 
 To own theirs. Took cne another's part 
 Nor one the other e'er let fall ; 
 But all united, watched their chance, 
 Now ''all for each and each for all." 
 And they were blessed by Providence 
 Till it was a proverbial song — 
 "The Hawkins' are very strong." 

 This is the family that Stone 
 Takes dinner with this Sabbath day. 
 He saw all things in neatness shone 
 About the house, yet the display 
 Was simple. And his steward, he 
 Found out the man that we have seen, 
 Which soon, he saw that few could see. 
 For Bro. Nooks that day had been. 
 Now, speaking not the very best 
 Concerning Hawkins and the rest. 
 But Stone knew well that 'twas unwise 
 To listen to such talk. He knew 
 'Twas natural to criticise. 
 And often he had found it -true. 
 Those criticised the most severe — 
 W^hen everything had been found out— 
 Those very dispised persons were 
 The ones he had least cause to doubt. 
 While they who made the criticism 
 Were head and heels of every schism. 
 Now, as he at the table sat 
 With this one happy family, 
 He well enjoyed the pleasant chat, 
 And felt himself with them most free. 
 Something about it all appealed 
 To his deep sense of home, although 
 He never had a home. To yield 
 To Mrs. Hawkins' request to 
 Rest him in the hammock there, 
 And catch the cool refreshing air 

 It was not hard. And so when he 
 Arose from that enjoyable meal, 
 'Twas as one of the family, 
 Which this good woman made him feel, 
 He forthwith in the hammock swung. 
 While madam and her husband sat, 
 (And Rosie in the kitchen sung,) 
 And talked of first this thing and that : 
 Betwixt the pleasant talk and song. 
 The afternoon did not seem long. 
 They struck upon the parsonage. 
 Yes, what would really be the cost, 
 With lumber cheap just at this stage, 
 'Twere not eight hundred at the most, 
 One thousand dollars not too' much ; 
 Tw^o hundred from his family. 
 He knew would come : the boys w^ere such, 
 Tho' not all members, they would see 
 That nothing should be done without 
 Themselves and means somewhere about. 
 He felt the cottage would improve 
 The chapel, and it would inspire. 
 The preachers sent them more to love 
 The place, which certainly would tire 
 The best of men, accustomed to 
 A place of study, all alone. 
 Himself not learned, yet he knew 
 What should indeed agree with one ; 
 He'd do his level best to make 
 The plan a success for it^ sake 

 Meanwhile as they sat talking, Rose 
 With Nellie had the table cleared. 
 It was not that she always chose 
 To do this ; for she seldom cared, 
 But since he was their company 
 She thought 'twas well to act her best. 
 She did not wish that there should be 
 Qne little flaw seen by their guest. 
 Her mamma was surprised to hear, 
 "We'll wash the dishes, mamma, dear." 
 This wild, wild Rose of seventeen 
 Took her beyond her wits that day ; 
 She could not tell when she had seen 
 Her such a cheerfulness display. 
 She stopped to gaze at her before 
 She left the dining room to join 
 Her guest, and thought, ''What has come o'er 
 This little daughter, now, of mine?" 
 But seeing nought in Rose's face, 
 Out on the porch she took her place. 
 So passed the time away until 
 Stone saw it was the hour to start 
 For Sabbath School. 'T think they will," 
 Now Hawkins said, ''all do their part." 
 In reference to the young folks' guild, 
 Of which they also spoke that day. 
 "Yes," said Rosetta, "we shall build 
 The house ourselves should they give way— 
 That is the churcli — but I am sure 
 Tliey'll all consent, if nothing more, 

 Now Mrs. Hawkins, little Nell, 
 Rosetta and the Rev. Stone 
 Went off to church. It was not well 
 To leave the cottage all alone, 
 So Mr. Hawkins thought it best 
 To stay about the place. Of late 
 Some prowling tramps, no doubt in quest 
 Of f oodj were seen about the gate ; 
 So it was best to stay on guard, 
 Despite the watch dog in the yard. 
 The Elder walked along with Rose, 
 And Mrs. Hawkins took the lead, 
 And whether it was what she choose 
 To do or not, she did succeed 
 With little Nell to walk quite fast. 
 Or Stone and Rose to walk quite slow, 
 Ere half the distance had been passed 
 Was out of hearing distance. Low 
 In softest tones and all interest. 
 Spoke Rose to Stone with throbbing breast. 
 Was he not very lonely? was 
 Not it very hard to go 
 From place to place and just to pass 
 With different folks a year or two. 
 Then when, just when he knew them well 
 To leave them for some other charge ? 
 And was it possible to dwell 
 A longer time if it was large ? 
 Thus talking, never ceased before 
 They stood right at the chapel door. 

 He did not see the cunning looks 
 On every maiden's face that day, 
 Half hid behind the singing books. 
 Nor did he hear Rosetta say, 
 ''I told you so," to Amy Wright, 
 Who whispered, ''Bully, girl, for you !" 
 No, no, 'twas hidden from his sight. 
 And little of those girls he knew. 
 Thus watched, tho' all unwatchful, he 
 Tho' full well seen, could nothing see. 
 Rosetta Hawkins was not tall, 
 Despite her stature's supple grace ; 
 Of medium height and not so small, 
 Blessed with a most bewitching face. 
 Yes, she was beautiful -And fair. 
 ' Dark eyes and chubby nose, and mouth 
 That roguish was, and glossy h.iir 
 That sometimes stra3^ed o'er brow, forsooth, 
 And chin and cheeks where dimples lay, 
 Saying the things lips dared not say. 
 Yes, eyes that often opened wide. 
 And then would also hide behind 
 Fringed lashes, there their beauty hide. 
 But leave her beauty more defined. 
 Her color, there is not a term 
 Where with that it might here be told. 
 We call it yellow, but that warm 
 Rich color shading into gold. 
 Then heightened by the flush of youth, 
 A skin all velvety and smooth. 

 Just all she was, may not be known, 
 When we behold her in her way. 
 Which was decidedly her own : 
 One could not learn her in a day. 
 The roguish light within those eyes, 
 Might vanish for a pensive gaze, 
 From laughing lips came also sighs. 
 The half-formed smile for frowning stays. 
 The saucy look that glowered the face 
 Could oft to seriousness give place. 
 Some said that she was wild, but here 
 The term they used was never meant. 
 If fleet of foot as any deer. 
 And always on some mischief bent, 
 A purer soul there never was. 
 As innocent as any child. 
 And though folks pointed at the lass 
 And said full often ''My ! how wild !" 
 An angel from the realm above 
 Could, all things reckoned, purer prove. 
 True, she was loved by many a lad, 
 Could Rosie help the love they bore? 
 What could she do if 'twas she had 
 Admirers numbering to the score ? 
 Could she be slandered if she sought 
 To please all with some word? and yet 
 If they went wild why was it thought 
 That she was but a wild coquette? 
 No, if broken hearts there were 
 No blame should e'er be put to her. 

 How many for her license bought, 
 How many hcenses returned, 
 And still new comers came and sought, . 
 And Rosie laughed and they still yearned. 
 If moonlight w'alks might prompt her to 
 Say ''yes," when she had closed the gate. 
 Her laughing eyes, tlje truth to know 
 They had but the next day to wait. 
 ''Last night?" she doubting asked, "that so?" 
 To-day, well I am sorry; no." 
 "Rose," said her mother oft, "desist, 
 Such does not well become you, child." 
 "O mamma," she would cry, "you missed 
 So much because you were iK)t wild. 
 Now there is Tom, and there is Jack, 
 Each bought for me a pretty ring; 
 Of course I'm going to give them back. 
 Pa says I must not have a thing, 
 Except he buys it for me, yet 
 Just see how much that I can get." 
 The mother slow would shake her head, 
 "You are too young to act that way. 
 And folks will talk I am afraid !" 
 "O fiddle-sticks on what they say? 
 My heart is just as pure as theirs; 
 And God knows that." The mother smiled. 
 "They always say we put on airs ; 
 What care I if they call me wild, 
 My Heavenly Father knows I'm pure. 
 In thought and will ; I ask no more. 

 This was the girl with whom Stone walked 
 This Sunday afternoon. And he 
 Unconscious how the people talked 
 Found pleasure in her company. 
 He loved the frankness in her speech. 
 The open eyes that met his gaze. 
 Between those looks there seemed to reach 
 A slender hand of other days. 
 Some how, he told himself, some how, 
 His work grew dearer to him now. 

 Canto VI. 
 It was a conference where all 
 Came out to see the thing well done. 
 Once started, scarce an interval 
 Of silence, since it seemed each one 
 Had much to say. And as they spoke 
 There was peculiar common sense 
 Displayed, which now and then awoke 
 Applause, that stirred up eloquence, 
 Till he who had the least to say. 
 Tried hard to make the most display. 
 There was but one dissenting voice. 
 And that was Bro. Smith, of course. 
 He reckoned the' with little choice, 
 Against him there was too much force. 
 Then Bro. Sands arose and said, 
 He had a notion to oppose. 
 But having there been fully made 
 Cognizant of its good, now rose 
 To say it now had won his vote 
 If there were not another to 't. 
 A move was made by Melville ; he 
 Some said had never made before 
 So fine a speech. Ability, 
 He said no man could dare ignore ; 
 And where a church w^as blessed with such 
 Within her pulpit, she should try 
 (No matter what or say how much 
 'Twould cost,) her best to satisfy. 
 He moved if it were proper stage 
 Of time, to build the parsonage. 
 And there were several seconds. When 
 The pastor rose the move to put 
 The women's voices 'bove the men 
 Replied their readiness to vote. 
 And when the vote was called ,en masse 
 They rose and Bro. Smith also. 
 No use, he said, 'twas bound to pass, 
 'Twas better he should with them go. 
 He never cared to stand alone 
 When anything like this was done. 
 And when the meeting was dismissed 
 Stone was surrounded by a host 
 Of members. And his organist 
 Pressed firm his hand. Rosetta lost 
 No time in saying that the guild 
 Already met, had plans on hand 
 The moment they began to build 
 To see to grading of the land. 
 And Bro. Smith came, laughing, said 
 He, too, was willing to be led. 

 Thus Stone, well pleased, smiled here and there 
 On all who came to take his hand. 
 He thanked them for their vote. 'Twas clear 
 They one and all would henceforth stand 
 By that night's work. He asked no more 
 Than when he set his rally, come 
 In answer valiantly, was sure 
 They'd build for him as nice a home 
 As some of them themselves possessed, 
 At any rate he'd make the test. 
 'Twas Mary Melville's hand that pressed 
 His own while at the altar there. 
 Her eyes sought his, he looked and guessed 
 The words that neither seemed fo dare 
 Give voice to. At that moment, Rose 
 Came forward reaching for his hand. 
 "Ah, Reverend, now I suppose 
 The guild may clear and grade the land," 
 And losing sight of Mame, he said, 
 "Of course, and will you help them grade?'' 
 "I help them grade? now really, sir, 
 You laugh at me within your sleeve. 
 Jokes ill become a minister. 
 Especially the way you give." 
 And she withdrew her dainty hand, 
 "As if these hands could use a spade. 
 No, no, we girls do but command, 
 And boys there are, dear sir, to grade." 
 "Those hands are meant for better things, 
 He laughed, "perhaps for wearing rings." 

 "How cute of you, how very cute." 
 She laughed and turned as if to go, 
 Then stopped, looked back. ''Now would it suit 
 For you to go the way I do, 
 Pa's gone and left me, and I want 
 To talk with you along the way." 
 Of course he could do nought but grant 
 The girl's request, what could he say 
 But certainly, and glad to see 
 Her home if he might service be, 
 Mary Melville had already gone. 
 And all were hurrying away, 
 And they were now almost alone; 
 A-down the lane the young and gay 
 Were laughing, and the night air rang. 
 As shone the full moon overhead. 
 With songs the frogs and crickets sang. 
 ''And are you on such nights afraid?" 
 He asked her as her arm he took, 
 In question to her timid look. 
 "No, I can't say I am afraid. 
 There's nothing to be 'fraid of here; 
 But Papa having gone ahead, 
 I thought of course you would not care 
 In walking on such nights with me. 
 I really love such nights, don't you?" 
 She looked up to- his face to see 
 Just how he took her words. "I knew 
 You would not see me go alone." 
 "Why certainly I'd not," said Stone. 

 ''And I do love such nights as these, 
 And, more, to be with such as you. 
 So let me say, you could not please 
 Me better than the w^ay you do 
 In being, O so frank with me." 
 The words were more than he thought well, 
 And he regretted that so free 
 He'd spoken. Sudden silence fell, 
 And he walked on and she walked on 
 With not a word from either one. 
 And when the cottage came in sight. 
 She quietly slipped her arm from his. 
 "Perhaps," she said, "it was not right 
 For me wath you to act like this ; 
 For everything ^yas thoughtless done, 
 Yiou from the first seemed fatherly. 
 And so I took you. Rev. Stone, 
 And if you've been mistaken in me. 
 Well, I am sorry. Now good-night." 
 And she had disappeared from sight. 
 Stone stood confounded there alone. 
 A weight was pressing at his heart. 
 He could not say what had been done, 
 'Twas nothing meant upon his part. 
 But this was not the maiden's mind. 
 He blamed himself for everything. 
 For being so conceited, blind ; 
 And should she speak how it would ring! 
 That all the neighborhood would know — - 
 My ! that would never, never do ! 

 He turned, but not for home, but went 
 Listlessly on into the night, 
 Listlessly on with no intent, 
 Except to wander in the light 
 Oif that bright moon and stars. He caught 
 The voices, now and then, of those 
 Who to the meeting came, but sought 
 To keep from them. Those words from Rose 
 Had made a deep impression on 
 His mind, and he would walk alone. 
 Still croaked the frogs in yonder swamp; 
 Still from the wood the owls' hoots came; 
 Still here and there the firefly's lamp 
 Burst from a leaf in greenish flame; 
 A kildee ran along the road, 
 Before him shrieking as he ran ; 
 A whip-poor-will his plaintive ode, 
 Sang for the pleasure of the man ; 
 A glow worm wabbled in the grass. 
 And shone just as he chanced to pass. 
 Fool that he was, when May Melville 
 Came forward taking hold his hand, 
 And in it said she knew him still 
 With look he could but understand. 
 Why had he not detained her there 
 Until this ''fresh young Miss" had gone? 
 Perhaps, ah well, two weights to bear 
 He thought 'twas now instead of one. 
 Between two fires he must be 
 With little show for victory. 

 How long he walked, or to what place, 
 Left to himself he had not known; 
 And he had never seen the face 
 That from a window looked, where shone 
 A bright light. ''Have you lost your way?" 
 A sweet, soft, silver voice awoke 
 Him from his dreams. And it was May, 
 Who from her porch now standing, spoke. 
 And Melville who had gained her side, 
 Called to him with them to abide. 
 He knew not what to say, complete 
 Surprised, bewildered and ashamed. 
 Melville came forward quick to meet 
 Him. ''Stay all night," for soon, he claimed, 
 There'd be an ugly gust. The sky 
 E'en then was clouding up. It was, 
 And Bro. Nook's home was nigh 
 Three miles away ; he'd better pass 
 The night with them ; 'twas dangerous to 
 Attempt that distance then to go. 
 And must he yield? and would he stay 
 In face of all the circumstance? 
 "No !" said an inner voice, "away 
 And trust thyself to Providence." 
 "Stay," said another voice, "the night 
 Will soon be dark, a clouded sky 
 Is making, danger lies in flight; 
 Besides, there is no cause to fly. 
 Stay, see? in yonder door she stands 
 And beckons thee with open hands." 

 He stood half hesitating there, 
 And Melville, unsuspecting, stood. 
 Her voice again he heard, and clear, 
 ''Come, 'tis not well out in the wood 
 During a storm; don't hesitate. 
 The folks will not uneasy be. 
 And they already, since 'tis late, 
 Will think you were our company." 
 And as she spoke she came to join. 
 In stage-like voice, ''Come, friend of mine," 
 She laughed, "See thine abiding place, 
 Thy bed already waits to-night?" 
 He raised his eyes, looked in her face. 
 And thought her beautiful; the sight 
 Condemned him. Melville, silent now. 
 Awaited that he might decide. 
 Where was now his sacred vow 
 A week ago? Tempted and tried. 
 No, no ; he would not stay, but go ; 
 That was his duty. Then, say no. 
 "I cannot stop with you to-night. 
 But sometime in the future I 
 Shall certainly take much delight. 
 But now I hope you'll pardon me." 
 There was an hour or two, he thought, . 
 Before the storm would likely come. 
 No danger thus in being caught ; 
 For in that time he would be home. ' 
 To stay he could not then consent; 
 So off into the night he went. 

 Canto VII. 
 Around the chapel, here and there 
 Went busy workmen to and fro, 
 Their merry voices filled the air 
 As rang each hammer's constant blow. 
 The frame work was already up, 
 The weather-boarding nailed thereon, 
 And travellers on the road would stop 
 To see the sight ; and one by one 
 Would pass their comments, and reflect 
 'Twas something pretty to erect. 
 And Stone, in overalls arra}'ed, 
 As busy as the workmen there, 
 Worked as a master at the trade. 
 And used the tools with skill most rare; 
 And when the summer day was done. 
 His was a strong man's appetite. 
 And when the hour for sleep came on, 
 His was a tired sleeper's night. 
 All undisturbed, he slept until 
 The dawn peeped o'er the distant hill, 

 He drew the plans, he ran the line, 
 He pointed out the proper site. 
 He cut the shrubbery and vine. 
 And saw that everything was right. 
 And here while working he would dwell 
 Upon the Sabbath sermons, too ; 
 Some word dropped by the men would well 
 Bring to his mind a better view; 
 And, thus, as he would work away, 
 He'd whistle, meditate, and pray. 
 The month of May had gone and June 
 Had come. The busy Sabbath School 
 Was practicing; for very soon, 
 According to the church's rule, 
 It's Children's Day would come; and they, 
 True Methodist, would never fail 
 To celebrate their Children's Day. 
 So 'twas about the altar rail, 
 Each afternoon the children came 
 To practice with the organist, Mame. 
 He saw her from a distance as 
 He was engaged about the ground. 
 He always bowed when she would pass, 
 But never an idle moment found 
 To speak with her. Rosetta came 
 Around the building often, too ; 
 But, somehow, there would always clairp 
 His mind somebody else; and few . 
 The words he said to her except 
 Explaining why he busy kept, 

 Now when they parted on that night 
 She straight unto her room had gone, 
 Indignant half, half in delight, 
 Half hating, half in love with Stone. 
 She told herself she acted rude, 
 His words indeed were not amiss; 
 That she herself misunderstoood, 
 That it was no mistake of his ; 
 That very night felt she should go, 
 Despite her pride, and tell him so. 
 One day she came mind fully made 
 To make him talk whether or no, 
 Determined that she would pursuade 
 Him to quit work and with her go 
 Back to her house to tea, to stay 
 (For ma was willing, too,) all night. 
 She came. Of course 'twas hard to say. 
 But she would say it. 'Twas not right, 
 But would he not escort her home 
 That afternoon? Ma said to come. 
 He put the hatchet down, he had, 
 And looked at her most soberly. 
 To go with her he would be glad, 
 But truly then, he didn't see 
 How he could spare the time; he would 
 That very night be most compelled 
 To do some writing. Yes^ he should 
 Be very glad to go, but held 
 In this position must say no, 
 Tho' he would really like to gp, 

 •'You work," she said, ''indeed, too hard. 
 'Tvvere better if you took some rest. 
 And after all, 'tis small reward , 
 You'll get for all your pains, at best. 
 Come, leave the hatchet lying there; 
 Throw off those ugly overalls; 
 And brush the saw dust from your hair; 
 Leave to the carpenters the walls; 
 We wish our preacher to appear 
 Always dressed up, if you must hear." 
 She'd said it all at once. It came 
 A rapid flow of words, and struck 
 Deep in the heart. Somehow^ a shame 
 He felt. Tho' much he praised her pluck, 
 For this outburst, he stood awhile 
 And gravely looked at her nor spoke. 
 She wistful gazed at him. A smile 
 That broadened o'er his features broke, 
 "I like your speech," he said, "enough 
 Although I think it little rough." 
 "O do you then?" She came and caught 
 Him by the lapel of his coat, 
 And looked up to him. "O I thought 
 You would get mad, but you don't show 't. 
 Now, won't you come, please. Rev. Stone, 
 We'd dearly love to have you there. 
 And, see, I'd have to go alone 
 Thro' that dark wood, you know I fear !" 
 She laughed. "Be good and not say, no." 
 (He smiled.) "Of course that means you'll go." 

 ''You witch!" he laughing said, "of course. 
 Perhaps what you have said is true ; 
 I never thought it with this force 
 Until it is brought home by you. 
 Excuse me, I must make some change, 
 And I will stroll with you awhile. 
 'Twill not take long. Miss, to arrange 
 My bad looks (laughing). Men of toil 
 Should look bad sometimes, even tho' 
 They should be preachers, don't you know." 
 She smiled as he went ofif from her. 
 "Now don't be long; 'tis hard to wait," 
 She called. She thought him handsomer 
 Just in that rig, but would not say 't. 
 She watched him till he disappeared 
 Within the chapel door. Her heart 
 With a peculiar thrill was stirred, 
 And thoughts there were which made her start, 
 And thoughts that made her start, there were, 
 That made her start in joyous fear. 
 To every women comes an hour 
 When she with self stands face to face; 
 She doth most realize her power 
 And find within this life her place. 
 And when that time doth come 'tis well 
 That she should with discretion move, 
 Nor 'gainst her better self rebel. 
 But if she must, then wisely love. 
 That hour to fair Rosetta came : 
 Within her bo&om burnt love's flame. 

 Within her bosom burnt love's flame. 
 She knew it when she trembled most; 
 'Twas then that great truth to her came 
 '' 'Tis better to have loved and lost 
 Than never to have loved at all." 
 For she was happy in that hour. 
 The world that hitherto seemed small, 
 Grew large to her, a wondrous power 
 That thrilled her bosom, her possessed, 
 A strange deep feeling in the breast. 
 "Fve kept you waiting," with a look 
 Of real pleasure, Stone returned. 
 ''Where shall we go?" Her arm he took 
 Quite carelessly. How her heart burned ! 
 Softly she answered, "Anywhere, 
 But let it lead towards my home. 
 However, do not hurry there. 
 Such afternoons I like to roam 
 Through quiet woods, by peaceful streams 
 Where one may lose herself in dreams." 
 So they strolled off. Each workman's eye 
 Looked on and winked. "The parson's gone; 
 Look out, this house will by and by 
 Hold two, I think, instead of one," 
 So said the big boss carpenter, 
 As he looked at them down the road. 
 "Ah well, a single minister 
 Won't do ; it is too great a load 
 For one to carry, better tzifo, 
 An' that 'a gal I think will do." 

 And so ran gossip. Other eyes 
 Beheld the two go down the lane ; 
 Eyes that gazed on in some surprise, 
 Whose owner's heart beat with much pain. 
 Eyes, where a soul week after week 
 Had seen and listened in vain to h-ear 
 Somebody of the past to speak ; 
 And now to her these two appear 
 Not pleasant. Ay, a jealous hate 
 Doth at the door for entrance wait. 
 ''She with him!" thus May Melville said 
 Between shut teeth, as on she came 
 Toward the church. Her pathway led 
 Her straight to them. She heard her name 
 Just as she met them. "For a stroll?" 
 She turned to say quite civilly, 
 ''Do let me go," and her control 
 Was wonderful beyond degree. 
 Both laughing, answered, ''Certainly, 
 There's always room enough for three." 
 "How mean ; you know I cannot go. 
 The children need me at this hour." 
 She stopped, slight gossiping, "Like to tho'. 
 Looks as if there'd be a shower 
 Before night fall ; pray don't be caught." 
 Rosetta answered, though they should, 
 She had this one comforting thought 
 She had the preacher, he was good. 
 Surely now Providence would spare 
 Her if the minister was there. 

 Thus with another word or two 
 And civil smiles, she passed them by. 
 ''Poor thing, she has a lot to do," 
 Said Rose, with sympathetic sigh. 
 ''She certainly is a Christian, sir, 
 She's done so much for us, and still 
 There's nothing that's too hard for her. 
 Oh, she has such a wondrous will. 
 I wish I was as strong as she, 
 A mighty woman I would be." 
 They entered now a wood path where 
 'ihe pines, tall sentinels, high stood. 
 And cool and pleasant was the air. 
 Perfumed with odor of the wood. 
 The velvet moss, growing between 
 And crow foot, running 'long the way. 
 Showed up against them bright and green. 
 Now here, now there, a gum or oak 
 The sombre green of pine trees broke. 
 It was that early part of June 
 When in their robes the swaying trees 
 Look best. And on this afternoon. 
 There was a restless kind of breeze. 
 Which showed unsettledness ; and yet 
 One were not bothered 'bout the storm, 
 No danger there, of getting wet 
 For three hours at the most. The farm 
 Of Bro. Hawkins was about 
 One mile away. There was no doubt 

 That Stone enjoyed the stroll. To him 
 This maiden's talk for once appealed. 
 Perhaps, it was, he felt a dim 
 Small light appear upon life's field, 
 Till then not there. ''You strong as she?" 
 He asked when he had silent been 
 Some time. ''And now why shouldn't you be?" 
 Perhaps you are from what I've seen. 
 For he was thinking of the night 
 When she intO' the dark took flight. 
 "She has a romance in her life" 
 She said with somewhat of the touch 
 Of confidence. "Although the wife 
 Of, perhaps, one of the best. - Yet such 
 Has been her fate within the past 
 To love another who, she said, 
 Was the most brilliant, but was 'fast,' 
 And whom she felt she dared not wed ; 
 And yet she loved him, loved him true. 
 Now does this not show strength to vou?" 
 He murmured assent. "And his name?" 
 "She would not tell his name. She said 
 That was too sacred. Some day fame. 
 She thought, would tell it, if he led 
 A different life. She never knew 
 Just what he would make up his mind 
 Within this great big wo.rld to do, 
 But she was sure that he could find 
 His place in any walk. So bright, 
 Tis pity that his faults must blight." 

 *'And do you think that such is strength, 
 To throw aside the one we love 
 And let him run to the rope's length, 
 Himself a saint or demon prove?" 
 He bit his lips. "And now think you 
 It had been better had she caught 
 This lover wild of hers, if true, 
 And him upon good terms brought ? 
 I hope if you should ever love 
 You would not half as heartless prove." 
 ''But what is love? I do not know !" 
 She murmured,, "Could a woman make 
 The man she thought she loved just so 
 As she should wish him? Can she break 
 Him of bad habits?" "Now you ask 
 Too many questions, for its first, 
 You ask what's love. It were a task 
 To answer. Let us say, a thirst 
 Of soul for soul, one's self to seek, 
 Where only soul to soul can speak." 
 "Can woman make the man she thinks 
 wShe loves do what she'd have him do? 
 Here let me say if she but drinks 
 From the pure fountain, if but true, 
 Her life to him an influence 
 For good in every way, I say, 
 No matter what the circumstance, 
 At last she'll make him turn her way. 
 There's nothing mightier than love — 
 In woman nought more strong can prove." 

 ''Suppose," she ventured, '1ie does not 
 Know of this love, and that she knows 
 Not that he loves her? Suppose her lot 
 Be but to love in vain? — suppose 
 He loves no one? is very cold. 
 Then can she make him love her? Can 
 She be excused if she be bold 
 In making the advance? A man 
 Himself not sensible, should he 
 Disdain her if more forward she?" 
 "In such a case, much may depend, 
 The whole thing is conditional. 
 The girl who has a noble end 
 In view may be excused in all ; 
 But even if the man be such 
 As you describe him, there is chance 
 To win him. Yes, to win him, much 
 Depends upon the circumstance ; 
 She must be bold and also shy, 
 Seek yet to avoid his company. 
 "Draw, yet be drawn by him ; and tease 
 When he would think the way is clear; 
 When he is overwarm, then freeze. 
 Care less for him should he most care. 
 Well thus to end it all, to do 
 Whatever prudence mip-ht allow. 
 Successful lovers, there are few. 
 And mostly all end in a row. 
 Why should you ask such things of me? 
 In love, you surely cannot be." 

 "And if I were," she laughing said, 
 ''There's not a man in all this land 
 Who'd bother for an hour his head 
 On my account, or seek my hand." 
 She sighed. "Ma says I am too bold, 
 I should, she says, be more sedate. 
 Ah, well, you see, most men are cold, 
 And I'm afraid, it is my fate 
 To love the coldest man alive — 
 To whom I uselessly must give 
 "My heart." "To me confession made? 
 Now don't, I shan't confessor be!" 
 He laughed, "Poor little heart, and laid 
 Down at a cold man's feet. And he, 
 And does he love you ? — never mind — 
 Don't answer." "But how do I know? 
 For that is what I'd like to find 
 Out." "Truly," he replied, "how so?' 
 "By asking, if no other way, 
 'Seek, ye shall find,' the Scriptures say." 
 "There, naughty girl, you ought not quote 
 The Scripture for things so profane." 
 "There, pardon me, I ought to know 't," 
 She said, "And yet, the thought is plain. 
 If I would know my fate, to seek 
 By asking; tell me am I right?" 
 He laughed, "Compel me not to speak 
 Just now, besides I see the light 
 Is fading. Let us hurry on, 
 pre we get home the day '11 be gone.'' 

 "And how abrupt !" she laughing said, 
 ''You have no sign of sympathy 
 To one in trouble. I'm afraid, 
 Poor peace, if any, you would be." 
 He arched his brows and looked surprised. 
 "How plain," he said, "how very plain. 
 In the rough term, I think you've sized 
 Me up too well indeed. Again 
 Of me whatever now you know, 
 I think that we had better go." 
 They stood near by two roads that met. 
 By-roads they were that thro' the wood 
 Cut off the main. And now they set 
 Out for her home. "I've not been good, 
 She said, "at all. I know you'll not 
 Consent to stroll with me again. 
 Now won't you let all be forgot 
 That we have said, and still remain 
 My friend, and when I ask you go. 
 Not be prepared to tell me no?" 
 He smiled, looked down upon the girl, 
 He saw pure sadness in her face. 
 Her hat she carried. A dark curl 
 Stole down her brow. 'Twas out of place 
 He thought and yet that one short hour 
 Had brought this simple maid so near 
 He felt she had peculiar power 
 O'er his small life. "Yies, yes, my dear — 
 D-d-aughter," he had stammered out, 
 Not knowing what he was about." 

 She smiled. ''Thank you, and you are good, 
 As good as I had thought you were, 
 But tell me, have I not been rude?" 
 Again he answered, "No, my dear." 
 This seemed to please her very much. 
 Her hand stole slyly in his arm, 
 "You don't think, do you, I am such 
 A bold girl after all?" A charm 
 Was in the maiden's very tone. 
 "No, no, dear child," soft murmured Stone. 
 They wend their way now leisurely, 
 She leaning lightly on his arm. 
 So sweet was all, now cared not he 
 How^ far the walk was to the farm. 
 Perhaps 'twas well that neither knew 
 The thoughts that occupied each mind. 
 Was it unconsciously he drew 
 Her hand in his ? Or was she blind 
 To that firm press ? She felt the thrill, 
 Yet on his arm she linsfered still. 
 She closed her eyes. He did not speak 
 He dared not. 'Twas the other night- 
 Would he forget? He was not weak. 
 Why lose these moments of delight? 
 Why should he tell this girl to-day 
 How glad he felt there at her side? 
 No. He had seen her rush away 
 And leave him with indignant pride. 
 No. Was he sure? 'Twas but a whim 
 Upon her part to be with him. 

 **Must I not ask him to forgive 
 Me for my rudeness t'other night? 
 But how would he my words receive ? 
 Of course it cannot be just right. 
 Why does he press my hand Hke this, 
 And can he love me, can he feel 
 As I for him ? Should I dismiss 
 Such feeling? How can I conceal 
 The truth from him, I know he knows?" 
 Thus, as she walked along, thought Rose. 
 'Twas from the wood at last they came. 
 What seemed approaching of the night 
 Was darkened skies. The last red flame 
 Of setting sun had gone. The light 
 Of gold was banked by threatenino" 
 Black clouds which rolled portentiously 
 Out from the west. A muttering 
 Of nearing thunder. ''Mercy me! 
 A gust is coming," quick, she cried. 
 And closer drew unto his side. 
 ''Look!" She pointed to the west. 
 "Those awful clouds! Oh, dear! Oh, dear!' 
 He answered, "Let us make the best 
 Of it we can. Your home is near?" 
 "One-half of mile around the road, 
 A shorter distance through the wood," 
 She answered. "But the ground is ploughed 
 In the first field, and 'tis not good 
 To try that way. I think it best 
 To tak^ the road, 'tis easiest." 

 "We'll try the road; can you walk fast?" 
 He asked. ''Of course, not fast as you." 
 ''You must," he softly said, ''the blast 
 Will break upon us." And he drew 
 Her hand still tighter. "Maybe I 
 Shall have to carry you, so come." 
 Her grasp but tightened in reply. 
 Stepped firmly, quickly. It was some 
 Moments before either spoke. 
 The wind has risen. Wildly broke 
 In screams through swaying ancient pines. 
 He felt her tremble at his side. 
 Along the horizon great lines 
 Of smoky clouds had gathered. Wide 
 The fields of grain unharvested 
 Kolled in great waves beneath the wind. 
 A farmer to the barn had led 
 His team that they might shelter find, 
 A frightened flock of sheep stood nigh 
 The bars and waited anxiously. 
 The farm is almost reached, the house 
 Stood plainly out into full view. 
 "If we get caught I am the cause 
 We had been home if left to you — 
 I am so silly," gasping she 
 Had spoken. "Come, let's get there first, 
 Ere comments shall be passed," said he; 
 And as he spoke a flash — a burst 
 Of thunder, then a crashing sound — 
 An oak nearby falls to the ground. 

 ''Oh!" cried the girl," we shall be struck!" 
 And closer drew to him. ''No, no," 
 He said; "No, no; no such ill luck." 
 "But see" (another peal) "how slow 
 I walk ! alas !" she cried. His arm 
 About her drew most tenderly, 
 As if assurance that no harm 
 Could come to her. They now could see 
 Her parents waiting for them on 
 The porch. She quickly drew from Stone. 
 A tell-tale flush now on her face. 
 "Forgive me, I would rather be 
 Left thus, a little out of place. 
 You know." She'd spoken "hurriedly. 
 Stone heard and fully understood. 
 Nor failed he to appreciate 
 Her for it. It was for his good ; 
 Now they had entered the large gate. 
 Loud howled the wind, "Come on, come on," 
 The father called to her and Stone. 
 "We might have been here sooner, but 
 I would not come," said Rose when they 
 Had gathered in the house. "To put 
 The blame on you," spoke Stone, "I say 
 It is not fair. It was my fault, 
 For I proposed that we should take 
 The stroll, and oft took time to halt. 
 First at this place and that to make 
 Some note. I should have used more thought ; 
 We certainly came near being caught. 

 ^'Ah well, no harm," her father said. 
 *'No," joined her mother since you were 
 Not caught, and yet I felt some dread 
 Until I saw you both appear." 
 "And when you saw us. Ma?" asked Rose, 
 Who failed not to recall the arm 
 About her waist, looked at him whose 
 Arm it had been, while blood rushed warm 
 Into each cheek. ''I felt all right 
 The moment that you came in sight." 
 They now were in the living room, 
 The sky was blacker growing still. 
 The clouds shapes ominous assume; 
 The wind was blowing wild and shrill. 
 And blinding dust was in the air. 
 Which blew in scuddying whirls around, 
 And peal on peal of thunder there, 
 As flash on flash of lightning wound 
 It's zigzag course the wood along. 
 ''Keep silent Rose, you know 'tis wTong," 
 Said Mrs. Hawkins, as she drew 
 Far from the window. Little John 
 And Nellie there beside her, knew 
 Their mother's rule and spoke alone 
 In whispers. Mr. Hawkins sat, 
 Himself now silent, gazing out 
 The window, to the roadway that 
 Could not be seen for dust. Half pout 
 Was playing on Rosetta's lips, 
 Now biting at her finger tips. 

 There from the sofa, Stone could see 
 Each of the family, and draw. 
 In study of this family, 
 Conclusions just from what he saw. 
 All now was silent there within, 
 All howling of the wind without; 
 Wild demons seemed to raise a din, 
 Rush howling all the place about. 
 And loud the thunder pealed. At last 
 Down came the rain, a fearful blast. 
 Down came the rain ! How dark it was ! 
 Except where lightning cleft the sky. 
 The windows shook ! each pane of glass 
 Seemed threatened as most furiously 
 The driving rain beat 'gainst each place. 
 Rose whispered '' 'Tis a cloudburst — my !" 
 A flash of lightning lit her face. 
 An awful crash, as if nearby 
 It struck. x\bove the dark a light 
 Flames in the sky, and all is bright. 
 "Eire!" Rosetta screamed, and Stone 
 Rushed to the hall, and out the door 
 Upon the porch. The heavens shone 
 With flames. Perhaps a mile or more 
 He saw a stately barn ablaze. 
 The family had followed out. 
 "How far is it?" "A little ways," 
 Replied his host. "Perhaps about 
 A mile. It is the Smith estate." 
 ■ My ! my !," cried Rose, "the glare — how great !' 

 "Come Rose into the house. You Nell, 
 John ! — come out now of that rain you all 
 Do know that none of you are well," 
 Called Mrs. Hawkins from the hall. 
 "Yes, it is not the thing to do 
 Myself," said Stone, "I should not be 
 A standing here." "Yes, that is true," 
 Said Mr. Hawkins, "but now with me, 
 Should there a fire be around, 
 Outside the house I'm mostly found." 
 The storm was growing less severe. 
 The rolling thunder far away 
 Began to sound. "O dear ! O dear ! 
 How frightened I have been ! To-day 
 Has been so full of happenings," 
 Said Rose when she had struck a light. 
 And Nell began to put the things 
 In order now for tea. The bright 
 Light from out that room broke on 
 The living room from which had gone 
 All but Stone and his host, who sat 
 In silence. But 'twas presently 
 The latter spoke. "Well, Reverend, what 
 About our parsonage — will it be 
 Finished by fall?" "I think it will, 
 If nothing happens," Stone replied. 
 "Those workmen are good men of skill, 
 And in the work take special pride; 
 I think, however, after all, 
 We'll move into our house by fall." 

 "We?" said his now inquiring host, 
 ''I pray who shall the madam be?" 
 Who was full bent on making most 
 Upon Stone's speaking of the ''we." 
 ''The madam?" quered Stone. 'T mean 
 The church that is the madam now. 
 Aside from her, I have not seen 
 The woman upon whose fair brow 
 That I might place the crown of wife, 
 Herself to crown my lonely life." 
 ''Tut, Reverend, tut, a man like you 
 Should have a wife by all means, sir; 
 For in this place 'twill never do 
 To have a single minister." 
 "Well, yes, perhaps all that you say 
 Is so. I shan't one word deny. 
 Still I have not up to this day, 
 Been good enough in woman's eye 
 To call one wife, though much I would, 
 But somehow I'm not understood." 
 Not understood? — from out the gloom, 
 Where she was busying about. 
 He saw Rose in the dining room, 
 And on her face a look of doubt. . 
 A look of doubt, a roguish smile 
 Which plainly in its silence said, 
 "I don't believe it." All the while 
 The things were on the table laid. 
 "You are all right," his host replied, 
 "And would be better with a bride." 

 ''Still that depends," observed his guest. 
 ''I'm sure it is for better or worse. 
 I'm kind of cautious in it, lest 
 I miss the blessing, get the curse. 
 Of course, a woman, I suppose. 
 To wed me I might chance to find, 
 But I don't seek for one of those. 
 Perhaps I'm choicy, and the kind 
 I want, don't want me, don't you see? 
 The kind I want will not have me." 
 "Pray, why?" his host surprised made quest. 
 "Oh, many reasons may be shown ; 
 Most of them do not think it best 
 To be a preacher's wife," said Stone. 
 Rose colored as she placed a dish 
 Upon the table. "Think you so? 
 It seems 'twould be her highest wish 
 To marry one from what I know," 
 His host replied. "From what you see, 
 'Tis not all bright this ministry." 
 "Perhaps," replied his host, "conceit, 
 If you v/ill pardon me, I fear, 
 Born of a bachelor's life 's complete 
 Control of you. An old man hear. 
 I'm father of thirteen, one wife, 
 (A goodly wife as ever lived.) 
 A hard worked man, and yet a life 
 Of peace and joy I have derived 
 From union with this wife of mine 
 Tho' bitter as well as sweet my wine. 

 "You marry, 'tis a better thing 
 Than Hvnig such a lonely life. 
 Ah, yes, 'tis more encouraging 
 Than single-handed in this strife. 
 Marry 'for better or for worse;' 
 But in it trust to Providence, 
 Whatever afterward your course. 
 That both of you use common sense. 
 Get from your head that poor conceit : 
 A woman makes a man complete." 
 ''Thanks for your sermon," murmured Stone. 
 "Tea!" cried Rosetta; "come to tea! 
 Pa, let the Reverend alone. 
 His wife's picked out, who e'er she be." 
 Mrs. Hawkins entered, and the two 
 Went to the dining room, and there 
 Up to the sumptuous repast drew. 
 The smell of chicken filled the air. 
 Said Stone, "Pd marry if I could 
 Obtain a wife who'd cook such food." 

 Canto VIII. 
 When Stone awoke the sun was high. 
 Without a bird sang merrily, 
 As perched upon a Hmb near by, 
 ''Too weet, too w^ee! too weet, too wee!' 
 A w^asp was building in the eaves 
 Ingeniously her house of clay ; 
 From limb to limb a spider weaves 
 Her silken web in wondrous way; 
 A bee goes buzzing on the wing. 
 And there is life in every thing. 
 A turkey gobbler struts about, 
 And drums upon the dampened sward ; 
 And puts the crowing cock to rout 
 Into a corner of the yard. 
 The cackling of excited hens, 
 A small stray chicken's ''peep, peep," 
 The grunt of pigs there in the pens, — 
 And how could Stone be fast asleep ? 
 Despite the fact, in sweet repose. 
 He dreamed the live long night of Rose. 

 And, reader, will you think him weak. 
 If after eight long weary years 
 Of service, where he had to speak 
 To unresponsive heart:^ 'midst tears 
 ' And disappointments, if at last 
 The heart, which misery made to love, 
 Should at a pretty face beat fast, 
 And he like other men should prove? 
 And scorn the preacher if the man 
 Should love, which is but Nature's plan? 
 And did Stone love ? He could not say. 
 The passion of more youthful years 
 He simply knew, had passed away, 
 And in its place, 'midst hopes- and fears. 
 Came something stirring in his breast. 
 Which softened every rugged line ; 
 In lives of others see the best 
 Above the human, the divine; 
 Yea, lifted him above the human, 
 To see the angelhood of woman. 
 He lay awhile there to survey 
 The room in which so well he'd slept. 
 Through the green blinds a flooding ray 
 Of light in every corner swept. 
 And on an easel, of life size, 
 A crayon of Rosetta was. 
 So life like, seemed to speak. Her eyes 
 Looked right at him. A roguish mass 
 Of curls stole from a pompadore 
 And down her brow came creeping o'er. 

 The other pictures, that around 
 The walls profusely hung, he saw 
 Not. Here, as if he had been bound, 
 He gazed. And just what seemed to draw 
 He did not know. But only this : 
 The more he gazed upon this face 
 He felt, and was he sure? that his 
 Life, somehow, must find its place 
 Along with her's whose portrait he 
 Was gazing on so earnestly. 
 Here as he lay enrapt, a song 
 Came from the floor below. His ear 
 Caught now and then the words which rung 
 Softly and sweet. The voice was clear. 
 'T need thee every hour." The line 
 Came to him as a morning prayer, 
 "Stay thou near by." O words divine ! 
 Were they not spoken for him there? 
 Thus he arose — no more delay 
 And fell upon his knees to pray. 
 What prayed he for ? He would be strong. 
 He would, whate'er the day might bring, 
 Steer to the right and clear of wrong 
 And say and do the proper thing. 
 The proper thing, the will alone 
 Of him be done who's over all. 
 Into the opening day trod on. 
 Brave hearted to the last — nor fall, 
 Nor falter when the foe comes nigh. 
 But press right on to victory. 

 Stone had been dressed an hour, and read 
 His morning lesson when the call 
 For rising to his chamber sped, 
 Rung from a bell within the hall. 
 And "J^s^^s, lover of my soul," 
 Sang Rosie in the dining room, 
 That hour a glowing feeling stole 
 Into Stone's heart. ''Ah, such was home' 
 And from his eyes he dashed a tear. 
 In looking at the picture there. 
 Down stairs he went and thro' the hall 
 Out on the front porch. Standing there 
 Was little Nell. A worsted ball 
 She held about to toss it. She 
 Looked and said, "Good mocning, sir." 
 "Good morning, daughter." Fatherly 
 He stroked her long dark hair. "And were 
 You frightened last nig-ht in the storm?" 
 "No, sir. I knew there'd be no harm." 
 "And why?" he asked with half a guess 
 What she would answer. "Tell me why." 
 "Ma bids us never fear unless 
 We have done wrong, for God's great eye 
 Doth watch o'er all, and he will keep 
 Us in all kinds of storms and things. 
 He guards us all when we are sleep 
 And thro' the darkest night he brings 
 Us safely to the light of day. 
 Then guides us all along the way." 

 "Sun of my soul thou Saviour dear," 
 This moment from the house now stole. 
 *'It is not night if thou be near" 
 Brought sunlight to our hero's soul. 
 ''Am I not right?" She raised her eyes 
 To him, he murmured gently, *'Yes." 
 She for her age was overwise 
 Herself in such way to express. 
 "O let no earth-born cloud arise 
 To hide thee from thy servant's eyes." 
 The little bird up in the tree 
 Stopped for a while to hear the song ; 
 And Stone hummed soft, "Abide with me." 
 As aloft the notes to heaven rung 
 ''Come, Reverend, catch this ball with me," 
 Said Nell, who tossed into the air 
 The ball she had, and quickly he 
 Struck attitude to catch it there. 
 "Ha, ha, and that was fine," cried Nell. 
 So passed the time until the bell 
 For breakfast rung. Toward the door 
 He looked. Without Rosetta stood. 
 Neat dressed, her hair la pompadore. 
 That tell-tale curl, and rosey hued 
 Her cheeks. "Why, Reverend, you here? — 
 And Nell, you little rogue, to steal 
 Away from me!" "There, there, my dear, — 
 Good datighter," stammered Stone, "don't feel 
 Too sore if this dear miss has run 
 Away from you, much good she's done." 

 Nell smiled and caught behind his coat, 
 Rose looked confused, and disappeared. 
 They followed her. He cleared his throat, 
 ''Ahem! she flees without a word." 
 ''Here, Reverend," in the living room. 
 'Twas Bro. Hawkins' voice just then. 
 "Go, Nellie, tell the rest to come. 
 A lovely morning after rain." 
 He turned to Stone who took his hand. 
 " 'Twas needed badly by the land." 
 In came the madam, followed now 
 By Rosie, N'ell and little John . 
 A sweet song sung, and then they bow 
 Together, led in prayer by Stone, 
 Short, mete and very forcible. 
 For still had Stone upon his mind 
 The simple faith of little Nell — 
 The words she said. He felt the kind 
 Of home this was. Thus with accord 
 Could lead this family to the Lord. 
 Then out to breakfast. There again 
 To sit and eat the well served food. 
 Tho' every thing was very plain, 
 Yet everything was very good. 
 "Your own raised hams?" he asked his host. 
 "Yes, sir. We seldom have to buy 
 Unless some sickness. Y'et the most. 
 We have our own meat; that is why 
 I am always ahead, you see, 
 For nothing gets away from me." 

 "Why, Reverend," said young John, ''you know, 
 You said last night — " ''Why, mother, — John," 
 Cried Rosie. "Well now," said John, " 'tis so^- 
 That you would m-m — " "Well, upon 
 My word," said Mrs. Hawkins; "Jack, 
 What ails you? Will you not be still?" 
 "Well, mama," he was crying back, 
 "Just let me finish." "No, 'tis ill 
 To speak of everything you hear; 
 I'll have to punish you, I fear." 
 Stone's host was all aglow with smiles, 
 And little Nell look frightened. Rose 
 Was trembling and her food in piles, 
 Lay on her plate untouched. "Don't lose 
 Your appetite, my dear," now said 
 Her mother calmly, "eat your food; 
 Last night's excitement, I'm afraid. 
 Regards your nerves, did you no good. 
 Well, Reverend, how did yoit rest ?" 
 "Ah, splendidly — the very best." 
 Somehow Stone knew the whole import 
 Of Johnnie's words. And, now, to tease. 
 From talking other things' quite short 
 He turned toward his host. "Now please 
 Tell me who with such delicate skill 
 Prepared this breakfast — may I know ? — 
 She certainly has 'filled the bill.' " 
 Then John cried out, "I told you so," 
 And looked at Rose. "Well, now," replied 
 His host, "I think you may decide." 

 **Ah?" (Rose stopped eating,) said the guest. 
 *'I see — pray daughter, feel no shame 
 Unless condemned here hy the rest. 
 I can but praise the food. Your name, 
 If you continue as you do, 
 Cannot remain mere Hawkins long; 
 Some one is sure to search for you. 
 I'm certain he will not be wrong. 
 Had I some one to cook like this. 
 My home would be a place of bliss." 
 ''Don't flatter, Rev. Stone," she broke 
 Out sharply, "I hate flattery." 
 She seemed as as if she'd almost choke. 
 "Pray throw it not away on fne." 
 "Nay, daughter, flattery? — not at all; 
 You must not be incredulous. 
 The skill to cook a meal's not small, 
 Especially w^hen it is thus. 
 I hope you'll pardon me if I 
 Have been more frank than I should be." 
 His hostess smiled, her daughter blushed. 
 His host each point of it enjoyed. 
 And even further would have pushed. 
 But fear that Rose would be annoyed. 
 John, too, looked wise, but said no more. 
 And little Nell was most precise 
 To cut her meat up o'er and o'er, 
 Which was the smallest bit of slice. 
 Thus each with his own thoughts intent, 
 The breakfast hour now was spent. 

 The meal now o'er, the family 
 Began the duties of the day. 
 His host declared his work should be 
 - Down in the meadow, mowing hay. 
 ''You'll not go to the building then?" 
 He asked Stone. "Not if I were you; 
 Besides I think, sir, that the men 
 Can get along without you. True 
 I understand just how you feel 
 And all appreciate your zeal. 
 "Stay here, however, madam will 
 Take splendid care of you, be sure. 
 The Nooks, don't fear, will not think ill 
 In your abiding here. And more, 
 I'll send John to inform them that 
 You'll be with us a day or two. 
 And you may have them send you what 
 E'er there may be of need to you. 
 My house is large, my family small. 
 There is room and food enough for all." 
 Thus with them all 'twas understood 
 That Rev. Stone awhile should be 
 Their guest. Said Nellie 'Tsn't he good?'' 
 To Johnnie confidentially. 
 "You bet. I'm going to Mr. Nooks' 
 For him, and when I do get bac^ 
 He'll read me outen all his books, 
 I know, or else my name's not Jack." 
 "How do you know the books will do, 
 You silly boy, to read to you?" 

 "Of course they'll do, for won't I be 
 A preacher, too, one of these days ? 
 Perhaps, a sliding elder, see? 
 So I'll get use to all the ways. 
 And when I've made the seventh grade 
 And gone from here to college, then 
 A first-class preacher I'll be made. 
 And preach just like these other men — 
 But, no, I shall not cry and bawl, 
 For I don't b'lieve in that at all.'' 
 "And will you let folks clap and shout, 
 And shake their hands as some do here?" 
 Asked little Nellie. "Not without 
 The Spirit moves them. Perhaps there 
 May be some who are not real good. 
 And yet when I begin to preach. 
 Will shout and clap their hands. I should 
 When these begin to clap and screech, 
 Jes' say to them, 'you hypercrit. 
 You jes' set there and wait abit.' " 
 "Well, I shall be a preacher's wife," 
 Said Nellie in a manner grave. 
 "You do not know — upon my life! — 
 You've got to wait for one to have 
 You," said her brother with disgust. 
 "How can you tell that such will be. 
 You see a grown-up woman must 
 Wait for a man to ask her. See?" 
 "I see, of course," said little Nell; 
 "I had not thought of that, to tell 

 "The truth, I thought that one could be 
 Just what one wanted to." "Of course, 
 When left alone with one, but we 
 Men must ask you this. To force 
 Yourself on us would not be wise." 
 And John, who had been tossing chips 
 After the turkey, to full size 
 Drew himself up. With tight closed lips, 
 His Httle sister, at his side, 
 Looked at her brother with deep pride. 
 Not far away, this childish talk 
 Was heard and well enjoyed, by Stone, 
 Who having started for a walk 
 Into the meadow all alone. 
 But being attracted by the trees 
 That hung with apples, almost ripe. 
 He stopped to sample one of these, 
 And put aside his friendly pipe, 
 The talk of these two children heard, 
 Enjoying richly every word. 
 And as their talk seemed finished he 
 Continued, thoughtful, on his stroll, 
 "An interesting family," 
 He murmured. "Yea, upon my soul, 
 The last eight years I have not met 
 In all my work the like before." 
 And thus his memory he let 
 His former work to wander o'er. 
 His three appointments in these years. 
 The records of his hopes and fears. ; 

 And now his first work comes to view, 
 The one dear work of all the three, 
 Where first the pastor's trials he knew 
 And met responsibility; 
 Of how the people met him first, 
 And what they of his preaching said. 
 No welcoming, no wild outburst, 
 But doubtful shakes of many a head. 
 And then his elders' grave advice. 
 His own true style to sacrifice; 
 And how he held his chosen course, 
 The even tenor of his way ; 
 And how it seemed a silent force 
 Was gaining for him every day, 
 Till vacant pews began to fill. 
 And anxious faces met his gaze, 
 And far and near his pulpit skill 
 Began to win the people's praise. 
 And he had raised them up to him 
 Instead of going down to them. 
 Then those prayer meetings, how he first 
 Looked at them, and considered how 
 He might discourage them ; how burst 
 Upon him for this such a row 
 Of cruel abuse, and how he stood 
 Closed mouth, except when to defend ; 
 And how it was there came a flood 
 Of favor for him, and the end 
 Of all of it, the methods changed, 
 The comingf back of those estranged. 

 His second work. The circuit long, 
 On lonely roads, dense covered woods, 
 Which he had travelled, song on song:. 
 Had sung as he the miles pursued 
 In shaky road cart, sleepy nag. 
 To lodge at night beneath a roof 
 Where there was not a decent rag 
 To lie on ; but to be dirt proof, 
 And eat without a word the food 
 One placed before him, bad or good. 
 His third work, an unruly Board, 
 A church half buried in a debt, 
 To which he went with drawn sword, 
 Determined fully not to let 
 Himself be beaten; how he won 
 And brought the church upon her feet, 
 And when his joy had just begun 
 And he began to taste the sweet 
 Of harvest, he was called away 
 Sent to this place for more affray. 
 Now^ over all his work his mind 
 Has wandered, and as he recalls 
 Each scene, he does not fail to find, 
 Despite the draw backs and pitfalls ; 
 Despite the wrangles in the boards ; 
 Despite the cold dark wintry days ; 
 Despite the many adverse words, 
 The slander far outweighing praise, 
 Some people he could well recall 
 With tender feeling after all. 

 Some good, yes, true, parishoner 
 Who never failed him when in need; 
 Some widow, yes, he found in her 
 A constant friend in time of need. 
 Some brother, who without a doubt 
 Would do his duty, come or go, 
 When needed was always about 
 To answer to his call. Whom no 
 E'er changing wind could turn away, 
 But by him to the last would stay. 
 Such were the men and women who 
 God always has prepared to take 
 His servants whom he sends, tho' few, 
 Enough there will be found to make 
 God's servants happy in the thought 
 That they can never be alone, 
 Who work for God, — that there is nought 
 To stop them, they may rest upon 
 God's Word which says that He will raise 
 Up friends for them throughout their days. 

 Canto IX. — I. 
 'Twas Monday after Children's Day, 
 When Mary Melville, breakfast o'er 
 And dishes washed and put away, 
 Stood idle at her kitchen door. 
 Her view was o'er a stretching heath 
 Where huckelberries richly grew. 
 Among which ran a winding path 
 That she was wont oft to pursue. 
 Clad in a rough-and-ready suit, 
 To gather the delicious fruit. 
 Now they were ripe, she would not wash, 
 But spend perhaps an hour or two 
 Out there. She would enjoy to slash 
 About where prickly briers grew. 
 Of snakes, Mame Melville had no fear, 
 Nor squirmed to see them at her feet. 
 Just so her trusty stick was near. 
 That snake had better make retreat ; 
 For if she had to kill one, well. 
 She'd try to do it, that was all. 

 Melville to town to-day had gone, 
 Would not be back till nearly night ; 
 And being left here all alone, 
 The morning was so very bright, 
 Her spirit longed to be away. 
 To wander over fields afar, 
 Commune with Nature thro' the day. 
 Throw to the win<ls dull sordid care, 
 And once more like the careless child, 
 Go bounding o'er the open wild. 
 And she was tired; sorely taxed 
 With training children in their part — 
 All over now, her nerves relaxed. 
 She needed change. Her throbbing heart 
 Beat for new scenes. Perhaps she stood 
 This morning at her kitchen door 
 Not in a very happy mood ; 
 And yet not sorrowful ; for o'er 
 Her features now and then would pass 
 A smile — or something like it was. 
 For looking at May Melville, one 
 Could scarcely tell just what she did. 
 For she was seldom ever known; 
 Herself she kept completely hid. 
 And as one saw her stately form. 
 Or dared to meet her searching gaze. 
 One never thought that passion's storm 
 Beneath that heaving bosom sways. 
 He saw alone what seemed to be 
 Herself, not in reality. 

tHE RUMOR. 105 
 Stone praised her work, he said 'twas grand, ] 
 Yes, it was all a great success; \ 
 Congratulating, pressed her hand, I 
 And murmured warmly, "Heaven bless 
 You, sister, for your noble work." 
 Then marched in company down the isle. 
 With Rosie, who with a jaunty jerk, 
 Stepped at his side. A hateful smile | 
 Which seemed as plain as day to say, 1 
 "You do the work, I get the pay." j 
 Marched down the isle with fresh young Rose, \ 
 She really thought he had more sense ; ' 
 And now she wondered if he knows 
 What people say of him. Defense 
 She'd offered for him oft of late, j 
 About this very thing, but she? 
 What could she do, if to his fate 
 He plunged headlong ? it seems that he 
 Had little talk for her alone, I 
 He smiling spoke, and then went on. j 
 Since that bright night he had not been 
 To see them, though in homes near by. 
 She knew he'd been, for she had seen 
 Him by their gate go rapidly ; 
 Go rapidly when she had thought 
 That he would surely turn their way. 
 But, no, he passed them by, was aught ! 
 He had against her to display 
 Such coldness, that a minister I 
 Should have for no parishioner ? ^ 

 If he would come, she'd tell him how 
 The people tried to criticise; 
 She'd counsel him not to allow 
 Such little things as these to rise ; 
 She'd tell him that 'twas to his hurt; 
 That it was wholly out of place 
 To hang upon a woman's skirt, 
 Who merely had a pretty face, 
 A little property, but who 
 Was not his kind if all were true. 
 Not that Rose was not pure; no, no; 
 Yet when it came to such as this, 
 She was not all she should be, tho' 
 She never saw one thing amiss — 
 The people said she kept the place 
 In constant uproar by her pranks ; 
 And such a girl, despite her face, 
 Was not for ministerial ranks. 
 She'd spoil, thought May, the best of men, 
 "And Raymond ought to know it, then." 
 And there was something else, also; 
 Some even went so far to say 
 The P. E. thought himself her beau. 
 And wrote her letters anyway. 
 If this was true, a base coquette, 
 The girl must be, and some one should 
 Be even kind enough to let 
 The Reverend know the girl he wooed. 
 But no, to him none -spoke a word, 
 Yet gossip on the outside stirr'd. 

 'Twas even at the cross-roads store. 
 The first thing the proprietor 
 Threw at Melville the night before 
 Last was that of their minister. 
 "Mel" did not like the thing at all, 
 And came straight home and made it known. 
 Told her to speak at his first call. 
 He'd great respect for Rev. Stone, 
 And did not wnsh to have it said 
 He was by Rosie Hawkins led. 
 These were her thoughts as now she stood 
 This morning at her kitchen door. 
 She thought now^ if he only would 
 Come there to-day, she would no more 
 Play doubly with him, but be plain, 
 And tell him all that Gossip said. 
 And urge him after to refrain 
 From keeping company with the maid ; 
 And tho' sincere she really w-ere, 
 'Twas not well to be seen with her. 
 She turned preparatory to 
 Go to the woods, when in the front 
 She heard approaching steps, and grew 
 Slight nervous, tho' 'twas not her wont. 
 "I wonder, now, who it can be?" 
 She murmured as she closed the door, 
 Tipped to the front room cautiously, 
 Looked through the blinds. And was she sure ? 
 Lo, standing with his gaze upon 
 Some distant object, there was Stone, 

 Already on the porch, about 
 To knock. She felt a little strange. 
 She must not let him in without 
 She made in dress a little change. 
 She could not dare to see him thus. 
 She'd call to him to wait. And so 
 She stole upstairs with little fuss 
 Just as he knocked. And with a ''Who 
 Comes?" waited for his answer ''I." 
 ''O, Reverend !" with a little cry, 
 "Please wait, and I will not be long, 
 There on the porch, please take a chair." 
 Then with some snatches of a song 
 From Children's Day, smoothes back her hair, 
 Puts on a plain but pretty gown, 
 A pair of silken stockings, blue; 
 A dainty pair of slippers on, 
 Then standing at the glass to view 
 Her hasty toilet, goes to greet 
 Th^ man she most desired to meet. 
 No, he preferred the porch, the air 
 Was pleasanter, his time was short. 
 He lounged back in the rustic chair. 
 He was not well at all, but sort 
 Of run down. Thought he'd go away 
 To spend a day or two, and near, 
 Decided he would call to say 
 He might be over Sunday, for fear 
 The choir'd follow suit, thought he 
 Would ask her to them all to see. 

 XVIIl. : , 
 'Terhaps 'tis best," she said, ''if you j 
 (Herself she'd seated opposite,) 
 Are not so well, a day or two 
 To take away, but 'tis not right 
 To miss a Sabbath. People here 
 Prefer to have their minister 
 Within the pulpit to appear, 
 The least. You may be abler 
 By Sunday. If you go away 
 Where'er you are, you'll something say. 
 ''Come back," she smiled, "by then and preach 
 To those who love to hear you still. 
 Who need the very truth you teach, 
 Who come each Sabbath for their fill. 
 But pardon me, I have no right 
 To talk this way, and you my guide. 
 You must excuse me, for I'm quite 
 Too forward; for yourself decide." 
 She finished, looked through half-closed eyes 
 Upon him. Most slowly Stone replies, 
 "Believe me, you, without a doubt, 
 Are right in giving such advice. 
 A woman sees at once without 
 The pafin of thinking over twice. 
 Qf course, I ought not leave at all. 
 But really feel at times so dull. 
 The folks are busy on whom I call. 
 And tho' indeed my hands are full, 
 I cannot study ; 'tis too warm, 
 i\n4 even Nature has lost charn^." 

 She pitied him. She saw at once 
 The cause of this peculiar state. 
 She gave him now a searching glance, 
 And what use was there to wait? 
 She'd speak to him at once, and tell 
 Him in the simplest way she could, 
 What was not very suitable 
 For one who stood just where he stood. 
 He lounged back in the chair and wore 
 A look most wretched. Oft before 
 In other days she saw that look. 
 'The same old Raymond after all," 
 She murmured under breath. She took 
 A rose, whose vine ran up the wall. 
 And blew its petals, one by one. 
 And shook her dainty little foot. 
 Stretched careless out, her eyes on Stone, 
 Who chewed upon a sassafras root. 
 Five minutes passed ere either spoke, 
 And then 'twas she the silence broke. 
 "Now, Reverend, it is useless for 
 This little farce, that we have played, 
 To go on longer. Nobler, 
 It is, if everything be made 
 Now plain between us. From the first 
 I knew you and you knew me, too, 
 And showed it in that quick outburst 
 That Sunday night. Just what to do 
 I knew not then, but now I see 
 My duty very plain to me." 

 He didn't answer, simply sat 
 And looked at her in mute surprise. 
 He never had expected that, 
 Or he had never come. Her eyes 
 Were straight upon him. She went on, 
 "I need not tell you how I felt 
 To have you preaching, Rev. Stone, 
 In the very parish where I dwelt. 
 And I, too, married. Not to me 
 Belongs you being here to tea. 
 "I never heard a word you said, 
 I only thought, 'And is this Ray ?' 
 Some one had written you were dead, 
 Died after I had gone away. 
 At first 'twas you had disappeared, 
 Left all your old acquaintances. 
 Then some time after that, had heard 
 That to a terrible disease 
 You had succumbed, some where down South; 
 Of course, I took it to be truth." 
 He laughed a hollow laugh, ''At most. 
 From all you've seen of me since here, 
 You'll think I'm quite an active ghost. 
 I wonder you had not some fear." 
 "No, no," she cried. 'T taught for five 
 Long years up North, nor wished to see 
 A soul. Alone, I tried to live 
 For others. 'Twas a blow to me. 
 Then I came here and taught two years. 
 None but my God can tell the tears 

 **I shed, and even now for that. 
 But then I met my husband. He 
 Is noble, Reverend, just what 
 A lonely sorrowing one like me 
 Needs to protect her. And he loved ; 
 I married him from pure respect, 
 And faithful to him I have proved. 
 Or tried to. I did not reject 
 His noble love. I thought it best 
 To marry. Thus I have confessed. 
 **But wait, I am not through, don't speak. 
 I fear I know what you would say. 
 After our wedding, scarce a week 
 Had gone, the preacher came* one day, 
 And looking in my album came 
 Across your portrait, and at once 
 Declared he knew you, called your name. 
 Said you were in his conference; 
 And when I told him you were dead, 
 Your name within the minutes read. 
 '*0f course I never thought to look 
 Along the ministerial list. 
 Although I always bought the book, 
 And even then your name I'd missed. 
 Not looking for you there. And so 
 Of course I thought some day 
 I'd see you, but you should not know 
 I recognized you. Now I'd play 
 A perfect ignorance, all that, 
 Pvit now, I se^ it different. Whaf 

THE RUMOR. 1 1 3 
 "Is it that makes me see?" 'Tis you — 
 Your good, or you had never heard 
 A word. Perhaps you do not view 
 It as I do. But when a word 
 Is spoken to your hurt 'twill cut 
 Me also even now, and thus 
 Excuse me, when myself I put 
 Into your matters; there's a muss 
 Throughout the parish all astir 
 Because you go so much with her." 
 Stone sat and heard Mame Melville thro', 
 Now old love, now mere smypathy; 
 Knew not what she was driving to, 
 Nor understood her until she 
 Had finished. Then it was surprise ! 
 If there were aught, it never came 
 To him at all. To criticise 
 He knew 'twas common, could not blame 
 The people for the gossip, knew 
 About them all a thing or two. 
 But why this muss of which she spoke. 
 Which caused her to have gone o'er all 
 Her history? True she awoke 
 Within him much. But since a wall 
 Was reared between them, it was best. 
 He thought, to have kept back much said ; 
 Yes, let the buried ashes rest, 
 Nor kindle up the coals till red 
 They glow. No, forever, no, 
 In speaking he would tell her so. 

 ''Mame/' he now murmured, soft and low, 
 ''You have my deepest sympathy, 
 But what occurred long years ago 
 'Tis best, I think, to let it be. 
 You knew me then, may know me now ; 
 God knows me best ; in Him I trust. 
 Not far from here I made a vow 
 Not to recall the past. I must 
 Therefore forever treat it as 
 Within our life, such never was. 
 "You have a noble husband, true; 
 One who can love you as he ought. 
 Let such love be returned by you, 
 And give to me no further thought. 
 Look at me only as you look 
 At other messengers of Truth, 
 Sent as your pastors. Do not brook 
 To think of that once reckless youth. 
 In truth he died and rose again 
 Another, better, stronger man. 
 "Your reference to musses, pray, 
 What can there be for folks to talk? 
 Am I a child ? I know the way ; 
 My head's not turned because I walk 
 With some congenial girl, a child 
 Almost to me ; that I am sure. 
 Of course, I own a little wild, 
 But from what I see, quite pure, 
 With not a measure of deceit, 
 And for my company quite mete. 

 ''I like her family, because 
 They lead an ideal Christian life. 
 They try their best to keep the Laws 
 Of God, and never are in strife. 
 I know some folks don't like them, true. 
 Few folks like those who do the right. 
 All may not even like me, too ; 
 But does that matter? In God's sight 
 I 'Stand adjudged. He knows my heart 
 And sees the very innermost part. 
 ''Believe me, I don't try to please 
 In any of my life mere man ; 
 Enough to me that Heayen sees, 
 That God in heaven approves my plan. 
 And I go on. Let people talk, — 
 Why, bless you, child, they will make ill 
 Of our best deeds, and watch our walk 
 To see a step which they may fill 
 With dirt, to show we've walked therein, 
 Then pointing shout, 'Behold his sin!' 
 "Of course, I well appreciate 
 Your concern for me, but decline 
 To have you meddle ; 'tis my trait 
 To jealously guard affairs of mine. 
 I make no confidents. No, none. 
 I treat my members all the same, 
 And when from them I shall have gone 
 For 'picking' they will not me blame. 
 So, Mame, I thank you for your show 
 Of sympathy, and now must go." 

 "Not yet," she said, (a smothered sigh) 
 *'Not yet, don't go and leave me thus. 
 I meant you well, you can't deny, 
 Since all around I hear this muss. 
 Yet, pardon me, if I have gone 
 Too far in all that I have said. 
 To me you shall be Bro. Stone, 
 No more, and if I have displayed 
 Aught unbecoming, I take back. 
 Pray God to give me what I lack. 
 "Yet one thing you cannot control, 
 That is a lasting sympathy; 
 That, the one impulse of my soul, 
 Shall always rush incessantly, 
 Whenever you in trouble are. 
 Whenever you may need advice, 
 Whenever you are bent with care, 
 My soul, a willing sacrifice. 
 Shall live for you, shall for you live. 
 If this be wrong, may God forgive!" 
 r ' 
 He answered not, but rose to go. 
 "No, do not go; retake your seat. 
 You are not strong, 'tis true, I know ; 
 Stay, I'll prepare a bit to eat. 
 Stay, you shall have a book to read. 
 I know you'll interested be. 
 Stay do not worry, you'll not need 
 To say another word to me." 
 She not another moment took 
 But went and got for him the book, 

tHE RUMOR. ' 117 
 "Quo Vadis," as he took his seat, 
 Reached for the book she to him brought, 
 She said, "I know that it will meet 
 With your approval, for the thought 
 Is grand." And then she disappeared. 
 He soon began the leaves to turn. 
 'Twas now and then her voice he heard 
 In snatch of sacred song, but, stern 
 He drove, if came soft thoughts, away, 
 And sat and read that summer day. 

 Canto X. — . 
 The Rev. Dr. Samuel Small 
 Was th^ Presiding Elder of 
 The B ]\I District. Somewhat tall, 
 Large in proportion, quite a proof 
 To the rough travel attending such 
 A District in its rural parts.- 
 A man who easily came in touch 
 With all the people, won their hearts, 
 And went among his brethren 
 As the very best of men. 
 Quite dark, strong features, large bright eyes 
 'Neath a broad intellectual brow, 
 Which was in keeping with his size, 
 And made you in his measure 'low 
 For common sense and shrewdness full. 
 A manner quite magnetic, he 
 Could wake the dullest of the dull, 
 The gravest to a sense of glee. 
 At Brown's pronounced an orator 
 By every parishpner. 

 It was mid-summer, in July, 
 For his first ''Quarterly" he came. 
 Brown's people came from far and nigh ; 
 For quarterlies, it was their claim, 
 They made their biggest days, and so 
 The church was always crowded. Old 
 And young would never fail to go. 
 And much untruth that day was told — 
 Ah, many untruths told that day — 
 'Tis what the usual critics say. 
 But we have watched them at such times, 
 And heard the testimony given, 
 Poetic speeches, 'spersed with rhymes, 
 And been constrained to think that heaven, 
 Some of them had already seen, 
 And some were not so far away, 
 And some had to its borders been, — 
 For they had, oh, so much to say ! 
 And some, we thought, if they held out 
 Would enter heaven without a doubt. 
 Then, some we've heard, but knowing them, 
 Oh, sad to hear such people talk 
 About the new Jerusalem, 
 Yet stray far from it in their walk ! 
 Such, we have often thought, were blind, 
 Or groped in darkness, failed to see, 
 What they called heaven was not the kind 
 Of place in which we hope to be. 
 From knowledge of their daily modes, 
 We've thought them bound on different roads. 

 The Doctor's sermon might be said 
 To be a revelation quite. 
 Forsooth, the people's minds were led 
 Up to a most tremendous height. 
 If they saw heaven (some avowed 
 They did, but never stopped to tell 
 Just how it looked), they shouted loud. 
 And gave the Methodistic yell, 
 And wagged their heads and clapped their hands 
 And sung of shining silver strands. 
 Some swooned away, for I suppose, 
 So unaccustomed to the sight. 
 They could not stand it like to those 
 Who daily basked within its light. 
 And some got up and waltzed around 
 The little chapel. I presume 
 They thought they walked celestial ground 
 Though in the aisle 'twas hardly room. 
 But such the power of eloquence 
 Which robs a man of all his sense. 
 Now, Stone had quite a different style. 
 He seldom rose at times above 
 A simple talk, all free from guile. 
 And yet such powerful truth he drove 
 Home to his hearers, they were wont 
 To feel his every word, recoil 
 Because he poured a solid front 
 Into them, causing such turmoil, 
 Till they who came to hear him preach, 
 Felt every man himself in reach. 

 They seldom lost their heads, yet when 
 They saw the speaker disappear 
 Behind the sacred desk, 'twas then 
 They felt the more inclined to hear ; 
 Was sorry when he had sat down. 
 Their very souls would cry "Go on!" 
 For each one thought the word his own. 
 Something that he alone had done. 
 And so preached Stone ; so Bishop Payne : 
 Which of these styles the more will gain? 
 I think somebody says, "If God 
 Is in the preaching, then all rig'ht." 
 We tread the path the Master trod, 
 And in his preaching where's the might? 
 Think you, on Mount Beatitudes, 
 He spoke unto that motley throng, 
 They heard Him in excited moods, 
 Except when being convinced of wrong, 
 They had been stabbed unto the quick. 
 And fallen over conscience strick ? 
 And even then, now did our Lord 
 Stand up and loud His words declaim ? 
 Or sat he not while every word 
 Burned in the conscience like a flame? 
 His was the "still small voice." Go search 
 The Scriptures, read the Parables, 
 And then conclude that in the church 
 True preaching is not jingling bells. 
 Not jingling bells, however sweet 
 They sound and our approval meet. 

 True preaching ? Let us first convince 
 The judgment, all we say is right, 
 Is truth, though one beneath it wince ; 
 Then secondly, we must incite 
 One to perform that which he sees 
 Is duty. This is but to cause 
 His will to act. That he might please 
 His Maker, he'll no longer pause, 
 But having seen his duty, rise 
 To make a perfect sacrifice. 
 Then, is a man condemned if he 
 Should be of such a nervous make 
 When preaching he excitedly 
 Should lumber, till the corners shake? 
 No, brother, if the truth he hurls 
 Straight to the mark and makes a stir, 
 Till men forsake mere rocks, seek pearls 
 O^f righteousness, live nobler. 
 Yet, if it is but empty sound. 
 For such excitement, there's no ground. 
 Besides, our people need to think ; 
 To use their minds, themselves to see ; 
 At faults no longer can we wink — 
 And many a filthy fault have we. 
 Truth's searchlight must be turned upon 
 Ourselves, our public, private life. 
 This can by thought alone be done. 
 Ours is a most peculiar strife. 
 Tho' all without a mighty host, 
 We fight against ourselves the most. 

QUARtERLY MfiEtlNd. l23 
 These things must every pastor preach; 
 Yea, Hke the seers gray, of old, 
 Our people not forbear to teach, 
 Before them e'er the Truth to hold, 
 Then point them out a better way, 
 Show them that life is practical. 
 Religion not a great display. 
 But it is daily doing all 
 The little things which life complete: 
 This makes alone for heaven mete. 
 Let every Sabbath Day unseal 
 Another roll of blessed Truth ; 
 And let God's messengers reveal 
 It not with words of man too smooth. 
 But when the vision doth appear, 
 And when the high command is given. 
 Oh, let the waiting people hear 
 The message as it comes from heaven ; 
 And should it kill and should it cure. 
 He does his duty, does no more. 
 The Rev. Dr. Small had ceased. 
 The prayer chanted by the choir. 
 The chanted prayer but increased 
 The burning of the zealous fire. 
 The anthem following at last 
 Prepared them for the offering, 
 Which quite a damper o'er them cast. 
 After such mighty holloing; 
 But they, the faithful, to the table. 
 Came, and laid down what they were able. 

 And some who seldom ever came, 
 But now dressed in their very best 
 Came also up. It seemed their aim 
 Alone to show how well they dressed; 
 For hunting in their purses, gave 
 The smallest coin they could find. 
 Ah, who could faith in some folks have. 
 With all this ever on his mind ? 
 'Twere better if we never heard 
 Them in the class-room say a word. 
 Ere came the service to a close. 
 In the best words at his command, 
 The Doctor smiling as he rose 
 Praised their advancement, pronounced grand 
 The building of the parsonage, 
 Their pastor who suggested it, 
 Called 'him a young man of the age, 
 (And made Stone most uneasily sit.) 
 Was confident from every sign 
 They'd prosper all along the line. 
 When benediction had been said 
 And he within the chancel stood, 
 O many a gracious hand was laid 
 Within his honest grasp. How good 
 His sermon was that morning, how 
 It made them feel, and all of that. 
 He'd be with them for dinner ; now, 
 If they remembered right 'twas what 
 He said when he was there before. < 
 And thus they pressed him by the score. 

 XXL ! 
 But, no, 'twas Hawkins he had thought; j 
 Yes, Hawkins said it surely was ; I 
 And when he had the pastor sought j 
 Who was surrounded by a mass 
 Of choir girls, they straightway went 
 With Bro. Hawkins as agreed, 
 Who' as they went was eloquent 
 In praise of Stone. There was no need, 
 The Doctor knew the pastor well. 
 Whose motto's always to excell. 
 Rose, with another girl, a friend, 
 A former classmate, who had come ' 
 This year a little while to spend i 
 Vacation in this country home. 
 From city's heat, walked slow behind. 
 ''A widower, of course, you know," : 
 Said Rose, quite softly, "and now mind | 
 You girl, he wants to be my beau ! i 
 He writes, of course, occasionally, 
 And says such silly things to me. 
 '*0f course, you'll entertain him some, 
 And that will give me little chance ; 
 With Ray. Pa fixed for him to come 
 When here last time. You see him glance 
 At me when I was in the choir 
 Just after I the solo sang? 
 Well, child, it was not my desire 
 To laugh, and I just had to hang 
 My head for I was shaking so ; 
 That look did certainly tickle tho'." 

 The friend looked at the girl. A mild 
 Reproach was on her lips. "You Rose, 
 O when will you get better, child? 
 You should not act like that. Suppose 
 He really loves you, and what then?'' 
 ''My! Love? He does not love at all. 
 He's only like the most of men 
 Who preach. A second wife to haul 
 About the country that's his aim. 
 But he won't get me, all the same." 
 "Then," said her friend, "now^ wdiat about 
 The pastor ? You are surely struck 
 With him. This not a soul can doubt 
 To hear you speak. 'Tis the same luck; 
 And may be worse ; he's yet to rise. 
 And years shall pass ere he can reach 
 A paying charge, however wise 
 He be or well, perhaps, may preach ; 
 For our church has peculiar wavs 
 To try its young men nowadays." 
 "I had not thought of that," said Rose, 
 "Nor do I really know at all 
 That he loves me, yet I suppose 
 He cares a little. Not like Small, 
 He's very careful what he says, 
 And here of late avoided me. 
 Somehow I rather like his ways, 
 His quiet talk and dignity. 
 The way he treats us all. He comes 
 Just as a brother to our homes; 

 *'And yet no word suggesting ill 
 Has yet of him been said. You see 
 There are some characters you will 
 Xot help from loving, such is he." 
 "And do you know," now asked her friend, 
 That this is real or do you paint 
 Because when 'tis seen from your end 
 Of view, the man appears a saint? 
 And is it wise to love a man 
 You know not loves you ? Such a plan 
 "Makes untold trouble in the end. 
 Your very life a wreck may be. 
 Rose, listen ; advice from your friend 
 X'ow take. Look well your way to see." 
 *'0, Dora, I know nothing; you 
 Would be like me if in my place. 
 I yet believe that he is true 
 And upright. If I have no grace 
 With him, it makes no difference. I 
 Could for him live. Yes, even die." 
 At this outburst, quiet Dora Wright 
 Looked down upon the girlish form 
 Beside her. "And, unselfish quite. 
 Your love is. Hope it brings no harm. 
 I wish that I could love as you. 
 Perhaps I would be better then. 
 To me, things have a different view, 
 I love not, am not loved by men. 
 If you do win him it must prove 
 Alone the power of pure love. 

 "I trust you shall." 'Thank you so much," 
 Said Rose, as glancing up into 
 Her face. ''You can't tell how vou touch 
 Me with such words. And when from you, 
 I can hope on. Yes, I will try 
 To be less wild. I know 'tis wrong. 
 That holds him back, maybe." (A sigh.) 
 "Hereafter I will be more strong, 
 ril cease this flitting all about 
 Which holds him back, I have no doubt." 
 "Of course, that's right. You know you were 
 Too bright a girl at school to be 
 Now rushing with these young folks here. 
 There's something else in life to see. 
 Your education was far more 
 Than just to settle down at this. 
 And have you thought how many poor 
 Young girls such chance as you have, miss ? 
 Then you who have been favored, do' 
 The things the world expects of you." 
 "Ah, you should be a preacher's wife," 
 Said Rose so loud that Dora feared 
 The men had heard. "Yours is the life, 
 The nobleness that has endeared 
 You to me, makes me often long 
 To be like you, always to speak 
 As you, in all to be as strong 
 As you. But no, I'm very weak ; 
 And yet I hope to be some day 
 A little strong; do for me pray." 

 *'I will," replied her friend. And then 
 They stood beside the great farm gate; 
 And now already had the men 
 Passed through. *'Now girls don't have me wait,' 
 Said Mrs. Hawkins when she met 
 Them in the hall as np the stairs 
 They went that they their hair might set 
 In shape. For women must their hair 
 Smoothe every quarter of an hour. 
 They know too well where lies their power. 

 Canto XI. 
 'Tvvas Monday afternoon when Stone 
 In road-cart with the Rev. Small 
 Drove off to town, after they'd shown 
 Themselves in making many a call. 
 And now as on the road they chat, 
 (As only reverend brethren ca"n 
 About this matter and of that, 
 When each is every inch a man,) 
 Of what the outside world was doing. 
 The various paths men were pursuing. 
 But first they spoke about the folks 
 On whom they'd called, and just how well 
 They lived, despite the humble walks 1 
 In which they went. 'Twas much to tell 
 Of progress since the days of thrall, 
 When for them there was not a school, 
 When ignorance hung over all ; 
 Yet with ten acres and a mule 
 Some started and in thirty years 
 Became their former masters' peers. 

 "Yes, wonderful the progress made," 
 Said Small, when they a farm had passed 
 Owned by a Negro. ''Those who stayed 
 Here in the country have amassed 
 Considerable. I wish that some 
 Of those who in the city live. 
 That haven't either house or home, 
 Would take the lessons that these give. 
 This Hawkins, for an instance, he 
 Is what many of them might be. 
 "YouVe met the married daughter?" ''Yes," 
 Replied the younger, "Quite refined." 
 "Exceedingly, I must confess. 
 And one with quite a witty mind. 
 But Rosie, what think you of her?" 
 "I have not drawn conclusions," said 
 Quite slow, the younger minister. 
 "I really cannot say." "You've paid 
 But small attention there, I see," 
 The elder said, "from your reply." 
 "Peihaps," asserted Stone, "'tis true. 
 One cannot always well afford 
 Too much attention upon few 
 When many need him, too." "The Lord," 
 Now held the elder, "had his friends, 
 Mary and Martha, — Lazarus." 
 "Ah, that is true, yet much depends 
 On friendship's use with one of us," 
 In quite emphatic tones said Stone. 
 '*0f course," replied the other one. 

 ''But since I mention her I must 
 Here say, at heart, this same, Miss Rose 
 Is one of the best girls, and just 
 Some men's ideal. I suppose 
 All men would not agree with me." 
 "No; each man has his own ideal. 
 'Tis seldom that two men may see 
 Alike, for much on how we feel 
 Depends," said Stone. There was a cough. 
 "Fie," said the other, "you are off, 
 "For much depends on how we see. 
 To make us feel, that is more true. 
 A woman may attractive be 
 To me, yet not at all to you; 
 For now, real beauty to be known, 
 Must first be seen. Not every one 
 Can 'see, and 'tis not always shown. 
 The sun is bright, altho' the sun 
 Cannot be seen by men down in 
 The very bottom of a mine. 
 " 'Whatever God has made,' one says, 
 Ts beautiful.' Picks up the worm 
 And cries, 'How wonderful thy ways 
 And works !' in looking at the form, 
 And by the aid of some strong glass 
 Examines what the naked eye 
 Could never see, a blade of grass, 
 Or tiniest bubble of the sea. 
 The home for millions. Yet declare 
 These to be wonderful. The ai;* 

 "Swarms with myriads of creature life, 
 Which could we see with natural eye, 
 And were we not inclined to strife, 
 We'd pronounced beautiful. That's why 
 We fail to feel just as we ought 
 Toward the higher nobler things. 
 We see not, and 'tis therefore nought 
 We know about them, and this brings 
 Me even to theology 
 They hate God, who God fail to see. 
 "Once seen, seen as He is, 'tis love 
 That fills the bosom of our being ; 
 Once known, and we will never prove 
 Cold to His wishes, but will bring 
 Our souls a willing sacrifice. 
 Only that we might contemplate 
 Upon Him, and our devotions rise 
 Before Him, to us s^ood and great. 
 Recall you Peter ? *Unto you 
 That believe He precious is.' Yes, true.'* 
 "Thank you," said Stone, "your point is won. 
 Have it your way; I can't make void 
 Your argument." "No, Bro. Stone, 
 And your assertion is destroyed. 
 Of course I hope you will agree 
 That there is much in this young maid, 
 But only you have failed to see," 
 The Rev. Dr. slyly said. 
 "Oh, I suppose there is," said Stone, 
 With much indifference in his tone. 

 But to himself he murmured, ''You 
 Grand old rascal, come off there! 
 I think I really catch your view. 
 Yiour eyes are seeking 'Mistress Clare, 
 Beware, take care, she's fooling thee/ 
 Look sharp, my boy, who knows, who knows, 
 But what she's full of coquetry. 
 This switching most bewitching Rose. 
 'I know a maiden fair to see, 
 She can both false and friendly be.' " 
 "I hear," he said, "that Clay has been 
 Removed from X — and sent to B — ." 
 "Yes," said the Elder, "so I've seen. 
 He was not satisfied, you see ; - 
 And the man's family is large. 
 The work two hundred, scarce, a year. 
 I knew when first he took the charge 
 He'd not remain. In fact, I fear 
 He'll not stay at his present one 
 Unless there's something for him done." 
 "What does B — pay?" "Not over three. 
 Besides, the place is most remote, 
 And Clay is young and wants to be 
 Within the city. In his boat 
 There's many another man also. 
 But country charges are the best 
 For all young clergymen to go 
 Where they may get the real test. 
 Of course for several years it's hard, 
 But faithfulness has its reward." 

 *'Yet how is it with others who 
 Have never seen the country ? I \ 
 Beheve there are a favorite few : 
 Who have the best, and who would die 
 If sent to such a charge as mine, 
 And who, 1 think, would never go. ' 
 Now what of them ? What was the line 
 By which they have been tested ? Oh, ; 
 There's some injustice in it all. 
 You know it well, now. Dr. Small," 
 XVI. i 
 The other 'neath the challenge winced. 
 ''Don't be too harsh, now, Bro. Stone. 
 There's much of which I am convinced i 
 Is wrong, but everything that's done I 
 In conference is for the best. j 
 It is the man that makes the place. 
 Our way to find it is to test. 
 May be 'tis seen upon the face i 
 Of matters. Some men are just what 
 We need in this place or in that. 
 XVII. 1 
 ''Granted, all men could never fill v.- ! 
 A country charge; and just as true 
 With the reverse. There are some still 
 Who. can with power fill the two. 
 Such men, of course, are rare. When found, 
 I tell you, sir, it is not long, 
 That they, though at the bottom round, 
 Will reach the top. The church needs strong 
 Progressive men, wherever be 
 The charge; this one can plainly see. 

l^f) fiROWN CHAPEL. 
 "Besides, the work must all be done; 
 'Tis wrong to say, *I will not go 
 Into the country,' and no one 
 Is a true servant who will show 
 Such spirit. He a hirling is, 
 Who tends the sheep alone for wool. 
 The shepherd's spirit is not his ; 
 For he cares nothing for the soul. 
 Since money is his main interest. 
 He seeks it where 'tis easiest." 
 "These," replied Stone, "I won't dispute, 
 Yet this is what appeals to me,. 
 Why this poor man, now, does it suit 
 Conference to send to, lets say B — , 
 When there are men of means who might 
 Now just as well a year or two 
 Spend in this place ? Think it is right 
 That we should keep a favorite few 
 In city charges with no test ? 
 Then dare to call such men the best ? 
 "There is another thought also. 
 If testing men is what you mean, 
 I think it right that men skould go 
 Unto those people with whom they've been 
 Accustomed. Take this Eastern Shore 
 From Cecil down to Worcester, 
 We should not think of bringing o'er 
 A western shoreman, never, sir. 
 Let those who have been lx)rn and bred 
 Here on this side be pastors made." 

tHE run-Away. t^^ 
 ''Another thing, poor charges ought 
 Be pastored by rich pastors, too, 
 And rich as well in health and thought. 
 Of course you'll say we have but few. 
 This I acknowledge, but how some'er, 
 If these we have would take a turn 
 In these poor charges it is clear 
 The church would be the stronger. Learn 
 From what the laity has to say 
 Of the assessments it must pay. 
 "How little it has left to meet 
 Its local debts that constant come. 
 A pastor must be most discreet, 
 For there is constantly coming some, 
 Far wiser than the rest, to ask 
 Why such and such a sum is raised; 
 And where the work is poor, a task 
 It is to do this. He's not praised 
 Too much if he has managed to 
 Raise every claim that's asked by you. 
 "Suppose a man, who's well-to-do, 
 About to superanuate, 
 Should be by conference sent to 
 A charge that's poor. He need not wait 
 To have them give him what they should 
 A man who is not otherwise 
 Supported. If 'twere all they could, 
 A Httle salary and supplies. 
 Well then ? They'd have a chance to grow, 
 Pay off their debts, is this not so?" 

 "Well, Brother," answered Dr. Small, 
 "There are some problems, if you please, 
 Tho' we try work them, after all 
 May be concluded mysteries. 
 Just be content. Yes, be content ; 
 Put in the hands of God your cause; 
 And faithfully go where you are sent, 
 Strive to maintain the church's law^s, 
 And I predict you'll never stop 
 Until you've made the very top.'* 
 "Oh, no," said Stone, "I do not fret 
 About myself. I am all right. 
 I speak for others, those who get 
 Along so badly, and who might. 
 It seems a better show^ be given, — 
 Who often have large families, — 
 These are the men I speak for. Heaven 
 Unravel soon your mysteries. 
 And let these fellows have a show, 
 Or there'll be terrible times, I know. 
 "Have you not ears? Of course you hear. 
 Have you not eyes ? You surely see. 
 There's discontent, sir, everywhere. 
 The brewing of a mutiny. 
 The young men all, in arms, are up; 
 They'll scarcely longer tolerate, 
 They deem past bitterness their cup ; 
 And even now they but await 
 The signal of some leader, then 
 Look out, you elder clergymen. 

 *'Who must to General Conference go? 
 Of course some man who cares no more 
 For 'little men' than for some foe 
 W^ho stood to stab him at his door. 
 Yet each quadrennial we send 
 Such fellows there. What do they do ? 
 Nothing that we might commend. 
 Elect some bishops, create some new 
 Departments, make a higher tax 
 To goad the people, now most lax. 
 ''And every man that has the bee 
 Of bishop buzzing in his head 
 Will aim to make another See, 
 When we might now have less instead. 
 And thus to eke them out support, 
 We now must make bricks without straw, 
 When driven to the last resort, — 
 To church theatres, then the law, 
 The law, which says it ought not be — 
 What was it made another See? 
 ''Well, there is much that I might say, 
 Suffice that I now say to you, ' 
 Use all your power along the way. 
 Undo the harm that many do. 
 Lord it not o'er God's heritage, 
 Drive not the young men to the wall, 
 This is a most peculiar age. 
 And there is room enough for all. 
 Just let the young men have a chance; 
 That's all we ask of conference." 

140 feROWN Cl-IAPEL. 
 By now they'd come in sight of town. 
 The tall red reservoir in sight; 
 The steeples high and smokestacks brown, 
 Now glisten in the sun's bright light. 
 The houses in among the trees ; 
 The curling smoke from chimneys tall ; 
 The smell of gas upon the breeze; 
 The winding river; and the fall 
 Of land, the buzzing and the hum, 
 Told them that near the town they'd come, 
 "Straight to the depot?" ''Yes," said Small. 
 'T don't know that my horse will stand." 
 ''Just drive there, need not wait at all. 
 You will not have much time on hand." 
 And thus it was in silence thev 
 Entered the town, each occupied 
 With his own thoughts. Along the way, 
 Folks bowed to them on every side. 
 Soon to the little station came. 
 "Success," said Small, and "You the same," 
 Said Stone, and he was on his way 
 Back through the town, and Small had gone 
 To get his ticket. Three hours, and day 
 He told himself would then be done. 
 He stopped no longer than to buy 
 Some writing paper and the like; 
 And then he drove most hurriedly 
 Out of the town unto the pike. 
 A mile, a turn, and on the right 
 The little town lay out of sight. 

 The road is broad, save here and there 
 A lot of sand, is very good; 
 To-day quite dusty, and the air j 
 At times is thick, especially should \ 
 He come up with a team, or let 
 Another drive before him ; then 
 His horse would uneasy get, 
 And try to run ahead. But when 
 He drove all undisturbed along 
 So far as dust there was no wrong. 
 XXXIV. j 
 Slowly the sun sinks to the west. 
 Leaving an almost cloudless sky, I 
 Except a few with burnished crest i 
 That 'round the low horizon lie. | 
 'Twas a delightful afternoon, • | 
 Unlike the usual July, 
 But more like weather found in June, 
 When, lo, beneath a harvest sky, , 
 Men gazed upon their ripening grain. 
 That rolls in waves as doth the main. 
 The road runs through a country which 
 Is here and there marked by broad fields 
 Of golden grain which now looked rich 
 Beneath the sun. Now as stacked shields 
 Of resting army, in a row, 
 Stand fresh cut shocks, by busy men * 
 So placed, who hither, thither go - 
 All up and down the field again 
 Behind the reaper, binding, still, 
 The marvel of ingenius skill, 

 Now here a field of bowing maize 
 And there a watermelon patch ; 
 And here a field where cattle graze, 
 But now stand at the bars to watch 
 For John who with his loud halloo, 
 His old, but trusty nag astride, 
 O'er yonder hill just comes in view, 
 Galloping o'er the meadow wide ; 
 And huddled closely there's a flock 
 Of sheep near by an ancient rock. 
 An hour has passed. The horse can make 
 Five miles an hour and five are made. 
 In dreamy mood. Stone let him take 
 His time, especially when the grade 
 Is heavy. An hour, and the sun 
 Would set, but quite a long twilight. 
 Stone did not mind ; there was but one 
 Thing he must watch. A sudden fright, 
 The horse had taken now and then. 
 But a good animal in the main. 
 'Twas Bro. Hawkins' horse, a steed, 
 When placed u^x^n the level road, 
 Was said to make considerable speed. 
 As his past services had showed. 
 But now Stone felt not much inclined 
 To put him on his level best. 
 In fact, now, Stone was rather kind 
 To brutes ; and thought there was much test 
 In going those ten miles and back 
 Without a break in all his track. 

 Within the west now came a glow ; 
 The clouds took on a golden crest, 
 The sun, in crimson sinking low, 
 Was leaving beautiful the west. 
 Now here, now there, familiar calls 
 Rose on the air of ''co, co, 
 Co boss, CO boss," at intervals. 
 As stretch the shadows wide and slow. 
 And now against the burnished sky 
 A flock of crows is seen to fly. 
 Across the road, on either side 
 The quiet wood, a squirrel is seen 
 To skip ; then sit all open-eyed. 
 Half hidden by the twigs of green, 
 Rise on his haunches to survey 
 The lonely driver in the cart ; 
 Then quickly drop and dart away 
 Into the dark with panting heart. 
 Softly as if there never was 
 A creature rushing through the grass. 
 Three miles the road leads through a wood. 
 Above the dark sentinel trees ; 
 The sky is clear, and solitude 
 Reigns here. No stirring of the breeze, 
 No rustling of the leaves except 
 Here now and there, a rabbit, shy. 
 Across the shadowy road has lept 
 Just as the cart goes creaking by. 
 Of Bryant's "Thanatopsis" Stone 
 Thought as he drove along alone. 

 Two things 'tis said together go, 
 Two things, and they are wed as one. 
 'Tis Love and Poetry that flow 
 By either's side until they run 
 Into each other. This is true. 
 Who ever now the subject be. 
 There have been those who never knew, 
 Or wished to know of poetry. 
 Once loving, see in simplest rhyme 
 The quality that is sublime. . 
 And those, there are, who never stopped 
 In all their life before to read 
 One bit of verse, in love, have dropped 
 Into the habit till indeed 
 They find themselves can too compose ; 
 And love-sick verse is everywhere 
 Found in their chambers, which but shows 
 We all are poets on the rare 
 Occasion of a love attack. 
 Which balances the wit we lack. 
 If Stone in love of Nature held 
 Communfon with her flowers, it was 
 Because it all had been impelled 
 By thoughts about a witching lass. 
 If he forgot to watch his course, 
 To close his eyes to all about. 
 To give the reins up to the horse. 
 There cannot be the slightest doubt, 
 The fault was due all to this maid 
 And what she had unto him sai4T 

 Sweet dreams of love ! Why unconcerned 
 In everything about thee man? 
 Well, dream on! Of a sudden turned 
 His horse, and snorting, stretching, ran 
 At breakneck speed right down the road ! 
 Stone awakened grabbed the reins; in vain, 
 He wxnt the faster, mettle showed, 
 Tho' Stcne held on with might and main. 
 And soon he found to his dismay. 
 The animal meant to run away. 
 He'd hold him straight within the road, 
 Thought Stone until he tired grew. 
 'Twas usually the wisest mode. 
 This rate would not keep up he knew. 
 One thing there was, two miles or more, 
 Just where the woods came to an end, 
 A high fenced field lying straight before, 
 The road came to a sudden bend. 
 To safely turn at such high speed 
 WquIcJ be a iniracle indeed. 
 Stretched out his neck, straight out his head, 
 Set back his ears, aflame his eyes, 
 With smoking nostrils, on he sped. 
 Causing the dust in clouds to rise. 
 The whirling spokes cannot be seen ; 
 The cart but like a phantom flashed 
 By oak and gum of sombre green, 
 As on along the road he dashed. 
 One seeing from the wood would swear 
 A spectre only filled the air, 

 On ! on ! the bend is just ahead ; 
 On ! on ! 'tis faster now the flight, 
 As if the very noise he made, 
 But added terror to his fright. 
 Lines well in hand. Stone holds his course. 
 He dares not think about the end. 
 Determined but to turn the horse 
 Just as he came up to the bend, — 
 To turn him if it were that he 
 Should turn into eternity. 
 In face of danger, there is that 
 Which often makes a weak man strong. 
 If you would know it, it is what 
 Men call clear conscience, when no wrong 
 Committed stands a charge to lay, 
 And all our sins have been forgiven. 
 What though 'tis Death we meet ? the way 
 But opens unto us our heaven. 
 No fear within the breast of Stone, 
 Although his horse rushed madly on. 
 On tore the horse. Still self-possessed, 
 Stone sat the awful doom to face. 
 He thinks of many things, his breast 
 Swells strangely as he nears the place. 
 Back from the past his whole life flashed. 
 Back the last look af mother dear, 
 Back came to him, as on he dashed. 
 His childhood and the days that were. 
 Then came a sweet young face to view, 
 One who had said, "We'll wait for you." 

 "We'll wait for you." Her words were those 
 When they were on the porch alone. 
 That witching maid, that wild, wild Rose, 
 Who waited till her pa had gone 
 To get the horse, she stole the chance 
 To bid him back to supper come 
 W^ith such a sweet sly roguish glance. 
 He knew she waited now at home. 
 Still tighter on the reins he drew 
 And heard again "We'll wait for you." 
 O death is sweet when Love is born! 
 The pain of all the travail paid. 
 If but the light of Hope's glad morn. 
 What tho' one in the earth be laid ? 
 What though the heart no more may beat. 
 What though the lips may never tell 
 That love, so heavenly and sweet, 
 Oh, the incomprehensible 
 Will cast a halo o'er that love. 
 And make it far more joyous prove! 
 Out of the woods. And what is that ? 
 The road, a woman's figure crossed. 
 Stone saw it as he grimly sat. 
 The bend ! — no moment must be lost. 
 He breathed a prayer, steeled his nerve, 
 Firm in the cart he braced his feet, 
 Tight held the lines. A sudden swerve, 
 He is sent flying from his seat. 
 CRASH ! — cartless speeds the horse away ! 
 A woman cries, "Oh. God, 'tis Ray !" 

