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With the lurid light of a fiery crown-
Or gliding up with a shining track,
Like the morning star that ne'er looks back
Daintiest dreamer that ever smiled,
Which wilt thou be, my beautiful child?
Beautiful child in my garden bowers,
Friend of the butterflies, birds, and flowers,
Pure as the sparkling crystalline stream,
Jewels of truth in thy fairy eyes beam;
Was there ever a whiter soul than thine
Worshipped by love in a mortal shrine?
My heart thou hast gladdened for two sweet years
With rainbows of hope through mists of tears
Mists beyond which the sunny smile,
With its halo of glory, beams all the while.
Beautiful child, to thy look is given
A gleam serene-not to earth, but of heaven;
With thy tell-tale eyes and prattling tongue,
Would thou couldst ever thus be young
Like the liquid strain of the mocking bird,
From stair to hall thy voice is heard.
How oft in the garden nooks thou’rt found,
With flowers thy curly head around,
And kneeling beside me with figure so quaint'
Oh, who would not dote on my infant saint !
Beautiful child, what thy fate shall be,
Perchance is wisely hidden from me :
A fallen star thou mayst leave my side,
And of sorrow and shame become the bride
Shivering, quivering, through the cold street,
With a curse before and behind thy feet,
Ashamed to live, and afraid to die;
No home, no friend, and a pitiless sky.
Merciful Father, my brain grows wild,
Oh! keep from evil my beautiful child !
Beautiful child, mayst thou soar above,
A warbling cherub of joy and love,
A drop on eternity's mighty sea,
A blossom on life's immortal tree--
Floating, flowering evermore,
In the blessed light of the golden shore.
And as I gaze on thy sinless bloom,
And thy radiant face, they dispel my gloom ;
I feel He will keep thee undefiled,
And His love protect my beautiful child.
By the Author of “ Beautiful Snow."
I DO much wonder that one man, seeing how much another man is a fool when he dedicates his behaviours to love, will, after he hath laughed at such shallow follies, become the argument of his own scorn by falling in love. And such a man is Claudio. I have known when there was no music with him but the drum and the fife ; and now he would rather hear the tabor and the pipe. I have known when he would have walked ten miles afoot to see a good armour; and now will he lie ten nights awake carving the fashion of a new doublet. He was wont to speak plain and to the purpose, like an honest man and a soldier; and now is he turned orthographer; his words are a very fantastical banquet, just so many strange dishes. May I be so converted and see with these eyes? I cannot tell ; I think not. I will not be sworn, but love may transform me to an oyster ; but, I'll take my oath on it, till he have made an oyster of me, he shall never make me such a fool. One woman is fair : yet I am well ; another virtuous : yet I am well ; but, till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come into my grace. Rich shall she be, that's certain ; wise, or I'll none; virtuous, or I'll never cheapen her; fair, or I'll never look on her; mild, or come not near me; noble, or not I for an angel ; of good discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair shall be of what colour it please God.
A few years ago this poem appeared in the American papers. The beauty of the composition secured its republication in numerous journals, and at length it found its way to England, accompanied by the tale that the original had been discovered upon the person of a young woman who was frozen to death. For a long time the author preserved his incognito.
Some months since the secret was revealed, and Major Sigourney, nephew of the celebrated poetess of that name, became known as the writer. On the night of April 22, 1871, Major Sigourney was found dead in the outskirts of New York, under circumstances leading to the belief that he had shot himself. He had in early life married a Miss Filmore, a lady of great personal attractions, and with her made a voyage to Europe. During their absence rumours unfavourable to her character reached the Sigourney family. The reports seem to have been well founded; for, shortly after her return to New York, she showed that the curse of the nineteenth century-drink-had another victim to its list. She abandoned her husband, became an outcast, and was next heard of as an inmate of the penitentiary on Blackwell's Island. Her husband's love was still sufficiently strong to induce him to make another attempt to save her, and, through his influence, she was released only again to desert her home. In the winter of 1853 the papers spoke of a young and beautiful woman having been found dead, under the snow, in a disreputable street in New York. Something seemed to tell Sigourney that the body was that of his wife. Upon making inquiries he found his surmises but too true, and, after claiming the remains, he had them interred in that picturesque “silent city" which overlooks the busy harbour of New York.
