Obrazy na stronie
[blocks in formation]
[graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small]

Till every gorge and cavern seems
Thrilled through and through with fairy dreams ?

“ Afraid, — beside the water dim

That holds the baby-lilies white Upon its bosom, where a hymn

Ripples forth softly to the light That now and then comes gliding in, A lily's budding smile to win ?

“Fast to the slippery precipice

I see the nodding harebell cling ;
In that blue eye no fear there is ;

Its hold is firm, - the frail, free thing!
The harebell's Guardian cares for me:
So I am in safe company.

“ The woodbine clambers up the cliff

And seems to murmur, Little Grace, The sunshine were less welcome, if

It brought not every day your face.' Red leaves slip down from maples high, And touch my cheek as they flit by.

“I feel at home with everything

That has its dwelling in the wood; With flowers that laugh, and birds that sing,

Companions beautiful and good, Brothers and sisters everywhere ; And over all, our Father's care.

“ In rose-time or in berry-time, –

When ripe seeds fall, or buds peep out, — While green the turf, or white the rime,

There 's something to be glad about. It makes my heart bound, just to pass The sunbeams dancing on the grass.

“ And when the bare rocks shut me in

Where not a blade of grass will grow,
My happy fancies soon begin

To warble music, rich and low,
And paint what eyes could never see :
My thoughts are company for me.

“ What does it mean to be alone ?

And how is any one afraid,

Who feels the dear God on his throne

Beaming like sunshine through the shade,
Warming the damp sod into bloom
And smiling off the thicket's gloom ?

“At morning, down the wood-path cool

The fluttering leaves make cheerful talk ;
After the stifled day at school,

I hear, along my homeward walk,
The airy wisdom of the wood, -
Far easiest to be understood.

“I whisper to the winds; I kiss

The rough old oak and clasp his bark;
No farewell of the thrush I miss ;

I lift the soft veil of the dark,
And say to bird and breeze and tree,
'Good night! Good friends you are to me!'”

Lucy Larcom.




JUST now, and for five years past, all our ideas of cripples have been asJsociated with some poor maimed soldier, one of the heroes who, though no less brave than they who lost their lives, nor more so than the more fortunate, who saved both life and limb, yet demand our full sympathy and respect.

But stop: our title says, Written by herself. Was she, then, of those devoted, though mistaken ones, who felt themselves more useful in carrying the musket than when wielding their truer weapons, the pen and the needle, for the comfort and encouragement of dear ones in the field ?

No, our cripple was none of these. She can only say that, though in one sense born almost under the walls of that fort against which Treason first exploded its long pent-up malice and deadly hate of Freedom, yet her earliest conscious breath was drawn equally near those not less sacred walls where was wisely conceived, and bravely urged upon a doubting world in the shape of two thousand negro soldiers, an idea in grandeur and importance second only to that of Emancipation itself, — the idea that the oppressed should, could, and would fight for their own lives and liberties.

And so our cripple claims to be a true Union — female.
But who was she, and what was the matter with her ?

The latter question will be answered in her own words; but it is no more than fair to tell our readers beforehand what kind of a person she is, lest, if they should suppose her to belong to the human species, and near the beginning of her story she should bewail the loss of three and a half of her legs, they should suspect, either her of a moral as well as bodily deficiency, or us, the translator, of inserting some absurd things for our own amusement. And so, as it is all true and not even embellished, - as we have read in one of the Rollo books of a story told by that prince of small boys' friends, Jonas, we are willing, at the risk of their not reading it at all, to tell them that this individual was large, but very handsome (for she was yellow, with splendid anklets of black hairs), and useful (for out of her body came the most beautiful golden silk you ever saw), and good (for she would eat and drink from my hand), — was a great, handsome, good, and useful spider.

Yes, a spider,-one of the “silk spiders of South Carolina,” and, in our opinion, a very well-behaved individual, considering where she came from.

She was a favorite pet of ours. Her large size and good temper, but, above all, her remarkable and never-beforeheard-of calamities, made her the chief among many others of her kind; and though a record of them all was kept, yet hers was most full and complete, and abounds in incidents very curious and instructive.

But now you say, If this is a true story, tell us how your wonderful spider told it to you ; for we never heard of a spider talking, nor even writing, though we have seen writing that would have passed for a spider's handiwork.

Now this is a secret that we cannot explain to you ; but we can suppose an explanation. While dying, this spider lay in a box upon a cushion of a silk handkerchief folded up; and, with her

* Fig. 1. Female Spider (minus first right leg, and sharp jaws, she may have cut the words “

first, second, and tip of fourth left legs). which we alone could decipher and translate ; and if you insist upon seeing this same handkerchief, and find yourself unable to read a word of this story, that is no reason why we should be, for spider language is very peculiar, and only to be acquired after long practice.

But in whatever way it was written and read, the story is a true one. Hear it :

« PoprzedniaDalej »