Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

If failure might thy soul oppress,
And fill thy veins with heaviness,
And make thee love thy kind the less:

Thy fame might rivalry forestal,
And thou let tears or curses fall,
Or turn thy wholesome blood to gall;

Poet! who sittest in thy pleasant room,

Warming thy heart with idle thoughts of love, And of a holy life that leads above, Striving to keep life's spring flowers still in bloom, And lingering to snuff their fresh perfume,

0, there were other duties meant for thee

Than to sit down in peacefulness and Be!
O, there are brother hearts that dwell in gloom,
Souls loathsome, foul, and black with daily sin,

So crusted o'er with baseness, that no ray
Of Heaven's blessed light may enter in!

Come down then to the hot and dusky way, And lead them back to hope and peace again, For, save in act, thy love is all in vain.

Pause ere thou tempt the hard career,
Thou’lt find the conflict too severe,
And heart will break and brain will sear.

Content thee with a meaner lot;
Go plough thy field, go build thy cot,
Nor sigh that thou must be forgot.

[ocr errors]

THE MAN OUT OF THE MOON. tesy they received unquestioned the remarkable

stranger, and invited him to their princely home. The man of the moon

How beautiful is Earth," said the man, as a few Came down at noon.

days afterwards he rambled to the spot where he

first pressed its soil, " and how happy are her childPerhaps these lines occurred to some of the indi- dren. Before I came here I thought that peace was viduals who witnessed the olisappearance of the man

more common than bliss, that quiet was more fre. from the moon one balmy summer evening. There qent than joy; but hitherto I have investigated at a must have been at least one astronomer, poet, luna disadvantageous distance, and here I find that my tic, and pair of lovers; and how many more may

ignorance was proverbial. Nevertheless, I have the not easily be ascertained. But the moonshine still will and capacity to learn, and the duke himself came down so gently, and the space vacated by that shall not know more of his neighbors than I will asancient man was filled with such calm brightness,

certain." that little was said and no commotion caused by his

He bounded over a sweet-briar hedge, and wended withdrawal from that place where he had been an

his way to a little hamlet, which nestled between admired fixture. Had he dropped down among any

the grove and upland at a short distance. He enterof the evening watchers, doubtless there would have ed the nearest cot, and the first sound which reached been a great excitement—especially among children his ears was a cry for bread. and nurses, with whom this man had been an object

Bread-BREAD!" repeated he, “I saw it given of greater interest than any other class. And, as

to the dogs this morning. Bread! there is enough every body was once a boy or girl, there might have at the castle. Go to the duchess, my child, she will been a revival of affection which would have mani- give you enough of bread.” The child ceased her fested itself in waving of handkerchiefs, loud huzzas, cry, but looked at him wonderingly, and an elderly and clapping of hands, perhaps in ringing of bells, sister shook her head, yet said nothing. Then the and firing of cannon; and who knows what fine din

man heard a moan from a low pallet, and lookners might have been given him, and concerts, also, ing into the dark recess, he saw stretehed upon it the in which a few particular nursery rhymes might have emaciated form of a woman.

She called the girl to

her side. been set to music by Vieux Temps, or Ole Bull, and the stranger almost paralysed by the excess of joy.

• Is there not a little more wine in the phial ?"

she asked. ous sensibility. But those, who knew that he was gone, could not of course tell whether he had started

“ Not one drop," was the reply. The woman upon a journey to the Sun, or to Venus, or to Hers. moaned more faintly. chel, or to some other place among the stars; and

“Wine! wine!” repeated the man; “we drank perhaps a few of them dreamed that he had come on

last night at the castle until our heads ached, and a pilgrimage of love to the Moon's great satellite,

some of the company were carried away drowned by

it. Earth. But, upon the same principle that « little

Wine and bread;" he repeated, as he turned upon boats should keep near the shore,” the inexperienced his heel, and flew towards the castle.—He entered traveller had wisely resolved that his first voyage

the drawing room, and a servant passed him with a should terminate at the first landing place. Whether silver salver, upon which were refreshments for the those were moonstruck who first saw him

ladies, and the sideboard was covered with various

wines. He grasped a bottle, and snatching the salver “ Flying between the cold moon and the earth,

from the waiter, he turned to go. But the astonished Where a fair lady throned by the west,"

domestic made such an outcry, and vociferated, held state upon a little island whether they were " Thief! Robber!” so lustily that he was soon over. moonstruck or not, matters little; but certainly no taken. The duke came to learn the cause of the skylark ever fluttered into nest more unregarded, no tumult. eagle ever descended into its nest more untroubled, “ He was stealing your silver.” repeated the ser. no snow-flake ever fell into its deep dingle more un- vant, after all your kindness to him.” noticed, and no leaflet ever nestled under its shadow- The duke looked at his mysterious guest with a ing rock more quietly, than the man from the moon penetrating eye. came down, when he alighted under the broad sha "I saw a child almost within a stone's throw of dow of a noble elm, in a ducal park.

