Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

Oh! long ago at LEXINGTON,

And above those minute-men,
The “Old Thirteen ” were blazing bright-

There were only thirteen then!
God's own stars are gleaming through it-

Stars not woven in its thread;
Unfurl it, and that flag will glitter

With the Heaven overhead.

Oh! it waved above the Pilgrims,

On the pinions of the prayer;
Oh! it billowed o'er the battle,

On the surges of the air;
Oh! the stars have risen in it,

Till the Eagle waits the Sun,
And FREEDOM from her mountain watch

Has counted “Thirty-one.”

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

"It Rains."

“ONE day with another, they are pretty much alike.” It's a--no such thing, if every body aʼmost does

say it. This Every-body's a No-body, and has just such an idea of days, as Wordsworth's man had of Primroses :

“A Primrose by the river's brim,
A yellow Primrose was to him,

And it was nothing more."

[ocr errors]

So a day to this “Every-body,” is something hot or dry, or wet or cold, or something else, but “nothing more.”

Of all days, give me rainy ones for memory and meditation. They some how soften the mental surface, trampled and trodden down by many-footed interest, and let the buried germs of the past, and the half-forgotten, up through the parched and indurated soil-germs bursting into the beauty of the days that are no more-flowers of the heart, that though it be a rock, cling around its clefts, and deck its rude and roughened breast, with a brighter “order” than ever glittered on the bosom of bravery

If the dear departed ever appear to us, it is when the sky is overcast, dimly through the mist of rain and tears.

If the wondrous mirage of the mind ever brings to view the shores of the distant past, it is when the cloud is overhead; just as we sometimes see the sunshine on the swelling hills abroad, while the veil of rain and shadow envelopes us where we stand.

If the footfalls of those who have gone before,

“ To that unseen and silent shore,”

are ever heard by the listening heart, it is when they are so blended with the pattering of the rain, we cannot tell one from the other.

The Singer of the Welsh Mountains makes the Waldenses bless God for the strength of the hills," and why may not we, in humble prose, bid the beatitude of Memory rest upon the Rain? The Rain that brightens the past and revives its withered and withering flowers.

But alas! for it, the warmest, softest, sweetest Rain-e'en the Rain that Mercy is likened to-cannot restore to life those who have obeyed the hallowing touch of time, and are “dust to dust.”

Beaumont and Fletcher told it truly when they bade the mourner,

[ocr errors]

Weep no more, lady, weep no more,

Thy sorrow is in vain ;
For violets pluck'd, the sweetest showers

Will ne'er make grow again."

The other day we were favored with a well-behaved rain, blest with an abundance of gentleness, and a disposition sweet as June.

It was none of your dashing, roaring sort of rains, that strangle the gutters, splash against the windows, and take one's breath away with whole pailsfull of water at once.

It was none of your cold, sleety, freezing rains, that come down point first, like an avalanche of cambric needles ; nor yet, a blustering, whirling shower that sweeps up

before

you

in sheets, with the roll of thunder between, that makes you think of banners in a battle. Neither was it one of those old-fashioned

steady” rains, that begin to get ready in the morning, with the wind“ a swooning over hollow grounds,” mist all the forenoon, drip, drip, all the afternoon, and set in to a regular rattling, pouring rain, that rains you to sleep_that you hear when away in the middle of your dream—that rains when you wake up—that keeps raining, till you begin to think of old Covenants, and bless yourself, as you turn over, that the

seal of the rainbow has not faded from the dark

scroll of the storm.

No, it was none of these, but just a whole brood of showerettes-little showers that came

one after another, out of the clouds, every other one a sunshine, as if to see how Earth would be pleased with them.

Just the rain that sets the flowers in the garden to dancing and courtseying and nodding-just the rain to render the poet's line no fancy,

“Blinded alike from sunshine and from rain,
As though a rose should shut, and be a bud again.”

[ocr errors]

It Rains! But don't imagine for a minute that it always does the same thing when it rains. As emphatic little girls say, under their breath, “it n'hever, n'hever does.' There's the rain impromptu, the rain progressive, the rain premeditated, and the rain with a “to be continued,” the oblique, the perpendicular, the driving, the dripping, and the sheet rain; and no body can tell how many more if he tries.

There's your dull, drizzling, dreamy rain, that dampens the day and the spirits, and makes one remember old sunsets, old “flames,” and old friends ; and there's your right bright, merry living shower, that comes dancing down in sunshine, or moon

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »