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176

THROUGH DEATH TO LIFE.

For it saves its song till the end of life,

And then, in the soft, still even,
'Mid the golden light of the setting sun,

It sings as it soars into heaven.
And the blessed notes fall back from the skies;
"Tis its only song, for in singing it dies.

You have heard these tales; shall I tell you one,

A greater and better than all ?
Have you heard of him whom the heavens adore,

Before whom the hosts of them fall?
How he left the choirs and anthems above,

For earth in its wailings and woes,
To suffer the shame and pain of the cross,

And die for the life of his foes ?
O Prince of the noble! O sufferer divine!
What sorrow and sacrifice equal to thine!

Have you heard this tale,--the best of them all,

The tale of the Holy and True ?
He dies, but his life, in untold souls,

Lives on in the world anew.
His seed prevails, and is filling the earth,

As the stars fill the sky above;
He taught us to yield up the love of life,

For the sake of the life of love.
His death is our life, his loss is our gain,-
The joy for the tear, the peace for the pain.

Now hear these tales, ye weary and worn,

Who for others do give up your all;
Our Saviour hath told you the seed that would grow,

Into earth's dark bosom must fall,-
Must pass from the view, and die away,

And then will the fruit appear;
The grain, that seems lost in the earth below,

Will return manyfold in the ear.
By death comes life, by loss comes gain ;
The joy for the tear, the peace for the pain.

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She lies in bed of a morning

Until the hour of noon,
Then comes down, snapping and snarling

Because she's called too soon.
Her hair is still in papers,

Her cheeks still dabbered with paintRemains of last night's blushes

Before she attempted to faint.

Her feet are so very little,

Her hands are so very white, Her jewels so very heavy,

And her head so very light; Her color is made of cosmetics

Though this she'll never own; Her body is mostly cotton,

And her heart is wholly stone.

She falls in love with a fellow
Who swells with a foreign air;

178

THE VAGABONDS.

He marries her for her money,

She marries him for his hair-
One of the very best matches;

Both are well mated in life;
She's got a fool for a husband,

And he's got a fool for a wife.

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WE

THE VAGABONDS.-J. T. TROWBRIDGE.
E are two travellers, Roger and I.

Roger's my dog come here, you scamp!
Jump for the gentlemen,-mind your eye!

Over the table, look out for the lamp !-
The rogue is growing a little old;

Five years we've tramped through wind and weather,
And slept out-doors when nights were cold,

And ate and drank—and starved together.
We've learned what comfort is, I tell you !

A bed on the floor, a bit of rosin,
A fire to thaw our thumbs, (poor fellow!

The paw he holds up there's been frozen,)
Plenty of catgut for my fiddle,

(This out-door business is bad for strings,)
Then a few nice buckwheats hot from the griddle,

And Roger and I set up for kings!
No, thank ye, Sir, I never drink;

Roger and I are exceedingly moral,-
Aren't we, Roger ?--see him wink !

Well, something hot, then,--we won't quarrel.
He's thirsty, too,-see him nod his head ?

What a pity, Sir, that dogs can't talk!
He understands every word that's said,-

And he knows good milk from water-and-chalk.

The truth is, Sir, now I reflect,

I've been so sadly given to grog,
I wonder I've not lost the respect

(Here's to you, Sir !) even of my dog.

THE VAGABONDS.

179

But he sticks by, through thick and thin;

And this old coat, with its empty pockets, And rags that smell of tobacco and gin,

He'll follow while he has eyes in his sockets. There isn't another creature living

Would do it, and prove, through every disaster, So fond, so faithful, and so forgiving,

To such a miserable, thankless master! No, sir !—see him wag his tail and grin!

By George! it makes my old eyes water ! That is, there's something in this gin

That chokes a fellow. But no matter !

We'll have some music, if you're willing,

And Roger (hem! what a plague a cough is, Sir!) Shall march a little.—Start, you villain !

Stand straight ! 'Bout face! Salute your officer ! Put up that paw! Dress! Take your rifle!

(Some dogs have arms, you see !) Now hold your Cap while the gentlemen give a trifle,

To aid a poor old patriot soldier ! End

March! Halt! Now show how the rebel shakes

When he stands up to hear his sentence.
Now tell us how many drams it takes

To honor a jolly new acquaintance.
Five yelps,—that's five; he's mighty knowing !

The night's before us, fill the glasses !
Quick, Sir! I'm ill,-my brain is going !--

Some brandy,—thank you,—there !—it passes !

Why not reform? That's easily said ;

But I've gone through such wretched treatment, Sometimes forgetting the taste of bread,

And scarce remembering what meat meant, That my poor stomach's past reform ;

And there are times when, mad with thinking, I'd sell out heaven for something warm,

To prop a horrible, inward sinking.

180

THE VAGABONDS..

Is there a way to forget to think?

At your age, Sir, home, fortune, friends,
A dear girl's love,—but I took to drink ;-

The same old story; you know how it ends.
If

you could have seen these classic features,

You needn't laugh, Sir; they were not then
Such a burning libel on God's creatures:

I was one of your handsome men !

If

you had seen her, so fair and young,

Whose head was happy on this breast!
If you could have heard the songs I sung

When the wine went round, you wouldn't have guessed
That ever I, Sir, should be straying

From door to door, with fiddle and dog.
Ragged and penniless, and playing

To you to-night for a glass of grog !

She's married since,-a parson's wife:

'Twas better for her that we should part,-
Better the soberest, prosiest life

Than a blasted home and a broken heart.
I have seen her ? Once: I was weak and spent,

On the dusty road; a carriage stopped :
But little she dreamed, as on she went,

Who kissed the coin that her fingers dropped !

You've set me talking, Sir; I'm sorry ;

It makes me wild to think of the change!
What do you care for a beggar's story?

Is it amusing ? you find it strange ?
I had a mother so proud of me!
'Twas well she died before- Do

youl

know If the happy spirits in heaven can see

The ruin and wretchedness here below ?

Another glass, and strong, to deaden

This pain; then Roger and I will start.
I wonder has he such a lumpish, leaden,

Aching thing, in place of a heart?

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