your mansion,” replied the man, “ who cried for The deer turned npon him their large lustrous bread. I saw also a woman fainting for a cordial, eyes, and darted away to their leafy converts; the and here I knew that there was enough of bread and rooks slowly wheeled around above his head, and wine. I ran that they might the sooner be relieved sailed upon the breezes of their leafy homes; and from their misery.” the watch.dog met him at the portal with a fawn of The duke blushed as he heard the simple reply of affection. At the porter's lodge had gathered some the man, and almost doubted for the moment wheof the juvenile nobility, and with the utmost cour-ther he himself were a man, Bread and wine we

were

instantly despatched by the servant, and the duke ! passes ?' But the more my spirit was pained withtook the stranger into his closet. What he told him in me, the more I hurried to this place. And when there is what my readers already know—that Want I was come I saw mighty palaces for the accommodaand Misery stand even within the sunshine of Plenty tion of a few, and I saw also men herding together and Prosperity; that Sickness, Pain and Death are in filth and wretchedness; and those who had not in the daily paths of the rich and powerful; that all where to lay their heads. I have seen warehouses these things are looked upon as necessary evils, and filled with cloths for raiment, and stout men passed not allowed for a moment to interrupt the usual by them with scarce a rag to cover them; yet touchcourse of business and amusement. But he could ed they nothing. I have seen bakeries full of bread, not make it appear to the man out of the Moon as it and storehouse filled with other food; and savage did to himself. The more common it is, the more looking men proved that they were not yet fiends, dreadful it seemed to this wanderer from another for they did not strike dead those who withheld sphere. The more difficult it appeared to find the from them these provisions. Even here I have seen remedy, the more earnestly he thought it should be dogs and horses receive the attention denied to man. sought. It seemed to him that the great fault was You ask me what I want : I want to know if you in the government, and at its head was a lady as have known aught of this; and, if so, why stand you young, as kind, as compassionate as the duke's eldest here idle ?" daughter. He left the castle, and hastened to the " Who are you?” rejoined the astonished courcapitol. He lingered not by the way, but sighs ob- tier. truded themselves upon his notice which gave him 6 The man out of the Moon." much pain. He sought the palace; he asked audience « Aha, aha,

,-a lunatic! I thought as much. Now of the queen. He brought no references, no intro- let me see if we have not a nice place for you which ductions, and could not be admitted to the young you have not yet espied ;” and calling the servants, sovereign ; but his earnestness gained him an inter- he ordered them to take the man to the hospital. view with one of her counsellors. He had so much But he slipped from their grasp and was soon out to say, and knew so little how to say it, his ideas of the way. He strayed to the sea side, for there were all in such confusion, that it was some time be was there less of the misery he could not relieve. fore the minister could gather aught from him. He found a man sitting upon a solitary rock, and

" To the point,” said he at length.-6. Tell me, gazing far out upon the waters. There was that in stranger, what you want.”

his eye which told the Lunarian that there he might "I want right!" said the man. - I came a stran- meet with sympathy. So they sat together, while ger to your land, and at first, all appeared to me the sea-winds moaned around them, and talked of very beautiful. But I soon found hunger, destitu- wrong and oppression. tion, and death. I inquired the cause, and asked for

