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And everywhere kind Christian folks

They found, as Marien said, Who gave them lodging for the night,

And gave them daily bread.

It entereth not his thoughts that God

Heareth the sufferer's groan, That in his righteous eye, their life

Is precious as his own.
This moves him not. But let us now

Unto the fisher's shed,
Where sat his weeping little ones

Three days beside the dead.
It was a solitary waste

Of barren sand, which bore
No sign of human dwelling-place

For miles along the shore.
Yet to the scattered dwellers there

Sped Marien, and besought
That of the living and the dead

They would take Christian thought. So in the churchyard by the sea.

The senseless dead was laid : “ And now what will become of us!"

The weeping children said. “For who will give us bread to eat?

The neighbours are so poor ! And he, our kinsman in the town,

Would drive us from his door.

“ For he is rich and pitiless,

With heart as cold as stone! Who will be parents to us now

That ours are dead and gone ?" “ Weep not," said faithful Marien,

“Man's heart is not so hard, But it your friendless misery

Will tenderly regard ! " And I with you will still abide

Your friendless souls to cheer, Be father and mother both to you;

for this God sent me here.
" And to your kinsman in the town,

Who hath such store of gold,
I will convey you: God can change

His spirit stern and cold.
And ye, like angels of sweet love,

From earth his soul may win.
Fear not; and we with morning light

The journey will begin."
They took their little worldly store ;

And at the break of day,
Leaving the lonesome sea-side shed,

Set out upon their way. 'Mong sandy hills their way they wound;

O'er sea-grass dusk and harsh;
By many a land-mark lone and still;

Through many a salt sea-marsh.
And thus for twice seven days they went

A liule loving band,
Walking along their weary way;

Like angels, hand in hand.

And thus they pilgrimed, day by day,

Alone yet not cast down,
Strengthened by Marien's company,

Unto the sea-port town.
A busy town beside the sea,

Where men were all astir,
Buying and selling; eager-eyed,
Two different races, yet allied, —

Merchant and mariner.
A place of ships, whose name was known

Far off, beyond the main;
A busy place of trade, where nought

Was in repute but gain.
Thither they came, those children poor,

About the eventide;
And where dwelt he, their kinsman rich,

They asked on every side.
After long asking, one they found,

An old man and a poor,
Who undertook to lead them straight

Unto the kinsman's door.
But ever as he went along

He to himself did say,
Low broken sentences, as thus,

“ Their kinsman! - well-a-way!" All through a labyrinth of walls

Blackened with cloudy smoke, He led them, where was heard the forge

And the strong hammer's stroke. And beneath Jofty windows dim

In many a doleful row, Whence came the jangle of quick looms,

Down to the courts below, Sull on the children, terrified,

With wildered spirits passed ; Until of these great mammon halls,

They reached the heart at last, A little chamber hot and dim,

With iron bars made fast. There sale the kinsman, shrunk and lean,

And leaden-eyed and old, Busied before a lighted lamp

In sealing bags of gold.

The moment that they entered in,

He clutched with pallid fear His heavy bags, as if he thought

That sudden thieves were near. “ Rich man!" said Marien, “ope thy bags

And of thy gold be free, Make gladsome cheer, for Heaven hath sent

A blessing unto thee !" “What!" said the miser, " is there news Of my lost argosy ?"

“Better than gold, or merchant ships,

Is that which thou shalt win," Said Marien, “ thine immortal soul

From its black load of sin." " Look at these children, thine own blood,"

And then their name she told; “Open thine heart to do them good,

To love them more than gold; And what thou givest will coine back

To thee, a thousand-fold !"
* Ah," said the miser, “even these

Some gainful work may do,
My looms stand still ; of youthful hands

I have not half enow;
I shall have profit in their toil;

Yes, child, thy words are true!"
* Thou fool!" said Marien, “still for gain,

To cast thy soul away!
The Lord be judge 'twixt these and thee

Upon his reckoning day!
“ These little ones are fatherless, -

He sees them day and night; And as thou doest unto them,

On thee he will requite !" “Gave I not alms upon a time ?"