 May Melville stoops beside the form, 
 Which bleeding and unconscious lay. 
 Her soul is full. In deep alarm, 
 Lifting her voice, she cries "O Ray!" 
 No answer but the crimson stream. 
 That treakled down that lofty brow. 
 The shadows fall, the sun's last ^leam 
 Has vanished. Night is coming now, 
 The grass already wet with dew. 
 "Oh, God!" she cries, "what shall I do?" 
 As if in answer to her prayer. 
 The steps of hurried feet are heard, 
 And in the dark she listened there. 
 When soon three stalwart forms appeared, 
 Two colored and the other white. 
 "Boys, come ! For God's sake come !" she cried. 
 They come, at once take in the sight, 
 The smashed cart, form, and at its side 
 This woman, whom each of them knew, 
 And all at once, "What can we do?" 
 "Ylou Charles," she to the white lad said, 
 "Go for the Doctor, quickly, please; 
 And you, John Henry, stay with Ned. 
 In yonder are some hickories ; 
 These with those shafts a litter make. 
 Quick, boys! don't stand there gaping, see? 
 Do go at once, for mercy sake ! 
 Who knows ? The case may fatal be— r 
 Go !" she almost screamed, and they, 
 |!ach went her biddinia: tp obev. 

tHE RUN-AWAV. ' t49 
 It is not very long before 
 A litter rude is strongly made, 
 To her it seemed an hour or more. 
 The last faint glow began to fade, 
 And darkness settled all around. 
 And damper, chillier, seemed the dew. 
 They raised the form from off the gfround. 
 ''Where shall we take him?" asked the two. 
 "Where take him?" and her voice was hoarse, 
 "\Miy, take him to my house, of course !" 

 Canto XII. 
 ''Come, Dora, to the kitchen; 'tis 
 An hour befrre sunset, and I 
 Will show you what giood cooking is," 
 Said Rosie. 'T have got tO' fry 
 Some fowl for supper, don't you know; 
 Ma's gone out calling, don't you see. 
 Of course, now I have got to show 
 My hand at cooking — laugh at me? 
 Why bless you, I'm no amateur, 
 I'm by profession, now, be sure." 
 They stood there on the front porch then, 
 And looked toward the dusty pike. 
 Beyond they watched the busy men 
 Stack shocks of wdieat. ''Well as you like," 
 Said Dora, "but I laughed not at 
 Your cooking, but another thought — " 
 "Ah !" exclaimed Rosie, "I know what," 
 As by the arm her friend she caught. 
 "Yes, I expect he will be here 
 For supper, too, but never fear, 

 "I think ril please his appetite; 
 Come now." And around the house they went. 
 ''John, killed the chickens? — that is right," 
 She said as John out of a tent, 
 Quite rudely made of poles and straw, 
 Came answering to her quickly, "There,'' 
 And pointed to a crock she saw 
 In the well house. ''I do declare. 
 How fat they are !" she cried when she 
 Had raised a lid the fowls to see. 
 Within the kitchen, blazing bright, 
 A fire now already burned. 
 A pan of rolls, already "light," 
 Was waiting. Rose the damper turned ; 
 The frying pan placed on the stove ; 
 Her sleeves rolled up, an apron on, 
 'Twas thus she stood, herself to prove 
 As good a cook as any one. 
 The kettle soon began to sing. 
 And all took on a merry ring. 
 "There, Dora, dear, do take that chair 
 There by the door ; it is so warm 
 In here ; and it is cooler there — 
 My! how these plagued flies do sw^arm! 
 Shoo! — John! come here and bring your bush. 
 These flies are nearly taking me." 
 John came and soon began to brush. 
 "That's right ; you're good as you can be !" 
 "Your rolls should go in, ought they not?" 
 Asked Dora. "Yes, the oven's hot. 

 ''John, grind the coffee; that's a man," 
 Said Rosie, ''Dora, let it be; 
 John will see to it. Johnnie can 
 Do lots of things, and will for me." 
 *'How nice," said Dora. Johnnie, proud, 
 Got down the coffee mill, and soon 
 The air is filled with notes quite loud 
 As played that instrument a time. 
 "Which pot's for coffee?" Dora, wdio 
 Could not. sit there and nothing do, 
 Asked as she from the dresser took 
 Two agate vessels. "That's the one," 
 Said Rosie, with a hurried look. 
 As from the pan, so crisp arrd brown. 
 She forked some chicken, all the while 
 Her mind was on one certain guest. 
 In vain, she could not hide the smile, 
 Though trying with her level best. 
 "He likes the 'pope's nose,' too," she said 
 All to herself. Alas, poor maid! 
 She little knew the meal prepared, 
 Would not be seen by him that night; 
 She little knew just how he fared 
 That very moment. With delight 
 In that hot kitchen now she stands 
 And bravely bends o'er that hot stove. 
 She scalds her arms and burns her hands 
 But minds it not because of love; 
 Love, which she dares not think returned — 
 Her arms are scald'd, her hands are burned. 

 The sun is nearly out of sight. 
 " 'Twill not be long," herself she told, 
 "Ere he will come." The blazing light 
 Now filled the west with brightest gold. 
 "How beautiful," said Dora, who 
 Was standing at the kitchen door. 
 "Were I an artist, such a view 
 As this I'd paint. And yet 'tis more 
 Than any artist well can catch. 
 But I can only stand and watch." 
 "Yes," Rosie said between her turns 
 About the room, "when such I see, 
 There is a fire within me burns. 
 Something, it seems a mystery, 
 A hungering to be out, away 
 Into the flaming of the light. 
 To follow it; I cannot say 
 Just what, but I have stood till night 
 Has banished every crimson hue. 
 And all the sky was bright and blue. 
 "What is it, Dora, can you tell?" 
 " 'Tis the poetic of your soul. 
 We all possess it, and 'tis well 
 That we should keep it in control, 
 Or we, I think, would grow insane. 
 Yet it is good, yet very good. 
 All feel it more or less, 'tis plain, 
 And 'tis the very happiest mood, — 
 This love that's for the beautiful. 
 All else in life is very dull." 

1S4 13R0WN CitAPEL. 
 ''O Dora, were I half as wise 
 As you I should be so content." 
 ''No, child, for wisdom aims to rise; 
 And though I know your words are meant, 
 I am not wise. I only wish 
 I were in many, many things. 
 I stand with one small string of fish. 
 And others have ;so many strings ; 
 And theirs so large and mine so small, 
 I have but little after all." 
 "You are too modest, Dora. That, 
 However, shows your wisdom, girl. 
 I've watched you often, this is what, 
 I never saw you in a whirl, 
 I never saw you lose your head. 
 Or once get angry, that is true; 
 Or said what you should not have said. 
 Or do one thing you ought not do. 
 Now, such a person, in my eyes 
 Is what I am convinced is wise," 
 "Yes, far as observation goes," 
 Replied her friend, "you may be right. 
 But don't you know, my dearest Rose, 
 There is a lot not in your sight. 
 You cannot see my mind, nor know 
 Just all I am ; you only see 
 What flesh and blood may sometimes show, 
 But that is not beholding mc. 
 And only God that person sees, 
 And Him, I fear, I do not please." 

 Rose took the rolls from out the stove. 
 "Ah, well, I do not understand. 
 That person's wise who seems to prove 
 To all the sense I can command. 
 Of course I may short-sighted be, 
 And cannot see it just as you. 
 Not learned in philosophy. 
 Nor do I know that it is true, 
 That what appears may not be real ; 
 This much, at least, you're my ideal !" 
 "I thank you very much for that. 
 One thing, simplicity, I see. 
 You lack not. Truly this is what 
 Has always made you dear to me. 
 So few of girls, there are ,you know, 
 In whom we really can confide. 
 It's been my case; — you found it so? 
 And many in my life I've tried. 
 Girls are so selfish, jealous, too. 
 They are quite dangerous to you. 
 ''Now, there was Mage, you may recall 
 That proud, but pretty, round-faced Mage, 
 There was no girl within the hall 
 Could beat her singing on the stage. 
 She was the very first I met 
 On coming to the place, and she 
 Took me by main force, would not let 
 Me get from out her company — 
 Until she saw that I had won 
 The attention of Will Patterson. 

 *'And then she dropped me. So you see 
 How shallow women really are 
 Toward each other. But, to me, 
 You are so different, by far 
 The dearest girl I've ever known — " 
 ''Until," laughed Rosie, 'T shall find 
 You making love to Rev. Stone, 
 And then, perhaps, you'll change your min<] 
 Concern-ing mef "There, there, don't fear, 
 I shan't attempt to win him, dear." 
 Within the barnyard from the field 
 The farmer and an elder son 
 Are feeding cattle. Half concealed 
 Behind the rick sat milking, John, 
 Who when he got his coffee ground. 
 Had stolen from the kitchen, and, 
 On seeing much to do around 
 The place, himself threw in a hand 
 By bringing up the cows, and now 
 Sat carefully milking cow after cow. 
 'Tather!" cried Charles Hawkins, "look!" 
 And pointed to the public gate. 
 'Twas but a glance the father took. 
 There stood a horse, which seemed to wait 
 For one to open. "Is it Jack?" 
 The farmer questioned, as he strode 
 Toward the gate. The handsome black. 
 All trembling, stood out in the road, 
 With only shreds of harness on. 
 "What has become of Rev. Stone?" 

 The farmer murmured, drawing back 
 The gate to let the animal in. 
 It yet was frightened. "Whoa, Jack !" 
 He coaxed. He w^ould not make a scene. 
 He caught the bridle, yet intact, 
 And led him back toward the barn. 
 The girls he'd try not to attract, 
 And was about his sons to warn, 
 When from the house Rose came along, 
 "O, papa! papa! what is wrong?" 
 She cried when she beheld the horse 
 With the torn harness and no cart. 
 Too well she knew the matter, — worse, 
 There was a jerking at her heart. 
 "Speak, papa! Where is Rev. Stone?'* 
 The father answered not a word 
 But gave the animal to his son. 
 Then started for the road. He heard 
 His daughter screaming "Let me go 
 And find him !" Dora's gentle, "No." 
 And down the road upon a run 
 He went that he might find a trace. 
 The night was on him, for the sun 
 Sometime had set. And now his pace 
 He quickens every moment, though 
 His limbs were aching, full of pain. 
 That day he'd shocked row after row 
 Within his field of golden grain. 
 And yet in the dim twilight, on 
 P^ rushed to fine} same trace of Stpn^. * 

 'Tis here and there he can discern 
 Some parts of traces or of rein. 
 Then on he staggers, here a turn 
 And there, he stops, he looks again, 
 He staggers on. And now the night 
 Is fully on him, but above. 
 The stars are sending down their light 
 To guide him in his quest of love. 
 The fire-flies with their greenish flare 
 Are all about him in the air. 
 He hears the owl hoot — hoo ! hoo ! — 
 The bats fly zig-zag o'er his head. 
 It seems a million demons, too. 
 Run with him croaking, "He is dead ! 
 Dead, dead, and yonder lies." 
 And now in every foot of space, 
 In staggering on he strains his eyes ; 
 But nothing sees in any place. 
 Amidst the frogs incessant croak, 
 ''You zvill not -find him," something spoke. 
 He was not superstitious, but 
 The air seemed haunted all about. 
 He scarce knew where he placed his foot. 
 Hark ! He thought he heard a shout. 
 'Twas but imagination, sure. 
 Ay, what was that off to the right ? 
 Some pile of brushwood, nothing more. 
 Look yonder in the woods a light, — 
 Ah, yes, but 'tis that ghoistly lamp 
 Which usually glides about the swamp. 

 That road which he had oft before 
 Gone over, seemed so strange to-night. 
 For every bend had now in store^ 
 It seemed, an object to affright. 
 A long-eared animal like a dog 
 Ten feet away as he went on 
 Sat crouching on an ancient log, 
 Sprang up, snarled fiercely, and was gone. 
 But now at last with beating heart, 
 He comes where lies the broken cart. 
 'Twas dark, he could not make all out; 
 The merest outline could but see. 
 As best he could he searched about. 
 No signs of Stone there seemed to be. 
 He'd shout, he'd make a noise, he might 
 Have simply fallen further down; 
 Had not been hurt, but was all right. 
 Or, maybe, all occurred in town. 
 And Stone e'en now was on his way, 
 Somebody bringing him. To say 
 These things at once came to him, no; 
 But there about the broken cart. 
 More quiet now, it was that slow 
 These things came to him. And his heart 
 More hopeful now, his voice rang out, 
 ''Hello-o-o !" Back upon the night, 
 He almost thought another shout, 
 ''Hello-o-o!" rang; but very slight. 
 'Twas but his echo, something said — 
 No, 'twas another voice instead. 

 *'Hello-o-o !" now again he bawled, 
 This time far louder than before. 
 "Hello-o-o !" back somebody called. 
 'Twas some one else he now was sure. 
 "Who is that calling?" some one cried; 
 And now it was he knew the tone. 
 " 'Tis me, Melville," he then replied. 
 "Know what's become of Rev. Stone?" 
 And Melville from the woods soon drew 
 In sight. Ah yes, too well he knew. 
 "Come to the house," he turned and said, 
 "It can't be fatal is it, Mel?" 
 Don't know," he answered, as he led 
 The way, "the doctor would not tell. 
 He's still unconscious, you may know- 
 It's very 'serious accident. 
 It certainly seems an awful blow 
 Upon the head. He's hardly spent 
 Three months with us," and here a choke 
 Rose in his throat. No more he spoke. 
 And as he walked the father thought 
 Of that young voice, "O, let me go 
 And find him !" Ay, all night he'd sought 
 That he the very truth might know 
 Rather than back to her have gone 
 And said he could not find a trace. 
 No, no, though tired had gone on. 
 And hunted, yes, in every place 
 That he might satisfy the child 
 fie lovecl, despite her being wild. 

 Canto XIII. 
 *Twas early morning and the sun 
 Played on the bright green papered wall 
 Through slatted shutters ; one by one 
 The many rays danced over all ; 
 A picture of the Last Supper hung 
 Just opposite the white iron bed ; 
 A vase of flowers was among 
 A lot of bottles at the head ; 
 When Stone awoke in 'wildered mind 
 Himself within this room to find. 
 A stiffness in his side, a pain 
 About his head. Though somewhat blurred, 
 'Tis now that he recalls again 
 The accident that had occurred. 
 His head is bandaged, and also 
 His right arm seemed severely sprained. 
 And here he lay, he did not know 
 Just where, but that he ached and pained 
 All over. Then he tried to turn. 
 His brow began to throb and burn. 

 Where was he, and who brought him there? 
 What gentle hands had placed those flowers? 
 Why did the sun's bright rays appear 
 To dance about the room ? What powers 
 Those figures in the picture had ! 
 They all were moving up and down. 
 This he was sure : he was not mad — 
 Sure as he was his eyes his own — 
 Yet e'en the flowers in the vase 
 Were not inclined to keep their place. 
 In fact the whole room seemed to toss 
 Since he had tried to turn a bit. 
 The rocker seemed to m.ove across 
 The floor, yet no one moving it. 
 The door was bobbing to and fro ; 
 The printed figures on the wall 
 Were bowing to the sunbeams now 
 And yonder wardrobe, grim and tall, 
 Was swaying every moment like 
 The mantlepiece it soon would strike. 
 A laugh he scarcely could control, 
 Though either added to his pain. 
 He felt the bed most graceful roll 
 Across the floor and back again. 
 The whole thing seemed so ludicrous 
 That he could not refrain a smile. 
 He could not tell what made it thus, 
 But he enjoyed it all the while. 
 And thus it was for hours he lay 
 Till all began to fade away. 

 And so he slept. When he awoke 
 Mame Melville in the rocking chair 
 Sat sewing. But he never spoke , 
 Just lay and gazed upon her there. 
 She did not seem to know that he 
 Was now awake. Intent upon 
 Her sewing, she sat silently 
 That hour beneath the gaze of Stone. 
 And he felt so comfortable 
 He did not wish to break the spell. 
 'Tis all a dreani. The woman there 
 Is no real woman, surely not. 
 He's dreaming. See, her face is fair, 
 And he lies in a heavenly spot. 
 The counterpane is w^hite as snow. 
 The walls are of a magic cast ; 
 Just where he w^as he did not know, 
 Not- cared, just so the spell would last. 
 The woman in that snow-white gown 
 Was one that he had never known. 
 To him the woman in the gown 
 Was not Mame Melville sitting there. 
 Despite her smooth skin's lightish brown ; 
 Despite the full dark suit of hair; 
 Despite the quiet, earnest face ; 
 The neck and shoulders' gentle curve ; 
 The heaving bosom's tapering grace: 
 'Twas not Mame Melville come to serve 
 'Twas not the petite form of Rose 
 Who in that rocker quietly sew^s. • 

 Stitch after stitch, stitch after stitch, 
 Her well-shaped hand doth sweep the air. 
 As same as clock work ; without hitch, 
 Her needle works the cotton there. 
 Comes from without the hum of bees; 
 For now the day is bright and warm. 
 And yonder in the apple trees 
 From early morn till eve they swarm. 
 So comes into this room the sound 
 Which throws a dreamy spell around. 
 And thus in semi-conscious state 
 For three whole days the sufferer lay. 
 From early morn till very late,, 
 \\'as in that rocker seated. May. 
 He does not know just who she is. 
 He feels a soft hand on his brow, 
 A gentle voice oft says, ''Take this 
 And it will make you better now." 
 A woman's lips once pressed his own 
 But, oh, the woman seemed unknown. 
 Sometimes folks crowded in the room, 
 He wondered why they seemed so sad. 
 And once a sweet small form had come 
 And stood beside his bed, and had 
 Soft pressed his brow, while from her eyes 
 Great tears were creeping. But he knew 
 Not who she was, though with deep sighs. 
 Her from the bed another drew. 
 And then it all grew dark and he 
 Reached out, but ah, could no one see. 

 Reached out, and reaching out stood on 
 A high and rocky precipice. 
 The room in which he lay had gone ; 
 Up from a chasm doth arise 
 A cloud of smoke as well as blaze. 
 Behind him was a towering wall 
 Of rocks that rose in mist and haze. 
 And that'on which he stood as small, 
 And sharp, and pointed as 'twas steep; 
 The smoking chasm wide and deep. 
 Beyond, another ledge there was, 
 On which another figure stood, 
 A fair, a beautiful young lass. 
 And just behind her was a wood, 
 A quiet pleasant spot to rest, 
 A cottage white that stood within. 
 She was thin robed, and bared her breast. 
 She pointed to the grove, so green. 
 And cried across the chasm deep, 
 'T wait for you, come quickly — leap!" 
 The smoke that from the chasm rose, 
 Oft shut her lovely form from view; 
 In curling wreathes would round her close. 
 Then circle off in airy blue. 
 Still beckoned she to him, and cried, 
 ''The cot is ready, come, O come!" 
 "I can't," he called. ''The chasm's wide. 
 The fire rages^ get thee home. 
 I cannot come; I dare not leap; 
 The chasm's wide, the chasm's deep." 

 'Tear not," she cried, "the way is clear; 
 Thou wilt not in the chasm fall. 
 Even the rising smoke will bear 
 Thee up; thou wilt not sink at all. 
 Be not faint-hearted, come away. 
 A cot doth ready stand for thee; 
 A breast where on thy head to lay, 
 Doth rise to share thy company. 
 Leap ! leap ! that dreary cliff desert, 
 And join thee with a loving heart!" 
 Enough, he saw that pleading gaze. 
 He caught the light within those eyes ; 
 And now, despite the smoke and blaze, 
 He leaps, leaps out, begins to rise, 
 Then fall upon thin clouds of smoke. 
 The vision fades, the chasm's gloom, — 
 And springing up in bed, awoke, 
 To find himself within the room, 
 Where Mame Melville with startled cry, 
 Sprang up from rocker sitting by. 
 First like a frightened fawn she stands. 
 Her lovely arms above her head ; 
 And he with bandaged brow and hands, 
 Is sitting up within the bed. 
 Into each other's eyes they gaze, 
 While in Stone's mind the dream, still clear, 
 He saw the smoke, the fire blaze. 
 Felt how he leaped into the air, . 
 The woman on the other side. 
 And back to him 'twas still she cried, 

The vision. 167 
 ''Leap, leap!" and when he dared to leap, 
 When he had dared with her to be, 
 He had awakened from his sleep, 
 Mame Melville at his bed to see. 
 "Mame." That was all he said. Suffice, 
 She dropped her hands, came quick beside 
 The bed. No need to call her twice. 
 ''O Ray ! O Ray !" she fell and cried. 
 Her head there on the counterpane. 
 He stroked her hair despite his sprain. 
 He stroked her hair as there she knelt. 
 Just as a father would a child. 
 Oh, happiness ! what bliss she felt ! 
 What passion stirred her bosom wild ! 
 How she had sat and longed for this. 
 That she might be the first to hear 
 His voice, and lo, her name, O bliss! 
 His voice, in softness sweet and clear, 
 Had called her name, her old pet name. 
 As in the former years, his "Mame." 
 And thus he asked : ''Where am I, Mame ?' 
 So gentle was his voice, and sweet. 
 When she had heard him breathe her name. 
 She raised her head his eyes to meet, 
 "You are with me at my house, Ray. 
 We brought you here some nights ago. 
 And 'Mel' has not been long away. 
 I came to sit by you, you know. 
 But when you rose so suddenly 
 You frightened, greatly frightened me." 

 He smiled and lay back in the bed. 
 I didn't mean to frighten you." 
 *'Of course," in covering him she said, 
 And I was very foolish, too. 
 But you are weak, you must take care 
 And spring not up that way again — 
 My ! Ray, you gave me such a scare ! 
 Tell me was it .some sudden pain?" 
 "No, no, it was a dream, that's all. 
 I thought I was about to fall." 
 "Yes, yes, poor boy, it was severe," 
 (She spoke about the accident.) 
 "I found you there and brought you here, 
 A young man for the doctor -sent." 
 "You, then, it was that crossed the road?" 
 (About the dream no more he spoke.) 
 "To you, dear child, my life is owed," 
 He said as soon as he awoke 
 To all that had occurred that night. 
 The woman that had stood in sight. 
 "I tried to stop him, Ray. I tried 
 To wave my hand ; of course, you know 
 He came so fast I stood aside. 
 He swerved, you fell, and then that blow.' 
 Upon his brow she gently pressed 
 That long and slender shapely hand. 
 Her touch a magic stroke possessed ; 
 And this she seemed to understand, 
 For smiling, she continued to 
 Smooth his hot face. Yes, yes, she knew. 

tH£ VISIOI^. 169 
 He closed his eyes a moment now. 
 He felt at rest despite his pain. 
 Then caught the hand that smoothed his brow 
 And kissed it o'er and o'er again. 
 His eyes are filling fast with tears, 
 His breast, in strong convulsions, swelled. 
 And she for once his passion bears, 
 When she those flooding tears beheld. 
 Why not? Could it be sin to let 
 Herself and him for once forget? 
 For once forget, when many years 
 Had robbed her of her coveted joy? 
 She happy felt to see those tears, 
 'Twas Ray once more, her long lost boy. 
 She felt the beating of his heart. 
 She thought he heard her's throbbing, too. 
 That moment, nothing then should part 
 Her from him; this with joy she knew 
 She does not draw herself away. 
 But sat there by him, this was Ray. 
 Judge her not wrongly. Reader, no, 
 I bid you think of neither wrong: 
 Their characters I yet must show 
 Within the measure of this song. 
 She sat, 'tis true, another's wife. 
 She at a former lover's bed. 
 And yet most hard had been her life, 
 Her love for all but him was dead. 
 True love can never, never die. 
 Though smothering for long years it lie. 

 Across the bar we dare not run 
 Our vessels in such seas as this, 
 And yet to drive our barks upon 
 Such surging billows, what a bliss ! 
 Tho' dangerous we know 'twill bt. 
 And much we court an awful wreck, 
 Despite the raging of the sea, 
 We would not give our course a check, 
 Until plunged deep into the trough. 
 We find too late we have enough ! 
 Was this to be Mame's Waterloo? 
 Shall she throw prudence to the wind 
 When all the consequence she knew? 
 Ah, love, when long imprisoned, is blind. 
 Ah, when two hearts are kept apart, 
 When there's the arrow e'er to pierce, 
 When there's Fate's rancor e'er to smart/ 
 To make the passions e'en more fierce. 
 When once united are, those two 
 Will almost any folly do. 
 She does not draw from him a\vay, 
 But there upon his bed she sat ; 
 She was his Mame, he was her Ray 
 For once ; she made the most of that. 
 For once, she'd dream life's happy dream, 
 For once, she'd feel the happy thrill. 
 What if ''things are not wdiat they seem?" 
 Could she not love and serve him still. 
 She told herself, one hour she'd sit 
 And let the moments heedless flit. 

 Canto XIV. 
 One August afternoon when hot 
 The sun beat down upon the earth, 
 And there was scarce a pleasant spot ; 
 The air was dry, the water dearth ; 
 The corn was burning 'neath the heat. 
 The once fresh blades had, drooping, lain ; 
 The cracking earth w^as baked complete; 
 And every soul was crying rain, 
 Near by the cottage, 'neath a tree. 
 Sat Stone in Melville's company. 
 The 'spot in which he sat was strewn 
 With papers, telling him the news, 
 Which he had read the whole forenoon, 
 And after dinner, Melville, whose 
 Devotion led him to remain 
 From work, now chats with him awhile. 
 About his place, about his grain. 
 About the quality of soil ; 
 Of everything he talks, in fact 
 In order that he might attract 

1?2 6R0WN CHAPEL. 
 Stone's mind from off his work, which had 
 Been worrying him incessantly. 
 There was no cause for feeling bad, 
 For all went well 'twas plain to see. 
 Brown Chapel people, it was said. 
 Stuck by the church far more than e'er, 
 Despite the great attraction made 
 By big camp meetings far and near. 
 'Twas seldom that they missed the Wye. 
 This year it seemed they kept close by 
 Camp meeting. Reader, have you been 
 To one, a real camp meeting, say, 
 With tents and pulpit 'neath the green 
 Tall spreading trees in great 'display? 
 With long rough planks for benches placed 
 On driven stakes into the ground, 
 Twelve inches high, so as you faced 
 The stand, from which in thundering sound, 
 Some strong-lunged messenger would tell 
 How man was perfect, how he fell? 
 Have you not seen the motly crowd 
 That never has been known to miss 
 These meetings? Some with voices loud 
 To shout of one eternal bliss. 
 And others just to meet with friends. 
 And some alone for selfish gain. 
 And yet whatever be their ends, 
 They seldom from the place remain, 
 But come in thousands far and near 
 That they might have a good time here? 

 Brown Chapel had its annual camp, 
 But this was usually later on, 
 When days were hot, nights cool and damp. 
 Their only reason was this one :— 
 Then all the camps ten miles or more 
 That could at all attraction be, 
 By such a time would then be o'er. 
 And they would have more people, see? 
 And thus they argued, having more. 
 The revenue would be quite sure. 
 Of course 'twas not the revenue 
 For which alone the camp was held. 
 'Twas for a spiritual purpose, too ; 
 But, all declared, they were compelled 
 To gather finances also; 
 And this was but the proper time, 
 Since folks would to camp meetings go, 
 'Twas reasoned that a half a dime 
 Paid at the gate would be no harm, 
 Nor take away religion's charm. 
 Stone had heard all of this before 
 He had met with his accident. 
 And now that he was up once more, 
 It was no little worriment. 
 'Twas early August, still the days 
 Were slipping quietly along; 
 And yet he here at Melville's stays 
 Because, 'twas said, he was not strong 
 Enough to do his work just yet. 
 Of course, he had some cause to fret. 

 For that was natural, of course. 
 He ought to feel an interest in 
 All of his work. He had that force 
 Of character which worked to win. 
 He felt when absent from the place 
 Of battle, there could never be, 
 Without his own encouraging face. 
 For him a glorious victory. 
 Thus Stone tho' talking with Melville, 
 Was thinking of his church work still. 
 The building of the cottage, how 
 Was work progressing? And to him, 
 'Twas said, they were on the inside now. 
 That very day begun to trim, ' 
 And everything looked excellent. 
 The house thus far attractive stood. 
 May ispoke of hours to be spent 
 Next summer in the quiet wood. 
 In fact she so poetic got. 
 She made an Eden of the spot. 
 The brethren for official board 
 Now met him there since well enough. 
 'Twas funny how they used each word. 
 For fear they were considered rough 
 By Mame, whom they with reverence 
 Respected, tried their best to act 
 As men full of good common sense, 
 And made each utterance exact. 
 Whether reporting of the class, 
 Or something they had wish to pass. 

 These informed their pastor, they 
 Were carrying his instructions out; 
 Had good turnouts each Sabbath Day ; 
 And he should have no cause to doubt 
 The safety of the work, so long 
 As they had health and strength to be 
 About the place; there'd be no wrong 
 To happen to it. They were free 
 To say the church stood by them more 
 Than it had ever done before. 
 And all they felt was rightly due 
 To his own presence, them among. 
 They saw it in every service, too ; 
 The hymns they found were better sung 
 Dues were kept up more than before ; 
 More strict attendance to the class; 
 And members loved each other more ; 
 Less cider drinking seemed to pass 
 Among them. They could readily see 
 The marks of spirituality. 
 These things were certainly pleasing to 
 The pastor. Yet he longed to be 
 Where he could something better do 
 Than sit and read beneath a tree. 
 To make his visits as he had, 
 Among their homes to sit and talk 
 Of Christ, till he and they were glad. 
 He longed for now his daily walk 
 From house to house on goodness bent, 
 In that, God's willing instrument. 

 The camp, they told him if he made 
 Committees, would go on the same ; 
 And thus accepting of their aid, 
 Committees felt compelled to name, 
 And these, from what he constant heard, 
 Performed their duty, to a man. 
 Did as directed, to a word, 
 According to the pastor's plan. 
 And now he had alone on hand 
 The preachers who would fill the stand. 
 May acted secretary to 
 Him, and wrote each letter he 
 Desired to be written. So 
 He sent his fellow ministry 
 The invitations thus to fill 
 On such a day and such a date. 
 But some he had not heard from. Still 
 He felt that it was not too late, 
 And hoped by then if possible. 
 Himself to be full strong and well. 
 May was this moment fast asleep, 
 A custom of the people here, 
 Just after dinner, which to keep 
 In all warm places, 'tis quite clear, 
 Would be a very goodly rule, 
 And one these people seldom break. 
 *Tis only when it gets quite cool 
 The people in such places wake. 
 And all refreshed, can do the more, 
 For hours given to sleep before. 

 This does not now apply to men, 
 Tho' men might take the dinner hour 
 To sleep a little while, and then 
 Arise, 'tis said with better power 
 To go about their w^ork beneath 
 The scorching sun, whate'er it be, 
 When one is longing for a breath 
 Of pleasant breeze most anxiously. 
 Which comes sometimes, tho' these are few, 
 Some where about the hour of two. 
 ''Your yield was wdiat, you said this year?" 
 "Six hundred bushels, sir, I guess. 
 Somewhat increased, despite my fear. 
 Last year I had considerably less." 
 "What will you do w^ith it?" asked Stone. 
 "Oh, sell it, 'cepting that I use," 
 Said Melville. "I shall wait upon 
 The market — ^by the way, what news 
 The papers give of them to-day? 
 Please look and see just what they say." 
 Stone took a paper, at his feet, . 
 And scanned the columns steadily. 
 "Well, I declare!" up from his seat 
 Sprang Melville, "Now w^ho can they be?" 
 Stone dropped the paper, turned to look 
 Toward the gate. And down the drive 
 Two persons came. He slightly shook 
 From nervousness. Arose to give 
 Himself a better sight, and there 
 He made out now just who they were. 

 "Now don't you know them, Bro. IMel?" 
 He asked. ''I don't believe I do. 
 If you will be so kind to tell 
 Me who they are, then I'll tell you." 
 "Why, you have seen them both before. 
 And one of them you ought to know." 
 He looked again. ''Well, I'm not sure, 
 The short one walks like Rose, altho' 
 The sun somewhat confuses me, 
 I never could a distance see." 
 "That is Miss Rosie and her friend 
 Who's with her from the city. I 
 Must get my coat, I can't pretend 
 To meet them in this fix." Vet fly 
 Into the house he could not. Stood 
 And watched them coming nearer still. 
 "Oh, bother, Reverend, this is good 
 Enough to meet them," said Melville. 
 "Don't think of coat, the weather's warm. 
 And there's yet danger to your arm." 
 He felt his hair. "Oh, that's all right," 
 Said Melville, "nothing wrong with you; 
 And 'tis not well when in their sight 
 To run; see, I am shabby, too." 
 "Ah well," said Stone, "my ground I'll stand/ 
 And as the ladies now drew near 
 He forward stepped with outstretched hand. 
 And in a voice of right good cheer, 
 Said, "Glad to see you, ladies, come 
 And share my temporary home." 

 They came all smiles. Rose gently pressed 
 His hand and anxious looked into 
 His face. He saw her throbbing breast, 
 But turning to fair Dora, who 
 Came smiling forward, had her meet 
 His host, who tho' despite his boast, 
 Because he was not looking neat. 
 Felt hardly fit to stand as host, 
 Held out his horny hand to take 
 The lady's, giving quite a shake. 
 He soon had brought them each a seat. 
 As they preferred the pleasant shade. 
 '*Ah," said Miss Wright, ''what a retreat!" 
 And down upon the grass she laid 
 Her great sun hat. ''Oh what a life!" 
 Stone smiled. "Y|bu like it, then, I see." 
 *T would prefer it to the strife 
 One finds in town society." 
 She gave her head a pretty jerk. 
 'Tn town there's too much rush and work." 
 Now, feeling too much out of place, 
 Despite the advice given Stone, 
 Melville excused himself with grace. 
 And left the pastor there alone. 
 Straight to the house he went and crept 
 Up stairs to where Manie sleeping lay. 
 He ne'er disturbed her while she slept. 
 But he must break the rule to-day. 
 He called her gently ; she awoke, 
 And then he told her of the folk. 

