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THE ANGELS OF BUENA VISTA.
(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
" 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
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,
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
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
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!
How the wild crowd goes swaying along,
Once I was pure as the snow,-but I fell :
How strange it should be that tbis beautiful snow
To be heard in the crash of the crazy town,
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.
Carried another, the household pet;
Darling Minnie! I see her yet!
And fearlessly entered the phantom bark;
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;