Imagens das páginas


(J. G. WHITTIER.) A letter-writer from Mexico states that, at the terrible fight of Buena Vista, Mexican women were seen hovering near the field of death, for the purpose of giving aid and succor to the wounded. One poor woman was found surrounded by the maimed and suffering of both armies, ministering to the wants of Americans as well as Mexicans with impartial tenderness. Speak and tell us, our Ximena, looking northward far

away. O'er the camp of the invaders, o'er the Mexican array, Who is losing? who is winning ? are they far, or come

they near ? Look abroad, and tell us, sister, whither rolls the storm

we hear.

" Jesu, pity! how it thickens ! now retreat and now

advance! Right against the blazing cannon shiver Puebla's

charging lines ! Down they go, the brave young riders ; horse and foot

together fall; Like the ploughshare in its furrow, through them

ploughs the northern ball."

“O my heart's love! O my dear one ! lay thy poor head

on my knee ; Dost thou know the lips that kiss thee? Canst thou

hear me, canst thou see? O my husband, brave and gentle! O my Bernal, look

once more On the blessed Cross before thee! Mercy! mercy! all

is o'er !"

Dry thy tears, my poor Ximena; lay thy dear one

down to rest; Let his hands be meekly folded ; lay the Cross upon

his breast;

Let his dirge be sung hereafter, and his funeral masses

said ; To-day, thou poor bereaved one, the living ask thy aid.

Close beside her faintly moaning, fair and young, a

soldier lay, Torn with shot and pierced with lances, bleeding slow

his life away; But, as tenderly before him then the lorn Ximena knelt, She saw the northern hostile Eagle shining on his


With a stifled cry of horror straight she turned away

her head; With a sad and bitter feeling looked she back upon her

dead; But she heard the youth's low moaning, and his strug.

gling breath of pain. And she raised the cooling water to his parching lips


“A bitter curse upon them, boy, who to battle led thee

forth, From some gentle, saddened mother, weeping lonely

in the North !" Spake the mournful Mexic woman, as she laid him with

her dead, And turned to soothe the living still, and bind the

wounds which bled.

Look forth once more, Ximena! “Like a cloud before

the wind Rolls the battle down the mountains, leaving blood and

death behind : Ah! they plead in vain for mercy; in the dust the

wounded strive; Hide your faces, holy angels! O, thou Christ of God,

forgive !"

Sink, 0 Night, among thy mountains ! let the cool,

gray shadows fall; Dying brothers, fighting demons,—drop thy curtain

over all ! Through the thickening winter twilight, wide apart the

battle rolled, In its sheath the sabre rested, and the cannon's lips

grew cold.

But the noble Mexic women still their holy task pur.

sued, Through that long, dark night of sorrow, worn and

faint, and lacking food; Over weak and suffering brothers with a tender care

they hung, And the dying foeman blessed them in a strange and

northern tongue.

Not wholly lost, O Father! is this evil world of ours; Upward, through its blood and ashes, spring afresh its

Eden flowers; From its smoking hell of battle, Love and Pity send

their prayer, And still Thy white-winged angels hover dimly in our



0, the snow, the beautiful snow,
Filling the sky and the earth below;
Over the house-tops, over the street,
Over the heads of the people you meet;
Dancing, flirting, skimming along,
Beautiful snow l it can do nothing wrong ;
Flying to kiss a fair lady's cheek,
Clinging to lips in a frolicsome freak,
Beautiful snow, from the heavens above,
Pure as an angel, and fickle as love!

0, the snow, the beautiful snow!
How the flakes gather and laugh as they go!
Whirling about in its maddening fun,
It plays in its glee with every one.
Chasing, laughing, hurrying by.
It lights up the face, and it sparkles the eye;
And even the dogs, with a bark and a bound,
Snap at the crystals that eddy around.
The town is alive, and its heart in a glow
To welcome the coming of beautiful snow.

How the wild crowd goes swaying along,
Hailing each other with humor and song!
How the gay sledges, like meteors flash by,
Bright for a moment, then lost to the eye!
Ringing, swinging, dashing they go,
Over the crest of the beautiful snow;
Snow so pure when it falls from the sky.
To be trampled in mud by the crowd rushing by;
To be trampled and tracked by thousands of feet,
Till it blends with the filth in the horrible street.

Once I was pure as the snow,-but I fell :
Fell, like the snow-flakes from heaven-to hell;
Fell, to be tramped as the filth of the street;
Fell, to be scoffed, to be spit on, and beat.
Pleading, cursing, dreading to die,
Selling my soul to whoever would by,-
Dealing in shame for a morsel of bread,
Hating the living, and fearing the dead.
Merciful God I have I fallen so low?
And yet I was once like the beautiful snow!

How strange it should be that tbis beautiful snow
Should fall on a sinner with nowhere to go!
How strange it would be, when the night comes again,
If the snow and the ice struck my desperate brain!
Fainting, freezing, dying-alone!
Too wicked for prayer, too weak for my moan

To be heard in the crash of the crazy town,
Gone mad in their joy at the snow's coming down ;-
To lie and to die in my terrible woe,
With a bed and a shroud of the beautiful snow!

OVER THE RIVER. Over the river they beckon to me,

Loved ones who crossed to the other side ; The gleam of their snowy robes I see,

But their voices are drowned by 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 gate 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!
She closed on ber 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 glimpse of the snowy sail ; Ind lo! they have passed from our yearning hearts,

They cross the stream and are gone for aye. Ve may not sunder the vail apart

That hides from our vision the gates of day;

« AnteriorContinuar »