 It was yet warm, but she would try 
 If possiSle to look her best, 
 And she looked o'er quite hurriedly 
 The many pretty gowns possessed. 
 Mel. would go for Aunt Tildy Payne, 
 Who would get supper for her, so 
 She'd have the time to entertain. 
 And thus at once she had him go, 
 While she before the glass arranged 
 Herself till she'd completely changed. 
 Robed in a muslin gown, her hair 
 Thrown up, all dazzling with pins, 
 Light slippered, sauntered down the stair; 
 With a sweet look that ever wins, 
 She lightly crossed the sward where sat 
 The three beneath the sycamore, 
 Engaged now in a lively chat 
 About the scenes of Eastern Shore. 
 With bow most gracious, ''How dye do?" 
 (Now seated.) "Warm enough for you?" 
 ''O yes," (to Stone) "I've met Miss Wright. 
 Am glad also to have you call. 
 You find it warm?" (to Dora.) "Quite. 
 We didn't mind it, tho', at all." 
 "Love walking?" "Yes, good exercise. 
 It is my only medicine." 
 "I see," said Mame, "and very wise; 
 I only wish that it were mine." 
 "Doctors and I seldom agree," 
 Said Dora, "Exercise for me." 

 And thus they chatted. Dora Wright 
 Began at once to fall in love 
 With Mary Melville, whose delight 
 Was such as Dora seemed to prove. 
 And so absorbed in talk became, 
 No notice gave to Rose and Stone, — 
 A little stratagem which Mame 
 Thought that she managed all alone, 
 When Dora had herself conspired 
 To do just what poor Mame desired. 
 "You suffered so, I know," said Rose 
 In the most sympathetic tone. 
 "Just how I felt, nobody knows, 
 I came to see you, Rev. Stone." 
 "You came to see me, tell me when, 
 It seems I don't recall at all." 
 "Of course not, you were in such pain 
 And fever, you cannot recall. 
 They took me from you, tho' I could 
 Beside your bed all day have stood." 
 "Somehow," he said, " 'tis like a dream. 
 I do recall you coming here, 
 And now that you have spoken, seem 
 To bring back something else, — 'tis clear !" 
 He istopped, he looked upon her now. 
 She was the maiden he had seen 
 In that strange vi'sion, which some how 
 Had forgotten by him been. 
 "O/li, tell me, what is clear," she said. 
 He smiled and simply shook his head. 

 "Don't be contrary, Rev. Stone, 
 For you have been too sick, you know/' 
 She whispered in a pleading tone, 
 ''Do tell me, do not treat me so. 
 \Miat is it clear?" He shook his head. 
 'Terhaps Til tell you all some day, 
 But now, I dare not, I am afraid, 
 And do not urge me now, I pray." 
 He was so earnest in his plea. 
 She felt she ought to let it be. 
 ''Please pardon me. I am so rude; ' 
 It seems I have such little sense." 
 "There, there, 'tis only that you should 
 Desire me to tell you, hence 
 Your spirit; think of it no more; 
 I am too glad to have you here. 
 Instead of having you fret o'er 
 One single thing. It's been so drear 
 Away from church and all of you, 
 I've hardly known just what to do." 
 "You miss us then ?" "W' hy certainly, 
 How could one help from missing you?' 
 She smiled, "But really missed you me? 
 Me, little Rose? now tell me true." 
 "I missed you all, why further press 
 For that which you well know I feel, 
 You rogue? but I will not confess 
 That which I think best to conceal." 
 "Poor one you are, in that," she cried, 
 *' 'Tis in your very words implied." 

 He looked all ruffled. '^Did I say 
 I missed you ? Well, I do declare, 
 In roles like this, I must display 
 My ignorance. You are not fair — " 
 ''Therefore not false," she laughing said. 
 " 'You're fair but you're false,' so goes the song.'' 
 "You've a lot of nonsense in your head." 
 ''Nay, it is simply on my tongue." 
 He smiled to see how quick she was, 
 And felt himself drawn to the lass. 
 As long as they sat bantering. 
 No serious talk could occupy. 
 'Twas true, both thought of many a thing, 
 They fain had said, but passed it by. 
 But passed it by, but to recall 
 Some other time they knew not when. 
 Thus drew a curtain over all. 
 And covered it — "What might have been." 
 Enough, just now to be together, 
 Why test the feelings of each other? 
 Yet, some how, both felt satisfied 
 That soul had found its other soul ; 
 Each felt while seated side by side 
 Their two lives made a single whole; 
 Yet neither told the other so, 
 And yet each knew the other knew. 
 There was glow answering to glow, 
 And each in spirit closer drew 
 Together, though they sat apart. 
 Heart answered to the other heart. 

 Canto XV. 
 September, and has come the day 
 When all the country spread around 
 Shall to Brow n Chapel wend their way 
 To gather on the camping ground. 
 Nor better weather could they have. 
 The dawn looked o'er the sleeping earth, 
 The eastern sky its roses gave, 
 And soon athwart the field leaped forth 
 The golden harbingers of light 
 As rose the mighty king in sight. 
 O'er marsh and meadow vapory sheen 
 Began to rise and melt away, 
 Disclosing rush and bush of green, 
 Where hidden muskrats safely lay. 
 Trailing the worm-like fence along. 
 The golden-rod lifts high its head ; 
 Or with their purple flowers among, 
 Throughout the fields the sages spread. 
 And darting in and out the bee 
 Already hums his ministry. 

tHE CAMt» MEETING. 1 85 
 Brown Chapel's grove transformed has been. 
 The uninviting stand no more 
 Beneath the spreading chestnuts green 
 Looks lonely. Round about, five score 
 Of rude constructed benches spread, 
 With lanterns hanging here and there, 
 And pine torch-stands, but lately made, 
 To give at night their smoky glare ; 
 And rude made boarding tents of pine 
 On either side the spaces, line. 
 The squirrel deeper into the wood 
 Hath at this transformation fled. 
 In search of richer solitude. 
 Where freer life might safe be led ; 
 And birds high perched in tallest trees, 
 Look down in wonder on the scene ; 
 And sing their trouble to the breeze, 
 How peaceful days ago have been ; 
 And rabbits but a three months' old 
 Now think it time to be less bold. 
 None hold their once undisturbed sway 
 But yonder nest of hornets, high 
 Above the ''horse pound" hid away 
 Within the green from mortal eye. 
 These looked with dire threats upon 
 The changes that have taken place. 
 And seemed to've stood their ground alone, 
 And watched aloft with mute grimace, 
 As tent, on tent, erected stood 
 Within this once sequestered wood. 

 Perchance a yellow- jacket came, 
 As chicken odor filled the air, 
 To see if he had right to claim 
 A portion of it for his share. 
 And flies in swarms that were immense 
 By some intelligence having found, 
 (I cannot comprehend what sense,) 
 The tents that with much food abound, 
 Swarm in and out with ceaseless hum. 
 Too glad such happy times have come. 
 The now completed parsonage 
 Looks on surprised at such a scene. 
 For days wnthin its walls the rage^ 
 Brown Chapel's annual camp has been. 
 And lusty maidens as they ran 
 Within and out to make complete 
 The furnishings, or stopped to plan, 
 'Twas only that they might repeat 
 What they on such a day would wear. 
 How such and such a one would stare. 
 The chapel stood in silence now. 
 Closed for a fortnight from the light. 
 From that time should no sacred vow 
 Be made therein by day or night ; 
 But yonder in the airy grove, 
 Beneath the oak and chestnut green, 
 Should men vow^ all their sacred love. 
 Or testify of dangers seen, 
 Or great conflicts thro' which they passed 
 Since they had been assembled last. 

 'Tis early yet, and but a few 
 Within the grove astir are seen. 
 These are the good tent-holders, who, 
 There all the whole night long have been. 
 And these were getting now prepared 
 This morning for the hungry crowd, 
 Who must be necessarily cared 
 For by them. For when shouting loud, 
 Or strolling in and out the wood, 
 Would breed great appetite for food. 
 The house completed, Stone, now well. 
 The host of two good clergymen, 
 Has slept there most comfortable; 
 Nor woke till five, and only then 
 To roll back on the bed again. 
 As sweet the breath of rose perfume 
 Which Rosie, it was very plain, 
 Had seen to filling all the room, 
 Anr^ slept and slept till it was seven, 
 W^hile preaching was to. be 't eleven. 
 "Rise, Elder, rise ! Don't sleep all day," 
 Thus Rev. Skinner, at the door. 
 Called in to Stone. ''Get up, I say; 
 They're nigh five hundred folk or more 
 Already on the grounds and we 
 Not yet at breakfast." Stone looked out. 
 And saw what was a sight to see, 
 OfT here, of¥ there, around about, 
 In swarms they stood as thick as bees 
 Or leaves upon the swaying trees. 

 Here, there, they surged, youth and old age, 
 Both men and women gayly dressed. 
 To Stone, it seemed the parsonage 
 By them was even now possessed. 
 And, then, far down the winding road, 
 Far as the mortal eye could see. 
 They came in hack and wagon load. 
 In one unending company. 
 And as this number came along. 
 The silent wood was filled with song. 
 Red, yellow, white and blue and green 
 And brown and gray and other shades 
 In great profusion now are seen 
 In hats and gowns w^orn by the maids. 
 And different styles in cut of coat 
 And trousers, eagerly the men 
 Vied with each other for the note 
 Who might the most attention gain. 
 All this was from the window seen 
 When Stone from sleep had awakened been. 
 "No need to worry," he replied. 
 'The brethren have all things in hand." 
 (His pajamas he threw aside.) 
 "The breakfast serving has been planned." 
 But Rev. Skinner now had gone 
 With Rev. Snowden down the stair, 
 And in his room with leisure. Stone 
 Stood dressing, after fervent prayer, 
 In which he gave to God the day. 
 His guidance through it all the way. 

 He stood before the bureau, where 
 On a pretty scarf was spread. 
 Its needle work was very rare, 
 Of lovely roses in silk thread. 
 One thought them painted, at first sight ; 
 Might think them natural roses, laid 
 Upon the bureau, if the light 
 Were strong enough, so finely made. 
 And as he dresses, it is oft 
 With an expression, sweet and soft, 
 Upon this scarf he gazes now. 
 And in his heart of hearts, he feels 
 A tenderness ; and there, isomehow, 
 A spirit in its chamber steals 
 And takes possession, full control. 
 Love and religion once combined. 
 Alone give life into the soul. 
 Alone give pleasure tO' the mind. 
 This love Stone has this Sabbath morn 
 With deep religious feeling born. 
 Ah, not a piece of furniture 
 But what has tenderest interest; 
 For every thing was placed by her 
 Who caused this feeling in his breast. 
 Indifference makes a woman love. 
 But gentle kindness, it is said, 
 Doth sometniie make a strong man prove 
 The willing lover of a maid. 
 Such gentle acts, in truth, discover 
 Unto the man he is a lover. 

 No woman need of love despair, 
 If she herself can loving be. 
 But loving means a kindness rare 
 To whom she loves, a sympathy 
 Which flowers into words and deeds 
 Of gentle interest wherein 
 Herself is lost. Ah, such succeeds 
 When every other fails to win. 
 Man loves, and loves that woman best, 
 Who loves him for herself the least. 
 Man loves that woman best of all 
 Who loves him for himself the most. 
 Such love he knows cannot be small 
 And is beyond the greatest cost. 
 Such love when he at last has seen 
 It stand the very greatest test, 
 He honors, lets nought come between 
 Him and that love, and learns to rest 
 Upon that love for strength secure : 
 Thus seeks that love, nor craves for more. 
 A love like this is born in heaven, 
 But God in His wise providence 
 Unto the gentler sex hath given 
 The privilege of its use. But since 
 So few behold the privilege 
 And do. not know it doth exist, 
 They let the looser passions rage 
 And learn to hate what they have missed, 
 While still the golden crown of love 
 Waits for their crowning just above. 

 Stone soon had dressed and down the stair 
 Went to be greeted jovially 
 By the two clergymen down there 
 About the happy company 
 Of people running all about. 
 In full possession of the place. 
 And here and there, a lusty shout 
 Breaks from some strong-lunged of the race. 
 The sisters on the table had 
 A very sumptuous breakfast spread. 
 And as they there at breakfast sat, 
 The Love Feast having long begun. 
 They heard them liinging betwixt their chat, 
 Or loudly speaking one by one. \ 
 "A very good start," Skinner said. 
 "Most piomising now," Snowden joined, 
 *Tf all in here their fare have paid, 
 A goodly sum please bear in mind. ) 
 What is the number, think you now?" ' 
 'Twelve hundred I should most allow." \ 
 XXIII. ; 
 'T preach this morning, Elder Stone?" 
 "As scheduled, I believe you do." 
 "And I?" asked Skinner, as upon ' 
 Another egg his fork he drew. 
 "To-night I have you scheduled, sir." 
 "Ah, good. I'm glad it is to-night, 
 Though very few the night prefer. 
 But hearing you will get me right." 
 "Well, mo&t any time for me," ! 
 Said Stone most absent-mindedly. 

 ''Good morning, brethren," from the hall 
 Cried Melville as he passed to go 
 Into the kitchen. ''N^ooks is all 
 Afire," in a voice quite low, 
 He said to Sister Hannah Brown, 
 Who in the kitchen o'er the stove 
 Was busy cooking. ''Call 'im down," 
 She said most sharply. "Oughter prove 
 His life by wuks an' not his voice. 
 I don't see how he kin rejoice." 
 ''Do stop, Aunt Hannah, charity !" 
 "Oh, yes, I know that is all right. 
 But when so many things I see — 
 Well I can't help what's in my sight. 
 One's bound to think." "Yes, not to speakJ 
 Then you believe in hiding dirt? 
 You'll have me thinkin' you's as weak 
 As he is !" and she shook her skirt 
 As if disgusted. Melville went 
 Out and toward a boarding tent. 
 Meanwhile our ministers are through 
 Their breakfast and are making w^ay 
 Toward the stand. The great crowds drew 
 Aside at their approach. The gay 
 Young maids with most coquettish wiles 
 Are trying hard to catch Stone's eye, 
 And many are the winning smiles 
 And witching bows in passing by. 
 And so with here and there a shake 
 And press of hands, their way they make 

 Towards the preaching stand, around 
 Which now a mass of people sat. 
 Enthusiasm doth abound, 
 And one by one, said something that 
 Inflamed another one to speak, 
 Inflamed somebody else to sing. 
 No voice was fearful, none was weak. 
 Some in the richest tones could ring. 
 Some pitched to highest chords, break forth, 
 But all told of God's wondrous worth. 
 Yet while all this was going on, 
 Beyond in circles far apart, 
 There gathered others there alone 
 That they might some mischief start. 
 On these Brown Chapel officers 
 Kept watch that was most vigilant. 
 And where the least bad act occurs, 
 'Tis there these watchful brethren went; 
 And when persuasion failed its course. 
 The men resorted to brute force. 
 Thus kept them down. But hour by hour 
 The mighty concourse was increased. 
 Except the Law, these brethren's power 
 Was very small. But man, like beast. 
 Is cowered by the punishment. 
 He knows is meted by the Law ; 
 And they who stand to represent 
 He learns to look upon with awe; 
 Stands fearful lest entangled, he 
 Might lose bis cherished liberty. 

 Thus while there was an element 
 Which in the place could do much harn\ 
 Kept now beneath the right restraint, 
 'Twas no occasion for alarm. 
 So as the thousand swelled to two, 
 And there was scarcely standing room. 
 All quiet kept, and there were few 
 Who had to wish they had not come. 
 If any discontented were, 
 'Twas not because of trouble here. 
 Now when the great Love Feast was o'er 
 Then has arrived the hour to preach, 
 The Rev. Snowden stood before 
 One thousand within speaking reach. 
 A Methodistic hymn he read, 
 In swelling notes the people sang. 
 Then Rev. Skinner bowed and prayed 
 Throughout the place loud ''Amens" rang. 
 Or "Hallelujah," "Praise the Lord," 
 Or "Blessed be unto His Word." 
 Stone read the Scripture firm and clear. 
 Himself must have been keenly stirred 
 In lictening to that fervent prayer. 
 He felt new force in every word. 
 Of Israel in the wilderness. 
 Of dwelling in the booths he read. 
 Of Nehemiah's great success. 
 And how he to Jerusalem led 
 The remnant of the church of God 
 Which had bent beneath the rod. 

 And then 'twas Rosie's voice that rang 
 In mellowed richness on the air. 
 As she the *'Holy City" sang 
 Men seemed to see the vision there. 
 In all that sea of faces was 
 The use of handkerchiefs, so sweet 
 That young voice filled the great compass, 
 And brought men to the Master's feet. 
 She ceased, a sacred hush fell o'er, 
 Till Stone's clear voice was heard once more, 
 To introduce the speaker, now, 
 To call for closing of each tent, 
 He hoped that no one would allow 
 One moment of the time be spent 
 In inattention to the Word 
 That from the speaker's lips should fall. 
 And not the man, he warned, the Lord 
 Spoke in that hour unto all, 
 And every one should feel that he 
 Received the message personally. 
 And thus the speaker of the hour 
 Came forward to the desk where lay 
 The Word of God. He said, if power 
 At all were given him that day 
 'Twould be alone because of prayer, 
 Sent by the concourse up to heaven. 
 He was convinced power came from there, 
 Could from no other source be given. 
 He, therefore, asked the people pray, 
 That power be given him that day. 

 The ''Dignity of Man," his theme, 
 And thus in flights he strove to show 
 How man upon a downward stream 
 Had tended ; yet how checked the flow 
 By Him who came man's cause to take; 
 How upward he was moving now ; 
 How hell's strong bolts could never shake 
 The man that held to Jesus ; how 
 Each day his spirit was renewed 
 By feeding on the heavenly food. 
 The people prayed, and 'twas sincere, 
 The Power came down from on High. 
 All knew it, no mistaking here,^ 
 The Holy Ghost was very nigh. 
 Though simple were his words, he spoke 
 With mighty unction, and that host, 
 Like as a pent-up flood, then broke. 
 Each sentence, felt the Holy Ghost. 
 And hardened criminals who came 
 Just to be there trembled for shame, 
 And thoughtless maidens, dress-arrayed, 
 Who never had one moment given. 
 In thinking over what was said 
 About their chance for hell or heaven, 
 Hung on the words that seem to fall 
 Alone for them to think upon. 
 They who had never thought at all 
 Were thinking that the words alone 
 Stood as a knocking at their door. 
 To open now or never more, 

 Needless to say when Stone arose 
 The invitation to extend 
 To any one, yes, one of those 
 Who felt that it was time to end 
 His downward course, that forward came 
 A number to the Mercy Seat. 
 Too sharp the sword, too great the flame, 
 And rich the table spread to eat; 
 For when they cleared for them the place, 
 Two hundred sought for pardoning grace. 
 And now another scene began — 
 The Praying Bands from everywhere 
 Draw around these seekers to a man, 
 To lead in singing and in prayer. 
 Well trained they are in isiich an art — 
 In leading of their doleful chants ; 
 But more the ear and less the heart, 
 It seems, which is not what one wants ; 
 Yet years have been, and still may be, 
 Ere they give up such ministry. 
 Now high, now low, now women, now men. 
 Their hands, their feet, their bodies swayed ; 
 Their faces leering as in pain, 
 ■ They sing and clap — thus noise is made. 
 Some leader pointing to the skies, 
 Or here, or there, or down below, 
 Amidst the penitential cries, 
 And thus the chanting on must go, 
 Till he who leads has ceased to think, 
 And then exhausted down all sink. 

J 9^ BROWN Chapel. 
 Then one with strong lungs makes a prayer, 
 I dare not say he does not pray, 
 I cannot say he prays it ; there 
 Is so much doubt along the way. 
 And then they all join in with this, 
 As the excitement doth increase, 
 All crying in a frenzied bliss, 
 But when the leader stops, they cease, 
 And then, who ever has the gift. 
 Another doleful chant doth lift. 
 Thus singing, clapping they've forgot 
 Even the seeking souls that cry; 
 For having tired of the spot, 
 They leave the altar frenziedly, 
 And all about the ground they go. 
 The whole compass encircling, 
 As Joshua circled Jericho; 
 Instead of blowing trumps, they sing, 
 But in their frenzied happiness, 
 They carry all things to excess. 
 These things saw Stone who in the stand 
 Stood with his brother clergymen. 
 He called one captain of a band 
 And bade him call his followers in. 
 That Jiere was work for them to do, — 
 Pray for the seekers kneeling there. 
 And so, he got them one or two, 
 And fell upon his knees in prayer. 
 Then others seeming more inclined, 
 Drew 'round him of one voice and mind. 

 It seemed this was the proper move, 
 For suddenly the row along 
 The fervent spirit 'gan to prove, 
 And upward sprang in praise and song 
 A host of new converted men 
 And women, jumping in the air. 
 Then Stone thought of Ezekiel's slain, 
 In gratitude sent up a prayer. 
 In all the place excitement reigned, 
 And none their spirit now restrained. 
 But it is said when sons of Grace 
 Are fighting on God's battlefield, 
 O'ld Satan's somewhere in the place. 
 And leaves some wounds ere made to yield. 
 So when the flag was waving high, 
 Yes, held aloft victoriously. 
 Then Satan had his wicked eye 
 Upon those hornets in the tree. 
 The horses all stood in the pound 
 Most peaceful till those hornets found 
 'Twas time to get, too, in the ring. 
 Just as the Band that we have seen 
 Came near the place, a buzz, a sting, 
 Down from the leaves of maple green 
 They came a swarm, a buzzing host ! 
 And horses reared and broke away. 
 Men, women rushed, their reasons lost; 
 In all directions in dismay. 
 Thus in a moment on them fell 
 The diabolic hosts of hell. 

 Stone stood up in the stand to see 
 The great rejoicing going on. 
 When lo, the mighty company- 
 Was surging, pushing one upon 
 The other, crushing, screaming loud. 
 Nor could he then divine the cause. 
 He held his hand up to the crowd, 
 He bid them in their rush to pause. 
 ''Stop ! stop !" he cried, an answered yell 
 Like demons just broke loose from hell. 
 His brother clergymen, ah, they? 
 He looked in vain to find them there. 
 (No, early they had made their way 
 Toward the parsonage. ) Nowhere 
 Out in the crowd could they be seen. 
 But there was one he did behold. 
 She came, the surging crowd between, 
 She fought her way, his heart grew cold. 
 For there, in all that rolling mass. 
 Pressed Rose her way to where he was. 

October NiGHt. ^ot 
 Canto XVI. 
 October, and the day is fair, ] 
 This afternoon the sky is blue, I 
 With just a touch of frost the air ' 
 Gave to the trees each varied hue. | 
 The sombre pines, the maple, gum, j 
 The chestnut, walnut, hickory, oak, 
 Since mild October days had come. 
 Into new robes of beauty broke. i 
 Here touch of crimson, splash of gold, I 
 The work of nightly fairies told. 
 n. , \ 
 How beautiful the golden sage, i 
 With purple flowers yet in bloom, j 
 Stretched wide before the parsonage. 
 Where upstairs in his cheery room, 
 Looking from the window far away [ 
 Across this waving sea of gold, - ; 
 Stone sits and dreams this autumn day, , 
 Dreams that he would blush to have told. j 
 He dreams, not studies, ah, he dreams j 
 That life is more than what it seems. ! 

^02 feROVVN dHAfEL. 
 And why this dreamy spell of Stone, 
 A man who deals alone with facts? — 
 A man who deals in facts alone^ 
 What is it that his mind attracts 
 That he should dream? October days, 
 Can they not weave o'er one a spell? 
 Who hath not felt beneath their haze 
 Emotion that's unspeakable? 
 Who hath not in such seasons known 
 The thrills, the raptures felt by Stone? 
 i ■ , 
 Down stairs Aunt Hannah Brown's astir, 
 Just in his supper to prepare. 
 He surelv does not dream of lier. 
 And is it one more young and fair? 
 Ah, Stone has dreams, he must not tell ; 
 Dreams which he strives to put away ; 
 He does not like them very well, 
 And yet with him they seem to stay. 
 Whate'er he says, where'er he goes. 
 There are these dreams of little Rose. 
 Now ever since that Sabbath day. 
 Through that mad howling, surging crowd. 
 To him she nobly fought her way, 
 He has been feeling of her proud. 
 Yes, even more. What brought her there. 
 When trembling at his side she stood, 
 Rose-colored with dismantled hair? 
 She came, she said, because she could 
 Not see him standing there alone 
 In that wild mob, his brethren gone. 

DCtOBfiR I^ICJhT. ^^ 
 He pressed her hand so tightly then 
 When she had made him this reply, 
 It certainly must have caused her pain, 
 But she refrained of course the cry. 
 And when good order was restored, 
 And they had to the parsonage gone, 
 She came to him without a word, 
 And showed his finger-marks alone. 
 He gazed upon her hand and smiled, 
 ''Knew not what I was doing, child." 
 A hundred little things since then 
 Had drawn him closer to the maid. 
 And yet though try he would, in vain. 
 The words he should say were not said. 
 Oft when Aunt Hannah busy was. 
 She came that she might her assi'st ; 
 'Twas then he'd gaze upon the lass 
 With thoughts that neither could exist 
 Without the other; tell her? No, 
 He could not go and tell her so. 
 The feeling he once had for Mame, 
 The passion of a thoughtless youth, 
 Was dead. And in its place a flame 
 Sprung from the embers of pure truth. 
 Was kindled. Yet for Rose he had 
 A deep warm feeling such as made 
 Him in her presence blithe and glad, 
 And absent from her still was stayed 
 In joyous thrills as if there were 
 Some thing that still whispered of her. 

i64 BtlOWJJ CllAPftL. 
 Or rather, though they were apart, 
 Her spirit kept him company; 
 And her own heart now with his heart 
 Did beat in perfect unity. 
 If at his studies, she was there, 
 A chair beside his occupied, 
 Or standing with dismantled hair. 
 Looked love upon him at his side, 
 And something whispered "Throughout life 
 We'll journey on as man and wife." 
 And there were times when he could see 
 Into the future; and he smiled 
 For there, what blissful reverie ! 
 He saw a mother and her child 
 Sit, listening to him preaching on 
 The Sabbath, or around the board, 
 Glad feasting — ah ,what dreams had Stone, 
 Who had not even said a word. 
 Or made one move to learn his fate, 
 Yet dreaming of his wedded isitate. 
 Such men can dream. Love knows no bounds. 
 Imagination winged goes 
 Up to all heights, into all grounds, 
 And touched with love, the future shows. 
 Sweet are the dreams that fancy gives 
 Though short lived they may be at best ; 
 Oflie in imagination lives 
 Another life above the rest, 
 Enjoying sights and scenes where they 
 That live in fancy cannot stray. 

 Love and Imagination once 
 United, to the lofty height' 
 Beyond the realms of mere sense, 
 Are ever known to take their flight. 
 And men live on in such a state, 
 Still in their youth, though old they grow ; 
 But let these ever separate, 
 Men look upon their lives and know 
 The ills of life, the sordid care, 
 The sorrows that must claim a share. 
 To Stone this bright October day 
 Was the most perfect ever seen ; 
 Just why it was, he could not say, 
 Perhaps some previous days had been 
 To others just as perfect, but 
 This day, this bright October day 
 To him within the parsonage shut 
 Unto himself, was stealing away 
 In such a calm, sweet, heavenly peace, 
 He felt his happiness increase." 
 How long he mused, he did not know, 
 Already had the sun gone down. 
 And left behind the ruddy glow 
 Of twilight. Where the wood rose brown, 
 Dark shadows stole across the road, 
 And over in the field of sage 
 The Jersey to Aunt Hannah lowed, 
 Just opposite the parsonage, 
 And Stone soon saw Aunt Hannah go 
 In answer to her gentle low, 

 And let her through the bars into 
 The side gate, leading to the rear. 
 And then it was that Stone well knew 
 That supper time was drawing near. 
 He rose, ishook off the dreamy spell. 
 And left the -now dark growing room. 
 Down stairs he went, out to the well, 
 Drew up a pail of water. From 
 The stable he could hear just now 
 Aunt Hannah talking to the cow. 
 *'Stan' ovah heah! What ails you, Sue? 
 Y|ou bettah min' what you's about ! 
 Ain't that there feed good 'nouf for vou ! 
 Then you will hafter do without. 
 You's mighty dainty now ter night, 
 And very restless, too, I see — 
 Hey ovah. Sue, can't you stan' right ? 
 Why don't you stop that botherin' me?" 
 Dipping into the pail a gourd 
 He drank, amused at every word. 
 Stone stood upon the side porch when 
 Aunt Hannah from the stable came. 
 Bearing a pail of milk. ''Well, then, 
 I think it is an awful ^shame. 
 That cow done kicked ovah ha'f her milk," 
 She said as she discovered him. 
 *Tt certainly seems she likes to bilk 
 Me in my aims, up to this rim, 
 I usually git it ; now I'm put 
 Back in what I had on foot." 

 "Ah, well, no matter," solaced Stone. 
 ''We can't have everything we want ; 
 Just dO' with what you have alone. 
 What you can't do, of course, you can't,' 
 "Laws, Bro. Stone, you is the mos' 
 Good natured man I've eveh seen. 
 You don't seem worried by no loss, 
 I must ow^n up you's certainly been 
 A sample for us all, in grace, 
 Since you is been about this place." 
 Into the house Aunt Hannah went. 
 "Ain't gettin' lonesome now, I hope?" 
 *She asked, as o'er the table bent, 
 A jar of peaches tried to ope. 
 "Oh, no," said Stone, "but somehow I 
 Would like to take a stroll to-night. 
 So calm the time, so clear the sky, 
 I think beneath the half moon's light 
 I shall enjoy a mile or two 
 Of walking, that I think I'll do." 
 "Ah, Bro. Stone, I think I see ; 
 You's gittin' lonesome staying heah. 
 You wants some un else besides me; 
 An' I don't blame you, for I feah. 
 This house without some loving w^ife 
 Is most too large for any man ; 
 An' that's what you all need in life. 
 You cannot hoi' it a good plan 
 To live without a wife, kin you? 
 Now answer, Bro. Stone, mos' true?" 

 "Why, Sister Hannah, are you not 
 Sufficient to see to the place?" 
 *'La\vd, yes, but that ain't all. The spot 
 Ain't filled by me. Another face 
 'Sides mine, I think, should be heah, too, 
 To help you in your work, you see. 
 Of course I do what I can do ; 
 A wife could even bettah be. 
 Besides, when Fs away at nights, 
 You's heah alone, now is that right? 
 "S'pose you git sick an all alone. 
 Who's heah to tend you — thought o' that?" 
 This certainly had not come to Stone, 
 And it was something to look at. 
 "No, I confess I have not thought," 
 He said, "but such may never be." 
 "Can't tell at all," she said, "It mought. 
 What's coming none of us can see." 
 "Of course,^ said Stone, "that's right, of course, 
 And yet we look not for the worse." 
 "And still you get it often, tho'. 
 Mo' then you do the bettah git." 
 She won her point, he let it go, 
 And didn't coax another bit. 
 And now his supper she began 
 Into the dining room to take. 
 And Stone, a very hearty man. 
 To the occasion doth awake. 
 She set in tastely way each dish 
 Which ere he tasted roused a wish. 

 "Yer supper's ready, Bro. Stone." 
 ''Ah, thank you," and 'twas in he went. 
 Now from a pretty lamp there shone 
 A bright light 'round the room. Intent 
 In thought, Stone sat in silence down 
 To eat the supper rich prepared. 
 Say it in truth for Sister Brown, 
 'Twas well she for her pastor cared. 
 No dainty that her fertile brain 
 Suggested which she'd not obtain. 
 And when she saw him satisfied, 
 Eating the meal most heartily, 
 She to the kitchen went with pride, 
 Happy such appetite to see. 
 And Stone with visions of a form 
 Just yonder on the opposite 
 The table, sees in life a charm 
 Never before beheld, — to-night 
 A woman petite, blushing, wild, 
 A woman yet to him a child ! 
 Then Sister Brown stood in the door. 
 'Tt do look lonesome heah for trufe." 
 And now his little dream was o'er 
 "I'm sure," he said, ''there is no proof." 
 *T see it tho," the woman said, 
 Her arms akimbo, standing there, 
 A great red kerchief on her head. 
 Her sleeves rolled up, and elbows bare. 
 "Well, I suppose so," Stone replied, 
 Eating as if well satisfied. 

 '*Bro. Hawkins passed the lane to-day," 
 She said in way of Httle news. 
 'That so? He turned not in this way," 
 Said Stone, not over-sad to choose 
 Just such a theme. ''No ; went on by. 
 Was driving, he and Rose, I b'heve." 
 "In what direction?" carelessly. 
 "To town, I think; she's 'bout to leave." 
 "To leave?'' asked Stone, now all surprised, 
 Of such he had not been advised. 
 "Oh, don't you know she was to go?'' 
 Aunt Hannah asked in surprised tone. 
 "To go?" Stone answered, "certainly, no; 
 Have not been told by any one." 
 "Strange," said Aunt Hannah, "very strange. 
 Las' Sunday — did you see her then?" 
 "Yes, but 'twas only to exchange 
 A greeting, for some brethren 
 Called my attention from her, and 
 I simply stopped to grasp her hand." 
 "When was you there to make a call ?" 
 "Not since two weeks, I think, ago; 
 And things were just as usual, 
 That is, so far as I could know. 
 But where is Rosie going to?" 
 "Now really, pastah, I can't say. 
 It's to the lady's that, you know, 
 Has been heah with her. 'Twas away 
 She went I think on Thursday las'. 
 I also seen her when she pass." 

 Stone ate in silence, dared not speak; i 
 And Sister Hannah now went on, ] 
 "May Jane, she tol' me 'way las' week j 
 That Rose was goin' to some town, I 
 The name, I disremember, but 
 'Twas where this lady lived, I know. 
 I s'pose she's been down here and put ' 
 Some notions in her head to go." 
 Stone without answering, rose and went j 
 Upstairs, his heart most sorely rent. 
 He made no light, he wanted none, 
 A half-moon cast her silver light 
 Into the room. And there alone > 
 He sat, looked out into the night, 
 Hard ty the window. Far away 
 Now on the frosty air he heard. ^ 
 Rise mournfully, the plaintive lay, I 
 Sung by the whip-poor-will, sad bird, — J 
 Seemed singing now in sympathy 
 With him, e'en sadder far than he. 
 Even the owl's quick hoo ! hoc! 
 Which joined the whip-poor-will's plaint song, 
 Seemed as this bird his sorrow knew. 
 And passed it through the woods along ; j 
 And told the maple trees and gum, * 
 The walnut and the hickory. 
 The cloud that o'er his life had cume. 
 And bade them bow in sympathy ; i 
 And all the pines in sombre green 
 Low whispered of ''what might have been." 

