Imagens das páginas



DTAVE you not heard the poets tell

How came the dainty Babie Bell
Into this world of ours ?
The gates of heaven were left ajar :
With folded hands and dreamy eyes,

Wandering out of Paradise,
She saw this planet, like a star,

Hung in the glittering depths of even;
Its bridges, running to and fro,
O'er which the white-winged angels go,

Bearing the holy dead to heaven!
She touched a bridge of flowers, those feet,

So light, they did not bend the bells
Of the celestial asphodels!
They fell like dew upon the flowers,

Then all the air grew strangely sweet;
And thus came dainty Babie Bell

Into this world of ours.

She came, and brought delicious May;

The swallows built beneath the eaves ;

Like sunlight in and out the leaves
The robins went the livelong day;
The lily swung its noiseless bell,

And o'er the porch the trembling vine

Seemed bursting with its veins of wine;
How sweetly, softly, twilight fell !
Oh, earth was full of singing birds,

And opening spring-tide flowers,
When the dainty Babie Bell

Came to this world of ours !

O Babie, dainty Babie Bell!
How fair she grew from day to day!

What woman-nature filled her eyes,
What poetry within them lay!



God's hand had taken away the seal

That held the portals of her speech;
And oft she said a few strange words,

Whose meaning lay beyond our reach.
She never was a child to us;

We never held her being's key;
We could not teach her holy things,

She was Christ's self in purity.
It came upon us by degrees,

We saw its shadow ere it fell,
The knowledge that our God had sent

His messenger for Babie Bell.

At last he came, the messenger,

The messenger from unseen lands;
And what did dainty Babie Bell ?

She only crossed her hands,
She only looked more meek and fair!
We parted back her silken hair;
We wove the roses round her brow,
White buds, the summer's drifted snow ;

Wrapped her from head to foot in flowers,
And thus went dainty Babie Bell

Out of this world of ours !

THE LIGHT OF HOME.—MRS. HALE. M Y boy, thou wilt dream the world is fair,

W And thy spirit will sigh to roam;
And thou must go—but never, when there,

Forget the light of home.
Though pleasure may smile with a ray more bright,

It dazzles to lead astray:
Like the meteor's flash, 'twill deepen the night,

When thou treadest the lonely way.

But the hearth of home has a constant flame,

And pure as vestal fire :



"Twill burn, 'twill burn forever the same,

For nature feeds the pyre.

The sea of ambition is tempest-tost,

And thy hopes may vanish like foam;
But when sails are shiver'd and rudder lost,

Then look to the light of home.

And there, like a star through the midnight cloud,

Thou shalt see the beacon bright;
For never, till shining on thy shroud,

Can be quenched its holy light.

The sun of fame, 'twill gild the name,

But the heart ne'er felt its ray;
And fashion's smiles, that rich ones claim,..
· Are but beams of a wintry day.

And how cold and dim those beams must be,

Should life's wretched wanderer come!
But, my boy, when the world is dark to thee,

Then turn to the light of home.

TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE.—WENDELL PHILLIPS. TF I stood here to-night to tell the story of Napoleon, I should I take it from the lips of Frenchmen, who find no language rich enough to paint the great general of the century. If I were to tell you the story of Washington, I should take it from your hearts—you who think no marble white enough in which to carve the name of the Father of his Country.

But I am to tell you the story of a negro, Toussaint L'Ouverture, who has left hardly one written line. I am to glean it from the reluctant testimony of his enemies; men who despised him because he was a negro and a slave, hated him because he had beaten them in battle. You remember that Macaulay says, comparing Cromwell with Napoleon, that Cromwell showed greater military genius on this account-he never saw an army till he was

[merged small][ocr errors]

forty: Napoleon from a boy was educated in the best military schools of Europe.

Cromwell manufactured his army. Napoleon, at nineteen, was placed at the head of the best troops Europe ever saw. They both conquered, but, says Macaulay, with such disadvantages, the Englishman showed the greater genius. Whether you allow the result or not, you will at least allow that that is a fair mode of measurement.

Now, apply it to Toussaint. Cromwell never saw an army till he was forty: this man never saw a soldier till he was fifty. Cromwell manufactured his army-out of what ? Englishmen-the blood as good as any in Europe. With it he conquered what? Englishmen—their equals.

This man manufactured his army-out of what? Out of what. you call the despicable race of negroes, debased, demoralized, by two hundred years of slavery. Yet out of this mixed, and, as you say, despicable mass, he forged a thunderbolt and hurled it-at what? At the proudest blood in Europe—the Spaniard, and sent him home: at the most warlike blood in Europe—the Frenchman, and put him under his feet: at the pluckiest blood in Europethe English, and they skulked home to Jamaica. Now, if Cromwell was a general, at least this man was a soldier. It is not by quantity but by quality we measure genius.

Cromwell was only a soldier: his fame stops there. Not one line in the statute-book of Britain can be traced to him. The state he founded went down with him to his grave. But this man no sooner found himself at the helm of state than the ship steadied, with an upright keel, and began to evince a statesmanship as marvellous as his military genius.

It was 1798, a time when religious intolerance poisoned every page of England's statute-book : when every State in the Union, save Rhode Island, was but another name for bigotry. This man, remember, was a negro; you say that is a superstitious blood. He was uneducated; you say that makes a man narrowminded. He was a Catholic; many say that is but another name for intolerance. Yet, Negro, Catholic, Slave, he took his place beside Roger Williams, and said to his committee, “ Make it the first line of my constitution that I know no difference between religious beliefs.”

[blocks in formation]

Now, blue-eyed Saxon, proud of your race, go back with me sixty years; select what statesman you please: let him be either American or Englishman, let him have a brain the result of six generations of culture, let him have the richest culture of university routine, crown his temples with the silver locks of seventy years, and show me the man of Saxon lineage for whom his most sanguine admirers will wreath a laurel rich as embittered foes have placed on the brow of this negro.

I would call him Napoleon ; but Napoleon made his way to empire over broken oaths and through a sea of blood. This man never broke his word, and his last words, uttered to his son in France, were these: “ My boy, you will some day go back to St. Domingo—forget that France murdered your father." I would call him Cromwell; but Cromwell was only a soldier, and the state he founded did go down with him to the grave. I would call him Washington ; but the great Virginian held slaves.

You think me a fanatic to-night, for you read history not with your eyes but with your prejudices. But, fifty years hence, when impartial history gets written, some Plutarch of later days will put Phocion for the Greek, Brutus for the Roman, Hampden for England, Lafayette for France, choose Washington as the bright consummate flower of our earlier civilization; then, dipping his pencil in sunlight, will write in the clear blue above them all, the name of the soldier, the statesman, and the martyr, Toussaint L'Ouverture.

6 QYTEADY, boys, steady!

D Keep your arms ready,
God only knows whom we may meet here.

Don't let me be taken

I'd rather awaken
To-morrow, in—no matter where,
Than lie in that foul prison-hole-over there.

“Step slowly!

Speak lowly !
The rocks may have life;
Lay me down in the hollow;
We are out of the strife.

« AnteriorContinuar »