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I had been sitting up some nights,

And my tired mind felt weak and blank;

Like a sharp strengthening wine, it drank The stillness and the broken lights.

Silence was speaking at my side

With an exceedingly clear voice :

I knew the calm as of a choice Made in God for me to abide.

I said, “ Full knowledge does not grieve :

This which upon my spirit dwells

Perhaps would have been sorrow else : But I am glad 'tis Christmas Eve." Twelve struck. That sound, which all the years Hear in each hour, crept off; and then

The ruffled silence spread again, Like water that a pebble stirs.

Our mother rose from where she sat.

Her needles, as she laid them down, Met lightly, and her silken gown Settled: no other noise than that.

“ Glory unto the Newly-Born !”.

So, as said angels, she did say;

Because we were in Christmas-day, Though it would still be long till dawn.

She stood a moment with her hands

Kept in each other, praying much ;

A moment that the soul may touch But the heart only understands.

Almost unwittingly, my mind

Repeated her words after her;

Perhaps though my lips did not stir;
It was scarce thought, or cause assign'd.
Just then in the room over us

There was a pushing back of chairs

As some who had sat unawares
So late, now heard the bour, and rose.

Anxious, with softly stepping haste,

Our mother went where Margaret lay,

Fearing the sounds o'erhead-should they Have broken her long-watch'd for rest!

She stoop'd an instant, calm, and turn’d;

But suddenly turn'd back again;

And all her features seem'd in pain With woe, and her eyes gazed and yearn'd.

For my part, I but hid my face,

And held my breath, and spake no word:

There was none spoken ; but I heard The silence for a little space.

Our mother bow'd herself and wept.

And both my arms fell, and I said :

“God knows I knew that she was dead." And there, all white, my sister slept.

Then kneeling, upon Christmas morn

A little after twelve o'clock,

We said, ere the first quarter struck, “ Christ's blessing on the newly born!”

TO A CANARY BIRD.

By Mary Ann BROWNE. Sing, little bird with the silken wing, And tell us where thou hast learn'd to sing.

Thou wast not nursed in the greenwood free,
Thy birthplace was not in the rustling tree,
Where the leafy whispers around thy nest
Might fill the dreams of thine infant breast;
No echo of the wandering rill
Hath taught thee that melodious thrill,
Yet sweetly and gladly it flows along,
Even as the wild bird's happiest song.

Nor hast thou caught the spring's first breath,
And the summer's smiles on the open heath;
That chirp so clear thou dilst not learn
From the grasshopper amidst the fern,
Nor hast thou soar'd aloft to mark

The rising morn, like the happy lark,
Whose notes of triumph overflow
The heavens above and the earth below.

Sing, little bird, fold thy silken wing,
And tell us where thou hast learnt to sing.

'Tis not the memory of hills or woods,
Nor the sounding voice of remember'd floods,
"Tis not the sweeping of the wind
That hath left its thrill on thy heart behind ;
Ever hath been thy doom
A narrow cage and a prisoning room,
Yet dost thou pour forth melody
As sweet as the songs of liberty.

There's a spirit within that heart of thine
That sends a spell through its feeble shrine,
At the tone of love that heart can bound,
And echo back its blessed sound,
And day by day that sony hath power
To lighten many a lonely hour;

God is thy teacher, the God of love
Who rules the choiring hosts above;
Perhaps thy voice is as dear to him
As the songs of the holy cherubim,
It may be he hears its gladsome tone
Through the musical thunders around his throne.

Sing, little bird, rejoice and sing,
Thy songs arise from a heavenly spring.

THE PRAIRIE.

A passage in LONGFELLOW's Evangeline. " Far in the West there lies a desert land where the

mountains Lift, through perpetual snows, their lofty and luminous

summits, Down from their desolate, deep ravines, where the gorge,

like a gateway, Opens a passage rude to the wheels of the emigrant's

waggon, Westward the Oregon flows the Walleway and the Owhyhee. Eastward, with devious course, among the Wind-river

Mountains, Through the Sweet-water Valley precipitate leaps the

Nebraska ; And to the south, from Fontaine-qui-bout and the Spanish

sierras, Fretted with sands and rocks, and swept by the wind of the

desert, Numberless torrents, with ceaseless sound descend to the

ocean, Like the great chords of a harp, in loud and solemn vibra

tions. Spreading between these streams are the wondrous beautiful

prairies. Billowy bays of grass ever rolling in shadow and sunshine, Bright with luxuriant clusters of roses and purple amorphas. Over them wander the buffalo herds, and the elk, and the

roebuck; Over them wander the wolves, and herds of riderless horses; Fires that blast and blight, and winds that are weary with

travel ; Over them wander the scatter'd tribes of Ishmael's children, Staining the desert with blood; and above their terrible

war-trails Circles and sails aloft, on pinions majestic, the vulture, Like the implacable soul of a chieftain slaughter'd in battle, By invisible stairs ascending and scaling the heavens. Here and there rise smoke from the camps of these savage

marauders ; Here and there rise groves from the margins of swift run

ning rivers;

desert,

And the grim, taciturn bear, the anchorite monk of the Climbs down their dark ravines to dig for roots by the

brook-side, And over all this is the sky, the clear and crystalline

heaven, Like the protecting hand of God inverted above it.

TO A FRIEND WHO HAD SENT ME SOME ROSES.

A Soanet, by Keats.
As late I rambled in the happy fields,

What time the skylark shakes the tremulous dew

From his lush clover covert ;-when anew
Adventurous knights take up their dinted shields;
I saw the sweetest flower wild nature yields,

A fresh-blown musk-rose; 'twas the first that threw

Its sweets upon the summer: graceful it grew
As is the wand that queen Titania wields.
And, as I feasted on its fragran(y,

I thought the garden-rose it far excel'd ;
But when, o Wells! thy roses came to me,

My sense with their deliciousness was spellid:
Soft voices had they, that with tender plea
Whisper'd of peace, and truth, and friendliness

unquell’d.

THE FIVE CHILDREN. A Ballad by S. M., author of Lays from English History, &c. The incident is founded on a narrative in the newspapers. It is taken froin the Forget me Not, an annual of the year 1847. It well deserves a place here.

Ou, gently sways the rocking boat

Upon the sleepy seas ;
Far and few, through fields of blue,
Milk-white cloudlets slowly float;

And the murmuring breeze
VOL. V.

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