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MARIAN DOUGLAS.

477

MARIAN DOUGLAS.

My heart beat high. I always knew Just when the Bonny Bride was due. “With foot on land you sail the sea,” Light laughed my cousin Jane at me, Oh, shallow-hearted, weak, and vain, But full of arts, was Cousin Jane.

M

She spied my ribbon fresh and new,
She snatched the length of shining blue,
And knotted it upon her breast.
“It is the shade that suits me best;
Oh, let me wear it once," she said.
I bit my lip, but bowed my head.

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When, looking up, within the door
Stood Ben, my Ben, at home once more;
But, oh, his gaze-why should it be ?-
Was turned on Jane instead of me!
She'd never looked so fair before :
'Twas that blue ribbon that she wore!

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ARIAN DOUGLAS, (Mrs. Annie Douglas

(Green) Robinson) is a resident of Bristol, N. H. She was born in Plymouth, N. H., in 1842. Her first published poem appeared, when she was fifteen, in the Southern Literary Messenger, whose editor, Mr. John R. Thompson, the poet of Virginia, showed much kind interest in her early verses. In '61 and '62, she, for a time, sent, weekly, a poem to the Boston Transcript, one of them, “The Soldier's Mother," being nearly as widely copied by the papers of the South as by those of the North. A little later, she became a contributor to Our Young Folks, and to The Nursery, a juvenile magazine of Boston, and a collection of these children's verses, called “Picture Poems for Young People.” was issued in 1872. Some of these poems, “ The Motherless Turkeys,” “Two Pictures,” and others, were widely copied, both at home and in England. A subsequent edition of this book was issued in 1882. A small book in prose, “Peter and Polly” a story of child-life in the Revolution, appeared in the Centennial year, and this, likewise, was most favorably noticed by the reviewers. The New York Evening Post, characterizing it as “delicious in its artistic simplicity.Since her first volume, however, Marian Douglas has allowed her verses to remain uncollected, and they are now wildly scattered. Some of those originally appearing in the Atlantic, Scribner's, The Galaxy, etc. Many of her later poems are brief, like “The Rose,” “The Yellow Leaf,” etc.. and have found place in Harper's Bazar, to which paper she has been an occasional contributor for many years.

H. E. G.

With jealous pang I knew it then-
Forever lost to me was Ben.
When Love attempts his wings to try,
'Tis vain to stay him ; let him fly!
But, oh, I knew I need not mourn
Had I myself that ribbon worn!
Well, let it go. Sore Heaven's grace
Needs she who is not fair of face.
But 'tis its red robe makes the rose;
The garment's charm for beauty goes ;
And that blue ribbon held the key
of all my lonely life for me!

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TWO PICTURES.

A BLUE RIBBON.

An old farm-house, with meadows wide,
And sweet with clover on each side ;
A bright-eyed boy, who looks from out
The door with woodbine wreathed about,
And wishes his one thought all day,–
“O, if I could but fly away
From this dull spot the world to see,
How happy, happy, happy,
How happy I should be!”

A RIBBON of the softest blue,
The sweet June sky's most lovely hue,
When youth and hope made all things fair:-
I bought it to bind up my hair;-
To all my life it held the key,
Yet never was it worn by me.

"My own! my own!” I thought him then,
The handsome, blithe young sailor Ben.
His last "good-by” on leaving shore,
His gladdest greeting home once more,
Were always mine. 'Twas with a thought
Of him that ribbon first was bought.

Amid the city's constant din,
A man who round the world has been,
Who, 'mid the tumult and the throng,
Is thinking, thinking all day long, -
“O, could I only tread once more
The field-path to the farm-house door,
The old green meadows could I see,
How happy, happy, happy,
How happy I should be!"

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For, lightly as a spider runs

Along the glistening thread, Upon a slender rope that stretched

High, high above my head, A little girl tripped, to and fro, And did not cast one glance below! A girl? it rather seemed to me That fresh from fairy-land was she!

She had a poppy-colored skirt,

A gown of golden gauze,
And when she came back to the ground,

The tent rang with applause;
Well pleased, she bowed and curt'sied then,
And went through all her feats again;
Along the rope I saw her rise,
With throbbing heart, but envious eyes.

Drawn out, like lingering bees to share

The last, sweet summer weather,
Beneath the reddening maples walked

Two Puritans together, -
A youth and maiden, heeding not

The woods which round them brightened, Just conscious of each other's thoughts,

Half happy and half frightened. Grave were their brows, and few their words,

And coarse their garb and simple;
The maiden's very cheek seemed shy

To own its worldly dimple.
For stern the time; they dwelt with Care;

And Fear was oft a comer;
A sober April ushered in

The pilgrim's toilful summer.
And stern their creed; they tarried here

Mere desert-land sojourners:
They must not dream of mirth or rest,

God's humble lesson-learners.
The temple's sacred perfume round

Their week-day robes was clinging; Their mirth was but the golden bells

On priestly garments ringing.
But as to-day they softly talked,

That serious youth and maiden,
Their plainest words strange beauty wore,

Like weeds with dewdrops laden.
The saddest theme had something sweet,

The gravest, something tender,
While with slow steps they wandered on,

Mid summer's fading splendor.

