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THE SISTER OF CHARITY.

321

But though first love's impassioned blindness

Has passed away in colder night,
I still have thought on you with kindness,

And shall do till our last good-night.
The ever-rolling, silent hours

Will bring a time we shall not know,
When our young days of gathering flowers

Will be a hundred years ago.

THE SISTER OF CHARITY.-GERALD GRIFFIN.

CHE once was a lady of honor and wealth;
D Bright glowed on her features the roses of health ;
Her vesture was blended of silk and of gold,
And her motion shook perfume from every fold :
Joy reveli'd around her-love shone at her side,
And gay was her smile as the glance of a bride;
And light was her step in the mirth-sounding hall,
When she heard of the daughters of Vincent de Paul.

She felt, in her spirit, the summons of grace,
That call'd her to live for the suffering race;
And heedless of pleasure, of comfort, of home,
Rose quickly like Mary, and answered, “ I come.”
She put from her person the trappings of pride,
And passed from her home with the joy of a bride,
Nor wept at the threshold, as onward she moved-
For her heart was on fire in the cause it approved.
Lost ever to fashion—to vanity lost,
That beauty that once was the song and the toast-
No more in the ball-room that figure we meet,
But gliding at dusk to the wretch's retreat.
Forgot in the halls is that high-sounding name,
For the Sister of Charity blushes at fame;
Forgot are the claims of her riches and birth,
For she barters for heaven the glory of earth.

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THE SISTER OF CHARITY.

Those feet, that to music could gracefully move,
Now bear her alone on the mission of love ;
Those hands, that once dangled the perfume and gem,
Are tending the helpless, or lifted for them ;
That voice, that once echo?d the song of the vain,
Now whispers relief to the bosom of pain ;
And the hair, that was shining with diamond and pearl,
Is wet with the tears of the penitent girl.

Her down-bed-a pallet; her trinkets-a bead;
Her lustre--one taper that serves her to read;
Her sculpture—the crucifix nail'd by her bed ;
Her paintings—one print of the thorn-crowned head ;
Her cushion—the pavement that wearies her knees;
Her music--the psalm, or the sigh of disease ;
The delicate lady lives mortified there,
And the feast is forsaken for fasting and prayer.

Yet not to the service of heart and of mind
Are the cares of that heaven-minded virgin confined.
Like him whom she loves, to the mansions of grief
She hastes, with the tidings of joy and relief.
She strengthens the weary—she comforts the weak,
And soft is her voice in the ear of the sick;
Where want and affliction on mortals attend,
The Sister of Charity there is a friend.

Unshrinking where pestilence scatters his breath,
Like an angel she moves, ʼmid the vapor of death;
Where rings the loud musket, and flashes the sword,
Unfearing she walks, for she follows the Lord.
How sweetly she bends o'er each plague-tainted face
With looks that are lighted with holiest grace;
How kindly she dresses cach suffering limb,
For she sees in the wounded the image of Him.

Behold her, ye worldly! behold her, ye vain !
Who shrink from the pathway of virtue and pain ;
Who yield up to pleasure your nights and your days,
Forgetful of service, forgetful of praise.

RICHTER'S DREAM.

323

Ye lazy philosophers-self-seeking men,--
Ye fireside philanthropists, great at the pen,
How stands in the balance your eloquence, weighed
With the life and the deeds of that high-born maid ? .

RICHTER'S DREAM. TNTO the great vestibule of heaven, God called up a man from 1. dreams, saying, “ Come thou hither, and see the glory of my house.” And, to the servants that stood around His throne, He said, “ Take him, and undress him from his robes of flesh: cleanse his vision, and put a new breath into his nostrils; only touch not with any change his human heart-the heart that weeps and trembles.”

It was done; and, with a mighty angel for his guide, the man stood ready for his infinite voyage; and from the terraces of heaven, without sound or farewell, at once they wheeled away into endless space. Sometimes, with solemn flight of angel-wings, they fled through Saharas of darkness-through wildernesses of death, that divided the world of life: sometimes they swept over frontiers that were quickening under the prophetic motions from God.