«But why do the people bear all this?" asked the the remedy. I was told there was none ; but I found Man. Why do they not rise in their strength, that if relief could be obtained this was the place to and demand clothing, food and shelter ? Why do look for it. I left for this city. I hurried on my they not stretch out their hands and take it, when way; but unless I shut my eyes, I could not but see almost within their grasp ? Why at least do they wrong. I have seen huge heaps of grain converted not die as men, rather than live like beasts.” into liquid poison, and starving men drunk of it that They are enchanted," was the reply of the phithey might drown all sense of want and misery. Ilosopher. have seen broad fields lie waste as pleasure ground, Then the Man thought how impossible it would while squalid crowds were faint for food. I saw a be for him to disenchant them, and he sighed; and mighty ship filled with brave men; and their gar when the philosopher had gone he unrobed himself, ments glittered with beauty, and gushing strains of and spread his wings, and flew across the channel music stirred their noble hearts. I thought it a glo- till he came to another land. rious sight, but I learnt that they were sent to kill We will not follow him, as he strayed through or be killed of their fellow men. I saw a high and various cities, towns, and villages, along the Medinarrow structure spring upward to the sky; and they terranean. But he heard of it everywhere-he had brought out a man and put him to death between the heard of it before he crossed the channel--of a happy heavens and the earth. Crowds of men gazed up- land, far across many wide waters-a new world, ward at the sight, and think ye not that God looked where tyranny, oppression, and corruption, had not down? I went into an old moss grown church, and found time to generate their train of evils. He there I saw the man who prayed at the gallows; and yearned for this better land; and one night, when all the people said with him · Be ye also merciful, the sky was dark with sombre clouds, and no one even as your Father in Heaven is merciful.' For could witness his flight, he left the old for the newer if ye forgive not men their trespasses, how will continent. your Father which is in Heaven, forgive your tres- He alighted at the plantation of a wealthy gentle.

[ocr errors]

man.

66

[ocr errors]

With manly courtesy he was received, and, were also Wealth and Poverty—here were Misery, entertained with chivalrous generosity which asked Selfishness, and Pride. He saw a wealthy lady roll no questions of the stranger, and knew nothing but along in her carriage, while a feeble woman could that he needed rest. He was truly weary, and spent hardly totter across the streets. " The carriage some quiet days in the family of his host, for whom would have held more than two,” said he to himself. he formed quite an attachment. But one day as he He followed the faltering footsteps until he came to was walking in the grounds, he heard the voice of a cellar. The woman approached a bed, upon piercing lamentation. He looked around, and saw a which two children were gasping for breath, negro woman, with her young child pressed to her 6. Can nothing be done for them?” asked the bosom, and sobbing as though her heart would Man. break. He inquired the cause of her sorrow, and “I have just called a physician," replied the heard that her husband had just been taken away to mother. In a few moments he came in. He looked be sold to another master. Her children had been tenderly at his little patients. They are dying of taken from her long before, all but the babe upon want," said he. • They want every thing they her breast.

should now have; but first of all, is the want of The Man could not understand this at first, but fresh air.” The Man started from the house and after long questioning he learned some of the evils of ran to a street, in which was the residence of an slavery. He returned to his host. He was sitting eminent philanthropist. His questionings had alreawith his wife at his side, and his child upon his dy led him to a knowledge of the good. He came knee. He caressed them both with affection. The to the house. The master was not at home-he had Man looked at him sternly,

gone to his country-seat, and his mansion was vacant, 5. How dare you love your child ?” said he. with the exception of one servant who was left to " How dare you adore your wife ?" when you have open the windows each day, and see the cool air separated mother and child, husband and wife, and breathed through the deserted rooms. And, as he consigned them all to misery.

looked at the lofty, well-ventilated and vacant a part• Who are you ?” replied the host, “ that you ments, he thought of the children who were dying speak thus in my own house, where as yet unques- in a neighboring cellar for want of air. tioned you have been honored and cherished as a The man was wearied, disappointed and vexed. stranger and a guest.”

" If this is the happiest spot on Earth,” said he, "I am the man out of the Moon."

" then let me go back to the Moon." Then the host laughed heartily. " Ah, moon- It was a lovely starlight night. The moon, like struck, I see,” said he, carelessly ; and touching his a silver crescent, hung afar in the blue ether, and head he nodded to his wife. After this they would there was one bright solitary cloud in the clear sky. neither of them heed what he said, but treated him The Man spread his wings, and, bidding farewell to good humoredly, as a maniac.

Earth, he turned his face upward to a better home. In the neighborhood, however, he met not with As he passed the bright cloud he thought he saw, this consideration, for he would not hold his peace faintly delineated as though in bright shadow, the while he believed a great wrong was calling for re- outlines of a human form. He approached nearer, dress. They called him an Abolitionist, and pro- and the cloud seemed like a light couch, upon which posed assisting him in his departure from a place an etherealized being reclined.-Lofty intellect and which did not seem to suit him very well. They childlike mildness were blended in his pale spiritual would provide feathers, if not wings, and attach countenance, but there was a glance of sorrow in his them to him with tar, as the best artificial method. deep eyes which told that, if an angel, he had not They would not furnish him with a horse, but they forgotten the trials of earth. found a rail, and this with the aid of their own loco- The Man said to him, “I have just left Earth for motive powers, would assist him greatly.