For, as I watched this elf, who seemed

Like Beauty's self, to me,
Of happy lots, the happiest,

I thought that hers must be;'
Since I, poor I, could never hope,
Like her, to walk upon a rope,
I felt, and felt that it was hard,
I was from life's best joy debarred!

But as, thus murmuring in my heart,

And filled with discontent, Beside my uncle, with the crowd

That left the show I went, He pulled my sleeve, and whispered, “See!” And, lo! my fairy, close to me Was standing, speaking with the dwarf. I looked, and wished her further off!

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HESTER A. BENEDICT.

481

HESTER A. BENEDICT.

H

He said: “Next week the chnrch will hold

A day of prayer and fasting ;"
And then he stopped, and bent to pick

A white life-everlasting, -
A silver bloom, with fadeless leaves ;

He gave it to her, sighing ;
A mute confession was his glance,

Her blush a mute replying.
“Mahetabel!” (at last he spoke,)

“My fairest one and dearest! One thought is ever to my heart

The sweetest and the nearest.

“You read my soul ; you know my wish;

O, grant me its fulfilling!”
She answered low: “If heaven smiles,

And if my father's willing!”
No idle passion swayed her heart,

This quaint New England beauty! Faith was the guardian of her life,

Obedience was a duty.

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Too truthful for reserve, she stood,

Her brown eyes earth ward casting, And held with trembling hand the while

Her white life-everlasting.

ESTER A. BENEDICT, nee Baldwin, is a

native of Portage County, Ohio. In the choice, rural retreat of her parents, she first saw the light, and grew to be a child of beauty. As the years advanced, she developed unusual precocity, intelligence, acute, nervous and lively sensibility. She was a rapt and attentive reader, choosing many of the best authors, as well as current literature for her entertainment. She readily assimilated what she read, and made it her own. Her early poetical efforts gave promise of the success that has crowned the productions of her more mature years. Like Pope, she “lisped in numbers for the numbers came. Thus ran smoothly her youthful years, till an early marriage opened a new vista. Maternity soon followed giving to life a new field of responsi. bility and joy. But ere the short years of her child's infantile loveliness had passed, the destroyer came, and the winsome little girl, enjoying almost the gift of unearthly loveliness, was laid low. The rude blow almost ended the life of the stricken mother. Henceforth all of earth was changed. A great grief, a heart-breaking sorrow, often vitally stirs the fallow ground of the human soul, and brings to life the latent genius hitherto slumbering there. So has it been, eminently, in this case. Her gists, as on eagle's wings have asserted their qualities. She resolved to devote her life to literature, and her success attests the wisdom of her decision. Some of her first productions appeared, with commendation, in the humble village newspaper. She afterwards took up her residence in New York, and became known as an acceptable and favorite contributor to 'many literary publications. At lenght she applied herself to the production of her poem, “Vesta.”

This poem brought to light the inborn vigor and pathos of her poetic genius. Vasta," with other poems was issued in book form in Philadelphia. The book was received with favor by the public. She is now the wife of Col. P. T. Dickinson, and their residence is in California, the flowery Eden of America. Hers, has been a life of vicissitude and many sorrows, but a brave life, also, of achievement and sucess. With personal accomplishments at once brilliant and fascinating, she is yet in the vigor of womanly activity, and by her undimmed genius and and shining ability is destined to win new laurels. L. W. H.

Her sober answer pleased the youth,

Frank, clear, and gravely cheerful, He left her at her father's door,

Too happy to be fearful.

She looked on high, with earnest plea,

And Heaven seemed bright above her : And when she shyly spoke his name,

Her father praised her lover.

And when, that night, she sought her couch,

With head-board high and olden, Her prayer was praise, her pillow down,

And all her dreams were golden.

And still upon her throbbing heart,

In bloom and breath undying, A few life-everlasting flowers,

Her lover's gift, was lying.

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O Venus' myrtles, fresh and green!

O Cupid's blushing roses! Not on your classic flowers alone

The sacred light reposes ;

TO THE SPIRIT OF SONG.

Though gentler care may shield your buds

From north-winds rude and blasting, As dear to Love, those few, pale flowers

Of white lise-everlasting.

With bosom where burdensome breath is,

From rocks where a beautiful bark

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