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While she noticed and marked every furrow that crossed

O'er the tracings of destiny's line;
“ Whencé, came ye ?” she cried, in astonishment lost,

“ For this Child is of lineage Divine.”

“ From the village of Nazareth,” Joseph replied,

“ Where we dwelt in the land of the Jew,
We have fled from the tyrant whose garments are dyed

In the gore of the children he slew;
We are told to remain till an angel's command

Shall appoint us the hour to return;
Bit till then we inhabit the foreigners' land,

And in Egypt we make our sojourn."
“ Then ye tarry with me,” cried the Gypsy, with joy,

“And ye make of my dwelling your home;
Many years have I prayed that the Israelite boy

(Blessed hope of the Gentiles) would come.”
And she kissed both feet of the infant, and knelt

And adored him at once ;—then a smile
Lit the face of His mother, who cheerfully dwelt

With her host on the banks of the Nile.

PUTTING UP STOVES. M HE first step a person takes is to put on a very old and

I ragged coat, under the impression that when he gets his mouth full of plaster it will keep his shirt-bosom clean. Next he gets his hands inside the place where the pipe ought to go, and blacks his fingers, and then he carefully makes a black mark down the side of his nose. It is impossible to make any headway in doing this work, until this mark is made. Having got his face properly marked, the victim is ready to begin the ceremony. The head of the family—who is the big goose of the sacrifice-grasps one side of the bottom of the stove, and his wife and the hired girl take hold of the other side. In this way the load is started from the woodshed toward the parlor. Going through the door, the head of the family will carefully swing his side of the stove around, and jam his thumb-nail against the door-post. This part

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of the ceremony is never omitted. Having got the stove comfortably in place, the next thing is to find the legs. Two of them are left inside the stove since the Spring before; the other two must be hunted after for twenty-five minutes. They are usually found under the coal. Then the head of the family holds up one side of the stove while his wife puts two of the legs in place, and next he holds up the other side while the other two are fixed, and one of the first two falls out. By the time the stove is on its legs he gets reckless, and takes off his old coat, regardless of his linen. Then he goes off for the pipe, and gets a cinder in his eye. It don't make any difference how well the pipe was put up last year, it will be found a little too short or a little too long. The head of the family jams his hat over his eyes, and, taking a pipe under each arm, goes to the tin-shop to have it fixed. When he gets back he steps upon one of the best parlor chairs to see if the pipe fits, and his wife makes him get down for fear he will scratch the varnish off the chair with the nails in his boot-heel. In getting down he will surely step on the cat, and may thank his stars if it is not the baby. Then he gets an old chair, and climbs up to the chimney again, to find that in cutting the pipe off the end has been left too big for the hole in the chimney. So he goes to the woodshed, and splits on one side of the end of the pipe with an old axe, and squeezes it in his hands to make it smaller. Finally he gets the pipe in shape, and finds that the stove does not stand true. Then himself and wife and the hired girl move the stove to the left, and the legs fall out again. The next move is to the right. More difficulty with the legs. Moved to the front a little. Elbow not even with the hole in the chimney, and he goes to the woodshed after some little blocks. While putting the blocks under the legs, the pipe comes out of the chimney. That remedied, the elbow keeps tipping over, to the great alarm of his wife. He then gets the dinner-table out, puts the old chair on it, gets his wife to hold the chair, and balances himself on it to drive some nails into the ceiling. Drops the hammer on his wife's head. At last gets the nails driven, makes a wire-swing to hold the pipe, hammers a little here, pulls a little there, takes a long breath, and announces the ceremony completed.

Job never put up any stoves. It would have ruined his reputation if he had.

478

THE DYING ALCHEMIST.

THE DYING ALCHEMIST.–N. P. WILLIS.
THE night-wind with a desolate moan swept by,

1 And the old shutters of the turret swung
Creaking upon their hinges; and the moon,
As the torn edges of the clouds flew past,
Struggled aslant the stained and broken panes
So dimly, that the watchful eye of death
Scarcely was conscious when it went and came.
The fire beneath his crucible was low,
Yet still it burned; and ever, as his thoughts
Grew insupportable, he raised himself
Upon his wasted arm, and stirred the coals
With difficult energy; and when the rod
Fell from his nerveless fingers, and his eye
Felt faint within its socket, he shrunk back
Upon his pallet, and, with unclosed lips,
Muttered a curse on death!

The silent room,
From its dim corners, mockingly gave back
His rattling breath; the humming in the fire
Had the distinctness of a knell; and when
Duly the antique horologe beat one,
He drew a phial from beneath his head,
And drank. And instantly his lips compressed,
And, with a shudder in his skeleton frame,
He rose with supernatural strength, and sat
Upright, and communed with himself:

“I did not think to die
Till I had finished what I had to do;
I thought to pierce th' eternal secret through

With this my mortal eye;
I felt,-0 God! it seemeth even now
This cannot be the death-dew on my brow!

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“And yet it is,—I feel, Of this dull sickness at my heart, afraid; And in my eyes the death-sparks flash and fade;

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“And this is death! But why
Feel I this wild recoil ? It cannot be
Th’immortal spirit shuddereth to be free:

Would it not leap to fly,
Like a chained eaglet at its parent's call ?
I fear,—I fear,—that this poor life is all!

“Yet thus to pass away!
To live but for a hope that mocks at last,
To agonize, to strive, to watch, to fast,

To waste the light of day,
Night's better beauty, feeling, fancy, thought,
All that we have and are,—for this,—for naught!

“Grant me another year,
God of my spirit !—but a day,to win
Something to satisfy this thirst within!

I would know something here!
Break for me but one seal that is unbroken!
Speak for me but one word that is unspoken!

“ Vain,—vain !—my brain is turning
With a swift dizziness, and my heart grows sick,
And these hot temple-throbs come fast and thick,

And I am freezing,—burning,
Dying! O God! if I might only live!
My phial- Ha! it thrills me,I revive.

“Aye,—were not man to die,
He were too mighty for this narrow sphere !
Had he but time to brood on knowledge here,

Could he but train his eye,-
Might he but wait the mystic word and hour,-
Only his Maker would transcend his power!

480

THE DYING ALCHEMIST.

“ Earth has no mineral strange,
Th’ illimitable air no hidden wings,
Water no quality in covert springs,

And fire no power to change,-
Seasons no mystery, and stars no spell,
Which the unwasting soul might not compel.

“Oh, but for time to track
The upper stars into the pathless sky,–
To see th’ invisible spirits, eye to eye,-

To hurl the lightning back,-
To tread unhurt the sea’s dim-lighted halls,-
To chase day's chariot to the horizon-walls,—

“And more, much more,-for now
The life-sealed fountains of my nature move,
To nurse and purify this human love,-

To clear the God-like brow
Of weakness and mistrust, and bow it down,
Worthy and beautiful, to the much-loved one,-

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'Twas morning, and the old man lay alone.
No friend had closed his eyelids, and his lips,
Open and ashy pale, th' expression wore
Of his death-struggle. His long, silvery hair
Lay on his hollow temples, thin and wild,
His frame was wasted, and his features wan
And haggard as with want, and in his palm
His nails were driven deep, as if the throe
Of the last agony had wrung him sore.

The storm was raging still. The shutter swung,
Creaking as harshly in the fitful wind,

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