Moon, but I would gladly leave it for any other The Man felt as though he would rather continue world. You seemed to have returned to it from free of all such obligations, and on the very night eaven.'' when all things were preparing for his exit, he spread It was my home," replied the spirit. There his wings upon the darkness and flew away. I first received existence; there I first drew the

He had heard the negroes speak of a land to the breath of life. It was my first home; and, though north, where there were no slaves, where oppres. I know it is full of sin and sorrow, yet at times I sion, cruelty, and selfishness did not exist ; and he leave Heaven that I may view it once again." thought that must be the better land of which he “ And did you know, while there, that it was had so often heard. He came to its far famed city ; filled with Guilt, Ignorance, or Pain ? or did you that where morals, intelligence, and prosperity are neglect the great interests of Humanity for selfish more nearly connected than in any other. He was pleasure ?" pleased at first, but soon became dissatisfied, because " I did not live for myself alone. I endeavored it fell far short of his ideas of social perfection. Here to live for my kind, and to find my happiness in try.

[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Love me sounded like a jest,

Fit for Yes or fit for No!

Call me false, or call me free

Vow, whatever light may shine, No man on thy face shall see

Any grief for change on mine.

Yet the sin is on us both

Time to dance is not to wooWooer light makes fickle troth

Scorn of me recoils on you !

And my

Learn to win a lady's faith

Nobly, as the thing is high; Bravely, as for life or death

With a loyal gravity.

Lead her from the festive boards,

Point her to the starry skies, Guard her, by your truthful words,

Pure from courtship's flatteries.

ing to promote the well being of others. I see now that I might have done more, but I saw it not then. God had given me a feeble frame, and I might not go forth actively among my brethren. But I sent my voice among them. I spoke aloud in behalf of the wronged and down-trodden. I spoke not of one evil, but of that which is the source of all evil. I spoke to the young, knowing that they would soon be the middle-aged, to act, and then the aged to die. I sent my voice among the ignorant, and invited them to come to the tree of knowledge. bliss is now in the assurance I have received, that my words will not be forgotten.”

«: But, if you were doing good,” said the Man, sternly, “Why did you go thence ?"

· I was called,” replied the spirit, gently. " And is there any who may take your place ?

“ I hope and believe there are many noble spirits, who are as earnest, as able, as faithful and more active, who are laboring for their brother man. But there is another agent. Would you witness it?” and drawing aside a drapery of cloud, he disclosed a shining volume. The night breeze gently wasted its leaves, and, in letters of brightness, were written upon them such words as these:

God hath made of one blood all the nations of the earth.” - Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” « The laborer is worthy of his hire.” “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to yori, do you even so to them.” « With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

The Man glanced at them, and then said, " Is this book there?"

" It is there," replied the spirit, - and there it will remain until its words are embroidered upon the hems of their garments, engraved upon the bells of their horses, and bound as frontlets between their eyes. Yea, even until they are impressed upon the hearts of all men."

The spirit veiled the book again in aerial drapery, and disappeared himself in the bright cloud.

The Man turned away, with a spirit dess sad; and ere morning dawned, he looked down again from his wold accustomed place,” with his usual placid smile; and none would now know from his benign expression, that we, poor erring mortals, had ever grieved and angered the Man in the Moon.- Lowell Offering

By your truth she shall be true

Ever true, as wives of yoreAnd her Yes, once said to you,

Shall be Yes for evermore."

HOW TO KEEP LENT.

BY ROBERT HERRICK.

(A paraphrase of Isaiah lviii. 3–7.) Is this a Fast, to keep

The larder leane

And clean From fat of neates and sheep ?Is to quit the dish

Of flesh, yet still

To fill
The platter high with fish ?

[ocr errors]

Is it to fast an houre,

Or ragg'd to go,

Or show A downcast look and soure ? No :-"Tis a fast to dole

Thy sheaf of wheat

And meat
Unto the hungry soule.

THE LADY'S YES.

BY ELIZABETH BARRETT BARRETT.

« Yes !" I answered you last night;

“ No !" this morning, Sir, I say ! Colors, seen by candle-light,

Will not look the same by day. When the tabors played their best,

Lamps above, and laughs below

It is to fast from strife,

From old debate

And hate;
To circumcise thy life;
To shew a heart grief rent;

To starve thy sin,

Not bin; And that's to keep thy Lent !

« PreviousContinue »