The story of that erring wife is told in this touching poem. The cir. Bumstances connected with Sigourney's death remain a mystery.
OH! the snow, the beautiful snow,
Filling the sky, and earth below,
Over the housetops, over the street,
Over the heads of the people you meet;
Beautiful snow ! it can do no wrong;
Flying to kiss a fair lady's cheek,
Clinging to lips in frolicsome freak;
Beautiful snow from heaven above,
Pure as an angel, gentle as love !
Oh! the snow, the beautiful snow,
How the flakes gather, and laugh as they go,
Whirling about in maddening fun ;
It lights on the face, and it sparkles the eyo;
And the dogs, with a bark and a bound,
Snap at the crystals as they eddy around ;
The town is alive, and its heart in a glow,
To welcome the coming of beautiful snow.
How wild the crowd goes swaying along,
Hailing each other with humour and song ;
How the gay sleighs like meteors flash by,
Bright for the moment, then lost to the eye;
Ringing-swinging-dashing they go,
Over the crust of the beautiful snow;
Snow so pure when it falls from the sky,
To be trampled and tracked by thousands of feet,
Till it blends with the filth in the horrible street.
Once I was pure as snow, but I fell,
Fell like the snow-flakes from heaven to hell;
Fell to be trampled as filth on the street,
Fell to be scoffed, and spit on and beat;
Pleading-cursing-dreading to die,
Selling my soul to whoever would buy ;
Dealing in shame for a morsel of bread,
Hating the living and fearing the dead.
Merciful God, have I fallen so low?
And yet I was once like the beautiful snow.
Once I was fair as the beautiful snow,
With an eye like a crystal, a heart like its glow;
Once I was loved for my innocent grace-
Flattered and sought for the charms of my face !
God and myself I have lost by my fall.
The veriest wretch that goes shivering by
Will make a wide sweep lest I wander too nigh;
For all that is on or above me I know,
There is nothing so pure as the beautiful snow.
How strange it should be that this beautiful snow
Should fall on a sinner with nowhere to go!
How strange it should be when the night comes again,
If the snow and the ice struck my desperate brain.
Too wicked for prayer, too weak for a moan,
To be heard in the streets of the crazy town,
Gone mad in the joy of snow coming down;
To be and to die in my terrible woe,
With a bed and a shroud of the beautiful snow.
Helpless and foul as the trampled snow,
Sinner, despair not: Christ stoopeth low
To rescue the soul that is lost in sin,
And raise it to life and enjoyment again.
Groaning-bleeding-dying for thee,
The Crucified hung on the cursed tree;
His accents of mercy fell soft on thine ear-
“Is there mercy for me? Will he heed my
weak Oh God! in the stream that for sinners did flow, Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.
By the Author of "Beautiful Child."
SLOWLY the monarch turned aside :
But when his glance of youthful pride
Rested upon the warriors grey
Who bore his lance and shield that day,
And the long line of spears that came
Through the far grove like waves of flame,
His forehead burned, his pulse beat high,
More darkly flashed his shifting eye,
And visions of the battle plain
Came bursting on his soul again.
The old man drew his gaze away
Right gladly from that long array,
As if their presence were a blight
Of pain and sickness to his sight.
And slowly folding o'er his breast
The fragments of his tattered vest,
As was his wont, unasked, unsought,
Gave to the winds his muttered thought,
Naming no narne of friend or foe,
And reckless if they heard or no:
“Ay, go thy way, thou painted thing,
Puppet, which mortals call a king,
Adorning thee with idle gems,
With drapery and diadems,
And scarcely guessing, that beneath
The purple robe and laurel wreath