 The moon, half sad, looked down to-night 
 And told it to a passing cloud; 
 A shooting star went out of sight; 
 The sage field wrapped it in a shroud 
 Of vapor; and the stars looked down 
 And twinkled o'er it knowingly, 
 As if the universe with Stone 
 Was in the deepest sympathy. 
 'The whole world loves a lover." Yies, 
 And mourns in his unhappiness. 
 And there he sat, the night sped on. 
 He heard Aunt Hannah shut the door, 
 And knew that she at last had gone. 
 Now silence reigned the cottage o'er, 
 Save now and then a candle-fly 
 Beat, frightened, 'gainst the window pane; 
 Or bat, in zig-zag route go by 
 And graze against the roof again. 
 And he within a ghostly glare 
 Of moon light, crushed and sore, sat there. 
 Gone, and without a word to tell 
 Him that she had a mind to go. 
 Gone, not one look to say farewell. 
 No word to tell him "yes" or ''no" 
 To what he long had questioned her. 
 To what he full believed she knew, 
 Which every act proved whisperer, 
 Which every look of hers well drew, 
 Gone, spirited from him away. 
 For what ? Alas, he could not say, 

 And was it of her own sweet will ? 
 No, she Had told him of it then; 
 Would not have left the place until 
 She had the chance to make it plain. 
 Was there some secret enemy 
 At work against his happiness? 
 He thought of Mame, no, no, not she ; 
 She would have aided him, ah, yes. 
 He thought of Dora Wright, of Small, 
 He let his mind run over all. 
 But there was nothing to suggest 
 That there was one him to oppose. 
 The whole community, at best, 
 Looked with deep favor upon Rose, 
 And many marked about the change 
 In her behavior there of late, 
 And many said it was so strange 
 She was so gentle and sedate; 
 And many said it openly 
 'Twas owing to his company. 
 Nor did her father once object 
 To his attention to the maid. 
 And all looked on it as correct, 
 Tho' he had nothing to her said. 
 Yet everybody who beheld 
 The two when out in company. 
 From their fond actions, was compelled 
 To think they must bethrothed be. 
 Thus who was there that might oppose 
 Him in his love for gentle Rose. 

 And thus he sits there pondering 
 The cause that took her from his side. 
 He could not think of any thing-. 
 Or any one that might divide 
 Their feehng. WHiat? What had he done 
 To show her that he truly loved ? 
 What word had said to her alone 
 W'hich had his deep affection proved? 
 Had he not trifled with her heart 
 Which cau«'?d them now to be apart? 
 Does he recall how once she stood 
 There at the gate one lovely night, 
 When the moon in silver slashed the wood, 
 And threw o'er all a halo bright, 
 Her trembling hand now pressed in his ; 
 Her eyes uplifted to his own; 
 Lips almost asking for a kiss ; 
 He'd said in ordinary tone, 
 "Good night," and simply dropped her hand 
 And seen her turn to leave him ; and 
 When on her porch, look back and wave 
 Her hand to him as if to say, 
 "I give the kiss you never gave," 
 Then disappear, he turned away? 
 And that he mused was the last time 
 They were together. Was it, then, 
 The moment in his life sublime. 
 He should have spoken. Other men, 
 He told himself, had ta'en the chance 
 To bring theirr love to evidence. 

 What held him back? Ten years ago, 
 And he had spoken in a flood ; 
 And he had let his passion flow 
 In all the ardor of his blood ; 
 But then, the mask accustomed to, 
 The mask which ministers must wear. 
 Kept his real nature from her view, 
 And made him cold and heartless there. 
 And, O the words he fain had said. 
 He never uttered to the maid. 
 Perhaps, he reasoned, time enough ; 
 Perhaps, he told himself, "Not now;" 
 Perhaps, though in the very trough 
 Of passion, yet would not allow 
 It to o'erwhelm but manned the bark 
 Beyond the breakers of his soul ; 
 And laughed because he missed the mark. 
 Because he could himself control; 
 But now, he sees how foolish he. 
 In all of this, turned out to be. 
 And now his laughing turns to sighs, 
 The mask is wrenched from off his brow; 
 He wishes he might have those eyes 
 Uplifted to his own just now; 
 He wishes that those lips were there 
 That he might press them to his own ; 
 She would not list in -vain to hear 
 His words, which he in loving tone, 
 Would speak to her about his he«rt ; 
 But now, alas ! they are apart. 

 Apart ! A demon in the sage 
 Re-echoed back the words to him; 
 Enveloped was the parsonage 
 In clouds, and all about was dim ; 
 ''Apart !" A yelling company 
 Of imps danced in the chamber there. 
 The night refused her sympathy, 
 And all was howling in despair. 
 "Apart! apart! apart! apart!" 
 Vain were the words about his heart. 
 We never know how much we miss 
 Our loved ones till at last we've lost; 
 We never learn to value bliss 
 Till sorrow hath our pathway crossed. 
 We lightly tread the flowered walk, 
 Nor think to drink the odor in, 
 Some careless conversation talk 
 And never breathe the things we mean ; 
 And let a fortune slip away 
 That might have been our own for aye. 
 The half of us have had our dream 
 And wakened ere we found it out. 
 Then say ''Things are not what they seem," 
 Take consolation in this doubt. — 
 Oh, happy he who sees his chance 
 And knows just what to put it to, 
 To make the best of circumstance, 
 But once he'll have the thing to do. 
 That moment idly passed, 'tis then 
 To him it comes not back again. 

 At last the mist has cleared away, 
 And reason doth itself assert. 
 Stone falls upon his knees to pray, 
 In that dark ro9m, to pour his heart 
 Out to his Christ, who said ''Commit 
 Thy work unto the Lord, and He 
 Will by His power establish it. 
 And thou needst not uneasy be." 
 The cloud was lifted, cleared the gloom, 
 Once more light streamed into the room. 
 Once more the whip-poor-will w^as heard, 
 Once more the owl's quick hoo, hoo. 
 Came back to him ; but neither bird 
 Brought sadness by its 'Song. The blue 
 Bright heavens with the stars gazed down, 
 And sent to him the words of hope. 
 And from the trees to him was blown 
 The words "Arise, thy doors shall ope." 
 And he arose and went to bed, 
 In some way strangely comforted. 

 Canto XVII. , 
 Some things there are we do not know, 
 Some things there are we cannot see, 
 Some things as mysteries must go, 
 And so unsolved shall ever be. 
 No man can fathom every thing, 
 Within his life some things appear 
 Which with them such vague shadows bring. 
 Nothing about them seemeth clear; 
 Ay, at our best we but surmise. 
 Surmising, think that we are wise. 
 "Behold, we know not any thing," 
 So sang the singer, sweet of eld; 
 Sang as none but himself could sing, 
 And who disputes the truth he held? 
 "We have but faith ; we cannot know. 
 For knowledge is of things we see," 
 And thus he sang long years ago 
 In that lament most plaintively, 
 As drifting far into the dark, 
 He strives to man his tossing bark. 

 Life is one endless mystery, 
 Despite what we might say of chance ; 
 Despite of our free agency, 
 And all we say of circumstance. 
 One seems at times a child of fate, 
 A toy within a ruthless hand; 
 For things there are which are too great 
 For mortal mind to understand. 
 One, like a poor despised worm, 
 Becomes the creature of the storm. 
 And yet where Reason fails to guide, 
 Faith takes the helm from his hands; 
 And as we stem the ruthless tide, 
 Hope, as our look-out, forward stands. 
 What tho' the vessel labors on; 
 What tho' the night is long and black; 
 What tho' the last faint star be gone, 
 And demons howl upon our track; 
 Hope forward stands. Faith at the' wheel, 
 No unseen rocks can graze the keel ! 
 No unseen rocks can graze the keel. 
 No lone bleak shores or crags await. 
 Hope forward stands, Faith at the wheel, 
 We are not in the hands of Fate. 
 The hands of Fate we are not in, 
 Tho' reason failed to guide us out : 
 That was the echoing of sin, 
 The rancor of a lingering doubt. 
 Man need not subject be to chance, 
 Is not the child of circumstance. 

 And yet, O mystery, the same ! 
 Not now, but in a future day, 
 Some future, better clime will claim 
 Attention. When we re-survey, 
 O when we look upon the track. 
 The track that we have made in pain, 
 O then, it is, in looking back 
 The way shall be both clear and plain. 
 That unsolved then no more shall be. 
 Which we now call a mystery. 
 Stone was absorbed in study, deep, 
 Next morning in his chamber bright, 
 In which he early woke from sleep. 
 When first the sun sent forth his light. 
 Already he had breakfast had. 
 And now within his room alone, 
 In hi'S brown smoking jacket clad. 
 He sat in study, busy on 
 Next Sabbath's sermon, here and there 
 Forming a head with fervent prayer. 
 Despite what e'er his troubles were, 
 However sore his life had been, 
 He'd never let aught interfere 
 With this, his sacred work. Here clean 
 Forgot the world now stood when he 
 Approached his desk in order to 
 Prepare his sermons. Earnestly 
 He labored, often going through 
 The greatest mental strain to bring 
 A message worthy of his King. 

 And thus as through the shutters green " 
 The sunlight of that autumn morn 
 Streamed silently, with placid mein, 
 No signs of suffering inward borne, 
 He sat his mind on things divine. I 
 His thoughts in messages of Truth J 
 Flowed, as he wrote line after line 
 Gn white note-paper neat and smooth. 
 A bird is singing in the grove 
 A song of his last summer love. 
 The breeze is stirring thro' the trees, 
 And gently now the branches sway; 
 A song comes floating on the breeze 
 From merry buskers o'er the way. 
 The scent of cider, newly made, ' 
 Comes with it from the distant farm, i 
 To which he no attention paid; 
 And if such had for him a charm, 
 'Twas that which only helped to fill , 
 Him with absorption deeper still. . ' 
 XL : 
 Aunt Hannah turned her here and there 
 About the house, downstairs, that she 
 A sumptuous dinner might prepare, , 
 Nor minute late with it to be. • \ 
 This dish and that with gentle croon, ] 
 With thoughts of him she doth devise. 1 
 She knows he'll not be down till noon, | 
 And then she'll spread before his eyes \ 
 Some dainty, which she heard him say i 
 He liked. What joy he would display! | 

 And thus absorbed, she does not hear 
 The gentle steps of one who stands 
 There on the porch; and 'twas with fear 
 At last she turned, threw up her hands 
 As Mary Melville hallowed ^'Boo !" 
 And she beheld her standing there. 
 "Why howdy, gal ; go long wid you ! 
 How^ could you gimme sich a scare?" 
 "O dear. Aunt Hannah," Alary said, 
 "I didn't think you that afraid." 
 And when she'd kissed Aunt Hannah, who 
 Led her into the dining room, 
 Herself into a rocker threw. 
 ''So glad, I really is you's corhe," 
 Aunt Hannah said, "So lonesome heah." 
 "Where's Rev. Stone?" "Up starhs, I believe. 
 He studies mos' too hard, I feah. 
 Some one I think should make him leave 
 His books alone, awhile at leas', 
 An' take a little res' and peace. 
 "Well, what's the news about the place." 
 "O nothing much, that I can hear; 
 They're matching for a big foot race 
 To-day two weeks ; a dancing bear, 
 Some one that day, they say, will show, 
 And lots of other things, I guess. 
 There's little that one ought to know 
 A going on, I must confess. 
 Of course you heard about how Jake 
 Found in his house the copper snake." 

 '*Ah, yes," said Sister Brown, "an' you, 
 You've hearn about Rose goin' away?'' 
 *'I heard it, did not think it true." 
 "Oh, yes, she went on yestiday." 
 ''Poor silly girl," now Mary said, 
 *'Her father better'd kept her here." 
 **Well, that a gal's got in her head 
 Some foolishness." "Too bad; I fear 
 She will not 'mount to much away. 
 This is the place for her to stay." 
 "Don't know, I liked Rose very well; 
 Of course she was the lively sort ; 
 But if the trufe we might now tell, 
 She warn't so bad as folks report. 
 Now, since that gal came Rose jes' quit 
 Her running all the place about. 
 I'm not the onliest noticed it, 
 But several others also mought. 
 O, yes, she is a lively gal. 
 In fact, I like her arter all." 
 "Well, yes, I nothing saw in Rose. 
 Perhaps, we all have judged her wrong. 
 And since she's gone aw^ay, who knows. 
 But what 'twill make her even strong. 
 I somehow^ liked this young Miss Wright, 
 She such a sweet way 'bout her has, 
 I loved her almost at first sight. 
 She comes, I'm told, of the best class : 
 If 'tis to her home Rose has gone 
 I'm sure 'twill be her good alone." 

 And thus they talk. Aunt Hannah who 
 Now in the kitchen constant phes 
 Her energies, now there were two 
 Instead of one to dinner, tries 
 To get a goodly meal ; and so 
 Manie rocking lazily doth talk 
 Of everything she chanced to know 
 About the parish or the folk. 
 So passed the time along, and soon 
 The hour was pushing close to noon. 
 "I'll set the table," Mary said. 
 ''O, by the way. Aunt Hannah, I 
 Forgot to tell you, I have made 
 The best preserves, and have set by 
 A gallon jar for Rev. Stone; 
 You think he likes them ?" 'That he do ; 
 He eats all kinds of sweets ; he's done 
 Clean clahed his yaller peaches thro'." 
 ''Then, if you have not any, I 
 Will give you some from my supply. 
 "Mel. said he thought the flour out." 
 "Not quite," Aunt Hannah said, "Thah's moah 
 Then quahtar barrell; now you mought 
 Jes' look yo' se'f thah in th' stoah." 
 "O that's all right. You know when 'tis, 
 Mel. says he'll bring 'Some to you, as 
 There has not been much call for his; 
 And he would never let it pass 
 Without he did his part, so he 
 Told me on coming here to see. 

 *'How was the cottage cheese I sent ?" 
 '*0 that was elegant, indeed. 
 He ate an' ate, nor was content 
 Untel I tol' by who 'twas made." 
 *'Ah, so?" laughed Mary, ''yet I told 
 You not to say who made the cheese. 
 Poor one, I think you are, to hold 
 A secret." ''Yet I had to please 
 So tol' him all about it, see?" 
 "O yes, but that's not minding me." 
 And as they talk, upon the air 
 The farmer's bell is heard to ring. 
 "And twelve o'clock, well I declare, 
 How does the time go hurrying!" 
 "Huh ! 'Time an' tide waits for no man.' 
 I's got my dinner ready to 
 Put on the table. It's my plan 
 To do on time all that I do," 
 Triumphantly Aunt Hannah said. 
 As she upon the table laid 
 Her meats. "You ring that bell thah, please," 
 And Mary reaching took the bell 
 And rang it. Now a thought doth seize 
 Her just to hide. So not to tell, 
 She warned Aunt Hannah, then she fled 
 Into the living room where she 
 Soon heard Stone walking overhead, 
 Move down the stairs most leisurely. 
 "Aunt Hannah, heard I not someone?" 
 On entering the room asked Stone. 

 *'I do not know as ef you did," 
 Aunt Hannah said, as he sat down, 
 And from the room where she was hid 
 Mame warning looked at Sister Brown. 
 He noticed not the extra plate 
 Or hat that she had not removed. 
 In study deep he silent sat. 
 Perhaps he thought of her he loved; 
 Perhaps his sermon's last brief head; 
 Perhaps, but nothing now he said. 
 He does not hear Mame when she tips 
 And at his back mischievous stands ; 
 He's all surprised when quick, she slips 
 Around his brow her soft brown hands 
 And holds them o'er his flashing eyes; 
 But still he does not struggle much. 
 "Guess who it is !" she gayly cries. 
 He knew when first he felt the touch. 
 *'0 Madam Melville, now how rude! 
 Of all, I thought that you were good." 
 "Of course," she laughed as at her place 
 There at the table now she sat. 
 "Too good to come to-day and grace 
 This table for you, that is flat. 
 But since I had some work to do 
 Here at the church, I came to see 
 Aunt Hannah, never dreamed that you 
 Would not enjoy my company. 
 Of course though, if you do not. then 
 I'll never force myself again, 

 "And now, sir, there, take that will you?" 
 She laughed and passed him o'er his plate 
 Helped to potatoes. As he drew 
 The plate toward him, she would wait 
 To see what he would say ; but Stone 
 Was eating with his usual smile 
 A playing o'er his face alone; 
 And she sat waiting all the while. 
 At last, "You'd better eat," he said. 
 "Do try some of Aunt Hannah's bread." 
 xxvni. - 
 "Well, I was waiting just to see 
 If you enjoyed my being here." 
 "Believe me, ma'am, your company 
 But raises ten degrees my cheer," 
 Still smiling, mildly, Stone rejoined. 
 "Ah, thank you, then, I guess I'll eat. 
 Of course, you men are so unkind. 
 You seldom know just how to treat 
 A woman when she tries to do 
 A thing, she believes, please you." 
 "You had some work you said to do," 
 (As if he heard not what she said.) 
 "O, yes, most of the music's new, 
 And on the organ must be played, 
 So I came here awhile to play." 
 "Have you been over there as yet?" 
 No ; after walking all the way, 
 I seemed so very warm to get, 
 I simply got as far as here ; 
 And here I sit, it does appear," 

 "Well, really glad to have you, too." 
 "'Oh, so 'tis really this you mean?" 
 ''1 think that all I say is true; 
 There's nothing in my words, you've seen, 
 Untrue," he said, arching his brow. 
 ''There, don't, it does not suit your face," 
 She said, 'T must acknowledge now 
 You make me feel quite out of place." 
 "One of my 'ways' you used to say," 
 He murmured, "once upon a day." 
 She sighed. He noticed it and stopped. 
 " 'Twas foolish, very foolish," she 
 Now murmured, and her clear, voice dropped 
 Down to a whisper. 'Twas then he 
 Looked up and caught her tender gaze. 
 "O, Ray!" she murmured under breath, 
 Those happy, happy, HAPiPY days 
 Shall bright before me be till death — " 
 "Now do us part," he laughing said. 
 "Why, chase such nonsense from your head! 
 " 'Twas very foolish, now I own, 
 That I should then to it advert. 
 I hope, however," added Stone, 
 "That it has caused no serious hurt. 
 'Tis time that we should both be strong; 
 Besides, I need your counsel now. 
 By coming here you did no wrong. 
 The fact is, you once made a vow 
 To which I have a mind to hold 
 You, tho' the making was quite bold." 

 She paused in cutting up her food, 
 Looked at him with wide opened eyes, 
 And really she was of some good 
 To him at any rate. She tries 
 To hide the glow that spreads her face. 
 The tremor of that gentle mouth. 
 'Twas now she did feel out of place, 
 When she was most in place, in truth. 
 Her look was questioning, ''Not here," 
 He said, 'T'll see you over there." 
 And now they talked of other things, 
 Of plans of church work, this and that. 
 Aunt Hannah in the kitchen sings 
 In minor key and pitch B flat, 
 And Mary, though the meal was good. 
 Had lost, it seems, her appetite. 
 And sparingly now ate the food 
 At which she started with delight. 
 What was it he would have her do? 
 She dared not guess, she thought she knew. 
 He was so strange, that Raymond Stone, 
 So cold at times, so very 'Stern, 
 It seemed he loved himself alone ; 
 And yet one knew him but to learn 
 To love him ; loving him to do 
 What e'er he might desire one. 
 She dared not guess, she thought she knew. 
 But Rosie Hawkins now had gone. 
 She dared not guess she thought — but oh. 
 Was it not best to wait and know. 

2^0 6R0WN CHAPEL. 
 The dinner finished both arose. 
 "Then you will to the chapel go 
 With me?" she asked. "Oh, I suppose — 
 But stop," he added, "I don't know." 
 He paused. "I cannot go just yet. 
 There is some work I am not through. 
 I'll finish it and then — now let 
 Me see — I may go home with you." 
 She smiled, "Oh do ; that will be fine. 
 I dared not think that pleasure mine." 
 He did not hear all that she said. 
 He left the room, and up the stair 
 She heard him nervously now tread. 
 She was alone, left standing-there. 
 Abrupt indeed, but that was "Ray." 
 She turned to Sis. Brown who came. 
 "Is Bro. Stone done gone away?" 
 "O just upstairs," now answ^ered Mame. 
 "And now, Aunt Hannah, won't you please 
 Just let me have the chapel keys." 
 "Yes, chile; you fin' um hangin' thah 
 Upon that nail aside the doah. 
 It ain't too high, well I declah, 
 You's tall as Bro. Stone I'm suah." 
 Mame saw the keys and took them down, 
 Went out and hurried on toward 
 The chapel. Maybe Sifter Brown 
 Saw not the tears which Mame found hard 
 To keep from creeping down her cheeks. 
 The little chapel there she seeks 

 To cry, as she has oft before, 
 In thinking of the days that were, 
 Days, happy days, forever o'er, 
 Yet bright in memory to her. 
 Why had he come into her hfe? 
 Why should he still have poWer o'er 
 Her, though she was another's wife? 
 Ah, did she love him as of yore ? 
 And if she did was he to blame? 
 No, 'twas herself alone, thought Mame. 
 But, as before the organ she 
 Sat to run o'er the music, sweet. 
 Beneath her touch the melody 
 Came to her, and when one complete 
 She'd played, the passion just before 
 Had vanished and left nought behind. 
 When Rev. Stone passed in the door 
 And hither at the organ joined. 
 She merely turned and at him smiled 
 As sweet and simple as a child^ 
 Then went on with her playing. He 
 Stood by as in the former days 
 And turned the leaves most gallantly. 
 'Twas once she turned to find his gaze 
 Straight down upon her. It was so queer 
 She trembled but continued still. 
 Just stopping long enough to hear 
 His praises of her magic skill, 
 Until at last her work was through. 
 She'd know now what he'd have her do. 

 Thus on the organ stool she wheeled. 
 Close to her side a chair he drew. 
 She was excited, but concealed 
 As best she could her feeling. ''You 
 Made me a vow some time ago." 
 ''Yes," 'she assented, calm and soft. 
 His voice was measured, grave and slow. 
 "A vow which I have thought of oft." 
 She nodded, restlessly her foot 
 Into a dozen postures put. 
 "A vow, you know, of sympathy." 
 "O, yes ; go on, don't linger, Ray," 
 'Twas now she said impatiently. 
 "I will, but please don't hurry me, May- 
 You said, whenever I should need 
 Advice or counsel you would give." 
 "I did, and meant it then, indeed, 
 And now," she said, "long as I live.'* 
 "You know," he said, "I'm here alone." 
 There was a sadness in his tone. 
 She nodded, "Certainly, go on." 
 "You are the only one that knows. 
 Or that I know full well," said Stone. 
 "Mame, I am deep in love with Rose !" 
 She did not speak, she did not move; 
 She sat erect as statue there. 
 To hear him say he was in love, 
 Was not so strange .to her, 'twa-s clear ; 
 But why should he in her confide? 
 She waited long ere she replied. 

 ''I did not think that when 1 made 
 The vow that such as this should be; 
 I did not think that my small aid 
 Should in this channel run," said she. 
 ''How can I help you if you are, 
 You've let her go from out your grip ; 
 From what I heard she is too far, 
 Except, perhaps, you take a trip 
 To where she is — that would not do, 
 Except, some one invited you." 
 He sat there like a great big boy. 
 His face no longer drawn and stern. 
 She really felt a thrill of joy 
 In seeing things take just this turn. 
 She knew not what was coming; he 
 Had but apprised her of his love 
 For Rose. Upon her sympathy 
 Had wished that she his aid might prove. 
 ''What part in this am I to play?" 
 *'Find out how long she intends to stay." 
 "Why, that is easy ; why not you ?" 
 "I do not want it to be known 
 That I have missed her, since 'tis true 
 I did not know that she had gone." 
 "But as her pastor can't you know ?" 
 "Yes, as her pastor, but, you see, 
 I fear I've made her even go ; 
 I was so stupid. List to me, 
 Mame. You must help me out of this 
 Or the acme of my life I'll miss. 

 "Now, find out where she is and write; 
 Say anything you wish to say, 
 Write in a manner to excite 
 Her to return. You'll do it. May?" 
 He pleaded. "What I can," she said. 
 I think I have Miss Wright's address, 
 If somewhere I have not mislaid. 
 You know, Ray, that your happiness 
 Despite of everything 'shall be 
 My own; don't you think that of me?" 
 "I do," he said and pressed her hand. 
 "I do, may heaven bless you, Mame. 
 And now we better understand 
 Each other, do we not? Our aim 
 To make each other happy — thus?" 
 "Yes, Ray, as long as life shall last — 
 Ah, heaven, it was that guided us ! 
 I now can see, within the past 
 You did not love me as you do 
 This girl. I knew it Ray, I knezv!" 
 She rase, and tears welled from her eyes. 
 He caught her hands in his again. 
 "There, Mame, don't, don't, it is not wise; 
 And would you have me thus remain ?" 
 "No, no," she said, "that selfish were. 
 'Twere better that you had a wife, 
 A woman gentle and sincere 
 To brighten up your lonely life. 
 But, Ray, have you not, you not heard 
 What others say — not that a word 

 *'Is true," she hastened then to add, 
 As on his brow she saw the frown. 
 "I do not think at all she's bad, 
 But people try to drag her down, 
 By talking. Do you care for this?" 
 "I do not," now he answered, stern. 
 ''About her I saw nought amiss. 
 Had all the chance I wished to learn. 
 'Tis all a pack of jealousy 
 That follows the whole family." 
 "The same way with her sister, too, 
 Before she married," Mame now said, 
 ''But after that as Rosie grew, 
 'Twas at her door the talk was laid." , 
 "Yes, so I understand," said Stone, 
 "And I'm disgusted with it all. 
 These folks must let this child alone, 
 Or else a halt I'll have to call." 
 And here he thought 'twas time to stop. 
 And therefore let the matter drop. 
 "I guess," said Stone, "but here, 'tis four. 
 I promised to accompany you. 
 I'm glad you came to-day, I'm sure. 
 This talk has made me feel brand new." 
 "A different man, I guess," 'she smiled. 
 "Well, yes, perhaps, I'm somewhat so." 
 "You look just like a great big child. 
 The child you were ten years ago. 
 They say love makes us young again." 
 "Then henceforth I shall young remain.'* 

 She sighed, ''O Ray, do you not know, 
 I've wished I had a brother, and 
 To-day I feel that it is so. 
 Somehow, when you took hold my hand 
 I felt a thrill so very strange — 
 No, not like what I used to feel. 
 'Twas different, a sudden change, 
 And now my soul doth too reveal 
 That thrill, must be the tenderness 
 One mother's children may possess." 
 She stopped, her hand ran o'er her brow. 
 She seemed as if she would recall 
 Some secret of the past. "And now," 
 She quickly said, "Ray, now that all 
 Is clear between us, to my mind 
 There comes a dream that I have had 
 At least three times, in which I find 
 Myself a child, and there's a lad 
 With whom I played, I thought my brother. 
 But foolish, why should I now bother 
 "You with such superstitious things? 
 'Twas but a dream, a dream that's all. 
 Despite the longing that it brings, 
 'Tis folly that I should recall 
 It at this instant. Let me, Ray, 
 Be your true sister, anyhow; 
 Just always call me 'Sister May,' 
 Then I can better keep my vow. 
 I am so lonely here, you see. 
 Could you not brother be to me?" 

 She gazed up at him where he stood. 
 His eyes were watery, look was grave. 
 To her he never seemed so good, 
 So noble, princely and so brave. 
 "Yes, Ray," she whispered, ''all alone, 
 Except my husband, nor kit nor kin. 
 My brother, could you not be one, 
 Were it too much love to win?" 
 *'No, no, my child," he tenderly said. 
 And gently on her shoulders laid 
 His hand. "Mame, I a story might 
 Relate to you if you will hear, 
 But as 'tis getting toward night 
 I cannot tell it now, I fear. 
 We'll slowly walk along the way * 
 And I w^ill tell it briefly then. 
 Somehow, I feel like it to-day, 
 And I may ne'er feel so again. 
 I'll go and tell Aunt Hannah, see? 
 To-night she need not wait for me." 
 "All right, Mel. will be glad also 
 To have you with us there at tea. 
 Of course, to-day he had to go 
 To town, and, may be, late 'twill be 
 Ere he returns, but how some'er. 
 He will be glad when he gets home 
 To find you there, you need not fear. 
 He's always glad to have you come. 
 He's always asking if I've been 
 And all about your larder seen." 

 They left the chapel, locked the door, 
 And Stone unto the parsonage went. 
 She waited for him, and when o'er 
 Five minutes waiting had been spent, 
 'Twas then he in appearance put, 
 But not as he had left her there. 
 For now dressed in another suit 
 Of lightish gray, slick brushed his hair, 
 A heavy walking stick, he came 
 All smiles to where stood waiting, Mame. 
 *'How foppish!" she exclaimed, "and then 
 To leave me waiting here for you." 
 He smiled. They started dowji the lane. 
 Aunt Hannah stood to see the two, 
 There on the porch, and waved farewell. 
 As Mary shook her slender hand, 
 She holloed gayly, "Now, don't tell; 
 Just keep it mum, you understand." 
 And with one last mischievous look, 
 'Twas at Ray's side her place she took. 
 ''Your story, Ray." ''O yes," he said, 
 ''The story is my history. 
 Somehow, your words to-day have made 
 It all come back to memory. 
 You know I was an orphan, but 
 You never knew my life in full. 
 For years a seal I've ever put 
 Upon it. Yet when hours are dull 
 I often think of one beside 
 Whose bed I stood until she died, 

 'That was my mother, Mame. I was 
 But eight years old when that occurred. 
 I felt, however, all, alas, 
 A boy could feel, and with no word 
 To tell it. Father went away 
 Somewhere, I do not really know. 
 It was a year up to that day, 
 And mother had been very low. 
 Beside her sister stood with me, 
 My only sister, scarcely three. 
 ''And sister was a wee small thing, 
 Just like my father, so they said. 
 Ma sang until too weak to sing; 
 And that day, lying on the bed. 
 She called us to her. Tenderly 
 She told us that she 'Soon would leave. 
 That we should both good children be, 
 And after her w^e should not grieve. 
 Of course w-e could not understand, 
 But stood there as she pressed our hand." 
 He paused, and tears w^ere in his eyes, 
 And slowly coming dowai each cheek. 
 Mame glanced up to him, felt arise 
 A choking, but she did not speak. 
 Her slender arm slipped into his 
 A handkerchief stole to her face. 
 To her this silence sacred is. 
 Beside him she kept equal pace 
 And waited till he should resum^e 
 His story of those hours of gloom. 

 *'She said that father might return/ 
 He went on, as they walked along. 
 ''If not, that I should try to earn 
 Something for little sister. Strong, 
 I had been picking here and there 
 A coin or two at jobs at times, 
 And these had helped along to bear 
 Expenses. Carefully hoarded dimes 
 Had bought a many a pound of meat 
 For her and Sister Kate to eat. 
 **We lived in such an humble place, 
 A short street in two dowdy rooms 
 Where never a decent person's face 
 Was ever seen, and deadly fumes 
 Of gas oozed up from sewers so 
 That weak lunged people could not live. 
 Fve often thought, but do not know. 
 This was the very thing to give 
 Mother her death. But how some'er 
 It was not long she lingered there. 
 "When father went away we did 
 Not live in such a place, but when 
 All of our means were spent, and rid 
 Of our best furniture, some men 
 Came and told us that we must go, 
 Because ma could not pay the rent. 
 Of course we had to, since, you know, 
 We had used up our every cent, 
 And mother looked in vain to hear 
 From father, so we just moved there. 

 ''In turn she pressed irs to her breast, 
 And Sister Kate began to cry. 
 Then mother whispered, 'God knows best. 
 Trust Him, my children, now good-by.' 
 And then she hummed in whisper low, 
 A look of sweet peace on her brow, 
 'If my Lord calls me I must go 
 To meet Him in the promised land,' and now, 
 She sang, as she stretched out her hand, 
 Til away, I'll away to the promised land.' 
 "I did not know that 'she had gone. 
 I thought she simply went to sleep. 
 We stood beside the bed alone, 
 Too young to understand or weep. 
 She did not speak to us again. 
 Tho' still we lingered at her side. 
 I called her, called her louder then, 
 And little sister sobbed and cried. 
 Some people from the next house came 
 And led us from the bedside, Mame." 
 He stopped a moment as to take 
 A breath for strength, his arm she pressed, 
 But spoke not, did not need to speak, 
 That movement sympathy expressed. 
 "Somebody had her laid away, 
 A decent burial, they said. 
 I never knew who came to pay. 
 But all expenses soon were paid. 
 And sister, never could I tell 
 Who took her, but they said 'twas well. 

 "1 ? Well, I had no where to go. 
 Folks said that I was no account, 
 And thus I drifted, drifted so 
 None ever thought I would amount 
 To much at all. From that time on 
 I never saw my father or 
 My sister, such a wee young one. 
 I know not what became of her. 
 Sometimes I really think I shall 
 Meet her somewhere, yes, after all. 
 ''Of course I was too hard to die. 
 I slept in whate'er place I could ; 
 Sold papers, learnt all trickery. 
 Was everything, I guess, but good. 
 And yet, it seemed, I got along. 
 Went through life like a little tough; 
 And yet, I fought against the wrong, 
 And, altho' others thought me rough, 
 I tried to be what mother said, 
 A good boy, 'spite the life I led. 
 "Of course, I was not all the time, 
 Mine a peculiar circumstance. 
 'Twas as one who must live in slime, 
 Who never had been given a chance 
 To get from out of it, you see. 
 Nobody thought me any good, 
 I found nobody's company 
 Except the rudest of the rude. 
 And I just could not live apart, 
 I had a kind of social heart, 

 One day when I was seventeen 
 I stood on look-out for a job. 
 A lady, marketing had been, 
 I saw a man attempt to rob. 
 I knew not how it all was done, 
 But ere I knew it, I was there; 
 The fellow from one blow alone 
 Lay stretched out flat. Around us were 
 A crowd, and they all praising me 
 For quickness, strength and bravery. 
 *'Unto this lady, Mame, I owe 
 My education. She it was 
 First gave me means and bade me go 
 To school. This lady ever has 
 Kept me in correspondence e'en 
 Since I've been in the ministry, 
 And she my constant friend has been. 
 From her large gifts of charity 
 Have come to help the poor I have 
 Upon my work. To all she gave. 
 • " 'Tis true, ten years ago, well, I 
 Was not the man I should have been. 
 You knew me then. Well, I 'lived high,' 
 As runs the phrase. You might have seen 
 Just how I lived, and thought, I guess. 
 My folks w^ere rich, but no, 'twas she. 
 Who even now would give no less 
 If I one hour in need should be. 
 These fifteen years she's followed me 
 Wherever I might chance to be. 