Said he, with anger thrilled ; « And when I die, give I not gold,

A stately church to build ! “What wouldst thou more? my flesh and blood

I seek not to gainsay.
But what I give, is it unmeet

Their labour should repay !"
So saying, in an iron chest,

He locked his bags of gold,
And bade the children follow him,

In accents harsh and cold.

And the sweet memory of the past,

The white sands stretching wide;
Their father's boat wherein they played,

Upon the rocking tide ;
The sandy shells; the sea-mew's scream;

The ocean's ceaseless boom;
Came to them like a troubling dream,

Within the noisy loom.
Wo-worth those children, hard bested,

A weary life they knew;
Their hands were thin; their cheeks were pale,

That were of rosy hue.
The miser kinsman in and out

Passed ever and anon;
Nor ever did he speak a word,

Except to urge them on.
Wo-worth those children, hard bested,

They worked the livelong day;
Nor was there one, save Marien,

A soothing word to say :-
So, amid toil and pain of heart,

The long months wore away.
The long, the weary months passed on,

And the hard kinsman told
Over his profits; every loom

Increased the board of gold;
“'Tis well!” said he, “ let more be spun

That more may yet be sold !"
So passed the time; and with the toil

Of children weak and poor,
The sordid kinsman's treasure-hoards

Increased more and more.
But ere a year was come and gone,

The spirit of the boy
Was changed ; with natures fierce and rudo

He found his chiefest joy.


“Oh leave us not sweet Marien!"

The little children spake ; For if thou leave us here, alone,

Our wretched hearts will break." She left them not - kind Marien!

And in a noisome room, Day after day, week after week,

They laboured at the loom.
The while they thought with longing souls

Upon the breezy strand,
The flying shuttles, to and fro,

Passed through each little hand.
The while they thought with aching hearts,

Upon their parents dear,
The growing web was waterès,

With many a bitter tear.

The hardness of the kinsman's soul

Wrought on him like a spell, Exciting in his outraged heart,

Revenge and hatred fell; The will impatient to control;

The spirit to rebel. Hence was there warfare 'twixt the two,

The weak against the strong;
A hopeless, miserable strife

That could not last for long :
How can the young, the poor, contend

Against the rich man's wrong!
The tender trouble of his eye,

Was gone; his brow was cold;
His speech, like that of desperate men,

Was reckless, fierce, and bold.
No more he kissed his sister's cheek;

Nor soothed her as she wept ;
No more he said at Marien's knee
His prayers before he slept.

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But they, the solitary pair,

Like pitying angels poured
Tears for the sinner; and with groans

His evil life deplored.
Man knew not of that secret grief,

Which in their bosoms lay;
And for the sinful brother's sin,

Yet harder doom had they.
But God, who trieth hearts; who knows

The springs of human will;
Who is a juster judge than man,

Of mortal good and ill;
He saw those poor despised ones,

And willed them still to mourn:
He saw the wandering prodigal,

Yet bade him not return.
In his good time that weak one's woe,

Would do its work of grace ;
And the poor prodigal, himself,

Would seek the father's face ; Meantime man's judgment censured them,

As abject, mean, and base. The erring brother was away,

And none could tell his fate;
And the young sister at the loom

Sate drooping, desolate.
She mourned not for her parents dead,

Nor for the breezy shore :
And now the weary, jangling loom

Distracted her no more.
Like one that worketh in a dream,

So worked she day by day,
Intent upon the loving grief,

Which on her spirit lay ;
And as she worked, and as she grieved

Her young life wore away.
And they who saw her come and go,

Oft said, with pitying tongue, “Alas, that labour is the doom

Of aught so weak and young!" Alone the kinsman pitied not;

He chid her, that no more The frame was strong, the hand was swift,

As it had been before.
- All for the child was dark on earth,

When holy angels bright
Unbarred the golden gates of heaven

For her one winter's night.
Within a chamber poor and low,

Upon a pallet bed, She lay, and “ hold my hand, sweet friend,"

With feeble voice she said. "Oh hold my hand, sweet Marien,"

The dying child spake low; “ And let me hear thy blessed voice,

To cheer me as I go!