Then, from a distance that is counted only in heaven, light dawned for a time through a sleepy film; by unutterable pace the light swept to them; they by unutterable pace to the light. In a moment, the rushing of planets was upon them : in a moment, the blazing of suns was around them.

Then came cternities of twilight, that revealed, but were not revealed. On the right hand and on the left towered mighty constellations, that by self-repetition and answers from afar, that by counter-positions, built up triumphal gates, whose architraveswhose archways—horizontal, upright—rested, rose—at attitudes by spans—that seemed ghostly from infinitude. Without measure were the architraves, past number were the archways, beyond memory the gates.

Within were stairs that scaled the eternities below: above was below-below was above, to the man stripped of gravitating body: depth was swallowed up in height insurmountable: height was swallowed up in depth unfathomable. Suddenly, as thus they

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OVER THE RIVER.

Cothen the man sighed

itself in tears; and

with this infinity

rode from infinite to infinite: suddenly, as thus they tilted over abysmal worlds, a mighty cry arose, that systems more mysterious, that worlds more billowy, other heights and other depths, were coming—were nearing—were at hand.

Then the man sighed, and stopped, and shuddered, and wept. His overladen heart uttered itself in tears; and he said, “ Angel, I will go no farther; for the spirit of man acheth with this infinity. Insufferable is the glory of God. Let me lie down in the grave, and hide me from the persecutions of the Infinite; for end, I see, there is none."

And from all the listening stars that shone around issued a choral cry, “ The man speaks truly: end there is none that ever yet we heard of.” “End! is there none ?” the angel .solemnly demanded : “Is there indeed no end ! and is this the sorrow that kills you ?” But no voice answered that he might answer himself. Then the angel threw up his glorious hands toward the heaven of heavens, saying, “ End is there none to the universe of God? Lo! also, there is no beginning."

OVER THE RIVER.--NANCY A. W. PRIEST.

..

O VER the river they beckon to me

Loved ones who've crossed to the further side:
The gleam of their snowy robes I see,

But their voices are drowned in the rushing tide.
There's one, with ringlets of sunny gold,

And eyes, the reflection of heaven's own blue :
He crossed in the twilight, gray and cold,

And the pale mist hid him from mortal view.
We saw not the angels that met him there;

The gates of the city we could not see;
Over the river, over the river,

My brother stands waiting to welcome me !

Over the river the boatman pale

Carried another—the household pet:
Her brown curls waved in the gentle gale-

Darling Minnie! I see her yet!

OVER THE RIVER.

325

She crossed on her bosom her dimpled hands,

And fearlessly entered the phantom bark: We watched it glide from the silver sands,

And all our sunshine grew strangely dark. We know she is safe on the further side,

Where all the ransomed and angels be;Over the river, the mystic river,

My childhood's idol is waiting for me!

For none return from those quiet shores,

Who cross with the boatman cold and pale:
We hear the dip of the golden oars,

And catch a gleam of the snowy sail,
And, lo! they have passed from our yearning hearts :

They cross the stream, and are gone for aye:
We may not sunder the veil apart

That hides from our vision the gates of day:
We only know that their bark no more

May sail with us o'er life's stormy sea :
Yet, somewhere, I know, on the unseen shore,

They watch and beckon and wait for me!

And I sit and think, when the sunset's gold

Is flushing river and hill and shore,
I shall one day stand by the water cold,

And list for the sound of the boatman's oar:
I shall watch for a gleam of the flapping sail :

I shall hear the boat as it gains the strand :
I shall pass from sight with the boatman pale,

To the better shore of the spirit land:
I shall know the loved who have gone before,

And joyfully sweet shall the meeting be,
When over the river, the peaceful river,

The angel of death shall carry me!

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