 *'My life has been a rugged one, 
 And yet God's hand in all I've seen. 
 I've not been perfect — always done 
 The good thing. What I might have been. 
 Have often failed to be; and yet 
 I've tried since I have had the Light 
 To do my duty, never let 
 One moment find me from the right. 
 How much I have 'succeeded, well, 
 God knows, and He some day will tell." 
 *Toor Ray," she sighed. Again she pressed 
 His arm to her fast throbbing side. 
 He felt the sympathy expressed 
 And tried in vain his tears to hide. • 
 *The story of my life I, too, 
 Will tell you if you wish it, Ray. 
 I see why I've admired you. 
 You were so 'strange in every way. 
 Now proud I am to have you be 
 My brother, / am your sister, see?" 
 ''My sister — yes, I would you were 
 The wee small sister taken away." 
 He turned and gravely looked at her. 
 "I am, don't you believe it Ray?" 
 She laughed. "God gave you unto me 
 To be the brother I have seen 
 Within that dream, so can't you be? 
 Whatever now there might have been, 
 I am your sister now." And they 
 Into the gate turned from the way. 

A strAnge story. 245 
 The sun had set, the 'sky was red, 
 And dark against it rose the wood. 
 ''How beautiful the twihght," said 
 Mame, as for a while they stood 
 Inside the gate. "God's light it is. 
 No artist such can execute," 
 Said gravely Stone. "I would not miss 
 This sight for aught." "It seems to suit 
 My mind also, but gracious me, 
 You know I must get ready tea. 
 "Let's to the house or 'twill be late." 
 "O pshaw ! and how abrupt you are ! 
 My sister must not have that trait; 
 She must poetic be by far," 
 He said. She laughed as now toward 
 The house they went. "Well, let it be ; 
 Somebody will be thinking hard 
 If when the time comes there's no tea; 
 Betwixt the two I think I'd take 
 The tea just for the stomach's sake." 

 Canto XVIII. 
 Two rivers, from the self >same source, 
 Divided on a mountain ridge, 
 And down the vaUeys rushed with force, 
 Spanned here and there by many a bridge. 
 On, on they wound, sometimes their flow 
 As gentle as a level lake, 
 When through the valleys gliding slow. 
 Their courses oceanward they take; 
 And many a hamlet they passed by 
 While onward flowing to the sea ; 
 And many a creaking wheel they turned ; 
 And many a miller's corn they ground; 
 By rriany a wind their waters churned ; 
 And many a wTCck on them was found. 
 When miles by them have traversed been 
 Through many a valley broad and deep ; 
 Through many a marsh land low and green, 
 Where lazy alligators sleep, 
 Ere either reached the boundless main 
 Their waters meet, unite again. 

 "Now, Reverend, make yourself at home; 
 Excuse me, I must haul to-day. 
 I'm always glad for you to come. 
 And hope you will not rush away. 
 The madam, she will treat you right, 
 Make up for what I fail to do," 
 So Melville said next morning bright, 
 To Stone out in the barnyard, who 
 Had offered to go out that day 
 And help him get his corn away. 
 *'No ; go into the house and read, 
 Or take it easy while you can. 
 I don't believe that I have need 
 To-day for any extra man. 
 Besides, I fear, the work we do 
 You never would have power to 'stand. 
 'Twould kill you in a day or two," 
 He smiled. "You see, to till the land 
 I do not think God called you, see? 
 Your general build is proof to me." 
 "I'm not afraid of work, you know." 
 "Of course you're not, but Bro. Stone, 
 You see, it don't become you, though. 
 'Tis best to let such work alone." 
 "Come, Reverend. Yiou're not strong enough," 
 Called Mary from the kitchen door. 
 "I know you think yourself quite tough, 
 But you are not, now I'm quite sure." 
 She smiled and shook the table cloth. 
 "Come, or I'll have to Svhale' you both." 

 *'Go, Reverend, she will care for you," 
 Said Melville as he drove away. 
 ''So be it," Stone replied, ''since you 
 Have no need of my help to-day," 
 And in the barnyard there he stood 
 Until Melville, his honest host, 
 Had disappeared behind the wood, 
 In deepest kind of revery lost. 
 Until a sweet voice from the door — 
 "Pray, now, what are you dreaming o'er?' 
 He turned to see Mame standing there. 
 The picture of fond sympathy. 
 "What is it now? Do come in here 
 And tell .your secrets all to me." 
 He smiled, "I thank you, but I need 
 To burden none with woes of mine. 
 You are, I own, a friend indeed. 
 But pardon me if I decline 
 To run to you with all my woes. 
 Whatever thing wrong with me goes." 
 "Come in the house; don't stand out there 
 And brood," she said impatiently. 
 "I've ^something I would like you hear. 
 If yofi w^ll only list to me." 
 She waited till he crossed the yard 
 And came and stood there at the door. 
 "Come, Ray, for it is very hard 
 For me to keep what I am sure 
 With interest you will listen to. 
 You know last night I promised you 

mame^s story. 249 
 "The story of my life I'd tell." 
 (Him to the dining room she led.) 
 "There, make yourself comfortable — 
 You'll find it ver}^ long, Fm 'fraid. 
 Be seated." And herself she threw 
 Carelessly into the rocker there; 
 And for her feet a hassock drew, 
 Then pointed to a Morris chair. 
 He took the chair. In silence he 
 Sat there to hear her history. 
 "When I recall my childhood days. 
 Within the little village B — , 
 There comes a gentle woman's face, 
 Fresh now upon my memory. 
 This was my mother, Ray, and one 
 Sweet as an angel from above. 
 Whose gentle heart, it seemed, alone 
 Was made that it might beat in love. 
 Here in a cottage near the sea 
 My childhood days passed merrily. 
 "My father was a man as kind 
 As any father e'er could be : 
 It seemed he ever bore in mind 
 The things that pleasure were to me. 
 And there was never a girl in town, 
 However rich her people were. 
 That ever wore a better gown 
 Than I. Nor ever did occur 
 The time that I had wished for aught 
 But what his kind indulgence sought. 

 *'You see, there was but me alone, 
 No other that great love to share ; 
 I lived, as the swift years rolled on. 
 The only object of their care. 
 Perhaps, 'twas true that I was spoiled, 
 Was somewhat selfi'sh in my way, 
 But since I was the only child, 
 No fault can one against them lay. 
 They loved me far beyond my worth, 
 I was the happiest child on earth. 
 ''My father was a fisherman. 
 He made his living from the sea. 
 And often for long weeks was gone 
 Far, far beyond the quiet bay 
 To seek the oily cod. 'Twas then 
 I often sat on the white sand 
 And watched day after day again 
 For his return. Along the ^strand 
 I gathered pebbles, or the shells 
 Strewed o'er the beach there by the swells. 
 "Glad was I when there came in sight 
 Most plainly 'gainst the eastern sky 
 My father's craft, her sails so white. 
 Spread to the breeze with colors high. 
 And never a heart like mine could beat 
 As when I holloed 'Boat ahoy !' 
 Or with affectionate ki'ss would greet, 
 In the heat of childish joy. 
 O happy days they were when we 
 Dwelt in the cottage by the sea. 

mame's story. 251 
 " 'Twas true, when fearful storms came up, 
 And father was out on the deep, 
 And mother hoped against all hope, 
 At night for us was little sleep. 
 Once I remember how the wind 
 Had blown the breakers mountains high. 
 Along the beach the spray would blind 
 As dark and angry grew the sky. 
 We walked that beach that live-long night 
 To see each moment loom in sight 
 "My father''s vessel rent apart. 
 The sun came up, the storm had fled, 
 And there we stood with fearful heart 
 To see the dying and the dead. 
 There with the anxious company 
 Of fishermen's wives down on the sand, 
 As now and then the rolling sea 
 Brought broken mast heads to the land, 
 'Twas hard to hold our grief in check 
 When all beheld had been a wreck. 
 "But O the joy when cross the blue 
 And heaving waters was aspied 
 My father's ves'sel, staunch and true, 
 Sail homeward on the flooding tide! 
 And O the cheering cry that went 
 Up from that little crowd that stood 
 There on the beach, necks seaward bent^ 
 All eyes upon the vessel glued ! 
 O joyous was the hour when 
 My father landed with his men! 

 'Tather believed in learning, though 
 He was a simple seaman, rough, 
 Who had but little chance to know 
 The letter, yet he knew enough 
 To man a vessel, and could sail 
 Those waters on the darkest night ; 
 Nor feared to weather any gale. 
 He held that it was only right 
 That I 'should educated be 
 Off his snug living from the sea. 
 ''And I learnt fast. The school to which 
 I went was mixed, of course, you know, 
 With white and black, the poor and rich. 
 Yet none a difference would show. 
 I soon passed out the common grade, 
 And father of me very proud 
 In seeing all the marks I made, 
 And hearing others praising loud. 
 Thought I should finish in some place 
 Built and conducted by our race. 
 "So I wa's just fifteen, you know. 
 Quite strongly built and athlete. 
 I really did not wi'sh to go 
 Into new places, there to meet 
 Strange faces, learn new manners, but 
 'Twas father's wish and I obeyed. 
 I held my peace, his plans he put 
 In operation. Soon were made 
 Trunks full of clothing, trinklets, all, 
 To make me quite comfortable. 

mame's story. 253 
 "Ma grieved to see me go, but she 
 Too held her peace, nor said a word. 
 Of course, it was all plain to me, 
 I felt how deep her heart was stirred. 
 And noticed how she oft would sit 
 And look at me with such a gaze : 
 I knew not what to make of it. 
 Until it was in after days 
 That look came back to me and I 
 Had partly solved the mystery. 
 "Why tire you ? I took my leave 
 Of parents, cottage and the sea; 
 Of loving friends, I left to grieve, 
 Yet hoping best of things in me. 
 My father, smelling still of salt, 
 Down at the train to see me off. 
 He did not cry, 'twas not his fault ; 
 He said good-by and only coughed. 
 And kissed me as the warning bell 
 Bade him that he must 'say farewell. 
 "That morning at the station there 
 Was the last time I saw him, Ray. 
 One day, they said, when all was fair. 
 In his staunch craft he sailed away.. 
 And then, it seems, that very night 
 A storm came up, an awful storm. 
 Folks on the beach swore that in sight 
 They saw the craft, my father's form. 
 Perhaps a phantom it had been, 
 But father never more was 'seen. 

 ''Nor was the craft, nor was the crew, 
 Four brave young men with him went down 
 In those dark waters deep and blue, 
 The sturdiest fellows in the town. 
 You may remember when I went 
 Home from the school, well it was then. 
 Ma had the tidings to me sent 
 How he was lost with craft and men. 
 Poor mother, like a Christian should, 
 Bore up beneath the blow, and could 
 "Be of some comfort, too, to those 
 Who with herself sustained a loss. 
 Each morning after that, arose,. 
 Calm and serene, to take her cross : 
 And bravely through the live-long day, 
 When all within the house was done, 
 wShe went out on her mission, Ray, 
 The sick, the lowly, every one, 
 That needed consolation, there, 
 She was, with kindly word or prayer. 
 '* 'Return to school,' she said to me. 
 'It is his will, that we should keep. 
 I wish that he had lived to see 
 You graduate. Let us not weep,' 
 She added as the tears rolled down 
 My cheeks, as I recalled the day, 
 I saw him hardy, beaten, brown, 
 Just as the train had pulled away. 
 'God knows just what is best for us. 
 His will be done, it must be thus.' 

mame's story. 255 
 "So I returned to school. You know 
 My little life within those walls. 
 You were my first, my only beau. 
 Tho'se happy moments one recalls, 
 The walks from chapel, and the teas. 
 My boarding mistress gave for you; 
 The pleasant nights when autumn breeze 
 In southern climates balmy blew. 
 Ah, you know all about them, Ray, 
 But let it buried be, you say. 
 "And when I graduated, I 
 Of course unto my home returned, 
 And there I taught, though privately, 
 And quite a little sum I earned. 
 We owned our cottage, and beside. 
 Pa left us quite a snug amount 
 In the town bank. I could provide 
 By teaching all that we should want 
 To spend for food, and so I spent 
 Two years within my home content. 
 "But some how, Fate had marked me for 
 Her own ; when I was happy, then 
 Another sadness must occur 
 To make me feel I lived in vain. 
 One day ma called me to her side, 
 Calm and serene as she had been 
 All through her life, so true and tried, 
 Through all the sorrow she had seen. 
 'My child,' she said, 'don't frightened be, 
 Your father calls me from the sea, 

 ** 'And I must go to him.' I heard 
 The words as I have heard the knell 
 That sounded in the fog as 'stirred 
 By tossing waves, the buoy bell. 
 'No, mother, 'tis a dream,' I said, 
 'You need to leave this place and go 
 Down south with me a while. I'm 'fraid 
 You think too much of things,' but 'No,' 
 She answered, 'It is all too plain. 
 He calls, I must not here remain. 
 " 'There is a pain about my heart, 
 A pain which soon shall bring me to 
 Your father. Do I hate to part. 
 My dearest, dearest child, from you? 
 Don't ask me. I would go to him. 
 I've lived to see you graduate. 
 To realize your father'^s dream. 
 Why should he longer for me wait? 
 Yet daughter, ere I from you go, . 
 There is a secret you must know.-* 
 "Within the sitting room we were, 
 Where opened a window to the sea ; 
 The day was beautiful and fair. 
 'Twas spring, the birds sang merrily. 
 On a large sofa ma reclined, 
 A downy pillow 'neath her head. 
 Calm peace was in her face outlined. 
 Her eyes half closed. 'Twas soft she said 
 'Forgive me if I cause you pain. 
 Yet 'tis my duty to explain.' 

 "And then she went on to relate 
 How I when but a child was brought 
 To her by father. That his mate 
 Within a Southern State had sought 
 Him with me, stating I had been 
 An old friend's daughter wdio was dead, 
 A struggling w^oman who had seen 
 Much better days. And thus he prayed 
 That I be cared for. Thus it came 
 To pass pa took me, called me Mame. 
 ''So as their child they reared me, since 
 God had not blessed them with a child, 
 And sought no farther evidence 
 As to my parentage, but toiled 
 To make me happy. This 'same mate 
 Soon after disappeared, 'twas thought 
 Went back into this Southern State 
 And gave up sailing. I was brought 
 Up in the knowledge that alone 
 These were my parents. She was done. 
 ''On that same night my mother died 
 Just as the hour of twelve drew on, 
 And roaring flooded in the tide 
 That joined me sobbing o'er her gt)ne. 
 So I was all alone. Just where 
 We used to sit and watch the sea 
 In all its rollings, 'twas out there 
 Within the church yard 'neath a tree 
 We buried her, her friends and mine. 
 Her body, for her soul must shine 

 "Before God's bright and glorious throne. 
 Thus as she Hved, it seemed she died, 
 Calm and serene, my mother, none 
 But her I knew, and, Ray, beside. 
 None could a better mother prove. 
 She nourished, cherished me, what more? 
 Could any show a deeper love? 
 No ; never was a mother bore 
 A greater love for child than she 
 In her calm life bore, Ray, for me." 
 She ceased, arose and knelt beside 
 The chair, her arm upon his knee. 
 She gazed up to him wistful eyed, 
 In a childlike simplicity. 
 He looked and met her wistful gaze. 
 He took her trembling hands between 
 His own strong ones, as in the days 
 When they to each had different been. 
 "O, Life ! how strange, who understands !" 
 He murmured, pressing close her hands. 
 '*0h, take me as your sister, Ray!" 
 In pleading tones she softly cries, 
 **The tiny sister taken away 
 From you." But nothing he replies. 
 He simply sits and looks at her, 
 And tries to read the long ago. 
 He saw how strange their two lives were, 
 How much alike. Ah, could he know 
 The truth? — the truth alone to see, 
 To penetrate this mystery. 

mame's story. 259 
 A bird was singing in the tree, I 
 Her silken web a spider w^ove; I 
 The gay corn-huiskers merrily 
 Raised on the air a song of love. 
 The hazy autumn day sped on, I 
 The creaking wagons on the road. 
 O'er which the day before had gone, 
 Too, many a wagon with its load, 
 Still went towards the distant town, \ 
 With autumn's harvest ladened down. ' 
 XL. ' j 
 And all the world was glad because 
 God had remembered to provide \ 
 Man's winter store. And Nature's laws ■ ^ 
 Went on, on in an even tide. 
 For there was food for man and beast. 
 And nothing lacked. Let winter's wind | 
 Blow as it might, or the nor'east , 
 A blizzard send 'twould be to find ! 
 In the most humble cabin food. 
 Without the ground reached high with wood. 

 Canto XIX. 
 O night of nights in the winter cold, 
 When how^ls the north wind thro' the trees ! 
 And snow Hes thick in field and wold, 
 Who dares to face the chilling breeze ? 
 Who is it, when the ram and sleet 
 Transform the trees in icy sprays. 
 By some warm hearthstone scorns a seat 
 To watch the leaping of the blaze? 
 Cold comfort his on such a night 
 Away from such a fire bright. 
 To-night will Farmer Jones bring out 
 The walnuts, gathered in the fall. 
 And Sam and John and Jim^ no doubt, 
 Will try their best to crack them all ; 
 Or better still, the corn will pop. 
 Held over reeking coals of fire ; 
 Then eat, and eat, and never stop 
 Until they get their soul's desire; 
 Or roast large chestnuts by the quart, 
 'Midst stories that must cheer the heart, 

 To-night the back-log lately rolled 
 Into its place, is blazing bright; 
 Altho' without, 'tis sleet and cold, 
 Wi-thin, 'tis warmth and cheer to-night. 
 If Farmer John goes to the door, 
 Looks out into the cold and dark, 
 And hears the whistling rush and roar 
 Of wind and rain, 'tis to remark 
 In catching breaths of the chilled air, 
 The morrow would be hardly clear. 
 Before the fire-place to-night, 
 Contented with the ruddy glow. 
 And wishing for no other light. 
 As loud and wild the wind doth blow, 
 Within the living room sat Stone, 
 And watched the fire's fitful leap, 
 As burns the logs down, one by one. 
 Before he goes upstairs to sleep ; 
 And as he watched the dying blaze, 
 His fancy images portrays. 
 Who has not sat on such a night. 
 Before just 'such a blazing fire. 
 By Fancy's cunning aid caught sight 
 Of fort and castle, moat and spire ; 
 Of cliffs and grottoes, ancient piles 
 Of architecture, rising walls; 
 Or with their broad and spacious aisles, 
 Interiors of great cathedrals? 
 And so sat Stooe on such an hour 
 In the embrace of Fancy's power. 

 The wind blows cold, ah, cold without. 
 He does not know it, warm within. 
 He hears alone the trees about 
 Creak with the ice, the fall of rain. 
 He simply hears the doleful moan, 
 And thanks his God that he is there, — 
 There, yes, altho' he is alone. 
 With none his little home to share ; 
 There sheltered from the wintry blast, 
 With food and fuel, too, to last. 
 Brown Chapel members for him cared. 
 They would not let him be in want. 
 With him each one his larder shared, 
 And there was wood to great amount. 
 His lonely life they tried to cheer"; 
 No day within the week went by 
 Except some one of them came there 
 To find just what he needed; aye, 
 If e'er a people did di'splay 
 Love for their pastor, surely they. 
 Three times that week had Hawkins been 
 To see him ; and the^e times had brought 
 Some dainty, or substantial, — seen 
 That he such times was out of nought. 
 And Melville, Gray and others came. 
 All with their little offerings, 
 A large fruit-cake sent him by Mame, 
 And many other dainty things ; 
 And so, despite the storm without, 
 Stone felt deep gratitude, no doubt. 

 And Rose, oh, where was Rose? Away 
 Attending school another year. 
 'Twas Dora's urging had her stay; 
 And country hfe had been so drear. 
 'Twas easy to get pa's consent, 
 And mother thought it very wise; 
 For, well she saw what Rosie meant, 
 And at her turn had no surprise; 
 Thus sent her what she wished them to, 
 And bade her well her course pursue. 
 And Stone, he bore it bravely ; all 
 In silence went along his way; 
 Approved the acts at his next call 
 Upon them, and took lunch that day. 
 Still when 'twas from the house he came 
 He did not turn into the lane. 
 But hastened that he might see Mame. 
 And when he left her house again 
 His heart was full of hope and cheer, 
 And deemed both women doubly dear. 
 To-night, as he sat here alone, 
 His feet against the fire-place, 
 That old-time grave, stern look is gone. 
 He has a calm but hopeful face. 
 When Christmas comes, himself he tells. 
 When Christmas comes, in two weeks' time. 
 Amidst the ringing of the bells. 
 Amidst the holidays' glad chime, 
 A letter written to Mame shows 
 That he should once more see his Rose. 

 That he should once more see his Rose? 
 He dared not call her his as yet. 
 Three months, a girl so quickly grows 
 Indifferent, he must not let 
 Himself too much presume when, too, 
 He had not written her a word ; 
 If anything at all he knew, 
 'Twas through Mame's writing he had heard. 
 A letter seldom came but spoke 
 Of him in some kind, playful joke. 
 One said, 'T trust our minister 
 Will not forget the wild, wild Rose 
 He plucked. Perhaps he might prefer 
 One that within a hot-house grows, 
 But strange, you'll say, quite 'strange, dear Mame, 
 If you should think of it alone, 
 However a wild rose became 
 To grow supported by a stone. 
 Poor nourishment I think, don't you? 
 Don't fail to write me soon, adieu ;" 
 Or in another, *T have thought 
 To-day so much about you all. 
 It seems within my life there's nought 
 But what I can this hour recall 
 Some sweet, bright moments I have spent 
 Right there within the parish, Mame. 
 And I have thought I'd be content, 
 If such again were mine to claim. 
 But, Dora, says, I should aspire 
 Unto a nobler desire. 

 XV. ■ j 
 ''And yet, what's nobler than to be I 
 Your simple self, and that alo'ne? \ 
 There's too much shamming here for me, 1 
 Ah, too much given to the tone, i 
 The manner, while the heart, the heart , | 
 Is left uncultured, or at best * | 
 Is left to feed upon mere art ; j 
 And you must do your level best " 
 To make the most of nothing. 'Grace,' 
 That's what they call it in this place. 
 XVI. , \ 
 'T want to be a woman, Mame, j 
 A woman, pure and simple; one 
 Who has as her most 'sacred aim 
 To live and love, to lean upon j 
 Some noble man. Am I not right? j 
 Where, may I ask, is happiness. 
 If 'tis not when two hearts unite 
 To make one life? Should I possess 
 This boon in life I ask no more. 
 Now, pray that such shall be my store. 
 "Last night we had our 'social.' ' ^ 
 We give them monthly, don't you know. 
 All of the young men tO' the hall 
 Had been invited, and a beau 
 Of course, I chose. He was a bore! j 
 With not a bit of naturalness. ] 
 We talked, I think, an hour or more, j 
 Engaged in dominoes or chess; ' j 
 But all the time we played, my mind i 
 Was on the friends I'd left behind." I 

266 6R0WN CHAPEL. 
 Thus ran the letters one by one, 
 These letters which Mame to him read. 
 These are the thoughts he dreams upon 
 To-night, as oak coals smothering red, 
 Make fancy's pictures in the fire, 
 As howl's the wind in puffs w'ithout, 
 And makes the fiame within leap higher. 
 Hark, did he hear just now a shout, 
 Or was it but some cracking limb 
 Which at that moment startled him? 
 *'Hello-oh !" what, a human voice — 
 A. traveller out on such a night? 
 And yet the wind doth make such noise 
 He can't believe he hears aright. 
 Yet to the door he goes at last. 
 And opening looks into the dark. 
 Sharp rushes in the wintry blast. 
 At first 'tis nothing he can mark. 
 "Who calls? Who is it calls?" he cried. 
 "Here, here we are," a voice replied. 
 *Ts this the parsonage?" Again, 
 "It is." He caught the dark outline 
 Of a sleigh down in the lane. 
 Just where the light began to shine, 
 Two figures. One is getting out 
 And coming now with bag and grip. 
 "Good night," he heard the other shout, 
 Of sudden give the horse the whip, 
 Dash off. The chime of bells was lost 
 Within the howling of the blast. 

 The other figure onward came 
 In slow step to the parsonage, 
 A man it seemed of stalwart frame, 
 But bent by either weight or age. 
 Stone, simply with his slippers on, 
 Stood till the man came to the door. * 
 ''Sir, and is this the Rev. Stone?" 
 "It is," said Stone, who looked him o'er. 
 '"Come in," the door he opened wide, 
 And bade the stranger step inside. 
 "Ah, thank you, sir," and in he came 
 And set hi's baggage in the hall. 
 While from the hearth the ruddy flame 
 Cast a bright cheeriness o'er all. 
 He smiled to -see the inviting glow. 
 And when Stone took his coat and hat. 
 And brushed from off his boots the snow, 
 Strode in and there contented sat 
 Before it, rubbing through his hair 
 His horny hands as he sat there. 
 He was quite tall, of massive si*ze. 
 And his complexion, lightish brown, 
 A lofty brow, a pair of eyes 
 Beneath thick shaggy eye brows shone. 
 His nose was sharp, slight aquiline. 
 His lips, which were somewhat close pressed, 
 The sign of will, were rather thin. 
 He wore no beard, was bald, and dressed 
 Somewhat becomingly ; he wore 
 Such clothes which showed him far from poor. - • 

268 ' bROWI^ CHAPEL. 
 Stone who had been accustomed to 
 Such happenings, and kept prepared 
 A pot of tea or bowl of stew, 
 For istrangers, soon the stranger fared. 
 With a large cup of steaming tea. 
 ' "Take this, perhaps 'twill stimulate?" 
 'Thanks," said the old man gratefully, 
 "Am sure that such will get me straight. 
 " 'Twas very cold out there, my lad," 
 He said slow measured gulps between. 
 "Despite the fact that I am clad 
 In o'er thick flannels. I have seen 
 Cold weather — stormy weather, but 
 This beats me in some forty years. 
 Yet 'tis a promise of much fruit. 
 Should it continue thus. One hears. 
 However, in this climate of 
 Such sudden, changes, 'tis small proof." 
 "You are a stranger here?" asked Stone. 
 "O, yes, was never here before; 
 However, thirty years agone 
 I dwelt there on the western shore." 
 "Some 'pressing business brought you here, 
 I'm sure on such a stormy night. 
 Your mission may I ask?" " 'Tis clear 
 Your supposition is quite right ; 
 Ah, it is pressing business, son," 
 He said, and gravely looked at Stone. 

 "You ask to know my mission, well, 
 I can't say it does not concern 
 Your parish, for the truth to tell, 
 I came to you to-night to learn 
 Where dwells a lady who was known 
 As Mary Brookins, who, I'm told 
 By many in your neighboring town 
 Taught school here. She w^as two years ola 
 When last I saw her ; thus you see 
 Should not be recognized by me." 
 Stone looked the stranger o'er. Perchance 
 This was the mate of whom she spoke. 
 Back to him came each circumstance • 
 Of that strange story. He awoke 
 From his long dreaming to reply, 
 *Vl think I know of whom you speak. 
 She now is married, lives quite nigh; 
 Iler husband has been here this wxek." 
 "So near, and married ? Well, of course/' 
 He chuckled in a voice quite hoarse. 
 "And may I ask what you should be 
 To her?" asked Stone, his mind made up. 
 The stranger having drank the tea 
 Upon the table placed the cup, 
 And tilting back within the chair. 
 Gaped, rubbed his eyes and looked at Stone. 
 "My son, to tell you this much, there 
 Is quite a story, such a one 
 Which, maybe, lyou would never care 
 To listen to. But since you share 
 Your bed with me this stormy night, 
 Somethings, of course, you ought to know. 
 So, if you give me leave, I might 
 As well make known. Some years ago," 
 He went on, having Stone's consent, 
 ^^I left home on my fortune bent, 

 ''And sought to rough it in the west. 
 T left my wife and children two, 
 And one a babe upon her breast, 
 With some small savings well to do, 
 Till they might hear from me. My wife, 
 A lovely woman, good and true. 
 Accustomed to a better life, 
 Unw^illing saw me go. 'Twas two 
 Weeks or after that I wrote 
 To her that she might have some note 
 ''Of how I fared. At first there came 
 Sweet letters full encouraging, 
 Av/akening in me the bright flame 
 To love and duty, firing 
 The husband's love, the father's pride; 
 And I was happy on the ranch, 
 Or the wild mustang's back astride, 
 Because of letters sweet from Blanche.' 
 What more? I must but send for her. 
 And that would make me happier. 
 "I sent a new crisp note, hard earned, 
 With loving messages to come. 
 And back tO' me her w^ord returned : 
 'No, I can never leave my home. 
 If you cannot return to me. 
 Then right here let the matter drop. 
 Despite our children, you are free. 
 Thanks for the money. You may stop 
 Your writing, lead your western life 
 Without me once for all. Your wife.' 

 ''Such, parson, were the words that came 
 To me, a man whose love was pure. 
 Such water, cold to quench the flame, 
 To make disease time could not cure. 
 No more across the western plain 
 Happy, I rode my wild mustang; 
 My heart was crushed, it suffered pain. 
 No more the happy songs I sang. 
 Life seemed a dreary waste to me. 
 And still how different could it be? 
 "Perhaps I should have sought my home, 
 And seen my wife and family, 
 But had she not there told me come. 
 These were her words, yes, 'you are free,' 
 I did not go. I never prayed 
 Till then to God. 'Twas then I bowed, 
 And all my tribulations laid 
 Before Him. If it were His rod, 
 I asked for patience thus to bear. 
 And silent worked with all my care. 
 . XXXV. 
 God blessed me. Soon I had secured 
 Enough to enter partnership 
 In cattle business. Still He poured 
 Upon me blessings; for each trip 
 Made to and fro but to me brought 
 A larger income and my hands 
 At last from growing fortune, bought 
 Broad stretching acres of farm lands, 
 And I became within the place 
 The richest ranchman of my race. 

 'Tive years ago while travelling 
 Within a western city, I 
 Met with a man who chanced to bring 
 Me from the East some news, and he 
 Revealed to me the truth. He said 
 He knew my wife and children two, 
 That she for many a year was dead. 
 My boy and girl were well to do, 
 Though separate they lived, to each 
 Unknown, yet either I could reach. 
 'That letter, lad, she never wrote. 
 The money never to her came. 
 'Twas intercepted, some one sought 
 To separate us — in the aim 
 Succeeded. 'Twas a blow to me ; 
 And yet within my heart I felt 
 Thankful to learn her constancy. 
 Despite the blow some one had dealt. 
 One thought alone took hold of me. 
 Come East and seek my family. 
 "I came, my lad, and high and low 
 Have hunted, and it seems success 
 Has come to me, for now I know 
 A loving father's happiness. 
 She is my daughter, whom I seek, 
 This Mary Brookins." All at once 
 Stone rose, looked at him, tried to speak, 
 But failed, sat down. Each circumstance 
 Was their two stories o'er Lgain. 
 A sudden flash, and all was plain, 

 "W!.o are you?" 'twas at la^t he broke; 
 The sleeping passion of his years 
 Within that manly breast awoke, 
 And waiting now, 'twixt hopes and fears. 
 To hear the answer. In a tore 
 Pathetic the old man replied, 
 *''My name, my son, is Raymond Stone." 
 "My father !" springing up, Stone cried, 
 And rushing there in tight embrace 
 Pressed face against his father's face. 
 The night wears on, the back log low 
 Burns to the hearth in living coals. 
 Without moans wind, and falls the snow, 
 ' All through the wood the tempest rolls. 
 Yes, night of nights, in the wanter cold, 
 When howls the north wind thro' the trees, 
 And snow lies thick in field and wold. 
 Who is it dares to face the breeze? 
 A father searching for his son. 
 He bids the angry blast blow on. 

 Canto XX, 
 And 'twas one of those ''candy days," 
 So often in the winter seen, 
 When trees are decked in icy sprays 
 Instead of robes of summer's green. 
 \\^hen only snow birds hopped about 
 The yard in anxious search of crumbs ; 
 And he who dares to walk without, 
 Somewhat an acrobat becomes. 
 Unless he has been roughly shod 
 To stick into the icy sod ; 
 When cattle, huddled near the barn, 
 Beneath the hay and fodder ricks. 
 Slow crunching on the shucks of corn. 
 Or greedily the rock salt licks. 
 The horses waiting in the stalls. 
 For feed or water neighing shrill ; 
 Nor whit behind them in their calls, 
 The donkey's bray the air doth fill ; 
 And lustily the chanticleer 
 Doth crow that he himself might hear. 

 Behind the leaden clouds, the sun, 
 But two hours high strives to be seen. 
 Tree, roof and, sward, the ice thick on, 
 Now glistens in a silver sheen. 
 Down from the eaves in crystrals bright 
 The huge icicles melting hang, 
 But as the sun attains more height. 
 They fall in a tremendous bang, 
 And break in glittering gems below 
 Upon the deep hard frozen snow. 
 The Melville cottage is astir. 
 Last night had been so terrible, 
 Mame found but little sleep for her. 
 This morning she is feeling dull. 
 But up she was, her work about. 
 Melville the fires, long had made, 
 The house well heated, now was out 
 There in the barn. The cattle fed 
 And watered, to the house he came 
 To see what he could do for Mame. 
 Thus was his wont. He loved his wife, 
 He had no wish to see her slave. 
 That he might pleasant make her life, 
 Such help as this he always gave. 
 "You don't look well this morning, dear," 
 She stood preparing biecuit dough. 
 Mame smiled, somehow 'twas sweet to hear 
 Him speak like that. She answered, *'No ; 
 Last night was such a terrible night 
 I did not rest well as I might." 