« 'Tis darksome all - Oh, drearly dark!

When will this gloom pass by? Is there no comfort for the poor,

And for the young who die !" Down by her side knelt Marien,

And kissed her fading cheek, Then of the loving Saviour,

In low tones 'gan to speak. She told of Lazarus, how he lay,

A beggar mean and poor, And died, in misery and want,

Beside the rich man's door.
Yet how the blessèd angels came,

To bear his soul on high,
Within the glorious courts of heaven,

On Abraham's breast to lie.
She told how children, when they die,

Yet higher glory win,
And see the Father face to face,

Unsoiled by tainting sin.
“ Blessed be God!" the child began,

“I doubt not, neither fear, All round about the bed, behold,

The angel-bands appear! "I go!- yet still, dear Marien,

One last boon let me win! Seek out the poor lost prodigal,

And bring him back from sin! “I go! I go!" and angels bright,

The spirit bare away:-
On earth 'twas darksome, dreary night,

In heaven 'twas endless day!
— And now, upon that selfsame night,

Within a carved bed, Lay the rich kinsman wrapped in lawn,

With pillows 'neath his head. Scheming deep schemes of gold, he lay

All in that lordly room;
Blessing himself that he had stores

For many years to come.
Just then an awful form spake low,

A form that none might sec:
“ Thou sool, this very night, thy soul

Shall be required of thee !"
And when into that chamber fair

Stole in the morning-ray,
A lifeless corpse, upon his bed,

The miser kinsman lay.
- Beside his door stood solemn mutes;

And chambers high and dim, Where hung was pall, and mourning lights

Made show of grief for him. Full fifty muffled mourners stood,

Amund the scutcheoned bed, That held the corse, as if, indeed, A righteous man were dead.

Within a tomb, which he had built,

Of costly marble-stone, They buried him, and plates of brang

His name and wealth made known. A coffin of the meanest wood,

The little child received ; And o'er her humble, nameless grave,

No hooded mourner grieved. Only kind Marien wept such tears,

As the dear Saviour shed, When in the house of Bethany

He mourned for Lazarus dead.


Now from the miser kinsman's house

Came many a jovial sound;
And lavish heirs had spent his gold,

Ere twelve months had gone round.
That while within the busy town

Dwelt Marien ; and each day,
In some good deed of Christian love

And mercy, passed away.
For many an abject dweller there,

Grief-bowed and labour-spent,
Groaned forth, amid his little ones,

To heaven his sad lament;
And unto such, to raise, to cheer,

The sent of God, she went.
But she who, even as they, was poor,

Failed not of daily bread;
A stranger, many took her in,

And warmed, and clothed, and fed.
And when a sickness sore befel,

And nigh to death she lay, Kind hearts there were who came to her,

And watched her night and day. And afterwards, when evil mon

Doomed her in bonds to lie,
Many a true, noble friend arose,

Willing for her to die.
Oh, blessed Christian bearts, who thus

Unto this little one
Did deeds of love; for as to Christ

These righteous works were done!
And they who blessed her, for themselves

A tenfold blessing won!
Thus dwelt sweet Marien in the town

For many a passing year;
Yet of the poor, lost prodigal,

No tidings could she hear.
She found him not; but yet she found

Others who, even as he,
Had gone astray and pined forlorn

In hopeless misery.

To these repentant, outcast ones,

She spake kind words of grace,
And led them back, with yearning hearts,

To seek the Father's face;
To find forgiveness in His heart,

And love in His embrace.
Oh blessed, blessèd Marien!

- But let us now recall Whate'er had happed of change and woe

Unto the prorligal.
He saw his little sister pine:

He saw her silent woe;
He saw her strength decline, yet still

Her weary labour grow.
As this he saw, yet more and more

He hated that hard man,
With whom their cheerless misery,

Their daily tasks began.
And even to true Marien,

He bare an altered mind;Alas, that injuries should make

Else loving hearts unkind ! But so it is ! and when the twain

To cheer his spirit strove, His wrath arose, and he repelled

Their patient deeds of love. Then evil men assailed his youth ;

And he who was so frail
In suffering, 'gainst the tempter's might

Was feeble to prevail.
He was their easy prey; their tool;

And bravely clothed and fed,
In desperate scenes, 'mid desperate men,

A lawless life he led.
Yet often to his soul came back

Sweet memory of the time,
When he, a happy, thoughtless child,

Had knowledge of no crime.
And like a heavier, wearier woe,

Than labour night and day,
The consciousness of evil deeds

Upon his spirit lay.
He thought of slighted Marien,

And of the sister meek;
Of the thin hands that plied the loom,

And of the fading cheek;
Yet how he had deserted them,

The faithful and the weak!

