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A lamp of life, a beacon ray,

A monitory flame.
The thought was small, its issue great;

A watch-fire on the hill;
It shed its radiance far adown.

And cheers the valley still.

A nameless man, amid a crowd

That thronged the daily mart,
Let fall a word of Hope and Love,

Unstudied from the heart;
A whisper on the tumult thrown,

A transitory breath-
It raised a brother from the dust,

It saved a soul from death.
O germ! O fount! O word of love!

O thought at random cast !
Ye were but little at the first,
But mighty at the last.

Anon., N. Y. Magazine.

EBEN REXFORD'S DISCHARGE

It was Convention Day for the G. A. R. in the State of --(we'll say South Dakota). Eben Rexford was a prominent candidate for State Commander, but his opponents had whispered around that Eben had no discharge to show. There must be something crooked in his record.

On the day of the election, Eben arose in his place and addressed the chair as follows:

"Mr. Chairman,—It has been stated that I have no discharge, and as my name has been mentioned for Commander,

I wish to make an explanation. It is true that I have no discharge.

"When the President's call for troops reached my home in a little village back in New Hampshire, my older brother Samuel happened to be in the village that evening, and enlisted. When he got home, out on the farm a few miles, he told father and mother, and the matter was talked over. Samuel was the support of the family, father and mother being aged people, and as he understood the farm work better than I did, being only sixteen years old at that time, it was decided that Samuel should stay at home and I should go in his place. I went, and answered to his name at every roll-call all through the war. No, Mr. Chairman, I have no discharge, but Samuel has one.'

Eben sat down, the tears rolling down his cheeks, and there was not a dry eye in that gathering of battle-scarred veterans. He was unanimously elected Department Commander.

BREAK, BREAK, BREAK

Break, break, break,

On thy cold gray stones, O sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter

The thoughts that arise in me.
O well for the fisherman's boy,

That he shouts with his sister at play:
O well for the sailor lad

That he sings in his boat on the bay!
And the stately ships go on

To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanished hand,

And the sound of a voice that is still!

Break, break, break,

At the foot of thy crags, O sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
Will never come back to me.

Alfred Tennyson.

THE DOORSTEP

The conference meeting through at last,

We boys around the vestry waited To see the girls come tripping past

Like snowbirds willing to be mated.

Not braver he that leaps the wall

By level musket-flashes litten, Than I, who stepped before them all

Who longed to see me get the mitten.

But no, she blushed and took my arm!

We let the old folks have the highway, And started toward the Maple Farm

Along a kind of lovers' by-way.

I can't remember what we said,

'Twas nothing worth a song or story, Yet that rude path by which we sped

Seemed all transformed and in a glory.

The snow was crisp beneath our feet,

The moon was full, the fields were gleaming; By hood and tippet sheltered sweet,

Her face with youth and health was beaming.

The little hand outside her muff

O sculptor, if you could but mold it! So lightly touched my jacket-cuff,

To keep it warm, I had to hold it.

To have her with me there alone

'Twas love and fear and triumph blended, At last we reached the foot-worn stone

Where that delicious journey ended.

The old folks, too, were almost home;

Her dimpled hand the latches fingered, We heard the voices nearer come,

Yet on the doorstep still we lingered.

She shook her ringlets from her hood,

And with a "Thank you, Ned," dissembled, But yet I knew she understood

With what a daring wish I trembled.

A cloud passed kindly overhead,

The moon was slying peeping through it, Yet hid its face, as if it said,

"Come, now or never, do it, do it!"

My lips till then had only known

The kiss of mother and of sister, But, somehow, full

upon

her own Sweet, rosy, darling mouth-I kissed her!

Perhaps 'twas boyish love, yet still,

O listless woman! weary lover!
To feel once more that fresh wild thrill,
I'd give—but who can live youth over?

Edmund Clarence Stedman.

FOR THOSE WHO FAIL

"All honor to him who shall win the prize,"

The world has cried for a thousand years, But to him who tries and who fails and dies,

I give great honor and glory and tears.

Give glory and honor and pitiful tears

To all who fail in their deeds sublime, Their ghosts are many in the van of years,

They were born with Time in advance of Time.

Oh, great is the hero who wins a name,

But greater many and many a time Some pale-faced fellow who dies in shame

And lets God finish the thought sublime.

And great is the man with a sword undrawn,

And good is the man who refrains from wine; But the man who fails and who still fights on, Lo, he is the twin-brother of mine.

Joaquin Miller.

NOW I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake
I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to take:
And this I ask for Jesus' sake.

Amen.

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