 "I noticed vou were restless," he 
 Replied, '*in fact, I was awake." 
 "And you awake, too?" questioned she, 
 *'I did not know a thing could break 
 Your rest. It could not be the storm?" 
 ''Somehow it was, though not for me. 
 I wondered if 'twould any harm 
 Do to the parsonage. You see 
 The Reverend's up there all alone," 
 He said in somewhat anxious tone. 
 "O no, I guess not," she replied. 
 "The house, of course, is staunch and tight. 
 It's sheltered from the stormy side, 
 There by the woods, so it's all right." 
 "And yet I had such funny dreams !" 
 "You funny dreams? and Mel., how queer, 
 I also had strange dreams, it seems, 
 That you and I were both up there, 
 And some one else was there also. 
 Someone it seemed I used to know." 
 "My dream was that the Doctor came 
 Down here," her husband slowly said, 
 "And ere I knew it kissed you, Mame." 
 "Kissed mcf she on the table laid 
 The pan she held surprisedly. 
 "Well that is certainly queer, I'm sure." 
 Her husband smiled. "Of course, tO' 'see 
 Him kiss you I could sleep no more. 
 So I awoke, as loudly blew 
 The winci, and lay there watching you." 

 She gazed down on him as he sat 
 There at the table. "As you lay 
 There watching me, dear husband, what 
 Was in your mind about me, pray — 
 And could you think the dream was true?" 
 "No, wife, I could not," he replied, ' 
 "For as I lay there watching you. 
 Indeed I took the deeper pride, 
 And felt a few like me possessed j 
 A wife like you, were truth confessed." j 
 "And yet," she stooped and kissed him then, 
 "Could you believe me capable 
 Of hiding ought from you?" Again 
 She kissed him. "Now, what if I tell 
 You something I have never told, 
 Something, I think, belongs to you, 
 And would your love for me grow cold ? 
 And would you think I w^as untrue?" 
 "I know not wife," the husband said, 
 "To know the facts I must be made." 
 "Then when we've breakfast had I'll tell 
 You one thing I have, from you kept ; 
 But don't feel disagreeable; 
 Enough that neither of us slept. 
 What I shall tell you now, believe, 
 Is caused because I love you more; 
 Because I will no more receive 
 Your own affection, firm and pure, 
 In happiness until I make 
 Confession to you — for love's sake." 

 He smiled, "O, well, do as you please, 
 You women I don't understand. 
 Don't think that I will ever tease 
 Myself about such. I demand 
 No more than I have seen in you; 
 And that is always pure and straight; 
 I shan't be questioning if true 
 Or false, 'twill only be my fate ; 
 And we will make of it the best 
 We can, so there, just let it rest." 
 He rose, went in the dining room 
 To stir the fire, blazing bright. 
 ''No, dear, don't go," she 'said. ''Do come 
 And sit down here; it is all- right. 
 YiOu wait till after breakfast, see? 
 And you will make me happy then." 
 He came back. "Yes, you do love me, 
 And sweet, you do not love in vain. 
 Somehow to-day I feel that I 
 Could not live long were you to die." 
 And never had Melville before 
 Heard words like these come from his wife. 
 He looked at her surprised far more 
 Than ever yet since married life. 
 It was a revelation. Yes, 
 Contented he had been to see 
 Her in his house. His happiness 
 Was only that : to know that she, 
 This lovely woman was his wife, 
 To walk along with him through life. 

Winter morning confession. 279 
 She never was affectionate, 
 Her words she never seemed to waste. 
 Sometimes if he was very late 
 In coming home from town, she placed 
 Some dainty for him on the stove, 
 Some little token in this way, 
 Which he had always thought was love; 
 But here was something else to-day. 
 It was a revelation, yes. 
 Another phase of happiness. 
 And now when breakfast time was past, 
 Into the dining room they came, 
 Determined to tell all at last, 
 Sat close besides her husband, Mame. 
 There on the sofa with her arm 
 Thrown over his broad shoulders, she 
 In voice that failed not now to charm. 
 Told to him her whole history. 
 And he in silence sat and heard, 
 In silence sat, without one word. 
 Told him the 'story as to Stone, 
 Nor e'en left hid their love affair; 
 Then of Stone's own strange life, when done, 
 And as he as one lost sat there, 
 "And now," she said, ''if I've done wrong 
 To've kept this secret, Mel., from you, 
 Forgive me, that will make me strong. 
 Save this, and I've been always true. 
 'Twas he who said that I should prove 
 To you a noble woman's love." 

 "Wife," said the man, '1 thank you for 
 The truth that you have given me. 
 To me you now are nobler, 
 I higher place your purity, 
 And only hope it may turn out 
 That you, my dear, and Rev. Stone 
 Are one man's children. There's no doubt 
 But what to some one it is known. 
 Some one Avho yet may be alive, 
 The precious truth you seek to give." 
 And as they speak the merry ring 
 Of sleigh bells coming down the drive 
 Doth both to the front window bring, 
 Where there before them doth arrive 
 The Rev. Stone, and with him, too. 
 Another gentleman unknowm. 
 Quick to the hall, wide open threw 
 The door, Melville met Rev. Stone. 
 "Good morning; leave the horse to me; 
 Go in the house," to both said he. 
 Around the drive the horse Mel. drove 
 As Stone and the old gentleman 
 Into the house now went. The stove 
 Was bright and cheering. Mary ran 
 Into the hall to meet them. "Oh, 
 Come in, am very glad to see 
 You safe and sound to-day, to know 
 That you are still alive. Dear me, 
 Last night was such a stormy one, 
 We both thought of you. Elder Stone." 

Winter morning confession. 281 
 She gave no notice now as yet 
 Unto the old man save to point 
 Him out a seat, and went to get 
 Some coffee for them ; 'twas the wont 
 Of th2 whole parish thus to do 
 In times like this. Thus soon it was 
 With gracious smiles she came into 
 The parlor. "Gentlemen, just pass 
 Into the room now, if you please, 
 And take 'some coffee. Did you freeze 
 "In coming here?" "No," answered Stone, 
 Who with his father, for it was, 
 Arose to enter, "but I own 
 I got quite cold. The weather has 
 Been quite severe. Excuse me, Mame, 
 This is my father," as they took 
 Their seats. That moment Melville came 
 Also into the room. A look 
 Upon the stranger, and at once 
 Mame sees the strong resemblance. 
 "Your father, Doctor, can it be?" 
 She asked in animated tone. 
 "My father, now come back to me," 
 Most joyfully now answered Stone. 
 "Your father, Doctor?" Melville 'said 
 As he toward the stranger came, 
 "Am glad to see you, sir, indeed." 
 "Of course we are," assented Mame, 
 For so surprised she knew not what 
 To say. Down at the table sat 

 All four, for Melville never knew 
 The time he coffee would refuse ; 
 So joined his cup in with the two 
 And asked to know the outside news. 
 Snow storms, trains blocked and crimes galore, 
 And Congress there at Washington, 
 Small-pox astride in Baltimore, 
 Hard times the cry of every one, 
 Such were the news that was made known 
 To' them by the good elder Stone. 
 ''You may be anxious just to know 
 How father found me," ventured Stone, 
 Just as they ceased and rose to go 
 Into the parlor. ''To you 'tis' known 
 (To Mame he turned) about my past. 
 Perhaps, if father would, 'tis well 
 That he relate the story. Last 
 Night, though it was terrible. 
 He came to find his long lost son. 
 And found him dwelling all alone." 
 "Because he will's it to be so," 
 Laughed Mame and Melville. ''Let us hear, 
 I'm sure we both would like to know," 
 The former added. "Doctor, dear, 
 Just take that seat, and Mr. Stone, 
 Draw near the fire. Melville, do 
 Not leave ; just let the corn alone. 
 And take your rest. I fear that you 
 Will never rest until, until 
 You must get sick. Sit down, Melville." 

WINTER Morning confession. 283 
 Such were her words upon one breath, 
 And Mary Melville saw her guests 
 Well seated. Hassock underneath 
 Her dainty feet, lay back to rest 
 Within her willow^ rocker. Stone 
 Unto his father made a sign, 
 The old man cleared his throat. His tone 
 Was deep and grave. " 'Tis not my line 
 At story telling, but I see 
 That Ray will have it all from me. 
 "So I'll begin." And he went o'er 
 The story, with but little change. 
 He told his son the night before; 
 And more than once Mame murmured, ''Strange/' 
 For he was telling how the child 
 Was taken by a fisherman, 
 A mate he was, a fellow wild. 
 Who along the coast his vessel ran. 
 "He gave her to his captain, who, 
 He heard, was lost with all his crew 
 "Years after that. This fellow came 
 To me when but a pauper and, 
 Of course I could not know his aim, 
 But helped him, now a favorite hand 
 Out on my ranch. I followed up 
 The clues he gave me, and I see 
 He told the truth. I find the cup 
 Of blessings overflows for me. 
 I have not only found my son, 
 I've found my daughter. She was known — " 

 (Mame, who had heard him up to this, 
 Began her own hfe to recall; 
 How well it would compare with his 
 Strange story of the mate. O'er all 
 Quick as an instant doth she go, 
 And now as he doth this declare 
 It seems that daughter she must know. 
 And in the old man sitting there 
 She saw, could she her senses gather,) 
 *'As Mary Brookins." 'Twas her father! 
 Joy hath its sobs as well as grief, 
 For oft emotion is the 'same 
 In demonstration. 'Tis relief 
 The pent-up feelings seek. The flame 
 Was once the smouldering ashes there. 
 But fanned by sudden breeze doth spring 
 High up into a fearful flare, 
 A fierce, a threatening, dangerous thing. 
 Behold such scenes ! But let us stop 
 And gently let the curtain drop. 

 Canto XXL 
 The sleigh bells rang quite merrily, 
 And all along the public way. 
 In voices of hilarity, 
 Sped the light-hearted, young and gay; 
 For every lad and every lass 
 Must speed them o'er the frozen ground, 
 And let their voice ring as they pass. 
 Re-echo all the wood around. 
 With far and near the joyful strain 
 Of Christmas times now come again. 
 Ay, ''Christmas comes but once a year,'' 
 So listen to the rhyme he makes, 
 "And every man must have his cheer," 
 Do witness now the ale he takes; 
 Or as they speed along the snow, 
 Do see the laddie ki'ss his lass. 
 As 'round the bend they shouting go, 
 Hard bent some other team to pass. 
 Aye, "Christmas comes but once a year, 
 And every rnan rnusj; have his cheer.*' 

 Hark, to the blowing of a horn, 
 But to be answered by a toot ! 
 No heart this Christmas eve forlorn, 
 For lass and lad will trip the foot, 
 For lad and lass the foot must trip. 
 Aye, ''trip the light fantastic toe," 
 As whirling 'round the room they go. 
 While love be told by lash and lip, 
 Then early morning off to church 
 There as the best of saints to perch. 
 "No harm except you cross your foot!' 
 Alas, what difference does it make? 
 It cometh from the self same r,oot, 
 'Tis all at heart for dancing's sake. 
 But better let the question pass. 
 And leave it to each man alone. 
 As long as there be lad and lass 
 Thi's dancing surely will be done. 
 Despite our rulings and our creeds. 
 Men do as they see fit their deeds. 
 Brown Cliapel parish all about 
 Is filled with high hilarity, 
 As one may tell by every shout 
 That rings from some gay company. 
 And lovers who have disagreed, 
 To-night are being reconciled ; 
 And they will now the cake-walk lead, 
 Made up of antics queer and wild. 
 There're bowls of egg-nog, cider sweet, 
 All kinds of cake and nuts to eat. 

 And turkeys, but few days ago 
 Had proudly 'strutted in the yard, 
 Are hanging thither in a row 
 Well picked to figure on the card. 
 And the 'possum, lately treed. 
 Outside some cabin door to freeze, 
 On the spread table takes the lead 
 In all the serving, if you please. 
 Ay, sweet potatoes from the pit 
 Are brought to go along with it. 
 The parsonage streams forth its light 
 And might be seen from the highway 
 By merry-makers, as to-night 
 They speed along in many a sleisfh. 
 Aunt Hannah in the kitchen sat 
 In company with her daughter, w^ho 
 Was now engaged in idle chat 
 Upon the little that 'she knew. 
 Within the living room before 
 The blazing hearth, conversing o'er 
 The past, Stone and his father sat. 
 The old man telling of the home 
 That he had left out West, how at 
 His hearing all the truth had come 
 To seek his son and daughter East. 
 The weary searching in five years. 
 How all his trouble had increased, 
 But how pressed on 'twixt hopes and fears 
 Until he got the proper clue, 
 Which led him here, where least he knew 

 That he should find them living near 
 Each other all unknown. To know 
 That they were lovers ; seemed so queer 
 That she should jilt Stone years ago. 
 *'But, ah!" he said, ''God ruled it, son. 
 'Twas just as he intended it." 
 "Yes, father," gravely answered Stone, 
 His eyes with tender light now. lit, 
 '*He guided us on every side, 
 And wisely all we wished denied." 
 ''But, son," the old man gravely said, 
 ''Think you that you should married be?" 
 "I married?" Stone replied, "What maid, 
 My father, now would marry me?" 
 The old man looked at him in pride. 
 "Who would the chance I reckon miss. 
 Ay, there could be no luckier bride, 
 And even in a place like this. 
 But what's this talk with Katherine? 
 I'm sure the secret is not mine." 
 And Stone now blushed. "I may not tell. 
 I trust you'll know ere many hours." 
 "Then, boy," he said, "I'll watch you well. 
 I vow you have some winning powers." 
 *'Not many, father, rather slow, 
 But at my heart I love the gay. 
 I used to live it years ago, 
 But 'tis my life no more. I may 
 But turn my back on't, say, 'Thy will 
 Lord, be done and lead me still,' 
 f n 

 ''And yet," his father said, ''you long 
 Not for the Hfe that once you led?" 
 "No, no," 'Said Stone, "that were all wrong. 
 I long for holiness instead. 
 But in me, father, sometimes are 
 The feelings of rebellion still; 
 And these against me daily war, 
 But by a consecrated will, 
 Through God Almighty's grace I crush 
 Them out when they upon me rush." 
 "So struggled Paul, am I not right?" 
 The old man asked. "From what some say," 
 His son replied, "Yet there''s small light 
 Upon such texts, it seems, to-day. 
 Men still are found to disagree. 
 Some say the man of which Paul wTote 
 Was not himself, and could not be, 
 Since he was free from sin. They note 
 That he of whom Paul wrote was still 
 Sold under sin, despite his will."* 
 "His Thorn, and how about that then? 
 Surely somewhere that is brought in," 
 Hi's father asked. "What say these men 
 On this, referred it not to sin?" 
 "They are not sure e'en in this case. 
 'Twas an affliction, some would say. 
 Which followed Paul from place to place, 
 But no temptation. Others lay 
 It to his body ; some his mind, 
 But none its true place seem to find." 
 *See Clark Cam, on Rom. 7ia4' 

 "Then, what's the use to preach, my son, 
 If there must ever be this rout 
 And contradiction to leave one 
 Forever in the pale of doubt?'* 
 The father asked in seriou's tone. 
 ''O that, my father, does not rest 
 Our preaching," quickly answered Stone. 
 "Some things there are, be it confessed, 
 We may not know, yet every place 
 Makes known to us God's love and grace. 
 "And such we preach to dying men. 
 We tell them of the Christ who died. 
 We tell them He is risen again. 
 And there upon the right hand side 
 Of God, the Father, intercedes 
 For those who come to him in faith ; 
 That he who would be saved, but needs 
 To come in merit of that death ; 
 Here everything is clear and plain; 
 And thu's our preaching is not vain. 
 "No man has cause to hesitate. 
 Despite the arguments he hears; 
 But learn to labor, watch, and wait. 
 Do as God's Truth to him appears, 
 Work out his own soul's destiny, 
 Scattering through life the precious seeds; 
 Have faith, all things he may not see, 
 But knowing that the Master leads, 
 Let him go on what e'er men say, 
 That much before him, plain the way." 

 The father heard the son with pride, 
 Gazed fondly at him sitting there. 
 "I see, I see," he now repHed, 
 And brushed away a creeping tear. 
 Restrained the lump that fain would rise, 
 ''Religion's more than simple talk." 
 *'Yes, father, 'tis self-sacrifice. 
 'Tis seen in all our daily walk. 
 The only way that we can prove 
 Religion is to be filled with love." 
 And now they spoke of other things — 
 Of when he purposed to return. 
 Which gentle remonstrances brings 
 From Stone who did not wish to learn 
 He had a father, but to see 
 Him dwell in lands so far away. 
 And Katherine, his sister, she 
 Was always happy since the day 
 She found that she a father had : 
 To see him go she would be sad. 
 But business would, of course, demand. 
 His farms were let to^ strangers now. 
 They did not seem to understand 
 The soil as he did. Then to allow 
 His cattle interest to stand still. 
 Without his presence there 'twould be 
 Unfortunate, and brood him ill. 
 Thus he must go. He'd like to see 
 Stone, Katherine and her husband, too, 
 All settled there some day, 'twas true. 

 And as they talk within this 'strain 
 Without the stars are shining bright. 
 Along the road and up the lane 
 Come teams of merry-makers light. 
 Each lad, his lassie, snuggly wrapped 
 In heavy robes, warm from the wind ; 
 And they, stout-coated, w^ell as capped, 
 Nought but the sweetest pleasure find ; 
 But not the young alone, the old 
 Do not to-night fear facing cold. 
 And merrily the sleigh bells rang, 
 The sleigh bells rang quite merrily. 
 Thus mingled with the songs they sang, 
 As up the hill this company, 
 In single file now drove along 
 Over the hard, firm frozen snow. 
 Each taking up some favorite song. 
 Along the way they swiftly go. 
 And at the parsonage alight. 
 Whose windows now are streaming bright. 
 "Rose," some one whispered, 'President, 
 We think you'd better take the lead." 
 There is a conference. When spent. 
 Rose is decided to be head.' 
 "Now, fellows, let us all divide. 
 You, Maurice, better take the boys, 
 And enter on the kitchen side, — 
 Hush! Cease tbnt making so much noise! 
 We girls shall enter at the front. 
 When in, make all the noise you want." 

 This said the members of the guild, 
 The other members sHght behind, 
 Now came. The little grove soon filled 
 With these marauders, of one mind. 
 Here were the leaders of each class; 
 Here were the stewards and trustees ; 
 Here was each laddie with his lass, 
 Here were the faithful stewardesses, 
 And trampling o'er the frozen groimd. 
 The parsonage they now^ surround. " 
 "Did we hear voices?" the elder Stone 
 Now from his conversation turned. 
 "Perhaps 'twas, father. Every one 
 Who has a little money earned 
 Is frolicking to-night, I guess," 
 Said Stone, "about the parish round. 
 I do not blame them. Happiness 
 Should now in every place abound. 
 I heard them singing 'while ago. 
 They take advantage of the snow." 
 And now they sit and gaze into 
 The fire blazing on the hearth, 
 Each left his own thoughts to pursue 
 As how to celebrate the birth 
 Of Christ. And thus in silence they 
 Are 'sitting in the living room. 
 Aunt Hannah and her daughter, May, 
 Who had not yet, it seemed, gone home. 
 Sat in the kitchen, when without 
 Was heard the most ear-piercing shout. 

 Then from the front and from the rear, 
 With lads and lassies of the guild, 
 Just as the men sprang up with fear, 
 The little cottage now is filled, 
 And singing, shouting, laughing, thus 
 They take their pastor by surprise. 
 But as they vie in making fus's 
 They struggle with their great supplies. 
 So as they shouted loud and wild. 
 The table is with presents piled. 
 There was everything one wished to eat, 
 Most everything one wished to wear. 
 Which one had in a Christmas treat 
 From such as only lived to cheer. 
 A great fat turkey, ready dressed, 
 And everything with it to go; 
 Then fruits and nuts and cakes, the best. 
 Those bundles on that table show. 
 Aye, many things, too great for thought. 
 These kindly people to him brought. 
 Shirts, underwear from head to foot, 
 In several pairs in bundles came; 
 Two suits, a heavy overcoat, 
 The present from his sister Mame. 
 A set of commentaries, rare. 
 Without a doubt to- go, it shows. 
 That no one thought about him there 
 Except it was that 'sweet maid Rose, 
 Who from the Guild, in language terse. 
 Presented him a well-filled purse. 

 Then Melville for the classes spoke 
 To the chief leader in a tone 
 Which an enthusiasm awoke 
 Within the breast of every one. 
 And Hawkins for the stewards made, 
 Beyond all doubt, a glowing speech; 
 And at the close of it he said, 
 *'Sir, since you here the Gospel preach, 
 Here you shall never be denied 
 What by our hands may be supplied." 
 To represent the Trustees, there, 
 In all his force stood Bro. Brow^n. 
 He stood to give the trustees' share, 
 These men all loved the Rev. Stone. 
 They hoped this Christmas would not be 
 The last that he w^ould with them spend; 
 "And," he concluded, *'as for me, 
 I've found you, sir, a brother, friend, 
 A grave, a noble counsellor, 
 A high-toned. Gospel minister." 
 Then Mrs. Hawkins, who was there, 
 Spoke for each faithful stewardess. 
 Her voice, as usual, calm and clear. 
 They hoped the pastor happiness. 
 They found in him a man of God; 
 Nor feared to follow _ where he led. 
 He went the path the Master trod, 
 And pointed to the living Head. 
 The women of the church would prove 
 How nobly Christian women love. 

 Then after speeches made by each, 
 Arose the pastor tO' respond. 
 He must confess, there was no speech 
 To manifest his feeHngs ; found 
 This was too much ; their words, their deeds, 
 Had overwhelmed him, — alone, 
 In answering, he but succeeds 
 In saying in a choking tone, 
 Whatever had been done in th' past 
 Continued would be to the last. 
 Then falling on his knees he prayed 
 That God might bless these servants here,- 
 The gifts that they before him laid, — 
 That they have success everywhere. 
 And asjie prayed 'tis many an eye 
 Is filled with tears, and wet the cheeks. 
 And even among the young and shy, 
 A tremor of emotion breaks. 
 And when they got upon their feet 
 All felt they had their spiritual treat. 
 And now 'tis for a feast they spread. 
 From baskets that had hidden been 
 They bring it on ; and there are laid 
 All kinds of dainties ever seen. 
 Aunt Hannah, who before had known, 
 Had each leaf in the table put; 
 And thus her good forethought had shown. 
 For ladened with cakes, nuts and fruit, 
 'Twas little space that there should be 
 When crowded by this company. 

 And now they feast, and then they sing, 
 As fly the hours merrily. 
 The elder Stone could scarcely bring 
 Himself to think that this was he — 
 Mame was his daughter, Stone his son. 
 And here he sat with all this folk. 
 'Twas some wild dream, it must be one. 
 And as they eat and as they talk, 
 He turns from one then tO' the other, 
 And thinks about his childrens' mother. 
 And Stone, he occupied the head, 
 And Rosie, bless her little soul. 
 Was on his right. Few words he said 
 But 'twas a battle to control 
 His feelings. Now and then his eyes 
 Would meet hers. Once their feet had met. 
 If spoken to, her soft replies 
 About her school life seemed to set 
 His heart abeating more, and he 
 Longed for her separate company. 
 At last they rose, and he was glad. 
 'Twas soon exchanging here and there 
 Some little word. ( Slight time he had. 
 If he her company would share.) 
 He went to find her occupied 
 By several young men whom she held 
 In conversation at her side. 
 And finding this he was compelled 
 To seek his sister's kindly aid, 
 If ever be would see the maid. 

298 feROWN CliAPfiL. 
 "You goose!" said Maine, or Katherine. 
 *'In such things you must bolder be. 
 Why, look at her ; 'tis plainly seen 
 She does not want her company." 
 He looked, he saw her furtive glance 
 O'er to the corner where they sat. 
 "She's only watching now her chance," 
 Said Mame, "tO' get where we are at — " 
 "O, Katherine! Such grammar, dear," 
 Stone laughed, "forgive me, call her here." 
 "I ^han't, now just for that, big boy!" 
 She said and pushed him half away. 
 "No, dear," she cried, "I can't destroy 
 Your joy to-night, so there, you may 
 Not look like that ; and don't be sad," 
 She beckoned c[uickly now to Rose. 
 "She comes," she whispered, "are you glad?" 
 Now see that you no moment lose." 
 All blushing unto them Rose came. 
 "You wish to speak with me?" to Mame. 
 "We both would speak with you," she 'said, 
 "But brother here, I think, the most. 
 Come let us go upstairs (she led 
 The way) for pa will play the host; 
 Already he is talking to 
 The leading people of the place. 
 I'm sure they will not look for you, 
 E'en if they chance to miss your face." 
 Her arms around Rose's waist, she led 
 The way upstairs, as this she said. 

Christmas eve surprise party. 299 -j 
 Within the room a dim light shone. 
 ''How cozy now it feels up here," 
 She whispered in a coaxing tone. 
 "This is the room you furnished, dear." 
 "O, yes," said Rose, a little sigh, 1 
 ''I well remember all to-night." | 
 She looked at Stone, who stood near by, 
 But turned to brighter make the light. 
 ''Sit down," said Mame, "and tell us how 
 You 'spent your hours in school." And now 
 XLIII. ' 
 All seated. Rose calm and sedate, ^ , 
 Yes, even more than e'er before, 
 Began her school life to relate. 
 And went on till there was no more 
 To tell. Somehow Mame disappeared 
 Within the next room where she'd sleep ' 
 That night, as it had been declared 
 By Stone that she next day should keep 
 With him, she and her husband, too; 
 Thus this her to the next room drew. 1 
 XLIV. i 
 There is a time when left alone 
 With those wdiom we mo'st dearly love, 
 No long draw^n sigh, no tender tone 
 But what our feelings then must prove. 
 But oft the glance outspeeds the word, 
 The sudden grasping of the hand. 
 No need of sighs or tones be heard, . 
 The sight, the touch w'ill understand. \ 
 Love needs no heralds more than these . j 
 To set its beating heart at ease. 

 What tho' some word most commonplace 
 Them for a moment occupy, 
 Look on the glowing, blushing face. 
 Look at the soft light in the eye, 
 The heaving of the bosom, see, 
 The anxious feeling ill concealed, 
 The vain attempt just to be free 
 In voice and subject is revealed; 
 And all declare they speak not on 
 The subject they would fain have known. 
 Sometimes a silence may precede. 
 An awful silence, too, to bear, 
 A silence from which to be freed 
 One oft has found him in despair. 
 When nothing w^ill itself suggest 
 And each goes floating on the sea 
 Of thought with not a place to rest. 
 No land in sight, alone the sky 
 And water as each floats around 
 One little circle set as bound. 
 And thus with Stone. These two alone, 
 A silence for awhile ensued ; 
 A silence now which seemed to Stone 
 Too painful far for any good. 
 He tried to speak, in fact he did. 
 He told her of his life since when 
 She left the place, but well he hid 
 From her that night of fearful pain. 
 However, he would ask her why 
 She had not stopped to say good-bye. 

 "I did on Sunday," she replied, 
 ''But you were 'so engaged, you know, ; 
 I had to leave, although I tried ; 
 To Start in time in order to , 
 Stop on the way, but 'twas in vain. 
 In starting it was that I found | 
 I'd but short time to make the train ; ' 
 And father, he, of course, was bound - 
 To count for mishaps on the way. 
 So you can judge my plight that day." 
 XLIX. . ' 
 "And then you really tried to get 
 A chance to see me ere you went?" 
 He whispered, and 'twas then he let 
 His voice fall low. " 'Twas my intent, - 
 After my pleasant times with 3^ou, 
 And all your noble advice given, 
 I felt it was my duty to. 
 And pa can tell you how I'd striven 
 With him to turn into the lane. 
 He was afraid we'd miss the train. i 
 "He did not tell me," Stone replied. 
 "Well, he forgot it, that was all. 
 Not that he meant to," and she sighed. i 
 "He wondered why you did not call 
 The day before." "I wish I had," 
 He said in a regretful tone. ; 
 "And I would certainly have been glad. i 
 You should have known that. Rev. Stone." \ 
 "Why should I ?" he now questioned low. \ 
 "Because my actions told yow so." ] 

 He stopped, she stopped. Below the stair 
 Still, voices of the folks they heard. 
 At last, "They pleasure have down there," 
 She whispered, "should it not be shared?" 
 "Not yet, not yet," he quickly said. 
 "My daughter, I have words for you. 
 Too long already I've delayed 
 In speaking; now I'm ready to 
 Let you know all, and learn my fate. 
 I but upon your answer wait." 
 'Tis said a woman generally knows 
 When comes that hour, her greatest prize. 
 An honest lover will propose 
 By the deep flashings of his eyes ; 
 And be she young, or be 'she old, 
 Be it the first, or be it not. 
 And be he timid, be he bold. 
 When e'er it falls unto her lot 
 To sit alone with such a man, 
 She knows as none but woman can. 
 I've gazed upon the feathered throng, 
 And wondered how they understood 
 Love's language; listened to their song, 
 And sat entranced in lonely wood. 
 For when the time arrived, I found 
 Them side by side, and watched them build 
 Their cozy mansions, saw them bound 
 By tender ties, which but instilled 
 Them so to labor, and to rear 
 A brood to fill the world with cheer. 

 Who mated them? Or did they find 
 By their own skill each other out ? 
 Or did they fall together ? Mind, 
 As to their reason, there is doubt. 
 I simply ask, was it direct 
 Decision, while within a throng. 
 Which caused them seeking to select, 
 And know each other's love? Let song 
 Express that love? Enough to see 
 They seem to love — enough for me. 
 "Do you remember our first walk?" 
 "I do," she whispered as her breast 
 Began to rise and fall. "Our talk?" 
 "Yes," softly, "it must be confessed." 
 "And the advice I gave you then?" 
 "I can't forget one word," she said. 
 "Then how the storm came up?" Again, 
 "Yes, all remembered," said the maid. 
 To her he closer drew his chair. 
 Her eyes half closed, she still 'sat there. 
 And now a roguish smile stole o'er 
 Her features. With a quick sly glance 
 Into his face, which more and more 
 Burned in deep passion's eloquence. 
 She said, "But such a wild, wild girl, 
 Now tell me wdiat you thought of me." 
 And he recalled that same dark curl. 
 The eyes that danced mischievously. 
 He said, "I thought 'so much that day 
 I never shall have words to say." 

 ''You thought that I was very bold," 
 She said, and gave another look. 
 "I thought that you were very cold." 
 (And here it was her hand he took.) 
 ''You thought that I was what, they say. 
 So senseless, wayward, and so wild — 
 You have those very thoughts to-day — " 
 "Rose," he broke forth, "there, there, my child! 
 The only thought I have, God knows, 
 Is that I madly love you, Rose !" 
 She heard, and turned her head away, 
 She heard, and drew her hand from his. 
 O artful woman, at thy play. 
 None but thy self can do like this ! 
 She knew her heart went "pitter-pat ;" 
 She knew her bo'som rose and fell ; 
 She knew that they too closely sat 
 Together, that each sign must tell; 
 Though even now about to yield. 
 She'd prove him smartly on the field. 
 "No, do not turn away from me," 
 He said, and gently took her hand 
 Again. "Y'ou cannot fully see. 
 You cannot fully understand 
 How all these months since here I've been 
 Your form, your image filled my mind. 
 Speak, Rose, to me, have you not seen 
 Some little sign of this? Be kind, 
 And tell me, little one, that I 
 f^oye nof in vain. Speak, make replyr'^ 

 She does not draw her hand from his; 
 She does not look into his face; 
 She sits in silence; but it is 
 A silence sweet, a golden grace. 
 She loves him, deeply loves him, but 
 Can she give up her rights at once? 
 Herself 'neath his protection put? 
 Again into his face a glance 
 So quick he does not see it, and 
 A ofentle tremblins: of the hand 
 j^V,XXUX^ UX WX^.^^XX^j^ 
 He held, which he fails not to feel, 
 Which thrills his very -soul, and he, — 
 "Speak, Rose, ; one word ; you can't conceal 
 The truth I long to know, from me, 
 You love me don't you, little one?" 
 And now she jerked her hand away, 
 **Do let me leave you. Rev. Stone. 
 It is not right for me to stay 
 Up here so long. Will you permit, 
 Or must I longer with you sit?" 
 She arose as if about to go. 
 ''Be seated just a moment," he 
 Now interposed. ''My child you know 
 I love you, why not answer me?" 
 Again she took the chair, and sat. 
 Her head bowed down upon her breast. 
 She knew her heart went "pitter-pat;" 
 She dared not look up at him lest 
 He saw how much she loved him. No, 
 At last in voice, calm, swe^t and low, 

 She said, ''Love me? It cannot be." 
 (A tear was stealing down her cheek.) 
 "No, Rev. Stone, you can't love me, 
 For some one nobler you should seek ; 
 An older, w^ser one than I." 
 Enough, his arms around her thrown, 
 Her head was resting happily 
 On his broad breast. In gentle tone, 
 "And you will be my wife, my child?" 
 "Your Rose," she murmured, "tho' so wild.' 
 The sleigh bells rang out merrily. 
 As from the parsonage that night 
 Depart the merry company 
 Who'd spent such hours of delight. 
 And Christmas had already come 
 Ere many coaxing sleep had sought ; 
 Ere many reached an humble home 
 Where Santa Claus his work has wrought. 
 But lingered up, still Katherine, 
 Till she her Brother Ray had seen. 
 "Go, dear," she said to Melville, low, 
 "I wi'sh to speak with Brother Ray. 
 He has some joyful news I know. 
 His very countenance doth say." 
 "And now, what is it?" as they stood 
 Before the fire on the hearth. 
 Ray kissed his sister, "Good, ah, good ! 
 I am the happiest man on earth." 
 "She loves you then? Of course she do^s. 
 I saw that long ago in Rose." 

 "The time draws near the birth of Christ, 
 The moon is hid, the night is still," 
 Love's ministry hath sacrificed; 
 The incense all the air doth fill. 
 Again on far Judea's plain 
 The vision suddenly appears, 
 And sounds from heaven that joyful strain 
 Which all the hearts of mankind cheers — 
 Hark ! hear it ringing once again, 
 "Peace, peace on earth, good will to men." 


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