He heard his loving parent's voice

Reproach him in his sleep; And conscience, that slern bosom-guest,

Ceaseless upbraidings keep.
Yet, for the hated kinsman's sake,

Neither would he regard ;
And, because man was hard to him,
Made his own nature hard.

Thus doing outrage to his soul,

By chance he went one day
Through the brown trodden churchyard, where

The little sister lay.
A sexton there at work he found;

And why he turned the mould
So carefully, he asked, since there

No name the tenant told.
Replied he, “in this wide church-yard

I know each separate mound;
Yet unto me that little grave

Alone seems holy ground.”
And then he told of Marien,

And how she there had wept
Over the child, that 'neath the mould,

In dreamless quiet slept.
“A little, friendless pauper child,

She lieth here," said he;
“ Yet not a grave in all the ground

Like this affecteth me!"
Saying this, he wiped a tear aside,

And turned from the place;
And, in the skirts of his rich robe,

The brother hid his face.
– He left the town; and in a ship,

Bound for a far-off strand,
He took his voyage; but distress

Pursued her from the land.
At first disease was 'mong her men;

And suffering long and sore,
In midst of joyless, suffering mates,

Forlorn and sad be bore.
Next mutiny brake forth; and then

That miserable ship,
As if there were no port for her,
Without a wind the sails to stir,

Lay moveless on the deep.
As Jonah, fleeing from the Lord,

The soul-struck penitent
Lay self-condemned, believing all

On his account were sent.
Anon a tempest rose, and drove

The ship before the gale,
For three long days; and bore away

Her rudder, mast, and sail.
On the fourth night dark land appeared,

And the strained versel bore
Right on the rocky reef, and lay

A wreck upon the shore.
At day-break only he remained

To note the vessel's fale ; –
The Crusoe of a desert isle,

Abject and desolate.
- The world went on as it was wont;

And in the city street,
And in the busy market-place,

Did thronging thousands meet.

Upon the hearths of poor men's homes

Good neighbours met at night; And kindness and companionship

Made woe and labour light. The loneliest but among the hills

To human hearts was known;
And even in kingly palaces

Men might not dwell alone.
The world went on as it was wont;

And no man knew the while
Of that poor lonely prodigal,

Upon his lonely isle.
He clomb the cliffs to look afar

Over the distant sea;
If, please God, for his rescuing

A coming sail might be.
He lit his beacon fires at night;

He hoisted signals high ;-
But the world went on as it was wont,

And not a ship sailed by.
He was not missed among his kind, -

Man had forgot his name;
But unto Him who cares for all,
Who sees the little sparrow fall,

His lonely misery came.
God saw him; saw his broken heart,

His cheerless solitude,
Saw how his human pride was gone,

His human will subdued.
Saw him and loved him. Broken heart,

Look up! the Father's voice Calleth thee from thy depths of woe,

And biddeth thee rejoice! - Now Marien from the trading town

Had voyaged; sent of Heaven
She knew not whither; and the ship,

Which with long storm had striven,
At length upon a glorious isle

Amid the seas was driven; Where dwelt a gentle race at rest

Amid their flowery wilds,
Unknown to all the world, with hearts

As simple as a child's.
With them abode sweet Marien:

But now it chanced one day,
As in a slender carved boat

Upon the shore she lay, A strong wind came, and filled the sail,

And bare her thence away. She had no fear, true Marien;

That God was good, she knew, And even then had sent her forth

Some work of love to do. The prodigal upon his rock

Was kneeling, and his prayer For confidence in heaven, arose

Upon the evening air,

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